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01 11 VOL 16




THE BEST OF GITEX ‘11 Hot new technology revealed!

APPLE’S STARS We talk you through Apple’s greatest hits

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12 APPLE'S GREATEST HITS On October 5 2011 Apple lost its visionary and charismatic leader Steve Jobs. Steve Jobs Co-Founded Apple, resigned, returned and then turned the company, and the world, on its head. Here, WINDOWS looks at ten of the most world changing products and moves Apple made during the Jobs era.

22 THE VERY BEST OF GITEX 2011 Gitex Technology Week 2011 saw hundreds of companies showing off their latest products, technologies and solutions. If you were unable to attend don’t worry, WINDOWS had a thorough look around and here, we give you the lowdown on the most noteworthy things we saw.





28 THE SIGHTS AND SOUNDS OF GITEX TECHNOLOGY WEEK 2011 Walking around Gitex Technology Week 2011 there was plenty to see and do. Here we talk you through some of the cool and interesting products, technology and people we encountered over the five day event.






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34 HOT KIT REVIEWS 34 35 36 37 38


42 BUYER'S GUIDE THE BIGGEST TECH REFERENCE GUIDE 43 43 44 44 45 45 46 46 47 47


48 GAME ON 48 54 56

NEWS FORZA 4 F1 2011

60 REGULARS 60 62 64





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Editor’s letter An ITP Technology Publication

LOGGING ON Visit WINDOWS MIDDLE EAST online and read this content and much more at


THE FUTURE IS CLOSE Another Gitex Technology Week is behind us. This brings my tally up to eight while working on your favourite consumer technology title, Windows Middle East. As always the lead up to the show was brutal with 13 hour work shifts being the norm and while technology shows are gradually losing steam around the world, there was plenty to get my heart racing this year. Perhaps the most interesting piece of technology for me at Gitex 2011 was French company Aldebaran Robotics’ Nao autonomous, programmable, humanoid robot. If you want to read all about Nao and its uses in today’s world, flip over to page 25. You can also see the capable robot in action if you look it up on YouTube or just use Google. We also have a few fun pictures of Nao on our Facebook page (www. I was pretty blown away by it all, though I admit I’m far from a robotics expert. While Nao’s credentials are impressive today, looking towards the future, I can’t help but get excited about the potential benefits that Nao and other such robots could bring us. A human-sized Nao could, for example, be used in civil defense scenarios as a fire fighter, replacing a human being in very dangerous scenarios. I know what you’re thinking but I think that human beings will still have a place in a robot-enhanced community. Rather than becoming completely obsolete as depicted by the 2004 movie ‘I, Robot’, the human being who is replaced from the front line could become an operator of sorts, using his experience and judgments to get the job done with his mechanical steed. While cost is a concern that could ruin an initiative such as this, it may not even be a problem in the coming years. Existing versions of Nao sell for approximately US $15,000 and while this is a staggering amount of cash, consumers today drop more money on things like cars, Swiss watches and other everyday items. Within the next year the cost for a robot like Nao is likely to fall further as well. Aldebaran Robotics, in fact, has plans to release a consumer-aimed version of Nao late in 2012. Another piece of tech that has evolved immensely since I first saw it is Microsoft’s Surface. Surface 2.0 was on display at the show and has evolved to become a hugely more impressive solution. I can easily see it being used in homes for a variety of purposes, since it can now accurately read objects placed atop the surface (read about it on page 31). Imagine using Surface 2.0 to sort photographs, review documents or to look for a destination using Google Maps. It’s all possible. The only hold up is cost and, as before, this won’t likely be a problem for much longer. Jason Saundalkar

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Real security in a digital world ESET SMART SECURITY 5






Al Batha CIO Saji Oommen on the challenges of IT management

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STRATEGIC THINKING Talking tactics with executives from Adobe, ATS, MTC and Toshiba (14)


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GAME REVIEWS Blur, Crackdown 2, Starcraft II: Wings of Liberty

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Steve Jobs, the iconic leader who singlehandedly turned Apple from a PC maker into a company with products that captured the imagination of millions around the globe and blurred the boundary between consumer electronics and business IT, died at the age of 56 on October 5. Jobs, who had been suffering from poor health caused by pancreatic cancer for some time, leaves behind a legacy of turning simple electronic devices into industry-changing, fashion-driving products which blurred the line between consumer products and business tools. These include the well received Apple iPad, which ignited a tablet PC business that had floundered for years; the hugely popular iPhone smartphone, which turned mobile phones into smart devices and fashion statements; and the iPod Touch, which brought the Internet into the pocket of users ranging from students to CEOs. Under Jobs' close watch, Apple transformed the way business approached IT. The company's iPad, iPhone, and iPod Touch not only became runaway best-selling products in their categories, they sometimes created their own categories from scratch. More importantly, as those products became wildly popular with consumers worldwide, users started to realise that they could use their mobile devices at work, driving businesses to scramble for ways to accommodate them. The 1990s were a decade of struggle for Apple, which was saved financially by a US $150 million investment in the company by rival Microsoft. But in 2001, Apple released its first music player, the iPod, and the company has grown wildly since. That growth was fuelled by the 2007 release of the iPhone, a device which consigned the common cellphone to the ash heap of history by introducing the concept of a smart device which gave consumers the ability to get phone, music, video, Internet access, and games in a single device. That success was duplicated with the 2010 release of the Apple iPad. The iPad was not the first tablet PC. However, it did what no other tablet PC did in over a generation of trying: It made consumers, then business people, want to actually purchase and use one by making it easy for developers to make and sell applications that appealed to users.



Dubai-based software developer, ZeroWire Labs, has launched a UAE-inspired User Generated Content (UGC) application for BlackBerry smartphones in collaboration with two graduates from Zayed University. The application called Boum App is available as a free download on BlackBerry App World. "ZeroWire Labs is very keen to support our local software developer base. We have created a powerful application for BlackBerry smartphones that integrates social media and user-generated content," said Mohammed Ali, Co-Managing Director of ZeroWire Labs. "The application was developed for the BlackBerry platform due to the strong user base of customers in the UAE - it was an easy decision for us to develop for this platform." The two graduates, Fatma Al Ghaith and Meera Alsiri were inspired to develop Boum App, which is named after the traditional Arabic deep sea dhow, after their friends wanted to share their favourite â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;hidden gems' of the Emirates using their social networks and BlackBerry smartphones. Boum App is designed to allow users to capture images and post them to the application, along with a brief description of the location or subject. Locations are tagged via GPS, and users can upload an infinite amount of sites for visitors and residents to explore. "Boum App is a fantastic tool for everyone to enjoy, whether they're residents or tourists," said the developers, Fatma Al Ghaith and Meera Alsiri. "As Emiratis, we know a lot of places that might not be common knowledge, and we love to share these with other people to have them experience the history and heritage of the UAE." Boum App was created with the support of the Municipality of Abu Dhabi City, Zayed University and ZeroWire Labs.



Sony has announced the launch of two new series' of Vaio notebooks; the Vaio S and Vaio C range. The Vaio C line-up features laptops in special edition colours and two new patterns while the Vaio S series is designed to have extended battery life and enhanced performance levels. The S series Vaio VPCSE17 is a 15.5-inch notebook designed to offer the performance and thinness of the older 13.3-inch notebook. It comes with the Intel Core i7 processor and AMD Radeon HD 6630M GPU with 1GB VRAM. The unit also has Performance Switch that supports Dynamic Hybrid Graphic System. This switch is designed to allow users to choose between Speed mode for faster performance, and the Stamina mode for a longer battery life. The Vaio VPCSE17 has up to five hours of battery life, but users can purchase an optional 'Sheet Battery' to extend the battery life up to 10 hours. The additional battery also has a dedicated battery charger that allows users to leave the Sheet Battery at the desk to charge. The notebook weighs 1.96kg and sports a 24.5mm body, with an aluminium palm rest and magnesium body and features a backlit keyboard. The Vaio C Series will be available in two limited edition colours of pink and black, and both colours feature a stereoscopic effect. The black colour limited edition version has a geometric pattern, while the pink version features flower designs. The C series also includes the Vaio Care software that helps take care of the system while assisting in troubleshooting and runs on AMD Radeon 1GB Hybrid Graphics card and a second generation Intel Core i5 processor / 500GB HDD / 4GB RAM. The new models will soon be available at select official VAIO outlets in UAE.


APPLE IPHONE 4S LAUNCHES Apple's iPhone 4S has made its debut in Tokyo, London, Paris, Sydney and San Francisco and, despite market criticism, the launch sparked queues around city blocks to nab the last gadget unveiled during Co-Founder Steve Jobs' lifetime. According to Reuters, Apple shares climbed 3% to close at a record high after people surged into stores in Sydney, Tokyo, London, Paris, New York and San Francisco to get their hands on the iPhone 4S. Fans across the globe made sure that Steve Jobs was part of the launch, leaving candles, flowers and tributes outside Apple stores. "I have a lot of respect for how he led the company and so the turnout, and especially the preorder sales, is a mark of appreciation for him," Chris Centers, lined up outside the San Francisco store, told Reuters. The new iPhone 4S looks almost identical to the iPhone 4, but features an upgraded camera, better processor and improves security and voice-activated software called Siri. The 4S, unveiled just one day before Jobs passed away after a long battle with cancer, was slammed as a disappointment by market critics, but the Siri voice software helped it set record online orders on October 7. Apple hopes the launch of the 4S will stave off growing competition from arch-rival Samsung Electronics. According to Reuters, analysts believe the South Korean company, which powers its phones with Google's Android software, surpassed Apple as the world's biggest smartphone vendor in terms of unit sales in the third quarter.

YOUTUBE ADDS MERCH STORE YouTube has now added the ability for budding YouTube artists to sell their merchandise, events tickets and content directly via the site. The new feature, called Merch Store, is designed to allow YouTube partners to offer fans merchandise directly on their channel. Fans will be able to buy artists' merchandise, direct digital downloads, concert tickets and organise meets. YouTube has partnered with Topspin for merchandise, concert tickets and experiences; Songkick for concerts; and iTunes and Amazon for music downloads.


GONABIT BECOMES LIVINGSOCIAL GoNabit has now been officially rebranded as LivingSocial, following its acquisition in June 2011. The group buying site will operate as before but off the LivingSocial platform, which is expected to give it bigger and better local discovery experience for members and merchants, including buying and redeeming vouchers via a mobile application, which is a first for local commerce in the Middle East, according to LivingSocial Middle East. All existing GoNabit members will need to create a new account on LivingSocial in order to purchase the daily deals they receive each day. Any outstanding GoNabit vouchers are still valid and can be accessed via the original GoNabit website until they expire. Any unused GoNabit store credit will also be transferred to the customer's new LivingSocial account as LivingSocial Credit, said LivingSocial Middle East. "Our rebrand to LivingSocial Middle East brings a truly world-class e-commerce experience to the region and will be a real game-changer for social commerce here. Essentially, we are everything people have come to know and trust about GoNabit. We think combining our strong team, operating experience across the Middle East, and commitment to customer service with LivingSocial's domain expertise - and now their great platform - is a big moment for the region. People no longer have to look outside the region and admire leading edge online businesses. Now, it's here" said Dan Stuart, Managing Director, LivingSocial Middle East. The rebranding also means that Middle East members can access more than 600 daily deal markets in 25 countries around the world, all from one account, according to LivingSocial Middle East. The company is also launching the LivingSocial mobile app which allows LivingSocial members to use either the mobile app or the mobile-optimised website as their voucher wallet and is designed to allow users to view unexpired vouchers in their area and redeem them without printing the voucher. LivingSocial Middle East will launch in Abu Dhabi, Dubai, Sharjah, Cairo, Beirut and Amman.


SAMSUNG NOW TOP SMARTPHONE SELLER Samsung has overtaken Apple as the world's top smartphone shipper between July and September, according to the BBC. Research by Strategy Analytics showed that Samsung shipped 27.8 million smartphones in the three-month period, compared with 17.1 million from Apple and 16.8 million from Nokia. Strategy Analytics said that Apple's growth was hampered by customers waiting for the new iPhone 4S to ship. Nokia was the top handset shipper with a 27.3% market share, followed by Samsung with 22.6% and LG with 5.4%, while Apple's number four position in total handsets sold, was taken by China's ZTE at 4.7%, pushing Apple into fifth place with 4.4%. The Strategy Analytics report came shortly after the release of Samsung's thirdquarter results, which showed profits falling 23% due to poor performance in its memory chip business. Handset profits for Samsung more than doubled to $2.3bn on strong sales from its Galaxy smartphones. A total of 117 million smartphones were shipped in the Q3 2011, an increase of 44% from the same period last year. Nokia's smartphone market share fell from 33% in the third quarter of 2010 to 14% on Q3 2011.


SONY TO BUY ERICSSON OUT OF JOINT VENTURE Sony is to buy Ericsson out of their Sony Ericsson mobile phone business for euro 1.05bn (US $1.48bn). The pair have decided to end their ten year joint venture, as the synergies for Ericsson, as a supplier of telecoms and technology solutions, have decreased. Sony will take on Ericsson’s 50% of the business, with Sony Ericsson becoming a wholly-owned subsidiary of Japanbased Sony.

Sir Howard Stringer, Sony’s chairman, CEO and President commented, “This acquisition makes sense for Sony and Ericsson, and it will make the difference for consumers, who want to connect with content wherever they are, whenever they want. The two companies have said that they will continue to work together, through a newly formed initiative that will focus on wireless connectivity across multiple platforms.


Porsche Design and Research In Motion (RIM) have collaborated on a new Porsche Design P'9981 smartphone. "Since 1972 Porsche Design has presented milestone products with iconic style, and the P'9981 smartphone from BlackBerry will be our next landmark," said Dr. Juergen Gessler, CEO Porsche Design Group. "The pure and distinctive design, coupled with authentic materials and an emphasis on the manufacturing process, perfectly match our philosophy and complement the Porsche Design product assortment." "This collaboration stems from the shared belief that form equals function," said Todd Wood, SVP for Industrial Design, Research In Motion. "The Porsche Design P'9981 is a truly modern luxury smartphone, where the timeless style of Porsche Design meets the unmatched mobile experience provided by BlackBerry." The BlackBerry-based smartphone, the first from the luxury brand, features a forged stainless steel frame, hand-wrapped leather back cover, sculpted QWERTY keyboard, and touch display. The handset runs on the BlackBerry 7 operating system, but has a custom exclusive Porsche Design user interface, and a bespoke Wikitude World Browser for augmented reality. Users will also receive exclusive BBM PINs, so they can be identified as P'9981 users. The handset includes 1.2GHz processor, HD video recording, 24-bit high resolution graphics and advanced sensors enabling new augmented reality applications. It comes with 8GB of on-board memory, expandable up to 40GB with a micro SD card, and also includes support for Near Field Communications. The P'9981 will be available from Porsche Design stores later this year.


MICROSOFT FINALISES SKYPE DEAL Microsoft has finalised its purchase of Internet video chat service Skype for US $8.5 billion. The deal was first announced five months ago and was completed on October 13. According to the Press Association, software-giant Microsoft has hopes that Skype will help it catch up in the social networking, mobile phone and digital video market segments. Skype has approximately 170million users worldwide, who created around 207 billion minutes of voice and video calls last year, adding up to almost 400,000 years' worth of calls. Skype will operate as a division within the Microsoft and Skype CEO Tony Bates is joining Microsoft to run the division and will report directly to Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer.


ETISALAT, DU TO COMPENSATE BLACKBERRY USERS UAE telcos Etisalat and du said they would compensate BlackBerry customers after a technical failure caused the outage of e-mail, messaging and browsing services last month. Twitter users across the Middle East on Wednesday reported disruptions or complete outages of services on their smartphones, as outages entered their third day. "Prepaid customers will receive the equivalent of three days usage, freeof-charge and credited to their account within 24 hours, while for postpaid (contract) customers, this will be adjusted in their monthly bill," Etisalat said in an e-mailed statement. Rival telco du said individual BlackBerry subscribers on prepaid contracts would receive the equivalent of three days' free usage, or AED4.5. Users on post-paid contracts would receive AED3. Subscribers to du's â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;Unlimited' national package will receive AED13, while those using the international package will be refunded double the amount at AED26. RIM also said that it will offer US $100 worth of free apps as compensation following the high profile outage. Postpaid customers will have the credit added to their next bill and prepaid users will have the credit added to their balance over the next three days, the telco said in an e-mailed statement. Research in Motion, the Canadian maker of BlackBerry, has blamed a core switch failure for causing a large backlog of data and has said it is working to restore normal service. Analysts now say that RIM may face an uphill struggle to regain consumer confidence as service disruptions continue. "If it had been a brief problem that had been resolved then perhaps people would see it as a one-off incident, however, I think it's getting a bit beyond that now because it has dragged on into the third day," telecoms analyst Matthew Reed at Dubai-based Informa told Arabian Business. RIM last month said that its business in the Middle East region had grown 140% in the last 12 months and said it planned to expand its presence in Lebanon, Jordan and Pakistan.


