Microsoft's 343 Industries this week offered up the first trailer to the "Halo: Nightfall" live-action TV show that will debut this fall on Xbox. Made in conjunction with Ridley Scott's Scott Free Productions, the show appears to have the high production values "Halo" fans were hoping for. In fact, it looks great.
Gameloft this week released the next installment in its Call of Duty-like Modern Combat series for mobile devices. That's no surprise, of course. But there's some good news for Windows users, in particular. Modern Combat 5: Blackout is available for both Windows 8.1 and Windows Phone 8/8.1, and was made so simultaneously with the release on other platforms, which is a first. And better still, you only have to buy it once: If you get the game on Windows, you own it on Phone too, and vice versa.
An often irreverent look at this week's other news, including an expansion of Microsoft's retail plans, Yammer moves around as co-founder leaves, tablet slowdown doesn't explain iPad sales freefall, Google grilled by EU regulators over "right to be forgotten," e-book judge is troubled over Apple settlement proposal, and Amazon sells everything but profits.
Microsoft has released a public beta version of the promised Xbox One SmartGlass release that adds a ton of new features for Xbox One users, including the ability to buy Xbox One games on your handset, "like" items, and more.
Microsoft's ubiquitous note-taking mobile app just got a lot more, um, ubiquitous. Its available now on Amazon's Fire OS-based devices, the Fire Phone handset and the Kindle Fire and Kindle Fire HDX tablets.
Bet you never saw this one coming: Ever-late-to-the-party is now among the first wireless carriers to rollout Windows Phone 8.1 to existing customers. The firm announced today that it is now delivering the update—presumably with the Cyan firmware update and whatever updates of its own—to Lumia 1520 users. The bad news? You can't currently get it if you're on the Developer Preview.
In the latest episode of Windows Weekly, Leo Laporte, Mary Jo Foley and I discuss the Microsoft layoffs, five Microsoft communication miscues from just the past week, Lenovo's own communication miscue, Microsoft's quarterly earnings, and of course the wonderful OneNote parody video.
Lost amid the huge list in my most recent What I Use article is a product I'm surprised no one commented on: Google's Chromecast. Like Chromebook, Chromecast was something that launched in a fairly half-assed state. But it's improved over time, and while I still think more expensive competing solutions like Roku 3 are better living room solutions overall, Chromecast earns a spot on the list for one very important reason: It's the only inexpensive living room device that works with Google's ever-improving Play services.
In my What I Use article series, I occasionally document the hardware, software and services that use every day. But there are a number of other useful tools which are needed far less often and are yet no less valuable. Key among them is a USB 3.0 to SATA adapter, recently acquired to replace an older USB 2.0-based solution. This lets you access the contents of an internal hard drive externally, aiding in PC disaster recovery and other scenarios.
Google is confronting a harsh reality that Microsoft learned the hard way a decade ago: Antitrust regulators there aren't pushovers like their US-based cousins. And while the search giant is obviously facing a long line of legal challenges around the world, two EU-based issues are coming to a head: A proposed settlement over Google's search business there, and the firm's more recent attempt to meet a "right to be forgotten" ruling.
Another curious Microsoft executive misstatement this week raised questions about the future of Microsoft's Xbox Music and Xbox Video services. But Joe Belfiore responded to the rumors on Twitter with some good news: The firm has no plans to drop Xbox Music or Xbox Video.
Following in the footsteps of an updated Skype for iPhone—and what I assume to be a related release of Amazon's Fire Phone—Microsoft today announced the release of Skype 5.0 for Android. This major update to the app provides integration between your Skype contacts and your handset's contacts management system.
In the latest episode of What the Tech, Andrew Zarian and I discuss faked Windows 9 screenshots, why bloggers regurgitate untrue posts about Microsoft products, the Microsoft layoffs, the dichotomy of Steve and and Tim Cook, and the future of Windows Phone.
If you're familiar with the various mobile app ecosystems, you may know that Microsoft apps are very well represented on both Google Android and Apple iOS, but not at all on Amazon's Android-based Fire OS platform. Maybe that's going to change, though: Microsoft announced today that it is bringing its popular Skype app to the Amazon Fire Phone.
Well, this is interesting. After informing the world that the recently released Lumia 635 was the follow-up to the best-selling Lumia 520, Microsoft Mobile/Nokia announced this morning that it would in fact release a Lumia 530 in the fall in the US, along with a Lumia 530 Dual-SIM model for international markets. My do they make a lot of different phones.
It's been a while since the last What I Use, but there haven't been many major changes since late last year: Surface Pro 3 has become my go-to travel companion, I've added a third cellphone line for testing Windows Phone, Android and iPhone side-by-side, and have rotated through some new tablets and other devices. We've also switched from FIOS to Comcast and added to our set-top box collection....More
This has been a great year for Windows Phone users in so many ways. Not only did we just get a major, major OS update in Windows Phone 8.1, but Microsoft and a variety of third parties have been busy launching an unprecedented number of new and improved apps on the platform as well. With all that in mind—and with the understanding that this is just a slice in time—here's a peek at what I'm using on my own Windows Phone handset....More