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Halo: Reach Multiplayer Beta Trailer Released

The trailer for the beta version of the newest addition to the Halo family, : Reach, drops today.  From the footage it looks completely insane and has some pretty cool additions to make the multi-player aspects of the game that much more intense.  For example, now when you headhunt people they collapse slowly to the floor shooting dozens of flaming skulls out of the tops of their heads.  What, that isn’t normal?  I know when I creep around Seattle in my ninja costume from 5th grade this happens all of the time when I come upon some hapless fool who has wandered into my territory.  Well, maybe not quite; replace ‘shooting flaming skulls out of the tops of their heads’ with ‘stare at some idiot dressed in his pajamas from Christmas 1988 who just threw a plastic ninja-star at them’.  Yep, that about sums it up.  I am so alone.


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Bing launches improved Auto-suggest attached to your personal search history

Posted by Finnian Durkan Categories: Internet, Microsoft

If there is one thing that I hate, it is when technology inconveniences me more than it helps.  We’ve all been there: it’s late, there’s a movie quote or an actor that you can’t get out of your head—you want, nay, NEED to solve this riddle before your body will allow you some restful shut-eye.  What do you do?  You roll over in your bed/futon/inflatable mattress and flip open your ever-present and never shutdown laptop and open a link to your favorite search engine.  As you mindlessly begin to type your parameters, in my case the phrase ‘that hairy guy that dated Carla on Cheers’ (Nick, played by Dan Hedeya incidentally) is my search of choice tonight.  No sooner have you gotten the letters ‘T-H-A..’ into the searchbox then a menu opens up listing more unrelated ‘tha’ phrases than a Wu-Tang song.  After briefly looking at a list of ‘Thai Restaurants’ and ‘Thankless Jobs’ (*ahem*) you quickly close the menu and type out your search terms in their entirety.  Annoying, isn’t it?

Well, Bing has taken that first step to making your oh-so-difficult web-searching easier by integrating your query history into their auto-suggest feature.  Now when you begin to type your search in Bing your previous search queries will be taken into account when serving up auto-suggest keywords.  Not only that, but they will appear in the same color (purple) that your web-browser uses to display already-visited links thus helping to differentiate them from non query-based auto-suggestions.  In my case this means that when I type in ‘T-H-A’ like I previously mentioned about 30 purple-hued links to ‘That so-and-so from such-and-such-movie’ will appear since I am forever referencing pop culture but am blessed with the memory recall of a 2 month-old. At least now I’ll be able to save myself a few keystrokes before Bing directs me to IMDB.  Bing has also allowed this feature to be turned off completely or to be managed with their ‘Manage History’ option if you are paranoid that your boss is going to search your work computer’s internet history and wonder why you keep searching ‘jobs that don’t suck like the one that i have now’.  Either way, it’s progress.


Project Natal launching on October says UK’s Jonathan Ross

Jonathan Ross Project Natal

Long-tenured UK TV host Jonathan Ross was able to give the upcoming Xbox 360 motion gaming add-on, , a try. Aside from the hint of jealousy he left us all with, he also tweeted out an interesting tidbit of information on his Twitter account, which in a nutshell says that he feels that Natal has potential, and that Microsoft has until October to get it right. So the obvious question is, does that imply that Natal gets an October launch (which does fit in with the holiday 2010 launch period)? Or does it mean it has to all be done so they can start packing and shipping devices for launch in early November? I’m sure everything will be made clear in a couple of months at .

Hit the break for a video of Jonathan giving Project Natal a try.


Still running Windows 7 RC? Time to upgrade!

Posted by Andru Edwards Categories: Microsoft, PC / Laptop, Software

If you got in early on the whole thing with the RC and never upgraded, you may wanna get cracking with that, because as of yesterday, Windows 7 RC will be bugging you a few times a day leading up to the expiration of the product. Here’s the rundown:

As of February 15, 2010, Windows 7 RC users will receive the following alerts:

  • Windows 7 RC users receive an expiration notification in the task bar one time per day.
  • Windows 7 RC users are presented with the Notification Wizard one time every four hours and then one time every hour.

If that’s not annoying enough, starting March 1 (that’s two weeks from now,) the next phase of the expiration process begins:

  • Windows 7 RC users receive an expiration notification in the task bar one time per day.
  • Windows 7 RC users are presented with the Notification Wizard one time every four hours and then one time every hour.

Yup, your computer will restart every two hours, no matter what you are in the middle of doing. Your work won’t be saved or anything. Of course, we can’t blame Microsoft, since the product has been available at retail for month. Still, there’s one more phase to the expiration process, and that happens on June 1:

  • Windows starts to a black desktop.
  • Windows 7 RC users are presented with a Windows Activation screen. The screen states that the Windows that you are running is not genuine.
  • Computers that are running Windows 7 RC restart every two hours.

