Amazon (UK), Asda, and other British retailers have slashed the price of the Xbox One Titanfall bundle by £50 to £349.  At launch Microsoft charged  £429 for an Xbox One but soon dropped the price to £399.  This new price of £349 is the exact same price point a standard Sony PS4 is sold at today in the UK.  These price drops are not totally unexpected.  With the Xbox 360 Microsoft slowly dropped the price of the console as the years went on eventually matching the Nintendo Wii $250 price point.  However, this is bad news for Sony whose price and international availability of the PS4 have been major selling points of the console. For context, some approximate price conversions based on today’s market: £50 = $83.68 £349 = $584.12 £399 = $667.80 £429 = $718.02 via Video Gamer ...

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Microsoft has now opened up the pre-order for Surface 2 LTE model in UK. Last month, Microsoft released Surface 2 LTE in the US market for AT&T LTE network and now they are expanding to UK. It comes with only one SKU, Surface 2 64GB (4G) will cost £539.00 incl. VAT in the UK. You can pre-order it today and the general availability is from 8th of May. You don’t have to be near a Wi-Fi connection to be able to get the most out of your Surface. Now anywhere you can get a mobile signal, you can get online .Surface 64GB 4G comes with a micro-SIM slot. Insert any pre-paid micro-SIM to start using data.9 It also comes with couple of offers, 200GB storage for two years When you put a file on OneDrive, it’s with you on all of your internet-enabled devices. Get free Word, Excel, PowerPoint and OneNote ...

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Over the years the UK government consistently chose to continue to stay on Windows XP in an effort to save money.  In fact a study done late last year showed the country’s National Health Service still had 85% of their computer running Windows XP.  Microsoft has been very open about their lifecycle plan to end support for Windows XP and this was announced over six years ago.  In fact Microsoft extended support for Win XP an additional three years to give enterprises and governments the time to make the transition. With end-of-life for Windows XP only 4 days away a deal has been struck with Microsoft.  The government has signed a deal with Microsoft to provide Windows XP support and security updates across the whole UK public sector for 12 months after regular support for the operating system ends on 8 April.  The agreement is worth £5.548m (over $7.6 million), ...

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Earlier this week, Microsoft announced the launch of Microsoft Video Network, a new offering that enables advertisers to buy user-initiated, non-skippable pre-roll video ads on brand-safe sites across 350 publishers. The Microsoft Video Network will help advertisers to reach for their campaigns outside of Microsoft’s owned and operated properties. Microsoft claims that Microsoft Video Network is hugely competitive when it comes to audience targeting, using a combination of Microsoft’s unique first party data along with leading third-party data providers. Over the past six years advertising budgets have moved away from traditional TV and into online video –accelerated by changes in traditional media consumption such as multiscreen and on-demand viewing, alongside technological advances that have led to digital media buying becoming less and less complex. These factors have led to video advertising spend rising approximately 85 per cent year on year according to the IAB, with the current supply and demand models ...

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NSA, USA’s Surveillance Agency is now helping UK’s Surveillance Agency GCHQ in intercepting and storing the webcam images of millions of internet users not suspected of wrongdoing, revealed secret documents obtained by The Guardian. The project called Optic Nerve,  started as a prototype in 2008 and was still active in 2012. “Face detection has the potential to aid selection of useful images for ‘mugshots’ or even for face recognition by assessing the angle of the face,” it reads. “The best images are ones where the person is facing the camera with their face upright.” The report also revealed that lots of sexually explicit content was also collected and GCHQ struggled to keep it away from the eyes of its staff. Sexually explicit webcam material proved to be a particular problem for GCHQ, as one document delicately put it: “Unfortunately … it would appear that a surprising number of people use webcam conversations to show intimate parts ...

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Speaking to The Guardian, UK Cabinet Office minister Francis Maude revealed that UK government is planning to switch its productivity suite from Microsoft Office to some Open source solutions. UK government spends tens of millions of pounds a year to Microsoft and other software companies for using their software and they are looking to cut those costs. He believes that costs would come down by switching to software which can produce open-source files in the “open document format” (ODF), such as OpenOffice and Google Docs. I agree with OpenOffice in his argument, but Google Docs? Speaking at a cross-government event showcasing new online services on Wednesday, Maude will say: “The software we use in government is still supplied by just a few large companies. A tiny oligopoly dominates the marketplace. “I want to see a greater range of software used, so civil servants have access to the information they need ...

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As winter -storms hit across the United States I’m sure many are thinking of warmer places they would rather be at.  We continue our series of in-depth coverage of the Bing search trends of 2013.   When Bing first started out as Live Search it used to have a search service called xRank.  xRank kept track of notable celebrities, musicians, politicians, etc. and ranked them in order of popularity from Bing search query results. Microsoft shut that service down in 2010.  However like Google, Microsoft still publishes results of some of the most popular searches at the end of each year.  Here are the most searched travel destinations: USA’s most searched destinations of 2013 Hawaii captured the heart of Americans this year, even topping searches for mainland USA destinations. London ruled the pack among European destinations, holding onto its #1 spot for the second year in a row. Hawaii Bahamas (pictured) London ...

