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More Microsoft Virtual Hard Drive Disk Images

There’s another Microsoft Virtual Hard Drive disk image you can download. This one contains a 30-day install of Office 2007 Professional and Windows Vista Enterprise, letting you check out the Enterprise version of Vista, which isn’t available in stores, but more importantly, try out Word, Excel, Outlook, PowerPoint, Access, and Publisher, all without wasting time installing anything (except the time to download a 2.5 gigabyte VHD).
(via Bink)

Here’s another one, containing an install of SharePoint Server 2007. This one’ll run you 3.7 gigabytes, and requires Virtual Server 2005 R2 to run.
(via Angus Logan)

There are a bunch more Virtual Hard Disk images at this Microsoft page.

June 25th, 2007 Posted by | Applications, General, Office, Server, Vista, Windows | no comments



Is The iPhone Hurting The iPod? iPod Hype Is Over

ipod-hype-is-over.png

While the iPod sells consistently no matter what, having become an almost ordinary staple of our consumer electronics industry, it appears its star has faded. This Google Trends chart shows that searches for iPod in 2007 have dipped to mid-2005 levels, as indicated by the black line I’ve added to the chart. It looks like iPod hype hit hysteria levels in late 2005, and buzz on the product has remained consistent but average ever since.

iPhone hype should make up most of the slack, but the iPod as we knew it is done with. Barring a redesign to bring the iPod closer to the iPhone, with a big touchscreen, the current iteration of the iPod is pretty much a has-been. I’m not saying it won’t be the sales leader for a long, long time, but that its mystique is gone, the public has moved on to its new favorite toy. Look at the bottom of the chart, where media coverage of the iPhone is already beating the iPod.

By the way, I said before that the only thing that would kill the iPod would be a new and very different iPod. The iPhone is having exactly the effect I predicted, drawing interest away from the iPod and removing its untouchable status. If the iPhone fails, the iPod is done with as well, and the market opens up for other players. If the iPhone is a success, the iPod is still just as beatable, because it has no buzz.

Microsoft launched its Zune at exactly the right time.

June 25th, 2007 Posted by | Apple, General | 4 comments

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It’s Hot Or Not For Coders!

Developer or Coder

Microsoft has this really cute site, “Designer or Developer“, asking you to look at a picture and decide if the person pictures is a designer or a developer. It certainly shows stereotypes are useless, since it took me 12 turns to get a single one right (although the Borat question was not fair!), though I did get better. Have fun, and remember that the site is promoting Expression Studio.
(via Frank Arrigo)

June 25th, 2007 Posted by | Developers, General, Humor, Marketing | no comments

Microsoft Is Held To A Different Standard

InformationWeek is talking about Microsoft’s giving in to Google’s plea to the Justice Department and analysts who say Microsoft is now being hindered and its ability to innovate will suffer. Microsoft gave in due to fear of endless litigation, not because it was wrong (and despite that, Google is still demanding more), and that means Microsoft is now no longer able to produce the best product it can because of this fear.

Microsoft was a very bad company ten years ago, no one denies that, but right now it is a company struggling to make good software, with tens of thousands of jobs and billions of dollars of the economy resting on it. Microsoft does produce good software, no doubt about that, but Google has now forced the company to pull back on a feature that improves its operating system because Microsoft must apparently ensure that its competitors are able to innovate.

It’s a bad precedent, not just for Microsoft, but for the entire software industry. It says that Microsoft can’t innovate if it stops other companies from competing of competitively innovating, that Microsoft can’t add new features to Windows if similar products exist elsewhere. It means Microsoft can’t fix problems in their operating system if utility makers have fixed them, even if Microsoft does a better job. It means Microsoft can’t add features that Mac OS X has, if they already exist in any other company’s product line.

It’s a shame, but Microsoft is held to a different standard. At what point do the sins of the past stop hurting Microsoft like this? Will anyone in the federal government come out and fight for Microsoft? Probably not. Microsoft will just have to work as hard as it can, then cower in fear everytime a Google comes out and does this.

Does anyone think this is good for the industry?

