Microsoft dedicated a brand new ad to all the Internet Explorer haters out there who think it’s a slow, good for nothing, rotten excuse for a browser. Their new campaign called “The Browser You Love To Hate” acknowledges the slew of online criticism they’ve received from IE users, but throws it back in their face all “haha, actually we ROCK.”
A new ad features an Internet Explorer troll who quickly becomes the trolled. He tweets and Facebooks his hatred to the company and they quickly defend themselves with little known facts about themselves, my favourite being:
Something a little more musical is what eventually wins old Eugene Finlon, Karaoke Master, over.
Are you an Internet Explorer hater? Do you think their new campaign is working?
Watch it here
That’s right, this coming week your TV will transform into so much more with social networking, music, and movies come alive on your Xbox 360. Facebook, Twitter, and Zune video will launch November 17th, on Xbox Live.
Most exciting is instant-on HD video from Zune to be available to Xbox 360 consoles. “We’re delivering some truly exciting social entertainment experiences to our members,” said Marc Whitten, Xbox Live general manager. “Xbox Live’s differentiator has always been our community, and we’ve already seen a tremendous response to these features in our public preview.”
As well, Xbox Live will be debuting a music games store specifically for games such as Lips, Guitar Hero, and Rock Band.
I am excited!
Jordan had the opportunity recently to preview the latest big name from Bungie as he took out covenant scum with some of the best in Halo 3: ODST exclusively for the Xbox 360 out now. I guess dropping into hell feet first ain’t so bad.
Today I do not come to you as mild mannered gaming journalist Josh Salem, but rather, ODST (Orbital Drop Shock Trooper) Private Salem. Yes, that’s right, last night in the Fermenting Cellar at the historic Distillery District in beautiful Toronto (although it was raining) I completed (with fly colours) my ODST training from Sgt. Swaggard and his troops and got dropped into the pandemonium of Firefight.
Perhaps I should Explain. Read more…
Chair Entertainment- a subsidiary of Epic games and Microsoft Corp- had released their smash hit SHADOW COMPLEX and now news has reached us that the title not only garnered critical acclaim but now is the best selling single player Xbox Live title to date. With 200,000 purchases in its first week things are off to a stellar start for this new exciting IP on Xbox Live.
Kudos to you Chair Entertainment!
Go ahead and try out the demo and buy this instant classic!
You’ve probably heard that an Xbox 360 Live update was coming, if you knew when or what it entailed is another story. We’re here to set the record straight by discussing a few of the new updates coming to Xbox Live this August 11th.
Your virtual character in the Xbox world will be getting a massive update with plenty to styalize and customize your character. The avatar marketplace will open to allow gamers to purcahse premium outfits and accessories.
New props allow your avatar to character items that bring custom animations to your friends channel page. Read more…
Mouse technology is an ongoing game of leap frog. Every so often a new mouse product arrives which introduces some kind of new technology – how much better can the ‘mouse’ be improved? Apple’s ‘Mighty Mouse‘ for the Macintosh, was oddly innovative by re-positioning the old ‘mouse ball’ on the TOP of the mouse to allow for additional navigation options. However, after a couple of months of use, the good old little mouse ball on the TOP will stop functioning in the UPward direction and it is next to impossible to clean it to get it working properly again. Until Apple figures out a way to resolve this sticky ball problem with the Mighty Mouse, I am trapped into hunting for a better mouse.
Microsoft markets no less than 30 mouse products (meese? mices?), only several of which are labeled as compatible with Macintosh. The new Microsoft Wireless Explorer Mouse with BlueTrack Technology* is available in two sizes – a big one just called the Microsoft Wireless Explorer Mouse (to which I may refer to in this review as the ‘desktop’ model) and a smaller lighter ‘cousin’ for traveling laptop users labelled as the Microsoft Wireless Explorer MINI Mouse. With its virtual tours, photos and specs, the Microsoft Mouse webpage provides a thorough description of all products, but nothing replaces a ‘hands on’test drive. Read more…
An article at tgdaily.com is reporting that Microsoft is introducing its Microsoft Office Suite on a subscription model, rather than the software package the company now markets. The premise of this model is that Microsoft is predicting that less and less people will actually own a copy of the Microsoft Office suite, and will instead rent it out from the company on a month-by-month basis.
