Microsoft and partners unveil nearly 40 brand new devices including 7″ Toshiba tablet

Toshiba Excite

A brand new Toshiba tablet was unveiled as Microsoft and it’s partners unveiled nearly 40 brand new devices this week at Computex. Other new devices included all-in-ones, laptops, 2-in-1s, tablets and smartphones.

Wednesday during a keynote address at Computex, Nick Parker, Microsoft corporate vice president responsible for Microsoft Corp.’s device partnerships, demonstrated the breadth of innovation happening across Windows and the Windows device ecosystem. He was joined during his keynote by Tony Prophet, corporate vice president of Windows Marketing, and Dr. Hsiao-Wuen Hon, managing director of Microsoft Research Asia and distinguished scientist at Microsoft, who provided evidence of how Microsoft is innovating to deliver opportunity for partners and value to customers in a mobile-first, cloud-first world.

http://rcm-na.amazon-adsystem.com/e/cm?lt1=_blank&bc1=000000&IS2=1&nou=1&bg1=FFFFFF&fc1=000000&lc1=0000FF&t=vancogadge02-20&o=15&p=8&l=as4&m=amazon&f=ifr&ref=ss_til&asins=B008RML99O

Parker opened the keynote talking about Microsoft’s vision for devices in a rapidly changing market and how Microsoft is innovating across its products, partnerships and business model to create opportunity for partners. Parker also talked about Microsoft’s device partner strategy to drive scale and innovation with Windows, through new partnerships and new technology that delight customers.

To talk about how the Windows team is operating with new speed and agility to deliver enhancements to customers and partners, and how Microsoft and its partners can build the next 1 billion devices together, Parker invited Tony Prophet to the stage. Prophet talked about how recent Windows enhancements including $0 Windows for devices smaller than 9 inches, relaxed certification requirements, the release of Windows 8.1 Update, Windows Phone 8.1 and Windows universal apps all make building incredible Windows devices easier for a broader ecosystems of hardware partners and ultimately more valuable and affordable for customers. He talked about the value of Microsoft cloud services across devices and shared the latest momentum:

  • 2 billion Skype minutes per day
  • 4.4 million Office 365 Home subscribers
  • 400 million active Outlook.com users
  • 250 million OneDrive users
  • 48 million Xbox Live members
  • 18 percent share of U.S. search market for Bing

//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js

He also shared momentum on apps and announced that Kabam, a leader in free-to-play games, will deliver its lineup of hit games to Windows tablets and phones over the next year, including “Fast & Furious 6: The Game,” “Dragons of Atlantis: Heirs of the Dragon” and “The Hobbit: Kingdoms of Middle-earth.” Moving forward, Kabam games will be available for Windows in the same timeframe as for other platforms.

Prophet was joined on stage by Nick Hedderman, group manager in the Windows Product Management team. Hedderman demonstrated the latest capabilities in Windows 8.1 Update and Windows Phone 8.1, showing a number of new experiences that were built based on customer and partner feedback, including improved mouse and keyboard navigation in Windows and enhanced notification, personalization and file management options in Windows Phone. He finished the demo with a look at Cortana, Microsoft’s new personal assistant on Windows Phone, and spoke about its upcoming availability in both China and the U.K.

Microsoft and its hardware partners announced new designs, price points and markets for Windows devices. Parker had nearly 40 brand-new devices on stage, including all-in-ones, laptops, 2-in-1s, tablets and smartphones. He gave the first sneak peek of Toshiba’s 7-inch tablet that will be available in the coming months at a value-driven price point that is very competitive to any other 7-inch-class device and unveiled the HP Pro x2 612 2-in-1 that is packed with business-ready capabilities including security features, a Wacom stylus, and dual batteries in the tablet and the power keyboard. He demonstrated an expanding ecosystem with new partner devices including numerous tablets from partners in the China technology ecosystem in Shenzhen, Beijing and Shanghai, including Haier, VIDO and Luckystar. Parker also showcased a breadth of smartphones from value to premium from new partners including BLU, InFocus Corp., Prestigio and Yezz. These new devices are the result of Microsoft’s expanded collaboration with Qualcomm Technologies Inc. on its reference design program, which enables device manufacturers to quickly and efficiently broaden their portfolio with Windows Phones.

Dr. Hon joined Parker on stage for a discussion about the future of computing and key areas of investment for Microsoft Research that include big data, machine learning, datacenter, sensors, computer vision and natural user interface. Dr. Hon talked about advancements in computer science and provided examples of how technology coming out of Microsoft Research ends up in products such as Xbox, Bing and Skype. He concluded by sharing his thoughts on how computing is evolving to become more human-centric, which provides a more personal and contextual user experience for people to do more, know more and be more.

