Posts tagged Microsoft
Microsoft today has finally announced the long awaited successor in it’s Windows Phone line, as was anticipated; and after watching the announcement unfold all I can say is– WOW! Yeah, if you were thinking this was similar to the tired and true Windows Mobile that we’ve seen over the years you’d be really wrong, like dead wrong. Take notice everyone– Microsoft is back in mobile, and it looks like they’re gonna be here to stay.
Rumored shots of Windows Mobile 7
This week is a big week for all things cell phone related with the Mobile World Congress (aka MWC) taking place in Barcelona, Spain. This event is seriously HUGE– think of it as a CES for cell phones. A lot of big stuff plan to be announced next week– newer, more powerful, and just plain better phones, new services for phones (such as TV, video calling), more info on the 4G that is set to begin being rolled out by Verizon and AT&T (as well as many other carriers around the world) later this year and early next year– but none of this seems to be as big as what Microsoft has in store.
According to the Wall Street Journal (note: subscription needed to read the whole article) and tons of other news outlets, Monday– which is the start of MWC– will finally be the day where Microsoft finally announces a truly new and much better version of Windows Mobile. We’re talking the release of Windows Mobile 7, not some small decimal point like last year’s Windows Mobile 6.5, where the OS was nearly the same as it was for most of the last decade, save for some nicer menus and an updated homescreen.
So what can we expect in this new OS that will keep it up to date with the likes of Android, webOS and the iPhone OS? If some of these rumors are true– then a lot. Everything from Zune and Xbox tie-ins (yes, Xbox– though to what extent is still very much up in the air) to a much, much better media and overall user experience (we love the Zune HD and it’s interface, which is said to play a pretty big role here throughout Windows Mobile 7). There is also talk that the Zune software will be where you sync your phone with your computer, similar to iTunes and the iPhone. There also is said to be better support for touchscreens (particularly capacitive/finger-friendly ones that don’t require a stylus, like the iPhone, Pre and most Android phones), multi-touch, a better version of Internet Explorer Mobile (which is much-needed as well), and just much more powerful hardware, which, supposedly, Microsoft is working more closely with device manufacturers to make sure all phones run this well. Heck, there is even talk Microsoft may release their own phones.
Whatever Microsoft plans to do, we’ll make sure you stay in the know. Their press conference is called for Monday at 9 AM Eastern time (or 3 PM Barcelona time), so make sure to check back Monday for all the news both and Microsoft and everything going down at MWC.
Pic from Engadget
Microsoft showing off 3 new Slate PC’s
Forget about the Apple Tablet (or as it’s now known as, the iSlate).
Microsoft in their CES keynote tonight just unveiled a whole new type of Windows PC– called Slate PC’s, which, like the rumored Apple Tablet, are all touchscreen Windows 7-running computers, that have multi-touch, and are in sleek, thin designs. As Microsoft is putting it, this is really Windows 7 with an even stronger emphasis on touch.
Microsoft has announced a few early partners for this new PC design– including HP, Archos, and Pegatron. Lemme just say– these things look to be great, and could definitely be the next digital version of not just our books, magazines and newspapers (you have many eReader apps for these PC’s, like the Kindle and Nook’s Windows apps), but could also very well replace traditional laptops and netbooks as the future of both our regular PC experience both for use in school and at home.
As you can see from the shot above of the 3 Slate PC’s, these devices definitely look to go with the rising tablet trend popping up here at CES (there’s talk of Android tablets, and of course non-stop talk on the Apple Tablet). All in all, if there is one thing we can take out from all this– whether it’s from Microsoft, Apple, Google or some other group — touchscreen and tablet computers are here, and they look to change how we use computers in 2010 and beyond.
We’re still digging for more on these new Slate PC’s, so stay tuned for additional info on them and all the other tablet/slate PC’s. In the meantime though, hit the “more” link for a quick teaser video of HP’s Slate PC (which looks absolutely sick).
It’s almost 2010, and for the video game world, that means that Microsoft and Sony are preparing to release their motion controllers for the Xbox 360 and PS3, respectively. Now while we know the PS3′s looks and acts like a more accurate Wiimote that works better with hard core games, Microsoft’s Project Natal has remained far more ambiguous, especially as to how it will handle particularly intense games like Halo or Call of Duty.
A leaked video has popped up on the internet over the past 24 hours showing off EA’s Half Life 2 running on Project Natal. Anyone who’s played Half Life 2 knows that it definitely goes up there in that “intense games” category, so this is a pretty big step showing that Natal will be able to play these more intense games without the need for a traditional 360 controller. How well does it play? We can’t really judge conclusively based on the brief 1 minute video, but from my take the graphics look traditional Xbox 360 awesome (the video is on a decent-looking camera and the game is said to only be in the early stages of development), and after getting used to them, the movement and controls should take you into games on a whole new level– particularly as this all gets refined and finished up before release.
Who else out there hoping Madden 11 and Halo 4 are Natal capable?
Video of Half Life 2 on Natal after the break.
Windows 7 is here, and boy is it awesome
Ok, we know it’s a little late, but without further ado, here it is, our review of Windows 7.
So in a couple of words how are we liking the new Microsoft OS after using it in it’s final form for over a month? We love it, and just keeping it short—it’s a thousand times better than Vista (yes that much better).
Want some more details on why we like it so much and what things about it we don’t like? Read on.
