Archive for Microsoft

Microsoft confirms retail stores this fall

Posted in Microsoft by Conner Flynn on July 15th, 2009

Microsoft confirms retail stores this fallFor those who missed it, Microsoft hired former Wal-Mart exec David Porter to be its corporate vice president of retail stores in February. So it’s not much of a surprise that stores are on the way. COO Kevin Turner confirmed the plans at the Worldwide Partner Conference in New Orleans yesterday, saying the stores can be expected to open this fall (probably to coincide with the launch of Windows 7?).

He took the gloves off and didn’t mince words about taking the fight to Apple’s doorstep. “Stay tuned, because we’re going to have some retail stores opened up that are opened up right next door to Apple stores.”

Microsoft is launching a music streaming service this month

Posted in Microsoft by Conner Flynn on July 14th, 2009

Microsoft is launching a music streaming service this monthPeter Bale, executive producer of MSN recently spoke to the Telegraph and announced that Microsoft will launch a streaming music service “imminently”, by the end of July. Bale said the service will be similar to Spotify, a streaming music service that offers both an ad-supported listening option as well as a premium subscription service with no ads. Bale also added that Microsoft is considering extending the service to the Xbox 360, but he didn’t give any other details.

They are still examining a business model. Apparently the service would let users stream tunes for free as long as they listen to ads every half hour or so. It will be interesting to see how this initiative will tie-in with the company’s Xbox 360 and Zune.

Microsoft talks Windows 7 Upgrade

Posted in Microsoft by Shane McGlaun on June 26th, 2009

windows7-sbThe only Microsoft operating system I can recall being anywhere near as disliked as Vista has been in the tech world was Windows ME. That said I have used Vista since it has launched and other than early driver issues with NVIDIA graphics cards it has given me no problems.

Microsoft is set to launch Windows 7 in the next few months and has detailed the upgrade program that will allow consumers who buy a PC running Windows Vista June 26 or after to get a free upgrade to the equivalent Windows 7 version. Microsoft says to support the upgrade program it will defer 50% of the revenue from sales under the program to upgrade licenses.

If you download IE 8, Microsoft feeds someone for $0.14

Posted in Microsoft by Conner Flynn on June 15th, 2009

If you download IE 8, Microsoft feeds someone for $0.14While downloading Internet Explorer 8, users found the following message: “Only complete downloads of Windows Internet Explorer 8 through browserforthebetter.com from June 8, 2009 through August 8, 2009 qualify for the charitable donation to Feeding America. Microsoft is donating $1.15 per download to Feeding America up to a maximum of $1,000,000. Meals are used for illustrative purposes only. Meal conversion is effective until June 30th, 2010.”

When you do the math and split $1.15 among 8 users, it means $0.14 per meal. How is that feeding anyone?

Microsoft to release Project Natal-centric Xbox console next fall?

Posted in Microsoft by Conner Flynn on June 13th, 2009

Microsoft announces "Project Natal" motion controller for Xbox 360According to 1Up, Microsoft is planning to release a new Xbox console this fall that will focus on Project Natal’s motion-sensing technology. Supposedly it will include native Project Natal support and backwards compatibility with Xbox 360 software. It would be released in fall 2010.

We aren’t buying it. It’s too soon for a full console devoted to the new technology. The Xbox 360 has a lot of lifespan left on it’s own. That’s our take anyway.

Microsoft addresses record 31 issues for patch Tuesday

Posted in Microsoft by Darrin Olson on June 10th, 2009

Microsoft releases 31 updates for Tuesday security patchesIn this weeks version of “Patch Tuesday” from Microsoft, the released security bulletin addressed a record count of 31 vulnerabilities across versions of Windows and Microsoft Office.

Of the updates a number of them were rated as “critical” and dealt with an issue of remote code execution through specifically designed web pages that were viewed through Internet Explorer versions 6, 7 and 8. This vulnerability, before the fix, would allow strangers to take control of the PC remotely through executing code in the browser.

Microsoft introduces Bing Mobile

Posted in Microsoft by Conner Flynn on June 3rd, 2009

bingIn case you haven’t heard, Microsoft recently unveiled its Bing search engine in an effort to overcome Google. Now they have also brought Bing to the mobile platform by introducing Bing Mobile, which can be enjoyed across a range of mobile devices.

So far user impressions seem pretty positive. Simple and clean results are displayed in a nice format. Microsoft is hoping that you might point portable device’s browser to m.bing.com and see what the buzz is all about.

Zune video services moving to Xbox Live

Posted in Microsoft by Darrin Olson on May 27th, 2009

Zune video services to be integrated into Xbox LiveAlmost true to rumors, along with the press release from Microsoft late Tuesday about the new Zune HD release, the company announced they will be extending the Zune video service into Xbox LIVE this fall as well.

