Posts Tagged ‘Microsoft’

10 Days With Windows 10: Is It Worth Installing The Beta?

By Alec Meer on October 14th, 2014.

I’ve spent just over a week with the ‘technical preview’ of Microsoft’s newly-announced Windows 10. This build is unfinished but very much working, and available to all for free, for the time being. Infamously, it was supposed to be called Windows 9, but changed to 10 Because Marketing. Much more than living up to a fabricated number rides on its shoulders, however – can it possibly undo the bad rep of Windows 8?

Well, it’s fine.

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RoomAlive Converts Any Room Into A Video Game

By Philippa Warr on October 11th, 2014.

They're coming through the walls!

RoomAlive! That’s the name of a Microsoft research project “that transforms any room into an immersive, augmented, magical gaming experience”. Translated, that means it uses a combination of projectors and depth cameras to map a room and add in a bunch of augmented reality for your entertainment.

As you might expect there’s been a certain amount of “FINALLY MAYBE WE’RE GETTING A HOLODECK!” bandied about in response. But I’d like to say to that, why would you want a holodeck? All it ever did was go wrong and try to kill everyone. RoomAlive sounds far more existence-friendly.
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Week in Tech: Windows 9 10

By Jeremy Laird on October 2nd, 2014.

Ignore the stupid branding. Embrace the uncharacteristically sane noises coming out of Microsoft. Windows 10 looks promising for old-school PC users. You know, like gamers with desktop PCs. Will I live to regret this sunny optimism? Maybe. Will Windows 10 stop the general Windows rot? Doubtful. Even now, Microsoft’s technical ambitions for Windows seem feeble compared to the grand vision it once had back in the early 2000s. But most of what Microsoft revealed in its mercifully brief presentation covering the new Windows 10 Technical Preview release was positive for desktop dinosaurs and relatively little made me gag.

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Where To Start? Windows 10 Announced For 2015

By Alice O'Connor on October 1st, 2014.

START

It’s funny how quickly we’ll all forget Windows 9. Even today, I’m wondering if it ever really happened. Did we really find lines from our e-mails scrawled across our walls in blood? It seems unlikely that the error alert sound was ever six minutes of inhuman chanting. I only know two people who say they clicked The Forbidden Shortcut and found wasp hives on their doorsteps. We’ll forget. It’ll all seem like a silly story someone once made up. Kieron’s probably fine, just fine, happier as a pillar of salt.

Last night, Microsoft announced Windows 10 for release in 2015. It won’t do any of those things.

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Opinion: Maybe Microsoft Buying Mojang Is A Good Thing?

By John Walker on September 15th, 2014.

The news that Mojang is to be sold to Microsoft undoubtedly causes a lot of upset for some. Minecraft, more cultural phenomenon than game at this point, has had a breadth of appeal unlike almost any other game. And Microsoft aren’t exactly at the top of most PC games player’s Christmas card lists. It’s very easy to see the news and immediately consider it bad news. But perhaps we should pause, and wonder if this might be something worth celebrating? At least, that’s what I’m trying to convince myself.

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TheirCraft: Microsoft Buying Mojang, Notch Leaving

By Adam Smith on September 15th, 2014.

Edit #2: updated to include Microsoft’s video statement.

Edit: updated to include Notch’s statement regarding the sale and his own departure from Mojang.

Speculation occasionally has a basis in fact. A few minutes ago, Minecraft creators Mojang confirmed that Microsoft’s purchase of the company is going ahead. The price? Two and a half billion dollars. The reason?

As you might already know, Notch is the creator of Minecraft and the majority shareholder at Mojang. He’s decided that he doesn’t want the responsibility of owning a company of such global significance. Over the past few years he’s made attempts to work on smaller projects, but the pressure of owning Minecraft became too much for him to handle. The only option was to sell Mojang.

The company founders will be leaving the company and Notch has released a statement (notch.net down, pastebin link supplied) regarding the sale and his own future – “It’s not about the money. It’s about my sanity”.

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Kinect 2.0 Coming To PC Soon, Only Costs $200

By Nathan Grayson on July 8th, 2014.

Kinect 2.0, as seen in its natural habitat, Purgatory.

Really quick, I want a show of hands: how many of you actually bought a Kinect 1 for PC? Anyone? At all? I mean, modders and hackers defied expectations (and warranties) to come up with some cool ideas for the little-motion-controller-that-couldn’t-always, but nothing about it ever screamed, “BUY MEEEEE.” So now the better, beefier Kinect 2 is about to (literally) get under PC owners’ skin, and I’m wondering where people are at on these things. The new one will run you a whopping $199.00 – half the price of an Xbox One – so probably take that into account.

