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
So, my boy Jake Ludington dropped me an email this morning telling me that if I had been home this weekend and answered my phone, I would have been able to take part in this experiment that he was a part of where a group of people got together down in Mountain View, CA, and got their Xbox Live gaming on in a moving vehicle. Of course, Mountain View is the place where Google has blanketed the city in free WiFi, which is how this was all possible in the first place. In order to get it done, they used a Windows XP computer to connect to WiFi, and had the Xbox 360 pick up the shared Internet connection, thus allowing it to jump online for some Rainbow Six and Uno action. Check the video above for the proof.
With all the negative hype of late, we aren’t surprised that Windows Vista’s sales in the first quarter have so far lagged behind those of Windows XP when it was released. Marketing company NPD released figures based on sales that users install themselves. Vista sales were down 58.9% compared to those of XP with a revenue decrease of 32.1%. Windows Vista was launched on Jan. 30, 2007 and Windows XP on Oct. 25, 2001.
One possibility for the decrease may be that current XP users don’t think their old computers can handle the software. “All the reviewers have been beating people over the head about hardware requirements,” NPD’s Chris Swenson said. “The preliminary data suggests that consumers are getting the message that they need a more robust system to take advantage of some of the new features in Vista.” These consumers are choosing to “get Vista on a new PC rather than at retail.” We’re glad we could help, Chris.
Read More | Microsoft Watch
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