Showing posts with label Microsoft. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Microsoft. Show all posts

Wednesday, 1 October 2014

Microsoft's next OS is Windows 10, will ship later in 2015

Instead of announcing the next version of its iconic operating system in front of a massive crowd of thousands, Microsoft chose an intimate venue with 50 or so reporters to launch the new Windows, which it's calling Windows 10. The company looks at the new number (yes, it oddly skipped a number) as an indication of the direction it's taking with the OS; Microsoft says it'll be "the most comprehensive platform ever," featuring a full range of products that'll be placed under the Windows 10 umbrella as part of "one tailored experience." That means it will support everything from the "Internet of Things" to enterprise servers, taking advantage of responsive design. Microsoft's Joe Belfiore showed off an early beta version of the new Windows on stage, which looks very much like the leaked screenshots we saw not too long ago; Belfiore says that the company wanted to bring the familiarity of Windows 7 and combine it with the functionality of Windows 8.
Gallery | 23 Photos

Microsoft Windows 10 hands-on

The new Windows will look very familiar if you're used to either of the the last two versions, though Win8 users will notice that the Modern UI is nowhere to be seen at first (more on this later). Instead, the series of Live Tiles can be found in the Start Menu off to the right side, with the usual Win7-style set of pinned and frequent apps on the left side, along with web and app search underneath. Not only can the tiles be resized, but also the Start Menu can likewise be resized as well. Microsoft said you can even expand the menu to go beyond the boundaries of your monitor, so you can scroll to the left and right to see the entire lineup of apps and tiles.
It also comes with a refreshed taskbar that comes with a new "task view," which shows all of the apps that are running in each virtual desktop; your current desktop is primarily shown on the screen, but you'll see a few thumbnails down below that give you the option to switch between desktops (or add a new one, if you prefer). You can also snap up to four apps on the same screen in a quadrant layout. This is different from the standard ALT+TAB command, which brings up every running app from every desktop. Additionally, Windows 10 also gets a nice improvement to the command prompt: Now you can use keyboard shortcuts, as well as copy and paste. While Microsoft admits that this isn't exactly the most exciting news, there are plenty of die-hard Windows users who have been eagerly awaiting this feature for a long time.
So far, the native apps that Microsoft demoed, such as Mail and Calendar, show responsive design that adjusts your view as you resize them. The Mail app, for example, can stretch anywhere from a single-pane to triple-pane view, depending on how you view it; likewise, the Calendar app can show either a single day (if you've narrowed the app to a small vertical sliver) or a full week (for any larger view). These are just a couple instances of the design, which likely will be open to developers.
The Charms Bar is still there, though it may not look exactly the same when the final build comes out -- Microsoft says that the UI is still not final and it expects to change it between now and then -- and plenty of touch elements and gestures will be carried over from Windows 8. In the meantime, Microsoft isn't giving out any additional details on the touch mode, aside from the fact that with Win10, the company will make it possible for the OS to dynamically adjust the UI based on what mode you're using; if you're using a keyboard and mouse, your user interface will be slightly different than if you're going into touch mode. Oh, and about the Modern UI mode from Win8? Microsoft didn't want to place too much attention onto it today, but it did indicate that it shows up as a "large Start Menu" when you're in touch mode. (You'll also see a back button on the taskbar.) If you're using a keyboard and mouse, however, it appears that you'll enjoy the desktop experience instead.
The team only showed a few bits of Windows 10 today, but they'll continue to add more pieces to the puzzle over the course of the next year as Microsoft prepares for a late 2015 launch. For instance, we'll see more of the system at the company's Build conference next Spring. That said, Microsoft will be launching an Insider Program tomorrow, which is designed to give the initial Win10 experience (also known as the Technical Preview) to folks who have a deeper knowledge of the OS. Belfiore insists that the new Windows will give full functionality for everyone from beginners and novices to advanced users once it launches, however. But what's most important is the fact that Microsoft tried really hard to distance itself from Windows 8. Even skipping numeric order and opting for Windows 10 instead is a clear indication of this; perhaps Microsoft feels that the number 9 is guilty by association?
Gallery | 22 Photos

Windows 10

When it comes to Windows Phone, Microsoft is keeping pretty quiet about its plans, only mentioning that "it'll be a natural step forward in the evolution of the phone." Belfiore stated that the company wants to strike a blend between phones, tablets and larger devices. It'll also be interesting to see if Microsoft dubs the mobile OS Windows Phone 10, or if no distinction will be made.

