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  1. Microsoft Lumia DENIM​ Update Last night I decided to do an update to my Lumia 630, to my surprise the long awaited DENIM Update was finally here in preparation for the Windows 10 Upgrade... Many details are covered at the link mentioned above but one which I am quite happy about is the fact that now on Windows Phones.. We have the ability to create a personal WiFi Hotspot. This interests me a great deal as I will no longer have to buy another SIM Card and pay a data plan for my tablet.. Owning the phone for the first few months made me quite jealous and perturbed at the fact that iPhone users had this capability right on the phone natively and yet Microsoft did not. Many attempts at ​connecting virtual Wifi Routers.. Proxy connections and fake apps which did not do as advertised later I gave up with no hope.. Now I am a happy Wind​ows Phone owner.
  2. Microsoft has posted their official changelog for the GDR1 update on the Windows Phone Blog. Although it misses a number of things specific to OEMs and carriers, as well as no mention of the improved Bluetooth stack and IE updates, it does list a number of improvements specific to the end user experience. Windows Phone 8.1 Update OS version: 8.10.14141.167 or 8.10.14147.180 FoldersFolders let you organize your Start screen the way you want. Just push one Tile on top of another one to create a folder and get going. MessagingCombine multiple text messages into one, and then forward them to someone else. SelectionWith improved selection, you can now delete multiple calls, messages, or contacts. Apps CornerApps Corner lets you specify apps other people can use on a Windows Phone. Great for individuals and any-sized organizations who want to provide only the essential apps for others to use for work, school, or any other reason. AlarmsNow you can customize the snooze time for an alarm, and then enjoy a little more shuteye for the time you want. Accessory appsUse accessory apps to get notifications from your phone on your smart watch, active phone cover, fitness tracker, or other kinds of accessories. Internet sharingNow you can share your cellular data connection over Bluetooth, so you can get an Internet connection on more kinds of devices. VPNVPN now supports L2TP, which lets you connect to more VPN services. Whether you connect to a VPN for work or personal use, you can do it on your Windows Phone. NarratorNarrator now has touch typing and a way for you to turn off hints for controls and buttons if you don’t want them read aloud. Some other improvements to Narrator help you unlock your phone a little more quickly, find and use the Back, Start, and Search buttons more easily, and tell you when your phone screen is on or off.Source
  3. Windows 8.1 August Update is expected to ship next week and, even though Microsoft is trying to keep everything secret, quite a lot of details arrive through unofficial channels. This time, a report published by WinSuperSite reveals that Windows 8.1 August Update is going to appear in Windows Update as an optional update, meaning that all those running Windows 8.1 next week will have to manually select this pack in order to install it. This might surprise some folks given the fact that Windows 8.1 August Update is one of the most anticipated products released by Microsoft this year, but this could happen due to the fact that the update doesn’t bring anything too exciting, so there’s no reason to make it mandatory. Since the update will go live on next Tuesday, the same day when Microsoft is rolling out this month’s Patch Tuesday fixes, chances are that many might actually ignore this update, and focus only on the ones that are labeled as critical and mandatory for their systems. The same source says that the Windows 8.1 August Update would also ship as a standalone update, so you could also download it separately from Microsoft’s servers and install it on your computer without the need for Windows Update. Previous reports on this indicated that Windows 8.1 August Update could be published on MSDN on August 15, thus giving developers the option to download the update separately. Microsoft could also release a new Windows 8.1 ISO with the August Update included in the installer for MSDN subscribers. As far as the naming is concerned, we’ve heard people asking whether the August Update is as sign that Microsoft could move to a faster cadence and release updates for its operating system more often. This most likely is not the case and Microsoft only calls it this way to signal the launch of another large update for Windows 8.1. Much more attention however is given these days to Windows 9, the next full Windows release that’s expected to arrive in April 2015 and include all the features that were initially believed to be included in Windows 8.1 August Update. As for the official announcement for this new OS update, Microsoft would most likely share some details this week, possibly on Tuesday, when it publishes the advance notification for this month’s Patch Tuesday rollout. And still, do not expect anything too exciting from this update, as all eyes are on Windows 9. Source: http://news.softpedia.com/news/Windows-8-1-August-Update-to-Be-Optional-Shipped-as-Standalone-Update-453515.shtml#
