Microsoft has begun the process of updating Hotmail’s user interface with some users already onboard with the new design.
Aside from the new look which includes both a full and a classic interface, the contacts feature has been updated and there is now integration with Live’s Calendar beta.
If you have a Hotmail account and still the old interface, some users would consider you lucky with some finding the new interface more difficult to use. Of course, it could also just be that some users are having trouble with the change.
For more info about what’s new check out this page.
[Via Download Squad]
Microsoft has quietly revealed that their upcoming mobile operation system, Windows Mobile 7, has been delayed until the second half of 2009.
No comment from Microsoft on the move, but with the iPhone and Android operating systems getting all the attention right now and Palm’s next major OS release coming (one day) hopefully the extra time means it will be extra polished.
At $25,000 the new Cray CX1 isn’t exactly affordable, but if you’re looking for a supercomputer that will be able to fit on your desk this is it.
Together with Microsoft and Intel, Cray has announced a new supercomputer that can use up to eight nodes and run up to 16 Intel Xeon processors. That means with quad-core chips you’ll have up to 64 processor cores to do your number crunching.
The CX will also have up to 4 terabytes of internal storage and can address up to 64GB of memory.
Cray has not released any performance specs yet on the machine but suffice to say it will kick major ass. For more info check out the product page here.
As mentioned earlier, Microsoft is changing gears a bit with their TV ads that use Apple’s ads as a staring-off point and introducing their own “I’m a PC” themed ads.
When I first heard about the new direction I had mixed feelings. I hated the previous two ads with Jerry Seinfeld and Bill Gates so the fact that something different was coming sounded like a good idea, but when the New York Times reported that the new ads would open with a John Hodgman-like Microsoft engineer saying “Hello, I’m a PC, and I’ve been made into a stereotype” my expectations fell.
Last night I happened to catch the first of the new ads on TV the Times was right–it did open with that line–but then went in the direction of showing people from all walks of life (teachers, doctors, engineers, actors, astronauts, etc.) telling briefly what they do with their PC’s to remind people that Windows isn’t just for spreadsheets and viruses.
I would rate the ads as better than expected. I like the new direction much more than that of the Seinfeld and Gates ads. The new ones are actually enjoyable and about something (imagine that). Good ads for a little perspective.
Check the main aid and a couple shorter versions of it below if you’re interested:
After a generally very poor reception to their “teaser” ads featuring Jerry Seinfeld and Bill Gates, Microsoft has announced that they are ending that line of ads and will be taking things in a different direction.
In a bit of a surprising move, the new ads will embrace the series of ads begun by Apple, at least partly. The next ad will feature a Microsoft engineer playing the role of a ‘PC’ (the role comedian John Hodgman plays in Apple’s campaign) and will reportedly begin with the line “hello, I’m a PC, and I’ve been made into a stereotype”.
I wonder if it will also feature sad music and crying in an effort to get us to feel sorry for poor PC?
A Microsoft brand marketing manager told the New York Times that Apple has been “using a lot of their money to de-position our brand and tell people what we stand for” and that they want to take back that narrative.
Well, good luck with that. I’m looking forward to seeing the new ads, but honestly I’m not expecting very much.
Note to Microsoft: Want to win people over? Make Windows 7 kick ass and not require brand new hardware to be able to use all of it’s features.
Microsoft has released it’s 3.0 update for their Zune devices.
New features of the 3.0 update include:
- The ability to provide you with song recommendations.
- New pre-programmed channels with things like “workout music”
- Two new games (Hexic and Texas Hold’Em)
- The ability to purchase tracks via the Wi-Fi connection including free connectivity at partners across the US via Wayport which includes 9,800 McDonald’s restaurants
- Audiobooks from Audible.com and OverDrive
AND, this is really cool: using the Zune’s built-in FM tuner, if you hear a song you like just let the device know and it will identify it and download it the next time you sync. Cool!
For more info check out the official what’s new page here.
While some retailers are already starting to show a new, lower price for the 120GB add-on hard drive for the Xbox 360 console, Microsoft has finally made it official.
The new price for the drive is $149, down from $179.
The second installment of Microsoft’s new “edgy” ad campaign has aired. Miss it? You can check out the long version of it below.
What do I think? While I do feel that it’s better than the first one, I just don’t like it–crappy ad about nothing. I just don’t find it funny.
Two ads into their campaign and I don’t feel any better about Microsoft or Windows than I did before I saw the ads.
Is that how I’m supposed to feel?
In an interview with Maximum PC an anonymous Microsoft Windows Vista product manager sat down for a frank conversation about Vista’s launch problems.
Some of the very refreshing and honest points are:
- Instability thanks to bad GPU and/or printer drivers by third parties.
- Poorly implemented User Account Control.
- DirectX 10 should have been ported to Windows XP.
- OEM system builders are bad for including bad, buggy, or just plain useless apps on their machines in exchange for a few bucks on the back end.
- Games for Windows initiative is a disaster, with nothing more than 64-bit compatibility for games to show for years of effort.
- Apple is more appealing than Vista because “the hardware is slick, the price is OK, and Apple doesn’t annoy its customers (or allow third parties to).”
For the whole story check out Maximum PC here.
Apple’s latest version iTunes, version 8, seems to be causing some grief for Windows Vista users.
According to reports, some users are experiencing a “blue screen of death” after plugging in an iPod or iPhone. Apparently having the device plugged in when the computer boots doesn’t make a difference.
Some affected by the problem have been able to connect their iPod or iPhone to their Vista computer succesfully by first unplugging other USB devices, particulary HP printers and scanners. For some, however, this doesn’t help at all and even a clean install of Vista doesn’t make things work.
Could it be related to a bad USB driver with iTunes 8? That’s what some users are guessing.
Either way, seems safe to say it is related to Apple’s inexcusably poor QA as of late. Seems that they’ve adopted Microsoft’s “screw it, we’ll patch it later” mentality.