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Selfie Phone
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Getting past the personal annoyance with selfies, we have to say Microsoft is actually going all genius with its latest venture of a selfie phone – aka Microsoft Lumia 730. While it may not be the “next big thing” as we wonder if even the selfie-enthusiasts would get a phone solely based on one aspect, albeit a very important aspect for certain demographic, it definitely is worth to cash on while the trend lasts. For Microsoft’s happiness, this trend seems to be lasting for quite long and looking at the crazy adoption by the popular celebrities, selfie-trend is here to stay. We secretly hope it dies till next decade?Selfie Phone

Microsoft Selfie Phone – the Lumia 730:

Windows 9 Logo
Industry

[Rumor] Windows 9 is one of the more discussed iterations of operating systems out there. A new report by Winbeta reveals that Windows 9 also known as ‘Threshold’ will be getting a completely new Modern UI 2.0 with a new feature called Interactive Tiles. Now because I am not very familiar with OS and mobile related sources, I am going to be tagging this one as a Rumor, even though this report looks pretty much legit to me. Windows 9 Threshold Modern UI 2.0 Live Tiles

Interactive Live Panel to Feature in Modern UI 2.0 in Microsoft Windows ‘Threshold ‘ 9

Now Windows 9 is slated for a launch in 2015 according to latest reports with a beta coming in September this year. The Start Screen has been a thorn in the side of hardcore Windows users for quite a long time and is one of the multiple reasons why 50% of the Windows sector is sticking to Windows 7. Previous reports have indicated that Microsoft  will be disabling the Start Screen by default in desktops to appease the aforementioned crowd. However, I think the same users might be open to a completely redesigned start screen. One that actually has useful features like live interactive tiles for your email etc.

You can see the Live Interactive Panel screenshot above, courtesy of winbeta once again. Now the source goes on to state that the Start Screen will not be available in Desktop version and the Mobile version won’t have desktop. Thats a very interesting statement because it means that Microsoft will be able to pursue its Unification dream without changing the aesthetics that old users love. For devices like the Surface Pro 3.0 you can always enable the Start Menu interactive start- screen-thing. The removal of the desktop will feature mostly in Windows RT devices. Interestingly Win32 applications are being replaced by Modern UI alternatives, so Microsoft is actually going through a reboot of the desktop-less windows for tablet devices. Windows ‘Threshold’ is shaping up to be either a glowing success or another failure by the looks of things. However, if you follow the old wives (programmers?) tale of the failure-success pattern of windows, Windows 9 is slated to be the platform Win7 users finally upgrade to.

8307143_sa
Industry

September is bringing a lot of products in the computer sector but even that pales in comparison to the amount of mobile products launching in September. From Sony to Samsung to Microsoft, we have tons of mobile devices and gadgets coming in so we take a look at what we are expecting from different brands in the next month.Microsoft Sony Motorola September Mobile Releases

September to See Many Mobile Launches – Sony, Samsung, Apple, Microsoft and Motorola Included

Lets begin chronologically, the first date of interest is September the 3rd. Sony will be ready to announce some new phones and maybe even a phablet. If Sony’s past record is to be any indicator then it will push these products very actively in the US Markets, and should be readily available to the US consumers. The next day, September 4th, is the day any technophile and gadget lover should note down in their calenders because we have announcements from across the board. Samsung, Motorola and Microsoft are all queuing up for big announcements.

Samsung and Microsoft will be hosting events in Beijing and New York while Motorola has scheduled an event in Chicago. Samsung is expected to officially announce the Galaxy Note 4 according to latest reports. The rumored devices are 4K OLED TVs and maybe even a competitor to the Google Glass. Motorola will be teasing the new Moto G and ofcourse the anxiously anticipated Moto 360 Smart Watch. And also we will finally get to see the Moto X replacement which might be called the Moto X+1 or the Moto X2. The exact specifications are unknown but it will probably have a larger screen and more TDP overhead.

console logo
Games

Update: The PS4 pic is from last year and not Gamescom 14. Leaving the Op-ed as it is though.

[Op-ed] You know, I find Microsoft’s antics pretty interesting. They go through all that trouble to rig up Xbox One showcases even after the high number of times they have been caught using PCs behind the curtains.  False advertisement aside, won’t it be better just to openly admit that these are Target Renders running for the purpose of showing off only? Hmm, maybe not. Interestingly though, a thread at r/PCMasterRace reveals that Sony might be guilty of the exact same thing.Xbox One PC Gamescom

Microsoft Caught Using Nvidia-Powered PC Builds at Gamescom – Who would’ve guessed?

