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Microsoft says Xbox 360 faceplates were a failure

Posted in Xbox 360 by Conner Flynn on December 16th, 2010

Microsoft’s Albert Penello, in an interview by the British Official Xbox Magazine, admitted that although “faceplates were what everybody wanted to do” five years ago, they pretty much fell flat in terms of retail success. Fail!

So Microsoft killed them off pretty quickly. I know that I just want to play a good game myself, I could care less about dressing up my console like some doll. So, which of you guys bought these faceplates anyway?

Kinect gets the Swarovski treatment

Posted in Xbox 360 by Conner Flynn on December 15th, 2010

What could possibly be better than a tablet or smartphone covered in Swarovski crystals? Microsoft’s kinect, that’s what. At least that’s what DS Styles thinks. This Kinect will blind you before you even get to use it, then take some stills of you stumbling about.

Well, I know what Elton John is getting for Christmas. This thing matches some of his suits. If you like gaudy gadgets, this will cost you $632. You’ll be picking these cheap crystals out of your carpet for eternity as they fall out.

Microsoft planning TV service for Xbox Live subscribers?

Posted in Xbox 360 by Conner Flynn on December 3rd, 2010

Looks like Microsoft is planning to reward it’s most loyal customers. How? Word is that there may be a dedicated TV channel for Xbox Live users coming. The channel will offer brand new shows as well as old ones. It’s possible that Fox TV is involved so it might actually offer decent content.

The channel idea was apparently pitched by Peter Chernin, an ex News Corp. President. So far the subscription prices will rise by just $1 or $2. So, what do you think? Is this something you want?

Microsoft working on TV subscription service for Xbox, PCs

Posted in Xbox 360 by Conner Flynn on November 29th, 2010

Reuters has some information suggesting that Microsoft is getting ready to launch a video subscription service for the XBox 360. The details are scarce and nobody knows yet how this will work, but Microsoft has several options.

The first option is to become a virtual cable operator and charge for bundles of channels. This is a model that we all know well and one that networks are familiar with. They could also create one app per channel, similar to what Roku does. It will be interesting to see what happens with this one.

Microsoft patent would let touchscreens make real keyboards

Posted in patents by Conner Flynn on November 28th, 2010

A new patent from Microsoft has been spotted and it could lead to touchscreens that could change shape to create keyboards and other tactile objects where none exist. It is called a technique for a “light-induced shape-memory polymer display screen”.

It can send ultraviolet light to a plastic layer above each pixel, changing its topography. Varying UV wavelengths would serve to make different parts hard or soft, creating bumps and ridges that could feel like a real surface with actual keys. This design could be used with projectors, though it might not be limited to projectors.

Microsoft officially relaunches the Kin One and Kin Two

Posted in Microsoft by Conner Flynn on November 18th, 2010

After being called one of Microsoft’s greatest failures and having been pulled from sale after only six weeks during its original run, the Kin One and Kin Two are now back on sale with Verizon. This re-release gives them a name change to the Kin ONEm and Kin TWOm. Originally Microsoft only sold 8,810 units, but they hope to turn those sales numbers around with better pricing plans.

One of the reasons cited for the poor sales was that the phones lacked full smartphone functionality, but at the same time were forced to use smartphone plans of at least $70 per month. It just couldn’t compete with more fully featured phones.

Microsoft has sold 1 million Xbox Kinects

Posted in Xbox 360 by Conner Flynn on November 16th, 2010

In only 10 days, Microsoft has announced that they have sold a million Xbox Kinects. That’s pretty impressive sales for such a short time. This keeps them on track to reach the 5 million sales target before 2010 even ends.

After all, people are ready to start their holiday shopping. And if they reach that goal, they will start 2011 off right. The Kinect is just $149 when purchased alone, although it does come packaged with the Xbox 360 for $299 or $399, depending on how much storage space you choose.

Is Microsoft planning an ESPN branded Xbox 360?

Posted in Xbox 360 by Conner Flynn on November 10th, 2010

We’ve seen lots of different branding on Xboxs, but it’s never been a close encounter of the ESPN kind. Well, until now. Engadget was sent this mockup of an ESPN Xbox 360, which the tipster found on a Microsoft PR server.

