Microsoft revealed last night that it has started rolling out the April 2014 System Update for Xbox One. This update adds a number of new features to Microsoft's video game and entertainment console and is the first that was influenced by early-access beta tester feedback.
We're halfway through April, and it's already been a huge month for Windows fans: Less than a week after delivering Windows 8.1 Update 1, Microsoft has also shipped the final version of Windows Phone 8.1 to developers and anyone else who wants to get the release early. These two updates are big enough on their own. But taken together, they provide some clues for a future integrated platform that we might call "One Windows."
Microsoft this morning began selling the Office 365 Personal subscription that the firm announced last month. This new $70-per-year offering provides a full version of Office 2013 for Windows, plus access to Office for iPad and other perks. Additionally, Office 365 Home Premium has been rebranded to Office 365 Home.
Responding to complaints that it reads users' emails and then generates targeted advertisements, Google this week issued a new Terms of Service (TOS) document for its online services. The document clearly states that Google does indeed read users' emails and then generate targeted advertisements. The only surprise is that it does so much more frequently than previously expected.
Windows Phone 8.1's new web browser has a number of interesting features, including some that will be familiar to those who use Internet Explorer 11 in Windows 8.1. One of my favorites is Reading View, which makes an average web article or blog post much easier to read.
Microsoft added the ability to take a Windows Phone screenshot in Windows Phone 8, and it's worked consistently ever since. But with Windows Phone moving towards a more integrated platform with Windows, the way you take a screenshot has now changed in Windows Phone 8.1. Why? To make it more consistent with Windows 8.1, of course.
If you're upgrading to Windows Phone 8.1 on your current handset, there's one new feature you'll want to seriously consider: The ability to show more tiles on the Start screen. Previously available only on those devices with a 1080p "Full HD" screen, this denser, more usable Start screen layout is now available on all handsets that can run Windows Phone 8.1, from the affordable Lumia 520 to the flagship Lumia 1020.
Microsoft on Monday unleashed a massive new update for intrepid Windows Phone 8 users: A free upgrade to Windows Phone 8.1. Though it's tagged as a developer preview, this release actually represents the RTM, or final, version of Windows Phone 8.1. And virtually anyone with a Windows Phone 8 handset can get it now.
The 2014 Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon is all business, and is the sleekest and most desirable Ultrabook I've ever used. Some of the design choices made on this new model are debatable, even controversial. But with the latest X1 Carbon, Lenovo has once again raised the bar on a product category that had ostensibly run out of new ideas.
At the Build 2014 conference earlier this month, Microsoft promised it would be adding the ability to run Modern mobile apps in floating windows on the desktop in a future update for Windows 8.1. But since Windows 8.1 Update 1 already adds a number of features that make it easier to interact with Modern apps from the desktop, it would be nice if we could add that capability now. Fortunately, we can thanks to an inexpensive utility called ModernMix.
Among the many small improvements in Windows 8.1 Update 1 is a set of new settings in PC Settings that help you manage your PC. And key among these is the new Disk Space settings, which lets you check and manage how your PC's or device's storage is being used.
An often irreverent look at this week's other news, including some new Surface mini news, the story of Windows XP's "Bliss" wallpaper, the death of Outlook.com custom domains, the lie of open source's transparency, the Drop Dropbox campaign and a few reactions, the never-ending ambivalence towards Linux, and why Google Play Music's Sonos compatibility is another nail in the coffin of Xbox's entertainment hopes.
In testing Windows 8.1 Update 1 on a wide range of PCs over the past few months, I've seen some interesting behaviors, including a few I can't yet explain. But here's a slightly more ordinary behavior that you can in fact toggle on or off in Update 1: That Start screen-based Power button.
Here's a long-overdue and possibly final update to Paul Thurrott's Windows Phone 8, which has been renamed to Windows Phone 8 Field Guide to make it consistent with my other recent books, Windows 8.1 Field Guide and Xbox Music Field Guide. This is a fairly major update, but only from a formatting perspective.
In the latest episode of Windows Weekly, Leo Laporte, Mary Jo Foley and I discuss the Windows XP expiration, the arrival of Windows 8.1 Update 1, the emergence of a new Microsoft, what to expect this year from Windows Phone 8.1 updates, more about Office for iPad, the open-sourcing of .NET, and the final regulatory hurdle is passed for Microsoft/Nokia.
Lots of changes since July, including the return of my desktop PC tower, a new keyboard and mouse set, many new tablets, new phones, Windows 8.1, new noise- cancelling headphones, the Xbox One and much more....More
Every so often, I publish an updated version of my “What I Use” document, which details the technology products and services I actually use day-to-day. Since I’m currently on my third business trip in five weeks, this is perhaps an ideal time to discuss the technology products I rely on when I travel and a few related points....More