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All posts tagged "Microsoft"


Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Rampant Rumour: The Microsoft Phone, Powered by Nvidia?

Posted by Jason Dunn in "Pocket PC Talk" @ 09:53 PM

http://www.itnews.com.au/News/89639...ith-nvidia.aspx

"What do you get if you take an iPhone, remove the clean UI, user friendliness, nice industrial design, battery life, cachet, functional OS, and in general everything else that makes it worthwhile? The new Microsoft phone, powered by Nvidia. Yeah, you heard it right, MS is going to make its own branded phone, after all, everyone kicking the company around the block has one, so it should too! If you were wondering why Nvidia never mentions the phrase Linux when talking Tegra, even though it is the most appropriate OS for the chip, now you know. NV appears to have sold Linux out to get the MS flagship deal, how nice of them"

This is easily the snarkiest, most acid-dripping hack job I've seen in months - and I was shocked until I saw that it's syndicated content from The Inquirer...then it all made sense to me. Putting aside the ridiculous excuse for journalism - it's really an editorial, not a news story - there are some interesting rumours. Is this the fabled Zune phone? Or some other phone-based project? I refuse to believe that Microsoft would sacrifice all their gains with Windows Mobile partners all over the world by releasing their own Windows Mobile phone - that's just not going to happen, despite some people believing that it's the only way we're going to get the "ultimate" Windows Mobile phone. Is this a Zune phone then? Possibly. When you consider that the third-generation Zune hardware is identical to the second-generation hardware other than a capacity bump, the Zune team has had to be working on something. If Microsoft did release a Zune phone, they'd cause major rifts with their Windows Mobile partners, and those partnerships are worth a lot more to Microsoft than the MP3 player partners they alienated when they released the Zune.

2009 is going to be a very interesting year, that's for sure!

UPDATE: CNBC says this phone is code-named "Pink", but doesn't have much else to say about it.


Monday, October 27, 2008

Microsoft Cutting $500 Million From Budget; Is Zune on the Chopping Block?

Posted by Jason Dunn in "Zune Talk" @ 12:43 PM

http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/ht...78_brier27.html

"The latest models of Microsoft's digital music player are very nice, and the software's getting better. But the MP3 player market is fading, judging from Apple's latest earnings report. It said iPod sales fell 1 percent last quarter, and that was before the financial crisis. Meanwhile, the Zune still is fighting for a toehold. The growth now is in mobile devices that function as music players, phones and browsers. And to match the latest iPods, Zune needs costly upgrades: touch screens and a developer program. My guess is there won't be another generation of Zune hardware after the holidays; Zune software and Web services will be folded into other Microsoft offerings."

This is definitely not the first, or last, of the rampant speculation we'll see from journalists as they try to be the first to predict what Microsoft is going to cut (or cut back on) in order to trim the $400 to $500 million dollars from their budget as they said they would. Will the Zune get axed? I doubt it - Microsoft knows that there's money to be made in the MP3 player space, especially if those devices strengthen the eventual weakening of the Windows ecosystem as more and more of what we do on computers gets pushed up into the cloud. Devices matter, and the Zune is part of a larger overall ecosystem that's important to Microsoft.


Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Microsoft Sidesight

Posted by Chris Gohlke in "Digital Home Hardware & Accessories" @ 02:00 AM

http://gizmodo.com/5066691/microsof...s-have-it-wrong

"Many of us are pretty happy with touchscreen implementation in products like the iPhone or HTC Touch. But Microsoft (teaming with HTC hardware, at least in this photograph) has developed a new sort of touchscreen that doesn't involve touching the screen at all. Instead, IR beams shoot out from the sides of the phone and track your gestures on any surface. The beams are arranged in two rows and spaced 10 millimeters apart, aimed horizontally preventing overhead light sources from interfering. Users can then operate the device using both hands without even touching the phone, scrolling with vertical or horizontal movements, rotating an object on the screen by twisting or even scrolling on one side wile writing with a stylus on the other."

This seems like an absolutely brilliant idea. I've never been a fan of touchscreens, especially on small devices since your fingers end up blocking the view and you get fingerprints all over the place. The only downside I see is that it would not be overly practical to use while holding the device. Otherwise, nice to see an outside the box idea for user input.


Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Microsoft SyncToy v2.0

Posted by Chris Gohlke in "Digital Home Software" @ 06:30 PM

http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/...&displaylang=en

"There are files from all kinds of sources that we want to store and manage. Files are created by our digital cameras, e-mail, cell phones, portable media players, camcorders, PDAs, and laptops. Increasingly, computer users are using different folders, drives, and even different computers (such as a laptop and a desktop) to store, manage, retrieve and view files. Yet managing hundreds or thousands of files is still largely a manual operation. In some cases it is necessary to regularly get copies of files from another location to add to primary location; in other cases there is a need to keep two storage locations exactly in sync. Some users manage files manually, dragging and dropping from one place to another and keeping track of whether the locations are synchronized in their heads. Other users may use two or more applications to provide this functionality. Now there is an easier way. SyncToy, a free PowerToy for Microsoft Windows, is an easy to use, highly customizable program that helps users to do the heavy lifting involved with the copying, moving, and synchronization of different directories. Most common operations can be performed with just a few clicks of the mouse, and additional customization is available without additional complexity. SyncToy can manage multiple sets of folders at the same time; it can combine files from two folders in one case, and mimic renames and deletes in another case. Unlike other applications, SyncToy actually keeps track of renames to files and will make sure those changes get carried over to the synchronized folder."

I installed this yesterday and I really like it. It has finally let me set up backups the way they should be done and should be much speedier. I've actually set it up to do three separate synchs of my user data (which totals 82 GB). The first synch goes to a second hard drive installed in my PC. I set a Windows task to automatically perform this synch ever time I boot up. A second synch occurs weekly to network storage. Finally I set up an on-demand synch with a USB drive to let me quickly update my off-site backups. Now that they are all set up, synching the changes will be MUCH quicker than the full backups I was previously doing. Plus, having a fully automated synch will protect me from my own laziness!


Wednesday, July 23, 2008

My Crazy Seattle Adventure

Posted by Adam Krebs in "Zune Talk" @ 10:15 PM

I spent the last week or so in Seattle, Washington pinging practically every Microsoftie I knew in an attempt to get a tour of the software giant's Redmond campus (with apologies to the Zune team as a whole). I finally got an in via a friend who worked on the Windows Cluster Server team. Though she didn't have or want much to do with the Xbox/Zune devs ("too much Kool-Aid drinking"—or "very, very into what they're doing" as she put it), she did point out the extent of Microsoft's commitment to the Entertainment and Devices division. Turns out the Zune, Xbox and (I think) Windows Media Center teams are all getting a new building across the street from Building 25 on the Redmond Campus. Not only will the huge building allow closer interaction between the members of the Zune and Xbox teams, but it's also going to be right by Microsoft's other main product teams. Also of note, when completed it'll feature the largest underground parking facility on the campus (and I believe she said it's also the largest in Washington state) in the Western Hemisphere(!).

My one regret about the visit is that there wasn't more Zune swag in the Microsoft Company Store. They have a whole rack set up with Zune 4/8 (with 80's out of stock) and plenty of official accessories, but very little by way of Zune t-shirts, which I really wanted. In fact, the only Zune-branded apparel in stock was an ugly green windbreaker with a Zune logo on the breast pocket. All in all, I can't say I'm too dissapointed; I picked up Gears of War for $20 and some Lindor chocolates. Sweet.

Update: The parking garage is the largest in the Western Hemisphere, not just Washington state. Wow.


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