Rumor mills are working overtime in the last month or so, with a variety of stories floating around on the web. Stories such as, when Microsoft and Sony might launch the next versions of their game consoles. Amongst such rumors one mentioned as to when Microsoft and Sony would announce their next-generation game consoles. With the possible announcement coming late this year at E3 2012 in June, with the idea of grabbing headlines ahead of Nintendo’s Wii U, which was shown at E3 2011 and is scheduled to launch sometime before the end of 2012.
According to reports by IndustryGamers.com, they have made contact with a solid source who claims that at least one, if not both, of Microsoft and Sony’s successors to the Xbox 360 and the Playstation 3 could actually be available for the users by the end of 2012, rather than by the end of 2013 as others expected.
The “source” said:
The ‘trick’ to these rumors is not the console manufacturers themselves, but rather the chip makers. All indications from them are that things change significantly (ie next generation) come November of this year. As such, it has been my presumption since the middle of this past year that we would see new boxes in the market for Christmas of 2012.
Although, it is very unlikely that Microsoft, Sony and Nintendo will all release their next generation game console hardware by the end of this year, which would mean we could be in for a clash of the titans scenario. But, Microsoft did successfully launched the Xbox 360 in 2005, a mere four years after the launch of the original Xbox which was a huge stride in gaining a strong foothold in the console market. And so it is very much possible for Microsoft to release Xbox before Nintendo’s Wii U launch and spoil the party.
Microsoft recently released the beta of their upcoming Windows Defender offline version for windows based systems.The new version of the Windows Defender introduces new feature which allows the utility to be used without booting into the system,which eventually disallows the malwares and other malicious codes to infect the Windows operating system during the bootup process.
So next time you plan on doing a virus scan for your PC,here’s what you should do,
- First of all you need to Download the Windows Defender Offline Beta and then creating a CD, DVD, or USB flash drive.
- After than Restart the PC by using the Windows Defender Offline Beta media.
- Scan your PC for malicious and other potentially unwanted software.
- Remove any malware that is found from your PC.
P.S: Make sure that whatever media you use for Windows Defender Offline Beta is having at least 250MB of free disk space.
Microsoft is taking every possible step against the crackers starting off with this new feature and as we all know the Secure Boot Feature in the prepping for the upcoming Windows 8 operating system,though recently a security analyst created the first boot kit for Windows 8 which was shown off during the recent MalCon,after his suggestions,Microsoft will surely bring a polished security system with the final release of Windows8.
Download Now : Windows Defender Offline Beta [32bit] and [64 bit]
The major chunk of Microsoft’s revenues would come from the OS and its prime software Office. Now that Microsoft is working on developing Windows 8 and releasing its beta versions sometime next year,the company hasn’t forgotten about releasing the latest version of its Office productivity suite.
According to Winrumors Microsoft is planning to release the first beta version of Office 15 (working title) sometime in late January. The company has reportedly been working on the final milestone builds of Office 15 in preparation for the beta launch.Microsoft is expected to offer a Technology Preview version of Office 15 to the public in early January at CES 2012, which is also when Microsoft is expected to launch the beta version of the Windows 8 operating system. Office 15 will likely support many of the touch interface features that are being developed for the Metro-style interface for Windows 8.
It’s more than likely that Microsoft will release the latest version of Office alongside Windows 8 which many analysts believe is scheduled to launch sometime in the third quarter of 2012. Even though Microsoft is moving more into the cloud server business with the launch earlier this year of Office 365, the company likely knows that it’s Office software suite will continue to be used on local PCs for a long time to come.And which the company don’t want to loose grasp on.
Personally, it would be great to see the launch of both Office as well as Windows 8 beta versions simultaneously,which will give the users an elaborated preview of what to expect from the actual products when they will be launched later next year.
According to reports from the New York Times , Microsoft has signed the NDA to align itself for a potential bid for the struggling Internet company and also take a closer look at the financials of the company.This latest piece of information comes after a long trail of news about a possible buy-out of Yahoo by Microsoft .It was not long ago that Microsoft did bid for the company but the offer was later rejected by Yahoo!
Although, Microsoft currently has a search agreement with Yahoo! which the company is looking to maintain and if Yahoo! is however acquired by another firm, then Microsoft would not be willing to break that contract.However, the question still looms at large about what Microsoft would do with Yahoo! Surely they would integrate many of their products such as Skype, but how it would handle the other operations of the website is still a mystery. Also, there is the curious case of what Microsoft would do with its own portal site, MSN.com.
Signing the NDA and actually bidding for the company are two separate things but, by signing the NDA, it does come to show the interest levels of Microsoft in Yahoo!
There’s a upgrade coming to the Xbox 360 gaming console’s dashboard and it seems to have been heavily influenced by the Metro interface from the current Windows Phone 7 and the upcoming Windows 8 platforms. Windows 8 is not even in Beta yet and this dashboard is a finalized UI. This gives us a peek in to what the Metro UI would feel like when Windows 8 is finally released.
