Ghost Recon: Wildlands Closed Beta Gameplay Details

Ghost Recon: Wildlands Closed Beta Gameplay Details

With the next closed beta kicking off tomorrow, Ubisoft reveals what sort of content and map size players will be able to play through in Ghost Recon: Wildlands this weekend.

Ubisoft is firing on all cylinders lately as the company just wrapped up another successful closed beta session for its upcoming melee game, For Honor, along with getting ready to send out the final known expansion for The Division known as Last Stand. Rainbow Six Siege is also getting ready to launch its first season 2 content with Operation Velvet Shell, which introduces two new Spanish operators and a new map. Next on the to do list is Ghost Recon: Wildlands, as another closed beta test which is scheduled to kick off tomorrow and run through the weekend.

Thanks to a recent guide from Ubisoft, fans now have a good idea on what kind of content will be waiting for them starting tomorrow. Even though the map in Ghost Recon: Wildlands is quite massive with 21 regions, only the Itacua province will be available, though even this region appears to be pretty sizable. Every main story mission as well as all side activities will be unlocked in this region, and players have the option to play through them solo alongside three AI bots or with up to three human co-op players.

In addition to checking out the gameplay and missions, players also have full access to both the player character customization tools and the Gunsmith. Though briefly detailed last year in a trailer, Gunsmith is essentially the tool that enables players to look at and customize their currently unlocked set of weapons in the game. With over 50 customizable guns in the game, players can use Gunsmith to add or remove attachments, switch weapons, and further customize them with sprays and other items as they see fit.

Most fans will also be happy to note that even though this is a closed beta, Ubisoft is not including an NDA and is encouraging players to share and stream the beta content. Considering that most fans enjoy getting in-game loot in exchange for participating in beta events, Ubisoft has also promised a free Llama shirt for all beta players to customize their character with once the full game launches in March.

Players already accepted into the beta can start preloading the tactical shooter now in preparation before tomorrow. While not everyone will be able to experience the beta, reports from players have begun to trickle in over not being able to use their unlock code or not receiving invites at all. With a bit more time left before the servers go live, hopefully these issues can be sorted out before the beta officially starts tomorrow.

Are you looking forward to this open world title or are you in wait and see mode before committing? Let us know in the comments below.

Ghost Recon: Wildlands closed beta will be available from February 3 to February 6 for PC, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One. The game then releases in full on March 7, 2017.

 

 

[Source:- GR]

 

Android 7.1.2 Nougat is official, public beta coming later today (Update 2: rolling out now)

Google has just officially announced Android 7.1.2 Nougat, and will begin rolling out the public beta build starting today!

Android 7.1.2 beta will roll out to Pixel, Pixel XL, Nexus 5X, Nexus Player and Pixel C devices who are enrolled in the Android Beta Program starting today, while the company says the Nexus 6P will get the update “soon.”

Of course, you probably shouldn’t expect a ton of new features to come along with this new update. Android 7.1.2 will be an incremental maintenance release focused on refinements, which will include a number of bug fixes, optimizations, and a small number of enhancements for carriers and users. That’s the only description Google gave for this new version of Android, so we’ll have to wait and see what specific changes it brings.

Google says if you’d like to test out this new version of Android ASAP, you should enroll in the Android Beta Program. And like always, if you have an eligible device that’s already enrolled, your device should receive the update in the next few days. If you haven’t enrolled yet, head to this website, opt-in your eligible Android phone or tablet, and that’s it. You’ll receive an OTA in just a few hours. And if you’d rather do things the old fashioned way, you can always download and flash the update manually.

The final, consumer-ready version of 7.1.2 will be released in just a few months for all the devices listed above.

 

[Source:- androidauthority]

 

Here’s When the Next Titanfall 2 Beta Starts

Here’s When the Next Titanfall 2 Beta Starts

Respawn’s Lead Engineer Jon Shiring details the development team’s findings from Titanfall 2‘s recent weekend test, as well as what they will be testing in the upcoming beta.

This past weekend Respawn Entertainment ran the first of its two planned beta tests for Titanfall 2. Today, the developer put up a blog post, which details what they learned from the first test, as well as what we can expect from the second test, which runs this coming weekend.

In the blog post, Respawn admitted that the first beta test alerted them to “at least a dozen” issues, though it is likely that many of these issues were never noticed by players. Titanfall 2‘s lead engineer, Jon Shiring elaborated on what the team has done with the results of the initial test run.

“We are doing these two weekends of the Tech Test because we knew we would hit problems that we’d never seen before. While a massive number of people were hard at work getting wins this weekend, we were busy finding and fixing at least a dozen separate issues. Those are all problems that we won’t have to find and fix at launch. Many issues that we identified and fixed were things that users never noticed, which was one of our goals.”

 

Shiring went on to say that the beta version that was played this weekend was from a build of the game dating back from June, and that many of the reported issues have already been fixed in the subsequent builds. As much as players love the gameplay during a beta test, Shiring admitted that this latest beta was implemented to test the game’s new server and matchmaking systems as well as testing server security through simulated network attacks.

According to Shiring, the “matchmaker had a trial by fire this weekend,” while he and his team were “really happy with the results.” This is undoubtedly good news for Titanfall fans who were worried about a lengthy or non-functioning matchmaking system on the game’s release. Shiring has already previously spoken about how they plan to avoid server issues with Titanfall 2, and this blog post seems to reinforce that statement.

 

After detailing what they had learned from the initial beta test, Shiring ended by explaining what they’d be testing in the second beta, which runs this weekend. Regarding the matter, he said, “We’re going to do some fun things for weekend two of the Tech Test. With the learnings from weekend one, our next goal is to really spike the number of players playing online at the same time.”

