The revamped Xbox One console will be launched come November 2013 in the US, UK and 19 other countries that have not yet been specified; after some of its unpopular features landed it in trouble. The new Xbox One will not be cheap either and will retail at a price of USD499/ £429/ AUD599.

The Xbox has a newer version of Kinect installed in it and has even more powerful specs. The Xbox One comes with more features integrated in it such as Skype, music, live TV and of course the games. Al these are operated by the voice recognition of Kinect.

The Xbox One specs include;

  • x64 8-core AMD Jaguar CPU,
  • USB 3.0 ports,
  • 500GB hard drive and 8GB DDR3 RAM.
  • 802.11n Wi-Fi with Wi-Fi

The Blu Ray drive included in the Xbox is Microsoft’s first and shows that they are embracing Sony’s disc format after the HD/DVD format. The Xbox console comes with both the HDMI-in and out-ports that will incorporate your set-top boxes for a better TV-watching experience.

With the SmartGlass feature gamers can now start one-player games from a tablet or view the scores/achievements. The Smart Match feature will be able to make multi-player games in the background while you play the one-player games. The friends list limits has been changed from having only a hundred friends and the Xbox points will now be money, real money.


Windows Azure cloud to get open source Java

An open source version of Java is expected to be introduced by the Microsoft Corp. in partnership with Java virtual machine technology vendor, Azul Systems. This build of OpenJDK is expected to run on windows Azure cloud platform. This project is expected to be complete before the end of the year but a preview however will be released before the final version is released.

This project is aimed in ensuring that the Windows Azure users can use OpenJDK freely in a manner that Microsoft fully supports and backs it up. The actual development will be spearheaded by Azul while Microsoft will provide the required engineering support. In return Microsoft will also update its Eclipse IDE plug-in so that Azure can support the OpenJDK iteration from Azul.

Similarly, it is Azul that will be the commercial entity and will be responsible for building, certifying and delivering the program to Microsoft Windows Azure. The Azul administrators were quoted as saying that they have 11 years of experience and domain expertise that is uniquely focused on delivering JVMs.

The Azul company is viewed as a small player who has deep expertise in Java while Microsoft as a big player hungry for workloads and would go to any extent to run any workload, thus it is striking deals left and right just to ensure that its vast cloud infrastructure is put to use.

Microsoft Excel features 3D maps

Microsoft has seen the introduction of a new excel visualization feature, GeoFlow. It is a reliable 3D map, pretty and comes in handy anytime you try to track events in history or over a particular space and time. It enables anyone using a windows PC for data analysis visualize geospatial and temporal data. It will even be more effective when the internet and networks become more real and sensors make time and place as important as amounts.

Similarly, if you have like a million rows on your Microsoft excel sheet, GeoFlow can enable you plot the data over Bing maps. This really helps you save time and also makes your work look neat since the visualization is actually good looking and time lapse capabilities are always considered especially when you are running out of time.

This feature is part of a worldwide Telescope project aimed at helping users explore a high resolution map of the world. However it is increasingly being used to solve important problems including finding historic information and also archiving data which rather could have taken a longer period to find. The online users experience even a better performance of the feature since it is more attractive and interactive when connected to the internet.

Microsoft Themes for windows 8

Over the years, Microsoft has been producing awesome and lively themes for their users and they are not just about to stop. With summer almost around the corner, they have come up with the most appropriate themes depicting this awesome season. They are the most appealing themes to install in your PC and tablets as well.

For the travelers, the new Microsoft themes for windows 8 would seem appealing and sweet to reckon with. One from photographer Kyle Waters that features the vast Alaskan Landscapes has a number of attractive and beautiful images on the US largest state.

Similarly, Ian Rushton’s themes could never been better as the themes created from the New Zealand sites photos. Another theme which complements the spring season is the Swedish Spring. Karyn Servin, a renowned artist, has also created a theme, Delectable Designs, whose artwork is mainly on cartoon images of cupcakes, pastries and other pleasantries.

These Microsoft themes come in the wake of the summer season and most depict the nature and relaxed atmosphere brought by this season.

Other than the themes, Microsoft has also released a bunch of wallpapers for previous versions of windows as well as for windows 8. Amazingly, the windows 8 wallpapers are panoramic, in that they can stretch across two monitors in windows 8.

Microsoft gadgets should be disabled

In July Microsoft recommended that all users should disable windows sidebar and Windows Gadgets as fast as possible. This is for the users own good, in that by doing so, he or she will be protecting himself/ herself from vulnerabilities involving execution of arbitrary codes by the sidebar when it is running insecure gadgets.

A security advisor stated that gadgets installed from untrusted sources pose a high risk to your computer and can either damage it or illegally access files and private data. Similarly, they can show you objectionable content or at times change their behavior thus they can’t be trusted.

For those who might not be aware of what gadgets are, they are the small app like icons that hang around the desktop. They include clocks, what to do lists, weather apps, news gadgets and so forth. They were introduced in 2007 and were defaults setting in windows vista. Most of the users complained that they took too much of their computer resources including space and speed and most turned them off.

Microsoft has gone further and removed the download page where users used to obtain these gadgets. This is to show how serious they are on the issue. Similarly, gadgets have not been included in the preview versions of windows 8 and most likely, Microsoft gadgets have seen their end.

Windows 8.1 Review

Recently, Microsoft released its windows 8.1 enterprise which has additional features including VDI support and a customizable start screen. We also have other features like Windows To Go Creator and this allows IT specialists create a more corporate windows 8.1 desktop on a bootable external USB drive.

You can also alter the layout of the apps arranged on your Start screen. Administrators can also control the level of customization depending on an individual basis. You can also get resources inside a corporate network via another new feature, DirectAccess. This is simple in that you do not have to launch a separate VPN to get the information you need. Remote pc users can keep their computers up to date by applying software updates and policies. Additionally there is a new Applocker which restricts the number of files to be accessed and run on a PC.

Similarly the Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI) support allow you to play 3D graphics, use touch enabled devices across a WAN or even a LAN and also use USB peripherals.

There will be also additional features to be developed in windows 8.1 and they include Open Mobile Alliance Device Management (OMA-DM) which allows management of mobile devices by help of third party solutions where no agents are involved. The assigned Access app helps organizations create a single Windows Store application on a device and still restricts access to other files and applications.

Hotmail upgraded to Outlook

Microsoft corp. has seen yet another transition in the recent upgrade of all Hotmail accounts to Outlook accounts. This now sees hotmail.com automatically redirecting you to outlook.com; which means there is no more Hotmail! This transition is said to have taken at least six weeks to complete with over 400 million active accounts transferred from the once free email service.

However, this did not affect any single account in terms of calendars, inbox, sent items and so forth. Each and every single detail was carefully preserved in the transition of over 150 million gigabytes worth of data.  Similarly, users of hotmail.com were asked to keep their “@hotmail.com” addresses as well.

However, the change to Outlook saw new features being added to the email service. One, the SMTP send is designed to make it easier to send emails from other addresses. Secondly, Microsoft saw an integration of Skype and Outlook which makes it possible for one to conduct a call straight from your outlook inbox.

Hotmail was introduced in 1996 and had lots of fans but the administration hopes that people will even come to like the Outlook services even more. The Outlook services are one of a kind and cannot be compared to most emailing services with Google’s Gmail being the only close competitor.