Items tagged with MIC

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...
It's true.  There is at least one feature in Windows Vista that was implemented on time, to spec, and fully functional when Vista was initially released: User Account Control (UAC).In a Thursday presentation at RSA 2008 in San Francisco, David Cross, a product unit manager at Microsoft who was part of the team that developed UAC, admitted that Microsoft's strategy with UAC was to irritate users and ISVs in order to get them to change their behavior."The reason we put UAC into the platform was to annoy users. I'm serious," said Cross. Well, we have to admit, Microsoft succeeded.  Of course, as Microsoft said, the idea was to get users to change their behavior.  For many, what this... Read more...
You'll recall that Microsoft has removed the "kill switch" in Windows Vista, meaning that users of suspected counterfeit copies will nagged rather than losing functionality. Microsoft is about to launch a pilot program for Office, with similar nagging notifications."Consumers will receive a pop-up dialog box alerting them that their Microsoft Office software is not genuine," said Cori Hartje, the director of Microsoft's Genuine Software Initiative, the company's anti-counterfeit operation.According to Hartje, the new OGA notification system will display a pop-up the first time each day a user opens any Office application, and it will follow that with another dialog box two hours later. The process... Read more...
Responding to a letter Microsoft sent the Yahoo Board of Directors over the weekend, Yahoo said not only is the offer not enough, threats aren't going to get Microsoft anywhere.Steve's letter said that Yahoo's management is "choosing not to enter into substantive negotiations" with the Redmonds, letting "this window of opportunity" to reach a friendly agreement pass. If it has to come to a proxy fight with dueling director slates, it will be with a new offer as a backdrop—and it will be lower then the one currently on the table. Yahoo has three weeks to accept Microsoft's current offer before the price drops.Yang says that he's "not opposed to a transaction with Microsoft if it is in the best... Read more...
Saturday Microsoft send a letter to the Yahoo! Board of Directors, setting a deadline of three weeks, or April 26th for an agreement to be made. If an agreement has not been reached by then, Microsoft indicated it would be forced to take the matter directly to the shareholders.The software giant threatened to launch a proxy fight to unseat Yahoo's board of directors, as well as take its case straight to Yahoo investors should no deal be reached in that period.And as a further cattle prod in getting a deal consummated, Microsoft threatened to lower its existing bid, citing how Yahoo's value will be hurt if it needs to resort to such hostile means. Three weeks?  We don't have long to wait... Read more...
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