With a forecast of release by October 22nd, 2013, Windows 8.1 arrives at big step, with its procession of “novelties”.
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.
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?
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 🙂
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 🙂
For a month, things evolved on Windows side…
Let us begin with Windows Store (in June 21st, 2013).
Microsoft centralizes various services which can be used in the Windows Store gallery (Windows 8) so that developers can find them in the same place.
In this is added AppCelerator directed on the resources of development (tools, tutorials, guides, demos and advice).
Also let us note the update of the SDK and a guide for Windows 8 towards Windows 8.1 application migration (available in download).
Then, Windows Phone (in June – July 8th).
On the menu, an extension of the support until 2016 and a company pack, leaks on Windows Phone 8.1 (new notification center, UI changes, quad-core support, etc.) and the Toolkit June update (correction of bugs, localization).
Source: Windows Phone Developer Blog
Finally, the Xbox One (at the beginning of July)…
Being gone back for the internet connection and the DRM, it’s the turn of the publication of independent games. The independent developers can publish their games themselves without passing by a publisher.
Marc Whitten quote:
Our vision is that every person can be a creator. That every Xbox One can be used for development. That every game and experience can take advantage of all of the features of Xbox One and Xbox Live. This means self-publishing. This means Kinect, the cloud, achievements. This means great discoverability on Xbox Live. We’ll have more details on the program and the timeline at Gamescom in August.
Things move in the right direction 😉
During Build 2013, Microsoft presented DirectX 11.2.
But what’s new (and especially interesting) in this technology?
The one who mainly held attention they are “Tiled resources”. She allows, roughly, to assign big resources (understand textures) shared between the system memory and the graphic memory. The objective is a better use of the resources of the graphics board and the possibility of showing more detailed graphics. We can also imagine type MegaTexture’s application, for example (MegaTexture).
Video: What’s New in Direct3D 11.2
NVidia published explanations on the various cases of use on its blog (by Henry Moreton, one of the GeForce GPU architects):
Among the evolutions, we find the pre-compilation of shaders (HLSL), improvements of profiling / debugging, improvement the latency CPU / GPU (useful to reduce the consumption of the mobile equipments), the resize of the “frame to buffer” (variation of the resolution to make vary the performances / quality), finally the “Trim” command used to mark temporary buffers in the video memory so that they are freed during the putting in break of an application (allowing the other applications to have the memory, nice 😉 ).
Source: DirectX 11.2 Tiled Resources
The constraint of all this? DirectX 11.2 will be available only on Windows 8.1 and Xbox One… Selling point obliges (logic). Otherwise, good news, a “simple” software update of the drivers of graphics card will return all this available on a large number of GPU (AMD supplying the graphics card of the Xbox One and Microsoft having worked with the GTX 770 of Nvidia for the demo of Build):
- The GeForce 400/500/600 will be compatible with Direct3D 11.2 and will support “Tiled resources “.
- Radeon HD 5000/6000 will be compatible with Direct3D 11.2 but will not support “Tiled resources “.
- Radeon HD 7000 will be compatible with Direct3D 11.2 and will support “Tiled resources “.
Source (FR): Directx 11.2 Gpu Actuels
In any case this “Tiled resources” management is going to be interesting for large landscape rendering 🙂
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 😉