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Archive for Microsoft

250GB add-on Xbox 360 HDD to hit Japan

Posted in Microsoft by Shane McGlaun on February 1st, 2010

We can never really have enough storage on our computers and other devices where we store the media that we generate and use each day. With digital cameras, camcorders and music proliferating along with digital download games and other content we can run out of space quickly on media servers and game consoles.

PC World reports that Microsoft is set to release a new add-on HDD for the Xbox 360 in Japan that has 250GB of storage space. The drive will also be offered in a stand-alone version as well. The new drive has previously been offered only in a bundle with a new console.

Office 2010 shipping in June

Posted in Microsoft by Conner Flynn on December 1st, 2009

Screenshots of Office 2010Lately there have been rumors that Microsoft had accidentally released a notice that Office 2010 would be available in June. Well, now a Microsoft spokesperson has confirmed that the rumors are true, and it will ship in June.

Those who haven’t tried it out yet during the Beta should check it out. It’s free after all. Office 2010 has been getting some decent early reviews. If that continues, it might be worth the purchase next summer. What do you think?

Microsoft roadmap shows Windows 8 for 2012

Posted in Microsoft by Shane McGlaun on November 23rd, 2009

windows8-roadmap-sgMicrosoft makes most of its money form Windows and Office. These are two of its most important products and the Windows OS is normally on four-year release schedule. Microsoft blew that with the often delayed Vista OS and Windows 7 has just now hit the market.

A leaked slide from a roadmap shows that Microsoft plans to offer Windows 8 in 2012. The slide shows Windows 8 is a major release and Windows 7 was a release update.

Microsoft offers money for News Corp to de-Google content

Posted in Microsoft by Conner Flynn on November 23rd, 2009

bingRupert Murdoch isn’t very happy with Google making News Corp content available to everybody, but word is that Microsoft is offering to pay News Corp to de-index its news sites from Google, which would probably drive those searching for News Corp sites to Bing.

If that happens, UK folks would probably see The Times and The Sun no longer on Google News. Murdoch has previously threatened to remove News Corp content from Google, so this could prove an added incentive for him to do so.

Project Natal shipping in November 2010: 14 Games, under $80?

Posted in Microsoft by Conner Flynn on November 11th, 2009

Project Natal shipping in November 2010: 14 Games, under $80?Looks like someone from a respected UK gaming publisher may have outed some Project Natal launch plans early, which come from closed-door Microsoft meetings in the UK . The information says that Microsoft will be manufacturing 5 million Natals for a worldwide launch in November 2010. Some are standalone, some in 360 bundles.

Natal will apparently cost anywhere from $50-$80 with 14 games included. The price is certainly in the ballpark and doesn’t surprise us. But it’s all just rumor and speculation until Microsoft says it officially.

Microsoft Courier interface details

Posted in Microsoft by Conner Flynn on November 4th, 2009

Microsoft Courier interface detailsA new set of documents leaked to Gizmodo show off the Courier‘s user interface, which uses everything from multitouch gestures to pen-based handwriting. Looks like the core of the interface is the Smart Agenda, which pulls all your content together like calendar entries, emails, etc in one starting place, described as “Cliff Notes” to the Pagestream “novel.”

The journal looks like it’s searchable in many ways, by time, location, and tags, and it’s all accessed by a multi-button pen. It also features a camera and there’s mention of “books and subscriptions,” so you may be able to use the Courier as an ebook reader as well. None of this is official, but man does it look sweet.

Microsoft squashes Blu-ray dreams for Xbox fans

Posted in Microsoft by Shane McGlaun on October 23rd, 2009

xboxlive-sbMicrosoft CEO Steve Ballmer is known to talk about things and then Microsoft has to come back and clarify what he has said. Ballmer had another senior moment yesterday when was allegedly got confused when asked a question about Blu-ray on the Xbox 360.

Ballmer’s comments lead many to believe that Blu-ray accessories were coming for the Xbox 360. Major Nelson reports today that Ballmer was referring to Blu-ray accessories for the PC in his comments and there are no plans to add Blu-ray to the Xbox 360.

Microsoft Windows Cafe now open in Paris

Posted in Microsoft by Conner Flynn on October 22nd, 2009

Microsoft Windows Cafe now open in ParisIf you find yourself in Paris and want a place where you can just chill under the Microsoft brand, you are in luck. Just make your way to 47 Boulevard Sebastopol and enjoy some coffee, some pastry and some Microsoft products.

The Windows 7 Cafe is open. It looks like a cool place to kick back in and they only sell food so you won’t be pressured to buy gear. It’s a great idea as it may just win Microsoft more customers. Like they need them.