FACEBOOK TO IMPLEMENT UNSAFE WEBSITE WARNINGS Facebook has partnered with Websense Internet security firm in an attempt to wage war against phishing and malware on the social networking site, according to the BBC. From next week, users will get a pop-up warning if they have clicked on a link to a malicious website. Facebook has increasingly been suffering from phishing and malware attacks and many of its 700 million users have been victims of dangerous links supposedly posted by their friends. These attacks usually trick users into sharing their passwords or data. The social networking site already tells users when they are about to leave Facebook and go onto an external website, but does not tell users whether the external site is safe or not, but with the introduction of the new technology, users will be warned when they are accessing unsafe sites and give details of the risks. "There are over 700 million users on Facebook," Websense's Spencer Parker told the BBC. "As a piece of real estate, it's extremely profitable to be targeted by malware writers." The new protection system will be powered by Websense's Threatseeker Cloud, a system which stores a database of known malicious URLs. Facebook and Websense hope that the extra security measures will help to deter cyber-criminals from using the social networking site.

HTC will release an urgent update to fix a security flaw on several of its smartphone models that could leave users' personal information at risk, according to the BBC. Last week, the Android Police blog found that users'GPS location and call logs could be accessed by net-enabled applications and HTC has admitted that the flaw could be exploited by the world's cyber-criminals. "HTC is working very diligently to quickly release a security update that will resolve the issue on affected devices," a spokesperson told the BBC. HTC said that affected users will be immediately notified and will be able to download the security patch over-the-air. HTC has not yet confirmed which security models are at risk, but rumours suggest it is the recently introduced EVO 3D, EVO 4G, Thunderbolt and potentially the Sensation range are affected. Until the security patch is released, HTC is urging users to be cautious when downloading, installing, using and updating applications. The flaw can let cyber-criminals access a file which contains a users' personal data, including GPS location history, SMS data, phone logs and e-mail accounts. The company has said that is found no evidence to suggest that this flaw has been exploited, but said that it does pose a threat to users' information. "In our ongoing investigation into this recent claim, we have concluded that while this HTC software itself does no harm to customers' data, there is a vulnerability that could potentially be exploited by a malicious third-party application. A third party malware app exploiting this or any other vulnerability would potentially be acting in violation of civil and criminal laws. So far, we have not learned of any customers being affected in this way and would like to prevent it by making sure all customers are aware of this potential vulnerability," read a statement by HTC. The security patch will be released after a period of testing.




Apple’s greatest hits




On October 5 2011 Apple lost its visionary and charismatic leader Steve Jobs. Steve Jobs Co-Founded Apple, resigned, returned and then turned the company, and the world, on its head. Here, WINDOWS looks at ten of the most world changing products and moves Apple made during the Jobs era.



Apple’s greatest hits


Apple’s greatest hits

MACINTOSH 128K The Macintosh 128K was first released as the Apple Macintosh and was the company's original personal computer. It was a sales wonder with, initially, very strong sales. The Macintosh 128K featured an 8MHz Motorola 68000 processor, 128K of DRAM, a 9-inch CRT screen that offered a resolution of 512 x 342 pixels and shipped with a keyboard and mouse. The initial keyboard design excluded numeric keys though the numeric pad could be purchased as an optional extra. The Mac128K offered the same user friendly graphics user interface (GUI) of its ugly predecessor ‘Lisa’ however, the 128K of non-upgradeable memory proved slightly insufficient when dealing with image editing software and other ‘rich’ multimedia titles at the time. Computing with a single floppy drive also proved to be a cumbersome affair. The Macintosh 128K would also overheat and earned the nickname ‘The Beige toaster’. These flaws didn't affect sales however but Jobs made it a point to compensate the shortcomings of the Mac 128K by making sure developers continuously produced software, as he thought that this would propel sales. In 1985, the introduction of the LaserWriter printer and Aldus Rele PageMaker made home desktop publishing possible for ased in the first time ever, and the Mac128K began selling like hotcakes as a result. 1985 was also the year that the original founders left Apple. According to reports the signatures of the original Mac designers are moulded into the inside back of the case. Jobs signed his own name in large letters in the centre, while Co-Founder Steve Wozniak’s signature ‘Woz’ could be found on the right.


IMAC G3 The iMac G3 was the first model in the iMac line of computers made by Apple Inc and literally created the legacy-free PC market (legacy free PCs lack floppy drives and older legacy ports and buses). Jonathan Ive is credited as being the brains behind the G3’s unique design. Today Ive currently serves as Vice President of Industrial Design at Apple. The G3 was an all-in-one PC with both the monitor and the system components housed in a single enclosure. The computer was originally released in ‘Bondi’ Blue and was later made available in a range of other coloured translucent casings. The Apple iMac shipped with a keyboard and mouse that had matching tints. Apple had discontinued the consumer-targeted Performa series and the company was looking for something that could match the n Performa’s price range. The iMac was therefore announced on i ased e May 6 in 1998 and shipped on August 15 the same year. The l e R iMac featured an egg shaped outer body that had an integrated 15-inch CRT display. The iMac is said to be the first computer that exclusively offered USB ports as standard including a connector for its new keyboard and mouse. Previous Macintosh serial port peripheral connections like ADB, SCSI and GeoPort were no longer present on the new machine. This Mac also abandoned the waning 3.5-inch diskette drive in favour of a more modern CD-ROM drive. Many third-party vendors soon created USB powered external 3.5-inch diskette drives that matched the colours of the iMac’s body, to cash in on Apple’s omission. A 56k internal modem was offered for Internet connectivity and the machine also housed built-in speakers and a headphones output jack.


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Apple’s greatest hits

POWER MACINTOSH G3 BLUE & WHITE The Power Macintosh G3 Blue & White is a series of personal computers that were designed, manufactured and sold by Apple Computers as part of its Power Macintosh line. The Blue and White machines were introduced in January 1999 and succeeded the beige Power Macintosh G3. It is called ‘B&W’ G3 in some circles to distinguish it from its predecessor. It had the same processor architecture as the original G3 and was later discontinued (eight months later) to make way for the Power Macintosh G4. Although it was still based on the G3 architecture, the G3 B&W was a completely new design. It had its logic board on a folding door, which could swing out on the desk for easy access to the internals of the computer. This design was widely praised for being easy to open and work on. There was no need for any components to be removed or unplugged in order to open the case and the computer could be left running during this time. The hard drives were all locked in place with a bracket and a single screw to secure them at the bottom of the case. There was room for four internal hard-drives too, along with Firewire and USB connectivity ports. The Power Macintosh G3 was easily the trendiest computer around with its cool blue and white design. Thanks to its stellar design and features the G3 flew off store shelves despite commanding a starting price of $1,599.

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MAC OS X CHEETAH Mac OS X is Apple’s Unix-based graphics user interface (GUI) operating system and every iteration since its release in 2001 has been named after big cats. The original OS (Mac OS X 10.0) was called Cheetah and was the first desktop based version of the OS X generation. Subsequently there have been releases named Puma (10.1), in Jaguar (10.2), Panther (10.3), Tiger (10.4), ased e l e R Leopard (10.5), Snow Leopard (10.6) and the most current version Lion (10.7). The only reason we have OS X today, and possibly a lot of Apple’s recent products, is because Steve Jobs actually resigned from Apple in 1985 due to a then ongoing power struggle. When he left the company he started another company known as NeXT. Apple was at this time in the process of developing an operating system through the Taligent and Copland projects albeit with very little success. NeXT meanwhile quietly worked on developing its own OS called ONESTEP. As Apple began to flounder and was faced with few choices, the company turned to Jobs once again and adopted his ONESTEP OS as the basis for Apple’s next OS. Back as CEO the NeXT project was known as Rhapsody for a while and then changed again to what is now known as OS X. OS X would turn out to be a blend of Mac OS and Rhapsody. The first glimpse that the world caught of the new OS was in the fall of 1999. A digital revolution ensued; Mac OS X gave users a digital lifestyle with iLife, iWork and other tools. Ever since OS X has always strived to provide users with a more personal operating system - one that would fit into their lives naturally. Today, Mac OS X is the second most active operating system in the world, after Microsoft’s Windows. It holds approximately 9.19% usage share as per statistics compiled by W3Counter. It is also the most successful Unix based desktop operating system in the world. It currently has 22 System Languages including Arabic, English, French, Chinese, Japanese and Russian.


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Apple’s greatest hits


APPLE STORE While 2001 is the year Apple went ballistic and released Mac OS X, the original iPod and other such products, it was also the year that many industry insiders thought that Apple was over reaching. Why you ask? Well, Apple also chose 2001 to launch its first two Apple Rel Stores in the United States. eas ed The first Apple Store was opened on in May 19, 2001 on the second level of the Tysons Corner Centre in Virginia. Later that day the second store opened thousands of miles away in the Glendale Galleria in Glendale, California. Apple stores sell all of the company’s products including Macintosh personal computers, software, iPods, iPhones, iPads, Apple TV etc. Each and every store features a theatre for presentations and workshops, a Studio that allows you to learn how to use Apple products and, every store is also equipped with a ‘Genius Bar’. The Genius Bar is run by ‘Geniuses’ who dish out technical support and advise on a wide range of issues and topics, as long as the associated products are not vintage or obsolete. The Geniuses will also provide after sales technical support on Apple hardware and software. Apple Store openings have today become a special event for Apple enthusiasts. Store openings frequently attract hundreds of thousands of fans who begin queuing up early in the morning or even the night before. The first 1,000 customers receive a free T-shirt bearing the store’s name though larger stores can offer as many as 5,000 shirts. Apple has also bagged numerous architectural awards for the design of its Apple Stores over the years. Today, the company runs 357 stores around the world with the majority - 245 - residing in the United States.

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There's no two ways about this - the iPod revolutionised the way we listen to music. Its most deserving laurel has to be the fact that it singlehandedly managed to give life to the digital music market with its partner in crime, iTunes. When Steve Jobs realised that the existing, bulky, digital options were not fit for consumers, he ordered his team of engineers to create a player that could put at least "1,000 songs in your pocket." Thus, the iPod was born. Each year sales of the device continue to grow and this is partly because it is so versatile. You can connect the portable music player to your car, to your home music system or it can sit in your pocket or on your belt while you go about your daily business. Thanks to iTunes you also have access to millions of songs in a variety of different languages. To date a colossal 297 million iPods have been sold. When it was introduced the iPod could play different audio formats including MP3, AAC, M4A, protected AAC, AIFF, WAV, audiobooks and Apple Lossless tracks. Many third party companies started making products that were sold as ‘made for iPod’. These included corded headphones, wireless headphones, speaker dock systems which used the iPod to connect and play songs, protective cases, screen protectors and pouches for iPods, an iPod camera connector and even a a Nike + iPod pedometer. The original iPod also spawned variants such as the Nano, Shuffle, Touch and others.




Apple’s greatest hits

ITUNES Apple’s iTunes is able to connect to all of the company’s devices including the iPod, iPhone and iPad. The software is based on SoundJam MP that was developed by Jeff Robin and Bill Kincaid and released by Casady & Greene in 1990. Apple purchased SoundJam MP in 2000 and added a new interface as well as the ability to burn CDs. The new software was released as iTunes in January 2001. It matured progressively over the years to reach the current version. By February 24, 2010 a colossal 10-billion songs had been downloaded from the iTunes store. iTunes initially became popular as a result of the success of the iPod. The iPod needed music and iTunes was the source for content. Users could purchase music and videos through its built-in music store and download this media on their devices. Beyond music content iTunes also offers free podcasts and access to free Internet radio stations. Users can also use iTunes to backup their digital music on to CDs and DVDs along with being able to rip songs from legally purchased CDs. On September 1, 2010 Apple launched iTunes 10 and added the ‘iTunes Ping’ feature which allowed Apple to bring a social factor into the iTunes experience. Steve Jobs also announced a new logo that did away with the CD in the background, as the world was moving towards digital downloads.

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Before the iPhone was launched the hype surrounding the device could be cut with a chainsaw. How well did it actually do? They say numbers don’t lie, so how does 270,000 units of the original iPhone sold sound? Did we mention it sold that many just 30 hours after its launch? One more stat which is more up to date - one million iPhone 4S phones were sold 24hours after its launch. That’s how popular the iPhone was, is and will be , if only because it was built with the idea to keep things simple, elegant, functional and fashionable. Grey imports of the unlocked device seem to be available in almost every country in the world and a whole new business of unlocking carrier locked phones has sprung up from the craze for an iPhone. Teenagers have lusted for them, college students have skipped lunch to save money to have them, people in China have even sold kidneys to afford a device. So what is it that makes the iPhone a must have gadget? Why does everyone want one so badly? In short, because it’s an iPhone. It really is that simple. The device has a minimalistic design, is very functional while typing messages and making calls. It’s great for listening to music and watching videos, it can handle e-mail and edit documents. Its multi-touch interface is a breeze to navigate, and it can take great pictures and videos. It truly is a smartphone that is well-deserving of the prefix ‘smart’. The associated App Store also happens to boasts around 500,000 Apple approved applications and games to suit every taste, so you always have a reason to have your iPhone in hand. The original iPhone was powered by an ARM- 1176JFZ processor and could be had with storage capacities of 4GB, 8GB and 16GB. The current iPhone 4S boasts a dual core A5 processor and is available with capacities of 16GB, 32GB and 64GB. All iPhones have always run on Apple’s propriety iOS operating system. The same OS used by the iPod Touch and iPad tablet.

Apple’s greatest hits


MACBOOK AIR The Macbook Air is a line of ultra-portable Macintosh notebook computers. It was first introduced by Steve Jobs at the Macworld Conference and Expo in January 2008, and astonished the world with its svelte dimensions. The notebook that was released to the public ran on a Penryn CPU, a Nvidia GeForce graphics card, 2GB of memory and a 120GB 1.8-inch Serial ATA HDD. A 128GB SSD could be had as an optional extra. The Macbook Air had a 13.3-inch display with a native resolution of 1,280 x 800 pixels. This would later change in 2010 to a similar sized screen that supported a resolution of 1,440 x 900 pixels. An 11.6-inch screen variant was also introduced in the same year that had a resolution of 1,366 x 768 pixels. The glossy LED backlit display was the mainstay for all model years, and the larger than normal touchpad was included so that it could recognise multi-touch gestures. The reason for the success of the Air was primarily due to the fact that it outperformed most ultra-portables at the time. It was also much Relea slimmer and offered a longer lasting battery than the sed in competition. It was light enough to carry in a sleeve or be packed away in a bag. Its all aluminium chassis ensured it was durable and sturdy, allowing the machine to shrug off knocks and drops. Best of all, it was very stylish and chic compared to the plasticky and flimsy competition. With all the plusses added up, the Macbook Air was destined to be a roaring success from the start and the fact that it has outsold the regular Macbook and the Macbook Pro is proof of the Appleflavoured pudding.


They say imitation is the best form of flattery and since Apple released the iPad in 2010, almost every computer manufacturer around the world has released a tablet device to try and mirror the success of Apple's super device. Tablet PCs had been around for a decade prior to the iPad, however sales were abysmal and there was nothing that made consumers really ‘want’ a tablet PC. Fast forward to 2010, the iPad was born and the frenzy was uncontrollable. Steve Jobs had shown the world a device that was much slimmer than previous tablet PCs, had a fantastic screen, was light and easy to carry around, operated in a similar way to a computer and was able to surf the net, send e-mail, play music etc. Best of all Jobs gave the world something that it desired. The strength of this desire was visible with the retail launch of the iPad on April 3, 2010; 300,000 iPads were sold on the first day; one month later that figure rose to a shocking one million. Before the launch of the current, second generation iPad, there were 15 million iPads sold all over the world. The iPad was originally, and is still available in capacities of 16GB, 32GB and 64GB. It has a 9.7-inch multi-touch, scratch-proof display that sports a resolution of 1,024 x 768 pixels. The onboard OS is Apple’s home-grown iOS, which means you also get access to the packed App-store. in The iPad has revolutionised a lot of things in the world today. ased e l e R For instance, it is used in the field of education, finding several uses in the classroom. It is also used in the business world with statistics showing that within 90-days of release, the iPad managed to penetrate 50% of Fortune 100 companies. In healthcare doctors today walk around the hospital with an iPad that contains all the information they need regarding their patients and appointment schedules. In the Airline industry Alaska Airlines was the first to replace its in-flight manuals with iPads. This eliminated the need for pilots to carry approximately 11kg of flight manuals and maps. Soon after, more airlines followed suit. Most magazines and publications now have iPad app that allows access to content, and there are many books that have now become available for download on an iPad. A truly remarkable device.

