Cross-platform game creation kit available for free, or in $40 bundle
Microsoft's six-month beta for game creation tool Project Spark is over. The kit, with an included physics engine as well as gameplay mechanics that utilizes traditional inputs, as well as Kinect and SmartGlass, is available now for the Xbox One and Windows 8.1. The kit allows users to create worlds, share them with fellow players, and does not require an Xbox Live Gold membership to play.
Toshiba Encore Mini includes Office 365 Personal, entry-level specifications
Toshiba has introduced two devices running Windows 8.1 at IFA, adding to its existing Radius and Encore ranges. The Satellite Radius 11 is a convertible notebook able to switch between tablet and notebook modes, while the Encore Mini is a 7-inch tablet offering full Windows 8.1 with Bing and Microsoft Office 365 Personal preinstalled.
First value notebook running Windows 8.1 may have Chromebook specifications
Microsoft's fight against Chromebooks will start with a low-cost offering from HP, according to a report. A leaked data list claims the HP Stream 14 will allegedly have a similar specification list to other Chromebooks, along with a competitive price tag of $200, though the notebook will be running Windows 8.1 instead of Google's Chrome OS.
Major Patch Tuesday update expected for Windows 8.1
The next scheduled major update to Windows 8.1 could be coming as early as next month, according to a rumor. Windows 8.1 Update 2 could arrive on the next "Patch Tuesday" on August 12th, a month suggested in earlier speculative reports, and though the exact contents of the update remain unknown to all but Microsoft, it is believed it could feature the return of the Start Menu.
Asus combines two Intel chips to create the Transformer V, Android-Windows hybrid
Electronista had a chance to get up close with the intriguing new Asus Transformer V at Computex Taipei. The Transformer V is, according to the Taiwanese PC maker, the world's first five-mode, three-in-one converged notebook. The Transformer V functions as a full Windows 8.1 notebook, Windows 8.1 tablet, Android smartphone, Android tablet and Android notebook. The way that Asus has executed the design is particularly interesting, as the device carries not one, but two Intel chips to get the job done.
Toshiba Encore 2 includes 8-inch, 10-inch models, Windows 8.1 installed
Toshiba has introduced a trio of tablets, with one running Android and the others on Windows 8.1. The Excite Go continues Toshiba's Excite range of Android devices, while the Encore 2 tablets follow on from the original, offering 8-inch and 10-inch displays with a resolution of 1280x800 packed into a 0.4-inch device that's considerably thinner than their predecessor.
Path for Windows Phone exits beta, adds in-app purchases
Mobile social media network, Path, has released v2.0 of its app for Windows Phone 8. Exiting its beta stage that first arrived in January, the update adds in-app sticker and filter purchases and the ability to run searches. Bug fixes and overall stability improvements are also included. Path for Windows Phone can be downloaded from the Windows Phone app store.
Yezz announces Billy 4.7 phone, operating Windows 8.1
Mobile device manufacturer Yezz has announced its latest smartphone, the Billy 4.7. Based on Windows 8.1 OS, the Billy 4.7 is a dual-SIM device with a 4.7-inch IPS screen and 1280x720 HD resolution. Featuring a 13.1-megapixel camera and 4G HSPA+ network capability with HSDPA+ 42.2 Mbps data speed, Billy 4.7 is aimed at a versatile audience. The phone's body is comprised of lightweight aluminum, with scratch-resistant Gorilla Glass 2. The total phone's thickness is measured at 7.2mm (0.28 inches). Anticipated to be available in June through Amazon, Yezz's Billy 4.7 will be priced at $250.
Google Now adds card for car parking reminder in latest update
A new Google Now update will help drivers remember where they parked. Android Police reports the app will detect when the user is traveling by car automatically, bringing up a Parking Location card in Google Now that shows the approximate location of the vehicle after it has stopped. The update also includes a new reminders interface, a centralized list of nicknames, adds voice control to some device settings, and retains recent Google Now cards when in offline mode.
Windows 8.1 could get Start Menu earlier than first thought
The Start Menu could be making its way back to Windows desktops in another Windows 8.1 update later this year, according to rumors. A second update for the operating system is apparently on the way, landing sometime in the third quarter of this year, and may see Microsoft bringing back the Start Menu before its expected return in the next version of Windows.
Build-promoted 'Start' menu changes not implemented yet
Microsoft has started making the latest major update to Windows 8.1 available to end users. The mandatory update for Windows 8.1 users comes in a series of patches, and requires that the user have a fully-patched existing 8.1 system before the update commences. Failure to properly install the patch has dire consequences, according to Microsoft -- engineers claim that "failure to install this Update will prevent Windows Update from patching your system with any future updates starting with Updates released in May 2014."
