Review Category : Microsoft

These days it is not uncommon to see developers auctioning off exclusive dev units they received for free, but the action of a Steve Ballmer-signed Microsoft Surface is fortunately nothing like that. Emotion Touch is auctioning off an exclusive Steve Ballmer signed Microsoft Surface with all proceeds going to supporting a Christmas Party at the cancer ward Charité, Campus Virchow-Klinikum, Berlin, under the auspices of the Kinderleben Association for the Promotion of the Department of Children’s Cancer Association. The 32 GB Surface tablet was signed by Steve Ballmer at a Berlin developer event 3 weeks ago, and comes with free shipping and the original accessories, and also with a VAT invoice if companies want to bid. At the time of writing the auction is standing at 610 Euro with 9 bids and is closing on the 5th December. See the auction at eBay here and support a good cause while ...

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The Financial Times reports that Microsoft is confident about launching their first European Microsoft Stores next year, with the company reportedly already speaking to property landlords in UK about the plans. Apparently plans are pending an internal review at the end of this year that will study how well the stores in the US have performed, and which formats have worked best. The stores would sell Microsoft-branded devices like the Surface tablet and possibly rumoured Surface phone, but also hardware  and accessories from their OEM partners like HTC and Nokia Windows Phones. With rumours of an Xbox TV in addition the number of products which could fill shelves makes the decision to have its own retail chain increasingly compelling. Read more at  FT here. ...

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The Microsoft Life Cycle Support page has revealed Microsoft intends to look after Surface RT buyers for a very long time into the future. The listing for Surface with Windows RT shows that mainstream support will continue until at least April 11, 2017. A separate post on Microsoft’s support website shows the various SKU builds of Windows 8 will have their mainstream support end on January 9, 2018, with extended support ending on January 10, 2023. Support in this case likely means the provision of service packs and patches, not necessarily new features, but it still sounds like a much better deal that Windows Phone users can expect, where even for Windows Phone 8 Microsoft is only promising updates for 18 months after release. Windows RT itself, when not ensconced in a Microsoft Surface, is still to have its sunset date revealed, but in a in an FAQ post, Microsoft ...

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We have ranted in the past about the absence of a compatible 3G dongle for the Microsoft Surface. Now a potential solution has popped up. At the time many said to simply use a MIFI-type WIFI hotspot, which does not really address the issues of bulk and having to keep two gadgets charged, not to mention being rather inelegant. The Huawei E355 Mobile Wi-Fi Smart 3G dongle however seems to solve those two issues pretty well. Much smaller than the average MIFI-type device due to not needing a battery, the dongle is USB powered while still providing the internet access over WIFI, meaning no software needs to be installed on the device (a sore point for a Windows RT). The dongle supports connection by up to 5 devices, supports HSDPA+ and  comes pre-loaded with settings for UK Pre and Post-paid networks, which can also be added to via their web-based ...

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MacWeekend posted this video which was meant to reflect the traffic of Microsoft Stores vs Apples Stores on Black Friday. They labelled the Microsoft shopped are merely shopping, while the Apple buyers were engaged in Worship. If is of note however that in terms of actual traffic rather than simply crowding (the Apple Store is much smaller than the more expansive Microsoft Store) 3 adults entered the Apple store while 2 entered the Microsoft store, so the discrepancy is not as great as it may appear from the video, and of course even now Microsoft is still working on establishing its stores as a destination, especially with the Microsoft Surface being exclusive to their stores. Do our readers think the Microsoft Stores will ever become destinations like the Apple Store? Let us know below. Via CNN.com ...

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A survey conducted by  StollzNow Research showed that PCs were still the number 1 way people accessed the internet. “It is a rapidly evolving space and people are still exploring the whole notion of mobile computing,” Neil Stollznow, director of the company said, but noted “what you have to bear in mind is this is taking place right now, and not in the future.” The survey found PCs were used more frequently than smartphones or tablets, with 94 per cent of online users using their PC daily. “If you have a tablet and a smartphone, you’re still using it very regularly,” Stollznow said. In contrast 69% of people used their smartphone daily to access the internet, and 58% used their tablet daily. “Smartphones and tablets used a little bit less frequently, but not that much.” Overall  almost everyone in Australia (98 per cent) uses a PC to access the Internet ...

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Windows XP extended supports ends in 500 days.  This means Microsoft will no longer provide patches and security fixes fort he venerable OS, and any companies using the OS will have to deal with any security holes themselves. According to NetMarketShare a massive 40% of internet users are still using Windows XP, which was released in October 2001, with Asia a stronghold for the OS, likely due piracy. It is unlikely these users will be upgrading any time soon. Close to 20% of internet users in North America are still on XP however, and are missing out on the productivity improvements of the more modern OS. Jack Schofield from ZDNet warns businesses who continue to use the now outdates OS open themselves to liability and accusations of neglect if they were hacked due to a hole in the unsupported OS.  Similar to driving a 15 year old polluting car with ...

