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 today announced that Xbox 360 lead the console sales for 24 consecutive months in US. According to the NPD Group, Xbox 360 ended this year as the best-selling console in the U.S. in 2013, selling 1.4 million units in December. NPD data also shows that in December, Xbox 360 held seven of the top 10 console game titles, including “Halo 4,” “Assassin’s Creed III,” “Just Dance 4,” “NBA 2K13,” “Far Cry 3,” “Call of Duty: Black Ops 2” and “Madden NFL 13.” Microsoft also hinted that even more offerings are coming to the Xbox platform and as a result expects 2013 to be another big year for Xbox 360. via: Microsoft blog ...

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In a press release Microsoft has made their purchase of id8 Group R2 Studios official, and at the same time also announced that they have absorbed some of the talent of the start-up into their management. R2 Studios have several important home automation patents, and their technology will find a home in the Xbox Division. Head of R2 Studios, Blake Krikorian, is being appointed  as corporate vice president for Microsoft’s Interactive Entertainment Business (IEB), home of the Xbox, where he will report to Marc Whitten, chief product officer for IEB. Krikorian has some experience with Microsoft technology, having worked on the first Windows CE PDAs at Phillips, and of course invented the Sling Player, which also had mobile apps first on Windows Mobile. Hopefully we will see the result of their technology inlux in actual products sooner rather than later. See he press release below. Microsoft Names Longtime Technology Entrepreneur ...

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Microsoft is planning to create original content for its growing 40 million Xbox LIVE customers. Microsoft is setting up a TV studio in Los Angeles that will create original programming for Xbox. Microsoft is planning to produce all forms of content for every member of the family like live events, reality, game shows, documentaries and scripted comedy or drama. According to Nancy Tellem of Microsoft, Microsoft and Xbox are in a unique position with a technology that allows you to deliver multi-platform programming.  The technology is there, not only for the audience that just wants to watch passively, but also for those who want to engage the content more, whether by mobile, tablet or on TV. Source: Hollywood Reporter ...

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The Wall Street Journal reports that Microsoft has acquired home-entertainment technology startup id8 Group R2 Studios Inc with the aim of incorporating the technology into its Xbox console. The team, led by founder Blake Krikorian will join Microsoft, and bring along its patents related to controlling electronic devices. Krikorian founded Sling Media Inc., maker of the Slingbox and sold it to EchoStar in 2007. He resigned from the board of Amazon.com Inc. last week. R2 Studios has been working on technology related to distributing and displaying digital media on TVs, and prior to the purchase the company was apparently also in talks with Google and Apple. The technology will find a home in Microsoft’s entertainment console, and may be part of the rumoured Xbox Loop casual gaming and TV streaming console, or the Xbox Next, set to be released at the end of the year. Via The Verge.com ...

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Microsoft today announced the free one-month extension to the Xbox LIVE Gold memberships of everyone who was impacted by Cloud Saved games outage for the past two days. Xbox LIVE Cloud Saved Games feature is now back online. We want to thank all of our Xbox LIVE members impacted by the Cloud Saved Games service issue for your patience and understanding. It took longer than we expected to get back to full performance as we needed to ensure the integrity of everyone’s game saves. Whether you couldn’t access your game saves for a couple of hours or a couple of days, we sincerely apologize for the delay and inconvenience. We will be automatically applying a one-month extension to the Xbox LIVE Gold memberships of everyone who was impacted. We can assure you we’ll also be doing a thorough post mortem to help prevent this from happening again. If you were affected by the ...

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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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We all know that Microsoft Kinect is being used in various ways by various people. From Xbox 360 games to Shopping Malls with AR apps, Kinect’s potential is virtually unlimited. Now, Microsoft is working with US Air Force to develop Kinect Therapy System  that can be used by injured soldiers and veterans to perform physical therapy at home. “Microsoft is committing R&D and marketing resources to ensure that the [Defense Department] community is aware of the capabilities of the product, as well as the breadth of our partner community, which includes the system integrators,” said Phil West, Microsoft’s director of public sector solutions. “The targeted scenarios include therapy-related functions, but they also span training and simulation, interactive user interfaces, and so on.” Injured soldiers and veterans who find it difficult to come to Army base or medical center for therapy can now do it at their home. Microsoft Kinect connected ...

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Microsoft today announced a new Xbox LIVE app and SmartGlass experience called Sports Picks. Sports Picks app will let you make picks, compete with your Xbox LIVE friends and fight for the leaderboard, etc,. With the Sports Picks SmartGlass experience, you can enjoy all these on your tablet or smartphone. Now on Xbox, sports fans have a whole new way to connect with fellow fans and compete on Xbox LIVE with the new Sports Picks app. You can make picks, compete with your Xbox LIVE friends and fight for domination of the leaderboard. With the Sports Picks app, we’ve also added a new experience for Xbox SmartGlass, so you can do all of this on your tablet or phone without missing a beat of the game on your TV through Xbox 360. For those of you planning to take in a live sporting event from ESPN or catch the replay of last night’s ...

