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Windows 8.1 arriving on October 18

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We had heard rumors that the Windows 8.1 update would be arriving some time in October this year but now we finally have the proper release date.

According to a blog post on Microsoft’s Windows blog, the Windows 8.1 update would be released to the general public on October 18 at 12:00 a.m New Zealand time. The Windows 8.1 would also be available at retail outlets and pre-installed on new devices on the same date. Read more »

Windows 8.1 to hit OEMs in August, go on sale in mid-October

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According to sources close to ZDNet’s Mary Jo Foley Microsoft’s Windows 8.1 update will be released to end users by mid-October.

The RTM version will start seeding in the beginning of August and after manufacturers have fiddled and optimized it for their varying hardware it’s expected to be available to the general public by mid-October. Read more »

Microsoft releases IE11 Developer Preview for Windows 7

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We got a first glimpse of IE11 when Microsoft released the preview of the Windows 8.1 update. Now, Microsoft has released a developer preview of the upcoming browser for Windows 7 users as well.

IE11 aims to improve the performance and security of your existing IE10 browser. New features like ability to render web images as well as text using the GPU, support for W3C resource priorities, SPDY network protocol and an updated JavaScript engine improves page loading performance over its predecessors as well as its rivals. In SunSpider benchmark, IE11 Developer Preview was 4 percent faster than IE10 and nearly 30 percent faster than Chrome 28. Read more »

Chromecast is smart stick for your TV that costs just $35

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Google unveiled a smart HDMI stick for TVs – unlike most sticks we’ve seen so far, Chromecast runs a simplified version of Chrome OS rather than Android. It integrates with Google services like YouTube, Google Play Music, Google Play Video and the Chrome app (on a phone, tablet or laptop). Long story short, it’s the Nexus Q done right.

How does Chromecast work? Say you’re viewing a YouTube video on your phone (Android or iOS) and hit the Chromecast button. The device will switch on your TV if it’s off, change the input so that the TV displays that feed and start playing. Read more »

Microsoft to enable offline access for SkyDrive files in Windows 8.1

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Windows’ native cloud storage service, SkyDrive, will allow you to have access to files even without an internet connection with the upcoming Windows 8.1 update.

The update lets you indicate which files you want to be available offline (even all of them), and downloads them to your devices automatically. Read more »

Google introduces Chrome App launcher for all Windows users

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It looks like the Google Chrome App launcher is finally out of its developers preview mode, as the app is now available for all Windows users.

The Google Chrome App launcher will place an app on the start page, taskbar and desktop for Windows 8 and in menu bar for Windows 7, which allows you to quickly access the browser, Chrome store, Gmail or any other application that works with the Google’s browser. Read more »

Nokia Windows RT tablet pictured, alleged full Windows 8 version on the way

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What we may be seeing here is Nokia’s rumored Windows tablet, which has been doing the rounds in Rumorland for quite a long time now, but is yet to be officially confirmed.

The slate runs Windows RT nd not the full-blown Windows 8. However sources, allegedly close to the situation at Espoo, claim that Nokia may have given up on the RT version (pictured here) and will move its focus to delivering a slate with the full Windows experience. Read more »

Twitter updates apps to add DM sync, improved search

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Anyone who uses Twitter regularly knows how annoying it is to receive a direct message (or DM, as they are commonly known) on one of your Twitter apps and read it, only to find it still being marked as unread on all the other apps. Thankfully, the latest update fixes this issue, at least on the official first party Twitter apps.

In a co-ordinated update to its iPhone, iPad, Android, OS X apps, as well as TweetDeck, Twitter Web and Twitter Mobile, Twitter now syncs your read DMs, which means reading them on one device automatically marks them as read on other official apps. Read more »

Windows 8.1 goes RTM this August

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Microsoft has just announced Windows 8.1 will be released to manufacturers this August and the OEM partners will be ready for the first devices in time for the holiday season.

The existing Windows 8 users will be able to update shortly after the RTM version goes live. Read more »

Samsung ATIV Q priced at 1,599 Euro in Germany

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German retailer Arlt briefly published a pre-order page for the Samsung ATIV Q transformer device with a price of €1,599 with shipping beginning this August.

However the page has gone missing, meaning the device was either sold out or just pulled back for other considerations. Yet, the info stayed online long enough for us to learn the pricing of the hybrid device. Read more »

Windows 8 overtakes Vista, becomes the third most used desktop OS

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8 months after its release in October 2012, Windows 8 has finally surpassed Windows Vista in usage. Microsoft’s latest desktop OS boasts 5.1% market share, whereas the WIndows Vista share has shrunk to 4.62%.

The data comes from research company and market tracker Net Applications. Their research shows that Windows 8 isn’t too far behind Mac OS X (all versions combined), either. At 6.63% combined, Apple’s OS is just at arms reach for the latest release of the Redmond company. Read more »

Microsoft to integrate Skype in Windows 8.1

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It’s been two years since Microsoft acquired Skype but it’s hard to tell that the way things have been handled ever since. One would have expected tighter integration of Skype in Microsoft’s products but that didn’t quite happen and at times competing platforms seem to be getting Skype services before Microsoft’s own.

That seems to be changing now (finally) with the upcoming launch of Windows 8.1. According to the sources at The Verge, Microsoft will be integrating Skype functionality directly within the operating system. As of now, you have to use the Skype application, which would then be dropped once the service is integrated within the OS. Read more »

Razer releases Surround software for virtual 7.1 surround on stereo headphones

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Any gamer knows that the sound in the game matters as much as the visuals. In fact, at times, it matters more, especially when the enemy may not be on the screen but you could still hear them. Normally, people use headphones while gaming but often the level of immersion from just two speakers leaves a lot to be desired and not everyone can afford to purchase a pair of surround sound headphones.

As a solution to this problem, Razer has released a new software for Windows PCs that let you enjoy the benefits of a surround sound headphones from any old pair of stereo headphones. It uses virtual surround sound (which is what most surround sound headphones use anyway) to recreate the experience of listening to a 7.1 channel system through just two speakers. Read more »

Adobe outs latest major update to Creative Cloud

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Creative Cloud, Adobe’s rebranded Creative Suite, which is now the only way to get the latest versions of popular Adobe programs like Photoshop and Premier, has received a major update to most of its supported programs – 15 in total.

These latest versions now have the CC moniker attached, with Photoshop CC getting new sharpening technologies and designer workflow enhancements. Read more »

Skype video messaging service now available on the desktop and mobile

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The Skype video messaging service is finally out of beta and is now available to all Skype users. It is available on the desktop in Skype for Windows desktop, Windows 8, OS X and on the mobile for Skype for iPhone, iPad, Android and BlackBerry. The service is currently not available on Windows Phone.

For those who don’t know, Skype video messaging lets you send short video messages over Skype. Unlike your regular video calls, the recipient of these messages need not be online when you send them and can view them whenever they log into Skype. Basically, video messaging is to video calls what SMS is to voice calls. Read more »