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3 years ago

Poll: Which Microsoft Surface tablet are you going to get?

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One of the biggest decisions some of us are going to have to make is which Surface device to get--the zippy and light RT version or the big Win8 Pro one?

Of course price, of which we have no idea, will certainly come into play as will your needs. We're a bit torn ourselves between the two but are leaning towards the RT for a "play" device while we keep our Lenovo laptop for our hardcore writing and reporting duties.

To help make it easier (or perhaps harder), Microsoft has gone ahead and done a side-by-side of the two devices and their respective specifications in the above image. We'll also repost them below:

  • Surface for Windows RT weighs in at 676 grams, and measures 9.3mm thick. The Surface Windows RT will be powered by a ARM processor and will sport a 10.6 ClearType HD Display protected by Corning Gorilla Glass. The Windows RT Surface will have a microSD card slot, USB 2.0 connection, Micro HD Video support and 2x2 MIMO antennae. It will be configured with 32gb or 64 gb models.
  • The Surface for Windows 8 Pro will weigh in at 903 grams and measure 13.5mm thick. The Surface for Windows 8 Pro will be powered by a third generation Intel Core processor and will also have a 10.6" ClearType Full HD Display protected by Corning Gorilla Glass. Windows Pro 8 will be fitted with a microSDXC slot, USB 3.0 connection, Mini DisplayPort Video and the 2x2 MIMO antennae. The Surface for Windows 8 Pro will be configured in either 64gb or 128gb models.

That leads us to the main question: which tablet are you looking to get? Take the poll and let us know why in comments!

 

Which Surface tablet are you going to get?
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3 years ago

What does the new Microsoft Surface tablet cost?

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And that's the real question, isn't it? When it comes time to put up or shut up -- and Microsoft's not yet saying when or where you'll be able to buy one of the new Surface tablet laptop thingies -- just how much are you going to have to shell out? Here's the official line.

Suggested retail pricing will be announced closer to availability and is expected to be competitive with a comparable ARM tablet or Intel Ultrabook-class PC. OEMs will have cost and feature parity on Windows 8 and Windows RT.

Not exactly long on details, is it. But even if it's competitive with a comparable ARM tablet (of which there are a scant few, by the way) or an Intel Ultrabook, you're still going to be handing over several hundred dollars. What's more is that nobody's saying whether the Surface Touch Cover -- that's the official name for the keyboard cover -- will be optional, or if it'll come with the tablet. 

That's long been a complaint about tablets like the ASUS Transformer Prime. By the time you buy the tablet and optional keyboard, you're well within laptop costs. But we'll all keep our fingers crossed.

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3 years ago

Microsoft Surface Tablets to sport VaporMg casing

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Microsoft made a point in their Surface tablet presentation to bring attention to the tablets casing, VaporMg. We are told it is pronounced Vapor-Mag but what is it and why is it so special?

According to Microsoft the casing is created by molding metal and depositing particles that creates a finish similar to a luxury watch. Using magnesium, parts can be molded as thin as .65mm. Much thinner than your typical credit card but lighter and stronger.  The end result is a 10.6" tablet that weighs in at 32 ounces.

Combined with the Corning Gorilla Glass protecting the front of the Surface tablets and VaporMg casing protecting the back side, these tablets appear to be Lumia tough. I just wonder when we'll see the first video of someone driving a nail with a Surface tablet.

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3 years ago

Microsoft's Mystery Monday revealed: Surface Tablets

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Microsoft this afternoon in California breathed new life into its Surface line, taking the table-top wonder and scaling it down into pair of Windows 8 (and Windows RT, but more on that in a minute) tablet/latop hybrids.

First things first: The new Surface is based on a 10.6-inch display. The Windows 8 Pro version is an Intel-powered beast, while the Windows RT version, as you'd expect, is powered by an ARM processor. The former squeezes things into a 13.6 mm-thick magnesium chassis, while the Windows RT version, with its more traditional mobile architecture, takes things down to a mere 9.6mm. Either way, these things are thin.

But addding a little bit of bulk -- 3 mm to be exact -- is the Touch Cover. Think iPad Smart Cover, only with a full multitouch keyboard built in.

Source: Microsoft; More: Surface gallery

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3 years ago

Microsoft Surface PC promo video

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Microsoft Surface PC promo video

Two tablets -- erm, laptops -- one epic video. Microsoft obviously is throwing its full weight behind its reimagination of Surface, which is coming in the form of a Windows 8 hybrid that runs the best of the Windows of yesterday in a form factor for tomorrow.

