All Articles by Richard Devine

New 'products and services' teased for Build by Microsoft executive

We're at the IFA Global Press Conference in Malta where Microsoft's General Manager of Developer Experience, Bryan Biniak, has delivered a special session for the gathered press. With Build coming next week there was never any chance we'd hear about new products here, but in passing he did at least give a massive tease that "new products and services" will be discussed in San Francisco.

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Latest Project Cars trailer teases extensive career mode

Project Cars, the ambitious racing sim for consoles and PC, is finally due to land in May, and this latest trailer released of the Xbox One version teases what looks to be a very extensive career mode. There's going to be a bunch of different types of car, types of championship and types of track, and we're certainly left wanting more.

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Virgin Trains East Coast pulling into Windows Phone station with ticket wallet app

British train commuters between Edinburgh, London and any number of places in between will have recently experienced the re-branding of the East Coast main line to come under the Virgin Trains banner. The better news, is that the new owners are embracing Windows Phone with the launch of a digital ticket wallet app for the platform.

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The Asus Zenbook UX305: A gorgeous Windows 8.1 Ultrabook at an excellent price

Apple and Samsung aren't the only companies making a thin, good looking Core M Ultrabook. Asus has one of its own, the Zenbook UX305.

Using the Intel Core M chip gives laptop makers some added freedom to design incredibly thin, light, quiet Ultrabooks. There are compromises in other areas, but what Asus has come up with, on the face of it at least, is something that promises a premium experience without the hefty price.

There's a lot to like about the Zenbook UX305. A lot.

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Microsoft Lumia 640 review

Microsoft is steadily getting its handle on its device portfolio after the Nokia acquisition. And it is starting at the bottom and gradually working its way up with the likes of the Lumia 430, Lumia 435, Lumia 532 and the Lumia 535.

Then we got to Mobile World Congress. Microsoft had taken over the space once inhabited by Nokia and used it to deliver a keynote very early on the first morning of the show. Among the Windows 10 talk was the introduction of the Lumia 640 and the Lumia 640 XL.

Both another step up on the ladder from those that came before, and taking it up to around half-dozen smartphones to carry the Microsoft logo. The Lumia 640 has big shoes to fill, coming in as a replacement for the very popular Lumia 630/635. Does it do a good job?

That's what we're here to find out.

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Is Microsoft developing new smartphones? Of course

There are a couple of rumors doing the rounds at the moment about Microsoft working on a series of new Lumia Windows Phones to come out later on this year.

Without even going into the specific details, there's a pretty straight up answer for it. Yes, of course, Microsoft is certainly working on new Lumia smartphones.

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The ultimate guide to Microsoft Band

The Microsoft Band is the Redmond-based company's first foray into the ever growing new wearables category. Part smartwatch, part fitness band, with the Microsoft Band on your wrist you can tell the time, see who's calling you, track your run and even pay for your Starbucks.

The Band has enjoyed early popularity despite being incredibly hard to get hold of. Initial stocks quickly sold out, and it's been hit and miss ever since as to where and when you can get your hands on one. But now, Microsoft has a much wider retail network to sell through and has even expanded availability to the UK. So more people than ever can get one, so we're here to help each and every one of you.

This is our ultimate guide to the Microsoft Band.

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Join the Microsoft Band discussion in the Windows Central forums!

Now the Microsoft Band is available to more people than ever before, with a wider U.S. retail availability and now the launch in the UK, there's sure to be a number of new owners out there among the Windows Central community. And we've got just the place to talk about it.

The Windows Central forums are a hive of activity and the perfect place to jump in and talk with other enthusiasts about the Microsoft Band. Whether you're looking for help or just want to tell everyone how awesome you think it is, there's something for everyone. Come on in and join the discussion at the link below!

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The best Microsoft Band apps for Windows Phone

Slowly but surely the Windows Phone Store is filling up with a number of Microsoft Band applications from third-party developers. From a simple flashlight to a translator and many points in between, the collection is varied and ever growing.

Fortunately we've got you covered with a collection of the very best Microsoft Band apps on offer, and we've got them all in one handy place. Bookmark our dedicated portal to always keep up yourself up to date!

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All the Microsoft Band help, tips and tricks you'll ever need

If you're looking for some help with your Microsoft Band then this is where you want to be. Here is where you'll find absolutely all of the Microsoft Band help, how-tos, tips and tricks. We all need some pointers from time to time, and that's where this one handy page will come in.

These tips are for everyone. They're for the beginners, they're for the seasoned tech addicts and they're for the folks in-between who just want a little tune up on their knowledge. It's absolutely OK not to know everything there is to know, we've all been there. Learning is never bad. So let's all do it together.

