Posts tagged Microsoft

Motorola partners with Microsoft, will use Bing search and maps on Chinese Android phones

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Uh, whoa. When we heard Google’s threatened pullout of China had prompted Motorola to seek out an alternative search provider for its China-bound handsets, we can’t say we were expecting a partnership with Microsoft and Bing to result. But here we are, staring at a press release announcing the Bing search and Maps will be the default on Moto’s Chinese Android phones starting in Q1 — and the partnership is described as “global,” so there’s a chance it could spread.. That’s just one more slap in Google’s face from Moto, following the release of the Yahoo-powered AT&T Backflip — and another step away from the tight relationship with Google that produced the Droid. And does this mean Motorola might yet build a Windows Phone 7 Series device, despite a very public commitment to Android? We’d say Eric and Sanjay have some unresolved differences to work through.

Microsoft tells IE faithful on Windows XP to avoid F1 key

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Still hanging around on Windows XP? Perfectly acceptable. Still using Internet Explorer to browse the world wide web? Just a wee bit less forgivable, but we understand that some of you simply can’t get around it. If we just rung your bell, you might want to rip the F1 key right off of your keyboard (at least temporarily), as a recently discovered vulnerability in VBScript — which can only bother Windows 2000, Windows XP and Windows Server 2003 — could allow malicious code to weasel its way right into your life with a single keystroke. As the story goes, some ill-willed web sites are encouraging users to smash the F1 key in order to access a Microsoft Help file, and when said key is depressed, “arbitrary code could be executed in the security context of the currently logged-on user.” Microsoft has promised to fully investigate and resolve the issue in due time, but ’til then, we’d highly suggest avoiding your F1 key like the plague switching to Firefox.

Microsoft’s SideWinder X4 reviewed: a decent choice for the budget gamer

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Microsoft’s anti-ghosting claims were recently put to the test by the good folks over at Tom’s Guide, and if you’ve been holding off on pulling the trigger to make sure it really lives up to the hype, you can finally cut loose and part ways with your hard-earned Greenbacks — maybe, anyway. For those unaware, Microsoft designed the SideWinder X4 to handle up to 26 key presses at once (it’s a “pro gamer” thing, we’re told), but it also allows for macro recording and profile / mode switching. According to the critics, the X4 is a step backwards in terms of design, particularly when compared to the flagship SideWinder X6 (which can be had for around $40 right now). Essentially, they could only really recommend it for those that actually do have ghosting issues when gaming, though they confess that said crowd is a relatively tiny one. But hey, don’t take our word for it — hit the source link and discover the truth for yourself.

Microsoft offers three new BlueTrack mice on the cheap

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Microsoft’s BlueTrack technology may have led to some pretty impressive mice, but they so far haven’t dipped much under the $50 mark. That’s now changed with the company’s new Wireless Mobile Mouse 3500, Wireless Mouse 2000 and Comfort Mouse 4500, however, which all come in at less than $30, and promise many of the same advantages as Microsoft’s pricier mice. As you can probably figure out, the three mice cover the cordless, portable, and corded bases and, with the exception of the gray-only Wireless Mouse 2000, are each available in a couple of different colors. All three are also available for pre-order starting today, with the Wireless Mouse 2000 and Comfort Mouse 4500 set to roll out next month, and the Wireless Mobile Mouse 3500 on track to ship in April.

Microsoft Arc Keyboard hands-on

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Microsoft’s Best Buy-exclusive Arc Keyboard still won’t be hitting stores for another couple of weeks (February 21st, to be specific), but we were lucky enough to get our hands on one a little early, and figured we’d share a few impressions with you, the keyboard-using masses. The first thing you’ll notice when seeing the keyboard in person is that it’s smaller than even the press photos suggested — basically the same size as your average 15-inch laptop keyboard, with a glossy bezel just big enough to let you pick it up without pressing a key. It’s also undeniably eye-catching, with an “arc” that actually more closely resembles Apple’s Magic Mouse than Microsoft’s own Arc mouse.

Of course, most folks will choose function over form when it comes to a keyboard, and in that respect the Arc Keyboard is a bit of a mixed bag.

Microsoft debuts Arc Keyboard, exclusive to Best Buy

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Well, it looks like Microsoft still has a bit more stuff in store for CES that didn’t slip out ahead of its big keynote, with it now announcing its new Arc Keyboard that will exclusive to Best Buy (at least initially). Like its Arc Mouse, this one is slim and high on style, and relatively light on any extraneous features, although you will get a 2.4GHz wireless receiver that can be tucked away in the keyboard, and at least a few extra function keys. Look for this one to be available February 21st for $59.95.

Microsoft announces Game Room for Xbox 360

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This one leaked out a bit ahead of schedule along with the rest of Microsoft’s big CES announcements, but Robbie Bach has now gotten fully official with Game Room for the Xbox 360, which promises to recreate the old school arcade experience for you (and your avatar). Set to launch “this Spring,” it’ll initially give you access to thirty classic arcade games, which you’ll be able to buy once and play on both your Xbox 360 and your PC. The real action seems to be on the Xbox 360 though, as that’s where you’ll be able to challenge your friends to a “show down,” although there unfortunately doesn’t seem to be any betting of Microsoft points instead of quarters. Head on past the break for a quick promo video.

Microsoft Bluetooth Mobile Keyboard 6000: the perfect travel keyboard?

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Earlier this year, one of our dear readers wrote in asking the collective audience which wireless keyboard was the best out there for their living room. We’ve since seen all variations of that very inquiry, but the most common one was this: “what’s the best wireless keyboard for travel?” As more and more users resort to netbooks for getting things done on the go, more and more users are pulling their hair out as they attempt to bang out this month’s sales report on an 85 percent full-size keyboard. A few months back, Microsoft let loose a new Bluetooth ‘board that seemed perfect for the weary-eyed jetsetter, and we’ve been toying with it for the last little while. It’s easily one of the thinnest and lightest keyboards we’ve seen, and the carry-along-or-don’t numeric pad is certainly a nice touch. But is this slab of circuitry really what your digits need when typing on the go? Hop on past the break for a few of our impressions.

Xbox 360 Elegant Edition shows Microsoft how it’s done

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You know, we’ve pretty much all been enamored with the Zune HD’s industrial design, but one unintended consequence for Microsoft was that it made its console look even more childish and toylike. It was inevitable, then, that a group of industrious Swedes would take up arms against this injustice and right the world with their Elegant Edition mod. Featuring three 120mm cooling fans, an aesthetic borrowed straight from the 1980s, and absolutely no shame about its bulk, this mod is cooler than the original in both the literal and colloquial sense. We’ll accept no arguments to the converse. Better still, if you’re willing to part with some cold hard cash, these fellas will build one for you too. We’ve got a few less glamorous shots of the redressed box after the break.

Microsoft group manager: Windows 7 borrowing ‘Mac look and feel’ (updated: Microsoft responds)

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We’ll be honest — before today, we had never heard of Simon Aldous, but it sure seems as if he’s trying hard to get his name out there. Mr. Aldous, a group manager at Microsoft, recently sat down for a rather lengthy talk with PCR. Most of the back-and-forth revolved around receiving input from partners and other mildly boring topics, but one particular Q&A was pointed directly at the outfit’s newest operating system.

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