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Links for May 13, 2008

HTC Unveils Beautiful Touch Diamond Phone
HTC announced the latest phone in its growing high quality Touch series, the Touch Diamond, which comes with a pretty piano black finish, some cool new interface elements on top of Windows Mobile, like “lets users sort and view e-mail like stacks of letters, receive animated weather forecast graphics, and look at pictures as though they’re in a roll of film”, as well as a 3.2 megapixel camera, GPS and HSDPA.

Live Messenger Facebook Application
Microsoft has released an official Facebook application that lets you access Windows Live Messenger and chat with your Live IM contacts on Facebook. Visitors to your Facebook profile can send you IMs right from the page.

MS’s Greg Linden on News Personalization
I always find what Greg Linden has to say interesting, but now that he works on god-knows-what at Live Labs at Microsoft, it takes on even more importance. Read his paper on personalizing and customizing the news.

New Zune Probably Won’t Block Downloaded TV Shows
There was a rumor going around that Microsoft was planning on an agreement with NBC that would put NBC’s shows on the Zune in return for a form of active DRM that actually blocked non-copyprotected downloaded copies of NBC shows from being loaded and watched on a Zune. It was a pretty horrible idea, and Microsoft is making it very clear that they had no such plans.

Microsoft Donates $1.3 Million From i’M Initiative
Live Messenger program does a lot of good, donating some serious cash. Hotmail users can now join the party with small ads in their email signatures that pay out to charity.

Microsoft Discontinues SPOT Watches
Microsoft’s technology push to get smart watches with MSN Direct updates delivered by radio frequencies has ended, with MS discontinuing the product due to it never catching on with consumers. I always wanted one, though the large size and limited selection whenever I shopped for them kept me putting it off.

Grand Theft Auto IV Breaks Sales Records
GTA IV broke Halo 3’s sales record, selling 3.6 million units on day one, totaling $310 million in revenue in a single day (compared to Halo’s $300 million). That of course, is double what the highest opening weekendrecord for the film industry is. First week sales were $500 million.

Zune Video Store Starts Rolling Out
Microsoft started delivering a video store for Zune owners, releasing a version 2.5 Zune store update that allows users to download TV shows for now, and later movies.

Shareholders Making Yahoo Pay For Fighting Microsoft
Yahoo’s shareholders are not happy with Jerry Yang for spurning Microsoft, and they’re voicing that dissapointment. Seven analysts downgraded the stock to “sell” or “strong sell”. The stock fell 20% the day after Microsoft dropped the bid, but it isn’t below the point it was at before Microsoft made offer.

Messenger TV On The Way
Windows Live Messenger TV is coming, and you can see screenshots and read about it at LiveSide.

May 13th, 2008 Posted by Nathan Weinberg | Zune, Windows Mobile, Live, Halo, Halo 3, Grand Theft Auto, Yahoo Acquisition, Windows Media, Corporate, Yahoo, Windows, Xbox, Messenger, Xbox 360, Hotmail, MSN | no comments

Links For May 8, 2008

Get IE8 Activities In Firefox
One of the new features in Internet Explorer 8 is Activities, which lets you contextually use the information on a page with other services, and because it uses some generally open formats, someone’s already adapted it for other browsers. This Firefox extension lets you practically seamlessly use Activities in Firefox, so check it out.

Microsoft’s Extreme Server Makeover
Check out this video, spoofing Extreme Home Makeover for the IT world. It’s weird in places, but just watch it, k?

How To Tell If Your PC Supports Hibernation
Milo explains how to use POWERCFG.exe to tell if your Windows Vista PC supports hibernation mode, as well as what other power modes your PC supports. It’s an extremely useful tip if you’re running into some power troubleshooting issues.

Halo 3 Heroic Map Pack Now Free
If you’re getting bored of playing Halo online, you’ll be pleased to know that one of its map packs is now free. The price has been dropped 100% on the “Heroic” map pack, giving you three new multiplayer maps for the sweet price of nothing. Enjoy.

Microsoft Buys Farecast For $115 Million
MS gets the fast growing and smartly designed airline ticket bargain website.

Microsoft Releases Popfly Game Creator
Microsoft released a game creator that lets you use Popfly, their free mashup creation tool, to create Silverlight-based games that can run on webpages, Facebook, the Vista Sidebar, pretty much anywhere.

