Startup and Technology News
Last feed update: Sunday May 26th, 2013 06:54:18 AM
Saturday May 25th, 2013 08:30:16 PM
Price and ship date are always the biggest concerns when new gadgets or hardware hits the market, but in the case of the Xbox One, it's likely to help determine whether the "home entertainment system," as Microsoft is characterizing it, becomes the category-busting, revolutionary multi-purpose living room command center it's being billed as, or ends up just another console with niche appeal that makes it a target of lust for core gamers, but few outside that circle.
Saturday May 25th, 2013 07:14:41 PM
Microsoft's Xbox One presents a big and complicated machine whose primary purpose is a menu layer for watching television. This in an age where living room television is irrelevant. Having bet the farm on this vision, the company looks so out of step as to almost be laughable and has built the digital equivalent of the Spruce Goose.
Friday May 24th, 2013 08:31:42 PM
Once a upon a time, Microsoft saw fit to put together a YouTube app for Windows Phone and it was actually pretty great -- it let users download videos straight from the app and there was nary an ad to be found. To absolutely no one's surprise, Google wasn't too pleased: after all, the features that made the app so appealing didn't exactly jibe with YouTube's terms of service, and the search giant demanded the offending app be removed.
Well, after a bit of back and forth (and a conciliatory update), it seems the two companies have finally come to an agreement. Microsoft and YouTube released a statement today affirming that the two companies will work together on crafting yet another YouTube app for Windows Phone that doesn't fly in the face of Google's and YouTube's rules.
Friday May 24th, 2013 07:00:43 PM
Thank the old gods and the new that it's Friday, AMIRITE? You know what that means right? Friday is Gadgets Podcast day, and boy do we have a show for you!
In this episode, John Biggs, Matt Burns and Darrell Etherington discuss Microsoft's just-announced Xbox One, complete with voice commands, a brand new Kinect, a slew of new entertainment/social features, and the best specs yet.
Plus, Laptop Week is coming to a close, so the fellas discuss some of their faves, like the Dell XPS 13 Developer's Edition with Ubuntu and the 13-inch MacBook Pro with Retina.
Thursday May 23rd, 2013 12:06:05 PM
Being behind in a market sucks, and it's understandable to want to lash out at the top dog, as Microsoft has shown it's willing to do with Google in search and email, and now with Apple in tablet computers. A brand new Windows 8 ad pits the iPad against Microsoft's Windows 8 tablet, in an attempt to show how much more versatile the Asus VivoTab is vs. the iOS device.
Tuesday May 21st, 2013 10:15:13 PM
Wall Street apparently wanted something more revolutionary out of the Xbox One that launched today, as Microsoft's stock is down 0.66 percent. In turn, investors on news of a potential spin off, pushed Sony shares up 9 percent, coincidentally just after Microsoft announced its answer to the Sony Playstation.
Tuesday May 21st, 2013 06:01:21 PM
The Xbox One was just unveiled at Microsoft's Redmond campus and, true to multiple reports that circulated before the official reveal, the new console will indeed come with a Kinect.
And what a Kinect it is! The rumors of a vastly improved Kinect sensor array were right on the money -- this next-generation model is capable of tracking motions as minute as wrist rotations, and Microsoft's Marc Whitten said the new Kinect would even be able to read users' heartbeats when they're exercising or when players shift their weight.
Tuesday May 21st, 2013 05:41:15 PM
While we don't have all of the details on the new Xbox Live features announced at today's Xbox One launch, it's clear that Microsoft is going all-in when it comes to social and multiplayer gaming. First, they are upping the number of dedicated servers for online play from 15,000 to 300,000 and nearly all of your content and game data will be store in the cloud.
Tuesday May 21st, 2013 04:59:50 PM
Microsoft is about to unveil the next Xbox home gaming console, and they're broadcasting the entire event live for all to watch. There will be thrills! Spills! Chills! Maybe some actual hardware, unlike at Sony's PlayStation 4 reveal. Check it out above, or if you're in an environment where you can't listen in, or just prefer glorious words written by Greg Kumparak to these newfangled moving pictures, check out our live blog.
