Review Category : Microsoft

Game publishers continue to be innovate on the Xbox One and are investing in utilizing Kinect’s capabilities, which will bundled with the Xbox One.  (This is your cue to cry PS4 fanboys)  DICE’s Patrick Bach gave a preview of Battlefield 4 to Xbox Wire.  He revealed that the game is considering to using the Xbox One’s Kinect sensor for head tracking look controls (such as leaning around a corner) and also for voice commands.  The publisher will also be using SmartGlass (again no real PS4 equivalent) to allow players to view the overhead map during multiplayer matches and take advantage of the second screen. Here is part of the Q&A: What are you most excited about for developing on new generation hardware?  Developing for a new hardware generation is always exciting and inspiring for us at game makers and players. At DICE, we have prepared ourselves well for this transition ...

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A few days back we reported on Microsoft launching an iPad trade-in program allowing consumers to get a minimum of $200 to spend at a Microsoft Store.  A new Microsoft Corporate Buyback promotion in partnership with Clover Wireless will allow users to trade in a number of competitors devices including: iPads, iPhones, Samsung, and Blackberry devices.  Consumers can receive a gift card worth up to $350.  Microsoft has posted a FAQ on how the program works: Q. Who can trade in? A: Anyone that’s ready to trade up to an amazing new Microsoft device and trade-in an eligible used device. Q. Why trust this trade-in program? A: Clover Wireless, has more than 20 years of experience in valuing used electronic equipment. Clover Wireless will provide the maximum trade-in value for your used electronic device, and if not a good usable device Clover Wireless will ensure it is recycled responsibly through ...

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Microsoft and AT&T today announced their partnership where the new AT&T solution will integrate pair virtual private networking with Microsoft’s Windows Azure cloud platform. Read about it in detail below. DALLAS, Sept. 18, 2013 /PRNewswire/ — AT&T* and Microsoft Corp. today announced they will deliver a security-enhanced and reliable cloud solution that will allow enterprise customers to connect to Microsoft’s cloud platform using a private network. The new solution will use breakthrough cloud integration technology from AT&T to pair virtual private networking with Microsoft’s industry-leading Windows Azure cloud platform. Customers of the solution are expected to benefit from the enterprise-grade security of virtual private networking, with as much as 50% lower latency than the public Internet, and access to cloud resources from any site using almost any wired or wireless device. “This is a game changer for businesses that have been seeking a more secure way to reap the benefits ...

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Microsoft’s upcoming entertainment console Xbox One has become the exclusive video game console on the Toys “R” Us 2013 Holiday Hot Toy List and one of the Fabulous 15 Hot Toys for Holiday 2013. The Toys “R” Us Holiday Hot Toy List provides parents a guidance on the toys which should appear on children’s wish lists as the holiday shopping season gets underway.  “Identifying the toys that will make the Holiday Hot Toy List is no easy feat. It’s something we take great pride in – ensuring that the toys named with this distinction are truly the toys that kids from all corners of the country will be most excited about,” said Lisa Harnisch, Senior Vice President, General Merchandising Manager, Toys “R” Us, U.S. “All 36 playthings named to this year’s list were chosen because they’re undoubtedly HOT, from Cra-Z-Loom, one of the most buzzed-about items this season, to Xbox One and ...

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Microsoft today released updates for Skype for iPhone and Skype for iPad. This v4.12 update brings better call quality, accessibility improvements, and the new ‘Join Call’ button for group voice calls. Latest improvements: ✓ Join ongoing group voice calls right from your iPhone or iPad, as requested by many of you in the iTunes app store. ✓ Voice and video call quality improvements. ✓ Accessibility improvements. ✓Dialpad improvements. ✓Get help by accessing FAQs from the app. ✓ General fixes and speed improvements. Download Skype for iPhone and Skype for iPad applications from the Apple App Store. Source: Skype blog ...

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We all know that Microsoft is working on lots of original content for Xbox One and Microsoft today teased us that there is much more information to be revealed. Phil Spencer, corporate vice president at Microsoft Studios told that “They have literally hundreds of ideas that they are incubating right now,”. “We will have some new announcement for TV shows coming pretty soon.” Microsoft already revealed that they are producing a live-action “Halo” show which involves world famous film director Steven Spielberg. He also  said that sports programming will be an important element of the new console. “We believe sports is a very interesting category globally,” he said. “We’ll be expanding what we do in sports to bring more international sports into the mix. ” Have you made your pre-order for Xbox One? Source: Bloomberg ...