Wednesday, 11 June 2014

Sony wins E3 2014: Microsoft gambled on games, and lost; Nintendo did better than expected

This story has been expanded to include feedback from Nintendo’s E3 Digital Event. The original story, about whether Sony or Microsoft won E3, has been left mostly untouched.
At its press conference last night, Sony casually sauntered on stage, slipped its hands nonchalantly into its pockets, offered up an expressive French shrug, and won E3 2014. Microsoft and its legion of fans could do nothing but look on with envy as Sony unveiled hit after hit for the PS4. For all of Microsoft’s talk about games, the only platform exclusive that might be a critical success — Halo 5 — was reduced to a 60-second-long pre-rendered clip. The Division looked fantastic, but it’s a cross-platform game. There were some smaller, art game-like titles that looked good — but nothing that Microsoft felt warranted more than a scant few seconds of gameplay footage. Sony, on the other hand, essentially showed off everything a gamer could want at E3: A new white PS4 (to celebrate the release of Destiny); a release date for PS Now and the PlayStation TV streaming box; more details about the Morpheus VR headset; the beautiful art game No Man’s Sky; and actual in-game/in-engine footage from two massive exclusives (LittleBigPlanet 3Uncharted 4) and many more smaller titles (No Man’s Sky, a remake of Grim Fandango).
Nintendo, with what appeared to be in-engine footage of the upcoming Wii U Zelda title and some fun new IP called Splatoon, actually did surprisingly well. If Nintendo can deliver on its promise of an open-world, Skyrim-like Zelda title, then we could be looking at a massive hit. Likewise, Splatoon looks like it will be the funnest new game to be revealed at E3 this year. But that’s a lot of ifs and buts: I am a lot more confident that Uncharted 4 and LittleBigPlanet 3 will actually be awesome, as opposed to possibly awesome.
With all that said, it’s not unusual for one of the console companies to come out ahead at E3 — but this isn’t just Sony winning by a nose; it’s a landslide, and such huge disparities are rare at E3. How did Microsoft get it so wrong? And what can Nintendo do to stay in the game?

Games, games, games!

“Today we are dedicating our entire briefing to games,” began the head of Xbox, Phil Spencer, to huge cheers from the E3 2014 audience. But, if you put all of your eggs in one basket, you better be damn sure that you have a very strong basket — and Forza at 1080p and a pre-rendered clip of Halo 5 do not a strong basket make.
The question is, why did Microsoft decide to make games the focus of its E3 presentation, even when it knew it had nothing big to show off? Bear in mind that Microsoft almost certainly knew about all of the games that Sony intended to display, and so it knew full well that it was going to be eviscerated by core gamers for a weak showing.
But… what else could Microsoft do? Following its backtracking of every single policy and feature that made the Xbox One unique, all that’s left is games. After de-bundling Kinect, Microsoft couldn’t then take to the stage at E3 and show off some amazing Kinect-based game. Likewise, in the words of our associate editor James Plafke, Microsoft couldn’t really show off another peripheral such as IllumiRoom after the Kinect debacle.
Microsoft could’ve showed off a new console, though — if it rushed a cheap, slim version of the Xbox One, that would’ve given gamers something to talk about. Or it could’ve announced some exciting updates to the Xbox One dashboard. Or it could’ve re-introduced digital game sharing, or something else equally crazy.
Presumably, Microsoft figured if it focused on just one thing — games — it actually stood a chance at beating Sony at something. Now that Sony has shown its gaming hand, we know that isn’t the case. In short, games were the crux of Microsoft’s E3 presentation, and thus games were the crux of its failure.

