Microsoft Office Mobile arrives on iOS

Microsoft Office Mobile for iOS

Microsoft Office Mobile for iOS

While people (literally) around the world awaits for the premiere of “Man of Steel”, folks at Redmond quietly launches Office Mobile for iOS. After years of speculation, Microsoft, yesterday released an Office version for iOS optimized for iPhone (ooops, sorry iPad).

The app requires a subscription license of Office through Office 365. Office Mobile is tied into SkyDrive associated with a user’s Office 365 credentials, so it is automatically in sync with your files in the cloud. Users can also open and edit file attachments from Mail and save them back to the cloud or mail them back. It also allows you to create new documents or open existing ones either by browsing folders in SkyDrive or by finding them through a recent files list which synchronizes with your recent files from desktop applications.

The app provides almost the same functionality as Office for Windows Phones devices which really comes in handy. There is no word yet for an Android version but it is safe to say that Microsoft is also leaning on that direction. And if you’re wondering where is the iPad version, that is unlikely to happen because of course, Office apps is one of the major sales push for Microsoft’s Surface tablets. It is also worth noting that Apple, as announced last week, will drop Google searches for Siri and will use Microsoft’s Bing instead for the next iOS 7 release.  Head past break for the images.

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Man of Steel Movie Review – the not-so triumphant return of Superman

Man of Steel Character Poster. Image (c) Warner Bros.

Man of Steel Character Poster. Image (c) Warner Bros.

I’m a lifelong Superman fan. As a kid, I used to mimic him with something improvised that would resemble to a Superman cape (and Batman too for that matter) like towels or bed sheets. I’ve read some of the comics, enjoyed all the previous movies, faithfully followed Lois & Clark and literally watched all the 218 episodes from 10 seasons of Smallville. Needless to say, I had high hopes.

The movie opens with Lara Lor-Van (Ayelet Zurer) giving birth “privately” to Kal-El, the first naturally born child in years on Krypton. As explained by Jor-El (Russell Crowe — your horrible performance from Les Miserablès still lingers…) a natural birth is a crime because babies are engineered not conceived. Each Kryptonian is created with specific destiny and Jor-El’s resolve is for child to freely choose their own destiny. Moments later, we see director Zack Snyder’s space opera interpretation of the Krypton, a planet that is on the verge of collapsing due to General Zod’s (Michael Shannon) coup attempt, thanks to Jor-El for single-handedly defeating some of Zod’s minions. They then let Jor-El wears this really bulky Iron Man-ish costume only to get stabbed by General Zod (*laughs*) and shoots-out the young Kal-El to planet Earth and raised by Ma and Pa Kent (Diane Lane and Kevin Costner) at Smallville.

While the fight sequences are indeed awesome – awesome enough that it felt like I’m watching a Batman movie (from Christopher Nolan’s  franchise reboot *coughs*), I quite didn’t get the sense that Kal-El/Clark (Henry Cavill) actually cared for either earthlings or his people to that matter, suffice to say, it was so blank. Can I just comment on this particular laughable scene when Kal-El’s about to fight Zod’s minions and tells the townspeople to “go inside (the building) because it’s dangerous to be hanging around”? They even locked their doors. Few minutes later, Kal-El ended up destroying almost every building around with his fights with the Kryptonians. Poor townspeople (*shrugs*).  The Batman trilogy writers focused too-much of the fight scenes and missed the opportunity of letting the audience connects with him. Yes, he lost Pa Kent but still, how do we map his character? What are his ideals? He was only willing to surrender on his term that Kryptonians won’t hurt Lois Lane (Amy Adams), but at the end of the day, it is General Zod’s rule that’s going to matter. With the Superman reboot, I’m sure guessing that Nolan and Goyer are trying to copy the same formula that they did for Batman trilogy.

Given Snyder’s professional credits, I didn’t expect him to throw off some humors, witty dialogues and whatnots but I didn’t see something special between Clark and Lois, it didn’t happen for me, there is no connection between them.  I clearly remember when Lois (played by Erica Durance) was first introduced in Smallville TV series. She instantly clicks with Clark (played by Tom Welling). And in that timeline, Lana Lang (played by Kristin Kreuk) was still the love interest of Clark but you can feel and see the “love/sexual tension” between them. I’m not saying that they should copy that but it just didn’t happen, something is amiss, hence it is a failed love story for Lois and Clark.

