The path to a Surface phone is clearer than ever with Windows 10 on ARM

Why does ARM on Windows 10 matter? What does it mean for a phone running Windows 10? Let’s break down Microsoft’s latest announcement to identify its implications.

Microsoft’s announcement of Windows 10 on ARM is a momentous occasion. Companies like Apple have been rumored since 2012 to be working on bringing macOS to ARM. Even just weeks before the MacBook Pro refresh rumors were swirling that Apple’s new laptops were ARM based. Yet it is Microsoft who is the first to do it for real (and not just for a Touch Bar).

To be clear, Windows 10 on ARM is about PCs and not phones. Nonetheless, the prospect that these two systems will come together is feasible. Here is how a Surface “phone” could happen, but first some background on why ARM even matters.

x86-64 versus ARM

ARM is the architecture used in modern smartphones. Whether it’s Apple’s A10 Fusion chip or Qualcomm’s Snapdragon line, these processors are all based on the ARM architecture. ARM differs significantly from x86 and x64, which is what Intel chips like ATOM, Core M, and Core i are based, as well as AMD’s processors.

Windows 10 Mobile runs on ARM; Windows 10 on x86-64. They share OneCore and UWP, but there’s a yawning gulf between the architectures.

Windows 10 Mobile runs on ARM; Windows 10 for PC runs on x86-64. Both share OneCore and UWP as their center of overlap. The difference is also why you cannot run x86 Win32 apps on your phone. Architecture matters.

Because ARM was made to be efficient for small batteries and reduced thermal loads, it’s ideal for smartphones and slim tablets.

Historically, ARM chips were significantly less powerful than desktop-class x86 processors. That’s been changing in the last few years. Apple’s A10 Fusion chip, found in the iPhone 7, is often compared in performance to the 2013 MacBook Air — which sported a 1.3GHz dual-core Intel Core i5 processor.

So, if ARM’s so fantastic, why not just put your desktop OS on it? The task requires a tremendous amount of engineering and work. Microsoft, evidently, has finished it. Apple is likely still working on something.

Why it’s a big deal

The ability to run a full PC operating system on a tablet, two-in-one, or laptop powered by ARM has been the dream. Battery life in such a device gains a few hours with excellent thermals. The PC is now always connected to the internet. It can also be thinner and lighter than any x86-64 system — there’s less battery needed for an acceptable lifespan and reduced thermal dissipation demands.

We already have that with smartphones, but now you can run a full OS for apps and games with minimal compromises.

Such a scenario changes concepts around gaming, using digital inking, productivity, reading, exchanging information, and creativity. It’s the power of a PC but with fewer limits.

To make this tech dream come true, ARM’s performance had to improve, batteries had to get better, and someone had to port their OS. Well, that all just happened and none of us are dreaming anymore. This is the coming reality.

Cost counts too

A performant x86-64 processor is also much more expensive than ARM. This pricing matters to companies trying to create new categories of devices with greater abilities. For example, an Intel ATOM chip is around $37, a Qualcomm Snapdragon 820 runs about $70. But an Intel Core M processor starts at $281 and a Core i7 can go over $600.

That problem of Core M PC sticks being fantastic, but crazy expensive now disappears.

Qualcomm’s Snapdragon SoCs also have everything on board including Wi-Fi, LTE, GSM, Bluetooth, Quick Charge, and camera technology all for a fixed cost. Manufacturers choose which features they want and license it. Hence why your Qualcomm-powered phone might not have Quick Charge 3.0.

On the other end, x86-64 is just the processor. Any LTE modem support is extra, as are all the other radios. Because of this difference, PCs range in feature sets, price, and even size.

The additional components make x86-64 systems hotter, more expensive, larger, and harder on batteries than any ARM counterpart.

Microsoft’s problem is they need something stronger than an ATOM, but cheaper and smaller than an Intel Core M. A processor based on ARM does all of that, plus adds in 4G LTE support, radios, and is significantly more efficient than an x86-64 system.

How to go from Mobile to the phone?

All this news and talk of smartphone components raises the next logical question: Why can’t we run Windows 10 for ARM on a smartphone?

Why Microsoft keeps working on Windows 10 Mobile: ARM, cellular, and the next big thing

In theory, you now can. The reality though is more complicated. Nevertheless, you can bet Microsoft is very much likely working on such a scenario for a ‘Pro’ smartphone experience.