Nintendo: Quirky as always

Like last year, Nintendo instead opted for a pre-recorded presentation instead of a flashy main-stage E3 event. As it turned out, this was a savvy move that kept expectations low and increased the impact of some fairly big games. The Wii U Zelda title, Super Smash BrosHyrule WarriorsBayonetta 2, and the new IP of Splatoon were all quite impressive. That Nintendo chose to unveil them in a series of quirky interviews and claymations was an interesting choice, but the overall impression is that Nintendo had a strong E3.
Nintendo has always relied on killer games to sell consoles — and right now, the Wii U only really has two games that make the console worthwhile (Mario Kart 8 and Super Mario 3D World). Individually, almost all of the games shown off by Nintendo at E3 2014, if they’re as good as Nintendo promises, would be reason enough to buy a Wii U. Personally I bought the Wii for Mario Galaxy and Twilight Princess, and I would buy the Wii U for Zelda — if it delivers. Judging by the Wii U, I doubt I’m alone in that thinking — and likewise, I suspect Nintendo is counting on it.
Unfortunately, though, the Wii U Zelda game still isn’t due until 2015 at the earliest — and Smash Bros and Hyrule Warriors aren’t due until the holiday season, either. Nintendo definitely put in a good showing at E3 this year, but I suspect it’s a matter of too little too late. Life-long Nintendo fans will pick up the console to play their favorite franchises, and Splatoon might bring in a little new blood, but we’re not going to see a crazy resurgence in console sales.

PlayStation vs. Xbox, E3 2014Swaggering Sony

While Microsoft’s E3 presentation was full of obsequiousness — “you are shaping the future of Xbox, and we are better for it,” said Xbox’s Phil Spencer — Sony oozed confidence; the kind of confidence that comes from knowing that you almost have the eighth generation of the console war sewn up. Sony already had the lead in sales and consumer confidence, but it needed this E3 to show gamers that it can capitalize the advantage — by golly, that’s exactly what Sony did.
Not only did Sony beat Microsoft in the primary arena of games, but it also won the secondary conflicts by default because it didn’t focus solely on games. PlayStation TV (previously Vita TV), PS Now, and the white PS4 are all very cool additions that will only increase Sony’s sales lead. Perhaps this is Microsoft’s biggest problem coming out of E3 2014: The only real thing that will drive more Xbox sales is Halo 5, while Sony announced at least three or four games that are have the potential to become Game Of The Year. There’s a possibility that Sunset Overdrive — the only original IP announced by Microsoft — will become a runaway hit, but I still think Sony is in the lead by some margin.

Friday, 25 April 2014

Nokia is now officially part of Microsoft

As expected, Nokia's devices and services business has been officially acquired by Microsoft today. The date was set earlier this week, and it seals the deal the two companies entered into last September. Nokia has long been allied with Microsoft, committing fully to Windows Phone, but as explained when the merger was announced, Microsoft's new arm will continue to support feature phones like the Asha and Nokia X ranges, as well as smartphones (we'll have to wait to see what "support" means exactly). The obligatory press releases from both companies don't reveal any grand plans or shift in focus, but each side has issued some closing remarks, if you like.
Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella said:
"Today we welcome the Nokia Devices and Services business to our family. The mobile capabilities and assets they bring will advance our transformation. Together with our partners, we remain focused on delivering innovation more rapidly in our mobile-first, cloud-first world."
Stephen Elop, former Nokia CEO who's moved over to become head of Microsoft's hardware division, penned an open letter with similar sentiment:
"As Microsoft and Nokia Devices and Services come together as an expanded family, we will unify our passion, dedication and commitment to bringing you the best of what our joint technologies have to offer."
Nokia is now officially part of Microsoft

Monday, 7 April 2014

Microsoft already has six TV series lined up for Xbox and more are coming

Though Microsoft has yet to produce any original TV programming, it has Netflix-like ambitions, according to a report from Bloomberg. Xbox's TV studio, headed by ex-CBS exec Nancy Tellem, now has at least six series in production, including a Sarah Silverman sketch show, a Seth Green stop-animation series and Humans, based on a creepy Swedish thriller about replicant-like robots. Those go along with the previously announced Halo TV series produced by Steven Spielberg and Every Street United, a soccer-oriented program set to debut with the World Cup. Despite the seemingly unrelated material, Xbox's new chief Phil Spencer said all shows will be selected to help draw users to the Xbox platform, in particular Xbox Live. As such, they won't be approved unless there's a gaming or or other interactive angle to them. Apart from the shows now in production, there's also a dozen or so in development -- hopefully the budget can stretch to a series with giant brawling robots.

