Mihaita Bamburic

Microsoft is setting Lumia 950, Lumia 950 XL up to fail

Failure Fail Grade F

Microsoft appears to be making sure that its new Windows 10 Mobile flagships, Lumia 950 and Lumia 950 XL, have no chance of succeeding in the fierce high-end smartphone market. The software giant has, once again, made the terrible mistake of going down the carrier exclusivity path, which will hurt sales across major markets like the US and Europe and significantly affect the platform's credibility.

Microsoft has decided that its long-term Windows Phone carrier partner, AT&T, should be the sole mobile operator to offer Lumia 950, while in Europe the flagship smartphone will only be carried by Deutsche Telekom (and, hopefully, its subsidiaries). Even worse, there seems to be no talk of carrier availability for Lumia 950 XL. And you wonder why Windows Phone's market share just can't seem to grow...

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PC shipments decline in Windows 10's launch quarter


In Windows 10's launch quarter, PC shipments declined by a considerable margin compared to the same period a year prior. Year-over-year, shipments are down by 7.7 percent according to Gartner or 10.8 percent based on IDC's findings.

It would be easy to blame Windows 10 for the PC market's decline, however it is actually weak demand for new hardware which is hampering sales. IDC expects the effects of Windows 10's availability to be felt in the long-run. Gartner reveals, based on its 2015 personal technology survey, that 50 percent of consumers intend to get a new PC in the next year.

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Dell unveils Surface Pro 4-like XPS 12, new premium ultrabooks

XPS 12 2-in-1 Notebook

Hybrid devices have started to gain traction in 2015, with IDC estimating that shipments will grow by 86.5 percent year-over-year to reach 14.7 million units. That is in no small part due to increased competition in this space, and it will only heat up thanks to Microsoft's new Surface Pro 4, which goes on sale in late-October. Vendors in the high-end segment will have to step up their game.

With the new XPS 12, Dell has come up with a hybrid device which may successfully compete with devices like Surface Pro 4. With a price-tag that starts at $999, however, it better be good.

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Everything you need to know about Microsoft's Windows 10 hardware event

Windows 10 devices

Microsoft's Windows 10 hardware event has been an impressive tour de force, as we have seen the company reveal a significant number of exciting new products. The focus has been on Surface and Lumia devices, but we have also seen Band and HoloLens pushed into the spotlight. And we cannot forget about the news surrounding Windows 10.

Since it can be hard to keep track of everything that Microsoft has talked about, we have crammed everything you need to know about its Windows 10 hardware event into a single article.

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Microsoft reveals new Windows 10 Mobile flagships: Lumia 950 and Lumia 950 XL


Microsoft's new Windows 10 Mobile flagships are not the best-kept secrets in the world, as the software giant itself has accidentally revealed the official presentation photos and some of the more-important specifications on its UK online store before the big launch. Today we get to see the big picture, however, as Microsoft officially announces Lumia 950 and Lumia 950 XL.

Lumia 950 is Microsoft's answer to popular flagships like Apple iPhone 6s and Samsung Galaxy S6, while Lumia 950 XL serves as the company's flagship phablet, taking the fight to Apple's iPhone 6s Plus, LG's G4 and Samsung's Galaxy S6 edge Plus and Galaxy Note 5, just to name a few of the most-important players in this segment. Here is what you need to know about the new Windows 10 Mobile ambassadors.

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Sony reveals which Xperia devices will get Android 6.0 Marshmallow

Sony Android 6.0 Marshmallow Xperia

Now that Google has officially introduced Android 6.0 Marshmallow, major manufacturers are starting to announce their upgrade plans. Motorola did it yesterday, and today Sony follows suit, revealing which of its Xperia devices will get the new operating system.

Seeing as Google just released the Android 6.0 Marshmallow code, it is too early to tell with exact certainty when every one of those smartphones and tablets will get its turn at receiving the software upgrade. But, Sony has to be commended for being so transparent this early in the game, something which other Android vendors should be doing as well.

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Android 6.0 Marshmallow: How to enable battery percentage and hide Quick Settings toggles


After upgrading to Android 6.0 Marshmallow on your Nexus device you have likely noticed that there is still no way to change how the battery information is displayed in the status bar or choose which Quick Settings toggles are shown in the notifications panel. Google continues to be quite limiting in this regard, which is a bit puzzling considering others like Samsung allow this kind of customization. (After all, who wouldn't like to see a battery percentage instead of a bar that is hard to interpret?)

Fortunately, both of those things can be easily customized without relying on third-party apps or rooting. All you need to do is enable System UI Tuner, a control panel that is included, but hidden by default, in the latest version of Android. Here is how you can do that.