So it seems if nothing else that Respawn is dedicated to delivering a game that actually works on the first day of the launch. This server stability, along with a single-player campaign, may actually give them an edge over competitors like Battlefield 1 which releases just three weeks afterTitanfall 2 and targets a very similar audience.

 

 

[Source: GR]

 

Pokemon Go for Windows 10 Mobile is now possible, PoGo UWP now available in beta

Windows 10 and Windows 10 Mobile users have been pining for Pokemon Go for some time now, with a petition for Niantic to bring the game to Microsoft’s mobile platform garnering well over 50,000 signatures (almost 100,000 now). There’s been hope for an official port of Pokemon Go for Windows 10 Mobile for some time, with Microsoft representatives across various teams stating that they’re working on it, however, none of those claims have come to fruition so far. That brings it back to the Windows phone community, who are known for their third-party apps, which, in some cases, turn out better than the official apps – such as YouTube, Reddit and SoundCloud.

This time, we’ve gained a third-party client for Pokemon Go, called PoGo-UWP (at least for now). It acts as a client between the Android version of the app and brings its features to the Windows 10 platform. With it being a client, it means that players are connected to the same world as players on the other mobile platforms and can complete many of the same tasks. It is important to note that the app is still in beta and is being actively worked on. It is also open-source, meaning that anybody can help out. It has some issues right now and a few missing features but it is a good start for a third-party version of Pokemon Go.

Features of the app so far include:

  • Login with Pokemon™ Trainer Club accounts
  • Similar UI as the Android/iOS version but 2D only
  • Use the map to see both Pokemons and PokeStops near your location
  • Catch Pokemons
  • Visit PokeStops and get new items

For some of the missing features, they’ll be coming soon:

  • Improve layout/UI/animations
  • Fix crashes
  • Add Google Login support
  • Make better code
  • Add eggs support
  • Add Pokedex and inventory management
  • Add gyms support

Get the app on your device

PoGo-UWP isn’t available in the Windows Store yet. It currently resides on GitHub, where users interested in giving the app a try will have to complete a few steps before being able to transfer it to their device. These steps can become a little advanced for the average user, as it requires tools such as Visual Studio, Bluestacks and more.

 

 

[Source: Winbeta]

Gears of War 4’s Beta is Chaotic, Gory and Damn Fun

image description

One editor goes hands-on with the beta for Gears of War 4 prior to its release, and comes away impressed and eager to see how the final game will turn out.

I was in attendance during Microsoft’s E3 2015 press conference, when Rod Fergusson stepped out on stage and revealed Gears of War 4 to the world. The darkened USC Galen Center exploded with excitement as the demo played through to its cliffhanger climax, leaving many longtime fans eager to get their hands on the title as soon as humanly possible – myself included. Quite a bit of time has passed since the game was first shown off, but newfound Gears developer The Coalition is finally ready to give fans a taste of what they can expect from Gears of War 4 later this October.

After much anticipation, my time finally came to try out Gears 4‘s beta through an early access code, and it quickly hit me in a way that the series’ latest iteration, Judgment, had failed to do. In that sense, it’s been almost five years since I’ve felt a rush similar to the various and recurring circumstances of Gears of War 3, but that all changed once I booted up the beta and dove into my first round of Team Deathmatch. Suffice it to say, there’s a lot more familiarity in this fresh take of the series – oh, and it’s an absolute blast.

The tried and true, heart-racing multiplayer gameplay that so many Gears fans have come to know and love has officially made its triumphant return on Xbox One. Diving into the beta’s Team Deathmatch mode felt like a homecoming of sorts, as I rolled, roadie-ran, mounted cover, and got blown to gory chunks over and over again. As it turns out, all that time away from the battlefield left me incredibly rusty, but it all started coming back after a dozen or so rounds – at least enough so that I was able to pull off the new knife execution.

Gears of War 4 Beta Screenshot

To clarify, while this feels like a return to form, The Coalition has been busy implementing several changes within Gears of War 4 to make it feel more like a natural evolution of the series. One of these additions comes in the form of a new grabbing mechanic which encouraged me to reach over a piece of cover and pull a foe on the opposite side over to me. In this moment, I was given the option to pull out a knife and brutally murder my nemesis by tapping the ‘Y’ button, causing me to draw my blade and carve up the sad sap like a turkey at Thanksgiving dinner. Yes, it’s as violent as you’d imagine.

Of course, executions are challenging to pull off in the heat of battle, and they rarely present themselves as an option in the shotgunners’ paradise that is Gears 4‘s multiplayer. Hammerburst and Lancer fire still light up the battleground, but the Gnasher is an invaluable weapon when it comes down to those crucial final moments of a round. Of course, power weapons cause plenty of upset to this dynamic, with the Torque Bow and Boomshot making their triumphant return. Then there’s the Dropshot, a brand new armament making its debut in the beta that sends a floating mine of sorts over cover – allowing users to drop it down on foes behind cover by releasing the right trigger button.

For those curious, there are a total of three maps featured within the trial: Foundation; Harbor; and Dam. Despite lacking major set pieces or various levels of interactivity that multiplayer maps in recent Gears titles have featured – something that is hopefully rectified in the final game – each battlefield feels unique because of the colors that fill them and the locales they take place in. For example, the blue and orange accents of Foundation work incredibly well, as they strike an engaging chord for anyone that’s grown tired of the grungy brown and gray aesthetic of the series. Meanwhile, the seaside environment of Harbor makes for an incredibly nice change of scenery, loaded with relevant and appropriate waste-high cover options.

Gears of War 4 Beta

The only detractor from the beta is that it lacks the visual polish that many may have expected from the first true current-gen iteration of the franchise. This will likely change in the build up to the game’s release (it is a beta, after all), but the textures featured on each character look like something that could have been rendered on the Xbox 360. Still, it’s the gameplay that will rope players in, as the thrill of survival and the rush that accompanies each and every hard-fought kill is central to the experience that The Coalition is trying to provide.