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Apple’s greatest hits

GRAY AREAS If you’ve read the pages leading up to this one, then you know that Apple is responsible for releasing some of the trendiest, most desirable and technologically-forward looking products on the planet. That’s the good news. The bad news is that because the company, like many others, takes a staggered approach to releasing its products around the world, some markets (and thus the consumers in that market) have to wait much longer than others before they can get their The iPhone 4S is Apple’s latest success hands on Apple’s latest gear. story. Three days after it was launched A very recent example comes in the the company announced that it had sold over four million devices. The form of the iPhone 4S. Apple unveiled company also announced that over 25 the million users were already using the


recently released iOS 5 mobile operating system.

super-desirable device on October 4 at its ‘Lets Talk iPhone’ event and began accepting pre-orders for the device on October 7 in seven countries; United States, Canada, Australia, United Kingdom, France, Germany and Japan. Another 22 countries were added to that list by October 28 but unfortunately for us in the Middle East region, at the time of going to press, there was still no concrete word from the Cupertino, California company about a release date for this region. This isn’t the first time that Middle Eastern consumers have had to endure a long wait for Apple’s latest and greatest products. The iPhone 4 smartphone only officially launched with full DON’T GO GRAY carrier support in the UAE several months after While the gray market allows you to buy the products s it hit North American markets. Consumers also d you desire at almost the same time as it is released had to deal with a delay of the same magnitude ry in officially sanctioned markets, there are some very when Apple released its original iPad tablet in real problems you need to be aware of: the same year. 1) People or businesses selling gray products aren’t likely to Yet, if you visited some of the region’s popular provide any sort of after sales support or warranty on the products retail stores and online stores or, if you just they sell. Even if this is promised to you as a consumer and even if looked around a busy street, you could see you get an invoice that states the warranty period, you should bear products such as the iPhone 4 and iPad in clear in mind that when it actually comes down to it, you’re unlikely to view in people's hands. How is this possible you receive any support after you’ve handed over your money. ask? You can thank the gray market. 2) There’s no guarantee the gray product you buy is brand new. Since the product you are buying is coming through unauthorised GRAY WHAT? and possibly illegal channels, the so-called new product could actually be a used piece or worse still a refurbished unit. The definition of a gray market is the trade of a commodity through distribution channels which 3) Gray products can be knockoffs that look exactly like the real are unauthorised, unofficial and unintended by product but aren’t. While this doesn’t happen very, very frequently the manufacturer of the commodity. when it comes to gray consumer electronic products, you should In some cases gray market products can also still bear this in mind. be considered illegal depending on what the commodity is. 4) In addition to all the issues we’ve mentioned above, perhaps the Given Apple’s staggered product release key reason not to go gray is the exorbitant prices gray market approach and the immediate appetite for the dealers charge. Taking the iPhone 4S as an example, most online latest and greatest Apple gear in the region, a stores, as well as a few well known electronic retailers, are currently (at the time of going to press) charging AED 3,999 (US $1,089), AED fully-fledged gray market has taken up root in 4,525 ($1,233) and AED 5,099 ($1,389) for the 16GB, 32GB and the Middle East. The good news is that 64GB iPhone 4S models. When the phones finally launch in the consumers now have access to Apple product region, the actual sanctioned end users prices will likely hover almost as soon as it is launched in official between AED 2,500 ($681) for the 16GB model to a maximum of regions. The bad news is that by going the gray AED 3,500 ($954) for the 64GB model. route you’re exposing yourself to a lot of risk. Check out the box out to find out why.


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Gitex Technology Week 2011 saw hundreds of companies showing off their latest products, technologies and solutions. If you were unable to attend donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t worry, WINDOWS had a thorough look around and here, we give you the lowdown on the most noteworthy things we saw.





MEET THE ULTRABOOKS Computex, Taipei was the stage that chip-giant Intel chose to unveil a new category of thin and light ultraportable notebooks, known as ‘Ultrabooks’. The term ultrabook is an Intel trademark and the company announced that it has allocated US $300-million Acer’s Aspire S3 is one of the first ultrabooks to hit the Middle East region. to stimulate the market for Intel-based ultrabooks. The company claims its machine will ‘resume’ in just 1.5-seconds and if The company hopes to take on notebooks such as resuming from deep sleep, the notebook will require just six seconds. The machine boasts a 13.3-inch screen, a 1.3-megapixel webcam and can be had Apple’s stellar MacBook Air and compete with ARMwith a variety of storage options. The machine is expected to carry a retail processor-based tablet computers with this new category price of US $1,008. Check out our initial thoughts on page 34. of notebooks. For a machine to be classified an ultrabook it would have to feature a CULV Intel processor with integrated graphics and flash-based (SSD) storage. Intel claims that machines classified as ultrabooks will offer five hours of battery life, mainstream performance and ultra-fast startup. The company estimates that by the end of 2012, 40% of the consumer laptop segment will consist of ultrabooks.



Intel has thus far planned three phases of ultrabooks, which are set to align with the company’s release of low voltage Sandy Bridge, Ivy Bridge and Haswell processors. The first phase calls for ultrabooks to measure less than 20mm in thickness, weigh less than 1.4kg, offer at least five to over eight hours of battery life, retail for mainstream prices under US $1,000, use flash-based SSDs, use CULV 17-watt TDP Sandy Bridge mobile processors and use Intel’s HD 3000 graphics system. The first phase of ultrabooks would also have to ship without an optical drive as standard. The second phase of ultrabooks is scheduled for release in 2012 and these machines would have to use CULV Intel Ivy Bridge processors, offer 30% more graphics performance than SandyBridge ultrabooks, offer 20% more CPU performance than SandyBridge ultrabooks and offer USB3.0 and PCI Express 3.0 support as standard. The third phase of machines are scheduled to appear sometime in 2013. These machines are destined to use Intel CULV Haswell mobile processors and will likely boast advanced power saving systems. The chip giant claims these machines will offer consumption that’s half of what was offered by CULV chips released in early 2011. Intel is hoping to take on Apple’s superb MacBook Air, as well as ARM-based tablets with this new category of notebooks. Steve Jobs unveiled the MacBook Air on January 29, 2008 with retail shipments becoming available the next day. The Air was Apple’s first subcompact laptop since the company discontinued the 12-inch PowerBook G4 back in 2006. The Air was also the first Apple notebook to be available with an optional solid state storage drive.



MEET NAO Perhaps the coolest piece of technology that we were able to spy at Gitex Technology Week this year was Aldebaran Robotics’ fully programmable robot, known as Nao (pronounced now). The Nao project was initially launched in 2004. Six prototypes were designed between January 2005 and December 2007 and finally, in March 2008, the first finalised version of the robot was released to the contestants of that year’s Robocup. An Academics Edition was also released to universities and education firms later in the same year. The company secured US $13 million in venture funding from Intel Capital in May of this year. Nao is an autonomous, programmable medium-sized robot that stands 57cm tall, boasts 25-degrees of freedom and can be used for research, education, development, for shows and events, in museums and can be used to participate in ‘Robocup’ tournaments. The current version of Nao is quite expensive priced at approximately US $15,000 and is generally used outside of the general consumer space, at least for now. Rumors say that a general public version of Nao will be released late in 2012. We caught up with the little For the moment however Nao will robots again at Intel’s offices in Dubai Internet City after remain a state of the art open Gitex Technology Week to get platform for those interested in a better look at them. Charming bunch aren’t they? research and STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) classes.


TECH SPECS The current Nao robots are powered by a Geode 500MHz processor, 256MB of SDRAM and boasts 2GB of flash memory and WiFi. Nao is also provided with a full programming environment, which allows it to be adapted to a wide range of tasks. Nao boasts smooth and precise coreless motors that can be controlled by software, two cameras, four microphones, eight force sensing resistors, two bumpers, two sonar sensors and an inertial measurement unit. There are also multiple LED lights, tactile sensors, prehensile hands, infrared sensors and last but not least, two loudspeakers.

Our friends at Intel tell us that two of the Nao robots that arrived in Dubai are big fans of Windows Middle East.


When Nao isn’t wowing crowds in public with its dancing moves or participating in robotics tournaments, it is busy being used for automatism and motor control, locomotion (full body motion), object recognition and manipulation, cognitive interaction, autism, obesity, gerontology, localisation and navigation purposes with trajectory optimisation, expressive reading, feeling expression and interaction, audio and video signal treatment, voice recognition, particle filtering as well as for human interaction for health and psychological treatments. Today Nao is used as a research platform by over 300 universities around the world and the reason it is so popular is because of its versatility. The company says Nao is flexible enough to be used for a variety of research topics and is ready to run straight out of the box. The company provides Nao with a fully programmable environment and states that Nao’s design makes demonstrations more engaging and easy to access. Aldebaran is also in the process of building a worldwide community of Nao users and is providing the tools necessary for users to share their work, research and practical lessons.



GO FOR MANGO Microsoft had a solid presence at Gitex Technology Week and while it was showing off cool products such as Surface 2.0 (read about it on page 31) and various other tech innovations, we really wanted to talk to the guys about Windows Phone 7.5, codenamed Mango. Mango is a major software update for Windows Phone 7.0, which was initially released on November 8, 2010 in North America. The Mango update was rolled out on September 27, 2011 with smartphones boasting the new OS scheduled to hit markets during the fall and winter of 2011.

FIST FULL OF FEATURES Microsoft previewed Mango in depth on May 24 of this year and shortly before that, CEO Steve Ballmer explained that Mango will boast over 500 new features. The updates were related to messaging and social integration, search, productivity, web browsing, security and other areas of usability. Of all the new features incorporated into Mango we found the following three new features to be among the best: 1) The new task switcher integrated into Mango is a work of art. Holding down the phone’s ‘Back’ button will give you a view of your last six screens in a frozen state, so depending on what you want to switch to, you need only tap on the screen that you want to go to. This is a far better system than the ones employed by Google's Android and Apple’s iOS.

Microsoft used Samsung’s Omnia 7 (pictured) to give us a live demonstration of some of Mango’s new features. After they were done Microsoft let us have the smartphone for review. Look for a full review in the December issue of Windows, if you’re keen on reading our thoughts about the smartphone as a whole.


2) Social media integration is far improved with Mango. Whereas Windows Phone 7 only allowed you to link Windows Live and Facebook, with Windows Phone 7.5, you can connect to Google, Twitter, LinkedIn and more. Just a few quick steps and you’ll be up and running in no time. 3) While Apple’s iPhone 4S has some serious voice recognition capabilities in Siri, we were quite impressed with Mango’s voice recognition support when it came to dictating text messages to the phone. Speaking clearly and at a normal rate, Mango accurately recognised what we were saying and put it all down into a text message that was ready to send.



Q&A We caught up with Gustavo Fuchs, Director, Mobility, Microsoft Middle East & Africa to chitchat about the latest iteration of Windows Phone. Q) What is the best new Mango feature in your opinion? A) Mango is an all-round great smartphone operating system. It’s very difficult to say but ‘threads’ is really one of the features that I love the most. Threads enable users to communicate on SMS, Facebook Chat and Messenger through a single interface and without the need to install any app at all! It doesn’t matter if the other user is responding on a PC, Xbox or any other mobile phone. It just makes sure I’m always part of the conversation. Q) Do you have official figures for the number of apps currently available for Windows Phone? A) We just crossed more than 35,000 apps globally and we will continue to push that figure up. Our aim is to be the most friendly ecosystem for developers to monetise their apps. Q) What sort of reception have you seen so far for Windows Phone in your opinion? A) We’ve just completed one year and the feedback from users is tremendous. Smartphones are a very competitive market but we can clearly say that every user that touches a Windows Phone falls in love with it. Our job now is to continue in this marathon and make sure new OEMs such as Nokia launch their devices and continue pleasing users.


The Nokia Lumia 800 (above) boasts the same body design as the N9 but rather than MeeGo, this Nokia smartphone runs Windows Phone 7.5. The Lumia 710, which was launched alongside the Lumia 800, is also based on Windows Phone 7.5.



Walking around Gitex Technology Week 2011 there was plenty to see and do. Here we talk you through some of the cool and interesting products, technology and people we encountered over the five day event.


Russian security company Kaspersky Lab had a prominent presence at Gitex Technology Week 2011. The company was happy to talk about the latest versions of its various security products and suites. We also learned that Kaspersky Lab licenses some of its technology to over 120 companies, now employs well over 2,000 people around the world and actually has famed actor Jackie Chan as a product spokesman.

Security firm ESET was busy promoting its latest security suite release – ESET Smart Security 5 during its time at the tradeshow. The software boasts all-in-one Internet security, e-mail and data protection and full parental controls.

We caught up with none other than Sophos’ Director of Technology, the highly entertaining and informative James Lyne. Sophos was using its time to educate visitors about malware and the dangers of ignorance with regards to taking the necessary precautions to secure mobile devices. The highlight had to be James’ highly informative and interactive demonstrations that showed malware at work and just how easy it is to hack into Apple’s iPad 2, if it isn’t configured properly. Thanks for the chat and the demonstration James.



Well-known peripheral manufacturer Razer made a strong showing at the show this year. The company was demonstrating its latest peripherals, including a keyboard and mouse designed specifically for Battlefield 3 fans. The BlackWidow Ultimate Battlefield 3 Collector’s Edition keyboard and Imperator Battlefield 3 Collector’s Edition mouse were housed within a glass case (which we had removed for our photos) and are expected to retail for approximately US $140 and $80. The keyboard features fully mechanical keys which offer enhanced durability, better feel and better responsiveness. Like other BlackWidow keyboards this new keyboard offers backlit keys with five individual backlight levels and on-the-fly macro recording and profiles. The Imperator mouse on the other hand offers an insane tracking resolution of 6,400dpi thanks to its 4G Dual Sensor System. The gaming rodent also boasts a rubberised thumb grip, which is said to enhance control and boasts fully adjustable side buttons and onboard memory for button profiles. The only issue we had with the mouse is that its designed for righties. Only when we get one in for long term test will we know whether or not lefties can also enjoy themselves with this mouse. Besides keyboards and mice, Razer was also demonstrating its range of headphones and portable speakers and were also quite happy to give each visitor a temporary glow-in-the-dark Razer tattoo.


Panasonic had a gigantic booth showing all manner of products and technology. We immediately made a beeline for the firm’s massive new Full HD compatible 3D LCD screens. The display that, naturally, grabbed our attention was the super-sized 152-inch Full HD Plasma screen. The screen’s visuals and massive display completely blew us away until we also spied Panasonic’s massive 103-inch multi-touch compatible display. The device is similar to Microsoft’s ‘Surface’ and is being marketed to companies who are in the process of building niche applications and solutions. The multi-touch compatible solution is said to cost upwards of US $50,000.




While Taiwan-based MSI is better known for its motherboards and graphics cards, the company, this year, focused on its notebook and all-in-one machines predominately (see below). The MSI GT780 is the company’s latest gaming notebook, which packs an Intel Core i7 processor, Nvidia’s GeForce GTX 560M GPU with 1.5GB of dedicated texture memory and a 17.3inch Full HD compatible LCD screen. In light of its gaming orientation MSI has also fitted the notebook with a proper SteelSeries keyboard with optional LED backlighting. While the jury’s still out on how much of a punch the machine packs in terms of performance (we’ll have to wait till a review sample turns up), we reckon the LED backlighting is an option you shouldn’t ignore. Just look at the photo! MSI was also touting its latest all-in-one PC, the Wind Top AE2211. While MSI reckons it’s a cracking machine overall the company is keen to point out that the machine’s energy-efficient LED backlit screen yields power savings of between 20 to 30%. The device’s multi-touch screen is also said to offer users easy access to cloud base services.

Nokia had a fairly sizeable presence at Gitex Technology Week this year and one of the company’s biggest talking points was the new N9 smartphone. The N9 is Nokia’s first smartphone to rely on the MeeGo ‘Harmattan’ mobile operating system. This smartphone will be sold in three colours; black, cyan and magenta. It is powered by a 1GHz ARM-Cortex A8 processor, features a 3D Graphics PowerVR SGX530 GPU and 1GB of RAM. The device can be had with 16GB or 64GB of storage capacity and offers a 3.9-inch screen that operates natively at a resolution of 854 x 480 pixels. While the N9 is impressive in terms of pure specs, the phone impressed us more with its drop dead gorgeous looks. This is easily one of the most impressive looking smartphones we’ve ever seen – there is nothing more elegant on the market today (iPhone 4S included). MeeGo is also turning out to be one heck of an operating system, which made us question why Nokia decided to pick Microsoft’s Windows Phone as the primary OS on its forthcoming high-end smartphones. That said, we also can’t wait to see what hardware Nokia puts behind Windows Phone 7.5 (Mango). If you’re keen on a N9 it’s also worth mentioning that you’ll need a micro-SIM rather than a standard SIM. Beyond the N9 and MeeGo, Nokia also talked up its Ovi Store and chatted about application development for mobile platforms.

While we spent a good deal of time with Microsoft and its execs, one topic we never really touched on was Office 365. Microsoft chose a software-as-a-service model for Office 365 and is keen on rolling it out in the education, small business and enterprise sectors. Office 365 went live on 28 June 2011 and is available in 21 different languages.


Microsoft’s Xbox gaming division was busy promoting games for its motion-sensing Kinect ‘controller’. As casual games slowly find their way onto the market, Kinect is slowly bringing the Xbox 360 console into homes that previously only subscribed to consoles such as Nintendo’s hugely popular Wii. If you have a Microsoft Kinect, Nintendo Wii or PlayStation Move and you have a funny story about your adventures (or misadventures), drop us a line on windows@itp. com or visit our Facebook page on winmemag and let us know!


