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[Rumor] The peeps over at the techreport.com posted something very interesting. Apparently they have got their hands on a rumor which suggests that the Windows 8.1 Update 2 is just a few weeks away. Allegedly the update will not contain the Star Menu Update and will come later with Windows 9 ‘Threshold’.

One of Microsoft's biggest focuses at CES 2014: Windows 8.1

Start Menu Update coming with Windows 9 Threshold – Windows 8.1 Update 2, 12th August

Now Update 2 will contain a few bug fixes and some small tweaks here and there.  The full rumor actually stems from various other sources that are readily available on the Tech Report’s article. The new major update to Windows OS will be landing in a few weeks on the 12th of August 2014. However, Microsoft seems to be taking an interesting take on the entire Start Menu debacle. Apparently Windows 7 users who want the new start menu before they jump ship, will have to wait till Windows 9 Threshold. Microsoft’s move to remove the Start Menu Update from the 8.1 Update 2 might be met with retaliation from the desktop user base but in my humble opinion, and everything considered, its probably a wise move. See, Microsoft is currently suffering from Bad PR and it needs to disassociate itself from the Window 8 Fiasco completely.

[Editorial] Before I begin a few words of caution. It goes without saying that the results of this benchmarking showdown will not be pleasant to some. Also, all the benchmarks were conducted virtually, which means that some slight variation may exist between real life results. The Equation System and the VGA Calculator used are the intellectual property of one Daeguen Lee (DG Lee) and all rights are reserved by him. The calculator can be accessed freely on his website iyd.kr (aka udteam.tistory.com).main title13

PS4′s GPU (Pitcairn) Benchmarked Against the Xbox One (Bonaire) with and without eSRAM

Wow, I don’t think there has ever been an instance of a universal benchmark, and for good reason too. Since an actual universal benchmark would instantly put the power hierarchy in harsh relief it has not been done. However what we are going to attempt today is the closest you will ever get to a universal real life benchmark and the results should be very accurate. Alright lets start. Since both the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One utilize AMD GPUs, that means that we are only going to use the AMD Equation System. A basic introduction of both the GPUs is in order. The PS4 GPU is codenamed Pitcairn and is basically a cut down variant of the Radeon 7870. It has a fairly high SP count and is clocked reasonably high too. The GPU has access to 8GB of Shared GDDR5 memory clocked a 1375 Mhz (5500 Mhz effective) and boasts throughput of upto  176 GB/s. Pitcairn has a 256 Bit bus which is quite reasonable for a GPU of this tier. The good thing about PS4′s GPU is that we have everything we need to calculate performance with almost zero real life variation.

xbox one logo
Software

With the launch of the Xbox One, Microsoft promised to supplement it with periodic updates. In May the company also announced that it was going to separate Kinect from the popular console, leading to a $100 decrease in it’s price. This lead to sales of the Xbox One being doubled in June, when compared to May, according to Microsoft. So true to its words, the company has revealed that starting from July 21st, the next update will start rolling out for the console. This is for those with early access of course.

Xbox One

Next Xbox One Update To Roll Out On July 21st – Result Of Feedback Received From Xbox Feedback

console logo
Hardware

With the release of the latest PlayStation 4 and Xbox One video game consoles, the gaming industry has become brighter than ever, but it is not only the consoles that are contributing towards the growth of the industry. PC gaming might not be something that is all over the internet right now like the latest consoles, but it surely is one of the pillars that are keeping the gaming industry in place. According to a latest Jon Peddie Research report, PC gaming hardware market now stands at more than $21.5 billion worth.

Slide 1

PC Gaming Hardware Market is Double the Value of Console Market – More than 21.5 Billion Dollars

In everything that is currently going on in the gaming industry concerning the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One consoles, it looks like PC gaming is somewhat fading away from the media front, but despite the gradual decline in demand for home PC hardware, the market for gaming specific PC hardware is actually doing really well. As a new Jon Peddie Research report (via MCV) claims, the total value of PC gaming hardware market worldwide is more than $21.5 billion, that is twice the worth of console gaming market, and it is predicted that the figures will grow significantly over the next three years.

Caution, Debunked: The actual screen shot is fake, whether the information is too, remains to be seen. The article remains below in its unaltered state.