I found the experience I’ve come to know and love in a brand new setting during this beta, and I’m confident that fans will realize the exact same thing after booting it up. This is just a taste of what is yet to come – with some awesome rewards for those willing to play to level 20 – and it’ll be interesting to see how much everything changes in the final few months leading up to the game’s full release. After sinking hours into the beta, however, it’s nice to admit: Gears is finally back.

Gears of War 4‘s beta will open up to Gears of War: Ultimate Edition owners on April 18th, with everyone with Xbox Live Gold having the option to participate beginning April 24th. It will then come to an end on May 1st.

 

[Source:- Gamerant]

First Look: Messaging Everywhere (Beta) on Windows 10 and Windows 10 Mobile

Microsoft recently announced that a preview of Messaging Everwhere would be arriving soon for Insiders, but here at WinBeta we’ve managed to get an early first look at how the feature works. Unsurprisingly, it works exactly like Skype integration used to work, except instead of using Skype, it uses your cellular connection instead.

Yes, Messaging Everywhere finally brings SMS texting to the desktop, beamed straight from your phone. This feature should arrive in preview form in the next Windows 10 Mobile insider build, which could arrive next week at the earliest. Currently, as the feature is still in beta, it can sometimes be slow/not work at all, but when it does work it works well.

How does it work? Well, using your Microsoft Account, the new Messaging apps sync your conversations to the cloud, and beam them to which-ever device is requesting them. For example, sending a text on your desktop will beam that message to the cloud, then your phone will sync that message and send it via its cellular connection. It happens very quickly too, almost instant.

Accounts with multiple phones/devices have the option to switch between phones in the Settings area of the Messaging app on desktop, which is also pretty handy. We’ve embedded a video above demoing the new feature in action, so check it out!

 

[Source:- Winbeta]

Windows 10 release date, features, devices and free upgrade: Redmond spills beans on Windows 10 Anniversary Update

Here’s what Windows 10 Anniversary Update will look like

Windows 10 at-a-glance

Windows 10 launched globally on 29 July 2015, with Windows 7, 8, and 8.1 users, as well as Windows Insiders, all starting to receive their free upgrade to the new OS. Here’s our round-up of everything you need to know about Windows 10.

  • Windows 10 started rolling out on 29 July 2015 as a phased release
  • Read our full review of Windows 10 here
  • Enterprise users can manage company-wide rollouts for Windows 10 updates
  • Microsoft Edge replaces Internet Explorer as Windows 10’s default browser
  • Windows 10 is available as a free upgrade for Windows 7 and Windows 8/8.1 consumer edition users during the first year after launch
  • If they don’t upgrade within the year, consumers will be charged from £100
  • Android and iOS apps will run on the new OS

Jump to:

  • Windows 10: latest news
  • Windows 10: release date
  • Windows 10: different versions
  • Windows 10: specs and features
  • Windows 10: security
  • Windows 10: price
  • Windows: 10 updates
  • Windows 10: will it be a success?
  • Windows 10: how to download and install

 

Windows 10 latest news

31/03/2016: Microsoft will bring biometric security to apps and the Edge browser in its Windows 10 Anniversary Update this summer.

Terry Myerson, VP of the Windows and Devices Group, outlined four new features the update will introduce when it arrives, which is expected to be in July.

The first feature is an expansion of Microsoft’s biometric security tool, Windows Hello, to Windows apps and Edge, replacing passwords.

Windows Ink will let users write on their devices as they do on paper, according to Microsoft, and emerges as a challenger to Apple’s Pencil. It is integrated into Maps, Edge, and Office, and developers can build it into their apps with just two lines of code. Writing words such as tomorrow triggers Windows 10 to create a calendar reminder.

The Anniversary Update will make Cortana available from the lock screen, and developers will get full access to the voice assistant’s features within their own apps.

Lastly, Xbox One devices can become developer kits with Xbox Dev Mode, letting anyone with one of the consoles become a developer.

30/03/2016: Windows 10 now has 270 million users, Microsoft has confirmed at its annual Build conference in San Francisco.

Terry Myerson, VP of the Windows and Devices Group, told the audience at Build 2016 that Windows 10 represents the fastest ever adoption for any of Microsoft’s operating systems.

He said: “Windows 10 has been out for eight months and is being actively used by 270 million people. Customers are spending over 75 billion hours on Windows 10”, adding thta Microsoft is “on track to reach our ambitious goal of one billion Windows 10 devices in the next few years”.

However, he did not reveal enterprise adoption rates specifically.

30/03/2016: Microsoft released another update for the preview version of Windows 10’s impending Redstone update over the Easter weekend.

Preview Build 14295 fixes flaws present in the Redstone previews for Windows 10 and Windows 10 Mobile, the first of which is expected to land in June this year.

Gabe Aul, corporate VP of engineering at Microsoft, outlined some of the bugs the build fixes for PC in a blog post, including a flaw preventing the Xbox app and Xbox Live apps and games from signing in.

It also fixed a bug stopping Kaspersky tools like Anti-Virus and Internet Security from working in previous builds.

On Mobile, Aul said the new build solves a problem where phone restores failed to install apps from your backup’s apps list, leaving grey tiles in their places.

Windows Insiders on the Fast ring can now test out the fixes and explore the new build.

23/03/2016: Window 10 Mobile’s inability to natively display some HTML emails has been corrected in a new software build that’s started rolling out to selected handsets, Windows Central has reported.

Mail & Calendar build 17.6769.40522 – reportedly seen on the Lumia 950 and 950 XL, so far – fixes the issue of botched HTML emails formatting in the Outlook app.

Currently, when HTML emails are viewed on the handsets, images protrude from the screen and text disappears beyond its edges. This means users must pinch to shrink the email down to a smaller size and scroll sideways so its content can be viewed.

