New Surface RT Ad Fouces 'Touch Cover'; Windows Store Apps Crack Released; CAL Pricing Change on Dec 1

A new Windows 8 tv advertisement for the Surface RT, bring the Touch Cover and the kickstand in the spotlight.Microsoft's previous Windows 8 ads focused Windows Start Screen and the Picture Password option.According to a report, Windows Store apps protection has now been cracked, allowing anyone to download paid application at no cost.The cracking tool […]

A new Windows 8 tv advertisement for the Surface RT, bring the Touch Cover and the kickstand in the spotlight.

Microsoft's previous Windows 8 ads focused Windows Start Screen and the Picture Password option.

According to a report, Windows Store apps protection has now been cracked, allowing anyone to download paid application at no cost.

The cracking tool basically applies a patch some Windows 8 and Windows Server 2012 system files, and let users linstall and run unsigned apps, thus bypassing all protection systems bundled into the Windows Store.

Windows sideloading crack or Windows store service crack offer:

  • "redistributing metro applications without WinStore with full license
  • sideloading of apps not signed by microsoft (possibly repacked/modified apps from winstore)"

Come December 1, Microsoft is changing the way it prices the "user" option when purchasing client-access licenses (CALs), which will result in higher prices for some customers.

A Microsoft spokesperson confirming the news on November 26 stated,

"Microsoft recently notified partners about enterprise Client Access Licenses (CALs) changes so they can inform customers about their options before the changes take effect on December 1, 2012. These CAL changes include a user-based option that offers more value in support across unlimited devices and simplifies licensing management and compliance as devices in the workplace proliferate. Pricing for user CALs will change to reflect the increased value. Customers should work with their Microsoft partner or account team to assess their options."

"With the User CAL, customers buy a CAL for every user who accesses the server to use services such as file storage or printing, regardless of the number of devices they use for that access. With a Device CAL, they purchase a CAL for every device that accesses a server, regardless of the number of users who use that device to access the server."

Below is a list of products that will be affected:

  • "Bing Maps Server CAL
  • Core CAL Suite
  • Enterprise CAL Suite
  • Exchange Server Standard and Enterprise CALs
  • Lync Server Standard and Enterprise CALs
  • Project Server CAL
  • SharePoint Server Standard and Enterprise CALs
  • System Center 2012 Client Management Suite
  • System Center Configuration Manager
  • System Center Endpoint Protection
  • Visual Studio TFS CAL
  • Windows Multipoint Server CAL
  • Windows Server CAL
  • Windows Server RDS, RMS, Terminal Services CAL," according to Microsoft partner Softcat (via ZDNet).

Update 11/28: Microsoft's SharePoint 2013, Lync 2013, Visio 2013 are all likely to cost more than their 2010 counterparts, and in some cases, substantially more.

One way the company is attempting this is by making on-premises software more expensive and offering lower prices on subscription-based options, like Office 365 Home Premium, Office 365 Small Business Premium, Office 365 Mid-Size Business, etc.

Microsoft has consolidated SharePoint so that there will be a single SKU -- known as SharePoint Server 2013 -- rather than having separate Standard and Enterprise SKUs. SharePoint Server 2013 will cost users more than 38 percent more than its SharePoint 2010 counterpart, according to both Gibbons and Software Advisors.

Lync also has been consolidated, with previous Standard and Enterprise versions being collapsed into a single "Lync Server 2013" edition.

"An increase in price when a new version is released is quite common, with most manufacturers, but coupled with the December 1st 15% increase on user CALs and just 6 months after the up to 30% price rise relating to the Euro/GBP levelling - I do not anticipate this being well received by customers!" Gibbons blogged.

He said that Lync Server 2013 could cost upwards of 400 percent more than its predecessor. (That isn't a typo.) Software Advisors blogged that there would be a "substantial" increase in the cost of Lync 2013 compared to its predecessor. Software Advisors also noted in its post that "Skype functionality will (likely) be included in all CALs and user-subscription licenses (USLs)."

Visio Standard 2013 could cost more than 20 percent than its predecessor, Gibbons said. Software Advisors noted that Visio Premium has been "retired." Visio Standard pricing will increase of 20 percent, Software Advisors said, while Visio Professional will jump five percent.

According to pricing information provided by Microsoft to partners in early October, Office Standard 2013 will be priced at $369 and Office Professional Plus 2013 at $499.

While, Microsoft has yet to said about Start menu in Windows, here is a concept, designed by DeviantArt user RVanhauwere, that mixes the Start Screen and Start menu says "that such an interface would be pretty helpful in case Microsoft decided to create a separate edition of Windows 8 just for desktop."

Windows 8 Start Screen and Start Menu concept screen

In a official tweet, the Skype team revealed a total of eight different hidden emoticons, available in version of the software.

"We'll let you in on a little secret, Skype has hidden emoticons. Try one of these cool expressions," reads the tweet.

All of them available through a simple code can be used right in the conversation window (see the screen below).

Hidden Skype emoticons

Update 12/01: A company spokesperson stated, "We're aware of a rootkit that has been developed that is intended to bypass the paid app mechanism for Windows Store apps. We have seen a limited number of people use this method to extend trial durations, convert trials to full featured applications and to install applications on more machines than five computers. The proof-of-concept techniques we have seen to date, however, do not affect Windows RT devices."