Next Windows 10 Preview Will Include Project Spartan Browser

This week or next it is expect that we will see the next Windows 10 Preview build for PCs and Tablets drop to Windows Insiders.  While the release date is not exactly known, there are indications of what can be expected in the build.  While no major changes are coming to the Preview, you can expect to see the new Project Spartan web browser experience come to it in this release.

For those of you who haven’t heard, Project Spartan is a new universal app browser that is coming to all platforms in Windows 10.  That new browser, which was demonstrated yesterday at MWC in Barcelona, is significantly faster than the current Internet Explorer and brings other improvements like Cortana integration.  Everything I’ve seen and from those on the inside at Microsoft are saying it is impressive.  Personally, I cannot wait to see it.

The even better thing about Project Spartan is that it is a true Universal App based on the methodology and framework Microsoft laid out yesterday.  That means that we will see this new browser experience not only on PCs and Tablets, we will see it on Windows 10 for Phones.  That will also be in the next Preview build for Phones but don’t expect the next build for phones next week.  All indications are we have a mid-to-late March to wait for that release.

Xbox 360 Preview Program is Not Bringing Windows 10

Overnight at MWC in Barcelona there was two interesting tidbits of news related to the Xbox 360.  Yes, it is still alive and well and given the game incompatibility between it and the Xbox One, you can expect they will be around for a long time to come.  The first bit of news was the announcement of a new Xbox 360 Preview program.  This, like the one for the Xbox One, will bring preview (beta) bits to the console.  Invited customers will be able to sign up directly from their Xbox 360.  Starting this month invitations will be sent out and you can sign up.  What this not however is Windows 10.  While Microsoft is saying more changes are coming later this year to the 360, there is no indication whatsoever that it will be updated to Windows 10 like the Xbox One will be once it is released.  Could that change? Of course, but frankly I don’t see it happening given the emphasis and focus on the Xbox One platform.

Xbox Live Gold – $59.99 – Microsoft Store

New HP Spectre x360 Ultra Sleek Notebook Now Available at HP Starting at $899

This weekend at MWC, HP announced the all new Spectre x360 ultra sleek notebooks powered by Windows 8.1.  Now you can order yours on the HP Online Store starting at just $899.  This new lineup has been seeing some raving comments from those in attendance in Barcelona for the sleek design and look of the Spectre x360.  When it was announced this weekend there was some question as to when it would be available.  Those questions are answered it seems as both the i5 and i7 versions of it are now available for order.

Spectre X360 Ultra Sleek Notebooks – Starting at $899 – HP Online Store

HP Stream 7 Signature Edition Windows Tablet – Now Only $79 At The Microsoft Store

At the Microsoft Store today they are once again running a promotion they ran last month on the HP Stream 7 Signature Edition Windows Tablet.  The promotion makes it one of those hard to pass up deals on what has been on a highly rated and well liked economy tablet.

Right now you pick up a HP Stream 7 for $79 which is a $20 savings off the regular price.  Keep in mind that this is the Signature Edition so there is no crapware installed on this model.  In addition to the $20 savings, you get a year of Office 365 Professional to run on this tablet for free which is a $69.99 value.  And if that wasn’t enough to tempt you, Microsoft is also throwing in a $25 Windows Store Gift card so you can buy apps and games online with your new HP Stream 7.

So let’s do the math shall we?

  • HP Stream 7 Signature Edition:  $79
  • One Year of Office 365 Personal Edition:  ($69.99)
  • Free Gift Card from Windows Store:  ($25.00)

That means your cost is $79 when normally you would pay a total of $173.99 for all of this.  In fact what you are getting for free is of greater value than the price of the HP Stream 7 itself:  $79 versus freebies of $94.99

HP Stream 7 Windows Tablet – SALE $79 – Microsoft Store

Microsoft Outlines Windows 10 Universal App Platform

For the first time Microsoft has clearly laid out the Windows 10 Universal App development methodology.  In an event held at Mobile World Congress today and then followed up by a blog post on the Windows blog, the company outlines how developers will have access to a streamlined development process aimed at bringing Windows to virtually any device with minimal modifications to code.  Further, there is one single Windows Store for everything and development of applications will be driven off an adaptive user interface.  The information in the blog post is dense and if you are not a developer you may not understand all of the concepts.  Still, give it a read.  You will get a peak into the thought processes Redmond has around Windows 10, development for that platform and the future of everything running Windows.

