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Posts tagged ‘Microsoft’

29
Aug
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MSN Messenger will finally, definitely be dead in October


Microsoft retiring Messenger on March 15th, wants you to use Skype instead

Microsoft’s 15-year-old MSN Messaging service will soon be a part of computer lore. It has been shut down in most places for over a year, but Microsoft kept it running in China where it was still quite popular. However, with the advent of Tencent’s QQ, Line and other services, Redmond recently emailed Chinese users (on their Hotmail accounts, naturally) that the service would ride into the sunset on October 31st. To give you an idea of how old it is, the service was created in 1999 by Microsoft to compete against AOL’s AIM chat service (disclaimer: AOL is Engadget’s parent company). However, we doubt too many users will get misty-eyed about its demise — the only nostalgia we have is how difficult it was to get rid of.

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Via: The Verge

Source: Technode

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29
Aug
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The Xbox One is ready to play your music, videos and even GIFs


Well, that happened a bit sooner than we expected. The Xbox One update detailed earlier this month is rolling out to everyone over the next few days, according to Xbox Live’s Larry “Major Nelson” Hyrb. The patch brings a revamped party app and multiple simultaneous deletes from the Game DVR in addition to the new GIF-capable (but not MKV-ready as of yet) media player app and bandwidth usage monitor. The latter of which will be very handy to those living with data caps and the multiple-gigabyte updates that have become de rigueur with this generation of gaming. There are a few more bits and bobs packed into the 258MB update, and if you’re feeling impatient you should be able to force the patch this very instant.

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Via: Larry Hyrb (Twitter)

Source: Major Nelson

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28
Aug
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Microsoft now lets you record gameplay with Xbox One SmartGlass


Microsoft has been working hard to make Xbox One SmartGlass more useful and appealing for users, and it’s doing a great job so far. The most recent update to the app, however, may just be its best yet. Most notably, you can now record Xbox One game clips directly from the SmartGlass application, making the process easier for gamers who, for example, have a Kinect-less console. In addition to that, you can use the app to view your profile’s activity feed, post status updates on it and share stuff that pops up there. New TV and OneGuide features are here as well, although those had been available previously in beta on some devices. Speaking of which, perhaps the nicest part of this refresh is that Microsoft is doing it across the board — the revamped Xbox One SmartGlass is available for iOS, Android and Windows Phone.

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Source: App Store, Google Play, Windows Phone

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28
Aug
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Microsoft OneDrive for Android now lets you mix business with pleasure


OneDrive, Microsoft’s cloud storage service formerly known as SkyDrive, just got updated across several platforms. Most significant, perhaps, is its Android app refresh that adds OneDrive for Business integration, so you can easily access both personal and work files without having to switch accounts. You can now also set up a PIN code on the Android app and access OpenDrive files from within other apps. The iOS app, on the other hand, has a new native search box and an AllPhotos view, where you can see all your images arranged chronologically in one window. Finally, the app for Windows Phone 8.1 now has access to the recycle bin, which is extremely useful for people with jittery, delete-happy fingers. If you’re on iOS and Windows Phone but would rather get those sweet, new Android features, though, don’t worry — Microsoft’s bringing them to your platforms in the coming months.

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Source: Google Play, iTunes, Windows Phone Market

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28
Aug
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Microsoft explains how it’s getting rid of fake Windows Store apps


Windows Store on a Toshiba Encore -- hey, that rhymes

You may have heard that the Windows Store has a serious problem with counterfeit apps; for every legitimate title, there’s seemingly a horde of fakes meant solely to take your money and run. At last, though, Microsoft has detailed what it’s doing to cull these scams from its shop. To begin with, it recently toughened up the requirements so that app categories, icons and names reflect what you’re really getting; hopefully, you’ll see less junk going forward. The folks in Redmond are also scouring the existing catalog, and have pulled 1,500 apps so far. There’s still a long way to go (search for “iTunes” and you’ll see plenty of copyright abuse), but this represents a good start.

For some, the biggest solution may be what Microsoft isn’t doing — namely, paying developers for every app they publish. A promotion the company ran last year gave $100 per finished app no matter how much work was involved, which actually punished those who took the time to write top-notch software. The strategy suggested to some that Microsoft was obsessed with catching up to the quantities of apps in Apple’s App Store or Google Play, quality be damned. Both the crackdown and the end to those pay-per-app promos should go a long way toward changing this reputation, but it will only be successful when you can safely assume that most Windows Store apps are the real deal.

