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QPAD Announces DX-20 Ambidextrous Gaming Mouse

QPAD's DX-20, the company's latest mouse, breaks new ground in more ways than one. The DX-20 is the first new mouse shape from QPAD in seven years. Equally important, it's an multi-surface mouse, meaning you can use it on more surfaces than any previous optical gaming mouse.

With an improved design inspired by the legendary Microsoft Intellimouse 1.1, the new DX-20's sensor features game-critical zero-mouse acceleration, precisely matching 1:1 movement between your mouse and the movement on the screen. This gives gamers the confidence that they have the most up-to-date gaming tool available on the market. The feeling of movement that the new sensor in the DX-20 provides gamers is awesome - shades of the legendary Intellimouse family.

Microsoft Gives Windows 10 a Major Performance Boost

Microsoft released its first major update to Windows 10, with its centerpiece being a performance boost specific to the OS. Redmond claims that with this update, Windows 10 will be up to 30 percent quicker to start-up than Windows 7, and will have higher "performance in everyday tasks." The company also updated Cortana, its voice-assistant, to take inputs from your device's pen. Now you can simply scribble something in Cortanta's notebook, and it will recognize the information, such as phone numbers, e-mail addresses, physical/postal addresses; event and movie bookings; etc. Windows 10 is available for free to current users of Windows 7 and Windows 8.1.

Source: Microsoft

DirectX 12 Mixed Multi-GPU: It Works, For Now

One of biggest features of DirectX 12 is its asymmetric multi-GPU that lets you mix and match GPUs from across brands, as long as they support a consistent feature-level (Direct3D 12_0, in case of "Ashes of the Singularity"). It's not enough that you have two DirectX 12 GPUs, you need DirectX 12 applications to make use of your contraption. Don't expect your older DirectX 11 games to run faster with a DirectX 12 mixed multi-GPU. Anandtech put Microsoft's claims to the test by building a multi-GPU setup using a Radeon R9 Fury X, and a GeForce GTX 980 Ti. Some interesting conclusions were drawn.

To begin with, yes, alternate-frame rendering, the most common multi-GPU method, works. There were genuine >50% performance uplifts, but nowhere of the kind you could expect from proprietary multi-GPU configurations such as SLI or CrossFire. Second, what card you use as the primary card, impacts performance. Anandtech found a configuration in which the R9 Fury X was primary (i.e. the display plugged to it), and the GTX 980 Ti secondary, to be slightly faster than a configuration in which the GTX 980 Ti was the primary card. Mixing and matching different GPUs from the same vendor (eg: a GTX 980 Ti and a GTX TITAN X) also works. The best part? Anandtech found no stability issues in mix-matching an R9 Fury X and a GTX 980 Ti. It also remains to be seen how long this industry-standard utopia lasts, and whether GPU vendors find it at odds with their commercial interests. Multi-GPU optimization is something both AMD and NVIDIA spend a lot of resources on. It remains to be seen how much of those resources they'll be willing to put on a standardized multi-GPU tech, and away from their own SLI/CrossFire fiefdoms. Read the insightful article from the source link below.

Source: AnandTech

Microsoft Announces the Surface Book

Microsoft announced its very first laptop, the Surface Book. It's Microsoft's imagining of the Surface with the strengths of a proper laptop. Microsoft claims at weight-by-weight, this is the most powerful 13-inch class laptop ever made. What sets it apart from other performance laptops in its class is that it's a convertible. You can detach the top half from the bottom, and use it like a large Surface tablet; or you could dock it with its base in either direction, and get the advantage of a proper mechanical keyboard, a multi-touch trackpad, additional battery (up to 12 hours), and additional connections.