“The Zune music player is an integral part of the overall Zune experience, and we’re proud to be growing and extending our offering beyond the device,” said Enrique Rodriguez in the Microsoft press release on Tuesday. Rodriguez is the corporate vice president of the Microsoft TV, Video and Music Business Group.

Microsoft adds Netflix streaming to Windows Media Center

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

wmcnetflix-sbNetflix has been around for a while now with its mail order movie rentals. The service proved so popular that it has put a serious crimp in the rental business of some of the big players like Blockbuster. Netflix also offer a 12,000 title streaming library.

The streaming Netflix library can be accessed through set top boxes like the one from Roku and some Blu-ray players. Netflix also boasts a million installed users for the streaming application on the Xbox 360.

Microsoft SideShow offers gamers a secondary touchscreen

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

Microsoft SideShow offers gamers a secondary touchscreenMicrosoft’s SideShow is a secondary sub-display running off of a Windows Vista system. It hasn’t been as popular as the company had hoped, but now they’re setting their sights on gamers to rejuvenate the concept. The idea is a 6.4-inch touchscreen that is switchable between portrait and landscape orientation, which would present game-specific controls and free up the main display.

Imagine an RPG title that could shift its control palette to the SideShow display, leaving the main monitor for the primary interface, or racing games that could offer a separate rear-view mirror. Yes, it has a lot of potential in gaming.

Screenshots of Office 2010

Posted in Microsoft by Conner Flynn on May 18th, 2009

Screenshots of Office 2010At one point, Microsoft Office had the code name office 14, at least until January, but it looks like Microsoft has decided to use the release year name. So, the next version is to be called Office 2010. Arstechnica has a bunch of leaked screenshots of Office 2010 which should go to testers in 2 months.

Office 2010 will arrive next year and include Access 2010, Excel 2010, InfoPath 2010, OneNote 2010, Outlook 2010, PowerPoint 2010, Project 2010, Publisher 2010, SharePoint Designer 2010, SharePoint Workspace 2010, Visio 2010 and Word 2010.

Microsoft Zune to get exclusive animated comedy series

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

citycouncil3050-sbWhen Microsoft launched its Zune DAP it hoped that the device would dethrone Apple as the leader in the digital music category. That failed to happen and Microsoft languishes in third spot in sales behind Apple and SanDisk.

Microsoft has announced a new exclusive animated series for the Zune that the software giant hopes will lure digital content fans to the Zune platform. The series is called City Council 3050 AD and the pilot episode will debut in Seattle later this month.

Microsoft and Verizon reportedly working on an iPhone competitor

Posted in Microsoft by Conner Flynn on April 28th, 2009

Microsoft and Verizon reportedly working on an iPhone competitorHere we go. Yet another iPhone killer. How many does that make? If the Wall Street Journal’s report is to be believed, Verizon is currently in talks with Microsoft regarding a project with the codename “Pink”. Pink will be a Microsoft-designed iPhone rival with a multimedia focus and, very likely a big touchscreen.

According to the report, Microsoft’s version of the iPhone will also feature a tweaked version of Windows Mobile OS with “new software capabilities.” Microsoft is apparently involved with the design of the phone, while a third party will build it.

Apple responds to Microsoft’s Laptop Hunter ads

Posted in Microsoft by Conner Flynn on April 17th, 2009

New Laptop Hunters ad: Kid chooses Vaio over a MacIf you thought Microsoft’s Laptop Hunter ads did a good job dissing Apple, wait until you hear Apple’s response. In a statement to Macworld, spokesperson Bill Evans does the usual praising of his brand, waxing poetic about security, stability, design. Then lays the smack down:

“A PC is no bargain when it doesn’t do what you want,” Apple spokesman Bill Evans says. “The one thing that both Apple and Microsoft can agree on is that everyone thinks the Mac is cool. With its great designs and advanced software, nothing matches it at any price.”

New Laptop Hunters ad: Kid chooses Vaio over a Mac

Posted in Microsoft by Conner Flynn on April 10th, 2009

New Laptop Hunters ad: Kid chooses Vaio over a MacMicrosoft’s latest ad in the Laptop Hunters series follows Lisa and Jackson, a mother and son. They need a computer that’s “fast” because they need to look up stuff online before they haed out the door to baseball practice.

They don’t have any trouble finding great PC options for under-$1500. They make it look like they almost bought a Mac which are “popular at this age”. They soon select an affordable VAIO and get their cash back. The moral of the story? Probably that kids don’t want a Mac. Video below.