Tag Archives: Microsoft

Microsoft Lumia 940 rumoured to posses 24mp Pureview Camera, 3gb Ram, Windows 10.

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The device is said to feature a 5inch display screen that will support a full HD resolution. It is rumored that the upcoming Lumia 940 will be well equipped with Corning Gorilla Glass 4 for screen protection.

The Microsoft Lumia 940 will have a quad-core Snapdragon 805 SoC processor clocked at a speed of 2.7GHz along with Adreno 420 graphics and 3GB of RAM.

A feature that many users will cherish is the camera, which will be a 24mp rear camera with PureView and it will support 4K video shooting at 60FPS.

The device will also feature a 5mp secondary camera and will also support HD video recording.

The Lumia 940 is 8.9m thick, it measures around 131x71mm and it weight is set at 149grams.  The new camera feature that will come on Lumia 940 will be much more compact.  

Microsoft may most likely opt for the same design that Lumia 930 has to the upcoming Lumia 940.

Lumia 940 will be encompassed with NFC, Wi-Fi, USB 3.0, and Bluetooth and will come with an internal memory of 32GB, 64GB and 128GB variants.

As for the operating system, it seems that Lumia 940 will not come with the Windows 8.1 which is currently the latest Windows Phone operating system out there. The Lumia 940 will operate on a new and yet legally unannounced Windows Phone 10 OS.

Microsoft Lumia 940 will most likely not be launched very soon as Microsoft is currently busy launching some other devices such as the Lumia 535 and Lumia 1330.

Google Smartwatch is in final stages

Hurray!! Google’s smartwatch is in late-stage development and the company is in talks with Asian suppliers to begin mass production of the device, people familiar with the matter said.

The new device, which will run on Android, will be integrated with Google Now, the company’s intelligent personal assistant that can answer questions, make recommendations and predict what information users need based on what they are doing, a person familiar with the situation said. Google has also been working to reduce power consumption on the smartwatch so it won’t require frequent battery charges, the person said.

The smartwatch will be able to communicate with other devices such as a smartphone, and draw information such as travel schedules from a user’s email through Google Now, the person said. The device could be ready for mass production within months, the person said.

With its wristwatch, Google is aiming to address two criticisms of smartwatches that skeptics have long made: usefulness and battery life. While several smartwatches are on the market already, including one from Samsung, they have yet to gain a widespread following as they still have limited functions and a relatively high price. However, analysts say that with the development of improved applications, wearable devices will become increasingly mainstream and a growing battleground for tech industry heavyweights like Google and Apple. Annual sales of wearable devices are projected to reach 485 million units by 2018, according to market-research firm ABI Research.

For Google, the launch of a wristwatch would be an effort to secure a leading position in the growing wearable devices sector following its development of Google Glass. It would also be a play to keep users in its Android ecosystem and out of competing systems from Apple and Microsoft.

Surface 2 and Surface Pro 2: Microsoft refreshes its hybrid tablet/laptop range

Microsoft has announced a “fundamental revamp” of its Surface tablets, with second generation models offering improved battery life and processing speed, as well as addressing criticisms of previous models.

The original Surface and Surface RT (a cheaper, lower-powered device that used a similarly downgraded operating system) were launched in June last year but failed to sell well, leading to a $900 million writedown by Microsoft for unsold units.

The new tablets look identical to the previous generation, offering a tablet form factor, optional covers that can be used as keyboards and a new kick-stand to prop the device up on laps or desks. The kick-stand can now be adjusted to two different angles – an improvement on the previous models that could only be set at a steep angle, making the ‘laptop’ aspect of the device impractical.

The new tablets have been designated the Surface 2 and the Surface Pro 2, although despite removing the ‘RT’ tag attached to the lower priced model it still runs the stripped down-version of Microsoft’s latest operating system, Windows 8.1 RT.

Windows 8 RT was heavily criticized for its inability to run ‘legacy apps’ (older software that included well-known programs such as Photoshop) despite looking identical to Windows 8.