The new update renders HTML emails as they should be viewed, with the images and text adjusted to fit the headset’s screen.

The update so far appears to target only the models above, but new builds will likely include this feature for other Windows 10 Mobile devices, too.

22/03/2016: OneDrive backup on Windows 10 could be getting a host of improved features in the near future.

According to a leaked build seen by Windows expert Paul Thurrott, an upcoming version of Windows 10 could feature the ability to toggle backups of data like account settings, passwords, apps and start menu layouts on and off.

This would give users much more granular control over the data that OneDrive stores, and allow them to fine-tune their personal storage.

Alongside that, Thurrott also suggests that full device backup functionality could be on the way. Although currently not a feature Microsoft offers, Thurrot suggests that it could be part of the company’s move towards platform universality.

The introduction of the ability to duplicate entire local drives would also explain OneDrive’s recent removal of unlimited cloud storage for Office 365 subscribers, he says, as it would entail vast spikes in customer data consumption.

21/03/2016: Many PCs running on Windows 7 or Windows 8.1 have begun automatically upgrading to Windows 10 without the user’s consent, according to reports from individual consumers and businesses alike.

Many affected users have taken to Twitter or Reddit to voice their complaints, with one user (bnned) writing: “Yep, afk and saw this and saw this message box that said something like ‘Your update is ready! Restarting and installing in 13 minutes.’ If I made myself a meal or watched tv, I would have had Windows 10.

“Oh, and the best part is how they hid the ‘Decline’ button in the more info button.”

After an initial notification some days in advance, users are given another alert 60 minutes before the scheduled upgrade time and, if they do not manually reschedule or cancel, the upgrade will begin.

A company blog post published last year stated: “Customers continue to be fully in control of their devices, and can choose to not install the Windows 10 upgrade or remove the upgrade from Windows Update (WU) by changing the WU settings.”

Back in February, Microsoft decided to switch the Windows 10 update from optional to recommended for security reasons, after which users were informed that updates would be applied automatically. They were, however, also assured that they would be asked for permission.

17/03/2016: Windows 10 Mobile could be rolling out for selected devices today, according to reports.

Prolific leakster Evan Blass, writing for VentureBeat, claimed that 17 March has been pegged as the date for the first wave of updates for legacy Lumia devices.

Sources associated with the rollout apparently said that the initial batch of updates would be delivered on a ‘pull’ rather that ‘push’ basis.

This means that users will need to manually update their devices, rather than Microsoft pushing the updates out through notifications.

Microsoft is widely expected to update its device portfolio in stages, presumably starting with its most popular phones first.

These reports have apparently been confirmed by T-Mobile Croatia, according to NokiaMob (translated), which has also published a list of the Lumia models that will be first in line to make the jump to Windows 10 Mobile.

This chimes closely with a list that Microsoft itself published – the only outliers are that T-Mobile claims the Lumia 1520 flagship will receive the update, while Microsoft has made no mention of this device.

Aside from this, both lists include the Lumia 435, 535, 635 (1GB RAM model), 640, 640XL, 735, 830 and 930. Microsoft also states that the Lumia 430, 532 and 540 will be included in the initial upgrade run.

15/03/2016: Microsoft has been forced to deny that Windows 10 is installing on users’ computers without permission.

Users have taken to social media to complain that the OS upgrade has been forced on them. One Reddit thread has had over 3,000 comments about the update.

In a statement, Microsoft said: “as we shared in late October on the Windows Blog, we are committed to making it easy for our Windows 7 and Windows 8.1 customers to upgrade to Windows 10. As stated in that post, we have updated the upgrade experience to make it easier for customers to schedule a time for their upgrade to take place.

“Customers continue to be fully in control of their devices, and can choose to not install the Windows 10 upgrade or remove the upgrade from Windows Update by changing the Windows Update settings.”

It added that reports that Windows 10 was being forced on users were “not accurate”.

10/03/2016: While the main release of Windows 10 Redstone may not be coming until June, Windows Insiders may be about to get a look at one of its key features – extension support for Edge.

Windows 10 build 14284 will be the first Redstone release for Insiders and will include support for Edge extension support, according toWinBeta. The website claims the release is just days or weeks away, according to its sources, and will land ahead of the company’s Build conference, which starts on 30 March.

08/03/2016: Microsoft has pushed back a planned Windows 10 upgrade that was due later this year, apparently to ensure a new swathe of devices run it out-of-the-box.

The Redstone 2 update was set for release in November, but now will not come out until spring 2017, Winbeta revealed last week.

While Windows 10 is the last operating system Microsoft says it will produce, it does bundle new features together in regular updates throughout the year.

Redstone 1 is due to land in June and succeeds the last major update, ‘Threshold 2’, which rolled out in November last year.

ZDNet’s Mary Jo Foley followed up this week to say that anonymous sources told her the delay is to ensure a new wave of Windows 10 devices run the latest version of the operating system.

01/03/2016: Windows 10 adoption continued to grow in February, running on 14.86 per cent of desktop PCs by the end of the month.

However, that is only 1.21 per cent higher than its usage in January, after growing by just 1.78 per cent between December and January, according to figures recorded by StatCounter.

Windows 7 remains the dominant desktop operating system, the research site revealed, with its adoption declining by less than one per cent from January to stand at 46 per cent last month.

Other declining Microsoft OSes include Windows 8.1, whose share of desktops fell to just 11.43 per cent in February, while XP, support for which expired in April 2014, dropped to 7.61 per cent of the market.

Microsoft claims Windows 10 now runs on more than 200 million devices though HP Inc CEO Dion Weisler blamed the OS for the vendor’s falling PC sales in the three months to December 2015.

26/02/2016: Windows Universal Apps will soon be coming to the Xbox One, Microsoft has revealed.

