Review Category : Microsoft

Microsoft released Windows 8.1 Preview yesterday for the public. The preview was available as download from Windows Store, today Microsoft has released ISO files which can also be used to install Windows 8.1 preview offline. Windows 8.1 Preview ISO files (.iso) are provided as an alternative to downloading Windows 8.1 Preview through Windows Store. You should only use the ISO files if you are an advanced user and want to install the preview on another partition, another PC, or a virtual machine. Otherwise, we strongly recommend that you download Windows 8.1 Preview from Windows Store. You can download them here. To install Windows 8.1 Preview from an ISO file, you must first convert the ISO file into installation media stored on a DVD or a USB flash drive. If you’re using Windows 8, follow these steps to install Windows 8.1 Preview from an ISO file: Download the ISO (.iso) file. Double-tap or double-click the ISO file.                 Double-tap or double-click setup.exe ...

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The Bing Health & Fitness app is a personal companion for everyday living. The app around the philosophy that ”by bringing together nutrition, fitness and medical information customized to your own personal needs, you can learn about your own health, what works for you and make smart decisions to lead a healthy life. Combining these things in one comprehensive app allows you to quickly learn about what’s happening with your body and discover ways to maintain or change your lifestyle with helpful and easy to understand content.” Trackers The Health & Fitness app contains three Trackers; Diet Tracker, Health Tracker and Exercise Tracker. The Trackers are an easy and powerful way to gather information about your own body to make better decisions for you. They also all sync with Microsoft’s HealthVault to securely bring in data from personal medical records and third party tracking tools such as blood glucose monitors, electronic ...

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The Verge is reporting that Skype will indeed be built into the final version of Windows 8.1.  This was expected as the messaging app had been neglected since its release in 8.0, and it was not included in the Windows 8.1 preview.  Skype support will be built into the lock screen, as was demoed in the keynote yesterday, and you will be able to receive voice and video calls without logging in. Microsoft bought Skype for $8.5 billion over two years ago.  Back in April Microsoft forced Live Messenger users  to start to migrate over to Skype. Source: The Verge ...

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The new Food & Drink Bing app offers access to a variety of recipes from culinary publishers like AllRecipes, popular cookbooks and food bloggers like Food 52, as well as recipes and tips from top chefs like Wolfgang Puck and Tom Colicchio.  More sources will be added over time. The app also offers a wine encyclopedia with information on over 1.5 million bottles of wine, 3.3 million tasting notes and hundreds of popular cocktail recipes. Hands Free Swiping When you’re cooking, inevitably your hands will get messy, touching your tablet is probably not the best idea.  The Food & Drink App has a Hands-Free Cooking Mode, which allows you to follow recipes step by step from your device by waving your hand across the camera. Comprehensive Recipe and Wine List With Food & Drink you can browse recipes by cuisine, level of difficulty, preferred cooking method or by specific ingredients. You can ...

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Xbox 360 gaming platform is completely different from the popular mobile platforms like Windows Phone or Apple App Store. Developers has to pay a hefty sum of $40,000 to Microsoft to submit a patch for their game. According to a report from Eurogamer, Microsoft no longer charges developers for Xbox 360 title updates. Microsoft has always charged a fee when developers first submit their games to Microsoft’s certification process so they can be approved for release, and the company normally grants developers one title update free of charge. This remains the case, but sources have told Eurogamer that subsequent re-certification as a result of a title update is now free. This applies to Xbox Live Arcade games and full retail games. There are caveats, we understand. If a developer is deemed to be making an excessive number of re-submissions due to an update failing certification, for example, Microsoft reserves the ...

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Microsoft has updated their Excel Web App with mainly two new features that we always use in Excel desktop app. They are freeze panes and data validation support. Freeze Panes: Freeze Panes has been our most requested feature for quite a while, and we now support viewing workbooks that contain freeze panes. That means you can see all of those column headings at the top of your sheet all the time, as opposed to scrolling up and down as you’ve done in the past. Header Row Snapping is similar to freeze panes, in that it allows you to more easily work with tabular data. With it, if you create a Table out of your data (on the Home ribbon, choose “Sort and Filter as Table”), and then scroll down, the Table headers and the ability to Sort/Filter will move up into the sheet headers, so you always know what’s going ...

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Netflix today announced that consumers will be able to enjoy their Netflix video on Internet Explorer 11 on Windows 8.1 without installing any plugins. Netflix previously announced that they are ready to use HTML5 video with the proposed “Premium Video Extensions” in any browser which implements them. And now they have done it with Internet Explorer 11 in Windows 8.1. Today, we’re excited to announce that we’ve been working closely with Microsoft to implement these extensions in Internet Explorer 11 on Windows 8.1. If you install the Windows 8.1 Preview from Microsoft, you can visit Netflix.com today in Internet Explorer 11 and watch your favorite movies and TV shows using HTML5! Microsoft implemented the Media Source Extensions (MSE) using the Media Foundation APIs within Windows. Since Media Foundation supports hardware acceleration using the GPU, this means that we can achieve high quality 1080p video playback with minimal CPU and battery ...

