Review Category : Microsoft

Tom Warren over at The Verge , who has been fairly reliable in the past, believes Microsoft is hinting at a 2560 x 1440 Surface Pro and high density 7-inch tablets at the BUILD conference going on this week. “…Microsoft appears to be dropping some accidental hints at the future of Surface and other 7- and 8-inch tablets.” -Tom Warren One session at Build talked about building apps across multiple screen sizes, during the session Microsoft showed potential screen sizes for Windows 8 tablets.  One of these resolutions was a 10.6″-inch tablet running at 2560 x 1440.  This may potentially be the next screen resolution for the Surface 2, which is currently 1920 x 1080.  There also lies the possibility this will be a  tablet by an OEM or unannounced ODM design that has not been publicly announced yet. Other potential display resolutions shown included a 7-inch display running at 1920 x 1200 and a ...

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Star Chart is a free app in the Windows Store which allows you to explore the solar system. We’ve modeled the swirling gas clouds on Saturn, Juptier, Neptune and Uranus. We allow you to remove the atmosphere on Venus, the Earth and even Titan to see the surface detail and seas beneath (Methane oceans on Titan!). We’ve even added twinkle to Earth’s night lights. And the list goes on and on… We’ve basically remastered the entire solar system and night sky (where data is available and some places used a bit of artistic license) and we’ve created what we believe to be the most amazingly detailed and visually stunning (free) astronomy app available anywhere on any platform.  – San Shepherd, co-founder of Escapist Games The app now supports voice control: Source: Neowin Download: Windows Store (warning 900+ mb)   ...

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OpenTable is the only app that helps you book a table at more than 20,000 restaurants in the US, Canada and Mexico. Plus, members can earn dining points to pay for meals at any OpenTable restaurant. Features include: See available restaurants in real-time, in a list and on a map Narrow your search by cuisine, price, or neighborhood Browse menus and reviews Make out-of-town reservations when you travel Download: Windows Store ...

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During the Build conference today, Rhapsody released its Windows 8 App. Features include: Dive into a catalog of millions of songs Play full-length albums and top tracks Create playlists for any occasion Save all your favorites to your library to play whenever, wherever Discover new music with Rhapsody radio – listen by Artist or Genre Hear it first with New Releases every Tuesday Enjoy rich-album imagery and intuitive navigation throughout the app Special Windows 8 features include Snap Mode for simple multitasking and an option that allows tracks to be pinned to the Metro-style home screen. Download: Windows Store ...

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Today at Microsoft’s annual Build conference, a strategic partnership was announced between Unity and Microsoft. As a result, Unity will be committed to support Windows 8, Windows Phone 8, Xbox One and Xbox 360 which allow developers to unleash their creativity. From Unity and Microsoft, Windows Store Pro publishing add-on will be free when released (soon). So all current and future Unity Pro 4 customers stand to get $3000 worth of tech at half price! You’ll be able to port your games, ads, training and educational apps―any kind of Unity-authored content―to both the Windows Store Apps and Windows Phone 8 platforms with a Unity Pro 4 license. Developers who build games published by Microsoft Studios now have access to Unity tools for Xbox 360 and Xbox One free of charge and can create interactive 3D and 2D experiences. Unity will develop tools for Xbox One, including support for features like multiplayer matchmaking, SmartGlass, ...

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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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