Microsoft Monday: Solitaire On iOS, Mannequin Challenge Using … – Forbes

“Microsoft Monday” takes a look back at the past week of news related to Microsoft. This week, “Microsoft Monday” includes details about the development of “the ultimate mobile device,” Oculus’ support for Xbox One game streaming, staff participating in the Mannequin Challenge using the HoloLens, an apology for the zombie groan email promoting Dead Rising 4, Holoportation becoming “truly mobile,” Office 365 rolling out to 10 more markets and much more!

Oculus To Support Xbox One Game Streaming Starting December 12th

Gears of Wars 4 Rift Streaming Close View Menu / Photo Credit: Microsoft

Gears of Wars 4 Rift Streaming Close View Menu / Photo Credit: Microsoft

Xbox One game streaming already works on PCs and soon a new Xbox One Streaming to Oculus Rift app will be arriving for free in the Oculus Store. This means that you will be able to stream Xbox One games on the Oculus Rift virtual reality headset. The Xbox One Streaming to Oculus Rift app is set to arrive on December 12th.

“The new Xbox One Streaming to Oculus Rift app connects to your Xbox One via your home network. Once connected, your console’s video output is streamed to your Rift headset and projected onto a massive screen in your choice of one of three immersive VR environments: ‘Citadel,’ ‘Retreat’ and ‘Dome,’” said the Xbox team in a blog post.

Microsoft Does The Mannequin Challenge Using The HoloLens

The Mannequin Challenge is a viral video trend where people stand still like a mannequin while a video is recorded to create a time freeze effect like you may have seen in films such as The Matrix and X-Men: Days of Future. Many athletes, celebrities and politicians have made mannequin challenge videos. But Microsoft took their video to a whole new dimension. 

How so? Microsoft used the HoloLens app Actiongram to make virtual objects such as butterflies, a knight, a dragon and pancakes appear as props used by the employees.

Satya Nadella Pokes Fun At Apple iPad Pro

Back in 2012, Apple CEO Tim Cook shrugged off hybrid computers such as the Microsoft Surface during an earnings call. Cook said: “You can converge a toaster and a refrigerator, but those things are probably not going be pleasing to the user.”

However, Microsoft’s Surface devices are doing quite well so Nadella decided to poke fun at Cook’s opinion in an interview with the Australian Financial Review via CNET. “Three years (Nadella should have said four) ago, the two-in-one as a form factor was questioned,” said Nadella. “Does anybody need one? And now guess what, even our competition has decided that it’s not a refrigerator and a toaster, but it’s actually a two-in-one.” 

And you may remember that Microsoft launched an ad campaign against the iPad Pro back in August:

Microsoft Apologizes For A Zombie Groan Email

Microsoft recently sent out a promotional email for the Xbox One zombie game Dead Rising 4 with the subject line “NNNNGGGHHAAAA”. Microsoft intended for the subject line to be a zombie groan, but some people viewed it as offensive. So Microsoft’s Larry Hryb issued an apology.

Larry Hryb's tweet about the Dead Rising 4 email / Photo Credit: Microsoft

Larry Hryb’s tweet about the Dead Rising 4 email / Photo Credit: Microsoft

Dead Rising 4 will be released on PCs and the Xbox One on December 6th. Here is a trailer for the game:

Microsoft Researchers Have Made Holoportation “Truly Mobile”

Recently the Microsoft Research team announced that they have taken 3D capture and algorithms from the studio and brought it into a car — which means Holoportation is now “truly mobile.” The research team was able to make that possible by reducing the bandwidth requirements by 97% while still retaining the quality. Specifically, the Microsoft Research team reduced the Holoportation requirement to 30-50 Mbps but it must be in Wi-Fi range to work. And a cellular data option will be added soon.

The Holoportation system requires two cameras that are capable of capturing depth information to “create a 3D representation of an object.” But the more cameras that they have, the better the 3D model quality. To view remote participants in the Holoportation system, you could use a head-mounted display like the HoloLens or HTC Vive to see and interact with  other Holoportation users.

Microsoft Says That Old PCs Waste Up To A Day Of Your Time Per Year To Boot Up

In the U.K., Microsoft established a marketing campaign that says buying a new PC during the holiday season could save you a full day of boot time. According to Digital Trends, this is based on research estimating computers that are over 3 years old take 65% longer to boot. This adds up to 23.5 hours of boot time during a full calendar year. And those computers take 3.5 times longer to fix issues than newer PCs.

The research noted that this issue especially pertains to older computer users as they are less likely to own newer PCs. About a fifth of those over the age of 55 have a PC that is more than five years old and they lose an average of more than two hours per month in boot up times.

Phil Spencer Would “Love To See Mario On Xbox”

Microsoft and Nintendo collaborated on the Wii U editions of Minecraft together, which could lead to more partnership opportunities. Phil Spencer, the head of the Xbox division, recently conducted an interview with AusGamers via GameSpot where he revealed his interest about bringing Nintendo characters to Microsoft’s console.

In the interview, Spencer said that Nintendo’s lineup of first-party franchises is second to none when it comes to gaming. And Spencer also said he would love to see “Mario on Xbox” if possible. “They’re just fantastic and the memories that they have instilled in so many of us, who’ve played their games and had those delightful experiences, having those on Xbox would be great,” said Spencer in regards to the Nintendo characters.

“Continuing to work with them on that and building a stronger relationship… I mean if that paid dividends down the road that lead to something else, that would be fantastic,” added Spencer. “I know I get questions all the time on would I ever like to see Banjo in Super Smash Bros. And I’m like, ‘Yes, I would do that in a second.’ If we ever had a chance to work with them in the future, I would absolutely do it.”

Microsoft Office 365 Rolls Out To 10 More Markets

Office 365 markets / Photo Credit: Microsoft

Office 365 markets / Photo Credit: Microsoft

Last week, Microsoft announced Office 365 is now available in 10 more markets. Specifically, Office 365 has been released in Bhutan, Cambodia, Greenland, Guadeloupe, Laos, Maldives, Martinique, Mozambique, Myanmar and Vatican City. Now Office 365 is available in 150 markets with 44 different languages. Over 1.2 billion people use Office and Microsoft plans to expand to 97 more markets over the next year.

Microsoft Launches Solitaire For iOS

Microsoft Solitaire Collection / Photo Credit: Microsoft

Microsoft Solitaire Collection / Photo Credit: Microsoft

Microsoft Solitaire Collection has been one of the most played games of all time over the last 25 years and now it is available free on the iPhone, iPad and iPod touch. The Solitaire Collection includes Klondike, Spider, Freecell, Tripeaks and the Pyramid versions of the game. The mobile version of Solitaire also has daily challenges for all 5 games. And you can connect to Xbox Live through the game to sync your achievements and game progress.

Satya Nadella Said Microsoft Is Building “The Ultimate Mobile Device”

Forbes contributor Ewan Spence reported last week that Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella said the company is working on “the ultimate mobile device.” It is believed that Nadella was referring to the rumored Surface Phone.

Microsoft is reportedly testing several variants of the Surface Phone already. All of the variants have a Snapdragon 835 system-on-chip. One variant has 4GB of RAM and another has 6GB of RAM. Plus the Surface Phone is expected to support Microsoft Continuum, meaning it can be connected to an HDMI screen along with a keyboard and mouse.

The Surface Phone is expected to arrive in the second half of 2017. This means that the launch of the device will coincide with the Redstone 3 update.

Microsoft Monday includes seven days worth of updates from the Redmond-based software giant. What are your thoughts about the “Microsoft Monday” news from this week? Please leave a comment!


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