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It's no secret that Microsoft's first generation of Windows 8 tablets haven not done as well as the company hoped. That said, the Surface 2 and Surface 2 Pro, which were both announced late last month are set to launch later in the year, both featuring new chips, improvements and appeal. To avoid experiencing Déjà vu, Microsoft will also be looking to partner with companies to help ship units, including Delta Airlines.

Both parties have announced a deal that will involve 11,000 Surface 2 tablets to replace heavy pilot flight bags.

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Meet Major Nelson at these stops on the Xbox One tour

The Xbox One is poised to hit your TV room on November 22nd. It’s aiming to be your all-in-one entertainment system where you can play games, watch movies, listen to music, Skype to friends, and much more. We can’t wait to get ours after playing with the device earlier this summer at E3 2013. If you haven’t had a chance to see one in person you might want to check out the Xbox One tour that’s happening across North America. Details below.

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World of Red Bull and NFC Writer receive small updates

Red Bull is one of those companies constantly kicking ass and doing crazy things. Between dropping a man from the edge of space, Flugtag, and winning Formula One events there isn’t much they don’t have their hands in. They also have a handful of apps in the Windows Phone Store. One of them, World of Red Bull, is part of the Nokia Collection and allows fans to stay up to date with everything Red Bull does. Speaking of the Nokia Collection, another app was recently updated. NFC Writer allows for users to modify and edit NFC tags and was just updated. Let’s check out both apps.

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UPDATE: Please see our interview with Bing scientist, Matt Wallaert, here.

Recently, a law professor from Yale claimed that Microsoft’s famous “Bing It On” campaign is no more than a collection of lies. Ian Ayres, stated in Freakonomics that the company’s Bing ads are misleading and deceptive. To prove his point, Ayres set out on a “Bing It On” challenge using Amazon’s Mechanical Turk marketplace.

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We last covered the free app ImageBoard Browser back in January 2012, noting that it was quite a decent chan reader for those of you want your boards on the go. For those who don’t know, chans are popular imageboards akin to forums but with way more chaos and spontaneity. The infamous site 4Chan is probably the most cited but there are hundreds if not thousands out there, many of which are dedicated to humor, gaming or anime.

ImageBoard Browser (and its paid sibling) for Windows Phone received a fairly major version bump with 3.0 in the last week. We have the full changelog, so head past the break to see what’s new.

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Nokia handed a Lumia 1020 to one of the world’s top extreme sports film makers, Claudiu Voicu. Heading to the freerunning Red Bull Art of Motion event in Santorini, Greece Voicu managed to record some footage on the Windows Phone. The end result with everything pieced together is nothing short of incredible. See for yourself with the above video.

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Did you know Nokia is working on a smartwatch? Neither did we though we have heard some rumblings in the past of such a project. Even Microsoft themselves are rumored to be re-entering a market they pretty much created years ago (hello, SPOT!).

Now, two photos have leaked on to the microblogging site Sina weibo that allegedly reveal a prototype device. The story was run by the site Ctech, who have previously unearthed details on unreleased Nokia devices. The source of the actual images ranks high for them, but since there is little corroborating information, it is difficult to verify at this time.  

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Simple Calendar is one of those apps that's worth downloading just because it looks amazing. That's not taking into account how much functionality is packed into the app. Today we're covering the 2.6 update, which will be going live shortly. So what's new in this latest release?

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We've looked at Beem in the past, the unofficial DI.FM and SKY.FM clients for Windows Phone. while there certainly are more music services available than you can shake a microphone at, Beem has consistently been one of our favourites, especially after the developer made the project both open source for other developers, and free on the Windows Phone Store for consumers. 

We're now looking at Beem Plus (DI.FM edition) version 2.0, which is a massive update. So, what's new?

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In an interesting twist to the Nokia Create program for developers, the company is tasking Windows Phone developers with a mission dedicated to the idea of "Doing Good." Partnering with the Royal National Institute of Blind People (RNIB), Nokia is calling for developers to create new apps that will help make the lives of those with low vision easier; or update their existing content to make it more accessible.

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Nokia has an array of hardware to unveil at its event in Abu Dhabi. On October 22nd, we can also look forward to the Lumia 929. Pictured previously in black, we've now got the above render of the handset in white (matching an earlier leak), courtesy of the Evleaks Twitter account. While we should always take rumours with a grain of salt, the Twitter profile has a strong track record.

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If you are excited for Microsoft’s latest operating system, Windows 8.1, there is no longer a need wait on your purchase. Windows 8.1 is now available for pre-order at Microsoft's website with a launch date of October 18.

A copy of Windows 8.1 can be picked up for $119 and a copy of Windows 8.1 Pro can be picked up for $199. We want to remind all of our readers that if you are currently running Windows 8, you will receive a free update on October 17 and there is no need to spend any money.

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This week's Red Stripe Deals are a little bit early over in the Windows Phone Store but who are we to complain.

For those not familiar with the deals, every week the Windows Phone Store taps one Xbox Windows Phone game, one independent gaming title and one app to go on sale. The deal lasts only a week when three new titles will be tapped for the savings.

For this week's deals, which are currently live, we have the Xbox title Parking Mania, the Akinator game, and the network utility UPnP Spy.

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We first caught wind that Ubisoft was planning on releasing a Windows Phone 8 specific version of Babel Rising 3D back during Casual Connect 2013. But the word on the street was that it wouldn't be Xbox enabled due to the lengthy certification process.

While we aren't sure what happened between then and now, Babel Rising 3D was released today and as an Xbox Windows Phone gaming title.

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When you ask people their thoughts on Microsoft you’ll get a variety of responses depending on the person. You and I might see a company with innovative products like the Xbox One, Windows Phone, Azure and the Surface family of devices. Someone off the street might remember the monopolistic giant from the 1990s. Others will see an uncool technology company compared to the likes of Apple and Google. Everyone has their prejudice when it comes towards the Redmond company.

But when you look at the population as a whole you get some interesting results when it comes to Microsoft’s perception as a global brand and how it stacks up as an inspiring company. As a brand which do you think is bigger, Microsoft or Disney? As a company who is more inspiring, Microsoft or Google? The results may surprise you.

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We love to support the Windows Phone development community whenever we can here. It’s what will help propel Windows Phone forward when devices like the Lumia 520 bring millions of new users to the platform. But what can we do to help future Windows Phone developers? Promoting cool deals and incentives to bring newbies to the Windows Phone Store. Here’s a great one for any potential European and United States developers.

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The world cried together when Nokia announced the Lumia 1020 as an exclusive on AT&T the world. Why limit the smartphone with the best camera to one carrier in one country? Thankfully that exclusivity was only timed and slowly the device began appearing around the globe. The device was recently delayed on Telstra in Australia, but is now back on track. It’s also now available to the people of Taiwan. Details below.

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