Although AMD didn’t have a substantial presence at Gitex week this year it commandeered some space to show off its always-impressive multi-screen Eyefinity gaming technology. The technology allows one AMD GPU to drive between three and six screens and, as you can see from the picture above, the Eyefinity setup present at the show consisted of six screens.

Microsoft first released its ‘Surface’ (codenamed Milan) multi-touch system back in 2008 and this year, was showing an updated version of the solution known as Surface 2.0. Like its predecessor Surface 2.0 is a combination of hardware and software. In this case the screen measures 40-inches and is powered by a 2.9GHz AMD Athlon X2 processor and a Radeon HD 6700M GPU. Surface 2.0 measures 4-inches thick and runs a newer more polished version of the Windows 7 GUI and includes full support for Windows Phone 7. This version of Surface is also wall mountable, unlike its predecessor. The big new feature attached to Surface 2.0 however is that Microsoft created new technology, known as PixelSense, to sense or see what is on the top of Surface without using a separate camera. The technology uses IR sensors which are dispersed throughout the screen, which allows each pixel on the screen to function as an infrared camera. Microsoft reps demonstrated PixelSense’s prowess by placing a series of cards on the LCD’s surface, which Surface 2.0 was able to recognise and generate a response to. Microsoft reps say that PixelSense allows the display to recognise fingers, hands and various other objects without the use of any other third party hardware. Very cool.


Ford was once again the official automotive partner for Gitex Technology Week 2011. The company was this year showing off its all new Explorer SUV. Why exactly is a car at Gitex you ask? Well the Explorer is packed with technology such as SYNC and MyFord Touch. SYNC was designed to allow drivers to interact with their vehicles using simple voice commands, thus allowing the driver to keep both hands on the steering wheel at all times. The system allows the driver to make and receive phone calls, control music and much more. SYNC works in-conjunction with MyFord Touch, which allows you to play music from your smartphone, MP3 player, USB stick or even portable hard drive. MyFord Touch can also be used to control the air conditioning and other vehicle functions though Ford reps stated that some features will be locked out of the system when the vehicle is in gear. Stepping inside the vehicle’s technology-heavy underpinnings are evident thanks to a number of LCD screens and loads of buttons.




Awarded to outstanding Awarded to the most products that have excelled in outstanding product we've both value and performance. encountered during the month.



Reviews 34

Acer Aspire S3 MS2346 ultrabook


ESET Smart Security 5 security software


Motorola HD Multimedia Dock for Atrix


Sonos Zoneplayer S5 audio system


Toshiba Satellite L755-16C notebook


WD TV Live streaming media player


AviiQ Portable Laptop Stand


Samsung SCX-4833FD Laser MFD







TESTING EXPLAINED performance when dealing with old and new game titles. As H.A.W.X and World in Conflict are playable games, they are real world tests and so give a more accurate view of a GPU's performance. While Heaven v2.0 is a sort of synthetic test, it is still very accurate in terms of reporting on a GPU's performance. Each graphics card is tested at three different test resolutions; 1024 x 768 pixels, 1600 x 1200 pixels and, finally, 1920 x 1200 pixels. All of the games are run on the maximum settings with the exception of full screen anti-aliasing, which we leave at 4x setting. Then, depending on the price and positioning of the graphics card, performance scores are awarded based on how well, or not, it has performed at a specific resolution. For example, low end or entry level graphics cards are graded mostly on their performance at 1024 x 768 pixels whereas expensive, ultra-high-end cards are graded based on their high resolution figures.

WINDOWS MIDDLE EAST is the definitive Buyers’ Guide for PC and consumer electronics products in the region. We strenuously test products in our dedicated Dubai WinLab in order to highlight the very best models for our readers. Here we explain just how we test new kit in order to offer truly authoritative and objective recommendations, helping us keep WINDOWS the region’s most relevant technology magazine.



Testing processors is a time consuming process because there are a number of different tests, each of which thoroughly stresses a CPU. Depending on the CPU that has to be tested, we construct a testbed using a compatible motherboard. Common components that we test all CPUs with are 6GB of DDR3 memory, a Zotac GeForce GTX 480 AMP! Edtion GPU and a Seagate Barracuda 7200.11 1Tbyte hard drive. All benchmarks are run at 1024 x 768 pixels and we employ the following benchmark tests; Cinebench 10.5, PCMark 2005 CPU and memory tests, 3DMark 2003 and 2005 CPU tests and POV-Ray to test raw processing performance. To test multimedia performance, we run a Lame 3.97 WAV to MP3 encode test, a TMPGENC video encode, MPEG to DivX conversion test in addition to running F.E.A.R and World in Conflict. With the exception of POV-Ray and all the encode tests, higher numbers mean a faster processor and thus a higher performance score.

Our graphics card testbed comprises an Intel Core i7 940 quad-core processor that runs at 2.93GHz, a Gigabyte GA-EX58-UD4 motherboard, 6GB of Kingston HyperX DDR3 memory, Western Digital’s 300GB Raptor X SATA hard drive and a 750-watt PC Power and Cooling power supply. All of these components are housed in Thermaltake’s Armour+ chassis and we use the 64-bit edition of Microsoft’s Windows 7 as the machine's operating system. To test a graphics card, we fit the card to this PC and connect it to our Viewsonic VX2835wm 28-inch LCD screen. The screen offers a maximum resolution of 1920 x 1200 pixels, which means it allows us to test graphics cards at all the major resolutions. To test graphics cards, we use three specific benchmarks; Tom Clancy's H.A.W.X, Heaven v2.0 and World in Conflict. Both HA.W.X and World in Conflict use DirectX 10 rendering technology, whilst the Heaven benchmark uses DirectX 11. This enables us to gauge a graphics card’s

To test hard drives, we use our graphics card testbed. The drive in question is hooked up to the motherboard’s Serial ATA II controller (or USB or Firewire port if it’s an external hard drive) and tested using a combination of real world and synthetic benchmark tests. For internal hard drives, we rely on a copy test to ascertain real world performance. The test folder is stored on a SSD drive, ensuring that this drive won’t bottleneck the drive being tested and, to gauge write performance, we time how long it takes for the 4GB folder to be transferred from the SSD drive to the test drive. To test read performance, we do the opposite and time how long it takes for the test drive to transfer the data to the SSD drive. Lower times in both cases equate to better performance. Next we call into action HD Tune Pro, a synthetic benchmark. This tests a drive in terms of its access time, average read and write performance, burst speed and CPU utilisation. In terms of access time and CPU use, lower numbers are better. With external drives we use the same real world read/write test methodology but instead of using a 4GB folder only, we also test the drive with a single 238MB test file. Again, lower times are better.

OTHER PRODUCTS Products such as MP3 players, PMPs, mobile phone etc are tested for a period of one or two weeks. During this time we use the products as someone who purchased it would and this helps us gauge performance, features and value for money. In most cases the brunt of the testing is subjective and the testing always focuses on real world usefulness.






Do we finally have an alternative to the MacBook Air? PRICE $1,008 CONTACT +9714 805 6000 WEB


cer’s Aspire S3 MS2346 is the first ultrabook we’ve encountered and with a price tag of US $1,008, it is one of the least expensive ultrabooks on the market today. The S3 is part of an all new series of notebooks for Acer and with regards to the Middle East region, the company claims that it is the first to hit the market with this new category of products. Intel unveiled this new notebook category earlier in the year at Computex, Taipei. The sample on test here is an early engineering model but we’re told this sample is comprised of the same hardware that will make it into retail units. Aesthetically speaking the Aspire S3 is a sharp looking machine with a predominately gray exterior. There’s a slight hint of black near the hinges for the LCD screen, which provides a nice contrast. The exterior boasts a slight rough texture and we’re pleased to report that the surface does not pickup smudges or fingerprints at all. Measuring just 1.3cm thick and weighing 1.4kg, the S3 is a svelte offering. Apple’s 13.3-inch MacBook Air in comparison measures 1.7cm




thick and weighs 1.35kg. Despite the fact that the S3 is slightly slimmer in terms of thickness, the Air’s stylish and contoured design makes it seem like a slimmer proposition to the naked eye. Acer claims this ultrabook offers up to seven hours of battery life but unfortunately, being a preproduction model, we were unable to run our Imtec battery benchmark to confirm the numbers for ourselves. The Aspire S3 crashed constantly every time we configured the benchmark test to run through a full cycle. Unfortunately, we had the same problems when it was time to test the machine’s application and gaming performance. Every time we fired up PCMark Vantage or one of our gaming tests, the machine would simply crash back to the desktop within a matter of minutes. The only figures we were able to retrieve were the boot and shutdown times at 36 seconds and six seconds respectively. These are both very swift times. Acer claims the machine can resume from sleep (not deep sleep) in 1.5 seconds and in testing we found the machine needed only two seconds. While this is 0.5 seconds off Acer’s claim, it’s far from a slow time.

Since the machine sports a 1.7GHz dual-core Sandy Bridge processor and 4GB of DDR3 memory, performance should be competitive with Apple’s MacBook Air, as well as with other portable and ultra-portable machines on the market today. Due to its integrated graphics subsystem however, this machine will not be able to run even older DirectX 9 gaming titles. Since ultrabooks were never meant to be gaming machines however, this isn’t too much of a concern.



REQUIREMENTS 1.7GHz dual-core Intel Core i7-2637M processor, Intel ID1C47 chipset, 4GB of DDR3 memory, Intel HD Graphics, 13.3-inch screen, native resolution 1,366 x 768 pixels, hybrid storage system (20GB SSD/240GB hard drive), Intel 802.11b/g/n WiFi, 1.3-megapixel webcam, two USB2.0 ports, one HDMI output port, built-in memory card reader, Windows 7 Home Premium. PROS Sleek design, great looks and finish, bright LCD screen, quick boot and shutdown times, fast resume performance. CONS No USB3.0 ports. VERDICT While overall performance is a question mark, Acer’s Aspire S3 is a solid alternative to the MacBook Air in terms of portability.


ESET SMART SECURITY 5 Is it smart enough to take on today’s threats? PRICE $54 CONTACT +9714 375 4052 WEB


mart Security 5 is the latest in Eset’s security suite range. With this latest version Eset says you can look forward to ‘Comprehensive protection, maximum functionality and minimum system load in one security solution’. Returning Eset users will find that Smart Security 5’s interface is similar to its predecessors. As before the main screen is split into two parts; on the left you have options that let you check up on the status of your machine’s security (Home), run scans (Computer scan), update the suite (Update), suite configuration (Setup), information and recovery (Tools) and, last but not least, help (Help and Support). Clicking any of these main options changes what you see on the right side of the main screen. All-in-all it’s clean and very easyto-use, though Norton’s security suites still get the nod for the most inviting and most intuitive interface. Since Eset is adamant about the fact that Smart Security 5 isn’t a resource hog, we immediately investigated this claim. Running a scan we found the scan engine was quite quick. Our tests showed that when the scanning engine was working, it took up approximately


25% of our CPU’s time. As a result we were still able to watch 720p HD movies without any stuttering on our test rig, which comprises a 2GHz dualcore processor and 2GB of memory. While the scanning engine Smart Security 5 uses is fairly quick, it can still take a fair bit of time to scan a packed drive. Thankfully, Eset offers two different scan types; Smart Scan and Custom Scan. The former only scans the local drive and checks for malware and other threats in common places. The Custom scan on the other hand gives the user more control and presents three different options (smart, context menu and in-depth). A user can then customise each type of scan anyway he wants to, including scanning for different file extensions in suspected drives and folders. When we tried to infect our test computer with a USB drive full of different viruses, Trojans and malware, Eset’s latest managed to quickly recognise most of the threats and was able to get rid of the majority of them. Unfortunately, like most other security suites on the market today, Smart Security 5 can’t actually clean out most problems but rather presents you with

the option to simply delete the problem files entirely. Out of the box Smart Security 5 is loaded with useful features. You get antivirus, antispyware, a host-based intrusion prevention system, which protects applications for unauthorised changes, cloud-based white-listing, antirootkit and much more. One feature we missed however was application level restrictions, which are offered by most of the other security suites on the market.



REQUIREMENTS Intel Core Duo 1.8GHz or faster processor, 2GB of RAM (4GB for 64-bit operating systems), DirectX 9 compatible graphics card with Shader 3.0 support, 128MB of video memory (256MB or higher required for AVCHD), monitor with 1,280 x 800 pixel resolution support, 5.8GB of hard disk space, DVD-ROM drive for installation. PROS User-friendly interface, Smart scan is great for novices, effective at identifying malware, doesn’t hog system resources. CONS Single user license doesn’t really make sense considering the three user license costs a few dollars extra. VERDICT Smart Security 5 offers serious protect that’s easily accessible to savvy users as well as novices. The application runs non-intrusively too.






MOTOROLA ATRIX HD MULTIMEDIA DOCK The only dock on the planet that isn’t boring PRICE $109 CONTACT +9714 331 5111 WEB


hile docks for most MP3 players, smartphones and digital cameras bore the WinLabs team to tears, the HD Multimedia Dock for Motorola Atrix is far from your bog standard dock. Like the Motorola Atrix smartphone for which it was designed, the dock sports a black finish. There are no physical buttons placed on its exterior but look to the rear of the dock and you’re in for a pleasant surprise. Not only do you get a power port to charge your Atrix, there’s also a headphones output port, three USB2.0 ports and one High Definition Multimedia Interface (HDMI) port. We reviewed the Atrix in our last issue and found it a solid device on the whole but when it’s paired with the HD Multimedia Dock, the Atrix becomes a far more powerful device. The dock allows you to turn the smartphone into a ‘Webtop’ because its USB ports, HDMI port and even the standard 3.5mm mini jack audio port allow you to connect the Atrix to a variety of HDMI compliant screens and peripherals. Even if you don’t connect any peripherals to the Atrix when it’s plugged into the HD Multimedia Dock,




you can still do plenty thanks to the supplied remote control. You can use the device to simply hold and charge the phone while you look up YouTube videos, listen to music or browse the web on the phone’s capacitive screen for example. That said, while the control is sleek and has sufficient buttons to help you get around for the most part, the lack of a dedicated search button hurts its usability. Had this button been present you could easily call up a search when needed, rather than having to hunt for the search button on the phone’s on-screen interface using the four-way button. A phone unlock button would have also been welcome. You’ll, of course, get the most out of the HD Multimedia Dock if you use a HDMI cable to connect the phone to a screen, you hook up a USB keyboard or mouse (or both simultaneously) and you connect the dock to a speaker system via its 3.5mm mini jack. Do this and you’ve essentially turned the Atrix into a very useable netbook that you can use to make presentations and surf the web because the dock gives you full keyboard functionality, the screen’s interface is visible on a much larger

screen and you’ve got a louder set of speakers at your disposal too. We tried several USB keyboards and mice with the dock and each of them functioned normally. We were also pleasantly surprised to find that even basic shortcut keys on the keyboard worked (volume control, pause/play etc.). While you don’t get a mouse cursor to use, the mouse works better than the keyboard when it comes to web browsing as its far more responsive and quicker to use.



SPECIFICATIONS Motorola Atrix smartphone compatible, one charging port, three USB2.0 ports, one HDMI output port, one 3.5mm mini jack audio outport port, remote control, black finish, one-year warranty. PROS Adds immense functionality to your Atrix smartphone, broad USB device compatibility, ships with a remote control, reasonably priced. CONS Remote control could use a few dedicated buttons, doesn’t ship with a mini-HDMI cable. VERDICT While the HD Multimedia Dock isn’t perfect, it allows you to get much, much more out of your Atrix. You can use the dock and smartphone in tandem for any number of tasks and it’s infinitely more portable than a standard netbook too.


SONOS ZONEPLAYER S5 Let the music play

PRICE $543 CONTACT +9714 222 2971 WEB


one are the days of tape decks, CD players and amplifiers to make sure you could blast your music throughout your house. Music has moved on to higher quality digital formats like MP3 and AAC and most radio channels now broadcast digitally over the Internet too. How do you pump these various digital tunes throughout your house? That’s where the Sonos’ ZonePlayer S5 steps in. Unpacking the box reveals a neatly designed, compact product with a front speaker grille that hides two tweeters, two mid-range drivers, one bass driver and five dedicated digital amplifiers. There is a mute button and volume controls atop the S5 along with a status LED that indicates if the ZonePlayer is correctly connected. Behind, you'll find a line-in jack, headphone socket and a pair of Ethernet ports. Setting up the Sonos is a cinch. You need only feed power to the S5 and connect the device to your router via Ethernet cable. From here you just need to install a desktop controller that will allow you to control the Sonos from your desktop PC. Once all this is setup there is a painless initialisation process, which connects the S5 to your desktop


controller and from here, it’s as easy as opening your MP3 folder in the Sonos’ software library, and playing your favourite songs from it. The Sonos desktop controller also gives you access to the world of Internet radio. Investigating what’s on offer we found tunes for every genre; classical, opera, hip hop, R&B, rap, rock, trance and various others. The sound quality offered by the ZonePlayer S5 is clean and crisp and there is a reasonable amount of bass too, which makes the S5 a decent all-rounder. During testing we didn’t notice any distortion at all and mid to high range notes were covered with ample clarity. With the volume half way up in a reasonably large room, we were satisfied with the volume of sound though cranking up to maximum volume revealed a bit of muddiness in terms of clarity. The Sonos also has a handy application that can run on any Android or iOS based device, which means it can run on your Android smartphone or tablet, iPod Touch, iPhone and iPad. The app allows you to wirelessly control your music library from whichever device you happen to have in hand. For

those who prefer a dedicated remote control however, Sonos offers a decent touch screen variant with a dedicated charging cradle. Our only issue with the Sonos ZonePlayer S5 has to do with its end user price. If you fancy setting up your house with a series of these devices, you’re looking at an outlay well over US $1,000 (even for a one-bed room apartment). Had the Sonos been priced slightly more aggressively it would have been ideal.