CEO Satya Nadella confirmed the news in front of an audience of developers at Madrid’s dotNet conference, according to Spanish siteMicrosoft Insider.

While Nadella refused to specify when the new apps would be arriving, many have speculated that they will come as part of Xbox’s major update, due out in the Summer.

The focus is likely to be on social and entertainment apps like Twitter and Netflix, rather than Microsoft’s Office apps.

However, the announcement that the company is bringing mouse support to the console could mean that traditional productivity apps are still on the way.

22/02/2016: Online piracy could be helping raise Windows’ market share, it has been reported.

Without the presence of high-quality copies of Microsoft’s latest OS available for download online, the number of people using Linux would rise 50-65 per cent, a paper by Norwegian economics researcher Arne Rogde Gramstad proposes. This would mean Linux would have an average 1.5-1.65 per cent usage share, as opposed to the 1 per cent it has now.

In contrast, if piracy were to increase by one per cent in an average country, Linux would lose around 0.5 per cent of its market share, the report said.

It is currently free to upgrade a machine running Windows 7 or Windows 8.1 to Windows 10, and will be for until summer 2016. After this, UK users will need to pay a license fee of £100.

Windows 10 Mobile also made a surprise appearance at MWC 2016 with the HP Elite X3, which is aimed specifically at business users and can become a laptop when paired with a Mobile Extender dock.

18/02/2016: Microsoft has rolled out its latest system update for Windows 10 Mobile devices, which includes Bluetooth connectivity improvements and tweaks to Microsoft Edge.

Besides its standard stability improvements, update 10.0.10586.107features Bluetooth connectivity improvements for cars and other accessories, improvements to PDF rendering and navigation in the Microsoft Edge browser, and more accurate battery usage with Iris Recognition for Windows Hello.

The latest rollout also changes the update process, requiring phones to be plugged in when downloading and preparing software updates.

Microsoft has used the opportunity to issue fixes for errors identified in Outlook and BitLocker Recovery, too, as well as patching a bug causing some phones to suffer from extended download periods.

To manually check for updates on your Windows 10 Mobile, tap Settings > Update & security > Phone update > Check for updates.

15/02/2016: Hulu has launched its first universal app for Windows 10, allowing users to view the video streaming service on smartphones, tablets and PCs.

The new universal Hulu app also features built-in voice support via Cortana, giving users the ability to navigate by voice commands, such as “Hulu watch the latest episode of Empire” or “Hulu add Family Guy to queue”.

Hulu was previously available on Windows 10 for PCs, 8.1 for tablets as well as for Windows Phone 8 handsets. But today’s update adheres to the standards of Microsoft’s Universal Windows Platform and means that the same app works across devices, adapting as necessary.

Microsoft’s UWP includes the firm’s games console, Xbox One, but Hulu has not included support for it in this initial release.

The Hulu streaming service is currently only available only available in the US and Japan. The company had planned to launch in the UK and Ireland in September 2009, but a lack of contracts led it to postpone the roll out. Since then, rival service Netflix has dwarfed Hulu’s modest subscribers base, which is just under nine million.

IT Pro has contacted Hulu for an update on the service’s UK availability.

02/02/2016: Windows 10 will now be downloaded to all Windows 7 and 8 computers where the user has specified for updates to be applied automatically. However, the user will still be asked whether they want the update to be installed before Microsoft takes charge of their machine and overwrites older versions of the operating system.

The change has occurred following Microsoft’s decision to switch the update from optional to recommended, meaning it’s a better bet if you want to keep your computer safeguarded against current and future security risks.

However, if you’ve accepted Microsoft’s recommendation and aren’t happy with the update, you do have 31 days to roll back to your older version of the operating system.

Terry Myerson, executive vice president of Microsoft’s Windows and devices group, said: “If you are on a metered connection on Windows 7 or Windows 8.1, then you have the option of turning off automatic updates. We strongly discourage this in today’s connected world because of the constant risk of internet threats.”

02/01/2016: Windows 10 now runs on more desktop PCs than Windows 8.1 and Windows XP, the latest figures show.

Microsoft’s final operating system is running on 11.85 per cent of the world’s desktops, according to research group NetMarketShare.

Its figure is an improvement on the 9.96 per cent it recorded in December 2015, despite PC sales plunging at the end of last year.

Both 8.1 and XP were beating Windows 10 in December, holding 10.3 per cent and 10.9 per cent of the market respectively, but fell below Windows 10 last month, with 8.1 growing by just 0.1 per cent.

XP, meanwhile, increased its hold by half a per cent to reach 11.42 per cent of the market, despite Microsoft killing support for the aged operating system in April 2014.

Microsoft claims Windows 10 is running on more than 200 million devices.

28/01/2016: Microsoft has updated its Xbox beta app for Windows 10 with new social features that bring its functionality closer to the experience offered by its games console, Xbox One.

There are six key features on the way to the app this month, which include: access to the new Avatar Store, the Xbox News tab, improvements to the Trending tab, a Suggested Friends tab, tweaks to the activity feed, and additional functions in the compact mode for the app.

The return of Avatars, which made their debut on the Xbox 360 in 2008, will be cause enough for some to celebrate. These virtual caricatures, designed by Microsoft’s UK studio, Rare, offered users a way to express themselves through facial expressions, hair styles and clothing on the 360, but disappeared completely with the launch of the Xbox One in 2013.

Elsewhere, users will be able to see a shortlist of friend suggestions, in any scenario, in relation to the games they’ve played. The main Activity Feed will also display content from the Trending page and friend suggestions.

The Xbox Beta app launched last September as means for Microsoft to preview updates and collect feedback on new features before they are released to the general public on the full Xbox app for Windows 10.

Microsoft’s tentative embrace of gaming on its latest operating system has gradually been getting more serious. In July 2015, the company released the ability to home stream between Xbox One and PC.

