Hossein Zahed

Web Developer, Entrepreneur, Software Educator

Ballmer predicts Windows 8 users to reach 500 million in 2013

Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer was predicting 350 million Windows 7 devices would be shipped by the end of 2012. Ballmer also made prediction during the same speech about the future of Windows 8. Ballmer’s prediction for Windows 8 is even grander than what he sees for Windows 7.


Ballmer says that up to 500 million Windows 8 users will be using a device running the coming operating system by the end of 2013. If Ballmer’s prediction comes to pass, Windows 8 would have to gather a huge number of users in a bit more than a year. Windows 8 is expected to launch in October.

Other tidbits that come from the speech include the tip that Microsoft will “soon” launch a version of Skype for Windows 8. That likely means Skype will be featured in a release preview version of the new operating system. That release preview version is expected to launch in June. Do you think Windows 8 will be able rack up 500 million users in roughly 15 months after its launch?

Microsoft Quietly Launches Potential Facebook Competitor So.cl


On the heels of the highly anticipated Facebook initial public offering, tech biggie Microsoft made a hush-hush entrance into the social networking arena, unleashing its So.cl experiment from beta-testing.

The social network, known as So.cl (pronounced “social”), which we began hearing about in December, is currently only available to college students, reported Mashable and CNET.

Deemed an “experimental research project,” rather than a product (sounds rather mumbo-jumbo, no?), the aim of So.cl is to combine Web browsing, search, and social-networking to allow students to share materials (search results) for academic purposes.

So.cl was tested by college students at New York University, University of Washington, and Syracuse University. Developed by Microsoft’s Fuse Labs team of designers and engineers, So.cl is powered by Bing search, and users log on to the network through Facebook or Windows Live.

Search results and “any other data you post to So.cl” can be viewed by all other users. Additionally, data that were publicly posted will also be made available for use by other people and entities, Microsoft makes clear on an information page about the new social network.


The FAQ page additionally states these aims of the project:

  • So.cl combines social networking and search to help people find and share interesting Web pages in the way students do when they work together.
  • So.cl helps you create rich posts by assembling montages of visual Web content.
  • To encourage interaction and collaboration, So.cl provides rich media sharing and real-time sharing of videos via “video parties.”


The page also elucidates that Microsoft has no intention of having its social-search app compete with existing social networks:

We expect students to continue using products such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and other existing social networks, as well as Bing, Google, and other search tools. We hope to encourage students to reimagine how our everyday communication and learning tools can be improved by researching, learning, and sharing in their everyday lives.

Transparency seems to be a key word with the app, as searches are shared publicly via the default setting. Links are automatically shared as the user searches. So.cl uses public application-programming interfaces to show search result data and then share those materials, which can include Web pages, images or videos — for academic purposes — in a type of social search where users “share links as you search.”

Unique features include the ability to create video parties, a feature that essentially lets users create a list of movies, share the list with friends, and chat together, and the ability to “riff” on posts, which is described as a new way of improvising and interacting with content.

Readers: Even though Microsoft is not pitting So.cl as a competitor to Facebook, do you think it can carve its own niche among college students?


How to Convert Numeric Values To String Data

Basic Numeric Conversion Using ToString

The simplest method to convert numbers to strings is using the ToString method for the type with no parameters. The string produced contains the unformatted number. This method can be used on variables and literals.

int quantity = 1500;
float price = 1.50F;
bool sold = true;
Console.WriteLine(quantity.ToString());            // Outputs "1500"
Console.WriteLine(price.ToString());               // Outputs "1.5"
Console.WriteLine(sold.ToString());                // Outputs "True"


Formatting Converted Numbers

When displaying values to a user you should format them appropriately for their purpose and according to the user's local settings. The ToString method permits you to add format specifiers that define this formatting. The format specifiers are supplied in a string parameter. NB: The following example assumes that the code is executing on a UK machine. The results in other countries may differ.

int quantity = 1500;
float price = 1.50F;
float discount = 0.05F;
Console.WriteLine(quantity.ToString("n0"));        // Outputs "1,500"
Console.WriteLine(price.ToString("c"));            // Outputs "£1.50"
Console.WriteLine(discount.ToString("p1"));        // Outputs "5.0 %"

The three specifiers used in the above examples provide fixed-point notation (n), currency (c) and percentage (p) formatting. In the case of the fixed point and percentage specifier a number is included. This is the precision specifier and is used to modify the format. 


Zero Placeholder

A zero placeholder digit (0) in a picture format indicates that a digit is required in the resultant converted string. If there is a digit in the original number at the placeholder position it is copied to the final output. If there is no digit at this position a zero is used instead. This allows the generation of leading zeroes. If the integer part of a number being converted is longer than the number of placeholder digits the extra digits will be included to avoid truncation. Digits following the decimal point may be rounded however.

int small = 12;
int large = 123456;
float tiny = 1.234F;
Console.WriteLine(small.ToString("0000"));         // Outputs "0012"
Console.WriteLine(large.ToString("0000"));         // Outputs "123456"
Console.WriteLine(tiny.ToString("0000"));          // Outputs "0001"


Available Format Specifiers

The full list of format specifiers and the effect of the precision specifier for each is as follows:

SpecifierDescriptionEffect of Precision Specifier
C or c Formats the number as a monetary value including the correct number of decimal places and the appropriate currency symbol for the user's local setting Specifies a fixed number of decimal places.
D or d Formats integers only as simple whole numbers. Specifies the minimum number of digits. Leading zeroes are added if required.
E Formats numbers using exponential notation. The resultant string includes an upper case letter 'E'. Specifies a fixed number of decimal places for the mantissa. If omitted, six decimal places are used.
e Formats numbers using exponential notation. The resultant string includes a lower case letter 'e'. Specifies a fixed number of decimal places for the mantissa. If omitted, six decimal places are used.
F or f Formats numbers using fixed-point notation. Specifies a fixed number of decimal places.
G or g Formats numbers using either exponential or fixed-point notation, whichever produces the shortest string. The actual results vary according to the data type being converted and whether a precision specifier is used. See 'e', 'E' and 'F or f'.
N or n Formats numbers using fixed-point notation with thousands separators. Specifies a fixed number of decimal places.
P or p Formats numbers using percentage notation. For example, 0.25 is formatted as 25%. Specifies a fixed number of decimal places.
R or r Formats numbers using Round-Trip Format. This is a special format that ensures that the string generated can be converted back to the original number using Parse methods. Unused.
X Converts numbers into a string representation of their hexadecimal value. The digits 0 to 9 and A to F are used. Specifies the minimum number of digits. Leading zeroes are added if required.
x Converts numbers into a string representation of their hexadecimal value. The digits 0 to 9 and a to f are used. Specifies the minimum number of digits. Leading zeroes are added if required.

Read more at: MSDN


How to Remove Arrow Sign in ASP.NET Menu Control

There are some times that you want to show only the first level menu items and you need to remove the Arrow Sing of the parent items in asp:menu. You may easily set one of the asp:menu properties:



How to Change Google Account Password for Android?

Since Android OS doesn't have any option to change the Google Account password for your Phone or Tablet, you may follow the steps below to change your password:

  1. Power Off your phone
  2. Change your GMAIL account password from your GMAIL account in your favorite browser
  3. Power On your phone
  4. Let it run its startup operations
  5. The message will appear for failed account login attempt and ask for the password
  6. Set the new password