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Microsoft isn’t building Office 2023 for you. It’s building Office for y’all. 

“We are moving from Office for us, to Office with others,” Microsoft chief executive Satya Nadella declared during Microsoft’s Build keynote last week.

Microsoft released the consumer preview of Office 2023 on Monday. You won’t find dramatic redesigns of its user interface—those are reserved for the universal Office apps that Microsoft has built or is building for its mobile platforms.

Intelligence knits the Office 2023 apps together, as does a palpable sense of collaboration. If you download and test the new suite, you’d be well-served testing it with a friend or a group of colleagues. Many of the new features encourage you to weave data together from diverse sources in the hopes that it will reveal insight.

Office 2023 also shifts how we interact with data in one important way: It actively encourages you to share data via the cloud, rather than files that you download and append to documents. The “death of downloading” hasn’t happened yet, but it seems nigh.

Microsoft released the preview on Monday. I downloaded a 32-bit version of the Office preview using the Office 2023 preview download methods my colleague Brad Chacos described, replacing the version of Office 2013 installed on my test machine. You can also install it through an Office 365 subscription if you have one. 

Remember, this is a preview. After this story was written, the Surface 3, my test machine, crashed. When it rebooted and updated, Outlook and other Office apps wouldn’t launch. An error message said the operation failed due to an installation problem, and I’d be forced to reinstall.

No Google-like collaboration, yet

Like many writers, my go-to Office application is Microsoft Word. Given Microsoft’s goal of making Google Apps-like real-time collaboration one of the selling points of Office 2023, I eagerly loaded Word to test it out. 

Mark Hachman

Outlook 2023 on the Microsoft Surface 3.

The way Google Apps permits multiple authors to collaborate is the way I expect collaboration to work: multiple authors making real-time changes to a document, with appropriately colored cursors identifying who is making each change. Microsoft provides that experience within Office Online, but not within the Office desktop apps—yet. 

Since the Office 2023 preview is literally a work in progress, real-time co-authoring will eventually be added before the software is released as a final product. It’s not there now. Currently, the co-authoring experience is much more like Office 2013 than anything else.

I quickly hacked together a test document in Word 2023 and sent it off to Brad Chacos via Outlook 2023. As Microsoft executives noted Tuesday morning, Word automatically tries to save into OneDrive by default—specifically OneDrive for Business. Then, when you send a file via Outlook, the file isn’t actually sent—just a link is, and the user is invited to co-edit the document with the appropriate permissions. (You can also share files directly from Office applications in both Office 2013 and Office 2023.) Office 2023 also defaults to a list of recently used files when you attach a document, generally listing the latest one first. Mark Hachman

In Outlook 2023, most file “attachments” are links to the file stored in OneDrive. If the file isn’t there, it will be attached.

What we expected to happen, of course, was for Word to allow us to edit the document collaboratively in Word 2023, or else for Office to open Office Online and do it there. Brad was able to sign in with his PCWorld/IDG credentials and open the document in-app, but the “real-time” collaboration was more like playing checkers than Pong. Once Brad saved, I could see his edits, but only if I weren’t trying to edit the same text field at the time. An alert box also let me know that I wouldn’t be seeing real-time updates, just static changes. 

Mark Hachman

In Word 2023, this seems to be the extent of “real-time editing,” for now.

Otherwise, most Office 2023 apps are virtually identical to Office 2013, for now. I did notice a slightly narrower, less legible menu font during my testing on a Surface 3, compared to what Brad saw on his desktop, which could be a scaling issue with our different displays. 

Other promises still to keep

One of the more useful features of Office 2023 is the specialized search bar at the top of many of the Office apps. The “Tell me” bar, as Microsoft calls it, invites you to ask in the search field how to perform actions (such as adding footnotes), rather than hunt the feature down through a maze of menus. The best part is that it doesn’t tell you how to perform a specific function; it simply offers you a simple step to actually do it.

Mark Hachman

The “Tell me” search bar allows you to simply ask the app what you want to do. At this point, it doesn’t work all that well.

Unfortunately, it sometimes flops. In Outlook 2023, I tried searching for “out of office,” instead of the more Office-like “automatic replies.” Neither query worked, whether as a search for the terms themselves or a more naturally-phrased query. In Word, however, searches for “insert bold text,” “insert footnote,” and “find Web art” all brought up what I was looking for.