A recent update to the Windows operating system, Windows 8.1, solved some complaints voiced by users (including the absence of a traditional desktop-and-start-button environment) but the operating system is still unfamiliar for many.

The new Surface tablets both have full 1080p, 10.1-inch HD screens (previously only available on the pricier tablet) and upgraded processors. The Surface 2 uses Nvidia’s Tegra 4 1.7GHz processor whilst the Pro 2 has Intel’s fourth-generation Haswell i5. Battery life on the Pro 2 is said to be 75 per cent better than the previous generation with 20 per cent better graphical performance.

Customers also have more memory and storage options to choose from. The Pro 2 will be available in 64GB and 128GB versions with 4GB of RAM, or with 256GB and 512GB of internal memory and 8GB of RAM.  The cheaper Surface either comes with 32GB or 64GB of storage and 2GB of RAM.

As well as updating the internal hardware, the new Surface tablets also come bundled with Windows software. Surface 2 gives users the full Office suite (though last year’s models also did that), “best of Skype” for a year (which includes free international calling), and 200GB of cloud storage via SkyDrive.

The lower priced model will be sold for between £359 and £439 whilst the Pro 2 will retail between £719 and £1,439.

Fable Legends to have 5-10 year lifespan

Lionhead Studios expects its recently announced online-focused Fable Legends to have a lifespan of 5-10 years on Xbox One, according to new studio boss John Needham.

“We’re playing the long game with this,” Needham told GamesIndustry International.

To achieve the lifespan Needham hopes for Fable Legends, the game will make use of the Xbox One’s suite of features and services, including the cloud, he said.

“This is the next big Fable game that is going to be out for five to ten years so it needs to be big, it needs to be interesting,” Needham said. “There needs to be a lot of stuff to do, it needs to integrate all the cloud and Xbox One features so we keep our community alive and growing. So yeah, it’s big and ambitious, but it needs to be because it’s going to be around a long time.”

Just because Lionhead Studios will be working on Fable Legends for the next 5-10 years does not mean the company won’t also spend time on non-Fable projects during that time. Needham said though the company is focused on Fable Anniversary and Fable Legends right now, the studio also has an incubation group to brainstorm new ideas.

In addition, the company’s third annual Creative Day will be held next week, where employees can present game ideas, services, features, or art projects they are working on. Needham said this event is “great fun” and has in the past led to ideas that have been used in full products.

Lionhead Studios today delayed Fable Anniversary for Xbox 360 until February 2014, while Fable Legends does not have a release date. A beta for the game will begin next year. For more on Fable Legends,

 

10 Games we hoped to see at E3, but didn’t

Yes, there was a lot of stuff at E3 this year, and yes, it was one of the most important shows in years. And sure, we saw two new impressive consoles and several new games revealed for the first time, and there was also stuff like the Oculus Rift that stole the show. And yes, OK, there were plenty of big titles we’ve known about that we got a closer look to, and we had the chance to speak to some of the most influential people in the gaming industry, but what about the Last Guardian, dammit! Where was Fable IV?!?

Perhaps we are walking in the shadow of Veruca Salt, but there were a few games we had hoped to see at E3 this year but didn’t. Some may have been held back as part of a long term strategy, while others may have skipped the show for more ominous reasons. Others were just games we had speculated based on guesswork would be there, but they proved us wrong.

Whatever the reason for their absence, here are 10 games we had hoped to see at E3, but didn’t.

Beyond Good and Evil 2

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When it comes to game development, you don’t want to rush things. After all, it’s only been nine years since the release of the first Beyond Good and Evil – 10 this November. In geologic terms that’s, like, nothing. To a normal human though, a decade is a fairly sizable chunk of time.For years, Ubisoft has been promising a follow up to Beyond Good and Evil, and for years we’ve been waiting. And waiting. And waiting. And it isn’t like the sequel rumors are only fan-driven – the game’s creator Michael Ancel continues to toy with the hearts and minds of fans, offering update after update. According to Ancel the game has been in development – legitimate development, with people actually working on the game – since 2006.

