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Some info from the Tokyo Game Show 2006 has stated that the XBOX 360 will receive 1080p support (1920x1080) through a dashboard update coming this year. Current games and even DVD’s will be up-converted to this extended resolution, but no native 1080p content has been announced yet. I would imagine that the update is namely due to the upcoming release of the HD-DVD add-on which supports 1080p media. It is also a good tactic to take away some of the hype from the PS3 being released in November, which will support 1080p. Now if they would only add an HDMI port to the thing, it’d be a true HD machine!
Read More | Playfeed
Watch out, iTube. MSN has announced the beta release of Soapbox, their user-uploaded video service. Available on MSN Video, it joins their growing family of Windows Live Spaces and Live Messenger. With Soapbox, you can upload and share videos, seach through 15 video categories, subscribe to RSS feeds, and even rate and comment on videos.
Soapbox is available in the U.S. by invitation only, but plans on expanding in the future so that you can also invite a few friends to your Internet party. Users must have MSN IE 6 or later with Windows XP, or Firefox 1.0.5 or later running on Windows XP or Macintosh OS X.
Read More | MSN Press Release
Microsoft finally unveiled the long-awaited Zune today. Basics include a 3 inch screen, WiFi, 30GB hard drive, and a built-in FM tuner. Music, pictures, and video playback are all standard fare here. With Zune-to-Zune sharing, you can wirelessly share a full-length track with a compadre, who gets 3 viewings/listenings before purchase at the Zune Marketplace (unless they already subscribe to the unlimited “Zune Pass”.) You can also share your pictures and playlists with your amigos, along with homemade recordings.
Read More | Zune Release
The city of Philadelphia fronted $63 million to have Microsoft design a school in a west-philly working district back in 2003. Well, after 3 years, Microsoft’s “School of the Future” opened it’s doors for the first time to 170 teens from the area. The students were chosen from a lottery, and now enjoy learning with laptops and school wide wireless internet. Each student has a “smart card” which they use to access their lockers, track attendance and even monitor their caloric intake. The students aren’t the only one’s with new gadgets either. The teachers have new “Smart Boards” allowing the teachers to write, zoom in and out, and even link to the internet.
But the school isn’t just gadgets and gizmos for the students and faculty, it also incorporates a whole new learning process. This new process is derived directly from Microsoft’s management techniques. Students are called “learners” and teacher’s “educators.” There’s no longer a library, but an “interactive learning center.” There are all sorts of ideas employed here that both remove stress from the “educators” while still looking out for the “learner’s” best interests. Using software to track students’ progress and automatically assigning them help if necessary as well as incorporating current events and real-world data automatically into lessons are just a few of the ways MS new program can help. It truly does help to bring to life the philosophy or the school’s principal Grover that “Learning is not just going to school.”
Read More | CNN
In an effort to give back to our viewers, this Byte focuses on a giveaway we are doing. We are giving away a Port Authority Windows Vista rain-proof jacket to the one person who can explain to us why they want it - or need it - the most. Head to the forums to tell us why we should send it to you, and you may walk away with this one. So, get creative, and tell us why you should be chosen as the winner. Whichever response we deem to be the best wins.
Oh, and you must have a United States mailing address to be eligible for this one.Here's how to get the show:
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On its website, Microsoft reports that “Windows Vista RC1 is available for participants of the Windows Vista Customer Preview Program. Please go to the Customer Preview Program website to register and receive a Product Key, which is required to install and activate the software.”
“Before upgrading from Beta 2 to RC1, please install any Critical Updates from Windows Update for Beta 2. Go to Start, All Programs, Windows Update, and click the “Check for Updates” button.”
The keys for Windows Vista RC1, the first release candidate for Microsoft’s upcoming operating system, were sent out via email to CPP participants. The download is a 2.5 GB ISO and Microsoft servers seem to be holding up well, as we am currently downloading at around 600 kb/s.
Here are the download links:
If you are not part of the CPP, don’t worry. Registrations will open in the coming weeks. The release candidate expires June 1, 2007.
Read More | Microsoft Vista
Despite rumors and speculation from testers of Windows Vista Beta 2 that the operating system was woefully incomplete, Microsoft has pulled through and released the first release candidate (RC1) earlier today. Windows Vista is the next-generation Microsoft OS meant to replace Windows XP, adding new features and eye-candy. Microsoft’s Jim Allchin posted an announcement concerning the release, but it is only availible to TechBeta or TAP participants. There is no word yet on the stability, usability, or new features in this release but it is probably safe to assume that the OS is considerably less problematic than the previous build. So, if you are a tester, hurry on up to download the file.
Read More | Windows Vista Team Blog
Since hurricane season has just begun, we think it’s time for kudos to companies such as Microsoft for aiding survivors and their families. Last year, Microsoft teamed up with the Red Cross and the San Diego Computer Center to create Katrinasafe.org. This site helped survivors find their separated family and friends by posting their locations. To date, more than 340,000 have utilized the site.
One year later a new site, Safe and Well, has been created for faster communication. Through this website you can search for missing family members, or if you are a survivor, post your physical condition and location. Phone registration is also available. Safe and Well is accessible via https://disastersafe.redcross.org.
Checking out the site, I noticed that 11 people have registered today. Our thanks again, Microsoft, for proving that life is not all fun and games.
Windows Vista pricing and release information has been posted on Amazon.com for pre-orders. The listed release date is January 30th of next year.
The pricing is as follows (full/upgrade):
- Windows Vista Home Basic $199/$99
- Windows Vista Home Premium $239/$159
- Windows Vista Business $299/$199
- Windows Vista Ultimate $399/$259
Amazon also has pricing for additional licenses listed at what seem to be very high prices. With full versions of OSX priced at $129.99 for a single user and just under $200 for a 5-user pack and solid linux distro’s out there for under $100, Microsoft still remains the king of the high priced OS.
Read More | ZDNet
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