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No Blu-ray player coming to the Xbox 360

Posted in Xbox 360 by Darrin Olson on March 13th, 2008

Microsoft exec says the Xbox 360 will not be getting a Blu-ray playerShortly after the fall of the HD DVD format Microsoft officially announced that they were ending production of the HD DVD player for the Xbox 360 and we, along with a number of others, figured they would be jumping on board with Blu-ray in short order.

According to Microsoft exec Aaron Greenberg, group product manager for the Xbox 360, the company appears to have no plans to move in the direction of a Blu-ray player, or any high-def player for that matter, for their game console. “Xbox is not currently in talks with Sony or the Blu-ray Association to integrate Blu-ray into the Xbox experience,” Greenberg said. He followed up that comment with “We’re the only console offering digital distribution of entertainment content,” which leads us to believe that Microsoft may have taken this opportunity to rid the console of physical disc media all together.

Microsoft unveils new wireless laser desktop combo

Posted in Keyboards by Nino Marchetti on March 11th, 2008

Microsoft Wireless Laser Desktop 7000Microsoft is showing off today a new wireless laser desktop combo which is somewhat designer focused. It is called the Microsoft Wireless Laser Desktop 7000 and it prices around $130.

The Microsoft Wireless Laser Desktop 7000 is what Microsoft called “Windows Aero inspired.” It offers up a thin design in the keyboard, complete with “smoked” translucent border and “floating” keys which can be personalized. The keyboard also is designed to be ergonomically friendly.

Microsoft officially ends the Xbox 360 HD DVD

Posted in HD DVD by Darrin Olson on February 24th, 2008

Microsoft discontinued the HD DVD player for the Xbox 360We knew it would happen sometime soon and yesterday Microsoft officially discontinued the production of the HD DVD player add-on for the Xbox 360 game console. If you’re one of the estimated 300,000 folks that already own the player Microsoft said they will still continue to support it and uphold the warranty that came with it, but they won’t be selling any new ones. Now that all of the big studios have gone Blu-ray it’s unlikely you’ll be wearing it out anyway without any new movies to play on it.

Microsoft says it doesn’t feel that dumping the HD DVD format will affect its game console sales, but we’re thinking that adding a Blu-ray player like the PS3 has just might help. Microsoft was previously one of the major backers of Toshiba and the HD DVD format before Warner announced they were Blu-ray exclusive and the whole HD DVD camp came tumbling down shortly after.

Microsoft PC concept attaches to your neck

Posted in Concepts by Conner Flynn on February 21st, 2008

The Momenta PC
This is a finalist in Microsoft’s Next-Gen PC Design Competition, called The Momenta PC, that you strap to your neck. It begins it’s symbiotic relationship with you by recording snippets of your whole life in an active buffer. When your heart rate goes up, it records whatever it is that’s making you excited until you tell it to stop, so you can view it later.

The idea is that it would capture the most exciting moments of your life. You know, the ones you always wish you had your camera ready for. But yes, it is creepy. Sure it would remember all of the fun times, but what about the horrible? Thanks for the memories, now please stop your parasitic relationship with my neck.

Microsoft’s Source Fource action figures

Posted in Microsoft by Conner Flynn on February 21st, 2008

Microsoft’s Source Fource action figures
In case you might have missed it, Microsoft has been in the action figure business for about two years. It was easy to miss. MSDN, the Microsoft Developer Network, recently announced the latest members of the Source Fource, limited edition, collectible mini-action figures based on Microsoft development and software products. They’re tiny and plastic, resembling LEGO figures. The characters include “Windows Vista Sensei,” “Office Master,” “ISV Server Gal,” “Virtual Labs Guy,” “SQL Server Gal,” “Visual Labs Guy,” and “MSDN Webcast Guy.”

You won’t be able to get these figures in stores however. The two latest figures, “Windows Vista Sensei” and “Office Master,” will only be available to the first 5,000 users attending at least two MSDN webcasts or those who complete at least two MSDN Virtual Lab courses between March 15 and April 15. The other figures were released in 2006 and can’t easily be found either. Pretty strange stuff. You figure they would want to market these things and put them on store shelves, since geeks have money and all.

Microsoft to buy Sidekick maker Danger

Posted in News by Darrin Olson on February 13th, 2008

Microsoft to buy Danger, maker of the SidekickMicrosoft announced Monday that it is going to acquire Danger, software maker for the popular consumer-targeted Sidekick mobile device. Reportedly the purchase came after months of negotiations, with Danger receiving a number of different offers and Microsoft doubling their original offer to keep Danger out of others hands. That offer has been rumored to be as much as $500 million, but no official terms of the deal have been revealed.

While Microsoft has done well making software for smartphones the company mostly targets business users and fewer general consumers. The Sidekick from Danger is almost the opposite and is aimed at the younger consumer-based market in which Microsoft seems to be keen on getting into. Microsoft also recently made a $44.6 billion offer to Yahoo to help build a larger online, consumer-facing presence and could have Danger in mind to be part of that overall strategy, working against dominate competitive figures like Google and RIM.

Microsoft Security Bulletin Watch: February 2008

Posted in Microsoft Security Bulletin Watch by Nino Marchetti on February 12th, 2008

windows-update-feb08.jpgAnd now we bring you live, breaking coverage of Super Tuesday. Oh wait, sorry…wrong Tuesday. It is the second Tuesday of the month, which means it is Microsoft Patch Tuesday. Or, as we like to call this little feature here at SlipperyBrick, Microsoft Security Bulletin Watch.

