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Computing Software 

Steve Ballmer to retire as Microsoft CEO

After over a decade as Microsoft’s CEO, and 7 years Steve Ballmer has announced his retirement from Microsoft. He will step down within 12 months, as the search for a new CEO commences. It comes at an interesting time for the company, as Microsoft tries to position itself as a “Devices and Services” company moving forward, having announced a major restructuring plan earlier this year.

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Microsoft announces phone support life cycles. Ill founded conclusions are made.

A few days back, Microsoft posted the support lifecycle for their Windows Phone devices, both those running version 7.8, and newer devices running Windows Phone 8. If you’re familiar with lifecycle patterns at all, these numbers seem pretty reasonable. Windows Phone 7.8 will continue to be supported until September 9th, 2014. The newer WP8 actually ends earlier, in July of 2014. While no official announcement about an update to WP8 has been made, the chances are that there will be an update to those devices either later this year, or…

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Computing Internet Mobile 

SkyDrive updates for PC and Mac / Google Drive launches

Microsoft’s SkyDrive cloud storage has been around for a number of years now, providing users with up to 25 GB of free storage, with their Live ID login.  Yesterday, they updated the service by releasing an updated Skydrive application for both Windows (Vista, 7 and 8 ) and Mac OS X (Lion). Once installed and you provide the proper login, the SkyDrive folder simply appears as another folder in Windows Explorer and the Mac Finder, much like other cloud solutions such as DropBox.  The maximum filesize has also recently climbed…

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Computing Featured Gaming Mobile 

Windows 8 and why the Zune brand needs to die

Microsoft has taken a lot of flak for their horrible naming conventions and overly long names, and deservedly so. When first announced, Windows Phone was called Windows Phone Series 7. They officially chopped of the “Series” by launch, and now just advertise it as Windows Phone. It just makes more sense.

Similarly, they last year rebranded their paid Office cloud service to Office 365. Office 365 makes sense. It’s Office, all the time. Do you know what they called it previously?

Business Productivity Online Suite.

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Computing Featured Science 

Microsoft HoloDesk makes remote Jenga possible

There are few things in life that scream ‘from the future’ like holograms, especially interactive holograms. That’s what Microsoft Research is showing off in this video of their HoloDesk project. At the core is a Kinect and a some head tracking software working in conjunction with a see-through display. It allows users to pick up and manipulate 3D objects, including a virtualized smartphone interface, as well as collaborate remotely.

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Arts Computing Featured Film Mobile Music TV 

Zune Music coming to Canada

Microsoft’s Zune Music services have always been a very US centric brand, with rumours that it would come to Canada swirling for a couple of years. The last we heard, it was originally going to show up here back in the spring of this year. While the Zune video marketplace has been available in Canada for some time, allowing users to rent and buy TV and film content via their PCs or Xbox 360s, the iTunes competitor has been bereft of, well… tunes, until now.

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Computing Featured Mobile 

Windows Phone Mango update available worldwide

When rumours started floating around that today would be ‘Mango Day’, in which Microsoft launched the 7.5 version of their mobile OS (Mango of course), I have to admit I was pretty skeptical, after how clumsily the folks at Redmond handled the NoDo update in the spring. It turns out that Microsoft got it right this time, as the latest update to Windows Phone 7 has been launched worldwide.

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Arts Featured Gaming 

Child of Eden review: Fleeting Genius

If I had to categorize Child of Eden, it would be a “first person J-pop electronica visualizer science fiction dance rail shooter”. While that sounds like a disjointed mouthful, everything flows together seamlessly. Taking place in the same universe as Q Entertainment’s earlier Rez, Child of Eden ups the ante in all respects, making it a singular experience, that all but achieves designer Tetsuya Mizuguchi’s goal of inducing synesthesia in the player, delightfully crossing the wires between sound and vision.

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Computing Featured Software 

Windows 8 first look

Microsoft officially gave the first preview of their next operating system, codenamed “Windows 8”, at D9 yesterday. While still capable of running existing Windows applications, they’ve added a new touch friendly interface that follows the same Metro UI design found in Windows Phones, and users will be able to switch between the two modes seamlessly, depending on the task at hand.

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Toshiba launches new ultra-port​able R800 series notebooks

Toshiba has now joined the Intel Sandy Bridge processor bandwagon, after it fell by the wayside for a while due to Intel’s little chipset boo-boo earlier this year. The new R800 series is an update to both the ultra-portable Portege series, and the thin and light Tecra series business class notebooks. While business class machines are usually only available direct, or through business to business resellers, and tend to cost a little more, you do get much better machines. The build quality is designed to take a few more knocks,…

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Acer Iconia Tab to arrive in May (Windows and Android)

As part of its Iconia line, Acer announced a pair of wi-fi multitouch tablets, the W500 and A500 (W for Windows, A for Android). Both tablets sport 10.1″ 1280×800 screens and the Windows will have optional USB keyboard/docks that allow it to be used in a more traditional laptop mode. We’ve received word from an Acer reseller that both tablets should be arriving in Canada sometime next month. The Tab A500 running Android 3.0 has a Tegra 2 under the hood, along with 16GB of storage and will be priced…

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