Review Category : Microsoft

Razer has introduced two versions of its Blade gaming laptops toady, a 17.3″ & 14″ laptop.  The 17.3″ Razer Blade Pro is powered by an Intel 4th generation Haswell processor and NVIDIA GeForce GTX 765M graphics.  The laptop is 0.88 inches thick weights a hefty 6.5 pounds.  The Blade Pro comes with Dolby Home Theatre v4 speakers, Razer Synapse 2.0 built-in, and a programmable keyboard.  The display is a full-HD LED display linked in combination with the Switchblade User Interface (SBUI). The laptop will also come with a number of free professional apps including Adobe Photoshop and Adobe Premiere Pro, Maya, GIMP and others yet to be announced. See the full specs below. Of course, a 14 inch gaming laptop would actually be a real “portable” machine.  Its specs are not quite impressive as the Blade Pro’s, but would certainly play most games on the market today.  The laptop is 0.66 thick, making it ...

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Ed Bott from ZDNet went to San Francisco yesterday to meet with Microsoft’s Jensen Harris and Antoine Leblond for a two hour preview of Windows 8.1. He shared some exclusive information and important clarifications in a blog post. Synchronization capabilities between SkyDrive and Windows 8.1 are built directly into the operating system, where you can choose which cloud-based files or folders to sync with a local device. That’s a major change from Windows 8, which requires you to install and configure a separate utility to handle those tasks. Clicking the Search charm no longer displays a long list of search scopes for you to go through one at a time. Instead, you get a single search box, and the unified results list includes apps, files, settings, and content from the Web and from installed apps like Wikipedia. In Windows 8.1 you’ll be able to replace the lock screen background with a collection ...

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  Microsoft today went a little bit into Xbox One design process on how it developed the ultimate gaming and entertainment system. The took care about  how users interact with its software, designing it to be simple and inviting powered by console’s internal components to ensure great smooth performance. “Xbox has always had something to say. It’s always been bold with a strong personality,” said Carl Ledbetter, Creative Director, Industrial Design. “Xbox One needs to serve our most loyal gaming fans and deliver unique entertainment experiences, so its design has to make an appropriate statement that reflects its capability as an all-in-one entertainment system.” They spoke about the new software UI based on the Modern UI principles of Microsoft that is wide spreading across the developer community. Designing a software for 10 – 27 inch screens is completely  different from 32- 100 inch displays. The design language, which uses a series of tiles and fluid ...

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As Windows team took the wraps of their upcoming Windows 8.1 update, Search was one of the big feature that will be part of the update. Microsoft Bing powers the experience behind it. Microsoft Bing team today blogged about the new experience they developed along with Windows team that will change the way we think about Search. The 10 blue links concept is gone!  You can just find  whether it’s a document on your PC, a photo album in the cloud, an app, PC setting or a website with one single search and  in just a tap or a click you can play, view, launch, or browse items. How cool is that? We think your digital world should be accessible without having to actually ‘go to search’. Just like few people say they are going to ‘go online’, we want to make ‘searching’ something that’s just there when you need it.  So ...

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Microsoft Talks Windows 8.1, New Features, Start Button, Boot To Desktop, IE11, Deeper Skydrive & Bing Integration

  Today on the official Windows Blog, Microsoft gave a first look at Windows 8.1, outlining some of the new feature and improvements that are coming in personalization, apps, windows store, internet explorer, and cloud connectivity. Personalization: As we reported yesterday Windows 8.1 will allow you to choose your Start Screen background.  You can set your desktop background and Start Screen background to be exactly the same.  There will be more colors and backgrounds available for the Start Screen including ones with motion. Taking a page from Windows Phone, Win8.1 will have new tile sizes, including extra small and extra large.  You can now also select multiple apps at once to resize, uninstall, rearrange, or name into groups.  A new gesture, swiping to the bottom, will show the all apps view.  The ability to filter apps by name, date installed, most used, or by category has been added.   So when you install a new app from the Windows Store, we no longer put that app on your Start screen. Instead, you’ll find…

