Limited Edition Touch Covers; MSN 4x Faster on IE10; Sideloading Windows 8 Store Apps

Limited Edition Touch Covers for Surface RT and Pro now availble. MSN 4x faster than other websites on Windows 8 IE10. Microsoft explains Sideloading Windows Store Apps. 320GB Media Hard Drive Content Update.

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Limited Edition Touch Covers work on both Surface RT and and Surface Pro, feature the smooth pressure sensitive keyboard with built-in trackpad are available now.

These limited time Touch Covers feature custom laser etched artwork designed by three different and equally talented artists. Express your personal style and use something that's functional.

Limited Edition Surface RT, Surface Pro Touch Covers

In this video below, you meet the designer Kate Bailey:

In other news, MSN for Windows 8 Internet Explorer 10 is more than four times faster than eight of the top major online competitors, including CNN, New York Times, WSJ and Forbes.

"The Sports page is 7 time faster than ESPN and NFL, while the News category loads 3 times quicker than the one on CNN or New York Times. And, the Finance is more than 4 times faster on average than the WSJ and Forbes sites," according to a research by Principal Technologies Inc.

In a new blog post, Microsoft discuss "Sideloading Windows 8 Store Apps," which means installing a Windows Store app without publishing it in and downloading it from the store. "You install it directly."

Microsoft notes, before Sideloading line of business (LOB) apps, you must first get hands on an app that they can sideload. "You cannot sideload an app you purchase from the Windows Store, and you might not be fortunate enough to have developers available who are working on them," the company stated.

Here's a checklist of the steps to help you quickly and easily build your own app for testing purposes:

  1. "To experience sideloading, you must first set up the two virtual machines (VMs) that include a domain controller and a client computer.
  2. Microsoft does not recommend downloading apps from untrusted sources for Sideloading, and instead suggests to create a fresh app.
  3. Actual LOB app, are already signed with a trusted root certificate. However, for testing an app, you must install a root certificate on the client VM.
  4. For a computer running Windows 8 Enterprise, "the computer must be joined to the domain, you must enable the "Allow all trusted apps to install" Group Policy setting," and "the app must be signed by a \ certificate that is chained to a trusted root certificate," explains Microsoft.
  5. Sideload app for a single user can be done in just few Windows PowerShell commands. But, it wouldn't be available to other user who log onto the computer. However, you can Sideload app for all users by using the Deployment Image Servicing and Management (DISM) tool. "DISM is a command-line tool that you can use to service a Windows image-online or offline,"" explains Microsoft.

Check out this guide for a step-by-step guidance, Try It Out: Sideloading Windows Store Apps.

Microsoft in another post highlights the creativity features in Windows 8 Fresh Paint, which has downloaded over 1 million times.

In the blog post, Microsoft notes, that the next update of the app will bring parity across Windows 8 and Windows RT. "You'll get the same consistent experience no matter what device you are using," Micorosft stated.

Finally, Microsoft just announced that 320GB Media Hard Drive will now come with a few new games. "It will include two full downloadable Xbox 360 games: Need for Speed Hot Pursuit and Ms. Splosion Man, plus Pinball FX2 (with Sorcerer's Lair)," the company blogged.

The Hard Drive will be available in March at USD$129.99 ERP.