Posts Tagged ‘ Microsoft ’

Xbox 360 to get USB storage support

On April 6th, Xbox 360 owners will be able to use USB storage devices on their consoles, so thus increasing their total amount of memory.   Supporting 16GB USB devices, you’ll be able to plug two units into your console and get an extra 32GBs of total storage for your 360.

With quite a lot of 360 owners now running low on storage (especially those who refuse to upgrade to a bigger HDD) this is excellent news, since you can increase your storage space via USB and the cost difference compared to a Microsoft 360 HDD is huge!

It’s even better news for those who use Xbox 360 Arcades – you’ll now have much more space to save your games!

Microsoft stated: “You can have 2 USB flash drive devices connected to the console at a time, (up to 16GB each) enabling up to 32GB of simultaneous storage”

So, if you have a USB disk drive simply lying around the house, you’ll soon be able to put it to good use on your Xbox!

Roll on April 6th!

Which browser will you choose??

  

From today (Monday 1st March 2010) you will be given the choice of which browser you want to use in Windows.  

Microsoft have struck a deal with the European Commission to allow users to choose one of 12 browsers to use in Windows, instead of the normal Internet Explorer.   The agreement resolves a long-running case in which the software giant was accused of abusing its market position.  

A pop-up window will prompt people to choose and install one of 12 different browsers or let them stick with Microsoft’s Internet Explorer.  

BROWSER CHOICES
  • Avant
  • Chrome
  • Firefox
  • Flock
  • Green Browser
  • Internet Explorer
  • K-meleon
  • Maxthon
  • Opera
  • Safari
  • Sleipnir
  • Slim

The browser choice software will be delivered from Monday as part of the Windows Update system Microsoft usually uses to distribute security patches. 

 

Although the update has been prepared for Windows XP, Vista and 7, not all users will actually see it.  

It will not pop up in front of those who already run a different default browser, such as Firefox, Safari or Chrome.  

Users guaranteed to see it are those that have Internet Explorer (IE) set as their default browser and have taken the option to let Windows automatically download and install updates.  

Those that have this option turned off will be prompted to download, install and run the software.  Those that have automatic updates turned off can go to the Windows Update site and run a “Check For Updates” to get it.  

When it runs, the software will present users with a window that says in bold text “An important choice to make: your browser”. It also asks people to ensure they are connected to the internet.  

Once the “OK” button is clicked, they will see a screen that lists the 12 browsers available.  

The Opera, Firefox, Chrome, Safari and Internet Explorer browsers are randomly ordered on the first section of this screen.  

Another seven browsers, namely Sleipnir, Green Browser, Maxthon, Avant, Flock, K-meleon, and Slim, will be randomly ordered on the rest of the screen. They can be viewed by scrolling sideways.  

Below each listing will be a button giving more information. Another button lets users install one of the browsers.  

Alternatively, users can opt to ignore the selection and make a choice later. If they do this a shortcut icon will appear on the Windows desktop that gives access to the browser choice window at any time.  

The choice screen will keep appearing until a user has made a choice.  

Anyone wanting to stick with IE will be prompted to upgrade to the latest version.  

Microsoft said that Windows 7 users who have fixed or “pinned” IE to their taskbar will have it unpinned by the update. Right clicking the icon for any browser will let users pin that program to the taskbar.  

It is not yet clear what effect the browser choice will have on Internet Explorer’s market share.  

Although exact estimates are hard to find, web stats firm Net Applications said IE is used by 62% market share. Its closest rival is Firefox at 24%.  

Some fear the browser choice system will confuse people. Already some who have been confronted with the choice screen have been worried that their machine has been taken over or fallen victim to a virus.  

(Source: BBC Tech)  

Graph showing current browser market share

 

Personally, I use Firefox and I always will.  I find it quicker when starting up and when accessing websites.  So, the choice for me is Firefox.  

@jaybranch

Microsofts ‘Magic Wand’

Newly released patent applications from Microsoft have sparked speculation that it is to unveil a Wii remote rival at the E3 expo in Los Angeles. An application was filed in 2007 for a motion controller, dubbed Magic Wand, that interacts with “a collection of sensors”.

Microsoft says it will not “comment on speculation” about a possible launch. Gavin Ogden, from gaming site http://www.c&vg.com/ told the BBC that Microsoft needed to “jump on the motion sensor bandwagon”. “We thought they were going to show something off at the E3 Expo in 2007 – some sort of waggle stick – but nothing materialised,” he said. “I have no doubt they are going to try and do something, although it remains to be seen how they do it.”

Biometrics

The patent application also describes “biometric sensors” that would examine “fingerprint, hand geometry, hand vein pattern, palm pattern, and grip configuration” along with “facial thermogram, a facial feature, a retinal feature, or an iris feature”.

“There was talk, a long time ago, about mapping people’s faces on to characters,” said Mr Ogden. “However, there were concerns that people would stick real faces on it – such as Gordon Brown – and then spend all day shooting them. The world wasn’t ready for that.”

At the beginning of May, Microsoft’s boss, Steve Ballmer, gave a speech to the Dallas Regional Chamber and was quoted as saying: “Pay attention to the stuff we’re announcing in the next month on Xbox.”

So the industry will be waiting to see if Microsoft comes up with any surprises at the Los Angeles expo in June.

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