It does look as if Microsoft is to backtrack a little with its Windows 8.1 OS and the return of a sort of start button on the desktop: Well, a Start Menu. According to Microsoft, it's an evolution of Windows 8, rather than bowing to criticism. I noticed there are also going to be improvements to the UI and customization of the tiles and backgrounds to enhance personalization. Search is to be improved, along with the bundling of the all new IE11, when the OS ships later this year. As indicated, a preview will be released on June 26.
The real questions, for me, are, has it addressed the UI challenges for the desktop, and has it gone far enough to satisfy the criticism. Until I try it I won't know if it's going to help the newbies.
With several different Windows OSs here, I'm looking forward to hearing of the final release date, and upgrading from version 8, along with some of the older machines on XP and Win 7.
Welcome to this week's WebmasterWorld Weekly Roundup.
Google has updated its "Modifying AdSense Code" policy to clarify code changes. Google said, "Going forward, we will permit publishers to make modifications to the AdSense ad code so long as those modifications do not artificially inflate ad performance or harm advertisers and otherwise comply with our Terms and Conditions and program policies."
News from Bing this week when it announced XML Sitemap Plugin 1.0, which is an open source server-side system to aid production of sitemaps.
On the same day, Bing updated its news search with a visual carousel and extended index. Nice update!
Opera, as indicated previously, has launched a new Chromium-powered desktop browser.Opera says the latest generation of its desktop browser has been "completely re-engineered under the hood", with the most notable change being that it now runs on Chromium.
This week I heard that Blekko went for a redesign for improved navigation and with new aesthetics. What do you think of the new design and navigation?
Facebook stepped up its verified pages program by announcing that a new verified logo will appear on the accounts. Facebook said, "Verified Pages belong to a small group of prominent public figures (celebrities, journalists, government officials, popular brands and businesses) with large audiences. This update is rolling out to profiles as well." If you fall into one of these categories, it'll sure help.
Paswwords: We all have 'em somewhere. Some generic, some strong, some random. After some research carried out by a journalist showing that passwords are relatively easy to crack, are we deluding ourselves into a false sense of security? Join in our discussion, "Cracking Tough Passwords Appears Just Too Easy"
Staying on the password theme, Drupal was in the news this week as it understood some files had been compromised and it was recommending a password change. Drupal said, "This access was accomplished via third-party software installed on the Drupal.org server infrastructure, and was not the result of a vulnerability within Drupal itself. This notice applies specifically to user account data stored on Drupal.org and groups.drupal.org, and not to sites running Drupal generally."
This week, the Wikimedia Foundation launched Wikipedia Nearby (Beta), which is new way to find data and information for articles in close proximity. Wikimedia said, "As a first pass, the mobile team has focused on using the Nearby page to surfaces articles in close proximity that lack images, inviting users to add one." What do you think of this move, and how will it affect the SERPs?
In a new report, it predicted "mobile devices will overtake shipments of PCs by 2015." I'm pretty certain that might happen before 2015, and that many people are getting low-cost tablet devices for the first time. Even more reason to have your sites and services set up for mobile.
Twitter announced a new Lead Generation Card for brands. According to twitter, "Users can easily and securely share their email address with a business without leaving Twitter or having to fill out a cumbersome form."
Thanks for joining in the conversations. Remember, if you've found some news that we haven't covered or discussed, drop me a message, or post it yourself and let me have the link. Have a fantastic week!