Windows 8 and Rumors of the Microsoft Tablet Complement Each Other

Finally, all the pieces from the Windows 8 Metro UI (not literally talking about the tiles) are falling into place as news of a Microsoft Tablet has surfaced. The tablet will reportedly run on Windows 8 and will be ready for launch by the end of next year. There are no detailed hardware specs or any further news on this tablet yet. Though, this will be the missing piece in my doubts about Windows 8.


The news is half baked as of now and you might as well read it as a rumor. We too have talked about a similar possibility earlier. The news breaker itself calls this a rumor and there is no confirmation on this rumor yet. However, they have made it clear that the tablet will be powered by a TI OMAP. Digitimes writes,

Facing Apple’s iOS and App Store successful assistance in helping iPhone and iPad to gain shares in the smartphone, tablet PC and even PC market, while Google has also been working aggressively on developing operating systems and establishing its own supply chain alliance, Microsoft plans to copy its branding strategy from product lines such as Xbox 360, Zune, Kin smartphone and TV, to compete in the tablet PC segment.

That is rather worrying as Microsoft will upset a lot of hardware vendors, many of them its hardware partners. Though, it will be a major player in the hardware industry with a firm grasp over the current software and desktop operating system space. This might be a desperate move to take on iPad but it is indeed a remarkable move.

If you were not following, here is a Windows 8 video for you.

Microsoft at the E3: Force Kinect Kinect Kinect And Oh Some More Kinect Into Everything

Do not get me wrong, I am a huge supporter of the Kinect peripheral from Microsoft. It is a revolutionary piece of hardware which will most likely pave the way for the extremely high-tech gesture-based input that we have seen in the realm Science Fiction (such as Minority Report, for example). Its use in video games for the Xbox 360 is fabulous in most cases, and is an instant party ice breaker, or a great way to relax (not really!) with friends and family. It’s the Wiimote all grown up. There have also been numerous modifications and excellent uses of this brilliant little peripheral in a lot of places.


Yes, the Kinect is a great peripheral. However, it is just that for now. The Xbox controller is still the controller for games. It worked for Nintendo when they launched the Wii. It was great it was fun and it was casual.

I would like you, Mr. Doubter-of-why-Kinect-should-not-be-in-everything to play a semi-serious game such as Star Wars: The Clone Wars using a Kinect. I had to stifle the biggest cringe of my life when the presenter jumped’ and said Lightsaber On!.

The Kinect works on some games admirably. Dance Central, for example is one of the prime reasons one should consider buying a Kinect (if one harbors a secret or open love for terpsichore). But, for some other games there is absolutely no need for it to even be there. How would you play Minecraft on an Xbox 360 with the Kinect, is my question. They way things work with Minecraft, your real arms will wear down sooner than the miner’s as you are mining for diamonds!


Of course, I understand that there will always be takers for these games since they look cool, and that everyone is entitled to their own opinion. However, going for the development of rather horrendous Kinect titles while sacrificing the development of better titles is not how a company caters to its core customer. The Kinect on Fable is not immersive, but slightly dorky. The Kinect on Star Wars looks like what my imaginary younger brother would stick his tongue out at.

What would work well (and has been put to good use) is using the Kinect as a peripheral rather than a main game controller. Perhaps using the mic to issue voice orders (like it has been implemented in Mass Effect 3), or using gestures to give orders to your AI teammates while continuing to play with the controller.

It is quite sad that Microsoft is trying desperately to cash in on the interest of the Kinect. It will lose its charm frightfully soon if it is forced down our throats in every possible way.

Are you listening, Microsoft?

Facebook Rejects Google’s Partnership Offer

Google’s executive Chairman, Eric Schmidt revealed that Google’s offer to partner with the social networking giant, Facebook ,was rejected despite several tries. Schmidt spoke at the D9 conference that if the deal was on, Google search could have been improvised for better searching experience with access to Facebook’s data.