One drawback, however, is the “Tell me” bar doesn’t actually reveal in what menu your search result is hiding, so you don’t learn how to find it yourself next time. Short of becoming dependent upon Tell me, perhaps a secondary “take me there” button makes sense too, at least as an option.

Mark Hachman

Groups within Office 2023.

Outlook 2023 also has one feature that Microsoft didn’t highlight: Groups, an chúng tôi feature that’s now been added to the Outlook 2023 app.

Intelligence and business insights in Excel

Visually, Excel 2023 at this point looks virtually identical to its Office 2013 version. The difference, however, is what’s under the hood. 

You can quickly extrapolate forecasts in Excel 2023.

I didn’t see anything new or noteworthy in either OneNote or PowerPoint. I did notice that notes loaded slowly in the new app, but that may have been a quirk of my network.

(Microsoft has also released a list of all the new features in the Office 2023 preview.)

Still to come: Apps that will talk to another

Microsoft’s new extensability APIs that it rolled out last week blaze the trail for the future of Office, enabling more collaboration not just between users, but between the apps themselves. Remember, we can expect a future where Cortana understands when your next meeting is, how long it will get there, and flags an nearby Uber car to pick you up at the appropriate time.

Eventually, Office apps won’t just talk to each other, but hold their own conversations with outside apps.

Eventually, that capability will spread throughout the Office suite, but that will take time. Chris Johnson, a group product marketing manager at Microsoft, said last week at Build that Microsoft was opening up APIs behind OneNote, for example, but the extensibility shown on stage wasn’t yet there. “Being able to surface developers, interrogations, or solutions… inside our products, we see as really key to building nice productivity solutions,” he said.

Like the Windows 10 Insider program, expect new capabilities to be added to Office 2023 over time. The key question: Will Microsoft do enough to lure you off the preview when it expires? Because you’ll be in step with Microsoft as Office 2023 rolls out, you’re in good shape to answer that question.

Updated at 10:45 AM to clarify that the technical preview is a work in progress, and that real-time co-authoring and collaboration will eventually be added, according to Microsoft.

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Dark Souls Remastered Preview: Hands



Our Verdict

We’ll wait until we’ve played the full game before we deliver our final verdict and star rating. 

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Dark Souls Remastered has given the original title a very noticeable facelift, giving today’s gamers the chance to play the cult classic title on their console of choice, without some of the performance issues that infamously plagued the first game.

We’ve spent some hands-on time with Dark Souls Remastered, and were blown away by the improved performance. Here’s our preview of Dark Souls Remastered, a taste of what’s to come. 

Dark Souls is returning to our screens on the 25th of May for PC, PS4 and Xbox One, though Switch owners will have to wait until Summer. The game is available to pre-order for £27.99 from Amazon in the UK, while those in the US can pre-order it from Amazon for $39.99. 

Has anything changed in Dark Souls Remastered?

To get this out of the way, I didn’t find anything new in my hour of hands-on play with the game, and I was told by an employee of NB that there wouldn’t be anything new or changed from the original. This is a pure remaster of Dark Souls – the game looks and runs better, but the game remains the same.

While this is going to be polarising as a few people were hoping for some new additions, it’s probably best they left the content for the game as it is. Dark Souls was a cult classic for a reason, and when you’re lucky enough to have something as fragile and delicate as a legacy attached to your game, that’s not something that should be tampered with.

I played the game on a PS4 and it ran like an absolute dream. The game looked gorgeous, the environments were clear and crisp as the texture upgrade really shows here. For me personally, as primarily a PC gamer, the improved frame rate was the biggest bonus.

Considering I play the majority of my games in well over 100 frames-per-second, dropping back to anywhere close to 30 FPS quite literally feels like I’m wading through mud. Everything feels slower, less responsive, and harder to catch.

Dark Souls Remastered runs at a very healthy 60 FPS, and I didn’t notice a single drop as I fought my way through the Undead Berg to go and reunite with our old friend Solaire. The difference between 30 and 60 FPS really is night and day, and it’s something I can’t wait for everyone else to enjoy.

If you’ve never played Dark Souls, then the release of Dark Souls Remastered is very much your chance to get into the action. The game looks good, runs beautifully, and is still one of the best single player games ever released.

While the game is renowned for being notoriously difficult, which it can be, it’s never unfair. The challenge is part of what makes it so enjoyable. The multiplayer component is very unique, as players can leave messages in the world for you to find and you can even see ghosts of other players moving around the environment with you.

