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Vista Sidebar Whack-A-Mole!

sidebar-whack-a-mole.jpgThere’s a new Windows Vista Sidebar Gadget that should make you happy in a silly way. It’s that gaming classic, Whack-A-Mole! Any time you get a hankerin’ fer some mole-whackin’, just head over the Sidebar and click to start a new game. A bit of advice: It’s hard to work with the smaller docked version, so you might want to drag it off the Sidebar.

Download it now.

November 15th, 2007 Posted by Nathan Weinberg | Sidebar, Vista, Windows | no comments

Original Xbox Games Available on Live Soon, Plus Free Arcade Game Today

Today is the five-year anniversary of Xbox Live, and Microsoft is celebrating by giving away some free stuff. All Xbox 360 owners should head onto Live today or tomorrow before midnight and download Carcassonne, a board game for 1-5 players either on your console or Xbox Live (you can read more about it here). Players in Korea get Hexic 2 instead.

Also, Microsoft is giving 500 free Microsoft Points to users who have been active on Live since 2002, a $6.25 gift for the early adopters.

Along with the freebies, Microsoft is announcing a new section to Xbox Live which will launch December 4 (confirmed as the day of the Fall update). Xbox Originals will sell games from the original Xbox for download for 1200 Microsoft Points, or $15. The initial lineup of games will include the legendary original Halo, Psychonauts, Crimson Skies: High Road to Revenge, Fable, Indigo Prophecy, Crash Bandicoot: The Wrath Of Cortex, and Burnout 3, with the final list of launch titles still being finalized.

I spoke to PR and they explained to me that these are almost exactly the same code as the original games, meaning the downloads are about the same size they were on the original DVD9 disks. Games will run between 2 and 7 gigabytes, using the same backwards compatibility as if you had just popped in the disk itself. That means the feature is not an option for Xbox Arcade consoles without a hard drive, and 20-gig drives will have to manage drive space to hold these.

Games will support Xbox Live if they originally did, and there are no Achievements. Microsoft has a page listing known issues with Originals titles, including occasional framerate issues, HDMI 720p not supported for PAL users on Psychonauts and random audio static in Fable. Additional unnecessary content, like game trailers and demos for others games, have been removed, so selecting them will cause the game to crash.

Full press release after the jump.

November 15th, 2007 Posted by Nathan Weinberg | Xbox Live, Xbox 360, Xbox | one comment

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Windows CE 6.0 R2 Rolling Out Today

The R2 release of Windows CE 6.0, the next version of Microsoft’s operating system for mobile devices, is being released today, with a virtual launch event at noon Eastern / 9 am Pacific. You can register for the free event here (and get a chance to win one of ten iMate Momento Digital Picture Frames).

Here’s what’s changed in CE 6.0:

Connectivity Capabilities

  • Quickly develop small footprint device scenarios and connect to Windows Vista and Windows Server 2008
  • Build richer end user experiences and develop new capabilities into your product with WSD technologies
  • Create exciting device scenarios such as VOIP video and 3-way audio with new VOIP technologies
  • And moreā€¦


  • CE 6.0 R2 components can easily be added to existing CE 6.0 projects to quickly create new connected experiences
  • Current CE 6.0 users can download the R2 components directly onto their workstations
  • Download an evaluation version and give it a try
  • Get support on CE 6.0 R2 from a worldwide community of Windows Embedded CE experts inside and outside of Microsoft


  • Connect with a worldwide community of industry-leading partners who can provide expert support on R2
  • Take advantage of a large community of developers with Visual Studio 2005 experience

Don’t confuse CE with Windows Mobile. In essence, CE is the real mobile operating system, and Mobile runs off of the various versions of CE. Windows Mobile 6 runs on CE 5.2 because CE 6 wasn’t ready then, and hopefully Windows Mobile 7 will run off CE 6.0. CE 6.0 devices are expected in 2008/9.
(via MSMobiles)

November 15th, 2007 Posted by Nathan Weinberg | Windows Mobile | no comments

Microsoft Announces Hyper-V Server Products

Microsoft announced Hyper-V, its virtualization hypervison technology formerly codenamed Viridian, available with various editions of Windows Server 2008. This results in eight versions of Server 2008, three with Hyper-V, three without, and two specialized types that don’t have Hyper-V:

  • Windows Server 2008 Standard: $999 (with five Client Access Licenses, or CALs)
  • Windows Server 2008 Enterprise: $3,999 (with 25 CALs)
  • Windows Server 2008 Datacenter: $2,999 (per processor)
  • Windows Server 2008 for Itanium-based Systems: $2,999 (per processor)
  • Windows Web Server 2008: $469
  • Windows Server 2008 Standard without Hyper-V: $971 (with five CALs)
  • Windows Server 2008 Enterprise without Hyper-V: $3,971 (with 25 CALs)
  • Windows Server 2008 Datacenter without Hyper-V: $2,971 (per processor)

The difference in price between the Hyper-V and non-Hyper-V versions is $28, and you can buy Hyper-V Server by itself for that same price.

If you were reading here last month, you’d have noticed Microsoft registering tens of domains related to Hyper-V, advance notice that this announcement was coming.

November 15th, 2007 Posted by Nathan Weinberg | Server, Windows | 2 comments