InsideMicrosoft

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Just Because It’s Ridiculously Fun

You honestly think I have anything to say about this? Just look:

Xbox 360 cat

(via Gizmodo)

Cute Overload has a pretty good one, too:

Windows XP cat

February 20th, 2007 Posted by | General | 3 comments



Microsoft Doing Digg-Like Site

Microsoft has been running in beta in some foreign markets a website called MSN Reporter that copies many features from the popular Digg website. On MSN Reporter, users share and rate news, rating them up or down with giant “Kicken!” and “Dumpen!” buttons (translated as “Kick it” and “Dump it”). Currently the site is only available in the Netherlands, Belgium, and Norway, replacing the link to News on MSN.com that in the U.S. points to MSNBC.

Perhaps Microsoft, seeing that the whole MSNBC thing didn’t work out, and that they are barely anymore involved with that network, are developing a new social news site to replace their link to MSNBC.msn.com? Either way, they are only one of many companies using the Digg concept, including Yahoo, who is using a Digg clone to power a user suggestion website. In Yahoo’s case a Digg clone wouldn’t have even been necessary if Digg had provided an API, something sorely missing from that site.

Oh, and apparently it’s pretty easy to spam.


Lots of other stuff:

The Windows Live Maps Windows Vista Sidebar Gadget is now available for download. Go read my review from two weeks ago.

Other Gadgets: The Gadget Guy site has released their own Gadget, a full-featured, well-designed and customizable one. Definitely worth checking out. Universal Music has released a Windows Media Player Gadget that controls your player and brings music news, upcoming events, and music videos.

Microsoft picked up analyst Michael Gartenberg as an Enthusiast Evangelist. Michael’s such a brilliant and multi-talented guy, only good things are expected.

Somebody wrote a Bittorrent client for Windows Vista Media Center. It uses a Wish List, so you can specify a movie, and when it becomes available, it gets downloaded. There’s also a Sidebar Gadget that lets you schedule recordings for Media Center, as well as browse the Program Guide, even from a different computer.

The winner of the Vanishing Point game was revealed as William Temple of Sacramento, California. William gets all this:

The grand prize package includes a Windows Vista-based, AMD-powered Dell desktop PC; a 24-inch widescreen monitor; a Zune™ digital media player; an Xbox 360® video game and entertainment system; three Games for Windows® game titles; a Microsoft® LifeCam VX-6000 webcam; Microsoft Office Ultimate 2007; and $50,000 cash.

Plus, the real big prize: a trip into space via Rocketplane XP. Solving all those puzzles and watching those weird videos will sent this guy 330,000 miles up above the Earth.

Neowin has some screenshots of Beta 2 of Windows Home Server.

Some reversals at Windows Live: Windows Live Shopping is renamed back to MSN Shopping, and Windows Live Wifi is now MSN Wifi Center and the MSN Wifi Hotspot Locator. It’s not so much a lack of confidence in Windows Live, as it is Microsoft correcting some overbranding of Windows Live. Some things should have stayed MSN, and they’re fixing that. It seems like they’re making some big decisions regarding Windows Live, and I’m just hoping this means there’s more of a level head on branding.

February 20th, 2007 Posted by | Corporate, General, Home Server, Live, Maps, MSN, Server, Sidebar, Vista, Windows, Yahoo | no comments

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Vista Express Upgrade Not Running On Schedule

There was only one decent reason to buy a PC in the months leading up to the launch of Windows Vista: the Express Upgrade program, which gave buyers of new PCs with Windows XP a free or cheap upgrade to Vista. The “Express” part of the upgrade is turning out to be a bit misleading for Dell customers, with the upgrades arriving on a first-come first-served basis in as many as 6-8 weeks, plus a website that’s experiencing nasty downtime, bugs, driver issues and other kinks.

The Express Upgrade program was a good idea, but it seems like every time Microsoft leaves anything to hardware manufacturers, they royally screw it up. Maybe the weak link in the Mac vs. PC wars is more of a hardware problem than a software one, with Dell, HP, Sony, Creative, ATI, Nvidia, and hundreds of mom-and-pops pushing out incompatible hardware, bad drivers, awful tech support, and sometimes uninspired design, all of which Apple has a lot more control over.

Windows isn’t perfect, but with Vista things are plenty good now. If the cult of Mac is still kicking ass in a year or two, and Microsoft hasn’t done anything to screw their momentum up, maybe it’ll finally be time for a Microsoft-branded PC, just like they did with the Zune. Microsoft can do the same thing here, taking some of that great Asus hardware, putting some design wizards on the case, and getting some shiny new Windows boxes into stores.


Speaking of the Zune, Microsoft is running a promotion where if you switch your browser homepage to MSN.com, you’ll be entered to win a Zune. Or rather, if you claim to have switched your homepage, you can win, it’s that easy. Just check out homepage.msn.com/zune to get in on the randomly chose fun, and you can go here to see how the five biggest browsers set their home pages.

Even more, here’s a story of a Zune user who actually found another Zunester and managed to share some music. The ironic thing is the other Zune user was a guy who was trying to promote his own band, and would have preferred to send the song without DRM, in order to make the band a little more popular. Maybe Microsoft could consider a way for artists to give away music via Zune, giving bands a reason to promote the Zune while spreading their own music. Music is being treated like a license, when it should be treated like a virus.

February 20th, 2007 Posted by | General, Vista, Windows | 4 comments