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MICROSOFT IS GETTING READY FOR THE NEXT XBOX VS. PLAYSTATION CONSOLE WAR

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Microsoft’s gaming chief, Phil Spencer, didn’t spend a lot of time talking at the company’s E3 press conference last night, preferring to let the games speak for themselves. Microsoft showed off 52 games onstage, including Halo InfiniteGears 5Forza Horizon 4, and titles from third parties like Fallout 76 and Cyberpunk 2077. While Spencer let the pace of the games dazzle the 6,000 people in the crowd, in his less than 15 minutes of stage time, he also made it very clear Microsoft is ready to battle. With new Xbox consoles, cloud streaming, and a fresh commitment to original games, Microsoft is getting ready for the next console war and beyond.

The Xbox One fell behind Sony’s PlayStation 4 for a number of reasons (pricing and Kinect didn’t help initially), but Microsoft is now facing a lack of exclusive titles to really boost its new Xbox One X console. Microsoft is finally responding to that negative feedback, and one of the surprise announcements at last night’s Xbox E3 briefing was the company’s commitment to first-party games. Microsoft is acquiring Undead Labs (makers of State of Decay), Playground Games (Forza Horizon developers), Ninja Theory (Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice), and Compulsion Games (We Happy Few). These developers will join Microsoft Studios, alongside the formation of a newly founded Santa Monica-based studio, The Initiative, that will be led by former Crystal Dynamics head of studio Darrell Gallagher.

While two of the studios already develop exclusive Xbox games for Microsoft, the rest will add to Microsoft’s original games list. “We know that exclusive games from our Microsoft Studios are what originally turned so many of us into Xbox fans. My team and I take our commitment to you seriously,” said Phil Spencer. “By joining us at Microsoft Studios, these five new teams will have the resources, the platform, and creative independence to take bigger risks, create even bolder worlds for you.”

These studio acquisitions are clearly a reaction to a lack of solid first-party games, but they’re also a commitment to Xbox fans that Microsoft isn’t about to give up on gaming. Microsoft is already embracing a world beyond Windows PCs, reducing its consumer focus, and trying to win back developers. A lot of these moves have Microsoft and Xbox fans concerned about the future of its gaming commitments, and Spencer ended Microsoft’s E3 showing with a very clear message.

”We commit and harness the full breadth of our resources at Microsoft to deliver on the future of play,” revealed Spencer, before detailing Microsoft’s plans for a game streaming network and new Xbox consoles. “The same team that delivered unprecedented performance with Xbox One X is deep into architecturing the next Xbox consoles, where we will once again deliver on our commitment to set the benchmark for console gaming.” If that wasn’t enough of a message, Spencer ended with a clear signal that Microsoft is here to stay with Xbox for years to come.

Microsoft Studios dev teams.

“We have committed our team, our company, our technical resources so we can declare to you today, and next year, and all the years after that: you will always experience the best in gaming on Xbox.” Spencer’s strong message felt like a reassuring one to Xbox fans, but it was also a realization that Microsoft isn’t ready to offer the best games on Xbox One just yet. The Xbox One is the best console if you don’t care about new exclusive games, and it’s obvious that Microsoft’s deep focus on backward compatibility will continue with its future consoles.

These new studios will take time to create the games Microsoft needs, and this isn’t going to be a quick turnaround. Microsoft will once again have to mostly rely on third-party studios to fill the gaps this year, with massive games that can also be played on rival hardware.

It might be another tricky year for the Xbox One, especially as Sony has already delivered exclusive games like Detroit: Become HumanGod of War, and Shadow of the Colossus this year. Sony is also expected to show off more big exclusives at its own E3 event tonight, including Death StrandingThe Last of Us: Part IIGhost of Tsushima, and Spider-Man. Microsoft showed at E3 that it’s ready to play the long game, and that will inevitably lead it toward the next big console battle with Sony.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Source: The Verge

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Hardwares

UNBOXING THE QUALCOMM SNAPDRAGON 835-POWERED LENOVO MIIX 630

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Announced at CES this year, Lenovo’s Miix 630 is the third Windows 10 on ARM device, powered by Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 835 chipset. Lenovo was one of the three launch partners to be in the first generation of Windows on ARM devices. Like both of the other devices in its class, it ships with Windows 10 Pro in S mode, meaning that you can only run apps from the Store unless you switch out of S mode for free.

