Review Category : Microsoft

  Microsoft has revamped their Xbox Live Rewards program. With Xbox Live Rewards, it’s easy to get rewarded for being loyal to Xbox Live. The more you use Xbox Live services, the more rewards you get. You get rewards for playing games, watching movies and more. For example, renewing your Xbox Live Gold membership  gets you 3,000 Rewards Credits, take monthly surveys (250 Credits) and more.  Complete a Punchcard: With MyPunchcard, you have access to big rewards with a mighty punch. Track your progress here, complete exclusive offers, and earn Rewards Credits. New Punchcards are always popping up, so check back often to see if you can complete them all! More details can be found here. ...

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We heard about Microsoft’s IllumiRoom project back at CES and since then there were reports that Microsoft is planning to release it as a consumer device as part of Xbox offering in 2014. Speaking to Ausgamer, Albert Penello, head of product planning for Xbox One revealed that IllumiRoom is not coming anytime soon. “I wouldn’t expect you’ll see that,” Penello said. “It’s very, very cool tech but it’s, like, for a consumer, it requires projectors and things. It’s really super-neat if you’re in the lab and you’ve got Microsoft money and you could totally set up this awesome lab, but… we looked at it, but for an average customer it’s, like, thousands of dollars [for the set up].” Some info about IllumiRoom, IllumiRoom uses a Kinect for Windows camera and a projector to blur the lines between on-screen content and the environment we live in allowing us to combine our ...

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Acer today announced updated Aspire R7 notebook with latest Intel Hasewell processors and Active Pen support. They are also updating Aspire E series notebook with 10 point touch screen support and more. Read about it in detail below. BERLIN, Sept. 2, 2013 – Acer today announced its award-winning Aspire R7 notebook now includes the latest 4th generation Intel processor and an Acer Active Pen to further redefine the notebook touch experience. Designed to provide the best environment for both touch and typing, the R7 features a repositioned keyboard and high-definition touchscreen mounted on a revolutionary “Ezel hinge” that allows it to flip, reverse, lie flat or float. Unveiled in May, the Aspire R7 has won several awards for its revolutionary design, including the best Choice Award at Computex 2013, the Red Dot Award for product design, and the Computex d&i Award. Acer also unveiled additional trendy colours for the Aspire ...

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Microsoft announced the Independent Developers @ Xbox Program which allows independent developers to publish games for Xbox One. First, you have to apply for the developer program, once the application is approved, Microsoft will offer developers free development kits and access to its Xbox One toolset which includes Kinect, Cloud, etc. There is no developer application fees as well. After becoming ”registered Xbox One developers,” , developers will be able to do self-publishing of games on Microsoft’s Xbox One. Developer can also take advantage of Xbox Live features like Achievements, Online multiplayer, SmartGlass, Kinect, etc,. Microsoft portfolio director for digital games Chris Charla when speaking to Joystiq at PAX Prime revealed that ID @ Xbox program will support every other business model that any other Xbox One game will have such as indie games with premium pricing, micro-transactions or free-to-play models Independent developers are free to utilize “every business model ...

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According to Netmarketshare’s numbers, Microsoft’s Internet Explorer browser gained market share in August hitting a two-year high of 57.6 percent. Google Chrome lost the most among the major browsers which saw its usage drop from 17.76 percent to 16 percent. I was surprised by the numbers when I saw it first, then came to know that Netmarketshare changed the way they measure their numbers this month. Ed Bott from ZDNet summarized it as follows, Net Applications recently changed its formula for measuring usage. In an undated note labeled “Important methodology change,” the company explains: This month we start deducting hidden pages from our usage share statistics. Hidden pages are pages that are rendered but never viewed by the user, therefore, they should not be included in usage share data. An example of a hidden page is a page that loads in a background tab upon the launch of the browser ...

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According to the latest report from Netmarketshare, Microsoft’s Windows 8 now holds 7.65 percent of worldwide desktop OS market share. This number suggests that Windows 8 now has more users worldwide than all versions of Mac OS X combined. Microsoft just started selling Windows 8 from last October and this number reveals that more than 100 million units of Windows 8 devices have been sold since then. Windows XP saw the biggest drop in terms of market share from 37.19 percent to 33.66 percent. Source: Netmarketshare ...

