This week was the big week for Microsoft, with the launch of Windows 7, the much anticipated successor for Windows Vista - the most under appreciated member of the Windows family. Win7 adds some new performance and visual improvements that Vista didn't offer. There are some pretty major feature enhancements, however, and they are what make Windows 7 so exciting.
The gaming enhancement that was made is in DirectX. Windows 7 natively supports DirectX 11 without any downloads or updates. In fairness, Vista will also support it after Service Pack 3 is released. Currently, few games run on DX11, but Windows 7 isn't really about looking at now, it is about being ready for the future.
Microsoft's fiscal year is a little weird, but Quarter 1 has ended for them, and they announced their earning for Q1. There is some good news and bad news. The bad news is Microsoft lost 18% net profit compared to last year. The good news is Entertainment and Devices (Xbox, Zune and hardware) doubled its income from last year.
The major source of loss for the company was lower than usual computer and Windows sales in high anticipation of Windows 7. Now that Win7 has launched, that number will surely rise again. On the other hand, the launch of the ZuneHD and the new lower price on the Xbox 360 clearly led to a great quarter for that department.
Here is a story to get the weekend going. Microsoft announced this week, via
Major Nelson, that in the next dashboard update, the Xbox 360 will no longer recognize unauthorized memory units. Now, for most of us, this is no big deal, but for anyone who has purchased a Datel memory card from, say, Amazon, you are out of luck.. According to a Microsoft spokesperson,
Ever since the
rumors of the PS3 Slim were confirmed, rumor mill junkies had less to rumor about. Their next theory was a Slim PS3 with a 250GB hard drive special edition for Uncharted 2: Among Thieves. Well, they were close.
Soy will be releasing a standard PS3 Slim 250GB on November 3. The biggest surprise is the console's $349.99 price-point. Due to Sony's apparent need to be the most expensive, we assumed this would have gone for $399.99, but alas, we were wrong (to everyone's advantage).
So, if you have been holding out buying a PS3 because 120GB was just too small, it's your time. Go get it!
Nintendo has always been very focused on interface and design when it comes to the Wii. They have even scoffed at the need for their console to take the step to high definition, arguing that when a game is good enough, the level of graphics aren't as important. Recently, however, Nintendo demigod Shigeru Miyamoto indicated maybe an HD version is possible.
I don't think there's anything wrong with pretty graphics, and if I'm a consumer that has an HDTV, I'd want to be able to play my games with nice graphics too... And I think as we've seen the penetration rates for HDTV increase, we're going to see video games and Nintendo's games move along in step with the progression of technology.
What does that mean? Yes. When does that mean we'll see it? Who knows. Probably not anytime soon.
The most infuriating part of the app store, and there are many, is the fact that Apple has given developers no way to give a sample of a product with the ability to upgrade to the full version within the app. What this has created is an environment where each paid app has a "lite" version for free. In theory this is a working scenario, except for the fact the lite version has no direct connection to the full version.
Apple has, finally, given developers the ability to write one application that has a free demo mode and, if you like the application and want the full version, you can purchase it right through the app itself, without having to go back to the app store and purchase a different app and install it, then uninstall the lite version.