It could be just a failed concept, however given the fact that ESPN 3 is live on the Xbox 360 Fall 2010 Dashboard Update, it makes sense for the two companies to merge in such a way. We’ll just have to wait and see if this gets real.

Microsoft expects to sell 5 Million Kinect units this fall

Posted in Microsoft by Conner Flynn on November 4th, 2010

Microsoft has high hopes for the Kinect. In fact, the company is expecting to sell five million Kinect motion sensors through the holiday shopping season. This new figure is quite a leap from their original expectation of three million units for the same time period.

Head of Microsoft’s entertainment unit, Don Mattrick, was quoted recently saying that Presales have exceeded expectations. Can they do it? We’ll see. The Kinect will hit more than 30,000 retail locations, with midnight events scheduled at 5,000 stores for the launch, so they have a good chance.

Microsoft sells 240 Million copies of Windows 7 in 12 months

Posted in Microsoft by Conner Flynn on October 21st, 2010

Microsoft has announced that it has sold more than 240 million copies of Windows 7 (which was launched a year ago this week), Those numbers make it both Microsoft’s and the industry’s fastest-selling OS. The company needed it too. Windows 7 has helped the company overcome much of the negative consumer opinion after the launch of its Vista OS.

It should be noted that Apple has sold about 13.8 million Mac machines worldwide, but still isn’t large enough to compete in sheer new OS installs. It has however received a much faster adoption of its latest OS version.

Microsoft giving free WP7 devices to AT&T workers

Posted in Microsoft by Conner Flynn on October 16th, 2010

It was rumored that Microsoft was giving out WP7 devices to its staff and now we have word that the company is also giving AT&T workers free WP7 devices to get the word out. An employee claims that about 100 devices were given out to those attending an event in Minneapolis, though it wasn’t confirmed if it was a US-wide policy or not. We assume not.

It also wasn’t mentioned which phone of the many WP7 devices were given out, but with the Samsung Focus being the first to ship, it’s likely that one.

Windows 7 Phone Line-Up

Posted in Microsoft by Conner Flynn on October 11th, 2010

Microsoft has introduced a bunch of new Windows Phone 7 phones. If you are thinking about getting yourself a phone with the windows Windows 7 OS, you need to check out the link below. Gizmodo has a great article on all the Windows 7 phones that are worth your consideration.

Spoiler alert. You have a flurry of phones to choose from. And the HTC HD7 looks like one of the best.

Microsoft to open retail store opposite the Apple store in Mall Of America

Posted in Microsoft by Conner Flynn on October 6th, 2010

Microsoft is squaring off with Apple again in a high noon type of retail store showdown. The company’s upcoming store in the Mall of America in Minneapolis will sit directly across from the Apple store. The store is said to be twice as wide as Apple’s store, and it will apparently shut down ten times as often with a blue screen of death instead of a closed sign. Okay, I made that last part up.

We don’t know when the store will be open, but it might open before the Windows Phone 7 launch. Microsoft will also emulate Apple’s Genius Bar by offering an Answer Desk.

Microsoft offers a pink mouse for Breast Cancer Awareness Month

Posted in Mouse by Conner Flynn on October 5th, 2010

It’s October and that means that it’s Breast cancer Awareness month. The time of year when gadgets go pink. Microsoft is also supporting the cause in its own small way. The Wireless Mobile Mouse 4000.

The mouse will sell from now until the end of September of next year for $40 and contribute a $4 donation per sale to the Kamen for the Cure charitable fund. Sure it isn’t the manliest mouse, but I guess it’s for a good cause.

Microsoft to launch Windows Phone 7 devices on October 21?

Posted in Microsoft by Conner Flynn on September 27th, 2010

According to Neowin, Microsoft will launch a wide range of Windows Phone 7 devices on October 21. If this info is accurate, Microsoft will hold several launch events worldwide on October 21 to introduce its latest Windows Phone 7 handsets. The company is also planning to hold an open house event in New York City on October 11 where it plans to show off some of the new devices.

Devices will hit retail shelves on October 21 in the UK, France, Germany Italy and Spain. It’s unknown if these devices will be available in the United States on October 21.