windows 8

A couple of days ago, Microsoft announced a slew of Windows 8 games that would be launching over the weekend. Today several of those games are readily available to download: Shuffle Party, Samurai vs. Zombies Defense, Bejeweled Live, and Delicious – Emily’s True Love. The only one that hasn’t shown up yet is Temple Run Brave (based on that movie I dislike), but I’m sure it will be along sometime soon.

Head past the break to check out our hands-on demonstration of Shuffle Party from GDC, plus quick impressions and download links for the games that appeared alongside it.

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iOS screenshots

Bejeweled Live isn’t the only Xbox game coming to Windows 8 and RT this week. As another GDC celebration, Microsoft has just announced a horde of Windows 8 tablet and PC games that should start becoming available this weekend, plus six more that are planned for the future. Most of these will be Xbox-enabled, but we’re not sure about a few of them. The biggest news is that Windows 8 will have its own Temple Run game to brag about!

Head past the break for the full list!

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Back in February, PopCap surprised us by suddenly releasing Bejeweled Live+ exclusively for Nokia Windows Phones. Confusing name aside, that game is basically a mobile version of the phenomenal Bejeweled 3.

Well, it turns out that Windows 8 and RT were sorely in need of some Bejeweled love as well. Or should I say Bejeweled Live? Today at GDC 2013, we had the chance to talk with Jeff Green, Director of Editorial and Social Media at PopCap Games, who kindly demonstrated the Xbox-enabled Bejeweled Live for Windows 8 and RT.

Full video and more details after the break!

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Microsoft China posted an update on popular social network Sina weibo earlier today that Surface Pro, the Surface tablet/ultrabook that's built on Intel's desktop processor, will be available on 9:00pm, April 2nd (Beijing time). Microsoft announced on its official blog that Surface computers will be available in more markets in 2013, and China will be the first new market for Surface Pro.

The Chinese version of Surface Pro will be sold through Suning, the partner who was partly responsible for the lackluster sales of Surface RT in that region. But this time Microsoft isn't giving anyone "exclusive dealership" any more, for it has established its own Microsoft Store (online only) in China, and built an official store on Tmall.com, China's largest B2C e-commerce platform ever.

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There are always providers looking to capitalise on a single party's choice on withdrawing a popular service. It's known across the Internet that the search giant is closing down Google Reader, the company's RSS service later this year. Competing services have taken this as a golden chance to expand business and attract those who will be surely looking for an alternative and migrate away from Google. Cue Feedly.

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Update: A lot of you are reporting they're available (me too). Go download them in the Windows Store. 

The built-in Mail, Calendar, and People app have received nearly universal criticism from both tech reviewers and users since their inception. While they aren’t getting a huge graphical user interface overhaul, there is a nice update coming in tomorrow that should help alleviate some, but not all, concerns.

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We're all eagerly awaiting to see what Microsoft has for consumers with the Blue updates that will be released for its array of products later this year. Build 9364 for Windows 8 has been leaked, teasing what we can all look forward to in the public release once the final revision is available for the market. So what features and changes are new in this leaked build? WinBeta managed to take a good look and record some footage.

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Should you not be aware of the deal shown in the photo above, the Lumia 620 is available at The Carphone Warehouse from just £14 a month. As well as the Windows Phone 8 device, the retailer is also bundling a free Windows 8 upgrade, which will provide some incentive to choose the smartphone over rivalling Android devices.

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One of the advantages the touchscreen on our Microsoft Surface or other Windows 8 device is the artist uses it presents. You can basically turn your Windows 8 touchscreen into an art canvass.

The Sensu Brush is a tool that can help you draw with not only a stylus point but also mimic brush strokes. It's not your run of the mill Windows 8 accessory but it can come in handy if you like dabbling with art/sketch apps.

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Time to Tweet, Windows 8 gets official Twitter app

Windows 8 ‘officially’ launched way back in late October of last year. However, developers and enthusiasts have been using it for much longer, so you’d think there would have been an official Twitter app at launch, right? Nope. Instead we didn’t hear that Twitter was working on an app until the ///BUILD developer conference in Redmond. Four months later, we now have Twitter for Windows 8.

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In a recent editorial, I complained that Microsoft has largely stopped announcing or publicizing Windows Phone games in advance. Well, this week we have a prime example of that. Galactic Reign from Slant Six and Microsoft Studios has just showed on Windows 8 and RT with Xbox features and will appear for Windows Phone 7 and 8 devices (also with Xbox features) later today.

Microsoft teased the game back in October but made absolutely no mention of platforms, so nobody really knew it was coming, and especially not as a multiplatform release with connectivity features. But other than the lack of proper PR, a new game showing up on Windows Phone and Windows 8 with cross-platform asynchronous multiplayer is always good news, so we’ll stop complaining. For now.

Since the Windows 8 game launched ahead of the mobile version, we’ve already put several hours into it. Head past the break for our full impressions, plus details about buying the game on one platform and playing it from another!

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Last month we were excited to learn that Ubisoft’s Rayman Jungle Run would be coming to Windows Phone at some point in the future. The combination of endless runner with actual levels and the lovable Rayman is just what our favorite smartphone platform needs. What we didn’t know is that Jungle Run would also be coming to PC and tablet via Windows 8 and RT. Happy surprise - it’s out now and Xbox Live-enabled!  Plus it gives us a great idea of what to expect when the phone game comes along.

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The late January release of Skulls of the Shogun for Windows Phone 7 and 8 might have quenched some players’ thirst for a mobile strategy game. But you can never have too many strategy titles, and besides, Skulls (while not a casual game) is not the most hardcore strategy game in the world. Windows Phone still needed a true strategy role-playing game like Final Fantasy Tactics or Disgaea that could keep a player busy pretty much forever.

Japanese developer HyperDevbox recognized that need, and now they’ve published the very first strategy RPG for Windows Phone 8: Spectral Souls.  Originally a retail Playstation 2 release, Spectral Souls promises hundreds of hours of role-playing goodness for dedicated players.

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Staples has an interesting Windows 8 Trade up to Touch program running where you can earn you a little cash back and have the opportunity to recycle your old computer in the process.

When you buy a qualifying touch screen laptop or tablet at Staples, just fill in the online claim form within fourteen days and you'll receive a prepaid shipping label to turn in your older, qualifying device. Just pack up the old computer, drop it off at UPS and within thirty days you'll receive a pre-paid VISA card for up to $400.

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We've lightly touched on the proposed batch of updates, codenamed "Blue" that will affect multiple Microsoft platforms and service. Yesterday a job opening at Redmond was spotted and has confirmed that Microsoft will indeed be targeting the holidays, when plans to release the next major version of Windows Phone will be put into play.

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We aren't sure as to the "when" but the Windows Phone app/tool for Windows 8 was recently updated. The update adds the ability to transfer playlists and ringtones to your Windows Phone 8 device and watch videos you've taken with your Windows Phone.

Ringtone files must be .m4r format any non-DRM protected music file that the phone can play, no larger than 30MB and can not be protected with digital rights management. When you transfer the ringtones to your Windows Phone 8 device, they will appear in your Settings under Ringtones and Sounds as any other tone would be.

If you haven't installed the Windows Phone app to your Windows 8 computer or tablet, it's a free app that you can find here in the Windows Store.

Thanks, Andy, for the tip!

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