Star Wars: The Old Republic going Free-to-Play this week

On thursday nov 15 SWTOR will add a new Free-to-Play option. More info here and in their FAQ.

They are also launching game update 1.5 this week. The update includes:

I’m really looking forward to HK-51 and nightmare mode for EC! Some of those cartel market items look very nice too! (my Sith Assassin has his eyes on the Sith Meditation Throne mount…)

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New TouchPad drivers with support for Windows 8 gestures

Synaptics has just released version 16.2.21 of their TouchPad drivers for Windows. The big news is support for Windows 8 gestures, like edge swipe, to make it easier to control Windows on PCs without a touchscreen.

More information on the TouchPad drivers and “Synaptics Gesture Suite” can be found here.

Download the new drivers here.

Logitech also support these gestures in their latest SetPoint drivers.

If you have a stationary desktop PC then be sure to check out Microsoft’s new “touch mice” that can also be used to control Windows 8 by gestures!

Another great tip for navigating Windows 8 with a keyboard is to learn at least some of the new keyboard shortcuts (using the Windows-key). The Verge has a nice guide on both gestures and keyboard shortcuts for Microsoft’s latest OS.

Windows 8 launched

You probably haven’t been able to avoid this news today, but I thought I should mention it anyway 🙂

Windows 8 has been completed (RTM, after 1.2 billion hours of testing) since august 1 but Microsoft and their partners have been working hard to get all the apps, services and new hardware ready in time for todays big launch.

Microsoft held their launch event today on Pier 57 in New York City. If you missed it and want to watch you can find the recorded webcast here. They also arranged other launch parties all around the globe.

Here are a few screenshots from my main laptop PC:

Yes, the desktop is still there! And yes, it’s an Alienware (M17x R3) 😉

I’ve been running Windows 8 RTM on this machine, on my work laptop, and on my HTPC (along with XBMC 12), for almost six weeks now. Once you get used to the new start screen and some of the new keyboard shortcuts it works really great even on a non-tablet PC.

As a time limited offer they’re selling Pro-edition upgrades for as low as $39.99 (299 SEK) right now. And if you’re fast you can get the Media Center Pack (with DVD playback) for free.

In other news, Microsoft’s new ARM-based Surface RT tablet (running Windows RT) was also launched today!

I’ve got one on its way (can’t argue with free) and from the reviews I’ve seen it looks quite promising. All it really missing is more apps, and that will surely come. It’s Windows after all, with ~90% marketshare still. And if it’s not what I need I’ll probably get another Windows 8 tablet this winter, maybe with the new Atom Clover Trail SoC (hopefully the perfect combination of mobility and x86 compatibility).

Check out these two awesome videos featuring the Surface!

See www.surface.com for specs and more details. If you’re looking for reviews you can find a nice summary here. Can’t wait to get my hands on mine 🙂

Office 2013 RTM now available on MSDN & TechNet

Office 2013 is a great upgrade so if you have access to MSDN or TechNet, go check it out!

Want to see what’s new? Have a look at this consumer preview or this developer preview.

Also released are Exchange Server 2013, Lync Server 2013 and SharePoint Server 2013. Since I work with Exchange and Lync I’ve been checking out the preview versions and looking forward to getting my hands on these final builds that where released to manufacturing (RTM) just two weeks ago.

For some quick info about what’s new in Exchange 2013, read this post on the official team blog. If you want to know more, contact me 😉

Many of these new features will go live in Office 365 this november.

Oh, and Visio 2013 and Project 2013 are out as well.

Busy times for MS 🙂

Xbox Music launched

The new Xbox Music service has been launched with lots of interesting features, and it’s also now available here in Sweden (the home of Spotify) 🙂

Right now they are offering a 30 day free trial so why not check it out?

So far it’s only available on Xbox 360, Windows 8 and Windows Phone 8, but they are working on apps for WP7, Android, iOS, and more.

Here are a few screenshots from my first test run with the new “Metro” music app in Windows 8:

And here’s the official video:

Lastly, I found a good online music services comparison here on Mashable. Looks like the new service is stacking up well against the established players! I’ve been a big fan (and premium subscriber) of Spotify since it launched, but if I get a new phone with WP8 I might just consider switching to Xbox Music…