SPECIFICATIONS Five class-D digital amplifiers, auto-detecting 3.5mm headphone connection, auto-detecting 3.5mm audio line-in connection, five driver speaker system (two tweeters, two mid-range drivers, one woofer), crossfade/shuffle/repeat playback modes, Ethernet and WiFi connectivity, 4.1kg, one-year warranty. PROS Great overall sound quality, supports many different music formats, compact design, easy-to-use. CONS Expensive, especially if you intend to buy more than one for your home. VERDICT If you’re looking to pump digital music throughout your home and you want a solution that’s easy-to-use, offers great audio quality and can be expanded later, the S5 has your name on it.






TOSHIBA SATELLITE L755-16C Serious power for an attractive price tag PRICE $749 CONTACT +9714 881 7789 WEB


he Satellite L755-16C is the first Sandy Bridge-based notebook we’ve received from Toshiba. It is designed for consumers who need an everyday machine to tackle apps and casual games at home. Finished in what Toshiba refers to as ‘Modena red with matrix patterning’ the Satellite L755-16C boasts stunning looks that actually do a great job of concealing this machine’s dimensions. Even the machine’s fairly substantial 2.5kg weight sinks away when you stare at the beautiful red and black finish of the machine. Like other Toshiba notebooks we’ve tested in the past this new Satellite is impeccably well built. There’s minimal flex when you handle the machine by its edges, the LCD screen’s display doesn’t distort when you squeeze the surrounding bezel and the left and right mouse buttons feel like they could last for years. The keyboard exhibits a slight bit of flex but is for the most part solid and very responsive. As for the trackpad, one design aspect that we really liked is the fact that the trackpad is borderless. You can tell where the trackpads borders are by just looking at it but you




can also feel it thanks to the fact that the trackpad has a bit of texture to it, whereas the surrounding body boasts a glossy, slippery finish. The texture feels great under finger and helps you make quick, precise movements. The Toshiba’s 15.6-inch LCD is bog standard (size-wise) on entry-level desktop replacements and runs at a resolution of 1,366 x 768 pixels. This suits the LCD’s size beautifully; everything looks razor sharp and thanks to the LCD’s superb brightness, games, movies and photographs are vivid and vibrant to look at. Being a desktop replacement, battery life isn’t the Satellite L755-16C’s forte. Running our intensive Imtec battery benchmark, we came away with a battery time of one hour and 31 minutes. In real world use where the CPU isn’t being used 100%, you’re likely to see between two and four hours of life. Moving to our PCMark Vantage benchmark, the L755-16C spat out very respectable results. We recorded scores of 6,036, 3,455, 3,030, 5,195, 5,219, 8,058, 4,269 and 2,299 in the PCMark suite, Memories, TV and Movies, Gaming, Music,

Communications, Productivity and HDD test suites. As an app rig the Toshiba is slightly slower than MSI’s CX640 (reviewed last month). In terms of gaming, the Toshiba turns the tables. The Toshiba’s PCMark Vantage gaming score is appreciably higher and when it came to our Street Fighter IV and World in Conflict tests, the same was true. The Toshiba managed figures of 71fps and 22fps to the MSI’s 52fps and 20fps. The Toshiba then is slightly better at tackling casual gaming needs.



SPECIFICATIONS 2.3GHz dual core Intel Core i5-2410M CPU, Intel HM65 chipset, 4GB of DDR3 RAM, Nvidia GeForce GT 525M GPU with 1GB of dedicated memory, 15.6-inch LCD screen, native resolution 1,366 x 768 pixels, 1.3-megapixel webcam, 802.11b/g/n WiFi, two USB2.0 ports, one USB3.0 port, one HDMI port, built-in memory card reader, 2.5kg, carrying case, one-year international warranty. PROS Well priced, attractive design and finish, great build quality, superb LCD screen, fast application machine, offers enough gaming grunt for casual gaming. CONS Keyboard flexes slightly. VERDICT If you’re looking for an entry-level desktop replacement that can tear through apps and deliver sufficient firepower for casual gaming, this is it.


WESTERN DIGITAL TV LIVE Break out the popcorn PRICE $128 CONTACT +9714 881 3234 WEB


estern Digital has impressed us in the past with its home entertainment products and with the firm’s new WD TV Live, the trend continues. The TV Live is well designed, fairly attractive and sports compact dimensions too, so you can hide it out of sight (though you don’t need to considering its looks) or keep it in plain view. The front of the device sports a single USB port while a small, single white light denotes that the device is powered on (you can disable this light completely if you wish). Setting up the WD TV Live is a quick and painless affair. You need only choose what language you wish to see the interface in, connect to your Ethernet or WiFi based network and you’re good to go. Gaining access to media files on your PC via your network requires that you setup your computer’s operating system and/or Windows Media Player, so the compact WD TV Live can catalog and access all of your content. You can, of course, connect storage drives directly to the Live via its two built-in USB ports. As soon as we happened upon the


WD’s main interface we noticed that a new firmware update was already available. This is something that we have to give kudos to Western Digital for because even with the older WD TV HD Media Player, the company tirelessly enhanced its functionality in terms of new file format support and more via regular updates. This is still the case for the older player as of going to press, so we’re confident that consumers who adopt the newer WD TV Live can look forward to the same sort of support from WD. (Competing manufacturer take note.) One reason the WD TV Live is so easy to live with on a day-to-day basis is because it ships with a functional remote control and sports an intuitive interface. There are four hotkeys that can be configured to specific uses and beyond these there are plenty of buttons to help you navigate the player’s interface and interact with content. The control is fairly chunky and features a contoured underside, so holding onto it is never a problem, whether you’re a leftie or a right handed user. There’s a numeric pad that also doubles as a keyboard and while it’s not as elegant a solution as the full

QWERTY keyboard offered by D-Link’s stylish double-sided Boxee Box remote, it works well enough. As a media player the WD TV Live is sublime. Watching a couple of Matroska encoded 1080p videos the Live offered excellent video quality. It’s easily better than what the Boxee Box managed and the same was also true when we switched over to HD YouTube videos and high-resolution photographs. In terms of audio quality the Live is, once again, flawless.



SPECIFICATIONS Video/photo/audio/playlist/subtitle support, online service support, funspot games, two USB 2.0 ports, one Ethernet port, one HDMI port, one Composite port, Optical audio output, A/V output, multilingual input, remote control, twoyear warranty. PROS Wide format support, plenty of online content, clean and functional interface, great design, functional remote. CONS Some premium content not supported. VERDICT The WD TV Live is a competent streaming media player that boasts all the bells and whistles. Its clean exterior design, useable remote and intuitive interface guarantee that you’ll be a happy owner now, while constant firmware updates will keep you happy long after you’ve bought this device.







PORTABLE LAPTOP STAND The coolest laptop stand ever? PRICE $65 WEB







SPECIFICATIONS Universal laptop stand, less than 1/4 inches thick, 12 and 3/4 inches long, 2 and 3/4


SCX-4833FD Ideal for small businesses PRICE $408 CONTACT +9714 364 8600 WEB




SPECIFICATIONS Samsung 360MHz processor, 128MB RAM, monochrome laser print engine, 1,200 x

viiq reckons its Portable Laptop Stand is ‘The perfect compliment for your laptop or notebook computer’. The company also says its stand is ‘Designed to extend the life of your laptop as well as your wrists’. Out of the box it’s hard not to be impressed by the design of the stand; it’s by far the slimmest we’ve ever come across. It is also interestingly designed and could easily be classified as industrial art. We aren’t surprised that it picked up the ‘Design and Innovation award 2011’ at Computex Taipei. Setting up the stand is a cinch and placing our MacBook Air ultra-portable on it, we found the stand


inches wide, 156g, 12-degrees laptop rise angle, silver colour (white, black, titanium also sold).

amsung says its SCX4833FD multifunction device offers reliability, fast performance and ease-of-use. Like other Samsung multifunctions we’ve reviewed the SCX-4833FD is cleanly designed. Given that it boasts print, scan, copy and fax capabilities the MFD isn’t overly large and upfront, there are easyto-use controls and a small display screen. We found the 4833FD easy enough to operate without a PC and in terms of performance, the Samsung didn’t let us down. Performing a copy job that involved text and graphics the SCX-4833FD spat out our copy in six seconds. Moving to heavier print jobs


1,200dpi print resolution, 31ppm (claimed), 31ppm A4 scanning speed (claimed), 1,200 x 1,200dpi copy resolution, one-year warranty.

offered a decent amount of lift. After prolonged use we also noticed that our wrists weren’t as fatigued as we’re accustomed to when we use the laptop as normal. While we can’t say for certain that this will ‘extend the life of your wrists’ in the long term, we can certainly vouch for the fact that they offer more comfort and thus allowed us to work for longer hours. The only issue is that due to its compact dimensions this stand is only suitable for ultra-portable and portable notebooks. While we were able to place a desktop replacement on the stand, when we hit the keys on the left or right most areas of the full-size keyboard, the notebook felt a tad bit unstable on the stand. VERDICT A unique laptop stand that boasts sleek looks and offers added comfort for when you have to work.

the Samsung maintained its impressive performance; it took 46 seconds to rip through our 20-page text document, which translates to a speed of 26ppm. While this is not quite 31ppm as Samsung claims, it’s still plenty fast. Moving to our intensive six page text and graphics PDF, the Samsung spat out the first page in six seconds and took 17 seconds to complete the job. This works out to a speed of 21ppm, which is quite impressive. Since this MFD targets businesses, the 4833FD’s memory can be upgraded to 384MB. It ships as standard with 128MB however, which should prove enough for most small business to kick off with. VERDICT A well designed, easy-to-use MFD that offers decent print, scan and copying performance.

THE MOST CELEBRATED EVENT FOR THE MIDDLE EAST TELECOMS INDUSTRY Tuesday, 29th November 2011 Jumeirah Emirates Towers The 6th Annual Comms MEA Awards set out to celebrate and pay tribute to the telecoms industry professionals and operators that have shown outstanding performance and results in key market segments. For sponsorship enquiries please contact: Natasha Pendleton +971 4 444 3193 For nomination enquiries please contact: Roger Field +971 4 444 3419 For table booking enquiries please contact: Daniel Fewtrell T: +971 4 444 3684 E: Silver Sponsor

Category Sponsors

For more information please



BUYERSGUIDE HOW TO USE THE GUIDE The Buyer’s Guide is a fully comprehensive guide to the best products that WINDOWS MIDDLE EAST has reviewed, and is intended to act as an effective resource for buyers of such products in the Middle East market. The Buyer's Guide is updated with new products each month, and out of date products removed.

Each of our ten product categories contains ten recommended product buys. For each product we’ve included vendor (or local distributor) contact details, our Windows Middle East overall rating, our verdict on the product and details of which issue we reviewed it in (alternatively you can find all our product reviews - in full - on Each of the products shown scored either 4/5 or 5/5 in its respective review, so instead of listing products in score order we have arranaged these by price, with the most expensive at the top of the page. This makes it quick and easy for you to find the product you can best afford. We also offer advice on how to go about buying products within each particular product category. This gives you, the reader, the ability to make a better-informed judgment about what kit is suitable for your needs.

RATINGS EXPLAINED Awarded to outstanding products that have excelled in both value and performance.


Awarded to products that offer you the most bang for your buck.

Awarded to products that offer impressive amounts of power and speed.

43 43 44 44 45 45 46 46 47 47


AWARDS are basically presented to products for their outstanding performance and value. A Performance or Value winner must have received five stars in that particular category. An Editor’s Choice award goes to outstanding products that have excelled in both value and performance.

FEATURES: What value-added features are included? Do they benefit the user? Are they innovative? PERFORMANCE: Does the product perform well? Is it quick? EASE OF USE: How user-friendly is the interface? Does it require expertise? VALUE FOR MONEY: Does the price represent a fair return on performance? DESIGN: Is the product well designed? Are buttons easy-to-access? Are ports and connections well-placed?



BUYERS GUIDE 43 Components Fractal Design Define R3 Medium tower ATX case


RATING +++++ WEB REVIEWED March 2011










Fractal Design’s amazing R3 is ideal for building a high-end rig with, thanks to its ample internal space and superb cooling setup.

Asus GTX 580 P/2DIS/1536MD5 PCI-E graphics card While the Matrix carries an incredibly steep retail price, it is one of the maddest and most potent graphics cards we’ve ever tested.

Intel Core i7-2600K LGA1155 quad-core processor


The Intel Core i7-2600K CPU is a super fast performer which thanks to its unlocked multiplier can also be overclocked like a monster.

AMD Phenom II X6 1100T Black Edition Socket AM3 processor


AMD’s Phenom II X6 1100T represents great value-for-money. It offers strong performance for a bargain price tag.

Zotac GeForce GTX 560 Multiview PCI-E graphics card


An aggressively priced GTX 560 powered graphics card that offers excellent multi-monitor possibilities and decent performance.

+9714 299 3873 August 2011

+9714 440 4300 April 2011

+9714 427 2626 March 2011

+9714 886 3300 August 2011

Desktops $8,175

Yoyotech’s PC has oddles of character and packs some serious performance under its distinctive hood. The only real issue is its price tag.

Leeno mini PC I73461SV Small formfactor PC


The compact Leeno packs potent application punch thanks to its Sandy Bridge Core i7-2600K CPU, 6GB of memory and SSD drive. It’s well-priced too.

Zotac ZBOX Blu-ray AD03 Plus Small formfactor PC


An extremely well built small formfactor rig that looks great and offers fully-fledged Blu-ray playback. It’s also inexpensive at $539.

Sky Electronics Expeditor EXP - X980/6/80SSD/1TB/480X2/RV2 High-end gaming PC


If you want butter smooth gaming framerates and wait-free application performance the Expeditor is the rig for you. It’s also very reasonably priced considering its high-spec components.

Zotac ZBOX HD-ID11 Barebones PC The ZBOX HD-ID11 is an impressive mini PC barebones that can be turned into a competent rig with the addition of the right components.






+9662 614 1454 June 2011

+9714 886 3330 June 2011


+++++ +9714 355 5520 September 2010


Yoyotech FI7EPOWER MK3 High-end gaming PC

44 BUYERS GUIDE Digital imaging RATING +++++ WEB REVIEWED October 2011

Olympus Tough TG-810 Rugged point and shoot digital camera

RATING +++++ CONTACT +9714 391 8400 WEB REVIEWED October 2011

Sony VPL-SX125 Short throw projector

RATING +++++ CONTACT +9714 217 0700 WEB REVIEWED May 2011

Nikon D7000 Mid-range digital SLR camera

RATING +++++ CONTACT +9714 353 6074 WEB REVIEWED May 2011

Canon EOS 1100D Entry-level digital SLR camera

RATING +++++ CONTACT +9714 391 5050 WEB REVIEWED October 2011

Canon Powershot SX 150 IS Point and shoot digital camera


If you’re the clumsy type or you need a point and shoot because you work in rugged conditions, there’s no better option on the market.


Sony’s VPL-SX125 short throw offering is an ideal candidate for open plan offices as well as for educational institutes.


Nikon’s D7000 is a fantastic picture grabber. It feels great in hand, captures brilliant shots when used by skilled photographers and has a number of useful extras.


While the EOS 1100D feels like a budget digital SLR in hand in terms of its build, it offers excellent image quality and an easy-to-use interface.


The Powershot SX 150 IS is a stylish point and shoot camera that produces brilliant photos and is very attractively priced.



RATING +++++ WEB REVIEWED October 2011




+++++ October 2011 June 2011





BlackBerry Bold 9900 Hybrid keyboard/touchscreen smartphone


The Bold 9900 is the best smartphone we’ve seen all year; it looks great, feels premium and is a great phone to use everyday.

HTC Cha Cha Hybrid keyboard/touchscreen smartphone


The QWERTY keyboard, price and overall functionality make HTC’s ChaCha a very appealing device despite its small LCD screen.

Ivio Icon DE38 Touchscreen smartphone


Given its dual SIM capabilities and reasonably stacked feature list, the ICON DE38 offers strong value-formoney. While not without its flaws these issues aren’t deal breakers.

