Like every other year, there are several technology stories and trends that come to mind as the final days of 2012 tick away. At the end of October, Microsoft released the newest version of its Windows operating system: Windows 8. This was a little over three years after the release of Windows 7, which was generally given universal praise, especially compared to the debacle that was Windows Vista. The release of Windows 8 has been met with a lukewarm response. Windows 8 was a bold step for Microsoft, as it is the first Windows version designed for desktops, laptops, tablets and smartphones, and it is optimized for tablets. The initial reaction was tepid due to the operating system’s radical deviation from the traditional Windows user interface. In my annual PC Buyer’s Guide (November 2012 CI Online Exclusive), I suggested readers upgrade to Windows 7 while they still can and wait to see if Microsoft tweaks the design in response to consumer reaction.
Another intriguing tech trend that took hold this year is the “phablet” craze: These devices are a cross between a tablet computer and a smartphone, with screens of five to seven inches. Joe Lan, assistant editor of CI, recently reviewed the Samsung Galaxy Note for the CI Email’s Gadget Corner column and is a firm believer that “bigger is better” when it comes to phone screen sizes. I believe that a phone should easily fit in your pocket. The four-inch screen on my iPhone 5 is plenty big enough for me!
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