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Microsoft has finally renamed their Xbox Live Marketplace to Xbox Games Store. Microsoft begun aligning their Xbox services strategy few months back and since then they are making changes in branding, etc,. The newly changed Xbox Games Store brand is in line with the Xbox Music Store and Xbox Video Store. Rather than the old way downloading everything from Xbox Live Marketplace, the new Xbox Games Store will allow gamers to browse all titles, and either purchase or download them to their console. For videos, music, etc, you need to download from respective store. ...

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REDMOND, Wash., Aug. 30, 2013 /PRNewswire/ – Microsoft Corp. today announced that it has signed a cooperation agreement with ValueAct Capital, a San Francisco-based investment firm with $12 billion in assets under management that beneficially owns approximately 0.8 percent of the outstanding shares of Microsoft common stock and is one of the company’s largest shareholders. The cooperation agreement provides for regular meetings between Mason Morfit, president of ValueAct Capital, and selected Microsoft directors and management to discuss a range of significant business issues. The agreement also gives ValueAct Capital the option of having Morfit join the Microsoft board of directors beginning at the first quarterly board meeting after the 2013 annual shareholders meeting. “Our board and management team are committed to enhancing growth and value for Microsoft shareholders, and we look forward to ValueAct Capital’s input,” said Steve Ballmer, Microsoft chief executive officer. “Mason has extensive experience as a public company ...

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Bloomberg today reported that Microsoft is in “advanced talks” to invest in location based startup Foursquare. Bloomberg said that Microsoft is vying to take an equity stake in Foursquare Labs. Microsoft may make this investment in Foursqaure similar to what they did with Facebook in 2007. A small investment in this location startup might give them access to data of over billions of check-ins. Microsoft may integrate Foursqaure data into products like Bing, Local Scout, etc, to provide more robust location data to users. Foursquare recently revealed few new features that will engage more users into their platform, The updates included a feature that lets people check their friends into locations in addition to themselves. It’s also unveiling a technology that will send users automatic recommendations when they visit a new restaurant or neighborhood, without having to open the application. Source: Bloomberg ...

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Microsoft originally stated the $100 Surface Pro price cut would last from Aug 4 – Aug 29th.  However, as widely expected, Microsoft has made the price cut permanent. $100 USD off Surface Pro (including the 256GB SKU) – Surface Pro will now start at $799 USD $40 USD off Touch Covers – Touch Covers will now start at $79 USD, Limited Edition Touch Covers will now start at $89 USD $50 USD off Surface RT bundles – Surface RT bundles will now start at $399 USD Microsoft provided a statement to Neowin: The customer response to recent Surface pricing and keyboard-cover promotions has been exciting to see, and we are proud to begin rollout of Surface Pro, Touch Cover and Surface RT bundles at even more affordable prices starting 29 August. People who buy Surface love Surface, and we’re eager for more people to get their hands on this incredible device. ...

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Jon Roskill, Corporate Vice President of Worldwide Partner Group at Microsoft today announced that Phil Sorgen, a 17-year veteran of Microsoft who previously led the company’s U.S. SMS&P group will become the new Channel Chief. Throughout my tenure we’ve unveiled new programs, tools, resources and sales incentives to help partners embrace the industry’s transformation to the cloud, and though we still have more work to do, I’m pleased with the progress we’ve made. Now, I’m excited to welcome Phil as the new corporate vice president of the Worldwide Partner Group (WPG) and wish him much success in leading this important organization. Phil’s extensive experience working with U.S. and Canadian customers and partners will translate well into the role of Channel Chief, and I’m confident that he will continue to grow and diversify our partner ecosystem to meet the ever changing needs of our customers. The Microsoft Partner Network will continue to evolve, and not ...

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Signs of collaboration at Microsoft?! *gasp* On his blog today, Major Nelson announced that the Xbox One will be using Skype’s audio codec for a premium audio experience.  Nelson reports: Thanks to integration with Skype’s audio codec, which has a proven track record of high-quality voice through billions of hours of use within Skype, as well as dedicated audio processing (for Xbox One conversations via Skype and multiplayer party chats), Xbox One offers higher quality voice chat with the Xbox One Chat Headset compared to Xbox 360—whether you’re chatting in-game or through party chat with Skype on Xbox One. But the improvements don’t stop there. The Xbox One Wireless Controller’s new expansion port dramatically expands the data transfer rate between the controller and console. Combined with Skype’s audio codec, this enables crystal-clear digital audio with the Xbox One Chat Headset, both capturing and rendering speech at 24 KHz PCM, which ...

