Posts tagged Microsoft
June is almost here and that means a couple of things: school is almost over, summers almost here, the NBA Playoffs are in full gear, and the major video game conference E3 is almost upon us.
This year’s E3 looks to truly be epic, with promises of more info on the Nintendo 3DS, PlayStation Move, Xbox 360 Project Natal, and who knows what else! Now as we’ve done in years past, we’ll have all the info on all the awesome, need-to-know stuff out of E3. But for those of you who want to follow one of the biggest announcements live, Microsoft and MTV are teaming up to broadcast the whole Project Natal announcement featuring CIRQUE DU SOLEIL commercial-free on MTV, Tuesday, June 15 at 3:30 PM ET, and will be replayed on MTV’s other networks– Nick at Nite, mtvU, MTV Hits, and Logo– Tuesday, June 15 at 9 PM ET.
MTV’s other network, Spike TV, will also be showing off other Microsoft Xbox 360 announcements such as demos of games like HALO: Reach, Gears Of War 3, and Fable III. Called “Xbox 360: The Future Revealed” that show airs LIVE on Monday, June 14 from 1:30 – 3 PM ET.
So Microsoft announced the KIN today (formerly known as “Project Pink“)—their teen-focused phone with heavy emphasis on always staying connected. Of course as we know, KIN is a social phone and not a smartphone like the iPhone, Droid, or HD2. In other words—no apps.
After speaking to a few friends of mine (who aren’t as into tech), most of them really like the KIN and are really considering it for their next phone: it’s got that sleek hardware with full keyboards and multi-touch screens, 3G and WiFi, Zune for music and videos, those high powered cameras (both on the KIN 1 and KIN 2), and of course that deep connection to keep you completely connected to your Facebook, Twitter etc. Not to mention that it runs on Verizon. The lack of apps don’t seem to be an issue when seeing everything this phone does (and as one friend put it with regard to apps, “I’ve got my iPod touch for that”), with the only real concern I’m hearing– and the thing which is probably the biggest factor for this phone, is how much will the data plan and all this will cost (something we hope will be solved by Microsoft and Verizon not charging the same $30 a month that it costs to get say a BlackBerry or other smartphone plan).
Me? After seeing briefly what the KINs do, I’m definitely curious. I personally have gotten really reliant on the apps on my iPhone, and now don’t see how I can go back, no matter how awesome this all looks. It’s a tough call though, particularly if the pricing on this is more affordable (especially with the data plan) than what it costs to get a smartphone. I do though know that Microsoft has truly brought back that feeling that made the Sidekick line so great, and really brought it up to the way we live our lives today (in case you don’t know, these phones were designed by the same company that made the Sidekicks– a company called Danger, whom Microsoft bought back in 2008. The phones are even manufactured by Sharp, the same company Danger used to manufacture most of the Sidekick line).
Now we want to know—is the KIN something you want as your next phone, and if your on Verizon, will you look to that or something like a Droid to be your next phone. In other words, is a great social phone better for you than a phone with thousands of apps? Sound off in the comments.
While we are eagerly waiting to see what exactly Microsoft wants to share tomorrow, it appears that there are more and more signs of this being something focused on us. What do I mean? Look at the page Microsoft has set up with regards to the event– or better yet, look at the pic above. Somehow I don’t think this will be an event focused on the businessman. Also, take a look at this– the Microsoft Student Twitter that’s designed for “Representing the Student Experience team at Microsoft–we’re here to make sure students around the world have good experiences with Microsoft!” Out of all of Microsoft’s many Twitter feeds (such as for Windows Phone, Zune, Xbox, Office etc.), only it and the main Microsoft (@Microsoft) seem to mention this big event. Hmm… maybe this is Microsoft looking for the attention of a certain market?
Oh, and one last thing. In the top pic, look at the green dot in the upper right. That phone looks very curiously like the supposed “Turtle” phone… In all seriousness, I know my interest has definitely been even more piqued for this tomorrow, and I can’t wait to see what it is exactly Microsoft has in store (who knows, maybe if we’re really lucky they’ll announce the Courier!).