The two halves join at a curious looking spinal joint, and an electric muscle joint that senses when you're trying to detach the two halves, and makes the process effortless. When it senses that you aren't trying to take them apart, it lends enough grip to let you lift both halves by holding one of them. The top half features a 13.5-inch display with a high-precision multi-touch touchscreen that's primed for Microsoft Pen (a smart stylus with 1024 pressure levels and high drawing resolution); with 267 ppi display resolution. Both halves are made out of milled aluminium, and are about 7.5 mm thick, each. Most of the hardware is located in the top half, while most of the battery is located in the bottom one. Microsoft has taken advantage of modern connectivity such as 4G LTE, 802.11 ac WLAN, USB 3.0 type-C, SDXC, and more.

Microsoft Acquires Havok Physics from Intel

Microsoft acquired Havok Physics, the industry's most popular in-game physics API, from Intel. Microsoft intends to add Havok's IP to its existing tools and platforms, including DirectX 12, Visual Studio, and Azure. Havok will continue to remain accessible to all its existing licensees and partners, including Activision, EA, Ubisoft, Nintendo, and Sony. It currently features in more than 600 AAA game titles across major platforms, such as the PC, PlayStation, Wii, and Xbox.

Source: Microsoft

Microsoft and ASUS Broaden Patent Licensing Engagement

Microsoft Corp. and ASUSTeK Computer Inc. (ASUS) on Thursday announced the expansion of an earlier patent licensing agreement between the companies. The deal includes a broad cross-license covering, for example, ASUS Android-based phones and tablets and Microsoft software, devices and services. It paves the way for closer integration between the two companies, including pre-installation by ASUS of Microsoft Office productivity services on ASUS Android smartphones and tablets. The agreement also facilitates technology sharing toward the development of new, innovative product solutions.

"This agreement delivers significant value for both companies. Beyond ensuring continued improvements to our products, it opens the door to the kind of collaboration between Microsoft and ASUS made possible only through mutual respect and alignment on intellectual property," said Nick Psyhogeos, president of Microsoft Technology Licensing LLC. ASUS General Counsel Vincent Hong said, "This agreement will give us both a greater ability to innovate for our customers. We see it leading to broad partnership opportunities for future technologies and a strengthened relationship between our two companies as leaders of the technology industry."

NVIDIA GPUs to Accelerate Microsoft Azure

NVIDIA today announced that Microsoft will offer NVIDIA GPU-enabled professional graphics applications and accelerated computing capabilities to customers worldwide through its cloud platform, Microsoft Azure. Deploying the latest version of NVIDIA GRID in its new N-Series virtual machine offering, Azure is the first cloud computing platform to provide NVIDIA GRID 2.0 virtualized graphics for enterprise customers.

For the first time, businesses will have the ability to deploy NVIDIA Quadro-grade professional graphics applications and accelerated computing on-premises, in the cloud through Azure, or via a hybrid of the two using both Windows and Linux virtual machines. Azure will also offer customers supercomputing-class performance, with the addition of the NVIDIA Tesla Accelerated Computing Platform's flagship Tesla K80 GPU accelerators, for the most computationally demanding data center and high performance computing (HPC) applications.

LG Electronics Makes Laptop Debut In U.S. With Windows 10 'Gram' Series

LG Electronics USA announced a U.S. market first: the launch of LG's line of premium lightweight laptops - LG gram series. LG gram laptops are available now at Microsoft stores across the country as well as online at Microsoft Store and Amazon. Named the LG gram as a nod to the devices' extremely light weight, the line is perfect for the everyday user looking for a high-performance laptop that is portability and durable with a sleek, modern design.

In fact, the LG gram 14 is among the lightest laptops in the 14-inch category, weighing only 2.16 pounds - less than the MacBook Air. In addition, the body is made of carbon-lithium and carbon-magnesium, the same materials found in spacecraft and race cars, giving the LG gram 14 an exceptionally strong rugged framework that stands up to everyday life while remaining lightweight. Finally, at just a half-inch thin, the LG gram 14 can be packed up and taken anywhere easily.

