Windows VR headsets now available with deep discounts

Enlarge / An array of Windows Mixed Reality headsets. (credit: Microsoft)

With its Windows VR headsets, Microsoft wanted to make it simpler and cheaper to get into PC-based virtual reality.

But perhaps not quite this cheap: most of the Windows VR headsets on the market are now available on Amazon in the US for around 50 percent off: for as little as $200, you can get a headset complete with a pair of motion controllers that’ll run Windows Mixed Reality software and which has beta quality support for SteamVR titles too.

When first announced, Microsoft promised its headsets would be around $300-500, compared with the $600 or more for the Oculus Rift and HTC Vive. Since then, both the Rift and the Vive have some big price cuts of their own, and while the Windows VR devices do still retain the pricing edge, the difference is much less pronounced than it once was. For the moment, the Windows hardware retains one advantage—it doesn’t need base stations to track movement because all the tracking is handled in the headset itself, which makes installation and setup substantially easier. But this benefit, too, is set to disappear in the near term, as this style of tracking is going to become the norm.

Read 1 remaining paragraphs | Comments

Advertisements

ADP acquires workforce management software startup WorkMarket

 Payroll provider ADP said it is acquiring WorkMarket, a startup that specializes in workforce management software that operates across a wide range of employees and contractors, for an undisclosed sum. The software aims to create a kind of unified interface for managing an extended workforce that can include a variety of workers with different employment status, from contractors and… Read More

Foursquare is finally proving its (dollar) value

 In 2009, Facebook was just getting popular with moms and grandmas. People were playing Farmville. Twitter was just becoming mainstream. And Foursquare launched on to the scene. Back then, Foursquare was just another social network, letting users check in to locations they visit and potentially receive badges for those check-ins. A lot has changed since 2009, but Foursquare still remains,… Read More

Office for Mac now shares a codebase with Windows, gets real-time collaboration

Enlarge (credit: Microsoft)

Microsoft has released a major Office update for Mac. Update 16.9.0 finally brings long-anticipated real-time collaboration features and automatic cloud saving. Notably, the Mac version of this software is now built from the same codebase as the Windows version, which means that Office shares a codebase across all platforms for the first time in 20 years.

The Mac version of Office has often lagged behind Windows in features (some periods have been better than others). But this change could lay the groundwork for better parity moving forward. A shared codebase doesn’t necessarily mean everything will be the same, but it does mean that supporting all platforms (Windows, Mac, iOS, and Android) will be simpler on Microsoft’s end.

Real-time collaboration is long overdue in Office for Mac. Users have been calling for it for quite some time. A major selling point of Google Docs and several other Office alternatives, it’s been a slow rollout for this feature in Office regardless of platform. Limited live collaboration was part of the Office 2016 update, but Excel for Windows, for example, didn’t get true real-time collaboration until a beta last year. Now, users on Mac and Windows can see each other’s changes in real-time. As in Google docs, thumbnails show which users are collaborating with you on a document. Flag icons indicate where they’re working, and their changes appear to collaborators in real-time as they work.

Read 3 remaining paragraphs | Comments

IBM’s year-over-year revenue didn’t decline in the last quarter

 Here’s a surprise: after 22 quarters of consecutive year-over-year revenue declines, IBM today reported that its revenue increased from Q4 2016 to Q4 2017. The company reported revenue of $22.5 billion for the last quarter, up from $21.77 billion a year ago. Earnings per share came in at $5.18. Analysts expected revenue of about $22.06 billion and earnings per share of $5.17.… Read More

Assembla acquires Cornerstone, a Subversion client for MacOS

 Git may seem like it’s the only version control system out there sometimes. And while it’s definitely the most popular option right now, competing technologies like Subversion and Mercurial still have their fair share of users, especially in the enterprise. It’s maybe no surprise then that Assembla, which offers a version control service for the enterprise with a strong focus… Read More