The Xbox 360 has been around since 2005 and, despite retaining its popularity, the console grows long in the tooth. That changes today, as Microsoft announces a new generation of its stealth living room takeover device. Speculation around what was coming has been growing for sometime and reached a crescendo when the company finally unveiled the event date.
Don Mattrick, President of the Interactive Entertainment Business at Microsoft, kicked off the event unveiling the Xbox One, a name that dispelled many myths about Infinity, 720 and 8.
Microsoft is set to take the wraps off the next generation of its Xbox games, TV and entertainment console at a special event held at the Microsoft Xbox campus. But don’t worry, you won’t need to rush there and bribe your way in (you left it too late anyway, the fun starts at 10AM Pacific Time) as we’ll be streaming it live right here.
It will be interesting to see what Microsoft has planned for us. In recent times it’s focused on making the Xbox more of an entertainment hub than a games console, and we’ll likely see the next-gen device continuing to head in that direction, while still delivering enough gaming power to see off the PS4.
Despite what some folks would lead you to believe, sheer numbers are actually meaningless when it comes to app stores. That's just a marketing ploy. It's the quality that matters and not the quantity. After all, if you can't get the software that you need, does it really matter if there are 100,000 more apps out there? I'm inclined to believe that the answer is a resounding "No".
Windows Phone has this very same problem -- 145,000 apps available but major titles are still avoiding its Store (no, I'm not going to mention Instagram). Microsoft tried to fix this issue a couple of times before, including paying developers to beef up the ecosystem. Late-yesterday, the software giant has decided to step in again with the new Porting Challenge.
Cloud, cloud, cloud, cloud, cloud. This fairly innocuous word has become one that is bandied around with abandon, often with the misplaced notion that it adds an element of 'cool' that was not previously present. But is working in the cloud all it's cracked up to be? Is it necessary? Should you care about it?
You don't have to think back all that far to remember a time when simply being online seemed like a fairly alien concept -- never mind actually working online. When the concept of Active Desktop was added to Windows 9x the notion of staying online throughout the day just to see the desktop update with the latest weather forecast, news, stock prices or other data was unimaginable.
The big day is almost here. Microsoft reveals the new Xbox at an event held on its Redmond, Wash.-based campus tomorrow, and speculation runs rampant around the web. We do not even know the name of this next-generation console, let alone what capabilities the device will come with.
However, if you can not wait for the news stories to break then there is good news if you should happen to be a Windows Phone 8 user. The software giant announces a special app for its smartphone operating system that enables users to watch the event live right from wherever they happen to be -- which will be the workplace for many. Sorry employers.
When I was young, and I dare not discuss when that was, I owned a Fiat X1/9. The relationship with that car ended badly, but I shall always remember it as the car I was driving when I met my wife. Fast-forward a few (okay, more than a few) years and the car company is regaining popularity, but no longer as the little sports car I referred to as the "poor man's Ferrari". Today the company announces a new partnership with Microsoft to bring Windows EmbeddedAutootive to its vehicles.
Despite the polarized reactions to Windows 8, Microsoft continues to see success with the Embedded version of the operating system, with Home Depot announcing adoption of Embedded 8, and now the Italian car maker.
It may not be 'America's pastime', but Microsoft still proudly announces that it is making a deal with Major League Soccer to bring the sport to its Windows 8 customers. The sport known as soccer in the US, but football to most of the rest of the world, joins the National Basketball Association, Major League Baseball and the National Hockey Leagues on Microsoft's latest operating system.
The announcement came at yesterday's game between the Los Angeles Galaxy and New York Red Bulls held at Red Bull Arena. The MLS Match Day app is not new, only "improved". This new version features exclusive content and this season’s schedule, standings, highlights, play-by-play, roster lineups, game stats, goals, cards and substitutions.
Desktop themes are so often catered for by third party tools that it’s easy to forget that Windows has built in support for theme packs. If you’re short of inspiration, don’t trust your own photography skill, or just can’t be bothered to browse Flickr for a new image, a new batch of themes direct from Microsoft could be what you need to breathe new life into your desktop.