New ThinkPad YOGA and ThinkCentre Tiny Transform Business Computing

Lenovo, the world leader in convertible notebooks and traditional commercial desktops, today announced a broad redesign of its ThinkPad YOGA and ThinkCentre portfolios. A recent Lenovo survey of more than 6,000 businesses suggested that security, mobility and reliability were amongst the top pain points today and more than a quarter plan to introduce convertible devices. The latest generation of thinner and lighter ThinkPad YOGA 260 and 460 convertibles and faster than ever ThinkCentre desktops have been designed to provide customers with solutions to their critical needs.

Data from the Lenovo survey showed that 53% of employees work from home at least some of the time, 61% are required to travel for business and 46% are aged between 18 and 34 years. These progressive customers are the emerging workforce and decision makers of tomorrow and actively seek leading edge technology to maintain a competitive edge. They need truly reliable and mobile devices with no compromise on performance.

Toshiba Announces World's First 12.5-Inch 4K Ultra HD Convertible Laptop

Toshiba's Digital Products Division (DPD), a division of Toshiba America Information Systems, Inc., today announced the Satellite Radius 12, a compact 2-in-1 laptop designed with expert technologies to best meet the performance demands of today and tomorrow. The world's first 12.5-inch convertible laptop with a 4K Ultra HD display, the Satellite Radius 12 features top-of-the-line screen and sound quality, a sleek, lightweight design and 6th Gen Intel Core processors that deliver maximum mobile performance and excellent battery life.

"Through our deep relationships with our partners at Microsoft, Intel and Technicolor we have designed a top-of-line compact PC that delivers the new gold standard in screen, sound and performance for an unmatched computing experience on Windows 10," said Philip Osako, senior director of product marketing, Toshiba America Information Systems, Inc., Digital Products Division. "The Satellite Radius 12 expertly blends the latest technology into an extremely powerful, yet compact and easy-to-carry PC that is not only versatile, but durable enough to handle a highly mobile lifestyle."

NVIDIA Ships Over 75% of Discrete GPUs in Q2-2015

Mercury Research published its market analysis for PC Graphics, for the second quarter of 2015 (April-June), this is an important quarter as this is when people tend to buy or upgrade their PCs for the summer break. According to the numbers posted by Mercury Research, NVIDIA hit a new record in discrete GPU market share. In the assessment period, 76.4 percent of desktop discrete GPUs were NVIDIA, up from 63.8 percent in Q2-2014. AMD, the only other desktop discrete GPU maker, saw its share drop to 23.6 percent.

The mobile discrete GPU figures were slightly better for AMD, with the company making up 34.6 percent, slightly up from 33.2 percent in Q2-2014. NVIDIA slipped proportionately down to 65.4 percent, from 66.8 percent in Q2-2014. When being a "discrete" GPU is no longer a criteria, and Intel is added to the mix, i.e. every CPU with graphics Intel sold, and every APU AMD sold (including the ones it sold to Microsoft and Sony), NVIDIA makes up 15.7 percent, AMD 14 percent, and Intel a whopping 70.1 percent. The big-picture isn't looking good. PC graphics shipments declined by 8 percent over the quarter, and down 21 percent from the same time last year. This is the worst on-year decline since the 2008 Financial Crisis.

Source: Mercury Research

License Agreement Confusion Causes Misinformation over Windows 10 Overreach

Over the last weekend there's been quite some misinformation doing the rounds, stating that a license agreement you agreed to before upgrading to Windows 10, allows Microsoft to remotely disable pirated software (eg: games, apps). This may have caused fence-sitters on the Windows 10 upgrade to decide to stay on older platforms, and for some to even revert to their older Windows 7 installations. It turns out, that the situation has been grossly misread.

Microsoft Services EULA is the one which states that Microsoft may "prevent you from accessing the Services, playing counterfeit games, or using unauthorized hardware peripheral devices," however, this is not the license that governs your Windows installation. It only pertains to "Microsoft Services" (Windows Store content, Xbox Live, live tiles, etc.) The license governing Windows is the MSLT (Microsoft Software License Terms), and so there won't be a case of Microsoft reaching out to disable pirated software from running on Windows.Source: Windows Central

Seagate Announces Game Drive for Xbox One and Xbox 360

Seagate Technology plc, a world leader in storage solutions, today announced at Gamescom the new 2TB Game Drive for Xbox, the result of a strategic marketing relationship with Microsoft. This new external drive is designed to complement the Xbox color scheme and is set up for an easy plug-and-play connection with an Xbox One or Xbox 360 gaming console.

