QuoteCustom ringtones are coming.
If there’s one request we’ve heard over and over since launching Windows Phone last year, it’s this: More ringtones, please! I’m the program manager for the “sound experience” on the phone—everything from ringtones and alarms to alerts and key clicks. Today I wanted to take a minute to tell you about the ringtone-related changes in store for Mango, the next version of Windows Phone arriving this fall.
QuoteAs promised, Redbox has rolled out game rentals nationwide.
In April, Redbox said it would start offering game rentals in 21,000 of its 27,000 kiosks this month. The company is renting out a range of titles for the Xbox 360, Wii, and PlayStation 3, including the recently launched Duke Nukem Forever and last year's blockbuster hit Call of Duty: Black Ops.
Redbox has launched a full online listing of games available to customers. Those who find something they like can reserve a title from home and pick it up at their chosen Redbox location.
Redbox is charging $2 per day for its game rentals. It currently rents DVDs and Blu-ray discs for as little as $1 per day and $1.50 per day, respectively.
Quoteicrosoft is committed to offering cloud services that deliver access to your information across devices and platforms. Hotmail provides sync of mail, calendar and contacts across devices, and SkyDrive gives you access to up to 25GB of documents, photos, and videos from anywhere in the world through the web. And of course these services are available today for free across your Windows PC, phone, and web.
QuoteComing later this year in Mango is more native support of Xbox LIVE features in the Games Hub like:
· See your played games and unlocked/locked Achievements
· Compare Achievements with other Xbox LIVE members
· Search your list of friends to see who is online and what they are doing
· See your Xbox LIVE messages and Send/Accept/Reject friend requests
Quote"Rumors abound that another tier of Xbox Live will add subscription TV service.
Winrumors is reporting that an anonymous source has brought them news of some big changes on the way to Xbox Live. Specifically, Microsoft's E3 press conference is said to have an announcement regarding the new Xbox Live Diamond service, which will add IPTV services to Xbox Live users"
Quote"The video does a good job of showing just how different the new system will be. Optimized for touch-screens, but still purported to be friendly to mouse and keyboard users, Windows 8 appears to abandon many of the legacy interface ideas that have been around for years."
QuoteMango, which will be available this fall, includes hundreds of new features and improvements organized around three key themes: easier communications, smarter apps, and the Internet.
QuoteStarting May 22, students who buy a new PC for $699 or more will receive a free Xbox 360 4GB console, the software giant said in a blog post today. The offer is available to online shoppers who buy a PC from Dell.com, HP.com, or Microsoft's online store. Those who want to head to a retail outlet can find the deal at Best Buy or Microsoft's stores.
In order for students to get the free Xbox 360, they will need to have .edu e-mail address at the time of purchase. If they don't have a .edu e-mail address, they can go to a retail store and present their student IDs.
QuoteIt appears that the new Xbox LIVE update, which will introduce support for the new XGD3 disk format, might prevent a very small number of Xbox 360 owners from playing retail game discs.
The XGD3 format will allow for additional storage space on a game disc, and will provide additional levels of copy production.
The Xbox LIVE Spring update will be rolled out between May 19 to May 30.
QuoteMicrosoft has agreed to acquire Skype for $8.5 billion.
"Skype is a phenomenal service that is loved by millions of people around the world," Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer said today in a statement. "Together we will create the future of real-time communications so people can easily stay connected to family, friends, clients and colleagues anywhere in the world."
Microsoft plans to integrate Skype's technology with the Xbox game console and Kinect motion-sensing device, as well as with its Windows Phone platform. The company also will "connect Skype users with Lync, Outlook, Xbox Live, and other communities.
QuoteQt will continue to be the development framework for Symbian and Nokia will use Symbian for further devices; continuing to develop strategic applications in Qt for Symbian platform and encouraging application developers to do the same. With 200 million users worldwide and Nokia planning to sell around 150 million more Symbian devices, Symbian still offers unparalleled geographical scale for developers.
Extending the scope of Qt further will be our first MeeGo-related open source device, which we plan to ship later this year. Though our plans for MeeGo have been adapted in light of our planned partnership with Microsoft, that device will be compatible with applications developed within the Qt framework and so give Qt developers a further device to target.
