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Posts tagged ‘Microsoft’

5
Mar
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Xbox Live and ID@Xbox are coming to Windows 10


If the news of Xbox games coming to HoloLens and Elite: Dangerous hitting Xbox One this summer wasn’t nearly enough, Microsoft has a few other tidbits to share from this year’s Game Developers Conference. First up: Redmond is bringing the Xbox Live SDK to Windows 10. It’s part of the universal apps push that the outfit’s making with its new operating system, and will give game developers of any size access to a “vast majority” of Xbox Live’s services. It wouldn’t be the first time Microsoft’s done something like this, but let’s hope it doesn’t turn into another disaster like Games for Windows Live was. The post on Xbox Wire also mentions there will be a new tier of the company’s online gaming service coming as well that specifically allows “any developer to engage with the Xbox Live community.” We’ve reached out for clarification of exactly what that translates to.

Next we have word that the ID@Xbox program is expanding to Windows 10 as well, meaning the amount of indie developers on the platform (most likely mobile) should see an uptick in the future as well. Oh, and from this point on, all Xbox accessories will be compatible with Win10, with a wireless adapter coming for the Xbox One controller later this year. In case you thought Microsoft’s dedication to melding its console with your PC via the Game DVR was the last you’d see, it seems like it was actually just the beginning. Where do we go from here? That’s anyone’s guess at this point, but Build and the Electronics Entertainment Expo aren’t far off.

Don’t miss out on all the latest from GDC 2015! Follow along at our events page right here.

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Source: Xbox Wire

4
Mar
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Xbox games are coming to Microsoft’s augmented reality headset


If you watched Microsoft’s announcement of its Hololens augmented reality headset and wondered if you’d play Xbox games with it, well, wonder no longer. Today at its Game Developers Conference presentation, Redmond announced that games would be en route to the device and that the APK should be available come its Build conference late April.

Developing…

Don’t miss out on all the latest from GDC 2015! Follow along at our events page right here.

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4
Mar
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Microsoft bought ‘Minecraft’ after a single tweet by its creator


We’re only halfway through the decade, but it’s already obvious that Minecraft is the biggest game of the ’10s. Its creator, Markus “Notch” Persson has now been honored for his achievement with a cover story in Forbes. The piece reveals a few interesting tidbits about how he came to leave the game that made his name, including the fact that the $2.5 billion sale to Microsoft was prompted with a single tweet.

On June 6th, 2014, Persson was feeling exhausted with dealing with the Minecraft community, and ventured his frustration on Twitter. He asked if anyone would be interested in buying his share of Mojang so that he could “move on with [his] life.” According to the interview, it was mere minutes afterward that Mojang CEO Carl Manneh was being called by a Microsoft executive asking of Persson was serious. Other companies were bidding for control of Minecraft, including Activision Blizzard and Electronic Arts, although talks with the latter stalled because Persson, apparently, isn’t a fan of EA’s policies.

Unfortunately, Persson was less happy with the way his post-Minecraft life has been portrayed by the piece. There is a suggestion that he now spends his days running up $180,000 bar bills at Swedish nightclubs.It’s something he has denied, again, using his favorite medium of Twitter. In a series of messages earlier this morning, he said that he isn’t “dedicated to partying his life away,” and it would be difficult anyway, since the interest payments on his $1.5 billion fortune are going up faster than he could spend it on fancy vodka.

[Image Credit: GDC / Wikimedia Commons]

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Source: Forbes

4
Mar
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‘Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain’ sneaks out in September


Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain, the latest in Hideo Kojima’s nearly 30-year-old series of melodramatic espionage games, finally has a release date. The PlayStation 4 and Xbox One versions of will arrive on September 1st for $60, and on the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 for $50. PC players have to wait just a bit longer to experience the next generation of hiding from armed soldiers in cardboard boxes. Metal Gear Solid V will be available on Windows via Steam for $60 on September 15th.

The Phantom Pain has made a long, strange journey since its initial reveal. Metal Gear Solid V: Ground Zeroes, a notoriously brief prologue to the Phantom Pain released in 2014, was first announced back in 2012 but it wasn’t clear if it was going to be the proper follow-up to 2008’s Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots. It was technically unveiled in a trailer during the Spike Video Game Awards that same year but in a characteristically (for creator Hideo Kojima) theatrical, bizarre way. Announced without the Metal Gear name, it was credited to a fictional Swedish game maker named Joakim Mogren of Moby Dick Studios, who appeared in an interview with his head totally wrapped in bandages. It was months before The Phantom Pain was confirmed to be the full version of Metal Gear Solid V and that actor Kiefer Sutherland would be playing Snake, the main character.