That said, with the next gen of consoles drawing the attention of the gaming industry and media in general, why not make this show the launching pad for the new game? Chuck a trailer out there with a vague release date and watch people go berserk. It worked for the Mirror’s Edge prequel. But no, sadly we got nothing about this game. The wait continues.

Fable IV

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There wasn’t any specific reason to assume that there would be a new Fable unveiled, other than it would have made sense. At the Xbox One reveal in May, Microsoft claiming that it had 15 exclusives in the works, including eight original titles. That left seven returning franchises to be guessed at. We knew a few like Forza 5, but that left several to guess at leading up to E3.

Of all of Microsoft’s exclusives, the Fable property seemed like an obvious choice. It has been nearly three years since the previous Fable game (not counting the Kinect-only Fable: The Journey), and there have been rumors of a new Fable MMO for over a year now, so the timing would fit. Lionhead also began tickling the fancies of its fans, promising a big announcement leading up to E3.

Turns out the announcement was for an HD re-release of the original Fable, and it’s not even for the Xbox One. Maybe next E3.

Fallout 4

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War never ends, and judging by what Bethesda has already said, neither will the Fallout franchise. We know there are more Fallout titles on the way. We may even know where the next game is going to be set: Boston and surrounding areas. What we don’t know is when to expect it.After releasing Fallout 3 in 2008, Bethesda followed it up with New Vegas just two years later. Bethesda had a fairly strong showing at E3, but a peek at Fallout 4 would have been a nice surprise. Sure Bethesda Game Studios just completed work on the impressive Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim and all its DLC, and sure its developers are probably enjoying a well deserved rest after back-to-back projects that pushed the current gen beyond where most thought it could go, but see above about Veruca Salt, re: wanting it all now.

It’ll happen eventually, and probably sooner rather than later.

Homefront 2

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Another property in the THQ fire sale sweepstakes, Homefront left a lot of unfulfilled potential. The original had a smart and dark story written by John Milius, the director and writer of several 80s classics like Red Dawn  and Conan: The Barbarian, the inspiration for Walter Sobchak in The Big Lebowski, and a genuinely weird guy. The gameplay was solid (although unremarkable) too, but there were some major issues in the game. It was ridiculously short and skipped a huge chunk of the story, plus there were technical issues. But it had promise. When Crytek bought the rights for a mere $500K, it was a steal. It also guaranteed that the franchise would get a second chance to get it right.Crytek continues to steadily improve its own stature around the world. It is more than just the maker of Crysis now, it is the developer behind the game Ryse: Son of Rome, the team that put together what promises to be one of the most popular free-to-play games in the world with Warface, and now the owner of Homefront 2.

Homefront 2 may not be ready to show off to the public, but it could have made this E3 into the biggest yet for Crytek. Maybe next year.

The Last Guardian

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See that image for The Last Guardian above? Yeah, that was released in 2009. So it really wasn’t a surprise to not see, or hear, or even catch more than a few downward glances from Sony execs when people mentioned The Last Guardian, but it does confirm some serious fears about Team Ico’s long gestating project. The game has been in development since 2007, but for every step forward the game takes, it seems to take two back.Team Ico makes art that pretends to be video games, and you can’t rush art. But showing off the game, even just confirming it was still in the works, would have helped to alleviate some fears. Instead, we are left wondering once again, after yet another E3, where is The Last Guardian? Hopefully we won’t be asking the same question next year.

The Legend of Zelda on Wii U

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Nintendo had a weird E3 showing. After imprisoning journalists and convincing them that the four fingers it was holding up were actually just three, Nintendo then launched into a press conference that it swore wasn’t a press conference – which is good, because if it was a press conference, it was a really, really, really bad one. The big reveal from the event was that Wii Fit Trainer was now a playable character in the upcoming Super Smash Bros. The general reaction could best be summed up with this quote: “…”The thing is, Nintendo had an easy way out of it, and possibly out of the hole it has so expertly dug for itself with the Wii U’s poor launch: it just needs games. With more and more third-party developers abandoning the Wii U, Nintendo needs to turn inwards, something it has always done anyway.

