Monthly Archives: June 2013

Xbox One–Complaints Fixed

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It’s been about 3 weeks since Microsoft did a big reveal on the brand new Xbox system, now known as Xbox One.  During this event, Microsoft showcased the amazing features and capabilities of the Xbox One as a Home Entertainment Device

What is the Xbox One?

A summary by Microsoft on Xbox One

Welcome to a new generation of games and entertainment. Where games push the boundaries of realism.  And television obeys your every command. Where listening to music while playing a game is a snap.  And you can jump from TV to movies to music to a game in an instant. Where your experience is custom  tailored to you. And the entertainment you love is all in one place. Welcome to the all-in-one, Xbox One.

If you missed the event but want to watch the one hour press conference, you can watch it from YouTube.

Since the big reveal, Microsoft also participated in E3 where the focus of Xbox One was all about games, games, games!  There is a lot of excitement and accomplishments the Xbox team can be proud of; however, the event was overshadowed by two major complaints by the gaming industry:  1) an internet connection was required to “check-in” every 24 hours and 2) difficulty in sharing, loaning, or selling your purchased game discs.

Today, there was a major announcement by Don Mattrick, President of Interactive Entertainment Business, regarding the major complaints issued towards the Xbox One in a post:  Your Feedback Matters – Update on Xbox One

In response to the feedback received, the following was updated:

An internet connection will not be required to play offline Xbox One games – After a one-time system set-up with a new Xbox One, you can play any disc based game without ever connecting online again. There is no 24 hour connection requirement and you can take your Xbox One anywhere you want and play your games, just like on Xbox 360.

Trade-in, lend, resell, gift, and rent disc based games just like you do today – There will be no limitations to using and sharing games, it will work just as it does today on Xbox 360.

This should silence many of the critics… maybe it is time for you to reserve your Xbox One now.  Here is the link to order from the Microsoft Store

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You can watch the Microsoft Press Conference at E3 here.

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Windows 8 continues to build momentum–June update

imageStatCounter currently shows that Windows 8 is picking up momentum ahead of the Windows 8.1 release update.  As it stands, Windows 8 is the 4th most deployed operating system in the world (at 5.79%) behind Mac OSX (at 7.49%), Windows XP (at 21.22%), and Windows 7 (at 52.49%).  Worldwide usage of iOS is sitting at 4.2%.

I suspect that by August, Windows 8 will be the 3rd most popular OS in the world.

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If you look at the United States alone, Windows 8 adoption has already surpassed iOS deployment (although iOS has had a 6 year head start).

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I firmly believe you will start to see this pick up more quickly after the release of Windows 8.1.  Not only are there a lot of improvements coming to Windows 8.1 for Touch-enabled devices, but also improvements for non-Touch-enabled devices and the Bring-Your-Own-Device corporate scenarios.  Additionally, Windows 8.1 makes the usability of the smaller form factors (7” – 9” devices) more appealing.  I have personally purchased the Acer Iconia W3 8.1” device based on this announcement alone… unfortunately, I’m still waiting on delivery (initially targeted for June 18th but is now delayed until June 26th).

For those of you still on Windows XP, it is time to get off and upgrade your system.  You have 10 months before Windows XP is End-of-Life (April 2014) which means NO SECURITY FIXES.

My recent Posts about Windows 8.1:

Also, my post on Acer’s Iconia W3:  Acer Iconia W3

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Smartphone of the Year?

Engadget Reader’s Choice smartphone of the year goes to the Windows Phone – the Nokia Lumia 920.  Yes, you read that correctly.

I love this phone and love the partnership with Nokia.  Nokia adds great apps to the overall Windows Phone ecosystem.  Watch the video.

 

And take a look at how the new iOS7 compares to the Windows Phone as described by WMPowerUser:  New iOS7 should be instantly familiar… to Windows Phone users.

even Apple acknowledged that Windows Phone was their closest competitor for satisfying users.  No wonder they decided to copy our OS while trying to improve theirs.

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Office Mobile for iPhone

imageToday, the Office team announced and release Office Mobile for iPhone users.  This is another great chapter for the Office team as Office 365 is being embraced worldwide.

Read the newly released Office Blog – there’s also a 100 second First Run Experience video.

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A Windows Store within a Store

imageToday, Microsoft announced a strategic partnership to create a Windows Store within a Best Buy store across the US and Canada (500 in the US and 100 in Canada) beginning in late June.

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  • The stores within Best Buy will range in size from 1,500 square feet to 2,200 square feet and will be the premier destination for consumers to see, try, compare and purchase a range of products and accessories, including Windows tablets and PCs, Windows Phones, Microsoft Office, Xbox and more.
  • There will be an additional 1,200 staff on hand to provide a great customer experience, whether it’s choosing the right PC or showing consumers how to stream Xbox music through their Surface.
  • We’ll have a full online Windows Store experience that will mirror the in-store look-and-feel and offer a full range of Microsoft products, even those from other places in the Best Buy store.
  • More information about the Windows Store only at Best Buy:  http://www.bestbuy.com/windowsstore

 

Source – Talking Retail:  The New Windows Store Only at Best Buy

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Surface Firmware Updates (June 2013)

imageHave you ever wonder what those Surface Firmware updates do for you?  The Surface team posted a blog yesterday about the most recent update.  I’m really excited to discover that I can change my top row keys to be the function keys as primary… just press FN+Caps to switch to Function Key mode… do it again to get the charms, volume, etc. back.

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There are other updates with this June release of the Firmware update as well:

  • WiFi Connectivity Improvement
  • New driver for Surface USB to Ethernet Adapter
  • LifeCam driver
  • Volume boosted for Surface RT

You can read about the changes from the Surface Blog.

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Apple’s Siri goes Bing

imageThis fall when the iOS 7 gets released, Apple’s Siri will begin using Bing for Siri’s default Web search functions.

This is a great WIN and partnership between Microsoft and Apple.

Exciting New Chapter in Bing’s Collaboration with Apple

Today at WWDC Apple announced iOS 7, which brings Bing web search integration to Siri, Apple’s breakthrough personal assistant, for the first time.  

Starting this fall with iOS 7, Bing will power Siri’s new integrated web search. When users ask Siri a question either the specific answer or web search links will now be delivered automatically so users can find information even faster. 

Bing was designed from the outset to be a great place for web search helping customers quickly find what they are looking for and get more out of search. We are thrilled that all the great results people have come to know and love on Bing.com will now be available to Siri users on iPhone, iPad and iPod touch.  

Making sure customers can have access to the power of Bing where and when they need it has been a big focus of the work we have done over the past few years, and we are excited to work with Apple to deliver it to Siri users this fall.

– Derrick Connell, Corporate Vice President, Bing

Bing Blog Source

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