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Archive for Microsoft

Opera Software files complaint over Microsoft browser

Posted in Legal,Microsoft,News,Opera Software by Darrin Olson on December 13th, 2007

Opera Software files complaint against Microsoft over web browserOpera Software has filed a legal complaint to the European Commission against Microsoft over the companies web browser and how it is packaged with the operating system. As you may or may not have noticed, the Internet Explorer browser that comes with the Windows operating system has become part of the OS, and can’t really be removed or uninstalled. Because of this Opera Software is complaining that the tie Microsoft has between the OS and its IE browser is illegal since it does not give competing browsers a chance on the highly dominate Windows OS. Opera is also saying that Microsoft is hindering interoperability by not following the commonly accepted web standards.

Opera is asking that Microsoft be forced to “unbundle” their web browser and operating system allowing other browsers, such as Opera’s, to be able to compete more fairly. They are also asking that Microsoft adhere to common Web standards so that developers creating hosted applications and web sites do not allow or need specific code written for viewing on Internet Explorer compared to other browsers.

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New Samsung frame syncs with Windows Live

Posted in Digital Imaging,Microsoft,Samsung by Nino Marchetti on December 12th, 2007

Samsung SPF-83VSamsung is offering up for the holidays a new digital picture frame which makes use of Microsoft technology to wirelessly display your digital photos. The new Samsung SPF-83V looks to be priced at around $230.

The Samsung SPF-83V uses technology developed by Microsoft Research to work with the Windows Live Photo Gallery and Windows Media Player. The frame communicates with WMP, which in turn in conjunction with the online photo gallery wirelessly streams digital images to the Samsung display for presentation.

Microsoft details Xbox 360 fall update changes

Posted in Microsoft,Xbox 360 by Nino Marchetti on November 30th, 2007

xbox-fall07-update.jpgMicrosoft today dropped the rest of the details on its upcoming Xbox 360 2007 Fall Dashboard Update. This includes the previously covered Xbox Originals download service. You can expect this update to populate your video game console sometime starting Dec. 4.

The Xbox 360 2007 Fall Dashboard Update is definitely a major overhaul with lots of new features. Besides the ability to download and play Xbox Originals you also get access to reduced prices on select Xbox Live Arcade titles. There will also be a new direct feed into the dashboard which gives you more updated information on new Xbox offerings. You’ll also be able to add more information into your bio for friends to view as well as being able to see the Friends Lists of other Xbox Live members.

“Halo 3″ and Microsoft get served

Posted in Games,Halo,Legal,Microsoft,News by Chetz on November 22nd, 2007

Microsoft and Halo 3 law suitIs “Halo 3″ not worthy of play on the Microsoft Xbox 360? According to one California resident, you better bet your Covenant plasma pistol.

A class action suit has been dropped on Bungie, the makers of “Halo 3″ and Microsoft alleging that their hit video game “does not function with the Xbox 360, and to the contrary, attempted use of Halo 3 consistently causes the Xbox 360 to ‘crash,’ ‘freeze,’ or ‘lock up’ while the game is being played.” The suit also states that neither one of the two firms have done enough to fix the problems caused by the bad loads. “Many consumers have reported that the ‘Halo 3′ video game has caused their Xbox video game consoles to crash and remain totally inoperable after playing the ‘Halo 3′ video game,” reads a portion of the document.

Xbox Live turns five, adds Xbox game downloads

Posted in Games,Microsoft,Xbox 360 by Nino Marchetti on November 14th, 2007

xbox-live-5.jpgCan you believe Xbox Live, the online arm of Microsoft’s Xbox 360 video game console, turns five tomorrow? Neither can we. That being said, this is a shining example of an area where Microsoft held on to become a dominant force in a vertical category. To celebrate this crowning moment several announcements were made which should make things even more interesting.

For starters, Microsoft is giving away for free between 12:01 a.m. PST on Nov. 15 and 11:59 p.m. PST on Nov. 16 an Xbox Live Arcade game for download. Of even bigger interest to gamers, particularly fans of the original Xbox, is word of a free system update which will offer, among other enhancements, the ability to purchase and download original Xbox games. These Xbox Originals look to initially include Halo,” “Psychonauts,” “Crimson Skies: High Road to Revenge” and “Fable,” among others.

