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Director Ridley Scott is producing the live-action series Halo: Nightfall. It’s meant to bridge the gap between the events of Halo 4 and upcoming Halo 5, which releases in 2015. Because the San Diego Comic-Con is currently underway and is billowing voluminous amounts of unadulterated geekery into the atmosphere, we get this first trailer for Scott’s Halo series.

Halo: Nightfall takes place on a colony world where the discovery of a shard from the original Halo structure is causing all sorts of political tension. That shard of the Halo will eventually take on a “dark and malevolent” vibe as the series continues. Nightfall’s main character is Jameson Locke (played by Mike Colter), and the miniseries will double as his origin story. Locke, 343 Industries has confirmed, will be a playable character in Halo 5.

Halo: Nightfall will be made available to Xbox LIVE members on 11 November. It’ll also be bundled with the Halo: The Master Chief Collection when it ships for Xbox One on the same date. Hit the jump for the trailer.

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windows 7 desktop

Gaze upon yonder picture, little ones. It may be the last time that you ever see a fresh install of Windows 7. Microsoft very quietly and very sneakily ended retail sales of Windows 7 last year, warning users that stock of the OS licenses on shelves would be returned on 30 October 2013, despite it being officially the most popular desktop operating system on the personal computer.

Now it’s time to remind you that 2014 is the year that Microsoft kills it off in the consumer space for good.

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Google Chromebook header

Google Chrome is known for being one of the faster and more fluid browsers out there, regularly showing up the more established competition like Microsoft and Mozilla. However this speed comes at a price and it’s been known for a while that Chrome is a system resource hog – it regularly chews up gigabytes of RAM on my system and it uses the GPU as much as possible to accelerate the UI and certain content shown in the web page. But according to Forbes, Chrome has long been a hog for a different reason altogether – they pin is as the source of a lot of unnecessary battery drain. Hit the jump to find out more.

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We already know that Microsoft is embarking on a job-cutting rampage now that new CEO Satya Nadella is at the helm of the company. Last week we saw these job cuts resulting in the closure of the just-opened Xbox Entertainment Studios and the ending of Xbox Originals planned TV series. Now, however, the job cuts have hit across the pond from Microsoft’s US home.

Website MCVUK is reporting that Microsoft will be axing 75% of their EMEA workforce. For those perhaps unfamiliar, Microsoft’s EMEA teams look after the company’s presence in Europe, Middle East and Africa. The remaining 25% of the jobs available to EMEA teams have been vacated, with those applicable staff members being asked to reapply for those positions.

Most of the time the EMEA teams are the companies the local gaming media deals with when heading overseas for assignments. Insofar as consumers are concerned, a Microsoft spokesperson has said that these cuts will not affect the release schedule for the Xbox One in EMEA territories.

Source: MCVUK


There’s a major shake-up currently underway at Microsoft. New CEO Satya Nadella is wasting no time in making changes to the company, and this is resulting in the loss of 18,000 jobs over the next twelve months. Yikes.

One of the first listed casualties is the newly formed Xbox Entertainment Studios. Cast your minds back to the initial Xbox One reveal and you’ll remember the massive song-and-dance Microsoft made about the future of TV on Xbox. They were planning on heading down the same path that Netflix has in developing their own TV content that would then be made available exclusively through Xbox LIVE. To aid that, at the beginning of 2013, Microsoft set up Xbox Entertainment Studios under the leadership of ex CBS Television executive Nancy Tellem.

Xbox Entertainment Studios was poised to develop a collection of original TV series collectively known as Xbox Originals. Both the studio and Xbox Originals are now dead.

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Microsoft Surface 2 running Windows 8.1

Earlier today I reported that Microsoft would be stemming Windows 7 development from 13 January 2015, putting the ageing, but still ever-popular OS into extended support, with Windows 8 mainstream support not far behind. Given that many consider Windows 8 to be the Modern equivalent of Vista and although it hasn’t failed in the same way Vista did, it didn’t make nearly the impact that Microsoft had hoped for in the consumer space. Windows 9 promises to fix up many of the issues that users have taken with the OS and I was really looking forward to it.

That is, of course, until I read rumors from a reliable leaker about the new activation system said to come in Windows 9.

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13 January 2015 is the date that Microsoft has decided on to officially cull mainstream support of Windows 7 SP1. Mainstream support is defined as patches and updates to provide new functionality or fix existing software and services inside the OS, so that means that there will not be a second service pack for the operating system. Although mainstream support is ending, critical security and software updates as well as updates for Windows Defender and patching of vulnerabilities will still take place. Windows 7 is officially End-of-Life for Microsoft, with the last batches of license keys being all sold out this year and OEM vendors now forced to Windows 8.1 for any new products that they will be shipping out this year.

Extended support for Windows 7 SP1 ends on 14 January 2015. Windows 8 mainstream support ends on 9 January 2018, with extended support stopping on 10 January 2023. It’s worth noting that not only is Windows 8 essentially replaced by 8.1, many companies are dropping support for it in support of Windows 8.1 Update. Man, Microsoft can’t make their desktop offerings simple, can they?

Source: Yahoo Finance

You might have seen headlines stating that Microsoft has done a new 180 in dropping yet another feature from the Xbox One. That feature is the ability for ordinary Xbox One consoles to double as devkits, which is great for hobbyist game developers and indie teams that can’t fork out wads of cash for separate Xbox One devkits. Since the console released however, Microsoft has been quiet on this feature. Website Digital Spy originally quoted Xbox Advanced Technology Group’s Martin Fuller as saying the feature had been dropped and that he did not know the reasoning. Shortly after the Internet imploded with more vitriol aimed at Microsoft for yet another Xbox One reversal, the company issued a statement to say that Fuller was speaking out of turn and that Microsoft remains “committed to ensuring the best possible solution for developers and hobbyists to create games for Xbox One.”  So for now, it’s waiting as usual until Microsoft releases a firmware update to enable the devkit features on Xbox One.

Windows 8 success kid header

Microsoft is currently working on getting multiple parts of the Windows ecosystem working together in harmony without breaking the user experience too much. They tried to do this with the launch of Windows Phone 8 and Windows 8, tying in both platforms closely together to make things easier for developers moving across platforms, but that was at the expense of devices not optimised by a touch-driven experience. I’ve said before that Modern UI (or Metro) wasn’t the best idea the design teams could have come up with, but the work they’ve put into it has made it a rather efficient way of dealing with the differences in mobile, tablet, laptop and desktop/server platforms.

Although the final product isn’t perfect, I’d go so far as to say that I’m pretty comfortable with how things are working and set up on my machines and the way things work is pushing me to adopt Windows Phone. So, the latest batch of reports about Windows 9 is utterly confusing to me.

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Microsoft E3 2014 media event

E3 2014 may have come and gone, but some of the important bobs of information remain from the show and are still being discovered. Like this comment by Microsoft’s new head of Xbox, Phil Spencer. Phil is responsible for all things Xbox at the company and also has a responsibility for Microsoft’s gaming brand that also appears on Windows 8/8.1 computers thanks to the Xbox app and Smartglass. E3 is a expo for gamers and this year that was a much more notable de-emphasis on the PC platform. Polygon caught up with Spencer and he noted that E3 wasn’t the stage for the PC.

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