Joining one of nine covenants extends the multiplayer experience, as each one has a different objective. The Warriors of Sunlight are rewarded for being summoned into other players worlds to help them deal with tough challenges they are facing, while the Darkwraith covenant is encouraged to invade other players worlds without permission to hinder them (kill people, push them off things, etc).

If you don’t wish to participate in any of that, joining The Way of the White will help reduce the chance of any hostile invasions while still giving you the option to call in help should you need it – although hostile invasions are still possible.

The story isn’t handed to you. You will notice parts of it that other players won’t, and piece together your own narrative as much of it is open to interpretation and deliberately hard to find a definitive answer. Discovering the story yourself and drawing your own conclusions is incredibly rewarding, and just one of the reasons we love the game.

The remastered version comes with all of the DLC included; making it a fantastic deal with the amount of content you’re being given. If you missed Dark Souls the first time around, and you’re up for a challenge, then Dark Souls Remastered provides the perfect time to jump in.

Hands On With The Apple Ipad

I had the opportunity to spend some hands-on time with the long-awaited Apple iPad tablet after today’s much-hyped press event. Unfortunately, I was a bit underwhelmed: I can see a lot of really useful applications for the iPad, but the reality is that it looks and behaves like an iPhone (or iPod Touch) on steroids. And that’s not exactly a good thing.

While the iPad is super slim at only a half-inch thick, I had some difficulty handling it. At 1.5 pounds, it is too heavy to hold in one hand, which is troublesome if you plan on using it as an e-reader. Other e-readers, like Amazon’s Kindle 2 or the COOL-ER e-reader, are much lighter in hand and therefore make for a much more comfortable user experience. Using two hands is much more comfortable, but if you’re reading a long novel, that could get quite tiresome.

iPad OS: A giant iPhone interface

One of the biggest rumors leading up to the event was that iPhone OS 4.0 would be released in conjunction with the iPad. Instead, the iPad is running iPhone OS 3.2 (which has not been released for actual iPhones yet).

The lack of a fresh, new interface for the iPad is disappointing. There might be some incremental differences between versions 3.1 and 3.2, but to me on the surface, the iPad’s interface looked exactly like a blown-up version of my iPhone 3GS’. And in my opinion, the OS doesn’t translate very well from the much smaller iPhone 3G to the iPad. It’s not so much about the touch aspect of the interface; in fact, navigating by touch is a huge benefit on this roomy screen, superior to, say, the joystick-based navigation of the comparably sized, non-touch Amazon Kindle DX screen. But images, icons, and text aren’t as crisp as expected on the higher-resolution iPad. I found it much like watching standard definition video on an HDTV; Apple doesn’t seem to have optimized the operating system’s visuals for the iPad’s display.

Like the rest of the OS, the touch keyboard is a larger version of the iPhone’s. But unlike on the iPhone, the keyboard has no letter magnification when you press a key, and I found I missed this visual cue immensely. And unsurprisingly, it lacks haptic feedback (part of Android phones). You get no physical or visual feedback when you press a key and that’s frustrating if you’re trying to pound out a long e-mail. The experience, oddly, is akin to typing on the native Android OS’ touch keyboard.

Apple will be offering a keyboard dock accessory, which gives you an actual physical keyboard to work with ($69). You can also place it in the iPad Case ($39), which allows you to angle it slightly. This feels much more comfortable than just laying the tablet flat and typing. Both of these items are sold separately, though.

iPhone apps don’t fly on iPad

One of the big concerns among developers and users before the iPad’s announcement was whether iPhone apps would work on the device. Thankfully, they do, but the experience isn’t exactly ideal. You can either view an iPhone app as a small window or doubled to fill the display. I demoed the Assassin’s Creed and Oregon Trail apps, and was put off by the obvious pixelation. Text in Facebook looked fuzzy, too.

Luckily, the iPad isn’t shipping for another 60 days, so hopefully more content will be developed by then. And who knows? Some of the issues I’ve noticed on this demo unit may be fixed by then.

Right now, I’m not sold on either the hardware or the software. But excellent, optimized content might change my opinion.