Facebook’s deal with two devils

Posted in Facebook,Google,Microsoft,News by Chetz on October 24th, 2007

Microsoft and Google both working on deals with FacebookSuppose you own a company that both Microsoft and Google want to own a part of. Who do you choose to do a deal with? Do you base your decision on which company you think will be the stronger in the future or just on who’s offering the most cash? This is the present dilemma that Facebook owner Mark Zuckerberg is facing right now. Both Google and Microsoft are neck-and-neck with striking a deal that would see either one of the two online titans getting a 5-to-10 percent ownership with Facebook. The deal is expected to close sometime today or tomorrow.

The potential deal is likely to be huge for whomever gets it. Both Microsoft and Google are set up to capitalize on serving advertising to Facebook’s 34 million members. No one from either of the three companies is offering to comment about the deal but if the “The New York Times” is reporting that it exists, take it to the bank.

Microsoft, Wisin y Yandel team on new Zune

Posted in Microsoft,Portable Meda Players,Zune by Nino Marchetti on October 23rd, 2007

zune-wisin-y-yandel.jpgMicrosoft said today it is launching a specially branded, limited edition Zune “produced in collaboration with Latin Grammy-nominated artists Wisin y Yandel.” This particular Zune will price around $200 and is for sale exclusively through Wal-Mart.

The Wisin y Yandel Zune is black, stylized and comes in in customized Wisin y Yandel packaging. It sports a 30 GB hard drive pre-loaded with the new Wisin y Yandel 19-track album, “Wisin vs. Yandel: Los Extraterrestres.” This portable media player has a three-inch color display and can store up to 7,500 songs, 25,000 pictures or 100 hours of video.

Xbox 360 Arcade officially unveiled

Posted in Games,Microsoft,News,Xbox 360 by Darrin Olson on October 23rd, 2007

Microsoft Xbox 360 ArcadeToday Microsoft has officially launched the highly rumored Xbox 360 Arcade console at a reasonable $279 bundled with games and trying to pick up on the “entire family” of gamers and bring some more attention to the Xbox Live Arcade games.

“As families gather together this holiday, it’s the perfect time to launch a new low-priced, high-value Xbox 360 that plays games, TV shows and music for everyone to enjoy,” said Jeff Bell, vice president of global marketing, Interactive Entertainment Business at Microsoft. “In addition to offering an incredible all-in-one package for families to get right into the fun, the Xbox 360 Arcade system features the industry-leading Family Settings, which allow parents to control what their kids are watching and playing — and we know how important that control is to families around the world.”

Microsoft drops Xbox 360 price in Japan

Posted in Microsoft,News,Xbox 360 by Darrin Olson on October 22nd, 2007

Microsoft drops the Xbox 360 price for customers in JapanMicrosoft is working hard to be competitive with its rivals Sony and Nintendo in Japan’s market which has proven so far to be fairly difficult for them. Despite a stellar month in September for US Xbox 360 sales, the company has not faired as well with the Japanese market over the past year in keeping up with the home town’s PS3 and Wii game consoles. As the holidays are nearing the company is keeping pace and making moves with its console trying to spur some additional sales with an announced price drop for the Xbox 360 core system and the 20GB bundle.

Starting on November 1 in Japan, the Xbox 360 20GB bundle will start retailing for ¥34,800 ($306) which is a $44 cut from its previous price. The 360 core system will start going for ¥27,800 ($245) which gives it an $18 cut. Microsoft is also putting out a limited Value Pack for the console for ¥34,800 ($306) which comes with Viva Pinata and Forza Motorsport 2 titles but no HDMI cable.

Xbox 360 overtakes Wii in September console sales

Posted in Games,Halo,Microsoft,News,Xbox 360 by Darrin Olson on October 20th, 2007

Microsoft’s Xbox 360 beats the Nintendo Wii in console sales for SeptemberAfter almost a year of trailing in console sales, Microsoft’s Xbox 360 has finally pulled ahead of the widely popular Nintendo Wii marking the first time since the Wii’s launch last November that it hasn’t been number one. As anticipated by many, Microsoft pulled this off with a little help from the launch of Halo 3 which earned $170 million on its first day and $300 million its first week and ended up spurring a number of Xbox 360 sales along with it.

Those sales totaled 527,000 units of the console in the month of September which was a significant jump from the 276,700 sold the previous month. Nintendo was no slump for September either marking 501,000 Wii units and 495,800 handheld DS consoles. Both figures were also significantly more than in August.

