Microsoft today announced their expansion of commercial distribution for Surface in 17 new markets. These resellers in all the countries will offer variety of additional value-added services to the Surface device, such as asset tagging, custom imaging, kitting, onsite service and support, device recycling and data protection. Also all these devices will come with Microsoft’s extended warranty and accidental damage. Today we’re kicking off the next phase in this plan – the first international channel availability of Surface RT and Surface Pro for our commercial, education and public sector customers in 17 new markets. In addition to the U.S. commercial channel, the markets that will begin to sell Surface today via a commercial channel include: Austria, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, and the UK. Microsoft posted a short Q&A on their blog. Frequently Asked Questions: Q: Which specific resellers are authorized in ...

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Former Valve’s Steam business executive Jason Holtman who left the company after 8 years has now joined Microsoft. As expected, he is now part of Microsoft’s PC/Windows gaming division where he will focus on making Windows a great platform for gaming and entertainment. Here is the response from him about his new job. “Yes, I have joined Microsoft where I will be focusing on making Windows a great platform for gaming and interactive entertainment,” he said. “I think there is a lot of opportunity for Microsoft to deliver the games and entertainment customers want and to work with developers to make that happen, so I’m excited to be here.” Source: Gameindustrybiz ...

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After couple of reports, Microsoft has announced that Windows 8.1 will be available for download for consumers starting at 12:00am on October 18th in New Zealand (that’s 4:00am October 17th in Redmond).  It will be rolling out worldwide as a free update for consumers on Windows 8 through the Windows Store. Windows 8.1 will also be available at retail and on new devices starting on October 18th by market. Windows 8.1 included lots of improvements and new features over Windows 8. Windows 8.1 brings many improvements in areas like personalization, Internet Explorer 11, search which is powered by Bing, built-in apps including a few new ones, an improved Windows Store experience, and cloud connectivity with SkyDrive (and much more).   ...

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  Along with the release of Sculpt Ergonomic Desktop which consists of Sculpt Ergonomic Keyboard and the Sculpt Ergonomic Mouse, Microsoft announced another desktop set called Sculpt Comfort Desktop which will cost $79.95. It also features modern design with great ergonomics. Contoured for comfort Contoured design promotes a natural wrist position and puts keys within easy reach. Detachable palm rest Detachable palm rest can be removed for a sleek, compact look.Work in the position that’s most comfortable for you with detachable palm rest and adjustable keyboard legs. Split spacebar with backspace functionality Split spacebar with backspace functionality is designed to improve typing efficiency. Four-Way Scrolling Scroll left, right, front and back. Quickly navigate all of your projects with speed and efficiency. Windows touch tab Optimized for Windows 8, press the center of the blue strip to switch between your current app and the start screen. Swipe up on the blue strip to ...

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Windows 8.1 build 9471 x64 got leaked on the web few days back and this new build has got several improvements over the past builds that got leaked. We previously listed some of them here. Some of them are updated People hub with some new UI, updated Xbox Video app, apps now has hint to show users about availability of Apps bar, etc,. There are some more improvements spotted in the build. When you install Windows 8.1 RTM version from the Windows 8.1 preview, you will lose all the Metro/modern apps and desktop applications. Mail app has the ability to pin folders Calendar app has got new UI with “What’s next,” screen. Photos app now allows you to import photos from other devices. Skype app comes per-installed which replaces the old messaging app. Source: Winsupersite ...

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Microsoft is set to deliver the final bits of Windows 8.1 to OEMs this month (August). According to various sources, Microsoft is on the schedule to deliver the RTM. What matters most is the time frame in which consumers will be able to enjoy Windows 8.1 on their devices. According to the report from ZDNet, Microsoft is planning to release Windows 8.1 for consumers only in October. Microsoft is going to hold off on making available the final Windows 8.1 bits until mid-October 2013 or so. That will be both the general availability date, as well as the “launch” date when new hardware running those bits will be available. Also, usually Microsoft delivers final versions to MSDN or TechNet subscribers shortly after they release RTMs, but this time Microsoft is planning to hold off Windows 8.1 until October. Read more from the link below. Source: ZDNet ...

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Yesterday, Windows 8.1 build 9471 x64 got leaked on the web. As expected, this new build has got several improvements over the past builds we saw. Motion accents/animated start screen backgrounds now available. Updated mail app with drag and drop support and more. Updated People hub with some new UI. Updated Xbox Video app Apps now has hint to show users about availability of Apps bar. New Helps+Tips app Assigned Access feature is back. SkyDrive storage location can be changed on your PC.     ...

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Microsoft Skype today updated their Skype app for iOS devices which brings in new improvements such as HD video call support in iPad 4. Enjoy free voice and video calls to anyone else who is on Skype and make HD  quality video calls from your iPad 4. Message friends and send photos in an instant, send Video messaging, etc,. Change log: Call quality improvements - Make HD quality video calls from your iPad 4. - General improvements to call quality and stability. General fixes and improvements - A redesigned country code picker on the dial pad. Download it here from App Store for free. ...

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Sony yesterday announced a special edition of VAIO Duo, Pro And Fit Notebooks which will come in signature red finish. Read below for more details. SAN DIEGO, CALIFORNIA, August 8, 2013 – Sony is raising the status of its VAIO® Duo, Pro and Fit models by releasing a limited number in a lustrous, rich, glossy red. The VAIO® | red edition is distinctly Sony featuring exquisite details, extreme portability and speedy performance. The signature red finish is achieved by a variety of painting techniques on different materials, including carbon fiber and aluminum. Multiple paint layers are individually applied and hand-polished, building layer upon layer of rich, lustrous color. To give it that extra glossy finish, a durable protective UV coating creates an extra vibrant sheen with gorgeous depth and richness. In addition to premium luxury design, the new VAIO | red edition is fused with the power of Sony’s display ...