GTA IV Breaks UK Sales Record
Grand Theft Auto 4 sold 631,000 copies on launch day in the UK alone, beating San Andreas’ record from four years ago by over 100 thousand units. The Xbox 360 version beat the PS3 version by 101,000 copies sold, and 360 console sales were up 125%.

Geometry Wars 2 Is Coming
Sequel to the smash hit Xbox Live Arcade game is on the way.

May 8th, 2008 Posted by Nathan Weinberg | Developers, Xbox Live, Halo, Halo 3, Grand Theft Auto, Vista, Firefox, Humor, Windows, Internet Explorer, Xbox, Xbox 360, Applications | no comments

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News For March 23, 2008

Microsoft Produces Limited Edition GTA IV Xbox 360
Microsoft has released a very limited stock of Grand Theft Auto IV Xbox 360 Elite consoles, 500 to be exact, complete with a GTA IV design on the side panel and a briefcase full of peripherals. The consoles are individually numbered, so you know how limited of an edition it is, and the briefcase has wireless controller, ChatPad, headset, camera, remote, and charge kit.

Vista Service Pack 1 Released
Microsoft has finalized the release of Windows Vista Service Pack 1, putting the major update to Vista in the hands of users. Some users are getting it pushed to them via Windows Update, and if you don’t have it yet, just go here to download the standalone 434 megabyte installer for 32-bit versions of Vista. This link will get you the 64-bit version.

If you aren’t getting Vista SP1 through Automatic Updates, and are not even getting it offered as an option, it is likely because your computer is failing a number of prerequisites. One of them is driver compatibility, and since Sigmatel audio drivers aren’t worth crap on Vista, practically anyone with one of those chips in their systems won’t get SP1 without installing it manually. Read more here.

Microsoft Launches AdCenter Community
Microsoft has launched, a website for its growing AdCenter advertiser base to to learn about ways to run better ad campaigns, with niche-specific blogs, user forums, and other community features. The community offers advice on the AdCenter API, Analytics, and represents an effort by Microsoft to distinguish itself from Google AdWords, which has notoriously poor communication with with its advertisers.

Mac Office 2008 Gets Updated
Microsoft released a patch for Office 2008, fixing problems that could cause Office programs to crash or otherwise stop responding. It also improves security, keeps restricted users from having unauthorized access to Office program files, fixes a blank page printing problem, fixes font substitution issues, adds support for secondary displays, and many other fixes and improvements.

Microsoft’s List of Potential Yahoo Board Members
If Microsoft winds up completing its effort to buy Yahoo through a hostile takeover, they’ll need to nominate a full new board of directors. A part of that list has leaked out, naming four of the ten executives Microsoft may place on the board. They are:

  • Edward H. Meyer - former CEO, Grey Advertising
  • John Chapple - CEO, Nextel Partners
  • Tom Freston - former President, Viacom
  • Jaynie Studenmund - Former CEO of eHarmony

Yahoo is reportedly finally holding talks with Microsoft, having a meeting to let Microsoft explain its offer and put some of its vision forward. Even if Yahoo doesn’t want to give in and except Microsoft’s offer, the offer may be impossible to ignore, especially if Microsoft raises the amount it is willing to pay. With other potential buyers dropping out, it’s certainly something they should consider.

Virtual Earth Implemented in Flash
Like Windows Live Maps? Like the compatibility and ease of Flash applications? Then you’ll like that AFC Components has added the Virtual Earth API to its UMAP control. You can see Virtual Earth embedded right here:

Read more about it here. Via Digg

Sony PS3 for $100 Off
If you are looking to go with a Sony PlayStation 3, you might be glad to know that the SonyStyle store is offering $100 off the purchase of a 40gb PS3 with a new Sony card, making it just $300. That’s a good enough deal even if you find Sony as evil as many do, just to get a good Blu-Ray player and a small number of decent exclusive games.

March 23rd, 2008 Posted by Nathan Weinberg | Maps, Live, Virtual Earth, Advertising, AdCenter, Grand Theft Auto, Yahoo Acquisition, Vista, Corporate, Yahoo, Windows, Xbox, Office, Apple, Xbox 360, Applications | no comments