There are five new themes in total, four of which have a travel connection. The Alaskan Landscape theme features photography from Kyle Waters -- a total of fifteen images. There is more of a seasonal feel to two New Zealand Landscapes themes.
Speaking to the New York Times a couple of weeks ago, Tami Reller, Windows division CFO, admitted that the Windows 8 "learning curve is real" and said that Microsoft will be addressing the issue in Windows 8.1.
Perhaps in response to that public admission, Microsoft has released a video showing how to use the polarizing operating system. Called "Get To Know Windows 8" it’s aimed at anyone who might be thinking of upgrading, or who needs a little guidance.
Only a mere twelve years after the first console launched, Microsoft finally decides that its Xbox platform may just be a success and that, just perhaps, customers may wish to know what is going on with it. This has not been so much an issue, thanks to Major Nelson and third-party gaming sites, but it is still a nice, and much needed, touch.
The new site, simply named Xbox Wire, is being run by Lisa Gurry, Senior Director of Public Relations for Xbox. Gurry kicks off the new site with a welcome message to all fans of the popular gaming platform. "In preparation, we’re launching Xbox Wire -- a news blog to help you keep up with the latest Xbox news. You will be able to follow our journey as we bring you the best in games and entertainment and along the way we’ll introduce you to the people, places and technology that bring it all to life" Gurry writes.
This is how you sell a tablet. Tuesday evening of May 14, Microsoft debuted a new commercial for the Surface RT that finally explained the benefits of the tablet. No dancers. No super cool music. Just Microsoft talking about why the Surface RT is the next device you should own. The company emphasized the included USB port, kickstand, keyboard, and the single biggest sell of Surface RT, the included Office 2013 install. It sold the Surface as the power of a computer in the package of a tablet.
Is this not precisely what I called on Microsoft to do in my previous article about those odd (but awesome) Windows 8 ads? In that article I told the story about a guy who was working in a coffee shop on his Surface when someone walked up to him and said, “Is that the tablet that clicks?” He recognized the product from the commercials, but seemed to be unaware of anything other than its clicking. I wrote,
Microsoft is working on an update to Windows 8 and RT and will be releasing a preview version of it in June (in time for the Build developer conference), with the full release expected before the year’s end. The software giant has confirmed three things for definite about the update: its name (Windows 8.1), its price (free), and where you’ll be able to get it from (the Windows Store).
But thanks to early build leaks and statements from Microsoft, we also know quite a bit about the many changes the new release will bring to the polarizing operating system. Here’s a rundown of what to expect.
Microsoft has launched Skype for Mac 6.4, a major update of its Skype chat platform for OS X users. Version 6.4 is focused on improving Skype’s instant messaging features for better usability, while also introducing support for Simplified Chinese.
Version 6.4 adds infinite chat scrolling, a feature already present in the Windows build. This allows users to load historical conversations simply by scrolling upwards. This action simply loads messages from the chat history stored on the user’s computer.
We don't often cover leaks here at BetaNews -- we want confirmation on things. So, when I saw a Microsoft Scroogled video making the rounds I was initially skeptical, though it looked authentic enough. It turns out the video is real and a Microsoft spokesperson I contacted, while refusing to issue a statement, did acknowledge as much.
"It was an internal video that was leaked" I was told, but further comment was refused. I am not sure why because while I found the last two releases of Scroogled videos to be ridiculous -- simply jokes depicting Office beating up on Google Docs and giving consumers no reason why to choose Office 365 over the Google Solution.
We already knew that Surface Pro was coming to Europe, but what we didn't know was exactly when. The company today announces the dates for availability, and the rollout begins in France on May 17, continuing to the United Kingdom on May 23. It wraps up with a broad May 30 release in Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, and Switzerland, and one more big day in Germany on May 31.
There's more to come, but Brian Hall, General Manager of the Microsoft Surface team concedes that "some markets are still confirming timing so aren’t included here".