  4. Windows Phone 8.1 Update 1 was announced last week by Microsoft and includes a number of new enhancements and features which further align the mobile operating system with competing platforms. Today, Microsoft has released this new update for those who have registered themselves in the Preview for Developers. The Windows Phone 8.1 Update 1 preview for developers has started rolling out now, which means it should hit your device momentarily. You can check to see if the update is available by opening Settings and navigating to Phone update > check for updates. Those in on the preview will receive the final, RTM edition of Update 1, much like preview users did with Windows Phone 8.1 and Windows Phone 8.0 GDR3, so no worries there if you were wondering whether the update was currently in beta. It's stable. Windows Phone 8.1 Update 1 will hit consumer devices over the next few months, so if you don't want to wait until then, make sure you've enrolled in the Preview for Developers. Source
  5. Microsoft purchased the domain name Sway.com, which appears to be a cloud service -- CDN as per the report. The information was first discovered by Jamie Zoch of DotWeekly, who mentioned that Microsoft may launch a content delivery network service soon. There are several variations mentioned which points on what the domain name could be used for, including sway-CDN.com, sway-CDN.net, sway-INT.com and sway-INT.net. Surprisingly, the domain name currently redirects to Bing, with search results for the terms. Microsoft has a habit of doing this with every domain they register or acquire. "I think Microsoft is getting ready to launch the software pretty soon, or it isn’t likely that they would have revealed they were behind the purchase of the domain name yet. They have also set domain name servers," Zoch wrote. Along with the domain registration, the software giant also registered a trademark for Sway with a wide focus: computer software, computer application software, online computer software, and software as a service. It's a little hard to guess what sway.com will be used for, but cloud apps are a possibility since the company has been focusing on cloud apps since Nadella took the charge of the company. Source
  6. Two years after hitching its fate to Microsoft's Windows Phone software, a withered Nokia collapsed into the arms of the U.S. software giant, agreeing to sell its main handset business for 5.44 billion euros ($7.2 billion). Nokia will also license its patents and mapping services to Microsoft. Nokia shares jumped 45% on news of the deal. The purchase is set to be completed in early 2014, when about 32,000 Nokia employees will transfer to Microsoft. It will represent the second most expensive acquisition in Microsoft's 38-year history, ranking behind an $8.5 billion purchase of Internet calling and video conferencing service Skype. :view: Read More on: Reuters.com, BBC.co.uk and AllthingsD.com
  7. You might recall that last month we showed you some images discovered of some of the Wi-Fi settings on Windows Phone 8.1. These images revealed that the Wi-Fi settings will include a feature that can turn connectivity back on based on a timer that can be set for 1 hour, 4 hours or 1 day. The user can also manually turn on Wi-Fi. The feature, called Wi-Fi Sense, will require that you opt in to Location services. This morning, we now have more than a static image of Wi-Fi Sense. The clip is all of 34 seconds long and shows the same options that we discussed back in February. Wi-Fi Sense will come in handy when you know that you're going to be away from a Wi-Fi signal for a known time period. And as we noted in the previous story, if you need to turn off Wi-Fi for longer than 4 hours (for example, when you're at work), Cortana can handle that request with settings changes based on whether you're at home or work. To check out Wi-Fi Sense inaction, click on the video below. Source
  8. There’s good news and bad news for executives in Redmond today — Windows Phone’s market share has edged above BlackBerry’s, but the overall size of Microsoft’s slice of the pie hasn’t budged. According to the latest data from ComScore, Windows Phone now accounts for 3.2 percent of handsets in the United States, with BlackBerry lagging behind on 3.1 percent. Dig deeper into the figures and the news isn’t so encouraging for Microsoft. That 3.2 percent market share is the same as it was last October, so Windows Phone hasn’t made any inroads into the iOS/Android stranglehold. BlackBerry’s share fell from 3.6 percent, and it looks like it’s the iPhone that has taken up the slack. Android remains the most widely used mobile operating system in the U.S., seen on 51.7 percent of handsets (down 0.5 percent since October). iOS comes in second with 41.6 percent (a rise of 1 percent over the last three months). The market continues to expand, so Microsoft did sell more handsets during the previous quarter, but it will be disappointed not to have made more of an impact in terms of overall share. Elsewhere in the ComScore figures, Facebook was the app with the widest reach, appearing on 77.6 percent of mobile phones running iOS or Android. Google Play was second (52.4 percent) and YouTube came in third (49.7 percent).Google and Facebook also dominated the list of sites accessed via mobile browsers. For BlackBerry, the dark times continue — earlier in the week CEO John Chen gave the company a 50/50 chance of surviving, saying that he plans to have the firm profitable again by March 2016. Microsoft, meanwhile, will be pinning its hopes on the 2014 range of Nokia Lumia handsets, including the recently leaked Lumia 630. Source