26/01/2016: A new Windows 10 Mobile Insider build, 10586.71, has started to roll out to those enrolled in the Fast Ring of the programme, according to reports.

Italian website Aggiornamenti Lumia first spotted the coming update on Sunday, which was allegedly leaked to the site from Microsoft’s internal servers by an unnamed source, claiming it would roll out on Tuesday.

Windows Central also said it has seen some evidence confirming the cumulative update has started to roll out, although it seems to be limited to the Lumia 950XL at this time.

Unusually, however, there is currently no word from Microsoft as to what this update contains.

25/01/2016: Microsoft is giving its personal assistant, Cortana, access to more email and calendar data to make it better at everyday scheduling.

Microsoft Research has helped Cortana improve to the point that it can remind users of meetings and commitments made based on email conversations.

It can also let them know about any meeting requests that are outside of their usual schedule, according to Microsoft’s group programme manager for Cortana, Marcus Ash.

“As we look forward, we will continue to invest in areas that truly reflect the capabilities of a real-life assistant, like proactively reminding you about the things you have to do without you even asking, getting you to a meeting on time or helping to track and manage your calendar,” he added.

“We’re incredibly excited about the possibilities with Cortana. As we look at what a real-life personal assistant can do, we know we’re just scratching the surface of how Cortana can help you be more productive.”

20/01/2016: A recent report by Adaptiva has revealed that 63 per cent of enterprises are planning to move their systems to Windows 10 by the end of this year and 40 per cent of IT decision makers have already moved at least half their services to the operating system.

This rush to the latest version of Windows has caused heightened demand for the Microsoft Systems Center Configuration Manager 2016 (ConfigMgr 2016), Adaptiva explained and almost two-thirds of those asked said deployment, updating, and management of Windows 10 was their biggest reason for choosing to upgrade from ConfigMgr 2012 to ConfigMgr 2016.

With news that Windows 10 service branch updates will not be supported in the older version of ConfigMgr, 86 per cent of companies said they were motivated to upgrade their systems in advance of the switch off.

“The survey results underscore the surge in Windows 10 interest we are seeing from enterprises as well as the concerns they have about keeping pace with the frequent updates,” said Jim Souders, chief operating officer at Adaptiva.

“The new Microsoft ConfigMgr and Windows 10 releases are ushering in a need for a more automated, intelligent approach to systems management that reduces the time and complexity necessary to keep software and systems secure and up to date.”

18/01/2016: An amendment to Microsoft’s Windows support policy removes support for older versions of Windows on the latest PC hardware.

This will prevent users from downgrading to Windows 7 or 8.1 on the latest Intel Core processors, such as Skylake. It will also cause trouble for enterprises that rely on hardware, old or new, to run previous versions of Windows for business purposes.

In an announcement about its new support policy, Microsoft argued that redesigning Windows 7 subsystems for new generations of silicon processors would “introduce churn into the Windows 7 code base”.

New silicon generation chips are on the way, and Microsoft said Windows 10 will be “the only supported Windows platform” on the upcoming Intel Kaby Lake, Qualcomm 8996 and AMD Bristol Ridge silicon processors.

Microsoft has promised to continue to support Windows 7 for security, reliability and compatibility through to 14 January 2020 on previous generation silicon chips. Windows 8.1 will receive the same support until 10 January 2023.

Users upgrading to selected Skylake devices this year will be able to downgrade from Windows 10 to Windows 7 or 8.1 during a limited 18-month support period.

But Microsoft’s decision to remove the compatibility of its legacy operating systems will cause concern for many of its enterprise customers.

13/01/2016: Microsoft released its first batch of security and stability updates for Windows 10 yesterday.

Among the updates is a patch for a significant flaw in Remote Desktop Server for Windows 10 that could allow a malicious user to remotely log into password-less accounts.

This round of patches also included the final set of security updates for Internet Explorer, which Microsoft ceased development on this week.

In addition, Microsoft’s Windows 10-based IoT and mobile OS have also been updated.

Meanwhile, HTC has confirmed that HTC 8X users will not receive the Windows 10 Mobile update for their devices. The update is due to roll out for other Windows Phone 8 handsets, however.

11/01/2016: A Microsoft enthusiast has tweaked the appearance of the company’s Windows 10 Mobile user interface, improving it with a number of changes he made in a proposed redesign.

The designer, Robson Jobs, started by making the tiles larger, and transparent, but the biggest change to Redmond’s own design might be his interactive tiles. Users would be able to slide the tile to read more news in a news app, stop playing a song, or skip to another song.

Before and after: Microsoft’s design, vs Jobs’ revamped transparent tiles

He also overhauled the Action Center, getting rid of the opaque background and including widgets for media playback, before changing the multitasking view to get rid of a 4×4 display of open apps, to an iOS-like display of one app at a time, with the user dragging left or right to see what else is open.

All his proposals can be seen here.

08/01/2016: Microsoft is currently developing a SIM that lets Windows 10 users hook into a national data network.

The card, news of which was first unveiled by TheNextWeb, would connect via an app already available in the Microsoft store to a data network, the publication reported.

While the Cellular Data app is free, users will have to pay for the network connection using their Microsoft account information, the app description reads.

But this means they would not be tied into a fixed contract with a mobile carrier, simply buying and using data as they need it.

It is not clear which markets this service will be available in, but domestic plans will be available first before international roaming is introduced.

05/01/2016: Windows 10 is now running on more than 200 million devices, according to Microsoft.

Redmond claimed the new figure is evidence of an accelerating adoption rate, saying 40 per cent of these devices moved to its latest operating system after Black Friday, in November 2015.

Yusuf Mehdi, corporate VP of Microsoft’s Windows and Devices Group, said Windows 10 boasts the fastest growth trajectory of any release of the operating system, 140 per cent faster than Windows 7 and nearly 400 per cent quicker than 8.

