windows

Microsoft and US retail chain Best Buy have both announced today a strategic partnership to create a new Windows Store. The set-up stalls will be featured within 500 Best Buy brick and mortar stores across the US and in more than 100 stores located in Canada. The stores will range in size from 1,500 and 2,200 square foot and will include Windows-based tablets and PCs, as well as Windows Phones, Microsoft Office, Xbox and more.

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Windows 8.1 (codenamed "Blue") is the upcoming update for Microsoft's desktop operating system, Windows 8. The company has been pushing out its latest major release of Windows since late last year with bumps in the road and goals ahead to smash. Details as to what consumers can expect to see in Windows 8.1 have been rather vague, but today Antoine Leblond, Corporate Vice President, Windows Program Management revealed some of the changes.

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At Tuesday’s reveal of the Xbox One, Microsoft showed off their next generation Kinect sensor. Our friends up in Redmond don’t want you to forget that the new Kinect unit will also be heading to Windows.

Microsoft released the original software development kit (SDK) in the spring of 2011 for Windows 7. The goal of the program was to expand Kinect’s usage scenario through 3rd party and indie developers. That being said, we have seen some amazing uses of Kinect in the fields of consumer shopping and medicine.

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Microsoft took the opportunity at the JP Morgan Technology, Media & Telecom conference today to talk about Windows 8.1 (or "Windows Blue" as it has been referred as). The update will be dished out to consumers for free, which is music to ears after the heavy discount Microsoft had in place for Windows 8 when the operating system launched last year.

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Samsung has announced that its expanding the ATIV brand to include its Windows based PC products. Originally used for its Windows Phone 8 hardware, Samsung states it will use the brand to represent the convergence of PC and mobile technologies. This will essentially unite all Samsung Windows products under a single umbrella. If you're now looking at Samsung ATIV hardware, it's running a version of Windows.

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Microsoft is set to reintroduce the famous Windows start button in Windows 8, according to sources familiar with company plans. A report over on The Verge points at Windows 8.1 (aka "Blue") as to when consumers will be able to see a start button in desktop mode without utilising third-party software. The only downside is it's noted the button will simply take the user back to the start screen and not fire up a menu.

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Looking for more ways to enjoy Nokia Music? Well you'll be pleased to hear that the service is now available on the Windows 8 / RT store for consumers to download and enjoy. Nokia has launched the apps with a number of great features for those who use Windows on a desktop or laptop, as well as a tablet. So what's included in Nokia Music for Windows 8?

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Microsoft has long had a vision to unite its stores for both Windows and Windows Phone, as well as content that's populated in both catalogues. This hasn't quite been the case yet, even though it's well known that the company is driving forward in pulling its platforms closer together. The launch of Windows Phone 8 and Windows 8 definitely reflects this.

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Microsoft’s cloud based storage solution; SkyDrive has picked up its first set of updates as we go into 2013. The service has quickly evolved to become the hub for nearly every product in Microsoft’s line up. Windows Phone has always been deeply connected and the past year has seen Windows and Office hook into the mesh.

The public face of SkyDrive is through a web interface and it's here that many will create folders and share them. The team has improved sharing, speed and touch responsiveness to the latest update.

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We're entering into 2013 and Microsoft has already displayed signs of the company continuing to push on with its marketing campaign for its Windows family of products - namely Windows 8. A batch of new commercials have been released on its YouTube channel, with the first featuring the track "Everything at Once" by Australian singer Lenka. 

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A new website has been set up for Windows apps, but before thoughts come into play, it's not a duplicate Marketplace. Great Windows Apps (www.greatwindowsapps.com) will showcase only the best content from the Store where developers have poured in hours of effort to ensuring their work shines above the rest. If you're not into sorting through what's deemed as "crap" on the app store, then this may well be the answer to your prayers.

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The Surface RT tablet was released last month, but Microsoft has remained tight-lipped about the support policy for Windows RT itself. The company has since released information detailing its declaration to support its initial Surface tablet for four years. ZDNet has taken a look at the new information provided to see what this means for consumers.

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The first Microsoft Store in Canada has opened at Yorkdale Mall, Toronto. The brick and mortar store will provide Microsoft with the capacity to accommodate consumers inside a specially crafted experience to ensure everyone gets the most out of what the company has to offer - whether it be Windows 8, Windows Phone 8, cloud services, Office, Xbox and more.

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