Microsoft Surface turned into D&D board

Posted in Microsoft by Conner Flynn on October 20th, 2009

Surfacescapes Demo Walkthrough from Surfacescapes on Vimeo.
This is the best use for Microsoft’s Surface multitouch table we’ve seen yet. Recreating the Dungeons and Dragons experience on a tabletop. It’s a work in progress, but it’s pretty stunning. It was created by a team at Carnegie Mellon University. Players move real figurines over virtual battlefields, rolling virtual die to deal damage against the usual wolves and such.

So far they’ve got everything from modeled pieces, spell effects, and tons of nice touches to the terrain and ambient outdoor sound effects. It might remove some of the imagination from the game, but it makes many things easier.

Microsoft looks to build a better mouse

Posted in Microsoft by Shane McGlaun on October 5th, 2009

msmouse1Microsoft is big in the R&D realm for all sorts of things from hardware to software. In fact, the company has the largest R&D budget in the world at over $9 billion according to some reports. Microsoft makes all sorts of computer mice and the firm has unveiled five prototype mice that combine new input methods with tried and true form factors.

The prototype mice were debuted at the UIST conference and combine the typical mouse with multi-touch technology. Microsoft thinks that the new mice can set a new standard for interaction. One of the most interesting is the FTIR Mouse that uses a camera to sense where the user is touching the clear surface and react to the input.

New Microsoft Courier video shows tablet interface details

Posted in Microsoft by Conner Flynn on September 29th, 2009

New Microsoft Courier video shows tablet interface detailsMicrosoft’s Courier tablet took us all by surprise. Now an internal video has surfaced showing how Microsoft thinks we’ll use Courier, giving us an overview of the interface and more of Courier’s features. At the core of the Courier is the “infinite journal”, a journal/scrapbook that is endless, presumably bound only by storage. The journal can be published online, and it’s able to be downloaded in three formats: a Courier file, Powerpoint or PDF. There’s also a library where things like subscriptions, notebooks and apps, are stored.

It also shows some more traditional elements like a smart agenda, more defined folder system, universal search and multi-page web browsing. Nothing about viewing content, like watching movies, reading books etc. It looks like Courier is all about creating and writing with a pen, which is not what we are used to, especially when you think about the Apple tablet.

Zune HD torn up for your (dis)pleasure

Posted in Microsoft by Shane McGlaun on September 16th, 2009

zunehdteardown-sbI am not sure how I feel about the companies that tear up perfectly good gadgets to show us what’s inside the shiny case. I guess it’s much better than me having to tear into my own gadget out of morbid curiosity.

The gang over at Rapid Repair has torn their shiny new Zune HD asunder for your viewing pleaser, or displeasure depending on how gadget squeamish you are. It appears that that teardown is relatively easy to accomplish and you are sure to void your warranty if you open your own up.

Microsoft introduces the LifeCam Cinema

Posted in Microsoft by Shane McGlaun on August 21st, 2009

microsoftlifecamcinemaOne of the things that are typical of many webcams that are built into monitors and notebooks is that they suck. The video quality of the cheap webcams inside netbooks for example leaves a lot to be desired. Video is grainy, resolution is poor, and any recorded clips with the camera are choppy.

Microsoft announced a new webcam called the LifeCam Cinema that promises to change all of that. The webcam has 720p resolution and an external mic. The native 720p sensor is perfect for the user who wants to record video to upload to YouTube.

Microsoft Zune HD officially available for pre-order

Posted in Microsoft by Shane McGlaun on August 13th, 2009

zunehd-preorderLeaked images and all sorts of rumors have run rampant about Microsoft’s Zune HD. The device is the latest Zune PMP from Microsoft to try to combat the Apple iPod. The Zune HD is aimed directly at the iPod touch.

Microsoft announced today that the player is set to hit store shelves on September 15 and is available for pre-order today. The HD will be offered in 16GB and 32GB capacities and is the first touch screen Zune player.

Microsoft’s Pressure-Sensitive Keyboard

Posted in Microsoft by Conner Flynn on August 6th, 2009

Right now it’s just a prototype, but Microsoft’s pressure-sensitive keyboard may just make typing more efficient. Think about it, what if font size could be changed just by applying a certain pressure. Typos could be reduced by gauging the pressure applied to simultaneously pressed keys in order to determine which one you intended to press. We see gaming potential too.

Microsoft will be showing it off at the User Interface Software and Technology conference in Canada this October. Students attending will be given a sample keyboard and asked to compete with one another in an effort to find applications for the technology.