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Media Center PC In Your Car, Starting At $800


Hipe PC has announced their Driv-N PC, a PC designed for the car. Using a touchscreen and voice recognition, you can control an entire Windows Vista Media Center PC while driving, watching DVDs, listening to CDs or MP3s on the PC, tune in to XM online satellite radio, internet radio, browse the internet, and, when not moving (we hope) work on documents and other things. The Driv-N PC can be installed in the trunk or under the seat, completely out of the way, connecting with a motorized touchscreen that slides out of the dashboard.

The cheapest version, the Driv-N V15, features a Via C7 CPU, one gig of RAM, XM online satellite radio, Windows Vista Home Premium, and a 40 gigabyte hard drive. The motorized touch screens start at $370 for a roof mounted screen, $400 for a dash screen. Wifi’ll add $50, a TV tuner $130, GPS another $120. Still, it looks great, and doesn’t require you to hack your car to get all this is there. And running Media Center on a touchscreen is just cool.
(via Steve Clayton)

May 2nd, 2007 Posted by Nathan Weinberg | Media Center, Windows | no comments

Microsoft Announces The oPhone To Compete With iPhone


Microsoft showed off at Mix yesterday a breakthrough new technology device, the Windows Mobile oPhone. Designed to compete with Apple’s iPhone, the oPhone is a fold out variable device with three different usable surfaces and a circular display.

The oPhone, in standard mode, is a thin, curvy device topped by a round screen and with the phone keypad surface below. Two other surfaces, the same size and shape as the keypad, can be flipped out. One has a full keyboard, the other a music player control with a wheel control and a few buttons. Flip out all three surfaces, and you have a device shaped like a three winged boomerang, and Microsoft claims it is aerodynamic enough to work exactly like that.

Images all from Todd Bishop’s post.

oPhone 2oPhone 2 Hosted on Zooomr

You know its a joke, right? It’s a terible design, even if there are some great, radical ideas in there. It reminds me of the UpStage, with its phone on one side, music player on the other. Maybe someone can design a really cool way to switch a phone through multiple button faces with little effort, and without making the phone too big.

May 2nd, 2007 Posted by Nathan Weinberg | Apple, Humor, General | 15 comments

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Internet Explorer 8 To Push Standards-Based Webpages

The anticipated Internet Explorer session at Mix 07, while not containing a preview of IE8, did contain a good amount of details about the direction IE is heading, and some of what you can expect when IE8 hits next year.

The most interesting info centers on web standards. According to Mary Jo Foley’s report of the session, IE8 will encourage web designers to create websites that adhere to web standards, and allow them to opt-in to a standards mode if they meet that criteria. Microsoft doesn’t want to be accused of breaking web pages anymore, by no longer supporting problems from older versions of IE, so if more pages are standards-based, the responsibility for breaking web pages rests with developers, not IE.

Wilson said to expect Microsoft to be investing across layout, object model and Ajax development fronts in IE 8.0. Specificially, Wilson said Microsoft is investing in making IE 8.0 more compliant with CSS 2.1 layout standards. Microsoft also is working to make the IE 8.0 object model more interoperable with that used by other browsers, and is looking to provide more client-side application programming interfaces (APIs) to support local storage for mash-ups, Wilson said.

Good for them. If IE is standards compliant, and all other browsers hopefully will be as well, then browsers can compete on interface and features, not how they render pages, and pages can be expected to work the same way everywhere.

May 2nd, 2007 Posted by Nathan Weinberg | Developers, Internet Explorer, Applications | 2 comments

Zune Marketplace Reaches 3 Million Songs

Lost in yesterday’s Gallo Music announcement was the blurb at the bottom about Microsoft’s Zune Marketplace:

Zune is Microsoft’s music and entertainment platform that provides an end-to-end solution for Connected Entertainment. The Zune experience includes a 30GB digital media player, the Zune Marketplace music service, and a foundation for an online community that enables music fans to discover new music. Zune Marketplace offers for purchase more than 3 million song titles, ranging from popular hits to leading-edge new music. Zune users can download songs individually or by the album using Microsoft® Points or a Zune Pass subscription, which offers unlimited downloads for $14.99 a month. Zune Marketplace also offers insightful editorial programming produced by a team of music professionals who aim to bring a local record store experience to the digital world. Zune is part of Microsoft’s Entertainment and Devices Division and supports the company’s software-based services vision to help drive innovation in the digital entertainment space. More information can be found online at

Yeah, the Zune Marketplace, which launched with 2 million songs late last year, has increased its inventory by 50%, adding another million songs in half a year. That’s pretty cool for them, and puts them within striking distance of iTunes’ 3.5 million songs. Why didn’t Microsoft publicize this? It’s a pretty good selling point for the Marketplace and the player.

The real question, of course, is how many songs they’ve sold.
(via ClicZune > Digg)

May 2nd, 2007 Posted by Nathan Weinberg | Zune, Windows Media | one comment

Details Of The Windows Live Commercial API

The Windows Live Dev news site details the new usage of the Windows Live API, which will let larger websites use the API beyond typical restrictions by paying for it. See, almost all web APIs have a limit of how many uses you get in a certain time period, but many give you no way of paying for more, so Microsoft’s release of a for-pay API is better than nothing at all. The bullet points:

  • For basic usage, the API will always be free
  • Usage up to one million unique users is free, except for:
  • Windows Live Search is free up to 750,000 searches per months
  • Virtual Earth (Live Maps) is free up to 3 million map tiles per month
  • Silverlight video streaming is free up to 4 gigabytes of storage, with free unlimited streaming, and no limits on users
  • Above one million unique users, sites will have to pay 25 cents per user per year
  • For Search and Virtual Earth, sites will need to negotiate a commercial agreement with Microsoft
  • No beta services will charge for usage of the API. You will only have to pay after it leaves beta
  • Users will be averaged out per quarter, so if you have a big spike one month, you won’t have to pay for it

Great stuff, except the negotiating for Search and Virtual Earth. I’d like to know what the process is, and if it is going to be difficult for small websites to make a deal.

Still, four gigabytes of Silverlight storage, with free unlimited streaming, is incredible. It sounds so good that I’m going to have to start using it. I mean, who needs YouTube when you can host the actual video for free like that?
(via the Virtual Earth blog)

May 2nd, 2007 Posted by Nathan Weinberg | Developers, Maps, Silverlight, Live, Virtual Earth, Search, Windows, General | no comments