Update not officially available, but user-downloadable anyhow
Microsoft has, perhaps inadvertently, made the next version of Windows 8.1 available for download. Windows 8.1 Update 1 has been discovered, requiring either registry changes to automatically obtain the update, or a manual install by way of direct download.
Windows Update claimed to be in hands of manufacturers before April release
Microsoft has reportedly finalized the incoming update for Windows 8.1, ahead of a release in early April. The final version of Windows 8.1 Update 1 has apparently been signed-off for a Release to Manufacturing (RTM), namely to computer and notebook manufacturers to include in their products, with devices offering the update pre-installed likely to appear at the same time as the update's release to consumers.
32GB version of VivoTab Note 8 hits retail, 64GB version missing
The Asus VivoTab Note 8 has gone on sale in the United States, with Microsoft's online store being the first retailer to offer the Windows 8.1 tablet. Originally confirmed by Asus itself via a leaked user manual before its launch at CES in January, the VivoTab Note 8 has an 8-inch IPS 800x1280 display using a Wacom digitizer, offering over 1,000 levels of pressure sensitivity.
Increase in Windows 8.1 usage still not enough to beat Windows 7 on Steam
The adoption of Windows 8 and Windows 8.1 by gamers has broken 21 percent for the first time, up from 20.06 percent for December, according to the latest figures from the Steam Hardware & Software Survey. Last month, Windows 8.1 systems made up 10.75 percent, with Windows 8 existing on 10.56 percent of reporting systems, though this is still far behind the older Windows 7.
Update to Microsoft OS leaks before expected March 11 launch
Microsoft's first major update to Windows 8.1 has leaked ahead of its expected March 11 launch. The update, appearing in a number of file sharing sites, is said to have been compiled on January 14th and is not the final version that will be supplied to users, but at the same time it does not appear to include many more updates other than what has already leaked out.
Change to booting will minimize visibility of Metro Start Screen
The incoming update to Windows 8.1 could see the operating system load to desktop by default, according to a report. Though Windows 8.1 gives the user the option to boot to the desktop instead of the Start Screen, by making the desktop the initial view, it appears to be a far greater attempt at appeasing users who dislike the Metro user interface style by minimizing the amount of time it is visible.
Power, search options moved to Windows 8.1 Start Screen
More rumors for Microsoft's first major update for Windows 8.1 have surfaced. A more accurate date for release has been touted, along with more screenshots claiming to show the upcoming changes to Windows 8.1 Update 1, including a seemingly simpler way for users to shut down desktops, and a new search button at the top of the screen.
Option to add Metro apps to taskbar spotted in leaked screenshots
Microsoft's first major update to Windows 8.1 could bring more integration between Metro-style apps and the Windows desktop, according to leaked images. Icons for Metro apps, typically running separate from the desktop itself, have been spotted on the taskbar in some screenshots, suggesting that users will be able to switch quickly from desktop mode to the app through an alternative means to what is currently offered.
Iconia W4 ships with Microsoft Office Home and Student 2013
Acer has allegedly started shipping its Iconia W4 tablet in the United States, months after its initial expected shipping time in October last year. Though the computer producer states the eight-inch Windows 8.1 tablet will be available later this month in both the US and Europe, it has apparently been listed by a number of online retailers as available to purchase.
Name of Asus Windows 8.1 tablet confirmed in website error
Asus has accidentally confirmed the existence of the rumored VivoTab Note 8 tablet, by publishing its instruction manual. The PDF on the company's website, still accessible at the time of writing, confirms the tablet's name and Windows 8.1 as its operating system, as well as giving a general view of the front and back of the tablet, and basic operating instructions.
Windows 8, RT users can take advantage of Slingbox
Slingbox announced in a post to its blog on Friday that its SlingPlayer app is now available for Windows 8.1 and RT devices. The new app pairs with a Slingbox in order to transmit video content from a user's home computer or other device directly to a user's mobile device. Users downloading the app will have access to a free test-drive period of 24 hours before it will require them to decide whether they wish to purchase it for $15.
Dell delivers a surprisingly suitable tablet so far
We've made no secret of the fact that we're fans of mobile devices with styluses, as evidenced by our raves about Samsung's Galaxy Note series. So it should come as no surprise that we were interested in checking out Dell's new Venue 8 Pro device and its active stylus. The 8-inch tablet runs Windows 8.1 – the full Windows – so we're also interested to see how well Microsoft's struggling platform works on an 8-inch slate form factor. Dell sent us a review unit, and you can check out our initial impressions by clicking on through.
Microsoft restores Windows 8.1 update after fixing problem
Microsoft has reenabled the Windows 8.1 update for Windows RT, following the update having been pulled temporarily due to its crashing some users' computers. Microsoft announced the return of the 8.1 update in a tweet on Tuesday. The update is available in the Windows Store as a free download.
