HTC Placing Vive Demos at GameStop and Microsoft Stores

VR is one of those things where you have to experience it to know what it is all about. Without trying it, it really is hard to get a sense of how much you like or detest the whole experience. This is why it is so important to get VR headsets out into the public with demos so show them off. Starting today, HTC is doing just that, placing Vive headset demos throughout stores in the United States and Canada.

Right now, 3 Microsoft Stores already have HTC Vive demos ready for potential customers to experience. These are at New York City, Washington state (Bellevue Square) and Utah (City Creek Center). By the end of next week, 2 more will be added and peak at least at 30 by the end of the year. The other place where you can try out a Vive will at various GameStop locations. The plan is for 10 stores by the end of the month but how many there will be at the end remains to be seen.

For now, we have no idea what kind of demo the Vive will have at these locations. They should be smaller than the room scale demos at Overclockers UK but the idea is the same, to get VR out and into public view. Customers will also be able to order/pre-order the Vive at the locations. You can find out more about the Vive here.

Microsoft Ends Bitcoin Support

Just over a year on from its introduction, Microsoft has quietly pulled Bitcoin support from the Microsoft Store. While the company has not made an official statement regarding the news, nor has it explained why it took the decision, the Windows Store no longer supports the cryptocurrency for Windows 10 and Windows 10 Mobile purchases.

“Microsoft Store doesn’t accept Bitcoin,” an update to the Windows Store FAQ reads. “You can no longer redeem Bitcoin into your Microsoft account. Existing balances in your account will still be available for purchases from Microsoft Store, but can’t be refunded.”

Despite this quiet reveal, a page on the Microsoft website entitled “Add money to your Microsoft account with Bitcoin” still exists.

The move marks an unexpected U-turn for the company which, when it introduced Bitcoin support to its store at the end of 2014, proclaimed the digital currency as a growing market.

“For us, this is about giving people options and helping them do more on their devices and in the cloud,” Eric Lockard, Corporate Vice President of Universal Store at Microsoft, said (courtesy of a cached Microsoft blog post, seemingly now deleted). “The use of digital currencies such as Bitcoin, while not yet mainstream, is growing beyond the early enthusiasts. We expect this growth to continue and allowing people to use Bitcoin to purchase our products and services now allows us to be at the front edge of that trend.”

Image courtesy of BetaBoston.

Microsoft’s Band Gadget Finally Lands on the UK Market

Having a desk job is extremely stressing and messes with your body, this is why doctors recommend a minimum of 30 minutes workout per day. This helps relieve stress and keep you in shape both physically and mentally. But why not track your activity and health with the latest fitness and health bands on the market?

If you are living in the UK and wanted the Microsoft Band, the company appears to have started to offer it for a price tag of £169.99. The band seems to help keep track of activities such as heart rate, sun exposure, stress levels, calories burned and quality of sleep.

The Band connects to any iOS, Android or Windows Phone device via its companion app and offers customizable workouts. Whether you want to burn a lot of calories or just want to have a balanced diet, the Band and its app are available to help you with that.

Also, Microsoft’s gadget can be controlled with commands sent to Cortana, the company’s personal assistant and Siri’s rival. Is this why Cortana aims to arrive on the iOS and Android markets in the near future? Will Microsoft’s personal assistant squeeze its way into other mobile operating systems and offer integrated support in other applications too? We don’t have the answer for the latter questions, but time is bound to reveal the answer to that.

As far as the Band is concerned, you can order one from retailers such as Amazon, Harrods, Currys, O2 or even Microsoft’s Store itself. How do you find Microsoft’s health and fitness gadget? Are you planning on acquiring one yourself?

Thank you TheNextWeb for providing us with this information

Video courtesy of TheNextWeb and image courtesy of Digital Trends