Ubisoft’s Massive Entertainment created an entirely new engine from scratch called Snowdrop. “Tom Clancy’s The Division” is powered by this new engine and it’s one of the most powerful around. Microsoft’s Xbox Wire yesterday posted the important new features in the Snowdrop engine. Watch the video above to see it in action. Excerpt from Xbox Wire, Improved tools. “Snowdrop was created in-house, at Massive, in response to a specific requirement: to do things better, not bigger,” says Rodrigo Cortes, Brand Art Director at Massive Entertainment. A node-based scripting system allows creators to more easily iterate in terms of AI, rendering, user interface, and mission scripting. This lets them quickly develop their assets, preview them, and interact with them in ways that have never been done before. It’s kinda like playing with LEGO blocks, except way more ‘splodey. Next-gen. The Snowdrop Engine was developed specifically to power “The Division” on the eighth generation of ...

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Microsoft yesterday announced the first release of .NET Native. It is a next generation compiler technology that is making popular Windows Store apps start up to 60% faster and use 15-20% less memory when compiled with .NET Native. .NET Native compiles C# to native machine code that performs like C++. This first release is a Developer Preview that allows you to develop and test apps with this new compiler. This preview release of .NET Native offers you the performance of C++ with the productivity of C#. .NET Native continues to provide a first-class .NET developer experience in Visual Studio. You still get a great edit/compile/debug environment with productivity enhancers like Edit and Continue and code refactoring. You continue to upload MSIL app packages to the Windows Store. Our compiler in the cloud compiles the app using .NET Native in the Store, creating a self-contained app package that’s customized to the ...

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Microsoft Office suite didn’t add any completely new app in the past few years. Speaking to GeekWire,  John Case, a Microsoft Office corporate vice president for marketing hinted about the next generation app experiences that is coming soon from the Office team. He highlighted the fact that the OneNote app which was added as a completely new app to Office suite in 2003 is now being used by millions of people. “We’ll do more things like that, that will be about different form factors and different applications,” he said. “The Office suite has been very consistent. We haven’t had new apps in a long time. We’ll have some new app investments coming. New ways of creating content, new ways of storing and organizing content.” “As much we love Word, Excel and PowerPoint, there’s another generation of app experiences we want to enable. Some of it will feel like big stuff, ...

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