Windows

Several Windows 8 and RT tablets have excellent first-party keyboard options, namely the Type Cover for the Surface and Surface Pro and Nokia’s Power Keyboard for the Lumia 2520. But sometimes the official keyboard is expensive (see the two keyboards I just mentioned) and some tablets just don’t have first-party keyboard options.

That’s where MiniSuit (maker of my Lumia 1520 case) comes in. The MiniSuit BluBoard is a universal wireless Bluetooth keyboard that works with Windows 8 and RT, Windows 7, Android, and iOS. It won’t break the bank and you can keep using it even if you switch tablets. But does it do everything a Windows tablet user needs a keyboard to do? Find out in our full review.

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We're hearing additional confirmation of rumors that Microsoft is speeding up their release cycle for Windows. Mary Jo Foley's sources say we may see Windows 8.1 update 2 as soon as August, which could include a new start menu, but probably not floating modern apps in desktop mode, which may take until Spring 2015 to arrive in Windows 9. We had heard Windows Phone update cycles would be sped up too, so it would be no surprise if Windows had things kicked up a notch too.

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For those looking for a portable tablet gaming experience, Windows tablets can sure hit the mark like no other platform. Whether you are looking at the fully equipped Razer Edge with an Nvidia GeForce GPU and dual joysticks, or you are looking at a Surface 2 – experiences are ready to be had.

The power of a full Windows 8 tablet allows gamers to experience their favorite titles like Counter Strike: GO, Team Fortress 2, World of Warcraft, Call of Duty, and Titanfall anywhere they go.  If you are using a Windows RT based tablet, the fun does not end just because you are limited to the Windows Store - not if you have an Xbox 360 controller.

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Let us be honest, what people really want when they ask for Windows 7 back is that it be done with the modern Windows 8 Start Screen and make their machine more mouse and keyboard friendly.

Windows 8 has placed a large amount of its reliance on touch based PCs that is the Microsoft future. If you do find yourself without a touch screen and are yearning for the days of Windows 7, then read on as we bring you as close to the experience as we can.

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Toshiba announced a new Windows laptop with a 4K display back at CES 2014 – the P55t – but today we've now got confirmation that the product will be launching later this month. The cost? $1,499. If you're wanting a device that matches the likes of 4K televisions (3340 x 2160), this new 15-inch laptop is certainly worth looking at.

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It was just this weekend that Microsoft unified pricing tiers to help make universal apps easier, and today they've opened the floodgates to developers and are now accepting Windows Phone 8.1 and universal apps for review. As a refresher, universal apps take advantage of new frameworks in Windows 8.1 and Windows Phone 8.1 to allow developers to build apps once and deploy them across both platforms.

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Mary Jo Foley recently talked with Terry Myerson about the future of Windows, transparency and more. Terry, as you know, is the executive vice president of Microsoft’s operating system group. This division is responsible for the all operating systems at Microsoft.

She sat down with Terry a few days after Build and now has two great posts up on her site detailing the exchange. We’ll highlight a few interesting tidbits and then send you her way to get the whole scoop on the future of Windows and Microsoft.

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Update: Microsoft has now pulled the page and videos

While there's a lot to love about live tiles in Windows and Windows Phone, there's one element that's been missing: interactivity. Sure, they'll refresh with your latest notifications, but all you can do is tap on them to open the respective app. Microsoft Research is aware of this limitation, and is working actively to supercharge live tiles with interactive elements.

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Enterprise rollouts of Windows 8.1 updates through the Windows Server Update Service is hitting a bit of a roadbump. Apparently servers running SSL but without Travel Layer Security 1.2 enabled won’t be able to push out the update, and Microsoft is pausing the distribution of the update until this is fixed. This doesn’t stop you from updating if you haven’t already, since you can pick it up from the Windows Update Catalog, but Microsoft still suggests you wait until a fix is in place.

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If you believe paying anything around $150 is too much for a Windows 8 tablet, you may be in luck with Chinese manufacturer Emdoor. According to PadNews, the company has revealed its product roadmap, which includes affordable 7-, 8- and 10-inch tablets. Pricing for these new devices could reach as low as $60, depending on which configuration you opt for.

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Unreal Engine 4 is coming to Windows RT and Windows Phone. Someday. That's the word from Epic Games co-founder and CEO Tim Sweeney. The new game engine saw its initial release just last week for PC, and while iOS and Android are up next for Unreal Engine 4 development, they're also keeping their eyes on the mobile operating systems out of Redmond.

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Today, Microsoft has kicked off the release of Windows 8.1 Update 1, the highly anticipated release for the desktop operating system and RT devices like the Surface 2. What makes this update special to consumers is the vast array of improvements implemented for mouse and keyboard users.

Windows 8 was a major step forward for touch, introducing numerous Windows-based tablets, but it’s time the classic peripheral setup received some much needed attention. If you're rocking Windows 8 and/or Windows 8.1, be sure to check the store and/or system updates to see if it’s available in your region.

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Lenovo has announced their new ultra-portable - the IdeaPad Flex 10 – in India. The Flex 10 flips 300° from laptop to stand mode, making it an interesting convertible device for work and entertainment while on the go.

Unlike most convertibles in the market, the Flex 10 does not convert into a tablet, but into a stand mode which is quite useful for media consumption or casual browsing. The 2-in-1 features 10-point multitouch display optimized for Windows 8.

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Plex coming to Xbox One

One of the cooler announcements from BUILD this year was the support for universal applications — software that can run on more than one Windows-powered device. It appears that Plex, the popular fork of the XBMC project, is going to take advantage of this and is coming to the Xbox One. Want to hear even better news? Since the Xbone can't yet run these apps, a stand-alone version is also coming as soon as it is ready!

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One of the bigger announcements to come out of Build 2014 is that Microsoft is dropping the manufacturer royalty fee on Windows and Windows Phone for devices under 9 inches in size. This is a big deal for partners, and ultimately good news for consumers since costs won’t have to be passed down. This will also be applied to devices that tie into the internet of things, like wearables or home automation devices.

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