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New Xbox Live Update Adds Xbox 360 Control To Your iPad

 Xbox Tablet  No Responses »
Jul 182012
 
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So for those of you asking about iPad support on Xbox the day has finally come. The most recent update for Microsoft Xbox has Ipad tablet support for Xbox 360 and it’s a surprisingly nice addition to the worlds most popular game console.

We assume this is one step closer to full Xbox tablet support with a new Microsoft Surface tablet on the Xbox gaame console.

My Xbox Live Update Adds Xbox 360 Control To Your iPad

My Xbox Live Update Adds Xbox 360 Control To Your iPad

Earlier this year at E3 2012, Microsoft showed off their upcoming SmartGlass technology. Today iPad owners are getting their first taste of things to come as the My Xbox Live app has just received an update to version 1.6, allowing gamers to control their Xbox 360 console with nothing but an iPad. First things first, if you have not downloaded the My Xbox Live app you’ll want to head to the App Store and get it. For those of you already have it, all you need to do is download the update. Microsoft has made it very easy to set up the new companion features. First you’ll head to your system settings, then scroll down and set the Xbox Companion option to “Available.” From there you just open the app, head to the Quickplay tab and select “Connect to Xbox.” You’ll receive a notification on your TV screen that you’ve connected a companion device and you’re good to go.

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Zune to Expand Multiscreen Entertainment Services Into International Markets

 Zune  No Responses »
Jul 102012
 
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Zune to Expand Multiscreen Entertainment Services Into International Markets
Sept. 20, 2010
Major entertainment companies provide music and movie catalog to the U.K., France, Italy, Germany and Spain.

REDMOND, Wash. — Sep. 20, 2010 — Microsoft Corp. today announced the further international expansion of Zune, its digital entertainment service. This fall, Zune will expand its music and video footprint and bring the free Zune software, Zune Marketplace online store, Zune Pass1 music subscription service and enhanced features on Zune.net to new markets, providing a comprehensive entertainment experience on Windows-based PCs, on the go with Windows Phone 7 and in your living room through Xbox LIVE.2

“The integration between Zune, Windows Phone 7 and Xbox LIVE is an exciting expansion in our entertainment offerings,” said Craig Eisler, corporate vice president, Interactive Entertainment Business Group at Microsoft. “Zune enables users to access the entertainment they want, wherever they want it — and now, more people than ever will be able to enjoy the freedom and flexibility that the Zune service offers.”

Zune software has been upgraded with new features and functionality and will serve as the Windows Phone 7 synchronization client. The new software (version 4.7) will be available to download for free in more than 20 countries, including the U.K., France, Italy, Germany and Spain, to easily manage your personal collection of movies, music, podcasts and pictures. Zune software continues to set the standard for entertainment software, providing best-in-class experiences to organize, discover and enjoy digital media with a variety of exclusive features. For example, the Quickplay menu enables immediate access to recently played content and personal favorites, and Smart DJ 3 automatically creates playlists from your personal music collection and takes the extra step of mixing in suggested music from the Zune Marketplace. The updated Zune software will also enable instant streaming of high-definition movies, allowing you to watch some Zune Marketplace movies in HD, with no download time, directly on a Windows PC.

Zune Marketplace online store is accessible from within the Zune software and offers the ability to purchase millions of individual songs or albums from its catalog, all in MP3 format. Here, consumers can also subscribe to Zune Pass,4 which provides unlimited downloads and music streaming capabilities from the Zune music library, including content from major music labels such as Universal Music Group, Sony Music Entertainment, EMI Music and Warner Music Group, as well as thousands of independent labels. Zune Marketplace also has a large library of videos from major studios such as Paramount Pictures and Warner Bros. Digital Distribution for purchase or rental. Video purchases will be accessible through Xbox LIVE and Windows-based PCs, and can also be added to a Windows Phone 7. Simply buy your favorite video from Zune Marketplace and watch it on the screen of your choice.9

Zune.net is the perfect resource for consumers as it allows them to download the software and set up a Zune account with a new or existing Windows Live ID.5 Zune.net will also provide Web access to Zune Marketplace so you can purchase music or use a Zune Pass to stream music directly through an Internet browser,6 as well as purchase video content.7

Zune Expansion to New Markets

As Zune expands internationally, its music and video service will be tailored for each market. Genre experts will custom program Zune Marketplace and feature the top songs, videos, movies and unique promotions for each country.

The fall 2010 international expansion of the Zune music and video service includes the following:

Zune Marketplace will extend services to several markets in Europe and beyond.

