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For a company that's floundering in the new tablet economy, Windows 8 couldn't have come at a better time for Microsoft. It represents the behemoth's combined desktop, laptop and tablet operating system strategy, and it's meant to go right from 10-inch touch-only tablets all the way to big-screen TVs, while covering the ultraportable notebooks and business desktops along the way as well. That said, what I've seen so far is only a Developer Preview, and the final release is almost a year away, but here's my takeaway of some of the best features Windows 8 has to offer. Oh, and some stuff Microsoft really needs to fix!

What I Liked…
Metro User Interface: If you've seen Windows Phone 7, you know where the inspiration for the slick Metro interface lies. Much like its phone sibling, the user interface features Live Tiles – buttons not only launch applications but also provide at-a-glance info like weather, unread emails. And Microsoft has really taken multitouch to a new level here – for instance, you can select a Live Tile with one finger while scrolling sideways with the other finger to drop it exactly where you want. The interface is tailor made for touch with a pretty amazing touch keyboard to boot, but also supports pen and mouse inputs.

Picture Passwords: Exactly what it suggests, you select a photo and perform three gestures on it that you can easily remember, and that's your password!

Re-explored!: Windows Explorer finally gets a major overhaul, with an Office 2010 style ribbon and the ability to even uninstall a program right from within Explorer.

Travel With Your Stuff: Using integration with your Windows Live account, Windows 8 will let you hop on another machine and enter your Live ID, and almost instantly, you'll get your own Lock screen, your contacts, your apps, and your SkyDrive (cloud storage) content.

Deep Social Integration: Social sharing is in the core of this release, and you can share stuff you're reading on the web for instance with your friends simply by clicking the Share button and selecting the application of choice. The OS even remembers the people with whom you share the most, listing them as frequently used shortcuts.

 …And Some Criticisms
Confusing Multitasking: While switching between apps is easy enough – you just swipe from the left side of the screen – the Metro UI doesn't show you all your running apps all at once, so you have to cycle through open apps until you find the right one.

Bye-bye Start Menu: It's gone. If you've grown to love the little pop-up menu first introduced with Windows 95, say your goodbyes. Clicking on what used to be the Start button launches the tile-filled Metro UI, leaving most of us a tad confused as to where to find our applications. Too much too soon? While it may instantly make sense for folks who're used to Windows Phone 7, isn't that too much of an assumption on Microsoft's behalf? That too for desktop users?

Cloud Data Security: It's still unclear how much stuff of yours travels with your Live ID, and exactly where it is stored. I'd like to know exactly which parts of my personally identifiable data Microsoft is squirreling away in the name of portability.











The Weight Of Wars
War games tend usually to shy away from the futility and the sheer desperation of war, taking solace in the glorified jingoism that is enough to pump players up for battle. Not so with Resistance 3, which puts the human element front and center, and you can really feel for Joe Capelli as the sheer burden of the responsibility of saving mankind starts weighing the main character down. So even when you're making progress kicking some enemy behinds, that feeling of defeat and desperation never subsides. Rest for a moment, and you start seeing a deluge of savage troops butchering your travelling companions, and you have to work hard to shake off that losing feeling. Never before was the game progress indicator, which keeps reminding you that you're moving forward in the game, more important!
 
As Capelli, you must travel by foot, train, boat and aircraft to New York City on a mission to close an enemy wormhole that was opened four years prior (Resistance fans will remember this event from Resistance 2). As with the rest of the series, you get great and brilliantly thought out weapons to deal with equally impressively varied and downright insane enemies. Each of the guns respond beautifully, and pack a hell of a punch, which is just as well else you'd be overrun in the first level itself.
 
When you round out the 10-11 hours of gameplay that it takes to finish this game end to end, you realize the developers meant for this to be as much a intensely harrowing personal experience as a compelling single-person shooter game.  The multiplayer mode is top notch as well, but even without it, this is a must-buy for PS3 shooter fans.
 
Rating: 9/10
Price:Rs 2,499
URL: http://bit.ly/qBB27Q

technocool at kanwar dot net
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