Sunday, 6 April 2014

Text on ‘free’ Office Mobile apps goes viral

Text on ‘free’ Office Mobile apps goes viral
On May 27 (May 28 Singapore time), Microsoft announced a number of new mobility-related apps and updates in the US, with Office for the iPad garnering the most attention from the media.
Free mobile apps for Microsoft and Android were inserted into the press release almost as an afterthought in the first paragraph, and not referred to again. Slightly more detail was provided in the associated blog post, but it seemed again like an afterthought, inserted in between two paragraphs describing Office for iPad:
“Just like Office Mobile for Windows Phone, we are making Office Mobile for iPhone and Android phones free for everyone. With Office Mobile, you have the ability to view and edit your Office content on the go.  Office Mobile is available in the App Store andGoogle Play.”
The lack of detail prompted an interesting text message which went viral by March 29. I received it on WhatsApp from two separate sources:
“One day only… Microsoft give Microsoft office mobile to download for free! (sic)” ran the text, and gave the download links for Android and iOS after that.
Given that many mobile app developers often make their apps free for a limited time, and Microsoft known for charging for its software, it would have made total sense to many that Microsoft could have allowed its apps for free on a promotional basis for 24 hours, and then returned to charging for them after that. After all, why wouldn’t the company want to profit from selling its software?
The download numbers must have been phenomenal over the weekend. While the cynical might claim that Microsoft itself (or its partners) might have come up with such a text in order to show significant interest from users just after the announcement of the apps, it would have been in their interest to stress that the apps are actually free indefinitely.
Could it be more sinister, that a competitor came up with the message so that potential users stay away from the apps now because they think the apps have to be paid for?
The reality is that Office is widely popular. Those who want to use Office will still consider using it and are likely to visit Google Play or the App Store to have a look. If the apps are still free by then, so much the better.

Friday, 21 March 2014

PS4 launches in Japan, Xbox One gets price drop and Titanfall bundle

Backstage at E3 2013: Xbox One vs. PS4
Three months after the PS4 launched in North America, it has launched in its home country of Japan. The PlayStation brand has a huge presence in Japan, whereas the Xbox brand does not. The PS4 already had a comfortable sales lead, but with the Xbox One not impacting Japan, that PS4 sales numbers are going to eclipse Microsoft’s box. To combat this, Microsoft has dropped the price of the Xbox One, and included the flagship title Titanfall.
Oddly, the Japan launch appears to be a different affair than the North American launch we all survived back in November. Instead of frantic gamers running between Best Buys and GameStops on release morning, many Japanese gamers lined up to receive pre-order tickets which allowed them to go home and come back at release. Back in October, pre-order stock almost immediately sold out, however, reports suggest that the Japanese retail stock didn’t do the same upon the February 22 release. Reportedly, the PS4 still sold quickly, and used the weekend to deplete its stock. Now, Sony is already restocking units — and they’re still selling. Hard numbers have not yet been released, but it’s safe to assume that the PS4′s sales lead on the Xbox One has significantly grown since last week. In fact, Microsoft appears to have responded to the Japanese launch by releasing a new Titanfallbundle and dropping the price.
PS4 stock, in an Amazon warehouse
Unfortunately, the price drop — from £430 to £400, what amounts to about $50 – and bundle are only currently slated for the UK market, but it wouldn’t be surprising if that’s simply a testing ground for a similar price drop and bundle to release stateside. While a $450 Xbox One, Kinect, and Titanfall package is still not as cheap as the $400 PS4, the $50 pill should be easier for gamers to swallow considering the console comes with a Kinect and what is essentially the only flagship (semi) exclusive available at this time. The cheaper bundle releases this Friday.
So, while we don’t have hard numbers just yet — expect them to be disclosed soon — it’s safe to say the PS4 just gained an even larger lead over the Xbox One. Regardless of your console preference, more sales for one or the other not only means there will be a larger online community to game with, but it paints a picture for the portion of the populace that has yet to commit to a console. If the PS4 is painted as the better purchase due to the higher sales figures, then that will only snowball the sales, causing more people to assume the PS4 is the better choice. However, if Microsoft can replicate the UK price drop and bundle, the PS4′s popularity may not have a large enough effect to offset the Xbox One’s “free” game and fancy voice-control camera.

