Monday, October 15, 2018

Paul Allen—Microsoft co-founder, Seahawks owner, and space pioneer—dies at 64

(credit: Miles Harris)

Paul Allen, who with Bill Gates founded Microsoft, has died at the age of 65. His death comes shortly after he resumed treatment for non-Hodgkin's lymphoma; the cancer had returned after being in remission for nine years.

Allen was a Seattle native and went to high school with Gates. The two kept in touch at university—Allen at Washington State, Gates at Harvard—and when Allen dropped out in 1975 to start a company to develop software for the MITS Altair 8800, he soon convinced Gates to follow. That company was Micro-Soft, which shed its hyphen the following year. In 1980, Microsoft was chosen by IBM to develop DOS for its new PC. With the success of the PC and PC compatibles, Microsoft became hugely successful.

Allen had his first run-in with cancer in 1982, when he was diagnosed with Hodgkins lymphoma and drastically cut back his work at the company while recovering. He formally left Microsoft in 1983, but he retained his share of ownership and became a billionaire when the company went public in 1986.

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Monday, October 8, 2018

Microsoft announces Project Xcloud—Xbox game streaming for myriad devices


A new service from Microsoft called Project Xcloud is on the way, and it will stream Xbox games, not just to consoles and PCs, but to mobile devices like smartphones and tablets. Microsoft shared new information about its plans in a blog post and a talking-heads YouTube video. The company made a vague announcement about the new service at its E3 press conference earlier this year, but this is the first time the industry giant has provided details about how it works and when it might become available.

Microsoft is testing the service right now. Multiple control methods will be offered on mobile phones and tablets. First off, users will be able to pair an Xbox wireless controller with Bluetooth, and Microsoft showed footage of this in action with a phone-mount attachment for the controller. If a user doesn't have a controller, Microsoft says it is "developing a new, game-specific touch-input overlay that provides maximum response in a minimal footprint."

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