Windows 8.1 Is Now Available

Windows-8.1 Logo

The long awaited return of the start menu (well long awaited by some people)  is finally upon us….kind of.  Windows 8.1 is finally out today, as a free upgrade for Windows 8 users, and with it they have brought back the Start Menu Button. This time though, it just launches into the Start Screen that we have all come to either love or hate (personally I am a big fan, really like the forward movement here, but I digress) But at least for those people that found Windows 8 confusing and didn’t know how to get back to the start menu, the lovely button is there now. They also have included the option to boot straight into desktop mode, instead of going into the start menu first, which for some people is a big deal (not like it was hard to click one button…) Windows 8.1 also includes a plethora of small changes throughout the OS that really do make it feel much more streamlined. So if you haven’t made the upgrade to 8.1 yet, I highly recommend it. You can access the upgrade from within your Windows Store on Windows 8, if you don’t have Windows 8 yet, you can head over to Microsoft and grab it there, or if you would prefer, you can also get it at your nearest retailer who sells Microsoft software.

Win8.1Boxshots

I upgraded earlier this morning, and I must say it was a VERY painless experience, I went to the Windows store, saw there was an update and clicked yes to download, once that was complete I just restarted like it asked, waited a little while, filled a few things out and Viola! I was on 8.1. All of my programs and settings are all the same, it was a wonderfully easy and painless experience. So again, what are you waiting for? Go get your upgrade on!

Windows 8.1

By Dayne “Anjel” Cody
@DayneCody

Valve Announces Steam Machines

Valve Steam Box concept

Valve, today, in the second announcement of three planned for this week, announced The Steam Box Machines. In an announcement where they really told us…. well not really anything. Other then to saying that they are working with partners to create various machines, and there will be a beta test, in which they are inviting 300 people from the public to test these machines, which if you are interested in doing so, you can go see the requirements for the “hardware beta test” Here.

We don’t have specs, we don’t have a drawing, we don’t get to see a prototype, really all they have told is “Entertainment is not a one-size-fits-all world. We want you to be able to choose the hardware that makes sense for you, so we are working with multiple partners to bring a variety of Steam gaming machines to market during 2014, all of them running SteamOS.” They have said that they would be shipping hardware in 2014, and that said hardware will be running SteamOS.

Oh and at the very bottom we get this little, possibly foreshadowing, morsel “Am I going to be using a mouse and a keyboard in the living-room? If you want. But Steam and SteamOS work well with gamepads, too. Stay tuned, though – we have some more to say very soon on the topic of input.”  Possibly tipping their hand at what Friday’s announcement will be? I guess we will have to wait till then and see.

They have stated that we will begin to see Steam Machines in early 2014.

You can check out the Steam Machines page Here.

By Dayne “Anjel” Cody
@DayneCody

Steam OS has been announced, coming soon to a living room near you

Steam OS Logo

Today, Valve made the first announcement of three that they have scheduled for this week. Valve has announced the Steam OS, a Linux based Steam OS for the living room. In their own words:

As we’ve been working on bringing Steam to the living room, we’ve come to the conclusion that the
environment best suited to delivering value to customers is an operating system built around Steam itself.
SteamOS combines the rock-solid architecture of Linux with a gaming experience built for the big screen.
It will be available soon as a free stand-alone operating system for living room machines.

In addition to a free open platform, they are also touting that due to being an integrated OS, they have “achieved significant performance increases in graphics processing, and we’re now targeting audio performance and reductions in input latency at the operating system level. ” As well, they are stating that Steam OS will integrate streaming your games from your desktop PC. They also stated that they are working on bringing the media services we love over to the platform in the coming months. No word on when Steam OS would be released, only that it would be released as a free download sometime in the near future.

This looks to be a way for Gabe Newell to show his love for Linux, and to try and build a better PC for the living room. We will be very interested in seeing where this goes in the future. Stay tuned for the next announcements that Valve is making later this week.

For more info on the Steam OS check it out here, Steam OS 

By Dayne “Anjel” Cody
@DayneCody