Update (Sep 30, 2014) – Highlights from the Windows 10 event in San Francisco (Video)
Two German sites-Computer Base and WinFuture have leaked 20 photos of what is supposed to be the new “Windows Technical Preview version 9834,” (AKA Windows Threshold). This is reportedly a version an external version of Windows of given to partners. As of now, it is going by the code name of Threshold until the public preview is officially released sometime between late this month and October.
The screenshots show us a good look at the new Start Menu, a new search icon and new File Explorer and Desktop icons. This start menu is familiar with the Windows 7 version, but also blends Metro apps quite well, either as live tiles or traditional icons.
These screenshots seem to look real for the most part, minus some reported inconsistencies which could test the authenticity. One of these inconsistencies is there’s an older version Internet Explorer. But otherwise they look real in regards to the accurate icons placement on the feedback surveys and the ‘add a desktop’ function. With the final version being in launched Spring 2015, there is still some time to confirm on their legitimacy.
In this screenshot we get a glimpse of the new Virtual desktop menu, which show actual Windows for each workspace.
These photos are yet to be confirmed, but they appear legitimate, It show that Windows 9 seems to heading in the right direction as far a customizations and the melding of the Metro environment with the traditional Windows Desktop.
Source: Winfuture.de Computerbase.de via Winsupersite
Apple has unveiled the new iPhone 6 yesterday but in spite of this Microsoft released a new Windows Phone commercial during a press conference in Cupertino. Pining the Lumia 635 against the iPhone 5s, this commercial aims to ensure everyone that Cortana still holds the throne when it comes to digital assistants. The focus is on Cortana’s exceeded memory capabilities, for such things as your favourite restaurants, appointments, quickest routes and favourite news topics. In comparison, Siri shows she still doesn’t have the capacity to remember any of that, but does remember when she was the only phone that talked.
Source: Nokia on Youtube
The Nokia Youtube channel just posted a series of new Microsoft promo videos to show off their newly announced phones and the HD-10 screen sharing accessory.
The first two videos are nearly the same, promoting the new Lumia 70 and Lumia 735. They both focus on the phone’s 5 megapixel front facing camera designed to take more improved “selfie” photos.
The third video is a simple and fast moving clip showcasing the Lumia 830. It is done in a similar fashion as the last two, but you get a better look at the colors the phone comes in.
This additional video for the Lumia 830 shows us a hands on demo that explains its features in more detail. These features include the phone’s 16 GB of internal memory (128GB with memory chip), 10 megapixel PureView camera and its optical image stabilization.
The last video promotes the HD-10 screen sharing device in a rather charming way. It tells the story of a man trying to do his presentation at work using a Lumia phone and struggles with it. He then returns home feeling defeated, when suddenly his son shows him just how the HD-10 can display the content from his Lumia to their big screen TV.
Have you ever wondered what it would be like to cause trouble around town, in the form of a goat? Well, probably not. But for the small chance that you might have, you can now experience it first hand with Microsoft’s new Goat Simulator coming to Xbox One as part of the ID@Xbox program.
Yes this might come across as a bit strange and random but it is in fact a real game and is supposed to be quite fun. As you can get a taste of it in this video, the life of a goat can be quite crazy with the right person in control. This video is the PC version of the game but it will most likely match the Xbox One version.
This game was featured at Microsoft’s Gamescom event in Germany today, alongside many other independent developer titles. Clearly we can see that not only the big studios can create interesting games for Xbox, but so can the smaller developers with the additional of their own creative twist, of course.
Those using Windows Phone 8.1 through the Preview for Developers program are getting a new update today. This is the third update Microsoft has released since the availability of Windows Phone 8.1 in April this year. The first update, OS version 8.10.12382.878, came in May which improved battery life and fixed some bugs.
The second update was released ten days ago and today’s update “enables some newly commercialized devices and tweaks a couple of APIs”. This isn’t anything major but to get things rolling head over to Settings > Phone Update > Check for updates on your device.
The official GoPro Channel app has been released and is now available for download in the Windows Store. This app allows users to view extreme sports as if they were part of the action themselves. The photos and videos in this app give users either a first-person experience or as close to the high adrenaline performances as they can get. There is an array of extreme sports stunts to choose from, encompassing pretty much anything you can dream of.
Users can also browse through the featured videos of the day or search by each sports category playlists and the app provides all the info on the latest cameras used for filming or specific shots taken. Users interested in learning more about this equipment or looking to purchase a new camera can head over to the store section of the app, where they will find all that and more.
“Welcome to the GoPro Channel on Windows 8.1. Watch the latest GoPro videos, and experience life as captured by the world’s most versatile camera. From skydiving to scuba diving, surfing to snowboarding, music to motorsports and beyond—whatever your passion, you’ll find it here. Come along for the ride, and get the gear you need to capture and share your own life with GoPro”
Phil Spencer got on stage for the first time at E3 2014 as head of Microsoft’s Xbox division since he took the helm in March. In the 90-minute long presentation, Spencer and game developers primarily spoke about the games coming out this year and in 2015. “I want the content to be the star,” Spencer proclaimed.