"With all of the new and amazing titles expected for this holiday season and a ton more games coming in the future, Xbox gamers will need even more storage and portability," said Matt Kesselring, business development manager for Microsoft's designed for Xbox partner program. "Microsoft is privileged to be working with Seagate as our trusted partner for this important designed for Xbox peripheral."

AMD Announces Catalyst 15.7.1 WHQL Drivers

AMD announced its latest Catalyst Software Suite following Microsoft Windows 10 launch, Catalyst 15.7.1 WHQL. It adds DirectX 12 (feature level 12_0) support for all Radeon GPUs based on the Graphics CoreNext architecture, including the first-gen GCN chips, such as the HD 7000 series. To compatible GPUs, the driver enables Virtual Super-Resolution (VSR), Frame Rate Target Control (FRTC), and FreeSync (including FreeSync with CrossFire). It addresses a number of bugs specific to Windows 10.

DOWNLOAD: AMD Catalyst 15.7.1 WHQL for Windows 10 64-bit | Windows 10 32-bit | Windows 8.1 64-bit | Windows 8.1 32-bit | Windows 7 64-bit | Windows 7 32-bit

Windows 10 Upgrade Begins Rolling Out in Waves

Microsoft began rolling out of the Windows 10 upgrade to existing users of Windows 8.1 and Windows 7. The upgrade process is handled by a "reservation system," which lets you tell Microsoft in advance that you intend to upgrade, using the Get Windows 10 (GWX) app that's been sticking out in your system-tray over the past month, which looks like the Windows logo. Once "reserved," Windows slowly fetches installation files of Windows 10, and stores them into a temporary directory. When all the installation files and drivers specific to your hardware have been downloaded, the app notifies you that the upgrade can begin at your command.

The upgrade process itself is zero-intervention, and happens much like an iOS or Android OTA upgrade. Once it's installed, you get to customize a handful things, and then you're done. GWX may notify you that your upgrade is ready to begin any time today. If you've not reserved your upgrade, you can still do so, but you may not get to upgrade just yet, maybe over the next "few weeks or months," according to Microsoft. With an estimated 350 million installations queued up for the upgrade, GWX will not be able to fetch the installation files and drivers by maxing out your Internet bandwidth. It will take its own time, as Microsoft servers shed their bandwidth load.

There doesn't appear to be a strict correlation between reservation and upgrade availability. For example, we reserved upgrades for two of our PCs around the same time. The PC with the simpler hardware, programs, and settings, finished with the upgrade, while another one is still queued up. Microsoft will formally launch Windows 10 in media events spread around the world.

Dell Starts Shipping Windows 10 Devices

Dell customers will be among the first to experience Windows 10, Microsoft's best operating system yet, when it launches tomorrow. For those who purchased Windows 10-based devices during Dell's pre-sale period, systems will start shipping today with free next-business-day delivery. Today, nearly 70 configurations of laptops and 2-in-1s and desktops and all-in-ones featuring Windows 10 are available on and 51 Dell systems will be available from leading retailers beginning tomorrow.

Whether buying a new Dell device or upgrading an existing PC, Dell makes it quick and easy to get the most from Windows 10 features, such as support for secure sign-on through integrated Intel RealSense cameras and unprecedented touch capabilities on select Dell screens. Unique to the Dell experience, proactive service and support options including ProSupport Plus and Premium Support keep commercial and consumer customers up and running easily while maintaining the health of their systems.

