Windows RTMs, PCWorld Lab Testing and Mechwarrior Tactics

Microsoft officially ships the final master of Windows 8. The launch date is still officially October 26, but MSDN and Technet subscribers can download it on August 15. The Redmond company also stealth launches Outlook.com a replacement for its web-based Hotmail client and an improvement over Windows Live Mail.

We also talk about the PCWorld Tech Center, where most of our extensive product testing occurs. Loyd Case talks about Mechwarrior Online and Mechwarrior Tactics, two upcoming free-to-play online games, plus the news that a big, subscription based MMO is taking the free-to-play route this Fall.

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Microsoft Office 2013, Windows 8 Launch Date, Digital Photography PC, New Games

Microsoft launches Office 2013, it's latest version. The new Office sports a Metro-like interface, is touch friendly and offers better integration with external applications plus a bevy of new features. We talk about some of the changes and cool stuff we saw, but also what seemed to be missed.

Microsoft also announced key dates for its upcoming Windows 8 OS. The RTM (release to master) is due in early August, while the official launch date is October 26.

We also talk about what you need when you build or buy a PC for digital photo editing. The latest crop of photo editing apps are beginning to support GPU acceleration for key parts of the editing pipeline. We also discuss storage needs, the quirks of various editing applications and differences in workflow.

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Google I/O (including Nexus 7 & Q), Windows 8 Upgrades, Choosing a Gaming PC, plus New Games!

And now it's Google's big week with Google I/O, following on the heels of Microsoft's Windows Phone 8 and Surface announcements and Apple's WWDC. Google launches the Nexus 7, it's entry into the tablet market, plus the oddball (pun intended) Nexus Q media streamer.

Meanwhile, Microsoft announces Windows 8 upgrade pricing, we talk a bit about how to choose a gaming PC and dive into a couple of new game releases.

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Microsoft Surface and Windows Phone 8 Events, Youtube Blocks MP3 Transcoding Sites, AMD's New GPU

It's Microsoft week, sandwiched between WWDC and Google I/O. Microsoft pulls an Apple, hosting a super-secret, last minute event to roll out its Surface RT and Surface with Windows Pro 8 tablets. Two days later, Microsoft hosts a developer summit to roll out technical and feature set details about its upcoming Windows Phone 8 mobile OS. And by the way, AMD updated its high end graphics hardware, launching the Radeon HD 7970 GHz Edition in an attempt to recapture the graphics performance crown.

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Windows 8 Release Preview, Desktop Apps for Android, and the coming E3 Expo on PCWorld Podcast #139

Maybe you have heard about this little piece of software called Windows? Windows 8 is coming up this fall, and it's a big change from the Windows you know. The Consumer Preview left us excited but worried, and the new Release Preview makes some welcome improvements. We describe some of the biggest changes from our limited time with this just-released version.

Our Android expert Armando also clues us in on some neat apps that let you use your computer (Windows or Mac) as a window into your phone. Text caller ID and texts, copy files over, even control your phone remotely.

Lastly, the E3 Expo is next week. Loyd Case and Alex Wawro will be in attendance, and they give us an idea of the gaming goodness they expect to see. Then, of course, everyone gets into an argument about future game consoles.

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Facebook IPO, Nvidia GTC, Diablo 3, and Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon on PCWorld Podcast #138

Remember a couple weeks ago when we discussed Ivy Bridge CPUs running a lot hotter than Sandy Bridge CPUs when overclocked? Well Loyd Case found a site that did a little experimentation and solved the mystery. (Hint: it's the awful thermal compound Intel uses.)

We're joined by Facebook expert Mark Sullivan to talk about the impact of Facebook's IPO, which should happen today. I think we're all in agreement that the company is way overvaulued, and will start snapping up other companies when the big flood of money comes in. With any luck, they'll avoid Yahoo's object lesson in how not to spend money.

You may have noticed a little PC game by the name of Diablo 3 hitting the market this week. It's an online-only game, and has suffered the fate of every very popular online-only game. Namely, it was all but unplayable on the first day.

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Hot Ivy Bridge Chips, GeForce GTX 690, the True Cost of Printers, and Nook News on PCWorld Podcast #137

I lot of headlines this week proclaimed that Intel's new Ivy Bridge processors actually run a lot hotter than the Sandy Bridge processors they're set to replace. The truth is not that simple. We'll break it down for you in the podcast.

We also discuss the merits of Nvidia's new GeForce GTX 690 graphics card, which is essentially two GeForce GTX 680 cards for the price of...well...two.

Melissa Riofrio introduces us to the study of Ink-onomics, where you factor in the cost of buying the more expensive ink that comes with cheap printers. In general, if you print a lot, a more expensive printer will save you money in the long run.

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