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Panasonic FZ-E1 headed to the US, Europe in LTE flavor

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Doomsday preppers behold – the Panasonic Toughpad FZ-E1 is the only phone you need for a zombie apocalypse, if you are a fan of Windows Embedded 8 that is (not WP8!). The handset is rated for IP68 and MIL-STD-810G and can survive drops from 3m (10ft).

And was certified by the GCF in the States, meaning it will be available over there too. Read more »

Skype 7.0 for Windows lets you video call Lync users

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Skype has released an update for its Windows app today (the desktop Windows, mind you, not Windows Phone). Version 7.0 brings with it support for video calling people using Lync, as well as a few other things.

Audio calls and chats with Lync users have been possible since 2013, and now the video call functionality has finally been turned on between the two Microsoft-owned services. Lync is part of Microsoft Office, and it offers IM and presence, video conferencing, as well as telephony, being geared at businesses. Read more »

Windows 8.1 continues to steal market share away from Windows XP

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According to the latest statistical data on netmarketshare.com the last Windows release – 8.1 is steadily increasing its user base. The opposite trend can be observed in Windows XP market share, which has been steadily declining. The numbers are pretty close with 13.57% for Windows XP and 12.1% for 8.1 and this year may be the first to finally shift the balance. This is great news for Microsoft as it may finally manage to sway users away from the very aging OS, riddled with security issues and gear them towards current and future company projects, like windows 10, which is set to debut on the general market late next year.

Windows XP has long been a thorn in Microsoft`s usage statistics. It is still held as one of the most successful iterations of the OS ever, permeating almost every possible corner and niche of the technology world, including vital systems, such as ticket reservation and event most current ATMs. Read more »

Archos fully unveils the 80 Cesium tablet – a €150 Windows 8.1 tablet

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Archos did its usual pre-IFA mass announcement of multiple devices, including the Windows 8.1 running Archos 80 Cesium. Little was known about it other than that it was supposed to launch in October. Better late than never I suppose.

The 80 Cesium belongs to the line of very affordable Windows tablets – €150 in this case – and it comes with the usual concessions. Read more »

Windows 10 to include native free FLAC playback support

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This September saw the announcement of Microsoft’s next big version of Windows, Windows 10. It is set to be the biggest redesign of the OS to come along in years and it promises a whole lot more than the just design changes. This next iteration is set to be such a formidable step forward for Microsoft technology, that it actually manages to skip a version number and needless to say drove up a huge hype. What Microsoft 10 is set to accomplish is hopefully unify the OS experience as well as, to a large extent, functionality across different hardware platforms.

Now another exciting piece of inside news has been posted from Gabriel Aul from the Windows development team via his Twitter account. Apparently Windows 10 will feature native free support for FLAC audio playback, a much requested addition. The screenshot clearly shows Windows Media Player with a playlist full of lossless audio. Read more »

HP Envy x2 goes official as a Microsoft Surface 3 alternative

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HP took the wraps off the Envy x2 of family of convertible PCs. With a multi-angle kickstand, fabric keyboard cover, and available stylus, the device is a cheaper, slightly less capable clone to the heavily marketed Microsoft Surface 3.

HP Envy x2 is available in configurations with 13” or 15” IPS display. Read more »

Microsoft’s latest Surface Pro 3 ad takes aim at the MacBook Air

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In a new ad very much dominated by a heavy holiday theme, Microsoft wants you to know that the Surface Pro 3 tablet is better than Apple’s MacBook Air.

So far we’ve seen the promo videos, as well as a football-themed ad for the slate, but now it’s time for some comparisons with an Apple product – something Microsoft loves to do from time to time. Read more »

Microsoft launches free Movie Creator app for Lumia phones, Windows tablets

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Today Microsoft has unveiled a new free video editing app for Windows Phone 8.1. It’s called Movie Creator, and it’s available in beta in the Windows Phone app store, for Lumia smartphones. It also works on tablets running Windows 8.1.

It lets you create movies using up to 25 videos you’ve recorded on your phone, as well as photos, cinemagraphs, ‘living images’, and music from your mobile device. Read more »

Lenovo announces Yoga Tablet 2 with 13-inch display and Windows 8.1

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Lenovo took the wraps of a Yoga Tablet 2 model with 13” display and Windows 8.1. The slate will hit the shelves in November for $699. The price tag includes a bundled keyboard cover.

The latest Lenovo Yoga Tablet 2 is powered by an Intel Atom Processor Z3745 with four CPU cores, clocked at up to 1.86GHz). Read more »

Microsoft launches Kinect adpater for Windows 8 and 8.1

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Microsoft is enabling Kinect owners to use it with Windows by launching today a special adapter for PCs. It makes the Kinect fully compatible with WIndows 8 and Windows 8.1 PCs and tablets with identical performance to the Xbox One.

The new Kinect adapter only works with the newly announced Kinect SDK 2.0. It allows developers to create third-party apps for the Kinect and upload them to the Windows Store. Hopefully, we get to see some cool new uses of the gadget apart from making voice commands and playing fitness-oriented games. Read more »

Halo: Spartan Strike goes official for Windows and Steam

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Microsoft and 343 Industries announced Halo Spartan Strike. The twin-stick shooter game will be available on Windows/Windows Phone devices and Steam on December 12 for $5.99.

The events in the successor of Halo: Spartan Assault take place during Halo 2. Read more »

7-inch Windows 8.1 tablet launched for $65 with Intel Bay Trail processor

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At this week’s HKTDC tech show in Hong Kong, an interesting Windows tablet made an appearance sporting the hard-to-believe price tag of $65 (CNY 399). The tablet is called the Emdoor EM-I8170 and sports a 7″ 1024 x 600 pixel display.

Under the hood, there’s an Intel Z3735G quad-core Bay Trail processor, 1GB of RAM and 16GB of storage. It boots Windows 8.1 and the company boasts it has received over 50,000 orders for the tablet already. Read more »

Microsoft’s new Surface Hub app lets you customize your stylus experience

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Microsoft has released a new app for the Surface 3 tablet. Called Surface Hub, the app lets you customize the settings for the stylus that comes bundled with the tablet.

The app lets you adjust two aspects of the stylus. The first is the pressure sensitivity, and now you can increase or decrease the pressure required to activate the stylus. Read more »

Lenovo Yoga 3 Pro notebook is official with no fans, QHD+ and Intel Broadwell chip

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In addition to its tablet line-up, Lenovo has also announced the Yoga 3 Pro laptop with a 13.3″ 3200 x 1800 (QHD+) display with Gorilla Glass 3 on top. Under the hood, there’s the latest Intel Broadwell chip, the Core M-70, which doesn’t require any fans.

The Yoga 3 Pro has also lost some weight and is 17% thinner and 15% lighter than its predecessor at 1.19kg. Further specs include up to 8GB of RAM and 512GB of SSD storage, but there’s also a base model with 256GB. Read more »

IDC and Gartner say PC market is stabilizing

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Large smartphones and cheap tablets put the PC market in a tough spot with a number of companies jumping ship (Samsung left the European market, Sony sold off the business altogether). However, analysts at both Gartner and IDC report that the PC market is finally showing signs of stability.

Tablet penetration is reaching its peak and cheap computers (like Chromebooks) have helped breathe new life into the segment. Read more »