PS4 hits 6 million consoles sold, 13.7 million games; Xbox One still only around 4 million

PS4, with its top off, exposing the hard drive caddy
Bolstered by opening week sales in Japan, Sony has announced that the PlayStation 4 has sold six million units worldwide. Perhaps more importantly, Sony also says that 13.7 million PS4 games have been sold — an attach rate of almost 2.3 games per console — with Killzone: Shadow Fall leading the pack with 2.1 million units sold. The exact number of Xbox Ones sold is unknown, but it’s probably just under four million.
In an official blog post this morning, Sony took the opportunity to offload a bunch of impressive statistics. Six million units sold worldwide. 13.7 million games sold. 90% of PS4s are online — producing 3.6 million live broadcasts, 56 million spectate sessions, and 100 million social shares (via the DualShock 4′s Share button). Apparently 20% of all daily broadcasters on Twitch since January 1 have been PS4 gamers.
Killzone: Shadow Fall wallpaperSony also announced today that the PS4 had sold 370,000 units in Japan, in its first week of sales. This is obviously small fry compared tothe one million PS4s sold in the first 24 hours in the US — but do remember that Japan only has around a third of the population of the US. A better comparison is the UK, which has around half the population of Japan, where around 250,000 PS4s were sold in the opening weekend. This still makes Japan’s opening week look weak — though it’s worth pointing out that the PS3 didn’t sell very well in Japan early on, either. The Wii sold around the same number of units in its first week in Japan, and it went on to be a huge success. (The PS2 was the first and last console to truly explode the Japanese market.)
With 2.1 million units sold, Killzone: Shadow Fall is obviously doing its job as a platform exclusive. It will be interesting to see if the Xbox One’s first big exclusive,. Titanfall, which is released next week, can drive a significant increase in console sales. Though, a week later, the PS4 will get its next big exclusive: Infamous: Second Son. The release dates for other big PS4 and Xbox One exclusives haven’t yet been announced, but they are expected to play a fairly big role in deciding who ultimately sells more consoles. Microsoft might also close the widening sales gap if it released the Xbox One in some more markets — and, of course, if its price was cut to directly compete with the PS4.

Tuesday, 18 March 2014

Microsoft Surface Phone Rumours: Release date, specs and images

Microsoft Surface review

With Windows Phone 8 proving popular, speculation has grown that Microsoft might be manufacturing their own handset. We round up all the rumours and speculation across the web.
Released late 2012 the Microsoft Surface RT has, according to CEO Steve Ballmber, had only a ‘modest’ amount of sales.
Just a few weeks after launch, the tablet received some criticism from users, who said that the accessories were prone to damage.
With the HD version, the Microsoft Surface Pro arriving soon, there have been rumblings that the software giant may be making it’s own handset in order to expand on the Microsoft Surface brand.
With third-party-manufactured Windows 8 phones proving popular, it would certainly make sense for Microsoft to look into manufacturing their own phone, however in an interview with Information Week Microsoft’s Senior Marketing manager, Greg Sullivan has denied the claims.
As these things go, Sullivan’s denial seems to have done nothing but fuel yet more speculation and rumour about a possible Microsoft Surface Phone.

Microsoft Surface Phone: Release date

The most promising news comes in the form of an article from IBTimes which suggests that Microsoft will unveil a new tablet and phone at Computex 2014.
Reports suggest that the tablet will be a smaller 8.4-inch version of the Microsoft Surface whilst the phone would be a flagship Surface phone running an updated version of WIndows Phone 8 which will tie in more with Windows 8 RT.
With Microsoft's launch of the Xbox One and Xbox Smartglass it seems logical that Microsoft is looking to create an ecosystem that integrates tablets, smartphones and its games console.
The Surface Mini and Surface Phone would also launch with the much-anticipated version of Office for the Metro UI whilst there have been reports that Siri-rival Cortana will be set to launch at Computex as well.

Microsoft Surface Phone: Rumours

Despite the Marketing Manager’s denials, has reported that Foxconn, which manufactures a whole host of smartphones, has already received orders from Microsoft for the phone, with a mid-2013 launch date. Sources pointed out that the own-brand handset would have a limited shipment volume at first.
Of course, Foxconn has declined to comment

Microsoft Surface Phone: ‘Juggernaut Alpha’

A French website has seemingly managed to track down the GPS location of a mysterious device; ‘Juggernaut Alpha’, which is thought to be a codename for the Surface Phone. The devices’ GPS location traced back to none other than Microsoft’s owncampus, where the Windows Phone development team is situated.

