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Posts Tagged ‘Microsoft’

Xbox Stand rAge

I recently reported on what Microsoft was bring to rAge 2014, and it was a short list because they naturally wanted to keep a few surprises for the show. Well, I’ve walked about a bit, so here’s what’s playable at their stand.

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roomalive

Remember Microsoft’s proof of concept for something called “Illumiroom”? The Illumiroom concept cropped up way before the Xbox One had even been officially unveiled, and it was speculated that the projector peripheral might have been part of Microsoft’s then “next-gen” console. Turned out it wasn’t part of the Xbox One, but Illumiroom has evolved into something new: “RoomAlive”.

The RoomAlive concept is built off multiple projectors and Kinect sensors. Using some very clever software, the system can overlay interactive elements onto any lounge space. There are a couple of games that have been made to showcase the idea, including one that has you controlling a little soldier as he scales your chairs and couches to evade killer robots.

Don’t get excited just yet, because something like this would cost a lot to put together. As it stands, it’s very much a proof of concept, and unless hardware configurations change, I doubt most people would want multiple projectors and Kinect sensors hanging from their ceilings. Still, it’s clever; not revolutionary or world altering, but certainly very clever. Check it out after the jump.

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windows 10 device family

One product family, one platform, one store, eh? Well it sounds appealing and all, but Microsoft needs to deliver on this promise lest they fall further down the slope in the mobile and other emerging markets in the tech world like projected screens. While their engineers toil away in the Redmond campus, though, the company showed off Windows 10 to the world. Unnoticed by others, though, they showed off overhauled user interfaces for their other devices as well. Don’t believe me? Hit the jump to find out!

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windows 10 device family

Last night Microsoft revealed their next version of Windows to a small audience of about sixty persons. It was a very low-key affair with very little fanfare and hype and it brings me back to the days of the early reveal of Windows 7. Back then, things were also subdued and understated and Microsoft, eager to get rid of Vista’s stigma, showed that they were changing things a little bit and taking concepts from XP and Vista and bringing them together, but not in a way that would alienate everyone altogether.

I get the same vibe from the Windows 10 reveal last night and I have to admit that I’m feeling a lot more positive about the PC world now that Microsoft openly admits that Windows 8 was not as successful or as good as they hoped it would be. Cue lots of humble pie and a focus on returning the PC to its proper place in the computing hierarchy with the other devices now alongside it, instead of being under or above the PC’s importance.

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Microsoft is holding an event on 30 September 2014 to fill in the world about the future of Windows and, rather unsurprisingly, the company will be revealing Windows 9 shortly. At least, that’s according to Microsoft France president Alain Crouzier, who used the name “Windows 9″ in an official capacity for the first time, but slipped the name accidentally into his marketing drive . The company’s only ever talked about the next version of Windows using its codename, “Threshold,” so it’ll be interesting to see how the company handles the name change and convinces customers to return to the Windows world. In a statement to ZDNet France, the company quickly covered up the slip and noted that they haven’t settled on a name for the next version of Windows just yet. Weird. Come on guys, it’s just an operating system.

Source: WP Central, ZDNet France

Microsoft has just announced that if you were tired of hacking drivers to make the Xbox One controller compatible on your PC, you can finally buy a retail-packaged version of the thing along with a nice, long, 3-metre cable along with software to make it work on Windows 7, 8 and 8.1 operating systems. You’re out of luck if you wanted to run one of these on your Linux machine or with OS X with the ability to update the firmware properly, but there’s some basic functionality already for those platforms so long as you’re running it in wired mode. If you want a wireless controller, the Xbox 360 version with the charge and play kit is still an option and Sony’s Dualshock 4 officially supports being run on various platforms because it uses Bluetooth for wireless connectivity.

Source: Microsoft

Minecraft

Rumoured last week, Microsoft has now confirmed that they have purchased Minecraft developer Mojang for $2.5 billion. The game’s creator and Mojang’s majority shareholder, Markus “Notch” Perrson, will be leaving the company. Fellow Mojang co-founders Carl Manneh and Jakob Porsér are also leaving. As for the remaining Mojang staff, they will continue to work at the company for the foreseeable future.

Insofar as the game and the community goes, Mojang says that they’re unsure what Microsoft’s plans are, but they see no benefit for anyone in Microsoft stopping things like mods, builds and videos. Head of Xbox Phil Spencer echoed this sentiment in a video we’ve embedded after the jump. Minecraft will also continue to be available on other platforms, although Mojang does admit that Microsoft has no control over what other companies wish to offer. The subtext of that reads: if Sony decided to pull Minecraft from their platforms, that would be entirely Sony’s call. That is rather unlikely however.

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xbox_one_console_sa

The Xbox One is finally (FINALLY!) arriving in South Africa next week Tuesday. That, for all of our epoch impaired readers, is the 23rd of September. That date couldn’t be better if Microsoft South Africa had tried, because Wednesday 24 September is a public holiday. Hooray, new console and the following day off work/school to vegetate in front of the TV!

Microsoft’s Graeme “Acey Bongos” Boyd has recorded a personal message for all South African Xbox fans. Mr. Bongos even took the time to learn some local words. We can all feel extra smug and special because according to Microsoft South Africa, we’re the only country in the world that has received a personal “welcome to the Xbox One family” video message.

Check it out after the jump.

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Minecraft-comp---featured

The Wall Street Journal is reporting that Microsoft is days away from finalising a deal to purchase Swedish developer Mojang, the studio behind the phenomenon that is Minecraft. The Wall Street Journal is citing an anonymous source with knowledge of the potential purchase.

The buyout, which is rumoured to be in the vicinity of $2 billion, will see Microsoft add Mojang to their stable of first-party developers like 343 Industries and Lionhead. Both Microsoft and Mojang have declined to comment.

Minecraft is practically on every platform known to mankind. What will happen to the game’s availability will be interesting to see should this buyout happen. Rumours suggest that the deal will be finalised at some point this week. We’ll keep you up to date.

Source: The Wall Street Journal (article behind a paywall)
Via: Game Informer 

Microsoft header

On the heels of the breach of the pictures of famous celebrities who had their pictures stolen off their iCloud accounts, Microsoft has decided to not comply with a court order to force it to hand over data to the US government for e-mails stored on one of its servers. This is the first reported incident where the company is shown to not be complying with the NSA and its sister departments responsible for the security of the country. The company had until 31 July to hand over the data and it put out a statement this week that listed its reasons for doing so.

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