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$80 T-Mobile Shadow From Microsoft

Little known secret: You can get phones from T-Mobile for a lot cheaper if you qualify as a Microsoft Partner, Developer or IT Pro. Now you can get the new T-Mobile Shadow, complete with its unique Neo frontend and slide-down keyboard, for $80, seventy bucks less than the usual price. You’ll pay $130 and get $50 back by rebate, saving a lot of money on a phone that is only weeks old. Also available: The Wing touchscreen PDA phone for $130 with a free BlueTooth headset, and the Dash for $50, also with a headset.

It looks like existing customers can get the deal, but only by adding a new line of service. I’m a T-Mobile customer, and I’d like to stick with the company when my contract is up, but it looks like I can’t get a good deal on a handset and keep my phone number (the best deals all involve starting a new account, which I can do under my wife’s name, but I can’t port my number from one T-Mobile account to another).

Anybody know how someone can keep their phone number and their phone company, and still get the same deals on a phone that new customers get? There’s got to be a way to convince T-Mobile to keep taking my money, right? Otherwise, I think I’m becoming an AT&T customer, at least for six months.

What’s your experience? Is it always impossible to keep your current carrier and get a good phone, or are there ways?

Anyway, if you qualify, pick up the Shadow for just $80. My wife is demanding I get this phone, so hopefully she’ll get what she wants.

November 20th, 2007 Posted by Nathan Weinberg | Windows Mobile | 5 comments

Halo 3 Getting $10 Map Pack

H3_DLC_RatsNest copy

Microsoft has announced the Heroic Map Pack for Halo 3, the first pack of multiplayer maps for the hit game. The map pack will cost you when it arrives December 11, 800 Microsoft Points or ten dollars, but if you’re patient enough to wait until Spring, you can get it for free. When the map pack goes free, a new pay map pack will be released, which should create a weird community dynamic between those who have been playing these maps for months and those who just got it, especially as the experienced players buy the second pack.

There are three maps, and here’s the description:

Standoff’s symmetrical valley, with its entrenched bases and fields of boulders is ideal for mid-sized objective and Slayer game types, while Rat’s Nest’s vast, labyrinthine passages bring something new to the “Halo” multiplayer experience: an indoor vehicle paradise, strongly influenced by the Campaign mode, ideal for big team battles. Finally, Foundry is the ultimate Forge map – players can edit every single object in this voluminous industrial warehouse, place stairways, walls, bridges and tunnels to create an entirely new play space and build almost any kind of map they can think of.

The image above, as well as the two below, are provided by Microsoft. Click them and you can see on Zooomr the original 14-megapixel screenshots.

H3_DLC_Standoff copy

H3_DLC_Foundry copy

November 20th, 2007 Posted by Nathan Weinberg | Halo 3, Halo, Xbox 360, Xbox | no comments

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Rock Band Hits Store Shelves

Rock Band went on sale at midnight this morning, with midnight events all over the country. In West Hollywood, they had Hellanor Brozevelt performing at Best Buy, while the New York launch was at the MTV Store. Looks like the game is dissapearing fast from store shelves, though Amazon still has the PS3 bundle (they are sold out of the Xbox 360 bundle), while Best Buy is sold out of the Xbox 360 bundle and the PS3 bundle.

While you wait to get the game, watch this video from MTV of one woman trying to play all four instruments (2 guitars!) by herself:

The crazy thing about the one-man/woman Rock Band? Eventually, someone will pull it off right.

Joystiq aggregates all the reviews for you, and seperately they even aggregate the negative reviews of the game. The consensus seems to be that the game is definitely a hit, but certain missing features (one of which is coming in a patch soon) hurt the game. The main thing to remember: This game is only fun played with friends, so don’t get it if you’re a loner. Guitar Hero might be more for you.

Looks like I’ve got a decent shot at getting Rock Band. Referral income is $88 so far, a little more than half the way to getting the bundle. If you are going to buy the game or accessories for it (or Guitar Hero), be sure to use this page to start your order.

Maybe I’ll head down to Best Buy to demo the game. My wife is getting really excited about getting it. Looks like we’ll be fighting over the drums.

November 20th, 2007 Posted by Nathan Weinberg | Xbox 360, Xbox | no comments

Zune Actually Selling Out

Microsoft didn’t realize that the Zune 80 gigabyte would be as popular as it is, and as a result it is sold out all over the place. doesn’t have it in stock, and shipments were delayed by 10 days. I’ve said it for a while: With the price being equal, there’s no reason to choose the iPod over the Zune, given the Zune’s improved features and much better looks. Apple screwed up this generation of iPods, and Microsoft is going to have significantly improved market share over the next year.

November 20th, 2007 Posted by Nathan Weinberg | Zune, Windows Media, Apple | 4 comments

Microsoft’s 24-hour Seattle Road Trip

Video: 24 Hours in Seattle

Microsoft did this video showing off how fun living in Seattle can be (and, presumably, why you should want to relocate there to work for Microsoft). Kevin spends 24 hours traveling the city (technically 15, since he quits at midnight), showing us the sights, the coffee, and top-secret Microsoft stuff.
(via Heather)

November 20th, 2007 Posted by Nathan Weinberg | Marketing | no comments

Windows Live Launches Community Builder

Microsoft is finally putting together some nice integration of Windows Live services, the latest being the Windows Live Community Builder. This site brings together the various Live tools a website owner can use to create and support a community, promoting the Live Admin Center and helping you bring Hotmail, Live Calendar, Messenger, Spaces and SkyDrive to your users under your own domain name, all for free.

November 20th, 2007 Posted by Nathan Weinberg | Live, Windows | no comments

Windows Live OneCare 2.0 Launches

Windows Live OneCare 2.0

The beta of version 2.0 of Windows Live OneCare, Microsoft’s all-in-one PC care service, should be over, with the final version of 2.0 released to all subscribers. The new version adds some really good improvements, like wireless connection security, a startup optimizer to turn off programs that start with your PC that you never use, automatic printer sharing on your network and monthly service reports.

The biggest change, though, is that OneCare is now set up to allow you to designate one of your PCs as a hub PC and connect the others to it (a OneCare subscription is good, at the normal price, for multiple PCs). You can manage the care of the other PCs from the hub, changing settings, scheduling backups and tuneups, and other things.

OneCare 2.0 also adds online photo backup, although for an added price. You get 10 gigabytes of space in Windows Live Folders, automatically synced from your computer, in order to keep your precious digital photos safe in case anything ever happens to your computer. I still don’t see any information on how much this added feature costs, and will look into it.

November 20th, 2007 Posted by Nathan Weinberg | OneCare, Live, Windows, Security | one comment