Items tagged with MIC

It's not over yet - not completely - but it might as well be. On Monday Microsoft sent out a letter to its customers dashing any hopes of a stay of execution for Windows XP.The letter (PDF) from Bill Veghte, senior vice president of the Online Services & Windows Business group, affirms that after June 30 Microsoft will suspend OEM distribution of Windows XP. The extension some people advocated isn't happening. Good. As I've expressed before, Microsoft can't get XP out of the OEM channel fast enough.But vestiges of XP distribution will continue, since system builders can continue shipping the operating system through Jan. 31, 2009. They acquire the software from distributors. Now this is interesting:... Read more...
Microsoft's security updates for June seem to be having a profound effect in the ongoing battle against crooks who steal passwords and usernames, then use their ill-gotten info to cash in the imaginary gold MMORPG players accumulate for real money. One password stealer, called Taterf, was detected on 700,000 computers in the first day after the update. That's twice as many infections as were spotted during the entire month after Microsoft began detecting the notorious Storm Worm malware last September."These are ridiculous numbers of infections my friends, absolutely mind-boggling," wrote Matt McCormack, a spokesman with Microsoft's Malware Response Center, in a Friday blog posting.Between June... Read more...
Can't buy the company? Can't buy the search technology? Well, how about buying the talent? Wednesday Microsoft placed a full-page ad for "search jobs" in (gasp!) an honest-to-goodness hard copy paper, The San Jose Mercury-News. Despite the ubiquity of the San Francisco Chronicle, for Silicon Valley, the Merc is the paper."There are now very few companies that remain truly committed to defining the future of search and online advertising," the ad reads. "Microsoft is one of them."Microsoft's not-so-subtle dig at Yahoo is particularly well-timed amid rumors that Yahoo is in a hiring freeze, or at least a cold chill and amid a rash of high-level defections.In the ad, Microsoft touts its partnerships... Read more...
Las Vegas's Rio All-Suite Hotel & Casino becomes the second commercial location to sport Microsoft's Surface devices--table-top, multi-touch-input computers. The first commercial implementation of Surface was this last April in select AT&T stores. "Harrah's will deploy a suite of their own customized applications and be the first to install Microsoft Surface in an entertainment venue, providing guests with uniquely personalized and engaging social experiences. Their most ambitious application is 'Flirt' which uses strategically placed video cameras to create an exciting new way to initiate conversation, flirt and meet new people from one Surface to another. Additional applications include... Read more...
Microsoft has released a new DirectX redistributable package into the wild for virtually all versions of Windows, including Vista.  This is a DX9.0c / DX10 update that's not going to show up on the Windows Update website, but it is an official release."This download provides the DirectX end-user multi-languaged redistributable that developers can include with their product.  The DirectX redist installation includes all the latest and previous released DirectX runtime. This includes the bi-monthly D3DX, XInput, and Managed DirectX components." This is not going to make your Vista framerates jump all that much, if at all, but with the relative immaturity of Vista and graphics drivers... Read more...
Hot on the heels of a study released by Microsoft subsidiary and in-game advertising firm Massive, Inc. which indicated that in-game ads "enhanced the realism of the game," comes the news from Sony that it is opening its gaming platform to in-game ads from outside companies.In-game ads firm IGA Worldwide has secured a multi-year deal with Electronic Arts to provide advertising for its sports and racing titles.The two year deal will cover EA Sports franchises Madden NFL, NBA Live, NASCAR and the NHL series, as well as racers Need for Speed and Burnout."We are thrilled at this opportunity to expand our strong relationship with EA and are pleased to have been selected to support EA and Sony on this... Read more...
In April Microsoft announced that Windows XP Home would be available for Netbooks and other ultra-low-cost laptops for one year after the release of the next version of Windows (currently known as Windows 7), or June 30th, 2010, whichever is later. On Tuesday at Computex Microsoft extended that same support to so-called Nettops, or ultra-low-cost desktops.“Customers and partners have made it clear to us that they want Windows on their netbooks and nettops. We are committed to providing Windows solutions for these devices, helping to ensure a high-quality experience for both our partners and customers.”Strangely, it seems the although Microsoft has realized customers want XP on their nettops (it... Read more...
