My Quest For A Defect-Free Microsoft Surface Goes Surprisingly Poorly

My Quest For A Defect-Free Microsoft Surface Goes Surprisingly Poorly

Being an early adopter can be difficult. Overall, Grady likes his new Microsoft Surface tablet, but noticed some hardware issues, like light distortion and a power button that doesn’t feel right. Those are relatively minor issues when the entire device is working well, but not what Grady expected when he laid out $600 for a new tablet. That’s when he began his quest to return his Surface to Microsoft and obtain one with no defects, cosmetic or otherwise. This quest turned out to be more difficult than he had predicted. [More]

(Ron Dauphin)

Microsoft Offers Free Month Of Service To Make Up For Recent Xbox Live Cloud Outage

What’s better than an apology? An apology with some free stuff thrown in to sweeten the pot and turn those frowns upside down. Microsoft is apologizing for a recent cloud outage that left Xbox Live users hanging with nary a way to access their saved games and will treat users to a free month of membership to try and make up for it. [More]

(kristenrachelle)

Xbox Live Won’t Let Me Register Child Accounts Until I Verify Credit Card I Never Gave Them

Xbox Live Silver is free. Right? Well, Brian was under that impression. He gets that Microsoft needed a credit card on file to verify that he’s an adult, but didn’t get why it wanted to charge him money when he went to verify his billing address. He only uses prepaid cards for his Gold account, and they want him to verify the information of a credit card that he never gave them. [More]

A Future XBox Might Finally Make All Of Our Holodeck Fantasies Come True

A Future XBox Might Finally Make All Of Our Holodeck Fantasies Come True

Be still, our Star Trek-loving hearts! Microsoft has reportedly filed a patent for some kind of technological equipment that looks a lot like the experience offered by the holodecks onboard the starship Enterprise. For those not in the Star Trek: The Next Generation (and later Trek iterations), these were essentially empty rooms that could be programmed with any experience the user wanted, including who they wanted there and in what setting. A fantastical scientific future — and maybe now close to reality. [More]

I Want Xbox Live To Stop Sending All Of My Account E-Mails In Chinese

I Want Xbox Live To Stop Sending All Of My Account E-Mails In Chinese

Emi’s Xbox Live account was hacked last year, but she has control of it again. She just can’t read any of the e-mails that Microsoft sends her about it. That’s because they’re in Chinese. This wouldn’t be a problem if she could read Chinese, or if she had any idea how her account was set that way or how to change it back. She doesn’t. Neither does the chat representative at Microsoft, and the only support available is through user forums. [More]

Microsoft Updates Service Agreement To Make It Easier To Read The New Mandatory Binding Arbitration Clause

Microsoft Updates Service Agreement To Make It Easier To Read The New Mandatory Binding Arbitration Clause

While we appreciate that Microsoft has made its online services agreement much easier to read, the update comes with a questionable addition: a shiny new mandatory binding arbitration clause with class action waiver. The clause states that you agree to settle any legal disputes (except intellectual property rights disputes) in either the small claims court in your county of residence or Microsoft’s, or through the arbitration procedure outlined in the agreement. Microsoft announced that this change was coming awhile back, and has already added similar language to its XBOX Live service. [More]

Windows Phone 8 To Turn Brand New Devices Into Obsolete Relics

Windows Phone 8 To Turn Brand New Devices Into Obsolete Relics

Smartphones that use the Microsoft’s Windows Phone operating system haven’t exactly made a dent in the market share enjoyed by iPhone and Android devices. And yet, Microsoft has refused to throw in the towel, hoping to entice new users with today’s introduction of Windows Phone 8. Alas, if you’re one of the few people who have been holding on to your Windows Phone for when the new OS came out, you’re out of luck. [More]

Electronics Retailer Charging 6.8% Tax To Customers Who Shop Using Internet Explorer 7

Electronics Retailer Charging 6.8% Tax To Customers Who Shop Using Internet Explorer 7

While most of you are surely using the latest customized version of Firefox or Chrome to read this post, there are still a handful of people who not only continue to browse the Internet with Microsoft’s Internet Explorer, but with outdated versions of IE. Thus, one Australian electronics retailer Kogan has decided to impose a tax on customers who apparently refuse to upgrade their browsers. [More]