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Nokia today announced the Lumia 2520 Windows tablet in the UK. The device will go on sale exclusively from John Lewis for 399.99 pounds. Press Release: Nokia today announced that the Nokia Lumia 2520, the companys first Windows tablet, will be available exclusively through The John Lewis Partnership from December 4th. Priced at only 399.99, the Lumia 2520 features 4G connectivity, a stunning 10.1 full HD display, quad core chipset, multiple colour choices, 11 hours of battery life and super-fast-charging capabilities. In a market of me-too products, the Nokia Lumia 2520 stands out from the crowd with its unique Lumia design, great hardware and exclusive software experiences, said Conor Pierce, Nokias General Manager for the UK & Ireland. The Nokia Lumia 2520 is the first truly connected tablet and we look forward to working with John Lewis to bring this amazing connected experience to their customers. Premium Design Meets Maximum ...

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Tesco UK yesterday announced that Tesco will be selling stock on a first come first served basis at more than 100 of its Extra stores from midnight on Thursday Nov 21. It will also be available online whilst stocks last. Also consumers will be able to try out the new console for themselves at the following stores: Cheshunt Extra on Friday Nov 22; Coventry Extra on Saturday Nov 23 and Slough on Sunday Nov 24. Tesco is also celebrating the launch event by altering the signs on the front of 10 of its stores to include the Xbox logo as you can see in the image above. Tesco Home Entertainment Manager Stephen Owusu said, “The launch of the Xbox One is a massive event for millions of gamers around the world and the console is sure to top many Christmas present lists this year. “The last Xbox console – the ...

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Xbox One will have a new feature called OneGuide. OneGuide is Xbox One’s own TV listings guide that can be navigated with your voice. Say “Xbox, what’s on Discovery Channel?” and you have the list of shows.  Call out your favorite TV show by name and start watching it instantly. Create your own personal Favorites in OneGuide, so you can easily choose what you want to watch – whether it’s on Fox, CBS, NBC, ESPN, Hulu Plus or the NFL on Xbox One app. For the first time you don’t have to juggle multiple screens across cable TV, video streaming services and other entertainment apps to quickly find the entertainment you’re looking for. Even though Xbox One in the US will enjoy this new OneGuide feature right from the launch, Microsoft has confirmed that OneGuide won’t launch in the UK until next year. Source: Eurogamer ...

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Microsoft has hired TV chat show host Jonathan Ross as an executive producer at its Xbox games division. Eurogamer today revealed that Microsoft has hired TV chat show host Jonathan Ross as an executive producer at its Xbox Studios in the UK. Phil Harrison revealed this information in a meeting yesterday and he commented that Jonathan was hired to help Microsoft “change its thinking”. “We wanted to bring in new talent that would challenge the way we build games and the way we think about what an audience is and what is entertainment,” “We want to broaden the concept of gaming to maybe blur the distinctions about what is a traditional game and what is a traditional television programme and what is a traditional linear media. These devices and boxes now allow us to do that in a really meaningful way.” Jonathan Ross is working with Microsoft Studio ‘Lift London’ ...

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Microsoft is beginning the sales of next generation Surface devices, Surface 2 and Surface Pro 2 from Oct 22nd. Since the launch is few days away, retailers in launch countries has already been receiving units from Microsoft to put on sale on Oct 22nd. However, retailer Argos listed the Surface 2 tablets on its own website allowing customers to purchase them online and pick them up in store. People were able to buy the device yesterday even though the device is launch in on Oct 22nd. After realizing their mistake, Argos has now removed Surface from the sales listings. Their response on this incident,  ”We fully comply with embargos issued by our suppliers and have withdrawn the Microsoft Surface 2 from sale with immediate effect. We are working with Microsoft to investigate this error as a matter of urgency.” Source: The Verge ...

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The UK government has issued security approval for public sector organisations to offer bring your own device (BYOD) schemes for employees to access data and applications using their own smartphones and tablets.  The new End User Devices Security and Configuration Guidance policy was issued this week by CESG, the information security arm of GCHQ. It follows numerous public bodies such as local councils seeking to introduce BYOD schemes to offer more flexible working for staff. The policy also provides detailed advice for a wide range of possible products and operating systems. Devices using Android 4.2, BlackBerry 10.1, Apple iOS6, Windows 7 and 8, Windows Phone 8 and RT, Ubuntu 12.04, OS X 10.8 and Google ChromeOS 26 are all on the list. Source: Gov.uk ...

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For some reason Microsoft has been only slowly releasing the news of which retailers will be carrying their Surface tablets around the world. For UK Pocket-lint has the amazing news that John Lewis will be carrying the Windows RT tablets both online and in store starting this weekend. The tablet will be available from www.johnlewis.com from the 14 December and in store over the weekend (15/16 December). "Always first with the latest technology, John Lewis is delighted to announce that it will be the first high street retailer in the UK to offer the Microsoft Surface from the 14 December 2012 and with a two-year guarantee included at no extra cost," the company told Pocket-lint. “Demand for Windows 8 computers has been phenomenal with touch screen models leading the way.” The Microsoft Surface 32GB with Black Touch Keyboard will cost £479 with a two-year guarantee while the Microsoft Surface 64GB ...

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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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Good news for Microsoft and Windows RT fans is that the 32 GB Windows RT has now sold out also in Canada and UK. The 32 GB device has also proven to be popular in USA, where it sold out in less than 24 hours. We generally expected that the 32 GB device was selling out because it is the cheapest, but an alternate theory also actually makes a lot of sense – the bundles only include a Black Touch Cover, a colour I suspect few people would chose, suggesting many people are paying the $20 premium to get the actual colour of their choice or even the Type Cover, rather than settling for the bundled “freebie”. Via WPC. ...

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