The subscription offering is called “Equipt” and includes Microsoft Office Home and Student 2007 – with the latest versions of Word, Excel, PowerPoint, OneNote, and Windows Live OneCare, according to the article. Software updates are also included in the subscription so you will always have the most up-to-date version of the programs. The entire subscription is going for $69.99 a year.
Microsoft announced that it will be lowering the estimated retail price (ERP) of the Core Xbox 360 in Europe from ?199.99 to ?159.99 making it the least expensive console in the region.
Also receiving a price cut are the Premium and Elite systems which will retail for ?199.99 from ?249.99 and ?259.99 from ?299.99 respectively.
“Xbox 360 is now mass market in Europe,” said Chris Lewis, Vice President, Microsoft Interactive Entertainment Business Europe. “History shows that £159.99 is the price point where a console’s audience begins to expand, and with these new ERPs in place we’re ready to bring more consumers into the Xbox 360 world.”
The new ERPs are part of Microsoft’s on-going mission to give the Xbox 360 a much wider mass market appeal and will take effect March 14th. There is no word on whether or not North America will see a similar price drop.
Microsoft announced today that it would be having the first ever Xbox Live Arcade awards. The awards will recognize achievements (no pun intended) in Xbox Live arcade development.
Although the finalists in each category were chosen by a panel of industry game journalists, ultimately it will be up to gamers to vote on which title they feel should win the top honours. Gamers can vote by visiting www.xbox.com/xblaawards. Only titles released in 2007 are eligible to win.
Voting begins Tuesday, January 22 at 2:00 a.m. PST and ends Wednesday, January 30 at 11:59 p.m. PST. Microsoft will announce the winners at the Game Developers Conference in February.
Here are the list of games and categories which gamers can vote on:
Best Overall Arcade Game
Best Classic Game
Prince of Persia
Jet Pac Refuelled
Sensible World of Soccer
Sonic the Hedgehog 2
Best Original Game
Boom Boom Rocket
Band of Bugs
Best Family Friendly Game
Best Competitive Multiplayer Game
Super Puzzle Fighter II
Best Cooperative Multiplayer Game
Here are the categories which gamers will not vote on:
Best selling game
Most played game
Highest rated game
After having difficulties with the Xbox Live service over the holidays, gamers were promised a free arcade game to make up for the downtime. Today Microsoft announced that it will be offering Undertow (normally 800 points) free of charge to all silver and gold Xbox Live subscribers.
Developed by Chair Entertainment Group, Undertow is an aquatic based shooter which will allow players to immerse themselves in a full single player campaign, online or offline co-op, as well as battle for control of the oceans as one of three selectable races in 2-16 people multiplayer.
The offer is valid for 5 days beginning Wednesday, January 23rd at 2:00 am PST and will end Sunday, January 27th at 11:59 pm PST. Undertow is available worldwide and is rated Everyone 10+.
Mark Whitten, General Manager of Xbox live, released a statement yesterday regarding the problems that some Xbox live gold members had over the holidays. Microsoft attributed the issues to record numbers of people signing up for the service. The statement is as follows:
Dear Xbox LIVE Members:
During this past holiday season you helped us break a number of Xbox LIVE records. This included our largest sign-up of new members to Xbox LIVE in our 5 year history and just yesterday you broke the record for the single biggest day of concurrent members ever on the service.
As a result of this massive increase in usage we know that some of you experienced intermittent Xbox LIVE issues over the holiday break. While the service was not completely offline at any given time, we are disappointed in our performance. I would like to take this moment to thank each and every one of you for your patience and understanding as our team has worked around the clock to return the service to a stable state.
At the same time we would like to offer a token of our appreciation to all of you in celebration of record success for the service. And as a thank you for your loyalty during this holiday period, we will be offering all of our Xbox LIVE members around the world access to a full Xbox LIVE Arcade game that will be available to download free of charge. In the coming weeks we will be sharing the specific details of this offer with you.