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During BUILD keynote yesterday, Microsoft announced that each of the BUILD attendees will get a Surface Pro and 8-inch Acer Iconia W3 Windows 8 tablet. To go along with the keynote announcement about the Windows 8.1 Preview, developers were told they’re getting the first 8-inch Windows tablet — the Intel AtomTM Z2760 processor-based Acer Iconia W3. And then, as if that wasn’t enough, they found out they’re also getting a Microsoft Surface Pro, which leverages the 3rd generation Intel Core processor. These devices offer developers the chance to jump right into building Windows 8.1 apps for a variety of devices. Build attendees will also receive 100 GB of extra storage for one year on SkyDrive, which makes it easy to store and access their files from anywhere. Read more about it here. ...

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Microsoft today announced the availability of new Kinect for Windows developer kit program that costs just $399. It’s a limited program for developers, so apply soon to get into this awesome dev kit program. Can’t wait for the new generation Kinect for Windows sensor? You can apply to take part in the Kinect for Windows developer kit program. This program, which begins in November 2013, will provide developers with tools and a pre-release sensor as soon as possible so they can start building new applications before general availability in 2014. The program fee will be US$399 (or local equivalent) and offers the following benefits: Direct access to the Kinect for Windows engineering team via a private forum and exclusive webcasts Early SDK access (alpha, beta, and any updates along the way to release) Private access to all API and sample documentation A pre-release/alpha sensor A final, released sensor at launch ...

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Microsoft today announced Bing as a platform for developers. Microsoft has created a platform that unites the intelligent services that power Bing.com and by making these capabilities available to 3rdparty developers via new APIs and controls. Microsoft internally uses the Bing services across the breadth of their devices and applications including Windows 8.1′s new search capabilities, Windows Phone with features like Local Scout, Translations, Xbox One with voice command and gesture integration, and more. Microsoft is now announcing that these intelligent services/APIs will be available to third party developers to create more engaging customer experiences. Bringing the World’s Knowledge to Your Apps Understanding the World: We think knowledge is more than just a “graph”. It requires combining the web’s deep sets of information with insights derived from understanding the people, places, things, and actions in the real world. The Bing Entity API allows developers to create applications using this understanding to build scenarios that augment users’ ...

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Microsoft’s on screen keyboard has been vastly improved in Windows 8.1  When you type you will now see pop-up spelling suggestions, you can swipe on the space bar to go through them and tap the space bar to select the one you want.  This way you do not have to move your fingers away from the on screen keyboard to pick suggestions.   There are many shortcuts built in for special characters. For example, holding down the question mark will pop up the exclamation key.  You can also swipe on the question mark to get the exclamation point. Once you this in action on video or try it yourself, it’s quite simple. Source: Engadget ...

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At BUILD keynote today, Microsoft made number of announcements. They announced that Windows 8.1 Preview and Visual Studio 2013 Preview are available for download today. Both of them are a great news for developers. Windows 8.1 also brings in over 5000 new APIs and features to developers for building powerful apps for consumers and enterprises. The Windows 8.1 Preview Product Guide for Developers provides you a high-level overview of what’s new. Then check out the feature guide to get feature-by-feature overview with pointers to the new how-to documentation so you can dig in. Go to the Windows Dev Center Downloads page to get new SDKs, tools, and code samples. Here are some of the new features highlighted on Windows team blog, We’ve enhanced many of the existing features you may have used in Windows 8 and we’ve also introduced some brand new ones that help you complete new scenarios within your app. For ...

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In the new Windows Store bring a number of changes in Windows 8.1.   Automatic Updates Windows Store apps will now be automatically updated in the background.  Users have the option of turning off automatic updates, especially useful to those in areas with limited bandwidth. Redesign The focus of the Windows Store redesign is on recommendations.  When you open the Windows Store you will see an editorial sections of the top new apps, idf you scroll to the right you will see “pick for you.”  The store also features a list of recently launched apps and apps that are currently popular with other users.  The list of top free and paid apps are still there too., Bing powers the recommendation engine and will provide you with a personalized list of apps based on a number of factors. App listings are much more descriptive now, you can see screenshots, ratings, top ...

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There many high resolutions PCs, The Surface Pro, Lenovo ThinkPad Helix, Toshiba Kirabook, Dell XPS 12 to name a few.  However, the user interface is often too small with text that can be hard to read and touch targets that are too small.  With Windows 8.1 Microsoft adds full support for high density displays, introducing automatic scaling for UI in these devices. According to Microsoft’s Jensen Harris, “Text might not be as sharp on apps that aren’t ready.” director of the Windows User Experience team.  In Windows 8.1 you can scale up 200% in both the desktop and metro mode.  Microsoft has updated many of the first party  Windows apps including Windows Explorer to look better in high density displays. According to The Verge: Harris expects there to be a transition process as developers update their apps to take advantage of the higher resolution, but Windows 8.1 will still be ...

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Windows 8.1 product guide and FAQ pages are now live. You can download the product guide here. To download Windows 8.1, go to Windows 8.1 Preview page on Windows.com. The Windows 8.1 Preview will be installed through the Windows Store. Please see the Windows 8.1 Preview FAQ for the minimum requirements needed to install the Windows 8.1 Preview. Microsoft notes that, If you are on Windows RT and have installed a language pack, please don’t install the Windows RT 8.1 Preview at this time. A fix is coming so check back soon.   ...

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