Aside from being one of the [most hated CEOs](http://www.businessinsider.com/hated-tech-ceos-2011-12?op=1) in the world of technology, Steve Ballmer is hard at work trying to design a new world for Microsoft and the future of consumer electronics and, simultaneously, saving himself from a history of redicule. Ballmer's ambitious claim of [400 million](http://venturebeat.com/2012/09/05/ballmer-400m-windows-phone-8-windows-8-devices/) Windows 8 and Windows Phone 8 devices comes along with their joint HTC announcement of the [8X and 8S](http://opedtech.com/2012/09/19/windows-phone-7-is-dead-long-live-windows-phone-8/), as well as the Q4 release of Windows 8, Windows 8 RT tablet, and rumors of a (much overdue) new gaming console. All of this however hinges on one man: Steve Ballmer, …

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[ATTACH=right]14395[/ATTACH]Microsoft [URL="http://www.mobilemag.com/2010/04/13/microsoft-kin-one-and-kin-two-specs-and-perspective/"]released a couple of phones[/URL] on Monday, Kin 1 and Kin 2, supposedly aimed at teens. Kin 1 is shaped like a hockey puck. Kin 2 looks more like a conventional smart phone (but it's not). The only thing these phones appear to have going for them is a nice keyboard. The Kin 1 has an awkward shape. The shared interface is ugly and confusing and as of now (the release announcement), they have no SDK for building additional Apps. It connects to Facebook and MySpace (MySpace? Really?!) and of course connects to Zune music services, but it doesn't …

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[ATTACH=right]11664[/ATTACH]I confess I'm not always kind to Microsoft. They stumble and bumble and often make bad decisions, and as such make a great target for a blogger like me, but looking back at the announcements they've made over the last couple of weeks, when you add it all up, they at least seem to be trying to move forward. They may be awkward at times (as geeks often are), but the[URL="http://www.zune.net/zunehd"] Zune HD,[/URL] the [URL="http://www.codeplex.org/"]CodePlex Foundation[/URL], and the newly announced [URL="http://www.bing.com/visualsearch"]Bing visual search tool[/URL] all add up to a good week for the behemoth from Redmond. In fact, when you …

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It was surreal to read today that Microsoft's Apple iPod killer, the Zune, has gone all high definition. That's to say that the new version announced today will have high-def capacity. Reaction has been positive; connect it to a TV and it'll be great, everyone's going to want one. Well, tough, if you live in Europe. Because it's not launched over here. And I don't just mean the high definition version isn't around. We in the UK and as far as I'm aware (happy to be corrected of course) elsewhere in Europe are a Zune-free zone. Microsoft simply hasn't issued …

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Yesterday Microsoft launched the long-awaited [URL="http://www.zune.net/en-us/products/zunehd/default.htm"]Zune HD[/URL]. By all reports, this is a pretty nice device with a large 3.3 inch OLED screen with HD video and HD radio playback. As a media player, it offers access to a limited App Store and a very nice $15 all-you-can-eat monthly music subscription service. It looks like Microsoft put a lot of thought into the design, and at the very least, I wanted to get my hands on one at Best Buy and take it for a spin. Yet in spite of these unusually fuzzy feelings for a Microsoft product, our friends …

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It's never a dull moment when it comes to Google, Microsoft and Apple (which is why I write about them so much), and this week Google and Microsoft made some big announcements. For Google, it was [URL="http://googleblog.blogspot.com/2009/05/went-walkabout-brought-back-google-wave.html"]Google Wave[/URL], an incredibly hyped new communications interface (more on that it in a moment). From Microsoft, it was the HD Zune and Bing, its new search engine (which I wrote about just the other day in [URL="http://www.daniweb.com/blogs/entry4372.html"]Microsoft Ad Wars Turn to Google[/URL]). [B]The New HD Zune[/B] I've been as derisive as the next guy when it comes to the Zune and sales of …

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I've been reading about VNUNet's choice of the top ten most disappointing technologies - stuff that really didn't deliver. I'm sitting here typing with a wireless keyboard and mouse talking to my Mac by Bluetooth stunned that they chose Bluetooth as one of them, and enough Linux addicts have Tweeted about Ubuntu to suggest they're wrong about that one too. We'll all have different perspectives but here are my top ten (there is some overlap) - you can compare with [URL="http://www.vnunet.com/vnunet/news/2242379/top-disappointing-technologies?page=1"]theirs[/URL] or just argue about your own. 1. Voice control: It just doesn't work. It doesn't like accents, it doesn't …