Microsoft Surface Phone: Rumoured Specs

With nothing confirmed by the manufacturer, any details on the phone’s hardware are purelyspeculative; however there are some rumours circulating at the moment suggesting a 300dpi display measuring around 4.3-4.7-inches, a multicore processor and an 8mp camera. Naturally, the operating system is most likely to be Windows Phone 8.
We will be bringing you all of the latest updates on the Windows Surface phone if, or when, they break.

Tuesday, 11 March 2014

How to download and install Windows 8.1 Update 1 for free (right now)

Windows 8.1 Update 1 Start screen, with power buttonIf you want to download Windows 8.1 Update 1 for free, ahead of its official launch on April 8, you’re in luck! Just follow these simple instructions…
Yesterday, it emerged that Microsoft had already placed the final version of Windows 8.1 Update 1 on the public Windows Update servers. Normally, because these files have cryptic, unguessable file names, they would’ve remained hidden April 8 — but, as luck would have it, Microsoft made another mistake: By adding a new key to your registry, you could fool Windows Update into thinking you were a Microsoft employee, at which point it would grab the files and begin the update. (This technique of testing products internally is known as dogfooding. It’s a fairly common practice.)
Sadly, as you’d expect, Microsoft has since plugged the registry hack — but not before a lot of people downloaded the updates… and then uploaded the updates to digital file lockers, like Mega. If you know where to look, you can now download and install Windows 8.1 Update 1.

How to download and install Windows 8.1 Update 1

Installing Windows 8.1 Update 1As always, we have to preface this with the usual disclaimer: Downloading Windows updates from anyone other than Microsoft is risky. At the very least, you should ensure that the SHA hash of the downloaded file matches by using the Microsoft File Checksum Integrity Verifier (afree tool). If you have any important documents on your computer, you should back them up, too (this should be an unnecessary precaution, though; Update 1 is just a bunch of patches, rather than a complete reinstallation).
So, there are two routes to obtaining Windows 8.1 Update 1. First, you can try the official download links from Microsoft – but at the time of publishing, at least one of the files had been removed from the servers. Presumably, though, the links will become active again at some point closer to the actual release date (perhaps at directory /crup/2014/03, rather than 02).
The other option is to use these Mega links:
If those links go down (unlikely), the files are almost certainly available from other file lockers, or from your favorite torrent index.
Once you’ve downloaded Update 1, you will have six separate patches that need to be installed in a very specific order. Your computer will probably need to reboot a few times during the process.
  1. KB2919442
  2. KB2939087
  3. KB2932046
  4. KB2919355
  5. KB2938439
  6. KB2937592
Windows 8.1 Update 1 Desktop
Windows 8.1 Update 1 Desktop. Note how Metro apps can now be minimized to the taskbar. There’s no sign of ‘Update 1′ in thesystem info window, interestingly.
And that should be it! If you’re a mouse-and-keyboard user, you will find that Windows 8.1 Update 1 makes the Metro interface a lot more palatable. Whether this will move you to actually use the new Start screen, I’m not so sure. Unless there’s a Metro-style app that youreally want to use, you will probably still find yourself on the Desktop, using a third-party app to bring back the Windows 7-style Start menu. Still, on the rare occasion that you find yourself thrust into the new Metro interface, Update 1 makes the whole experience feel a little less you’re being brutally plucked out of one operating system and unceremoniously dumped in another. So that’s good.
On the Desktop side of things, Update 1 doesn’t do a whole lot. I’m sure there will be some small, useful tweaks, but the main changes appear to be better support for high-PPI displays, and audio/video files will now be opened in Photo Viewer and Media Player respectively, rather than bouncing you into Metro. For the 23 people using Windows 8.1 on a tablet, Update 1 adds a Search button to the Start screen, and some of the stock Metro apps have been updated/improved. Thrilling stuff. Microsoft’s hunt for Windows 8 market share continues.