Some new information about Windows 9 has surfaced over at Chiploco.com. This gives a much anticipated glimpse into what the developer version and probably the final version of Windows 9 is going to look like. It would appear that Microsoft is doing its level best to appease the adamant Windows 7 fans by ditching most of its Metro UI start screen system. Although snippets and glimpses of the new windows have leaked out before, this leak gives a look at the complete aesthetic of the upcoming Windows 9.

Windows-9-screenshots-start-menu-_2Courtesy of Chip Loco.

Windows 9 Has Full Support of DirectX 12 – Ready to Welcome Home Win 7 Users

Now the build is called 6.4.9788 which means that seeing the current trend we are looking at a release date of around Q4 2014. As we already know, Microsoft has decided to completely ditch the start screen in Desktops, and has reverted to the Windows 7 boot to desktop style. We have the beloved start button back, something, once again, which we already knew. Now we recently learned that Microsoft has incorporated some of the Metro UI into its start menus, and these screenshots show in detail just that.

The Metro Apps part will be the left side of the start menu, and for the Windows 7 die hards, it can be turned off thankfully. A more streamlined version of the familiar start menu will be on the right side and it looks like most of the windows 7 aesthetics have been combined with windows 8′s icons to a promising looking effect. I myself still use Windows 7, since I love the Aero look too much to move to the obsolete looking (in my opinion) static look favored by Windows 8/8.1. However, if most of the transparency functionality is included by default then I could get used to this, and since we can turn the Metro APPs off complete, it seems like a good effort from Microsoft’s Part. One of the primary reason Microsoft has adamantly refused to leave behind the Metro UI is because of its iconic role in mobile devices, which has admittedly costed them quite a few dollars. However, this new peace offering along with DX12 support might just be enough to win the support of the Windows 7 Community. Microsoft is ending mainstream support in 2015 anyways so now would be a good time to make the shift. Although to be honest, I would have killed for the following aesthetic.

en-INTL_L_Nokia_Lumia_1520_ATT_White_CYF-00150_mnco
Gadgets

A Lumia device by Microsoft powered by Google’s ever popular Android OS is reportedly in the works. The report comes from well known tech insider @evleaks. If this is believed to be true, then it is very exciting news indeed. Microsoft purchased Nokia’s mobile phone business for a staggering $ 7 billion in September last year and the deal was finalized this April. Microsoft has already dabbled with the Android OS once before, with the launch of the Nokia X and the recently unveiled Nokia X2. The Nokia X2 has a 4.3 inch display with a 5 MP camera and a Dual Core 1.2 GHz Cortex-A7 processor. In fact, Nokia’s Lumia line of phones can be credited to boosting the popularity of Microsoft’s software in the growing global smartphone market.

url

@evleaks Claims Today That An Android Powered Lumia Is In The Works. No Further Word However

Well known insider @evleaks has today posted an update related to the from Microsoft, by Nokia Lumia smartphone. This is very exciting news indeed for both Lumia and Android fans. According to @evleaks “Big news: Android-powered Lumia incoming, from Nokia by Microsoft.” @evleaks has had a very impressive track record when it comes to leaks related to the industry. The tipster has very rarely been proven wrong. If he’s got it correct this time around as well then we could indeed be seeing a very interesting device in the future. No other details have been provided by @evleaks however. There is no word regarding the specifications, price or the launch date of the phone. The Nokia X series had ended up providing best of both Microsoft and Android, and with the Android powered Lumia the same can be expected, on a much better level. Thats all for today. Stay tuned for more on the Android powered Lumia and other devices at wccftech.

Windows Threshold (Windows 9) is either going to be a complete win or an absolute train wreck. After the response Windows 8 received Microsoft took some pretty drastic actions in 8.1 and it would seem that they are going to take even more in Windows Threshold. They have decided to finally and completely ditch the Modern UI Start Screen and it will no longer be visible for desktop users among other things. A preview of the windows build will be available later this year according to ZDNet.com.

Windows 9 / Threshold Details Emerge – Looks like Microsoft is finally listening to Win 7 Users

Windows-8-Start-MenuNow from what we know, a desktop user will now boot directly to desktop and no longer see the start screen anywhere. The start screen can be re-enabled for anyone who actually misses the GUI. Also Microsoft plans to differentiate Windows 9from  Windows 8 completely and I for one think thats a really good plan. Sadly however it seems that we are getting a newly redesigned and reinvented start menu and after the windows 8 fiasco, I cant help but approach this with a wary eye. Apparently the new start menu will have some portion of the start screen integrated for a more ‘flexible look’. This includes Live Tiles that will be more or less floating inside the start menu and will represent a cut down metro style switchboard. Thankfully this can be turned off, if the user doesn’t appreciate it.