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Week in Tech: Microsoft Loves Desktops, 3D SSDs, AMD

By Jeremy Laird on July 3rd, 2014.

Bit of a mishmash this week while deep and meaningful matters continue to machinate. First up comes news that Microsoft wants your love. Yes, you, the lowly, worthless, mouthbreathing desktop user. Apparently the next significant version of Windows, codenamed Threshold, is designed to win desktop users back. Since there’s actually a fair bit to like about Windows 8 in terms of under-the-hood optimisations that get overlooked thanks to the idiocy of the interface changes, Threshold might turn out to be a very good thing indeed. Meanwhile, ever the SSD innovator, Samsung has now added 3D chip tech to its SSD line up in the shape of the new 850 Pro and with it introduced a rather epic 10 year warranty. Oh, and AMD’s answer to Nvidia’s GeForce Experience software continues to mature…

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En-sob-le: Age Of Empires Online Goes Offline

By Nathan Grayson on July 3rd, 2014.

Microsoft may be claiming that it’s redoubled its efforts on PC, but it hasn’t had much to show for it yet, Games For Windows Live is dying at an agonizing pace, and now Age of Empires Online is naught but ash and memories. Servers are now offline, never to be seen again. It’s a shame because AOEO had potential despite a litany of flaws, and also look at that acronym. Say it out loud. Ayy-ohhh-eeee-ohhh. Fantastic. Teary eyed goodbye from the game’s last dev team below.

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We Know: GFWL Not Shutting Down Next Week

By Alice O'Connor on June 23rd, 2014.

Lovely chap, NastyNorman. We Dark Soulsed a lot. I needed to have some picture here, so.

We’re only a few days from July 1, when Games for Windows Live was supposedly due to shut down. Despite pulling the announcement which sparked all this confusion, for whatever reason Microsoft have been happy enough to let this rumour roll around. Any time they addressed this, it was vague and unhelpful, giving the impression that they planned to kill GFWL at some point but AoEO had jumped the gun. When developers started cutting GFWL out their games, it suggested something was definitely afoot. As July 1 has drawn nearer it’s seemed clear that day won’t bring the end of GFWL–it’d be too little notice–but what about beyond then?

Microsoft have definitively stated that they are “continuing to support” GFWL, by which they mean keeping it alive on life support, a respirator and feeding tube half-heartedly jammed down its throat.

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Halo Studio ‘Listening’ To PC Fans, But Focused On Xbox

By Nathan Grayson on June 23rd, 2014.

staring visors

I’m beginning to worry that John Halo, main character of Halo: The Adventures of Halo Main Character John Halo, doesn’t love us anymore. Once upon a time PC gamers got Halo 1 and Halo 2 – and once upon a more recent time, the middling Halo: Spartan Assault – but we haven’t seen a real Halo game in eons. “Pretty please?” we plea, imaginations running wild with green armor men prancing about, pirouetting like cybernetic teenage mutant ninja turtles. And yet, even with Halo: The Master Chief Collection on the way to theoretically get everybody all caught up before Halo 5, developer 343 replies with a noncommittal, “Eh, maybe someday.” Le sad.

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Why Microsoft Showed Very Few PC Games At E3

By Nathan Grayson on June 17th, 2014.

Unleash the green-tinted lions!

Another E3 has come and gone, and even during a year of Microsoft (once again) committing to PC as another arm of its gaming assault, its showing was largely dedicated to Xbox One. Dead Rising 3 is bringing its massive, undead-infested toybox to our city of towers and power, but not much else is really happening. So, what gives? Well, while Microsoft’s Phil Spencer acknowledged that PC is blowing away a lot of console stuff these days, he argued that E3 isn’t for PC gaming. It’s Xbox’s time to shine, which raises the question: what is PC gaming’s place, by Microsoft’s standards?

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Watch-And-Chat: Microsoft’s E3 Press Briefing

By Alice O'Connor on June 9th, 2014.

Look, this represents Windows too now.

E3! It’s E3 time! E3 is here! Let’s watch press conferences and be excited about video games because we are passionate, excitable people and we all want to discuss these things together, aren’t we? Microsoft is up first this year, with a show that’s set to kick off oh, any second now. Yes, yes it will mostly because about Xbox One and Xbox 360 a little too, but we’ll surely have a few PC bits too–even if some have been announced already. Come on in to watch it and discuss with your RPS chums!

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