Unfortunately, we did not get to hear about other things such as voice control, streaming, Windows 8 or TV. Sony, however introduced their Project Morpheus VR headset and the Oculus Rift. Spencer then took the time to sit down and chat with Engadget’s Ben Gilberts angle on new games, virtual reality, the transition of Xbox 360 games to Xbox One and much more.
This is what Spencer had to say in response to Sony’s Oculus Rift and Project Morpheus,
“I look at VR as an interesting technology. I’m watching what’s going on out there; I don’t really think it’s a mainstream technology yet today. The nice thing at Microsoft and Xbox is we’ve remained invested in experimenting with a lot of what’s out there, whether it’s voice, or motion. Right now I’d say we have our skunkworks stuff that we’re working through, but right now we’re watching how the VR space evolves to see if it ends up as a mainstream consumer scenario.”
Spencer also confirmed that Microsoft is in the “skunkworks” phase of creating their spin on a virtual reality creation but they are still unsure on how to bring it to the mainstream market, and when. He also emphasized Microsoft’s plans to bring Xbox 360 games to Xbox One.
“So, not to geek out on it, Xbox 360 is obviously a Power PC-based architecture. We’ve got an x86 architecture on Xbox One, which makes the translation a little more challenging. The interesting thing — the Xbox 360 has an amazing content catalog, one of the largest catalogs ever created. When I think about that content, I don’t want that content to just waste away. I want it to be content people can play for many years; there are a lot of different ways for us to enable that. It’s something that I’m sitting down with the team and we’re brainstorming on. We don’t really have a plan yet that I can communicate in a way, but I can say I want to make sure that that content is stuff people can play. I think that’s an important part of investing in an online, connected community, is that the content I acquire and I’m playing is something I can carry forward with me. Right now there isn’t a plan, just to be clear to people. But it’s something that we have conversations about.”
Microsoft really wants fans to know just how important and useful their feedback about Xbox is. Through sites like MajorNelson.com, NeoGAF, Reddit, Twitter, various forums and in person events, fans have freely discussed their likes and dislikes on the console. Now, Microsoft is making it clear that they have been listening and are informing fans that their feedback has played a vital role in the decision making process over the last year. In order to encourage the feedback process, Microsoft has revealed a new fan feedback portal called Xbox Feedback. Here’s what Microsoft had to say about it:
“That’s why today we’re rolling out a new fan feedback portal: Xbox Feedback. It’s a place where Xbox fans from around the world can submit their ideas for Xbox – any idea – and have people vote on it. Because everything will happen on one site, we’ll be able to get a better idea of which ideas are truly the most important to Xbox fans. The best part: the ideas, comments, and votes will be tallied up and presented to the Xbox design, engineering, and operations teams on a very regular basis.”
For those of you wish to contribute and have your ideas heard, you can head over to Feedback.xbox.com. This is where you would submit your idea or vote on other ideas that others have contributed. Microsoft is on a mission to make Xbox the console of choice for consumers, and having feedback from enthusiasts who love the platform be implemented, is a great way to win over the audience.
Source: Xbox Wire
Nick Parker, Microsoft’s vice president of OEM partners has announced that the prices of Windows 8.1 tablets and smartphones will decrease significantly. This year, prices are expected to drop to well under $200.
During his time at Computex 2014, Parker was quoted saying:
“We’ll reach price points that are very industry competitive for 7, 8, 10-inch devices,” Parker said, speaking to reporters after his keynote at Computex, Asia’s largest computing show. “They will really surprise you. Last year, we were in the 3s, 4s, 500 dollars. This year, we’ll be 1s, 2s, 3s.”
The reason for this quick decrease in price is Microsoft’s bold attempt at mobile sector market share, which is greatly overpowered by Google and it’s free Android operating system. Although Microsoft has previously set a price for its software, in order to bring their 9 inch and smaller devices closer in competition to Android, Microsoft decided to make Windows for these devices available for free this year. Microsoft also revealed a 7-inch Windows 8.1 tablet at Computex, saying that it would be priced at as little as $100.
Parker refused to comment on whether Microsoft will carry on with free Windows for smaller devices and tablets, or if they will be charging OEMs next year. However, Parker did discuss that Microsoft has other methods of making money aside from licensing fees. Some of these include Microsoft’s Skype video chat service and Office 365, which users can rent for a year instead of purchasing.
HTC and Microsoft combined forces for Windows Phone 8, but since then there hasn’t been official word on release of a high end HTC Windows phone. Because of this, many people began to wonder overtime if HTC would continue to invest its resources into Microsoft’s mobile platform. For quite a while there had been no concrete statement from either company addressing HTC’s commitment to Windows Phone.
In a recent turn of events, we have been getting leaked information thanks to @evleaks of a high end flagship HTC Windows phone possibly coming soon- called the W8. Even better, today at the Computex press conference, Microsoft’s Nick Parker of the OEM division teased about potential future plans of HTC’s collaboration with Windows Phone. When asked about device partners, he said:
Microsoft’s OEM division head Nick Parker hinted that HTC is preparing to return to Windows Phone. “I’d love to break some news here if I could,” said Parker, responding to a question about device partners. “But instead I’ll just say that Microsoft will continue to have a great relationship with HTC. New things are coming, so get excited.”
Source: TheVerge, The Official Microsoft Blog