Interestingly Microsoft will allow Metro-Style apps to be compatible with Windows Threshold and ‘float’ inside thier own windows on the desktop. Ofcourse all these changes are only applicable for Windows 9, I assume a completely different schematic will occur for Windows RT and Mobile. Besides, Windows 8.1′s update 2 is going to be arriving sometime in August. This will fix your average bugs and do some minor tweaks and nothing major is expected in this update. Personally, I can’t get over the flat looking aesthetic of windows 8/8.1/9 but maybe that’s just me. Would it be too hard for Microsoft to provide different looks on the same base build? Resorting to after market solutions works of course but usually results in memory hogging, bugs or both together. Needless to say, the enthusiast community is awaiting the release of Windows 9 with pitchforks in hand, and to be honest, I cant say I blame them.

355088-new-microsoft-logo
Gadgets

The internet has been quite abuzz lately about smartwatches. Pioneered by Google’s Android Wear, this year’s Google I/O saw several smartwatch launches. LG, Samsung and Motorola all have announced their devices. Called the LG G Watch, Samsung Gear Live and Moto 360, the watches have several unique and new features which provide users more ways to stay up to date and connected with their environment. We have done a detailed comparison of their features and specifications, which can be found here. Well it looks like Microsoft has also decided to enter the smarwatch market, but only indirectly. The company also filed a patent for a smartwatch design back in October 2012, but which were only recently released. The company has reportedly received patents related to several features of smartwatches.

10396376_10204119939976029_539565108_n

Microsoft Received Two Smartwatch Related Patents – Related To Data Transfer And Sensors

Microsoft already makes millions from Android smartphone related patents. Royalties received from HTC and Samsung totaled $ 800 million in 2012. The company received $ 10 from each phone sold by HTC around $ 12-13 from each phone sold by Samsung. Well it looks like the company has similar plans this time around with the only difference being that the product now in this case is smartwatches. The first patent received by Microsoft is for Discreetly Displaying Contextually Relevant Information on a display device. This translates to the features on smartwatches which allow them to wirelessly receive data from smartphones. In the case of Android Wear watches, this is in the form of notifications, updates, messages and other data that the user might require to be displayed on the go.

355088-new-microsoft-logo
General

Current market trends show that laptops are slowly but surely going out of fashion. Users are switching more and more towards the mobility and easy functionality offered by tablets. There are numerous offerings of tablets available in today’s market. We’ve taken two of these – Microsoft’s Surface Pro 3 and Surface Pro 3 and compared their features for you to be able to make a better choice. Microsoft launched these devices originally as the Surface RT and the Surface Pro and as time has passed, we’ve seen a significant improvement in their functionality offered as well as their performance.

microsoft_surface_pro_3Microsoft’s Surface Pro 3.

Starting with the basics, the Surface Pro 3 has several display gains over it’s predecessor. Microsoft has increased the screen size on it’s latest offering, with the Surface Pro 3 having a display of 2160×1440 pixels coupled with a pixel density of 208 ppi. Compared to this, the Surface Pro 2 has a display of 1920 x 1080 pixels with a ppi value of 214. This is because in the Surface Pro 3, Microsoft has increased the screen size. The screen dimensions on the Surface Pro 3 are 12 inches wide and 8 inches high with a thickness of 9.1mm.  The Surface Pro 2 has screen dimensions of 10.8 inches by 6,8 inches with a thickness of 13.5mm. This ends up giving the Surface Pro 3 a much sharper resolution and will allow you to view pictures and videos in a much higher detail and quality. Despite the larger size, the screen on the Surface Pro 3 weighs a full 100 grams less than the Surface PRo 2. All of these also make the Surface Pro 3 a more likely laptop replacement, a quality Microsoft was aiming at with the launch of the Surface series.

