Microsoft brings the boom to E3 2014. Photo: Rob LeFebvre/Cult of Mac
LOS ANGELES — Microsoft has faced a perception problem ever since last year’s Electronic Entertainment Expo. At this year’s E3 media briefing, however, everything the company said, did or showed was aimed squarely at fixing things.
“We listened to you, the gamers,” said Xbox director Phil Spencer to the crowd gathered here Monday. “This year, we’re only focusing on games.”
The next 90 minutes brought a fast-paced, booming litany of games, games, games. The wristbands given to every attendee at the Galen Auditorium flashed with colored lights to complement the onscreen demos and video game trailers. The speakers filled the room with so much sound that the hairs on the sides of my head moved when the explosions happened. And there were a lot of explosions.
Congress has dropped the ball on surveillance reform, according to Tim Cook and a host of other top tech CEOs throughout the country.
In a full-page ad printed in today’s Washington Times, the tech companies tell the Senate it’s been a year since revelations on the NSA’s over reach were made known to citizens, but Congress has failed to pass a version of the USA Freedom Act that would restore the confidence of internet users.
The smartwatch race is on, and Microsoft has its own contender in the works.
Samsung’s Galaxy Gear smartwatch lineup is widely considered a dud, and many are waiting to see what Apple has up its sleeve with the iWatch. Not to be left behind, Microsoft is gunning for the fitness market with a wearable of its own that could arrive as early as this summer..
Perhaps most surprising of all is that Microsoft’s device will reportedly be platform agnostic, meaning it would work with Android and even the iPhone.
The iPad mini’s lifespan could be a snuffed out thanks to the iPhablet . Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac
Apple has a proud tradition of cannibalizing its products before someone else does, but in the case of the iPad mini, Cupertino might start eating its rotting corpse as soon as the 5.5-inch iPhablet is announced.
The latest projections from IDC claim that tablet sales are starting to level off even faster than expected with only 245.5 million units forecasted to sell in 2014 – a palty 12.1% year-over-year growth rate after tech companies just feasted on 51.8% YOY in 2013.
Universal translators are a common trope in science fiction. In The Hitchhiker’s Guide To The Galaxy, they come in the form of the babelfish, a tiny crustacean you jam in your ear. In Farscape, they are bacteria injected into your body. In Star Trek, they take a less squishy form as a wand or tiny computer pinned to your lapel.
In all incarnations, though, a universal communicator is seen as alien and futuristic. But Microsoft wants to change all that. The Washington-based company has just revealed a new real-time speech translation tool that is set to be built right into Skype, and which can translate any foreign language into English in the blink of an eye.
Instead of taking on the iPad Air’s 9.7-inch display, Microsoft is thinking even bigger with a 12-inch Surface Pro 3 that could make it the perfect competitor for Apple’s long-rumored 13-inch iPad Pro.
Like Microsoft’s other’s tablets, the Surface Pro 3, which the company revealed Tuesday morning, comes with a kickstand and a collapsible keyboard that Microsoft Surface chief Panos Panay says will remove all the conflicts you’ve had about buying a laptop or tablet, plus they’ve added a Surface Pen for seamless digital writing.
Xbox One owners just got a shot in the arm as the team behind the acclaimed Halo franchise has just revealed a new iteration in the series: Halo 5: Guardians.
Halo has always been associated with the Xbox system, reaching back to Microsoft’s original console, released in 2001. With the latest title now in sights, Halo fans will start the salivation required of the lead up to the game industry’s most popular series.
There are few companies you can trust with your private data ever since the revelations leaked by Edward Snowden shook the tech world last year, but according to the latest report from the Electronic Frontier Foundation, our iPhone-making friends in Cupertino have gone from being a privacy chump to the people’s champ in just a year.
Critics slammed Steve Jobs when he opened the first Apple Store nearly 13 years ago, but now that Apple’s retail space makes more money per square foot than Tiffany’s, everyone from Samsung to Microsoft has been trying to duplicate Apple’s success.
To see just how quickly Apple Stores have invaded the U.S., Retale created an interactive map that plots each new store opening since 2001. Each blue dot in the GIF above represents a new store opening, starting with the original Apple Store in Tysons Corner, Virginia.
254 Apple Stores now dot the country with an additional 170 outlets open internationally, but six sad states in U.S. are still waiting for their first Apple shrines to open. Check out Retale’s site for a full breakdown on when each store opened and the flagship products that brought customers into Steve’s aluminum and glass utopias.
When it comes to getting sued over U.S. patent infringements, no one gets targeted more than Apple.
A new study from legal analytics firm Lex Machina found that in 2013 Apple was the most frequent target of patent lawsuits, followed by Amazon at No. 2, as both companies came under heavy fire from a group of 10 “patent monetization entities” that were responsible for a staggering 13 percent of the 6,092 patent-infringement suits filed last year.
Here’s a breakdown of the top 10 most-sued companies: