Source: WMPoweruser

Speaking at the UBS Global Technology Summit recently, Microsoft devices and services chief Larson-Green hinted that we could see some wearable devices from Microsoft in 2014.

"For my lifetime, there will desktop computers where people are doing precision movements with the mouse, which are highly tuned for productivity and typing – as well as maybe something on your wrist or on your head or something in your pocket where you will want to interact. You'll want to see your emails, get notifications, get access to the information you need to do your job as well as interact with friends and family."

"Devices that are going to be in your home or on your body, services where you can get access to all the information and data you care about. The people, the documents, the entertainment, all the things in your life from whatever device is most convenient for you at the time."

Microsoft's vision is based on ubiquitous computing, where we are not only surrounded by devices, but by devices that know us and try and help us.

She thinks the next step is the magic that happens when you bring together sensors that you wear or walk past, combining information from apps that can connect to each other and natural interfaces.

"From telling you didn't quite do your pushup as far down as you could go, or your heart rate is too high, you're stressed out, take a  deep breath or letting you know when your bus is running late — there are lot of things we can do bringing those together in a new way of thinking about how people interact tech. Just as the mouse was an innovation and touch was an innovation, there will be a next new way to interact."

That device could be using your phone for multi-factor authentication and single sign-on through Azure Active Directory, or it could be you walking up to your Xbox and having it show you your calendar. "If you want it to," she added. "It's about permeating technology through your life and making it available to you. We're really focused on having  devices integrated in your life, in whatever way you want it integrated."

While we have seen such pie in the sky ideas from Microsoft before, the company seem more determined now to bring their visions to reality.

"We have all the elements," she said. "We have an OS that scales from mobile devices to giant screens in your living room, up to a server, and we have the power that gives developers and IT professionals to manage those devices and to give information out to people in your business, no matter where they are. We have a great platform for building on top of those devices."

She noted after the massive re-org recently the company's divisions were working better together.

"We are working together on plans, we have a shared vision, we have a shared roadmap — and we have individual teams working on cross team scenarios. We meet weekly as the leadership team to checkpoint where we're at and where we want to go and what challenges we have."

She hinted that we could see results as soon as next year, saying  "next year you'll start to see lots of exciting things."

Do our readers think Microsoft, bolstered by Nokia's expertise can pull it off? Let us know below.

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Source: WPCentral

It's already set in stone that Microsoft's next-generation console, the Xbox One will require a day one patch - just like the PlayStation 4. Unfortunately, with the next Xbox, you'll not be able to play any games (or really do anything at all) until you've installed the update.

Luckily, should you be afraid that something may go wrong on the day to prevent you from getting on with some gaming, Microsoft has made an offline version of the day one patch available for manual installation via a USB drive.

We'll highlight some of the steps in this article, but we strongly urge you to head to the Xbox website to read through the full guide. It's recommended to only go through with this if you know exactly what you're doing. We cannot be held responsible for any issues that arise should you load the offline update.

Microsoft states that this Emergency Offline Update (EUO) is available for systems that are experiencing trouble connecting to Xbox Live for the necessary files. But the idea is for the EUO to be loaded onto a USB drive just in case there are issues when booting up your console and connecting to Xbox Live.

Here's what you'll need before you begin:
•A USB flash drive formatted as NTFS with a minimum 2 gigabytes (GB) of space
•A PC with an Internet connection and a USB port.

Following the guide on the Xbox website, you'll boot the console with the USB drive plugged in (with the necessary files - seriously, read the guide) and the OS will then automatically copy across and mount the update file. The update should then progress through as normal and you'll be able to upgrade the system to the current build.

Head on over to our forum to join in the discussion to get some assistance or to share your experience when you unbox and set up your console. Will you be going down this route or will you be trusting Microsoft's backend to battle through the load?

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Source: WPCentral

Microsoft today released the Xbox One SmartGlass app for Windows Phone, but lo and behold the company has also pushed out the same solution on Windows 8.1. Should you have the next-gen console on pre-order and are eagerly awaiting its arrival by getting your home and technology ready, you'll definitely want to have this app downloaded.