Computex is the second-largest computer exhibition in the world, drawing a range of manufacturers and developers each year for a look at the latest upcoming devices and technologies. Microsoft products and partner devices can be seen on display in the Microsoft booth in Nangang Exhibition Hall, L Area-#0110. More information is available at http://www.computextaipei.com.tw/.

Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq “MSFT”) is the worldwide leader in software, services, devices and solutions that help people and businesses realize their full potential.

SOURCE Microsoft Corp.

Advertisements

Microsoft Surface 2 and Surface Pro 2 now ready for pre-order

Microsoft Surface

Microsoft Corp. on Monday announced that the Microsoft Surface family of tablets is growing. Two new Surface models — Surface 2 and Surface Pro 2 — along with an expanded portfolio of new Surface accessories, will be available at Microsoft retail stores, http://www.MicrosoftStore.com and select third-party retailers in 22 initial markets, including Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, the United Kingdom and the United States on Oct. 22 and China in early November. Additional markets will be announced in the coming months.

Find Microsoft Surface on Amazon

Surface 2 and Surface Pro 2 each benefit from significant updates, including improvements to processing power and battery life, to display and camera resolution, and to the Kickstand, now with dual angles, so it’s more comfortable for you to use your Surface on your lap or at your desk. Enhancements in Windows RT 8.1 and Windows 8.1 Pro make Surface 2 and Surface Pro 2 even more powerful and customizable.

Microsoft Surface
image courtesy of http://www.microsoft.com/surface/en-ca

Pre-order Surface
Customers can pre-order Surface 2 and Surface Pro 2 starting at 8 a.m. EDT on Sept. 24, 2013, at http://www.MicrosoftStore.com , Microsoft Stores, and Best Buy in the U.S. and Canada, as well as select retailers in most Surface 2 and Surface Pro 2 launch markets.

Value-added services
To help people get the most out of Surface 2 and Surface Pro 2, customers purchasing either device will receive free Skype calling to landlines in more than 60 countries for one year, unlimited Skype WiFi on their Surface 2 or Surface Pro 2 at more than 2 million hot spots worldwide for one year, and 200 GB of free SkyDrive storage for two years.

Surface 2
Surface 2 is the most productive tablet for personal use. It offers all the entertainment and gaming capabilities you expect from a tablet, along with the ability to get work done. Surface 2 is powered by an NVIDIA Tegra 4 processor, making apps run faster and smoother and increasing battery life to up to 10 hours for video playback. The 10.6-inch ClearType Full HD display now renders 1080p video for enjoying shows and movies, and its full-size USB port has been upgraded to USB 3.0 for up to four times faster file transfers. Camera resolution has also increased, with a 3.5-megapixel front camera and 5-megapixel rear camera, both capable of capturing 1080p video and featuring improved low-light performance, making face-to-face conversations with your favorite people crisp and clear. Even with these and other upgrades, Surface 2 is slightly thinner and lighter than its predecessor.

Surface 2 will ship with Windows RT 8.1, bringing improvements in key areas such as personalization, search, multitasking, built-in apps, the Windows Store experience and cloud connectivity. The new Xbox Music allows you to stream millions of songs for free, and an updated Video app and great games from the Windows Store such as “Halo: Spartan Assault” will ensure that you never run out of ways to play. When it’s time to get serious, Surface 2 is pre-loaded with Microsoft Office 2013 RT — including Outlook RT; simply click in a Touch or Type Cover and get to work.

Surface 2 is available in 32GB and 64GB configurations;1 it will start at $449.

 

Surface Pro 2
Surface Pro 2 is the successor to Surface Pro and, like its predecessor, is a true laptop replacement, capable of running virtually all your Windows software including the full Microsoft Office suite,2 as well as apps from the Windows Store. Surface Pro 2 offers the portability and simplicity of a tablet when you want it and the power and flexibility of a laptop when you need it. It is powered by a fourth-generation Intel Core i5 processor which, combined with other improvements, delivers increased performance and up to 60 percent longer battery life than Surface Pro.

Starting at $899, Surface Pro 2 will be offered in 64GB and 128GB configurations with 4 GB of RAM and 256GB and 512GB configurations with 8 GB of RAM.1

Full specs are available at http://www.Surface.com/pre-order .