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3 years ago

The new Microsoft Surface image gallery

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3 years ago

Windows Phone hot on the heels of Android when it comes to app developers?

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Is Windows Phone a  "potential competitive threat" to Android?

We all know that there is a great war going on right now in the smartphone world. Apple and iOS continue to be taking most parts of the world by storm, where as in North America RIM's numbers have plummeted over the last year or two. So where does that leave Windows Phone?

Well it would seem that for most people it is apps that are important and that is where Flurry comes in, where we found this interesting report. Flurry is an analytic company that tracks developer support across all the major smartphone operating systems. The statistics are easy for Flurry to trace as when a company creates a new project in Flurry Analytics it will need to download specific SDKs.

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3 years ago

Photosynth version 1.1 update is a must have update

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The other day we saw an update for Photosynth for Windows Phone get pushed out taking the app to version 1.1. We didn't know what all the update involved but today we are being told the update is mandatory or the app will stop working after June 20th.

Apparently the update was necessary to correct an oversight with the original version that was released about a month ago. Version 1.0 was released with a safety feature designed for beta tests that calls for the app to expire automatically within 30 days. Anyone running version 1.0 of Photosynth after June 20th will receive a "application expired" message and the app will shut down automatically. So, if you've been putting off the update to version 1.1 now is the time to update your copy of Photosynth.

If you haven't installed Photosynth to your Windows Phone, it's a free app that you can find here at the Windows Phone Marketplace.

Source: Photosynth Blog

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3 years ago

T-Mobile USA to start pushing out Windows Phone Refresh (Tango) for Lumia 710 on June 20

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A leaked internal T-Mobile memo shows that the carrier will begin pushing out the Windows Phone Refresh (Tango) update for the Nokia Lumia 710 in two short days. Windows Phone update 7.10.8773 will begin rolling out on June 20 and will continue in a staggered fashion through July 31.

Users will be notified over the air and through Zune that an update is available. The memo describes the following fixes and improvements:

  • Enables tethering hotspot
  • Resolved keyboard disappearing
  • Resolved unlock screen getting stuck
  • Improvements to uplink speed
  • Improvements to camera quality
  • Improvements to proximity sensor
  • Improvements to software stability

The memo itself also states that Microsoft is responsible for pushing the update and that T-Mobile has no control over who gets notified when. So even if you are feeling antsy and try to call them, T-Mobile customer service will not be able to help you out.

Source: T-Mobile; Thanks, Jacinta, for the tip!

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3 years ago

Windows Phone Refresh (Tango) on Microsoft's Update History site

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Windows Phone Refresh, also known as Tango, is expected to be heading to consumers pretty darn soon. Hopefully, as proof of that, Microsoft has updated some of their Windows Phone update history pages to explain upcoming changes that Tango will bring with it. Among them, is improved messaging features, including the ability to attach multiple images, videos, audio notes and tones to text messages. In addition, Windows Phone Refresh will let users export contacts from their phone to SIM card and vice versa.

That is all for specifics, but the site also says that the update will bring "other improvements in quality" and  "enhancements for Windows Phone." There's no timetable listed, but presumably, those countries showing the updated webpage are likely to be seeing the update rollout sooner than others.

So far, we have seen Tango added to the French and Spanish Windows Phone sites, but sadly, not the U.S. one. It's likely made its way out to other countries' sites as well.

Have any of you seen it elsewhere?

While we all wait you can check our hands with Windows Phone Tango in our video tour on the Lumia 710 after the break.

Source: Microsoft; Via: MonWindowsPhone

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3 years ago

Xbox Surface specs surface. Is this Microsoft's Tablet?

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Only for demonstration purposes

We are only a few hours away from Microsoft's media event where it is expected the software giant will take the wraps off their own tablet running Windows 8.  We have now seen leaked specs on an Xbox Surface tablet. Could this be Microsoft's tablet or is this a completely different device?

According to the specs that have surfaced on the Xbox Surface the tablet will sport a 7" 1280x720 screen, SD card support and Bluetooth/Wifi radios.  There is also indications that the Surface will have four USB ports, an ethernet port, and HDMI port.

Note when reading the specs: there are TWO devices, one tablet and one "stationary". Don't confuse the two.

Again, we don't know if the Xbox Surface is what we'll see at today's Microsoft's media event but it does look like an interesting device. What makes this all a bit more interesting is LiveSide has attained a second document that has the same Xbox Surface branding, corroborating the story.

Hit the break for page two of the leaked specs and take note that under Tablet Device (Controller) specs there mention of "Kinect Workloads".  Could the Xbox Surface have Kinect motion technologies built in?