Keith Hylton, professor of law at Boston University and author of a textbook on antitrust law, sees Microsoft’s decision to cooperate primarily as a calculated compromise to avoid costly litigation. “Google is a deep-pocketed firm and is capable of going into court and sticking it out as long as Microsoft is willing to keep litigating,” he said. “And there are still a few state attorneys general who want to bring a case, too.”

While a compromise may benefit Microsoft in the short term, “there’s a long-term cost,” Hylton said. “Microsoft’s Vista search function is an improvement on its own product. And if you say to a dominant firm like Microsoft, when you make an improvement to your product, you have to now protect the interests of rival firms, that’s going to reduce the incentives to make those improvements.”

“Traditional antitrust law hasn’t imposed a duty on firms to protect their rivals when they innovate on their own products,” said Hylton, acknowledging that what a company calls “innovation” may really be anticompetitive behavior.

June 25th, 2007 Posted by | Corporate, Google, Law, Vista, Windows | 3 comments

More Details Out About Windows XP Service Pack 3

Microsoft has let out a few more details about Windows XP Service Pack 3, coming sometime in the next 86 months (okay, 2008, hopefully, maybe, possibly). Courtesy of a Justice Department legal filing, Microsoft excplained certain changes it is making to satisfy regulators, changes you can expect to see in SP3, to Internet Explorer and Windows Media Player. The section, quoted at SoftPedia:

Microsoft has agreed to make changes to Windows XP, two Middleware Products, and Windows Live Messenger. The Windows Live Messenger changes have been delivered in the Windows Live Messenger 8.5 beta and will be included in the public release. Changes for Internet Explorer and Windows Media Player will be made available to users in August 2007 and Microsoft is discussing with the TC the delivery mechanism for those changes. The Windows XP changes will be incorporated into Service Pack 3 for Windows XP

June 25th, 2007 Posted by | General, Windows, XP | 3 comments

Another Vista Tweaking App: TweakVista

Stardock’s got a new Vista utility, TweakVista, which quite literally, streamlines the process of tweaking Vista to suit your needs. What can you do with it?

  • Mess with your security settings for more security or less annoyances
  • Change the various Vista features that affect your memory, including creating different profiles, so you always have the right balance of memory and features for every situation.
  • Flag programs and services that are dragging down your system’s performance and give you a chance to get rid of or disable them.
  • See what’s loading at start-up, with explanations of what it actually does, and disable it if unnecessary.
  • Benchmark your system and compare it with others to see if your is running well, and what you can change to improve things.
  • Links to databases of tips and tricks for improving your Vista experience.
  • Add a ton of new search engines to Internet Explorer, as well as a few other IE tweaks.

The best part is that, for now, it’s a public beta and completely free. You’ll have to pay $20 to keep it when the beta ends (or have Object Desktop), but since it changes hidden settings and your Registry, any changes you make with the free beta won’t go away if you don’t buy it. Check the update below.

One note: It must be run as administrator, but if you can’t do that, you shouldn’t be using this. Another: The hit on system performance running TweakVista can be ironically massive, with OneCare running at 100% for a long time.

Things I learned: Aero runs on my system at 40.97 frames per second, my hard drive runs as fast as 30.8 MB per second, my battery is charged to 134% (79920 mWH).

UPDATE: Stardock’s Spencer Scott says in the comments that there will actually be a free version and a paid version when it leaves beta. That means that many settings you make in the beta, if not available in the free version, will not change when you install the free version. Also, there are many active features in the software, not just registry changes, and you’ll lose that monitoring ability without TweakVista installed.

I’m enjoying using TweakVista the last few hours, and would totally recommend downloading it.