New Accessories
Today’s announcement also includes seven new accessories that will make Surface even more flexible, more portable and more productive:

  • Touch Cover 2. Thinner and lighter than the original Touch Cover, measuring only 2.75 mm thin, Touch Cover 2 features backlit keys for even better readability. Touch Cover 2 is more rigid, registers keystrokes with greater accuracy and features updated sensors that support a variety of gestures across the entire keyboard. Touch Cover 2 has an estimated retail price of $119.99. It will be available for pre-order on Sept. 24 in all markets where Surface devices are available for pre-order.
  • Type Cover 2. Type Cover 2 features the same super-thin, lightweight design of the original Type Cover, but it’s now backlit and will be available in Cyan, Magenta, Purple and Black in the coming months. It’s also more rigid, providing a better lap-typing experience, and is designed to be noticeably quieter when striking keys. Type Cover 2 will have an estimated retail price of $129.99. It will be available for pre-order on Sept. 24 in all markets where Surface devices are available for pre-order.3
  • Power Cover. Power Cover delivers the same great typing experience you get with Type Cover while extending the battery life of your Surface 2, Surface Pro and Surface Pro 2 by up to 50 percent to help you make it through that late-night meeting or the entire flight. Power Cover will have an estimated retail price of $199.99 and has a projected release date of early 2014.
  • Docking Station for Surface Pro. The Docking Station for Surface Pro lets you quickly connect Surface Pro and Surface Pro 2 to desktop PC peripherals in a single step, taking you from laptop to desktop in an instant. While Surface Pro or Surface Pro 2 is docked, it can connect with an external monitor, Ethernet, speakers and power supply. PC peripherals connect via its one USB 3.0 port and three USB 2.0 ports. The Docking Station for Surface Pro will have an estimated retail price of $199.99 and has a projected release date of early 2014.
  • Wireless Adapter for Typing Covers. The Wireless Adapter for Typing Covers connects magnetically to any Touch or Type Cover, letting you type from anywhere in the room using Bluetooth technology, so it is even easier to connect Surface to a TV or monitor4 and type from another location, such as the couch. Wireless Adapter for Typing Covers will have an estimated retail price of $59.99. It will be available for pre-order in the U.S. and Canada beginning Sept. 24.
  • Car Charger with USB. Car Charger plugs into most cars’ power or lighter ports and charges Surface without the need for an additional adapter. It also features a USB port to allow simultaneous charging of a phone or other device. Car Charger will have an estimated retail price of $49.99 and has a projected release date of early 2014.
  • Arc Touch Mouse Surface Edition. This special-edition Arc Touch Mouse has been updated to match the look of Surface. Like other Arc Touch mice, it is designed for comfort and flattens for portability. It connects via Bluetooth 3.0, freeing Surface’s USB port for use by other devices. Arc Touch Mouse Surface Edition will have an estimated retail price of $69.99 and will be available for pre-order in the U.S. and Canada on Sept. 24. Distribution in additional markets is projected to begin in the coming months.

More information on Surface is available at http://www.Surface.com .
Find Microsoft Surface on Amazon
Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq “MSFT”) is the worldwide leader in software, services and solutions that help people and businesses realize their full potential.

The information contained in this press release relates to pre-release software products that may be substantially modified before their first commercial release. Accordingly, the information may not accurately describe or reflect the software products when first commercially released. The press release is provided for informational purposes only, and Microsoft makes no warranties, express or implied, with respect to the press release or the information contained in it.

 

1 System software uses significant storage space. Available storage is subject to change based on system software updates and apps usage. 1 GB = 1 billion bytes. See Surface.com/storage for more details. Initial quantities of Surface Pro 2 with 512 GB will be limited.

2 Office sold separately.

3 The Black and Purple Type Cover 2 will be available for pre-order. Other colors will be available in the coming months.

4 Adapter required; sold separately.

SOURCE Microsoft Corp.

Nokia Lumia 920 – Windows Phone 8 Review

Nokia Lumia 920

So I’ve finally got around to playing with a Windows Phone, the Nokia Lumia 920 to be exact. < Yay for me! > I know, I know I should have been checking these things out earlier but hey running a blog with only 2 contributors (Ben Abel and Jay Kenobi) is a lot of work, plus we only do this in our spare hours.  By the way if you’re interesting guest posting let me know! Anyways I ramble. Now onto the review.

Find a Nokia Lumia 920 Black Factory Unlocked 32GB phone 4G LTE

Windows Phone 8
Windows Phone 8

So my initial thoughts and feeling about switching to a Windows Phone 8 system were many and varied. If you’ve been using one mobile operating system (OS) such as Android, iOS, or BlackBerry for some time it definitely takes the brain a while to get accustomed to the new functionality.

