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Logitech has introduced 3 accessories specifically designed for Windows 8, and which brings the smoothness of the touch interaction with Windows 8 straight to even desktop PCs. The Zone Touch Mouse T400 is pretty close to a traditional mouse, but with a small glass track pad which helps with horizontal and vertical scrolling, and has dedicated keys for going home and flipping through apps.  The device sports an 18 month battery life and costs  $49.99. The Touch Mouse T620 has a much larger touch surface, supports 6 Windows 8 gestures which can be customized, has 180 day battery life and will set you back $69.99. The Touchpad T650 has a spacious glass touch surface, supports multiple Windows 8 gestures and has 30 days battery life, and can be used while recharging via USB. It will cost $79.99. All three will be available in the US and Europe this month. Zone ...

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A series of training videos produced by Microsoft has surfaced, telling retail staff how they should be selling Windows 8 PCs. Sales staff are encouraged to concentrate on personalization, customization and showing how the OS works as well with a mouse and touch. The videos are as much instructional as they are sales training, indicating it is more than the customer that Microsoft needs to educate. Via Neowin.net ...

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This ad for the Lenovo Ideapad Yoga is about a month old, but I have just stumbled over it now. It makes a pretty good case for the hybrid form factor and 360 degree hinge, although I am not sure taking videos with your tablet camera is a good use case, no matter how many iPad users do it. Lenovo recently released the pricing for their Windows 8 range. The WindowsRT Ideapad Yoga II with an Nvidia Tegra 3 chip and 2GB of DDR3 memory powering its 11.6-inch, 1366 x 768 display, with five-point multitouch and up to 64GB of storage in a 2.8-pound, 15.6mm thin package will retail for $799. The x86 version of the device with a 1600 x 900 IPS display, 128GB of solid state storage, Core i5 processor, 13 inch screen and 10 point multi-touch will cost $1,099 and be on sale on October 26th, with ...

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It seems the success of Smoked by Windows Phone went to Microsoft’s heads, as they now have a taste for head to head comparisons between their and rival’s products. According to their stats those who took their Bing-it-on challenge chose Bing 2:1 over Google, but of course probably only Bing users knew about the challenge in the first place. Now it seems Microsoft will be running TV spots featuring street challenges similar to Smoked by Windows Phone hoping to spread the message that Bing is better than Google. With Google’s market cap recently (and briefly) exceeding Microsoft’s, and Google still extremely dependent on search ads for their income, it has become increasingly urgent for Microsoft to win ground and mindshare as a serious competitor in this space. Hopefully they will keep the pressure up. Via WindowsPhoneDaily.com ...

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Lenovo IdeaTab  Lynx Lenovo IdeaTab  Twist We may be rapidly seeing the death of the traditional laptop, as more and more hybrid devices with touch screens and innovative hinges are announced. The latest to join the fray are two new hybrids by Lenovo, the Ideatab Lynx and the ideatab Twist. The Lenovo Lynx is a tablet PC with an optional detachable keyboard dock and a 1.8GHz Intel Atom dual core processor (Z2760), 2GB DDR2 RAM, 32/64GB eMMC storage, a 11.6" IPS HD display, 5-point capacitive touch and 8 hours of battery life without the dock and 16 with the dock. The Lynx also comes with a range of sensors; a G-sensor, proximity sensor, compass, gyro and ambient light sensor. The device will start at $599 for the base configuration. The Lenovo Twist features a Intel i7 processor, up to 8 GB of RAM, Intel Integrated Graphics, 320/500 GB – 7200 ...

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It’s less than 3 weeks before Microsoft is set to sell their very own computer, and so far their promotions have been pretty low key, with enigmatic graffiti appearing in all kinds of odd places. Now reader Zach has noticed a much more conventional ad showing up at a bus stop in Chicago, on the UIC campus. Presumably we will see the campaign escalate significantly over the next few weeks, to help Microsoft make good on their biggest bet ever. Thanks Zach for the tip and pictures. ...

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Winsource has posted this video preview of the Firefox Metro nightly, Mozilla’s Modern-style browser for Windows 8. The software is still pretty buggy as one can expect, and in part does not really reflect the Modern UI, in the preview especially in the UI around the tabs. If you want to help Microsoft avoid anti-trust charges for IE10 in Windows 8, you can download Firefox Metro nightlies here. ...

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Reviews are rolling in of the Acer Iconia W510 hybrid Windows 8 laptop, and the Intel Atom Z2760 Clovertrail processor appears to be managing to run Windows 8 pretty well. Engadget reviewed the device, and found their biggest complaint to be the build quality of the hinge in the dock stand, which they found wobbly, and issue shared by the Verge, who found it wobbly and stiff at the same time. The found the gorilla-glass ensconced 1,366 x 768 display to be pretty good, with good viewing angles, and though they would not commit to commenting on battery life and performance, due to the pre-production drivers, still found the device in general fast and responsive, despite only having 2GB of RAM. Engadget concludes: Having met with Acer’s product team in person (and having read its executives quoted in the press), it’s obvious the company is eager to shed its reputation ...

