Wow, seems like we have been sitting on this one for months. After seeing a few prototypes, we are glad to see that what looks to be the finalized Xbox 360 QWERTY keyboard controller attachment looks a lot more sensible than what we saw. Now obviously, this makes perfect sense for a while lot of reasons. First and foremost, as seen in the leaked Xbox 360 Spring 2007 Dashboard Update video (if it is to be believed,) Microsoft is planning on integrating Windows Live Messenger contacts directly into your Xbox 360 dashboard. A QWERTY keyboard would be the saving grace of that feature, as the current methodolgy of typing on the Xbox 360 is mundane at best. Of course, it will also come in handy for games where typing to your teammates is an added feature as well. Look for this one to drop this summer, pricing still unknown. Check out another image of the attachment after the jump.
If this one is a fake, it’s a darn good one. The guys over at MyGamerCard.net are saying this was leaked on Gamespot, and subsequently pulled, but not before it was downloaded and placed on YouTube for our benefit. What you will find above is a video walkthrough of the Xbox 360 Spring 2007 Dashboard update. Claiming that it will be released on May 7, 2007, it boast quite a few new features, including:
- Ability to add up to 600 Windows Live Messenger contacts to your Friends List.
- Text chat with up to 6 Live Messenger contacts at once during games or movies.
- The Marketplace will be getting its own Dashboard Blade.
- The Marketplace will be skinned independently of the Dashboard, for special events.
- The Marketplace will be getting a new, easier-to-navigate remake.
- Achievement Pop-ups will now display how many points and which Achievement you have gained.
- Low-power downloading (fans off) and auto-off after finishing queued downloads.
- View partially downloaded video files.
What we like most? The fact that you can start watching movies files before they finish downloading, along with the fact that when you earn an acheivment, you get the details in the pop-up notification instead of having to hit the guide button for the full scoop. Everything else seems to be fluff for the most part, unles you have tons of Windows Live contacts. Our main question? Where the hell is Internet Explorer?
Let us know what you think of the video in the comments.
Read More | MyGamerCard.net
Sweet Mother of Pearl…what is it with companies and these ridiculously long product names. Let me tell you, there’s a reason why “Flickr” is popular, and it’s probably because it’s easy to say. Now that I’ve gotten this out of the way, on to Microsoft’s new ergonomic desktop mouse.
Strangely enough, it wasn’t that long ago that Microsoft’s mice were considered to be the most ergonomic that you could get, but in reality, while they were more comfortable to hold, they were never truly ergonomic. I’ve been using computers from a young age, and as a result, I have a fair amount of RSI built up in my wrists, mostly the right wrist. I can’t use a non-ergonomic keyboard for long without experiencing pain, and that’s why although I’ve tested a great many keyboards in the past, I keep coming back to Microsoft’s Natural series of keyboards. Finally, they put a mouse through the same ergonomic design process as their keyboards and what came out was one of the goofiest looking mice ever made.
While we recognize that the Xbox 360 Elite is pretty much just an expensive, black Xbox 360 with an HDMI port, the fact that it comes with that extra-fancy 120GB hard drive can’t be overlooked. Oh, wait, actually, it can. Seeing as how the 120GB HDD will also be available as a standalone product, current Xbox 360 owners have no need to upgrade to the Elite, lest they really want that HDMI 1.2 output goodness. If you are in that category, be forewarned - any downloadable content you purchased on your current Xbox 360 isn’t just going to straight up work if you pick up a new Xbox 360 Elite - not unless Microsoft lightens up on the restrictions currently imposed on Xbox Live downloads. You might be better off with just buying the new 120GB HDD and calling it a day. Heck, whether you get the drive on its own or with the Elite, you also get a bunch of content pre-loaded onto the thing. We have the full list for you after the jump.
unleashed havoc released it’s new Vista operating system, one of the many complaints from users was its incompatibility with Apple’s iTunes, at worst causing iPods to crash. Apple and Microsoft worked together to update iTunes and they’ve delivered. The newest version (7.1.1) is available now, and most of the problems with Vista have been resolved. However, this writer, a fed-up and frustrated
Vista user, is not taking any chances, and will wait until the next version of iTunes is released before diving in.
Read More | Apple
Xbox Live and Windows Vista have teamed up to create a single online gaming service beginning with Halo 2 on May 8th. Shadowrun will be the next game to be shared in June, followed by Uno, to be released later this year. Xbox gamers will automatically receive the same playability as those on Windows Live games at no additional fee. The Silver membership is free for both types of gamers and chat is open to all. If you are a gameaholic, a Gold membership is available for $49.95. Isn’t it extraordinary that in this day of heavy competition between the major game corporations, these two giants have decided to make nice?
Read More | Microsoft
FlipStart, the brainchild of Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen, is about to be available to those of us who just can’t wait for that smaller, smarter laptop. It features an ultra-low voltage 1.1 GHz Intel Pentium M Processor, a 30GB hard drive, 512MB RAM, a 1024 x 600 pixel SVGA 5.6-inch display, a qwerty keyboard, and is available with either Windows XP Professional or Vista Business. It also has dual built-in mics, a 3.5 mm headphone/mic jack, a camera, USB 2.0 ports, and is Bluetooth capable.
Once you close the lid, you can still access your e-mail, calendar, and contacts. With slimline battery usage, the compact PC is a mere 5.9 x 4.5 x 1.35-inches and weight of 1.5 lbs. At a price of $1,999.00, you can put yourself on the reserved list for shipment later this month.
Read More | FlipStart
Austria’s AV Comparatives carries out tests quarterly to find out if top-selling anti-viral software can detect the rapidly growing amount of viruses online. In their last one, of the seventeen products tested, 14 of them got an advanced pass or better, 2 got a standard rating and Windows OneCare failed. Microsoft’s security software only spotted 82.4% of the 500,000 viruses in the company’s test. In particular, it had trouble with polymorphic viruses, which change configurations. Last month, OneCare failed a similar test conducted by Virus Bulletin Magazine. Every
thing fails tests occasionally, but two in a row? Get a clue, Microsoft.
Read More | BBC News
The time has come for non-astronauts to journey into space if they can just afford the ticket. Case in point is Hungarian-born, 58 year-old Charles Simonyi, a former Microsoft engineer who now owns his own company. Simonyi paid more than $20 million to Space Adventure to accompany two cosmonauts to the orbital lab via a ten day journey on Soyuz TMA-10, and becomes the 5th paying visitor to the ISS. He also obtained his own space suit for the journey from the Russian company Sokol and we think he looks pretty dapper in it.
Simonyi’s quest to the final frontier will begin April 9th and you can monitor his progress by visiting his web site, which features blogs, images, links, a timeline, videos, and a “Kids’ Space.”
Read More | Charles in Space
Cuba’s government has joined with socialist country Venezuela in converting its computers to open-source software. Both claim they are trying to rid themselves of Microsoft Windows to get on Linux, which was created by programmers who freely share their code.
Communications Minister Ramiro Valdes, longtime compadre of Castro, spoke of these issues and Microsoft’s possible cooperation with U.S. military and intellegence at the opening of a technology conference going on this week in Cuba. The two countries join the ranks of China, Brazil, and Norway, who find Microsoft’s high cost and security issues a little too much to bear.
Read More | USA Today