So there you have it, a friendly reminder that if you are on Windows 7 RC, it’s time to make some decisions. Things are about to get very annoying, very quickly.

Read More | Microsoft

Windows Phone 7 22-minute definitive walkthrough

Okay, so we’ve hit you with the Windows Phone 7 Series keynote video, which introduced the product. We also gave you the shorter Windows Phone 7 Series demo video, which just gives you a glance at the new hotness from Microsoft. We’ve got one more for you though, as Joe Belfiore, the VP of , as he chats with Microsoft’s Laura Foy on Channel 9. They have a conversation about the new operating system, and it’s a deep 22-minute look at what Microsoft has been cooking up to try and reclaim their mobile crown.

Read More | Channel 9

Windows Phone 7 Series demo video

So, aside from that Windows Phone 7 Series keynote video, we thought you might want a condensed version that will allow you to just take a look at what all this Windows Phone 7 fuss is all about. Microsoft took the liberty of putting together this much shorter demo video to explain. Here you can get a look at all of the design elements and decisions that have gone into Windows Phone 7, which fundamentally set it apart from other mobile operating systems on the market. Here’s a quick rundown:

  • Every Windows Phone 7 device will have three physical buttons on the front: Start, Search, and Back.
  • There’s a focus on productivity, simplicity, music, and gaming. Both Xbox Live and Zune are deeply integrated into Windows Phone 7.
  • People hub: Pulls in live data feeds, bringing you social networking status updates and photos from services like Facebook, Twitter, and Windows Live.
  • Pictures hub: Brings together picture and video assets from your phone, web, and PC, allowing you to view your entire collection.
  • Games hub: Check out your Xbox Live messages, achievements, avatar, and even play some games. Achievements can be earned on the phone.
  • Office hub: Access to Microsoft Office suite, including OneNote and SharePoint Workspace. Also includes new version of Outlook Mobile for email.

This is definitely the biggest step that Microsoft has taken in the mobile phone space, and they do it over three years after Apple announced the original iPhone. The competition is heating up, and we are super-excited about it.


Microsoft Office Mac 2011 includes ribbon interface

Posted by Andru Edwards Categories: Microsoft, Software

Office Mac 2011 ribbon

The Mac Business Unit over at Microsoft is hard at work on Office for Mac 2011, and released some new details about the product, slated to ship in the 2010 holiday season. The biggest change, at least visually, is the inclusion of the ribbon interface, which has been a part of the Windows Office suite since 2007. Microsoft did say that they took great care to make the ribbon on the Mac side of things feel very Mac-like, so that’s a plus, we guess. Another big change/addition here is that Entourage goes away, and gets replaced with Outlook for Mac. You’ll be able to import a PST file and get right to work, and you’ll have Time Machine and Spotlight support as well, which we think is fantastic for those of you who live in Outlook and currently rely on a product like Parallels or Fusion to make that happen.


Original Xbox games lose Xbox Live access on April 15

Posted by Andru Edwards Categories: Microsoft, Xbox, Xbox 360, Xbox Live

Xbox Live v1

Check it out, Microsoft just announced that all games made for the original Xbox will no longer be able to access the Xbox Live service as of April 15, 2010, and we couldn’t be happier with the news. No, we don’t hate classics like Halo 2, but the thing is, those titles are many years old, and they’ve been holding back the full potential of Xbox Live for far too long. As an example, it’s no secret that we hate the Xbox Live friend limit, and the major reason it exists is because of Halo 2. With Halo 2, and all the rest of the original Xbox games, being denied access to Live, Microsoft will be able to stop worrying about those original Xbox restrictions - and that means, among other things, that we should finally see that friend limit jacked up, if not removed entirely.

It should be noted that, even if you downloaded original Xbox games on your Xbox 360 using Games on Demand, even those won’t work when you try to connect to Xbox Live. It’s just the nature of the beast, and it’s all in the name of progress.

Read More | Gamerscore Blog

Bleeding Edge TV 328: Project Natal demo from CES 2010

During the opening keynote, Microsoft announced that would be launching in Holiday 2010. We take that to mean that we will be able to pick one up at a retail store sometime before Thanksgiving, giving us a good 11 month wait before we can get our hands on it, unless they have something good set up for this year. During the event, Microsoft also showed off a demo video explaining the concept behind Natal and what it will be able to do for you. We captured it, and have it available for you here. Check it out, and color us excited.

A big thank you to Bing for sponsoring Gear Live’s CES 2010 coverage.


Zune HD Twitter app now available

If you’ve been wanting to use your to get your Twitter on, today is your day. Twitter for Zune HD is a free app, now available in the Zune Marketplace, that lets you interact with your Twitter peoples. You can read Tweets, update your status, and all that good stuff. If you don’t see it, give it a little bit, it was just deployed, which means it may take a few before it shows up.

Now, can we get some Zune HD Facebook love?


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