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Liveside.net reports that Bing users are now able to download there iconic wallpapers directly to their desktop if they sign in with their Facebook ID. Users are not however able to browse the back catalogue, so to get the best of Bing you probably have to visit every day. The download feature may not be visible to everyone yet, and if you only want a new and beautiful wallpaper for your phone every day the Bing Desktop app works pretty well. Via LiveSide.net ...

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Microsoft has expressed a somewhat irrational confidence in the prospects of Windows 8 and its new UI environment. Microsoft Vice President Keith Lorizio told Beet.tv that Microsoft expected to have 400 million Windows 8 PCs in the market by July 1st. “When Windows 8 goes live on October 26, the [size of the market] is [over] 1 billion consumers. Our goal … is conservatively over 400 million units in the marketplace by July 1.” This would be even faster than Windows 7, a very successful desktop OS, sold. He also this explosive growth in the new platform to also boost developer interest. “We’re expecting to aggressively pursue [delivering] 100,000+ apps [to Windows 8’s online marketplace] over the first three months,” he said. The Windows Store just crossed 3600 apps recently, with around 5000 apps expected at the launch of Windows  8 on October 26th. Microsoft expected this rapid growth due ...

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The Verge reports that in the RTM version of Windows 8, users are currently not only able to pay for music and videos using credit cards, but also that this is now the default option, in preference to the much hated Microsoft Points. Microsoft Points have long had a home on the Xbox 360, but has made it unnecessarily complicated to know how much you are spending, and also required one to keep a balance in Microsoft’s system.  The move to credit cards makes the system much more user friendly, and as payment via Points remain available, will still allow users without credit cards to purchase Points at retail locations. The changes are part of the last minute polish Microsoft is applying to Windows 8 in the run up to its general availability on the 26th October, which has also included the updating of many of the built-in apps in ...

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Microsoft recently promised a range of updates for the built-in and bundled apps in Windows 8. The SkyDrive app has been one of the first to be updated, and is now available in the Windows 8 store. The update to version 16.4.4388.928 brings: Search within SkyDrive from the Windows 8 Sidebar Rename and move folders and files using a new Manage control available in the taskbar within the app New first-run experience video Custom sort order Recycle bin Support for sharing to the SkyDrive via the Share Charm The update can be found in the Windows 8 Store. See the full list of coming updates here. Via LiveSide.net ...

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The biggest cause of antipathy towards Windows 8 by Windows 7 users is the removal of the start menu in preference to the Modern style Start screen. Now StarDock, long known for their Windows Shell replacement and enhancement software, has taken up the cause with Start8, a Start Menu replacement. The app features: Windows 7-style Start menu with Windows 8 enhancements Search for Windows 8-style (Modern UI) apps Pin desktop and Metro apps Boot directly to the Windows 8 desktop Windows 8 Start screen accessible from the Start menu StarDock is selling it For $4.99 from their website here. Are our readers ready to embrace the future, or will you be relying on crutches like this? Let us know below. Via Windows8hacks.com ...

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WinAppUpdate.com, which has been tracking the growth of the Windows 8 Store, reports that the market has now reached around 3,610 apps, increasing by about 118 apps per day. The store crossed the 1000 app milestone in early September. The growth puts the market on track to about 5,000 apps on launch day, a rather small number compared to the 250,000 claimed iPad apps, but much more than the 2000 iPad apps the tablet launched with 2 years ago. The majority of the apps, at around 88%, are free, with Microsoft recently talking about new advertising initiatives for developers to monetize these apps. There are more than 1,837 developers represented, with big names such as Asus, AT&T, Amazon, BMW, eBay, NBC Universal, Toshiba, and Viacom among them, but also a large number of individual developers. The majority of the apps are games (18%) and 94% of the apps work on ...

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Microsoft is still to officially launch Windows 8 on the 26th October, but it seems the first Windows 8 laptops are already on sale, and from an unexpected source. The Home Shopping Network is offering two Gateway Windows 8 laptops, a 15.6 inch version for $649.95 and a 17.3 inch version for $699.95. The offer is set to expire soon and no delivery date was announced. Both laptops have Core i5 processors, 4 GB RAM and a 500 GB hard drive, and neither have a touch screen. This is likely the form factor the vast majority of Windows 8 hardware will be sold, at least in the first few years, but it is of course interesting to see it arrive so soon. Via WPC. ...

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As part of a Microsoft’s MyAchievements program Microsoft is sending gamers 20 free Microsoft Points on their birthday. The free gift is however not being well received, due to the paltry amount (20 Microsoft points is only worth around $0.25) and due to the numerous conditions attached. Only gamers with Gamerscore over 3000 qualify for the gift, and users will have to wait till the 15th of the month to actually receive the Points. Users with a Gamerscore above 10,000 get a rebate of one percent for every Xbox LIVE purchase and gamers with a Gamerscore above 25,000 will be a two percent rebate credited to their Xbox account. To add insult to injury, there is nothing in the Xbox store which can be purchased for only 20 Microsoft Points. This may be a promotion Microsoft may want to rethink. Maybe an “It’s my Birthday!” Avatar Prop would be a ...

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