Microsoft Releases FY15 Q4 Results

Microsoft Corp. today announced that revenues for the quarter ended June 30, 2015 were $22.2 billion. Gross margin, operating loss, and loss per share for the quarter were $14.7 billion, $(2.1) billion, and $(0.40) per share, respectively.

These results include the impact of a $7.5 billion non-cash impairment charge related to assets associated with the acquisition of the Nokia Devices and Services (NDS) business, in addition to a restructuring charge of $780 million. There was also a charge of $160 million related to the previously announced integration and restructuring plan. Combined, these items totaled $8.4 billion or a $1.02 per share negative impact. Excluding this impact, operating income and EPS would have been $6.4 billion and $0.62, respectively. During the quarter, Microsoft returned $6.7 billion to shareholders in the form of share repurchases and dividends.

The following table reconciles these financial results reported in accordance with generally accepted accounting principles ("GAAP") to Non-GAAP financial results. Microsoft has provided this Non-GAAP financial information to aid investors in better understanding the company's performance. All growth comparisons relate to the corresponding period in the last fiscal year.

Windows 10 Attains RTM Status

Microsoft's ambitious next-generation operating system, Windows 10, has attained RTM (release to market) status. This marks the official end of product development, and the beginning of its distribution. Windows 10 RTM (build 10240) is that version which will be transmitted to PC OEM partners (to pre-install on their new notebooks and desktops), physical media manufacturers, and to the team handling GWX (Get Windows 10), the tool that upgrades existing eligible Windows 7 and Windows 8.1 installations to their applicable variants of the new OS. Microsoft will officially launch Windows 10 on 29th July, 2015.

Microsoft to Celebrate Windows 10 Launch Around the World on July 29

On Monday, Microsoft Corp. announced its plans to launch Windows 10 on July 29 with global fan celebrations, joint efforts with thousands of retailers, including all Microsoft store locations, a new global advertising campaign, and a new year-long initiative to celebrate people and organizations making a difference around the world. Available for the first time as a free upgrade, Windows 10 delivers a fast and familiar experience that is more secure and automatically up-to-date. Featuring new innovations like Cortana, Microsoft Edge and Xbox integration, Windows 10 is the best Windows ever.

"Windows 10 was built to empower people to do great things. We are thrilled to celebrate the launch of Windows 10 with our fans," said Yusuf Mehdi, corporate vice president of Windows and Devices Marketing at Microsoft. "We'll mark the launch of Windows 10 by celebrating the people and organizations that upgrade the world every day - and by helping them do more in their communities."

Windows fans have helped shape Windows 10, with 5 million Windows Insiders providing valuable feedback. The Windows Insiders will be the first to receive Windows 10 and are invited to join Windows 10 fan celebrations in 13 cities around the world, including Sydney, Tokyo, Singapore, Beijing, New Delhi, Dubai, Nairobi, Berlin, Johannesburg, Madrid, London, Sao Paolo, and New York City. Fan celebrations will offer hands-on opportunities, experiential demos, entertainment and opportunities to meet the Windows team.

Windows 10 Retail Box-art Revealed

Here are some of the first renders of what the retail channel packages of Windows 10 could look like. Microsoft plans to sell packages with physical DVDs in markets with slow Internet connections (the first two renders), in others, the company will sell slimmer envelope-type package (the last two renders) that lacks physical media, and include only a plastic card with a key printed on it. You can download the install image for your edition, and create a bootable USB flash drive that can be used as an installation media.

Given that over 300 million current users of Windows 7 and Windows 8.1 are expected to avail the free upgrade to Windows 10, which entails a web-based update; and given the amount of people buying licenses on the web, Windows 10 could very well be the last version of Windows that's sold in physical packages, at ground stores. Speculation is also rife that Microsoft could fundamentally change its version numbering scheme and upgrade model, which could mean no more future major versions, and possible subscription models to get software updates. Windows 10 will release on July 29, 2015.


