Microsoft released Windows 8 on Thursday, October 25th and renowned tech expert, media personality and Emmy winner, Mario Armstrong joined me this week to give you the scoop on what the hype is all about. He even demonstrated the operating system on some of the latest and greatest technology this season- from the trusty laptop, 23 inch computer, and the ever popular tablet. Mario also dished on some of the biggest bargains just in time for the holidays, offer tips on where you can win some of the hottest technology this fall, and much more!
Candace Rose: What are some of the most innovative new computers expected to hit the market this fall?
Mario Armstrong: “So many things – tablets, smartphones, E-Readers, gaming systems. But I’ve got to tell you this- Windows 8 is the new operating system from Microsoft. It’s a huge radical change from what they’ve ever done in the past and that’s bringing a whole new set of devices that we’ve never seen before.
Let’s test drive Windows 8 on the Samsung tablet (please see video above to view Mario demonstrate Windows 8 on the Samsung tablet). Instead of having a Start button in the bottom left hand corner, you have these visual tile squares that represent all your applications, so Office, Skype, Evernote, Hulu, Netflix, the web, email, calendaring. It’s all right here now and this is what the new Windows world looks like, and as you can see it’s touch.”
Candace Rose: What do you think of the new operating system?
Mario Armstrong: “I think it’s great. I think it’s a welcomed change. I was really worried, I thought it was going to be tough to transition into it because it’s such a big difference and a big departure from what they had before.They’re taking the right steps. They play a video on these devices. Right when you open it up a video plays to introduce you to it. Plus places like Staples are really smart, they’re getting their employees trained by Microsoft so that they’re Windows 8 certified. They’re trained so they can walk you step by step what you need, what you don’t need and they can best advise you.
It’s bringing out so many new devices like this laptop by Lenovo called the Twist (please see video above for Mario’s demonstration). It’s a regular laptop, very fast, ultra lightweight, Ultrabook laptop. But if I swivel the screen, drop it flat and it instantly becomes a tablet that I can then use. So you get the best of both worlds with this particular device which is just awesome.
And of course we have the big guy – the Samsung 23 inch. Now what’s interesting with Windows 8 Candace, is not can you touch, but you can have multiple people touching at the same time. So think about this, if this in the living room with kids and they want to play games together they could both be touching. But let me show you something that’s also really innovative real quick (please see video above for Mario’s demonstration) – this is Jamie Oliver’s recipes and they have step by step recipes, but I don’t want to come and touch the screen if I’m cooking in the kitchen. I want to just wave at the screen and use motion, my gesture to move me through the different steps here that Jamie has for that particular recipe. That’s really innovative and that hasn’t been done before. So these new things are happening due to this new operating system Windows 8.
People love their technology, and right now what we’re seeing is their competition is healthy. Their competition is good. And I think this is breathing new life, new innovation for people to look at things in a different way. And we know a lot of people use Windows. A lot of people use Office, but maybe they haven’t felt like it was really different and unique like it is now. So lots of competition, lots of choices out there for people. I tell people all the time- don’t buy tech for tech sake. Put it in three buckets:
- Primary: that’s the most important tech that you absolutely need.
- Secondary: you might use it every so often.
- Luxury: stuff that you would love to have, but you shouldn’t be buying.”
Candace Rose: The holidays are right around the corner. Do you think we’ll see prices go down at all before Christmas?
Mario Armstrong: “Yeah, I think we’ll still see some of that. I think from different areas. I think we’ll see computers that aren’t using Windows 8 or older computers getting that inventory out. They’ll still be good computers to buy because they’ll be a lower price point.
And then you’ll see aggressive pricing on the new stuff. I was reviewing at Staples – like for $500 and up you can get into tablets, and laptops, and these devices. I thought you would have to start out at $800 or more to get into that. So I was pleasantly surprised to see that a lot of technology is out. A lot of choices out and I think that’s also driving down prices.”
Candace Rose: That’s so great to hear.
Mario Armstrong: “When I tell people to go into a store and test drive, the reason I was really psyched up about Staples was not because they sent their people to get trained, but they have this program called “8 was easy.” And so it’s all about how can they easily transition you into 8 without it being a sales environment, without pressuring you. So you walk into a store, you test drive, you hold the technology in your hands and see if it’s right for you or if it’s a gift for someone. But not only that, you’ll get the free training, free phone support. They have webinars, online training, in-store training, and they’ll even help you migrate your data from your old one to your new one under this “8 was easy” program. It was really smart for them to say ‘how can we be smart about helping people migrate over into all this cool stuff that’s out.
I don’t want people spending money just for the sake of spending money. I want them to spend money on technology that’s really going to benefit their life.”
Candace Rose: Do you have any additional tips or information you’d like to share?
Mario Armstrong: “I think people should just assess what they really need or what they’re really going to do with the technology before you get caught up in what it is you want to buy, step back for a second and say what are the problem areas in my life? What are the problem areas in my work? What things do I do redundant all the time? Where can I bring technology in to help solve the problem?
Do that first, and then I think it helps you make a better assessment as to what type of technology you should be investing in. A lot of times we want to just chase the hot cool stuff, but we need to make rational decisions with our money and buy stuff that’s really going to make an impact and really going to make a difference.”
Candace Rose: Where can we go for more information?
Mario Armstrong: “We’re going to have all types of gift guides, things that can go in the stockings, things that are really cheap, all at MarioArmstrong.com. We’ll also have videos and tips all at MarioArmstrong.com. Plus at Staples.com, you want to go there and check out their stuff online. And if you want to help the Boys & Girls Club of America and possibly win some technology, go to Staples Facebook page. They have a great opportunity at Facebook.com/Staples. And who knows you might actually win some tech for the holidays.”
Candace Rose: I can’t wait!
Mario Armstrong: “That will be better than buying the stuff, Candace!”
Candace Rose: Absolutely. Who cares about prices if get to win?
Mario Armstrong: “No! Just go online and try to win at Facebook.com/Staples. Don’t buy!”