Look, we know that Nintendo is working on every famous Nintendo exclusive franchise. Some may be near completion, others may be years out, but we know they are coming. So why not give us a teaser? Microsoft showed a generic CGI trailer for the new Halo – it didn’t even confirm the name Halo 5 – but people went nuts. We know there is a Zelda project for the Wii U on the way. What better time to unveil it and several other Nintendo exclusives while the industry and fans look on? It may not make up for the hot rod like power compared to the Wii U’s “sensible car” approach to hardware design, but it would have staved off plenty of fears.

Metroid

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See the comments about The Legend of Zelda. Donkey Kong is neat and all, but it is no Metroid. Nintendo desperately needs games, and since its first party properties are some of the most beloved in the history of gaming, it has a shot at competing with more powerful hardware. Nintendo just needs to excite its fanbase! Instead, it’s like Nintendo’s strategy for the Wii U is modeled on the “drunk uncle” strategy, as it wobbles around and tries to remind us of the good old days without actually doing anything new.It’s surprising we didn’t see more from Nintendo. The argument that it is holding its stuff for more fan based events and just didn’t care about the pomp and circumstance of E3 may make sense (except that it totally doesn’t). Plus, Nintendo has already confirmed that it will have a big presence at Gamescom in August. So maybe then we’ll see Nintendo finally act like it cares, at least a little.

Prey 2

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There are a lot of rumors about Prey 2, and none of them are particularly good. After a strong debut and a good showing at E3 2011, Prey 2 was on everybody’s radar – right up until it wasn’t. Now, no one is entirely sure of what the state of the game is.Bethesda may have taken the team from Human Head Studios out back and lined them up against the wall. Arkane, the team behind Dishonored, is said to be taking the lead now, and undoing most of the work Human Head did. Assuming the game isn’t completely dead, it is likely that Prey 2 is years from release. It’s not surprising that the game wasn’t shown at E3, but it would have been nice to reassure fans that it was still on the way.

Tom Clancy’s Rainbow 6: Patriots

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Of all the games on this list, this is the one we are most surprised wasn’t shown at E3. Following the success of the Rainbow 6 Vegas duology it was obvious that the franchise would return. And then Ubisoft went ahead and unveiled the whole thing in 2011 in a feature article for Game Informer. It was very exciting.

There were some rumors that the game was being held for next-gen, but the next gen is here and still no Rainbow 6: Patriots. We got a completely new Tom Clancy game in The Division, so at least old Tommy is taken care of, but nothing about a game that was officially unveiled two years ago.

Rainbow 6: Patriots is scheduled for 2014, so unless that changes we should see something soon. Maybe Ubisoft is holding it for a big Gamecom reveal, or maybe Rainbow 6 is sneaking up on gamers… in fact it may be closer than you think… Oh, God!  Rainbow 6 is calling from INSIDE THE HOUSE!

Uncharted 4

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This was a bit of a longshot, but it would have made sense. The Uncharted franchise helped to define the PS3 and they helped to sell more than a few consoles on their own – or at the very least gave PS3 owners something to brag about while their 360 rivals enjoyed a robust online experience and a dominant presence in the U.S. Yeah, it wasn’t the best comeback, but it was a good one.Naughty Dog has been busy working on the excellent The Last of Us, but the team is big enough to handle multiple projects. It will be a while before Uncharted 4 is released, but an announcement along with the E3 unveiling of new games would have been fitting, and would have been one more giant kidney punch from Sony to Microsoft via its press conference.

Uncharted 4 is said to be preparing for an unveiling at the Spike TV Awards in December, which would be in fitting with the recent tradition of the series, and give people at least one reason to watch that show. On top of that, Naughty Dog certainly wouldn’t have wanted to steal attention away from The Last of Us (which you should either be playing right now, or at least bragging to your 360 frenemies about). Still, it would have been a nice surprise for fans.

Windows 8.1 apps: New additions and crucial updates

 

windows 8.1While many of Windows 8.1’s major changes focus on the user interface, ultimately it all comes down to the apps.

