Review Category : Microsoft

Microsoft recently took nearly a billion dollar charge and reduced the price of the SurfaceRT to $350.  It appears the price point has helped move some units of the SurfaceRT with Walmart now out of stock of the device.  Walmart expects to have more units on hand within the week. Directions on Microsoft analyst Michael Cherry notes: The $900 million write-down also included parts and accessories, Cherry noted. And many forget that Apple is the master of tying up critical elements of components the company needs in order to build an adequate supply of consumer electronics. “When Microsoft decided to step into the world of building tablets I wondered how this differed from what they already built (mice, keyboards, and Xboxes),” said Cherry. “I assumed that a lot of money went into: a) buying parts; b) buying time in a plant; and c) building sub-components such as milling the metal ...

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Microsoft has launched a pilot project in the rural Limpopo province of South Africa that aims to deliver high-speed and affordable broadband to underserved communities using so-called “white spaces” technology.  The focus of the pilot will be to prove that TV white spaces can be used to meet the South African government’s goals of providing low-cost access for a majority of South Africans by 2020.  The pilot is a joint effort between Microsoft, the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research, the University of Limpopo and local network builder Multisource. It will use TV white spaces and solar-powered base stations to provide low-cost wireless broadband access to five secondary schools in remote parts of the Limpopo province.  The project will use the University of Limpopo as a hub for a white space network deployment that will provide nearby schools in local communities with wireless connectivity. The project will also provide each of ...

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According to Strategy Analytics, global tablet shipments reached 51.7 million units in the first quarter of 2013 with Windows having 4.5% of global share. Android almost doubled its market share to 67 percent while Apple iOS declined to 28 percent. Strategy Analytics expects that there may be growth in Windows tablets for Q3 due to the recent price cuts from OEMs like Microsoft. Microsoft captured a niche 4.5 percent global tablet share in Q2 2013. There may be an uptick in Windows RT shipments in Q3 following savage price cuts by all the partners still involved in the RT Market. Microsoft has reduced prices by $150 and other vendors even more; they are still not cheap, but are much more where they should be to compete. The shortage of apps continues to be a problem, with seemingly little incentive for developers to work on the platform. ...

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Take this post with a grain of salt, but CNET UK believes the Xbox One will be launched November 29th based on information obtained from retailer Toys R’ US.  Sony is releasing their console in mid-December, so an earlier release by Microsoft would be a blow to Sony and would help the Xbox One pick up some more momentum.  Amazon, which give estimated dates for pre-orders, has also pegged the Xbox One launching in November 2013.  The PS4 is currently priced a $100 cheaper than the Xbox One, but it does not include a bundled version of their equivalent Kinect technology. Source: CNET UK ...

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Microsoft’s Bing in UK has introduced a new way to reduce child abuse on the internet. Bing will show pop-up warnings on sites containing images of child abuse. When you do a search on child abuse, the Bing Notification Platform will inform you that the content you are trying to access is illegal with details of a counselling service. And when the user tries to access not so good images of children, they will be presented with a warning based on input compiled by the Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre. “If someone in the UK tries to use search terms on Bing which can only indicate they are looking for illegal child abuse content, they will activate the Bing Notification Platform which will produce an on-screen notification telling them that child abuse content is illegal. The notification will also contain a link to Stopitnow.org who will be able to ...

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Microsoft has announced a Day One 12-Month Xbox Live Gold Membership card pre-order. This Day-one pack will include 12-month Xbox Live Gold membership and play Killer Instinct: Round One, with the exclusive Shadow Jago character. Microsoft is also including commemorative card and case. You can pre-order now to get Xbox LIVE Card on the day it’s released. It costs $59.99 and it is available from various retailers. Source: Microsoft ...

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After taking pre-order for Xbox One console in the last two months, Microsoft is now taking pre-order for Xbox One accessories. Following accessories are now available for pre-order from Microsoft Store. Xbox One Wireless Controller with Play and Charge Kit – $74.99 -Experience the action like never before with the Xbox One Wireless Controller. New Impulse Triggers deliver fingertip vibration feedback, so you can feel every jolt and crash in high definition (in supported games). Redesigned thumbsticks and an all new D-pad provide greater precision. Plus, keep the action going with the Play and Charge Kit, with a battery that recharges while you play or afterwards, even when your Xbox is in standby. Xbox One Play and Charge Kit – $24.99 - Keep the action going with the Xbox One Play and Charge Kit. Recharge while you play or afterwards, even when your Xbox is in standby. The long-lasting rechargeable ...

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Corning Brings Gorilla® Glass NBT™ to Touch-Enabled Notebooks New cover glass helps prevent damage to touchscreen displays; extends Corning Gorilla Glass into new market CORNING, N.Y. – Corning Incorporated (NYSE: GLW) today introduced its newest cover glass, Corning® Gorilla® Glass NBT™, designed to help protect touch notebook displays from scratches and other forms of damage that come from everyday handling and use. Gorilla Glass NBT is Corning’s unique glass solution for touch-enabled notebooks. Touch has become the primary way consumers are interacting with devices, which can cause the glass to scratch. Scratches, combined with flex applied to the display, can result in the glass breaking. Corning Gorilla Glass NBT provides enhanced scratch resistance, reduced scratch visibility, and better retained strength once a scratch occurs, to help protect notebook displays from breakage that can occur with plain soda-lime glass. Corning Gorilla Glass NBT meets or exceeds the performance demands of touch-based ...