Here are a few reasons why Microsoft has not put Windows 10 on ARM on the phone… yet:

  • Pricing: Such a phone will be more expensive. Additional RAM, a large SSD for significantly more storage, and the license SKU for full Windows 10 will make this “phone” costlier. Full Windows 10 takes around 20GB of storage versus ~4GB for Mobile. Full Windows 10 also ideally needs at least 8GB of RAM, compared to 2GB for Mobile. Most modern flagship smartphones have 4GB of RAM, with a few select Android phones sporting 6GB.
  • Continuum in reverse: The interface experience is not there — even the touch-friendly Windows 10 design isn’t going to work on a screen much smaller than 7 inches. Microsoft needs the Mobile shell (UI) for when the device is acting as a phone, but shows the desktop when docked. It’s Windows 10 Mobile Continuum, but inverted.
  • Phone support: While Windows 10 on ARM supports LTE data, it still lacks proper telephony abilities like phone calls, visual voicemail, SMS, and the like. Presumably, those features from the Mobile system will be incorporated into Windows 10 for ARM, but that still needs to happen.
  • Let the dust settle: Microsoft wants to get Windows 10 on ARM into devices like tablets and two-in-ones first, build out UWP some more and refine the whole experience. Once emulation has improved and deployment has expanded, hardware costs will come down, Windows 10’s power efficiency will improve, the processors will be even faster, and then a phone that can run Windows 10 on ARM makes sense.

There is also the idea of an external GPU (eGPU). That tech becomes an interesting extension for Continuum when docked and using Windows 10 on ARM. That technology, however, hasn’t even been developed yet for ARM.

Windows 10 Mobile for budget

Despite some of these hurdles, it should be evident by now that Microsoft sees Windows 10 and Windows 10 Mobile scenarios colliding and overlapping.

A device that runs full Windows 10 on ARM can be positioned as a ‘Pro’ device for those who need it all.

Windows 10 Mobile through Continuum and even x86 emulation becomes more like a desktop PC. Meanwhile, the desktop PC becomes more like Mobile. Cats and dogs living together! Windows 10 Mobile can still hit much lower price marks, yet deliver a similar experience, compared to a device running full Windows 10.

When you break it down that way, then Windows 10 Mobile makes sense. It will be the “light” version of Windows 10 both in features and cost. A device that runs full Windows 10 on ARM, however, can be positioned as a ‘Pro’ device for those who need it all. Perhaps someday when even the base ARM processors are powerful enough, then a separate Mobile OS won’t make sense anymore — but that’s still years away at best.

The future is mobile

I think this is where Microsoft is headed. A “Surface phone” would be a Pro device that is high-end hardware, but capable of being a full PC when docked at a desk (or with a Lap Dock). Windows 10 Mobile can still be used for entry level and mid-range phones where such OS overhead is not required or even desired.

I think we also have our answer to why there is no Surface 4 yet and why manufacturers bailed on Windows 10 Mobile tablets. Microsoft obviously had something much bigger in the works that’s more tantalizing to both them and their partners.

There are a lot of dots getting connected here between the realities of today’s technologies and the Surface phone, and it’s becoming obvious how Microsoft’s going to bridge the remaining gaps. Inking, mixed reality, UWP, OneCore, Windows Hello, Windows 10 on ARM, far-field speech-communication, Continuum, and more all promise a world where the device in your pocket can do much more than just run dinky phone apps. You are seeing that world being created right in front of your eyes.

Windows 10 on ARM is game changing. Make no mistake about it: the path to the ultimate phone just became much clearer.

 

 

[Source:- windowscentral]

 

Snapchat vs Instagram – Which Platform is Better for Your Brand?

Who Will Win the Battle between Snapchat & Instagram? | Social Media Today

Snapchat vs. Instagram: A rivalry as old as time. Well, almost.

There have been a lot of discussion this year about who’ll eventually win the battle between the two social media giants, and while out of the gate it looked like Snapchat would eventually be declared the victor, Instagram has been leading a charge to take some of Snapchat’s best features and… well, copy them.

However you slice it, these two platforms are what many think are the future of social media. In this post, we want to break down what each platform is, and more importantly, what it can offer to brands who are looking to connect with their ideal consumers.

By The Numbers

As of the end of 2016, Snapchat is seeing 150 million active users every day. They’re also reportedly serving 10 billion daily video views, while users, on average, are logged into Snapchat for 30 minutes every day.

Instagram, meanwhile, now has more than 600 million registered users, with more than 300 million of them logging into the app daily. For brands looking for engagement, it doesn’t get much better than that, especially among the younger populations.

Both Snapchat and Instagram have major appeal among people users age 35 and under – researchers have found that up to 90% of Instagram’s users are 35 and under, while 86% of Snapchat users are under the age of 34.

Which Platform Do Millenials Prefer?