After all, the modern-style side of Windows 8 is supposed to be all about getting out of the way and letting you enjoy those big-screen, touch-friendly applications. In Windows 8.1 Preview, Microsoft has done a lot of work on its existing applications, and it’s also come up with some new apps to help fill the gaps in the Windows Store catalog.

We’ve already provided an overview of these apps in our hands on with Windows 8.1, but now let’s take a closer look at what’s new and what’s different:

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The new Alarm app is a helpful addition if you want to keep a Windows 8 tablet by your bedside, but in its current state it seems a bit sparse, not unlike the first generation of Windows 8 apps.

All the basic things you’d expect from an alarm app are intact, including a timer and a stopwatch, and the ability to set an alarm to repeat any given day of the week. The interface is slick, and the circular dial for setting times is cute. It’d be nice to see some more advanced functions, such as volume fade-in, wake to music, and a dimmer for using the app as a nighttime clock.

 

 

Calculator

In Windows 8.1, Microsoft has gone above and beyond the basic desktop calculator with this new modern-style app. The basic math functions are still there, but users can also switch to a scientific calculator. With the unit converter, users can calculate volume, length, weight, temperature, energy, area, speed, time, power, and data.

Although it isn’t the most exotic app around, this might be the one modern-style function that desktop users might fall in love with. It’s especially useful when snapped side-by-side with the desktop, allowing you to calculate without messing around with individual window sizes.

 

Sound Recorder

Just like the desktop Sound Recorder app, the new modern-style version is dead-simple. Just hit the microphone button and start recording. You can trim down an audio file, rename it, and delete it, but that’s it.

 

Camera

If you enjoy taking photos with tablets, you’ll find lots of useful new features in the Windows 8.1 camera app. The interface is now a little less confusing, with quick-camera and video-capture buttons on the right side of the screen. The app menu includes a “camera roll” button, exposure settings, and the timer. Camera options, including video stabilization and aspect ratio, have been moved to the Settings section on the charm bar.

 

 

Once you’ve taken a photo, the app provides some new editing options. In addition to cropping a photo, you can now rotate it or go into a full-blown editing mode, where you’ll find options for red-eye, lighting, color, and focus. You can also set a photo as your lock screen, open it in another app, or start a slideshow. This app doesn’t offer drawing, cut-and-paste, or the precise cropping and resizing options you get from MS Paint, but it looks like a fine option for basic photo editing on touch-based PCs.

 

 

 

Microsoft offers up to $100, 000 for new ways to hack Windows

YORK: Microsoft has posted bounties of up to $100, 000 or (P843,000w) for “truly novel” ways to hack the latest version of its Windows software for powering computers.

For the first time ever, Microsoft is offering direct cash payouts in exchange for reporting certain types of vulnerabilities and exploitation techniques,” the US software titan said in a blog post.”We are making this shift in order to learn about these issues earlier and to increase the win-win between Microsoft’s customers and the security researcher community.

“The bounty programme will launch with three categories of ‘wanted’ hacker tricks on June 26, the same day Microsoft is to preview a tweaked version of its operating system referred to as Windows Blue but officially called Windows 8.1.A Mitigation Bypass Bounty will pay up to $100, 000 for “truly novel exploitation techniques” targeting Windows 8.1 and as much as $50, 000 for ways to defend against hacker attacks that qualify for rewards.

Microsoft said that, for a month, it will pay as much as $11, 000 for critical vulnerabilities exposed in the version of Internet Explorer browser software tailored for Windows 8.1. Details were available online at microsoft.com/bountyprograms. (AFP Relaxnews)

 

Samsung unveils new camera, Windows tablet that can run Android

Galaxy NX

Samsung has announced a number of new devices, including an Android camera with interchangeable lenses and a Windows tablet that can also run the Android operating system.

The camera, called the Galaxy NX, is designed to take professional-quality images while also letting users quickly share them on the Web. It can do that by running apps like Instagram and connecting to 3G and 4G data networks.

The Galaxy NX features a 20.3-megapixel APS-C Sensor and runs on Android 4.2 Jelly Bean. Users can also change the camera’s lens for different photographic scenarios.

