Microsoft has announced Windows Startup Challenge. a joint effort between Startup Weekend, DEMO and Microsoft Windows. The top 5 teams winning this challenge will receive a promo package which includes banners, marketing and PR support from Microsoft. Also the top team will get the opportunity to launch their app at DEMO Mobile stage in front of top tier seed investors, VCs, and tech press. If you are just starting out as a Windows Store app developer, this challenge will test your ability to prototype a business idea and bring your app to life. The winning team will receive a spot at DEMO Mobile to launch their app on April 17th in San Francisco. The challenge has two stages: Windows Store app prototype Submit a 2-minute video (or a presentation) that shows a prototype of your app. Deadline: January 29th App design and development If your entry is selected, work with ...

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If you are running any of the preview versions of Windows 8, its time to upgrade. Microsoft released Windows 8 first as a Developer preview, followed by Consumer Preview and then Release Preview. All these versions will expire today (Jan-15th), after which you need to upgrade final versions of Windows 8.  You receive the following message on the Activate Windows screen in Control Panel: The license for this pre-released version of Windows has expired. You’ll need to enter a new product key to activate Windows. Until you activate, Windows will restart every 1 hour, so you should back up your data. Install the latest version of Windows •You receive the following message on the Windows Activation screen: This pre-release version of Windows has expired. Your computer will restart every 2 hours and you might lose any unsaved data. •You receive the following message on the Personalize pane in Control Panel: You need to Activate ...

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The Xbox Music app is not exactly the best advert for Windows 8, being slow, laggy and low on features. Microsoft has now unveiled version 1.1.144.0 of Xbox Music, which improves access to streaming free music and the transition from a trial subscription to a paid Xbox Music Pass as well as a fix to minimize occasional playback concerns and additional bug fixes which were very prominent in the app before the update.  As well as the obvious fixes, the performance of the Xbox Music app appears to be smoother and more efficient after the update.  To force an update check on the app, launch the Windows Store, then go to settings, then under App Updates you can manually check for the new version of Xbox music. Via: wpcentral.com image via: cdn.redmondpie.com ...

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Microsoft recently got a patent related to mobile phone behavior under special circumstances. Microsoft describes it as “inconspicuous mode” of operation in which a reduced set of information is presented on a home screen of a display of the device in comparison to a set of information presented on the home screen in the normal mode of operation. Read the full abstract below. A communication device is configured to switch from a normal mode of operation to an inconspicuous mode of operation in which a reduced set of information is presented on a home screen of a display of the device in comparison to a set of information presented on the home screen in the normal mode of operation. In addition, other display properties such as contrast and brightness may be adjusted to make them less conspicuous. The home screen in the inconspicuous mode of operation is less obtrusive or ...

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  US Defense Department has announced a joint enterprise license agreement for Microsoft products worth $617 million for a period of over 3 years. As a result, all the Defense Department users can avail Microsoft Office 2013, SharePoint 2013, Windows 8 and Windows Server products as well. Microsoft is committed to making sure that the technology within the agreement has a mobile-first focus, and DOD expects to begin to take advantage of Microsoft’s mobile offerings as part of our enterprise mobility ecosystem.” Read full press release below. Press Release: WASHINGTON, Dec. 28, 2012 – The Defense Department has leveraged the buying power of more than two million information technology users to award a three-year, $617 million joint enterprise license agreement for Microsoft products, defense officials announced. The deal, led by the Army Contracting Command in collaboration with the Defense Information Systems Agency, the Army and the Air Force, demonstrates the ...