What I like about the Nokia Lumia 920

  • The phone itself is nice and has a good feel to it. I like the size and find it good for texting. In other words my fingers are able to press the keys and were able to hit the correct letters 9 times out of 10.
  • The camera: It claims to have Carl Zeiss optics however on closer inspection there really isn’t much in the way of optics to speak of. The camera however does take amazing photos for a mobile device. The videos are also great. If you want to see all the specifications check out the Nokia site.
  • The touch screen is very reactive. No problems here. Also I noticed the screen is hard to get dirty. There must be a special coating on it that resists fingerprints etc.
  • The three buttons on the front (back, Windows home screen, and search) These got me around quickly and easily.

What I didn’t like about the Nokia Lumia 920

  • Windows Phone 8
    Windows Phone 8

    I’m still not sure that I like the way the phone is constructed. It seems like the screen is pasted onto the front of the phone, it doesn’t seem like it’s unified on the engineering side of things. Check out the HTC One or most Apple devices and you’ll see what I mean.

  • The phone seems a bit blocky to me. Perhaps it needs some refinements in shape.

What I like about Windows Phone 8 (OS)

  • Live tiles. I love the fact that you can rearrange and change the size of the tiles at will. The live data is really great but I can see that developers are still not playing up this feature as much as they could.
  • Ease of use. It’s just easy to find what you want and with the latest release of the OS you can click a letter to go quickly to “S” where the Settings feature lives or “G” where the Games feature is.
  • Holding down the back button to see all the open Windows / Apps at a glance. This is the way multitasking should work on a mobile device.
  • The search button. I like the fact that you can search quickly from the search button. I like the quick suggestions and the auto correct features here.

What I didn’t like about Windows Phone 8 (OS)

  • I still think that system applications and settings and downloaded apps should be separated somehow on the secondary screen. It would make it a lot easier to navigate.
  • The search button is tied into Bing. This is understandable from the Microsoft perspective since the company is trying to promote it’s own search engine. It’s fine to make Bing the default but seriously Microsoft give people a way to change the option to Google! Note there is a Google app download available which works quite well so not totally a big deal.
  • WiFi options should be easier to access. I don’t want to go into Settings every time I want to connect. It would be nice if there was a quick launch for this feature.
  • It would be nice if you could kill running applications from the multitasking screen!

Find a Nokia Lumia 920 Black Factory Unlocked 32GB phone 4G LTE

If you’re already tied into Microsoft desktop products such as Windows 7 or 8 it will probably make sense to go with the Windows Phone 8 and the Nokia Lumia 920 specifically. This is a great device overall and a lot of fun to use as well. If you run a business with Microsoft Exchange server as back end then going with the Windows Phone 8 just makes sense. It’s a complete end to end ecosystem and what with BlackBerry faltering the decision to go with this platform is even easier.

Nokia Lumia 920
Nokia Lumia 920

 

Toshiba Encore, a pocket-sized tablet, delivers a full Windows 8.1 experience

Toshiba Encore

Toshiba’s Digital Products Division (DPD), a division of Toshiba America Information Systems, Inc., today unveiled the Encore™ tablet, a consumer device designed to deliver an exceptional Windows 8.1 experience in a pocket-sized form factor. Developed in close collaboration with Microsoft and built for consumers seeking a versatile small-screen tablet for home, work and play, Encore is well-positioned to accelerate the market for Windows-based tablets by delivering software-optimized features and sleek hardware design at a competitive price point.

Look for tablets at Amazon.ca

Toshiba Encore
image courtesy of http://www.flickr.com/photos/toshiba_laptops/sets/72157635285181749/

” Encore is poised to re-energize the opportunity for Windows tablets in the market,” said Carl Pinto, vice president of marketing, Toshiba America Information Systems, Inc., Digital Products Division. “Our fundamental approach to designing Encore was to create a better convergence of hardware and software so the overall app experience and capabilities on a Windows-based device is better than ever. Windows has a lot to offer for a tablet user, and with the new features that Windows 8.1 brings, we believe that Encore will deliver more choice against a range of competitive tablets.”

Smart, Small-screen Design

Designed to be held in one hand, the 8-inch1 Encore tablet is optimized for use at home or on the go. A high-resolution (1280 x 800) multi-touch HFFS display is well-suited for entertainment with wide viewing angles, while the new scaling capabilities of Windows 8.1 maximizes the screen real estate, making room for full-screen web browsing and an unencumbered Start screen view in both portrait and landscape orientations. Encased in a stylish silver textured backplate, Encore is both slim and lightweight, measuring 0.42 inches (10.68mm) and weighing just 16.9 ounces (479g)2.