Samsung Galaxy S II Touchscreen smartphone


A responsive, well-designed and feature-packed smartphone that suffers only because of its somewhat limited battery life.

Motorola Atrix Touchscreen smartphone Thanks to its solid hardware, great design and useful extra features, the Atrix is easily one of the best Android smartphones that money can buy.


BUYERS GUIDE 45 Monitors LG 42LW5700 Cinema 3D LED TV 42-inch LED LCD


The 42LW5700 is the first 3D screen that we’d consider owning. It’s able to create fantastic 3D experiences, doesn’t induce headaches and is aggressively priced and ships with four 3D glasses.

Samsung LED Series 7000 Smart TV 55-inch LCD TV


While the UA55D7000LR isn’t perfect, its flaws are far from being deal breakers. It’s still a great screen that can generate super-sized visuals.

AOC Vita T2442E 24-inch widescreen LCD/TV


The Flatron W2261V offers killer visuals, an elegant and attractive design and won’t necessarily break the bank. A great buy.

LG Flatron IPS 236 23-inch widescreen LCD

+++++ +9714 800 54 September 2011


+++++ +971 050 600 4017 June 2011







This Flatron screen offers great visuals thanks to its superb IPS panel and LED backlight.

Acer S243HL 24-inch widescreen LCD


An aggressively priced LCD screen that’s supremely capable in the visual department. An exceptional value-buy.

+9714 393 6247 July 2011

+9714 805 6000 January 2011

Notebooks $572

The PlayBook is a capable tablet whose functionality and usefulness will only increase as more apps and games become available.

HP Mini 210-3020SE Netbook


The Mini 210 packs potent performance, strong battery life and sports the sort of looks that can stop people dead in their tracks.

Asus Eee Pad Transformer Tablet


The Eee Pad Transformer is an innovative device that’s a real pleasure to use owing to its flawless IPS-based LCD screen.

HP Pavilion DV6-6090ee High-end desktop replacement


HP’s new Pavilion DV6-6090ee is the full package; it offers great looks, top notch performance and a sensible price tag.

Packard Bell DOT S Netbook Bland finish aside, this lightweight netbook offers competitive performance, a massive hard drive and attractive pricing.



+++++ +9714 391 6000 September 2011





+9714 299 3873 July 2011

+9714 391 6000 August 2011

RATING +++++ CONTACT +9714 805 6320 WEB REVIEWED September 2011


BlackBerry PlayBook Tablet


+++++ October 2010


The Fuze packs mighty punch despite its low cost and compact size. It’s usable, sports loads of functions and features a memory expansion slot.

+++++ Imation LINK A / V Extender +9714 881 8008 February 2011

+++++ +9714 358 8506 July 2011


Sandisk Sansa Fuze Media player

+++++ August 2011


Audio video extender

A competent device that allows you to broadcast HD content to your TV or monitor without the use of cables.

Roccat Kone+ Gaming mouse


Roccat’s Kone+ is a superb peripheral that offers loads of game-friendly features and an extremely responsive and precise tracking engine.

Sennheiser HD 800 High-end headphones


The Sennheiser HD 800 headphones are the best set of cans the Windows team has ever had the pleasure of listening to.

Logitech Wireless Solar Keyboard K750 Solar-powered keyboard


The K750 is a green peripheral that just works but considering its stee asking price, it’s not a keyboard for the masses.










+9714 883 5878 May 2010

+9714 204 5810 September 2010

+9714 391 6000 September 2010

+9714 204 5810 February 2011

RATING +++++ CONTACT +9714 391 5050 WEB REVIEWED February 2011

Brother HL-3070CW LED colour printer


Lively performance, compact dimensions and flexible connectivity make the HL-3070CW a worthwhile buy.

OKI B411dn Monochrome laser printer


OKI’s B411dn is ideal for small businesses thanks to its super quick print performance and wide array of standard features.

HP P1102w Monochrome laser printer


The P1102w is well priced, is reasonably quick and sports built-in WiFi connectivity as standard. A solid buy for a SOHO or small business.

OKI MC361DN LED colour printer


The MC361dn is the obvious choice if you have demanding print needs and require a fast and capable colour printer.

Canon PIXMA MG6140 Inkjet colour MFD With six ink tanks, a slick user interface and superb overall print quality, the Pixma MG6140 is a brilliant buy that won’t hurt your bank balance.


BUYERS GUIDE 47 Software Dr.Web Security Space Pro Security suite


A competent security suite that’s best suited for advanced users who won’t miss interface eye-candy and loads of help.

Eset Smart Security Security suite


While Smart Security lacks a very strong anti-spyware component it is very easy-to-use, packs a decent scan engine and a tough firewall.

Norton Internet Security 2011 Security suite


NIS 2011 is a well designed package that offers superb protection from a variety of online and local threats. It also operates with almost no impact on system performance. An added bonus.

Kaspersky Internet Security 2011 Security suite



+++++ March 2011

+++++ March 2010

+++++ February 2011


RATING +++++ WEB REVIEWED March 2011



Kaspersky’s latest security suite is easy-to-use, relatively light on system resources and is packed with accurate and useful security features.

Iolo System Mechanic 10 Utility software


Iolo’s System Mechanic 10 is a competent utility that can, in most cases, revitalise your rig. The software is very easy-to-use and doesn’t require any real expertise.

+++++ Holiday Special

Storage $79

Swift performance and a large amount of storage capacity make this Class 10 card ideal for HD content creators and photographers.

Hitachi XL Desk 1000 External hard drive


RATING +++++ CONTACT +9714 507 8888 WEB REVIEWED October 2010






The XL Desk 1000 offers 1TB of storage capacity, a three-year warranty and backup software for an unbelievable price. It’s a steal.

Intel 250GB SSD 510 Series SSD drive Packing decent performance and a killer cost per gigabyte of just US $2.34, the 250GB 510 Series drive is definitely worth considering.

Corsair Force Series GT 120GB SSD drive


If you want superb storage performance, Corsair’s Force Series GT has your name on it. It is the fastest SSD we’ve ever tested.

Western Digital Caviar Green 3TB 3.5-inch SATA hard disk A top-notch 3.5-inch drive that boasts superlative performance and an enormous amount of storage capacity for a fair price.




+9714 440 4300 September 2011

+7495 508 1011 September 2011

+++++ +9714 881 3234 February 2011


Patriot 32GB LX Pro SDHC Class 10 Class 10 memory card



GAME ON NEWS NVIDIA ENHANCES 3D RANGE Graphics chipset titan Nvidia has introduced a range of new 3D Vision products, designed to deliver greater realism and immersion for 3D games, movies and photos. The Nvidia 3D Vision 2, the next generation of Nvidia's 3D technology, features newly-redesigned, gamer-inspired glasses and Nvidia 3D LightBoost technology, a new display technology that is designed to improve the 3D experience by delivering images that are up to twice as bright and colours that are richer than those provided by other 3D display technologies. Nvidia 3D Vision 2 glasses feature lenses that are 20% larger than those in first-generation glasses, resulting in a wider viewing area and increased external light blocking. In addition, Nvidia 3D Vision 2 glasses are made of soft composite materials for a more comfortable fit with gaming headphones. The glasses also feature Nvidia's advanced active-shutter and IR wireless technologies, designed to allow gamers and 3D enthusiasts to access a broad range of high-quality 3D content, including more than 550 Full HD 1080p 3D games, more than 100 Blu-ray 3D movies and thousands of 3D videos and photos from YouTube and "Gorgeous, bright, crystal-clear 3D worlds are created by Nvidia's 3D Vision 2 glasses with 3D LightBoost monitors and notebooks," said Phil Eisler, General Manager of 3D India-based gaming company Vision at Nvidia. and mobile apps developer, India Games, has been purchased by Disney, says company CEO and Founder Vishal Gondal. "We are not talking much about it, but we just got bought last week, so we are not giving any comments on that, but I can tell you I like Mickey Mouse," said Gondal. India Games is one of India's leading game companies with upward of a 60% market share. The company's business is mostly in the mobile space followed by online and TV gaming. "As the market is becoming bigger we are focusing on The recently released Gears of War III has sold more than the apps space, particularly on platforms like iPhone and three million copies in its first week of sales. The game Android, which is spreading all over the world even in the is set to be a holiday-season hit, and is one of the first Middle East region," said Gondal. blockbuster titles of the season. Since apps are now accessible everywhere, Gondal The new game concludes the Locust story arc, which says that the firm is planning on expanding into the the first game kicked off when it was launched in 2006. A Middle East market from its previous focus on India. sequel, Gears of War 2, followed in 2008. “Now clearly because of the geographical access of A spokesperson for Microsoft told technology blog India and the Middle East, I think it is quite natural to VentureBeat, "Gears of War 3 has set the bar as the top expand into this territory. I think going forward we will be game launch of the year, kicking off the biggest holiday making a lot more investments here and get more people in Xbox history with a bang. While we don't share sales here to work,” said Gondal. projections, we're really happy with the results thus “We are now seeing that most of the trends on apps far and are kicking off what promises to be our biggest and content are becoming global. Products like Angry holiday yet in Xbox history." Birds are going everywhere, no matter what the country, When pressed about future plans the spokesperson so what we are seeing is similar trends here and several said, "We've enjoyed a terrific partnership with Epic of our products have already performed very well here Games throughout the "Gears of War" trilogy, and the [UAE]. We had a cricket game IPL T20, which did very well success of the franchise is a testament to the strength of because the Middle East has a lot of British and Indians that relationship and our work together. We look forward and people from Pakistan and they loved the product,” to working with Epic in the future." said Gondal.






FOUR NEW GAMES FOR XPERIA PLAY Sony Ericsson has released four new games, developed by Electronic Arts (EA), that are designed for the Xperia Play. The four games include; Need for Speed-Shift, Dead Space, Battlefield-Bad Company-2 and Need for Speed-Hot Pursuit. All four games titles will be available for Xperia Play customers free of charge from 1st October 2011 to 10 January 2012. "The Sony Ericsson Xperia Play is the ideal smartphone for individuals who wish to maximize their communication experience without forsaking their gaming activities. The addition of new games is part of Sony Ericsson's promise to continuously deliver an enhanced gaming experience to users," said Spyridon Gousetis, Marketing Manager, Sony Ericsson Middle East. Xperia Play is one of the first PlayStationcertified smartphones, it runs on Android Gingerbread 2.3 and is equipped with a slide out gaming control for use with Xperia Play's immersive mobile gaming.

DEAD ISLAND TO BE TURNED INTO A MOVIE Deep Silver's Dead Island will be turned into a movie soon. Lions Gate Entertainment has won the film rights for Dead Island and is currently in the early development stages of the movie. Sean Daniel will take charge of the project along with producer Stefan Sonnenfeld. Directors of the movie include J.J. Abrams, Michael Bay and Gore Verbinski. Executive producers include Jason Brown of The Sean Daniel Company and Missy Papageorge for Sonnenfeld's Sunny Field Productions, along with Sarah Perlman of Sunny Field Productions serving as the movie's Co-Producer. Joe Drake, Co-COO and Motion Picture Group President at Lionsgate said the first trailer for Dead Island was inspirational because of a focus on human emotions, family ties and its nonlinear story telling. "Like the hundreds of gaming journalists and millions of fans who were so passionate and vocal about the Dead Island trailer, we too were awestruck," said Drake. He continued, "This is exactly the type of property we're looking to adopt at Lionsgate - it's sophisticated, edgy, and a true elevation of a genre that we know and love. It also has built in brand recognition around the world, and long term franchise potential." Dead Island the game was released on PlayStation 3, Xbox 360 and PC on September 6, and is currently one of the best selling games in the U.S. and U.K. Deep Silver is looking into simultaneously developing the Intellectual Property of Dead Island to include graphic novels and other options. The game was scheduled to release in the UAE but was banned a day before its official launch.

Star Wars: The Old Republic will be available on shelves just in time for Christmas this year. The release date has been scheduled for December 20 in North America and December 22 all over Europe. This was announced by Bioware Co-Founders Dr. Ray Muzyka and Dr. Greg Zeschuk at Eurogamer Expo 2011 in London, England. The news soon appeared on the official website of the game too.

Muzyka said, "This is an incredible moment for everyone at BioWare and our partners at LucasArts who have dedicated their lives to build this extraordinary new game. We appreciate the patience from the millions of fans around the world who have been waiting for the game's release." On the game's official forum, the Co-Founders added, "In 2008, along with our partners at LucasArts, we took to the stage to announce the development of the long-rumored BioWare massively multiplayer game set in the Star Wars universe. Over

the past few years, we've pulled back the curtain and shown you why Star Wars: The Old Republic is the groundbreaking story-driven MMO you've always wanted, and how this game will change the MMO genre forever. We've given you a peek behind the scenes each week, showing you what it takes to create the largest MMO in development. Our team has traveled the world to give fans a chance to experience the game first-hand, and you've created an active pre-launch community larger than we've ever seen to date."





DIABLO III DELAYED Diablo III will be delayed to early next year according to a post on Blizzard's site. The long awaited game was supposed to be released at the end of 2011 however the developers feel more time is needed to perfect it. The on-going beta test will be extended and more gamers who have opted in will be invited to play. Mike Morhaime, President, CEO and Co-Founder of Blizzard said, "We commonly use the term "soon" when referring to Blizzard releases, because we know that no matter how hard we're working to reach a target, we're not going to compromise and launch a game before it's ready to go. For Diablo III, we were aiming to launch by the end of 2011. As we're announcing globally today, our new target for the game is early 2012." Morhaime continued, "While this news might not be a complete surprise, I know that many of you were hopeful that Diablo III would ship this year. We were too. However, this week we pulled together people from all of the teams involved with the game to decide whether we felt it would be ready before the end of December, and we grudgingly came to the conclusion that it would not. Ultimately, we feel that to deliver an awesome Diablo sequel that lives up to our expectations and yours as well, we should take a little more time and add further polish to a few different elements of the game."



A new company, which has been set up in the Gulf to target the region's fast-growing interactive entertainment industry, said much of its forthcoming content will be rooted in local cultures. Digital Development Management (DDM), the world's business and talent agency for video games and digital entertainment, announced it has joined forces with Gulf based Trans Technologies to form Red Stallion Interactive. It said the new publisher will be devoted to developing and distributing interactive entertainment across the Gulf region, with offices in Doha, Manama, and Northampton, Massachusetts in the United States. DDM will serve as senior advisors and operational manager to Red Stallion, which aims to address the growing appetite for high quality game entertainment across the Middle East. Red Stallion's content, both licensed and original, will be rooted in culture based on the Gulf region, a statement said.

It added that Red Stallion Interactive will work with some of the leading video game developers, publishers and intellectual property creators around the world to generate best-in-class digital content. The company will initially focus on distributing and developing for the greater Gulf region to establish its business base, with plans to expand globally in the longer term. Dr Mohamed Juman, of Trans Technologies, said, "Red Stallion, through our partnership with DDM, will hopefully fulfil a growing demand for interactive content that speaks to the cultural and entertainment habits of different international territories."

DEUS EX DLC PACK RELEASED A new DLC pack known as 'The Missing Link' is available for download for Deux Ex: Human Revolution. The events of the Missing Link occur during the period that Adam is onboard a cargo ship from Heng Sha to Singapore in the main game, Deus Ex: Human Revolution. The DLC sees protagonist Adam Jensen being captured and tortured by two Belltower commanders who want to know about Adam's identity. The DLC pack is said to offer between five to six hours of gameplay and is available on the PC, Mac and console gaming platforms.



FOUR NEW DLC PACKS FOR GRAN TURISMO 5 There are four new DLC packs available for Gran Turismo 5 along with a ‘Complete pack’, available for purchase from the PlayStation Store. The new ‘Racing Car Pack’ includes the Red Bull X2011, designed along with Red Bull Racing and adds 11 new cars from Honda, Mazda, Mitsubishi, Nissan, Subaru, Toyota and Dodge as well as three new karts. The ‘Course Pack’ is said to include the Circuit de SpaFrancorchamps located in Belgium’s Ardennes forest. It has been the venue for the Formula One Belgian Grand Prix and the famous Spa 24 Hours. Included in the pack is a new indoor karting arena which itself includes two layouts. The ‘Special Paint Pack’ includes a new 100-colour set of paints that include matte, chrome and polarised colours to allow for an unprecedented degree of personalisation within GT5. The ‘Racing Gear Pack’ includes special racing gear with 25 new Gran Turismo design helmets and 15 race suits as well as new Simpson helmets and Alpinestars GP1 race suits. “I was clear from the launch of Gran Turismo 5 in November last year that the game would continue to develop over time,” explained creator Kazunori Yamauchi. “This new DLC, combined with the recent Spec 2.0 functionality update, will enhance the GT5 experience for our hard-core fans as well as those new to the game. In the same way that many of the changes in Spec 2.0 were driven by feedback from our community, much of the new content was also created as a result of their suggestions. I am particularly pleased to see the wonderful Spa-Francorchamps circuit make its full debut on Gran Turismo. It will be a lot of fun.”

