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Windows 8 and why the Zune brand needs to die

Microsoft has taken a lot of flak for their horrible naming conventions and overly long names, and deservedly so. When first announced, Windows Phone was called Windows Phone Series 7. They officially chopped of the “Series” by launch, and now just advertise it as Windows Phone. It just makes more sense.

Similarly, they last year rebranded their paid Office cloud service to Office 365. Office 365 makes sense. It’s Office, all the time. Do you know what they called it previously?

Business Productivity Online Suite.

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Zune Music coming to Canada

Microsoft’s Zune Music services have always been a very US centric brand, with rumours that it would come to Canada swirling for a couple of years. The last we heard, it was originally going to show up here back in the spring of this year. While the Zune video marketplace has been available in Canada for some time, allowing users to rent and buy TV and film content via their PCs or Xbox 360s, the iTunes competitor has been bereft of, well… tunes, until now.

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Xbox Dashboard Fall Update 2010 – Netflix in Canada on the 360

The Xbox Dashboard getting a fall update is about as dependable as the leaves changing colour and pumpkins popping up at every corner store.  If you’ve already signed up for the preview program (now closed), you should have it now.  Though we Canadians don’t get all the goodness of our US brethren (no ESPN and no Zune Pass), the update does support Canadian Netflix access, and gives the user an idea where Microsoft is headed, not just with the Xbox, but with it’s interface metaphor across a wide swath of…

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Microsoft expanding Zune Services internationally

With Windows Phone 7 just around the corner, it’s no surprise that Microsoft finally announced their first round of international expansion of the Zune service, providing digital entertainment services to more than 20 countries. Not all countries are created equal however. The much vaunted Zune Pass will be available in the UK, France, Italy and Spain, for 9.99 euros. The Zune pass allows users to have unlimited access to the Zune music library from Windows PCs, Windows Phone 7 and Xbox Live. Unlike the US version, which costs $14.99 US,…

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Microsoft Kin is dead

Just a couple of months out of the gate, and Microsoft has killed it’s KIN line of no-so smart phones, before they even had a chance to get outside the US. This isn’t surprising on a number of levels.  While the phones were well-spec’ed, with an interesting take on the UI, the target of younger social-media centric types (read: teens) were probably not ready to shell out real smartphone monthly fees.  Not many teens (or their parents) were interested in paying $70 a month for a phone.  The launch of…

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Kin: Microsoft aims at mobile sociability

After Microsoft unveiled its Project Pink as Kin there was a lot of speculation as to what it really meant, given the major noise Microsoft has been making about its other phone strategy, Windows Phone 7.  The Kin phones and service are clearly targeted at a teen demographic, in the same way that Gossip Girl targets the teen demographic by portraying a lifestyle 99.9% of their audience will never achieve…  you know… aspirational. The snide remarks aside, after taking a look at what Kin has to offer, and the pedigree…

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Windows Phone 7 Series – has Microsoft pulled it off?

Probably the most anticipated event at Mobile World Congress has finally passed, and with it, Microsoft has announced a whole new direction with it’s mobile platform, which has been rebranded Windows Phone 7 Series.  Although WP7S devices aren’t expected to start shipping until near the end of the year, the folks at Redmond have definitely taken a ground up approach with the new OS, UI and hardware.  Microsoft will be much more strict on the minimum hardware specs, which is a good thing, since in the past there were some…

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WindowsPhone – what Microsoft needs to do at Mobile World Congress

We rarely delve into outright speculation here at rgbHeadquarters, but over the past month or two, there have been a number of rumours regarding what is going to be a major update to the Windows Mobile platform with version 7, and the rebranding to Windows Phone. With Mobile World Congress starting next week, those rumours have increased, and many have solidified somewhat. What to expect from Microsoft at MWC is largely dependent on what they need to fix, and a little reading of the tea leaves.

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Episode 017 – Drag Me To Cells

If you were planning on upgrading to a new smart phone this summer, we recommend that you give a listen to the mobile section of this episode to get an overview of what’s new or soon to be released. We also take a look at Sam Raimi’s “Drag Me To Hell”, “inFAMOUS” for the PS3 and “Punch Out” for the Wii, and more! This episode marks some upgrades and changes to the production end of the show, so you’ll see and especially hear a marked increase in quality (so we…

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Nvidia Tegra in the Zune HD?

The news finally broke last week about Microsoft’s upgrade to the Zune line, with the Zune HD. The device as a number of interesting specs, including a 480×272 multitouch OLED screen for excellent contrast and colour, and will output HD video with an HDMI dock, as well as a web browser. Think of the Zune HD as Microsoft’s response to the iPod Touch. What’s even more interesting is that from most reports (and the sometimes dependable wikipedia) the onboard processor is probably the Nvidia Tegra, a mobile graphics powerhouse which…

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Windows Mobile 7 hardware specs?

We don’t engage in too much speculation here at rgbFilter headquarters (all right we do, we don’t generally post about it though), but over the past few months, there’s been a lot of talk about Microsoft’s Project Pink, which could be a Zune phone, or a software/services platform for future Windows Mobile devices.  Heck, some rumours have even floated about Xbox Live integration including gaming. In any case, it appears that the minimum specs for Windows Mobile 7 have been leaked by none other than Mary Jo Foley at ZDNet,…

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