There will be a live webcast of the event at Microsoft’s site here for those interested starting at 10 o’clock AM PDT (or 1 PM for those of us on the East Coast), and you can make sure that whatever Microsoft’s got planned, we’ll have it covered for you here.
Think Apple is the only one that can dominate a news week? Think again. Microsoft has sent out invites to the press about something to “share” this coming Monday, April 12th. What this “something” is? Here are a few guesses.
There is a lot of talk about Microsoft perhaps unveiling 2 new phones– not Windows 7 phones, but new phones that are similar to the Sidekick. In 2008, Microsoft bought a company called Danger, the makers of the hit T-Mobile phone series, the Sidekick. Now these new phones, codenamed “Project Pink,” are very teen-focused phones, meaning an emphasis on strong social network integration (such as via sites like Twitter and Facebook) and full keyboards. But instead of these phones continuing to run on T-Mobile, it looks like Verizon will be picking them up. Read on for all the rumored details.
With the iPad launch nearing, things in this rejuvenated tablet market look to become much more interesting– and much more intense. Now there’s been word for a while of rumors of Microsoft making their own tablet– codenamed “Courier”– and recently more shots of what this device is have leaked out, and I, as someone who views the iPad as a possible the perfect school computer, and is really considering buying my own iPad once it comes out (though I might wait that little extra time for the 3G version)– would really consider dropping those plans immediately for this. Yes, this looks to be that good.
The Courier truly is a very unique and very cool device– with dual multi-touch screens (reminds me of an open notebook), a very stylish and sleek interface (while rumored to be based off the Windows Phone 7 Series OS, this is not just plain copy of a Windows 7 or Windows Phone 7, but something different that looks to be perfectly designed for this type of device), a camera (something we all know the iPad is missing), and a special “Courier pen” that can be used for writing notes onto the tablet. Seriously check out this video of the Courier from Engadget:
Whether or not you like Microsoft or are “an Apple fanboy,” you gotta admit this looks amazing. There also is said to be a headphone jack for media playback, some really cool artistic apps for all you creative types out there, an eBook app (as seen below; maybe this is also Microsoft’s attempt to get into the very hot eBook game, as the iPad is Apple’s), and as you saw in the video, a dedicated website for uploading your work and sharing it with the world. I mean, imagine this– your taking notes in school miss a day. You upload this and your friends can come in and instantly fill in what’s missing (as well as save the notes if they needed). Projects and collaboration couldn’t have been made easier.
The web looks great here as well (exactly as you’d expect on your laptop or desktop)– and if this thing can do some gaming like Windows Phone 7 Series, I’ll be the first to line up!
I’m really hoping Microsoft fesses up to this soon (as of right now, we still gotta categorize this as a rumor as of course Microsoft hasn’t acknowledged that this thing even exists), and before I and many others give in to the temptation and go for the the iPad. But seeing as the iPad goes on sale in only a couple of weeks– which tablet would you rather go with– the iPad, Courier or are you looking at some other tablet?
Pix, video and info via Engadget
From time to time, we’ll provide our thoughts as to where we think the industry is going, particularly as it relates to teens. We’re calling these posts, Inside Out, because we’ll be looking from where we sit into the outside world.
The future of the cell phone: the Windows Phone 7 Series, iPhone 3GS, BlackBerry Curve 8530, Palm Pre Plus and the Nexus One
Cell phones. We live by them. They’re by our sides 24/7, wherever we are. They are our ways of connecting with the world, through texts, IM’s, or just regular calls. Getting a new one is no longer just picking up a free phone, it’s a choice of style and design. Do we want a full keyboard, something that has a good camera and music player, a simple phone that doesn’t cost much, or something completely loaded with all of the latest features? The choices are endless, no matter what carrier you’re on– Verizon, AT&T, Sprint, or T-Mobile.
But recently there’s been a major shift in the cell phone market, led by new phones like the iPhone, Pre, BlackBerry, Droid and Nexus One. This is the rise of the smartphone (as those phones are called), phones that no longer just do texts but also email, internet, Facebook and Twitter. These phones are growing rapidly and more and more of us are switching to them when we look for new phones. Let’s take a look at why that is and where this is all leading.
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.