He added: “We are also seeing accelerating and unprecedented demand for Windows 10 among enterprise and education customers.

“As of today, more than 76 per cent of our enterprise customers are in active pilots of Windows 10, and we now have over 22 million devices running Windows 10 across enterprise and education customers.”

In terms of time, people spent 11 billion hours on Windows 10 in December, Mehdi claimed.

Breaking that down into Windows 10’s specific programmes, people used the Edge browser for a cumulative 44.5 billion minutes, according to Redmond, and viewed 82 billion photos in the Photo app.

Voice assistant Cortana, meanwhile, has answered 2.5 billion questions from Windows 10 users.

04/01/2016: Microsoft could roll out Windows 10 Mobile as early as 12 January, it is claimed.

The rumour comes from NokiaPowerUser, later reported by Neowin, citing an anonymous source who claims Microsoft will make some announcements around Windows 10 Mobile on that date.

The story appeared on the same day as a telling tweet from Microsoft’s Lumia Help Twitter account, which said: “Win 10 Mobile will become available soon. Lumia 950 & 950 XL ship with Win 10, w/ additional devices to follow shortly.”

Redmond is allegedly preparing to roll out Windows 10 Mobile to older devices running 8.1, according to Neowin, which said it is not sure whether carriers must approve this upgrade or not.

Windows 10 growth is slowing, according to software statistics tracker Net Applications (reported by International Business Times), which found that the number of devices running the operating system grew just 1.1 per cent between November and December 2015, a decrease of 0.2 per cent on October to November’s stats.

18/12/2015: Microsoft is to produce a version of Windows 10 especially for the Chinese government. The customised version will include “government approved” anti-virus and use Baidu instead of Bing as a search engine and Chinese-selected antivirus software.

In a blog post, Microsoft said that it had set up a new joint venture to “license, deploy, manage and optimize Windows 10 for China’s government agencies and certain state-owned enterprises and provide ongoing support and services for these customers.”

“The new joint venture which is subject to regulatory approval in China and is provisionally called C&M Information Technologies, will be based in Beijing and will serve government agencies, as well as state-owned enterprises in key infrastructure fields such as energy, telecommunications, and transportation.”

It now looks like Windows 10 will not be pushed to existing Windows Phone 8.1 devices in December. The date for the upgrade has now been pushed back until January.

“This November we introduced Windows 10 to phones including brand new features such as Continuum and Universal Windows Apps with the introduction of the Lumia 950 and 950 XL. The Windows 10 Mobile upgrade will begin rolling out early next year to select existing Windows 8 and 8.1 phones,” said a Microsoft spokesman in a statement to Thurrott.

Microsoft still plans to bring Windows 10 Mobile to the following devices – Lumia 430, 435, 532, 535, 540, 635 (1GB), 640, 640 XL, 735, 830, 930. At present, only Microsoft’s Lumia 950 and the 950 XL sport the updated mobile OS.

14/12/2015: Rumours have begun to emerge that the release ofWindows 10 Redstone – the major 2016 update to Microsoft’s latest operating system – will be coming to Windows Phone 10 Insiders imminently.

The build was discovered by BuildFeed and is apparently still in internal testing. Neowin was told by a source that the build could be coming to Windows Phones soon, but, as the website points out, there are still a lot of bugs to iron out with the current release, which raises some skepticism over an imminent release.

Additionally, it would, in IT Pro‘s option, be very surprising if Redstone came to Windows Phone 10 before Windows 10 proper.

11/12/2015: Windows 10 users can now use Windows Hello with Kinect v2, allowing them to securely sign into their devices with just their face.

This is done by scanning with infrared light that can detect minute details in the individual user’s face, but previously only owners of Windows 10 devices with specific IR cameras installed were able to use the feature.

Now, those with a Kinect v2 can set it up to log in to Windows 10 by simply downloading the preview version of the Kinect for Windows driver and changing a registry setting, reports Neowin. Full instructions can be found on Channel 9.

Other apps are also updating to include support for Windows Hello, with iHeartRadio finally releasing a Windows 10 Mobile version of its music app. For Lumia 950 and Lumia 950 XL users, however, support for Windows Hello authentification has also been added.

Others rumours, reported by Neowin, suggest that Microsoft wants to extend Cortana’s reach across Windows 10 applications like Office 365 with its Redstone update.

8/12/2015: Microsoft is becoming ever more heavy-handed in its attempts to get Windows 7 and Windows 8.1 users to upgrade to Windows 10, it would appear.

Josh Mayfield is a software engineer who created the GWX Control Panel app, which prevents the Get Windows 10 applet (seen in the image at the top of this Latest News section) from appearing and also blocks the system from automatically upgrading to Windows 10. He told Computerworld: “Over Thanksgiving weekend I started getting reports that the Windows Update ‘AllowOSUpgrade’ setting was getting flipped back on on a number of peoples’ PCs, and it keeps re-setting itself at least once a day if they switch it back off.”

“This is new behavior, and it does leave your PC vulnerable to unwanted Windows 10 upgrade behavior,” he added.

Mayfield believes all this is a precursor to a much stronger Windows 10 push from Microsoft, as the applet is getting harder and harder to block. Indeed, it’s already known that at the beginning of 2016 Windows 10 will become a recommended update, meaning anyone who has their system set to automatically accept recommended updates – the safest option for most people, as these updates are normally bug fixes and security patches – could find themselves being asked to complete the installation process, rather than choosing to start it themselves.

3/12/2015: Windows 10 Mobile for Business will reach its end of life on 9 January 2018, it has been revealed. Both the enterprise mobile OS and Windows 10 Mobile for Consumer were released on 16 November this year and will, according to Microsoft, continue to receive updates automatically for two years.

Of course, end of life dates can be flexible, and “end of mainstream support” doesn’t mean the end of support altogether – indeed a review note accompanying the lifecycle information states support will last for “a minimum of 24 months” and there is no extended support end date listed.

