Features

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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SlashGear’s April Fools’ 2014 round-up

SlashGear’s April Fools’ 2014 round-up

It’s the most nerve-racking day of the year for a technology publication editor. April Fools’ Day 2014, a day in which every story must be triple-checked (rather than just double-checked) for authenticity. This year we’re seeing not only jokes played on the public, but awkward copies of jokes made between companies, as well.

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Forget CarPlay: Here’s NVIDIA’s plan to power your next car

Forget CarPlay: Here’s NVIDIA’s plan to power your next car

NVIDIA is no stranger to car dashboards, with the company’s Tegra chips already powering Tesla’s Model S infotainment and the system found in the new Audi A3, but the company has even bigger ambitions for Tegra K1. The chip company brought its Automotive team along to GTC 2014 this past week to show off the heavily-customized Jeep its been working on as a showcase for its vision of the future of mobility tech, and we grabbed some time at the helm to see how it works.

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Office for iPad Keyboard Case review round-up

Office for iPad Keyboard Case review round-up

Office for iPad has arrived, but while there's little question now that tablets can be used for productivity, sometimes it takes a real keyboard to get proper work done. Thankfully even before Office's much-anticipated release, Bluetooth keyboard cases for the iPad Air and iPad mini have proliferated. Head on past the cut as we look at the best from Zagg, Logitech, Belkin, and Microsoft.

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