Anyone excited to hop into Metal Gear Solid V‘s open-world stealth action, which includes building your own G.I. Joe-style secret base and recruiting goats, will have other purchasing options when the game releases in September. Alongside the standard editions is a $100 collector’s edition of the game that comes with a making-of documentary on Blu-ray, a replica of Snake’s bionic arm, a physical map and a host of downloadable content extras for both the single-player game and Metal Gear Online, its included multiplayer component.

Filed under: Gaming, HD, Sony, Microsoft

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3
Mar
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We’re live at the 2015 Game Developers Conference in San Francisco!


Moscone Center North Hall

Every year, in late winter, covering the game industry gives me a chance to leave New York City at its most miserable. It’s with great pleasure that I tell you, yes, we’re here in San Francisco — where its 60 degrees and not 34 — to bring all the news, hands-ons, interviews, videos, and combinations thereof, straight from the 2015 Game Developers Conference. From here on out, we’re gonna make that name a bit simpler: GDC 2015. We’ve even got a page right here where you can keep up to date on all the aforementioned coverage. Head below for a brief rundown of the week to come.

What’s happening this year, besides developers talking to each other about the art and business of making games? We’ve already seen a taste, all the way from Barcelona, care of Mobile World Congress.

HTC and Valve are teaming on a virtual reality headset named HTC Vive. Or HTC ReVive. Or maybe just Vive? Or maybe just Revive? It’s a bit puzzling, honestly.

We’re getting a hands-on in the coming days, and we’ve already got some gorgeous detail shots right here featuring British raconteur James Trew.

Additionally, Samsung and Oculus are continuing their partnership on Gear VR with a new, smaller version intended for use with Samsung’s new Galaxy S6 and S6 edge phones. Don’t expect to be blown away: it’s largely the same as the first Gear VR which launched late last year, albeit with a smaller screen. We’ve got more info right here, and beauty shots below.

And today, just before GDC 2015 officially kicks off, Epic Games announced that its widely used game engine, Unreal Engine 4, is now free for all to use on a commercial (or non-commercial) basis. It’s a major move for an engine maker, and it means one more great tool is more widely available to the folks who make the games we love.

As for what the rest of the week holds, only two things are certain: both Sony and NVIDIA are hosting press events. The former is focusing on PlayStation 4’s virtual reality headset, “Project Morpheus”, while the latter is teased as “more than 5 years in the making” and will apparently “redefine the future of gaming”. I expect nothing less than a picante gouda in a holodeck.

Don’t miss out on all the latest from GDC 2015! Follow along at our events page right here.

Filed under: Gaming, Wearables, Software, HD, Sony, Microsoft, Nintendo

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2
Mar
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Microsoft’s Lumia 640 and 640 XL are its new budget phone stars


After mistakenly letting the cat out of the bag yesterday, Microsoft has officially unveiled its latest Lumia phones at Mobile World Congress — and they’re pretty tempting if you’re looking for a good deal. The new Lumia 640 and 640 XL (can you guess the difference?) are the company’s latest budget phones, effectively replacing last year’s Lumia 630 and 635. They both include a quad-core Snapdragon processor running at 1.2 gigahertz, a gigabyte of RAM, and 720p display resolutions, but they differ in screen size and camera prowess. The Lumia 640 has a 5-inch screen and an 8 megapixel shooter, while the XL — Microsoft’s first budget phablet — packs in a 5.7-inch screen and a 13MP Zeiss-lens camera. That’s a significant bump from the weak 5MP option in last year’s phones, but without a big price increase: The 640, expected in May, will start unlocked at around $155 for its 3G version and $177 for the LTE model. And if you want to get your hands on the XL soon, you’re in luck. It’s coming later this month for around $211 (3G) and $244 (LTE). As usual, final pricing is up to the retailers.

Just as we saw with the new Moto E, both new budget Lumias include some compelling upgrades that were previously relegated to higher-end phones. In addition to the camera improvements — which also includes new front-facing cameras — they sport significantly bigger batteries than the 630 (2500 mAh for the 640 and 3000 mAh for the XL). Both phones can also be upgraded to Windows 10 down the line, and they come with a year’s worth of Office 365 (which includes a terabyte of OneDrive cloud storage).