  9. The Windows Phone emulator has been very generous in providing under the hood information of Microsoft's mobile OS. Besides the countless clues regarding the scheduled for April update to Windows Phone 8, the emulator has obviously a lot more to share - particularly an interesting bit of info about the next-generation iteration of the OS dubbed Windows Phone 8.5. TimeMe developer has encountered an interesting tooltip in the WP Emulator, which indicates that secondary live tiles may no longer be available in Windows Phone 8.5. Check out the exact tooltip message below. This doesn't necessarily mean that the secondary live tile will disappear entirely, but most probably the API may be altered or completely rewritten to allow new functionality. In any case, Microsoft plans to change the start screen in Windows Phone 8.5. In addition, Windows Phone 8.1 will allow developers to choose a shorter update period for their Live Tiles. Currently, the update happens every 30 minutes, but Windows Phone 8.1 will introduce a shorter update period of 1 minute. Microsoft is holding their BUILD developer conference in April. There, the software giant will spill all the beans of the upcoming Windows Phone 8.1, which is scheduled to hit devices this spring. Source
  10. geeteam

    Nokia X hits Malaysia for $120

    The first Android device from Nokia, the Nokia X, landed with much fanfare at MWC last week. The company is wasting no time in getting it out to customers, as the device has been announced through Malaysian retailer Storekini.com for RM 399 (about $120). While certainly on the cheap side, the device itself boasts rather meager specifications: a dual-core 1GHz Snapdragon S4 processor, 4-inch WVGA display, 3MP fixed focus camera, 4GB of storage and just 512MB of RAM. Our time with the device revealed a somewhat confusing mashup of Android 4.1, Windows Phone, and even elements from Nokia's Asha lineup. And although it's not able to run Google's Play Store, it does have the ability to sideload Android apps, 75% of which Nokia claims will be able to run without modification. follow this link to get the Nokia X in Malaysia with free shipping. Source
  11. Nokia announced its Android-powered phones at the Mobile World Congress, but the rumored Lumia 930 and Lumia 630/635 were nowhere to be seen. Nokia might be saving those for a separate event on April 19. News of the event comes from popular rumor source @evleaks. The date might not be a coincidence – two weeks earlier, Microsoft will be holding the BUILD conference. It is expected to bring Windows Phone 8.1 with the Cortana virtual assistant and Start screen backgrounds. According to rumors, the Lumia 930 will be similar to the Lumia Icon / 929 but for GSM networks and possibly with a 4.5" screen instead of a 5" one. The Lumia 630/635 will succeed the Lumia 620 and offer slightly higher-end specs than the 525, including dual-SIM (WP8.1 is supposed to add support for it). Source
  12. If you think poking fun at others is something we get over when we grow up, well, tech companies beg to disagree with you. Be it Apple, Samsung, Nokia, HTC, or any other OEM, these companies don’t miss a chance of making fun of competitors. The latest one being Nokia, which we thought was done for this month after pointing a finger at Samsung’s blurry images, but it has now taken on Android and iOS. In a new self-appraisal video, Nokia talks about the number of apps that Windows Phone has snagged in the last one year. While it acknowledges iOS and Android’s jam-packed app stores, at the same time it makes fun of the redundancy among their apps. “Do I really need a thousand apps to turn on my flashlight?” asks the video narrator. Over the last few years, Nokia has managed to bring about 200,000 apps to the Windows Store. While it isn’t close to what Android and iOS have to offer, it sure has a reasonably good amount of alternatives, if not the same apps that most people actually care about. http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=iJbz1NZMCzI Now, for the big fail in its advert. Apparently, Nokia didn’t run a fact check before handing over the script to its over confident presenter. According to the video, you can’t tweak a PowerPoint presentation on Android and iOS. Well, actually you can, on iOS you have Apple Keynote that lets you create and edit PowerPoint files; whereas for Android, QuickOffice suffices such needs, though Office Mobile from Microsoft is also available, but requires a 365 subscription. Coming to the second part, Nokia thinks that Android and iOS users can’t control Xbox, when in fact they can. The irony is that Microsoft itself has developed an app for that, called Smartglass. Furthermore, while Nokia does have so many cool apps, Instagram isn't really well-made, Internet Explorer leaves a lot to be desired, and the time it takes for an app to reach the Windows Phone Store is ridiculous. While Nokia may have bragged a bit here and there, overall the advertisement is a win. Nokia and Windows Phone have grown pretty strong recently, and the video puts that point across quite brilliantly. Just to point out a few things, the video was found on the Nokia Canada channel, which isn't verified. Source