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  Microsoft today announced 40 new Xbox LIVE apps that will come to Xbox Gold customers in coming months. Here is the full list of apps released by Microsoft. 1. All3M (United Kingdom, United States) 2. Ameba TV (Canada, United States) 3. ARTE (Germany, France) 4. Azteca (Mexico) 5. Canalplay Infinity (France) 6. CBC’s Hockey Night (Canada) 7. CrunchyRoll (Majority of LIVE Regions) 8. Deezer (Majority of LIVE Regions) 9. Eredivisie Live (Netherlands) 10. Fightbox (Austria, Germany, Spain, France, Ireland, Italy, Sweden, United Kingdom) 11. Flixster (United States) 12. GameTrailers (Australia, Canada, Germany, Spain, France, Italy, Japan, Mexico, United Kingdom, United States) 13. Globosat Muu (Brazil) 14. Gulli Replay (France) 15. HBO Nordics (Denmark, Finland, Norway, Sweden) 16. IndieFlix (Australia, Canada, Ireland, New Zealand, United Kingdom, United States) 17. Livesport.tv (Austria, Belgium, Germany, Denmark, Spain, Finland, France, Ireland, Italy, Netherlands, Norway, New Zealand, Sweden, United Kingdom) 18. Machinima (Majority of ...

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Microsoft today announced the release of SkyDrive app for Xbox 360 gaming console. This new app will allow you to enjoy the photos and video you upload on SkyDrive from web or apps through Xbox 360. It will have the following features, Shared photos & videos. Share a meaningful event with your friends or family by viewing photos & videos on your TV, or view photos & videos others have shared with you through SkyDrive. Imagine being able to view cherished photos and videos shared by friends and family —like a musical performance, a kid’s birthday, or baby’s first steps—on your TV. Snap and see. For Windows Phone users, snap a picture and see it appear almost immediately in your camera roll on the big screen. This feels like magic! For example, you could take a quick snapshot of your child making a funny face, fire up the SkyDrive app ...

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At Machinima’s Inside Gaming Awards held on Saturday night at the Avalon in Hollywood, Microsoft’s flagship game franchise Halo 4 won the “Game of the year” award. Halo 4 also won the best sound design category and the best competitive multiplayer category. Game of the Year: “Halo 4″ (343 Industries) Best Competitive Multiplayer: “Halo 4″ (343 Industries) Best Sound Design: “Halo 4″ (343 Industries) It was estimated that more than 4 million copies of Halo 4 was sold in the first week alone and the number is expected to increase significantly during the holiday season. See the video for the Best Multiplayer and Best Sound Design below. Source: LA Times ...

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Microsoft has announced with the advent of Halo 4 the company has now sold more than 50 million copies of the game in total, and that the game has seen more than 5 billion hours being played on Xbox Live. The game racked up these numbers over the last 11 years and 8 editions, with the first release of  Halo: Combat Evolved in 2001. The latest edition, Halo 4, has generated $220 million revenue at launch on launch day, and $300 million in its first week. Microsoft’s new 343 Industries label has taken over the series, and is currently working on  Halo 5 and Halo 6. To celebrate the achievement  Microsoft today announced a new free-to-enter Halo 4 tournament. The "Halo 4 Infinity Challenge" begins December 17 and tasks players will competing on global leaderboards across the game’s War Gamess and Spartan Ops modes for a chance to win prizes. ...

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Microsoft yesterday announced a new special Xbox 360 bundle aimed at more casual audience. . The new Xbox 360 Nike+ Kinect Training bundle it includes the Xbox 360 4GB console, a Kinect sensor, free 1 month Xbox Live Gold subscription and Nike+ Kinect Training. This whole bundle costs just $249.99. If you are an existing Xbox 360 customer, you can download Nike+ Kinect Training  via Xbox Live on December 25th. There is also an add-on for Nike+ Kinect Training game called Fast and Focused: Upper Body and Core Pack which will go on sale for $4.99 or 400 Microsoft points. Source: Major Nelson ...

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  Netflix today announced that Sony PS3 has emerged as their top platform for streaming videos. This comes as a surprise for many because Microsoft Xbox is always known for its entertainment hub nature and still PS3 beats Xbox in Netflix streaming hours. “PS3 is our largest TV-connected platform in terms of Netflix viewing, and this year, at times, even surpassed the PC in hours of Netflix enjoyment to become our No. 1 platform overall,” said Netflix Chief Executive Officer Reed Hastings. “PS3 is a natural fit for Netflix in terms of developing and first deploying our most advanced features. We can transparently update our application with new features on a daily basis, and through the free PlayStation Network, people around the world can sign up for Netflix directly from their PS3.” But does it matter? I think the reason Netflix streaming hours on PS3 is higher than Xbox 360 because ...

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Popular XBLA title Ilomilo is now available in Windows Store as ilomilo plus. ilomilo is already available in Windows Phone devices and now even Windows 8 users can enjoy this game. Description: ilomilo plus is the Windows 8 version of the XBLA title, ilomilo, beefed up with additional fun levels, two exciting new chapters and three new challenging cubes. ilomilo is a puzzle game where the player controls two fellows named ilo and milo. The two friends always seem to get separated from each other in the surrealistic and ever changing world they inhabit, and the goal of each level is to reunite them. ilomilo presents puzzles where the player will have to use a great deal of three dimensional thinking to succeed. The world of ilomilo is made of cubes, and ilo and milo can walk any side of the cubes, as well as move cubes around. The player ...

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