Microsoft first offered up its free update to Windows 8.1 (from Windows 8) for the general public back in October of last year, though there are still many users who have been unable to make the leap. If you're one of the unlucky ones pulling your hair out wondering why you can't get the update to install, hang tight, a fix might finally be forthcoming. At long last, Microsoft has released an automatic update that's supposed to solve the Windows 8.1 upgrade issue.
If we had a dollar for every Steam key PC Gamer has given or plans to give away this summer, we'd be freaking millionaires living it up like Lloyd Christmast and Harry Dunne. More precisely, we'd have five million dollars. That's because PC Gamer has teamed up with Bundle Stars to give away five million Steam keys in five weeks. Our sister sister kicked off the promotion last week by announcing the availability of one million StemChem keys. Now that we're in week number two, PC Gamer announced that it's handing out a million Steam keys for Dino D-Day.
Microsoft is reportedly aiming to win back its core desktop audience with the release of Windows Threshold next year. These are the same users clinging to Windows XP and Windows 7, or perhaps even made the jump to Linux in order to avoid Windows 8/8.1. Microsoft has a chance to atone for the usability mistakes it made in Windows 8/8.1 with Windows 9, and you can expect a whole bunch of new features aimed at desktop users.
If you're a fan of Google's Quickoffice apps, download them now while you still can. Google's planning to pull its Quickoffice apps from Google Play and iTunes over the course of the next few weeks, as the company feels they're no longer needed after recently overhauling its Docs, Sheets, and Slides, which are now available as standalone apps rather than being lumped together.
See what’s draining your Windows 8.1 PC’s battery in 'InstantGo' standby mode
Windows 8.1 devices, as long as they’ve the right hardware, can be put into a network-connected standby state called InstantGo (known as Connected Standby in Windows 8 and Windows RT), allowing for apps and tiles to retain Internet connectivity and remain updated even when the system is in standby mode. It’s undoubtedly a great feature, but it’s easy to see how a few battery-hogging apps and system activities could combine to ruin its usefulness. Enter Windows 8.1 Sleep Study, a diagnostic tool for analyzing battery usage during InstanGo sessions.
Little by little, the Windows Phone platform is being fleshed out with a bigger and wider variety of apps. For you photography fans, Adobe Photoshop Express is now available for Windows Phone 8 and Windows Phone 8.1 devices as a free download. For casual edits, this means you no longer have to export your photos to your PC for Photoshop-style touchups and the like -- just use your Lumia device instead.
New version of Maxthon focuses on video performance
Are you looking to try out a new browser? The latest release of Maxthon comes with a few tricks up its sleeve, including the ability to fast forward through any part of any video, even advertisements that you might be forced to watch. Maxthon makes this possible through what it calls Ad Skipper technology, which uses a combination of smart pre-fetching and a new approach to managing the browser runtime environment.
Google's I/O developer conference kicked off today and much of the talk so far has been about Android, Android, and more Android. That's not surprising, or even a bad thing, especially if you're a fan of the open-source platform. Based on the keynote, Google wants to expand Android into just about every facet of your life, from your living room to your car and everywhere in between.
AMD has made available its Catalyst 14.6 graphics card drivers in Release Candidate form. There's not a ton to cover with this latest release, though there are a handful of performance improvements, including better frame pacing in Watch Dogs when running a CrossFire configuration. AMD's also promoting performance improvements in Plants vs. Zombies (Direct3D) with its Radeon R9 290X graphics card.
Looking for something to do this weekend? If your'e a PC gamer, you have options. For one, Steam's Summer Sale is underway, which means adding more games to your library than you'll possibly have time to play. If you'd rather not spend a dime but still want something new to play with, good news -- Titanfall on PC is free to play for the entire weekend! We're not talking about a teaser demo, mind you, but the full game.