Good Plan for Windows phones will be going universal soon for Windows 10

Good Plan is an app for Windows phones that allows students to manage their educational timetable, save their grades and take control of the tasks they need to complete through a task manager. It is one of the top apps in the educational space on the Windows Store. According to the developer, it has over 1.4 million users.

The app, originally built for Windows Phone 8.1, is set to be upgraded to a Universal Windows App, being available across a range of Windows 10 devices including PC and mobile. The developer, Raximus, has also released a beta version of the app which can now be downloaded from the Windows Store. The beta is expected to be merged into the main app in around 10 days, with users receiving the upgrade without having to download another app.

Here is a look at the app:

Features that are new in the Universal version include:

  • Auto-sync
  • Grades
  • Notifications
  • Holidays
  • Support for more than 1 person

 

[Source: Winbeta]

Should you upgrade to Windows 10? How Microsoft’s OS could be good for you

Should you upgrade to Windows 10? How Microsoft's OS could be good for you

Is Windows 10 for you? Well, there’s a better chance that it brings something to your life than not, whether you use a computer for 10 hours or 10 minutes a day.

The thing is, time is running out to upgrade from Windows 7 or 8.1 to Windows 10 for free. Specifically, you have until the end of today. It’s not a decision that you should simply gloss over, as the current price is around $120 (£100 or AUS$160). That’s enough for 10,000 penny sweets, and we’re particularly fond of the chewy fried egg ones.

I don’t know about you, but when I think about the burning core of my being, it’s in terms of being a bunch of easily-categorisable stereotypes. Which is handy, as it means I can make a purchasing decision entirely on the basis of said arbitrary categorisation. Am I a frequent flier, a parent, a gamer, or a paranoid survivalist hermit living in wildest Orkney? There’s a reason to own Windows 10 for all of you.

(Well, apart from the hermit, but then I’m frankly amazed he’s reading TechRadar rather than a 19th century almanac, or scrawling on his bathroom wall with turnip juice.) To see how Windows 10 will probably fit into your life, click (or tap) on ahead.

This article is part of TechRadar’s Windows 10 week. Microsoft’s latest operating system turns from a free to a paid upgrade on July 29, and we’re looking to answer the question of whether it’s good for you.

 

[Source: Techrader]

New Quake Episode released to have a good time series’ 20th Birthday

New Quake Episode Released to Celebrate Series’ 20th Birthday

In birthday celebration of the collection20th anniversary, developer system games release a ultra-modern episode of the conventional first-person shooter Quake as a gift to lovers.

After Bethesda and id software program made a a hit return to the longgoing for walks DOOM franchise with the properlyacquired reboot lower back in can also, there was a few hypothesis as to whether any other classic FPS collection, Quake, could also receive a new entry. To the marvel of lovers, a brand new access titled Quake Champions turned into introduced at Bethesda’s E3 show off this year, and no longer only does the title mark the first access inside the series in eleven years, but its statement additionally coincided with the franchise’s twentieth anniversary. The lengthystatus history of the collection has no longer been lost on developer machine video games, and the studio have determined to celebrate it in a very nostalgic way.

In a trip back down memory-lane, gadget games has made a state-of-the-art Quake episode in honor of the conventional-shooter’s 20th birthday, and made it unfastened to all on Bethesda’s internet site. The studio clearly recognizes the fee in celebrating gaming anniversaries, specially for a chain as iconic as Quake‘s, and this new degree will no longer best please older fanatics of the franchise, but it’ll help generate some goodwill for the upcoming Quake Champions.

With machine video games having contributed to the current DOOM reboot, the original creators of Quake and DOOM, identity software, had nothing however reward for the new episode.

apparently, Quake isn’t the only traditional FPS to obtain a modern degree this year. just multiple months ago, the co-author of the original DOOM, John Romero, dropped a cutting-edge map for the classic 1993 game, despite the fact that that motivations behind that launch become greater to promote his new shooter undertaking in preference to to have fun the franchise.

whilst it received’t take long for Quake fanatics to rise up to hurry with machine video games’ new stage, it’s a specific story for the approaching Quake Champions. out of doors of the preliminary CG monitor trailer, not an awful lot is known approximately the imminent arena multiplayer shooter, there was hypothesis that the name will a few MOBA fashion gameplay factors due to the usage of the phrase “champions” and what seems to be unique individual builds to be had to gamers.