Just like the Windows Phone counterpart, Xbox One SmartGlass brings the following features to Windows 8.1 hardware:
•Navigate your Xbox One console using your device's keyboard and touch
•Control your media and set top box with the SmartGlass remote control
•Browse the web on your TV using your mobile device
•Enhance what you are watching or playing with SmartGlass companions
•Increase performance with faster connections and reliability
•Search, browse, and pin content to play on your Xbox One console
•Track achievements, get game help, message friends, and watch game DVR clips.

You can grab Xbox One SmartGlass Apps for Android, iOS, Windows 8.1 and Windows Phone from these links

Windows 8.1  Windows Phone

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Source: GameInformer

The launch of the PlayStation 4 is behind us, and for the most part it went off without any major catastrophes. Some people are reporting issues, and others are having trouble signing into the PlayStation Network to update their consoles, but the majority of PlayStation 4 early adopters are working on their Resogun high scores, or taking on the Helghast in Killzone.

It’s Microsoft’s turn next week, as the Xbox One launches on Friday, November 22, and there are a few things Microsoft could learn from Sony’s launch to make everything go as smoothly as possible.

Lessons to learn

Encountering errors – Unfortunately, when it comes to mass-producing new technology, it’s nearly impossible to not have at least a few defective consoles. Some are encountering issues with blue lights, or white lights, or pulsating lights that prevent the system from starting up.

Most of these issues are covered by warranty, or fixable with a reset, but the problem that is coming up, is people aren’t sure what issue they’re encountering in order to try and get it fixed. A solution would be to associate on-screen error codes with these problems and make them easy to define and track down online.

Or in the cases where there is no display appearing on screen, make it easy to track down what the different light signifiers mean. Sony does have a helpful troubleshooting FAQ giving PlayStation 4 players a few options to fix their console, but right now it’s not as easy to find as it should be because it is embedded in Sony’s message boards.

If the Xbox One encounters the same problems, this would go a long way towards helping people get their consoles fixed or replaced as quickly as possible.

Lessons to copy

Updating outside of the network – Sony offered the PlayStation 4’s firmware update online through its website before the launch of the console. You can learn about it here, but basically it allows you to get your system up to date without having to sign into the PlayStation Network.

Unsurprisingly, the PlayStation Network’s servers buckled under the weight of one million players trying to update their console. The ability to download the firmware update remotely, place it on a flashdrive, and use that to update the system is something PlayStation 3 players have been capable of doing for some time, but it came in especially handy this weekend.
It would be very helpful if Microsoft offered the same option for the Xbox One, because I am predicting that on Friday, Xbox Live might be a little difficult to sign on to.

Twitch – PlayStation 4 also had a great opening weekend with Twitch. The new PlayStation 4 Twitch features were working and highlighted on the service's website. The Xbox One needs to make sure that people are as excited about streaming on their Xbox Ones as they were this weekend about streaming on their PlayStation 4s.

Most of the PlayStation 4’s launch problems were resolved fairly quickly, with the exception of the defective consoles, which unfortunately there is no quick solution for. Hopefully the Xbox One has a similarly smooth launch. And hopefully everything stays classy.

Source:  Kotaku

Photo: Kin Cheung | AP
Last month, Kotaku reported that student interns were allegedly forced to manufacture the PlayStation 4. Now, there are rumors that some of those student interns sabotaged Sony's gaming console.
Unlike the launch PS3, which was made in Japan, the PlayStation 4 was outsourced to Foxconn and allegedly manufactured at its plant in the Chinese city of Yantai.
As pointed out on IGN's boards, a thread appeared on August 28 in a forum set up for Xi'an Technological University North Institute, the Chinese university with the alleged forced Foxconn internships. In the thread (translated by IGN's forum member Qbroid), one student claimed, "Since Foxconn are not treating us well, we will not treat the PS4 console well. The PS4 console we assemble can be turned on at best."