Eric Schmidt
Google’s search could be improved with access to Facebook’s data about Web surfers’ friends and acquaintances,but didn’t go into detail which deal he was referring to.

We tried very hard to partner with Facebook. They were unwilling to do the deal,he said.

As Microsoft Bing and Facebook had joined hands earlier, Google had expected that Facebook would effortlessly accept the deal, but in the end, Google failed to achieve the desired result.

Schmidt also noted that Google has renewed a partnership with Apple in which Google provides map technology featured in the iPhone.

Microsoft Buying Nokia For Around $12 Billion – Looking to Become Apple Part 2

Earlier today BGR reported that Microsoft is buying Nokia’s phone business for around $19 billion. While I usually don’t get into speculations, I picked up the phone and spoke to some people who are very reliable and have learnt that this deal should go through by end of June or early July sans the Federal lookups.

While Nokia and Microsoft’s Windows Phone have never been a big thing is the USA ever, this deal means a lot for both companies who are struggling to keep with competition from Apple’s and Google’s .

Nevertheless, it should be a FAIL deal as this kind of announcement will eventually effect the prices of this companies on stock exchanges and it sounds like a very desperate deal by Microsoft to get into a failing business they have not been able to get a hold of since they launched Windows Phone 7 and also tied up with Nokia to get their software on them.

Let me remind you that Nokia and Microsoft are both notorious at delaying software for the devices and no matter what hardware they get this is going to be an uphill battle for both these companies.

Also I have confirmed with more than one of my sources that this deal is a go through. This should be announced in late June or early July. I am hinting for early July because my contact was very adamant about it and I am too because of the fact that June is a quarter end and they would not want to risk it by having dipping stock prices, would they?

As per my contact Microsoft will possibly buy Nokia and their entire operations for around $12 billion. I find that a fair price and find $19 billion too high on the price for Microsoft. Up to you.

Why Would Microsoft Buy Nokia?

For the past few years, Microsoft has been the be-behind player in the mobile segment. They were so desperate to get things going that they tied up with Nokia to get their software on their devices.

Now, Windows Phone 7 is not a software which can only run on a single platform and Samsung, HTC and LG all have devices running Windows Phone 7. Only Nokia did not have it.

Why not? Because Nokia was still running on the age-old-never-smartphone-friendly OS and Microsoft had an upcoming OS which was maybe good but not up to par. Both these companies got into a commitment that Nokia would produce devices with Windows Phone 7 and get along really well.

So Why Buy Nokia?

Nokia is a practical dying business. Few years ago I had a love for Nokia thanks to the Nokia N95 (which was the first smartphone device ever), but their touchphone devices have disappointed me over and over again. Not because of their hardware, but because of their software.

In the meantime, Apple managed to steam roll them and Android managed to literally get them into a submission position. With Microsoft they have a new hope which I am certainly not hopeful about. I hope that you are optimistic but this is a FAIL deal.

Microsoft Pissing Off Other Manufacturers? Becoming Apple?

Of recent, Microsoft seems to be on a path which looks to be emulating Apple. There have been rumors that they only want a single manufacturer for their tablets, and it would be no surprise if they are looking to go the Apple way by having their software on a single platform, that is Nokia.

Understandably, this might have been a good decision. However, it would be one when you have some market leverage. Right now, both Nokia and Windows Phone 7 are in doldrums in United States and in Europe.

I really can’t imagine how both these companies agreed to this, but this is how it goes. Eventually you will stop seeing WP7 devices on HTC, Samsung, LG and more.

Good luck Microsoft and Nokia…

Microsoft Standalone System Sweeper Heals Virus Infected Systems

Windows-System-SweeperMicrosoft has quietly released a new security tool called Microsoft Standalone System Sweeper. The product is currently in beta, and is meant to complement Microsoft Security Essentials, which by itself is an excellent antivirus software.