Xbox Twitter Support Has No Problem Implying You Have A Small Penis

Xbox Twitter Support Has No Problem Implying You Have A Small Penis

Usually when you make a crude joke to a mega-corporation’s Twitter account, it goes ignored or responded to with a robotic, “Thanks for your support!” kind of message. But at least one person at Microsoft has a sense of humor when it comes to sassy Twitterers. [More]

‘Do Not Track’ Browser Option Will Remain Opt-In Only

‘Do Not Track’ Browser Option Will Remain Opt-In Only

Last week, Microsoft got some deserved praise from privacy advocates — and much “harumph”-ing from online advertisers — when it announced that its next iteration of Internet Explorer would go out with Do Not Track as the default privacy setting. Unfortunately, that plan appears to have been scuttled, not by Microsoft, but by the authors of the Do Not Track specifications draft. [More]

No, Microsoft Techs Are Not Proactively Calling You About Your Error Messages

No, Microsoft Techs Are Not Proactively Calling You About Your Error Messages

Software crashes. And sometimes when it does, you get the option of sending an error report to the developer. You’ll never hear back, because that’s not the purpose of the report. But that hasn’t stopped scammers from pretending they are Microsoft techs responding to your crash reports. [More]

Microsoft Confirms $99 Xbox 360 For Those Who Love Pricey Monthly Subscriptions

Microsoft Confirms $99 Xbox 360 For Those Who Love Pricey Monthly Subscriptions

Last week, it was rumored that Microsoft would be slashing the price on its Xbox 360 game console to a mere $99 with the asterisk that you also sign up for two years of its Xbox Live Gold online service. The company officially announced the offer today, and confirmed just how huge that asterisk is. [More]

Microsoft: The Person Using Your Stolen Xbox Totally Didn't Commit Any Fraud

Microsoft: The Person Using Your Stolen Xbox Totally Didn't Commit Any Fraud

Ashlee’s house was robbed last Thanksgiving, and the culprits were never caught. They replaced the stolen items, and life went on. Until her Xbox Live account signed on using another console. The same console that had been stolen, whereabouts now unknown. Maybe the identity or location of the person now using Ashlee’s Xbox could provide valuable insights into who robbed their house five months ago. Microsoft wasn’t interested in helping, and determined that the new owner’s use of her account and attempt to use it to buy points weren’t fraudulent. Well, that’s good to hear! [More]

Audit Finds That Foxconn Workers Are Laboring Under Crappy Conditions

Audit Finds That Foxconn Workers Are Laboring Under Crappy Conditions

While it turned out that monologuist Mike Daisey made up a bunch of stuff about working conditions at Foxconn, that doesn’t mean that things there are all sunshine and roses. A recent labor audit found the giant Chinese manufacturer has working conditions that need a whole heck of a lot of improvement. [More]

Alleged Thief Picked Billionaire Microsoft Co-Founder To Defraud

Alleged Thief Picked Billionaire Microsoft Co-Founder To Defraud

Maybe stealing from someone super rich seemed like a good idea at the time, but using the credit card of the co-founder of Microsoft? Someone’s bound to notice that. The FBI says a U.S. soldier changed the address on a bank account belonging to Paul Allen and then had a debit card sent to his home. [More]

Microsoft Tells Man He Didn't Win Windows Phone Challenge "Just Because"

Microsoft Tells Man He Didn't Win Windows Phone Challenge "Just Because"

UPDATE: After hearing about this story, Microsoft’s Ben Rudolph reached out to the non-winning winner, Tweeting “I want to make things right. So I’ve got a laptop & phone (& apology) for you. Email me!”
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Microsoft Patents System That Would Let You Pay To Skip Commercials

Microsoft Patents System That Would Let You Pay To Skip Commercials

It used to be that streaming a show online meant you had to deal with a minimum number of ads. But those online ad breaks are now growing longer and longer, and you usually don’t have a method for fast-forwarding past them. That’s why Microsoft has patented a system that would allow you to skip ads — for a price. [More]