The thread has since been deleted. It might have been censored. It might have simply been taken down because it's not true. Who knows. Above, you can see a screenshot of the alleged comment.
Recently, however, another forum comment appeared on another Xi'an Technological University North Institute thread. In it, one commenter allegedly wrote:

If the system is broken, don't blame us students. When we were studying, they shipped in 20,000 migrant workers from Guizhou. On top of that, there were also many Yantai local students and long-time Foxconn workers at the factories. The people that made the news were us Xi'an Technological University North Institute students. We're not even 1/10 of the workers at Foxconn. So don't blame the issue on us Chinese students, and don't talk about Foxconn on this board. You have no idea how hard it was to work in the factories as a recent high school graduate. Feel free to ask questions about the PS4 but not about Foxconn.

 Those with dirty mouths aren't welcome. If you have a problem, go find quality control. We were only in charge of manufacturing. :)

This same forum user blamed the Taiwanese for the tough working conditions at Foxconn, which is a Taiwanese, and not Chinese, company. Then, there were also alleged online comments in which workers (it's unclear if they were students or not) apparently talked about spitting in consoles and taking parts out of the factory. It's also important to note that Nintendo and Microsoft also outsourced their consoles to Foxconn.
Sony, however, is dealing with PS4 hardware issues. The odd part is that the news stories in China regarding the internship sabotage allegations all seem to stem from the IGN forum, meaning that ultimately, all of this is based off of alleged sources—something that certainly should be taken into account. Ditto for the fact that the IGN forum member who uploaded these images has been an IGN forum member since last Friday. 

That member, Qbroid, made a post after the thread he or she created on IGN was locked down. In it, Qbroid explained that he or she was simply bringing over content that had been online in China for months before bringing it over to IGN's forums, adding that while he or she indeed could not guarantee whether the original thread's content was genuine, ignoring it is like "burying one's head in the sand."

Rumors. Disgruntled workers. And all sorts of accusations. It's a shame that Sony didn't produce the PlayStation 4 at one of its own plants.

Remember that PC streaming feature Mad Catz' MOJO is supposed to be getting sometime after launch? It might be powered by NVIDIA's GameStream technology. "We're talking to NVIDIA and we hope to enable GameStream soon after the launch of the console," Alex Verrey, Mad Catz' Global PR Director told Engadget at Expand NY this weekend. Right now, the technology is only available on NVIDIA's own Shield handheld -- if the Mad Catz deal pans out, it would be the first appearance of GameStream on a third party device. Verrey stopped just short of confirming the partnership, but suggested that the company was looking at other platforms, too. "We're also very excited for Steam and we look at all these opportunities with interest."


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Details have been dribbling out bout the Valve's new push into living room gaming. First we got the announcement, then the specs, and now the first prototype boxes are showing up in the wild.

Engadget got a look, and it's a strikingly minimalist box, but a pretty large one. Of course, it's worth noting this is far from final hardware. This is but one of the 300 early prototype boxes going out to winners of Valves big beta hardware raffle. And by the time these things make it to sale, who knows what they'll actually look like, especially since they'll come in a number of different hardware configurations. But we should see some announcements coming through at this January's CES.

As for actually using the thing, Engadget says SteamOS is unsurprisingly similar to the couch-and-controller-centric "Big Picture Mode" the service has had for a couple of months now, an interface that trades tiny lists of text and buttons, for a bigger tiled interface that's viewable at a distance and thumbstick friendly. But we had a feeling that would be the case. It only makes sense.

So now the only real questions remaining are price and availability, both of which are going to play a huge factor, what with the next generation of traditional game consoles right on the horizon. We'll have to wait and see if Valve has any more tricks up its sleeve. [Engadget]

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Here are the specs for the prototype Steam Box units that Valve will be sending out. Rather than just sending a single design to the lucky beta testers, they'll be sending out a variety of units. And holy crap, the top-of-the-line will be spec'd to high heaven.

The Steam Box prototypes will be running different CPU and GPU combinations. Here's the breakdown of different units straight from the announcement:

The 300 prototype units will ship with the following components:
GPU: some units with NVidia Titan, some GTX780, some GTX760, and some GTX660
CPU: some boxes with Intel : i7-4770, some i5-4570, and some i3
RAM: 16GB DDR3-1600 (CPU), 3GB DDR5 (GPU)
Storage: 1TB/8GB Hybrid SSHD
Power Supply: Internal 450w 80Plus Gold
Dimensions: approx. 12 x 12.4 x 2.9 in high

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