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Microsoft Band now available in the UK for £170

After a long wait the Microsoft Band is now finally available outside the U.S. as it officially goes on sale in the UK for £169.99.

Pre-orders have been live for a while but April 15 is the magic shipping day meaning eager British buyers should be seeing them on their doorsteps soon.

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Movie Maker 8.1 for Windows Phone gets substantial update, we've got 100 plugin codes to give away!

One of the very first video editing apps we got for Windows Phone was Movie Maker 8.1, and to this day it's still one of the absolute very best. Today, there's a substantial new update pushing out with one of the headline features being support for 4K video.

Oh, and if that wasn't enough, we've kindly been provided with 100 codes to snag a free plugin within the app from the developer. But you'll have to be quick!

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New Apple MacBook reviewed, is it really the notebook reinvented?

Apple made a bold statement at its recent Spring Forward event, that its all-new MacBook had reinvented the notebook. We've all had our own opinions on it, especially given the strength of the Windows Ultrabook scene right now. But they're also opinions based on early looks and spec sheets. Thankfully, our buddies over at iMore have reviewed the MacBook in full to give us a little more information.

With the likes of the Asus Zenbook UX305, Samsung Ativ 9, Dell XPS 13 and Lenovo Thinkpad X1 Carbon to name but a selection, in the Windows stable, there's a ton of great laptops out there right now. So how does the MacBook stack up?

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Mortal Kombat X, GTA V now available on Xbox One, PC for a violent old time

A couple of big name game titles are now available across Xbox One and PC, with Mortal Kombat X and the long awaited arrival of GTA V on the PC. Lots of unnecessary violence, for sure.

Mortal Kombat X sees its global launch across PC, Xbox One and PS4, while for Rockstar's epic this is now the third time on a third platform the title has launched.

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Windows Central photo contest: Water

The photo contest is back, and we've changed things up once again. We took a week off last week with it being the Easter holiday weekend for many of us on the Mobile Nations team. But now we're going to change it up again and we're giving more people more time to enter. The contests will now each run for two weeks, and we're going to try out some new prizes along with it.

You'll find all of the relevant information below. But onto this weeks topic, Water. Something commonplace in life, yet that still lends to taking many different styles of shot. The one up top is a quick sample I took this past weekend with the Lumia 640 XL on a gloomy afternoon. But you guys will certainly do better.

So, to the rules and a little housekeeping, announcing the winner of the last weekly photo contest!

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Take a look inside the Microsoft Garage, the home of 'Doers, not talkers'

The Microsoft Garage is an interesting place where some generally awesome ideas develop and grow into products we may or may not get to see. A large organization like Microsoft has many labs, like that totally secret development of HoloLens, and in a pretty detailed post, the doors to the Garage have been opened for us all to have a peek inside.

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From the Editor's Desk: Remembering to keep expectations in check

I've stepped in and borrowed Dan's desk for this weekend (not really, but his looks a lot cooler than mine) to wrap up at the end of what's been a very busy period in these parts. In quick succession we've had a new desktop build of the Windows 10 preview, a new phone build of the Windows 10 preview, a new Surface and new Windows Phones among the rest of the daily news cycle.

And it's not going to get any quieter any time soon. Not with that little thing called Build coming up in a few weeks.

But through it all there's one thought that's been nagging in the back of my mind. It manifested during a briefing earlier this week with Microsoft in London. And that's that we should all remember to keep our expectations in check.

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Microsoft Lumia 640 XL camera sample gallery

One of the number one questions we've been hearing since the launch of the Microsoft Lumia 640 XL is about how the camera fares. The 13MP Zeiss shooter on the back is, on paper at least. pretty substantial for a smartphone in the mid-tiers.

So, as we did we the Lumia 640, here's a very quick gallery of sample shots.

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Problems updating to Windows 10 preview from Windows Phone 8.1 Update 2 should be over

As we established during yesterday's rollout of the latest Windows 10 preview for phones, there's first an update to Windows Phone 8.1 Update 2 to take place on phones that haven't been running the first build. Unfortunately, after the Update 2 finished installing for many there was no onward route to Windows 10. Now, according to Microsoft's Gabe Aul, things should be fixed and back to normal.

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Seven things to know about the Microsoft Lumia 640 and Lumia 640 XL

Some quick pointers on Microsoft's newest Lumias

The Microsoft Lumia 640 and Lumia 640 XL are Microsoft's latest devices to hit the market and both have the makings of being popular successors to the Lumia 635 and Lumia 1320 respectively. They're well priced, have decent hardware specs for the position in the market and that same great Windows Phone experience you get on phones that cost twice as much.

So, if you just picked one up, or you're thinking hard about it, here's seven things you need to know.

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