Lg G4 Hands On Review, Photos And Video

LG G4 Quick Specs

Display Size: 5.5 Inch Quantum IPS LCD Display with  1440 x 2560 QHD and Gorilla Glass 3

Processor: 1.8 GHz Hexa Core Snapdragon 808 (2 Cortex A57 cores at 1.8 GHz + 4 Cortex A53 Cores at 1.44 GHz) and Adreno 418 GPU


Software Version: Android 5.1 Lollipop with  LG Optimus UX 4.0 UI

Primary Camera: 16 MP AF camera with Dual LED Flash, F1.8 Lens, 4K recording

Secondary Camera: 8 MP, 1080p Videos

Internal Storage: 32 GB

External Storage: up to 128 GB

Battery: 3000 mAh battery, Removable

Connectivity: 4G, Wi-Fi 802.11ac, Bluetooth, aGPS, 3.5mm audio jack, USB OTG, NFC, Infrared port, GPS, GLONASS

LG G4 India Unboxing, Quick Review and Comparison with Galaxy S6 [Video]

Design, Build and Display

Most notable change which you first notice, is a curved display. This didn’t interfere with the way we use our phone, and you don’t have to worry about not liking it at all. Does it add any value? well, in my first day of usage, the curved design makes using the rear key so much better (you can even take screenshots using just one finger). The curved design and display tends to grow on you.

The 5.5 Inch display is a gorgeous panel with great vibrant colors and Quad HD resolution. LG says this is a ‘Quantum IPS LCD display’, with better contrasts and brightness. In our opinion, it is an awesome display close to perfection. The double tab to wake and sleep gesture also works noticeably better on LG G4 then it does on Zenfone 2 (though both lie in completely different league).

Processor and RAM

LG chose Snapdragon 808 instead of Snapdragon 810 in this new flagship phone, as the 810 was bad mouthed, predominantly because of heating issues involved. Was it a wise choice? Yes. The LG G4 is blazing fast even with several apps open simultaneously. Is the heating gone for good? It does get warm time and again, but we haven’t encountered any excessive heating in our one day usage. There is 3 GB RAM on board and since multitasking and performance is smooth, you don’t need to lust for more.

Benchmark Scores

Benchmark Standard Score

Quadrant 16618

Antutu 48323

Nenamark 2 61 fps

Camera and Internal Storage

Internal storage is 32 GB and around 22 GB is available at user end. For more demanding users, there is a MicroSD card slot which supports up to 128 GB expansion. USB OTG is also supported

User Interface and Battery

As expe 5.1 Lollipop based LG Optimus UX 4.0 UI is loaded with features and the LG Keyboard, which is one of the best out there. We like the UI design and aesthetics, but that remains more of a matter of personal taste. As mentioned, there is much to like here including Dual Windows (2 Apps on one screen), smart settings (automation based on location and other context) and more.

The 3000 mAh battery overcomes the primary flay of LG G3 and renders great standby time and on screen time.  You can comfortably last one day on a single charge. Quick charge is supported, but there is no wireless charging. The proposal for QHD display with great performance AND great battery backup seems too good to be true, but if reviews surfacing on the web and our limited experience is to be considered, LG has managed to accomplish this.

LG G4 Photo Gallery


Hands On: Fujifilm Real 3D W1 Digital Camera

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In the past, in order to take a stereoscopic 3D photo, photogs had to fashion their own hacked shooting rigs of conjoined cameras wired into a central shutter. But even with all that, 3D shots taken with those setups still can’t be seen with the naked eye. Fujifilm’s Real 3D system, which is available in the U.S. today, includes a camera, digital frame, and print center that creates 3D images you can see without those flimsy glasses.

First up, the FinePix Real 3D W1 digital camera ($600). Just like costly stereoscopic rigs, the W1 has two side-by-side 10-megapixel lenses separated about as far as human eyes (about 2.75 inches) that capture two images simultaneously focused on the same point in front of the camera. The two shots are instantly combined inside the camera to create a MPO-JPEG (the “MP” is for “multi-picture”), instead of your standard JPEG. It also captures 3D movies in stereo 3D-AVI at 640-by-480 or 320-by-240 pixels at 30 frames per second.

The real trick, though, is in the screen: the 2.8-inch LCD uses directional light control to display the MPO and 3D-AVI files in 3D that’s visible with the naked eye. Directional light control displays two different sets of light, one pointed at your right eye and other at your left, that flash quickly enough back and forth to give the illusion of depth.

All this happens quickly in 3D auto mode, but there also manual settings to tinker with. Individual Shutter 3D, for example, snaps only one shot at a time, and displays a ghost of the first image on the screen to guide the second snap. The W1 can also take regular 2D photos, either one at a time or two at once. The dual-shot feature comes in handy for landscape or panorama shooting, though there’s no in-camera editing option to stitch the shots together on the fly.