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I opened up Google Reader this morning and found major rumors from our favorite corporate rivals Apple and Microsoft. For Apple it is the oft cited iTablet. For Microsoft, it's a supposed iPod Touch clone. I try not to give too much credence to rumors (as I wrote in [URL="http://www.daniweb.com/blogs/entry3626.html"]It's Time we Learned to Dismiss Apple Rumors[/URL]), especially when one of them involves the Zune, which is hardly a rival to the iPod at all (as I wrote in [URL="http://www.daniweb.com/blogs/entry3880.html"]Zune and iPod : A Tale of Two MP3 Players[/URL]), but the juxtaposition was just too hard to ignore, so let's …

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You have to give Microsoft credit. They keep trying, even if what they are trying is copying Apple. This time they have announced they are going to open retail stores. Sound familiar? It should because it's what Apple has done so successfully with its Apple Store strategy. The problem Microsoft faces with this approach is that they lack a portfolio of good consumer products to sell and it will take gobs of money to set up these stores. [B]Step Right Up for a Microsoft Genius[/B] Seems they want to set up something akin to Genius Bars at Apple Stores. Not …

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Last week Apple and Microsoft released their fourth quarter MP3 player sales figures, which Apple chooses to call its first quarter for some odd reason, and the numbers were a startling contrast. On one hand you had Microsoft with a 54 percent drop off in sales from the fourth quarter last year. On the other, you had Apple, selling a record number of iPods (again). Somewhere Steve Ballmer must be banging his head against a wall wondering if his company will ever catch a break, while Steve Jobs convalesces contentedly knowing his company continues to grow in spite of economic …

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[I]Instant karma's gonna get you Gonna knock you right on the head ~John Lennon. [/I] It's 2009 and I'm sure the powers that be at Microsoft are hoping it's going to be a good one without any tears, but even as the old year closed, the news kept getting worse for the software giant. Just yesterday the web surged with news that[URL="http://www.betanews.com/article/Y2K9_bug_hits_30_GB_Zunes/1230751818"] 30 GB Zunes were freezing up[/URL], apparently the victim of a Y2K-type clock bug where the Zunes rebooted and froze as of January 1, 2009 Pacific Time. And this morning, [URL="http://arstechnica.com/journals/microsoft.ars/2009/01/01/rumor-microsoft-to-lay-off-17-of-staff-on-january-15-2009?utm_source=microblogging&utm_medium=pingfm&utm_term=main_ars_account&utm_campaign=microblogging"]Ars Technica reports[/URL] that rumors are flying about …

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To start hinting that you're going to make the best ever media phone this close to Christmas could of course save many of us a lot of money. "Of course, darling, I was going to spend £500 on a media phone for you but the [URL="http://blog.wired.com/gadgets/2008/12/rumor-zune-phon.html"]Zune phone[/URL] is apparently coming out next year so I bought these cup cakes instead..." kind of suits the credit crunch/recession/whatever we're calling it right now mentality. Only...there's a deliberate mistake in that sentence up there. You'll have noticed that being a Brit I put a pound sign rather than a dollar sign in there …

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Microsoft just released their iPod killer -- except that it isn't killing the iPod. Although it looks promising, it has had a number of [URL="http://www.engadget.com/2006/11/13/installing-the-zune-sucked/"]negative Zune reviews[/URL]. It may seem like the Zune is a total flop, after all, "it's from MS". But no, I don't think that is the problem. The problem is testing. Beta testing. Zune has so many features to kill the iPod with, but all these features came at a price to Microsoft. Obviously, they are going to have to do a lot of bug fixing. So instead of making a product that may not have …

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Well I suppose it will be Apple’s worst ever Christmas gift. For months people have been anticipating a music player from Microsoft commonly known as iPod Killer (for no apparent reason). Well the iPod killer has been finally confirmed and has been code-named as Zune (strange name?). It is expected to be released by the end of the year 2006 (Christmas?). Co-developed by Redmond, Zone is said to have features like [I]Wi-Fi capabilities[/I], larger screen compared to iPod and inter connectivity between Zone, XBOX Live and other Windows Mobile powered Handhelds. It is also rumoured that Zune will have an …

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The End.