Microsoft secretly building 7-inch Xbox Surface?

Microsoft working on gaming ‘Xbox Surface’ 7-inch tablet. The rumor was revealed by The Verge, which is cited multiple sources familiar with the company’s plans. The Xbox Surface is expected to include a custom ARM processor and high-bandwidth RAM designed for gaming purpose.

Messaging and other tablet functions may be supported, but the focus is on gaming. The rumored tablet is said to run a custom Windows kernel. Microsoft is currently one of the leading gaming console makers along with Sony and Nintendo. The rising of smartphones and tablets reduce the popularity of gaming console in consumer market.

Microsoft recently released its first Surface tablet, a 10-inch device designed to compete with Apple’s iPad. Like the iPad, the Surface is an all-purpose computing device capable of browsing the Web and editing documents, in addition to playing games.

Microsoft set to launch Xbox Music with free unlimited streaming

Microsoft has launched Xbox Music, a digital music streaming service to take on Apple’s iTunes and other on-demand music services such as Spotify.

The service will let people stream music to their computer, phone andd games console. Xbox Music is set to launch this Tuesday on the XBox 360, and the service will reportedly come pre-installed on all Windows 8 tablets and computers, as well as Windows Phone 8 smartphones.

The firm hopes that my allowing people to access the same service on phones, computers and tablets, it can compete with Apple’s iTunes download service and Spotify’s streaming service.

Although this is seen as a step forward for the music industry, its appeal is limited by the expense of many mobile data plans. Most cost more the more data you use, which can make streaming music on cellular networks fairly expensive.

The free version of Xbox Music won’t let you download songs and save them for offline playback. That will require paying $10 a month.

The paid subscription is also required if you want to use Xbox Music on the Xbox 360 game console or on smartphones that use Windows Phone. On the game console, an Xbox Live Gold membership, which costs $60 a year, is also required.

“For local music files that you add to your library, Xbox Music sort of works like Google Play Music, with a bit of iTunes Match thrown in,” Wagner wrote. “It uses a ‘scan and match’ process to see if you’ve uploaded tracks that it has on file, and if it finds a match, you’ll be able to stream it from the cloud, even if it’s not available over XBM’s streaming service.”

Microsoft updated its new logo after 25 years

Microsoft has unveiled a new corporate logo “to express the company’s diverse portfolio of products” as the US tech giant ramps up for a series of big launches.

The new logo, updated for the first time in 25 years, features a square which contains four separate colored squares. The old logo had a similar look but the squares appeared deformed as if part of a flag waving in the wind.

The move comes with Microsoft ramping up for its Windows 8 platform and its first tablet computer, called Surface. The company is also making an aggressive effort to gain ground in the smartphone market.

“It’s been 25 years since we’ve updated the Microsoft logo and now is the perfect time for a change,” said Microsoft brand strategy manager Jeff Hansen.

“This is an incredibly exciting year for Microsoft as we prepare to release new versions of nearly all of our products. From Windows 8 to Windows Phone 8 to Xbox services to the next version of Office, you will see a common look and feel across these products providing a familiar and seamless experience on PCs, phones, tablets and TVs.

Logo Evolution.Pictures:AP/AFP Source: AP

“This wave of new releases is not only a reimagining of our most popular products, but also represents a new era for Microsoft, so our logo should evolve to visually accentuate this new beginning.”

The logo also includes the name Microsoft in the Segoe font which is used in products and marketing communications, along with the new squares.

“The symbol is important in a world of digital motion,” Hansen said. “The symbol’s squares of color are intended to express the company’s diverse portfolio of products.”

The new logo is being used starting today on the Microsoft.com website and in three Microsoft retail stores today.

“It will sign off all of our television ads globally,” Hansen said.

“And it will support our products across various forms of marketing… We’re excited about the new logo, but more importantly about this new era in which we’re reimagining how our products can help people and businesses throughout the world realise their full potential.”

Microsoft’s Windows 8 packaging revealed

windows 8 packaging box revealed

Credit: the verge

Microsoft announced the finalization of its Windows 8 operating system last week with some gloriously crazy Start Screen improvements. The final copy may have leaked online already, but if you’re waiting to secure an official boxed copy on October 26th then we’re able to offer a sneak peek at how Microsoft plans to sell Windows 8. Packaging for Windows 8 and Windows 8 Pro, the only boxed versions available in retail stores, is a fairly simple affair. Microsoft has chosen to display its Windows 8 style UI logo prominently on the front of the packaging, with a darker variant for the Windows 8 Pro edition.

Windows 8, Windows 8 Pro, and Windows RT will all be available on new PCs and tablets from October 26th, and upgrade versions will be available in stores or as an electronic software download. We understand that the packaging will be largely similar to the existing Windows 7 version, but we’ll have to wait until Microsoft officially unveils it to see if the company has put its Windows 8 boxes on a diet — similar to its 37 percent weight loss from Vista to Windows 7.

Source;theverge

Say goodbye to Hotmail, welcome to Outlook.com

Web-based email, Hotmail will be replaced by new Microsoft web-based email, Outlook.com. Outlook, is same brand name as Microsoft’s email application that’s part of the Microsoft Office suite.

This move is part of the company’s ongoing transition from a mostly desktop software to a cloud-based services company. Outlook.com provides a new Metro-style user interface similar to Microsoft Office 2013.

Outlook.com is a free mail service that pulls features from Hotmail and Exchange and it is designed for personal/consumer use. Outlook.com is integrated with Windows and Office, and can pull in Twitter, Facebook, Gmail and LinkedIn contacts.

Outlook.com inbox

Microsoft is providing new Outlook.com users with 7GB of free cloud storage through SkyDrive. As it has been doing with Hotmail, Microsoft is trying to wean Outlook.com users from sending attachments. Instead, the focus is on saving files, photos and other content to the cloud, with “smart layouts” in e-mail messages showing recipients what they can see via links and/or downloads.

Outlook.com inbox with Skype
Outlook.com also allow user to Skype without having any Skype application in your desktop. Of course Microsoft will not kill the Hotmail immediately but I believe they are plan to do it slowly. We think Microsoft more aggresive this years after we saw several new products of Microsoft are going to launch this year such as Windows 8, Microsoft Office and Microsoft Surface.

Outlook.com Photo Mail