June 25th, 2007 Posted by | General | 2 comments



14-Way Word Processor Comparison

DonationCoder has a review of fourteen word processors, everything from the big boys (Word, WordPerfect, OpenOffice) to the little web boys (Google Docs, ThinkFree Office Write, Zoho Writer) and a bunch in between (TextMaker, Atlantis, Papyrus WORD, AbiWord, Ability Write, EIOffice, PolyEdit, 602 Text). It’s heavilly anti-Microsoft Word in places, especially when talking about file formats, though its actual review of the program is better than you’d think, given the anti-Microsoft vitriol in the rest of it.
(via LifeHacker)

June 25th, 2007 Posted by | Applications, Word | no comments

Microsoft Surface, the Big Ass Parody

Sarcastic Gamer has dubbed over Microsoft’s promo video for the Surface computer, giving it a whole new spin on things:

Great work, really funny stuff.
(via 360 Fanboy)

June 25th, 2007 Posted by | General, Humor | no comments

Microsoft’s Got It, For A Good Time

Okay, unless you slept through 1982, you know Jenny, right? And you know her number: 867-5309. If you don’t, a refresher course:

Man, that song actually sounds better in my head than when Tommy Tutone sings it. Over-enunciating 80s rockers. And he really makes Steve Gutenberg look like a hottie. Hell, I bet even Gutenberg coculd sing this song better.

Anyway, I was looking through the Wikipedia page on the song (don’t ask!) and I found out that Microsoft’s WebTV has a little Easter Egg reference to the song. “Typing 8675309 on Microsoft WebTV (such as the original EchoStar DishPlayer), UltimateTV and newer MSN TV 2 units when in off/standby mode would cause them to call home to download Microsoft TV software.” A few Apple Mac OS X print ads also featured the fabled number, this time in the calculator.

I don’t know, I like seeing the number, even if the song only holds up in my memory.

June 25th, 2007 Posted by | Humor | no comments

Windows Live Search Commercial, The Morning After

Check out this commercial for Windows Live Search, apparently running before movies in Canadian theatres:


Video: Live Search commercial

I like it, more so than the Ask ads, though I wonder how well it’d fly in the U.S.. Probably would do just fine.
(via LiveSide)

June 25th, 2007 Posted by | Humor, Live, Marketing, Search, Windows | one comment

Download Austin Powers For Free On Xbox Live

austin-powers-xbox-360.jpg

Microsoft is doing some things with New Line Cinema and McDonald’s, with users benefiting with a free Xbox Live Video Marketplace movie rental. Through this Thursday, June 28, you can download Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery (that’s the first one, the one with all the jokes that were repeated ad nauseum in the sequels) for free as a rental (which means it expires 24 hours after you hit play, or a two weeks later if you don’t watch it at all.

If you miss downloading it this week, or you just want to download it again, you’ll get another chance to rent it for free from July 13-19. It’s a one-gigabyte standard definition download, not HD (which is a shame, but would have cost a lot more to sponsor. T-Mobile’s also got a sponsored section now, promoting the Sidekick iD, with free Gamer Pictures and a free T-Mobile Dashboard Theme. The theme looks pretty good, surprisingly, so it’s my new default.

Oh, and holy crap, Ozzy Osbourne is the Xbox Live Artist Of The Month! Damn! You can download for free the video to “I Don’t Wanna Stop”, from the new Black Rain album. I want an Ozzy theme and Gamer Pic!
(via Tripp)

By the way, last week was a big one for the Video Marketplace. Look at how much new stuff got released:

TV:

  • UFC New Fights
  • The Closer
  • Hell Holes
  • Nun Fu: Found
  • Closing Time
  • Possum Death Spree

Feature Films

  • Letters from Iwo Jima (6/21) (HD)
  • Good German (6/21)
  • Shadow Walkers (HD)
  • Game Over
  • Land of the Blind
  • Cocaine Cowboys
  • UKM: The Ultimate Killing Machine
  • Amandla! (HD)
  • And God Created Woman
  • Billy’s Hollywood Screen Kiss (HD)
  • Blue Hill Avenue
  • Girl With a Pearl Earring (HD)
  • A Good Woman (HD)
  • The Cooler (HD)
  • Dr. T and the Woman (HD)
  • Gothic
  • Hercules in New York
  • Lair of the White Worm (HD)
  • Little Odessa (HD)
  • May
  • Phat Beach
  • Stage Beauty
  • Tamara (HD)
  • Undead (HD)

Free Clips and Movie Trailers

  • J. Leno Headlines 6-4-2007
  • Hell Holes Episode 1
  • Hot Rod Trailer

Hercules in New York? That’s quality programming!

June 25th, 2007 Posted by | Xbox, Xbox 360, Xbox Live | no comments