Tag Archives: Microsoft

Microsoft @ E3 Brings New Xbox, “Kinect”

During Microsoft’s keynote today at E3, the majority of it were game demos (Fable III, Gears of War 3, Halo: Reach, MGS, etc..). But if you stuck it through to the end, there were  a few big announcements.

-Project Natal will be available for sale November 4, and is branded as “Kinetic”. There will be 15 titles at launch such as Sonic Freeride and Biggest Loser.

-Kinetic will allow you to voice control your Xbox, and Zune (and messenger) integration will be standard in a new firmware update.

-New Xbox! The New “Slim Xbox” is $299, and features a bigger hard drive (250GB) and built in Wi-Fi. It’s new design is a little more aggressive and angle-stlyled.

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IE 9 Hopes to Redeem Older Versions

Microsoft is not known for it’s amazing browser code skill. In fact, they’ve become laughable at their tries at a new IE. Yet they’ve announced IE9 and hope to redeem their mistakes with a fresh-from-the-over browser.

IE9 will include HTML5 support (including video), hardware-accelerated 2D graphics, and a new JavaScript engine.

Note: Windows XP isn’t supported— Love, Microsoft.

Gizmodo says it’ll support:

h.264 video: When people talk about HTML5 killing Flash, this is what they’re talking about. Some video sites, like YouTube and Vimeo, have been experimenting with video playback that doesn’t require a plugin to play. h.264 is the format standard the big sites have chosen to go with, and now Internet Explorer will support it.

Embedded Audio: Just as the video tag allows for video to be embedded directly into a page without a plugin, the audio tag allows audio files to be embedded straight into the page. IE9 supports MP3/AAC codecs.

Scalable Vector Graphics: Scalable vector graphics allow for the creation of certain types of graphics that scale perfectly—because they’re drawn as vectors, not plain images. It can also allow for rudimentary, Flash-style animations.

CSS3: CSS is essentially what the web is formatted with, and Internet Explorer’s various CSS compatibilities have been maddening since, well, forever. IE9 supports more standards-based CSS3—including Selectors, Namespaces, Color, Values, Backgrounds and Borders and fonts—and should support more before launch. They’re finally trying, is the point.

Overall, everything seems smoother, and faster. Could this be the browser they’ve been praying for?

Steve Ballmer Introduces HP Slate w/ Windows 7

Steve Ballmer gave his keynote today at CES, and while calling upon many antics to lighten up the news, he still had quite a few technical problems.

Anyway, he also demoed a new tablet device! The HP designed device will carry Windows 7 on board, and will be “almost as fast as a mainstream computer, and will be much faster than any smart phone.” The exact specifications are unclear, but we can tell you that the device seems to be a touch bigger than an ebook reader. Here’s a little preview:


One Comment to End the Mac/PC Flamewar

“PCs are better than Macs!” or “PCs don’t copy from Mac!” are two very common phrases used by the PC community, but it seems that Microsoft has let the cat out of the bag, and admitted copying the Mac OS for Windows 7.

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A group manager at Microsoft, Mr. Aldous, sat down for a long talk with PCR. Blah blah blah was just about the just of it, until he was asked if Windows 7 was “really a much more agile operating system”. This is what he had to say:

“One of the things that people say an awful lot about the Apple Mac is that the OS is fantastic, that it’s very graphical and easy to use. What we’ve tried to do with Windows 7 – whether it’s traditional format or in a touch format – is create a Mac look and feel in terms of graphics.”

Afterwords he slammed OSX for stability issues (?) of course.

Microsoft’s Pink, Turtle, and Courier?

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Photo’s have been released of Microsoft’s “Pink” and “Turtle”. These phones are going to be made by Sharp, who’ll get to share branding with Microsoft. Sharp produced the Sidekick hardware for Danger, who was bought by Microsoft two years ago. (Which is honestly the only reason we can think of why Microsoft stuck with Sharp for the new phones, versus someone like HTC.) Pink will be primarily aimed at the same market as the Sidekick, and branding and identity for it is highly developed, pointing toward a later stage in the development cycle. These don’t look like they’ll be targeting the iPhone market.

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Microsoft may have outed the “Courier” as well. The device uses to touch screens, and InkSeine, which works on a strikingly similar premise to the UI shown in the demo video, including a heavy reliance on pages in “notebooks,” and the ability to scrapbook pieces of websites by screen-capping certain areas. InkSeine also bares resemblance to the Courier interface in its use of circular context menus which surround bits of content.

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While the prototype version of this setup is much less polished and finalized than the render seen in that clip, it’s clear that there is a connection at Microsoft to this piece of demo hardware, and the mocked-up version in the Courier video.

Zune HD Out NOW + 4.0 Software + Crackdown

Well, those of you who have been waiting for a Zune HD (and that probably wasn’t many) have finally met their deadline. The Zune HD is out now and ready for purchase.

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Software 4.0 was also released which includes:

  • Quickplay menu: quick access from your Zune HD to your favorite media including those you most recently added or played
  • Smart DJ: Like Apple’s Genius, Smart DJ creates like-minded music mixes. It also adds music from the Zune Marketplace if you have a Zune Pass.
  • Mini Player Mode: Keeps a mini version of the player on top of your PC apps
  • Download to own: For the first time you can download-to-own or rent full movies and TV shows in SD or HD formats.
  • Older Zunes get a “3.2” update

Apps have also been confirmed for the device:

“Later this year, Zune plans to release free applications such as Twitter for Zune and Facebook for Zune, in addition to fun 3-D games such as “Project Gotham Racing: Ferrari Edition,” “Vans Sk8: Pool Service” and “Audiosurf(TM) Tilt.” Games can be added to Zune HD via Zune Marketplace over the Wi-Fi connection or when connected to the Zune PC software.”


There’s even a tear down of the device which includes:

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” the NVIDIA Tegra SoC, SiPORT HD Radio module, Toshiba-sourced flash NAND, a 2.45Wh battery, Wolfson MIcro WM8352 audio subsystem, and Foxconn logo confirming its manufacturing origin.”

[Thanks to Engadget]

[Read ALL Zune HD info here]




Windows 7 commercial

Microsoft didn’t go wrong this time.