Xbox SmartGlass – Y U No Work On Nexus 7?

Smart-GlassBeing a huge Xbox fan (oflahertypaul if you’re interested) and mega Google nerd, I have to admit that I was a little late to the game in learning that SmartGlass is available for Android.

It was awesome sitting on the couch the other night messing with my Xbox (1 of 2) and controlling it from my Windows 8 laptop, so you can imagine that I was more than a bit disappointed to find out that SmartGlass does not work with either of my two Android devices.

I can forgive it not working with my Samsung Galaxy S, which runs Froyo (2.2) and has been around since Jesus rode dinosaurs to school, but that it doesn’t work with my Nexus 7? Wait, what? Oh hell nawww!

My beloved Nexus runs the latest and greatest version of Android (Jelly Bean 4.1.2), well at least until the Nexus 10 comes out (it will mine, oh yes, it will be mine), so what gives?

It’s simple Microsoft. The people  in the Google universe buying Nexus tablets are the ones most likely to want to use things like SmartGlass, and most likely to buy the 720 when it finally drops. We’re likely to pick up a Surface too, and Windows 8, because most of us are platform agnostic.

We love cool tech, but if you’re stuff doesn’t work on the current flagship device for cool tech (amongst those who aren’t pleasuring themselves over that other serving tray tablet) then you’re going to lose any allure you may be building.

Update: Mark “Rizzn” Hopkins informs me that you can side-load SmartGlass on to the Nexus 7 and it works just fine. But that does sound like an terrible lot of work…

About Microsoft’s Surface Tablet And The Apple Fanboys

The amount of this crap I’ve been seeing in the comments sections of posts about Microsoft’s Surface tablet is ridiculous. Regardless of your opinion about the product, folks need to pay attention to their computer history before opening their traps.

Yes, I know Bill Gates actually showed off the first tablet at Comdex in 2000 (and of course there was “Windows for Pen Computing” in 1991) but I’m too lazy to edit the image below. The point is still served.

Tablet PC

Revisiting Internet Explorer 9 And A More Beautiful Web

Internet Explorer 9

Disclosure – Sponsored Post

The first time I wrote about Internet Explorer on this particular blog was back in 2004. In a post titled “IE gets Fired”, I slammed IE for it’s failings when compared to Firebird 0.8 beta (Firebird for those who aren’t old enough to remember was an earlier name for what we now know as Firefox.

“Firebird is still in Beta at version 0.8 but is already very stable and has replaced IE as my browser of choice. Why? Options, size, and speed. Firebird positively trashes IE in all these departments, not to mention a few others.”

That post was written in May of 2004, which makes it nearly 8 years old and the browser landscape has seriously changed since those days. Firebird has become the much beloved and jack of all trades browser for the internet Firefox, which while it can do almost anything has seen it lose it’s edge in terms of speed, stabilility and size. Chrome is now the darling of the Google brigade, of which I count myself a member, is fast, has some cool features and an endless amount of extensions, but it’s also becoming increasingly unstable on my system (even as I reduce the number of extensions that I use, and that’s not good for someone who lives 8 hours of everyday almost exclusively within his browser.

Yes, there are other browsers I could (and do) try on my Windows 7 laptop. Opera, Safari and a number of other smaller browsers which have essentially been relegated to the realms of “also rans” in the windows world.

Recently I’ve found myself slowly but surely creeping back into using IE9 more and more everyday, because there is one important thing that Internet Explorer 9 not been doing that other browsers have been – crashing. Not crashing is critical for me given the previously mentioned 8 hours of daily use.

Another thing that is making the return to IE9 awesome for me, is the ability to pin websites to taskbar and have them open as individual sandboxed apps. Most of the other browsers on the market allow you to run apps inside them, but none of them allow you pin them to the taskbar and this ability gives you a unique experience whereby opening your gmail is almost like opening a dedicated desktop application.

Plus, being developed by Microsoft, IE9 has a unique advantage in terms of hardware acceleration which makes browser based applications, particularly those written in HTML5, have native hardware acceleration for graphics, and gameplay. In other words it’s fast. HTML5 rendering tests are amazingly fast and my real world use certainly demonstrates that it is at the very least “as fast as” if not faster than other browsers.

As a developer the thing I’m appreciating most is the amount of screen real estate that IE9 gives me. If you have IE9 installed open it up beside other browsers and compare it. The streamlined interface, most notably due to the positioning of the address bar, gives you more visible “web site” than any other browser I’ve tried. Neither Firefox or Chrome come close unless you put them in fullscreen mode, but hey, IE can do that too.