  13. Just a short while ago, a registry tweak allowed everyone to snag the highly-anticipated update to Windows 8.1. Not to be outdone, today saw the leak of Internet Explorer 11 Spring 2014 Update for Windows 7, which brings along Enterprise Mode. For those curious, the build number is 11.0.9600.17029. Enterprise mode allows companies to specify which website should be viewed in IE8 compatibility mode and which websites do not need to utilize compatibility mode. This feature will come with Windows 8.1 Update 1 as well. No word on when Microsoft will officially roll out this update to Internet Explorer 11 for Windows 7. Chances are we might hear about it during the Build 2014 Developer Conference in April. E11 Update for Windows 7 with Enterprise mode build 11.0.9600.17029 leak soon .. pic.twitter.com/kverjasRaX — WZor (@WZorNET) March 6, 2014 Source
  14. Posted 8 hours ago by Frederic Lardinois Microsoft is giving its Office Web Apps a new look today, it seems. While the company hasn’t done all that much to promote its Office Web Apps lately, they are pretty capable online versions of Word, PowerPoint, Excel and OneNote that are free for anyone to use. Today, the company is giving all of these apps a user interface overhaul that brings an even flatter design, some new features and easier navigation. While Microsoft hasn’t officially announced these changes, the company has confirmed to us that it did indeed launch these updates earlier today. “We did introduce some Office Web App updates earlier today,” a Microsoft said. “As we’ve said in the past, we’ll continue to bring the Office features that you value most to the Web and this is just one example of that.” The most notable change – or at least the first one I spotted – is a new navigation for the OneNote note-taking app. It now uses two columns on the left to help you navigate between the different sections of your notebooks. Previously, that was a bit of a hassle. Microsoft has also changed the design of the top menu across all the apps and cleaned up the design of the Ribbon menu across the board. The occasional semi-skeuomorphic icon remains in the Ribbon, but for the most part, the Office Web Apps have now gone completely flat. As part of the update, Microsoft has also changed the header UI to include a switcher that offers access to other online Microsoft experiences. One other change I noticed was that the Word and Excel apps now features a “Tell me what you want to do” search bar that lets you search across all of the app’s tools and invoke actions, such as bolding text or find and replace right from the search results. It uses type-ahead, so it generally just takes a few keystrokes to find the function you need. Microsoft says this tool will soon arrive in the PowerPoint web app, too. Microsoft tells me that it also now allows users to add “polish to reports and papers with new footnotes & endnotes.” Overall, the new design makes the Office Web Apps feel a bit more like the recently updated Outlook.com, which also features a similarly flat menu bar. For comparison, here is what the old user interface looked like: http://techcrunch.com/2014/01/22/microsoft-gives-its-office-web-apps-a-new-flatter-look
  15. We have yet more screenshots of the currently in-development update for Windows 8.1, which reveal new changes which we can expect to see be unveiled at Microsoft's annual BUILD conference. Today, we have screenshots of build 9600.16596 which introduces the ability to pin Modern UI apps directly on the taskbar. As you can see from the screenshot above, the Windows Store app is pinned to the taskbar, and in the Taskbar properties window you can see the option to 'Show Store apps on the taskbar'. This is an obvious advancement towards the ability to run Modern UI apps in the desktop, something which is rumoured to be coming in Windows 9. Still no sign of a Mini Start Menu, which isn't actually expected to make an appearance in Update 1. The full build string reads 6.3.9600.16596.WINBLUES14_GDR_LEAN.140114-0237, which was compiled on January 14 2014 at 2:37AM. Looks like the Microsoft team are working late into the night! Source
  16. Microsoft's next big thing, the Windows Phone 8.1 OS, is expected to hit the devices later this year, with some much needed features to make sure the OS can compete with the rival platforms. We've seen a few reports predicting the OS to see daylight at Build 2014 in April, and today, there's another rumor hinting towards a similar time frame. Recently, a Twitter user Nawzil, who has been behind a number of Windows-related leaks in the past, tweeted that Windows Phone 8.1 will hit RTM in March. Well, if you're following the whole Windows Phone 8.1 saga, you should know that it's something that was mentioned a few days back by the well-connected Mary Jo Foley in a blog post. She said WP8.1 will RTM just before the BUILD 2014 conference kicks off, which will happen on April 2nd. Secondly, he mentions Windows Phone developers will get access to it in April, followed by a public launch in May. Well, again, I must say this isn't something new either. Mary Jo already stated that it will hit the public devices "later this April," which could take as long as May, with the developers getting access to it before the consumers. Source