The Lumia 640 XL

In my brief hands-on time with the phones, I was surprised to find that they both felt pretty comfortable in my hand. Yes, even the giant 640 XL. Microsoft’s head of mobile device marketing, Ifi Majid (a Nokia transplant), tells me the company learned a lot from the massive 6-inch Lumia 1520, a gorgeous phone that was a beast to hold. Microsoft’s designers ended up settling on a 5.7-inch screen as the upper limit for how big they could make a phone without sacrificing comfort. The 640 XL’s rounded edges are also far more forgiving in your pocket than the 1520’s sharper angles.

If you’re hoping for a new Microsoft flagship phone though, expect to wait a while. According to Majid it “doesn’t make sense” to release a new flagship until Windows 10 comes out later this year (there’s no firm release date yet). A killer flagship will be a huge draw for Windows 10, there’s no doubt about that. But such a long wait leaves Microsoft with nothing to show as every other phone maker trots out their latest wares. We might even end up seeing the next iPhone before it’s revealed. At this point, the six-month old Lumia 930 is the best phone Microsoft’s got (we may eventually see a minor upgrade in the form of a Lumia 940, though).

While they’re not as flashy as the latest high-end phones being announced this week, Microsoft’s new Lumias prove one thing: It’s going to be a pretty damn interesting year for budget phones.

Filed under: Mobile, Microsoft

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2
Mar
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Samsung’s Galaxy S 6 will come preloaded with several Microsoft apps


samsung_galaxy_s6_front_back_standing_blueWhile Samsung may have trimmed some of the bloat from the Galaxy S 6 (and the S 6 Edge), it looks like it’s still going to come preloaded with things you may or may not want. Microsoft’s Skype, OneNote, and OneDrive applications will come standard on your GS6, although you’ll still get to snag that free 100 GB of free OneDrive storage space that Samsung is giving away, so it’s not all bad.

This isn’t the most subtle way to get Microsoft services into the hands of Android users, but it’s definitely going to be an effective one. Google may not like the move, but hey, that’s the beauty of Android being more open than other platforms.

source: The Verge

Come comment on this article: Samsung’s Galaxy S 6 will come preloaded with several Microsoft apps

1
Mar
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Samsung Galaxy S6 comes with Microsoft apps out of the box


Samsung Galaxy S6 edge with a Microsoft Apps folder

Those rumors that Samsung would reduce the glut of in-house software on the Galaxy S6, and include some of Microsoft’s apps? They’re at least partly true. Both the S6 and S6 edge will ship with a “Microsoft Apps” folder that currently includes OneDrive, OneNote and Skype. There’s no hint of Office (at least not yet), but you will get 115GB of free OneDrive cloud storage for two years. You certainly won’t be hurting for photo backup space, then. It’s hard to say if the bundle is the direct result of Microsoft and Samsung calling a truce in their Android royalty dispute. Either way, the move is going to give Microsoft’s services a lot more exposure. While they’ve been available on Android for some time, their absence in phone bundles has typically made it easier to lean on equivalents from the likes of Google and Dropbox.

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Via: The Verge

Source: Samsung Mobile Press

1
Mar
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Acer’s new Windows Phone is unlikely to blow you away


Acer Liquid M220

For some time now, consumers have pretty much been stuck choosing between Lumias for their Windows Phone fix. Acer is aiming to change that with the launch of its catchily named “Liquid M220″ smartphone. The M220 is a decidedly low-end handset, with a 4-inch WVGA (480 x 800 pixels) display, 1.2GHz dual-core processor, 512MB of RAM, 4GB of storage (upgradable via microSD), 5-megapixel rear camera and 2-megapixel front-facing shooter. It’s clearly aiming to compete with Microsoft’s cheapest Lumias, and, although admittedly this comes down to taste, it’s not exactly a looker compared to its rivals.

Things get worse for Acer when you consider the price. At €79 ($88) it’s up against the Lumia 535, which has double the RAM and internal storage. Interestingly, although the M220 has only 512MB of RAM, Acer is promising it’ll be upgradeable to Windows 10. Microsoft has noted that squeezing all the features of Windows 10 onto such low-end devices may not be possible, so bear in mind when deciding on your next phone that, despite the upgrade promise, not all Windows 10 phones will be equal. The M220 will go on sale in Europe, the Middle East and Africa this April.