Surface Pro 3 _Verge_1
Gadgets

Surface Mini confirmed by Microsoft:

Microsoft unveiled its Surface Pro 3 tablet in May this year. While Surface Pro is geared towards professional usage with tons of features exclusively advertised to set Surface apart from its primary rival iPad, many expected Microsoft to launch a Mini version this year too. Apple has been getting some good profits from its iPad Mini tablets, Microsoft’s Surface Mini was just a natural development expected.Surface Mini

However, Microsoft did not launch any Mini tablet and the earlier speculations of Surface Mini were considered to be just rumors and leaks. Seems like they were not simply rumors or leaks but Microsoft’s Surface Mini does

PS4 and Xbox On3 1
Games

The “console wars” is one of the very top terms that you might have heard millions of times during your stay at the online gaming community. Whether it be the 1990s or the 2000s, the console wars have always been there ever since the first two video game consoles came into existence. Now, when the next generation of gaming has already started, it doesn’t matter how much you try to restrain yourself from getting into an argument with someone else who is loyal to the Xbox One, for eventually, you will surely find yourself explaining why your PlayStation 4 is better. After all it is natal and kind of logical, but that doesn’t mean it is necessarily important.PS4 and Xbox One

The Next-Gen “Console War” is Meaningless – PlayStation 4 and Xbox One are Two Fantastic Consoles

One thing that I have picked up from all the talks between people from two unconventionally created groups is that the console war is just as meaningless as the smartphone war, and no matter how many times you try to organize the chat, you won’t be able to stop passionate gamers from bawling out each other. Of course, competition is inevitable, and in very few cases, the next-gen console war tends to come in handy, such as it gives a good idea of which company is leading the market to the investors by comparing console sales. But putting the world’s blame on someone who made a mistake of not purchasing the console that you prefer is sad and somewhat absurd.

One console being capable of much more than the other doesn’t mean everyone should opt for the one with more hardware potential. Sony’s PlayStation 4 is clearly prevailing over the Xbox One in many cases, it ranks on top in the consoles hardware specs chart and the platform holder’s upcoming Project Morpheus exclusive compatibility makes it even more attractive. Microsoft is aware of the fact the evergrowing PlayStation 4 fan base is not in the best interest of the Xbox One, this is why the manufacturer decided to cut off the Kinect from Xbox One bundle, this also suggests that analyzing the current situation, Microsoft has started to make the right choices.

Sunset Overdrive Logo
Games

Sunset Overdrive comes from the long loved developers of the Ratchet and Clank Series and for the studio to make something of the likes of Sunset Overdrive when stepping out of the world of Ratchet And Clank really caught us by surprise. For now, see the new bag of tricks they have for us in the latest video just shown at E3.

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Sunset Overdrive Shown Off, Shows 8 Player Coop

Sunset Overdrive is without a doubt one of the most unique and colorful IP’s to have graced the Xbox one, it is a game that makes Infamous meet the craziness level of Dead Rising in the world of killing the paranormal. If you have yet to see any media relating to this game then you really have missed quite a lot and you should get off your couch and pre-order this game immediately, it is a game WORTH getting and with 8 player coop confirmed the insanity can only go eight fold, so what are you waiting for? Look at these new screens of Sunset Overdrive!

We apologize for the quality of the shots, for now bear with us on these and we will update when direct feed shots or a video is available.

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Microsoft E3 2014 WCCF Live Blog 1

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Games Hardware

While PC as a platform has always more to offer, it’s consoles where the top games arrive driving the global gaming market and economy. Granted, MOBA and other similar genres are strictly PC-only, which is leading to a resurrection in the PC gaming industry. With the new generation of consoles, namely the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One, following PC-grade hardware under the hood, the strong line separating games on PC and consoles has evolved into a fine line.consoles_2013_gen

PS4 And Xbox One Successors To Arrive Sooner: AMD

The last generation of consoles, as everyone surely remembers, was unusually long. The Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 era lasted for 8 years before a successor to each were announced. Even now, next-gen exclusive titles are very few. But that isn’t our concern right now. According to AMD, the next-generation of consoles, i.e. after the PS4 and Xbox One, are already under consideration. We have reason to believe, according to several reports in the past, that Nintendo too is working on a Wii U successor. Hopefully, it will come with more capable hardware this time.

AMD is massively profiting from the semi-custom SoC design business. 12 million PS4 and Xbox One units have been sold combined; 12 million devices powered by AMD APUs (CPU + GPU) in just 6 months. In addition to that, 6 million Wii U units have been sold by Nintendo since its launch back in 2012. The Wii U uses a GPU designed and made by AMD.

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Games

While it is no secret that PS3 and PS4 controllers work with little to no hassle on the PC, the Xbox One controller has been slightly more elusive. The wait is finally over and you can now use your Xbox One controller with a PC by downloading the drivers from Major Nelson’s website.

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