Tuesday May 21st, 2013 04:38:07 PM
It's Xbox day! Almost exactly 8 years after the announcement of the Xbox 360, Microsoft is back with another one.
We're live on the ground at Microsoft's Xbox campus in Redmond, where the company is about to show its next-generation console for the very first time. We'll be bringing you the news as it breaks with our up-to-the-second liveblog. Join us, won't you?
Saturday May 18th, 2013 09:00:13 PM
With Xbox 360 having started well but ended in a very confused state, I worry that Microsoft is about to carry over much of its baggage to the new console. Will the company make the same mistake of not listening to the market that it has often made in recent years? Will it continue to believe that there is a burgeoning market for an everything box? Or will it refocus on what matters?
Wednesday May 15th, 2013 08:26:14 PM
Well, that was fast: Just about a week ago, Microsoft released a YouTube app for its Windows Phone 8 platform. And today, YouTube is telling Microsoft remove it, saying that the app violates its terms of service
Tuesday May 14th, 2013 03:25:43 PM
Windows Blue will be called Windows 8.1 and will launch as a public preview on June 26, Microsoft revealed today. While the company remains mum about what exactly we can expect from Windows 8.1 (boot to desktop? the return of the Start menu?), Microsoft says that Windows 8.1 "will help [it] to deliver the next generation of PCs and tablets with our OEM partners and to deliver the experiences customers— both consumers and businesses alike —need and will just expect moving forward." The update will be available for Windows 8 and the ARM-based Windows RT.
Tuesday May 14th, 2013 01:00:31 PM
Here is something you probably didn’t see coming: Outlook.com just enabled chat interoperability with Google Talk. This new feature, which is rolling out worldwide over the next few days, allows Outlook.com users to chat with their friends on Google, just like they can already do with their Facebook friends. Given the somewhat strained relationship between Microsoft and Google, this move comes as a bit of a surprise, but it looks like Microsoft doesn’t expect any issues with this rollout. The new chat feature will be available across a number of Outlook.com-related products, including your inbox, calendar, address book and SkyDrive, so you can chat with your friends on Google while working on a document, for example. As Microsoft’s senior product manager for Outlook.com Dharmesh Mehta told me yesterday, Microsoft heard from its users that chat interoperability was “one of the things that was holding people back from switching from Gmail to Outlook.com.” Many of those users who did switch, he added, said that this was a feature “they missed after the switch.” To enable Google chat in Outlook.com, users simply have to connect their accounts using Google’s standard OAuth system to give Microsoft access to their accounts. After that, they can start new chats by hovering over a Gmail user’s contact cord or right from the standard chat pane. One thing that doesn’t currently work, though, is to start group chats that include Gmail and Facebook users. Mehta left open the possibility that Microsoft would enable this in the future, but for now, the team hasn’t built the pieces that would allow Microsoft to pass messages between the networks. Google is widely expected to launch updates to its own text, audio and video chat features at I/O later this week. It’s unlikely, however, that these will have any influence on the new features Microsoft announced today.
