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Top Microsoft Executives Are Leaving the Company Like Rats from a Sinking Ship

367w ago - Will it end with Bill Gates?

It all started in the second week of January with Microsoft confirming the departure of Bruce Jaffe, Corporate Vice President, Corporate Development. But Jaffe signaled only the beginning of what was to come. It is hard not to look at Jaffe as a trend setter, but the fact of the matter is that lately Microsoft top executives have illustrated an increased tendency to leave the Redmond company.

Jaffe was responsible for overseeing, executing and managing Microsoft's transactions and alliances, including the $6 billion deal the company has done with aQuantive. With Jaffe out to put his own start-up on its feet, the next on the list was Jeff Raikes, President of the Microsoft Business Division. But as far as Raikes was concerned, it was by no means a surprise. At least not for Microsoft, and illustrative of this is the fact that the company already had a transition plan in place as well as a replacement in the person of Stephen Elop, formerly chief operating officer (COO) at Juniper Networks.

"Very few people have contributed more to Microsoft than Jeff," Microsoft Chief Executive Steve Ballmer stated in an internal email to Microsoft employees. "For more than 20 years, he has been the chief strategist behind the establishment of our information worker business, from...

Ubidays Makes a Comeback

367w ago - Today Ubisoft announced that UBIDAYS™ 2008 will take place May 28- 29 in the heart of Paris's world-famous Louvre museum.

Selected European press and business partners will be invited to discover Ubisoft's new titles and have the opportunity to play the games that will pave the company's future.

Last year's UBIDAYS showcased major announcements, notably the launch of the highly successful Games for Everyone line. The 2008 edition promises to reveal similar surprises and exclusive announcements, while at the same time offer a rare opportunity for guests to meet Ubisoft team members and creative talents.

"The inaugural UBIDAYS in 2007 was a big step for us and a calculated bet, given the worldwide evolution of the industry," said Alain Corre, Executive Director for Europe, the Middle East and Asia Pacific (EMEA). "The positive feedback from last year convinced us that this was the ideal way to present our games and to have enriching exchanges with partners who support us year after year. We're eagerly awaiting UBIDAYS 2008, which is already shaping up to offer a look at future industry trends and the group's upcoming blockbuster titles."

The list of featured games and event program will be revealed later.

Windows, Xbox Live VP Schappert To Keynote GDC 2008

367w ago - Microsoft's John Schappert, Corporate Vice President LIVE, Software and Services for the Interactive Entertainment Business, will deliver a keynote address at CMP's 2008 Game Developers Conference, setting the stage for revolutionary changes in game development in 2008.

The address, "A Future Wide Open: Unleashing the Creative Community," marks the first return to the GDC keynote stage for Microsoft since 2005.

Schappert's keynote explores the Xbox 360 platform's next step in democratizing game development, vastly opening up the industry for developers of all sizes. The session will set the strategy for Xbox 360 this upcoming year, revealing top developers' plans for the platform in 2008. Additionally, Schappert will discuss how the increasing role of online gaming will continue to shape gameplay and game distribution this year.

"The Game Developers Conference is the premiere stage for industry leaders to present their strategies for advancing the state of the art of games," said Jamil Moledina, executive director of the Game Developers Conference. "Given John's experience and the Microsoft game development team behind him, we are confident that our attendees will not want to miss this glimpse into the future of how games will be made."

As Corporate Vice President Live, Software...

Apple Wins the Blu-Ray Vs. HD-DVD War?

367w ago - Why wait to buy when you can download now?

While the MacBook Air was certainly the sex symbol of Steve Jobs's MacWorld keynote today, the product with the biggest impact may be the new Apple TV.

One of the big news items at last Week's CES was that Blu-ray appeared to have finally won the high-definition disc war. Well, it may have been a brief victory.

BD players are still pricey items, while Apple TV starts at just $229. And Blu-ray still lacks support from two major studios. Apple TV is starting small–with about 1000 films at its launch at the end of February. But all the major studios–Fox, Warner, Disney, Paramount, Universal and Sony (plus several minors)–have already signed on (ironic, since Sony Pictures' parent company created the Blu-ray format). If it catches on, it could grow very fast. Remember, Apple transformed the digital music download business and could very well do the same for movies.

Critics might point out Apple's so-so record selling TV content–especially with NBC pulling its content from the site. (Good thing I downloaded all those Battlestar Galactica episodes before that happened.) But TV is different from movies. The networks are in the business of broadcasting, whether it's over an antenna, cable, satellite or now the Web.

Top 10 Most Anticipated Non-sequels of 2008

367w ago - The year 2007 was an incredible year for the videogame industry. I'd even be willing to go out on a limb and say that it was one of the best ever. Our year-end awards here at GamerNode weren't decided over tea and crumb cakes - it was more like acid-edged blades and baseball bats wrapped in barbed wire. There were even horses, and a man on fire. Kyle killed a guy (but let's just keep that between us).

Needless to say, 2007 had many great games, but 2008 may very well be set to top it. As a matter of fact, this article started as a list of just about 30 titles. I can't begin to tell you how much difficulty I faced trying to narrow it down to only a third of that, but I probably would never have completed the task without setting some requirements.

1) Unless the game has been distinctly labeled as a 2008 release, it didn't make the cut (or else you know Resident Evil 5 would take the number one spot).

2) The second requirement was imposed late in the article-writing cycle, not only to make things easier on myself, but also because I thought it'd make for a more interesting, less predictable list of games. Original IP only; No sequels! That's right, there go all of my "safe" answers like Metal Gear Solid 4, Final Fantasy XIII, GTA IV, or Super Smash Bros Brawl. Not even Star Wars was exempt from...
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