Project Gotham Racing on the Zune HD (Pic from Kotaku)
Remember back in our Zune HD review where we mentioned how the Zune HD will be getting some new free games and apps, like the hit Xbox 360 game Project Gotham Racing? Microsoft released a whole bunch of new games for the Zune HD including
- PGR: Ferrari Edition (which is like it’s Xbox sibling, giving you 12 Ferrari cars to race all over New York, London or Tokyo either in a 33 level Career mode or in online races aginst up to 3 other cars)
- Lucky Lanes Bowling, a bowling game where you can play either against the computer or up to 4 friends
- Piano app which simulates a virtual piano
- Vans Sk8: Pool Service, a skateboarding game where you aim to do the best tricks in 10 different events
- Audiosurf Tilt, a game where you pick a song from your music library on your Zune and then try to collect the colored blocks and avoid speed bumps along a custom roller coaster made for each song. Microsoft also said today that they soon will also have apps for Facebook and Twitter.
Yes, this is nowhere near the 100,000+ apps in the iTunes App Store, but Microsoft does deserve some credit– creating what looks to be some quality apps (specifically the PGR and Audiosurf games) that look to take full use of the high powered Nvidia Tegra chip inside the Zune to give some solid games all for the unbeatable price of FREE (though you do have to look at a brief ad while the game loads, something I’m more than happy to deal with if it means quality, free apps).
Now if only they’d open up a real App Store and give developers a chance to fully tap into that high powered Tegra chip (I mean check out this video of PGR and Audiosurf on the Zune from Engadget, who they say looked as sharp as a PSP game!), and we’d be all set.
Anyone out there with a Zune HD, you like your new games?
Full info on the apps can be found on the Zune site here.
If you read our round-up posts on E3 last June, you noticed a new way to play video games on your Xbox 360 called Project Natal. Basically, Project Natal allows the player to be the controller, something that PlayStation attempted since the days of the PS2 with PlayStation Eye, but it didn’t pan out too well for them. Today reports were coming out that Microsoft was showing Natal off to some UK game publishers and they let a possible price tag slip. What is the price of this sick looking device? Try an awesome $84, that could possibly go down to $50 as Microsoft is trying to push this to be a must have or “impulse buy” for everyone. Oh, and they also let slip a possible release date of November of next year.
For a full overview of everything that is the awesome Project Natal, see our post here.
Of course these are just rumors for now (and don’t worry, we’ll keep you updated as soon as we hear more), but what you think of Natal possibly being so cheap when it comes out? If it is, you running out on day one and picking it up? Sound off in the comments.
Info from Joystiq
So let’s begin our Windows 7 coverage with trying to simplify the many different versions of the OS. Unlike with Apple’s Snow Leopard, where it’s more of a one-size fits-all approach, with Windows 7 you got a nice selection of editions: Starter, Home Basic, Home Premium, Professional, Ultimate and Happy-Go-Lucky… Ok, fine, we just made up the happy go lucky part, but as you can see, there are a whole lot of different versions, and so let’s try to simplify that into what you should looking for when getting a Windows 7 upgrade or when looking for a new PC, and what you should be looking for specs wise to make sure whatever version of 7 you get works well.
Today is October 22nd, and you know what that means: Windows 7 is out! This is the day anyone using Vista has been waiting for. Microsoft has officially made Windows 7 available for purchase. In the coming days we’ll be doing a ton of coverage of Microsoft’s awesome new OS (it is truly awesome– I’ve been using it on a couple different PC’s for a few months now, and am really loving it. It’s just so fast and easy, and not Vista) and how it relates to you.
In the meantime however, go on and check out our first thoughts that we posted a few months back, and if anyone out there already got 7 and wants to share their thoughts on the OS, or if anyone has any questions about 7, feel free to post them in the comments and we’ll do our best to answer them in the coming days.
One of the big downsides to owning an Xbox 360 is the serious lack of built-in WiFi, and the fact that it’ll cost you usually at least $70 to be able to connect to the awesome Xbox Live using your WiFi network. While we don’t know if Microsoft has any plans to change that part of the 360 anytime soon, GameStop has posted online a new Wireless N WiFi adapter for the 360 for $100 coming November 3rd.
The big news here is that the Xbox 360 will be the first to use the latest high speed WiFi networks that are becoming more and more common everyday (wireless N is much faster and has a much better range than the older wireless G and B networks, and pretty much anywhere you look for a new WiFi router you’ll most likely find wireless N for a not too expensive price. I personally can’t wait for this; I currently use wireless N in my own house, and can’t play Xbox Live because the WiFi adapter can’t pick it up). This would also be the first of the next-gen systems to be able to use the next gen wireless N.
Unfortunately, Microsoft wants to again charge $100 out of the gate to get in on this, something I don’t know why they’re doing– especially because the Wii and PS3 still do have WiFi built in. Hopefully someone at Microsoft decides to make the smart move and drop this to a more reasonable number, because as much as I (and I’m sure any hardcore Xbox Live gamer) would wanna get this– there’s no way I’m willing to give Microsoft another $100 for it. You can pre-order it now from GameStop.
In other Xbox 360 news, anyone looking for a new 360 may wanna listen up here. Microsoft, along with Activision presumably, are planning a really sick 360 bundle to launch with the upcoming Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2. How sick you may ask? For $400, you’ll be getting an Xbox 360 with a sick Call of Duty paint job, the video game itself, 2 black wireless controllers, and…. a 250 GB hard drive! Yeah, that’s right, 250 GB! It’s a pretty solid deal in my opinion (mainly for the 250GB hard drive, and the amount of games you could possibly save on that hard drive), and you can expect this to come out with Modern Warfare 2 on November 10th. You can also pre-order it now on Amazon.