I’ve been undertaking this journey almost completely unaware. It’s been one of those things that has “just happened” as I’ve been using and experimenting with different browsers and tools to streamline my work. I suppose I should have seen it sooner, especially when we talked about IE and other browsers for so long on the WinExtra podcast, but I guess sometimes we spend so much time looking at and dissecting things that I didn’t see the larger picture and how things could apply to my online life and work.

You can learn more about Internet Explorer 9 by visiting and downloading it for yourself. Don’t just take my word for it, and do yourself a favor, try to remember that Internet Explorer 9 is not IE6 and go in with an open mind. You may be very pleasantly surprised.

Visit Beauty Of The Web.

Podcast: WinExtra on Windows – Where We Talk Windows 8

WinExtra On Windows PodcastI got the chance today to hang out on Skype with Steven Hodson of WinExtra and Holden Page, and talk a bit about Microsoft’s Windows 8 developer preview.

This show is just our initial thoughts and opinions. We’ll be revisiting the topic in 2 weeks time once we’ve all had an opportunity to get it installed and really play with it so be sure to check back then when we get into the real nitty gritty.|width=450|bgcolor=0×000000|titles=WinExtra

Download (65.7 MB). Show notes.

WinExtra’s Daily Brief – Empty Shelves, Microsoft to blame?

WinExtra Daily BriefSteven is pissed at me because I was up all night playing Call Of Duty: Black Ops and am actually excited about a game release for XBox 360. He’s also pissed at the fact that he can’t yet get a Windows Phone 7. He’s pissed off a lot isn’t here. In the meantime Microsoft re-brands it’s tagline. Yawn!

Show links.

Make sure to subscribe to the WinExtra channel on YouTube to get the latest episodes.

WinExtra on Windows #20 Almost Legal In Some States|width=450|bgcolor=0×000000|titles=WinExtra

WinExtra On Windows PodcastSteven Hodson and myself are back to bring you yet another weekend episode of WinExtra on Windows, where we round up the weeks Microsoft related news and delve deeper into the big stories than we can on WinExtra’s Daily Brief.

Even though Windows Phone 7 is still the major news point when it comes to the company there has been some other interesting stuff going in the Microsoft – both good and bad.

One of the more interesting posst we read this week about Microsoft comes from Frederic over at NewsGrange where he asks the question about whether Microsoft has finally turned the corner and become a company to really keep an eye on.

The rest of the headlines we covered are:

Software Tips of the week

Paul’s Tip: Convert XP into a Windows 7 Virtual Machine with Disk2vhd
Steven’s Tip: SciLor’s Grooveshark Downloader

Enjoy listening to the show:

Download WinExtra On Windows #20 (Right click and select save as).

Leave us a voice-mail for next weeks show at (US) 251 281 8730 or email us at

WinExtra’s Daily Brief #17 Make Up Your Minds Will Ya

WinExtra Daily BriefAs we wrap up a week of rumors and retractions Steven Hodson and I go over the major Microsoft headlines of the day.

Tethering, no tethering, Nokia’s Windows Phone 7, and no Windows 7 SP1 needed for IE9 deployment. No-one seems to be able to make up their minds. However this is the tech blogosphere so that really shouldn’t come as any great surprise.

Enjoy the show :)

Make sure to subscribe to the WinExtra channel on YouTube to get the latest episodes.

Podcast: WinExtra On Windows #13 The Crap Load Episode

WinExtra On WindowsWhile recording last weeks episode of the WinExtra On Windows Podcast, Steven and I were complaining that there wasn’t enough news to cover for the show yet still managed to run over time.

This week, there was more news than we could cover in the allotted time and, as usual, we still managed to run a bit over time.

If you’re interested in Microsoft, Windows Phone 7, Internet Explorer, Governmental idiocy, speculation and some good old fashioned ranting, then this may be the episode for you.

Posts mentioned in this episode:

Software Tip links:

Steven’s tip: Bend – A modern text editor (Bonus tip: A Ruler For Windows)
Paul’s tip: Freemake Video Converter

Enjoy the show :) .


Download WinExtra On Windows #13 (Right click and select save as).

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Got something to say? Leave us a voice-mail for next weeks show at (US) 251 272 9633 or email us at

Podcast: WinExtra on Windows #11: From Earnings To Licenses Microsoft Has An Interesting Week

WinExtra On WindowsThis week their was so much to cover and so little time to do it in. We shotgun through a large number of minor stories so that we can spend give the announcement of Microsoft becoming and ARM licensee and some Windows Phone 7 news the coverage it deserves.

Also, this weekend we introduced a new section to the show, where Steven and I share our favorite tips and free software to make your day to day Windows computing easier.

Posts referred to in this week’s show:

This week’s software suggestions:

Enjoy the show :) .


Download WinExtra On Windows #11 (Right click and select save as).

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Got something to say? Leave us a voice-mail for next weeks show at (US) 251 272 9633 or email us at