WPArea.de reports the Surface RT tablet is coming to Germany on the 14th February and will likely be carried by Saturn and Media Markt. The news was announced by Microsoft already last week, but WPArea reports that television and other media ads, such as the one above and below, have now started appearing, suggesting a real push is underway. Analysts suggest Microsoft has only sold around 1 million or less Surface tablets so far, with Microsoft blaming this on limited distribution. Hopefully this issue will soon be reversed in the next few weeks. There is at present no release date for the Surface Pro in Europe. ...

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Microsoft has posted this retrospective of the company’s achievements in 2012, ranging from releasing the new Office to catching cyber-criminals to releasing the Microsoft Surface. While Microsoft has not quite convinced the technorati that they are relevant again, they have certainly shown that they will not go going down fighting. What are our reader’s opinion of Microsoft’s 2012? Let us know below. Via Gearlive.com ...

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Microsoft’s premier racing game, Forza, is getting a new expansion pack next week. The Forza Horizons Rally expansion pack will bring 5 new rally-tuned cars, new stages and a new co-driver system for rally races. Cars included in the Forza Horizon Rally pack include the ’92 Toyota Celica GT-Four RC ST185, the 2004 Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution VIII MR, the 2005 Subaru Impreza WRX STi, the 1992 Ford Escort RS Cosworth, and lastly the 1982 Lancia 037 Stradale. Rally races are not just limited to the new cars, as Turn 10 Forza Horizon design director Ralph Fulton explained to IGN: “You can take the same rally upgrades that are featured in the cars that are packed in with the expansion pack and apply them to any car in your Forza Horizon garage,” Fulton explains. “These upgrades include rally tires for improved grip on loose dirt and gravel, springs and dampers that ...

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eReader Guides have reviewed Sony’s massive All in One PC with its 20 inch screen, which can also do double duty as a tablet in a pinch. What the review does remind one off most is that, no matter what your niche, there is a Windows PC for you – something which has always been a strength of the Windows ecosystem, and still is today, even if it is a 20 inch tablet. Read their full review here. ...

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Gottabemobile have posted a review of the Dell XPS 12 hybrid Windows 8 laptop. The Windows 8 Core i5 laptop (also available in Core i7)  has a 12.5 inch Gorilla Glass  display and an aluminium and carbon fibre construction. The capacitive touchscreen was felt to be  responsive with good viewing angles, but it is very reflective. It features an excellent backlit keyboard and was noted to have a somewhat high price at $1.199 and only moderate battery life as negatives. The hinges were felt to be sturdy and the touch screen remains in place while in notebook mode, even when tapping on the top section of the screen. The laptop has  two USB 3.0 ports, a DisplayPort connection and a headphone/microphone jack. Unfortunately, there’s no SD card slot, which means users will have to bring their own adapters or USB cables to move photos over from their cameras. The screen ...

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Microsoft has continued its offensive on Google Shopping over the Christmas season. The charge centres around Google Shopping being based solely around paid placements, while Bing is based on natural search, meaning consumers can never be clear if there are not cheaper deals available which were simply not included because they did not pay the Google tax. While the Google-friendly anti-Microsoft media have laughed off the accusation, I certainly did not know before that Google Shopping was paid ads, and would trust it a lot less than before, suggesting to me that this is an important piece of information to pass on. Via Neowin.net ...

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HP may be slow off the mark, but it seems they will eventually deliver some touch-centric Windows 8-based devices to the market. They latest device they demonstrated is the HP Elitebook Revolve, which is a familiar design for many years now, somewhat updated for Windows 8, and also somewhat more business-focussed. The device is constructed of Magnesium Alloy covered in soft-touch paint, weights 3 pounds,  has an 11.6 inch 1366×768 screen, 256 GB Flash storage, 4GB RAM which is user upgradable and either a Core i3, i5 or i7 processor. Lastly it sports NFC, TPM and a SIM slot supporting LTE in the US and HSPA+ everywhere else. An optional stylus can be purchased separately. The laptop is rugged up to MIL-STD 810G standard. The price has not been announced, but the laptop is not expected before March 2013. Via Engadget.com ...

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Microsoft have posted a new promotional video for Windows 8, which, while it is titled all about Apps, seems to be focussing on OS features such as Search across apps, IE10 and the People Hub. When an app does actually gets show it is Kayak, which is not the highest profile app in the store. What do our readers think of this new video? Let us know below. ...

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Microsoft has released a trailer for their new exclusive game for Windows 8 tablets and PCs’ The auto-running shooter developed by Other Ocean has a story mode and 3 endless runnier stages and will be free to play and funded by in-app purchases. The game is expected to arrive soon. Keep an eye on its facebook fanpage for news on its progress. Via PlayXBLA.com and Joystiq.com ...

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Minecraft’s creator Notch took a pretty strong stand against Minecraft on Windows 8, but a bit like Valve’s Steam it seems where there is a will there is a way. At Minecon 2012 a version of Minecraft optimised for touch was shown off. The app still appears to be a Windows desktop app, but as long as Windows 8 users with x86 tablets will not need to pull up a mouse and keyboard it is still progress. Hopefully the Minecraft team, who Notch no longer is directly in charge of, will see sense and finally release a Windows Store app rather that stick to a bizarre ideological stance, which did not stop them from releasing Minecraft for the iOS App store for example. Via YouTube.com ...

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WindowsTabletTV have unboxed the Acer Iconia W700 which seems to be a pretty rewarding experience, seeing the huge amount of accessories that come bundled with the Windows 8 tablet. The Core i5 powered device with 4 GB of RAM and 64 GB storage will currently set you back around around $788 on Amazon.com which includes a case, a stand and a Bluetooth keyboard, which is not a bad bundle. The tablet promises 9 hours battery life, but given it is a Core i5 device this seems rather unlikely.  We will look forward to the follow-up review for its real performance. Thanks Sam for the tip. ...

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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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One of the things which makes the Microsoft Surface a real productivity machine is the presence and support of the full-sized USB port. ChannelMetro decided to put this to a test, and plugged a total of 8 USB devices into their Microsoft Surface. The list included a 7-Port USB Hub, to which was linked: 1 XBOX 360 USB controller 1 Nokia X3-02 Smartphone 1 Apple IPod 1 USB Flash Drive 2 GB 1 Mouse Logitech receiver 1 HP Multifunction printer 1 Hard Disk of 2 TB Capacity While the video is really little more than a tech demo, if does show the range and breadth of devices supported. Have any of our Surface-owning readers ever used this feature in anger? Let us know below. Via Softpedia.com ...

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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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