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Microsoft has released IE11 Release Preview for Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2 today.  This may mean the final versions of the browser may launch after the release of Windows 8.1. This release preview included performance improvements making it 30% faster than other browsers, updates to support the latest Web standards, and developer tools improvements The IE11 Release Preview for Windows 7 includes several tools enhancements to increase developer productivity and in response to the overwhelming enthusiasm and feedback we have received from developers.  Here are just a few of the many improvements: Console:  IE11 makes it easier to debug WebGL content by mapping WebGL errors to the corresponding JavaScript location.  Developer productivity is improved because primitives have been added to Intellisense.  With IE11, developers can debug multi-threaded Web sites with full console access while targeting Web workers. Debugger:  An improved file picker allows faster access to files in a ...

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For those of you with MSDN subscriptions, here are the pertinent links to download Windows 8.1 Enterprise, Pro Volume License, and European “N” editions: Windows 8.1 Enterprise (x86) – DVD (English) http://dlvr.it/3zgQLk Windows 8.1 Enterprise (x86) – DVD (English-United Kingdom) http://dlvr.it/3zgQMH Windows 8.1 Pro VL (x86) – DVD (English) http://dlvr.it/3zgQN3 Windows 8.1 Pro VL (x86) – DVD (English-United Kingdom) http://dlvr.it/3zgQPY Windows 8.1 Pro N VL (x86) – DVD (English-United Kingdom) http://dlvr.it/3zgQRQ Windows 8.1 Pro N VL (x86) – DVD (English) http://dlvr.it/3zgQSJ Windows 8.1 Enterprise N (x64) – DVD (English-United Kingdom) http://dlvr.it/3zgQTM Windows 8.1 Enterprise N (x64) – DVD (English) http://dlvr.it/3zgQTk Windows 8.1 Enterprise N (x86) – DVD (English) http://dlvr.it/3zgQWT Windows 8.1 Enterprise N (x86) – DVD (English-United Kingdom) http://dlvr.it/3zgQZh Windows 8.1 Enterprise (x64) – DVD (English-United Kingdom) http://dlvr.it/3zgQfl Windows 8.1 Enterprise (x64) – DVD (English) http://dlvr.it/3zgQhY Windows 8.1 Pro VL (x64) – DVD (English) http://dlvr.it/3zgQjK Windows 8.1 Pro VL (x64) ...

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Enterprise customers now have access to Windows 8.1 Enterprise RTM.  There will probably be no deployments as of now, but at least they can start testing the OS for their environment. This is especially important as Windows XP hits end-of-life in seven months. Beginning today, TechNet and MSDN subscribers will now have access to Windows 8.1 Enterprise RTM. This also includes access for Volume License (VL) customers with an active Software Assurance (SA) agreement, as you receive a TechNet subscription as part of SA. Preparing Your Organization to Migrate to Windows 8.1 Enterprise As we mentioned when we originally announced RTM back in late August, we talked about how we are moving forward with a rapid release cycle for Windows. If you have not started, begin your Windows 8.1 planning today. We encourage you to evaluate Windows 8.1 RTM bits to get a jump start on your deployment planning, using it ...

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Along with the information that Volume License (VL) customers, TechNet and MSDN subscribers will be able to access the Windows 8.1 Enterprise RTM, Microsoft posted the following huge table which differentiated the various Windows 8.1 editions that will be available starting October. Windows RT 8.1 is only for OEMs, so you won’t be able to install it on your own. However, you can compare other Windows 8.1 editions to choose the one that suits you. Feature name Windows RT 8.1 Windows 8.1 Edition Windows 8.1 Pro Edition Windows 8.1 Enterprise Edition User experience Apps launch other apps (new) x x x x Customize multiple tiles at once (new) x x x x Lock screen photo slide show (new) x x x x Four tile sizes (new) x x x x Microsoft account login x x x x Multiple instances of same app (new) x x x x                 Open up to four ...

