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For Bill Gates, Windows 8 signals where computing is headed
Bill Gates has weighed-in on the merits of Microsoft's new Windows 8 OS, renewing the company's claims that it will guarantee users the best of both the tablet and traditional PC experience.
The Microsoft co-founder-turned-philanthropist, is unsurprisingly over the moon with the the re-imagined OS, which the company will unleash upon the world on Oct. 26.
In an interview with Steve Clayton of Microsoft's Next Blog, the chairman of the Softies said the touch-friendly software is a huge step and represents the future of personal computing.
"This is an absolutely critical product," Gates said. "It takes Windows into the world of touch...really giving people what you think of as the best of a tablet-type experience and the PC experience.
"It's a big step, it's key to where personal computing is going and we're going to get software developers behind this like we have with every new version of Windows."
Surface must be seen to be believed
Gates, who rarely comments on product matters these days, also waxed lyrical about the merits of the new Microsoft Surface RT tablet, which also goes on sale this week.
He said he's been using the device night and day and promised it would also embody the perfect blend of the tablet and traditional PC experience that users are demanding.
"Surface is an unbelievably great product," he said.
"It embodies this idea of 'can you get an even better tablet that also has what you expect in a PC?' With a stand, a keyboard, the ability to point at things, which also gives you access to some of the classic software like Office.
"I've been using my Surface RT day and night, showing it to everyone I meet. But you can't appreciate it without seeing it. People, get to a store and play around with this thing."
For the full, five-minute interview, including Gates' views on the move towards a single OS encompassing Windows and Windows Phone, check out the YouTube video below:
Updated: Partial Amazon Web Service disruption takes down Reddit, others
Update: An Amazon spokeswoman referred TechRadar to the AWS Service Health Dashboard, which indicated service availability at Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (aka EC2), Amazon Relational Database Service and AWS Elastic Beanstalk were all experiencing "performance issues."
All three services are in the Northern Virginia "Availability Zone" and the disruptions are "impacting a portion of customers in that Availability Zone," the spokeswoman said.
She did not elaborate which specific sites and services have been affected and when service should return to normal.
Problems with Amazon Web Services (AWS) are reportedly impacting several sites and services around the web, including Reddit.
The reports started coming in around 12 pm PDT Tuesday, indicating issues at the company's EC2 operations at a Northern Virginia data center are causing a ripple effect of disruption.
Reddit, Flipboard, Pitchfork, "Minecraft," Skitch, Coursera, GitHub, Airbnb and Heroku are all apparently suffering complications and even complete outages
At 10:31 a.m. PDT, Reddit tweeted that its "site is down right now."
Upon a subsequent TechRadar check at 12:45 p.m. PDT, Reddit appeared to once again be operational.
In a status board message from 11:26 a.m. PDT, EC2 let customers know what was happening.
"We are currently experiencing degraded performance for EBS volumes in a single Availability Zone in the US-East-1 Region.
"New launches for EBS backed instances are failing and instances using affected EBS voumes will experience degraded performance."
The disruption does not appear to be impacting major AWS-based sites such as Netflix and Instagram.
Another outage caused by a severe electrical storm took down those two major players over the summer. The outage took place at the same Virginia data center and brought with it AWS for an entire weekend.
Hulu Plus app gets Windows 8 treatment
The launch of Windows 8 is set to go down in just a few days and app makers are keen to make sure users know they'll be able to enjoy the same quality content they are used to on the new OS.
Netflix has already revealed its brand new custom app for Windows 8, and now another streaming media stalwart has joined the fray.
Hulu announced Monday the popular Hulu Plus app will be available on Windows 8 devices like the Microsoft Surface at launch.
"Our team has been heads down building a gorgeous new Hulu Plus app that is optimized for the Windows user interface," wrote Patrick Srail, a senior product manager at Hulu, in a blog posting.
It's a snap (or swipe)
Though the Hulu Plus app is usable on desktop PCs, the new configuration and user interface is clearly geared towards the touchscreen device.
"The new Hulu Plus app leverages core Microsoft design principles with our touch-optimized experience," Srail wrote.
"The UI is simple and clean and puts the most relevant content first, creating a visually immersive experience in the most engaging way."
While the app will have a bevy of new features that make use of Windows 8's tiled UI, the most impressive feature is the ability to continue watching while doing work elsewhere on the screen.
Hulu Plus on Windows 8 will incorporate "Snap View," which puts the content on a smaller window to the side, while users are able to go about working in another app on a larger screen.
Other features, such as being able to create a queue and pinning favorites to the Start screen, will also help Hulu Plus on Windows 8 stand out from other iterations of the app.
In addition to its Oct. 26 availability across all Windows 8 devices, Hulu Plus will come pre-loaded on select Acer and Sony tablets.