Windows

Our interview with Alienware's General Manager discussing the Alpha

While game consoles like Microsoft's Xbox 360 and Xbox One have found their way into hundreds of millions of homes to be connected to televisions, it's been a challenge for the PC industry to offer a product that's designed to connect to a big screen TV and be used in a living room setting. A year ago, Valve announced a plan to launch its own Linux-based operating system, SteamOS, that was designed to be used in small living room PCs to play native Linux games and to stream PC games from their Steam service.

While Valve announced earlier this year plans to team up with a number of third party PC OEMS for a SteamOS hardware launch later in 2014, the company later revealed those plans have been pushed back to sometime in 2015. However, one of those SteamOS partners, Alienware, decided to go ahead and launch their SteamOS machine this year as a Windows 8.1 PC, the Alienware Alpha. While it may use Microsoft's latest operating system, the team at Alienware (which Dell acquired in 2006) are also developing their own UI that will allow owners to use the Alpha as a gaming PC with an included Xbox 360 controller, with no requirement to use the Windows 8.1 desktop.

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Update While the deputy mayor of Munich seems to suggest in the article that the government will strongly consider a return to Windows, it appears a final decision to move from the Linux OS has not yet been officially determined.

Original story The city government of Munich, Germany has decided to end its long term use of a Linux-based operating system for its PCs and will move back to using a version of Windows for its computer needs:

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Much like Wunderlist, which as a universal app is built on the same code for Phone and Windows 8.1, highly praised Atmosphere Weather is now available for your tablet or PC. Leveraging the unique opportunity for developers who can target both platforms, Atmosphere Weather brings the same elegant form and functionality to the larger screen.

The app is brand new to the Store, just launching this morning. Assuming you bought the 99 cent version for Windows Phone, there is no new purchase for the Windows 8.1 one as the 'pay once, get everywhere' model applies to this release.

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Microsoft's DirectX 12 API for 3D graphics in games and other applications was first announced in March, but since then the company has been pretty quiet about its status. That changed this week as Microsoft and Intel teamed up to show that games that will use DirectX 12 will maintain high frame rates while also cutting the power consumption of a PC's CPU.

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Say what you will about Microsoft – and you can say a lot – but the company is certainly trying all avenues to find its way in 2014 and 2015. Whether it is acquiring a phone division for hardware, merging its operating systems, streamlining the workforce for quicker responses or putting 'One' everywhere, the company is trying to reinvent itself for the modern consumer.

A new poster purported to be circulating inside Microsoft, features some new tag lines linked to ' Threshold,' the major revamp of Windows due next spring. Threshold is Microsoft rebooting the much-maligned Windows 8 OS to bring it back to desktop users and tone down the radically forward-thinking UI changes that Sinofsky wrought.

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