Microsoft wants to be the provider of all of your cloud services, from webmail (Outlook) to storage (SkyDrive), aiming for the same market as cloud services from competitors like Google and Apple. The new product has a lot of fans, including Josh. Well, Josh was a big fan until Microsoft abruptly locked him out of his account and won’t tell him why.
Chris is a Zune Pass customer, and has been since the very beginning (whenever that was.) Early adopters get a pretty great deal that new subscribers don’t: ten song credits per month. He sent his tip in in the form of a chat transcript that was refreshingly well-written on both sides and honest on the part of the support representative. Let this serve as a heads-up to Zune fans who haven’t noticed this problem yet, but may experience it in the future. Or not. [More]
I remember the giddiness of being freed from the yoke of a paid AOL membership, ready to choose my very own email address instead of the one my dad had set up. I probably searched AltaVista or asked Jeeves before finding I could set up a free account at Hotmail.com. It was a heady feeling, one of liberation and unbounded email opportunities. Fast forward to the present, when those still faithful to Hotmail are no doubt mourning its impending demise. [More]
Entering the already busy arena of online streaming video services, Xbox 360 announced yesterday that it’s teaming up with Verizon to offer the company’s Redbox Instant Video exclusively on its gaming consoles. It’s always good to have options, and it seems companies are going to continue coming up with competitors for Netflix, Hulu and Amazon’s video services. And when companies compete, we win. Hurray! [More]
While you’re chitchatting away on Skype with your friend living halfway around the world or maybe showing your new kitchen improvements to your mother by carrying the laptop around, what is Skype doing with your information, and what happens if the government tries to get it? A group of privacy advocates are putting Microsoft in the hot seat with a letter asking it to answer such questions. [More]
Hey, Microsoft? Just a little heads up. If customers despise your latest and ostensibly greatest operating system so much that businesses are offering a downgrade service, you might want to take that as a sign that something has gone wrong. Because while we can understand having to pay for an upgrade, ponying up cash just to take a step back on your new laptop with pre-installed software is well, it’s a step back. [More]
Albert wrote to us about his problems with his Cyber Monday purchase from the Microsoft Store. No, we haven’t been sitting on his message for almost two months: he’s been struggling with Microsoft for that long, trying to get this transaction to make sense. One important thing that he learned: just because he’s lucky enough to live relatively near a Microsoft Store, that doesn’t mean it will do him any good. [More]
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]
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]
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]
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.
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.
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.
Mavfan has a very old Hotmail account. It’s positively ancient in Internet years, existing since 2001. He was happy to just let the account forward to his wife’s Gmail address until it was hacked and began to send dirty spam messages to everyone the couple has ever e-mailed since 2001. It was time to put a stop to that nonsense, so he set out to shut down the account. Hotmail just won’t let him go.
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.
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.
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.
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.