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
If what you see above is truly the Zune HD, the next iteration of Microsoft’s flagship PMP, then color us both curious and impressed. Impressed by the seemingly high definition screen, curious at the lack of the Zune hardware’s calling card, the Zune pad. Could we be looking at the first touch screen Zune, sporting an HD display? If so, we’d like one immediately. Time to make some phone calls.
Read More | Engadget
Those of us who remember the happiness of finding Encarta included in our early PC purchase are somewhat saddened by the announcement that it will soon no longer be available. The software will cease after June and most sites will shut down by October 2009. Japan will cut theirs off in December. Microsoft commented, “People today seek and consume information in considerably different ways than in years past.”
We know they mean Wikipedia, yet the concept of one disc replacing an entire set of encyclopedias was certainly high tech at the time. And the better images used by Encarta will definitely be missed.
Read More | MSN
It may be almost the end of the term for most, but if you are a student, Microsoft has a deal for you. Their Office Ultimate 2007 is priced at $59.95, as opposed to the usual $679.95. That 91% savings is good for anyone who has a viable .edu addy and is enrolled in school or is taking a credited class. The pricing will remain through the end of 2010 and you can grab a copy on its “Ultimate Steal” site. Windows Vista Ultimate (PRODUCT)RED Upgrade w/SP1 and Microsoft Office Visio Professional 2007 are also available at reduced prices.
Read More | Microsoft Ultimate Steal
We have mentioned Conficker before and how Microsoft is seeking help to find the source. Apparently, it is still unaccounted for and there may be a serious problem as of April 1. The program turns off security settings in Microsoft Windows and the fear is that infected computers may contact a control system on that date. Dan Kaminsky, a consultant for IOActive, says that it might go after corporate networks, especially if they run older Window versions.
Read More | ABC News
There is already lots of feedback on Microsoft comments pages after the launch of IE8, with some it negative, from disappearing images, printing on Web sites and searching issues. One user complained about dragging Facebook applications and photos while others complained about the install. On a positive note, one user said it “felt like Firefox, but hey, it’s functional.” We also found that IE8’s release really hasn’t affected Firefox as their users are eagerly awaiting 3.0.
Read More | Gadgetell
We ask that you try and contain your excitement on this one. You ready? Microsoft has just released the final version of Internet Explorer 8, the company’s home-grown web browser. According to Microsoft, IE8 is “one of the fastest browsers on the market today.” Of course, that really can’t mean much, as there are really only a handful. Being “one of” the fastest doesn’t sound like too confident a statement. A few things you can expect out of IE8 are Web Slices, Accelerators, and Instant Search.
IE8 has been in beta for over a year, so let’s hope this final release is as good as it should be, at least as it pertains to security, and, you know, displaying websites correctly.
Read More | Internet Explorer 8