itwbennett writes: "The rumor comes to us from Kotaku, whose source SuperDaE says the next Xbox will come bundled with Kinect and it'll require Kinect to be on and calibrated in order for the console to function. If we can get past the Big Brother implications of your Xbox always watching you, there's some good news in there for developers, says blogger Peter Smith, who gives the rumor a 30% chance of being true: 'Game designers can build systems knowing that they have a functioning Kinect camera to rely on.'"
itwbennett writes: "As previously reported in Slashdot, in November of last year, the city of Munich reported savings of over €10 million from its switch to Linux. Microsoft subsequently commissioned a study (conducted by HP) that found that, in fact, 'Munich would have saved €43.7 million if it had stuck with Microsoft.' Now, Microsoft has said it won't release the study, saying that '[it] was commissioned by Microsoft to HP Consulting for internal purposes only.'"
itwbennett writes: "French security company Vupen posted a 'for sale' notice on Twitter Wednesday, advertising its 'first 0day for Win8+IE10 with HiASLR/AntiROP/DEP & Prot Mode sandbox bypass (Flash not needed).' Vupen didn't publish a price tag for the vulnerability, but 'the value of the bug will only increase with time, of course, the longer Vupen sits on it and if no one else stumbles upon it,' says Jody Melbourne, a penetration tester and senior consultant with the Sydney-based Australian security company HackLabs."
itwbennett writes: "You've probably seen the leaks claiming that 'Office will be available on other operating systems,' but there's no evidence of Office for Android or iPad, at least not in the traditional sense of the word 'available,' writes Kevin Purdy. 'Available could mean, in this instance, slightly optimized for mobile browsers, or as a dedicated app, or as a subscription service for enterprise customers.'And Ballmer's proclamation yesterday that Microsoft is a devices and services company, 'does not imply a company looking to make millions through one-shot app store sales,' says Purdy."
itwbennett writes: "For those of you who can't count on a friend to tell you that a little more air should come between you and your Calvins, a Bloomingdales store in Palo Alto has just the solution: An Xbox Kinect-based body scanner that will help you find your best fit. While body measuring systems aren't new, using the Xbox Kinect is a much more affordable solution. Which means that soon we'll all have the opportunity for a computer to tell us that we should 'avoid wearing low to mid rise jeans.'"
itwbennett writes: "When Microsoft made it's Surface announcement last week, reaction was swift and mainly positive. The general consensus was that Microsoft had to do something tablet-y and the Surface was pretty much the best effort they could have made. And then, in a manner entirely consistent with tech reporting, 'the talk around the Surface has quickly devolved into the usual Spec-Then-Snark pattern,' writes blogger Kevin Purdy. 'Unnamed sources claim it will cost $600? Doomed. Wi-Fi only? Sunk. No Angry Birds announced? Pfah.' Does this happen because Microsoft has failed to take that critical page from the Apple playbook and make product available on the day it is announced? Or are tech journos just desperate to keep the story alive?"
itwbennett writes: "According to a 56-page document from 2010 that was posted briefly at Scribd Saturday night, the 'Xbox 720 will launch at a $299 price point,' writes blogger Peter Smith. 'It'll have a Blu-ray drive and 4 GB of RAM. The document suggests it'll be about 6x as powerful as the Xbox 360 thanks to six to eight ARM/Intel x86 cores running at 2 Ghz. Three PowerPC cores will provide backwards compatibility with all Xbox 360 titles.' Smith notes that you should take this with a generous dose of salt given that even if this is a legitimate document, a lot can change in 2 years."
itwbennett writes: "You may have seen the flurry of interest yesterday in NUads, a technology from Microsoft that will let users interact with Kinect-enabled TV ads. That's a pretty cool idea. And VentureBeat's Tom Cheredar says Microsoft Kinect's NUads is what the TV industry needs to survive the future. But ITworld's Peter Smith sees it as overengineering a solution to a problem that could be solved by simply creating better ads."
itwbennett writes: "Peter Smith has done the math on Microsoft's $99 Xbox 360 — 4GB model (no hard drive) and a Kinect sensor. Here's why it's a bad deal: 'You'll be paying $99 + $359.76 in monthly fees, or $458.76 over the course of two years. Compare that with (I'm using prices from Amazon that were accurate as of May 7th, 2012) $287.70 for an Xbox 360 4GB + Kinect bundle, and two 12-month Xbox Live Gold cards at $48.41 each, a total of $384.52. So you're paying almost $75 for the privilege of laying out small cash now.' And then there's the not insignificant matter of early termination fees."
itwbennett writes: "Microsoft is opening a new research lab in Manhattan today and has hired 15 researchers, most of them coming from Yahoo Research. Among the Yahoo researchers who have signed up are David Pennock, the assistant managing director of the new lab, and Duncan Watts, a former full professor of Sociology at Columbia University who is focused on computational and experimental social science, Microsoft said in a blog post."
itwbennett writes: "Redditor MS Nerd, who spreads false information as a sort of social experiment, is floating the rumor that Microsoft's next Xbox won't be the Xbox 720, but a smaller, cheaper Xbox. This time, though, he may be (mostly) right. The morsel of truth that blogger Peter Smith is 'taking from today's rumor is that Microsoft will bring a small form-factor, $100 Xbox to market in 2013. It'll have the same basic architecture as the current Xbox 360, just reduced in size, and it'll be designed and marketed primarily as a streaming media hub.' Sounds plausible."