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Monthly Android update guarantee is 'unrealistic'

Reality Check Sign

The widespread Stagefright vulnerability has lead Google and Samsung to announce plans for monthly Android updates, which would minimize the time it usually takes to fix security bugs in their distributions. LG has quickly followed suit with a similar pledge of its own, but, when asked if it will do the same, HTC has basically said "no".

HTC is among the few Android vendors that deliver major software updates in a timely fashion, so this comes as a bit of a surprise. HTC America president Jason Mackenzie says that such a commitment is "not realistic", pointing at carrier approvals as the main reason why it is extremely difficult to guarantee a monthly release schedule.

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Sony Xperia Z5 has the best smartphone camera, Google Nexus 6P comes close


Sony may not have the most popular devices around, but it is not for a lack of quality. Its latest flagship, Xperia Z5, has the best smartphone camera according to DxOMark, outclassing rivals like Samsung's Galaxy S6 edge and LG G4.

Even the lesser Xperia Z3+ is well positioned in DxOMark's mobile chart, coming ahead of the hugely popular iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus. Xperia Z5 has also outclassed the newly-announced Google Nexus 6P, which has to settle for third place. Not too shabby for a Nexus device.

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Microsoft (accidentally) reveals Lumia 950, Lumia 950 XL Windows 10 Mobile flagships

Microsoft Lumia 950 XL Store UK

If you have been keeping an eye on the Microsoft rumor mill, then you know that the software giant is expected to take the wraps off two Windows 10 Mobile flagships soon. These would be its first premium smartphones since taking over Nokia's phone business, and also the first new high-end Lumias to arrive in one and a half years.

We expect Microsoft to announce both smartphones at its upcoming media event on October 6. However, the team at Microsoft Store UK has decided to jump the gun, having just listed Lumia 950 and Lumia 950 XL on the site.

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How does Google's Pixel C compare to Microsoft's Surface Pro 3?

Surface Pro 3 vs Pixel C

If you want a tablet that can double up as a laptop replacement, there really is no better option than Microsoft's venerable Surface Pro 3. It has been the undisputed king in this segment for well over a year now, and it is easy to see why: it has a big, high-resolution screen, it comes with a stylus, it can take a decent keyboard, its battery life is good, it is extremely fast, and, on top of all this, it can run every Windows program that you want. Nothing comes close, really.

But now that Google has announced Pixel C, its own productivity-oriented tablet, you may be wondering how it fares up against Surface Pro 3. So, let's take a look at the two and see which one is best.

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Desktop PCs are still king in the business world

Desktop PC employees

We hear lots of stories about mobile devices taking over in the business world and employees who are more productive using smartphones and tablets, but we rarely get to read about how the good old PCs are faring in this market. And, despite what you may think, the news is not bad.

Despite waning interest in the category, the desktop PC still is the most popular form factor with the vast majority of small business and large enterprise executives, according to a new survey conducted by IDC in Europe. The desktop PC is, surprisingly, even more popular than its more versatile sibling, the laptop.

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GoPro's new Hero+ is an attractive entry-level action camera with Wi-Fi

GoPro Hero+

GoPro makes some awesome action cameras, but they are not exactly cheap. If you want to get one of its top-of-the-line models you will have to shell out between $400 and $500. And then you will have to add some more on top of that for different accessories. However, the company also has some pretty good entry-level options for consumers on a budget, the most-attractive of which is the new Hero+.

Hero+ slots between Hero and Hero+LCD, and might just be the best option of the three if you are looking to get into the GoPro action camera game. At $199.99, it bundles most of the best features of Hero+LCD at a price that is closer to that of a base Hero. Here is what you need to know.

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MacLock lets you unlock a Mac using your iPhone or iPad's Touch ID

MacLock TouchID iPhone iPad Unlock Mac

Having to enter a password to unlock your Mac is recommended practice, as it helps keep your private data safe. But it is also annoying, especially if you are the security conscious type, who uses a longer, more complex password. So what can you do to make things easy, without exposing your Mac?

Well, if you have an iPhone or iPad that is equipped with Touch ID, or even an Apple Watch, you should take a look at MacLock. It lets you use your fingerprint to unlock your Mac. Here's how it works.

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Surprise! Microsoft Edge ditches Bing for Baidu in China

Shock surprise

Bing may now be the default search engine in Microsoft Edge, but that is about to change for Windows 10 users in China. Microsoft has announced that it will replace Bing with a local alternative, making its new browser a more attractive option to Windows 10 users in the country.

The new default search engine -- and homepage -- in Microsoft Edge will be Baidu, which Microsoft says has over 600 million active users. In turn, according to Microsoft, Baidu's "'Windows 10 Express' will make it easy for Chinese Internet users to download an official Windows 10 experience".

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