InsideMicrosoft

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Windows Vista Countdown Gadget

Donavon West has created a handy Windows Vista countown Gadget, the perfect thing to replace your Zune Countdown. It lets me know that in 69 days, 6 hours, 19 minutes and 20 seconds, Vista will be released in retail stores. You can include it on your site just by using this code:

< script src="http://download.gallery.start.com/d.dll/1~1~485~4304/VistaCountdown.js" type="text/javascript" >< /script >

The Gadget can be included in the Windows Vista Sidebar, on Live.com, or embedded in an MSN Space. Cool beans.

By the way, if you look through the source of Donavon’s blog, you’ll see that he has all the code necessary to embed Gadgets from Live.com on any website:

< iframe frameborder="0" scrolling="no" style="margin:5px 0px 0px 0px;width:160px;height:200px" allowtransparency="true" src="http://gadgets.start.com/gadget2.aspx?b=http%3A//shared.live.com/4d8Kgj76eAIxromSOzOn1Q/#view=Custom&host=INSERTYOURWEBSITEURL&mode=viewer&m=INSERTGADGETXMLFILE" >< /iframe >

See how that works? Real easy, peoples. Why hasn’t Microsoft revealed that this is possible, and shown people how to do it? Is Donavon part of some test group?

Here are some Gadgets:

November 21st, 2006 Posted by Nathan Weinberg | General, Windows, Vista | no comments

Windows Live SMS Search

ResourceShelf reports that Windows Live has added SMS searching, letting you text WLIVE (95483) from your mobile phone to get replies filled with useful information. For example:

  • Text a name and location (John Smith Seattle, WA) and get a text message listing resulting persons’ phone numbers and addresses.
  • Text a phone number and find out who that number belongs to.
  • Text a business name and location (Starbucks San Diego) and find out where the nearest one is.
  • Text a category of business and a location (pharmacy 90210) and find businesses that match your search in your area.
  • Text an area code and a city to find out the area code for that city (area code detroit)
  • Text a question mark and an area code to find out where that code reaches (?713)
  • Works for country codes as well (country code japan)
  • Text d for a dictionary definition (d erudite)
  • Text a question mark to ask Encarta a question (? Population of France)
  • Text to find out what a filename does (jpg file format)
  • Text Q for stock quotes (Q MSFT)
  • Text health questions (calories soda)
  • Text unit conversions (cups in a liter)
  • Text calculations (15% of 48.75)
  • Text holidays (Mothers Day 2007)
  • Text music answers (Who is U2)
  • Text h or help for help

Great stuff. Put together a little cheat sheet and put it next to your phone.

November 21st, 2006 Posted by Nathan Weinberg | General, Search, Windows, Live | no comments

Bill Gates For President?

vote.pngDilbert creator Scott Adams, who’s pretty astute with his observations, says in two years we will see the first legitimate atheist candidate for President of the United States: Bill Gates. He argues that atheists are becoming more accepted by society in the wake of the religion-inspired deaths of 9/11 and since (and, one could argue, Iraq), and that a non-religious observer could realistically run for President. His opinion is that Bill Gates actions are so obvious that voters would have no choice but to at least check him out.

What has Bill Gates done? Well, he created one of the most powerful companies in the world, taking on brilliant competitors and finding a way to win every time. He embraces capitalism, and his products triumph freedom and choice over telling people what to do (the classic Windows vs. Mac, democracy vs. socialism arguement). Not only that, but he encourages rich people to give away their money, not hoard it, and has created the most charitable organization in the history of the world. Yet, he argues that it is up to the rich to do a better job with their money, not the government, so the other members of the upper class don’t have to worry about higher taxes.

Bill has done a ton for the economy, for charity, for disease, for the poor, and his views are likely to be less offensive to typical Americans than those of possible candidates from either party. Both Democrats and Republicans have trained the country to hate them, and voters may wish to look elsewhere for their President. Gates could tell voters, “My job is to make this country a better place to live. Not to tell you how to live your lives, or what religious beliefs you should have, or invade other countries, or spend your money for you. My job is to be your President, and stay out of your way, and no other candidate will make that promise”.

Bill retires next year, just in time to run for President. Perhaps this is his plan, and has been all along?

I’d vote for him. Would you?
(via Todd Bishop)

November 21st, 2006 Posted by Nathan Weinberg | General, Corporate | one comment

Microsoft Stock Upgraded

msft-11-21-2006.png

Analysts have upgraded Microsoft stock, acknowledging the amazing recovery and growth the stock has shown lately. MSFT is now barking at $30, a level it hasn’t held in four years. Microsoft stock is up 38% since its low point in mid-June, adding over eighty billion dollars in shareholder value, more than half the entire value of Google.

As exciting as Google stock has been lately, Microsoft has been a monster the last few months, looking a lot like a dotcom wonder all over again. If the first quarter of 2007, which sees the consumer releases of Vista and Office, and the first true test of the Xbox 360, turns out as well as I’m hoping it does, Microsoft may finally shed its image as a sleeping giant. This is an exciting time, people!

Credit Suisse upgraded Microsoft Corp. (NASDAQ:MSFT) to “Outperform” from Neutral, citing the company’s strengthening market position in digital entertainment and potential revenue upside.

JP Morgan upgraded Darden Restaurants, Inc. (NYSE:DRI) to Neutral from Underweight, reflecting lower commodity costs and solid performance in Olive Garden.

November 21st, 2006 Posted by Nathan Weinberg | General, Corporate | 3 comments

Ridding Vista Of The Shortcut Arrow

Looks like it isn’t as easy to remove the shortcut arrow (the little arrow over an icon that indicates it is a shortcut) in Windows Vista as it was in previous Windows versions. As a result, FrameworkX has released FxVisor, a simple li’l app which does exactly that.

vista-shortcut-overlay-remover.jpg

I don’t know why Microsoft continues to use the little arrow. It just doesn’t fit the visual design of Vista. Instead, they should have been more creative, like putting the regular icon on top of another one that indicates a shortcut, like a window or a door, or at least use a giant glass arrow. This little ugly arrow just doesn’t look right with all the graphical niceties in Vista.
(via Bink)

November 21st, 2006 Posted by Nathan Weinberg | General | no comments