Gaming in Windows 8 Part 2: Xbox Live Integration with Windows 8 RTM

So I got my RTM edition of Windows 8 downloaded and installed from TechNet this week. Everybody at work was excited, but I think I was the only one who stayed up late and installed it as soon as I could! And of course, now that it’s Friday, it’s time for a gaming post. Obligatory though it may be, I’m excited to bring some cool notes your way. That’s right this is Gaming in Windows 8 – Part 2. Continue reading “Gaming in Windows 8 Part 2: Xbox Live Integration with Windows 8 RTM”

Just got my Windows 8 RTM installed!

Nothing to share, yet, other than: yes, there is a learning curve. A lot of the keyboard shortcuts I’ve used for the past decade have been supplanted by touch and gesture friendly options. But apart from these growing pains, I am finding the operating system itself to be snappy and efficient. I have nothing much more to say at this time, but I have made the leap and made this my primary OS. I have not virtualized it this time as I have in the past Windows 8 is now only OS installed on laptop, plus a few virtual machines of Linux, Macintosh, older versions of Windows, et cetera. I am looking forward to diving in headfirst and will update soon.

ESPN ScoreCenter for Windows Phone: the total package

While sitting at the bar the other night, awaiting my Pittsburgh Steelers preseason action, a few of us were reading up on the latest and greatest in the season with the Pittsburgh Pirates. Bucs went more than a few extra innings – 19 in total – in their win against the Cardinals.

But we, the Pittsburgh fans in Rochester, New York, weren’t just excited to see the final score on the ESPN ScoreCenter App for Windows Phone 7, they wanted the rest of the action! And they got it. You see, what we learned with several of us sitting around with smartphones in hand, was that on the iPhone, you have the ESPN ScoreCenter app, and the ESPN GameCenter app. On Windows Phone? It’s all conveniently rolled in to one total package.

Tap on any game’s score to reveal an in-depth play-by-play of the game, including a view of the strike-zone and diamond for baseball, the hardwood for basketball, a football field and presumably an ice rink, all showing where shots take place, gains and losses on the play, strikes, balls, field goals, and three pointers, all depending on your sport de jour. No need to launch in to a different app, Windows Phone 7 has brought the GameCenter to you within the ScoreCenter app.

Microsoft has some new tools to take malware and spyware seriously

Even though I have listed off a good number of programs in my IT toolkit and cleaning malware infected computers, I have a new tool I’m starting to use more and more – and you already have it. It goes by two names. The “Malware Removal Tool” from Microsoft, or even “Microsoft Safety Scanner.”

Microsoft packs this little beauty in to your computer with each Windows Update. Simply go to your Start Menu and click RUN (or if you don’t have run just use the search box at the bottom of the Start Menu), type in MRT and press enter. You’ve opened the latest Malware Removal Tool! With a few presses of the next button, you’ll be on your way to scanning your computer for known pieces of malware that can slip right by antivirus and other tools.

If you don’t know the last time you’ve run your Windows Updates and you want to ensure you have the latest and greatest version right from Microsoft’s Security Scanner website. Don’t plan to keep this one in your IT toolkit – unlike the download from Windows Update, this download will actually expire every 10 days to ensure you’re keeping a fresh and up-to-date copy with you.

Microsoft has also launched the very interesting Malware Protection Center, which reports most active and recently published / identified pieces of malware. Currently, Microsoft is reporting the top ten desktop threats right now to be:

  • Trojan:Win32/Sirefef.AC
  • Trojan:JS/IframeRef
  • Worm:Win32/Conficker.B
  • Worm:Win32/Conficker.C
  • Virus:Win32/Sality.AM
  • Exploit:Win32/CplLnk.A
  • Virus:Win32/Sality.AT
  • Worm:Win32/Dorkbot!lnk
  • Trojan:Win32/FakeSysdef
  • Trojan:DOS/Alureon.E

So be sure to check your computer for your own safety!