The UpStream

Windows 8 Release Candidate...I mean Release Preview Comes Early

posted Sunday Jun 3, 2012 by Jon Wurm

Windows 8 Release Candidate...I mean Release Preview Comes Early

Not quite so unexpectedly, thanks to a pulled Microsoft blog post on May 30th (published again on May 31st), we found out that Christmas was coming early... sort of. Windows 8 probably won't be hitting PCs until holiday season 2012 but Microsoft was a few days ahead of the of the scheduled June 2nd release. Steven Sinofsky the head of Windows, didn't promise anything in a recent blog post but at least it feels like things are on track.

If the feedback and telemetry on Windows 8 and Windows RT match our expectations, then we will enter the final phases of the RTM process in about 2 months. If we are successful in that, then we are tracking to our shared goal of having PCs with Windows 8 and Windows RT available for the holidays.

While not a lot of changes were made, they have managed to clean Windows 8 up a bit. The UI seems to have a better feel, the transition between the desktop and metro is smoother and major performance gains over Windows 7 are nothing to laugh at. The Windows App Store also has a bit more content now to rummage though.

We also learned that Microsoft will offer a Windows 8 upgrade plan. Starting now, if you purchase a Windows 7 PC, you will have the ability to upgrade to Windows 8 for only $15. Not quite the free XP to Vista or Vista to Windows 7 deal, but a lot better than paying the full $200 to upgrade later.

Other than that, we'll just sit tight a little longer and keep taking our Prozac until some powerhouse Windows tablets hit the market. In the meantime, get the latest version of the Release Preview here.

Verizon's New $200 Internet Plan

posted Sunday Jun 3, 2012 by Scott Ertz

Verizon's New $200 Internet Plan

It looks like Verizon is about to put their upgraded fiber backbone to good use as the company has announced plans to start offering 300Mbps FiOS speeds. This seems to confims their new found commitment to FiOS when combined with the new markets announced in April. The best, and most surprising, part of the new plan is the price.

Apparently Verizon will charge only $205 per month for the new 300Mbps speeds. We currently pay $55 for only 20Mbps speeds on our provider. So four times the price for 15 times the speed? Totally acceptable. The high-end plan isn't the only one with a price announcement, though. All of the FiOS plans seem to be about to undergo a price change. The company's base plan on 15Mbps will increase $10 to $64.99 with a $5 surcharge for month-to-month. In fact, all plans will have a $5 surcharge for a no contract option or if you do not have Verizon landline phone service.

We have got the whole price lineup and hardware requirements after the break.

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