Thank you again for helping make Xbox LIVE everything that it is today!
General Manager, Xbox LIVE
We’ll keep you posted as details become available.
Today at the Wall Street Journal’s D: All Things Digital conference, Microsoft Corp. CEO Steve Ballmer will unveil Microsoft Surface(TM), the first in a new category of surface computing products from Microsoft that breaks down traditional barriers between people and technology.
Gizmodo was the first to release rumours of this release, late last night: “‘m told that tonight, at 12:01am EST (okay, so tomorrow), the division of Microsoft that launched the Xbox and the Zune will unveil something very special . What it is, we do not know for sure, but it’s “something totally new coming out of the Entertainment and Devices division, and it’s going to change the way people interact with technology.”
A detailed video over at PopularMechanics.com shows off some cool “Surface” features.
Surface turns an ordinary tabletop into a vibrant, dynamic surface that provides effortless interaction with all forms of digital content through natural gestures, touch and physical objects. Beginning at the end of this year, consumers will be able to interact with Surface in hotels, retail establishments, restaurants and public entertainment venues.
The intuitive user interface works without a traditional mouse or keyboard, allowing people to interact with content and information on their own or collaboratively with their friends and families, just like in the real world. Surface is a 30-inch display in a table-like form factor that small groups can use at the same time. From digital finger painting to a virtual concierge, Surface brings natural interaction to the digital world in a new and exciting way.
“With Surface, we are creating more intuitive ways for people to interact with technology,” Ballmer said. “We see this as a multibillion dollar category, and we envision a time when surface computing technologies will be pervasive, from tabletops and counters to the hallway mirror. Surface is the first step in realizing that vision.”
Microsoft Surface puts people in control of their experiences with technology, making everyday tasks entertaining, enjoyable and efficient. Imagine ordering a beverage during a meal with just the tap of a finger. Imagine quickly browsing through music and dragging favorite songs onto a personal playlist by moving a finger across the screen. Imagine creating and sending a personal postcard of vacation pictures instantly to friends and family, while still wearing flip-flops.
Surface also features the ability to recognize physical objects that have identification tags similar to bar codes. This means that when a customer simply sets a wine glass on the surface of a table, a restaurant could provide them with information about the wine they’re ordering, pictures of the vineyard it came from and suggested food pairings tailored to that evening’s menu. The experience could become completely immersive, letting users access information on the wine-growing region and even look at recommended hotels and plan a trip without leaving the table.
Surface computing at Microsoft is an outgrowth of a collaborative effort between the Microsoft Hardware and Microsoft Research teams, which were struck by the opportunity to create technology that would bridge the physical and virtual worlds. What started as a high-level concept grew into a prototype and evolved to today’s market-ready product that will transform the way people shop, dine, entertain and live. It’s a major advancement that moves beyond the traditional user interface to a more natural way of interacting with information. Surface computing, which Microsoft has been working on for a number of years, features four key attributes:
• Direct interaction. Users can actually “grab” digital information with their hands, interacting with content by touch and gesture, without the use of a mouse or keyboard.
• Multi-touch. Surface computing recognizes many points of contact simultaneously, not just from one finger like a typical touch-screen, but up to dozens of items at once.
• Multi-user. The horizontal form factor makes it easy for several people to gather around surface computers together, providing a collaborative, face-to-face computing experience.
• Object recognition. Users can place physical objects on the surface to trigger different types of digital responses, including the transfer of digital content.
Harrah’s Entertainment Inc., Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide Inc., and T-Mobile USA Inc. will be some of the first companies to provide their customers with Surface computing experiences.
“Consumers now have an entirely new way to get the information they need, turning their everyday tasks into enjoyable and engaging experiences,” said Pete Thompson, general manager of Microsoft Surface Computing. “There are hundreds of thousands of restaurants, hotels and retail locations that are looking to give their customers the unique and memorable experiences that Surface will provide. In turn, companies have a new opportunity for generating additional revenue streams and increasing retail traffic.”