Of course, this isn’t Windows RT all over again. Announced in 2016, Windows 10 on ARM can emulate x86 apps to run on Qualcomm’s Mobile PC Platforms. There are some limitations, such as x64 emulation and lack of Pro features like Hyper-V, but this is meant to just be Windows, and the average user shouldn’t even know the difference.

The Miix 630 isn’t cheap. Coming with 4GB RAM and 128GB of internal storage, it will run you $899. The real value proposition is 4G LTE connectivity and the additional battery life that comes with an ARM processor. The Snapdragon 835 uses big.LITTLE architecture, using four powerful cores to handle the heavy tasks, and four efficient cores to handle the tasks that don’t require as much power, such as background notifications. Because of this, an ARM processor can deliver much better standby time than an Intel chip.

The Snapdragon X16 4G LTE modem is built into the Snapdragon 835 chipset, so every Windows 10 on ARM PC can support up to gigabit download speeds over cellular, assuming your carrier supports it in your neighborhood (it probably doesn’t). The ability to not have to worry about connecting to Wi-Fi is an extremely freeing feeling although to be fair, there are Intel-powered Always Connected PCs as well, and some of those even use the same Snapdragon X16 modem.

Check out our unboxing of the Lenovo Miix 630 below:

 


 

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Desktops

CHROME AND FIREFOX GAIN WINDOWS 10 TIMELINE SUPPORT WITH A NEW EXTENSION

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Microsoft’s new Timeline feature in Windows 10 is designed to let you pick up where you left off on multiple devices. While Timeline supports Microsoft Edge for web browsing history, Chrome and Firefox have not yet been updated to officially support the new feature. A third-party developer has now created a Chrome and Firefox extension to bring Windows Timeline support to both browsers.

The new extension is free and works exactly how you’d expect. Browsing history will be synced to the Windows 10 Timeline feature, so you can pick up old tabs across other PCs. Timeline in its current form is only really useful if you’re using multiple Windows 10 machines with the same account, so perhaps a desktop at home and a laptop on the go (or a work machine). The new extension also lets you push a website you’re currently viewing to another Windows 10 machine.

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Desktops

18 CHROMEBOOKS FROM ACER, ASUS, LENOVO, & DELL RECEIVE LINUX APP SUPPORT

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Eighteen Chromebooks based on Intel Apollo Lake architecture, which includes many from brands such as Acer, Asus, Lenovo, and Dell, get Linux app support in one fell swoop.

In a change that landed Wednesday morning, the developers switched on Linux app support for all Apollo Lake Chromebooks under the baseboards Reef and Coral. See below for a list of Chromebooks under these baseboards.

All Apollo Lake-based Chromebooks from brands like Acer, Asus, Dell, and Lenovo gain Linux app support

All Reef and Coral boards get Linux app support, that’s a lot of Chromebooks!

See our list of Chromebooks that support Linux apps and what you can expect when Linux apps reach stable.

There are 18 Chromebooks from brands like Acer, Asus, Lenovo, and Dell under Reef and Coral to our knowledge, but there could be more from other OEMs that are missing from this list:

OEMModelCodenameBaseboard
LenovoLenovo Thinkpad 11e Chromebook / Lenovo Thinkpad Yoga 11e ChromebookPyroreef
LenovoLenovo 500e ChromebookRobo360coral
LenovoLenovo 100e ChromebookRobocoral
AcerAcer Chromebook Spin 11 R751TElectroreef
AcerAcer Chromebook 15 CB515-1HT/1HSandreef
AcerAcer Chromebook 11 (C732, C732T, C732L & C732LT )Astronautcoral
AcerAcer Chromebook 11 (CB311-8H & CB311-8HT)Santacoral
AcerAcer Chromebook Spin 11 (CP311-1H & CP311-1HN)Lavacoral
AsusASUS Chromebook Flip C213SAReefreef
DellDell Chromebook 11 5190Nashercoral
DellDell Chromebook 11 2-in-1 5190Nasher360coral

Apollo Lake is a generation of Intel mobile chips focused on efficient, low-power form factors. They are less powerful than the Kaby Lake chips in the Pixelbook and HP Chromebook X2 but should handle basic Linux apps with ease.

 

 

As the change has only just landed, Canary and Developer channels will see this first in the coming days and weeks. Stable or Beta channel users will have to wait until Chrome OS version 69.

Many of the Reef and Coral boards are education-focused, so it’s worth noting that if you have a managed or enrolled device, access to Linux apps is toggled by the administrator.

 

 

Source:  XDA

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