On Gear Live: Giveaway: Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey on Blu-ray!

Latest Gear Live Videos

Internet Explorer 7+Microsoft has made it known that there will be two versions of Internet Explorer 7 available. Current Windows XP users will get IE7, while Windows Vista users will get the ultra-super Internet Explorer 7+. How cool is that? Well, apparently, not very. It seems that all the plus sign signifies is the addition of Protected Mode, Network Diagnostics, and Parental Control. These features are left out of the Windows XP version of the browser, which sparked the name change. Still, the fact that you can run IE7+ on Windows Vista Ultimate, alongside Office 2007 Ultimate has us feeling like a superhero.


Read More | IE Blog


Advertisement

It usually annoys us when a company like Microsoft tries to push their own format over an established standard, but Windows Media Photo has piqued our interest. Looking to challenge the JPEG as the dominant photo format, Windows Media Photo will be fully supported in Windows Vista and Windows XP down the line. What’s hot is that during WinHEC, which is where the format was introduced, a demo showed a WMP image with a 24:1 compression ratio that had more detail than the standard JPEG compressed similarly. Anything that can make web pages load faster while maintaining their quality is fine by us.


Read More | Windows Media Photo Spec via DigitalTechNews


MicrosoftWith WinHEC (Windows Hardware Engineering Conference) in full swing this week, it’s not unusual that we see new builds of beta products float to the surface.  This time around we have new builds of Loghorn Server and Windows Vista, both at build 5384, as well as Beta 2 of Office 2007. 

Office 2007 Beta 2 is available as a public preview, and if you opt for the Professional Plus version, weighs in as a 550MB download.  Per Ars Technica, “Office 2007 uses the new Microsoft Office Open XML file format, and will be broken down into seven different editions: Office Basic, Office Home and Student, Office Standard, Office Small Business, Office Professional, Office Professional Plus, and Office Enterprise.

  * Basic includes Word, Excel, and Outlook
  * Home and Student includes Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and One Note
  * Standard includes Word, Excel, Outlook, and PowerPoint
  * Small Business is the same as Standard plus Publisher and Outlook with Business Contact Manager
  * Professional includes everything from Small Business plus Access
  * Professional Plus comes with Word, Excel, Outlook, PowerPoint, Publisher, Access, InfoPath, and Communicator. It also includes Integrated Enterprise Content Management, Electronic Forms, and Advanced Information Rights and Policy Capabilities
  * Office Enterprise adds OneNote and Groove 2007 to the Professional Plus package.”

Unlike Office 2007, the new builds of Windows are not available to the public and can only be had from MSDN, Technet, or the beta program. 


Read More | Microsoft via Ars Technica

Read More | Office 2007 Public Preview Site


In this show we show off Verizon Song Identity, get an inside look at Windows Desktop Search, and stream DivX to the Xbox 360:

THE WIRE
PSP Firmware Upgrade
Net Neutrality Bill Voted Down

GIZMATIC
ZVUE 200a

UNWIRED
Verizon Song Identity Service

WEB GEMS
Interview with Brandon Paddock, Windows Desktop Search

HACK ATTACK
How To Stream DivX To Your Xbox 360


Here’s how to get the show:
Subscribe: iTunes iPod / H.264 | iTunes MPEG-4 | RSS iPod Feed | RSS MPEG-4 Feed

|Download| - iPod-formatted H.264 (Mirror)
|Download| - DivX (Mirror)
|Download| - MPEG-4 (Mirror)
|Download| - PSP (Mirror)


Gear Live Podcast SurveyIMPORTANT: We are surveying the viewers of our show to see what it is that people like, and more importantly, what they don’t like. It is anonymous, and just takes a couple of minutes. If you have the time, we would appreciate it! As always, feel free to let us know what you think in the comments.

Here's how to get the show:
|Download| - iPod-formatted H.264
|Download| - MPEG-4

Microsoft GPS-500 Back

Microsoft released their business mapping/navigation software, MapPoint 2006, just a short time ago.  The GPS units Microsoft bundles with their products are simply rebadged Pharos devices, and previously have been iGPS-360 models.  The iGPS-360 while decent, contains the older SiRFstar IIe/LP chipset and is slower in signal acquisition and can track less satellites than the new iGPS-500’s which are SiRFstar III equipped. 

Prior to its release there had been speculation that the new iGPS-500, included in the MapPoint 2006 with GPS Locator edition, would be much smaller than the iGPS-360 units.  This would have made accessories, like the iGPS-BT Bluetooth cradle, absolutely useless with the new devices.  We’re happy to report that the new model GPS units are indeed the same size, and although they have slightly different pinouts (as shown below), all existing accessories function just fine.

iGPS Interface Differences

AppleIn a move that will disappoint some users, and leave others caring not one whit, Apple has closed down the ability to roll your own kernel for the Intel-based build of OS X.  This news comes purportedly from Apple’s fear of piracy, which sadly seems justifiable when one looks at how quickly the Intel version spread in the wild.

