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Virtual PC 2007 Release Candidate Available

Microsoft Connect now has the Release Candidate of Virtual PC 2007 available for download. The software, which lets you run virtual machines of various operating systems, has been updated to include fixes for Windows Server 2003 host issues, audio in Vista, DVD installation of Vista, and other issues. If you aren’t in the VPC 2007 beta program, apply for it, it may still be available.
(via Scott Woodgate > Lorgor)

UPDATE: Robert McLaws says “Microsoft’s virtualization offering suck”. As simple as that sounds, he’s got a lot of good reasons to back up “suck”.

January 3rd, 2007 Posted by Nathan Weinberg | Windows, General | no comments



Windows Vista Tweaks & Tricks

CustomizeVista.net has a forum that is posting tweaks and tricks for those running Windows Vista, over 40 so far. Many of them are stuff advanced users would have already heard (but perfectly useful for newbies), but there is some stuff in there I didn’t even know. For instance, here’s a tip for enabling Aero Glass on Intel GMA 950 graphics cards, the program string that launches Flip 3D (useful for programmable keyboards), and increase or decrease the size of Aero Glass windows borders. Hopefully they’ll keep adding even more good tips.
(via Digg)

January 3rd, 2007 Posted by Nathan Weinberg | Vista, Windows, General | no comments

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Better Methods For Getting Into The Halo 3 Beta

The Gamerscore blog has a Microsoft press release explaining more reliable means for getting into the Halo 3 multiplayer beta, which begins this Spring. The first is to buy “Crackdown”, a game releasing on February 20 that is sort of a cross between Grand Theft Auto and the second Superman movie (watch the battle in Metropolis, you’ll see what I mean). If you buy the game, the game disc will act a key to unlock the beta.

The other way to get in is known as the “Rule of Three”, and it is a little more complicated. You have to have played at least three hours of Halo 2 on Xbox Live between February 1 and February 3, on an eligible console (one with a hard drive and Xbox Live subscription), be 17 years of age or older, and be one of the first 13,333 to register at halo 3.com.

Of course, all those people who registered last month at halo3.com didn’t waste their time; they just aren’t guaranteed a spot. I suspect there will be a lot of Halo fans renting Crackdown when the beta launches, and that February 1-3 is going to have a massive amount of deathmatching going on.

Other coverage:
Major Nelson
1UP

In other news, In-Fusio, a developer of mobile content and games, is suing Microsoft for breach of contract. In-Fusio obtained the rights to develop based on the Halo universe for mobile phones over a year ago, and released Halo Portal, application for Halo ringtones and wallpaper. However, In-Fusio has submitted four seperate game concepts for Microsoft approval, and all have been shot down, with little explanation why or feedback.

Here’s a theory: Microsoft doesn’t want to do a Halo mobile game, since it would suck, and they just want In-Fusio to stick to content downloads. That’s understandable, but I don’t get why no one properly explained that to In-Fusio 15 months ago?
(via Digg)

January 3rd, 2007 Posted by Nathan Weinberg | Halo, Halo 3, Xbox Live, Xbox 360, Xbox, General | no comments

People Love Their 360s

Looks like modding the Xbox 360 is becoming a real pastime for some. Here’s a Flickr slideshow with 92 photos (as of this writing) of modded 360s, with all their cutout, painted, lit-up goodness:

(via Digg)

January 3rd, 2007 Posted by Nathan Weinberg | Xbox 360, Xbox, General | no comments

Xbox Live Artist Of The Month: Quietdrive

Microsoft has announced January’s Artist of the Month for Xbox Live: Quietdrive. Quietdrive, a Minnesota-area alt-rock band, had their debut album, When All That’s Left Is You, released last May by Epic, and were formerly known as “Sneakers 2 Bombs”. Free downloads related to the band will be available on Xbox Live all month, as is done with all Artists of the Month.

Here’s the video for band’s first single, Rise From The Ashes, which was also featured on EA’s NHL ‘07 soundtrack:

(via Gamingtalkhq > Digg)

January 3rd, 2007 Posted by Nathan Weinberg | General | no comments

More Microsoft Comics

Boy, Microsoft sure is full of topics for online comic strips to use. Take a look:

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First off, ActionTrip explains exactly why Sony is floundering in the console race, and it’s not why you’d expect.

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Also, Penny Arcade features that wonderful moment when your Zune loses its virginity and finds another Zunester in the wild.

For the record, here’s the song BillG and the Penny Arcade guy (what? I don’t know their names!) were singing:

January 3rd, 2007 Posted by Nathan Weinberg | Windows Media, Zune, Xbox 360, Xbox, Humor, General | no comments



Channel 9 Park’s America’s Next Top Blogger

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Channel 9 Park, the funny and ridiculous occasional comic showcased in the Channel 9 forums (first as “Google Park”) is apparently now running as its own C9 Park blog, and has a funny new installment. In this, following a little Curb Your Enthusiasm, Paul Thurrott hosts America’s Next Top Blogger, looking through a whole field of bloggers, including Scott Beale, Brandon LeBlanc, and Robert McLaws, but the winner is the unexpected (to no one at all) Long Zheng. Funny cartoon, and right on the money; Long’s the best new blogger of the last few months, if not all of last year.

January 3rd, 2007 Posted by Nathan Weinberg | Developers, Humor, General | no comments

Conflicting Reports On OneCare Sales

Larry Dignan quotes some NPD data which says that Microsoft’s security subscription suite, Windows Live OneCare, has taken just 0.8 percent of the security marketplace. This is very confusing, given that NPD data said back in August that OneCare was accounting for 15% of retail sales. The only explanation: Retail sales only make up a small percentage of security software sales, with most people getting their antivirus and other security software pre-installed on a new PC.

On the one hand, as long as Microsoft refuses to get manufacturers to bundle OneCare, probably due to antitrust concerns, they will have to go the hard route to get users to adopt. On the other hand, Microsoft’s users are all real users, not the many Norton users who get Norton’s software with their new PC, and refuse to pay when the free period is up. Microsoft may find success as the security software people are actually willing to pay money for, which means a lot of customer loyalty, and it also means that any market share they pick up, it will be very hard for the competition to win back

January 3rd, 2007 Posted by Nathan Weinberg | OneCare, Live, Windows, Security, General | no comments