Encore is powered by the power-efficient Intel® Atom™ processor3, which delivers great performance, fast start-up and page loads, and an exceptional battery life rating. It also includes the connected standby capabilities of InstantGo, enabling the device to receive updates while sleeping so content is always up to date when use is resumed. In

Toshiba Encore
image courtesy of http://www.flickr.com/photos/toshiba_laptops/sets/72157635285181749/

addition, Encore includes top quality features, such as an 8-megapixel camera, a full suite of sensors, including a gyroscope, accelerometer and GPS, as well as stereo speakers.

“Toshiba continues to drive touch innovation by bringing new and exciting Windows 8 form factors to life,” said Jordan Chrysafidis, vice president of Worldwide OEM Marketing, Microsoft Corp. “We look forward to working with Toshiba on the launch of Windows 8.1 and seeing its holiday 2013 devices delight customers worldwide.”

Optimized for Skype
Encore is optimized for Skype, making high-quality video chatting and calling possible. Utilizing on-board dual microphones with beam forming technology and integrated 2-megapixel front camera – consumers can chat with clarity with friends and family throughout the world.

Easy Sharing and Streaming with Windows 8 Devices
Completely compatible with both Windows 8 apps and Windows 7 programs, Encore offers seamless integration and content sharing with other Windows devices, giving the device an edge for multi-device home users looking to stream and share content from room to room.

Great for play. Ideal for work.
The Encore tablet supports a wide range of applications – from books, games, movies, music and photos to productivity – making it a versatile device that can be used and enjoyed at home, at work or on the go. Ready to go right out of the box, Encore will feature Xbox Movies, Music and Games entertainment services, Amazon’s Kindle e-reading app, as well as the Xbox SmartGlass app which turns the tablet into a secondary screen for the Xbox 360 and Xbox One game consoles. Also included is a full version of Office Home & Student 2013 for convenient viewing and creation of Word, Excel® and PowerPoint® documents.

Equipped with Tablet Essentials
Encore includes 32GB of storage4 and is equipped with essential ports including a Micro USB 2.0 port, Micro HDMI® port and a microSD™ slot for up to 32GB more storage. Ultrafast dual-band 802.11 a/b/g/n Wi-Fi® enables easy wireless media streaming.

Toshiba Encore
image courtesy of http://www.flickr.com/photos/toshiba_laptops/sets/72157635285181749/

Pricing and Availability
The Toshiba Encore tablet will be available for purchase in November at major retailers, e-tailers and direct from Toshiba at ToshibaDirect.com for $329.99 MSRP5.

Image Gallery: http://bit.ly/ToshibaEncore.

1. Display. Any small bright dots that may appear on your display are an intrinsic characteristic of the thin film transistors manufacturing technology.
2. Weight. Weight may vary.
3. Processor. CPU performance may vary.
4. Solid State Drive Capacity. Drive capacity may vary. One Gigabyte (GB) means 109 = 1,000,000,000 bytes using powers of 10.
5. Price. Reseller prices may vary. MSRP means “Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price.”

“Halo 4” for Microsoft Xbox360 launches worldwide today

The highly anticipated first chapter of a brand-new “Halo” saga is poised to surpass “The Avengers” as the biggest entertainment launch of 2012 to date.

REDMOND, Wash., Nov. 6, 2012 /PRNewswire/ — The Master Chief is back. Poised to become the biggest entertainment launch of the year so far, “Halo 4” is the first chapter of a brand-new saga in the genre-defining, $3 billion franchise that has shaped entertainment history and sold a staggering 46 million games worldwide. Hailed by NBC News as “breathtaking, heart-breaking and awe-inspiring,”1 “Halo 4” has garnered universal acclaim as one of the top-rated video games of 2012, according to Metacritic.2 In a year jam-packed with record-breaking Hollywood movies and games, “Halo 4” is expected to break all previous day-one entertainment sales records in 2012, cementing its status as the must-have blockbuster of the year.

Excitement for the return of the Master Chief has swept the globe. In London, a massive illuminated glyph soared over the River Thames, a symbol of the new threat that has awakened in “Halo 4.” The glyph, which measures 50 feet in diameter and weighs 3.2 tons, was illuminated by 113,096 LED lights and represents one of the largest objects ever to be flown by helicopter as a lighting art performance. On Oct. 30, the European country of Liechtenstein was reimagined into a real-life replica of the “Halo” universe, marking the first time a brand has taken over an entire country for an entertainment launch. For one day only, Xbox 360 transformed some of the country’s most iconic landmarks, including a 13th-century castle and a working mine, to create a mysterious alternate universe in the heart of Europe — all inspired by “Halo.”