Friday, 14 February 2014

Titanfall beta only runs at 792p, Xbox One fails to deliver 1080p for major release

TitanfallThe folks over at Respawn Entertainment are ramping up for a large-scale beta of Titanfall this week, and the excitement is palpable across the internet. In many ways, this game will serve as the Xbox One’s first major release, and could potentially close the sales gap with the PS4. Unfortunately, the Xbox One’s hardware limitations mean that the visuals aren’t quite as next-gen as we’d like. The beta is confirmed to be running natively at 792p, and it seems unlikely that the final version of the game will be capable of running natively at 1080p on Microsoft’s console.
Respawn Entertainment’s Abbie Heppe recently confirmed the beta’s oddball native resolution, and the reactions have been mixed. On one hand, this is good news. Rumors were spreading that Titanfall could end up running at 720p, so this is a step up. On the other hand, the dream of running at 1080p on the Xbox One seems dead at this point. Even with the 53Mhz GPU bump and additional power gained by disabling the Kinect’s video features, a make-or-break game like Titanfall still can’t achieve 1080p.Titanfall Controller

Get Free Nokia Lumia 1020 & 1520 By Trading iPhone 4/4S & Galaxy S 2

Those of you who are looking for new smartphones in exchange for previous ones should be happy to know that Microsoft has introduced a new exchange program for smartphones. If you were thinking to get a Nokia Lumia smartphone, now is your chance. In exchange for any Phone 4/4S and Samsung Galaxy S 2, Microsoft will provide you with a Lumia 1020 and 1520 for free!
Microsoft has introduced the trade-in program for Apple’s iPhone and the Samsung Galaxy. Those of you who want to try out a new mobile operating system (which Microsoft wants you to do), are now eligible for the trade-in program.
If you currently own an iPhone 4, Phone 4S or a Samsung Galaxy S 3; Microsoft is ready to take your phone and in return give you a brand new Lumia 1020 or 1520 depending on your choice!
Lumia 1020 & 1520
Lumia 1020 packs a staggering 41 megapixel camera, enough to put some DSLR’s to shame (pixel wise). It has Nokia’s PureView technology, Optical Image Stabilization, and amazing high-resolution zoom.
Lumia 1520 isn’t far behind, it has a great camera too with a 21 megapixel, enough to take some stunning shots.
Both these Lumia phones are a great camera phone and come with a Microsoft’s Windows operating system for mobile devices.
Microsoft LogoThis trade-in program expires on March 2, 2014. Here are some other details regarding the trade-in program from Microsoft:
  • Qualifying 2-year (new or upgrade) contract required.
  • Sales tax may apply.
  • Colors and availability varies by store.
  • Devices must be in good working condition.
  • See store associate for more detail.

Saturday, 1 February 2014

Xbox Fun: Xbox One to get massive price cut, 1TB hard drive, report says

White Xbox OneTitanfall Xbox OneSo, what does Microsoft have up its sleeve for the Xbox One? Will we see a bigger hard drive, or maybe a cheaper disc-free model? With the PS4 taking the early lead in sales, Microsoft is definitely going to need to react in some way, especially considering the PS4 is set for a mammoth release next month in its home country of Japan. Thanks to a huge dump of leaked information, we might already know what to expect out of Redmond in 2014.
Over at NeoGAF, a user going by the name “ntkrnl” revealed a number of interesting detailsregarding Microsoft’s plans for the Xbox One. This anonymous source revealed countless information on big titles like Halo 2: Anniversary Edition, a new Forza Horizon installment, and the next Gears of War game. More importantly, some information also surfaced about the console itself

Friday, 31 January 2014

Windows 8.1 Update 1 leaks: Boots to the Desktop by default, allows Metro apps to be minimized

Windows 8.1 Update 1 Start screen, with power buttonWindows 8.1 Update 1, showing a Metro app with the Minimize optionNew UI scaling options in Windows 8.1 Update 1Windows 8.1 Update 1 Desktop, showing the build string, and a Metro app on the toolbarThe latest build of Windows 8.1 Update 1 has leaked, revealing many of the changes that Microsoft hopes will make Metro less painful for desktop users. The biggest change appears to be that Windows 8.1 Update 1 will boot straight to the Desktop interface by default, reducing Metro to its rightful role as a full-screen Start menu. This, of course, would be a complete 180 from the original release of Windows 8, which defaulted to the Metro interface and lacked an easy way to see the Desktop after logging in.
Other notable changes in the leaked build of Windows 8.1 Update 1 are the addition of apower button to the Metro interface (no longer must you swipe in from the right-hand side!), and the option to “minimize” Metro apps, strongly hinting that Metro apps will be usable on the Desktop. (One of the screenshots shows the Windows Store icon on the taskbar, too.) Apparently, if you have a Windows tablet that’s smaller than 8.5 inches, the power button won’t be present, preventing you from accidentally turning your tablet off.


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