Super Talent Announces 1.8-Inch Micro-SATA SSD for LaptopsUltra-Thin ?MasterDrive KX? SSD is Ideal for UMPC UpgradesComputex, Taipei, Taiwan ? June 3, 2008 ? Super Talent Technology, a leading manufacturer of Flash storage solutions and DRAM memory modules, today released a new line of 1.8-inch Micro-SATA SSDs. At merely 5mm thick, these Micro-SATA SSDs are slimmer than most 1.8-inch hard drives, and hold up to 120GB of data. ?In terms of performance, power consumption, and shock and vibration resistance the MasterDrive KX is substantially better than hard drives. The MasterDrive KX is an excellent upgrade for laptop users looking for greater reliability or to accelerate bootup and load... Read more...
Microsoft is going multi-touch crazy. First it was the Microsoft Surface technology, which debuted last year at The Wall Street Journal's (WSJ) fifth edition of its All Things Digital Conference (D5). Next came multi-touch walls, which Bill Gates demonstrated only a few weeks ago at Microsoft's own CEO Summit. Fast forward to last night, and (not coincidentally) Bill Gates showed off Microsoft's latest multi-touch foray at WSJ's sixth edition of its All Things Digital Conference (D6)-- this time multi-touch is going to be an integral element of the next version of Windows, Windows 7. "Touch is quickly becoming a common way of directly interacting with software and devices. Touch-enabled surfaces... Read more...
Microsoft can't get any traction in the search engine world. Their Live Search utility is mired in single-digit user percentage, and their attempt to vault into a distant but respectable second place by purchasing Yahoo! was rebuffed. They're nothing if not tenacious over at Redmond, and they've got another idea to get you to search with them: They'll pay you. Microsoft's "Live Search cashback" site, set to be unveiled Wednesday, promises to pay back a portion of the purchase price -- ranging from about 2 percent to more than 30 percent -- to people who use it to find designated products and buy them online from participating retailers.The company has signed up a long list of merchants to participate... Read more...
After Microsoft walked away from the table it seemed that a deal between the Redmond giant and Yahoo was not in the cards.  Such an impression might not be 100% accurate:Microsoft Corp said on Sunday it has reached out to Yahoo Inc about an alternative deal that would not involve a full acquisition, in a move that could save the web pioneer from fighting a proxy battle with financier Carl Icahn.Microsoft said it was not proposing to make a new bid to buy all of Yahoo "but reserves the right to reconsider that alternative" depending on discussions with Yahoo, shareholders of Yahoo or Microsoft, or other third parties.Considering how poorly the first buyout went, and the ensuing public recriminations... Read more...
We've known for some time that Microsoft was working hard at getting Windows XP slimmed down and running on the One Laptop Per Child (OLPC) XO-1.  They've apparently succeeded as on Thursday Microsoft and the OLPC Foundation announced an agreement that will make Windows XP available on XO laptops.The availability of Windows, in addition to Linux, on the XO laptop will allow customers to have an expanded choice of operating environments that best fit their requirements. The intention is to create a version of the XO laptop that provides the ability to host both Windows and Linux operating systems, giving users the ability to run either on the XO laptop.“Transforming education is a fundamental... Read more...
Not only does Microsoft envision turning tabletops into computers, now it wants to do the same with walls. Today at Microsoft’s 12th annual CEO Summit, held on Microsoft's Redmond, Washington campus, Bill Gates demonstrated a prototype of a new technology called TouchWall. TouchWall takes the concept of Microsoft's Surface--a horizontal, interactive, multi-touch interface--and moves it vertically the wall.During the demonstration, Gates said: "Our view is that all the surfaces--horizontal surfaces, vertical surfaces--will eventually have an inexpensive screen display capability and software that sees what you are doing there, so it is completely interactive."Later, he added:"This kind of whiteboard--with... Read more...
In February, Robert Scoble wrote that Microsoft researchers showed him something that made him cry. At the time, he couldn't write about it, but it turned out to be this project, the Microsoft WorldWide Telescope.“The WorldWide Telescope is a powerful tool for science and education that makes it possible for everyone to explore the universe,” said Bill Gates, chairman of Microsoft. “By combining terabytes of incredible imagery and data with easy-to-use software for viewing and moving through all that information, the WorldWide Telescope opens the door to new ways to see and experience the wonders of space. Our hope is that it will inspire young people to explore astronomy and science, and help... Read more...