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  We all know that Microsoft faced a bad financial struggle related to Surface tablets with their $900 million write off related to current generation Surface models inventory. In an internal event held at Microsoft, Steve Ballmer expressed his concern that Windows devices are not selling well enough. He also revealed that Microsoft is currently testing next generation Surface that will feature ‘typical improvements’  and the internal response to the next gen Surface has been positive. Other tidbits from the address are that Microsoft is hoping to carry the third quarter momentum into Q4 and that, like many organizations, they will be investing heavily into professional services in the next fiscal quarter. Other obvious talking points included the fact that Windows 8.1 was heavily shaped by user telemetry and  was why Microsoft reintroduced the Start button back into Windows 8. Are you looking forward towards next generation Surface? Read more from the link below. ...

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Nancy Tellem is the president of Microsoft’s Xbox Entertainment Studios which is now creating original programming for Microsoft’s Xbox platform. During a panel on the future of content at Fortune’s Brainstorm Tech conference in Aspen, Nancy spoke about the future of TV and how the content will involve with the upcoming technologies. She also revealed that Microsoft is working on interactive original content that is different from what it exists today. “Unlike developing a show and adding interactivity after the fact,” she said, “we are going to start from the beginning.” ,”You can’t have interactivity for interactivity’s sake.” Microsoft also revealed that they are also working on a Halo based TV program for Xbox users directed by  director Steven Spielberg. Watch the video above and read about it from link below. Source: CNN ...

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Microsoft Fresh Paint team announced a new preview of Fresh Paint app for Windows 8.1 devices. The new preview brings in support for watercolor medium. It is powered by an incredibly complex physics engine that mimics the behavior of real paint. Apart from the water color medium, they are also adding new brushes, new artistic photo filters and an updated UI. Read about in in detail below, For the new watercolor medium we tested hundreds of combinations of brush, paper and pigment levels with real watercolors on different papers, and mixed with different mediums. We then spent hours adjusting our algorithms to create a realistic digital painting experience. Our technology actually models how much water and pigment is deposited, and how watercolor will bleed into the paper. This bleed effect is fun to watch and true to life. But watercolor isn’t the only improvement to the Fresh Paint experience. In this ...

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OXM has snagged another exclusive interview, this time with Chad Gibson, Xbox Live’s principle group program manager, who talked about how Microsoft has “super-charged” Achievements on Xbox One. One of the major changes coming with the Xbox One is that achievements will be more dynamic.  Instead of being coded into the game itself (released through DLC add-ons), achievement data is stored in the cloud.  This allows developers to change and add achievements anytime. “We’ve found a pattern where a user will buy a game, they’ll play the game, they’ll max out the Achievements within three to four weeks, and they’re still playing the game six months later,” Gibson observed. “We really wanted to make all our Achievement systems fully embrace cloud power. Which is why in this generation it’s all cloud Achievements.” “So, the general guidance we give to Achievements on how they’re utilised – conceptually, that’s the same, but the big decoupling ...

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The Developer Preview of IE11 on Windows 7 (and Windows Server 2008 R2) is available for download today. It is similar to IE11 on Windows 8 in many ways supporting the same improved performance, faster page load times, new standards support for next generation sites, and completely revised F12 developer tools. This video shows some of the performance, Web programming, and developer tools capabilities in IE11 Developer Preview for Windows 7 Read the full blog post over at the IE Team Blog, where they discuss Fast More Responsive Browsing, Leading JavaScript Performance, Hardware-Accelerated 3D Web Graphics, Professional-Quality Video Experience on the Web, New F12 Developer Tools , The Existing Web , and the future of IE. Download Now: http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/download/details.aspx?id=39677 Source: IE Blog via Robert McLaws ...

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After various reports, Microsoft has today confirmed that self publishing is coming to Xbox One. Apart from self publishing, each Xbox One can become a debug console allowing every one to be a Xbox One game developer with ease. Here is the announcement, I had a great chat with Marc Whitten about self publishing and Xbox One. I’ve got him scheduled to come on the podcast next week update us on Xbox One, but in the meantime he wanted me to share some great news with you about the upcoming Xbox One Self Publishing program that we’ve been working on for some time. Marc had this to say: Our vision is that every person can be a creator. That every Xbox One can be used for development. That every game and experience can take advantage of all of the features of Xbox One and Xbox LIVE. This means self-publishing. This ...

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MSR is continuing its research in creating the perfect photographic, this time focusing on having the perfect hair.  Lvdi Wang has been working for the past year and a half on improving the appearance of hair in digital images. Wang and his colleagues will be demonstrating their latest progress by delivering a paper called Dynamic Hair Manipulation in Images and Videos, co-authored by Zhejiang University’s Menglei Chai, Yanlin Weng, Xiaogang Jin, and Kun Zhou, along with Wang. The paper outlines a new, single-view hair-modeling technique for generating visually and physically plausible 3-D hair models achieved with only modest user interaction. The work creates hair models that visually match an original input image. “We proposed a new method for creating a 3-D hair model from just one single photograph or short video,” Wang explains. “Such a model contains tens of thousands of individual hair strands and allows the user to manipulate hair ...

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This is not anything new, because we have already seen couple of reports about Microsoft allowing independent developers to publish their games by themselves in Xbox Store. Today Gameinformer reported that according to their sources, Microsoft will enable independent studios to access digital distribution without a publishing partner. Also Microsoft is drastically planning to overhaul the Xbox Games certification process. Also some news on Xbox debug console, We’ve also been told, but cannot confirm, that every Xbox One unit can be converted to a debug console. Instead of specific hardware units, Microsoft can authorize a console ID to play pre-release code. This is in line with information we’ve received about a new process for beta tests. They will be run via hardware provisioning on Xbox One, with the process reportedly to be enabled for up to 25,000 users per test at launch. Given the ability to provision for beta testing, the ...

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