Microsoft has never been good at naming things, and Microsoft Standalone System Sweeper only reinforces that fact. However, Microsoft does have a reputation of developing stellar Windows applications. According to most third party tests, Microsoft Security Essentials is as good as (or even better than) most other antimalware software available in the market. System Sweeper could turn out to be another extremely handy tool from the software giant.


System Sweeper creates a bootable rescue disk that can be used for scanning systems without booting into Windows. This can be helpful in getting rid of hard to remove malware, or detecting advanced rootkits. It also makes it possible to run a scan even when Windows has been rendered unusable by malware infections.

System Sweeper is available in both 32 bit and 64 bit flavors, and supports Windows XP (SP3), Vista and 7. It is capable of creating bootable CDs, DVDs, and USB devices. The latest definitions are downloaded from the web; hence, an internet connection is required for creating the bootable image.


Microsoft Standalone System Sweeper isn’t a revolutionary product. Most other antivirus vendors have been offering system rescue disks for a long time. However, it’s nice to see Microsoft stepping up its game, and getting serious about offering a comprehensive set of tools for tackling malware infections.

[ Download Microsoft Standalone System Sweeper ]

Thumbnail via OpenClipArt

Microsoft to Preview Windows 8 for Tablets Next Week?

Microsoft is apparently planning to preview Windows for tablets as soon as next week. According to a report by Bloomberg, Microsoft will be showcasing the new tablet OS at the All Things D conference as well as Computex. Steven Sinofsky, President, Windows division and Steve Guggenheimer, Vice President, OEM division are expected to do the honors.

Microsoft will be showcasing the new OS on hardware powered by the Nvidia Tegra chipset. The new version – Windows 8 – will be launched officially in 2012.

With the iPad 2 dominating the market, and Android expected to take a major share of the pie by the time Windows 8 launches, chances are that Microsoft may not be able to make even a dent in that space. It may be too late to the party.

The first Windows 8 tablet prototypes will be powered by ARM processors, not Intel. This is a huge step away from the Wintel partnership which has been prospering since decades.

Intel will also be launching tablets at Computex 2011, powered by Android, MeeGo and Windows.

Microsoft gets $5 for Every Android Phone by HTC

When I ask you this question: ‘When HTC sells an Android smartphone, who profits?’, the most common logical answer would be HTC, and probably Google, which also benefits indirectly when phone buyers use the Android OS.

Surprisingly, one more company makes a neat profit for every Android phone that is sold by HTC. It’s Microsoft. Thanks to a patent infringement lawsuit settlement with HTC, Microsoft gets $5 for every HTC phone which runs Android.

According to Walter Pritchard, the Citi analyst who revealed this information in his report, Microsoft is also planning to go after other Android device partners, looking for up to $12.50 per device.

While its own mobile division is bleeding money, Microsoft is actually planning to make money from the sales of its biggest competitor – Android.

If every Android manufacturer has to pay a fee for using the Android OS, the OS is not actually ‘free’. This may push manufacturers to skip Android (which is unlikely, but not impossible), and go with Windows Phone 7, to avoid litigation fees and stop paying patent fees to Microsoft.

Steve Ballmer
This is what I would do too, if I was him

Via Image Source

Dell Launches ‘World’s Thinnest’ Laptop, XPS 15z

Dell announced its new XPS 15z, which is less than an inch thick and is bundled with loads of features. Dell mentioned in its blog that XPS 15z is “the thinnest 15-inch PC on the planet, and the first in a series of new thin and powerful products from Dell to come this year.”

The all the new XPS 15z weighs 2.51kg, measuring less than 1-inch (0.97-inches) at the thickest point with clean aluminum design and polished brushed finishes, definitely making it look luxurious.

Dell XPS 15z
The 15z runs second-generation Intel Core i5 or i7 processors and Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium and features an optional 15.6-inch Full HD display, an optimized touchpad and a backlit chicklet-style spill-resistant keyboard. It offers 4GB standard memory, upgradeable to 8GB and up to 750GB of hard disk storage space. It also come with a 1.3-megapixel webcam, dual-array digital microphones and stereo speakers.

