So, you know that follow-up to Windows Vista that Microsoft has been working on for the past couple of years? They’ve been calling it Windows 7 for a while now, but we just thought that was going to be its codename. As it turns out, Microsoft just announced a few hours ago that Windows 7 is the official name of the next version of their operating system. Why not go with another cutesy name like Windows ME, XP, or Vista? Well, they say this is the seventh release of Windows, and that it “just makes sense.” Well, we guess it does. If you’ll be at WinHEC or PDC, you can plan on getting Windows 7 pre-beta code from Microsoft to play with.
Read More | Windows Vista Team Blog
At the Tokyo Game Show, Microsoft finally let everyone in on the date that their current Xbox experience would be ending, and the New Xbox Experience would be, er, beginning. We knew it would be coming in the fall, but the firm date is November 19th. We hope you’re ready to spend hours working on that perfect Avatar, because we are going to so own you in 1 vs. 100, despite having never seen it on television. The New Xbox Experience will go live for all Xbox 360 gamers across the world at the same time - no staggered launch here, folks. We must admit, we’re looking forward to it.
Microsoft and Washington’s Attorney General Rob McKenna have filed suit against two Texas businesses that scare people into buying a Registry Cleaner XP service for $39.95. The action has been filed under the Computer Spyware Act. The Branch Software and Alpha Red messages resemble system warnings. McKenna is hoping that the lawsuit will make the “spyware purveyors” to cease the practice and pay customer restitution.
McKenna says the action “has yanked the fear factor dial out of the hands of businesses that use scareware as a marketing tool and have spun it toward them.”
Read More | Space Mart
Thank goodness Microsoft realized how silly their latest Seinfeld/Gates TV ads are and have moved on to the next phase of “Life Without Walls” in new ads, billboards, and other media sources. The company will also be launching Web and TV ads called the “Real PC,” using both celebs and “little people” who declare “I’m a PC.” We certainly hope that this commercial blitz is more successful. By the way, we just caught one. No Seinfeld, just Gates. Take your last look.
Read More | I4U News
Now that you know about the new Zune and are thinking about grabbing one, here’s another reason. Microsoft and Wayport, the network provider of McDonald’s, have made a deal to give Zune owners free WiFi over the next three years. You may not be able to check your email, but you can order tunes to go with your fries. This works on pre-existing Zunes as well. Sony’s Mylo COM-2 and Zipit Wireless Messenger Z2 can also receive the WiFi.
Read More | Gearlog
Okay, we’ve been hitting you with snippets of Zune news all day, especially as it pertains to the hardware. Now it’s time to break down all the changes that the Zune 3.0 software is bringing, both from the hardware side of things, as well as the software client side of things. On the hardware side of things, we are seeing new features like support for games, the ability to buy songs tagged while using the FM radio, and the ability to browse and download from the Zune Marketplace directly from the device itself. Over on software, we see a bunch of improvements to the client that are all focused on music discovery and helping you experience your music library in a whole new way. A lot of the changes seem geared towards Zune Pass subscribers (which, by the way, we think is the best deal in music). Click on through for an in-depth look at all the important changes that Zune 3.0 brings.
Okay, so the new Zune 3.0 software is live, and we have new Zune hardware to go along with it. We figured we’d bring you a look at the Zune 120 and Zune 16 that just came out, as compared to last years Zune 80 and Zune 8. The changes in the hardware are all cosmetic, which to us meant that the best way to show it to you guys was in a gallery. As you will see, this years Zune are focused on gloss and sheen, as opposed to last years matte two-tone look. Hit the Zune comparison gallery for all the shots.
Read More | Zune 120 and 16 vs Zune 80 and 8
Alongside the news that the Zune 3.0 software has launched, Microsoft has also released a couple of new Zunes. Here, we are focusing specifically on the new Zune 120. Changes from last year’s Zune 80 are minimal, with everything being completely cosmetic in nature. As you will see, the Zune 120 features a glossy black front, as opposed to last year’s matte black, and the back of the Zune 120 is black, while the Zune 80 had a metallic aluminum finish. If you wanna get technical, then I should also point out that the Wi-Fi antenna is also now black, and the writing and etching on the back of the Zune 120 is white. Of course, we’ve got a full Zune 120 unboxing gallery for you to enjoy, so go check it out.
Read More | Zune 120 unboxing gallery
Gallery: Zune 120 unboxing gallery
For all you Zune fans out there, you will be pleased to know that the Zune 3.0 software went live this morning, and is ready for your consumption. The update brings a slew of new features to the table, with a lot of them being firsts in the industry (we’re looking at you, iTunes). What you’ve got is the desktop software update, alongside a firmware update for the actual Zune devices as well. And just like last year, the updates work on all previous generation Zunes as well - at no cost to you (we’re looking at you iPod touch!).
Plastic Logic’s black-and-white bendable plastic substrate e-newspaper is about to be sprung. Larger than the Kindle and eReader, it has a full 8.5 x 11-inch display and works by gesturing. The device can be continuously updated wirelessly and can both store and display hundreds of books, documents, and newspaper pages. It is compatible with Word, Excel and Powerpoint files as well as PDFs. Available during the first half of 2009, the price and name should be announced at the next CES.
Read More | The New York Times