How Fujifilm’s 3D Vision Works

Fuji’s system projects images and video in such a way that your eyes and brain are tricked into seeing in 3D.

I had an hour or so to play around with the W1 last week, and it’s impressive. The camera is heavy, but it’s metal body feels very sturdy despite its brick-like-ness. Snaps I took of my coffee cup and danish popped on the LCD just the way Fuji’s engineers said they would. I also had fun tinkering with the image ghosting (or parallax) controls, which let you control how much overlap there is between the two JPEGs to determine what part of the image you want to appear in 3D; I was able to shift focus from my mug to a camera in the background, for example

Fuji has also created options for off-camera, glasses-free viewing. The V1 Digital Viewer ($500) is an 8-inch LCD display that uses a parallax viewing system to render in 3D. This system, like the camera LCD directional light, points light at each eye individually, but in a slightly different way. The viewer has a second LCD overlaid that only displays thin, vertical black lines that quickly flash on and off on the right and left side. Once you find the screen’s “sweet spot,” (which could take a bit of bobbing your head back and forth, as it did for me) images and video appear to pop.

Fujifilm Real 3D W1 Screen

In person, images on the 2.8-inch LCD pop.

If you’re old-fashioned and want prints, you can order then for about $7 each through chúng tôi The 5-by-7 prints have the textured feel of holograms. Those raised ridges use what’s called binocular disparity to isolate parts of the image that get seen by each eye individually.

Fuji has also partnered with Nvidia to bring the Real 3D system to computers — albeit with the glasses. With the help of Nvidia 3D Vision glasses, a 120-Hz monitor, and a current Nvidia graphics card, you can view the W1’s MPO and 3D-AVI files on your PC.

The Real 3D system is available direct from Fuji starting today.

Coolpad Mega 2.5D Hands On & Quick Review

It is launched at a price of Rs. 6,999 which directly puts it against the recently launched Redmi 3s and its own sibling Coolpad Note 3 Lite. The highlight of this smartphone is the front camera which claims to capture the selfies you need. Before wasting any more time, let’s have a quick look at the design and build.

Coolpad Mega 2.5D Specifications

[table id=618 /]

Coolpad Mega 2.5D Photo Gallery Coolpad Mega 2.5D Physical Overview

Something that I found good about this phone is the design and builds quality for the price. When I first saw the device, I was impressed with the way Coolpad Mega looked in the hand. It felt really light and one could feel it the moment you take it in hand. Out of curiosity, I immediately revised the specs to check the weight and I was impressed to see that the 5.5 inch smartphone weighs just 140 grams.

The front of the phone has the 5.5 inch display with 2.5D curved glass, which makes it look impressive. Just above the display, you will find the ear piece with the front camera on its right and the ambient light sensor to the left of the ear piece.

On the bottom, you will find the three on-screen buttons for navigation. Coolpad branding is placed at the bottom bezel which looks good.

The Volume rocker is placed on the left side.

Power button and SIM tray is on the right hand side of the phone.

The bottom of the phone houses the microUSB port and a mic.

The top of the phone has the 3.5 mm audio jack.

The back of the phone features the Camera sensor, LED flash and the secondary mic on the top.

And the loudspeaker grill is at the bottom.

Display Overview

The Coolpad Mega 2.5D comes with a 5.5 inch IPS LCD display with a screen resolution of 1280 x 720 pixels. The good thing about the display is the colour accuracy, crispness and brightness, but the viewing angles are just decent. It is worth noting that the Mega 2.5D does not come with a Gorilla Glass.

Camera Overview

The Coolpad Mega 2.5D is a selfie-focused smartphone as it sports 8MP camera sensors on the front and the back. Front camera comes with an f/2.2 aperture, an 83.6-degree field of view, and a ‘smart beautification’ feature to enhance your selfies. The rear autofocus camera boasts of an f/2.0 aperture with a Sony sensor.

Price and Availability

Coolpad Mega 2.5D is priced at Rs. 6,999. It will be available in its first flash sale via Amazon India at 2PM from August 24th. Registrations are already started from 5PM onwards.


The Coolpad Mega 2.5D is a good device in itself. Although it has some flaws like small battery and missing fingerprint sensor, but it still is a good choice for those who use their smartphone more often for multimedia. It has a decent processor, a good display, very impressive look and feel, a good front camera and 5.5 inch HD display that looks good. Moreover it has the latest version of Cool UI on top of Marshmallow, so its on you what do you prefer.

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