There’s a 8x DVD+/-RW, 3 USB ports (USB 3.0 (2); USB 2.0 (1)), Bluetooth 3.0 and 9-in-1 media card reader supporting SD, SDIO, SDXC, SDHC, MS, MS Pro, MMC, MSXC, xD.

Dell XPS 15z has Intel’s My Wi-Fi technology, which allows the notebook to act as a Wi-Fi hotspot for other devices.

It included Nvidia GeForce GT 525M with 1GB or 2GB of graphics memory, Nvidia 3DTV Play capabilities and Nvidia Optimus technology, which switches the notebook into power-saving mode, to extend battery life up to eight hours.

Dell’s XPS 15z is available now online at Dell’s online stores in the U.S. for $999

Windows Phone ‘Mango’ Update Announced; Coming This Fall

The Microsoft Windows Phone Mango’ event has just come to an end, and here is the change-log of Windows Phone Mango update. The next version of Windows Phone Mango’ is a People centricrelease, with the main focus on communication, applications and Internet.

First and foremost, Microsoft has gone ahead and integrated Twitter, Facebook Chat, Windows Live Messenger and other popular social networking sites right into the OS. The new Threads’ feature will bring in all your messages from IMs, Facebook, SMS’s right in one Inbox. Microsoft has also introduced Unified Inbox’, which will allow users to read emails from multiple email ids right in one place.


The Live Tiles in WP7 have also been livelier. Individual contacts can be pinned to the home screen, and they will provide the user with real time updates from all the social networks for that particular contact. Multi-tasking on WP7 has also been improved, and now allows users to switch between multiple apps now.


All popular Hubs in WP7 have also been enhanced as well. The Pictures Hub automatically tags people to their Facebook profile, when a user uploads a picture on a social networking site. The Xbox hub has been completely redesigned and has been tightly integrated with the Xbox Live service from Microsoft. It now even features your own 3D Avatar. The Office Hub has also been update and now features the SkyDrive and Office 365 features.


The browser in Windows Phone has also been updated to IE9. The browser is hardware accelerated, and supports HTML5 as well. The browser also features Quick Card’, which will automatically show movie data without opening a new application or a new webpage. Microsoft also demoed a comparison of HTML5 rendering speed of a Windows Phone running Mango, Android, iPhone and a BlackBerry handset. The Windows Phone running Mango obviously won by a pretty good margin.

Users can also search by just clicking pictures of an object. Applications can now also share data between themselves, allowing users to seamlessly switch between apps.   The Bing Search has also been enhanced, and now allows users to search for apps and/or the web right from the search bar. Voice-to-text and Text-to-voice feature has also been integrated into the OS now.

The Windows Phone Mango update will be available beginning this fall. The Windows Phone Mango SDK is already available for developers for download.

Toyota To Launch Facebook Like Social Network For Its Customers

Toyota  Motor Corp. and and San Francisco-based is setting up a social networking service called “Toyota Friend”, similar to Facebook and Twitter. The new service allow users to exchange real time updates with Toyota drivers, connect with local dealers and remotely obtain information about their hybrid vehicles, such as battery usage. It is expected to debut in Japan before it rolls out globally in 2012.

“This represents a concrete step towards creating a more mobile society,” Toyota president Akio Toyoda said at a press conference in Tokyo. “Toyota can learn a lot from an entrepreneurial firm like”

The new service primarily relies on third party smartphones and other mobile devices sold separately from its cars. The network will be powered by enterprise social network’s Chatter and Toyota’s telematics platform.

Toyota is investing 442 million yen ($5.5 million) in Toyota Media Service, Microsoft Corp., aiming to bring Internet services to Toyota vehicles, is investing 335 million yen ($4.1 million) and will be investing 223 million yen ($2.8 million) in the project.