  Today on the official Windows Blog, Microsoft gave a first look at Windows 8.1, outlining some of the new feature and improvements that are coming in personalization, apps, windows store, internet explorer, and cloud connectivity. Personalization: As we reported yesterday Windows 8.1 will allow you to choose your Start Screen background.  You can set your desktop background and Start Screen background to be exactly the same.  There will be more colors and backgrounds available for the Start Screen including ones with motion. Taking a page from Windows Phone, Win8.1 will have new tile sizes, including extra small and extra large.  You can now also select multiple apps at once to resize, uninstall, rearrange, or name into groups.  A new gesture, swiping to the bottom, will show the all apps view.  The ability to filter apps by name, date installed, most used, or by category has been added.   So when you install ...

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For those who have complained Microsoft does not care enough about the “hardcore gamers” with the Xbox One, they might want to re-consider their opinion. In an interview with OXM (The Official Xbox Magazine) Microsoft stated that they will be investing over $1 Billion in securing exclusive titles. This includes the 15 exclusive launch titles for the Xbox One, along with 8 new franchises. In addition Microsoft has increased hiring at Microsoft Studios and is opening new game studios in London, Washington and Victoria, British Columbia. “Core gaming powerhouses 343 Studios, Lionhead and Turn 10 have all seen significant appointments – Lionhead, for instance, now runs under the supervision of MMO expert John Needham, in further evidence that the rumoured Fable 4 will be a cloud-centric affair. Microsoft has hired former Sony executive Phil Harrison – the man who oversaw the gestation of such noted PlayStation IPs as LittleBigPlanet – ...

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Well of course there is a catch. You must be a paid attendee of TechEd in New Orleans between June 2 – June 6. Standard cost of attending TechEd is around $2195 plus hotel and eating costs.  Often larger enterprises will pay for their employees to attend.  However you do a great deal on Surface Pro and RT (limit one per customer each) • Surface RT 64GB with touch cover bundle for $99.99 USD • Surface Pro 128GB standalone for $399.99 USD Source: Channel 9 ...

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We reported earlier on how the Start Button might work in Windows 8.1. Paul Thurrott has posted images of how the start button looks in current internal builds. It is largely as expected. The start button will be on by default on Windows 8.1, but will can be turned off by users who do not want it.  The start button will look very similar  to the one in the charms bar, but will not be visible until the user moves the mouse down to the lower left corner.   Users will also be able to configure what the button can open, either the normal Metro Home Screen, or the “All Apps” view instead.   See Thurrott’s full post where he has more screenshots including one of desktop wallpaper on the Start Screen. ...

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In just a little over 100 days, Office 365 Home Premium has reached 1 Million subscribers, on average selling 1 copy per second since launch.   The Office team posted this infographic on their official blog:   Microsoft and other companies have been pushing more and more of their software to subscription services in the cloud.  Office 365 recently joined the ‘Billion Dollar Business’ club at Microsoft. Are you using Office 365 at home or work? Let us know in the comments below. ...

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The road to unification continues at Microsoft and Lync-Skype connectivity is available as of today.  For those not familiar with Lync, it is essentially Skype for the enterprise.  Previously it was not possible for a Lync user to call (or message) a Skype user, or the reverse.  With this update the pieces of software can now interoperate. The initial features announce today are Adding Skype contacts to Lync and vice-versa, enabling presence sharing Audio calling and instant messaging between Lync and Skype users Management settings for Lync administrators BJ Haberkorn, director of Lync product marketing explains how Lync users can add Skype contacts: Lync users add Skype contacts by typing their Skype users’ Microsoft account names into the Add Skype Contact window in Lync. Click the Add a Contact icon > Add a Contact Not in My Organization > Skype, then enter their Skype contact information and click OK.   ...

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The highly reliable Mary-Jo Foley has new information regarding how the start button will work in Windows 8.1 aka Windows Blue.  The start button will be on by default on Windows 8.1, but will can be turned off by users who do not want it.  The start button will look very similar  to the one in the charms bar, but will not be visible until the user moves the mouse down to the lower left corner.   Users will also be able to configure what the button can open, either the normal Metro Home Screen, or the “All Apps” view instead.  It is also rumored that you will be able use your desktop background on the Metro Start Screen with Blue, as to make the transition between Desktop and Metro more seamless. I think this will just add more confusion, and this will have the opposite effect that Microsoft intends, to quell ...