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Microsoft today revealed information about the pricing and packaging for Windows 8.1. Existing consumers with Windows 8 devices today can upgrade to Windows 8.1 for free via an easy download from the Windows Store. If you do not own a Windows 8 device, then you will be able to buy Windows 8.1, either as a download from Windows.com or at your local store as a retail packaged DVD product. While pricing varies by market, in the U.S., Windows 8.1 will be available for $119.99 ERP (U.S.) and Windows 8.1 Pro will be available for $199.99 ERP (U.S.). The pricing and editions for Windows 8.1 are similar to what we have today for Windows 8. Also this Windows 8.1 SKU is a full version of Windows, not similar to Windows 8 upgrade which was available last year. And it does not require a previous version of Windows in order to be installed. There ...

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Intel, Microsoft and OEMs are really looking to push touch based Windows laptops and devices this holiday season in the market. Asus earlier announced that their Windows 8.1 detachable touchscreen laptop T100 that will go on sale this holiday season for $349. ASUS Transformer Book T100 has a detachable 10.1-inch HD IPS display with an Intel Atom ‘Bay Trail’ quad-core processor. The lightweight keyboard dock features well-engineered keyboard and a multi-touch touchpad with full Windows 8.1 gesture support and USB 3.0. Asus claims it can last up to 11 hours on battery power. Even Toshiba and Lenovo are planning to release products on this range. Similar to Asus, Dell today announced that they will be releasing a Inspiron 11-inch touch screen laptop running Windows 8.1 starting at just $349. The $349 model runs on AMD processors and the Inspiron 11 with Intel processors will start at $379. Dell claims that this laptop will run for eight hours ...

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Kinect SDK 1.8 for Windows now available.  It includes a number of improvements: New background removal API. This “turn-key” green screening capability makes it easy to perform background replacement dynamically in your application. This new API should prove to be practical and fun. 3D color capture capabilities with Kinect Fusion. Kinect Fusion enables your app to create 3D mesh models with a Kinect sensor. In the 1.8 Kinect for Windows SDK these capabilities have been augmented with realistic color texture mapping so that you can produce 3D models with realistic color. Since the new 3D printing capabilities in Windows 8.1 are engineered to support surface color, this new color capturing capability is particularly exciting. Improved tracking for Kinect Fusion. Updated algorithms enable more reliable camera tracking as the Kinect sensor moves while scanning a scene. The result: a better Kinect Fusion experience and better 3D models. Multi-sensor Kinect Fusion sample. ...

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Breaking: Microsoft announces quarterly dividend increase of 22% and up to $40 billion share repurchase program. Story is still developing, we’ll update accordingly. Stock is up about 1% currently. This sounds similar to a program Microsoft had in 2008. Update: Microsoft Corp. announced on Tuesday that its board of directors declared a quarterly dividend of $0.28 per share, reflecting a 5 cent or 22 percent increase over the previous quarter’s dividend. The dividend is payable Dec. 12, 2013, to shareholders of record on Nov. 21, 2013. The ex-dividend date will be Nov. 19, 2013. The board of directors also approved a new share repurchase program authorizing up to $40 billion in share repurchases. The new share repurchase program, which has no expiration date, replaces the previous $40 billion share repurchase program that was set to expire Sept. 30, 2013. “These actions reflect a continued commitment to returning cash to our ...

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Along with the announcement about new logo, Microsoft also announced a new modern interface for the Bing search experience. Microsoft redesigned Bing.com with a beautiful new, modern design focused on simplicity, speed and visual appeal to give people a better search experience regardless of the device customers will be using. With this release we’ve created a modern Bing.com experience – one that is faster, cleaner and more visually appealing. We believe that search can be beautiful as well as functional and efficient. With that as our goal, we evaluated fonts, spacing, color, visual scan patterns, the search box and even the underlying code.   Last year, Bing introduced Snapshot and Sidebar to improve the search experience with factual information and human perspective. In their new design, they have combined these two sources of knowledge to provide people with all the supporting context they’ll need for any given query. This combined ...

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Microsoft today announced a new refreshed logo for Bing search platform. With principles and frameworks in hand, we looked at the art. We revisited the current logo and diagnosed what wasn’t working. We looked at the new Microsoft identity and we did hundreds of studies to look at motion, font, color, size and form. We built out mock ads, localized product examples for China and fictitious billboards to see what was working. From simple evolutions to ridiculous explorations, we learned something in each one. In the end, our new logo was created to be simple, real and direct. Source: Bing ...

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