Features

Remote GameStream Review with NVIDIA SHIELD

Remote GameStream Review with NVIDIA SHIELD

It’s not often that we review the services of a device we’ve reviewed in the past, but the opening of the gates NVIDIA is providing here in the SHIELD, we must. When NVIDIA SHIELD was first introduced, the service that would eventually be called GameStream showed how we might mirror PC games to a handheld gaming system, and control them with that system too. Here a year and four months later, we get to see this service work outside of our own home internet network.

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Windows in the Car to put Cortana in the dashboard

Windows in the Car to put Cortana in the dashboard

Apple has CarPlay, Google has the Android Open Automotive Alliance, and now Microsoft has Windows in the Car, its own take on piping smartphone content from your Windows Phone directly to the dashboard. Quietly demonstrated at Build 2014 this past week, in concept form at least, Windows in the Car pares back the standard Windows Phone interface to suit center console touchscreens and safer use while on the move thanks to features like Cortana.

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Amazon Fire TV Review

Amazon Fire TV Review

Does the world need another streaming box? Amazon Fire TV argues “yes” and says speed, voice search that actually works, and proper gaming set it apart from the Apple TV, Roku 3, and Google Chromecast. As we’ve seen with the Kindle Fire HDX tablet range, Amazon can certainly build some impressive hardware when it puts its mind to it, but is the Fire TV quite ready for primetime? Read on for our full review.

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Kinect in focus: Xbox’s app chief talks Smart Homes & Cortana

Kinect in focus: Xbox’s app chief talks Smart Homes & Cortana

When you have a product like Kinect, so closely associated with gaming, how do you convince everybody else that they should be installing a motion-tracking camera in the home? Microsoft is looking to smart home technology and health, among other things, to do just that with Kinect for Windows v2, though a stealthy spread through Cortana and smartphones may be just as vital. We caught up with Microsoft’s Michael Mott, general manager of Xbox applications and developer relations, to find out how virtual assistants and home automation could make Kinect-tech the next must-have.

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Windows Phone 8.1 Highlights: Hands-on

Windows Phone 8.1 Highlights: Hands-on

Windows Phone 8.1's most memorable feature may be Cortana, its Halo-themed personal digital assistant, but the chatty Siri-rival isn’t the only change Microsoft has brought with the new version. Greater customization potential, better control over settings, and improved integration of Skype and third-party services are all incoming. We spent some hands-on time with Windows Phone 8.1 to find out what's special.

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Cortana hands-on: Windows Phone 8.1′s smart assistant

Cortana hands-on: Windows Phone 8.1′s smart assistant

The iPhone has Siri, Android has Google Now, and now Windows Phone has Cortana, Microsoft's new digital assistant for smartphones running Windows Phone 8.1. Launching as a beta when WP8.1 hits devices over the next few months, Cortana blends the speech-first approach of Apple's system with the contextual backbone of Google's, throwing in some location-based cleverness and a little AI snark along the way. We introduced ourselves at Build 2014.

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Microsoft Build 2014 is here: What to expect

Microsoft Build 2014 is here: What to expect

Microsoft's Build 2014 opens tomorrow, April 2nd, a chance for new CEO Satya Nadella to not only convince developers and the industry that his "mobile first, cloud first" strategy makes sense, but that Microsoft has the skills to deliver on it. After impressing with the Office for iPad launch, Nadella has a far bigger audience to preach The Windows Way to at Build, though there are plenty of balls in the air that he still needs to keep moving.

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