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Microsoft Teases Windows Mixed Reality Event

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Microsoft Teases Windows Mixed Reality Event

The press is to see more of the Windows Mixed Reality-- aka the Microsoft combination of virtual and augmented reality-- at a special event come 3 October 2017, ahead of the Windows 10 Fall Creators Update launch.

The event should be an "opportunity to hear where Microsoft is headed next," and will have Kinect and HoloLens inventor Alex Kipman as speaker.

One can safely assume the event will host a variety of Windows Mixed Reality headsets, which should hit the market from 17 October. As seen at IFA 2017, Mixed Reality headsets come from a number of vendors, including Acer, HP, Dell and Lenovo. The trade show also hosted an Asus headset with unique polygonal design, but that one will only hit the market on Spring 2018.

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And the Buyer of the Toshiba Memory Unit is...

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And the Buyer of the Toshiba Memory Unit is...

Toshiba appears to have decided on a buyer for its memory chip unit-- the consortium formed by Bain Capital and SK Hynix, together with some financial backing from Apple.

However, Reuters reports, Toshiba is still "not ruling out a deal with other bidders," making the lengthy process to sell the unit even more, well, lengthy. Reuters also says the decision to choose the Bain-led group comes after failure to bridge disagreements with the other main rival suitor, Western Digital.

“We are disappointed that Toshiba would take this action,” a WD statement reads. “Our goal has been — and remains — to reach a mutually beneficial outcome that satisfies the needs of Toshiba and its stakeholders.”

WD has complicated the sale of the deal, since it has a joint investment in a key Toshiba NAND production plant-- leading to a lawsuit from Toshiba over what it deems as interference.

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New iPhones, Watch, Apple TV at September Apple Event

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New iPhones, Watch, Apple TV at September Apple Event

The 12th of September sees Apple inaugurate its new, purpose-built theatre-- named, of course, the Steve Jobs Theatre-- with the launch of the latest iPhone models, as well as the Watch Series 3 and the Apple TV 4K.

Following an preamble on the state of the Apple Store by retail chief Angela Ahrendts, Tim Cook took to the stage to present the next version of the Watch. First off was the revelation the Watch is now the top watch in the world, beating even the likes of Rolex and Fossil, while customer satisfaction is no less than 97%. The company also claims the Watch is now the most used heart rate monitor in the world.

But what is really interesting is the next generation of Watch-- Watch Series 3, now with built-in cellular radio for truly bringing the Dick Tracy 2-way wrist radio dream to life. The smartwatch shares a number with the user's iPhone, streams Apple Music and pairs with with the AirPods. Powering it is a new dual-core processor promising a 70% performance boost, together with a custom W2 wifi/Bluetooth chip. Handling cellular connectivity is an electronic SIM, while the antenna is built right into the display.

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HTC to Sell Off VR Business?

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HTC to Sell Off VR Business?

HTC is going through a spot of financial trouble, Bloomberg reports-- and to solve such woes the company considers either selling or spinning off its Vive virtual reality business.

According to anonymous sources HTC is working with an adviser as it weighs between "bringing in a strategic investor, selling its Vive virtual reality headset business or spinning off the unit." Apparently a number of companies are interested, including Google, but HTC will probably not be sold in full since "it isn’t an obvious fit for a single acquirer."

HTC has been refocusing from smartphones to high-end VR, but while IDC reports Q1 2017 Vive headset shipments total over 190000, these are still not enough. In fact, the company has recently slashed headset prices by $200 in an effort to expand both sales and user base, two factors it believes are more important than earnings.

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PCs Drive HP Q3 2017 Results

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PCs Drive HP Q3 2017 Results

HP beats Wall Street expectations as it reports Q3 2017 revenues of $13.1 billion, a 10% Y-o-Y increase. However profits are down, slipping from $783 million in Q3 2016 to $696m.

That said, the company remains bullish about the results, particularly since the Personal Systems business sees "incredible" 12% Y-o-Y growth, bringing in revenues of $8.4bn. Commercial revenues are up by 11%, while consumer revenues increase by 14%. In addition, the company reports total shipments are up by 7%, driven by a 12% increase in notebook shipments.

Desktop and workstation shipments are down by -3% Y-o-Y.

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Intel Unveils 8th Generation Core Chips

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Intel Unveils 8th Generation Core Chips

The solar eclipse taking place over N. America brings about the launch of the 8th generation Intel Core chips, starting with mobile processors promising a 40% performance boost over the previous generation.

Designed for notebooks and hybrid devices, the "U-series" consists of 4 processors featuring a thermal design power (TDP) of 15W. Intel says the new Core i5 and i7 processors can lead to notebooks and tablets with up to 10 hours of battery life, as well as the aforementioned performance boost.

All the revealed processors are quad-core, with support for 8 threads and updated UHD 620 graphics. This makes them more suited for games, 4K video playback, VR and video editing. The Core i7-8650U and i7-8550U have 1.9 and 1.8GHz base clock speeds respectively (up to 4.2 and 4.0GHz in boost mode) and also include 8mb of L3 cache.

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Intel Readies for the Future With Ice Lake

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Intel Readies for the Future With Ice Lake

Intel might still have to officially the 8th generation of Core architecture, code named Coffee Lake, but it has already revealed details of the next generation-- Ice Lake.

Described as the "successor the 8th generation Intel Core processor family," Ice Lake processors will be built using a 10nm+ process. This is perhaps an odd move, since Chipzilla is still to officially detail the first 10nm Core architecture, Cannon Lake. It also throws a spanner in what is a confusing naming convention, what with Kaby Lake (14nm+), Coffee Lake (14nm++),  Cannon Lake (10mm) and now Ice Lake (10nm+).

Chipzilla originally hoped to move to a 10nm process by the end of 2016, 2 years after the launch of the 14nm process. However the technology proved more challenging than expected, probably due to a yield rate not high enough for the company. According to Anandtech, the process also depends on die size, with the first products using it being designed for smaller mobile applications (since yields for smaller parts are better than larger parts at the same defect rate).

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Nvidia Recalls Shield AC Wall Adapter

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Nvidia Recalls Shield AC Wall Adapter

Nvidia starts a voluntary recall program for Shield tablet and Shield TV AC power adapters in mainland Europe-- the result of a fault in the two-prong European plug head connected to the power brick.

According to the company, the plug head can break, causing a "risk of electric shock." As a result, Nvidia urges customers to immediately stop using the recalled European plug heads and contact NVIDIA for a free replacement."

A press release from the US Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) states the issue affects nearly 7000 units, and so far Nvidia has received 9 reports of European plug heads breaking. The figure includes 6 customers who ended up receiving an electric shock as a result.

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Intel 8th Gen Core CPUs Get Launch Date

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Intel 8th Gen Core CPUs Get Launch Date

Intel announces the date, time and place for the unveiling of the 8th generation Core processor family, known as Coffee Lake-- 21 August 2017, the same date as "the Great American Solar Eclipse."

"Amazing things happen when all things align," the press invitation excitedly states. Attendance is not limited to the press though, as Chipzilla will livestream the event on its Newsroom microsite and Facebook page.

Intel fails the give new information on the upcoming Coffee Lake CPUs, outside of marketing speech. As such, the announcement promises "blazing fast performance," "immersive experience" and "amazing systems designs." Such claims will be verified during the event, as Intel execs, VR creators and imaging pros should take the stage to use Coffee Lake-powered systems.

In addition, the event provides an excuse to view the solar eclipse making its way from Oregon in the West across the US.

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