News

Windows 10 Creators Update Will Ship April 11

Wintellect

29 Mar , 2017  

Windows 10 will get its next major update on April 11, Microsoft announced Wednesday. Already in preview for a number of months, the Creators Update contains features aimed at creative professionals as well as the average user, and will roll out in waves to the general public via Windows Update.

What’s In It

The Creators Update is the first version of Windows 10 to include the Windows Mixed Reality interface, which will ultimately allow users to purchase relatively affordable VR headsets and use them with the operating system. While many of the promised headsets have yet to hit the market, developers have already begun tinkering with prototypes provided by Acer and other partner companies.

A new 3D Paint app that comes with the operating system will allow users to create three-dimensional objects.

windows 10 creators update

Microsoft has also included new gaming features, including Game Mode–a setting that optimizes performance for gaming–and Beam streaming.

Users will see improvements to Microsoft Edge, including tabs with image previews and better security. And a new Cortana-guided setup process will give users more control over their privacy settings.

Ars Technica has called the Creators Update “quite a small major update,” and there’s some truth to that.… Read more

, , , , , ,

News

‘Game Mode’ Coming to Windows 10 Creators Update

Paul Ballard

13 Jan , 2017  

The Windows 10 Creators Update set to release in April will have a ‘game mode’ that optimizes performance for gaming. While details are slim so far, the new mode will support both Universal Windows Platform and Win32 games.

“Windows Insiders will start seeing some of the visual elements for Game Mode this week, with the feature being fully operational in builds shortly thereafter,” Microsoft’s Xbox lead Mike Ybarra wrote in a blog post Friday.

Some have speculated that Game Mode is really part of Microsoft’s effort to integrate Windows 10 and XBox One, essentially taking standards like 4K resolution that are part of the latest Xbox dev kits, and applying them to Windows 10. You can read more about this theory on WindowsCentral.

Users will also soon be able to stream games with Beam on both Windows 10 and Xbox One, Ybarra wrote.

He also detailed some new features that were previously announced, such as new tournaments for Xbox Live.… Read more

, , , ,

News

Windows 10 ‘Creators Update’ Will Include New 3D, Virtual Reality Features

Paul Ballard

27 Oct , 2016  

Setting its sights squarely on the creative professionals who have typically been drawn to Apple products, Microsoft has dubbed its upcoming Windows 10 release the ‘Creators Update‘ and packed it with 3D and VR features.

Announced at a Microsoft press event in New York on Wednesday, the next major update to Windows 10 will be released sometime in Spring 2017. Among the new elements:

  • An end-to-end 3D workflow. The current version of Windows 10 includes a 3D output for printing, but the Creators Update will also allow users to create 3D content, Thurrott reports. Microsoft demoed 3D versions of its Paint and PowerPoint software and said 3D capabilities will be coming to other popular applications in the next year.
  • Affordable virtual reality. Partners like Dell and HP are set to release VR headsets compatible with the Creators Update within the next few months–some priced as low as $300.
  • Improved messaging and file sharing. Users will be able to share files with important contacts simply by dragging them to a contact’s icon in the task bar. And contacts can also send ‘shoulder taps’–basically fun, animated emojis that distract you from your work.
  • Game broadcasting and tournaments.
Read more

, , , ,

News

App Dev on Xbox Event Set for August 30

Paul Ballard

24 Aug , 2016  

Microsoft will host a virtual event on Tuesday, August 30 for developers interested in developing apps for Xbox One.

According to a Microsoft announcement, the event starts at 9:00 Pacific Time and will cover:

  • What’s new in the Anniversary Update SDK and how to get started with app development for Xbox One

  • How to get started developing apps using both XAML and Web technologies

  • How to design and create impressive TV experiences

  • How to publish your app to the Store and make it available for over 350 Million Windows devices including Xbox

Microsoft’s Play Anywhere initiative will allow select Xbox One games to be played on PCs, further integrating Xbox with Windows 10 and potentially broadening the market for games. It’s set to launc September 13.

Microsoft has also been wooing developers to the platform. As of this year, developers can now enable Dev Mode on any retail Xbox controller after opening a Dev Center account and installing the latest version of Visual Studio 2015.

Click here for more information about the virtual event and to register. Developers can use the hashtag #XboxAppDev for live Q&A during the event.

 … Read more

, , , ,

News

Get Ready, Gamers: Xbox and PC Play Are About to Merge

Paul Ballard

14 Jun , 2016  

One day into the E3 gaming expo, Microsoft has already made a slew of Xbox-related announcements.

But perhaps most interesting for developers is that the company is moving forward with its plans to integrate Xbox and PC gaming. Its new ‘Play Anywhere‘ initiative will allow gamers to start a game on Xbox One, pause it, then resume play on a PC—or vice versa. Those purchasing the digital version of a game will automatically get both the Xbox One and Windows 10 versions.

That’s in keeping with Microsoft’s general ambitions to make its software available anytime, anywhere, rather than being tied to the purchase of particular hardware. It also means, of course, that the games need to be built on the Universal Windows Platform to function properly. Some new games like Gears of War 4, Forza Horizon 3 and Halo Wars 2 already support Play Anywhere, and Microsoft says more titles are on the way.

As a logical companion to Play Anywhere, Microsoft is also introducing cross play, letting PC and Xbox gamers battle it out with each other.

And since it wouldn’t be E3 without some hardware announcements, Microsoft said it’s working on not one but two new consoles: XBox One S, a slimmed-down version of Xbox One that debuts in Auguest; and Project Scorpio, a 4K resolution system with virtual reality capabilities that’s slated for Fall 2017.… Read more

, , , ,

News

Microsoft Bets on Community Gaming Content Again

Paul Ballard

16 Sep , 2014  

Last week’s $2.5B purchase of Minecraft by Microsoft represents a huge investment not only in the number of zeroes added to the net worth of the 40 person team but also in in the game developer community as a whole. 

Minecraft is a top tier gaming product on every platform it touches including XBox, Windows, Mac, PlayStation, iOS, and Android.  The XBox 360 Edition of Minecraft has sold more than 12M copies and more than 16M have been sold for Windows/Mac. But the clear strategy behind Microsoft’s acquisition is the strong foothold Minecraft has on non-Microsoft platforms.  On iOS it’s ranked #20 on Top Grossing Paid Apps with an estimated daily revenue of $61,701 by ThinkGaming.  On Android, Minecraft Pocket Edition has racked up more than 10M downloads and holds the #1 spot for all paid apps.  The XBox One edition has recently been released and a PS Vita version is in the works.  This acquisition makes Microsoft Studios a major player in their own competitors top revenue generating category.

But this purchase has more than a few of the Minecraft game content creators worried that the acquisition of an indie startup by Software Incorporated will result in a loss of freedom and enforcement of copyright constraints that will limit what they can do.… Read more

, , ,