With not a lot acknowledged about Quake Champions, and its launch date nonetheless unknown at this factor, fans can tide themselves over for now with that new classic Quake episode till new bulletins and exhibits are dropped in the upcoming months.

Why Uncharted and Dark Souls Coming to an End is a Good Thing

image description

As the Uncharted and Dark Souls franchises finish up this year with Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End and Dark Souls 3, respectively, one Game Rant writer looks at why this a good thing.

When I got my hands on Uncharted 3: Drake’s Deception on launch day, I fully expected to it to be my game of the year. To my surprise, I thought Uncharted 3 was underwhelming at best, and I found myself rushing through Nathan Drake’s latest adventure, just so I could get back to the world of Skyrim. Spending a few hours with Nathan Drake and his shenanigans is enough in one sitting, but the Naughty Dog development team spent 2005 to 2011 focusing on nothing but Uncharted. Even the most overzealous Uncharted fan would get tired of coming up with new adventures for Nate, Sully, and Elena after six intense years, and this sense of burn out seeped into Uncharted 3.

It may have been ‘only’ the third game, but it was immediately clear that Uncharted 3 had already settled into some kind of established formula: Nate gets wind of a treasure, set-piece, ropes Sully and Elena into it, overcomes tremendous physical and emotional stress in getting the treasure, set-piece, and everyone reconciles at the end. If I felt a sense of groundhog day with Uncharted 3, I can’t imagine what the Naughty Dog team must have been feeling while making the game. So when Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End was announced, all I could muster up was a simple “why?”.

Naughty Dog seemed rejuvenated after embarking on a brand new creative endeavor with thecritically-acclaimed The Last of Us, and while I understand the whole thing about sales and fan demand, Naughty Dog has generally developed its games from a creative rather than a commercial standpoint (though there’s never been a problem with sales). It just seemed like the studio was ready to move on, and Uncharted 4 seemed like a step sideways to me. When Naughty Dog announced that Uncharted 4 will be the final game in the series, fans understandably reacted with disappointment, but I thought it was the best decision the studio could’ve made.

uncharted-4-goes-gold

The Last of Us‘s success proved that there was no need for Naughty Dog to go back to Uncharted‘s pool of diminishing creative returns, and the studio is smart enough to know full well that Nathan Drake’s story can’t go on indefinitely without compromising the quality. So rather than drag Uncharted out akin to the way most big-name developers do with hit franchises, Naughty Dog has gone the other way by taking all the lessons learned from The Last of Us and effectively setting upon Uncharted 4 in a similar manner to how The Beatles approached their final record: go out with a bang. And you know what? I’m perfectly fine with that.

Based on the awesome gameplay footage I’ve seen so far, Uncharted 4 is shaping up quite nicely indeed, despite all the behind-the-scenes drama.

But beyond concluding Uncharted on its own terms, this is also a chance for Naughty Dog to try its hand at something new. Seeing as how the studio has always come back strong with a new IP after spending time with a franchise – I mean, there’s Jak & Daxter, Uncharted and The Last of Us – there’s no reason to think why it wouldn’t happen again. I’m as excited as anyone for The Last of Us 2, but I’m even more excited to see what new IP Naughty Dog can come up with. Admittedly, a small part of me will be sad to say good bye to Uncharted when May rolls around, but this feels like the start of a new phase for Naughty Dog, and I have no doubt that the studio can create a new gamethat’s on par with some of its best work.

It’s not all about Nathan Drake’s final adventure though. Most of what I’ve said about Uncharted and Naughty Dog is also applicable to Dark Souls, another franchise that’s on a similar trajectory to Uncharted‘s.

dark-souls-3-world-record-speedrun

Whereas Uncharted was all about the characters and the set-pieces, the fandom behind FromSoftware’s Dark Souls has primarily revolved around its crushingly-difficult gameplay. While FromSoftware hasn’t exactly been pumping out Dark Souls games comparable to what Activision does with Call of Duty, it’s worthwhile to note that the developer has put out three Dark Souls games in the span of just five years. Dark Souls hasn’t reached its “jumping the shark” moment just yet, but as I was wandering around some random forest or decaying fortress in Dark Souls 2 and killing (or getting killed by) some annoying Manikins, there was a sense of deja-vu as it just felt like I’ve seen it all before. Seeing as how Call of Duty quickly got stale, there was a worry that FromSoftware’s “difficult-gameplay” mechanic was going to run its course, but, thankfully, my worries were immediately wiped away when FromSoftware released the brilliant Bloodborne.

