Microsoft is calling an audible on smart speakers

The Harman Kardon Invoke was fine. But let’s be real — the first Cortana smart speaker was dead on arrival. Microsoft’s smart assistant has its strong suits, but thus far statement of purpose hasn’t been among them. CEO Satya Nadella appears to have acknowledged as much this week during a media event at the company’s Redmond campus.
“Defeat” might be a strong word at this stage, but the executive is publicly acknowledging that the company needs to go back to the drawing board. In its current configuration, the best Microsoft can seemingly hope for with Cortana is a slow ramp up after a greatly delayed start. For all of the company’s recent successes, the gulf between its offering and Alexa, Assistant and (to a lesser degree) Siri must seem utterly insurmountable.
The new vision for Cortana is an AI offering that works in tandem with products that have previously been considered its chief competitors. That’s in line with recent moves. Over the summer, Microsoft and Amazon unveiled integration between the two assistants. Nadella used this week’s event to both reaffirm plans to work with Alexa and Google Assistant and note that past categories probably don’t make sense, going forward.
“We are very mindful of the categories we enter where we can do something unique,” he told the crowd. “A good one is speakers. To me the challenge is, exactly what would we be able to do in that category that is going to be unique?”
It’s a fair question. And the answer, thus far, is nothing. Like Samsung’s Bixby offerings, the primary distinguisher has been the devices on which it has chosen to roll out — appliances for Bixby and PCs for Microsoft. And while moves by Apple, Amazon and Google have all been acknowledgements that desktops and laptops may play an important role in the growth of smart assistants moving forward, they were hardly a major driver early on.
I suspect this will also mean the company will invest less in pushing Cortana as a consumer-facing product for the time being, instead focusing on the ways it can help other more popular assistants play nicely with the Microsoft ecosystem.

Microsoft is calling an audible on smart speakers

The most anticipated Xbox One games launching next week are…

Every week, numerous games launch on Xbox One, but which ones truly stand out? Here are some of the biggest and most anticipated titles launching across Microsoft’s platforms next week.

Next week we have a few new “AAA” releases on Xbox One, but there are still a few surprises here and there. Notably, Resident Evil 2 is finally launching on the console, and Shadow of the Tomb Raider: The Nightmare offers an interesting take on the popular game. With that in mind, here are all the biggest games launching next week, between January 21 and January 25, 2019.

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Mortal Kombat: Kollector’s Edition goes up for preorder at GameStop

This is quite expensive.

At The Game Awards 2018, Warner Bros. Interactive announced Mortal Kombat 11. The reveal featured a gory fight between Raiden and Scorpion which ended up in the latter’s head being blown to bits through some charged electric attack. However, just when you think that the fight is over, a “modified” Scorpion shows up and kills Raiden in a few seconds.

http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/wmexperts/~3/IxK_STi5yyY/mortal-kombat-kollectors-edition-goes-preorder-gamestop

Play with clarity and Sceptre's 24.5-inch LED Gaming Monitor at $30 off

This gaming monitor features a 165Hz refresh rate and 1ms response time.

Now’s your chance to snatch Sceptre’s 24.5-inch 1080p E255B-1658A Gaming LED Monitor for just $179.99 at Newegg. Simply enter promo code NEFPBA96 during checkout to save an extra $20 off this week’s sale price; the monitor regularly sells for $210 at retailers like Amazon.

This LED gaming monitor features 1080p resolution with a 165Hz refresh rate and 1ms response time. With AMD FreeSync technology, fast-paced games will run smoothly while its anti-flicker technology prevents the backlight from flickering. It’s designed to be VESA mount-compatible and even includes built-in speakers, along with a DisplayPort and two HDMI ports. You’ll also receive a one-year warranty with its purchase.

See at Newegg

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Track your weight and fitness with $8 off this app-enabled Bluetooth scale

Step on up and keep better track of your fitness this year.

Amazon has the Mpow Bluetooth Scale on sale for just $18.19 when you enter promo code 30MPOW75 during checkout. That’ll save you $8 off the regular price of this newly released scale.

This water-resistant scale is capable of displaying ten body composition measurements, from your BMI to BMR, body fat, muscle, metabolic age, weight, and more, which you can track by adding the Megafit app to your iOS or Android app and syncing it to the scale via Bluetooth. Then you’ll be able to view your stats while you’re at the gym, too. It can track up to 20 users individually and features four high precision sensors that provide accurate measurements and support up to 400 pounds. Meanwhile, its backlit LED display can show your stats when your phone isn’t around.

You’ll also receive a two-year warranty with this purchase.

See at Amazon

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Mortal Kombat 11 gets gory gameplay reveal, reveals creator of existence

Mortal Kombat is back and better than ever.

At The Game Awards 2018, Warner Bros. Interactive announced Mortal Kombat 11. The reveal featured a gory fight between Raiden and Scorpion which ended up in the latter’s head being blown to bits through some charged electric attack. However, just when you think that the fight is over, a “modified” Scorpion shows up and kills Raiden in a few seconds.

http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/wmexperts/~3/fOyLkiayFZU/mortal-kombat-11-gets-gory-gameplay-reveal-tons-celebrity-cameos

Anthem’s campaign takes the fight to the villainous ‘Dominion’

You can’t let the Anthem fall into the wrong hands.

Anthem is an upcoming shared world third-person shooter from BioWare. BioWare is the studio behind famous franchises like Dragon Age and Mass Effect. Anthem is expected to launch on February 22, 2019, but that hasn’t stopped the developer from releasing new details about the project.

http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/wmexperts/~3/7PDZYymWCTw/anthem-players-face-against-dominion-features-tremendous-customization

Microsoft wins $1.76 billion Department of Defense contract

The five-year contract includes Microsoft Enterprise Services for the Department of Defense, Coast Guard, and the intelligence community.

While CES 2019 was at the top of every techie’s mind last week, Microsoft also managed to score a big payday from the U.S. government.

http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/wmexperts/~3/_AuFdM9JY0E/microsoft-wins-176-billion-department-defense-contract

Upgrade your internet with $60 off TP-Link's Archer C5400 tri-band router

Get online and stay there.

The TP-Link Archer C5400 wireless tri-band router is down to $179.99 on Newegg with code EMCTUUC45. The same router sells for $240 without the code and is currently that price at other retailers like Amazon and Best Buy. We have seen this router go on sale but never lower than $190 before.

The Archer C5400 is a very powerful device that will let you enjoy 4K video and play online games with no interruptions on its ultra-fast Wi-Fi. It uses three wireless bands, NitroQAM technology, and MU-MIMO tech to keep your signal flowing as fast as possible with up to 1000 Mbps on the 2.4 GHz band and 2167 Mbps on two 5 GHz bands. MU-MIMO is the tech designed for homes with a dozen different mobile devices all trying to connect to the same wireless network. It helps keep them all running as smooth as possible, and the powerful 1.4 GHz dual-core processor with three co-processors helps with that, too.

http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/wmexperts/~3/T3IBc8lIW9Q/thrifter-deal-upgrade-your-internet-60-tp-links-powerful-archer-c5400-tri-band-router