PLAYSTATION VITA LAUNCHES FROM 22 FEBRUARY 2012 Sony Computer Entertainment Europe has announced that its PlayStation Vita will launch throughout Europe, Africa, the Middle East and Australasia from 22 February, 2012. The retail prices are fixed at US $364 for Wi-Fi models and $443 for the 3G/Wi-Fi models. "PlayStation Vita is an incredible device that offers the best possible portable gaming experiences. Its revolutionary mix of features combined with social connectivity, delivers a

platform for gamers to play games in a whole new way and to connect with their friends and the world around them" said Jim Ryan, President and CEO, SCEE. "We're very excited to launch a portable gaming device that goes beyond anything available on the market and is positioned to deliver the uncompromised gaming experiences that consumers have been asking for." There are more than 80 games currently in production for the forthcoming portable gaming console from first and third party studios including "LittleBigPlanet," "Wipeout 2048," "Resistance: Burning Skies," "Uncharted Golden Abyss," Ubisoft's "Assassin's Creed," EA Sports' "FIFA", Activision's ‘Call of Duty', and many more. Sony says the PS Vita is poised to deliver gameplay experiences unmatched by any handheld or mobile device on the market. A few social networking and communications services such as Facebook, foursquare, Skype, and Twitter will also be available on the PS Vita when it officially launches next year.

Microsoft has launched a new 320GB Media Hard Drive, the largest hard drive yet for its Xbox 360 console. The kit includes a download code for Lego Star Wars III: The Clone Wars and was launched last month at a cost of US $129.99. Software giant Microsoft says that with the new hard disk users can now store up to 95 full games, or 200 Standard Definition (SD) movies, or 40 High Definition (HD) movies, or up to 975 standard TV shows. The Media Hard Drive is compatible with all Xbox 360 S consoles. Microsoft says it will be sold at most Xbox 360 retailers and will be available around the world. However, the Media Hard Drive will not include the game download code in Japan, Saudi Arabia, Slovakia and the UAE.





BATMAN: ARKHAM CITY RELEASES Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment and DC Entertainment have announced that Batman: Arkham City is now available at retailers in North America for the Xbox 360 and PlayStation3. The Windows version will be available beginning Nov. 15, 2011. Batman: Arkham City builds upon the intense, atmospheric foundations of Batman: Arkham Asylum, seeing players battle their way through a game world five times larger than that of Batman: Arkham Asylum. Its inhabitants include all of Gotham City’s thugs, gangsters and insane criminal masterminds. The game features a Rogues Gallery of Gotham City’s most dangerous criminals including Catwoman, The Joker, The Riddler, Two-Face, Harley Quinn, The Penguin, Mr. Freeze and others. “Batman: Arkham City builds upon the critical and commercial success of Batman: Arkham Asylum and firmly solidifies the Arkham brand as a triple-A action adventure franchise,” said Martin Tremblay, President, Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment. “Rocksteady has developed a game that includes all the makings of a blockbuster – immersive story, memorable characters and outstanding gameplay, and we are very proud to bring the game to players around the world.” "Getting to work in the Batman universe again has been a privilege for us at Rocksteady Studios. We have worked tirelessly to take Batman from the Asylum into the heart of Gotham City and to deliver the game The Dark Knight deserves,” said Sefton Hill, Game Director at Rocksteady Studios. “The response so far has been phenomenal and we can't wait for everyone to experience becoming The Batman swooping through the streets of Gotham."


ACE COMBAT-ASSAULT HORIZON OUT IN STORES NOW Namco Bandai games has announced that Ace CombatAssault Horizon is on sale in stores across Europe for the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3. Ace Combat-Assault Horizon is said to escalate combat to the next level with aircraft that are literally torn apart, spewing oil and debris across the sky. Players will engage in intense single player, cooperative and online multiplayer dogfights over real world locations, whilst trying to dodge skyscrapers, gunfire and missles. “This was a chance for us to take the franchise in a completely new direction, and that is exactly what we have accomplished with Ace Combat-Assault Horizon,” said Kazutoki Kono, Producer at Project Aces, Namco Bandai Games Inc. “We’re excited for both long-time fans of the franchise and newcomers alike to get their hands on the game and get closer to the explosive action than ever before.” Ace Combat-Assault Horizon puts players in the shoes of a top gun pilot in an international task force. The war drama spans multiple real-world locations such as Dubai in the United Arab Emirates, Russia, Washington DC or Paris as an exclusive multiplayer map. The game introduces new categories of aircraft including supersonic jets, attack helicopters and more. The team at Project Aces is now already working on a DLC pack which will feature brand new fictional aircraft including the ASF-X Shinden II and CFA-44 Nosferatu, alongside the real-world Su-37 Terminator, Tornado GR.4, AV-8B Harrier II Plus, YF-23 Black Widow II, F-15S/MTD and Ka-50 Hokum.

POINT BLANK TO BE RELEASED WITH FULL ARABIC SUPPORT Tahadi games, based in Abu Dhabi is readying for the launch of its first person shooter (FPS), Point Blank, which will be the first FPS with Arabic support. The game is extremely popular in the USA and is played by over 20 million gamers worldwide. It is the number one shooting game in Russia, Thailand and Indonesia, and is a huge success in Brazil and Philippines. Point Blank features Reactive environments and carefully crafted maps to create an intense gameplay experience that raises the bar for immersion in MMO shooters. Players have to join forces with different teams to conquer and control the country of Korogese. Destructible environments, customisable characters, responsive control and multiple fighting techniques allow the player to engage in missions expanding their overall objective. “As an avid Arabic gamer, I am proud to bring the best online shooter in the world to my brothers. Nothing but the best; Action, Exciting Gameplay, Awesome Weapons, and we promise to have the best online shooter gamer community!” said Ashraf Mirghani, Product Manager at Tahadi Games. Tahadi Games started the closed beta testing phase of Point Blank on 22nd October 2011, while the official Arabic open beta launch is set one month later.



UBISOFT TO OPEN ABU DHABI STUDIO Games developer Ubisoft is set to open a new studio in Abu Dhabi. The company, which is behind well-received games such as Prince of Persia and Assassin's Creed, will become the first international developer with a presence in the Middle East. The studio will be based in Abu Dhabi's twofour54 media zone. Ubisoft, which employs over 5,400 developers in-house around the world, says the new studio will create 100 jobs over the next five years. "We are excited by the partnership with twofour54. Their commitment to developing a strong regional gaming industry and their knowledge of the region were the perfect foundation on which to continue building our development teams," said Christine Burgess-Quémard, Executive Director, Worldwide Studios at Ubisoft. "The demographics and the pool of skilled technical talent in the Middle East and North Africa region are key factors that will contribute to the success of this new studio." The French developer will also collaborate with twofour54 on a games development academy, which will also be based in Abu Dhabi. The academy will offer a full time course to train students in skills relevant to the games industry. Students will also get talent development opportunities at the Ubisoft studio. "Digital gaming has always been a priority sector for twofour54 and to partner with an international market leader such as Ubisoft is great news for the region's gaming industry," commented Wayne Borg, deputy CEO, and COO, twofour54. "The digital games played by Arabs have traditionally been developed outside the region, which means that they rarely have a direct relevance to Arab gamers. Our agreement with Ubisoft will benefit the region in that it will enable the development of titles with universal appeal, whilst also building the skills of young Arabs to allow the region to create its own games and developing a gaming industry base here at twofour54."

COMBAT ARMS: ZOMBIES OUT SOON ON IOS DEVICES Nexon Mobile Corp, the game development arm of Nexon Co, is launching Combat Arms: Zombies for the Apple iOS mobile platform this month. The game was developed using Epic Games’ Unreal Engine 3 and is said to give the first person shooter (FPS) unmatched graphics performance. “Using Epic Games’ cutting edge Unreal Engine technologies, Combat Arms: Zombies will set a new standard for graphics and quality gameplay on mobile devices,” said NEXON Mobile’s CEO, Albert Rim. “Combat Arms: Zombies has been a major effort for us and it will help establish NEXON Mobile as a top developer of multi-platform games.”

Despite the fact that Battlefield 3 was launched towards the end of October in most markets around the world, Electronic Arts says it has already shipped a massive 10 million units. The announcement took place during a Q2 earnings call on October 28, with company head John Riccitiello claiming that retailers were already asking for additional stock of the game. “Battlefield 3 was launched on October 25 and has opened very strong,” said EA’s CEO and Executive Director, John Riccitiello. “We shipped 10 million units to retail and we are already receiving reorders. The data is still early but sell-through is strong.” Electronic Arts’ Chief Operating Office, Peter Moore, also weighed in with his thoughts during the same call. He said, “As you know, we launched this title earlier this week, and the results have been tremendous, thanks to the superb quality of the title produced by our DICE Studio in Stockholm, and the world-class marketing executed by our teams globally.”




Forza Motorsport 4


✪✪✪✪✪ Price: $78 Controller: Xbox controller and Kinect Best Bit: The cars and customisation on offer will keep you busy for hours. Verdict: While Forza 4 doesn’t reinvent the wheel, it offers a great driving experience and some very compelling features whether you’re a newbie or a long time fan of the series.

hile Forza Motorsport 4 is the fourth installment in the popular racing series, it is the first Forza game to support gesture-based gameplay via the Kinect sensor. Since motion-sensing is perhaps this game’s biggest new feature we straightaway began races using the Kinect. The game allows you to play races using the Kinect sensor exclusively or using a combination of controller and the Kinect. With the former the game accelerates and brakes your vehicle automatically, so all you need to do is steer using your hands like you would on a real steering wheel. Besides steering control the Kinect also tracks head movements so you can look at the apex of corners or see where nearby cars are. While the Kinect was generally solid in terms of tracking, it did lose sight of what we were doing with our hands from time-to-time, which made for some disastrous race results. Only once we realised up to what level the sensor worked, and adjusted our hand movements, we were able to play through races without encountering an alert about lost tracking. Playing with the motion-sensing Kinect 'controller' is certainly an interesting experience but since you have no acceleration or braking control (meaning you can’t power slide or drift your vheicle), this experience is best left to novice gamers just looking for a casual racing experience.



Racing using both the Kinect sensor and the Xbox 360 controller however is far more interesting. You can use the gamepad controller as you normally would to drive your vehicle but at the same time the Kinect will watch your head movements, shifting the focus to show you the rear view mirror or looking ahead to see the next turn. This is a very nifty feature that added a new element to the Forza series but, as before, there were occasions where the sensor didn’t follow our movement properly. In terms of driving mechanics Forza 4 is a wellsorted title that’s free from any serious flaws. Each car feels unique in terms of the driving experience it offers, depending on the amount of power on offer, the drivetrain setup (front wheel drive, rear wheel drive or all wheel drive) and the aerodynamics and overall setup. Like its predecessor there are hundreds of cars on offer from over 80 manufacturers, so you’ll never find yourself getting bored when it comes to deciding on a set of wheels to tear around in. The one let down in terms of car selection however is the fact that German brand Porsche is absent due to a licensing issue. (Prior to Forza 4 every other Forza included Porsche’s range of vehicles.) The only upshot here is that a limited few Porsche vehicles are offered under the ‘RUF’ marque. (RUF is a specialised Porsche tuning company much like Brabus is for Mercedes.) Another tweak the developers have made to Forza 4’s driving gameplay is that it now gives you instant feedback on your driving technique. Each time you take a corner or perform a drift (for example) the game displays a score grading your last bit of driving on the track. What is slightly disappointing is the selection of tracks on offer.

Forza Motorsport 4


Each car in Forza 4 has an authentic cabin. The screenshot shows the interior of the oh-soimpressive Ford GT

The game’s new Autovista feature will let you get up close and personal with some of the game’s cars

Besides looking at the interior of a car in Autovista, you can also take a close look at a car’s engine bay

While Forza 4 doesn’t look massively different from its predecessor everything looks just a bit sharper and more detailed

Forza 4 only boasts five all new tracks to race on in addition to most of the tracks that were featured in the older Forza Motorsport 3

around an authentic virtual recreation of the actual Top Gear studio, where the series is filmed. Forza Motorsport 3 was an impressive title in terms of overall presentation and we’re happy to report that its successor is even better on the whole. Each track (old and new) and every vehicle looks just a little more detailed in Forza 4 versus its predecessor and as before, the game runs butter smooth no matter how many cars are on screen. The damage modeling has been improved in Forza 4 and in terms of audio, Forza 4 is - once again - without flaw. There’s plenty of audio feedback to help you gauge exactly how your car is coping on the track when you’re moving at speed and this coupled with the non-intrusive grading system will help you hone your driving skills. The music is lively and appropriate to the genre too.


There are only five all new tracks in addition to most of the tracks that appeared in the older Forza Motorsport 3. While this means that there’s plenty of tarmac to drive around for gamers who’ve never ever tried a Forza game in the past, long time fans (including this reviewer) will feel just a tad bit disappointed. One new feature that doesn’t disappoint at all is the ‘Autovista’. This allows you to get up close and personal with a select few cars to examine finer details such as the engine bay, interior, brake calipers and more. Only 24 vehicles (at the time of going to press) support the Autovista feature out of the box but we’re sure that more will be added as downloadable content in the not too distant future. With Autovista you can take a virtual walk around a car using your Xbox 360 controller or using the Kinect sensor. We’re absolutely thrilled about the fact that you can actually start each car and listen to very authentic engine noises. The game also gives you a fair bit of information on the car’s features but perhaps the best part is the fact that famed motoring personality Jeremy Clarkson (of Top Gear fame) also weighs in with his opinions on the car you’re looking at. Beyond Clarkon’s input on cars in the Autovista, there’s a fair degree of Top Gear content packed into Forza 4. You can engage in Top Gear’s ‘Car Football’ challenge in the ‘World Tour’, race around the virtual representation of the real Top Gear test track and even have a look


F1 2011

F1 2011



1 2011 is the sequel to the highly acclaimed F1 2010, which was also developed by Codemasters Birmingham and published by Codemasters. Can this new title build upon the success of its famed predecessor, which sold a massive 2.3-million units worldwide? We certainly think so. First things first - if you’re a novice racing fan who has never played a realistic F1 game before or you have little interest in F1 2011 with regards to the hours of racing, complex point systems, car tuning etc., you’ll find this game incredibly frustrating and dull. The reason is because, like its well-received predecessor, F1 2011 is a very realistic driving simulator that assumes you know exactly what you’re getting into. That said you can definitely master the game with hours of play but just remember that there is a very, very steep learning curve. If however you’re a hardcore F1 fan who has had past F1 gaming simulator encounters, you’ll find that this game is possibly the best F1 simulation on the market today. F1 2011 does a great job of creating a very believable F1 driving experience. Before we go any further however we



Price: $79 Controller: PlayStation 3 controller Best Bit: F1 2011 captures the twitchy, instant responsiveness of real F1 cars beautifully. You’re in for a shock if you’ve never ever played a realistic F1 simulator before. Verdict: Codemasters’ latest F1 simulator provides a very real F1 experience but you’ll only really enjoy it out of the box if you’re a fan of F1 racing. If you’re a novice with no prior F1 experience, you’ll only begin to enjoy it after you get half way through the very steep learning curve.

have to warn you that playing with the PlayStation 3’s standard controller, using the analog stick is a challenge in itself. The realistic, lightningquick, twitchy-responsiveness that the F1 cars in the game offer is incredibly difficult to master when using something as imprecise as the analog controller. Despite us using driver aids such as traction control and the dynamic racing line and after spending hours and hours playing with the controller, we found that we weren’t improving at all. Switch to a driving wheel however and F1 2011 is a completely different experience. Not only does the steering wheel help you feel more immersed but you also have the benefit of more precise control, which makes taking corners more manageable. That said this is still a game that requires serious concentration and commitment to master because in addition to the realistic experience it offers, the AI drivers you go up against are almost without any faults. Very rarely will you find them making a critical mistake that affords you ample opportunity to pass them. As a result you’re also

F1 2011


For the most part this is a very good looking game that captures the look of real life F1 events. The cars are detailed and look gorgeous

The game’s damage modeling system takes almost everything into account, so don’t make a habit of colliding or leave the track too often or you could have serious problems

unlikely to see the game’s newly added Mercedes SLS safety car very often because crashes are few and far between(the safety car was absent in F1 2010 entirely). One area where F1 2011 is very detailed is in terms of damage modeling. The more time you spend playing, the more you’ll notice just how much even minor damage affects your car’s handling and overall performance. Minor accidents will see small bits of your car get damaged or fall off completely and when this happens you’ll begin to notice slightly reduced grip on fast corners, as a result of a change in the aerodynamics of your car. On the flip side, if you find yourself in a massive collision that sees your full front wing torn off, you’ll find it impossible to stay on the straight and narrow at speed. The game’s weather modeling is also sublime when you consider the heavy realism the game offers and the pace at which you have to drive to stay in a race. Since the weather can change dynamically during a race, the performance penalty you’ll have to deal with as a result of using tires designed for dry conditions can cost you your position or the race entirely. Again, the realistic driving physics on offer creates very real scenarios which could cause your car to understeer if you carry too much speed into a corner or oversteer into a spin if you are too aggressive with the throttle, even in a straight line. Like its predecessor the damage modeling affects your car’s tires as well – if you continually find yourself off the track, you’ll find your tires are unable to maintain grip due to dirt and debris stuck to them. You could also find them slightly deflated or, if things have gone horribly wrong, you can even suffer a potentially

F1 2011 boasts a dynamic weather system that can vary the weather during races, which means you really have to do your homework even before you hit the track

Driving in the rain is a genuinely terrifying experience even if you have your car setup for wet conditions. Don’t even try to follow another driver too closely or the spray from his car will leave you completely blind

race-ending puncture. Your tires will also, naturally, wear down as you motor on through a race though how fast this happens depends on what sort of rubber you chose to go with. Using hard rubber for example will give you far more durability but you’ll find it hard to take corners without slowing appreciably due to limited grip. On the other hand, if you’ve opted for soft rubber you’ll find tons of grip in corners but you’ll also have to deal with pit stops more often as these tires wear down much faster. One area that F1 2011 suffers a bit is with regards to its visuals. While the game manages to capture the overall ambience of F1 races with bright, generally colourful visuals of the cars and massive crowds, the framerate, sometimes, slows quite noticeably. This seriously hurts the immersive experience the developers were so obviously keen on creating. If you’re a keen observer you’ll also notice that a few of the objects you see on screen have jagged edges, which suggests insufficient antialiasing while other objects and textures seem to be low resolution.


