Category Archives: Xbox

Last straight line before Windows 8.1.

With a forecast of release by October 22nd, 2013, Windows 8.1 arrives at big step, with its procession of “novelties”.

Windows 8.1 publicity (Clic to search on Amazon.com)

Windows 8.1 publicity (Clic to search on Amazon.com)

Start button, new size of tiles, until four applications in parallel (according to the size of the screen), here is for the visible part. Lets add to it more personalization (start screen with notifications, animated background screen), possible starting up on the desktop, filters on applications, improved search, new applications…

 

Of new devices.

With the release of Windows 8.1 will come the second generation of Surfaces… Surface 2 and Surfaces 2 Pro.

Microsoft Surface 2 (Clic to search on Amazon.com)

Microsoft Surface 2 (Clic to search on Amazon.com)

Although RT disappeared from the title, the Surface 2 will have this version of the OS (that is Windows RT 8.1) and will work with a NVidia Tegra 4.

The Surface 2 Pro will turn under Windows 8.1 with a new generation Intel Corie I-5 (Haswell).

Office, SkyDrive (200 GB) and USB 3.0 for everybody 😉

Without counting the possibility of adding it a “Surface Docking Station” supplying three USB 2.0, an USB 3.0, a connections Ethernet, an audio entry and the possibility of connecting it two screens… Of what to transform a Surface into real Desktop PC.

Still let us note the project “Remix”, a keyboard dedicated to the mix of pieces of music, usable with the musical applications (whith one on Xbox Music).

Let us hope that they will receive a better welcome than the previous generation, considering the biggest maturity of the OS and the most rand count of applications (100 000). Personally, only the price holds me 🙂

Source (EN): TabletPC Review: Surface Pro 2 and Surface 2.

Other manufacturers announce too of new devices (tablets, cross, etc.) for the release of Windows 8.1… With always persistent rumors around a Nokia tablet (Sirius or Lumia on 2520). It will be necessary to wait on October 22nd to know more about it.

Source(EN): TabletPC Review: Nokia Sirius.

 

Of new uses.

With all this, also move forward the Xbox One and of “new uses”: Cloud Gaming. What is it?

Xbox One Cloud Gaming (Clic to search on Amazon.com)

Xbox One Cloud Gaming (Clic to search on Amazon.com)

Cloud Gaming (or PROTIP project to Microsoft) allows to play since a Xbox One on a PC, a tablet or a Smartphone. The game being stored “on-line” the “power” of the terminal does not enter in account… Understand all the same broadband (we do not still know if the storage is on-line or in WAN). Microsoft have already run Halo 4 on Nokia Lumia 520 (understand bottom range Windows Phone 8). I hope that this kind of thing is going to succeed 🙂

 

Conclusion:

Things continue to move in the Microsoft ecosystem. Although there will be no independent games on Xbox One before 2014, this more and more coherent set Windows/Windows Phone/Xbox is always very attractive for the .Net developer I am… And there are new and interesting things to be made 🙂

Microsoft moves forward its pawns…

Yesterday, September 4th, 2013, Microsoft announced the acquisition of the mobile division of Nokia.

Nokia connecting Microsoft

Nokia connecting Microsoft

Here we are, it is made… So far both entities worked jointly on Windows Phone, now the Finn integrates the American Publisher to strengthens his division “Device” and appropriates the “trademark” Nokia (as well as Lumia). But this acquisition raises numerous questioning:

  • The future of the “brands” Nokia and Lumia ?
  • What about the “low-cost” Asha and the classic telephones ?
  • What reaction of the other manufacturers (HTC, Samsung) ?
  • An impact on “light” tablets (Surface RT) ?
  • “fan” of Nokia are going to follow ?

On one side the other manufacturers of Windows Phones are kept (in a way) by agreements of patents concerning Android… To leave Windows Phone would have an impact on their margin… On the other hand, for the users also, it is better to have the choice so much at the level of the price, of the size, the characteristics (and of a possible attachment in a brand). Finally, this commits only me 😉

Source (FR): MonWindowsPhone: Microsoft acquires Nokia

For the moment, we have the beginning of answer on behalf of Nokia (Fr): MonWindowsPhone: Nokia what changes

 

Without counting the risks of losses of skills at Nokia (voluntary departures of staff as for Sun during its repurchase by Oracle), this acquisition is not made without game of musical chair at the hierarchical level. These were quickly cleared up by Steve Balmer (a good thing):

  • Stephen Elop returns at Microsoft to take care of a division specialized in the hardware beside Julie Larson-Green.
  • Juha Putkiranta handles the integration of Nokia within Microsoft.
  • The marketing will be centred a brand and a strategy of advertising unified (Tami Reller and Mark Penn).

Source (Fr): MonWindowsPhone: Microsoft Nokia changes

 

Microsoft and Nokia are going to have a lot of work… Especially as Microsoft has already begun a big internal restructuring to open up its divisions and favor the collaboration and the research.

Humor: Entreprise Organisations

Humor: Entreprise Organisations

Roughly, its the end of branches (Windows, Windows Phone, Office, etc.) divided up and with their own structures of management, Microsoft is reorganized in 4 poles: OS, Applications, Cloud and Devices, and transverse functions (Marketing, Finances, R&D, etc.). Nothing on “Green It”… But the Twitter feed of “Microsoft Green” still active…

As synthesizes it Steve Balmer, the company groups together around a unique strategy (One Microsoft).

Source (Fr): Developpez.com: Microsoft restructuration

 

Conclusion:

 

The medium and long-term impact of these evolutions on the Windows ecosystem and especially the impact for us, developers, in term of longevity of the technologies, the products and the technologies remains to see. Especially for the “rich” period: Surface 2, debates on Windows RT, the Xbox One release, Windows 8.1 update… I can’t wait that things settles that we see clearly there a little more 🙂

Xbox One: no more DRM nor compulsory internet connection!

Things settle…

 

After Sony PS4 announcement and the stir in the community, Microsoft clarifies things on two points:

  • No more DRM;
  • No more permanent Internet connection.

It means that the loan or the resale of games will be possible with the Xbox One and that the users not having access to Internet can use it.

Source: Xbox One no mode DRM

 

It’s just lacking the “Inde friendly” side… Software updates so fast arrived 🙂

 

See you soon for other short stories 😉

E3: XBox One… Second take!

Los Angeles, video game conference…

E3 logo

It’s in E3 (Electronic Entertainment Expo) that Microsoft brings some precisions on its new entertainement console, the Xbox One:

  • Price $499 in the US, £429 in the UK;
  • Availability in November.

For the rest, video game exposition obliges, it is especially games which are announced or shown.

We shall retain “Metal Gear Solid 5” ( Konami), “Ryse, Son of Rome” ( Crytek), “Dead Rising 3”, “Forza Motorsport 5” or still the “Halo” franchise.

Otherwise, (little) innovation: the Spark project. Smartglass compatible (second screen on Smartphone / tablet), it allows to create universes thanks to voice command (Kinect).

For the Xbox 360, a small continuation of life announced with the release of a “small” version and the release of “World of Tanks”. It’s always a small respite for XNA…

 

On the other hand, always nothing equivalent to XNA (understand distribution channel of independent games) on Xbox One… And the rumors are not very good on this side. We’ll going to wait until… BUILD? A GDC?

And always no precision as for the regular connection to internet, the microphone of atmosphere, the second-hand games…

 

That moves forward little by little…

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