If you've heard of Games for Windows Live (GFWL), then you're probably familiar with some of its troubles. The difficulties some users had with fundamental things like logging in and updating the GFWL could produce some epic tales of woe. GFWL was deactivated last year, and with it went its online matchmaking system, meaning that games that used this service to create multiplayer sessions either no longer had multiplayer or had to plug into something else, such as SteamWorks. With the next big version of Windows coming out this year, Microsoft wants to give it another shot, and thankfully their using a different set of tools and also introducing some interesting new features. We sat down for a lecture on the subject, conducted by Microsoft engineers Vijay Gajjala and Brian Tyler.
It took nearly three days for the service to stagger back to its feet
Hacker group Lizard Squad took down both Microsoft and Sony’s online gaming networks on Christmas Day with denial-of-service (DDoS) attacks that continued into the wee hours of Friday, December 26, 2014. (The attacks supposedly came to an end when the hackers agreed to Kim Dotcom’s offer of 3,000 free vouchers for premium Mega accounts in exchange for stopping the DDoS campaign). While Microsoft was able to get its Xbox Live service back up and running on Friday itself, Sony’s PlayStation Network (PSN), for some inexplicable reason, continued to remain offline for over two days after the DDoS campaign against it came to a halt.
Just ahead of the holidays, Microsoft today unveiled its new Work & Play Bundle, a collection of four premium consumer services packaged up and offered together for $199 per year. Specifically, The Work & Play Bundle includes subscriptions to Office 365 Home, Xbox Live Gold, Xbox Music Pass, and Skype Unlimited World + Wi-Fi, plus associated goodies like 1TB of OneDrive online storage (comes with Office 365 Home).
Managed to log in to dad’s account with simple trick
Each month, the Microsoft Security Response Center publishes a list of security researchers to whom it is thankful for privately disclosing bugs in its online services and, often, working with it to fix them. On the surface, the latest list may not seem too different from the previous ones, but that’s only until you realize that one of the over three dozen security researchers on it is actually a five-year-old kid.
E.T. The Extra Terrestrial for the Atari 2600 is widely considered the worst video game of all time, and legend has it that it was so bad, millions of unsold copies ended up being buried in a small town in New Mexico. Whether or not that's true, Microsoft Studios aims to find out in the first episode of a new documentary series that will debut exclusively on Xbox in 2014, the company announced in a blog post.
Gamers have been eagerly anticipating the launch of Microsoft's next generation Xbox console, and today they finally got what they've been waiting for. Microsoft's next console, previously referred to as Durango and Xbox 720, was introduced to the world as Xbox One, a name that underscores Microsoft's intent to rule the living room with an all-in-one entertainment system that's equally adept at playing games as it is for watching live TV, chatting on Skype, browsing photos and videos, and more.
Serving as more proof that Microsoft isn't ready to put its Xbox 360 console out to pasture in favor of its unannounced but oft rumored Durango (Xbox 720) refresh, the Redmond software giant has put the call out for volunteers to test the next version of Xbox Live on the 360. This is the second time in two months that Microsoft has gone in search of beta testers, and though space is limited, the company said it's accepting "far more beta testers this time around."
Microsoft's Xbox Live Gold is kind of like Hulu Plus in that even though you pay a subscription fee for the service, it still dishes up a heaping of ads for your viewing displeasure. Thus far, they've mostly been unobtrusive and ignorable, but a recent announcement heralds a whole new era of advertising annoyance: Microsoft has sold its first NUAds, clips that bug you to utilize your Kinect to talk or shake your fist in response to the product plugs.
For as popular as the Xbox 360 is, Microsoft's been notoriously slow to certify game updates to be rolled out via its Xbox Live service, a constant source of frustration for developers and gamers alike. That's reportedly going to change when Minecraft is ported over to Xbox Live Arcade, which could very well end up being the first game to tout frequent and constant updates.
When Microsoft announced the Windows Phone platform at Mobile World Congress, Xbox lovers had to be excited about the potential for integration between phone and console. Sadly, those aspirations for a unified gaming platform haven't reached the levels that many of us dream about, but Microsoft is making an effort to provide added value to customers who embrace the Microsoft ecosystem.
The Xbox Companion app for Windows Phone provides a way for Xbox 360 owners to control their console and more efficiently browse music and video using their Windows Phone.