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The English build of Windows 8.1 has been leaked by WZOR.  These are original Microsoft images.  Hopefully this shut-ups all whiny developers about not getting early access to the build.  As if they didn’t know it would leak in a few days anyways. Use the magnet links to download the torrent using your favorite client. Here is the pertinent information from the MyDigitalLife Forums: ADMIN note concerning activation: Retail keys (including ProWMC upgrade  keys), OEM: DM keys (Pre-installed windows 8 OEM), OEM:NONSLP keys activated users can upgrade & stay activated! Also a complete fresh install and re-activation should be possible. MAK of w8 does not activate. KMS of w8 does not activate 8.1 MICROSOFT.WINDOWS.8.1.RTM.X86.ENGLISH.DVD-WZT RELEASE DATE: 08/21/2013 BUILD: 6.3.9600.16384.WINBLUE_RTM.130821-1623 FILE: Windows_8.1_EN-US_x86.ISO SIZE: 2,915,131,392 byte SHA-1: 802CFCD3A411D99C097EA7E747F0B6697F9BDAC4 MD5: 7DD36FEA0D004ACFEDBDB3A5521EF5FF Code: magnet:?xt=urn:btih:D40A31912E9C1227826397B208228EFF3839802D MICROSOFT.WINDOWS.8.1.RTM.X64.ENGLISH.DVD-WZT RELEASE DATE: 08/21/2013 BUILD: 6.3.9600.16384.WINBLUE_RTM.130821-1623 FILE: Windows_8.1_EN-US_x64.ISO SIZE: 3,899,295,744 byte SHA-1: BC2F7FF5C91C9F0F8676E39E703085C65072139B MD5: F104B78019E86E74B149AE5E510F7BE9 Code: magnet:?xt=urn:btih:958ED16A00869C0BA4C04815AB500FFA1F2EE92E MICROSOFT.WINDOWS.8.1.ENTERPRISE.RTM.X86.VOLUME.ENGLISH.DVD-WZT RELEASE DATE: 08/21/2013 BUILD: 6.3.9600.16384.WINBLUE_RTM.130821-1623 FILE:  ...

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Our friends at Videogamer read the small print at the bottom of Microsoft’s ‘Get the Facts’ page on the Xbox website which reads: “Xbox voice commands will not be available in all markets on the product release date. Voice commands will be available at launch in US, UK, CA, FR, and DE.” Of the 13 markets where the Xbox One will be available this November, players in the following countries will have more limited access to voice commands: Australia, Austria, Brazil, Italy, Ireland, Mexico, Spain and New Zealand. Of course you can use the Xbox One without using the voice commands, so not need to over-react to this.  I’m sure the Kinect will receive updates over time and support the remaining countries. The Next Web Reports: As Albert Penello, Microsoft’s head of product development, told OXM earlier this week, the Xbox One is also region-free, so anyone should be able to import ...

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According to Microsoft’s corporate vice-president for Skype Mark Gillett, Skype team is already working on making 3D video calls possible. In fact, they already have a working version in the labs, but didn’t launch to the public due to lack of 3D Eco-system which includes 3D camera, 3D displays, etc,. “We’ve seen a lot of progress in screens and a lot of people now buy TVs and computer monitors that are capable of delivering a 3D image. “But the capture devices are not yet there. As we work with that kind of technology you have to add multiple cameras to your computer, precisely calibrate them and point them at the right angle. “We have it in the lab, we know how to make it work and we’re looking at the ecosystem of devices and their capability to support it in order to make a decision when we might think about ...

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The Extreme Windows Blog has a fun post about a racing simulator that is powered by Windows: Back in 2007 Chris saw some of the existing racing simulator projects and thought: “I think I could build something like that, only better!”. That started Chris on an adventure that would entail cash outlay in excess of $30,000, and span over 5 years of building, refining, upgrading, and perfecting his racing simulator. Project E.B.T.R. is something that you really have to try in person to appreciate! If you want to check it out in person, you can see Chris at some of the major gaming events where the E.B.T.R. Simulator is rented for attendees to experience. Some of the events where Project E.B.T.R. has been showcased include PAX Prime, PAX Prime East, GeForce LAN 6 (which was on the USS Hornet!), PDXLAN, and Intel LAN-fest events. For more information about events and ...

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