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Did Microsoft Deal With Facebook As A Team-Up Against MySpace?

Everyone has been looking at Microsoft’s advertising deal with Facebook as a shot against Google, and a way to make up the ground lost when Google snapped up MySpace, but maybe we’re all looking at it backwards. Microsoft has an enormously successful platform in Windows Live Spaces, and the honest fact is that they are number two to MySpace, not number one to Blogger.

Facebook is probably number three, and maybe Microsoft realized that getting Facebook’s ad platform would be a team-up of the #2 and #3 players against #1. In fact, maybe Microsoft didn’t lose MySpace to Google, maybe they didn’t want it in the first place. After all, why would they want to help finance their big competition?

Mary Jo Foley has a good look as well.

August 27th, 2006 Posted by Nathan Weinberg | Live, Spaces, Windows, General | one comment

Xbox 360 “Classics”? Hardly

Microsoft is rereleasing some “older” Xbox 360 games under the “Classics” moniker, much like previous console’s “Greatest Hits” or “Platinum Hits” programs, heavily discounting some older big sellers. Problem is, the first two games, while they did sell decently, are far from classics: Perfect Dark Zero and Kameo: Elements of Power. It’s far more likely that these games sold because they were among the only titles available at launch, and not because they were classics.

Anyway, it is possible these games are “Classics” in Europe only, since the only coverage seems to be of a European release. Apparently, “Classics” sell for €29,99 and £20. In the US, that’d be almost $40, but without the VAT, maybe $30.
(Found on Findory)

August 27th, 2006 Posted by Nathan Weinberg | Xbox 360, Xbox, General | no comments

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Is The Vista Startup Sound Too Much Of An Annoyance?

People are talking about a little bit of noise that they haven’t even heard being a really big annoyance. Of course, they are right to worry, since if Microsoft goes forward as planned, you will hear a specific sound every time you boot up Windows Vista, and won’t be able to turn it off. Better fight it now, the feeling goes, in case it becomes a real annoying fact of life with Windows in the future.

Basically, Microsoft wants to brand Windows, like it does with the Xbox 360, by having a specific, memorable sound play every time you boot. Now, if the sound comes up on boot, and not every damn time you logon or enter your password, like Windows XP’s does, at least you won’t hear it that often.

Now, there are some really good reasons to let users shut it off. Laptop users typically can’t adjust their volume until Windows has already booted up, and by then they’ve probably made a fool of themselves booting up in a meeting or college class. I can’t tell you the number of times I’ve had to slam my hands over the laptop speakers in a quiet environment to avoid embarressing myself.

How about a compromise? Don’t expose the setting in the System Sounds control panel, so the typical user can’t shut it off, but do allow registry editing to shut it off. If an advanced user really wants to get rid of the startup sound, he’ll be able to, while most users will just have to stick with it. After all, even though it isn’t a simple hack, there are people who modify their boot and logon screens, and the startup sound can be a similar hack.

August 27th, 2006 Posted by Nathan Weinberg | Vista, Windows, General | one comment