What comes after 7?

By | June 15, 2011
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In the Computers newsletter this month:
  • What comes after 7?
  • Why I’m embarrassed and proud at the same time…
  • Georgia’s tip isn’t about keyboard shortcuts.

Sunshine! This is more like it! The only problem is it seems to give all the good weather during the week, then rain at the weekend. So I took the laptop out into the garden to write this!

But first:

New version of Windows – out in 2012?

It’s like one of those weird puzzles… what comes next in this sequence?
1, 2, 3, 3.1, 95, 98, ME, XP, Vista, 7

It’s about different versions of Windows and it sounds like Microsoft are going to stick with “Windows 8” as the name for the next version – at least that’s their name for it while they develop it.

It’s not going to be out until late 2012… so they say. But they have a history of being late, sometimes years late. So I wouldn’t bet on it being bang on time.

But it’s going to be a big change. Windows Vista wasn’t that different from XP – it was a just a bit fancier looking, with a few extra bells and whistles… and a tendancy to cause trouble. Windows 7 looks a lot like Windows Vista, but with a lot of the problems fixed. But they’re all similar to use. For example I use Windows XP on my office PC but Windows 7 at home – and there are only a few things I do differently on them. (In fact the biggest difference is at home I make sure none of the cables are on the floor because Alastair might try to eat them…)

But the snappily named Windows 8 is going to be more different. Instead of being based around using a keyboard and mouse, the idea is it’s designed for use with a touch sensitive screen. If you want to start a program, touch it on the screen. To move a window about, touch it on the screen and move your finger to where you want it to go.

You’ll still be able to use a mouse and keyboard, but it’ll give you the option to do either (if you have a monitor that can tell when you touch it).

Clever stuff, and it means that fancy mobile phones can work in the same way as your home PC, which is no doubt why Microsoft are doing it this way.

But before I get too excited, I’d best remember that Windows Vista was years late, so there’s no guarantee this version will be out when they say it will.

More on broadband companies

I can’t work out whether this is embarrassing or something I should be proud of but I’ve just found out from a reader that Greenbee (part of Waitrose, a company I recommended for broadband) actually use Plusnet (a company Laura recommended) to supply their broadband.

It’s embarrassing because I didn’t know that (so much for me being an expert!) but I’m proud because it shows that Laura and I are actually recommending the same service as the best choice. Given that it’s the same, I’d recommend going direct to Plusnet as it works out a bit cheaper.

I’ve had quite a few people writing in saying how good Plusnet have been, too, so it does sound like in general their service is pretty good. (I’d best hide this from my wife – she’s from Lancashire so I’m not sure I’m allowed to recommend a Yorkshire company…)

To be fair, a few people have written in saying they’ve had good service from TalkTalk (Tiscali’s parent company). But lots of others have had horror stories of their own, so for the best chance of good service (no guarantee, though), I’d recommend Plusnet.

Tip from Next door – Georgia

Usually, I am mad about keyboard shortcuts. But this time, I’ve got something a bit different for you.

If you use the latest version of Internet Explorer (version 9) or Firefox or Google Chrome to browse the internet and you accidentally close a tab that you are viewing, you can RIGHT click on an open tab and select “Re-open closed tab”, and this will recover the tab that you closed! It’s really handy if you close tabs accidentally all of the time like I do!

Hope you found that useful

Tim’s latest book – how to get it free

I mentioned last time that my new book “Simple Ways to Make your PC Easier to Use” is now available… and I said I wouldn’t recommend buying it because you might be able to get a copy without paying for it, even though it’s normally £5.99…

Here’s what’s going on: I’ve got a big pile of the books in the warehouse and I’m going to give one away, completely free, gratis and for nothing, to anyone who takes a “Test Drive” of my PC Inner Circle. There’s no obligation – if you then decide the Inner Circle isn’t for you, you still get to keep the book and it costs you nothing. Based on past history, most people who try it out will want to carry on being members but I don’t believe in locking people into fixed term contracts or anything like that.

There’s just one catch…

Although the Inner Circle is already up and running and the current members are already getting all the benefits of it, I haven’t got it quite ready to let more members in yet. I’m sorting out a few last bits and pieces before I open the doors again. I don’t know exactly how long it’ll take – but by next Monday I should know. So on Monday, I’ll send out a quick email to let you know when the doors will open and you’ll be able to get your free book. Watch out for the email!

In the meantime, I’ve recorded a short video so you can find out a bit more – here you go:


(Hope the birds in the background and the odd gust of wind aren’t too distracting…)

Tim Wakeling
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