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Samsung has announced two new Windows 8 devices which will be released in coming months. The updated Series 7 Chronos laptop will come with high-end specs such as Intel quad-core processor with up to 16GB of memory, up to 1TB of storage and dedicated 2GB external graphics, etc,. Samsung also announced its new Ultrabook called Series 7 Ultra which comes with Full HD display, Up to eight hours of battery life running on Intel Core i5 or i7 processors and up to 256GB SSD. Samsung will announce more details about the pricing and availability tomorrow at CES. Press Release: Samsung Unveils Enhanced Series 7 Chronos and New Ultrabooks at CES 2013 Samsung’s unrivaled Series 7 product line offers professional performance, touch and seamless multimedia capabilities with increased mobility LAS VEGAS, USA – January 2, 2012 – Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd, a global leader in digital media and digital convergence technologies, ...

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We have seen Gaze UI demo in the past which uses eye-tracking technology to control Windows 8 UI. Next week at CES, Tobii will show off its eye tracker product called the REX. The REX is a strip that can be attached to bottom of your monitor in desktops or laptops and it plugs into a USB port. Along with the hardware , a special software called Tobii Gaze will help you to to track exactly what you’re looking at on the screen. For example, when you look at right corner of the Windows 8 Start screen, it should automatically scroll through the page. Consumer pricing and availability haven’t been announced, but Tobii plans to offer 5,000 units to consumers before the end of 2013; for developers, however, a special edition (seen above) should be available starting today for $995. Source: Engadget ...

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Windows 8 was released by Microsoft almost 2 months back and since that OEMs are shipping PCs based on Windows 8 along with Windows 7. We already saw some data about Windows 8 market share and now according to Net Applications data, Windows 8 has grabbed 1.64% of overall Windows PC market share. Also the whole Windows market share have grown to 91.74% with Windows 7 grabbing 45.11%. Read more at source link below.     Source: TNW ...

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Piktr is now available on the Windows Store. What is Piktr? Piktr is a third party Instagram client for the Windows Store. When I was deciding on what my next project I should be; I took a look at the state of the Windows Store and decided that a well written Instagram client was sorely lacking. What makes Piktr so special? Attention to detail. Piktr does not compromise. I took special care to keep performance, design, and thoughtful features are the core of Piktr. I’ve made it extremely simple to connect with others and stay up to date with your feeds. Piktr is now available for all to download on the Windows Store. Download by clicking here (Windows 8/RT users only): Whats next for Piktr? I will be providing a set of updates for Piktr over the next few weeks to add additional functionality and act on feedback from users. ...

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According to WSJ, Acer is planning to launch low cost Windows tablets next year. Acer now has Intel based Windows 8 tablets priced greater than $600 and Acer is looking to further reduce the price as they think as its current ones are “too pricey.” These low cost Windows tablets will be released in early next year and will also so be focused on Chinese market. Acer’s pursuit of lower-priced tablets will cut into its margins, but will help it secure a stronger foothold in the rapidly growing China market, said Daiwa Securities analyst Christine Wang. “Chinese white-box tablet makers are expected to sell some 60 million tablets next year, so it is a really big market,” she said. “None of the major PC brands sells a tablet right now priced to compete with them right now.” Source: WSJ ...

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Microsoft yesterday released their Wordament game for iOS devices. Wordament was originally developed for Windows Phone devices and now Microsoft is porting them to other platforms as well. Its the first Xbox game for iOS that can earn up to 50 Gamerscore from 10 achievements and you’ll have access to all of your Xbox Friends and Wordament Frenemies. App Description: Do you have two minutes to spare? Wordament® is a unique and highly addictive word game: a two-minute long word tournament where you compete in real-time, on the same board, against everyone else currently playing. Each board is unique and alternating rounds offer challenges such as two- and three-letter digram tiles and theme* puzzles. You can choose to go for the bonus points, try to find the most words possible or earn scoring bonuses by finding longer words. How you play and choose to compete is up to you! We love our ...

