Microsoft employees are very busy this week as the company plays host to two big events. One is the annual Imagine Cup World Finals while the other is the new //oneweek internal company event which replaces Microsoft's old annual employee meeting.
Earlier this month we reported that Pinball FX2 from Zen Studios would be coming to Xbox One at the end of July as part of the ID@Xbox program. This heralded much rejoicing from pinball fans such as your friendly neighborhood Games Editor and even head honcho Daniel Rubino. But at the same time, we all lamented the inability to transfer purchased tables from the Xbox 360 version of Pinball FX2 to the Xbox One version. Microsoft had not allowed the developers to implement such a transfer.
As Xbox Windows Phone fans well know, sometimes Microsoft listens to user feedback and sometimes it does not. The Xbox One and ID@Xbox sections certainly have been extremely responsive for the last year or so. Case in point, Zen announced this week that users will be able to transfer their Pinball FX2 tables from the 360 to Xbox One right when the Xbox One version launches! Now that's what I call a win for consumers. Xbox One players will have to wait a little longer for the game though, as the new version has been delayed until August.
Sprint today released its earnings report for the first fiscal quarter of 2014, detailing a net income of $23 million, the best result in over seven years. The US mobile operator also confirmed that 3G network maintenance was largely complete, while LTE coverage expands to cover approximately 254 million people. Sprint had previously been struggling with new affordable plans to attract custom and forking out for upgrading 4G infrastructure.
Microsoft revealed what will be included in Update 1 for Windows Phone 8.1 earlier this morning and we're interested to hear your thoughts on features expected to make their way to Windows Phone. We're talking about Live Folders, Xbox Music improvements, Apps Corner and more.
Xbox Wire has made the Xbox One launch in China announcement official, which includes pricing info for the console in the region. Priced at 3,699 RMB ($600), the Xbox One will also include some pretty neat extras.
Sky has announced on the official NOW TV blog that support for its online service on the Xbox One console has been rolled out. Not only is Microsoft's console the home of gaming entertainment with Xbox Live, but there's also sweet integration with set-top boxes, services and more to really get the most out of interactive content and transform any TV into a media hub. We can now add NOW TV to the list of supported content providers.
"It seems faster" doesn't quite cut it for every update that hits the store with no change log. This includes Facebook Beta, which has just been bumped to version 220.127.116.11 (up from 18.104.22.168). Unfortunately, Microsoft has failed to provide a list of changes included in the release an thus we're not entirely sure what's actually new with this update. That said, it's available for download.
Microsoft just announced the availability of Cortana in China and the United Kingdom. In China, Cortana will be going by the nickname Xiao Na. Not only is the name different in China, but Cortana looks different and has been given a pair of eyes. This is in order to serve the Chinese culture. We think Xiao Na looks pretty great and want to ask you the same. Take our poll and share your thoughts on Xiao Na.
Microsoft is firing all cylinders in the engine that drives Cortana. It was just announced that China and the United Kingdom would be getting Cortana shortly. Cortana also just entered alpha status for India, Australia (hello mates) and Canada. Now we're seeing some other changes with Cortana. Users are now seeing more answers returned à la Google Now.
Cortana heads to UK, China in beta, while India, Canada and Australia get opt-in alpha program
Tonight in Beijing, China, corporate vice president at Microsoft Joe Belfiore announced new Cortana rollout plans for Windows Phone 8.1 users, including a new 'alpha' program to speed up the deployment process. Furthermore, full details about Update 1 for Windows Phone 8.1 were also released, including early access starting next week.
As expected, China and the UK are now getting access to Cortana on a beta status, with substantial customization done for both countries, especially in China where some significant changes to the UI of Cortana have taken place. Additionally, India, Australia, and Canada are now part of an "early adopter program" where users can "opt-in and…try Cortana using English language models from the US and the UK."
Microsoft unveils Update 1 for Windows Phone 8.1. Here are all the details.
As expected, Microsoft is finally revealing all there is about Update 1 for Windows Phone 8.1. Known internally as GDR1 for 'general distribution release,' this update is one of two for the 8.1 operating system in 2014. The news comes out of Beijing, China where Microsoft's Joe Belfiore announced the release during his keynote, in addition to the expansion of Cortana to the UK and China.
Update 1 is relatively minor in comparison to what 8.1 delivered this spring, but it still contains numerous new features for consumers, and hardware manufacturers. Leaks of these features in Update 1 came over the weekend and were accurate.
Additionally, starting next week, those enrolled in the free Preview for Developers program are slated to get an update to their phones to take advantage of the new OS refresh.
Mega Cabs is an on-call taxi service available in several cities in India - Delhi, Bangalore, Kolkata, Ludhiana, Amritsar, and Chandigarh - with dedicated services at the airports. Started in 2001, the company claims to be India's largest radio taxi network.
The official app for Mega Cabs has finally launched for Windows Phone devices. The app allows you to book a cab quickly and conveniently.
HexaLines is a well-known and popular strategy puzzle game that came from Windows Mobile over to Windows Phone and Windows 8 last year. The game works on a simple principle of trying to connect pipes using hexagons to keep the red liquid flowing. HexaLines uses a fun AI to try to block your moves, making this game similar to chess. The mechanics and gameplay are highly rated, with many people giving the game solid ratings (4.3 out of 5 stars).
HexaLines is normally a $1.49 game but for the next few days, it is completely free due to participating in the myAppFree promotion. That means there is no reason not to grab this game right now, as once you lock in that license it is free forever!
It's hard to believe it's nearly August. As another month goes by I'll take a look at the Windows Phone landscape thanks to data from cross-promotion network AdDuplex. Every month AdDuplex CEO Alan Mendelevich ( @ailon) gathers data that gives us insight into the Windows Phone ecosystem around the globe. During the month of July, we're looking at an even bigger jump in the percentage of handsets running Windows Phone 8.1. Read on for more details.
Microsoft's Cortana is one of the hottest topics that we cover these days for Windows Phone. Between the constant updates, improvements and its long-term potential, Microsoft's digital personal assistant is making waves across the globe. This response is even more impressive considering that Cortana is still technically US-based, though talk of imminent launches in China and the UK are heating up, in addition to other countries.
Speaking of expanding Cortana, Marcus Ash, Group Program Manager for Cortana on Windows Phone, recently commented that in expanding Cortana to other regions they "…learned a lot about scaling" and that it has been a "tough project." Ash's responses pose some interesting questions about the process involved, and we are itching to find out.
Marcus Ash and Sandeep Paruchuri, Program Manager at Microsoft, have volunteered their time to try an answer some of your questions about the process of expanding Cortana. Therefore, here is your chance to ask them in comments.
Activision has just released the latest trailer showing off more of the single player campaign from the upcoming near future first person shooter Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare, showing us more of Jonathon Irons, the CEO of the fictional private military company Atlas that's portrayed, in both voice and likeness form, by actor Kevin Spacey.
If there is one Lumia 1520 that is the king of all 1520s it is an unlocked 1520.3 variant, which for those in the US comes with LTE support for AT&T and T-Mobile, in addition to 32 GB of internal memory and Qi wireless charging. Yes, it has everything.
Electronic Arts has announced plans to launch EA Access, a subscription-based service exclusively for owners of Microsoft's Xbox One console that will give gamers a way to play a number of games for as much as they want for $4.99 a month or $29.99 a year, along with other benefits.
Microsoft is reportedly still working on turning the "Weird West" role playing game Deadlands into an original TV show for its Xbox Live service, despite plans to eventually shut down Xbox Entertainment Studios.