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With Windows 10 just around the corner we'll soon be seeing new PCs flying off the shelves pre-loaded with Microsoft's latest and greatest. HP is currently having a clear out of some of its Windows 8.1 product line on its U.S. store with some hefty savings to be had.

And with Windows 10 available as a free upgrade, you could snag yourself a bargain.

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Corsair STRAFE Mechanical Keyboard review

Last week we reviewed the Microsoft Universal Foldable Keyboard. An excellent portable Bluetooth keyboard for phones and tablets, but not something you'd ever use to play actual games on a desktop. Serious PC gamers should have three things: a gaming keyboard, a gaming mouse, and a controller. Grab those components and you're ready to enjoy Windows gaming in style.

Corsair, best known for its computer components like RAM and power supplies, produces a successful line of mechanical keyboards under its Corsair Gaming imprint. The Corsair STRAFE Mechanical keyboard is the latest such product. Designed to offer all of the performance of top-tier keyboards at the very reasonable MSRP of $110, the STRAFE packs plenty of bang for your gaming buck. Learn more in our full review with video!

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If you are using Windows 8.1 or the latest Windows 10, you may want to spend some money on a few new apps. Alternatively, maybe you would rather pick up some paid apps for free instead?

For the last few days, the company Finebits has been offering their catalog of fine apps for free on the Windows and Windows Phone Store. The reason is simple: to celebrate the arrival of Windows 10 later this month!

These are apps we have covered in the past, and we know you'll find something interesting. The best part is that many of these are available for Phone and Windows, making it doubly useful.

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Windows Phone Weekly Digest: July 19, 2015

There's a lot going on in the world of Windows Phone. So much, in fact, that it is sometimes tough to catch every important story. Device rumors come and go. New apps join the Windows Phone Store, and your favorite app can get a big update with a new look or new features.

Therefore, every week we will compile a list of the Windows Phone news that you just shouldn't miss.

Welcome to the "Windows Phone Weekly Digest."

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Every week, lots of new stuff drops on Groove Music and Movies & TV, and it becomes hard to keep up. Well, that's where we come in. Every weekend we'll highlight some of the hottest albums and singles on Groove Music.

We'll also let you know what movies and television shows just dropped on Movies & TV for your viewing pleasure. It's the weekend, and we'll help entertain you.

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Welcome to our weekly ICYMI for Xbox news!

This week, we're looking at Killer Instinct merchandise, new games for backwards compatibility, Randy Pitchford's Aliens: Colonial Marines comments and more!

We'll still be posting major Xbox announcements in the main feed, but I'll be collecting some of the more nuanced news, rumours and talking points into one handy post every weekend!

So without further ado, here's our latest edition of This Week in Xbox One News.

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Before online gaming became crazy popular, local multiplayer ruled the competitive gaming roost. Players competed against each other in a variety of genres: fighting, racing, sports, and even first-person shooters. We all had to be in the same room, but most of us didn't see that as a downside. Local multiplayer games encouraged real, in-person socialization and friendship.

Local multiplayer has seemingly declined in popularity nowadays, thanks to the rise of online gaming as well as the aging population of core gamers. The older you get, the busier you become and the less likely your gaming friends are to live nearby. People still love playing in the same room, though. Even when games like Forza Horizon 2 and Battlefield 4 neglect to include local multiplayer options, plenty of indie games pick up the slack.

Slash Dash from Nevernaut Games epitomizes that indie local multiplayer support and takes it one step further – it can only be played with 2-4 local players. A group of gaming friends can crowd around a TV and compete in a colorful "ninja party playground." But does SlashDash have enough meat on its bones to keep your gaming group entertained for long? Read on to find out!

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Every weekend, Windows Central streams an Xbox One game or two on Twitch for 1-2 hours and gives out free games to the cool people who join us during the stream. It's like a live podcast, only you also get to watch a game while chatting with our awesome readers and viewers!

Tonight we playedGiana Sisters: Twisted Dreams from Black Forest Games. Twisted Dreams is a challenging platformer in which players switch between the two Giana Sisters who are trapped in parallel worlds. We even gave out more than 10 codes for Xbox One, PlayStation 4, and Steam!

Update: The stream has ended. Read on to see the full stream replay in YouTube format and a list of contest winners!

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ICYMI: July 18, 2015

A lot can happen in a week. Seven days might not seem like much, but it can be an eternity in the tech news cycle. Between Windows news, hardware and software developments and Microsoft's fast-paced movements throughout the technology landscape, it's never easy to keep your hand on the pulse of technology. Not to mention everything that's going on right here at Windows Central!

Every week we're going to compile the biggest stories into one post, so you never fall behind – In Case You Missed It (ICYMI).

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One of the most popular VPN clients is Hotspot Shield from AnchorFree. This week, the company has released its first Windows Phone-based app, Hotspot Shield Free VPN, in the Windows Phone Store. It has a number of features that will allow users to keep their Internet activity safe, while also allowing them to access sites they normally would not have access to based on their location.

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Windows Phone Store Collection: Indie Game Spotlight

The Windows Phone Store has plenty of apps and games from big name developers such as Gameloft, Electronic Arts and Disney Mobile. The Store also has a rich selection of apps and games from the independent developers. These are individuals or smaller studios, often working on a shoe-string budget but who are rich in talent.

For those not familiar, the Windows Phone Store has a series of collections that pull together a series of apps or games that share a similar theme or are from the same genre. One of these collections is the Indie Game Spotlight that focuses on gaming titles produced by independent developers.

While we enjoy playing Asphalt 8: Airborne or Dragon Mania Legends, the games developed by independents are often equally as entertaining. For this week's Windows Central Roundup, we pulled four gaming titles from the Indie Game Spotlight. These are four games are somewhat diverse in style but are all four enjoyable ways to pass the time.

Should we have overlooked your favorite indie game, feel free to sound off below in the comments with your recommendations. It's always nice to give the little guy some exposure.

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5 intriguing apps for Windows 8.1: July 18, 2015

With the ever-growing number of apps and games in the Windows Store, it is becoming increasingly difficult to keep up with what's out there.

For that reason, every weekend we showcase some apps that have piqued our interest. They may have been in the news recently, they may be new to the Windows Store, or they could simply be old apps that we just stumbled upon.

They are the 5 Intriguing Apps of the Week.

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Microsoft is updating the Xbox app for Windows 10, adding some new features and improvements less than two weeks before Windows 10 itself officially launches on July 29. The biggest feature is that anyone can now use the Xbox One game streaming feature to play those console titles on a Windows 10 PC. The streaming feature launched in a preview form in June.

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Starting back in early June we kicked off the latest chapter of our Hidden Gems series. Done in cooperation with Microsoft, we highlighted under-appreciated and high-quality apps on Windows Phone and Windows 8.1. This time around we decided to add a theme: What apps does Daniel like to use in his daily life?

And what would Hidden Gems be without the chance to win amazing prizes? We had lots to give away each day, from FitBits to HP 7 Stream tablets to Amazon gift cards. There was truly something for everyone. We've kept you in suspense long enough. Let's see who the winners are!

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