Wishbone recently conducted a survey asking users between the ages of 12 and 25 (the coveted heart of the Millennial target group) which they preferred, Snapchat or Instagram. Here are their decidedly unscientific, yet still interesting, results:

 

 
[Source:- Socialmediatoday]

Vivaldi 1.3 is a bold new vision for browsers

vivaldi_red

f there’s one thing you can count on from the folks at Vivaldi, it’s that they’re always seeking to make their browser faster, better and more stable, while adding more features and functionality. One of the latest features they’ve added is something that’s going to appeal to users’ visual side.

According to a recent blog post, the company says that version 1.3 has added the following, major improvements:

  • Custom themes
  • Better mouse gestures
  • Increased privacy

Let’s look at each new improvement in greater detail…

CUSTOM THEMES

Themes that you can configure to your liking mean that you can have Vivaldi look exactly how you want it to on your desktop. Vivaldi’s theming engine offers quite a lot of deep customization options, more so than what’s ever been available in a browser before.

Customizing themes to suit your taste is very easy: Start by heading to Settings and then Themes. From there, select one of the many default themes and then click on the icon with the pen to edit it. Users have the freedom to change the background, foreground, highlight and accent colors to really spruce up their browser’s user interface.

Implement changes by either adding a hex code to each field or rely on the color picker.

Once you’re done, just give your new theme a unique name, and then click on “save.” Easy peasy.

MOUSE GESTURES

Vivaldi has improved mouse gestures considerably in this latest release. Users are now able to navigate both browser and web content more efficiently than in prior versions.

Here’s the bottom line: This version adds more default mouse gestures, increasing the user experience. As a result, there are now more than 90 unique browser actions that can be performed through a mouse gesture. The level of customization has gotten very deep, which is what power users expect.

ADDED PRIVACY

Privacy is always a very serious concern on the web. No one wants third parties tracking their browsing history and finding out their behavioral patterns from how they surf the web. Vivaldi has made protecting privacy a top concern in this latest version.

While WebRTC is arguably an interesting and powerful series of features (it provides video-chat, voice and file-sharing capabilities to your web brower natively inside of HTML), there is an unfortunate downside to it; for one thing, it makes users more vulnerable on the web by disclosing their IP addresses. Naturally, this gives rise to legitimate privacy concerns.

As a result, Vivaldi 1.3 allows users to now turn off WebRTC at their discretion. You can only have it on when you absolutely need it.

A BOLD VISION FOR THE BROWSER

Finally, for Linux users, platform-specific updates arrive with this release. Tab hibernation gets a UX boost: This puts your tabs to sleep, thereby freeing up some much-needed system resources. Additionally, 1.3 offers improved support for proprietary media within HTML5.

Vivaldi always says that its mission is to make browsing safer, more productive, more fun and more personal for all. 1.3 takes a huge step in that direction.

 

 

[Source: Webdesignerdepot]

The Game Preview of Happy Dungeons is now live on Xbox One

The special Game Preview of Happy Dungeons is now available to play for free on theXbox One. The Game Preview is a free version of the game for users to play while it’s in development. There are usually bugs and many aspects of the game’s engine and graphics will not be finalized yet but it is playable and is a good opportunity for gamersto get a sense of what the game is about.

Happy Dungeons is a multiplayer roleplaying game and supports up to four players at once in both online and offline modes. Players’ characters can have their looks customized with hair color, weapons, and clothing all interchangeable. Characters’ personalities can also be changed to create a more dynamic play experience.

Here’s the full game description: Cut loose in the dungeons with up to four friends in Happy Dungeons, the cooperative action RPG that’s just made for multiplayer gaming! So grab a pad and enjoy the witty, upbeat storyline that’s never short of a surprise, all set within a bizarre world overflowing with comical characters. Vibrant graphics combine with high-speed, stomach-churning action to give you an experience like nothing else! Customize your character to your heart’s content and go nuts in your own unique way! Embark on the adventure of a lifetime as you join forces with your friends and family to take out those dastardly villains! Are you ready to embrace the challenge with your own party of little lunatics?

 

Happy Dungeons updates daily with new Daily Dungeons events for players to work through. Other features such as Story Dungeons and Event Dungeons are also updated regularly and new content in the form of fresh items, skills, and character customizations are often added too.

 

[Source: Winbeta]

 

Here’s Why Titanfall 2 Is Coming to PS4

Here’s Why Titanfall 2 Is Coming to PS4

Respawn Entertainment CEO and co-founder Vince Zampella reveals why Titanfall 2 is coming to PS4, despite the original Titanfall being exclusive to PC and Xbox consoles.