Update: We should also not that Barnes & Noble are not a part of tonight's announcement, lending credence to this idea a bit more

Source: LiveSide; StephenWagner.com

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3 years ago

Windows Phone App Review: Track My Life

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Every wonder where you spend most of your time? Track My Life is a Windows Phone app that hopes to tell you just that.  The app records your location every thirty minutes and logs which city your are in.  Track My Life will map these locations on the map (provided by Bing) with a push pin.  From there you can tap on a push pin to see how much time you've been tracked in that city or view the overall stats that will let you know which city you've spent the most time in.

Track My Life is an interesting tracking app for your Windows Phone that does have some room for improvement.  Overall though, it's a nice choice if you're curious what location you are spend the bulk of your time in.

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3 years ago

Microsoft plays with live-surveys in new Windows Phone app BrushFire

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Microsoft's live-survey app code named 'BrushFire' is in early alpha stages of development

The notion of using live feedback and crowdsourcing during events isn't new--heck your teachers probably did when they asked you to "raise your hands" when voting on something as a kid. But this is 2012 and we need something with a little more bite to it. BrushFire is such an attempt.

Made by Microsoft (and technically for internal use only at the moment) the app is is still in the "alpha" stage meaning don't expect it to actually work. But the concept here is what's neat. From the app description:

"This is for internal MSIT use only. The application allows users to complete surveys by supplying a provided code. The application is alpha and only demonstrates the first activity type of survey. Future versions will include other types of activities. You can use the code MSIT to sample the application. "

How BrushFire works, in theory, is when a presenter at a conference wants to get feedback or interact with the audience in some e.g. a survey, they can fire one up and have it broadcast through this app to the audience. The audience can then take the survey on their phones and the info is calculated in real time. This type of feedback is often done with product testing and audience screenings of movies but now the technology can go anywhere and be configured nearly on the fly.

There's no word if the app and service will go forward, be cross-platform etc (though it'd make sense to be on iOS and Android if maximum audience participation is wanted) but the idea behind it seems extremely useful. It's always nice to take a peek behind Microsoft's curtain a bit.

Thanks, anon, for the info

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3 years ago

From the Forums: Xbox companion, SmartGlass and Exclusive apps (Hot Thread)

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In this week’s hot thread we are talking about  Microsoft giving away all our exclusive apps. Earlier in the week we received the news that Microsoft was releasing the XBOX companion app on Android and updating the IOs version to 1.5 bringing features that even Windows Phone doesn’t have. The question here is does it matter? Is Microsoft shooting itself in the foot giving away exclusive apps to other platforms?

In this thread “Well the scumbags did it....just go ahead and throw the ecosystem away” forum member inteller is saying just that. He thinks that by making this app and other Windows Phone exclusive apps available on other platforms Microsoft is killing Windows Phone:

“Stealth update for XBL on iOS adds all the Companion functionality we had exclusive. Let's just go ahead and release Office and remove any other reasons for people to come to Windows Phone. Bag of tools...is anyone running Microsoft?”

These are strong words indeed and tough for Windows Phone users to hear.

We would sit with our friends on a Saturday night and show off apps like this one to our iPhone toting companions. “Look what I can do with my Windows Phone” is what we would say. This app and others like it are how we could show our Windows Phone's superiority. If these apps lose their exclusivity, is this making Windows Phone less relevant?  

Countering this claim is mhans311 who notes that Xbox is the focus here not just Windows Phone:

“Well Microsoft is also trying to promote XBOX and this is a great way to entice a large number of people to use XBOX even more. Besides, it's not a feature that is going to make most people drop iOS for wp anyway.

Oh and they already released a one note application for Android that works pretty well. That combined with quickoffice is more than I need as far as Office apps go. One note was the only thing missing before.”

People on other platforms don't really need Windows Phone to have a good experience with Microsoft products. Why is Microsoft doing this? Shouldn’t they keep these Microsoft creations exclusive or at least make the experience better on Windows Phone?

Forum member Figure 8 Dash has a little different opinion.

“The companion app is fairly useless and will get replaced by SmartGlass this fall.”

We don’t have all the answers here but we do know that some of the upcoming Windows Phone 8 and Windows 8 upgrades like SmartGlass will make some apps obsolete. If the apps Microsoft is releasing now won’t be used or necessary when we update at the end of this year does that change your thinking?

Is Microsoft their own worst enemy releasing these apps and making Windows Phone 7 less relevant? What do you think? Let us know in the comments then join us in the forum for the community opinion.

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