Look like the reasoning behind Google announcing their new Chrome OS yesterday was to take some of the steam away from a Microsoft announcement due this Monday. Word on the street is that Microsoft is set to announce a web-based Microsoft Office product at this Monday’s Worldwide Partner Conference, taking place in New Orleans.
So, what are the clues that a new Office in the cloud is on its way? Well, for starters, my pal Robert Scoble has been giving hints about a Microsoft product that he has seen, but can’t talk about, hinting at what Microsoft will be dropping on Monday. He did specifically state that is isn’t the new Microsoft non-IE browser, and that the product does run in a browser, including non-IE browsers.
Also, check out Office.com. Looks like the current owners of that domain are getting ready to move off of it, so that someone new can step in. Yup.
Remember, Google also removed the beta tag from their suite of products just the other day as well, to appease business users and maybe lure them into using Google’s online office suite. It seems that all signs point to Microsoft announcing a web-based Microsoft Office suite, which would run completely in the browser. Think about it - Microsoft Office is huge, some consider it a resource hog, and that is the allure of Google Docs and the rest of the Google offering. If Microsoft put it online, without all the bloat, that makes it a lot tougher for Google to defeat.
Read More | Robert Scoble's FriendFeed
It’s no secret, we are big fans of Microsoft’s Zune - both the service, and the device. I’ve had a Zune Pass since the service launched, and use it daily (my Zune Pass profile.) If you aren’t sure what that is, it’s an unlimited music streaming and download service. You can listen to as much as you want for just $15 a month. In addition, you get to keep any 10 tracks of your choosing each month as well. Yours to keep, forever. Did you know, though, that you can stream any of your downloaded Zune tracks to your iPhone? Yeah, that’s one of the best parts. When you start connecting the dots, you soon realize that you have the potential of having an entire catalogue of music available to you, on your iPhone, regardless of the amount of storage you’ve got.
But, wait…how do you stream Windows Media Audio files to the iPhone, which doesn’t support that format? Furthermore, Zune tracks that aren’t downloaded as part of your 10 free keepers per month are riddled with DRM. Yeah, we hear you. There is no Zune app available for the iPhone itself. What you need is to install a piece of software on your PC, along with downloading an app on your iPhone. Join us, as we open up the musical floodgates.
I’m a sucker for video game promotional items. Why? Well, they are usually extremely creative and make a great addition to any game collection. Also, the bragging rights are kind of nice. The fine folks over at Destructoid got such item last week from 2k Games promoting Bioshock 2. The package delivered a 7” vinyl and well – lots of mystery. Assuming we all carry around a record player (which obviously we do), we could find that the vinyl contained a Rapture anthem which is later interrupted by some crackling by the voice of a young girl calling out, “Daddy”. Now, I know I can make all kinds of clean jokes about this, but it’s not the same if you, the reader, have not yet been graced by these sounds. You can head over to There’s Something in the Sea and after the page loads, click the yellow arrow on the left and then click on the record player. You will then be able to hear what the vinyl contained. You know what they say—it ain’t no fun if the homies can’t have none.
Read More | Destructoid
Just leave it to Ben Heck to continually amaze us with how he can take a modern-day game console like the Xbox 360, and turn it into an amazingly delicious portable system. Check out the stats of his fifth revision of his portable Xbox 360:
- Built-in Ethernet port, finally.
- Built-in WiFi adapter, as usual.
- Digital pushbutton volume control rather than a clunky knob. I used a different audio amp as well, and it sounds a lot better.
- Flush-mount DVD door and side panels (such as the memory card slots)
- IR sensor for the remote control.
- Two user USB ports.
- More air holes!
- Jasper motherboard.
Yeah, who wouldn’t want one of these? You throw that into a suitcase, surrounded by clothes, and you are ready to travel. Check out a video of the awesome contraption after the jump.
Read More | Benheck
Zune is no stranger to rumors and leaks from the Microsoft camp. The latest from the rumor mill is of course regarding the newly announced Zune—Zune HD. According to the tipsters, the Zune HD will be available in 16GB and 32GB and to be priced anywhere from $249 to $279. It is also said that Microsoft is considering a 64GB model later in the year. (Editor’s Note: We are also hearing about a 64GB iPod touch.) The source claims that movies will finally be coming to the Zune Marketplace—a believable statement, as Zune will offer HD videos on the Xbox 360 starting this fall.
Read More | Slash Gear
Microsoft is temporarily lowering its $119.99 price tag for Windows 7 Home Premium Upgrade through July 11. It is now available for $49.99 and will work with most PCs that have Vista or XP. You can check with the system requirements to make sure. A Professional Upgrade is also offered for $99.99. You can get the new Windows on Amazon, Best Buy, or other retailers, but only in the US and Canada.
Read More | Microsoft
Morro is finally available in beta, limited to users in the United States, Brazil, and Israel. The free security tool replaces Windows Live OneCare, which was a paid service. Available for 32- and 64-bit installations of Windows XP/Vista/7, it supplies you with protection against viruses, malware and others baddies on the Internet. Microsoft is hoping to target those who let their yearly software subscriptions expire, those who don’t buy it and users that never turned theirs on.
Read More | PC World
Just a quick note, since I know there was a lot of interest in finding out who won our Zune HD giveaway that we had a lot of participation in. We’ve eliminated any shenanigans, and chosen randomly, and our winner is a Gear Live member by the name of Crucible. He left a link to his entry tweet on our forums, which qualified him to win the Zune HD. As always, stay tuned, because we always have something to give away!
Microsoft Vine was conceived during Hurricane Katrina as a means of helping people cope both before and after the disaster. Now the beta software can be used as a social tool. Enter your address on the Dashboard and you get the location on a map as well as news and safety information. Invite others to join you and arrange them in groups. Receive any alerts from email, SMS or the Vine client. Ask for an invitation to help test drive the beta version with the promo code 09AAA to speed up the process.
Read More | Microsoft
Project Natal made an appearance this evening on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon, with Fallon and his guests getting to try out the controller-less Xbox 360 add-on. Kudo Tsunado was on hand to show off Project Natal, and just like at E3, he was wearing his huge sunglasses despite being indoors. Jimmy Fallon and crew got to slap balls around, and also played a little Burnout Paradise. Check out the video above.
Read More | Late Night with Jimmy Fallon