Tag: "microsoft"

Windows Mobile Marketplace on a custom ROM

As you may recall in my last post I was using a Touch Diamond to grab screenshots of the marketplace. Why wasn't I using my Touch Pro?

Well the Diamond was running a stock ROM, on my phone however typically I flash a custom ROM after a while. With this ROM the Marketplace application would simply fail when checking for updates, stating it was unable to connect with an error something like this:

Marketplace could not connect to the server. Please check your connection and try again.

One of the checks the Marketplace application seems to make us having a look at your version information. A lot of custom ROMs put thier own string in, which seems to be upsetting it. To check, open up your favourite registry editor and make your way to:

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\Versions and change Aku to .5.3.00

And then soft reset and give it a go.

Windows Mobile Marketplace opens early

Not officially launching until tomorrow the Windows Mobile Marketplace seems to be open. Here's some screenshots of it running on a Windows Mobile 6.1 device. in this case an HTC Touch Diamond, 6.1 devices aren't officially supported yet, and probably won't be until the end of the year.

Windows 7 Answers forum is live

Microsoft have opened up the Windows 7 Answers forum.

Which I have to say semi-replaces the old newgroups, well not that there are any Windows 7 newsgroups yet. The old battle between web forums and NNTP looks like its heading the way of the web, I know in my opinion that's largely down to how bad the latest version of Windows Live Mail is at handling newgroups, no where near as good as Windows Mail or Outlook Express.

Anyways enough rambling hope to see you on there with your questions.

Microsoft Security Essentials to be released today

Microsoft are going to be releasing Security Essentials later today, for those that don't know this is their free anti-virus, anti-spyware, well anti-malware in general application.

I've been running it for a few months now on all my systems, and the short review is this: it's the best anti-malware software ever, it doesn't slow your system down noticibly and it isn't constantly bugging you with pop-ups like other anti-malware software.

My recommendation is this: If you're using Norton or McAfee, stop giving them money, uninstall their terrible products and replace it with this. Check out my other coverage of it here.

Keep an eye out on the Security Essentials website for the download links.

Update: it's now up.

Apple fanboys comment on Microsoft's "Courier" Tablet PC

The guys over at Macworld seem to think Microsoft have fallen into some kind of trap because they're experimenting with new Tablet PC form factors.

All right, Microsoft, we get it: you’re taking on Apple on every front. You’ve rolled out a touch-screen media player. You’ve taken pot shots at Cupertino’s laptop line. You’re opening up your own retail stores, with staff that may or may not be poached from Apple’s. But launching your own mythical tablet device? You’ve fallen right into the trap.

What trap?

That’s not to say Courier couldn’t be cool, but I couldn’t shake the feeling of déjà vu. Courier looks like yet another attempt in the vein of Microsoft Surface and the Tablet PC, both of which gained about as much traction as fried eggs on Teflon. Redmond’s attempts to reinvent the way we interact with information have repeatedly slipped on the banana peel of actual usability.

Nobody expected the Surface to gain "traction", it costs $10,000. The point is its out there so people can start thinking about the technology.

As for the Tablet PC, if that doesn't have traction than neither does the Macintosh. I haven't seen any figures lately but in 2007 the Tablet PC doubled its marketshare over 2006, to about 7% of mobile computer sales, this has been trending upwards since their release. That's much larger than the marketshare of the Macintosh.

Of course when Apple bring out their mythical tablet, the same one the Apple fanboys have been gushing over all year, suddenly tablet computers will be awesome. Until then, the fanboys will just knock anything to do with Microsoft, good or not.

Courier - Microsoft's next-generation Tablet

Gizmodo has the scoop on Microsoft's new tablet device, currently codenamed "Courier"

Looks pretty good. I've been wanting a Tablet the size of a 9 inch netbook for a while, yet the Gigabyte M12 and other similar devices were either too expensive for what they were, or underpowered, a Dell Mini 9 with a convertable screen, with a Wacom behind it would be awesome, but it seems we've had to put up with dumb-touch screens. My 12 inch Motion is pretty big to just stick in a bag. This "Courier" device features two 7 inch screens. So its footprint folded up should be smaller still, yet with much more screen real estate when you get it out.

This is also rumoured to be the project that J Allard has been working on since he left the Zune a while back. While some may see that as a good sign - I don't. J Allard's involvement with the Zune saw it not work with Windows Media Player and other PlaysForSure devices, and embrace a much more closed model, aka iPod. Which is a bad thing.

This machine needs to run Windows. Hopefully it'll go the same sort of route as Origami, those super-expensive chunky netbook sized Tablets from a few years back. Which ran Windows, but had the Origami UI on top. The browser shown in the video below looks quite like the Origami wrapper around IE.

It also works with both touch and a stylus, hopefully they won't cheap out and will use a Wacom style tablet, being able to hover above the screen is something you just can't make up for with regular touch, plus you could disable the capacitive touch screen whenever the stylus is within range of the screen, so your hand resting on it wouldn't be recoginised, which you couldn't do with a dumb-stylus.

The device is in the late-prototype stage, so hopefully next year we'll see some more firm details on it.

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