This month Microsoft graces us with six Critical, five Important and nine Non-Security, High Priority updates. You can get most of these through the Microsoft Update site. Others you’ll probably need to download manually. Which updates you need vary, of course, on your machine’s specific Windows OS flavor and what you already have installed on your PC. Check after the jump for a summary list.

Microsoft drags Yahoo kicking and screaming to altar

Posted in News by Nino Marchetti on February 11th, 2008

And the show down continues…Yahoo rejects Microsoft’s take over bid, Microsoft looks like it will go forward with it anyhow:

“It is unfortunate that Yahoo! has not embraced our full and fair proposal to combine our companies. Based on conversations with stakeholders of both companies, we are confident that moving forward promptly to consummate a transaction is in the best interests of all parties.

We are offering shareholders superior value and the opportunity to participate in the upside of the combined company. The combination also offers an increasingly exciting set of solutions for consumers, publishers and advertisers while becoming better positioned to compete in the online services market.

Yahoo: “no thanks” to Microsoft’s $44.6 billion offer

Posted in News by Conner Flynn on February 9th, 2008

Yahoo saying “no thanks”You can be pretty certain we haven’t heard the last from Microsoft regarding their offer to buy Yahoo!, but for now Yahoo! is saying a “no thanks” to the $44.6 billion buyout offer. Jerry Yang and other directors say Yahoo! are seeking at least $40 a share, or nearly $60 billion. Microsoft may not be willing to pay.

The bean counters of Yahoo! feel the number is on the low end. Others would like to get cozy with Google in order to improve search revenues, despite the fact that there may be some antitrust implications with that. Stayed tuned on this one. Things are getting very interesting.

Microsoft brings Wireless Laser Mouse 7000 and 6000

Posted in Mouse by Darrin Olson on February 5th, 2008

Microsoft Wireless Laser Mouse 7000 with charging cradleMicrosoft today launched the Wireless Laser Mouse 7000 and the Wireless Laser Mouse 6000. Both models feature a little bit less rounded look than other recent accessories from Microsoft and use a 30-foot, 2.4GHz wireless connection.

The rechargeable 7000 model is geared more for desktop use with a new horizontal charging cradle that makes it look somewhat like to a sleek snail when docked. It will charge up a single rechargeable AAA battery which gives it up to 3 weeks of use on a single charge. The 7000 has a responsiveness of 1,000 dots per inch and precision of 6,000 frames per second along with 4-way scrolling, Flip-3D and the single-click magnifying tool to zoom in on…well, whatever it is you want to zoom in on. A green indicator light shows the battery level for charging.

Google, Microsoft lawyers have word duel

Posted in News by Nino Marchetti on February 4th, 2008

yhoo-goog-duel.jpgWith the buzz of the possible Microsoft takeover of Yahoo still fresh in the air, Google wasted no time in jumping in to say the deal could possibly create a monopoly which threatens “the underlying principles of the Internet: openness and innovation.” This, from Google’s chief legal counsel, prompted a quick response back from Microsoft’s chief legal counsel saying the merger will “create a more competitive marketplace by establishing a compelling number two competitor for Internet search and online advertising.”

Google’s David Drummond, Senior Vice President, Corporate Development and Chief Legal Officer, had this to say on Sunday – “The openness of the Internet is what made Google — and Yahoo! — possible. A good idea that users find useful spreads quickly. Businesses can be created around the idea. Users benefit from constant innovation. It’s what makes the Internet such an exciting place.

Microsoft makes Yahoo a $44.6 billion offer

Posted in News by Darrin Olson on February 1st, 2008

Microsoft makes an acquisition offer to Yahoo for $44.6 billionMicrosoft announced this morning that it has official made an acquisition offer to Yahoo for the sum of $44.6 billion. Steve Ballmer on behalf of the Microsoft board of directors sent out a letter to Yahoo yesterday with the offer at $31 per share for all of Yahoo’s outstanding common stock.

According to the letter Microsoft has been in talks with Yahoo for some time, citing a letter in February of 2007 from Yahoo stating that “now is not the right time…”. Microsoft points out that things have not improved for Yahoo since earlier last year and without naming any other companies they refer to an increasingly dominate player in the market (we’re just guessing Google) who is increasing its own dominance by more acquisitions. Microsoft feels that combining forces with Yahoo increases the fighting chances in the online advertising space for both of them.

Dell & Microsoft launch RED products fighting AIDS

Posted in Dell,Microsoft,News by Darrin Olson on January 25th, 2008

Product RED to help eliminate AIDS in Africa by Dell and MicrosoftDell and Microsoft partnered on a program called (RED) in conjunction with (RED) co-founder Bono to help fight AIDS in Africa. The program offers special (RED) branded PCs and printer in which part of the proceeds will go to help people in places like Rwanda, Swaziland and Ghana.

For each purchased (PRODUCT) RED branded PC from Dell loaded with a RED branded Windows Vista Ultimate, Dell and Microsoft will contribute between $50 and $80 to the Global Fund of the program. $80 will bring as much as six months of life-saving antiretroviral treatment for a person living with AIDS in Africa. A RED branded printer will generate a $5 contribution.

Zune version 2.3 firmware update today

Posted in Zune by Darrin Olson on December 18th, 2007

Zune version 2.3 Firmware update availableSony wasn’t the only one dishing out firmware updates today as the Microsoft Zune had some updates of their own expected, although fairly low-key. For many the update content is pretty uneventful but if you’re one of the those afflicted by a pesky battery-draining issue in the Zune30 or Zune80, the 2.3 update should be taking care of it. It also brings some improvements to the device recognition and some increased stability when syncing to your computer. Again, nothing to get too excited about for most but still moving forward!

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.