2012 is set to come to a close in just a few hours, and we are just in time with our annual top 10 list of the most-watched Gear Live video episodes. Over the past year, as expected, there was a bunch of Apple gear that made the list, and it's dominated by smartphones and tablets, with the exception of two Monster headphones, a look at the Boeing 787, and a USB 3.0 hard drive.
If you're not familiar with the SmartGlass second-screen app for Microsoft's Xbox 360, it is an app that seeks to improve user viewing experience by connecting the 360 console to smartphones and tablets. Sports fans might be in for a new reason to download the app if they haven't already, as Microsoft is bringing SmartGlass functionality to it's ESPN and NBA Game Time apps, as well as a new Sports Picks app.
From the SmartGlass app for iOS, Android, and Windows, you will be able to navigate the content from the apps directly from the tablet or smartphone. SmartGlass also brings more interaction to the viewing experience, such as allowing competition between friends to see who is most knowledgeable about whatever they're watching, with the chance to be featured in a global leader board.
Consumer Reports thinks that, for the time being, you're better off sticking with Windows 7 and waiting on Windows 8. The consumer ratings publication provides pros and (mostly) cons of Windows operating systems, and ultimately comes to the conclusion that updating to Windows 8 is not worth the upgrade at its current state. Windows 8 has received mostly lackluster reviews from technology internet sites. Most of them being flummoxed as to what went into the decision-making at Microsoft. Still, according to Microsoft, Windows 8 is selling faster than when Windows 7 launched; but there's a question as to where these numbers came from. Here's an excerpt:
"A quick look at our newest computer Ratings tells an interesting story: Despite the release of the new Windows 8 OS, many Windows 7 computers are still available from a variety of retailers, and several top our Ratings. If you're shopping for a new computer right now, there are some good reasons to opt for Windows 7." - Consumer Reports
Read More | Consumer Reports
There’s no question that it’s been a momentous year at Microsoft. The company introduced the world to Windows 8 and Windows Phone 8, announced its family of Surface PCs, showcased a new version of Microsoft Office and released “Halo 4,” keeping up a steady rhythm of advancements across its most popular products for individuals and businesses throughout the year. - Microsoft
Read More | Microsoft
A new update for Windows Phone 8's Facebook app doesn't bring new features, but does make the app a lot faster and more responsive. Similar to the recent Facebook app updates on Android and iOS, this one focuses on the general performance of the app, and eliminates the lag from the older version.
Windows Phone 7 devices, however, aren't capable of running the new update. UK users will assuredly find the Facebook version 4.1 update in the UK Windows Phone Marketplace, but its not quite available in all markets yet.
Read More | Windows Phone
We trust Google with a lot of things: we trust that it will be there for us when our memory fails and that it will find the best information for us. Can we trust it to predict the future for us too? Well, the future of consumer electronics at least.
Based on Google Trends searches, Microsoft's next generation system is poised to take down Sony's next Playstation console. Google Trends previously held the data that showed the winner of the high-def DVD race, as Blu-ray yielded more search results than HD DVD films. This time, news site Ludos Mundi used Google Trends to discover whose winning the next-gen popularity contest, and found users search "Xbox 720" about 60 percent of the time, compared to searches for "PS4" that occur 40 percent of the time.
You can use Google Trends yourself to see the data. Simply compare "Xbox 720" and "PS4" using the Forecast feature.
We gave you a look at the Microsoft Surface Touch Cover in our last video, and now we are here to show you the Type Cover. Both are keyboard covers for Microsoft's Windows RT tablet, but the Type Cover features real mechanical keys. This means that it's more like a traditional keyboard than the Touch Cover...but it's also thicker as a result. Check out the video for our review of the Type Cover in this episode, and if you'd like one, you can pick up a Type Cover for $129.
Be sure to also check out our full Microsoft Surface review!
We give you a look at the Microsoft Surface Touch Cover, the keyboard accessory for Microsoft's tablet, in this episode of Bleeding Edge TV. The Touch Cover offers a pressure-sensitive touch typing experience for the Surface, making it a super-thin, convenient way to type when using the tablet in kickstand mode with Windows RT. We give you a look at all the different colors available for the Touch Cover, attaching each to the Surface to give you a little bit of a fashion show, and review the overall functionality with a demo.
You can pick up the Touch Cover for $119.
If the Surface with Windows RT isnt sporting the power and flexibility you need (check our Microsoft Surface review,) then the Surface with Windows 8 Pro would be more your jam, and Microsoft has finally announced pricing for the beefed up slate. Surface with Windows 8 Pro will be available in early 2013 (read: at least 3 months later than it should have been release) in two configurations: a 64GB standalone version priced at $899 and a 128 GB standalone version priced at $999. Both models will include a Surface pen with Palm Block technology.
What do you think? Have you been holding out for the Surface Pro? How does that price range hit you?
Read More | Microsoft Blog
The Xbox Community Ambassador campaign now has five more tier levels added to it, which include awards ranging from free Avatar swag to the Xbox Live gamer spotlight. The Xbox Community Ambassador program rewards Xbox Live members who assist other members through chat or the forum, acting as a reputation system that awards XP that can be redeemed.
The new tiers are listed below:
- Level 11, gold star avatar t-shirt.
- Level 12, gold star avatar hat and 10 tickets for periodic ambassador sweepstakes.
- Level 13, gamer spotlight, ilomilo on Xbox Live Arcade.
- Level 14, one month Xbox Live subscription and 10 ambassador sweepstakes tickets.
- Level 15, avatar spacesuit, 800 Microsoft Points.
If you're interested in becoming an ambassaor, you can apply here.
Read More | Xbox Community Ambassadors
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