XBOX 360 price cut in Europe

European Xbox 360 price cuts are now the real deal. The 360 Arcade is now just €199.99 / £159.99, while the Premium drops €80 / £50 to €269.99 / £199.99 and the Elite comes down €80 / £40 to €369.99 / £259.99.

From Engadget

Beta out 5GB in.

Microsoft has removed the beta from Windows Live Sky Drive and pumped it up to 5GB from the earlier 1GB.

This is good for people like me. But for some reason Sky Drive… is not meant for me.

A brief history

On its launch, Windows Live Folders (as it was then) was provided as a limited managed beta and available only to a few testers in the United States. On August 1, 2007, the service was expanded to a wider audience. Shortly after on August 9, 2007 Windows Live Folders was renamed Windows Live SkyDrive and the participation was expanded to testers in the United Kingdom and India. On February 21, 2008, Windows Live SkyDrive is officially out be beta testing stage and released to 38 countries and regions.

-Wikipedia

Games for Zune!

  • For starters, first-gen Zunes don’t appear to be ruled out by any means, but it’s going to be dependent on the game controls. Zauri, the sample space shooter game demoed today, uses the Zunepad, thus wouldn’t work (as well) on a Zune 30. Nothing has been decided as to whether games will universally require 2nd-gen Zunes, though.
  • Use of the Zunepad in Zauri was as a trackpad and omnidirectional — it wasn’t just up / down / left / right, as in the menus.
  • Right now the system partitions a mere 16MB for storing games, although this might change.
  • Right now there isn’t a professional-grade SDK to announce; all titles should initially be done up in XNA Studio.
  • Means of distribution (i.e. games loaded through an installer, through the Zune desktop app, or through Zune Marketplace?) has not yet been decided.
  • The first beta development tools will be out this Spring.
  • There are no plans for Zune game sharing (yet), so to play with a friend wirelessly you both must have the game on your Zune.

Those were a few details from Engadget.

A good addition to the Zune.

Browse Happy!

Internet Explorer can make your computer unsafe. Why not switch to a browser that’s more secure?

Browsehappy is a website that discourages use of IE. I am devoted to Firefox. If you really like IE you do get themes that make it look like IE. I have to use IE cause I am on Holiday and it sucks, because websites don’t show up properly its plain sucky…

I am devoted to Firefox 100% and want you to join firefox to!

Windows 7 M1: No need to get excited?

Link

From TG Daily.

I have been lucky enough to get an early peek at Microsoft’s next operating system, Windows 7. But if you were expecting dramatic visual changes and a departure from Vista, Milestone 1 truly disappoints. But then, M1 has a different purpose, it is not intended to provide eye candy. Here’s what you could expect from M1 – in the very unlikely case you’d come across the installation DVD.

No matter how you slice it, Microsoft surely has an interesting ride with Vista. It is this OS that has cost several billion dollars to develop and was intended to revolutionize the way we work with computers. It didn’t quite happen and Vista probably has drawn more criticism than any other of the firm’s OSs before. But, of course, it isn’t quite what you would call a failure, since more than 100 million copies have been sold in a year or so.

I am wondering: Where does Microsoft go from here? Vista SP1 is the traditional one-year check-up and patch for OS, but are Vista’s ideas here to stay? The talk about 7 is already beginning to gain traction – and of course I was interested in what ideas Microsoft has for the Vista successor. Lucky me, I am in the right spot to actually take such early software for a test drive. And here’s my impression.

I was able to obtain a Windows 7 M1 DVD image (2.7 GB in size) to create the disk necessary for install. This M1 version actually is not a standalone Windows version, but requires Vista as a foundation. To be exact, Vista isn’t enough, you will need Vista SP1, which you will be able to get in mid-March, but which has been available to Microsoft’s partners for several weeks now. On my standard Core 2 Duo-based PC, M1 actually installed on top of Vista Ultimate SP1 without any problems.

The install itself looks very similar to a regular Vista install routine, indicating that Microsoft hasn’t spent any time on this part of the software yet. What is interesting however, that this M1 could only be configured to match the Vista SP1 version: Accordingly, I ended up with a “Windows 7 Ultimate”.

After getting Aero back up running (you will have to adjust the Windows Experience Index manually), you really start wondering what is actually different here. I have been poking around in the Windows 7 system and it simply is running piggy-back with Windows Vista in this stage. All icons are the same, the overall look is the same, and most of the functionality is the same – minus a few crashes and incompatibilities here and there due to the early code.

M1 includes an automatic dual-boot install, which I found out later. The system I loaded the upgrade on has become a dual-boot system, which I was never given the option to select. Yes, I admit I did not read the EULA and I did not scan the fine print (and who really does, especially in such an early version) as it installed. So, my system has the option to either boot to Windows 7 or boot to Windows Vista Ultimate when it is turned on.

You can dig around more in the technicalities of Windows 7, but I was not able to discover anything especially interesting here either. The system feels slightly faster than the regular Vista – memory usage is at about 500 MB with no other software running in the background. Overall, the potentially new and much leaner kernel isn’t there yet.

It isn’t difficult to conclude that there is no way that this is what Windows 7 will look like. What is happening here is that new code is using Windows Vista as a cover. The simple purpose of M1 is to get a first idea how stable and compatible the code is with certain hardware and applications. If Vista wasn’t there, you’d only see raw code and a basic UI. This is how early we are in the development of Windows 7. Of course, as time goes by, it would not surprise me a bit, if the GUI changes. Each release will have something new. This is how it was in the past and there is no reason to change that approach now.


So, when will we see Windows 7 in stores?

Microsoft said that it will be at least another three years until the release, which would put it into the 2010/2011 timeframe. And we still remember the Vista delays. So 2011 should be a good guess. What strikes me however, is that the source I was receiving M1 from, as well as Microsoft M1 documentation, point to a much earlier release date. Right now, we are looking at Q3 or Q4 2009 for sure, possibly earlier.

WV SP1 and WXP SP3 Dates revaled!

French Website PC Impact claim to have the release dates for the two Microsoft Heavy Weight Champions. Well, according to them, we will be seeing Vista SP1 a little earlier than previously anticipated:

Windows Vista SP1: February 18th or 19th
Windows XP SP3: March 23rd or 24th

Flickr fans tell Microsoft to forget it!

This is what happens when Microsoft tries to take over not just a company but also a community: a number of Flickr users have launched a group opposing the attempted acquisition.

The Microsoft: Keep Your Evil Grubby Hands Off Our Flickr group has 1,804 members and counting. The photo-sharing site has no shortage of opinionated members, and who knows how many shares they’ll be able to vote in a proxy fight, but it is an interesting development.

“I’m not a Microsoft hater,” said Flickr user Christopher Bosum. “I just don’t like the fact that there might be just another Internet monopolist.”

Obviously you know why they are doing this!