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The Surface Pro is making its way around the world and Japan is getting its taste on June 7th.  Microsoft previously stated that it would make region specific changes based on the market.  The Chinese Surface Pro had unique Touch Covers and Office preinstalled and Japan will be getting the same.  The Japanese Surface Pro will also come with a 256GB variant, in addition to the 128GB version, but no 64GB version. Pricing was revealed via @SurfaceJP Surface Pro 256GB: 119,800 JPY / $1,170 USD Surface Pro 128GB: 99,800 JPY / $975 USD   Source: Liveside (Please take a look at pictures of the Touch Covers in their blog post) If you are a Japanese reader of Microsoft-news please let us know if you will be buying a Surface Pro in the comments below. ...

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There is a lot of interest in the Xbox One and Microsoft has the numbers to prove it.  In the first 24 hours, over 8.45 million people tuned in to watch the event.  This triples Microsoft’s previous record of any live stream on Xbox.com.  Microsoft’s streaming partner Akamai also revealed this was one of the most watched live broadcasts in their history ever, topping the 2010 World Cup, Royal Wedding in 2011, and 2012 election night. In the US millions of TV viewers also tuned in on SpikeTV. The tv ratings agency Nielsen reported over 1.73 million people tuned and was the #1 television show for the coved Men’s 18-34 demographic at 10 am on May 21, 2013. The Xbox One won the in social media buzz also.  According to Twitter, the event was the #1 non-sports social program across all TV networks and the second most social show on ...

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Almost two years ago now Microsoft gained approval from all governments, including the European Union, on its acquisition of Skype.  The European Commission allowed Microsoft to buy Skype without having to make any concessions. Cisco was not happy about this, as they have their own video conferencing solutions, and has been against Microsoft’s purchase from the beginning.  Cisco along with Italian fixed-line and Internet telephone provider Messagenet SpA is now going to the EU’s second highest court, in Lexembourg, to appeal the European Commission’s decision to approve the deal.  Cicso will argue that the Commission made several “manifest errors” in assessing the $8.5 billion Microsoft-Skype deal.  In addition Cisco will argue that the combined company’s dominant share in the communications market gave it the ability and the incentive to refuse to provide data that would allow rivals to work with the merged firm’s products. The last time a company successfully challenged the Commission decision ...

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In a large organization there are many individuals who may have valuable information, however, this information may not be getting to the write people. In a new survey commissioned by Microsoft, the solution to this problem has been found: Social Technology Adam Pisoni, Microsoft’s general manager of Yammer believes “Social is moving from a nice-to-have tool to a necessity in the workplace. As all companies are faced with the increasing pace of change, they need to leverage the ypower and knowledge of employees more than their current technologies allow. Just as email accelerated business in the 90s, social tools are driving a faster flow of knowledge and information within and across organizations.” There are now enterprise equivalents of Facebook, Twitter, etc., just for the workplace. These services can allow employees to privately share files, messages, ideas and more. These tools can help employees be more productive. With Yammer Microsoft is ...

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Blockbuster UK today revealed that Xbox One has broken  all previous pre-order launches in Blockbuster’s 24-year history. This comes after the announcement Microsoft made on its Xbox One next generation console last week. Blockbuster’s retailer head of games James Morton said that “We are delighted by the huge number of pre orders that we have received so far for the new Microsoft console,” . “At Blockbuster, we have a fantastic array of adrenaline-fuelled console games for sale or rental. Our expert staff know gaming and they know consoles and these pre-orders are testament to our customers’ trust in us as a leading gaming retailer. “With Sony releasing the PS4 in the near future, the next few months are going to be an exciting time for our staff and customers at Blockbuster and we can’t wait to hear more details from both Sony and Microsoft at the E3 Expo next month.” ...

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