  • Zune Pass (U.K., France, Italy and Spain). The monthly music subscription service will be available for 9.99 euros /8.99 pounds per month for unlimited download and streaming access to the Zune music catalog and will be accessible on Windows-based PCs, Windows Phone 7 and Xbox LIVE. The offer in the U.S. will remain at $14.99 per month for unlimited downloads and streaming access, with the ability to keep 10 MP3s per month.8
  • Music purchase (U.K., France, Italy, Spain and Germany). Expansion to these markets will enable consumers to purchase MP3s and listen on their Windows-based PC, Windows Phone 7 or any other device that supports MP3 format. Users will also be able to purchase music videos to enjoy on Windows-based PC, Windows Phone 7 and Zune on Xbox LIVE.
  • Video purchase (U.K., France, Germany, Canada, Australia and New Zealand).Consumers will now be able to purchase movies to download and watch anywhere — on the big screen in the living room with Xbox LIVE or their Windows-based PC as well as sync it to their Windows Phone 7 to enjoy on the go.9
  • Movie rental (U.K., France, Italy, Spain, Germany, Austria, Belgium, Ireland, Netherlands, Switzerland, Mexico, Canada, Australia and New Zealand). In addition to Zune video on Xbox LIVE, consumers in these countries will now be able to rent movies for viewing on their Windows-based PC or choose to sync the rental to their Windows Phone 7.

The global expansion of the service is the latest step in a series of milestones for Zune, including powering Bing music search results, the added ability to purchase music and video on Zune.net, and the forthcoming integration with Xbox LIVE and Kinect for Xbox 360. By continuing to integrate Zune across the most important screens to consumers, Zune provides an all-in-one music and video service for users to discover, enjoy and experience their entertainment wherever they want.

About Zune

Zune is Microsoft’s music and video entertainment service that provides an integrated digital experience across Zune devices, Windows-based PCs, Xbox LIVE and Windows Phone 7. The Zune platform includes a line of portable digital media players, elegant software, the Zune Marketplace and Zune.net online stores, the Zune Social online music community created to help people discover music, and the ZuneOriginals.net online media player customization store. More information can be found online at http://www.zune.net/en-us/press.

About Microsoft

Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq “MSFT”) is the worldwide leader in software, services and solutions that help people and businesses realize their full potential.

1 Zune Pass available in U.K., France, Italy and Spain.

2 Zune Pass on Xbox 360 requires an Xbox LIVE Gold membership and a Zune Pass subscription.

3 Only available with Zune Pass.

4 Zune Pass is a music subscription; some Zune Marketplace songs and content are not available via Zune Pass. Available content may vary over time.

5 For cross-screen functionality, the same Windows Live ID needs to be used on the Zune software, Windows Phone 7 and Xbox LIVE accounts.

6 Internet browser support for Silverlight required.

7 Service features may vary based on market availability.

8 Keep 10 MP3s per month feature available to U.S. Zune Pass subscribers only, on their PC or Windows Phone 7.

9 Content available for download on multiple devices may vary over time. Availability of content and video resolution will vary by device.

Note to editors: For more information, news and perspectives from Microsoft, please visit the Microsoft News Center at http://www.microsoft.com/news.Web links, telephone numbers and titles were correct at time of publication, but may have changed. For additional assistance, journalists and analysts may contact Microsoft’s Rapid Response Team or other appropriate contacts listed at http://www.microsoft.com/news/contactpr.mspx.

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Windows Phone Reviews:Samsung Focus S

 Windows Phone  No Responses »
Jun 252012
 
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Samsung Focus S

Samsung Focus S

Samsung Focus S The Samsung Focus S is one of three new Windows Phone Mango 7.5 smartphones on AT&T. It joins the HTC Titan and the smaller and more affordable Focus Flash, and it features Samsung’s Super AMOLED Plus display for super-rich colors and deep blacks. The Focus S shares a lot of DNA with the Samsung Galaxy S II on AT&T, and like the GS II it has a 4.3″ display, an 8 megapixel rear camera and a very similar casing. The phone is only 0.33″ thick and it weighs just 3.9 ounces. The Focus S has HSPA+ 14.4 for “4G” on AT&T, Zune music and video, XBOX Live gaming, WiFi, Bluetooth and a GPS that works with Bing and AT&T Navigator.

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Zune Music Service Reborn as Xbox Music Service

 Xbox  No Responses »
Jun 052012
 
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Microsoft is making the full shift over to the Xbox platform with all former Zune platform services with the introduction of the Xbox Music Service as reported on Cnet recently.  Today Microsoft unveiled the service as part of their much anticipated press conference at the E3 gaming event.

The Xbox Music service should be a port of the Zune Music service with the same Metro Interface. They may have made it more Xbox like but we’re sure it’s the same base platform.