Just as how Naughty Dog took a risk on The Last of Us, FromSoftware took a big risk on Bloodborne and it paid off critically and commercially. But beyond all that acclaim, Bloodborne was evidence that FromSoftware could have its cake and eat it too. Fans got a new setting and some more of that renowned challenging gameplay, and FromSoftware got to demonstrate that not only can it still deliver what fans want, but it can do much more than just make absurdly-hard games. Just as how The Last of Us proved that there’s life after Uncharted for Naughty Dog, Bloodborne showed that FromSoftware will be perfectly fine without Dark Souls. While no Dark Souls game has yet to disappoint me like what Uncharted 3 did, I was just as glad when FromSoftware announced that Dark Souls was ending this year, as this meant that I – and many others – won’t have to witness the inevitable decline of the franchise should it have continued. And based on how good Dark Souls 3 is, it seems like FromSoftware has delivered the perfect ending on what’s occasionally been a frustratingly-entertaining series.

Video gaming is riding a wave of creativity at the moment, thanks to some innovative indie titles likeThe Witness and the upcoming No Man’s Sky, as well as some new hugely successful triple-A titleslike Quantum Break and The Division. While I don’t expect Naughty Dog to suddenly start makingspace-exploration epics, or FromSoftware to suddenly start crafting atmospheric puzzle games, I believe the time is right for both studios to move on from its established IP, and set about shaking up the gaming world with something new once again.

 

[Source:- Gamerant]

Why Uncharted and Dark Souls Coming to an End is a Good Thing

image description

As the Uncharted and Dark Souls franchises finish up this year with Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End and Dark Souls 3, respectively, one Game Rant writer looks at why this a good thing.

When I got my hands on Uncharted 3: Drake’s Deception on launch day, I fully expected to it to be my game of the year. To my surprise, I thought Uncharted 3 was underwhelming at best, and I found myself rushing through Nathan Drake’s latest adventure, just so I could get back to the world of Skyrim. Spending a few hours with Nathan Drake and his shenanigans is enough in one sitting, but the Naughty Dog development team spent 2005 to 2011 focusing on nothing but Uncharted. Even the most overzealous Uncharted fan would get tired of coming up with new adventures for Nate, Sully, and Elena after six intense years, and this sense of burn out seeped into Uncharted 3.

It may have been ‘only’ the third game, but it was immediately clear that Uncharted 3 had already settled into some kind of established formula: Nate gets wind of a treasure, set-piece, ropes Sully and Elena into it, overcomes tremendous physical and emotional stress in getting the treasure, set-piece, and everyone reconciles at the end. If I felt a sense of groundhog day with Uncharted 3, I can’t imagine what the Naughty Dog team must have been feeling while making the game. So when Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End was announced, all I could muster up was a simple “why?”.

Naughty Dog seemed rejuvenated after embarking on a brand new creative endeavor with thecritically-acclaimed The Last of Us, and while I understand the whole thing about sales and fan demand, Naughty Dog has generally developed its games from a creative rather than a commercial standpoint (though there’s never been a problem with sales). It just seemed like the studio was ready to move on, and Uncharted 4 seemed like a step sideways to me. When Naughty Dog announced that Uncharted 4 will be the final game in the series, fans understandably reacted with disappointment, but I thought it was the best decision the studio could’ve made.

uncharted-4-goes-gold

The Last of Us‘s success proved that there was no need for Naughty Dog to go back to Uncharted‘s pool of diminishing creative returns, and the studio is smart enough to know full well that Nathan Drake’s story can’t go on indefinitely without compromising the quality. So rather than drag Uncharted out akin to the way most big-name developers do with hit franchises, Naughty Dog has gone the other way by taking all the lessons learned from The Last of Us and effectively setting upon Uncharted 4 in a similar manner to how The Beatles approached their final record: go out with a bang. And you know what? I’m perfectly fine with that.

