The free music streaming app, Nokia Music, first appeared on Nokia Lumia smartphones, and Nokia in January enhanced the service to include a premium version, dubbed Nokia Music+, for a monthly subscription fee of $3.99. With both, users are able to create their own mixes or stream from playlists curated by Nokia's team and artists. Mixes also can be saved for offline playback. The premium version gives users unlimited skips and unlimited downloads.… Read more
Microsoft's official online store has cut prices on a handful of Window 8 devices. These systems, from HP, Toshiba, and others, are all different, but each straddles the line between laptop and tablet and falls into the growing hybrid category; you can see the current discounts on the Microsoft Store site.
With these new discounts (no word on if they are temporary or permanent), our initial reviews of these specific systems deserve a second look, if only because a big knock against each one was the unrealistic asking price.
Are they much better machines at $100 to $250 off, … Read more
Microsoft officials supposedly have decided on the final name for Windows Blue. The final decision, one of my sources told me, is that it will be Windows 8.1.
The client version of Blue, codenamed Windows Blue, is a refresh of Windows 8. It is expected to be released to manufacturing around August of this year. As I've blogged a few times, Microsoft is planning to position Blue as part of the Windows 8 wave, not as Windows 9.
Windows 8 is slowly carving out a slightly larger slice of the OS market.
Since its official debut last October, Windows 8 has very gradually risen up the ranks, at least in Net Applications' Web traffic reports.
Starting with a 1.09 percent share in November, the OS carved out a 1.72 percent share in December. It then grabbed a 2.26 percent share in January, … Read more
Welcome to the third generation of Vizio PCs. You won't find many things different technology-wise in this round compared with previous models. The biggest news is that the laptops -- two 14-inch, and two 15.6-inch models -- all ship with touch screens now. Vizio's all-in-ones already had touch screens, but this generation gets a CPU bump, and higher prices to match. Vizio has also added wireless networking adapters that support the new 802.11ac standard across the lineup.
For the laptops, the 14-inch Touch Thin+Light CT14T-B0 comes it at the lowest price, going for $1,089.… Read more
Microsoft's move to relax the minimum resolution for Windows 8 devices could trigger a slew of seven-inch Windows 8 tablets.
To claim Windows 8 certification, a tablet can now offer a minimum resolution of 1,024x768 at a depth of 32 bits. That's a change from the previous guidelines, which specify a minimum resolution of 1,366x768. Microsoft said it isn't encouraging device makers to shoot for such a … Read more
The next version of Windows will be able to show you the same Start screen across all your Windows 8 devices.
Investigating the latest enhancements destined for Windows Blue, Supersite for Windows creator Paul Thurrott was greeted by the same Start screen on two different Windows 8 PCs. This means that users who log in with their Microsoft account will see the same Start screen tiles, layout, and color scheme across all their Windows 8 devices.
The actual Start Screen sync feature in the PC Settings screen isn't yet working in the current Windows Blue build. But users should … Read more
Microsoft has tweaked its Xbox Music app with a few audible enhancements.
The app now lets you add and sync your songs from your local library to the cloud so they're available on your other Windows 8 or RT devices. You can also automatically add any matched songs from your library to the cloud.
You have more options when listening to an album. You can tell the app to repeat as well as shuffle songs. You can turn on a Smart DJ feature that tries to create a playlist based on songs you may like. Finally, Xbox Music offers … Read more
Microsoft has tweaked its Mail, Calendar, and People apps for Windows 8 and RT users with some much-need improvements.
The three core apps, which are bundled together, received some long overdue tweaks last night that make them a bit more user-friendly. But along with those improvements comes one negative: the Calendar app will no longer sync with Google Calendar appointments.
On the plus side, the Mail app now offers full folder management. You can create, rename, and delete folders and subfolders to better organize your e-mail.
Managing individual messages is also much easier. You can select multiple e-mails to delete, … Read more
Microsoft began rolling out substantial updates to some core Windows 8 and Windows RT applications tonight. And while users of the Mail, People, and Calendar apps will see a laundry list of new features, they will also reportedly lose some functionality.
Users of Mail, Calendar, and Contact apps have lost sync support via Google's Exchange ActiveSync, according to a report in The Verge.
"We can't connect...because Google no longer supports Exchange ActiveSync," reads a message suggesting users try to reconnect their accounts to the Mail, Calendar, and People apps in Windows 8.
The move shouldn'… Read more