  17. Microsoft is joining the Open Compute Project, a Facebook-funded initiative which has its two-day long, fifth summit starting today. The software giant will be sharing its cloud server designs which are used on many of its services, including Windows Azure, Bing and Office 365. Founded back in 2011 by the social juggernaut, the Open Compute Project features openly shared designs of data center products to make available cost effective and functional prototypes throughout the world. Microsoft is the latest firm to join this project. Microsoft’s corporate vice president for cloud and enterprise, Bill Laing explained the services giant’s contribution to the OCP. "Microsoft and Facebook (the founder of OCP) are the only cloud service providers to publicly release these server specifications, and the depth of information Microsoft is sharing with OCP is unprecedented." Besides the cloud server designs, the Redmond tech company is also making available its system management source code. Additionally, the code has been made publicly available on GitHub today. "As part of this effort, Microsoft Open Technologies Inc. is open sourcing the software code we created for the management of hardware operations, such as server diagnostics, power supply and fan control. We would like to help build an open source software community within OCP as well.", Laing added. Homepage Source
  18. By Bogdan Popa January 28th, 2014, 09:10 GMT Microsoft is expected to break the news on Windows 9 in just a couple of months at the BUILD 2014 developer conference, but people familiar with the matter are also revealing some of the features that could be part of the next full Windows release. Based on all these rumors, several designers across the world have created more or less eye-candy interpretations of Windows 9, most of which come with Start Menus and Modern apps that run directly on the desktop. DeviantArt user nik255 has created a beautiful concept that envisions the key features of the upcoming Windows 9, including a Start Menu, options to run Metro apps outside the Modern environment, and multiple desktops support. As you can see in the photo gallery below, the concept does borrow some design elements from other platforms, but they still look great and there’s no doubt that Microsoft would make Windows 9 a lot more appealing if it decides to go for such an approach. As far as existing speculation is concerned, word is that Microsoft would share its Windows 9 plans in April at the BUILD 2014 developer conference, with work on the project expected to start later the same month. What’s more, Microsoft expects to complete the development process for Windows 9 in approximately one year, which means that the next full Windows release should be here by April 2015. Windows 9 is very likely to bring back the traditional Start Menu, in another attempt to make the operating system more user-friendly and easier to use for beginners. At the same time, people familiar with Microsoft’s plans pointed out that options to run Metro apps on the desktop just like traditional Windows software could be also be part of the upcoming project. We’re still waiting for Microsoft to share more on Windows 9, so take all these details with a pinch of salt until we hear something official. http://news.softpedia.com/news/Windows-9-Concept-Makes-Microsoft-s-OS-Look-Stunning-421297.shtml
  19. No, Windows Phone won’t be catching up to Android in terms of market share anytime soon. However, there is one key area where Windows Phone may at last surpass Android: It might soon generate more revenue for Microsoft than Android does. Beyond Devices takes a look at some of the latest numbers for Windows Phone revenues in Microsoft’s latest earnings report and finds that revenue generated from Windows Phone licensing has narrowed the gap with licensing revenue collected from Android handset manufacturers. In all, 42% of licensing revenues came from Windows Phone vendors on the quarter while 58% came from Android vendors, Beyond Devices estimates. If Windows Phone keeps showing impressive sales growth over the next few quarters then it could soon generate more revenue for Microsoft than Android does within the next year. “Given the overall growth rate of Windows Phone relative to Android, and the higher fee per device for Windows Phone licensing, it’s likely that the percentage of revenue from Windows Phone licensing will continue to grow over time, such that it may well account for the majority of revenue in the overall ‘Windows Phone’ bucket sometime in late 2014 or early 2015,” writes Beyond Devices. “I’d estimate that it will be another billion-dollar business for Microsoft within the first couple of quarters of 2014.” A graph showing estimates of Microsoft’s Windows Phone and Android revenue shares follows below. Source
  20. By Ben Zigterman on Jan 27, 2014 at 7:15 PM Two months before Steve Jobs introduced the Macintosh to the world in 1984, Microsoft demoed an early version of Windows at COMDEX 1983. Much like the soon-to-be-announced Mac, it featured a graphical user interace with the desktop metaphor, including windows and icons. Users could open multiple windows and use Microsoft Word to edit and format a text document. Over 30 years later, Time uncovered video of this demo taken by Dan Bricklin, the co-creator of the first spreadsheet program. He carried his video camera and tape deck around the convention, and uploaded the video to YouTube two years ago. The video, beginning at 6:53, shows Microsoft Word, a clock, and an image editor all on screen at the same time. Instead of overlapping windows, the three programs snap into place to take up as much of the screen as possible. While Windows was announced before the Macintosh, it ended up not being released until November 1985. And it was not a complete operating system, acting instead as a front-end to MS-DOS. Windows 1.0 was also not as user-friendly and polished as the Macintosh, with clunky window-resizing and a confusing icon dock. http://bgr.com/2014/01/27/windows-1-0-video