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Windows 8 was released to general consumers on Oct 26th by Microsoft and following the release it was announced that over 40 million copies of Windows 8 was sold after 1 month of its release. Chitika today released a report which measures the Windows based web traffic in US. According to them, Windows 8 now holds 2.3% of the Windows based web traffic in US. Based on the graph above, Web traffic from Windows 8 users constituted 2.3% of all Windows traffic as of December 13th 2012 – exactly 48 days after its release. In comparison, 48 hours following Apple’s release of Mac OS X Mountain Lion, its new OS had already captured 3.2% of Mac Web usage. Both Windows 8 and Mountain Lion were available as downloadable upgrades to consumers for $40 and $20, respectively. I guess Windows 8 usage will further accelerate as more Windows 8 based tablets and convertibles reach ...

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Microsoft has released a Camera Codec Pack for Windows. The Microsoft Camera Codec Pack enables the viewing of a variety of device-specific file formats in Window Live Photo Gallery as well as other software that is based in Windows Imaging Codecs (WIC). The software allows RAW camera files to be viewable in Windows Explorer and is available in both 32-bit (MicrosoftCodecPack_x86.msi) and 64-bit (MicrosoftCodecPack_amd64.msi) versions. The Microsoft Camera Codec Pack provides support for the following device formats: Canon: Digital Rebel XT, Digital Rebel XTi, EOS 10D, EOS 20D, EOS 30D, EOS 40D, EOS 50D Digital, EOS 60D, EOS 300D, EOS 350D, EOS 400D, EOS 450D, EOS 500D, EOS 550D, EOS 600D, EOS 1000D, EOS 5D, EOS 5D Mark II, EOS 5D Mark III, EOS 7D Digital, EOS D30, EOS D60, EOS Digital Rebel, EOS Kiss Digital, EOS Kiss Digital N, EOS Kiss Digital X, EOS Kiss F, EOS Kiss X2, ...

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Microsoft has updated a set of Bing powered apps that are coming pre-installed in Windows 8 machines. Bing apps that got updated today includes News, Weather, Sports, Finance and Travel. All these apps has got new features and several performance improvements. Here is the change log for all of them, Travel New destination content from Lonely Planet Points of interest reviews and ratings from TripAdvisor Saved flight and hotel searches for easy access Faster display of flight and hotel search results Easier filtering of flight results for departure and arrival times Enhancements to destination weather and currency information, with linking to Weather and Finance apps Sports New Soccer Leagues UK League 1 UK League 2 Bundesliga 2 FR Ligue 2 Dutch Eredivisie Argentina Primera División Portugal Primeira League Australian A league Content from additional partners Finance Improved navigation Content from additional partners Featured partner content Additional exchanges enabled Videos Improved ...

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In her first interview to MIT Technology Review after becoming the head of Windows Product group at Microsoft, Julie Larson-Green discussed about Windows 8, iPad, Steven Sinofsky and more. On iPad and Android, Did you take that approach in Windows 8 as a response to the popularity of mobile devices running iOS and Android? We started planning Windows 8 in June of 2009, before we shipped Windows 7, and the iPad was only a rumor at that point. I only saw the iPad after we had this design ready to go. We were excited. A lot of things they were doing about mobile and touch were similar to what we’d been thinking. We [also] had differences. We wanted not just static icons on the desktop but Live Tiles to be a dashboard for your life; we wanted you to be able to do things in context and share across apps; ...

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We have seen many reports since the general availability of Windows 8 that PC OEMs failed to deliver Windows 8 PCs on time. Even among the Windows 8 PCs that got released, there were only few touch enabled PCs. OEMs didn’t prepare for large touch screen panel and its associated components demand. In an interview to CNET, Lenovo executive Gerry Smith revealed that the industry did underestimate touchscreen demand. He said the following on Lenovo’s position in the PC industry right now, “Lenovo’s a little different from other companies,” Smith said. “We’re still seeing strong growth and a strong premium to the market overall…And this quarter, we’re seeing strong growth across all product segments.” Being No. 4 in the U.S. is a solid position, but it’s not acceptable long-term for us…We will be No. 1 in the U.S. That’s absolutely a focus. I’m not going to give you a time ...

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