Winning races demands concentration and perseverance. We highly recommend using a steering wheel to play as it offers far more precise control than the analog stick does on the PS3 controller


PES 2012


PES 2012 is an evolutionary upgrade over its predecessor and is ultimately a more engaging title on the whole

The artificial intelligence (AI) in PES 2012 is miles ahead of its predecessor. Players will play more thoughtfully and will make intelligent choices in terms of movement

With the new Teammate Control System a secondary player can be controlled either during play or during a set piece or throw-in

As before scoring goals requires a decent bit of skill and cunning



ro Evolution Soccer 2012 is the latest game in the series from Konami and after spending time with it, we’re convinced it’s the best PES title yet. Niggles that plagued the previous version have been sorted now, so gameplay is much more fluid and lifelike. The improvements in the artificial intelligence (AI) are immediately visible and the first time you play PES 2012 you could be caught off guard. While previous games would have your teammates spread far and wide, entering the opposition’s territory unguarded and even leaving open gaps for opponents to exploit, PS3 PES 2012 ensures a cohesive effort. This means everyone either attacks or defends and even passes in a much Price: $73 more realistic fashion. Controller: PlayStation 3 controller The animations too Best Bit: Your AI teammates can follow are a lot smoother and your every move and prepare for passes, there seems to be a attacks and defence. certain continuity of Verdict: A fun and engrossing game for action that keeps your anyone with a passion for soccer. The fluidity of gameplay means you’ll have hours of adrenaline pumping. There engaging footy fun. are runs, passes and amazing

goals that seem so graceful that it might be blasphemous to describe the playing field as a lissom soccer ballet. There’s a new zonal defence feature that makes your defenders stay within defensive lines making it harder for the opposition to score or steal the ball. Even the midfielders and defenders now work closer together to attack an opponent and get possession of the ball. If you’re new to football games the PES 2012 Training Challenge will help teach you basics like penalties, attacking and defensive moves, free kicks and dribbling. There are three sections of difficulty and bronze, silver and gold trophies are awarded based on your skill level. If you’re a returning PES player you’ll find that little has changed as far as tournaments are concerned. PES 2012 retains the UEFA Champions League, South American Copa Libertadores, League Cup and Community. The Become a Legend mode and Master League are back too, allowing you to take control of a young player and guide his career, or else even take up the role of a manager with the ability to make decisions on player transfers, training, tactics and other issues. Jim Beglin and Jon Champion lend their voices for the commentary but in all fairness the commentary is a bit uneven. It gets repetitive after a few matches and certain comments and remarks just don’t seem to fit the moment. While this isn’t a deal breaker for the game, PES 2012 would have been almost perfect had this part of the game been as solid as the rest of it.



COMPETITIONS… As always the Windows team has worked to ensure you have the chance to win some killer, high-tech kit. For your chance to win, just follow the instructions below...



RIM BLACKBERY BOLD 9900 We’ve once again partnered with our awesome friends at RIM to give one lucky reader the chance to win the latest and greatest BlackBerry Bold 9900. Yes, we’re giving away the very smartphone that captured our highly coveted Best Performance award in last month’s smartphone grouptest. The 9900 is the latest addition to the Bold range and boy does it live up to its name. The new Bold is slimmer than any other BlackBerry to date, measuring just 10.5mm thick and it’s a stunner too with its stainless steel frame and faux carbon fibre rear cover. The best part is that it boasts a full QWERTY keyboard as well as a touchscreen, which makes navigating the interface an extremely easy and intuitive experience. Under its attractive exterior the smartphone packs a 1.2GHz processor that makes everything you experience on its screen fluid and instantaneous. There is absolutely no lag when calling apps to attention or when you’re enjoying the latest games. Even when browsing the web, the handsome Bold delivers a seamless experience. The smartphone packs a 5-megapixel digital camera that can capture still images, as well as record video in 720p HD, so you never have to miss all those lovely moments in life. This then is a smartphone for business users and lifestyle users alike. As you’d expect this Bold runs BlackBerry OS 7, which is the latest iteration of RIM’s handheld operating system (OS). It is a huge improvement over the company’s previous OS, though it boasts much the same looks. The 2.8-inch touchscreen produces bright and colourful visuals that don’t wash out in sunlight and its 1230mAh battery ensures you’ll have all the juice you need to get through your day with ease. The Bold also has what RIM calls BlackBerry Balance Technology. This ensures that you can keep your personal and business information separate and secure, so when it’s time for the weekend, your BlackBerry too changes gears with you. For a chance to win this wonderful smartphone all you have to do is point your browser to competitions and answer this no-brainer: What

is the speed of the BlackBerry Bold 9900’s processor? a) 1GHz b) 1.2GHz c) 2GHz




SOCCER MADNESS RETURNS PRO EVOLUTION SOCCER 2012 It’s soccer time again and this issue the fabulous guys at Pluto have given us five copies of PES 2012 to dish out to Windows ME soccer fans. Pro Evolution Soccer 2012 is the eleventh edition in the series and is developed and published by Konami with production assistance from the Blue Sky Team. PES 2012’s gameplay is a refinement of PES 2011 and the game is improved in areas such as artificial intelligence, speed, animation, and physics. One of the coolest features of the game is the Teammate Control system, which allows you to take control of a secondary player on the field. This allows gamers to place the virtual players in precise locations on the playing field, which will allow you to execute some awesome strategies. PES 2012 also offers manual and assisted Teammate Control for different degrees of difficulty and control. The gameplay on offer is highly fluid and there's excellent response when handling the ball. For a full review of PES 2012 check out page 59 of this issue. For a chance to win a copy of PES 2012, go to and answer this teaser: What is the feature in PES 2012 that

allows you to control two players during gameplay? a) Player Control b) Soccer Control c) Teammate Control




For a chance to win this amazing motherboard, go to w and answer this question: What is

tthe maximum amount of RAM supported by the Foxconn A75A? a) 2GB b) 24GB c) 64GB


If you’re looking to build a new AMD machine and you need a solid motherboard to act as a base you’re in luck, we’ve partnered with our friends at Foxconn so you, our faithful readers, can walk away with a superb A75A motherboard. The A75A features support for AMD’s A-series mainstream Fusion processors, which means that you can pair this boa board up with an AMD E2-3200, A4-3300, A4-3400, A6-3500 or several other Fusion proc processors to this motherboard. The board also supports DDR3 memory via four DDR3 mem memory slots, which allow for a maximum of 64GB of memory. Th There’s plenty of expansion room too; you get one PCI-E x16 slot, two PCI-E x1 slots and three legacy PCI slots. The board also support six Serial ATA III drives and moving on a to audio, Foxconn’s A75A motherboard supports 7.1-channel audio. There is support for 10 US USB 2.0 ports and four USB 3.0 ports as well. m pro The board boasts complete CPU and system protection, where it automatically D cuts off power when the CPU temperature rises too high. It has an integrated OAR B R automatic fan controller too that can regulate the speed of your E MOTHADNESS system’s cooling fans so you can build a quiet yet capable rig.


CD contents



PROSHOW GOLD This app gives you the ability to create photo and video slide shows. It is quite a complete solution for sharing the best memories you captured with your loved ones, or if you just want to show off your latest holiday. Still photos can be played around with too, allowing for motion effects like pan, zoom and rotate. There are more than 280 transition effects to choose from in the full version.

MALWAREBYTES ANTI-MALWARE Malwarebytesâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; sophisticated anti-malware techniques are designed to quickly detect and remove malicious code from your computer. The software claims that it can detect and remove malware even where the best antiviruses fail. It monitors every process and stops malicious code even before they start. The software boasts comprehensive heuristics scanning too.



STranslator is free to use and is an instant translator for Skype Chat messages. This is very useful when you chat with someone half way around the world that cannot understand English or your flaccid attempt at trying to speak their language. You will be able to write in your language and the person you are speaking to will get your original message along with a translation of the same. This is one very handy app then.

Karaoke 1.9 is for all you karaoke lovers out there. You can create new karaoke files, integrate MIDI files and do much more with this awesome application. In testing we found that while sound quality was far from phenomenal, this app is able to help you turn your PC into a karaoke machine with ease. Best of all its free and you donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t need an expensive receiver and setup to get going. Brilliant.


CD contents


HOW TO USE THE CD BROWSER Place your CD in your PC’s CD-ROM drive. If you have disabled autoplay, double-click ‘CDBrowser’ on the CD instead. When CD Browser starts, six buttons will appear listing software categories. Click a category and the software titles will appear in the left window. Simply choose which title you wish to view and click its name. Program details will appear along with three buttons: Install runs the installation program, Website takes you to the vendor’s site, and Screen displays a larger image of the software in action. In the middle of the window is also an option to change the CD browser’s skin.





The Internet is a very dangerous place for an unprotected PC due to the number of ever increasing threats. Norton Antivirus 2012 claims that it can keep your computer protected from viruses, Trojans, botnets and other malicious code, as well as preparing your system immediately when a threat is registered anywhere in the world. As the Internet evolves, cybercriminals evolve too, so you'll need up-todate protection to keep youself and your data safe from prying eyes. Some of the security suite’s new core features include a reorganised and streamlined settings interface, an advanced options screen so savvy users can dig deeper into the program quicker. The new layout is indeed very simple and consists of scans on the left, updates in the middle and advanced tools on the right. Below this is a world map with blinking dots, which Norton says denotes every intrusion that the program has stopped and destroyed all over the world. Norton Antivirus 2012 is also a more tuned antivirus package than its predecessor, which means you don't have to step away from your PC when it's running a scan.







MULTIMEDIA Karaoke 1.9 Double Twist


e Malwarebytes Anti-malwar Norton Antivirus 2012 Universal Shield

PRODUCTIVITY Digital Phonebook ProShow Gold

GAMES Shogun


This game focuses on Samurai warfare that takes place in the Sengoku period of Japanese history. The player is put in the position of a Japanese lord with the objective of taking over all of Japan, through the military, diplomatic bonding, espionage, trading with other tribes and even religion. If you manage to do all this flawlessly you will be given the title of Shogun. The game offers a turn based campaign where players can move armies, conduct diplomacy build infrastructure and run their factions. You will be given command of one of the armies and will personally be responsible for making decisions regarding military movement and the capture of structures. There are seven different clans that you can choose to represent and while all clans have roughly the same amount of land and military strength, there are certain advantages to each of them.

Norton AntiVirus spyware, botnets and ma from malware, viruses, protect your digital life protection as we you powerful and fast online malicious threats. It gives of any cyber atta computer is one step ahead to always make sure your e even for novices simpl it g makin to-use easyGUI is intuitive and very need for any in the ut witho of automatically too Updates are taken care

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IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Windows Middle East free CD, which contains programs and applications, is provided as a free service to readers of Windows Middle East magazine for personal use. You may not rent, lease, assign, re-sell or otherwise transfer the rights to anyone for any product contained on this CD. The contents of the CD-ROM are provided as is, and although every effort has been taken to ensure the disk and contents are virus and defect free, Windows Middle East, nor The Information & Technology Publishing Co. Ltd., accept liability for any loss or damage resulting from the use of this CD-ROM or the programs on it. We recommend that you make a back-up of all your data before installing any of the software on this CD. Windows Magazine does not provide technical support for this CD-ROM or the programs on it. If your CD-ROM is physically defective, please return it to Reader Services, P.O. Box. 500024, Dubai, United Arab Emirates, so we may issue a replacement.



driver ATI Radeon HD 6xxx series (Windows 7 32-bit) drivers nVidia GeForce 500 series (Windows 7 32-bit) Java Runtime Microsoft ActiveSync 4.5

1 RUS 20des ANTIrusVI NORTON from Symantec and it is 2012 is the latest antivi


Logging off

LOGGINGOFF NEW APP TRACKS SLEEP PATTERNS Sleep Manager is a new app that tracks the quality of sleep of its users. It can apparently measure brainwaves to determine the amount of time spent in different stages of sleep. The way Sleep Manager works is by synchronising with a headset that can measure brain activity, eye movement and other signals in light, deep and rapid eye movement (REM) sleep. "The thing about sleep is that it's not just about how much you get - it's about the quality of your sleep," said Ben Rubin, Co-Founder of Zeo, which makes the app. "In general, you want to optimise to get as much REM and deep sleep as possible." A soft-sensor headband measures brainwave activity, eye movement, muscle tone and other signals that would generally be taken in a sleep lab. Here however, users can experience it at a consumer level. These signals are relayed through Bluetooth to the user’s iPhone, iPad or Android smartphone. These are then uploaded to Zeo’s website. According to Rubin, sleep tracking is only the beginning. Zeo then benchmarks the sleep quality and uses this information to coach the person's sleep habits. According to research done about sleep patterns, people who wake during light sleep are more refreshed and the app has the ability to wake users when they are in this state. While not many people believe Sleep Manager can truly be the same as a full blown sleep lab, Rubin concurs and admits that there are limitations to the measurements that can be done, but that Sleep Manager is about as close as anyone has got to replicating a sleep lab at a consumer level.


MYCALMBEAT MIGHT HELP REDUCE YOUR STRESS LEVELS Another app has surfaced that seems to be able to allow a subject to reduce their stress level and have improved mental focus. MyCalmBeat uses a heart rate monitor that attaches to a person's ear and detects their optimal breathing rate or resonant frequency. This measurement is unique to each person and may at times be slightly higher or lower on the scale. With this rate, the app can make a person lower their respiration rate to help reduce stress. Savannah DeVarney, Vice President of Product Marketing for MyBrainSolutions, the creators of the app said, "People don't realize the profound impact that slow breathing can have until they actually sit down and do it for 10 minutes and then they feel completely different." In the app exercises show users how to breathe at that rate, while the heart monitor provides feedback about the variability of their heart rate. "Normally people think of 65 beats per minute as a good resting heart rate. But we're not necessarily looking at heart rate -- we're looking at the degree to which the space between consecutive heart beats varies. We know that for most people their resonant frequency is between 7.5 and 4.5 breaths per minute. The software maps your heart rate variability through each of those rates to find the breathing rate where it becomes maximized," said DeVarney.

CHOP SHOP OWNERS NABBED Two men in Woodland Hills, California, have been arrested and charged with disassembling a stolen vehicles and putting the parts up for sale on Craiglist. In this case the car in question was a classic 1949 Ford Shoebox. Speaking regarding the car that disappeared in May, Kenny Munyon, the car’s owner said, “I woke up at six o’clock in the morning and it was gone. I know that it was there at one o’clock in the morning.” The next few months passed with Munyon and his friend checking out Craigslist to find the missing car. “I found the ad and immediately I had a couple hunches, a feeling that this might lead to his car,” said Munyon’s friend Aaron Bartanian. The duo called the listed number and went to meet the seller. They had not seen the car at this point, only parts of it. “When we got to the first place, there were only a few little parts that could have been mine, but not totally mine until he brought out the steering wheel. Once we saw the steering wheel, I knew that was my steering wheel,” Munyon said. California Detectives said the culprits Johann Cass and Mitchell Landau were running a chop shop at two houses in Woodland Hills.“Well they were making a lot of noise. It sounded like they had Sawzalls and all sorts of machinery, back there. The thing was that in the middle of the night they were doing all this stuff in the middle of the night and I just thought that they were getting an early start,” said neighbour David Travis. The two suspects face charges of operating a chop shop. Munyon has got the parts of his car back.

There’s more to online security than meets the eye. There’s no shortage of apps for securing your PC against viruses, phishing,

sacrificing PC performance. Install it and see for yourself! Then download

adware and spam. Still others for file backup and child protection. But imagine if one program could take care of it all—without weighing down your system. Avira Premium Security Suite covers every angle without

convenient new features.

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Windows Middle East - Nov2011