Xbox Music Service

Unfortunately Microsoft did not unveil the Xbox 720 as so many has hoped for but the introduction of SmartGlass along with the recent patent filings for Xbox Glasses makes the case for an incredible gaming environment. In the near future you will be able to pause your Xbox game at home and leave with your iPad and continue a form of game play.

The integrated music service announced today is a logical first step conisdering they have already developed the platform. Re-branding Zune Music as the Xbox Live Music  service will help them build on an already successful brand with Xbox. Abandoning the Zune brand was probably an easy decision after the horrible launch and performance of the Zune line.

Hopefully Microsoft learned a lesson with Zune and the new Xbox Music and Mobile Gaming integration will be a realization of the platforms true potential. The Microsoft ecosystem is huge and the SmartGlass holds the potential to link up with almost every platform out there.

 

Microsoft has unveiled a revamped music service, called Xbox Music, as it looks to better compete against the likes of Apple’s iTunes, Pandora, and Spotify.

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Xbox Smart Glass

 Xbox  No Responses »
Jun 042012
 
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Microsoft is said to be developing a cross-platform streaming game service that has been code named, “Xbox Smart Glass” and will be released as Xbox Live Companion. The streaming game console will allow for portable game access on a range of devices including Windows Phones, iOS and Android phones.

Xbox Smart Glass Tablets and Streaming Game Service

Xbox Smart Glass comes on the heels of the recent announcements related to Xbox Glasses and the Helmet as well as the rumors of the next generation Xbox coming with with a tablet controller like the new wii. An Xbox Tablet would make sense since Microsoft rarely innovates and most often mimics the best ideas in the market.

Smart Glass will these features:

  •  Will allow users to control their Xbox 360 remotely. 
  • Will be available cross platform on multiple operating systems including Windows, Windows Phone, Android and iOS. (Not Blackberry)
  •  Applications will be accessible through the Xbox Tablet. Such as Youtube/Netflix/Vemo ect.
  •  Live streaming ability through the tablet to the TV, desktop, lap top and other devices.
  • A demo at E3 will be shown, but no live video will be featured

 

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“Spotify Like” Zune Streaming music coming to Xbox

 Zune  No Responses »
Apr 262012
 
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Looks like Zune will live on in many other forms as the venerable music service and former gadget brand will be morpjhed into a “Spotify like” streaming music service on Xbox consoles. The news is so fresh there are few details but the service is said to be currently in development under the code name “Woodstock,” according to a report Wednesday by the tech blog The Verge.

Who hear wishes they would have done a better job with Zune marketing in the beginning so they would not be foced to rename this service for Xbox?

Microsoft Preps Spotify-Like Music Service – Personal-tech – Digital Content – Informationweek

Microsoft is developing a streaming music service for its Xbox Live network and other platforms, and it may be introduced at the E3 consumer electronics expo in June, a published report said.

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HTC 7 Trophy product review

 Windows Phone  No Responses »
Nov 062011
 
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The good:  The HTC 7 Trophy features a compact design and runs the Windows Phone OS, which offers an easy to use interface, as well as Zune, Xbox Live, and Office integration.

The bad:  Disappointing camera quality and battery life could be better.

Bottom Line:  While not the most advanced or most powerful smart phone on the market, simplicity works in the favor of the HTC Trophy providing simple ease of use, and sweet application integration.

Buy the HTC 7 Trophy in our Online Store!

The HTC Trophy is Verizon’s first foray into the Windows Phone market, and pricing starts at $149.99 with a two year contract and after a $50 mail in rebate.  At 4.67 inches tall by 2.42 inches wide by 0.47 inches thick, and weighing only 4.94 ounces the HTC Trophy is sleek and simple, which is attractive in it’s own right.
To start with, like all WP7 handsets the Trophy starts with a 480 x 800 pixel resolution and 1GHz Snapdragon (QSD8250) processor under a capacitive touchscreen. From there we’ve got a bright 3.8-inch S-LCD, 802.11n WiFi, Bluetooth 2.1 with EDR, GPS, FM Radio, a 1300mAh battery, and 8GB of fixed flash storage with 512MB of ROM and 576MB of RAM. The auto focus camera is also pretty standard with a 5 megapixel sensor, LED flash, and 720p video recording capability.  It also packs sensors for gravity, compass, proximity, and ambient light.

