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.
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.
When Andy bought a notebook computer from Dell, he also bought a license for Windows 7 and the right to use it on that computer. But when something went wrong with that installation of Windows 7, and the code on his Certificate of Authenticity wore off, he was stuck. Windowless.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
After his Xbox Live account was stolen, Josh had to file a Better Business Bureau complaint in order to make MIcrosoft pay attention to him and restore his account access. After three months, he was delighted to log back in to his account, but surprised to learn that he had been banned for a “code of conduct violation.” What did his account do to get banned? It was trying to steal other accounts. Imagine that.
Once upon a time, a lot of people viewed Microsoft as the epitome of corporate omnipresence, as many of us wrote our 11-part fantasy series in Word, checked our Hotmail accounts while surfing the web on Internet Explorer, probably on a computer running Windows. But now we have Google Docs, Gmail, and Chrome, and Microsoft is taking out full-page ads warning consumers of how this other company is the one to be reviled.
When Microsoft announced earlier this week that it would be selling Kinect for Windows starting in February, a number of people envisioned a near future where they would be moving the cells around on their Excel spreadsheet by waving their hands, or finally getting quality motion controls for PC games that have never been ported to the Xbox 360. But neither of these situations is really what Kinect for Windows is about.
When you’re trudging up a mountain with not even a glimpse of the summit, and all you know is that you’re really, really far behind the guy in the lead, it might be nice to know that hey, at least you’re in second. Bing can claim that status now in the search engine world, as it has surpassed Yahoo to sit a distant second to Google.