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Source: Building Apps for Windows

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28
Aug
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Microsoft’s Surface Pro 3 tablet lands in 25 more countries


Surface Pro 3

Microsoft’s Surface Pro 3 has only been available in a handful of places so far, but it’s about to get a much, much wider audience. As promised, Microsoft is launching its latest Surface in 25 more countries. Most of them are Asian and European nations, including China and the UK; if you’re reading this, there’s a good chance that you can snag a Windows slate for yourself. All five models are available, so you won’t have to settle for a device you don’t want. You’ll have to be a little more patient if you want the docking station, though. It’s available for pre-order today, but you’ll have to wait until September 12th to pick one up on impulse.

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Source: Surface Blog

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28
Aug
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‘Doctor Who’ is coming to ‘Minecraft’ on Xbox 360 next month


Simply put, Doctor Who and Minecraft are two worldwide sensations, each extremely popular in their own entertainment category. Thus, it just kind of makes sense to bring the two together. Thankfully for those of you who are into both, Microsoft and the BBC have partnered up to do exactly that, by way of digital downloadable content for Minecraft on the Xbox 360. Starting next month, players will have access to character packs from Doctor Who, including skins of The Doctor himself, his companions and his mad enemies — all from throughout the show’s entire history, not only from most recent seasons. No word yet on if this also applies to the upcoming Xbox One edition of Minecraft, but it wouldn’t surprise us if that was the case.

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Source: Microsoft

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27
Aug
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Xbox One’s Kinect goes for $150 on its own October 7th


Ever since Microsoft cut its motion- and voice-sensor from the Xbox One package, the second version of Kinect has been in limbo. Sure, you could still get one if you shelled out $500 for the deluxe version of Xbox One, but there was no way to pick one up on its own. What if, say, a new Dance Central game for Xbox One were to be announced? Microsoft always said it would offer the device standalone, and now it’s got a release date and price: October 7th for $150 ($50 less than the Windows version, for those wondering). Even better: Kinect on Xbox One comes with the aforementioned new Dance Central game. Not a terrible nod to the most important third-party game studio making Kinect games.

Despite taking Kinect out of the box — mostly to stay competitive price-wise with Sony’s PlayStation 4, which is repeatedly besting the Xbox One in monthly sales — Microsoft says the standalone release is more evidence of the company’s belief in the sensor. “We believe Xbox One is better with Kinect,” Microsoft’s blog post reads, “offering unlimited possibilities.” Specifically, the company cites voice commands and Skype as the primary reasons for owning Kinect, in addition to calling out a handful of Kinect-enabled titles (Kinect Sports Rivals, Dead Rising 3, Project Spark).

The key here, Microsoft says, is choice. “We’re excited to offer you more choices for purchasing Xbox One — with Kinect, without Kinect for $399, bundled with games like Madden NFL 15 or Sunset Overdrive, or by adding the standalone Kinect sensor at a later date.”

It’ll be interesting to see what numbers, if any, Microsoft releases on standalone Kinect sales after October 7th. The original Kinect, an add-on for the Xbox 360 game console, sold tremendously well as a standalone peripheral. The approach this time around, however, is a lot different; Microsoft has to overcome the malaise of spurned consumers who didn’t love their first Kinect (which was barely supported, with many bad games) and get past the public perception that the Xbox One isn’t an inferior console to the PlayStation 4.

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Source: Microsoft

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26
Aug
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Back to School 2014: The 10 best tablets


By design, tablets are less about work and more about play — though you’ll find some notable exceptions in our roundup of top slates for the back-to-school season. Among them are Microsoft’s Surface Pro 3, which features a keyboard case that makes typing on the go bearable, and the ASUS Transformer Book, which also gives you hardware keys via a bundled dock. Of course, there are still plenty of slates made for enjoying your downtime. Click through the gallery below to see them all, and don’t forget to check out the rest of our guide!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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26
Aug
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Spotify is now free for Windows Phone users


Spotify has offered free, ad-supported streaming to Android and iOS for months, leaving Windows Phone users wondering what they’d done wrong to be so roundly ignored. Today, it seems, Spotify has finally remembered that they exist, and has announced that both Windows Phone 8 and 8.1 devices will enjoy “free” music from today. The updated app, available from the Windows Store, also has a few other tweaks, including better search and discovery features, helping you to work out which artists you love, and which artists are, eh, kinda okay, I guess.

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Via: The Verge

Source: Spotify, Windows Store

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