Tuesday May 14th, 2013 09:00:23 AM
Just before Google I/O, Microsoft is making a big pitch for developers with a high-profile announcement about a new team that will focus on building outside interest in app development on the Azure platform. The group, which will have a base in San Francisco, is part of the Developer and Platform Evangelism (DPE) group led by Technical Fellow John Shewchuk. As Mary Jo Foley wrote, the new developer team is part of Microsoft’s effort to be a platform provider more so than a software purveyor. Here’s what Shewchuk wrote recently about the effort: We’re building out the team by adding top-notch developers and evangelists from across the industry. Two recent examples: James Whittaker – a known industry disruptor and incredible speaker joins us from Bing where he has been leading the development team making Bing knowledge available programmatically – many people may know him from his viral blog post on why he left Google for Microsoft. And Patrick Chanezon just joined us from VMware where he was driving their cloud and tools developer relations – he has a ton of expertise in the open source space which will be increasingly important given our new Azure IaaS support for Linux. Of particular note is the hiring of Chanezon, who recently left VMware to join Microsoft as its director of enterprise evangelism. In a blog post, Chanezon puts an emphasis on Microsoft’s Azure platform and its readiness. Interestingly, he says that Azure “is more open than people think.” I take that as he and the development team have some work in growing awareness about the Azure infrastructure. Chanezon leaves a job at VMware where he managed developer relations for Spring and Cloud Foundry. Spring and Cloud Foundry were recently spun out into a separate company called Pivotal that is positioning as a platform for data analytics and app development. Chanezon worked at Google on the Cloud Platform Advocacy Team manager before leaving for VMware. It’s apparent that Microsoft has built a world-class development platform but getting people to use it has posed its challenges. This is in part due to Microsoft’s past focus on its insistence that developers uses Microsoft technology at every level of the stack. That attitude has shifted as symbolized in the news today and a series of announcements over the past several months related to Azure. It has launched new mobile features for iOS and Android development. In March they offered support For PhoneGap, Dropbox and Hadoop. Arguably the
Monday May 13th, 2013 04:59:47 PM
Bing recently introduced its updated people search feature and today, Microsoft is adding a few improvements to its people search that will make it even easier to find information about celebrities, politicians, athletes and many people with public LinkedIn profiles. Bing's search box now auto-suggests names as you type. Because many people share the same name, this also means that it's now easier to tell Bing who exactly you are looking for before you even hit the return key.
Sunday May 12th, 2013 10:00:50 PM
We're just a few days away from the start of Google I/O, the search giant's annual developer conference, and while we actually know very little about what Google plans to announce during its massive, three-hour keynote on Wednesday, there is something brewing in Mountain View that has Microsoft's Office division on edge. Over the course of the last week, Microsoft started a very negative anti-Google Docs campaign that fits the mold of its more general Scroogled anti-Google ads. But why the sudden focus on Google's productivity tools? That reason, I believe, is Quickoffice in the browser.
Saturday May 11th, 2013 06:30:26 PM
The Ouya is making its way out to backers even now (though my shipping notification still hasn't arrived. Grrr.) and judging by early impressions, it's no silver bullet to take down behemoths like Sony and Microsoft. The $99, Android powered console still isn't fully formed exactly, but it's doubtful that between now and June 25 it'll take on giant-killer proportions. Likewise the recently-announced BlueStacks Android gaming console, which features a subscription-based pricing model, probably won't alone topple the giants.
Friday May 10th, 2013 07:54:18 PM
After Bing and its Scroogled campaign, Microsoft is now taking aim at Google Docs. Jake Zborowski, Microsoft's senior product manager for Office, actually published two anti-Docs blog posts today: one hones in on document fidelity, the other - which includes a number of user testimonials - argues that Google Docs isn't quite ready for primetime.
Friday May 10th, 2013 04:56:21 PM
Bing‘s social sidebar, which shows relevant entries from your Facebook friends, Twitter, Klout, Quora and other services, just got a lot more interactive. You can now like Facebook posts in the social sidebar and add their own comments. In addition you can now also see all of the existing comments on a post right in the sidebar, too. This, Microsoft believes, will make the social search experience on Bing even more interactive, engaging and helpful than before. It also means users don’t have to leave Bing to engage with these posts. Chances are, after all, that they will get distracted by all of the other goodies Facebook has to offer once they leave Bing and won’t return anytime soon. Personally, I’ve never found these social search results all that useful. Microsoft, however, clearly believes that this, in combination with what they are doing around semantic search, will allow it to continue to compete with Google, which seems to have de-emphasized social search over the last few months. With its Scroogled campaign and “Bing It On” challenge, Microsoft has obviously been taking a far more aggressive stance against Google in recent months and it’s slowly adding new users. Currently, Google has a market share of about 67 percent in the U.S., and Bing is close to reaching 17 percent. There have been some recent rumors, however, that Yahoo is looking to drop Bing as its search provider (Yahoo currently commands just under 12 percent of the U.S. search market with its Bing-powered search), but given the long-term deal between the two companies, that isn’t likely to happen anytime soon.
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