QuoteMicrosoft Corp., the world’s largest software maker, showed a fake copy of its Office 2007 software found for sale on the streets of Mexico and “brazenly” stamped with the rectangular “FMM” logo of the Familia drug cartel to demonstrate the link between counterfeiting and organized crime.
“This is the real side, the scary side of counterfeiting and it plagues the world,” David Finn, Microsoft’s associate general counsel for antipiracy, said today at the Global Congress on Combating Counterfeiting and Piracy in Paris.]
QuoteToday’s an exciting day! We are announcing that more than 240 million licenses of Windows 7 have been sold. Windows 7 is the fastest selling operating system in history. As of September, Windows 7 was running on 93% of new consumer PCs and has over 17% global OS market share (according to Net Applications as of October 1st). There is an amazing array of great PCs out on the market today. Six months after launch, 100% (over 18,000) of our OEM partners were selling Windows 7 PCs versus 70% for Windows Vista PCs at a comparable time period. And there is an incredible ecosystem of products – software and hardware – that work great with Windows 7 too. You can check out and discover many of those products at Windows Product Scout which was announced yesterday.
QuoteOf the 1,344,669 computers cleaned, this is about 1 in 5, a ratio that’s higher than we typically see even when accounting for the normal, first-month spike which results from adding a new family but not exceptionally so.
To put this in greater perspective the removals of Zbot are almost as many as the removals of the #2 and #3 malware families this month combined (Win32/Vundo and Win32/Bubnix respectively). Approximately 86 million computers have run this version of MSRT as we compile this data so we should expect this number to increase as the month continues.
QuoteA number of users — most of which seemed to be running 64-bit Windows 7 — began reporting memory-usage problems, via the Zune Forums, shortly after downloads of the client began.
QuoteTalk about adding insult to injury. Apparently Microsoft has inadvertently overpaid severance to some of its recently laid off employees, and is now asking for some of the money back. It’s unclear how many of the 1,400 employees laid off last month were affected, but we’ve confirmed that it wasn’t a single isolated incident (we’ve contacted Microsoft for a response). We’re also hearing that some employees may have been underpaid as well.
Said By BlorgeMicrosoft recently announced that the company would be laying-off 5,000 employees due to a drop in profits. This is the first mass layoff in the history of Microsoft. However, news has trickled out that the Xbox division will be suffering the brunt of the job cuts.
Word has been trickling out that the Entertainment and Devices Division (EDD) will receive the brunt of the mass layoff. The EDD division consists of the Zune, PC gaming and the massive Xbox division. The EDD is headed up by the well known faces: Shane Kim, Don Matttrick, Phil Spencer and the friendly Aaron Greenberg.
QuoteThe software maker said it will cut 5,000 jobs, or 5 percent of its workforce, over the next 18 months. About 1,400 jobs were eliminated immediately. The software maker is also paring other expenses, such as delaying salary increases and cutting back on vendors and contractors.
Amid slow PC sales, revenue for the quarter came in at $16.63 billion for its fiscal second quarter that ended December 31, up just 2 percent from a year ago and roughly $900 million less than the company previously projected. Per-share earnings came in at 47 cents, also below forecasts.
QuoteFor years, IT has struggled with how best to maintain the flow of data across heterogeneous environments without incurring data loss. Monoculture or no, customers often want to save documents in a variety of formats. This has not always worked to Microsoft's advantage. In fact, last year, the British Educational Communications and Technology Agency filed a complaint with the European Commission in which it alleged that Office 2007 would impede educational initiatives because it failed to natively support open standards, in particular, ODF.
Doug Mahugh, a project manager at Microsoft who deals with interoperability issues connected with the Office software suite, described the steps taken today within the broader context of disclosure, transparency, and format support. "To get there, we found that it was not just sufficient to conform to a standard. We needed transparency about all the design decisions involved in getting to that standard...it was a way of pulling together lot of the things we were doing in interoperability." Rightly or not, the perception was that Microsoft Office did not treat ODF as first class citizen. "That kind of feedback is why we built ODF support into SP 2," Mahugh said.
QuoteA company that measures Internet service reliability has given Microsoft the top score in a test of operating system update services.
Microsoft's Windows Update was available 100 percent of the second quarter of 2008, Pingdom said in a blog posting Friday. Apple's service was down 2 hours and 34 minutes, with 99.9 percent uptime, and Canonical's Ubuntu version of Linux was down 1 day, 5 hours, and 45 minutes, for 98.64 percent uptime.