Additionally, whenever support finally ends, it almost certainly will not mark the end of Windows 10 Mobile. Rather, it’s likely this is when a large update, such as Redstone.

Windows 10 Mobile has also come in for criticism from former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer.

According to Bloomberg, Ballmer criticised his successor, Satya Nadella, when he told an audience member the company was trying to address the problem of a “lack of key apps” by encouraging Windows developers to create Universal apps.

Ballmer reportedly interrupted Nadella, saying “that won’t work”, adding the company should allow Windows Phone “to run Android apps” – a plan that was rumoured to have been in the works, but which was recently shelved.

[Source:- ITpro]

Doom multiplayer beta impressions: the good, the bad and the demons

The Doom closed multiplayer beta is underway. Right now thousands of helmeted space marines are spamming rockets at each other across rivers of blood and lava. Occasionally, one of them stands on a rune and turns into a hellbeast. It’s kinetic and bloody, but is it any good? Tom and Phil have put in a few hours, and return now with impressions from the front line.

Tom Senior: So Phil, did you like the year 1999, the year of Quake 3? A time of jump pads, fast movement and crunchy, satisfying rocket launchers?

Phil Savage: I was always an Unreal Tournament guy. But yes, this DOOM beta is very Quake, isn’t it? It’s certainly not that Doom 1 or 2, in that I don’t think it would work without a mouse. (I’ll admit, I didn’t play Doom 3).

Tom: It’s fast; there are armour power-ups everywhere; there’s a platform where a gauss cannon appears every few minutes. It’s all very nostalgic, which is fine. The problems I have are the elements it borrows from modern shooters, like a loadout system that lets you customise your weapon set with unlocks, which you gain by levelling up between rounds. I miss being able to pick up weapons from the environment. There’s a great rhythm to, say, Unreal Tournament, because one moment I’m making do with the Bio Rifle, and the next I get my hands on the almighty Flak Cannon and start wrecking. In Doom, everyone starts with the same rocket launcher.

Phil: Yeah, scouting the level for health and armour pickups is great, and it’s strange that doesn’t also apply to weapons. Pickups work well in arena deathmatches, because you can balance around how many are available on the map. But if everyone can start with a rocket launcher, why would you use anything else? I’ve only played for a couple of hours, but it feels like those situations where other weapons have the upper hand are so rare as to put other loadouts at a serious disadvantage. The other weapons seem weak—not just in terms of their lethality, but in their audio/visual feedback too.

Doom 4

Tom: I am also disappointed by the guns. They don’t feel as powerful and lethal as the new Unreal Tournament’s do, and I think that has a lot to do with the numbers that pop out of enemies’ heads when you shoot them. If I manage to hit someone in midair with a rocket, I expect them to explode into bloody chunks that bounce comically around the map. In Doom I get a bit of blood and a “10!” I have rocketed a player to the value of 10, but what does 10 mean in this world of bullets and flesh? If I zap a player little 2’s come out. In Borderlands the numbers tie into a huge loot-based progression system, but this is DOOM.

Phil: Yeah, in FPSRPGs numbers tend to mean the combat is a bit rubbish, but don’t worry because there’s statistics. DOOM should not be a game about statistics. I think the numbers are the amount of health you remove out of a total of 100, but I don’t know why I need to know that information. It’s a bit galling when a direct hit with a rocket launcher only does a maximum of 55, but it’s even worse to be told that a plasma shot does 6. That just makes me think it’s a bad gun that I don’t want to use. Incidentally, I had a fully charged rifle shot do about 127, and so it is numerically the best weapon, I guess. It’s all a bit weird. Have you had a chance to mutate into a big, rocket-powered demon yet?

Tom: I always seem to miss out on being the demon. However I have been killed a lot by the demon, who gets to roll around the map unstoppably rocketing people with his shoulder-mounted rockets, the cad.

Phil: I’ve been the demon once. It’s about as fun as you’d imagine being a jetpack using, rocket launcher wielding demon would be. Which is to say very. The appearance of the demon powerup is probably the most interesting part of each round, and sometimes results in some dramatic comebacks. In fact, I haven’t seen many one-sided matches. Most of the time, in Team Deathmatch, there have only ever been around five kills in it. I do wonder how that will change as people get good, and how high-level play will differ from Quake and UT. From what I’ve seen, motion is less skill-based. You move fast, but not ridiculously fast, and bunny-hopping and other cool but difficult to pull off tricks aren’t the focus. I do like the mantling, though. And I’m always happy when a game has double-jumping.

Doom 6

Tom: Double jumping and mantling both feel good. I was hopping between rocky platforms and clambering up to powerups quickly after about ten minutes. It’s likely not going to be enough to keep me playing, however. Things got a little worse when I moved away from team deathmatch into the capture point mode, which has you capturing an abstract moving outline to push it through the level. Even by the standards of a genre that’s obsessed with flags and bomb carts, it’s a bizarre objective that encourages players to bunch up and eat a lot of rockets. The levels don’t seem to be designed with the required flow of chokepoints and open areas to make the escort task fun. There’s no drama to it.

Phil: Yeah, you’re not moving towards anything. It might have made more sense if you were pushing this holographic blob shape towards an opposing home base—although, even then, to what end? Overall, there are things I like about DOOM, but much that I find off-putting. The levelling, the loadouts, the way that you earn temporary ‘hacks’ that work a bit like Titanfall’s Burn Cards. They’re all systems that can work in the right type of game, but I don’t think a Quake-style arena shooter is it. I’m not sure why I’d play this over the new Unreal Tournament. Which is fine, I think, because ultimately I’m more interested in nu-DOOM as a singleplayer campaign. I really hope that doesn’t have numbers.

 

[Source:- PCgamer]