Released on PC, Xbox 360, and Xbox One in 2014, many PlayStation players were disappointed that Respawn Entertainment’s highly anticipated shooter, Titanfall, did not come to Sony platforms, too. In fact, even the development team was surprised to learn that Titanfall 1 wouldn’t be released on PlayStation, and that it wasn’t just a timed-exclusive for Microsoft.

With the sequel, there will be no such disappointments or shocks, however, as Titanfall 2 is coming to PC, PS4, and Xbox One. In a new interview, Respawn Entertainment’s CEO and co-founder, Vince Zampella, has now revealed exactly why Titanfall 2 is coming to PS4 as opposed to opting to continue the Microsoft exclusivity deal.

Speaking to the Official PlayStation Magazine UK (issue #126, September 2016), Zampella explains that “ultimately, it’s about bringing in as many people as possible to play the game.” The Respawn boss goes on to say that “we spent years of our lives making these things, so we want as many people as possible to see them. It makes sense.” Moreover, the developer wants a playerbase so that “games are more fun and more balanced, we want to get better games going” and that “it’s bringing things to the world that people enjoy, so the more the merrier.”

This isn’t the first time that Zampella has suggested that Respawn’s decisions are “all about the fans,” as the CEO previously revealed that Titanfall 2 DLC will be free because the developer doesn’t want to split the community. That announcement was largely applauded by gamers at the time, especially as other multiplayer titles such as Evolve have been accused to fracturing the playerbase with DLC plans that were confusing and muddling to players rather than encouraging them to play.

Others, though, have dismissed Zampella’s comments, saying that what he really means is that he’d like to increase Respawn (and Titanfall 2 publisher) EA’s bottom line. The original Titanfall was a massive success, with the first-person shooter seeing a whopping 7 million unique players after just 8 months of availability. Some sceptical gamers argue that as Xbox One sales continue to trail behind the PS4 despite Microsoft price cuts, Respawn and EA see the Sony console as a lost, money-making opportunity that the two companies are looking to bank on with Titanfall 2.

And, while it’s certainly true that Titanfall 2 is likely to outdo its predecessor’s sales because of it multi-platform status, other additions such as Titanfall 2’s new ‘Ronin’ class and Respawn’s commitment to Titanfall 2 server stability could also make a huge difference in how many copies are sold.

 

[Source: Gamerant]

Microsoft Ignite is the place to develop your Azure development skills

Over the past couple of years, Microsoft has put a noticeable focus on its cloud services offerings that rest on its Azure platform. Similar to its other platforms, Microsoft is hoping its developer community can build atop the foundation its made and make Office, Xbox, and especially Azure, as robust and versatile as its Windows platform.

With that being said, it makes sense that Microsoft is taking any chance it can at aiding developers in creating software, services and experiences on Azure, such as rejiggering its Ignite conference into a development opportunity for those interested.

Microsoft announced today that its five-day intensive meet and greet Ignite conferencewill now include direct contact and source information from the teams behind its various Azure services. A typical Microsoft Ignite conference host upwards of 400 sessions and on September 26 through September 30, 2016, attendees can expect an additional 30 sessions dedicated to specifically to Azure development.

Developers looking to take advantage of the development resources during Ignite can look forward to various Azure teams sharing their knowledge, insight, and answers to a myriad of topics that will include but are not limited to the following:

  • Accelerating application delivery with Docker Containers and Windows Server 2016
  • Soaring above and below the clouds with Azure Stack App Service for developers
  • Managing Microsoft Azure Service Fabric applications
  • Going serverless with Microsoft Azure Functions for the enterprise
  • Securing and deploying mobile apps in Microsoft Azure
  • Breaking out of the box with Python
  • Exploring cross-platform mobile development end-to-end with Xamarin

With Microsoft’s Ignite conference a little over two months away, it seems tickets are already becoming hard to come by. Visiting the Ignite web page shows that some discounted offerings are already sold out, however, registration remains open. For developers interested in getting on the Azure train, head to the site now to register for an opportunity to attend 440 plus sessions, interactive digital labs, direct product presentation, product roadmap and strategy meetings as well as visiting Microsoft’s 300 plus partner’s expo.

