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Yesterday we reported on MX Player arriving for Windows and Windows Phone. Considering that the player is massively popular on Android (partially due to poor native playback on that platform), MX Player arriving on Windows and Windows Phone could be perceived as nothing but good news.

However, at the time we expressed uncertainty as to its legitimacy for various reasons, including the developer not mentioning its existence. Because of this, we would held off on celebrating until we could confirm whether it was real or not (our emails to the developer went unanswered). Today, we can finally say that yes, it is real but we are looking at some very early stages of development.

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Windows Phone has more than its share of raiding games nowadays, but my favorite continues to be Royal Revolt 2 from Flare Games. Back in September, the game received a major update that added single-player campaign stages for players to enjoy in-between attacking each other. The game was updated last week, and today it got another update. The most important feature of these two updates: alliances.

Yes, Royal Revolt 2 now has social features that allow players to form alliances (clans), work towards common goals, and chat with each other. Naturally we have a Windows Central alliance that we'd love for you to join. But why should you join an alliance, and how does it all work? Whether you're a new or returning player, our in-depth look at how the game's alliance system works will help you get the most from Royal Revolt 2's latest game-changing feature.

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EE will be scrapping the Orange Wednesday 2-for-1 cinema ticket deal after being available for a decade. Customers of Orange (and subsequently EE) have enjoyed a weekly deal that allowed them to head down to their local cinema to check out the latest blockbusters at a reduced price. This offer will no longer be available after February 2015, but the carrier stresses they are working on a worthy successor. According to Marketing Magazine:

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Fancy some gaming this Christmas? Microsoft has you covered with Xbox One and some kick-ass deals for December 13 on two popular titles. As part of the company's "12 Days of Deals", both Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare and Destiny will be available for just $29.99 in the US, and $39.99 in Canada, saving $30 on their respective retail prices. If you pop to your local store, both games will be yours for only $19.99 each.

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New update for Straw adds toast notifications

Straw, the new exciting app for quickly polling your friends and followers, has just been updated. The new release, version 1.0.9, adds toast notifications when a poll ends. It also includes numerous bug fixes.

Straw is still in Beta, but it is frequently updated based on user feedback. For example, last month's update brought better Facebook integration. If you have any suggestions and bug reports, feel free to send them over to hello@pollwithstraw.com.

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Record sales of Microsoft's Xbox One have finally allowed the console to overtake Sony's PlayStation 4 in both the U.S. and the U.K. for the month of November. This is the first time that the Xbox One has outsold its competitor since the system was launched, with Microsoft reporting that it has sold 1.2 million consoles in the U.S. alone.

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Skype Qik for Windows Phone picked up a small little update today. Today's update adds a small new feature, but one that we think a lot you will welcome. With the update to Qik you gain a new menu to quickly delete, save or send your messages. Plus, there's a special holiday surprise in today's update.

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Forest is a new app for Windows Phone that hopes to make you less addicted to your Windows Phone. It's a well-reviewed app on Android and iOS, so we're very happy to see it join the Windows Phone Store. This is an app you need to check out if you're having trouble focusing because of your phone.

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EA Sports UFC comes to The Vault December 18

EA has announced that EA Sports UFC will be joining The Vault starting on December 18, giving All Access members unlimited game play to every mode. EA says that the UFC title is the seventh addition to The Vault for binge play on Xbox One.

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Weekly photo contest: Sunset

This week we're going to go out and capture sunset with our Windows Phones for the weekly photo contest. Our very first photo contest started way back in July! The theme then was sunrise and a lot of you wanted to see a sunset theme at some point in the future. As 2014 winds to a close I figured we better sneak in a sunrise contest. So let's do that this week.

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Misfit releases their Shine sync app for Windows 8.1

Back in September, Misfit released an app for Windows Phone users to allow them to sync with their Misfit Shine or Flash activity/sleep trackers. We gave an early review of the app and came away impressed with the stylish tracker. Now, just a few months later and you can find a Windows 8.1 companion app also available.

The Misfit app can connect directly up to your Shine or Flash tracker via Bluetooth and display your stats right on your Surface or PC. Pairing is easy enough under Windows 8.1 settings and Bluetooth, although our tracker took a few tries to connect (Microsoft's APIs are not the best around, so we put it on them).

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Microsoft is keeping a steady pulse on Windows 10, releasing bits of news along the way to its official release in mid-2015. Today, Microsoft has announced their January 21 Windows 10 event, which is to take place in Redmond, WA.

Although the previous Windows 10 episode focused on the OS general announcement, it was more tightly focused on Windows 10 for enterprise. This time around, the consumer angle is getting the spotlight treatment. Satya Nadella, Terry Myerson, Joe Belfiore, and Phil Spencer will all be on hand for at the event to tell us what is next.

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