The first thought that came to my mind when I happened across this news at multiple other sites was “Oh no, not again…”. And no, I was not quoting Agrajag from Hitch Hiker’s Guide to the Galaxy but rather expressing my exasperation on Microsoft’s antics. However, I found something very interesting in my reddit feeds as well. The subreddit r/PCMasterRace has posted very suspicious pictures of what looks like Sony attempting the same ploy. Frankly speaking, after this, I doubt I am ever going to trust a console demo completely, no matter how much it looks like the real deal. And I have a feeling, that I wont be alone with these trust issues. Microsoft has garnered a lot of bad PR in the past in their use of PCs to demo games with amazing graphical prowess and then later releasing a cut down and downgraded version to retail. But if Sony is doing the same here, and that’s a big if, logic dictates that this might not be the first time they have done something like this.

355088-new-microsoft-logo
Software

As we told you earlier, Microsoft has now introduced a monthly update schedule for Windows as well. The updates will now be based on customer feedback and the whole process is quite similar to the one on Xbox One. Well, this month’s Windows update is here, as scheduled by Microsoft’s Update Tuesday, according to which there will be updates for the popular operating system every month.

windows-8_logo_250px
Industry

Just like the Xbox One, Microsoft has announced today that it will be bringing monthly updates to Windows 8 as well. Keep in mind that update here means major updates such as new features and tweaks. Microsoft presently has an update cycle for Windows 8.1 which is known as update Tuesday. This is a monthly process through which security and non-security updates are delivered for the operating system.

ea922979-8406-4759-a030-29b001c57282_5
Software

Awaiting the Windows 9, Microsoft’s Windows 8.1 has become quite a fan favorite especially for those with a mouse and traditional keyboard. Albeit a large amount of Windows 7 users have been complaining since the release of Windows 8 for its lack of user friendliness and a dash of awkwardness that is usually felt maneuvering through the latest iteration of Windows. While things are expected to change with the next major Windows update in the shape of Windows 9, we are seeing some fantastic new Windows 8 themes to give your machine a completely new look. From night scenes of Budapest to icy-chill panoramas of Uppsala, Sweden and some artistic looking maps of Maryland and Alaska – you have got about everything here. Here are the links to these definitely eye-catching and quite serene Windows 8 themes. While the themes may have been advertised as Windows 8.1, you can enjoy it on any of your PCs.Windows 8 themes

Windows 9 Logo
Industry

New information that has just appeared reveals interesting details about the upcoming update of Windows 8.1 and the anxiously awaited Windows 9. ZDNet tells us that the upcoming update 2 (referred to as August Update) will not be a compulsory update for the operating system and will be the last major update for Windows 8.1. Meaning the next thing we see is Windows 9 finally landing.

windows-9-availableFan Made Concept of Windows 9.

Windows 9 May be Closer than Expected – August Update to be the last Windows 8.1 Update

Interestingly, Update 1 had been tagged as a compulsory update while as Update 2 wont be. Infact, it will be a relatively minor update and will simply be referred to, as the August Update. Now the source says that there won’t be an Update 3. The only eventuality in which an update 3 is released is one in which Microsoft decides to do so just for the sake of continuity and establishing a ‘serviceability’ pattern.  In all probability however, the source alleges, we will not be seeing the Update 3 at all. Infact the next stop is Windows 9 with all the goodness of the new start menu that we have been waiting so long for.

The August Update is coming on August 12 and will land dead center on Patch Tuesday. It would appear that Microsoft will not be making a very big deal out of this particular update and it wont contain any big feature changes. Though some design adjustments will be present, there is a reason Microsoft will be tagging it as non-compulsory.  Also it will probably be pushed just as another Monthly update. Apparently, all the folks over at Microsoft will be putting their energy behind Windows Threshold/Windows 9 to make sure it is completely stream lined and bug free at launch. The source indicates that Microsoft might even cut Windows XP, Vista and especially Windows 7 Users (50% of the entire user base I might add) some kind of deal by giving them a free upgrade to Windows 9 directly. All of this, just to get the somewhat stagnant Windows loyalists to get a move on. I have a feeling however, that the only real factor in triggering a migration will be if Windows 9 truly hits home.

355088-new-microsoft-logo
Gadgets

Microsoft greatly expanded its Surface Pro 3 lineup earlier this year. The tablet comes with several more options than the Surface Pro 2. The Surface Pro 3 was announced with five different variants. These covered one model with Core i3, two with Core i5 and two with Core i7 processors. The entry level price tag of the Core i3 model was $799, which shocked several familiar with the industry. However initially only the $ 999 variant featuring the Intel Core i5 processor with 4 GB  of RAM and 128 GB of storage was available.

Well this changes starting from today. Looking to capitalize on the back-to-school season, from today Microsoft has started selling the entry level Surface Pro 3 which costs only $ 799. This variant of the Surface Pro 3 comes with 4GB RAM, an Intel Core i3 processor and internal storage of 64 GB. While not much, it should nevertheless be a great option for those light on the budget yet still looking to capitalize on the two-in-one experience the Surface Pro 3 has to offer.

windows-8_logo_250px
Software

[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.

PlayStation 4 console
Hardware

[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.

Windows 9 Logo
Software

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.

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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.

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@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.



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