Microsoft Plans an Xbox Mobile Game Store to Compete Against Google, Apple

Oct 20, 2022 - 9:48 AM - by Reverend
Microsoft has revealed it’s working on a mobile gaming app store to compete against Google Play and the Apple App Store.

The company disclosed the plan in a filing to UK regulators, which was noticed by The Verge. The UK’s Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) is conducting an investigation into whether Microsoft should be permitted to acquire Activision Blizzard for nearly $69 billion.

The government regulator is concerned the deal will reduce competition in the video game industry since Activision Blizzard is the developer behind several major gaming franchises, including Warcraft, Diablo, Overwatch, and Call of Duty. But on Tuesday, Microsoft sent a 33-page response defending its plan to buy the company. In the same document, the company also mentions how Activision Blizzard promises to bolster Microsoft’s secret effort to create a rival to the app stores from Google and Apple.

“The Transaction will improve Microsoft’s ability to create a next generation game store which operates across a range of devices, including mobile as a result of the addition of Activision Blizzard’s content,” Microsoft wrote in the filing. “Building on Activision Blizzard’s existing communities of gamers, Xbox will seek to scale the Xbox Store to mobile, attracting gamers to a new Xbox Mobile Platform.”

Of course, Microsoft could build such a platform without the acquisition. But Redmond argues the various game franchises from Activision Blizzard are crucial in attracting consumers to try out the mobile game store.

“Shifting consumers away from the Google Play Store and App Store on mobile devices will, however, require a major shift in consumer behavior. Microsoft hopes that by offering well-known and popular content, gamers will be more inclined to try something new,” Microsoft added.

The company also plans on building the mobile platform with Microsoft’s “Open App Store Principles,” which were announced in February. These principles have been designed to ensure third-party developers can sell their apps with fewer restrictions and requirements compared to Google Play and the Apple App Store.

PC Magazine
  0 Replies | 1,192 Views


macOS Ventura to be released to all users on October 24

Oct 18, 2022 - 6:13 PM - by Reverend
Apple announced macOS Ventura at WWDC 2022 in June along with iOS 16. However, while the iOS update was released to the public in September, macOS 13 was delayed until October. Now Apple has confirmed that macOS Ventura will be available to the public next Monday, October 24.

macOS Ventura (or macOS 13) comes with several new features. The next version of the operating system enhances the continuity features between iPhone and Mac, so that an iPhone can now be used as a computer webcam. Another new continuity feature lets you transfer a FaceTime call from an iPhone to a Mac or vice versa.

Just like on iOS, iMessage users can finally edit and unsend messages on macOS. Mail has also been updated with options to unsend emails and Safari now supports passkeys, a new way to authenticate to apps and websites without a traditional password.

There are many other new features like Desk View, new gaming APIs, redesigned Game Center dashboard, Stage Manager, and a Weather app for the first time on a Mac.

According to Apple, macOS Ventura will be released for all users on November 24. The update requires a Mac introduced in 2017 or later. More details about macOS Ventura can be found on Apple’s website.

It’s worth noting that iOS 16.1 and iPadOS 16.1 will also be released to the public next week.

9to5Mac
  0 Replies | 1,263 Views


Nvidia Is 'Unlaunching' the 12GB RTX 4080 After Criticism

Oct 15, 2022 - 7:54 PM - by Reverend
Nvidia has announced that it is "unlaunching" the 12GB RTX 4080 graphics card after criticisms regarding the difference between this and the more powerful 16GB model.

Nvidia shared the news in a blog post, saying, "the RTX 4080 12GB is a fantastic graphics card, but it’s not named right. Having two GPUs with the 4080 designation is confusing."

"So, we’re pressing the 'unlaunch' button on the 4080 12GB," Nvidia continued. "The RTX 4080 16GB is amazing and on track to delight gamers everywhere on November 16th."

The 12GB RTX 4080 was set to launch alongside the 16GB model for $899, but it was going to do so with less RT, Tensor, and CUDA cores than the more expensive model.

The 16GB model will launch at $1,199 and will be the only 4080 model to launch on November 16, meaning those looking for a cheaper option will have to wait until Nvidia reveals its plan to relaunch the 12GB iteration.

As for the 40-series as a whole, it is built on the new Ada Lovelace architecture, which uses TSMC's 4nm N4 technology. This new architecture, which is named after the mathematician and writer of the same name, is the only graphical architecture to support the new third generation of DLSS.

IGN
  0 Replies | 1,388 Views


Microsoft is discontinuing the Office brand name

Oct 14, 2022 - 9:39 PM - by Reverend
Microsoft has announced the discontinuation of the Office brand name for the well-known software applications Word, Excel, and PowerPoint. Microsoft 365 will be the umbrella brand for all software and services provided by the IT business.

The services will be renamed beginning in November. Microsoft will replace Office.com first. The Office programmes for Windows will be updated to Microsoft 365 at the start of next year. The mobile applications will be renamed and redesigned as well.

Microsoft does not abandon the names of individual software products. As a result, the word processing application will continue to be known as Word, while the spreadsheet programme will continue to be known as Excel. This is true for PowerPoint, Outlook, and Teams, among other programmes.

Guru3D
  0 Replies | 1,383 Views


Google begins adding passkey support in Android and Chrome

Oct 12, 2022 - 10:37 PM - by Reverend
Google has begun rolling out initial passkey support for Android and Chrome. In a blog post published Wednesday, the company said web admins can start integrating the technology into their websites through the WebAuthn API. Similarly, developers can download the latest Google Play Services beta to start testing the authentication standard within their apps.

Google expects to roll out stable support for passkeys later this year, with an API for native Android apps arriving in 2022 as well. The latter will allow you to choose between a passkey and a saved password when logging into a supported platform.

As more apps and websites add support for passkeys, Android and Chrome users will see their relationship with online credentials change. "Passkeys are a significantly safer replacement for passwords and other phishable authentication factors,” Google notes. “They cannot be reused, don't leak in server breaches and protect users from phishing attacks."

Creating a passkey on your Android phone will involve confirming you want to make one and then authenticating your identity with a fingerprint or face scan (you can also use a screen lock). Signing in is just as easy. You simply authenticate your identity and you’re good to go. You’ll manage your passkeys through Google Password Manager, where they’ll be automatically backed up to the cloud to prevent lockouts if you ever lose your device.

Since passkeys are part of an industry-wide initiative to do away with passwords, they work across different devices, platforms and browsers.

Engadget
  0 Replies | 1,344 Views


Twitter Rolls Out 'Mixed Media' Tweets

Oct 06, 2022 - 6:47 PM - by Reverend
Sometimes a single photo, video, or GIF isn't enough to express yourself, which is why Twitter is introducing a new "mixed media" feature that lets users combine all three in one post.

Sharing different types of visuals is as easy as tapping the Media or GIF icon when composing a tweet and selecting the pictures, clips, or looping animations you want to include.

Add up to four pieces of media per post on iOS and Android. Web users, not yet able to create a collage of content, can still enjoy others' creativity. However, scrolling through Twitter reveals there's no obvious way to spot a mixed media tweet yet, so you'll have to experiment by tapping on a few tweets to see if they are indeed full of media.

"We're always looking for new and exciting ways to help creators share more and be seen," Twitter wrote in a blog post. "Mixing different types of visual content together in a single tweet allows creators to express themselves beyond 280 characters and gives them more ways to tell their story."

PC Magazine
  0 Replies | 1,450 Views


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