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  Microsoft announced in early June that they are opening store-within-a-store in 500 Best Buy locations across the U.S with Windows Store Only at Best Buy program. Microsoft is planning to open these stores just-in-time for back-to-school shopping season. The first such store in opening on August 7th at Los Angeles Best Buy Store. From Windows Team Blog, On Wednesday August 7th at the West Los Angeles Best Buy Store, Major League Soccer will be on hand to kick off the first Windows Store at a major consumer location. MLS players and coaches will help show how to stay fit for back-to-school – from soccer drills on a full-size field in the parking lot to healthy food tips to the latest fitness and nutrition apps for Windows 8 like Daily Workouts, Fitbit, Endomondo, MyPlate Calorie Tracker, BallStrike and MLS MatchDay. The first 200 customers to demo a Windows 8 device in the ...

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MSI today announced an impressive gaming laptop called GS70 which has latest specs and also features thin and light profile. Read all about it below. Introducing the world’s thinnest and lightest 17-inch gaming laptop featuring Intel® Haswell processor, NVIDIA® GeForce® GTX and dual fan thermal control City of Industry, Calif. – August 5, 2013 – MSI Computer Corp, leading manufacturer of computer hardware products and solutions, unveils the GS70, the world’s thinnest and lightest 17-inch portable gaming powerhouse designed to fuse the power needed to tackle the most demanding games with the portability required to take battles on the road. The answer to portable gaming players, the GS70 features a lethal arsenal of cutting-edge components, including the latest 4th generation Intel® Core™ i7 processor, NVIDIA® GeForce® GTX 765M, Killer™ DoubleShot and a SteelSeries full color backlit keyboard with Anti-Ghosting keys. In addition, it showcases MSI’s latest ultra-thin and light brush ...

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Samsung Ativ Tab 3 is now available on Amazon at a price of $559. Ativ Tab 3 runs on full Windows 8 with 10.1 inches multi-touch HD-ready display. It also comes with 64GB built-in memory and weighs just 1.3 pounds. Now it’s even easier to enjoy full PC capability wherever you go. The streamlined ATIV Tab 3 is so thin and light you’ll stay ultra-productive and entertained 24/7. And with enhanced sync and sharing capabilities, you can bring content from other devices with you no matter where you go. Key specs: Screen Size 10.1 inches Screen Resolution 1366 x 768 Max Screen Resolution 1366 x 768 pixels Processor 1.8 GHz Atom Z670 RAM 2 GB DDR3 Memory Speed 800 MHz Graphics Coprocessor Intel® Graphics Media Accelerator Chipset Brand Intel Wireless Type 802.11bgn Number of USB 2.0 Ports 1 Source: Amazon ...

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According to Strategy Analytics, global tablet shipments reached 51.7 million units in the first quarter of 2013 with Windows having 4.5% of global share. Android almost doubled its market share to 67 percent while Apple iOS declined to 28 percent. Strategy Analytics expects that there may be growth in Windows tablets for Q3 due to the recent price cuts from OEMs like Microsoft. Microsoft captured a niche 4.5 percent global tablet share in Q2 2013. There may be an uptick in Windows RT shipments in Q3 following savage price cuts by all the partners still involved in the RT Market. Microsoft has reduced prices by $150 and other vendors even more; they are still not cheap, but are much more where they should be to compete. The shortage of apps continues to be a problem, with seemingly little incentive for developers to work on the platform. ...

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Speaking at analyst conference call today, Intel CEO Brian Krzanich said that OEMs have over 50 designs of hybrid Windows laptop/tablet PCs in the works that is powered by Intel’s latest Haswell processors. All these new devices does not require fans and which leads to them to be thinner and smaller than in the past.  Along with Intel, Microsoft also hopes that these 2-in-1 hybrids will begin to dominate in the overall PC market which is on decline in the past two years. Microsoft is not completely dependent on Intel for its Windows based device processors, they have ported Windows to ARM which is now being called as Windows RT. Windows RT devices will be powered by processors from Qualcomm, Nvidia, etc,. Source: Venture Beat ...

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  Whenever some one speaks about Acer Iconia W3, the first thing they complain about is its display. Being the first 8.1 inch Windows device, W3 has one of the worst display in the market. According to the report from tweakers.net, Acer is working on an updated Iconia W3 that will have better display and thinner, lighter body. The updated display will be an IPS one instead of TN-LCD. This successor to the Iconia W3 should be in stores in September. By that time, I expect other Windows OEMs to join the 8-inch Windows tablet market. Source: Tweakers.net ...

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Microsoft launched a new program called Small Screen Touch (SST) program which offered licensing discounts on Windows touch devices with a display size of 11.6-inch or below. Based on a report from Digitimes, this new program is struggling to attract notebook brand vendors to develop tablets according to their sources from the upstream supply chain. While you may question their reliability of sources, it is somewhat evident from the fact that Acer’s 8.1-inch Iconia W3 is the only tablet in the retail channel that was part of the SST program. Even after subsidizing, the cost of $500 is not attracting consumers away from cheap Android tablets of same/similar specs. Also the inclusion of Microsoft Office in small screen devices as part of SST program is not helping much to boost sales according to the supply chain sources. What do you think? Source: Digitimes ...

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