Based on the awesome gameplay footage I’ve seen so far, Uncharted 4 is shaping up quite nicely indeed, despite all the behind-the-scenes drama.

But beyond concluding Uncharted on its own terms, this is also a chance for Naughty Dog to try its hand at something new. Seeing as how the studio has always come back strong with a new IP after spending time with a franchise – I mean, there’s Jak & Daxter, Uncharted and The Last of Us – there’s no reason to think why it wouldn’t happen again. I’m as excited as anyone for The Last of Us 2, but I’m even more excited to see what new IP Naughty Dog can come up with. Admittedly, a small part of me will be sad to say good bye to Uncharted when May rolls around, but this feels like the start of a new phase for Naughty Dog, and I have no doubt that the studio can create a new gamethat’s on par with some of its best work.

It’s not all about Nathan Drake’s final adventure though. Most of what I’ve said about Uncharted and Naughty Dog is also applicable to Dark Souls, another franchise that’s on a similar trajectory to Uncharted‘s.

dark-souls-3-world-record-speedrun

Whereas Uncharted was all about the characters and the set-pieces, the fandom behind FromSoftware’s Dark Souls has primarily revolved around its crushingly-difficult gameplay. While FromSoftware hasn’t exactly been pumping out Dark Souls games comparable to what Activision does with Call of Duty, it’s worthwhile to note that the developer has put out three Dark Souls games in the span of just five years. Dark Souls hasn’t reached its “jumping the shark” moment just yet, but as I was wandering around some random forest or decaying fortress in Dark Souls 2 and killing (or getting killed by) some annoying Manikins, there was a sense of deja-vu as it just felt like I’ve seen it all before. Seeing as how Call of Duty quickly got stale, there was a worry that FromSoftware’s “difficult-gameplay” mechanic was going to run its course, but, thankfully, my worries were immediately wiped away when FromSoftware released the brilliant Bloodborne.

Just as how Naughty Dog took a risk on The Last of Us, FromSoftware took a big risk on Bloodborne and it paid off critically and commercially. But beyond all that acclaim, Bloodborne was evidence that FromSoftware could have its cake and eat it too. Fans got a new setting and some more of that renowned challenging gameplay, and FromSoftware got to demonstrate that not only can it still deliver what fans want, but it can do much more than just make absurdly-hard games. Just as how The Last of Us proved that there’s life after Uncharted for Naughty Dog, Bloodborne showed that FromSoftware will be perfectly fine without Dark Souls. While no Dark Souls game has yet to disappoint me like what Uncharted 3 did, I was just as glad when FromSoftware announced that Dark Souls was ending this year, as this meant that I – and many others – won’t have to witness the inevitable decline of the franchise should it have continued. And based on how good Dark Souls 3 is, it seems like FromSoftware has delivered the perfect ending on what’s occasionally been a frustratingly-entertaining series.

Video gaming is riding a wave of creativity at the moment, thanks to some innovative indie titles likeThe Witness and the upcoming No Man’s Sky, as well as some new hugely successful triple-A titleslike Quantum Break and The Division. While I don’t expect Naughty Dog to suddenly start makingspace-exploration epics, or FromSoftware to suddenly start crafting atmospheric puzzle games, I believe the time is right for both studios to move on from its established IP, and set about shaking up the gaming world with something new once again.

 

[Source:- Gamerant]

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]

Opinion: Trolling in The Division is Actually a Good Thing

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While The Division‘s launch might not be the smoothest in gaming history, one writer believes the recent drama concerning player griefing in-game is missing the point.

I was thirteen when I started playing Halo 2 online. I had to convince my parents that an online subscription fee just to play games I already owned anyways was worth it, an endeavor I had imagined would carry me to age fifteen before I actually managed any progress. Somehow, the argument only lasted a few weeks, and an excellent report card later, I had a network cable hooked into the back of my Xbox and an Xbox Live subscription in my dad’s name. I was ready to dive in to the world of online, competitive Halo 2.

It took approximately twenty minutes before I’d shut the game off and removed my headset. While I would play Halo 2 online with friends and at LANs, I’d never play the multiplayer online on my own with a headset on again. I don’t know what the many early teens playing what I consider to be Bungie’s magnum opus were going through in high school, but if my conversations with them in that twenty minutes were any indication, they were very angry about it.

