Windows 10: Cortana AI, New Spartan Browser, Xbox Streaming And Unified Experience

Windows-10_Product-FamilyIt’s Microsoft’s big day, with Windows 10. First off, the upgrade path: all devices running Windows 8.1 and 7, along with Windows Phone 8.1, will get the upgrade to Windows 10 — for the first year. But now, on to the fun stuff.

Microsoft Windows 10 will be the first time that Microsoft has truly unified its ecosystem. Windows on PC and large tablets will have a unified appearance, with a new Taskbar and a Start button that contains its own set of smart tiles, no longer delivering you to the Start screen, exclusively. This duality makes them the highest-ranking Windwos devices. Smaller tablets meanwhile get a more condensed, but still proportionate view, and smartphones get the usual Phone design.

Meanwhile, DirectX 12 technology makes its debut, bringing PC gaming (and graphics) to a whole other level. This level of unification and seamlessness continues into the more proprietary devices, like the 84-inch 4K screen called the Surface Hub, or something simpler, like the Xbox One.

The new Project Spartan browser is a complete overhaul, and includes handy annotation tools, offline reading, as well as a sharing section. Cortana, seen on the Windows Phone devices, comes along to be the full system virtual assistant, including inside the browser. Now, things start to get interesting for gamers at the Xbox level, where streaming is now possible from console to computer, and using the Xbox controller to play the game.

And of course, last but surely not least, is Windows Holographic: think augmented reality with Windows apps, tasks, and games, all through a HoloLens headset.

Release date? Later this year.

SpaceX Gets A $1 Billion Investment From Google And Fidelity

crs5_dragon_orbit13And just like that, SpaceX is closer to reaching its current endeavors: a commercial space flight business and internet satellites — in space of course. Designed to plentiful enough (about 700), these low-cost, fiber-optic speed satellites would have a range down to Earth and even Mars. Google and Fidelity pitched in the $1 billion investment, which represents close to 10% ownership of SpaceX.

Here’s to the future. Via: SpaceX

HTC Sending Press Invites For Next Flagship Announcement In Barcelona

Screen Shot 2015-01-16 at 11.34.32 AMMobile World Congress is in March, and we’ve just breached the middle of January, but it’s never too early to being inviting members of the tech press over, is it? That’s the approach HTC is making with its “utopia in progress” tease of an invite.

The date set is March 1st, and it’s been a year since the One M8 was brought to and unveiled in New York City — so it all makes sense, if you’re looking at typical release cycles.

Google: Glass Explorer Program Will Shut Down, Graduate, And Be In Tony Fadell’s Control

Google Glass TableTony Fadell, the leader of Nest, which was acquired by Google for $3.2 billion in 2014, will now have control over the Google Glass program. Within recent months, the hype surrounding Google Glass has dropped significantly, and Google hasn’t done much about it, in public at least. Turns out, the two-year-old Explorer program is closing, allowing Glass to “graduate” and become its own, independent division that will still be directed by fashion expert Ivy Ross; she will still report to Fadell.

Meanwhile, those who still wish to buy class in its current, $1,500 form can still do so until January 19th. However, moving forward Google Glass is going to be significantly tweaked.

After all, Tony Fadell was leader of the iPod and iPhone projects at Apple — whatever happens to Glass next, will be interesting. 

Via: TM

Fujifilm X-A2: Another Mirrorless Camera, This Time Great For The Selfie Folk

fujifilm-x-a2A $1,000 Carl Zeiss lens is the best way to take your selfies, at least according to Fujifilm and their newest mirrorless camera. Included is a 175 degree flip screen for easier self-framing. It also carries face/eye detection features that are activated automatically when said 920k dot screen is flipped.

Meanwhile, the 16.3-megapixel, APS-C sensor with full HD recording capability comes in a body that is black, brown or white for $550 with a 16-50 f/3.5-5.6 lens (24-75mm 50mm equivalent). Alternatively, a $699 with a 50-230mm lens kit exists — if you’re into shooting things and people, other than yourself.

Can I just say it? This is a gorgeous camera.

Via: Amazon

Google Will Field Test The Project Ara Platform….In Puerto Rico

project-ara-spiral-2-prototypeThe newest iteration of the prototype Project Ara smartphone is here. For a refresher: Project Ara is a smartphone platform where integral pieces can be swapped, including the processor, camera, ports, battery (with layover time), screen and other components.

Thus, Google has a lot of testing to do and they’ve chosen an interesting location to field test Project Ara: Puerto Rico. Being that the island is “well-connected” and has a designated free trade zone, developer modules could easily roam. Puerto Rico is also under FCC jurisdiction, thus it would benefit being a test market for the US. The first two carriers to offer Project Ara will be Open Mobile and Claro, both of which offer 4G LTE coverage along with 3G — at least, when Spiral 3 (the third prototype) is reached, which introduces the LTE function.

Keeping reading, because Google’s strategy is so unique: the phones will be sold via “food trucks” in popular parts of the island. Each truck will have a 3D printer and dye sublimation printers.

Customizing the phone will (or is supposed to) be easy and can be done during the sale; the process is aimed to be under 5 minutes. But, if you’re into making the Ara your own, a ready-to-go bento box version will also be available.

PR vid, after the break.

Forza Motorsport 6 Is On Its Way, With The New Ford GT As Cover Car

d89b6691-3c4b-42c6-89a0-00420eb3bcb2It makes total sense to announce the next iteration of a famous racing simulator at a famous auto show, doesn’t it? Well, Turn 10 Studios, now owned by Microsoft, took the inititave to announce Forza Motorosport 6. And the cover car? The new 2016 Ford GT — of course.

It’s interesting to see from an importance (and PR) perspective about how car manufacturers see racing simulators nowadays. They take them rather seriously, because they stand not only as a form of promotion and fan-finding, but also as a testament to the integrity of their vehicles.

Ford’s Raj Nair, who leads the company’s global product development, had this to say about Forza 6 and the new GT:

“When we started working on the GT, probably a year ago, we were already thinking along these lines,” and, “I think that’s a reflection of how important Forza‘s become to the automotive industry, an exposure to so many customers — often, their first exposure to the brand or their first exposure to a specific vehicle is actually through Forza. So early on, we know this would be a part of the plan.”

A final release date for the game isn’t set in stone, however there is hope that it might launch this year.

Via: Forza

The New Acura NSX Supercar Must Live Up To (And Surpass) Its Name

new-acura-nsx--0012.0The Honda NSX was a hand-built, all aluminum masterpiece of a car that stayed in production for 15 years — the new Acura NSX has tons to uphold and live up to, then. While the exact engine specs are still being decided withheld, Acura/Honda is saying it will be a hybrid, using a twin-turbo V6 paired to a 9-speed dual-clutch transmission. A center-mounted dial will let the driver choose the driving modes and thus, engine power.

The first delivers will occur later this year, with customizations starting inthe summer; a price in the “mid-150,000 range” will be set on the Acura NSX.

Goodness: it’s beautiful. More shots after the break.