For videos, photos and more info, check out http://www.microsoft.com/surface
The long rumoured special edition Xbox 360 is finally here. Sporting a black enclosure, a 120GB hard drive, and a high definition multimedia interface (HDMI) port, the updated console will be available in Canada on May 4th and retail for CDN$549.99.
“Today’s games and entertainment enthusiast has an insatiable appetite for digital high-definition content,” said Peter Moore, corporate vice president for the Interactive Entertainment Business at Microsoft. “Xbox 360 Elite’s larger hard drive and premium accessories will allow our community to enjoy all that the next generation of entertainment has to offer.”
The new model is designed for the ultimate gamer and also includes the following accessories and components:
- Xbox 360 Elite console. The console is equipped with a premium black finish and three powerful core processors capable of producing the best in HD entertainment (up to 1080p), 16:9 cinematic aspect ratio, anti-aliasing for smooth textures, full surround sound, HDMI output and DVD playback with upscaling capabilities right out of the box.
- Xbox 360 120GB hard drive. The 120GB detachable hard drive allows gamers to save their games and store television shows, movies, music, pictures, trailers, levels, demos and other content available from Xbox LIVE Marketplace.3 The hard drive is sold separately for an estimated retail price of $209.99 CDN
- Xbox 360 Wireless Controller (black). This award-winning, high-performance wireless controller, now in black, features the Xbox® Guide Button for quick, in-game access to friends and music. It has a range of up to 30 feet and a battery life of 30 hours on two AA batteries. It is sold separately for an estimated retail price of $59.99 CDN.
- Xbox 360 headset (black). Now available in black, the headset lets gamers strategize or trade taunts while playing games and send voice messages to friends on Xbox LIVE.
- Xbox 360 HDMI cable. New to Xbox 360, HDMI allows consumers to get HD video (up to 1080p) and multichannel surround sound, all from one cable.
- Xbox LIVE Silver Membership. With this, gamers can chat with friends online, collect achievements and gamerscores, send and receive voice and text messages, and access Xbox LIVE Marketplace content such as game demos, HD movies and TV, as well as the best in downloadable games from Xbox LIVE Arcade.
- One-month subscription to Xbox LIVE Gold. An Xbox LIVE Gold Membership provides a complete online entertainment experience. Those who subscribe to this premium service can engage in competitive online multiplayer matches, tailor their matchmaking via feedback and accomplishments, chat with more than one person at a time, and take advantage of unique privileges in the Xbox LIVE Marketplace and Xbox LIVE Arcade.
The following accessories for the Xbox 360 Elite console will only be sold separately:
- Xbox 360 Play & Charge kit. Complete with a charging cable and a black rechargeable battery pack, the Xbox 360 Play & Charge kit allows gamers to recharge their Xbox 360 Wireless Controller without interrupting their gameplay. It is sold separately for an estimated retail price of $29.99 CDN.
- Xbox 360 rechargeable battery (black). The rechargeable battery pack provides more than 25 hours of gameplay per charge. It is sold separately for an estimated retail price of $14.99 CDN.
I just finished watching this video on YouTube of Steve Ballmer laughing at the iPhone. If watching him cheer like crazy didn’t already make me think Ballmer was living in his own reality distortion field, I certainly do now.
Balmer laughs at the first mention of the iPhone. Now don’t get me wrong, I’m certainly not a huge fan either (at least not yet), for a number of reasons. But I’m also not Chief Executive of Microsoft, laughing in the face of my competition. In business, they say never to underestimate your competition, let alone mock them. Granted, the iPhone is pricey, at $499 and $599 for the 4GB and 8GB models, respectively. What some people seem to be forgetting is that the original iPod, which sparked the fandom and success that it is today, was introduced with a $399 price tag for the 5GB model and a $499 price tag for the 10GB model released a short time later. With all the buzz surrounding the iPhone in the tech world right, it’s hard to imagine that it will flop.