E Fun Announces Nextbook Flexx 10

Summer is finally here; the sun is out, school is no longer in session and many families take the opportunity to take a vacation. Don't get stuck inside on a large laptop or desktop, make the most of your summer with a new portable Nextbook Flexx 10 from E FUN. Larger than a smartphone, yet smaller than a computer, this versatile 2-in-1 tablet makes the perfect travel companion for the entire family this summer. The Nextbook Flexx 10 is available now for under $200.

At 10.1", this Windows 2-in-1 is the perfect size to bring on vacation, so you can conveniently watch movies, play games, listen to music and surf the web on any flight or car ride. And with a 16:10 aspect ratio, you still get the high definition you've grown accustomed to. For those that want to be productive while traveling, the Nextbook Flexx 10 comes with a full-sized detachable keyboard, perfect for getting work done wherever your summer travels take you.

D-Link Announces the DNS-340L NAS Server

D-Link today announced immediate availability of its new ShareCenter + 4-Bay Cloud Network Storage Enclosure (DNS-340L). Designed to provide features offered in both business and consumer storage arrays, the DNS-340L is an ideal solution for SMBs seeking a cost-effective iSCSI target for their video-surveillance projects and storage requirements.

Powered by the latest generation 1.2GHz CPU and 512MB RAM, the new Unified Storage Enclosure delivers high performance with low power consumption. The storage solution integrates a rich feature set which can act as a small multi-functional server to support applications such as media and print serving, FTP, web server, download and backup center, photo and audio center, surveillance, and more with an affordable price.

Windows 10 Release Date Announced

Microsoft Windows 10 will launch on the 29th of July, 2015. This is when existing users of Windows 7 and Windows 8.1 will be able to upgrade to their applicable variant of Windows 10 for free; PC makers ship desktops and notebooks with the OS pre-installed; and when you will be able to buy Windows 10 copies off the shelf.

Microsoft is expecting at least 350 million users of Windows 7 and Windows 8.1 to freely upgrade to Windows 10 by the end of the year, many of which could upgrade on day-one, clogging Microsoft Update. To mitigate that, Microsoft launched a "reservation" system. Current users of Windows 7 and Windows 8.1, woke up to a curious Windows logo in their system-tray, which launches a tiny app that lets you "reserve" your upgrade (a position in the queue to upgrade). When your time comes, Windows will fetch the Windows 10 upgrade image from Microsoft Update. The actual upgrade process will be similar to that of Windows 7 to Windows 8. You can choose a clean install, or upgrade over an existing installation. Once installed, your Windows 10 license is tied to the machine forever.

Microsoft Selects Dolby Audio for Windows 10

Dolby Laboratories, Inc. and Microsoft Corporation announced today that Dolby Audio is selected to be a part of the Microsoft Windows 10 operating system and will be natively supported by the new Microsoft Edge browser for the playback of web-based content as well as accessible by third-party Windows Store apps. Users of Microsoft Windows 10 PCs and tablets will enjoy Dolby quality audio experiences through Windows entertainment apps and through Microsoft Edge.

Dolby Audio (supporting Dolby Digital Plus) will be available in x86 Windows 10 PCs and tablets for playback of movies, TV shows, and videos with crisp, clear dialogue and greater detail of sounds. Windows 7 and 8 users may upgrade to Windows 10 for free and continue to experience Dolby quality audio consistently across headphones, built-in PC and tablet speakers, or connected home theater systems. Microsoft Edge will be the first browser to leverage the Dolby Digital Plus decoder on the Windows 10 operating system, enabling online content providers to enrich the entertainment experiences of millions of Internet users globally with Dolby Audio.

"We are excited about the collaboration and partnership with Microsoft and share in the commitment to providing the best entertainment experiences possible to consumers across a wide range of devices in the Windows 10 ecosystem," said John Couling, Senior Vice President, E-Media Business Group, Dolby Laboratories. "With the launch of Windows 10 and Microsoft Edge in nearly 200 countries, Dolby and Microsoft will enable better user experiences with high-quality audio that is robust, consistent, and at a scale necessary for the large Windows ecosystem."
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