New Xbox 360

At the Game Developers Conference, Microsoft announced a new Xbox 360 development kit, specially crafted for developers with 1GB of memory (debugging and stuff), and a sleek, blue-tinted chrome with a black exterior that’s quite appealing. Here are some photos:

Now you have to admit, it’s quite a looker. I hope that Microsoft will release a similar version for just us average joes. What do you think? Do you Xbox?

SOURCE: http://multiplayerblog.mtv.com/2009/03/24/behold-the-new-blue-tinted-xbox-360-for-developers-only-gdc-2009

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Concepts for Windows 7 that didn’t quite cut it

Interesting concepts like BatSignal (like Aero Peek, but kinda cooler), windows managing, taskbar designs, thumbnails and whatnot that just didn’t make it to the current version of Windows 7. There’s said to be 400 design sketches.

Links:

  1. http://www.neowin.net/news/main/09/03/23/windows-7-concepts-that-never-made-the-cut#
  2. http://channel9.msdn.com/posts/yochay/Designing-the-Windows-7-Taskbar/
  3.  http://winbeta.pl/sample3/windows7prototypy_1.htm

Have you seen Microsoft’s latest ‘visions’ of the future?

If you haven’t seen it by now, there has been a video floating around the web about Microsoft’s vision of the future, including a wide arrangement of vision types.

Here’s the basic Future Vision Montage if you haven’t seen it:

That video is composed of other videos including:

1. Health Future Vision (June 2007)

2. Retail Future Vision (April 2004)

3. Banking Future Vision (July 2005)

4. Manufacturing Future Vision (June 2006)

5. Productivity Vision (2009?) – personal favorite of mine, considering how in-depth and long it is

http://cid-c85b6e7dc1160ed5.skydrive.live.com/embedrowdetail.aspx/PublicDocuments/Microsoft|4s2019FutureVisionMontage|5HD|6.mpg

http://cid-c85b6e7dc1160ed5.skydrive.live.com/embedrowdetail.aspx/PublicDocuments/MicrosoftOfficeLabsVirtualPresskit-ImageGallery/MicrosoftOfficeLabsVirtualPresskit-ImageGallery.zip

Here are some intriguing snapshots I took from some videos:

Future Windows Mobile?

Future Windows OS UI? Or a version for multi-touch surfaces?

 

Interesting links to look at:

http://www.officelabs.com/projects/productivityfuturevision/Pages/default.aspx

http://www.officelabs.com/projects/futurevisionmontage/Pages/default.aspx

http://www.istartedsomething.com/20090228/microsoft-office-labs-vision-2019-video/

http://www.istartedsomething.com/20090317/behind-vision-2019-interview-with-ian-sands-office-labs-director-of-envisioning/

http://www.onten.net/blogs/larry/Inside-Microsofts-2019-Vision-Video/

Windows Live NEEDS to remember when I reject a Messenger invite

Ok, this is yet another quirk of the Windows Live system. Whenever I log into Windows Live Messenger, and a bunch of IM invites come up, I usually reject most of them (because they’re from strangers who I don’t really want to know). However, when I login to my ID on Windows Live Home to check out invites for Windows Live Profile, Messenger invites that I had ALREADY REJECTED are still mentioned. Windows Live needs to understand I already rejected those, and I don’t want to see them AGAIN when I check out invitations on my Profile.

For instance, when I logged into Messenger and a bunch of IM invites popped up, I got one from Caroline. I didn’t know her or want to know her so I rejected the offer.

I said “No, thanks.” and then clicked the OK button. Next, I clicked the e-mail icon to read unread messages on the web version of Hotmail, and no surprise – Most of them were either private messages or invites to other peoples’ profiles. So I deleted all of them right away, and just went to to Windows Live Home to read on them.

 

I read the private messages (I usually get a lot of stupid stuff like simple “Hi!” or just junk mail) and then moved onto the Profile or network invitations. To my chagrin, Caroline (who I recognized from her e-mail address) still had the option to add me as a Messenger contact even though I rejected her once!

Now I can’t be the only one experiencing this problem, right? I think there has to be other people having the same issues too. I just find it very annoying and disruptive, and also quite a time-waster rejecting tons of invites (I guess my blog reaches out to the worst) from Messenger, then having to sift through the same stuff again on Windows Live Profiles.

I just resort to picking “Decide later” simultaneously on each invite, and then rejecting them from Windows Live Profile – but it shouldn’t have to be this way. Period.

Something I love about the new Hotmail: Unsubscribing from mail lists notifications

I noticed this in one of my inboxes today:

I saw the “You’re subscribed to this mailing list.” box on a message from Tagged, and I chose to unsubscribe to it, because I’m not at all interested in joining yet another social networking site. After clicking “Unsubscribe” it opened up a new tab, and it said officially my e-mail address was off the list. Yay!

Then I got the 2nd message saying, “We’ve asked the sender to remove your from this mailing list”. Thank you!

Now that’s a feature of Windows Live Hotmail I actually do like. Does anyone know if this is relatively new? It’s quite useful, and I hope it actually stays this way.

Does the private messaging feature on Windows Live need some work?

The private messaging feature of Windows Live I find, is still too quirky. For instance, Windows Live communication settings acts very stupid. I’ve found that people send me private messages, but because their communication preferences are close, I can’t reply back to them. Sound stupid, right?

Like there’s this guy name Silvester and he wants to add me as a friend, and hopes for a reply.

However, because his communication preferences are off limits for me, I can’t reply.

So try telling me this isn’t kinda stupid. How am I suppose to communicate back to him? I tried checking out his profile, but there isn’t a place to leave a Note for him. So the only way I’d be able to communicate with him, was if I added him, which isn’t something that I’d want to do if I barely know this guy.

What Windows Live should do: Please do not allow users to send private messages to people if they do not open their communication preferences to the person they’re communicate with. Is it that hard?

Also, why not just directly send messages from users to my Windows Live Hotmail inbox?

Either do it the way Facebook does it, and show the whole message in my e-mail inbox, or don’t bother alerting me about new messages. In fact, that’s what Windows Live Alerts should be used for. I just think it’d be nicer if there was an option for private messages to be delivered straight to my inbox, but masking my e-mail address so the sender doesn’t know what it is.

Also, whenever I click on the big orange “View message” button, as shown on the image above, it takes me to all my private messages, but not the particular one that the sender sent to me. Kinda dumb!

I also think Microsoft should bring back the icons, because I think a lot of people who use the computer are pretty visual-oriented, and icons can be easier to recognize faster than test. I’ve had a few times where I couldn’t find the Delete button for the message, and I just don’t see why there can’t be a helpful icon next to it.

What are your opinions on the private messaging feature of Windows Live?

Live Search to offer cluster searches?

I managed to somehow get into the new Kumo-like thing on Live Search. I discovered that the new Kumo Search will kind of have a slightly modified way of displaying results. There will be ‘clusters’ of search groups, based on Related Searches. Here’s a snapshot of it:

As you can see, a search query for “Microsoft” brings not just Microsoft, but also clusters of related searches like the ones above in the picture (Microsoft Drive, Microsoft Products, Microsoft Headphones, etc.).

Bad idea or good idea? What do you think?