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Designed with Steam in mind, the Alienware Alpha console is now shipping and available through Dell or select retailers. Starting at $549, users can configure the Alpha with Intel's fourth generation Core i3, i5, or i7 processors along with NVIDIA's GTX Maxwell GPU. The compact box ships with an Xbox 360 wireless controller and comes with a few freebies if you are an early adopter and decide to take the plunge, including full versions of a number of titles valued at $100.

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The latest Windows Phone ad not only pits Cortana against Apple's Siri, but shows off some of the features that the optional HTC Dot View Cover can do on the Windows Phone-powered HTC One (M8) for Windows. The ad starts with Siri looking in the mirror, admiring her prettiness, and goes on to the One (M8) for Windows showing off the features of the Dot View Cover, like activating Cortana, receiving notifications, and answering calls. In terms of similar cases for the iPhone? The fun stops there as it looks like other iPhone covers just muffle up Siri.

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5 intriguing apps for Windows 8.1: November 21, 2014

It's tough to keep up with all of the apps that hit the Windows Store every day, let alone every week. So we here at Windows Central are taking it upon us to highlight some apps that have piqued our interest for one reason or another this week. This article is the first of what we hope will be a weekly column, depending on your feedback.

This week, we have a companion app for a movie, a popular app that made its way to Windows and Windows Phone, and a few others that just seem pretty cool.

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EA working on fix for FIFA 15 error on Xbox

After customer complaints that FIFA 2015 isn't launching for Xbox One users, EA Sports is acknowledging the issue, saying that it is working with Microsoft on resolving the error. The issue appears to only affect digital copies of EA's popular 2015 FIFA game, but the studio says that some non-EA games are also impacted.

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Lumia 535, the first Windows Phone from Microsoft, was announced earlier this month adding another affordable Windows Phone device to the budget Lumia range.

In a press invite sent out on November 21, Microsoft has hinted at the launch of Lumia 535 in India on November 26. The invite has an emphasis on the number '5', which makes it a fair assumption.

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#IDARB or It Draws a Red Box Is easily my most anticipated ID@Xbox game of the year. Developer 'Other Ocean' describes the game as a "chaotic 8-player eSport jumping jetpack future arena ball game that is as inspired by Bomberman, Smash Bros., and NBA Jam." That said, the game is constantly changing and evolving as Other Ocean crowd-sources ideas from passionate users.

Xbox One owners will be able to download #IDARB sometime before the end of the year. In the meantime, we interviewed Mike Mika, game designer at Other Ocean. Mike spills the beans about a new #IDARB feature, the history about Other Ocean, and even shares some moving words about the recent Atari dig that he attended.

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Smart thermostats and appliances are the new rage in 2014 and now tado° (tado.com) is on board with Windows Phone.

For those who do not know tado° heat was a Kickstarter project from a few years back. The device connects to your wall mounted heater and makes it 'smart' by detecting your phone's presence and adjusting the temperature accordingly.

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Photosynth is one of the more innovative imaging apps to hail out of Microsoft in the last few years. However, the Photosynth app for Windows Phone has not seen too much in the way of updates or new features. In fact, the last update was back in January.

So it is a surprise to see version 1.8 not only go live in the Store, but come with some new, post-worthy features!

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Yep, it's Windows Phone's Cortana poking fun at Apple's Siri in a commercial. Again. Highlighting how Cortana and Windows Phone 8.1 are able to do things like offer reminders when a contact calls or prompt you with traffic reports, the ad definitely emphasizes the strong points of Cortana (notably, they're not poking at Google Now, which offers many of the same features). Meanwhile, the iPhone's gotten bigger with the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus.

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The Track Runner app for Windows Phone is incredibly popular and highly-rated (4.8 out of 5 with over 600 reviews), but making so awesome of an app free of charge and free of ads means making money can be tricky. So developer The App Cauldron is offering users the option to donate to support the app, and development of version 5.0 of Track Runner.

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Besides new apps for Windows, we love apps that are also on Windows Phone, utilizing Microsoft's new 8.1 developer tools. Early this morning, Credit Karma became yet another app to add to your dual collection.

Credit Karma (CreditKarma.com) has been available as Windows 8.1 app since mid-September, but now the Windows Phone version of the free credit-checking app is available, sharing the same features.

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6 tips to extend the battery life on your Microsoft Band

The Microsoft Band has been advertised of having 48 hours battery life, but that can vary significantly depending on your settings, usage, and other factors. On the days we track workouts or runs, and sleep, we find the Band to last until about lunchtime the next day. Want to extend the battery life on your Microsoft Band? Here are some tips that can help you out. These tips include turning off some features when you aren't using them and other settings that can save battery.

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UK supermarket chain Sainsbury's has released three new official apps for Windows 8.1, including apps for eBooks and movies. Consumers who use the services provided by Sainsbury's will now be able to browse, purchase and enjoy popular content from both the eBook and movies stores. As an added bonus, it's possible to collect Nectar points as you download media to build a rich library.

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Plex Home has arrived to deliver new features allowing users to have better control over sharing and their media in a multi-member family household. Users can choose who they want to share their media content with and create separate user profiles for different members of their family in Plex Home. This is enabled as Plex has moved the server management to the web app.

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Patent-holding consortium Rockstar, which counts Microsoft, Apple, and BlackBerry among its members, has reached a settlement agreement with rival tech giant Google from a lawsuit originating last October. In its suit, Rockstar alleged that Google had infringed on seven search-related patents that it owned after winning a bid to acquire Nortel's intellectual property portfolio.

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