Long-standing giant Microsoft posted its quarter four earnings and revenue report just recently, claiming 6.6 million Xbox units (One, 360) shipped during 4Q14. The company says its remarkably high console sales volume is a large contributor to a $26.5B gross revenue, producing $5.8B net income for the software and hardware company.

Minecraft went from being a very simple indie game to incredibly popular -- almost overnight -- with tons of features in three short years. Mojang, the developer of Minecraft, holds a golden cube of a game, one that has even gotten the attention of Microsoft.

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Microsoft's Halo was a revolutionary title when it first shipped in 2001. Combat Evolved on the Xbox soon moved to the PC with a "Halo: Custom Edition" free expansion, adding new maps, flamethrowers, and other user-generated content tools. Halo 2's 2004 launch introduced the likes of dual-wielding, competitive online multiplayer, and broke global video game sales records within 24 hours of release.

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Microsoft's (NASDAQ: MSFT) Xbox One launched on November 22, 2013 in 13 geographic locations. The company initially reported 1.2 million units shipped in 3Q13 with 5 million units in 1Q14, for a total of 6.2 million Xbox One units shipped to-date; these metrics are sales to retail channels and do not tell us how many have been put into consumers' hands. Microsoft previously noted in the end of January that 3 million units had been delivered to customers.

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After offering reddit's computer hardware & buildapc sub-reddits the opportunity to ask us about our nVidia GTC keynote coverage, an astute reader ("asome132") noticed that the new Pascal roadmap had a key change: Maxwell's "unified virtual memory" line-item had been replaced with a very simple, vague "DirectX 12" item. We investigated the change while at GTC, speaking to a couple of CUDA programmers and Maxwell architecture experts; I sent GN's own CUDA programmer and 30+ year programming veteran, Jim Vincent, to ask nVidia engineers about the change in the slide deck. Below includes the official stance along with our between-the-lines interpretation and analysis.

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In this article, we'll look at the disappearance of "Unified Virtual Memory" from nVidia's roadmap, discuss an ARM/nVidia future that challenges existing platforms, and look at NVLink's intentions and compatible platforms.

(This article has significant contributions from GN Staff Writer & CUDA programmer Jim Vincent).

It's no secret that official XP support ends on April 8, 2014. A recent report from Net Marketshare, a statistics company tracking OS marketshare (and other data) on the web via analytics tools, suggests that XP users would rather move to Win7 than Win8.

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The name is still unknown, but what will eventually become DirectX 12 should be shown off at GDC shortly; we'll be in attendance to report on the new announcements and will also be attending the GPU Technology Conference the following week, so check back for deeper analysis as we are exposed to information. In the meantime, Microsoft's new iteration of DirectX has some between-the-lines reading for AMD's Mantle.

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