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University Migrating Students to Windows Live Mail? 450

An anonymous reader wonders: "My University has begun a migration of student email services to Windows Live Mail. All students will be forced onto the system by the end of the semester, but it doesn't support POP or IMAP. Because of that limitation, the only freely available mail client it supports is Windows Live Desktop, which is only available on Windows and I'm worried its ads might be vulnerable to malware just like the ones in Live Messenger. I depend on my mail client and I am concerned about this, because we're not allowed to forward our mail but are responsible for information received there from the University and classes, I'm not on a Windows machine, and I don't have the time to regularly check for web-mail, during the day." What are the pros and cons of such a move for a mid-sized or large college? If you were in charge of the communications of a such a university, would you outsource [please note the vendor neutrality, here] your e-mail?

New Outlook Won't Use IE To Render HTML 319

loconet writes to tell us about a little surprise coming in Outlook 2007: it will render HTML email using the MS Word engine, dropping the use of IE for this purpose. This represents a body-check to the movement towards Web standards. Whatever you think about HTML email, lots of it gets generated, and those generating it won't be able to use CSS any more, and may stop pushing for more widespread standards support. The announcement was made on MSDN. From the Campaign Monitor post: "Imagine for a second that the new version of IE7 killed off the majority of CSS support and only allowed table based layouts. The web design world would be up in arms! Well, that's exactly what the new version of Outlook does to email designers."

Microsoft Sued Over Mobile Halo Title 34

GamesIndustry.biz reports on a lawsuit filed by French developer In-Fusio against Microsoft. The company, which specializes in games for moblie phones, was apparently slated to develop a title in the Halo universe. Instead, they've filed suit, claiming that Bungie's parent company refuses to sign off on design documents, holding up the game's overall development process. In return, In-Fusio is now refusing to pay a reported $500,000 to the company. Microsoft sees this as a good time to end the agreement. From the article: "The developer now believes the Xbox manufacturer has purposefully ignored efforts to create a title, stating in the suit: 'Microsoft has thwarted In-Fusio's efforts to develop Halo under the agreement ... Indeed, in the last 11 months, Microsoft has approved no fully developed In-Fusio game designs; ignoring and then refusing to accept In-Fusio's game design concepts with little or no explanation and leaving In-Fusio little basis to revise its concepts to obtain Microsoft's approval.'"

Former MS Employees Explore OSS 107

Roberto Andressi writes "A few former Microsoft employees have launched a Web site that evaluates open-source projects. The site is intended as a way for first-time OSS users to 'get their feet wet' before diving into the large community of open source projects out there. The site, Ohloh, will provide background information on a prospective project. The folks behind the site even plan to include a lexicon of terms for very new users. " From the article: "'We collect from the infrastructure the open-source community uses to develop the software,' Ohloh co-founder and CEO Scott Collison told CNET News.com. 'It also serves as an open-source directory. You can find open-source projects and compare them, and gradually find one that's right for you.' The site could appeal to developers who are frustrated by the number of open-source projects that lack clear explanations. Ohloh also seeks to help developers make a build vs. buy decision by offering code analysis, said Collison, who along with co-founder Jason Allen, previously worked at Microsoft."

Microsoft To Release 'iPod Killer' at Christmas? 614

ShellFish writes "According to a report from Engadget, Microsoft is poised to finally take on the Apple iPod this holiday season. Tired of uninspiring offerings from its hardware partners, Microsoft is getting into the ring itself. The new media player from Microsoft will feature a bigger screen than the iPod Video, have built-in WiFi for downloading music without a PC, and Microsoft will work with music and TV content providers to build an iTunes Music Store competitor. In what may be the crucial competitive stroke, Microsoft will also allow you to download from its store any song that you've purchased from Apple, unlocking users from iPod's vendor lock-in."

Microsoft to Support ODF via Plug-In 269

Apache4857 writes "It appears that Microsoft has finally caved. BetaNews is reporting that Microsoft is sponsoring an open source project to enable conversion between Open XML in Office 2007 and OpenDocument formats. The project, hosted on Sourceforge.net, made its initial release today. The Word 2007 conversion utility is expected to ship ship by the end of 2006, and similarly conversion utilities for Excel and PowerPoint are expected early next year." See the announcement in Brian Jones' blog (Jones is the Microsoft program manager responsible for Office file formats).

Web 2.0, Meet .Net 3.0 177

An anonymous reader writes to mention an eWeek article about Microsoft's move to rename WinFX to .Net Framework 3.0. Microsoft has also announced the availability of the beta version of the MSDN Wiki, the company's first step toward allowing customers to contribute to Microsoft's developer documentation. From the article: "It is purely a branding change, company officials said. The gist of the issue is that Microsoft has two successful developer brands in WinFX and .Net, and the company has seen 320,000 downloads of WinFX -- and 700 signed GoLive licenses -- since the December Community Technology Preview, and more than 35 million downloads of the .Net Framework since the November launch. "

Halo 2 PC Vista Only, With Exclusive Content 156

Via 1up and Kotaku, news from the most recent Bungie weekly update. Work on Halo 2 PC is continuing apace, but players looking forward to the game should know a few things. The game looks to be Vista only and, despite the promise of the 'Live Anywhere' concept, will not be interconnected in the way that the Shadowrun game will be. The Bungie update clarifies on these announcements. From the article: "Will I need a DirectX 10 graphics card to run Halo 2 on PC? No. Although you will require Windows Vista to play Halo 2 on a PC, you won't necessarily need to upgrade your graphics card to do it. Halo 2, like some other Vista titles, will work just fine on a wide range of graphics cards, including DX9 cards. We will provide far more detailed minimum hardware requirements closer to the game's completion."

Xbox Live's First Big Update 22

GameDaily reports on the first major Xbox Live update since the launch of the Xbox 360. From the article: "The forthcoming update will bring with it a number of additions designed to enhance the user experience, with perhaps the most notable function being the download manager. Currently, when downloading demos, trailers or other items from Marketplace users are tied to the download screen. The update will enable users to queue up and prioritize up to six downloads and users will be allowed to play music, games or do other things on the dashboard while downloads are in progress. If an online game is started, the current download in progress will be paused so as to avoid lag." For the visual among us, Joystiq has a number of screenshots showing off some of the new features.

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