The new dashboard features the signature Metro UI tiles with live updates and other relevant features. It is an colorful array of tiles that totally changes the experience that you have had so far with Xbox 360′s dashboard. Part of the Xbox Live platform, the new dashboard will be launching officially on December 6th, Tuesday. The new dashboard is not only a precursor to the full fledged Windows 8 Metro experience, it comes with a host of new features like Sky Drive storage, voice search through Bing (UK, CA and US only at the moment, needs Kinect), better voice and gesture control (also requires Kinect) and some new content.
This new content will be supplied by different providers in over 20 countries. Many of these providers have a worldwide presence. New movies and TV shows are only a part of the whole entertainment upgrade that is about to come in with the new upgrade to the Xbox 360.
In changing the look of the new Xbox 360 dashboard, Microsoft seems to have started its migration to a unified user experience. Its one of the best design decisions that Microsoft has taken so far. They are looking to keep the user experience unified across all their platforms. Currently that includes both the Windows Phone 7 series and the Xbox 360. Windows Phone 7 is what introduced Metro in the first place and now that Xbox also has it, Windows 8 will be launched amidst familiar grounds for users of either or both of these platforms. But most importantly, new users will always feel like they are on familiar territories once Windows 8 launches and completes the cycle.
It was just a week ago that Microsoft announced the Kinect Accelerator program eying the developers and the startups who are using the Kinect technology to build their own innovative apps.
According to the Kinect Accelerator program top 1o finalists will get benefits like 20,000 USD investment by microsoft along with the Xbox and Windows Development Kits ,all other required resources and office space required will be provided along with the technical training from Microsoft,Winrumors Report.
What are the requirements to be qualified for the Kinect Accelerator program:
- Any Kinect-enabled application on Windows or Xbox that can be a commercial business
- Manufacturing to retail, education to healthcare, art installations to gaming, social to interactive play…hmmm, the possibilities
- Can be cloud-hosted, on any platform, but needs to be an application
- Could be one view of an application that may also have a web UI, mobile UI, etc
- Kinect-controlled applications, like what you have on your phone, but on a big screen or a computer screen
- Content you might expect to consume in your living room or in an operating room
Most importantly your startup/business need to leverage the kinect features and capabilities in your final product and company should be willing to develop interests in technical skills which are needed to build a functional prototype.
To apply for the Kinect Accelerator Program Click Here
Prior to this week’s Kinect Windows Beta 2 version, Microsoft released the first beta version of the Windows SDK for its Kinect motion controller camera which was a big hit for researchers and for people who just wanted to tweak Kinect for fun. This week, Microsoft announced that the second beta version of the Kinect Windows SDK has been released.
While this is still the non-commercial version, the Beta 2 version has a number of new features and improvements as opposed to the first Beta release this version has “faster skeletal tracking, better accuracy rate when it comes to skeletal tracking and joint recognition, and the ability to plug and unplug your Kinect without losing work/productivity” according to Microsoft.
Microsoft had previously disclosed that they are working on a commercial version of the Kinect Windows SDK which should be released sometime in 2012. It is expected to be a big hit for software developers and enthusiasts who will most likely create a number of interesting Kinect applications, and of course games, that will run on Windows PCs. It is likely to be of greater interest for the developers, who will be able to make some money off their Kinect apps, although so far Microsoft has yet to announce the terms of the licensing agreements.
This new Kinect for Windows SDK Beta 2 adds support for the Microsoft Windows 8 Developer.You can download the new version of the SDK here
Microsoft has announced a Windows Phone event on the 7th of November. The news post on MSN also confirms that the event will see the launch of 3 additional Windows Phones running the Windows Phone 7 Series Mango update (7.5). I wonder whether Lenovo’s recently leaked phone is also going to be there. It look quite functional in the photos.
Redmond tech giant made no secret of the official launches though. The 3 phones that are going to be released are — the HTC Titan and the Focus S and Focus Flash from Samsung. The post also lets in on the specs of these phones. The Focus S will be following up the original Samsung Focus that was released last year on AT&T. It will have a 4.3inch Super AMOLED display and a 8MP camera. The Focus Flash will have the same display but smaller at 3.7inch. The aptly named HTC Titan will have the largest display of them all — a massive 4.7inch Super AMOLED display. All phones will apparently be able to shoot videos at 720p, which is great news. All three of these handsets will be exclusively available on AT&T and hence they will be available on special plans.
Amongst the officials present would be Andrew ‘Andy’ Lees (President, Windows Phone Division, Microsoft), Joe Belfiore (Corporate Vice President, Windows Phone Program, Microsoft) and several important members of the Windows Phone team. They will be on hand for those who have received backstage passes for interacting and (hopefully) answering questions. So we can expect some nice Windows Phone tidbits to come out from the event. As usual, we would be covering it right here on Windows 8 Beta
According to the MSN news piece, the invites also carry a tag line that says the 3 Windows Phones are not the only thing that Microsoft has in store for the attendees. Apparently, industry speculations suggest that there will be a newer version of Mango on these phones. Since the Mango updated was released just mere weeks back, it cannot be an actual upgrade. So it has to be a new feature that only these phones will have when they launch on November 7. 4G is already old hat and there’s already the HTC Radar 4G out there. So it has to be something else. You have to give it to the Microsoft event planners — a Window Phone 7 event on November 7th. I wonder if they will play on the number any further.