Zynder’s “Man of Steel” was set on a different timeline where Clark Kent has no working relationship with Lois Lane and he hasn’t moved yet to the Metropolis. The movies focuses heavily on Kal-El’s Kryptonian origins and on the side, Clark Kent’s childhood was presented on a series of flashbacks. He also abandoned the idea of “big blue boy scout”. But one of the biggest disappointments here is when the whole team abandoned the iconic Superman’s trademark theme song. I needed that one last final scene where nerdy Clark is inside the elevator; dons his tights and flies out of the Daily Planet to save the world (insert Superman’s trademark theme song here). Sounds passé but it works.

“Man of Steel” also hinted possible shared DC universe crossovers and this could really be the “Justice League” movie. In the movie, we’ve seen (1) The Wayne Enterprise logo found on the satellite that Zod destroys, (2) LuthorCorp logo can be spotted on the truck as Clark emerges from the building while fighting Zod; and (3) Blaze Comics (Booster Gold) – it can be seen when Zod and Clark race towards each other with the collapsing buildings at the Metropolis.

DC's Superman vs Marvel's The Avengers

DC’s Superman vs Marvel’s The Avengers

Superman is perhaps the most popular superhero around the world so Warner Bros. is betting on “Man of Steel” big time, especially with the worldwide success achieved by their arch-rival Marvel who successfully launched their league of heroes, be it: “X-Men”, “Wolverine”, “Iron Man”, “Hulk”, “Thor”, “Captain America” and “The Avengers”. While Christopher Nolan was able to successfully revived “Batman” and expanded it into a trilogy series, Warner Bros., on the other hand, struggled and failed to launch its franchise on its own backyard with the mediocre reception for “Superman Returns” back in 2006 and with the lackluster performance of “Green Lantern” back in (sorry I forgot… the film was totally forgettable). The rumored “Justice League” movie has to happen otherwise, they’ll be overrun by Marvel which on the other note, I guess Marvel has already did. They have to do it now or Marvel will twist the knife deeper.

The movie left a rather ambiguous impression to me when Kal-El explained to Lois that the iconic “S” stands for “Hope” (yeah, yeah… at least in Krypton); so if “S” doesn’t stand for “Superman” then I hope “Man of Steel” who’s obviously having an identity issues finds himself on the sequel… hopefully. While “Man of Steel” didn’t meet my high expectations, it was still a good movie. My mind says I love it but the “inner Superman” in me says it could have been done better.

My rating: 8/10

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FACEOFF: Microsoft’s Xbox One and Sony’s PlayStation 4 at E3

Microsoft's Xbox One and Sony's Playstation 4 consoles' comparison

Microsoft’s Xbox One and Sony’s Playstation 4 consoles’ comparison

Sony came out on top on the first day of Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3) Media and Entertainment Summit – the gaming industry’s annual US trade show, not by showing off a more impressive line-up of games, but by answering a few simple questions the right way

After being criticized last month that the Xbox One launch was skewed for entertainment rather than gaming, Microsoft was first to take the stage for their handful of updates including the next Halo franchise which is due next year and some titles that are exclusive to Xbox One. Xbox One will be available this November for $499. Microsoft also announced a new, slimmer version of Xbox 360 that went on sale today.

And then there’s Sony with their impressive press conference, both in terms games and hardware for their Playstation 4. While Microsoft certainly wins the number of game titles exclusive to them, Sony, otherwise, immediately won the hearts of the audience with their thunderous applause when they announced the market price for their next generation Playstation 4, which will sell for $399, a $100-dollars cheaper than the Xbox One. And to further hurt Microsoft, Sony announced that it won’t require offline gamer to “check in” online periodically and it won’t stop working if you haven’t authenticated in 24 hours. They will also impose no restrictions on DRM (Digital Rights Management) for used games, something that Microsoft has been largely criticized of.

We won’t see the “real” winner in this console battle until we see the sales figure later this year / early next year but people from Sony will definitely have a good night sleep. And of course, the show wouldn’t be complete without some live presentation hiccups *grin*. Head past break for the full presentations for both Microsoft and Sony.