Around the world, midnight madness swept more than 10,000 stores in more than 40 countries, as hundreds of thousands of fans lined up around city blocks to count down to the game’s release. At marquee launch events in Seattle, Paris, London, Berlin, Tokyo, Singapore, Hong Kong, Dubai, Sydney and other major cities, throngs of fans, celebrities and athletes flocked to be among the first to play “Halo 4” and participate in other launch activities, such as meeting the creators of the game, viewing private screenings of the live-action digital series “Halo 4: Forward Unto Dawn,” and taking photos with the Master Chief.

“‘Halo 4’ marks a rebirth and a new beginning for one of the most beloved and iconic franchises in the modern history of entertainment,” said Phil Spencer, corporate vice president of Microsoft Studios. “Over the past decade, the ‘Halo’ franchise has become a bona fide pop culture phenomenon, and ‘Halo 4’ promises to take the franchise to a new level and set the stage for the next decade of ‘Halo.'”

With the launch of “Halo 4” coinciding with Election Day, Microsoft Corp. is amplifying its get-out-the-vote campaign, which kicked off earlier this year in collaboration with Rock the Vote, to encourage “Halo” and Xbox LIVE fans to exercise their civic duty before jumping into “Halo 4.” The campaign began with voter recruitment efforts at major consumer events as well as a voter registration program on Xbox LIVE and expanded to major launch events and more than 100 college campuses nationwide yesterday.

Developed by Microsoft Studios’ 343 Industries exclusively for the Xbox 360, “Halo 4” is set nearly five years after the events of “Halo 3” and follows the Master Chief and his faithful artificial intelligence (AI) companion Cortana as they venture into a mysterious new world and discover an overpowering ancient evil that threatens to annihilate mankind. “Halo 4” takes the series in a bold new direction by delivering its most epic and explorative campaign yet, alongside a groundbreaking multiplayer offering unlike anything before it, known as Spartan Ops. This story-driven, Halo 4 for Microsoft Xbox 360episodic, cooperative adventure blends immersive storytelling, stunning cinematics and action-packed gameplay to deliver an unprecedented serialized experience. Through a weekly series of cinematic episodes, Spartan Ops continues the story beyond the main campaign by introducing new characters, storylines and gameplay missions over a 10-week season, akin to a high-quality, interactive TV show.3

Coupled with breathtaking visuals, heart-pounding audio, emotionally cinematic performances and a sweeping musical score by acclaimed composer Neil Davidge of Massive Attack fame, “Halo 4” delivers a riveting experience that resonates as powerfully as an epic Hollywood blockbuster. Some of entertainment’s best and brightest have joined the effort to make the launch of “Halo 4” a landmark pop culture moment, including legendary Hollywood director David Fincher (“Fight Club,” “The Social Network,” “The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo”) and acclaimed visual effects lead Tim Miller (“The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo,” “Scott Pilgrim vs. The World”), who produced and directed the live-action launch trailer for the game, respectively.

The Standard Edition of “Halo 4” is available for US$59.99 ERP4, and the Limited Edition, which includes an extended 90-minute version of the live-action digital series “Halo 4: Forward Unto Dawn” and additional bonus content, is available for US$99.99 ERP. Fans can also pick up the Xbox 360 Limited Edition “Halo 4” Console Bundle for US$399.99 ERP and a standalone Xbox 360 Limited Edition “Halo 4” Wireless Controller for US$59.99 ERP. In addition, the “Halo 4” Original Soundtrack, which broke the record for the highest-charting video game soundtrack ever on the Billboard 200 chart the week of Oct. 29 5, is available for purchase for US$13.98 ERP. A special limited edition and individually numbered three-disc box set, which includes the original soundtrack, a remix album featuring remixes from 14 of the world’s most renowned electronica producers, a 70-minute DVD called “Composing a Universe” and additional exclusive content, is available for purchase for US$74.99 ERP starting today at http://www.halo4soundtrack.com.

About “Halo”

The “Halo” franchise is an award-winning collection of properties that has grown into a global entertainment phenomenon. Beginning with the original “Halo: Combat Evolved” (2001), the critically acclaimed and record-shattering series of games has since inspired multiple New York Times bestselling novels, comic books, action figures, apparel and more. Published by Microsoft Studios, the “Halo” franchise of games is exclusive to the Xbox 360 video game and entertainment system and the Xbox LIVE online entertainment network. To date, more than 46 million copies of “Halo” games have been sold worldwide, driving more than 5 billion hours of gameplay by people connected to Xbox LIVE.

