Saturday, 14 October 2006

Things have been incredibly busy at work lately- so much so that I haven't had any time to post here. I'l try to get better about that. 

In other news, friends over in the eHome team are celebrating. Is it Vista related?  Almost ;).  They're celebrating a major milestone - 20 million Windows XP Media Center PCs have now been sold.  Some might recall that just last April, the stat was at 10 million. Talk about a ramp rate. By comparison TiVo has just over 2 million stand-alone units out there (which I also own and enjoy).

Speaking of Vista, I've started getting questions on when the right time is to buy a PC for Vista. My father is still hobbling along on the Windows XP PC he bought 5 years ago right after the launch of XP (and he's never reinstalled). The hard drive is starting to go, but we're using chewing gum to keep it going. My neighbor's PC also just died and he's hobbling along on an old PC of mine right now.  Buying a new "Vista-ready" PC is pretty easy when you see the logo, and I expect there will be some pretty amazing deals this holiday season.

Which brings me back to Media Center.  Friends over in eHome-land told me that they worked will all the Media Center PC manufacturers to make sure any MCE PC sold this holiday season will be Vista Premium-ready.  So if you have to buy, look for the Vista logo, or just get an MCE PC.

One last comment on Vista for home users- I've noticed that if you connect a Vista desktop to a UPS, the PC will run in "Balanced" mode, just like a laptop.  At first I thought this was a bad idea, but then I realized that for the overwhemling majority, this is fine- and a more energy friendly way to do things.

I'll write more this weekend- thoughts on using a TiVo Series3, and taking Flight Simulator X (Final release) for a whirl.

posted on Saturday, 14 October 2006 03:40:19 (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)  #    Comments [5]
 Saturday, 30 September 2006

On10.net has a good demo of wirelessly sharing photos and the like with the Zune, though formatting for the page is broken in some browsers (just scroll down).  They've also started offering their videos formatted for the upcoming Zune.  Nice to see sites are already preparing for the format.

posted on Saturday, 30 September 2006 13:49:40 (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)  #    Comments [0]
 Thursday, 28 September 2006

Microsoft Game Studios announced Halo Wars, an all-new real-time strategy game based on the legendary Halo® universe and built exclusively for Xbox 360™ by Ensemble Studios, creators of the Age of Empires series.

http://www.xbox.com/en-US/community/news/events/x06/halowarscomingtoxbox360.htm

 

You've got to see the trailer on the site in WMV-HD 720p.  Personally I think it hints at the style we should expect from the upcoming Halo major motion picture.  I'm disappointed there isn't a PC version as well though. I also wonder if there will be a tie-in with Halo 3?  Perhaps a command and control component via Halo Wars, directing troops (real players) in Halo 3?  That could be very, very cool.

posted on Thursday, 28 September 2006 06:56:41 (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)  #    Comments [0]

Microsoft's 30-gigabyte Zune will retail for $249.99 -- 99 cents higher than the iPod with the same amount of storage -- when it goes on sale Nov. 14. Songs available for download at the Zune Marketplace service will cost about 99 cents a song, on par with prices at Apple's iTunes, Microsoft said.

posted on Thursday, 28 September 2006 06:53:41 (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)  #    Comments [3]
 Thursday, 21 September 2006

I'm not in the business of rumors, however a reliable little birdie told me that iRiver America is close to announcing a special Black, 4GB version of the multi-award-winning iRiver Clix, which will be orderable from their site. The device is likely to be glossy black, have Audible support, and improved automotive support with details to come later.  Timing is this October. 

Oh and while you're at it, if you have the Photoshop skills, enter the iRiver Clix wallpaper design contest and score yourself a freebie. 

(And no, that's not Chris Pirillo's RentMyChest.com in the picture featured here)

posted on Thursday, 21 September 2006 17:20:27 (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)  #    Comments [2]
 Wednesday, 20 September 2006

A good friend of mine is in charge of 3rd party accessories for Zune. That means all accessories not from Microsoft.  And now, he's blogging over at www.ZuneGuy.com.  And he's getting an enthusiastic response for his open inquiries for feedback.  Oh no, maybe the competition will hear a great idea too!  It doesn't matter - either way as consumers we win if he manages to adopt even a few of these ideas.  Send em his way!

For all the lip-service Apple gives to community creativity, where is the iPod blog?  Don't send them your ideas, they don't want them, especially if you're in the third-grade

If Robert Scoble is even just a little bit right in his book, Zune will win the marathon. Why?  Time-released transparency is what I call it.  PR folks know that timing can be worth millions of dollars in perception.mSo time your details, your release of details, and then go transparent on that stage.  PR flaks? No.  Recognizing the blend of PR and community that optimizes your business goals - yes.

posted on Wednesday, 20 September 2006 19:36:35 (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)  #    Comments [4]
 Sunday, 17 September 2006

The good folks working on HD DVD at Microsoft have started a blog called "The HD DVD Insiders" - it's starting out small, but for the Home Theater geek and industry pro alike, I expect this is going to become a popular site to supplement the AVSForums so many of us enjoy for the inside scoop.  Not much content yet, but Ben and others tell me they have podcasts, interviews, Q&A's and more in store.  Subscribed.

 

posted on Sunday, 17 September 2006 17:42:16 (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)  #    Comments [5]