Digg seems to have outgrown Google as its ad provider, as today marks the start of a new three-year deal with Microsoft to serve up ads on the popular social news service. Microsoft is replacing Google for serving up many of the ads you see on Digg's pages. The rest are provided by Federated Media, which also works with Digg to create special branded pages like the newly-updated Arc visualization in Digg labs.
When we first reviewed the Helio Ocean a couple months ago, we thought the killer application would be its support for Microsoft Exchange ActiveSync, which was unfortunately unavailable at the time. The Exchange integration would work well to bridge the gap between the young hipster types that are Helio's core audience and mobile professionals. Well, today's the day, because that Exchange application is now here. As was reported by Engadget, the Ocean is finally getting the Exchange ActiveSync support, including an improved version of Helio's file viewer that supports Microsoft Office documents. It's not free, though: … Read more
There are two upcoming votes on the fate of Microsoft's Office Open XML, a document format that has brought about bare-knuckle business tactics and fierce philosophical disputes.
Microsoft is in the process of trying to gain standard status at the International Organization for Standardization, or ISO, a European standards body which holds significant weight, particularly with government customers.
The American National Standards Institute (ANSI) established a special committee to form the position of the United States in that upcoming ISO vote.
On Monday, the executive board of the ANSI committee, called the InterNational Committee for Information Technology Standards (INCITS), … Read more
Gamespot's James Yu was able to get some hands-on time with the Xbox 360 chatpad, a clip-on keyboard for the Xbox 360 game controller. Microsoft had first announced the chatpad add-on after the spring '07 dashboard update with MSN Messenger support made it obvious that some sort of texting accessory would eventually be coming our way.
Preliminary testing tells us that the keyboard has a solid feel with buttons that provide ample feedback. The chatpad will not get in the way of your gaming, since your hands rest comfortably on either side of the device.
The chatpad will be … Read more
(Sorry for the brief hiatus... I had an important deadline to deal with at the office.)
On July 5, Microsoft announced that it was offering three years of warranty coverage for the "three red flashing lights" problem on the Xbox 360 (press release here).
This announcement began an interesting series of statements, interpretations and outright false conclusions from a variety of sources.
The press release… Read more
After the false alarm back in May, yesterday's announcement that Microsoft has now officially reached their goal of one million Zunes sold (or is that shipped?) had about as much fanfare as a fart in a bathtub. Usually a product announcement like this comes with a blitzkrieg of press releases, but it looks like May's misfire must have taken the wind out Zune's sails. Thankfully Zune Insider went to the trouble of digging through Microsoft's Financial Release to find the statistic.
On Microsoft's fourth-quarter earnings call yesterday, the company noted that it had reached its goal of shipping one million Zunes to retailers by June 30. (I don't know why Microsoft's fiscal year ends June 30, but it's always been that way.)
Looking at the Entertainment and Devices (E&D) section of the accompanying financial release, one can derive that the combination of Zune, consumer hardware (keyboards and mice), consumer software (Office for the Mac, Encarta, and so on), and TV platforms (Microsoft IPTV) earned about $315 million during the quarter. Microsoft doesn't break down … Read more
Over the last year, all of the big three tech companies (Microsoft, Google, and Yahoo) have created their own online mashup editors. Both Microsoft's and Yahoo's are publicly available, but Google's is in a small private beta. Today I'm taking a look at the pros and cons of all three.Microsoft Popfly
Microsoft is taking a really visual approach to the mashup editor. Popfly lets you easily mash different services together through the use of what they call "blocks." There are a lot of blocks that are already designed by Microsoft to provide data … Read more
WASHINGTON--It was supposed to be a tame gathering of economists evaluating the marketplace implications of Google's planned $3.1 billion purchase of ad tech firm DoubleClick, but a think tank event here on Wednesday briefly threatened to devolve into yet another Google vs. Microsoft row.
It began calmly enough, with a buffet lunch and presentations from Harvard University's Thomas Eisenmann, Stanford University's Robert Hall, the University of Pennsylvania's Lorin Hitt and David Evans of the private analyst firm LECG. Invited by the American Enterprise Institute and Brookings Institution to speak, they each described--at times in dense … Read more
A co-worker sent me a link to the kids pages at the US Patent and Trademark Office. Part of me is delighted that our government is trying to make itself more accessible to children. Indeed, next month I intend to take advantage of that very accessibility when our family visits Washington DC to see the three co-equal branches of our federal government and the various departments they operate. If we are lucky, we might even meet one or more of our elected representatives in person!
But part of me is mortified by the levels of propaganda filling pages that purport to be educational and the thought that millions of children may be exposed to such propaganda without thought or review by tech-savvy parents.… Read more