LucidTouch transparent touch screen

Posted in Concepts,Microsoft,Mitsubishi,Touchscreen by Matt on October 12th, 2007

LucidTouch transparent touch screenMobile devices equipped with touch screens, such as the iPhone, are without a doubt a stellar forward progression in device interface that is very intuitive to users, but still have their faults. The technology behind the screens fault due to occlusion and the way in which the touch is mapped to cursor position making it sometimes difficult to make a selection, especially if you have large fingers. Enter LucidTouch, a technology in the works from Microsoft and Mitsubishi Electric lab research.

LucidTouch employs a pseudo transparency that displays the fingers as shadows from behind the screen but not other objects behind it. The shadow effect is essentially a feature designed to make the user experience more natural than simply displaying touch points coming from the back of the screen which might confuse a user as to which finger is associated with which dot, with the shadow transparency the user needn’t think making the UX more intuitive. A passive touch feature allows the user to utilize their thumbs in making direct touch selections from the front of the device which may be used simultaneously with other fingers at the back using the multi-touch ability of the device.

Microsoft unveils new game bundles for holidays

Posted in Games,Microsoft,News,Xbox 360,Xbox 360 Elite by Chetz on October 9th, 2007

Microsoft unveils Xbox 360 consoles and game bundles for the holiday seasonIt seems that Microsoft is reacting to the increased competition from Sony and Nintendo for the upcoming holiday season. In anticipation to Sony’s forthcoming price reduction for its PS3 Microsoft will be releasing two Xbox 360 console and game bundles before the end of the month. The Pro Xbox 360 bundle pack ($349) will consist of an Xbox console (20 GB version) and copies of “Forza Motorsport” and “Marvel: Ultimate Alliance” while the 120 GB HDD Elite 360 pack ($449) will ship with the same two games. Essentially you will be getting two free games when you lay down your dollars for either one of these two systems. Microsoft also probably is hoping that the good will generated will in turn get you to open your wallet further and maybe pick up a copy of “Halo 3″ while you’re standing in line.

Microsoft unveils Xbox 360 game bundle

Posted in Microsoft,Xbox 360,Xbox 360 Elite by Reuben Drake on October 8th, 2007

Microsoft releases Xbox 360 game bundleIf you’ve been toying with the idea of making the plunge into an Xbox 360 but haven’t quite yet decided, Microsoft has put out a pretty sweet deal to entice more purchases of the console. If you’ve recently made a 360 purchase you may want to just stop reading here. As a promotion for this holiday season, starting at the end of October Microsoft will begin throwing in GameSpy’s award-winning Forza Motorsport 2, and Marvel Ultimate Alliance for free when you buy an Xbox 360 Premium ($349.99) or Elite ($449.99). Rumors of this release have been circulating for a while and today in this case have been proven true. Another part of that same rumor which was not put to rest involves HDMI out and a disc with Xbox Live Arcade games on a $280 Core console, but it looks like we’ll have to keep waiting for that one.

Microsoft and Bungie officially break up

Posted in Bungie Studios,Halo,Microsoft,News by Reuben Drake on October 5th, 2007

Bungie Studios and Microsoft have agreed to part waysMicrosoft has released an official announcement confirming rumors from earlier this week that Bungie Studios, developers of Halo, and Microsoft will be parting ways and Bungie will become its own independent company.

Bungie and Microsoft together have brought the Halo franchise, exclusively for the Xbox 360, to the gaming phenomenon it is now with “Halo 3″ which recently brought in over $300 million its first week out. This move will allow Bungie Studios to continue to build on their success and expand their games to other non-Microsoft platforms such as Sony’s PS3 or the Nintendo Wii. According to Harold Ryan, studio head for Bungie, it doesn’t sound like they announcing plans to jump the Xbox 360 ship quite yet, however.

“Halo 3″ earns $300 million in first week

Posted in Games,Halo,Microsoft,News by Chetz on October 4th, 2007

Halo 3 earned over $300 million in sales the first week it was outRemember when we told you last week that “Halo 3″ made a stunning $170 million dollars worth of sales on its release day? Microsoft is back to blow its trumpet again: the first week of “Halo 3″ sales made the company $300 million dollars. Keep in mind that this game is only available for a single video game console, the Xbox 360. That could be why sales of the 360 have more than doubled in the past week as people open their wallets and purses to jump on the Master Chief bandwagon.