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May 2, 2013

Hotmail is Officially Retired

Microsoft has just announced that it finally completed the email transition to Outlook.com, which means that the old yet extremely popular Hotmail has been officially retired.

The tech giant says that moving 300 million active accounts to Outlook.com was a real challenge, as the company had to preserve more than 150 million gigabytes of data, including emails, calendar, contacts, folders and personal preferences. Users can still use their @Hotmail email addresses, but instead of the classic interface, they will be provided with the modern and fresh look of Outlook.com.

Microsoft has also debuted two new features for its email platform, including SMTP support and deeper SkyDrive integration to share files without leaving the inbox. “Our belief is that as people start using the new experience, they will come to love it even more than they loved Hotmail. We are keenly listening to what our customers have to say, and we'll make the right set of adjustments to ensure that we make the experience as great as it can be,” Microsoft noted.

Hotmail users will love Outlook.com, Microsoft says
Image credits to independent.co.uk

Toshiba AT10LE-A Tablet Leaked with Nvidia Tegra 4

Toshiba may have officially revealed the WT310 Windows 8 11.6-inch tablet, but that doesn't mean it has put its Arm efforts on hold.

In fact, the company is fully capable of working on multiple projects at once, even if it doesn't launch them at the same time. In this case, the company has been developing the 10.1-inch Toshiba AT10LE-A tablet based on NVIDIA's Tegra 4 processor. The SoC (system-on-a-chip) has four ARM cores with a frequency of 1.8 GHz, plus integrated graphics and a fifth core that takes over when low-demand tasks are run, for energy efficiency.

From what Techblog.gr reveals, I gather that the tablet runs Android 4.2.1 Jelly Bean and has a microSD card slot, plus mini HDMI and stereo speakers. I suppose we all still have to wait for the rest of the specs and pricing details.

Toshiba AT10LE-A
Image credits to techblog.gr

Android 4.3 Versions Appear on More Devices

Some of the latest reports on Google’s plans for the Android operating system suggested that the company might be set to make official a new platform release at the Google I/O conference in May, and that it could call it Android 4.3, and some new confirmation on this has emerged.

A recent article on Android Authority notes that various devices running under Android 4.3 have already been spotted in server logs, and that more than one OS release is being prepared under the Android 4.3 name. To be more precise, they claim that handsets and tablets such as Galaxy Nexus, Nexus 4, Nexus 7, and Nexus 10 have been spotted as accessing their website with Android 4.3.3 and Android 4.3.1 loaded on top. The platform was also seen on Huawei U8819 and ADR8995 4G (Pantech Breakout).

This is not the first time that this OS flavor is spotted, though it hasn’t been seen on non-Nexus devices before. The new software might continue using the Jelly Bean branding.

Android 4.3 emerges in more server logs
Image credits to Android Authority

Intel “Iris” HD 5000, Integrated Graphics Finally Become Powerful

Intel's integrated HD processors, included in the Ivy Bridge and Sandy Bridge central processing unit series, have always been the underdog on the graphics market, but times are changing.

That isn't to say that Chipzilla has finally invented a graphics core that can measure up to AMD's Radeon or NVIDIA GeForce series. For a while, probably forever, Intel's graphics accelerators will be a league or two below the discrete and even integrated chips from those two. Still, the Santa Clara, California-based chip giant is just about ready to impress the world with the “Iris” core. “Iris” is the name of the HD 5000 iGP included in the Haswell series of central processing units set for June 2013 release. It should be twice as fast in 3D as the HD 4000 from Ivy Bridge, in laptops, and up to three times as good in particularly energy-hungry CPUs (ergo, in desktops). That means double performance in the H-series mobile chips, which work on 47-55W of power, and triple in the R-series desktop parts (65-84W).

M-series laptop and K-series desktop CPUs will have Iris chips too, though they will be called Iris pro. The 15W U-series Ultrabooks chips will have HD 5000 graphics as well, but they won't be nearly as good, though still faster than HD 4000. That said, all Iris iGPs have DirectX 11.1 support, OpenGL 4 visual rendering capabilities, OpenCL 1.2 computing, even “enhanced” 4K output. What's more, triple-monitor/HDTV setups are possible, even in collage mode (one image spread across three screens).

All in all, Intel has definitely pushed things forward on the graphics side. The multi-display capabilities may even cut down on the need for designers and enterprise users to buy add-in boards just to have a multi-monitor support. NVIDIA and AMD won't be happy, but that's what competition is all about in the end.

Intel HD 5000 chart
Image credits to Intel

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