Player griefing isn’t a concept unique to shooters within the gaming industry, and it can take a number of different forms. In MMOs like World of Warcraft, for instance, gamers adventuring on a PvP server are liable to run into high-level trolls (the personality, not the race) who will kill them incessantly. Some will even patiently wait for the player to run back to their corpse and resurrect themselves, only to find that the ganker had merely moved out of their line of sight to kill them again. In shooters, however, griefing often gets a lot more personal. Playing online often puts players into groups of strangers armed with both internet anonymity and a microphone, and the results are about as pleasant as one would typically expect.

In my first hours with The Division, however, I’ve run into the same kind of griefing many others have reported on. Ubisoft has included player collision detection within its new game, and while it has certainly made The Division a bit more realistic, it has also led to the kind of problems that veterans of MMOs could have told the developers about when they first conceived of the idea. When a game is expected to have thousands of people playing it online at any given time, giving players the ability to physically impose a roadblock on others is likely going to cause some issues, whether they are doing it intentionally or not. Case in point – the frequent Agents acting like bouncers around entrances to the Dark Zone or safe houses, impeding player progress while doing jumping jacks.

the division troll blocking doorway player collision

Like many gamers, I was irritated by the fact that people were logging into The Division with the express purpose to make others’ experiences with the game slightly more inconvenient. While exiting the Dark Zone after a successful loot run wherein I formed a ragtag trio of Agents working together to kill PKers, however, the thought dawned on me – it was quiet. While the local voice-chat had allowed me to direct my new allies toward the occasional enemy, there was not an incessant string of gibberish coming from those around me. Even better, had that been the case, The Division offers players in the Dark Zone the chance to go rogue and kill their teammates at any point. I am, sadly, not above using an online replication of a shotgun to halt the curse-laden ramblings of a fourteen year-old should I be forced to listen to them.

Essentially, The Division as a shooter seems to offer a caveat to the usual online experience in the genre. Ubisoft has made it much less likely to run into the quintessential FPS troll at the small cost of a three-to-ten second inconvenience around doorways and mission hubs. It might not be a perfect system, but that’s a trade I’m willing to make whenever the offer is made.

Of course, running into people and intentionally trying to make another player’s time with the game difficult or irritating is never fun, but the freedom to do so is essential as games evolve into more MMO/insert-other-genre-here hybrids by basing more of their content online. Developers are constantly looking toward what will keep a playerbase ensnared within a single product for as long as possible, and, at least for pure MMOs like Black Desert Online, the answer has been to let players do as much as they possibly can, and that includes being mean to others. MMOs have had griefers for as long as they’ve had PvP and player hubs, but the genre hasn’t suffered any from the existence of these gamers.

That’s because certain levels of player griefing are objectively more acceptable than others. While griefing over an internet connection and voice chat can lead to genuinely scarring or hurtful occurrences, PKing can simply lead to a frustrated player logging out and taking some time off, while blocking entrances and exits is even more harmless than the norms established in both shooters and MMOs. Players are likely much happier having their march to The Division‘s end-game temporarily halted by somebody doing their best impression of a pylon than someone harassing them over chat.

the division dark zone loot pick up

Am I arguing that the players who are engaging in the type of behavior that has slowed players’ level progression in The Division are people I want to have around while I’m gaming? Certainly not. However, the fact is these people exist and play the same games I do whether I like it or not. With that being the case, The Division‘s current outlet for player griefing seems a lot healthier than it does at first glance. While shooters that are based mostly online have long had a reputation for exclusionary behavior towards people of different backgrounds, The Division has made the most toxic channels for griefing less integrated in its gameplay. The end result is a group of players united against the mostly harmless evil of griefers standing in doorways and an online FPS/MMO hybrid that has taken steps toward combining the best elements of shooters and MMOs alike without continuing the worst of their traditions.

Is it perfectly reasonable to complain about the player collision issues currently in The Division? Absolutely. Will Ubisoft eventually patch this behavior out of the game? I’d certainly bet on it. Before it goes, however, Ubisoft and Massive Entertainment should consider the fact they might have inadvertently created one of the most inclusive, harmless methods of griefing in a hybrid MMO game to date – and if both parties agree to remove it, something more sinister and less goofy might turn up in its place.

 

[Source:- Gamerant]