  21. Earlier today I reported about the rebranding of SkyDrive to OneDrive -- but it looks as though this may not be the only renaming that is taking place. While the change of name for SkyDrive comes about for legal reasons, Microsoft may also be considering changing the name of Office Web Apps to the slightly more sensible Office Online. This latest rumor comes courtesy of none other than Mary Jo Foley who says that livesino.net's Yan Zhu shared with her a number of screenshots that show the use of a new naming convention. Specifically, one screenshot shows a titlebar bearing the words Word Online, while another makes reference to Office Online. This understandably opens up the possibility that there could be a rebranding on the cards. If the online version of Office is to be rename Office Online, and Word is to be called Word Online, it would make sense that the rest of the suite followed suite -- so we could end up with Excel Online, PowerPoint Online and OneNote Online as well. The new name seems to be a good idea. It sounds more natural, and will do a great deal to expand the appeal of online Office tools to home users rather than just businesses. Source
  22. Microsoft is renaming its SkyDrive cloud storage to OneDrive. The software giant has registered onedrive.com and the company has a promotional video on YouTube announcing the new name. Microsoft says the name change will take place soon, and that the service "will continue to operate as you expect, and all of your content will be available on OneDrive and OneDrive for Business respectively as the new name is rolled out across the portfolio." The name change comes more than six months after Microsoft was forced to rename SkyDrive following a trademark case with British Sky Broadcasting Group (BSkyB). Microsoft is positioning the new OneDrive naming as the one place for documents, photos, and other content. "Changing the name of a product as loved as SkyDrive wasn’t easy," admits Microsoft's Ryan Gavin. "We are excited about what is to come, and can’t wait to share more." Introducing OneDrive Homepage Source
  23. Microsoft already has the rights to the Halo series, and now it's adding another blockbuster to its stable of franchises: Gears of War. The company announced today that it has acquired the rights for the series from developer Epic Games. While no new Gears of War games were announced, development for the series will be handled by Microsoft Studios' Vancouver-based subsidiary Black Tusk Studios. Former series producer Rod Fergusson will be joining Black Tusk to "play a key studio leadership role" on the franchise. It appears to be a similar arrangement to when Microsoft acquired the rights for Halo from developer Bungie, and passed development responsibilities off to a newly formed studio called 343 Industries, which went on to launch Halo 4. The deal includes the rights to "all existing and future games, entertainment experiences, and merchandise" in the Gears of War universe. As for when we might see the results of this new partnership, Black Tusk general manager Hanno Lemke says that "We hope to be able to share more news about Gears of War later this year." Source
  24. The geeks of mobile, and especially the Windows Phone fans, are eagerly awaiting Microsoft's Cortana voice-controlled assistant. That's not only because it will finally be an answer to Google Now and Apple's Siri, so their friends with iPhones or Android handsets will have one less reason to brag, but also because Microsoft is big in artificial intelligence, voice recognition and simultaneous translation research. Whether or not the amazing R&D demonstrations that you see in the embedded video below, will be transferred successfully to Cortana, remains to be seen, and likely very soon. Acclaimed leaker MSFTNerd hinted that it will arrive to Lumia devices in beta form some time in April, just as we heard. Actually that's when this year's Build conference will be held, so no wonder there will be new WP features presented, as well as the rumored Threshold UI for the Windows portfolio. Cortana, claims the source, will be voice-overed by Jen Taylor, who does the accent of the same character in the Halo franchise. It is also coming to the Bing app in iOS, Xbox One consoles, and, naturally, to Windows 9 "Threshold", when it hits your computer next spring. That's the timeframe also for Cortana to reach countries other than the US, as it will apparently launch in beta stateside only for this year. Some sample questions it will answer are below, evidently you will be able to make small talk, like with Google's or Apple's virtual assistants: "Bing Tell Me .." “.. will it rain today?” “.. when’s my next meeting?” “.. how do I get to the American Airlines Arena?” Source
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