windows 8

We're all eagerly awaiting to see what Microsoft has for consumers with the Blue updates that will be released for its array of products later this year. Build 9364 for Windows 8 has been leaked, teasing what we can all look forward to in the public release once the final revision is available for the market. So what features and changes are new in this leaked build? WinBeta managed to take a good look and record some footage.

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Should you not be aware of the deal shown in the photo above, the Lumia 620 is available at The Carphone Warehouse from just £14 a month. As well as the Windows Phone 8 device, the retailer is also bundling a free Windows 8 upgrade, which will provide some incentive to choose the smartphone over rivalling Android devices.

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One of the advantages the touchscreen on our Microsoft Surface or other Windows 8 device is the artist uses it presents. You can basically turn your Windows 8 touchscreen into an art canvass.

The Sensu Brush is a tool that can help you draw with not only a stylus point but also mimic brush strokes. It's not your run of the mill Windows 8 accessory but it can come in handy if you like dabbling with art/sketch apps.

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Time to Tweet, Windows 8 gets official Twitter app

Windows 8 ‘officially’ launched way back in late October of last year. However, developers and enthusiasts have been using it for much longer, so you’d think there would have been an official Twitter app at launch, right? Nope. Instead we didn’t hear that Twitter was working on an app until the ///BUILD developer conference in Redmond. Four months later, we now have Twitter for Windows 8.

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In a recent editorial, I complained that Microsoft has largely stopped announcing or publicizing Windows Phone games in advance. Well, this week we have a prime example of that. Galactic Reign from Slant Six and Microsoft Studios has just showed on Windows 8 and RT with Xbox features and will appear for Windows Phone 7 and 8 devices (also with Xbox features) later today.

Microsoft teased the game back in October but made absolutely no mention of platforms, so nobody really knew it was coming, and especially not as a multiplatform release with connectivity features. But other than the lack of proper PR, a new game showing up on Windows Phone and Windows 8 with cross-platform asynchronous multiplayer is always good news, so we’ll stop complaining. For now.

Since the Windows 8 game launched ahead of the mobile version, we’ve already put several hours into it. Head past the break for our full impressions, plus details about buying the game on one platform and playing it from another!

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Last month we were excited to learn that Ubisoft’s Rayman Jungle Run would be coming to Windows Phone at some point in the future. The combination of endless runner with actual levels and the lovable Rayman is just what our favorite smartphone platform needs. What we didn’t know is that Jungle Run would also be coming to PC and tablet via Windows 8 and RT. Happy surprise - it’s out now and Xbox Live-enabled!  Plus it gives us a great idea of what to expect when the phone game comes along.

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The late January release of Skulls of the Shogun for Windows Phone 7 and 8 might have quenched some players’ thirst for a mobile strategy game. But you can never have too many strategy titles, and besides, Skulls (while not a casual game) is not the most hardcore strategy game in the world. Windows Phone still needed a true strategy role-playing game like Final Fantasy Tactics or Disgaea that could keep a player busy pretty much forever.

Japanese developer HyperDevbox recognized that need, and now they’ve published the very first strategy RPG for Windows Phone 8: Spectral Souls.  Originally a retail Playstation 2 release, Spectral Souls promises hundreds of hours of role-playing goodness for dedicated players.

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Staples has an interesting Windows 8 Trade up to Touch program running where you can earn you a little cash back and have the opportunity to recycle your old computer in the process.

When you buy a qualifying touch screen laptop or tablet at Staples, just fill in the online claim form within fourteen days and you'll receive a prepaid shipping label to turn in your older, qualifying device. Just pack up the old computer, drop it off at UPS and within thirty days you'll receive a pre-paid VISA card for up to $400.

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We've lightly touched on the proposed batch of updates, codenamed "Blue" that will affect multiple Microsoft platforms and service. Yesterday a job opening at Redmond was spotted and has confirmed that Microsoft will indeed be targeting the holidays, when plans to release the next major version of Windows Phone will be put into play.

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We aren't sure as to the "when" but the Windows Phone app/tool for Windows 8 was recently updated. The update adds the ability to transfer playlists and ringtones to your Windows Phone 8 device and watch videos you've taken with your Windows Phone.

Ringtone files must be .m4r format any non-DRM protected music file that the phone can play, no larger than 30MB and can not be protected with digital rights management. When you transfer the ringtones to your Windows Phone 8 device, they will appear in your Settings under Ringtones and Sounds as any other tone would be.

If you haven't installed the Windows Phone app to your Windows 8 computer or tablet, it's a free app that you can find here in the Windows Store.

Thanks, Andy, for the tip!

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Nothing puts a smile on our faces like an update and today’s winner is Skype… for Windows 8. Yeah we’d like to see a little more effort from the Skype team with the Windows Phone version, but it’s great to see Windows 8 get some love too. What’s new you ask? Read on and find out.

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AdDuplex, the advertising publisher for developers on both Windows and Windows Phone, has released data for Windows 8 and Windows RT devices in the month of February 2013. Microsoft's Surface Pro tablet has only been available for a short while and already the product has sold out (but has since been made available once again). So how does this translate to usage?

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Microsoft has again made its Surface Pro tablet running Windows 8 Pro available for purchase on its online store. The product has experienced stock issues since it was released. With the cheapest option starting at $899, Microsoft is certainly pinning the product as a premium experience with a rather expensive price tag. The original Surface tablet is already available with Windows RT, so what will consumers be getting with this new Surface Pro?

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There are only a few Windows 8 laptops in production that we can consider to be the ‘high end’, machines with exacting build quality and specifications to match. While many PC makers are content to push out hum drum machines with middling specs and so so performance the same cannot be said for Lenovo and their ThinkPad range. Over the years their quality and reliability have become legend amongst the most demanding of laptop buyers.

The ThinkPad X1 comes in a body woven from Carbon fibre in a style similar to that of the current crop of Ultrabooks. Lenovo seems keen on finally shunting the look of their machines forwards and have recently adopted Chicklet keyboards and of course the wedge shape body design we have all come to recognize of late.  I’ll be kicking the tires on the X1 to see how well Lenovo have melded the heritage of ThinkPad with the modern styling of an Ultrabook.

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Nokia is set to focus on Lumia smartphones at the soon approaching Mobile World Congress 2013. We're likely to see more advances in the same product line, or not depending on whether we see a new family of devices announced. But what about tablets? Nokia was rumoured to be heading into the tablet market, right? Correct. But slow down, ol' chap.

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Nearly one third of tech workers in the enterprise sector say they would prefer their next tablet to run on the Windows platform, according to a Forrester Research survey. The survey revealed that 32 percent of information workers surveyed prefer Microsoft Surface, while only 26 percent favour the iPad and 12 percent would choose Android hardware. 

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