Ballmer then notes that Microsoft currently sells millions of phones (referring to those with phones shipped with Microsoft Windows Mobile) whereas Apple currently ships zero. Sure that statement is accurate, but that’s becuase Apple wont begin selling the iPhone ’till June of ’07. He goes on to talk about the Zune, which launched only a couple months ago, stealing about 2% of the market. Of course, the number Ballmer mentions is the 25% share of the “over $250 mp3 market.”
It’s certainly going to be interesting to see how the iPhone continues to develop over the next few months. There’s still tons of details that no one knows and maybe Microsoft is a little scared of the iPhone, maybe they’re not, but either way, this video’s definitely worth checking out.
During Bill Gates’s keynote address, he introduced a new product from Microsoft called Windows Home Server.
Designed as a central hub for families to share photos, movies and other digital products, Windows Home Server will allow access to all their digital content from a single Windows Live Internet address from anywhere in the world.
Companies including HP will deliver several products later this year that will run Windows Home Server.
Microsoft also announced that it had met its goal of selling over 10 million XBox 360 units by the end of 2006.
Microsoft has decided to enter the MP3 hardware market. While companies have partnered with Microsoft to develop their own iPod-killers using Microsoft?s Windows Media format, none have succeeded in putting a blemish on Apple?s stronghold. So Microsoft will take a page out of Apple?s books and create a player that will run only their format.
Microsoft is rumoured to have been showing the new player to record companies the last few weeks, toting a bigger screen with a higher screen resolution as well as WiFi capabilities to download music without being attached to a computer, and to allow users to connect to networks with other users and compare tastes and interests.
The player is expected to be released around Christmas, and Microsoft is said to be putting extensive marketing dollars behind it. One of their biggest draws is rumoured to be a free download promotion. Their media software will actually scan a users iTunes folder and look for purchased music, and then offer the user the opportunity to download it free. As if Microsoft hasn?t done enough copying from Apple already, now they?re going to copy your Apple playlist. Microsoft will still pay the required amount to the record labels.
Microsoft responded by saying they have nothing to announce, and that the information of this product is based on rumours and speculation.
Forget the latest exploits of Britney, Jessica or Paris ? the hottest rumour on the Internet right now is the possibility of Microsoft buying eBay.
The New York Post was the first media outlet to report the possible news, but the move would likely cause anti-trust issues in the States and was quickly rebutted.
The Post said that Microsoft set its sights on eBay after it lost a bid to merge with AOL, which ended up merging with Google instead. So Microsoft turned its attention to eBay and the Yahoo search engine.
Reportedly, Microsoft founder and CEO Bill Gates is more excited at taking over eBay rather than Yahoo because of its technological capacities.
Although eBay and Microsoft are seen as two very different companies, they share the same nemesis – Google. For Microsoft, Google’s threat is its search capacities. eBay sees a threat in Google due to its online classifieds and the company’s Google Wallet payment system, which is still in development and would be a competitor to Google’s online payment system, PayPal.
Both Microsoft and eBay would not comment on the rumours.
Microsoft has launched its newest version of the MediaPlayer in an attempt to get some of the business that iTunes has.
Microsoft has partnered with MTV to launch Urge, a subscription-based music service to compete with Apple’s iTunes, Reuters reports.
Urge features a music catalog of more than 2 million tracks, dedicated blogs, news and features, 130 radio stations and 500 preprogrammed playlists.
Unlike purchasing music, users pay a monthly subscription fee to download tracks, so the program is more like renting music than buying it. However, industry experts fear that the market for renting music is not as big as the market for buying music.
The Microsoft Corporation will webcast New York City’s Times Square New Year?s Eve 2006 countdown in real time on MSN Video, informationweek.com reports.
This will be the second year MSN Video will carry the broadcast, starting at 7 p.m. EST. The webcast is expected to last six hours.
Unlike last year, however, viewers will be able to choose their own camera angles and the events they wish to view thanks to 26 cameras covering performances all over New York City.
Microsoft said viewers last year spent an average 45 minutes on average watching the live coverage.