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Tag Archives: Microsoft

Microsoft Shows Off New Multitouch Mice Prototypes

By Chris Scott Barr

The modern mouse hasn’t exactly seen a ton of technological improvements in the last couple of decades. Sure, we’ve added buttons, made them a little more ergonomic and substituted that ball for an optical sensor. However, when you strip it all away, it’s still the same basic concept.

With all of the advancements in multitouch technologies, Microsoft is convinced that the next big breakthrough in mousing is along that path. Like any company with an idea of the future, they have been hard at work trying to develop the next big thing. In a rare move for the software giant, Microsoft has decided to show off some of their prototypes which are currently in development. I’d go into detail about each, however the above video seems to do them justice. If you’re itching for more info, you can find it on Microsoft’s website.

Bear in mind that these are nothing more than prototypes. They are simply using these to explore the possibilities that these technologies can lead to. Don’t expect to see anything from Microsoft using these ideas anytime soon. When you do finally see this stuff on store shelves, it won’t look anything like what they’re showing off now.

[ Microsoft ] VIA [ CrunchGear ]

Well It Turns Out That Microsoft Ad WAS A Porno

By David Ponce

All that was needed to reveal the hidden sexual innuendos in last week’s article about MS’ Launch Party Instructional Video was a few well placed bleeps. It’s really sort of creepy. Just watch the above video and you’ll understand.

And for those of you dense enough to need things spelled out, yes, this is a joke.

VIA [ BoingBoing Gadgets ]

Redefining Asinine: Microsoft’s Launch Party Promo/Instructional Video

By David Ponce

This. Is. Just. Awful. Just so you’re up to speed, Microsoft will be releasing Windows 7 on October 22nd and as part of their launch promotions, they’ve asked people to host launch parties for the new OS. If chosen as a host, you’d have received a free Signature Edition of Windows 7 Ultimate and run a chance to win a $750. The video above was created for these chosen hosts as both a promotional tool and somewhat of an instructional video on how to host one of these parties. Never mind now though since confirmations are already being sent out. The point here is just how freaking horrible and asinine the above video is.

I have an idea. Watch it, and then in the comments here tell us what you’d rather do than attend a Windows 7 launch party? Myself, I’d rather spend an entire day cleaning old dentures with a toothpick.

VIA [ Crunchgear ]

Windows 7 Trial Period Can Be Extended To 120 Days


By Chris Scott Barr

If you’re on the fence about Windows 7, you’re not alone. Many people didn’t like Vista, which makes them leery of upgrading to the next OS from Microsoft. Up until last week you could have downloaded the RC1 Build, but even that isn’t the full polished version you’d get with a new PC. Thankfully, Microsoft seems to know that some people aren’t ready to jump in headfirst and buy a brand new copy right off the bat. As such, they are going to let anyone test out their latest offering for a trial period before requiring them to purchase a license.

No, trial periods aren’t anything new to Windows. Generally Microsoft has allowed 30 days for you to make up your mind before asking you to send some money their way. This time around, you can extend the trial to a full 120 days. That should be long enough for just about anyone to realize that Windows 7 is a solid OS. I’ve been using it full-time on all of my Windows machines for a few months now, and couldn’t be happier. Except maybe when I’m on my Mac. (I kid, I kid.)

[ Telegraph ] VIA [ Ubergizmo ]

How Would YOU Use This? Microsoft Developing Pressure Keyboard With 256 Levels Of Sensitivity (Oh, And Win Stuff)

microsoftpressurekeyboardBy David Ponce

Lots of interesting stuff at SIGGRAPH this year. In this case, there’s a contest sponsored by ACM SIGCHI and ACM SIGGRAPH centered around a keyboard Microsoft Hardware is developing where each key is capable of detecting pressure in 8-bit resolution. In other words, in 256 levels of sensitivity. Current suggested uses for this are to selectively capitalize letters based on how hard a key is pressed, or deleting an entire word as opposed to a single letter, again, based on pressure.

Of course, these are early ideas and the whole point of the contest is to actually find out what to do with something like this. There are three categories: most useful, best implementation, most creative. Each one carries a “$2000 prize, bragging rights, and special consideration for a spot at SIGGRAPH 2010’s Emerging Technology (E-Tech) demos.”

So, you can head over to the site (check links at the bottom of article). Or if you’re too lazy to bother entering, why not give us your ideas right here in the comments… so we can steal them.

[ Contest Page ] VIA [ Electronista ]

Microsoft To Open Retail Stores This Fall


By Chris Scott Barr

It looks like Microsoft is really gearing to shake things up in the retail world. Apparently they have decided that the world is finally ready for dedicated brick-and-mortar Microsoft stores. This week the company announced that they will be opening the first of their stores this Fall, with more coming next year. Fall seems like a good time for them to be opening a store, what with Windows 7 coming out in October, but the real question is what they’re going to be selling.

Apple stores do well because they sell hardware. You can walk in and find just about any Apple computer you want, not to mention iPods and other accessories. Is Microsoft going to sell computers from other manufacturers? If so, which OEMs will get a spot in the store? If they don’t, then will you simply see shelves lined with copies of Windows, Office and a spattering of Microsoft peripherals? That doesn’t seem like it would really draw in a lot of people. I suppose they’ll have Zune’s too, but who really buys a Zune anyway?

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Microsoft Considers Shipping Windows 7 On USB Flash Drives

By Chris Scott Barr

Lets say that you purchased yourself a new netbook not long ago, and come this fall you decide to upgrade to Windows 7. How exactly are you planning on doing that without an optical drive? Sure, with you being the tech-savvy customer, you won’t have too much trouble doing this. Of course not every person is going to have such an easy time, which is why Microsoft is considering releasing the next version of Windows on a USB flash drive.

I’m glad to hear that Microsoft is considering this alternative installation method. Granted, users can  download their copy of Windows, but not everyone wants to mess with it. The USB drive would be simple and straight-forward. My biggest question is whether or not Microsoft would charge more for a flash drive, since they do cost a few bucks more than a disc.

[ Cnet ] VIA [ EverythingUSB ]

Microsoft Outlines Windows 7 Upgrade Program


By Shane McGlaun

We talked earlier about pricing for Windows 7 now that its launch is getting closer. The OS will debut in October, which is only months away. Many are expecting great things out of Windows 7 and it better deliver where Vista failed.

Microsoft says that anyone who buys a Vista equipped PC starting on June 26 will be eligible for an upgrade to Windows 7 for free. The catch is that only certain versions of Vista are eligible for upgrade. That means if you buy a cheap computer running Vista Basic, you get no upgrade.

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Microsoft To Release Free Anti-Virus Service


By Chris Scott Barr

Unless you’re running a Mac (yes, I went there), it’s almost a necessity to be running some sort of anti-virus on your machine. There are plenty to choose from, most of which cost a decent bit of money for a yearly subscription. Free ones also exist, but they always seem to be lacking a few important features. Well it seems that there will soon be another company tossing its hat into the ring of free anti-virus providers.

Microsoft is currently gearing up for a closed-beta of their new free anti-virus service, code-named Morro. It is described as a stripped-down version of their Live OneCare service. It’s hard to say a lot of bad things about a free anti-virus, so provided that Microsoft doesn’t find some way to royally screw things up, it should likely appeal to those that wouldn’t otherwise bother installing such software. No word on when they are planning to officially launch Morro.

[ Reuters ] VIA [ CrunchGear ]