Cortana, Siri, Google Now, meet BlackBerry Assistant
Starting soon, pretty much any smartphone you buy will come with a virtual helper. Microsoft's Windows Phone platform has Cortana, Apple's iOS software has Siri, Google's Android OS has Google Now, and beginning with BlackBerry 10.3, BlackBerry users will have BlackBerry Assistant to boss around and ask for help. BlackBerry Assistant is the Canadian handset maker's equivalent to all the others, and it will act similarly.
Psst, Rockstar Games -- release GTA V to PC already!
Hype was high leading up to the launch of Grand Theft Auto V, and just like with previous releases in the series, it launched to console first with nary a word from the developer when it would land on PC. Heck, we still don't know when GTA V will finally be ported over to Windows, though some hints have emerged. A Danish retailer recently listed GTA V shipping to PC on November 14, 2014, though now it says something different.
More affordable Windows tablets could be on the horizon
Here's a bit of potentially good news for Microsoft's hardware partners. Word on the web is that Microsoft may expand its free Windows license program to include tablets priced below $250. Up until now, tablets less than 9 inches qualified for the subsidized pricing, though unconfirmed reports suggest the program will cast a wider net in order to get more Windows-based tablets out in the wild.
The voice assistant was spot on with 15 out of 16 knockout match predictions
The quadrennial soccer extravaganza that is the FIFA World Cup just got over in Brazil, with the Germans beating the Argentinians for the title by scoring the only goal of the match in the second half of extra time. But they weren’t the tournament’s only winners. The final also saw Microsoft’s Windows Phone voice assistant Cortana cap off an overall brilliant tournament by once again correctly predicting the winner prior to kick off.
Over a year back, Adobe abandoned its pay-once, use-forever Creative Suite in favor of a subscription-based app distribution model. Despite the ensuing furor, the company’s recurring annual revenue from Creative Cloud subscriptions has grown to over $1.20 billion. That being said, the company seems willing to address some of the gripes of its over 2.4 million Creative Cloud subscribers — well, especially where Lightroom users are concerned.
Build 6.4.9788 was recently spotted in Windows Store logs
We’ve known about the Start Menu’s impending comeback for over two months now. Ever since the return of what is perhaps the most iconic Windows UI item to have been left out of Windows 8 was announced by the Redmond-based company in April, there has a been a lot of speculation about the time of its comeback. If some recent reports are to be believed, it’s more likely to come back with the Windows 9 “Threshold” update than the less significant Windows 8.1 Update 2.
Starting with AMD Catalyst 14.6 Beta, AMD is no longer support Windows 8
AMD has made available to download its new Catalyst 14.7 drivers in Release Candidate form. Be advised that if you're rocking Windows 8.0 instead of Windows 8.1, you can't use these drivers -- AMD stopped supporting Windows 8 as of its Catalyst 14.6 Beta release. For everyone else, you're good to go with this latest release, provided you're interested in RC drivers.
In some ways, you could argue that Microsoft's spinning in circles chasing its tail. So are a lot of companies during this transitional period into mobile, which is one that seemed to catch a number of tech firms off guard. Recognizing that Microsoft could benefit from some new blood, former CEO Steve Ballmer voluntarily stepped down and eventually handed the reins to Satya Nadella. So, what does the future hold? Nadella issued an open email to employees calling for a return to Microsoft's core.
A virtual high-five is in order for Double Fine Productions, which confirmed via Twitter and on its website that Manuel "Manny" Calavera and the rest of the gang from Grim Fandango will appear on the PC in remastered form. The remade classic will also launch to Mac and Linux, along with console exclusives PlayStation 4 and Vita. It was announced back in June that Grim Fandango would launch to Sony's game console and handheld, but until now, it was only rumored that PC platforms would also be in the mix.
The latest free game as part of a five week, five million Steam key giveaway
Hey, we're all sitting on a mountain of unplayed Steam games purchased through various sales, yet we can't help but add to our libraries when the deals are too good to pass up. That usually means a significant discount as part of some super summer holiday sale bonanza, but even better is what our sister sister PC Gamer is doing. In collaboration with Bundle Stars, PC Gamer is giving away five million Steam keys through a five week period. We're now in week 3, which means there are a million Steam keys for Really Big Sky up for grabs.