//
http://www.assoc-amazon.ca/s/asw.js

About 343 Industries

343 Industries is the publisher and developer of the blockbuster “Halo” series of videogames and, as part of Microsoft Studios, oversees the “Halo” franchise, including novels, comics, licensed collectibles, apparel and more. 343 Industries is home to world-class developers working on the Reclaimer Saga, which commences with the arrival of “Halo 4” on Nov. 6, 2012, exclusively on Xbox 360.

About Xbox 360

Xbox 360 is a premier home entertainment and video game system. Thanks to the addition of Kinect, Xbox 360 will forever transform social gaming and entertainment with a whole new way to play — no controller required. Xbox 360 is also home to the best and broadest games as well as one of the world’s largest on-demand libraries of music, standard- and high-definition movies, TV shows and digital games, all in one place. The entertainment center of the living room, Xbox 360 blends unbeatable content with a leading social entertainment network of more than 40 million Xbox LIVE members to create a limitless entertainment experience that can be shared at home or across the globe. More information about Xbox 360 can be found online at http://www.xbox.com.

About Microsoft

Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq “MSFT”) is the worldwide leader in software, services and solutions that help people and businesses realize their full potential.

1 Source: NBC News: “Halo 4” makes the Halo series even more epic
2 As of Nov. 1, 2012. Source: http://www.metacritic.com/game/xbox-360/halo-4/critic-reviews
3 Spartan Ops also requires Xbox LIVE Gold Membership and an Xbox 360 hard drive or an 8GB USB drive (sold separately).
4 Estimated retail price. Actual retail prices may vary.
5 Source: Billboard: Chart Moves: “Halo 4” Sets Record as Highest-Charting Video Game Soundtrack Ever

SOURCE Microsoft Corp.

For photos and b-roll footage of “Halo 4” and the global launch events, please visit: http://press.xbox360.com/products/p51/halo-4Note to editors: For more information, news and perspectives from Microsoft, please visit the Microsoft News Center at http://www.microsoft.com/news. Web links, telephone numbers and titles were correct at time of publication, but may have changed. For additional assistance, journalists and analysts may contact Microsoft’s Rapid Response Team or other appropriate contacts listed at http://www.microsoft.com/news/contactpr.mspx.

CONTACT: Joe DiMiero, Edelman, (310) 259-1482, joe.dimiero@edelman.com, Ken Zhang, Edelman, (206) 331-0392, ken.zhang@edelman.com

Web Site: http://www.microsoft.com

Microsoft Announces New Surface Details

Ahead of Oct. 26 launch, Microsoft outlines pricing, market availability and special limited quantity pre-order.

REDMOND, Wash., Oct. 16, 2012 /PRNewswire/ — Microsoft Corp. today released new details about its highly anticipated Microsoft Surface, a tablet PC designed to be the ultimate stage for Windows. In addition to pricing and market availability, the company announced a special limited-quantity pre-order for Surface with Windows RT available 9 a.m. PDT. Those who want to learn more or pre-order can visit http://www.Surface.com.

Surface delivers the power of amazing software and the feel of premium hardware in one exciting experience. Originally unveiled in June, Surface with Windows RT will initially be available in three SKUs: a 32GB version priced at US$499, a 32GB version bundled with a black Touch Cover priced at US$599, and a 64GB version bundled with a black Touch Cover priced at US$699.

A variety of accessories will also be available, including Touch Covers in five vibrant colors — black, white, magenta, cyan and red — priced at US$119.99 so customers can express their personal style1. Customers will also have the option to purchase a Type Cover in black for US$129.99, which adds moving keys for a more traditional typing feel.

Surface will be available for purchase beginning Oct. 26, 2012, at all Microsoft Store locations in the United States and Canada, including in all 34 new holiday stores. In addition, Surface will be available for sale online in eight markets across the world: Australia, Canada, China, France, Germany, Hong Kong, the United Kingdom and the United States. See Surface.com for more details.

Additional Product Information — Surface With Windows RT

  • Software Surface with Windows RT comes with Microsoft Office Home and Student 2013 RT Preview2 (which includes Microsoft Word, PowerPoint, Excel and OneNote)
  • Exterior 10.81 x 6.77 x 0.37 inches, 1.5 pounds, VaporMg casing, dark titanium color, volume and power buttons
  • Storage 32 GB3; 64 GB
  • CPU NVIDIA T30, 2 GB of RAM
  • Wireless Wi-Fi (802.11a/b/g/n), Bluetooth 4.0 technology
  • Cameras Two 720p HD cameras, front- and rear-facing
  • Audio Two microphones, stereo speakers
  • Ports Full-size USB 2.0, microSDXC card slot, headset jack, HD video out port, cover port
  • Sensors Ambient light sensor, accelerometer, gyroscope, compass
  • Power Supply 24W power supply
  • Warranty One-year limited hardware warranty
  • Apps (included) Microsoft Office Home and Student 2013 RT Preview2 (Word, PowerPoint, Excel and OneNote), Windows Mail and Windows Messaging, SkyDrive, Windows Internet Explorer 10, Bing, Xbox Music, Xbox Video, and Xbox Games

Those interested in learning more or pre-ordering can visit http://www.Surface.com or follow Surface on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/Surface and on Twitter at http://www.twitter.com/surface.

Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq “MSFT”) is the worldwide leader in software, services and solutions that help people and businesses realize their full potential.

1 Available Touch Cover colors may vary by market.
2 Final Office version will be installed via Windows Update when available (free download, ISP fees apply). Some features and programs unsupported. See http://office.com/officeRT.
3 1 GB = 1 billion bytes; formatted storage capacity may be less.

 

SOURCE Microsoft Corp.

For broadcast download:Visit http://www.microsoft.com/news for b-roll clips.Note to editors: For more information, news and perspectives from Microsoft, please visit the Microsoft News Center at http://www.microsoft.com/news. Web links, telephone numbers and titles were correct at time of publication, but may have changed. For additional assistance, journalists and analysts may contact Microsoft’s Rapid Response Team or other appropriate contacts listed at http://www.microsoft.com/news/contactpr.mspx.

CONTACT: Rapid Response Team, Waggener Edstrom Worldwide, +1-503-443-7070, rrt@waggeneredstrom.com

Web Site: http://www.microsoft.com

Why Are IT Certifications Important?

There are virtually as many different opinions on the importance of IT Certifications as there are certifications themselves. Many companies specializing in information technologies, or IT, believe on-the-job training is sufficient for their technological staff. Others, however, will not even consider an applicant who does not have at least some certifications.

True, many certifications are expensive and require much time devoted to the study of the material necessary to obtain those letters that come after your name on a job application. Larger companies — and the employees working for them — feel that the benefits of these endeavors far outweigh the effort.

It would be impossible to receive all the certifications available in today’s high-tech world. Since each of the branches of specialty knowledge is tailored to specific areas of technology, it is crucial to concentrate on the most beneficial certifications for one’s particular job duties.

Although Mac sales have risen up to 25 percent in recent years, most are still connected to back-end Windows’ servers. It is a Microsoft world and could remain so for many years. Strangely enough, there is a shortage of Windows server’s experts; for this reason, most people interested in becoming certification holders study with Microsoft in mind.

One of the oldest and most important introductions into the field of It Certifications is through the Computing Technology Industry Association, or CompTIA. This association was created in 1982 to assist people who planned to make a career in the field of technology. CompTIA gives individuals the necessary expertise to keep up with the ever-expanding use of computers. By offering certifications that were non-vender specific, holders of these certificates gained confidence in areas ranging from mobile computing and networking to UNIX and imaging.

Among the professional certifications offered were A+, Network+ and Security+. Although comprising some of the first specialty training available, they remain essential in a well-rounded and confident technician of today’s job market.

The A+ exam deals primarily with computer systems diagnostics and repair. CompTIA suggests that an individual wishing to pursue this certification has a certain amount of hands-on experience with computers. A+ covers the practical use and repair of computer hardware and software issues. These skills are necessary even with the rapid advancement of computer technology that is seen today.

Network+ evaluates one’s skills as a network administrator. Covered in this certification is the setup and maintenance of local and wide area networks. Proficiency in network hardware, software and installation is necessary. Network+ is recognized as the first step to becoming a Microsoft Certified Systems Administrator, a well-paying job that is very much in demand.

Security+ deals with control of viruses, recovery from disasters and management of risks. Any career an individual hopes to have with the government requires and extensive understanding of Security+ certification.

While there are literally hundreds of certifications that can be obtained, the basics are often the best place to start. One would not attempt to perform brain surgery without first having a working knowledge of human anatomy. Research is required to choose which certifications will best contribute to a thriving career in the world of technology.

————————

Knowledge Center Inc is a leading provider of information technology training courses.Computer training programs offered include CompTIA, Cisco,ITIL, CISSP, ISO20000, ISO27000 and microsoft certification courses.Computer certification classes are held at KCI computer training center located at Ashburn, VA. KCI offers flexible schedule of computer training classes 7 days a week including evenings & week-ends.http://www.knowledgecenterinc.com