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Play over 100 great games on Xbox One with this heavily discounted Xbox Game Pass

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Most gamers have their favourite game, and there’s not much that can change that. 

No matter what new and exciting titles are purchased, there’s that one game that always draws you back in. Don’t worry, we’re not trying to take this away from you. No need to cower in fear. Nobody is going to take Red Dead away from you.

We’re talking about all the time in between your mammoth FIFA or Red Dead sessions, because yes, other games do exist. With an Xbox Game Pass you’ll always have something new to play, and something to occupy you when you begin a much needed break from your favourite title.

For the low price of £49.99, reduced from £89.99, you get unlimited access to over 100 Xbox games on Xbox One for 12 months. That’s a saving of £40 on the list price. Read more…

More about Microsoft, Xbox, Xbox One, Xbox Game Pass, and Mashable Shopping

Windows 10 Mobile’s final death shouldn’t be mourned, but celebrated

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The time has come to smash open that emergency bottle of whiskey and pour one out for Microsoft’s Windows 10 Mobile platform. 

Wait, didn’t Microsoft’s failed mobile operating system and phones already die years ago? Yes, Microsoft stopped building new features, but it still continued to support existing devices with security and stability updates.

But all of it officially comes to an end on Dec. 10. Microsoft has set that date as the official kill date to end all support for Windows 10 Mobile. After that, Window 10 Mobile users are on their own.

And honestly, it’s about time Microsoft moves on. Read more…

More about Mobile, Microsoft, Smartphones, Windows 10 Mobile, and Tech

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.