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Microsoft News Tracker

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February 24, 2008

Microsoft bails out of HD DVD

Posted by David Hunter at 12:16 PM ET.

After Toshiba surrendered the high definition DVD war to Blu-ray last week, the remaining supporters of HD DVD have been announcing their revised plans. Yesterday Microsoft’s were revealed on their Gamerscore blog:

As a result of recent decisions made by Toshiba, Hollywood studios, and retailers, Microsoft plans to withdraw from HD DVD.  Xbox will no longer manufacture new HD DVD players for the Xbox 360, but we will continue to provide standard product and warranty support for all Xbox 360 HD DVD Players in the market.  As we stated earlier, we do not believe this decision will have any material impact on the Xbox 360 platform or our position in the marketplace.  HD DVD is one of the several ways we offer a high definition experience to consumers and we will continue to give consumers the choice to enjoy digital distribution of high definition movies and TV shows directly to their living room, along with playback of the DVD movies they already own.

Frankly, the statement is a trifle odd since it seems to promise some sort of ongoing HD DVD compatibility and there is no mention of Blu-ray support. LG Electronics says it will continue to provide dual format players for a while, and I suppose Microsoft could well do the same, but HD DVD drives are soon going to be rather scarce.

One other thing that is odd is that back in 2005 Microsoft was one of the leaders of the HD DVD cause with a public fulmination by Bill Gates among others, but the last ditch battles seem to have been fought by Toshiba alone while Microsoft was publicly AWOL.

Filed under Alliances, Blu-ray, Coopetition, HD DVD, Hardware, Microsoft, Toshiba, Xbox

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July 26, 2007

Microsoft lowers price of Xbox HD DVD player

Posted by David Hunter at 1:21 PM ET.

Microsoft today provided a modest boost for two of its troubled initiatives when it lowered the US price of the add-on HD DVD player for the Xbox 360 from $199.99 to $179.99. Adding to the incentive, those who purchase between August 1 and September 30 will get 5 free HD DVD movies from a list of 15. Toshiba has been running the same 5 free movie promotion for some time on their line of standalone HD DVD players.


Filed under Blu-ray, Coopetition, General Business, HD DVD, Hardware, Marketing, Microsoft, Sony, Xbox

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May 11, 2007

Microsoft Weekly Miscellany, May 11, 2007

Posted by David Hunter at 2:11 PM ET.

Sun’s JavaFX to take on AJAX, Silverlight in the Rich Internet Application (RIA) competition. I thought the days of slow, cheesy looking Java client apps were thankfully past, but I guess not. Hearing that “JavaFX Script leverages 2D graphics APIs in the Swing GUI toolkit” merely reminds me how awful Swing applications actually were. We’ll see if Sun can find a pony here with a scripting variant of Java, but I doubt it. While they were at it, Sun mostly open sourced Java.

Internet Explorer Developer Toolbar v1 released. I’ve long used something similar with FireFox, but one was really needed for IE.

SQL Server ‘Katmai’ Lacks Anticipated WinFS Features. Why spoil a perfect record? Related: David Boschmann explains Microsoft database projects Jasper and Astoria.

Microsoft publicly betas Tahiti, renamed SharedView. It’s a screen sharing program which up to 15 people can use for collaboration. There’s still no hint as to where it fits in the Microsoft galaxy of products although the original rumor was as part of Office Live.

Symantec attacks Microsoft’s Forefront Client Security. The fact that Forefront Client Security (for businesses) is using the same engine as the troubled OneCare consumer product leads to predictable snarking.

Microsoft signs Web video deals:

While it’s tempting to label the shows advertorials and leave it at that, Ben Silverman, Reveille’s chief executive, said he’s tried to find more elegant ways to incorporate products and entertainment.

I think Ron Popeil beat them to it.

Microsoft must answer racketeering claims over Best Buy deal.

Xbox Spring update released including Windows Live Messenger.

PS3 to ‘Win’ Console War Because of Blu-ray according to Wedbush Morgan Securities analyst.

Mac share of US Web surfers doubles in 8 months – it’s up to 6%

Filed under Apple, Best Buy, Blu-ray, Coopetition, Forefront, HD DVD, Hardware, Internet Explorer, Legal, MSN, MSN Content, MSN Video, Microsoft, Office Live, SQL Server, Servers, Silverlight, Sony, Sun, Technologies, Windows Live, Windows Live Messenger, Windows Live OneCare, Xbox

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February 25, 2007

Microsoft Miscellany, February 25, 2007

Posted by David Hunter at 10:49 AM ET.

Some Microsoft news items from last week that did not get a post of their own.

Microsoft competitor VMware is profiled in the NY Times. Uh-oh! Someone just said “Microsoft” and ”bundling.”

Wii outsold PS2 which outsold Xbox 360 which outsold PS3 in January big box retail sales in the US. Think there might be a message from consumers there?

Windows Vista Express Upgrades could finally begin shipping next week:

If you purchased a PC before January 30 and took advantage of the Vista Express Upgrade program, you know by now that this program is everything else but “Express”.

Blu-ray disc sales finally passed HD DVD, but the question is why the attach rate is so low given that Blu-ray players outnumber HD DVD about 5 to 1. Could it be that most Blu-ray players are the Sony PS3?

Details of Exchange 2007 SP1 revealed. Beta coming in April with final release alongside Longhorn server.

Configuration Manager 2007 Beta 2 is now available for public download. It’s the rebranded old favorite, Systems Management Server (SMS). Also, RC1 of System Center Essentials is now publicly available.

Microsoft to launch new consortium aimed at Oracle users on Feb. 26. It’s all about interoperability, I’m sure.

The South African government plans to switch from Microsoft to Open Source. So does Cuba. Meanwhile in the USA, Dell users demand Linux and OpenOffice on PCs via the new Dell company blog.

Microsoft sued over “Office Live” trademark.

And last, but not least: Microsoft offers to take Iowa antitrust jurors to dinner. I wonder if they can pay with vouchers?

Filed under Antitrust, Beta and CTP, Blu-ray, Configuration Manager, Coopetition, Essentials, Exchange, General Business, Governmental Relations, HD DVD, Hardware, Legal, Linux, Marketing, Nintendo, OS - Client, Office Live, Open Source,, Oracle, Public Relations, Servers, Sony, VMware, Windows Vista, Xbox

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