An often irreverent look at this week's other news, including some end-of-life milestones for Windows 7, the continuing issues with Windows 8, Microsoft's smart bra, US government works to curb patent trolls, Google lets users download their own data, and Amazon fools everyone with the silliest non-announcement of all time.
In the latest episode of the Windows Weekly podcast, Leo Laporte, Mary Jo Foley and I discuss the Xbox One, Microsoft's plans to bring Windows, Windows Phone and Xbox One to the "Threshold," some PC hardware news, the Microsoft CEO search, Microsoft gets regulatory approval to purchase Nokia, the cloud wars, Microsoft's licensing changes, and warring words on new-generation console sales.
Can't get enough of Microsoft shining the harsh light of reality on Google's limited Chromebook systems? Then you'll enjoy this new Microsoft video, which stars Ben Rudolph (of Ben the PC Guy fame) making man on the street comparisons of a Chromebook vs. a Windows laptop.
The Xbox Music app on Xbox One combines Microsoft's multi-faceted online music service with its new all-in-one living room entertainment system, and it does so in interesting ways. Roughly analogous to Xbox Music for the web, the Xbox One version of the app is adapted to look and work well on an HDTV and be used with an Xbox One controller or Kinect-based voice commands.
Last year, I wrote a free e-book called "Paul Thurrott's Xbox Music" that I used as a sort of proof-of-concept for task-based books, a format I later used for "Paul Thurrott's Windows Phone 8" and am using now for "Windows 8.1 Book." Since then, Xbox Music has exploded with different mobile app and web versions, and in prepping an update to the book, it occurred to me: Why not just change everything?
Comparing government spying to an ongoing and heavily coordinated electronic attack, Microsoft this week revealed that it will begin heavily encrypting all of the network traffic that is routed through its online services and all of the customer data that it stores. These stringent protections will be in place by the end of 2014, the firm claims.
Just days after regulators in the United States cleared Microsoft's proposed $7.2 billion purchase of Nokia's devices and services businesses, the European Union has approved the sale as well. Noting that the transaction didn't raise any competitive concerns, the EU's European Commission issued its OK on Wednesday.
A new Windows 8.1 mini-tablet emerges, and after just a short time examining the device, it's clear that this one is a contender. Similar in many ways to the Dell Venue 8 Pro, the Miix 2 also offers a pretty 8-inch screen running at 1280 x 800, Windows 8.1 "Core" with Office 2013, and the promise of decent battery life.
In the latest episode of What the Tech, Andrew Zarian and I discuss the Xbox One launch, Andrew's experience with the LG G2 Android smart phone, Amazon's baloney plan to deliver packages via drones, Windows Threshold, and the Google Wallet credit card.
It's early days yet, and while many are expecting the Xbox One and PlayStation 4 to duke it out in a protracted, multi-year conflict, Sony appears to have the edge out of the gate, thanks in part to its one-week sales lead and a lower selling price. The firm announced it has sold over 2.1 million PlayStation 4 consoles in its first two weeks or so of availability.
Microsoft today unveiled a new version of its Lync app, which takes advantage of unique new Windows 8.1 features, including the improved Snap view, detailed notifications, app-specific volume and more. Here's what's new.
Here are all of my hands-on Xbox One articles, gathered in one place and updated as new articles appear. It's everything you need to know about Microsoft's new generation video game and entertainment console.
Where Sony offers a solid video game experience with minimal non-gaming frills, the Xbox One turns things up to 11 with better games, a more fully realized living room entertainment experience and surprisingly solid Kinect functionality. While things may change over the lifetime of this console generation, at the launch it's no comparison: Xbox One is vastly superior to the PS4.
Following in the footsteps of Amazon, Microsoft and other enterprise cloud heavyweights, Google today announced the general availability of its own business cloud offering, Google Compute Engine. The firm, which makes about 95 percent of its revenues from consumer-facing advertising, says that its expertise building scalable cloud infrastructure will help it quickly make up lost ground in this market.