Filed under: Cellphones, Mobile, Microsoft, Acer

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28
Feb
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11 best new Android apps and Android games released in February 2015


We’re nearing the end of February and it’s been quite the month for Android apps and Android games. We saw some flops but we also saw some pretty impressive software. Let’s take a look at the best Android apps and Android games of February 2015.


do button by ifttt android appsDo Button by IFTTT

[Price: Free]
Do Button by IFTTT is a software button that allows you to customize your Android experience. You set up a button with a task to do something and that task gets done when you press the Do Button. Fans of IFTTT should definitely check this out and it’s a pretty nifty tool for just about everyone.
Get it on Google Play
do button by ifttt android apps


draw slasher android appsDraw Slasher

[Price: $2.99]
Draw Slasher is a hack-and-slash game where you use your finger to gesture your attacks. This was once a popular game on the PS Vita and the Android release is a pretty decent recreation. It features a fast pace, plenty of swiping, and ninjas. There are also no in app purchases.
Get it on Google Play


best new android apps heavenstrike rivalsHeavenstrike Rivals

[Price: Free with in app purchases]
Square Enix has released a new RPG called Heavenstrike Rivals. This is a tactical RPG similar in game play mechanics to Final Fantasy Tactics. The graphics are pretty decent and it is free to play with plenty of stuff to do. Beware, though, as the title is suffering from some launch day issues.
Get it on Google Play


Limbo android appsLimbo

[Price: $4.99]
Limbo is a monochrome horror game where you play as a kid who is looking for his lost sister. The game has already received praise for its interesting graphics and creepy, misty atmosphere. At its heart, it’s a 2D side-scrolling platform and puzzle game and it doesn’t have any in app purchases.
Get it on Google Play


picturesque lock screen Android apps weeklyPicturesque

[Price: Free]
Picturesque is a free lock screen app that came out of Microsoft’s Garage project. It grabs beautiful wallpapers from Bing frequently to keep things fresh and also shows things like weather, news, notifications, calendar events, and more. They’re still working out some issues but it’s still pretty solid.
Get it on Google Play
picturesque lock screen Android apps weekly


screenpop lockscreen messenger android appsScreenPop Lockscreen Messenger

[Price: Free]
ScreenPop Lockscreen Messenger is a picture sharing service similar to Snapchat and others. The catch is that instead of opening an app, ScreenPop puts the photos right on your lock screen so you can view and respond without ever unlocking your phone. The app is going through some release day issues but it can be fun for people who are into that.
Get it on Google Play
Android apps screenpop


SlingTV Android appsSlingTV

[Price: Free app / $20/month subscription]
SlingTV turned a lot of heads in February by allowing people to get some decent TV channels streamed over the Internet for only $20/month. The app is having a few issues here and there but nothing too serious. It’s a great deal for cord cutters even if the channel lineup is rather limited.
Get it on Google Play
slingtv android apps


smart weather wallpaper Android apps weeklySmart Weather Wallpaper

[Price: $1.99]
Smart Weather Wallpaper is a live wallpaper that changes based on the weather. So if it’s rainy, you’ll have a rainy wallpaper. It also changes based on seasons and the time of day. Overall, it’s an attractive option even though there are some bugs to work out.
Get it on Google Play
smart weather wallpaper Android apps weekly


soundhud best new android appsSoundHUD

[Price: Free with in app purchases]
SoundHUD is a customizable volume panel where you can control things like your system volume, ringtone volume, etc and one of the few that doesn’t require root access. Its claim to fame is the ability to put Lollipop devices into silent mode which is something that is tedious and confusing to do without it. It also has a few other nifty and unique features.
Get it on Google Play
soundhud best new android apps


theScore eSports Android apps weeklytheScore eSports

[Price: Free]
theScore eSports app is a sports app that covers predominately eSports, such as DOTA 2 and other video games. It represents a monumental shift in mainstream sports coverage because this was the first major sports media company to officially cover eSports. The app itself is actually very good too.
Get it on Google Play


youtube kids best android appsYouTube Kids

[Price: Free]
YouTube Kids was released late in February and it’s a YouTube experience that caters to young minds. It’s full of playlists that show kids educational and entertaining content that caters specifically to their age range. Every parent should have this app without a shadow of a doubt.
Get it on Google Play


Wrap up

If we missed any awesome Android apps or Android games that were released in February 2015, let us know in the comments! Also, don’t forget to subscribe to the Android Apps Weekly newsletter for more new releases and Android apps news!

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