This is a ‘backstage’ event, meaning it is very exclusive and it will be more like a formal meeting than a presentation.
So far, other than Windows 8, Windows Phone has nothing really big coming up. May be better Xbox integration and that companion app we a month or so back.
About a year and a half back, Microsoft’s Courier Tablet concept was still on the Industry’s radar as Microsoft’s answer to the iPad. It was a two-screen device where the screens were joined along one edge and folded together like a book. The project was dropped rather unceremoniously and it seems like this premature death was caused by none other than Windows 8, with some help from Bill Gates.
In an interview of several unnamed executives of Microsoft, CNET’s Jay Greene has revealed the Courier project had come to a crossroads quite some time back. CEO Steve Ballmer had to make the tough decision of whether to keep the Courier or to wait for the Windows team to come up with something that can run smoothly on a tablet.
The Courier project was headed by the same person who developed and pushed Xbox — J Allard. He saw courier as the companion device for PC’s and smartphones. Courier was much closer to completion and a Windows alternative was still far away at that point.
Ballmer went to Founder and former CEO Bill Gates for advice. Gates now started considering the situation and found a major flaw (according to him anyway) in the Courier — it did not support Outlook and Exchange. It instead pulled everything through the browser. The problem with that was that it did not integrate the tablet within the existing scheme of things. For Xbox that was alright because it anyway does not have to connect to Microsoft’s more business oriented products like the Office. But for a companion device, that integration was important. Allard’s plan however was not to create a replacement but a companion that was focussed on focused on content creation. Gates of course saw things differently.
Weeks after this incident the Courier project was cancelled and all efforts were redirected to Windows 8 — headed by none other than Steven Sinofsky. Now that the world is clearly in a post-pc mood — Windows 8 perhaps makes more sense than the Courier. But we can’t help but wonder how the Courier would have been as a separate but complimentary platform.
Kinect first started making waves when the rumors started pouring out about Microsoft’s new motion sensing project. Then it broke all records and went on to sell over 8 million units in its first 60 days of release. Now the Kinect is found not only in gaming but also in stores, healthcare facilities, schools, colleges and in the laboratories. Kinect completed one full year in the market this week. To commemorate this event, Microsoft announced the commercial SDK release for Kinect.
After the initial launch, the Kinect saw a lot of enthusiasts indulging hacking the motion sensing device to do things other than play games. Soon, a lot of virtual reality installations, interactive displays and other experimental setups began to flood the Internet. In a positive response to the hackers who took Kinect beyond its initial gaming purpose, Microsoft released the Kinect educational and non-commercial Software Development Kit (SDK) for enthusiasts and researchers. This allowed them to take advantage of the full range of Kinect capabilities. This has resulted in a lot more experimental stuff and many have noted Kinect’s potential in the commercial market because many of these non-commercial setups would do very well if produced commercially.
Paying heed to these suggestions, Microsoft seems to have been working on commercial tie ups for the Kinect for quite some time now. So now that the 3D motion sensor has completed on year, Microsoft deems the time right to announce the commercial SDK for the Kinect. This SDK will be released next year and it will allows companies to build commercial products around the Kinect that can be sold legally with the proper licensing for Microsoft.
This SDK will essentially allow commercial developers to work software that takes advantage of Kinet’s powerful 3D motion sensing, face, voice recognition system and the RGB camera that recognizes colors. Using these capabilities, they can create more innovative UI, better virtual experiences and a whole lot more. A lot of engineers and medical personnel are looking in to the Kinect in order to incorporate it in to their workflow. Kinect’s main advantage over any other form of input device such as a wand or a controller is that it requires no physical touch from the user. This makes it useful for situations where a physical interface cannot be used. For example, Microsoft’s blog post on the subject talks about how surgeons needs to move out of a sterile surgery room in order to use a non-sterile computer that contains the patient’s information and then sterilize themselves again before re-entering the operation theatre.
The first year of Kinect’s existence in the market has seen it taking motion sensing to various places. Some of these places Microsoft themselves probably never thought about. From teaching young children the basics of math and language to enabling children with disabilities to play equally with their peers for the first time ever — Kinect has also done wonders for youngest members of its audience.
Kinect’s popularity seems to be growing exponentially. Microsoft claimed that over 200 businesses have joined the global pilot program to turn Kinect’s abilities in to commercial products. More impressively, 25 out of the 200 are fortune 500 companies. Amongst the companies named in the post were biggies like Toyota and Razorfish (one of the largest marketing and consultant agencies in the world).