AT&T Confirms They Will Carry The Lumia 640 and Lumia 640XL

With the announcements of the Lumia 640 and Lumia 640XL this morning at Mobile World Congress, one of the first questions that came up was when or if we would see these in the US market.  The answer came almost as quickly as the announcements themselves.  AT&T has issued a Press Release stating that they will carry the Lumia 640 and will be the first US carrier to have the Lumia 640XL in their lineup.  While pricing and release dates were not a part of the announcement, you can expect them to be here pretty soon given that Microsoft announced they are available this month.

Microsoft Lumia 640 and Lumia 640XL Launch Videos

As part of the launch announcements for the Lumia 640 and Lumia 640XL, Microsoft has released two new launch videos covering both devices.  Both of the videos can be found after the break and both are quite dramatic, outlining the look and feel of the devices as well as the wide range of apps that come built into the device.

Hi-Res Images of The Lumia 640XL

With the announced of the Lumia 640XL this morning at Mobile World Congress, Microsoft has now released hi-res images of the new 5.7″ Phablet device that replaces the aging Lumia 1320.  Like I did with the Lumia 640 images, I’ve put them in this post after the break so those who want to skip the article won’t be bogged down.  The images range from 1.5-3MB in size so it may take a while to load the gallery depending on your network connection.

If you haven’t had a chance to review the specs of the Lumia 640XL you can find them here.  I’m pretty impressed with it given that the Lumia 1320 has been my primary phone for many months now.  This upgrade is quite impressive and I’m looking forward to getting my hands on one to review.

Microsoft Announces the Lumia 640XL

In addition to the Lumia 640 announced today at Mobile World Congress, Microsoft also announced their new Phablet device, the Lumia 640XL.  The 5.7″ device is a replacement for the now quite dated Lumia 1320 (my personal phone of choice) and it is a significant bump up in specifications over the 1320.  Like the Lumia 640, there will be multiple variants of the Lumia 640XL:  Single and Dual SIM 3G models as well as Single and Dual SIM LTE Models.  It is expected to retail for around $245 for the Dual SIM LTE model which is a very attractive price point for what this device has to offer.

The Lumia 640XL will be powered by the Snapdragon 400 Quad-Core processor running at 1.2GHz and will sport 1GB of RAM.  It will have 8GB of internal storage with expansion up to an additional 128GB with a MicroSD card.  It has a 5.7″ IPS display running at 1280×720 with Glance screen and sunlight readability enhancements for when you are outside.  The rear camera is probably the single biggest improvement over the Lumia 1320.  The 1320 has a 5MP camera while the 640XL will have a 13MP camera.  That rear camera can also shoot 1080p video and has a flash.  The front facing camera is a 5MP wide angle fixed focus.  It will also have SensorCore which is something the Lumia 1320 does not have either.

Another interesting change is that the Lumia 640XL will have a user replaceable 3000 mAh battery, something you cannot do on the Lumia 1320.

Hi-Res Images of The Lumia 640

As I posted just a bit ago, Microsoft launched the Lumia 640 this morning at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona.  If you haven’t had a chance to review the specs, you can do so here and I think you’ll like what you see.  The Lumia 640 is certainly not a flagship device but it is a nice step up in the mid-market and one that should do well.

Microsoft has now released hi-res images of the Lumia 640 and I’ve got all of them here for your viewing pleasure.  All of them can be found after the break to save those who don’t want to see them from a big download on the front page of the site.  Keep in mind that these are all between 1.5-3 MB is size so rendering may be slow depending on your connectivity.