Macworld had the following not-so-encouraging words to say on the subject (Note: my emphasis).  “The Darwin open source Mach/Unix core shared by OS X Tiger client and OS X Tiger Server remains completely open for PowerPC Macs. If you have a G3, G4, or G5 Mac, you can hack your own Darwin kernel and use it to boot OS X. But if you have an Intel-based Mac desktop or notebook, your kernel and device drivers are inviolable. Apple still publishes the source code for OS X’s commands and utilities and laudably goes several extra miles by open sourcing internally developed technologies such as QuickTime Streaming Server and Bonjour zero-config networking. The source code required to build a customized OS X kernel, however, is gone. Apple says that the state of an OS X-compatible open source x86 Darwin kernel is ‘in flux.’”

As a Windows user, the remote possibility of OS X being available for non-Apple hardware was only intriguing as something to tinker with.  Windows is my platform of chioce because it’s what I’m comfortable with, it runs all of the software I need/want, and there’s no impetus to make me migrate to something new.  However, Apple’s hardware is a different story with its sleek lines and fantastic build quality, and it’s that portion of Apple’s business model that will drive new growth for them in the years to come.


Read More | Macworld


Gear Live Bleeding EdgeIn this special episode, we sit down with Microsoft’s Peter Moore and hit him with questions about the Xbox 360. We sat with Chris from The Chris Pirillo Show, and of course, Andru, Jake, and Jesse of the Gear Live crew. We cover such topics as:

  • Lumines Live
  • Xbox Live Vision Camera
  • Xbox 360’s lack of motion control
  • Xbox Live Anywhere
  • Games for Windows
  • HD DVD Player
  • PS3 built to drive Blu-Ray format

We want to thank Peter Moore for taking the time to sit with us for this interview session.

Here’s how to get the show:
Subscribe: iTunes iPod / H.264 | iTunes MPEG-4 | RSS iPod Feed | RSS MPEG-4 Feed

|Download| - iPod-formatted H.264 (Mirror)
|Download| - DivX (Mirror)
|Download| - MPEG-4 (Mirror)
|Download| - PSP (Mirror)


Gear Live Podcast SurveyIMPORTANT: We are surveying the viewers of our show to see what it is that people like, and more importantly, what they don’t like. It is anonymous, and just takes a couple of minutes. If you have the time, we would appreciate it! As always, feel free to let us know what you think in the comments.

Here's how to get the show:
|Download| - iPod-formatted H.264
|Download| - MPEG-4

It looks like Windows Live is continuing it’s quest to be your one-stop destination on the web for all your needs. Today, Windows Live Products launched over at http://products.live.com. Basically, if you have seen Google’s Froogle, you have seen Live Products. It is a price comparison engine that allows you to search for items you are looking to purchase, with the goal of finding you the best deal. After trying it out ourselves, it seems to be just as much of a mess as Froogle is. Oh, and the best part:

Windows Live Product Search crawls the web and automatically extracts products available for purchase online. As this is done algorithmically, the name, image, description or price of the products is not guaranteed to be accurate.

Here’s to hoping for a much improved shopping search experience.


Read More | Windows Live Products


Windows VistaResearch firm Gartner Group has released their findings that indicate Microsoft may have to delay the launch of Windows Vista even longer than previously planned.  They point to Microsoft’s past track record for major operating systems as a major indicator of the rocky road ahead for the software maker.  If Microsoft still plans on a November 2006 release for their corporate customers, there’s a little over five months to release Beta 2 and any Release Cantidates.  Gartner indicates that sixteen months transpired between Beta 2 and the final release for Windows 2000, and they believe that Vista will require at least nine to twelve months to complete.  However, they do believe that regardless of any problems encountered, Microsoft’s fiscal year end in June 2007 would pressure them to release Vista no later than April to June of that same year.

Microsoft countered by

telling Gartner to go shove their opinions where . . .

saying that they “remain on track to deliver Windows Vista Beta 2 in the second quarter and to deliver the final product to volume license customers in November 2006 and to other businesses and consumers in January 2007”.  Better internal processes for handling feedback and bug reports are pointed to as aids in accomplishing what Gartner believes can’t be done.  A Microsoft spokesperson said “The changes we’ve made have allowed us to deliver a more complete test version of the product to customers earlier than ever before and to incorporate more timely and relevant feedback faster, and they will enable us to deliver the highest quality operating system ever built.”

Our take on the situation?  While we hope that Microsoft can stick to its stated release schedule, we don’t want them to sacrifice quality simply to meet a deadline.


Read More | Computerworld


Pandora MCE Plugin

We’ve talked about Pandora before, a music service which recommends new music for you based upon your favorite artists.  A plugin has surfaced to merge the power of Pandora with Microsoft’s Media Center 2005, and while the installation process isn’t idiot-proof, it’s still easy enough for all but the most computer illiterate among us. 

Since “simple” is often times the best, the plugin sticks to that ideal with usage that couldn’t be easier.  Browse through your collection of artists to find one you like, stab the “info” button on your remote, and choose “More…” to let Pandora do its thing.  The only downsides so far seem to be a formatting issue (since Flash-based Pandora was never intended for the “big screen”), and some minor performance issues with the author’s website (the plugin runs a web application on said site).  To help ease the first a tad, and eliminate the second, a refined plugin has been created that runs off of a mirror site.  The links to both versions of the plugin can be found below.


Read More | Colin’s Blog via eirikso
Read More | Refined Pandora MCE Plugin


Advertisement