Windows

Video: ‘Project Astoria’, Microsoft’s Android app porting tool, at work

Video: ‘Project Astoria’, Microsoft’s Android app porting tool, at work

Microsoft’s Project Astoria, their system for taking existing Android app code and running it inside windows, is both exciting and troubling. On one hand, it satisfies the ‘write once deploy everywhere’ strategy that makes a Developer’s life easier. On the other hand, these apps aren’t really native for the platform, which has us wondering about things like performance. Also, how easy is it for Developers to move an app over? Now we know; Microsoft has created a simple video outlining Project Astoria’s strengths, and I have to say — I’m intrigued.

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HoloLens hands-on: Building for Windows Holographic

HoloLens hands-on: Building for Windows Holographic

Back in January, HoloLens was a Frankenstein’s monster of a headset. In fact, the eyepiece itself was only part of the test rig: the rest was conspicuously tethered to it with a physical cable hooked up to a Windows 10 PC. To say there’s been a dramatic shift in hardware in the ninety days or so since then is an understatement. Microsoft brought a fleet of HoloLens prototypes to BUILD 2015, each of them a standalone computer, eyepiece, sensor rig, and spatial sound system all integrated into a single headset, and offered me the opportunity to see what creating a Windows Holographic experience was like.

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Windows 8: what Microsoft did right and what went wrong

Windows 8: what Microsoft did right and what went wrong

Windows 10 is coming really soon. If AMD is to be believed, that is happening around July. Given this upcoming version of Windows is set to fix a number of complaints about Windows 8, it's release will surely call to mind some its predecessor's shortcomings. But for all the warts that Windows 8 had, it wasn't completely a failure in all aspects and even laid the foundations of many features and mindsets still present in Windows 10 and elsewhere. Here we take a look at 5 of the things Windows 8 could have gotten right and also how they failed to reach the mark.

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Microsoft’s iOS, Android app porting tools now open

Microsoft’s iOS, Android app porting tools now open

Developers can now start porting their Android and iOS apps to Windows, if they dare. Yesterday, Microsoft announced a suspiciously easy tool that allows Developers to port their iOS and Android apps to the Windows platform. On stage, Microsoft demoed an Android app running on a Windows Phone like it was made for the platform. Now, Project Islandwood (iOS) and Project Astoria (Android) are open for business. They are, of course, in a “limited preview”, so don’t expect too much just yet.

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Surface Pro 4 reveal tipped for mid-May

Surface Pro 4 reveal tipped for mid-May

This morning we've gotten word from an anonymous source that the Surface Pro 4 will be revealed at a special Microsoft event in mid-May. This follows with last year's announcement of the Surface Pro 3, having taken place on May 20th, 2014. When we got our first Surface Pro 3 hands-on back then, the device seemed like the bees knees in detachable-keyboard Windows computing. Now just one year later we're itching for the next generation. Especially considering the short amount of time between the Surface Pro 2 and 3.

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Microsoft BUILD 2015 Day 1 Wrap-up: Windows 10 cross-device functionality

Microsoft BUILD 2015 Day 1 Wrap-up: Windows 10 cross-device functionality

This morning Microsoft revealed a new hand of cards at BUILD 2015, a set of announcements that place Windows 10 squarely at the center of their play for all screens. All screens, that is to say, and all connections between screens. One major example of this connectivity is in Continuum, a system that allows your Windows 10 operating system to convert its user interface for all manner of different devices. Your phone is now your desktop, and your display is now just that - the place where your Windows 10 is shown in a large space.

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Microsoft HoloLens hardware: No Connections Required

Microsoft HoloLens hardware: No Connections Required

This week at BUILD 2015, Microsoft is running down what may very well be the final hardware for their holographic headset, Microsoft HoloLens. This device, they reiterate and assure us, needs no wires, no external cameras, no smartphones, and no connectivity to a PC. "People used to say computers today can do enough," said Microsoft's Alex Kipman, "[but] what are we going to do with all this extra computing power? We are going to start using this power specifically to help us understand humans and the world around us."

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This is Windows Holographic on HoloLens (and it looks insane)

This is Windows Holographic on HoloLens (and it looks insane)

Microsoft dropped jaws when it revealed HoloLens back in January, but today it showed how Windows Holographic will embed the augmented reality headset into homes, offices, and schools. HoloLens will run universal Windows 10 and project them into the real world around people, whether that be a virtual picture frame on the wall next to a virtual TV screen for video, or even a digital dog. Meanwhile, businesses are already looking at how to bring HoloLens holograms into their workflow.

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Windows 10 Continuum turns your phone into a PC

Windows 10 Continuum turns your phone into a PC

When you plug your Windows 10 smartphone into a large display in the near future, you'll have a full desktop in front of you. This system goes by the name Windows 10 Continuum - for phones. This system connects your phone to a display larger than your phone's built-in display and has you connect to devices like wireless keyboards and mice to control a desktop user interface just like you would any far larger PC. It almost seems to good to be true.

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Windows Spotlight could pester you to dig into Windows 10

Windows Spotlight could pester you to dig into Windows 10

Getting users to figure out exactly what their computers, tablets, and smartphones are capable of is easier said than done, but Microsoft is hoping a more engaging lock screen will help on Windows 10. Joe Belfiore, corporate VP of Microsoft's operating systems group, introduced Windows Spotlight at BUILD 2015 today, a way for little-used features to highlight themselves, along with Cortana and even third-party applications.

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