Xbox May Be Spying On You

First it was the Samsung TV, now they’re saying your Xbox may be spying on you as well. And it doesn’t stop there, sources are now saying that Microsoft and Apple devices, and Samsung phones are also snooping on their customers.

For the Xbox, Microsoft uses Kinect to activate spoken commands for the console. Unfortunately, Microsoft is able to listen to conversations as well. Read the article.

Windows 10 Will Be Free

Microsoft announced today that Windows 10 will be a free upgrade for Windows 7 and 8 users. I guess it means free updates as well. It doesn’t make sense to charge customers for bug fixes. So, why is Microsoft giving away a huge part of their revenue? Maybe, it has learned from the Windows Vista experience. Remember when Vista users had to buy Windows 7 to upgrade to a much more stable environment. Many people don’t seem to like Windows 8. That’s why Microsoft came out with Windows 10 right away, to make a right of the wrong. Charging for Windows 10, would have made people think twice before opening up their pockets.

Microsoft Sway

Microsoft Sway is now available to the general public. Sway is a new online tool for creating presentation documents. Sway doesn’t have traditional files. It’s built for the cloud. Features include undo and redo, bullets and numbering, editing text on the canvas, reordering of sections, importing PDFs, and color picker, to name a few. Read more.

Ford Goes for QNX

Ford is ditching Microsoft for QNX for in-car technology package. It’s supposed to be faster, sleeker and much improved over the old one. It’s also more intuitive and easier on the eyes, and integrates smartphone apps better. Sync 3 is powered by QNX instead of Microsoft Auto. Read more.

Windows 10

Microsoft is distancing itself from Windows 8 as much as possible, that they even skipped a version just to provide some cushion. Everyone was anticipating that the new version will be called Windows 9, but Microsoft just announced it will be releasing Windows 10 instead. Why no love for the number 9? Does this mean the Start menu is getting another makeover? By the way, it’s scheduled to release next spring.

Microsoft Attempt to Stop Using Windows XP

The power of influence on friends and family. That’s Microsoft latest plea to get everyone off Windows XP which ends support on April 8. Running Windows XP past the deadline mean potential security issues since Microsoft will no longer apply fixes or patches to security vulnerabilities. Experts estimate 30% of the web are still using Windows XP. Running Windows past April 8 is akin to running wild in a lawless country. Your on your own. But, didn’t you feel you were on your own the whole time anyways. The article from Ars Technica.

Windows 8 Pricing

A new ZDNet article just revealed Windows 8 pricing. Although Microsoft still hasn’t officially released the price, it’s partner Newegg.com has. Based on what I’ve seen, the Windows 8 pricing is more palatable than previous editions. Users are more inclined to purchase since prices seem more reasonable. In addition, Microsoft has reduced and simplified the number of OS choices to just four. It’s amazing what simplicity does to lessen the user confusion. Here are the four choices:

The Newegg page lists four separate products:

  • Windows 8 Professional Upgrade – $69.99 (save $130)
  • Windows 8 Pro Pack – Product Key Card (no media) – $69.99 (save $30)
  • Windows 8 (Full Version) – OEM $99.99
  • Windows 8 Pro (Full Version) – OEM $139.99

The two OEM products are available in both 32-bit and 64-bit versions.

I suggest you  get over to Newegg.com and pre-order Windows 8. They offer a $10.00 discount.

Finally, Windows 8 scheduled release date is October 26.

Free Boingo Wifi In San Francisco

If you’re traveling, working, or just walking around and near San Francisco, Christmas is coming early, courtesy of Microsoft and Boingo Wireless. Microsoft recently inked a deal with Boingo, to sponsor free Wi-Fi access at certain hot spot locations in San Francisco, as part of the Windows 8 celebration, to be announced later this month.

Here’s the announcement from Boingo’s website.

Boingo Wireless (NASDAQ: WIFI), the Wi-Fi industry’s leading provider of software and services worldwide, announced today that Microsoft is sponsoring free Wi-Fi access at high-traffic New York and San Francisco locations from now through the end of the year. The Wi-Fi sponsorship is part of the launch celebration for Windows 8, and will introduce the new Windows Store for Windows 8 to the app builder community. Consumers can also enjoy browsing great new apps in the Windows Store, view staff recommendations and get personalized picks based on apps they may already use.

As part of the holiday promotion, Microsoft’s sponsored Wi-Fi is immediately available for users of all Wi-Fi enabled devices in six Manhattan subway stations, supported by Transit Wireless’ state-of-the-art network, and across Wi-Fi hotzones covering iconic San Francisco locations including Union Square, Fisherman’s Wharf, UN Plaza, the Financial District, Nob Hill and more. Microsoft will also sponsor Wi-Fi via more than 200 Manhattan hotzones, starting November 1. The Wi-Fi hotspots are part of the Boingo’s Cloud Nine media platform, a global advertising network that enables brand advertisers to reach target audiences through high engagement Wi-Fi sponsorship.

Windows Phone In A Horse Race

Have you ever watched a horse race with two horses running neck to neck while a third horse lags far behind? Yea, that third horse is Windows Phone, trailing behind the iPhone and the Android by a wide margin.

It’s hard enough to play second fiddle. How much more a third wheel. I think the sooner the better it is for Microsoft to realize that this gap is too wide to make up to make this a competitive race.

Dropping out of the race might be a smarter option for Microsoft, but then again smart choices and Microsoft sometimes don’t belong in the same sentence. Microsoft has made many flopped ventures. Who hasn’t!

Clearly this is a two-horse race, and it’s not changing anytime soon.

Windows 8 Dizzying Array of Versions

As you are aware, development of Windows 8 is in full force. Microsoft has already started to market its next operating systems by making it available for anyone to download. A recent look at what options are available reveals a dizzying array of options. Tom’s Hardware compiled a list of Windows 8 options, and they are:

  • Windows 8 Enterprise Edition
  • Windows 8 Enterprise Eval Edition
  • Windows 8 Home Basic Edition
  • Windows 8 Home Premium Edition
  • Windows 8 ARM Edition
  • Windows 8 Professional Edition
  • Windows 8 Professional Plus Edition
  • Windows 8 Starter Edition
  • Windows 8 Ultimate Edition

This doesn’t even take into account more options if you take into account 32-bit and 64-bit CPU architectures. This list is quite lengthy. The list can potentially change come release time. As a comparison, Linux Mint has 7 different versions. But, if you take away the 32-bit and 64-bit stuff, it essentially comes down to just 4 different versions.

Do you think there are too many Windows 8 options?