However, WP7 currently has limited landscape support. The HTC features an aluminum-like bezel, and a soft-touch finish on the back.  The display is sharp and bright, but washes out a bit in direct sunlight.  Unfortunately, the display is prone to fingerprinting and smudging.  The touchscreen is extremely quick and responsive, and registers most actions on the first try, allowing for quick and easy browsing and zooming.
The virtual keyboard provided by the OS works great, it’s sharp and accurate, and can stand toe-to-toe with that of the iPhone, and is reaches above that of the standard Android option, which is slightly slower, and more prone to mispresses.
Under the display are touch sensitive back, start, and search buttons.  To the left is a volume rocker and a Micro-USB port, and to the right is the camera key.  The top of the device features the power button and a 3.55mm headphone jack, while the back houses the camera, LED flash, and a crisp loudspeaker.
The feature set is pretty standard for a smart phone in this day and age, including email, organizer, music, video, additional application, gaming, social network integration and various instant messaging options.
Beyond the standard WP7 applications, HTC has provided a few of their own applications including a unit converter, sound enhancer, photo enhancer, and the HTC hub which includes an animated clock and weather widgets, where the weather widgets display real-time, location specific weather information.  The Trophy also ships with Slacker and Netflix, allowing [Netflix] subscribers to watch movies and TV shows directly from their phones.
The Trophy also has access to the Windows marketplace, similar to that of the iTunes and Android marketplaces, with about 20,000 free and paid apps available now, and a steady influx of new apps.
Call quality on the Trophy is decent, with audio quality being relatively clear overall.  However, during lulls in conversation there is an occasional hissing, which is odd.  Speakerphone quality was also decent and clear inasmuch as that goes.

In conclusion, if you are in the market for your first smart phone, or if you don’t necessarily need or desire all the bells and whistles of some of the other devices then the HTC Trophy will indeed suffice.  Also, with the powerful WP7 OS and the integration of things like Office, Zune and Xbox live, the Trophy is more attractive than some of the other alternatives.  Ultimately, the choice is up to you.  Find a Verizon store near you and demo the product, and if it seems right, pick it up.

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Where is Zune is the new Microsoft Nokia partnership?

 Zune  No Responses »
Feb 132011
 
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Theories about as to what will happen with Zune now that Microsoft and Nokia are set to link up with the embattled handset maker using the venerable software makers latest mobile operating system as their next generation devices. Zune is mysteriously missing from any of the graphics depicting the mesh, or should I say mess, they intend on making. Either they didn’t have room or they are planning on scaling back the Zune name and focusing more on the Windows Phone brand which is strategically more important than Zune. If they had any substantial plans for Zune it would have earned a little square somewhere in that horizontal stack of little squares, instead not even the Zune name appears anywhere in the official announcements of the partnership.

Whatever the case we can be certain that the Zune brand will be taking a a back seat to Windows Phone name which so desperately needs to catch on with consumers if Microsoft intends on being relevant in the future. Without a strong prescience in the mobile market Microsoft may as well start working on an exit strategy because regardless of how much cash Windows or Office are making now it is obvious that those days will soon end.

Open source software is about to trounce Microsoft as the default choice for a majority of the world. I predict in 5 years we’ll be calling for an end to the traditional Windows default installation business model. The personal computer is dying and a larger variety of devices with different OS choices are hitting the market on a daily basis. Operating systems will all be mobile in the future with integrated communications and small form as the standard. Flip style pocket devices will rule as we all go mobile with our computing and learn to type and scroll on the go. Those images of idiots walking into public fountains in the mall or falling off the train tracks because of their mobile devices will become common place and websites will spring up just to showcase the idiots who kill themselves texting or even sexting.

I wish this laptop was smaller and more mobile. My next one sure will be.

Nokia / Microsoft: Where’s Zune? | LiveSide.net

However one brand is conspicuously missing from the equation: Zune. It doesn’t appear anywhere on the slide, nor anywhere else in the Nokia/Microsoft announcements. Paul Thurrott, in his Window Supersite post analyzing the announcements, noted that neither Nokia CEO Stephen Elop or Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer mentioned Zune. Thurrott quotes Elop and gives his opinion:

Microsoft, meanwhile, has a “great software platform” in Windows Phone, and the brands that mobile consumers want, “like Bing, Xbox LIVE, and Office.” (Side-note: Zune was conspicuously absent from this list. It is my opinion and guess that Microsoft is currently phasing out the Zune brand and will simply roll the various Zune services into Windows Live.)

And again, when Steve Ballmer took the stage Friday morning, he didn’t mention Zune either, as noted by Thurrott:

He said that Windows Phone was not just a single product but was instead the combination of many products from across Microsoft, “not only Windows, but Office, Bing, Hotmail, and Xbox.” (Note, again, how Zune was conspicuously left out of this equation.)

While this can’t be the greatest news for Zune or Zune fans, we think there are some explanations that fall somewhere south of “ZOMG, Zune is Dead!!”.

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