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Steve Ballmer spoke to a group of developers at Microsoft’s new collaboration space in Shoreditch, East London, to share his views on the opportunity for developers with the Windows platform across Windows 8 and Windows Phone. The event showcased some of the best examples of the Windows 8 design and user interface, including demonstrations of the Music Info app, the British Airways Inspiration app and others. The app store has now grown to more than 20,000 apps a month after the general release, with multiple developers having downloads of more than 100,000. While the adoption of Windows 8 appears to be slower than Windows 7, it still seems pretty clear by January there will be tens of millions Windows 8 PCs and tablets in the market for developers to exploit. Via Ubelly.com ...

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It seems the fashion these days is to test expensive gadgets to destruction. CNET posted the above video of the Microsoft Surface running the gauntlet, which included putting it in a freezer, using it as a skate board, baking it a 250 degrees and frying an egg on it. The brave device was eventually killed by a glass of wine, having taken much more than can really be expected of any non-military gadget. Do our readers think the tablet proved itself? Let us know below. Via Neowin.net ...

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Want to get an early start on Black Friday, without leaving your sofa?  The Microsoft Store is offering deep discounts on popular Xbox 360 games. The brand new Forza Horizon is only $14.99, 75% off. Dance Central 3 also clocks in at $14.99, while Borderlands 2 comes in at $24.99, NFS: Most Wanted also $24.99, and Dishonored $24.99. See more deals at the Microsoft Store here. Via Joystiq.com ...

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Telecompaper reports the Xbox Live TV service in the Netherlands has been considerably bulked up, with console owners how being able to watch films and TV from Pathe Thuis, Eredivisie Live, RTL XL and other providers Live TV will also soon be available, pending on-going negotiations with suppliers. Microsoft has been positioning the Xbox 360 as the premier living room video service, with 40% of US owners using it on a weekly basis to watch streaming video. ...

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Speaking at the London Games Conference 2012 Microsoft’s marketing lead  Andrew Webber  has revealed that there are currently only 1,421 games in the Windows 8 Store. Noting that there were only 13 games in the Racing category, he called it a great opportunity for developers to take advantage of the digital store while numbers were low. These numbers are set to rise soon, but the apps released in the early stage will not have any problem trying to compete for attention. At present it is estimated that there is more than 20,000 apps in the Windows 8 Store, according to store watcher Win App Update. Today’s totals: 20,610 apps worldwide in the Windows Store (broke 20,000 on Tuesday, I believe). 17,958 of those are free (87%). — Win App Update (@WinAppUpdate) November 22, 2012 Via Develop-online.net ...

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In a new patent application published by Microsoft, Microsoft describes the Augmented Reality Glasses. Recently, Google demoed its Project Glass which has similar functionality where the information will be overlayed on the user’s view through glasses. Microsoft’s vision is kind of little different from Google’s. Read the description below, A computer implemented method providing supplemental information to a user with a head mounted display viewing a live event, comprising: receiving an indication that a user is attending a live event, the live event having an event duration; determining a field of view of the user through the head mounted display, and objects within the field of view at the live event; retrieving supplemental information describing at least the objects in the field of view of the user during a portion of the live event; determining elements of said supplemental information to present to the user in the head mounted display; and displaying ...

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Mozilla Engineering Manager Benjamin Smedberg posted on the official Google Groups page that they will be ending the development of Firefox for 64-bit Windows. He cited the following reasons for this shocking decision. Many plugins are not available in 64-bit versions. The plugins that are available don’t work correctly in Firefox because we haven’t implemented things like windowproc hooking, which means that hangs are more common. Crashes submitted by 64-bit users are currently not high priority because we are working on other things. This is frustrating for users because they feel (and are!) second-class. It is also frustrating for stability team triage because crash-stats does not easily distinguish between 32-bit and 64-bit builds  in the topcrash lists and other reports. We basically ignore a set of nightly “topcrashes” because they are 64-bit only. (See bug 811051). According to Mozilla, about 50% of their nightly testers were 64-bit Firefox users and they are ...

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We have seen lots of surveys, analyst’s claims, market research reports on Windows 8 adoption. Today, another survey about Windows 8 got released. According to the survey result, two in five (39%) are likely to upgrade to Windows 8. Even though the survey firm showcases it as a negative number, I think 40% of total PC count is a strong number. Read the full survey results below. Press Release: LONDON — November 22, 2012 While the vast majority of consumers (96%) own a Windows PC, only two in five (39%) of these are likely to upgrade to Windows 8. The findings were part of a study undertaken by Toluna QuickSurveys to assess consumer reactions to the announcement by Microsoft last month to upgrade to Windows 8. The survey also revealed that when it comes to Windows operating systems, Windows 7 is a clear favourite, with over a quarter of consumers (28%) ...

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According to Phil Harrison, the vice president of Interactive Entertainment at Microsoft, Microsoft Studios are now not just making games for the Xbox 360, but also for Windows 8 and Windows Phone 8. Giving a keynote speech at the London Games Conference yesterday he confirmed the division was now no longer just targeting Sony and Nintendo, but was also going after Google and Apple and their casual gaming empire. "We are now really a multiplatform studio," he said. "We are not just building games for Xbox 360, we’re building experiences for Smartglass, we’re building dedicated games for Windows Phone 8 and for Windows 8." He revealed Microsoft Studios have already shipped 30 titles developed in-house for Windows 8. “We think this expands our competitive map. We’re no longer just competing with the traditional console companies, but our competitive landscape includes the likes of Google, the likes of Amazon, it includes ...

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