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Review: Netflix on Microsoft's XBox 360 Disappoints

200°
309w ago - At the risk of sounding like a forum troll, I have to say, I'm not too impressed with the implementation of Netflix on Xbox 360.

The service, which is available to Xbox Live and Netflix -subscribers, allows you to stream movies to your TV via your Xbox 360, and on paper, it sounds ingenious.

Indeed, that's why I -- along with many others -- was so excited when Microsoft announced this forthcoming feature way back at E3 in July. Unfortunately, Netflix for Xbox Live users is now here, and it's not all it was cracked up to be.

For starters, the selection of streamable movies is lackluster. Netflix users who have used the service's "Instantly Watch" section know that there aren't an incredible variety of movies to pick from. There are few new releases available. Instead, the selection is composed mainly of films like Mission to Mars, The Abyss, Superman: The Movie, Batman Forever and Scarface.

There's nothing necessarily wrong with these movies. Some of them are actually great films. But I've already seen many of them, and I was more excited about watching new releases. Moreover, as an HDTV owner, I'm disappointed by the scarcity of good high-def content provided by Netflix.

The other issue lies in the interface. Instead of being able to browse Netflix's collection...
 

Microsoft's Helping Hand Through Sony PlayStation Advertising

50°
309w ago - Ever thought you would read this in a headline?

Well in any case, below is pictured a leaflet from Microsoft Windows Vista unconsciously advertising for PlayStation instead of Xbox or Xbox 360.

The sheet contains a photo with 2 guys playing with PlayStation 2 controllers!

Surely an oversight by Microsoft, but one they probably will not like once it catches up with them.

Click on the pic below to enlarge it.
 

The Truth About Microsoft's XBox 360 Game Console

50°
310w ago - The infamous Xbox 360 "red ring of death" (indicating a failed unit) has caused Microsoft - and its customers - untold pain in the three years since the console's launch in 2005, and cost it $1.15bn (£738m) last year.

Microsoft has never said publicly why the console was plagued with faults: it seems that poor production quality was at the heart of the failures - an all-round problem with no single cause except impatience on the company's part as it tried to become the leader in videogame consoles.

It was an ambitious attack. Microsoft's engineers started working on the Xbox 360 at least a year after Sony's engineers began work on the PlayStation 3, yet wound up shipping a year earlier. With the first Xbox, the company lost $3.7bn (£2.3bn) over four years, mostly because costs of the box - particularly its hard drive - were too high.

Bill Gates didn't really care about the losses; that was simply the ante for getting into an exciting new business. But Steve Ballmer, who took over from Gates as chief executive during the first generation, really wanted the Xbox business to be profitable second time around.

Software-hearted

Even though early testing showed that production machines had flaws, Microsoft didn't delay the launch because it believed...
 

Top 10 Things to Look Forward to in Microsoft's Windows 7

50°
310w ago - Rumor has it that Windows 7 will drop in the middle of next year, but last month Microsoft released a "preview" tester build of Windows 7. After living in the Windows 7 Preview for a week now, several features and niceties jumped out at me which promise to make Windows a better place to work come 2009.

Here are just a few of the things to look forward to in Windows 7.

10. Ding-dong, the Sidebar is dead.

One of the first things I hunted down and killed in Windows Vista was the Sidebar, which loaded by default and docked Vista's Gadgets to the right side of your desktop. In Windows 7, the sidebar is no more, and gadgets, should you want them, can roam free across the desktop. This time around, the gadgets feel less distracting to me–the CPU meter and calendar gadgets are my favourites, though this screenshot shows many more.

9. Calculator, WordPad, and Paint got overhauled.

It sucks that Windows 7 is stripping the built-in Photo Gallery and movie-making software that you'll find in Vista (even the Windows Calendar is nowhere to be found in the 7 Preview), but a few of their built-in stalwarts did get some attention.

WordPad and Paint both got the Office 2007 ribbon installed, and Calculator now incorporates real world uses into it. At this point only...
 

Microsoft's Windows 7 Leaked to Pirates

200°
311w ago - Construction Number 6801 of Windows 7 that was handed out to developers at this year's PDC (Professional Developers Conference) have appeared on various file-sharing network in the weekend. We're talking about both 32 and 64-bit editions.

Built in 6801 are many of the major improvements that are now being praised on the Web, but it lacks the new taskbar that's changed in relation to all other Windows versions.

It is the well-known Windows Network WinBeta that has made Windows 7 available for curious pirates. The file size is 3.6GB packed.

A video of Windows 7 Edition that Microsoft demonstrated at PDC is below, but note this is not the edition that was leaked:





In January a very early version of Windows 7 was leaked to the Web. However, back then there was no one particularly impressed when many of the big changes were not yet implemented.
 
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