"Microsoft wins this one hands down," Pingdom said. It noted that Ubuntu's service also is available through mirror sites, however.
The company tested the three services every five minutes.
QuoteIn the letter sent to "Windows Customers" and titled "An Update on the Windows Roadmap," Veghte said "our plan is to deliver Windows 7 approximately three years after the January 2007 general availability launch date of Windows Vista." Veghte wrote, "You have told us you want a more regular, predictable Windows release schedule" and he said that was the impetus for setting the 2010 the ship date. Vista has been slowly gaining steam, but is still drawing fire from critics who say it has not lived up to promises.
QuoteThe NBC spokeswoman said the network had no intention of blocking the show but declined to specify how the error was made. Flags that have been issued accidentally aren't uncommon, some industry insiders say. While acknowledging that it "fully adheres to flags used by broadcasters," Microsoft said that it was working with content owners to reduce the number of false flags. "The success of the entire distribution chain is dependent on all involved maintaining the necessary checks and quality control so that coding is correctly applied," a Microsoft spokeswoman wrote in an e-mail to News.com. Meanwhile, the larger issue for some is that Microsoft and possibly other hardware and software makers will honor broadcast flags. "Customers need to know who Microsoft is listening to and how that affects their equipment," said Danny O'Brien, a staffer at the Electronic Frontier Foundation, an advocacy group for Internet users.
QuoteThe software company was responding to questions about why some users of Windows Vista Media Center were prevented from recording NBC Universal TV shows, American Gladiator and Medium on Monday night. The "rules," in which the spokeswoman is apparently referring to are those proposed by the FCC, which would require software and hardware makers to honor "broadcast flags." The flags are code that broadcasters can insert into the data stream of TV shows that typically require restrictions on the recording of the shows. What she didn't say is that the "rules" aren't rules at all. The courts struck down the FCC's proposal in 2005, saying the regulator lacked the authority to tell electronics makers how to interpret the signals they receive. Since then, Microsoft and other manufacturers have retained the option of whether to honor the flags.
QuoteMSN Entertainment and Video Services general manager Rob Bennett sent out an e-mail this afternoon to customers, advising them to make any and all authorizations or deauthorizations before August 31. "As of August 31, 2008, we will no longer be able to support the retrieval of license keys for the songs you purchased from MSN Music or the authorization of additional computers," reads the e-mail seen by Ars. "You will need to obtain a license key for each of your songs downloaded from MSN Music on any new computer, and you must do so before August 31, 2008. If you attempt to transfer your songs to additional computers after August 31, 2008, those songs will not successfully play."
This doesn't just apply to the five different computers that PlaysForSure allows users to authorize, it also applies to operating systems on the same machine (users need to reauthorize a machine after they upgrade from Windows XP to Windows Vista, for example). Once September rolls around, users are committed to whatever five machines they may have authorized-along with whatever OS they are running.
QuoteOverview of Windows XP Service Pack 3.pdf 428 KB
Overview of Windows XP Service Pack 3.xps 634 KB
QuoteDisappointingly, the OS image hasn’t even been updated with the latest versions of Windows Media Player, Windows Live Messenger and so on. This makes for a massive update session the first time the user goes online, and that’s not a good way to start the relationship. Supplied CDs include the XP Home OEM install disc and Asus’ support DVD containing the necessary XP drivers and a recovery utility.
However, it’s worth noting that Asus is prepping a special edition Eee PC that will be preloaded with a cut-down version of XP which is expected to be available within the next eight weeks. Emmanuele Silanesu, National Retail Manager for ASUSTeK Australia, told apcmag "we’ve been working with Microsoft on a special condensed version of XP which has just passed the R&D tests this week". The pared-back image, which includes the Microsoft Works suite and will be based on Windows XP Home with SP3, "will be approximately 1.5-1.8GB in total depending on Windows updates" Silanesu says.
QuoteOne result of the SC 34 meeting was an open letter, signed by 30 members, which read: "We the undersigned participants at this SC 34 meeting wish to make it clear that we deplore the personal attacks that have been made during the [OOXML] standardisation project in recent months. We believe standards debate should always be carried out with respect for all parties, even when they strongly disagree. We call on all organisations and individuals involved in SC 34 standardisation to support this view, and to refrain from initiating or engaging in any such personal attacks."