A recent issue where MSN Messenger and Windows Live were blocking YouTube has now been resolved.  Microsoft has laid the blame on an unnamed partner that is allegedly responsible for blocking unsafe content.  Thankfully the situation has now been resolved and Microsoft is assuring users that there won’t be a repeat of such an issue:"Microsoft did not request to block any of the URLs that were accidentally blocked," it said in the blog. "The blocks were made by our partner as a result of their process to block harmful URLs.  We are still investigating the specific reason our partner made these incorrect blocks and we will work with them to improve their process for detecting harmful URLs while... Read more...
YouTube may rule supreme in the melded world of online video and social networking, but Microsoft has a new trick up its sleeve that it hopes might steal some eyeballs away from the competition. Launching today in 20 countries and 12 languages is Microsoft's Messenger TV service, integrating online video directly into Microsoft's Live Messenger application. "Watching online video is no longer about one person in front of their computer, it's now a social experience. Users can now share a selection of free content and watch it at the same time as their friends through Messenger TV."Microsoft has partnered with a number of popular content providers, such as MTV, Sony BMG Music Entertainment, National... Read more...
A story in the New York Times had the blogosphere up in arms, but Microsoft indicates we shouldn't believe it. The Times said that Microsoft is working to implement an anti-piracy filter into its Zune media players, which would prevent playback of unauthorized videos.In fact, J. B. Perrette, the president of digital distribution for NBC Universal, made just that statement.However, a post on a semi-official Microsoft blog written by an employee working on Zune denied any such plans:We have no plans or commitments to implement any new type of content filtering in the Zune devices as part of our content distribution deal with NBC.We think some folks in the industry were expressing hopes for how... Read more...
While some reports seem to point to NBC returning to iTunes, that seems unlikely, as the Zune Marketplace, along with the changes to the Zune 2.5 software, has added NBC to the fold.Notable in the deal is NBC Universal's inclusion, as the company's programs disappeared from Apple's iTunes Store in December following disputes over pricing and bundling. "Partnering with Zune will allow us to develop innovative content offerings for their customers, including flexible pricing and packaging options beginning this fall," said JB Perrette, president of NBC Universal Digital Distribution. NBC Universal will offer NBC's "The Office," "Heroes" and "30 Rock." Also on offer will be programming from Viacom's... Read more...
Despite reports on Friday that Yahoo! had been brought to the bargaining table by a higher Microsoft offer, Microsoft issued a press release on Saturday indicating it was walking away from the deal.“Despite our best efforts, including raising our bid by roughly $5 billion, Yahoo! has not moved toward accepting our offer. After careful consideration, we believe the economics demanded by Yahoo! do not make sense for us, and it is in the best interests of Microsoft stockholders, employees and other stakeholders to withdraw our proposal,” said Ballmer.Additionally, Microsoft decided a proxy fight was not worth it, citing the following: "We regard with particular concern your apparent planning to... Read more...
Microsoft Releases Latest Microsoft Security Intelligence Report Company finds use of malicious software increasingly motivated by financial gain. LONDON - Microsoft Corp. today released the fourth volume of its Microsoft Security Intelligence Report (SIR) at Infosecurity Europe 2008. The report focuses on the second half of 2007 and uses data derived from a range of tools running on approximately 450 million computers worldwide to provide an in-depth, global view of software vulnerabilities, software exploits, malicious software and potentially unwanted software. The latest SIR shows the fewest number of security vulnerability disclosures across the software industry since the second half of... Read more...
Microsoft continues to purchase smaller companies with intriguing technologies while they wait for Yahoo.  The latest of such acquisitions, Farecast, has managed to slip by without so much as an official press release from Microsoft.So who is Farecast and why did Microsoft find them irresistible?"The Seattle startup tries to predict whether air fares will rise or fall, helping travelers decide when to buy plane tickets for upcoming trips.  Farecast's site also has a section that searches for hotel room rates, then tells Web surfers whether the price is a good deal, or no deal at all."There is no firm information at this time regarding the final price of the acquisition.... Read more...
It's been bandied around for some time: a subscription-based version of Microsoft Office, and on Friday, Microsoft launched just such a service, code-named Albany, in private beta form.  Albany includes more than just Office, however.“Albany” is the codename for a new all-in-one subscription service of essential software and services consumers told us were most important to them. We’ve pulled together the productivity tools people need to organize their lives, security to help keep their personal information safe and online services that make it easy for them to keep in touch with friends and family, and folded them all into a single service that also ensures the user’s PC is running the... Read more...
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