Last year, Samsung introduced the Galaxy Camera, a point-and-shoot that runs Android, but with the Galaxy NX the tech giant is venturing into the world of professional photography.

The Galaxy NX wasn’t the only innovative device Samsung unveiled at a media event this week in London. The company also introduced the Ativ Q, a Windows 8 tablet that can run apps designed for the Android operating system.

Samsung Ativ Q (During Launching in London)

The hybrid tablet allows users to switch back and forth between the Microsoft operating system and the latest version of Android 4.2.2 Jelly Bean.

The all-new Samsung Tablet Ativ-Q

The Ativ Q also features a large 13.3-inch screen with a high 3,200 by 1,800 pixel resolution.

Samsung did not say when the devices will launch in the U.S. or how much they will cost.

Fujitsu targets enterprises with Lifebook E Series notebooks

New models looking to do the BYOD job

Fujitsu targets enterprises with Lifebook E Series notebooks

Fujitsu has launched a new series of business noteboks designed to fit the needs of businesses users, offering multiple form factors and configurations.

It is serving up three LifeBook E Series laptops in 13-inch (E733), 14-inch (E743) and 15.6-inch (E753) variations, which all house 3rd-Generation Intel Core “Ivy Bridge” processors. No Haswell to be seen here, then.

However, the models do feature Intel’s Turbo Boost Technology, which the company claims improves the performance of applications with an automatic burst of speed whenever the (processing) chips are down.

Fujitsu is aiming to maximise the laptops’ appeal to IT managers by offering them in a range of configurations. Buyers can opt for Microsoft’s WIndows 7, or its touchy feely successor, Windows 8, and both are compatible with the company’s docking stations.

Additionally, all of the models feature Fujitsu’s hybrid drives and modular bay design, which give users the choice of an optical drive, second battery, or weight saver module to give users the lightest possible travelling weight.

Security wise, the notebooks can be configured with a Trusted Platform Module (TPM) and Finger Print Sensor, in addition to HDD and BIOS password protection.

Desktop contender

Edging closer to a desktop replacement, the Lifebook E763 features a 15.6-inch screen aimed at mobile professionals and a dedicated 10-key keypad, in addition to the features offered on its two smaller siblings.

In the name of consistency, Fujitsu has included an aluminium palm rest and a solid magnesium lid on all of the notebooks to bulk up on protection. Additionally, they all house WLAN and Bluetooth connectivity, a full HD webcam, and integrated optional Smart Card reader.

The new Lifebook E-Series notebooks are available now at a starting point of $899. No word has been given yet on UK pricing.

 

Acer Wants to Build a Windows Phone 8 Device, Fears It Won’t Sell Well

Original Author: Paul Lilly

Since even before the release of Windows 8, Acer has been one of the more outspoken critics of Microsoft’s hardware strategy, especially as it pertains to Surface RT/Pro. As for smartphones, however, Acer’s been a little more receptive, although it still isn’t ready to make the jump into Windows Phone 8 territory.

It’s not that Acer has a grudge against the platform. Just the opposite, Acer’s VP of Smartphones, Allen Burnes, told TechRadar it thinks Windows Phone 8 is a “great OS.” and that “everyone in our smartphone team would really like to deploy Windows OS.” If that’s the case, then what’s stopping Acer?

Windows Phone 8

“The way WP8 integrates in the rest of the Windows ecosystem is phenomenal, so yes we are looking at Windows Phone 8,” Burnes told TechRadar. “Yes, we do believe in it, it just doesn’t sell enough at this moment, otherwise we would deploy it this year.”

Acer isn’t taking a dig at Microsoft or Windows Phone 8, the company just wants to wait until there’s more demand for the platform. As it stands, over 90 percent of smartphones around the world are rocking either Android or iOS. That makes it tough for OEM handset makers to want to jump feet first into WP8, though Microsoft has to find a way to convince them to do so.

“They can’t rely on Nokia, which has its own challenges of rebuilding its brand, to do it for them,” Burnes added.