Microsoft has finally unveiled the Zune HD. The touch-screen Zune is set to take on the iPod touch this fall, when it debuts. The Zune HD will feature an OLED screen, HD radio receiver, and a version of Internet Explorer specifically formatted for the Zune screen, and is based on Windows CE. The Zune HD will also play HD content on televisions using a dock.
Plans for the future involve the Zune ecosystem coming to the Xbox 360 for purchasing movies and television shows, as well as Zune showing up on other devices. Microsoft specifically declined to go into the gaming capabilities of the Zune HD, since E3 is happening next week. We should expect to hear about any portable Zune gaming news at their Xbox Media Briefing. Expect the Zune HD to replace the current line of flash Zunes, while the hard drive-based Zune players will remain. “This device is created to go head to head with the iPod Touch,” Chris Stephenson, general manager of global marketing for Microsoft Zune, said in a telephone interview.
We can’t wait to get our hands on this one.
Read More | CNET
Netflix continues their push for dominance today with their integration into Windows Media Center on PCs running either Windows Vista Home Premium or Vista Ultimate. If your Windows machine runs either of those operating systems, all you have to do is pull up Media Center, and in the TV + Movies section, you’ll now see a Netflix tile, powered by Silverlight. The cool thing here is that, unlike on some other devices, you can browse and search the entire Netflix library, manage both your Instant and DVD Queues, and even sort search results to just show titles available to watch instantly. I must say, we are loving how aggressive Netflix is being about getting their Watch Instantly service on more and more platforms. Wanna bet they soon appear on Apple TV?
Microsoft is definitely looking to bring it with the Zune in recent weeks. You just know that they have to have something, like the Zune HD, up their sleeves. I mean, they must have something going on, because all of a sudden they are getting bold with their advertising and claims. First came Wes Moss, their smarmy financial planner who explains why the Zune Pass is the best deal in music (even though it truly is.) Now, they’ve set up a section within the Zune Player itself that let’s you grab all the top songs from the top 100 offerings on iTunes, Rhapsody, Amazon, and even File Sharing (how would they know)?
What do you think? What would it take to get you to consider Zune as a music service, if not as a device?
If you’re an NBA fan, then this HP Take All the Action With You contest is going to be right up your alley. Even better? We are partnering with about 24 other sites to bring you some exclusive prizes as well. We will go into all the details after the jump, but here it is in a nutshell:
By entering the HP-Microsoft contest, you are entered to win a grand prize that allows you to see Kevin Garnett and the Celtics play a home game in Boston, and an away game in a West Coast city. That’s right, coast-to-coast baby! That includes VIP tickets to the games, airfare, hotel, and some HP gear as well. At the very least, check it out. So, that’s one contest. But the real deal is that we are having our own giveaway with 24 other sites, with the prizes being 2 trips to the 2010 NBA All-Star Game in Dallas, TX, including travel, accomodations, and a ticket to the game. The winners will be accompanied by the site owner. In other words, if someone from Gear Live wins, I’ll be personally going to the NBA All-Star game with them.
Now, there are a bunch of runners-up prizes as well, so jump down for all the details, including how to enter.
We’ve waited for ages for Microsoft to give some answers on when they expect Windows 7 to launch, and they are finally talking. While they didn’t get too specific, they have officially confirmed that Windows 7 will be available for purchase by December 2009. Hey, at least it’s something, right?
When you get tired of answering “What are you doing now?” try Tellme. A subsidiary of Microsoft, the mobile voice service allows users to press a button and say what they want. Due out this fall in Windows Mobile equipped phones, say “text” and a box opens, say “call” and a name and the contact list retrieves it, or search by words like, “pizza in Seattle” or “movie matinees.” By the way, it will only work with GPS-enabled phones and rates may be applied.
Read More | Tellme
Windows 7 is on its way. The RC is in the final stages of being released for program developers and IT pros on April 30, while the masses will have to wait until May 5. There is no word yet when it will come preloaded on PCs or available in shops but the estimate is July. Windows 7 should be easier to swallow than Vista with its new touchsceen functions and interaction with digital cameras and PMPs.
Read More | IB Times
Microsoft launched its new Xbox 360 Games of the Year pack. Included are the black 120B Elite with HDMI port and cable, a wireless controller and headset. Fable II and Halo 3 are also in the box with a full year of Xbox Live Gold, vouchers for game extras and a Netflix streaming trial. The price of $399.99 remains the same and the new pack won’t displace any earlier offered bundles.
Read More | Xbox
So, you know that Zune HD we brought up the other day? Looks like it is definitely the real deal. In fact, Neowin just published a list of specs that they were able to confirm through Microsoft. We should make note that this isn’t a full list of specs either, but rather what Microsoft was willing to let out for the moment. Take a look:
- 3.6 inchish OLED full touch screen
- NVIDIA Tegra powered
- 4GB, 8GB, 16GB, 32GB, and 120GB versions
- HDMI Connection to stream straight to your TV
- HD Radio
- Web Browser
- WiFi compatible, with wireless marketplace
- Released early fall
- International release of the Zune device itself
- Home AV packs, Car packs, Charge packs
We are working on getting independent confirmation of what we see above, and we will let you know when that happens.
Read More | Neowin
Microsoft has put a warranty extension on Xbox 360s in the U.S. that received E74 errors, which they estimate to have occurred in about 30% of the units. Referred to as the new Red Rings of Death (RRoD), the problem has been attributed to either the AV cable, a burnt out scaler chip or perhaps the GPU. In addition, the company has said that within the next 4 to 12 weeks, it will automatically refund those who previously paid for an E74 repair. If you don’t get one by July 1, head to Customer Support before November for more info and to place a claim.
Read More | Gamezine
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