Microsoft Surface 2, Surface Pro 2 pick up key enhancements
Microsoft's revamped Surface 2 and Surface Pro 2 productivity tablets are now shipping to customers. The revised devices both incorporate a number of enhancements designed to boost performance and improve overall usability. Both devices incorporate the latest silicon and an improved dual-position kickstand, while each also ships out of the box with Microsoft's refined Windows 8.1 operating system.
Free, paid downloads of Microsoft operating system upgrade commence
Windows 8.1, Microsoft's upgrade for Windows 8, is now available to download and buy. The update, which reintroduces the Start Button to the desktop among other changes, can be downloaded from Microsoft directly or bought as an installable DVD, with current Windows 8 users able to download it via the Windows Store at no charge.
Choice between Bay Trail, Core i-series hardware
As part of Dell's renewed push into the tablet market, the company has unveiled a 10.8-inch model that serves as a convertible device powered by Windows 8.1. Several internal configurations are available for the Venue 11 Pro, ranging from Intel's 2.4GHz quad-core Bay Trail processor to a 1.6GHz Core i5 chip.
Downloads, DVDs of Windows upgrade shipping on October 17th
Microsoft has started accepting pre-orders for its next operating system, Windows 8.1. The DVD and downloadable versions of the install disc, costing $120 for Windows 8.1 and $200 for Windows 8.1 Pro, will serve for both full installs and upgrades from earlier versions, with the discs themselves set to ship on the October 17th release date.
Windows Media Center still a paid-for upgrade in Windows 8.1
Microsoft has revealed its pricing strategy for Windows 8.1 sales, when it is released on October 18th. While users of Windows 8 will be able to upgrade to Windows 8.1 at no charge, Microsoft will not be providing a heavily-discounted Windows 8.1 Pro discount similar to the one it had at Windows 8's launch.
Take makes second push into tablet market
After struggling to gain traction in the tablet market with the XPS 10, Dell is making a fresh push with its upcoming Venue 8 Pro. The eight-inch tablet promises to deliver a full Windows 8.1 experience and competitive battery life, thanks to Intel's new Bay Trail platform. Electronista met with the company this week at IDF to check out the upcoming tablet in person.
Toshiba tries netbook reboot with Satellite ND15t
Toshiba has debuted a new Satellite netbook running Windows 8.1. The Satellite ND15t is a compact 11.6-inch touchscreen notebook aimed at the entry-level notebook targeted at users who might otherwise be tempted by a Google Chromebook. Although netbooks have all but disappeared from the market, Toshiba's new ND15t moves is being pitched as both affordable and offering more productivity than Google's Chrome OS notebooks.
Toshiba Encore 8-inch Windows 8.1 tablet includes Office preinstalled
Toshiba has launched two new tablets at IFA, both of which will be compatible with Windows 8.1. The Satellite Click is a 13.3-inch detachable tablet that can convert to a notebook by attaching a keyboard dock, while the Encore tablet is an 8-inch model with multi-touch capabilities and a budget-oriented price tag, that attempts to mimic the functionality of larger versions.
Will support Mavericks, Windows 8.1
Following up on an earlier announcement, Parallels has revealed more details of Desktop 9 for the Mac. The virtualization software will ship September 5th, and support not only OS X Mavericks but Windows 8.1. Parallels is promising substantial performance boosts, including a 40 percent jump in disk performance, and a 25 percent increase in virtual machine startup and shutdown speeds. VM suspension times should be 20 percent shorter; web browsing and 3D graphics, meanwhile, should each run 15 percent faster.
Global roll-out of free Windows 8 update just before launch anniversary
Microsoft has revealed the date for when it will release its free major operating system update for Windows 8. Confirming earlier rumors, Microsoft will start offering downloads of Windows 8.1 from October 18th at 12am in New Zealand, or 4am on October 17th in Redmond, with the update globally available to download through the Windows Store.
Miracast to be included as part of Windows 8.1 update
Microsoft will be shipping the final version of Windows 8.1 to computer producers in late August, claims Windows CFO Tami Reller. The version heading to OEM partners comes after the software giant made its free Windows 8.1 Preview available to download and test, and in theory will allow for computers running Windows 8.1 to go on sale before the holiday season.
Update returns Start Button, Start Screen gains updates, new apps
Microsoft has released the preview edition of its free Windows 8.1 update, making it available to download. The prerelease version of the codenamed Windows Blue software introduces an improved search system, a revised Windows Store, and updated core apps, as well as the previously hinted-at interface tweaks, and the return of the Start button.
Calculator, Sound Recorder return to Windows 8 in update
Details have emerged over possible updates for built-in apps in the free Windows 8.1 update. A reworked interface for Xbox Music, a redesigned Windows Store, and the reintroduction of apps seen in previous incarnations of the desktop operating system are shown in images, ahead of the update's preview release later this month.