We’ve seen our share of strange mice. Some are cool, some are pretty lame. Microsoft’s arc mouse actually looks pretty slick and it folds up, making it stylish, wireless and collapsible. It’s pretty rare to see a mouse that stands out like this one. For $59.95 it comes in both red and black and will be available this holiday season. It’s all about fashion according to the press release. So why not buy yourself one for the upcoming holidays.
The rumors are flying today about changes to the availability of hardware configurations for the Xbox 360. These rumors are due to a “leaked” company memo sent out to a few retailers making some statements and implications of changes to come.
For starters, we’ve seen fairly impressive evidence that the Xbox 360 Pro will see a price drop to $299 starting this Sunday. In addition, an email spells out some plans for later this year starting with an 60GB Xbox 360 Pro game console being introduced yet this month, and later on implying that the 20GB console will reach its “end of life” yet this year, likely replaced by this 60GB to accommodate more and bigger Xbox Live games.
I have never really been into graphic novels like “30 days of Night”, but I did like the flick based on the graphic novel. Zune Arts is normally associated with customized Zune players but its latest release is a graphic novel written by Steve Niles, the same guy who wrote “30 Days of Night”.
The graphic novel is called “The Lost Ones” and the story follows Duncan, Roxy, Rasheed, and Cynthia as a day of extreme planet jumping ends up in a race for their lives and to get back home as they are pursued by an alien race trying to kill them.
Microsoft has made no secret that it likes the idea of subscription based software. A subscription service has often been rumored to be a potential distribution method for all sorts of Microsoft software from productivity applications to operating systems.
The first product to come to market from Microsoft as a subscription service was announced today and is called Microsoft Equipt. The Equipt service will cost users $69.99 per year and includes a combination of Microsoft Windows Live OneCare and Microsoft Office Home and Student.
While those of us in the U.S. are still waiting patiently, Australia and New Zealand have discounted Xbox 360 pricing across the board. An update to the Aussie Xbox site shows a new starting price of $349 Australian dollars for the Xbox 360 Arcade (which sold for $399 yesterday). Interestingly, that makes it $50 cheaper than the Wii in Australia. They better secure their Kangaroos, stop wrestling with alligators and get to the store quick.
Xbox exec, Jeremy Hilton confirmed that the Xbox 360 Pro bundle has also been slashed. It’s now $499 (was $579) and the Elite is now $649 (was $729). You might think this bodes well for some price cuts here in the U.S. as well, but check out this qoute regarding their strange pricing strategy: “One of the big changes Microsoft has made is that with price drops, you’d see the US would drop, and pretty much within two weeks we would drop as well. Now, it’s very much the individual countries who manage what they feel would be best for their respective regions. In March we had a price drop in Europe, and in April we had a price drop in Asia. So we’re definitely moving away from that big global strategy.”
We first told you about Microsoft’s plans at Wii emulation back in April. Here’s some new info on their own version of Nintendo’s Miis. Xbox 360 Fanboy found the above Flash document on Intellisponse’s servers. (an online research and web-survey platform)
Is it just for survey purposes or not? I’m thinking it’s beyond the survey stage as it fits with what we’ve been hearing. That Microsoft will be rolling their Miis out by the end of the year, hopefully with their own Wii-mote that has all the bugs worked out.
Microsoft is teaming with select health hardware partners to tie consumer health products into the software company’s HealthVault online health service. One particular partner is HoMedics and the product in question is its Thera-P Blood Pressure Monitors.
HoMedics said that, beginning in August, one will be able to download a driver from the HealthVault Web site and also purchase a USB cable from HoMedics. These two items will let one transfer and store in their HealthVault all the information obtained from a HoMedics blood pressure monitor.
After announcing their iPod computer speakers, iHome wants you to know they have Zune love too. iHome’s ZN9 is being called “the world’s first clock radio for the Zune”.
The Zune is no iPod, so the device might be looked at as a bit of a gamble for the company, but iHome should do just fine since they already have plenty of products that cater to the iPod and because no one has bothered to make an alarm clock radio for the Zune until now. It sports a distinctive X-Box shape, which should please X-fans. The price is $99 in July.
Microsoft released a statement today that said it was “considering and has raised with Yahoo an alternative that would involve a transaction with Yahoo but not an acquisition of all of Yahoo.” Microsoft would not give details, but word is that sources at both companies agree that it involves Microsoft buying Yahoo’s search business as well as their ad business related to text-based ads. I hope Yahoo puts out soon, cuz I’m getting sick of hearing about it.
Once Microsoft finally released Windows XP Service Pack 3 to the Automatic Update after a last minute delay you might think the worst is over, but for many it doesn’t look like that’s necessarily the case. As the release has been rolling out to computers around the world there have been a number of reports with problems as you might expect with any major service pack, but one issue seems to be quite a bit more prevalent than the others.
According to ComputerWorld there have been many reports of an “endless reboot” problem that has been flooding forums with no real specific reason or response from Microsoft. One of the theories is that computers running AMD processors with XP are the ones having the problem, but the issue is not exclusive to AMD. Microsoft has said that problem comes from computer makers who used the wrong XP images to load the OS on AMD machines. HP, who was not named specifically by Microsoft, fired back saying that SP3 added a driver that was not previously present which causes the problem.
Microsoft has put on an announcement through one of its many channels that Office 2007 owners can expect Microsoft Office 2007 Service Pack 1 to show up in their Windows Automatic Updates sometime on or after June 16. The Office 2007 SP1 has been available since December of last year but Microsoft has been careful about forcing it into the general population of Office users.
As they had done with Office 2003, they are giving a 30 day warning/notice that the automatic update is coming. They also said that not everyone will see it at the same time since they will rolling it out a little at a time to be sure that their servers can handle the download requests.
Unlikely to bring the fanfare that the Canadian iPhone launch did, or even Zune’s own U.S. launch over a year ago, but nevertheless the Zune is launching in Canada on June 13. We had heard that the Canadians were going to get the media player from Microsoft on their own store shelves sometime in the near future, but no one had put a date on it until now. Microsoft is going to launch the 4, 8 and 80 GB capacity players with prices from $140 to $250 Canadian dollars. The launch will be limited to models in red, black and pink colors, only.
For those sticking it out with the device, Microsoft released a whole mess of new features today with the Zune version 2.5 software update. The new feature set is led by the Zune Card, TV downloads and a number of smaller, but highly requested items.
A subscription with the Zune Card allows you to pick up copies of favorite songs from your best buddies who also have a Zune. If you don’t subscribe you can still see others Zune Card information but you’ll have to pay to listen to their favorite tracks.
It’s never as much fun to write an article to report on things that aren’t going to happen, but in this case we think this is something that should happen and we still expect it to, despite Microsoft’s denials.
What we do know is that Microsoft had an HD DVD player for the Xbox 360 which they put a stop to producing. We also know that rumors keep cropping up that Microsoft is going to work something out with Sony to bring a Blu-ray player to the 360, and Microsoft continues to squash them.