 

[Source: Winbeta]

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]

Why Microsoft is waving the magic Wand

microsoft ceo satya nadella

Clean off the information that Microsoft is purchasing LinkedIn for $26.2B, the famed Redmond monolith has introduced they are additionally snapping up the so-called fb of things employer Wand Labs. It’s a move that makes ideal sense if you have ever used a telephone and hooked up extra than a handful of apps.

things are becoming a piece out of manage, particularly with apps that manipulate devices in your house like a sprinkler device or the the front door lock. each one is a small island in a sizable ocean, and they don’t truly talk with every other. It’s one purpose there’s been a upward thrust of voice-activated assistants and chatbots. There’s an excessive amount of clutter.
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Wand is still in improvement so i can’t provide you with a firsthand account from checking out out their app, but from all of the presentations and substances they have online, it seems a piece like a dashboard. allow’s say you’ve got Spotify in your cellphone and also you begin a talk with the Wand messaging purchaser. you can then supply access in your buddy that allows you to listen to the identical tunes. The gain is that your pal doesn’t even want a Spotify account to pay attention. in case you’re chatting about a celebration that night, you may also provide a login to the door lock using the Vivint app. The possibilities are countless.

Of path, for this to paintings, 1/3 celebration builders need to companion with Wand, and that’s wherein Microsoft can absolutely assist. The app may never see the mild of day, but we ought to see the app integration in some thing like Bing or the Cortana app. The termfacebook of things” is a nod to the concept that we’re all seeking to simplify by means of the use of chat. consider it this way. whilst you need to talk about an occasion or make plans for the weekend, few people leap into an app. We just text our brother-in-law and start discussing what to do. inside the equal manner, messaging apps may be used for conversational interfaces. you may be discussing music, films, or your backyard and decide to cause an event or offer get right of entry to to a friend to trigger an occasion.

Take this a step in addition if it includes robot tech and AI. in the end, conversational interfaces will involve manner greater automations. You is probably talking about the rain, and the chatbot within the messaging app or in Bing would possibly ask if you want to postpone watering. you could be talking about going a film, and a bot could remind you approximately a flow you in no way completed. Bots could grow to be a part of the conversation, but for that to take place, apps like Iris (for controlling the sprinklers) and Netflix (for watching the film) might need to be included.

The facebook of things certainly approach social interplay and era intersecting in a manner this is so fluid we slightly notice. It’s simply a part of our everyday chat, every other thread in the dialogue, a textual content publish that looks like Twitter however has manner more energy.

I’m excited to see what Microsoft comes up with, perhaps at the same time as lots as what they’ll do once they pump greater gas into the LinkedIn engine. Apps are on overload right now. The combination of chatbots, robot tech, messaging, and 1/3birthday party integration can be a big win for a organisation that seems so stuck in the world of desktop operating structures. but, before this all comes together, apps like Cortana and Bing need to offer greater cost on their personal earlier than they begin integrating with Spotify.

Instagram is including a text translation feature

After pronouncing that it has over 500 million customers, Instagram has shared that it’s miles operating on a textual content translation feature so as to pass live subsequent month. once enabled, you may see a “See Translation” button that mechanically interprets text in posts, comments or bios to your chosen language. At release, 24 languages will be supported, and at the same time as there is not a 665ffa919c35bfa66744e335c03b7855 timeline, the function should be available to all users globally within a month.

The feature may not be to be had for older remarks, as Instagram has started out using gadget mastering to translate text these days.

Microsoft’s growth mindset is changing the way its products are sold

Microsoft fans all across the world very much well know Microsoft’s mission statement: to “empower every person and every organization on the planet to achieve more.” Very much so, it appears now that this mission statement and growth mindset has also left an impact on the Redmond giant’s products and sales strategies.

Judson Altoff, President of Microsoft North America, was one of the speakers atEnvision 2016’s conference, and at the event, he remarked to Envision Attendees on a change at the sales force at Microsoft. As per remarks published on ZDnet, Altoff mentioned that Microsoft has been learning to eliminate the separation between how they are traditionally market sold, and serviced. He also detailed that Microsoft is selling more and more of its products as subscription services and that the sales team needs to go beyond just selling a customer on something one time.  In addition, he also remarked that Microsoft is moving the focus off of the technology alone, and more towards how customers can and should use the technology.

“Your focus needs to be on who’s actually figured out how to attach more Xbox controllers and games to every console sale? Who’s actually figured out how to sell their customers machine learning and data science projects running on Azure? Who’s actually figured out how to get customers to see value out of the increase utilization of Skype for Business and greater connectedness and collaboration on your environments,” Altoff said.

Additional comments from Altoff published in ZDnet also appear to suggest that Microsoft has been empowering its fans, via “fan creation.” Altoff is quoted as saying,

“Happy product advocates trump indifferent users. Sales needs to make sure that customers aren’t just using their products, but they’re actually happy about doing so because they’re getting value out of it.”

The comments from Altoff are together very interesting and seem to show that Microsoft has been taking steps to making overall changes to better live up to its goal of empowering the planet. We would love to hear your thoughts on these comments, so please drop us a comment below and sound off on the situation!

 

 

[Source:- Winbeta]