Microsoft’s Xbox One Full Press Conference at E3

Sony’s Playstation 4 Full Press Conference at E3

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Man of Steel – Official Nokia Exclusive Trailer

Nokia and Warner Bros. Pictures have teamed up for a global co-marketing partnership with one of the year’s most eagerly anticipated movies: Man of Steel.

Man of Steel is presented by Warner Bros. Pictures and Legendary Pictures, and directed by Zack Snyder (“300”, “Watchmen”). The film stars Henry Cavill as Kal-El/Clark Kent/Superman, Amy Adams as Lois Lane, Michael Shannon as General Zod, Laurence Fishburne as Perry White, Kevin Costner and Diane Lane as Clark Kent’s adoptive parents, and Russell Crowe as his Kryptonian father. Man of Steel is produced by Charles Roven, Christopher Nolan, Emma Thomas, and Deborah Snyder. The screenplay was written by David S. Goyer from a story by Goyer & Nolan, based upon Superman characters created by Jerry Siegel & Joe Shuster and published by DC Entertainment. Thomas Tull, Lloyd Phillips and Jon Peters are serving as executive producers.

Man of Steel, in theaters from June 14th.

©2013 Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc. All Rights Reserved. MAN OF STEEL and all related characters and elements are trademarks of and © DC Comics.

Sources: Nokia | MoS

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Samsung launches its biggest store in the Philippines

Samsung launches its biggest store in the Philippines

Samsung launches its biggest store in the Philippines

Samsung Philippines is continuing its efforts to roll-out more Samsung Stores across Philippines. The company is set to open its biggest store yet in the country tomorrow, June 7 at SM Aura, Bonifacio Global City, Taguig.

Dubbed as “Samsung Experience Store” the company teases that attendees of the said event will get an exclusive treat if they are existing Galaxy Note II, SIII or S4 user.

Based on the flyer, I’m guessing that Samsung Philippines will launch new brands for both ATIV (running Windows OS) and Galaxy (running Android OS) ahead of Samsung’s London event on June 20th.

As a Windows Phone user fanboy (I’m still using my unlocked Samsung Focus from AT&T), I hope that Samsung will still bring their high-end Samsung ATIV S Windows Phone (as previously teased on their billboards) in the country but that’s highly unlikely.

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Microsoft previews Windows 8.1

Windows 8.1 Preview

Windows 8.1 Preview

Microsoft is now offering people a peek at Windows 8.1 ahead of its June 26 public preview. Announced today at Computex 2013, Tami Reller – CFO and CMO for Windows Division, also said that Outlook 2013 RT will be coming to Windows RT tablets as part of Windows 8.1 update. Here’s a rundown as explained by Jensen Harris from Windows User Experience team:

Lock screen photo slideshow
“We turned the lock screen into a beautiful, cloud-powered photo frame,” Harris says. “It brings together pictures from your PC, from SkyDrive, and from your phone.”

Windows 8.1 Lock Screen

New Start screen
The new Start screen in the Windows 8.1 Preview features an animated betta fish, of course, and shows off the new tile sizes.

You can now pin and hold one more tiles to customize the Start screen, including moving and grouping tiles. And you can name tile groups without having to go into semantic zoom as before.



Start screen Personalization options now appear right on the Start screen and offer a “rainbow of colors.”


You can now choose from Motion Accents as well, like a dragon that moves as you swipe, with a tail that follows you down into the All Apps screen.


And of course you can put the desktop wallpaper behind Start now too.


All Apps

The All Apps screen has been improved in a few ways. You swipe up to reach it now, and you can sort the screen by app name, date installed, most used or category.



Start button
Harris sort of blew past this, but you can see the new Start button on the desktop as well.


New Search
Harris describes the new Search as a “beautiful, curated, app-like experience that brings together everything on the PC, and on the web, in one place.”





You can filter image searches by color, size and other criteria.



The new SkyDrive app can browse files in the cloud and, now, on your own PC.



We know that Snap is being improved dramatically in Windows 8.1. But some Snap actions are now automatic. For example, if you open an email attachment in the Mail app, the screen will snap with the photo opened in the right pane in the Photos apps.


This was part of the Snap demo, but the Photos app is getting “lightweight photo editing,” which is certainly useful.