Since the Redmond-based software company is seeking for an Ultimate Windows computer, its officials struggle to find out a way to obtain it. On Monday
, Microsoft introduced what is probably the smartest way to discover a computer design which fully integrates the Windows
operating system: the Next-Gen PC Design Competition, a contest that asks participants to send their PC designs by December 14, 2007. The prizes are really attractive: $10,000 for the winner, $5,000 for the second place and $2,5000 for the third position.
"This year's competition theme focuses on designs that help people fuel their passion, whether it's music, traveling or photography. [The] next-generation PC designs must contain scenarios and features that address ways to help people pursue their passions more easily, more powerfully and more enjoyably - and even how to help users obtain results they had never thought possible," Microsoft stated on its official website.
"This is also the first year the competition will look at software and hardware as part of the PC design. Applicants will need to focus not only on exterior design, shape and color, but they must pay attention to programs that will enhance what people feel passionate about. Successful entries will clearly define and thoroughly understand the audiences that the PC is designed for as well as the culture, lifestyle, habits and practices of the user."
At this time, Google
offers one of the best web analytics technologies, allowing users to track almost every single element of their websites straight from an online interface. But Microsoft is not quite satisfied with Google's leading solution and it recently started the work at Gatineau, the company's analytics product which is supposed to provide click and visitors tracking reports, unique demographic and geographic information from your site visitors and many other features as the adCenter blog explains. That's why Microsoft rolled out on Tuesday
the first beta of Gatineau, inviting advertisers to try out the new technology and help the software company become a top player on the market.
"We are happy to announce that Project Gatineau, Microsoft's new, free web analytics service, is ready for beta testing and the first invitations are now being sent to customers. To manage Project Gatineau's growth and give customers the best web analytics service possible, the beta is by invitation for US advertisers only for the moment," Ian Thomas & Justin Carder, Microsoft Project Gatineau, wrote on the blog.
As far I can see from the screenshots I found on the web, Gatineau can be pretty useful if you're looking for a web analytics product. Sure, Google Analytics remains the main solution, but with some additions and new features, Gatineau might be ready for the battle.
"Project Gatineau's web analytics are useful to sites of all sizes - from smaller sites that can't afford an expensive web analytics solution to larger sites looking for a boost in their web analytics capabilities. With the Gatineau beta, you can learn more about where your visitors come from and easily measure your marketing campaigns across any medium and from any traffic source," the two Microsoft employees added.
It's well known the fact that Microsoft is one of the
main companies affected by the software pirates, because counterfeited versions of its operating system are installed on numerous computers from all over the world. But the Redmond-based company struggles to reduce the distribution of the pirated copies of Windows by encouraging users to buy only genuine software which comes with support and periodical updates. Sure, there is also Windows Genuine Advanced Notifications but the software pirates already cracked them out and there are a lot of tutorials that help customers use the operating system with a genuine activation key.
That's why Microsoft launched on Wednesday
"HowToTell", a website that is supposed to help the consumers identify a pirated copy of any software and avoid buying it. Moreover, the Redmond company sued no less than 20 companies from 13 states which were reported to distribute pirated applications.
"When consumers and businesses are looking for new computers and software it is important to buy from reputable resellers," said Larry Malashock, vice president of Software Plus, a large software reseller in St. Louis. "Customers often don't realize that these 'too good to be true' deals that they can get off the Internet or from nonreputable vendors don't come with the right licensing or the services provided by the legitimate channel. Counterfeit software can include code that will end up hurting their computing environment."
Since Windows Live Messenger
was released, it was rumored that the instant messaging application included in Windows is more popular than Yahoo Messenger, its main rival on the market, is. In fact, this would be pretty obvious if we think that Windows Live Messenger evolved from MSN, a popular application among the users looking for web chat. Even if Microsoft and Yahoo added interoperability between their two instant messengers, they are both working on the 9.0 versions of the applications which are supposed to come with exciting features. While Yahoo already released a beta version of the 9.0 flavor, Microsoft program is set for release in late 08 or early 09, LiveSide.net wrote on Thursday
The details were revealed by a Microsoft official, Andrew Jenks, at a "presentation to the Georgia Institute of Technology's IEEE Student Branch." But what's more interesting is that WLM 9 might include support for Google Talk but also a stand-alone version for Mac OS X which would allow Apple consumers to communicate with their friends connected on the Live network.
"Internal builds are already at WLM 9 and includes many of the API components. They have a team working on multi-person audio/video chat for WLM that may or may not be in 9, but should be in by 10. They are also trying to work out a way for WLM users to chat with AIM/GTalk/ICQ users like the way Yahoo! works now, and they have an internal version that works with GTalk already (but very basic). MS will no longer update the MSN Messenger for Mac, but they are going to release a brand new client for Mac OS X," LiveSide.net added quoting a post of "Ampcoder" on the Neowin website.
, Microsoft rolled out a new website which invites consumers to register for a 120-day Windows Server
testing stage in a matter of minutes. If you decide to register for the program, you can receive a Windows Home Server Installation DV, a Windows Home Server Connector CD and a Home Computer Restore CD. Please note that there are several hardware requirements for your computer, starting with 1 GHz Pentium III (or equivalent) or faster processor and ending with 70 GB or larger ATA, SATA, or SCSI hard drive as the primary hard drive and any number of additional hard drives of any size. For the complete list of hardware requirements, check out the official page
"Can't wait to centralize and showcase your family's memories and media? Order the Windows Home Server 120-Day Evaluation Kit today. You're just a few clicks away from a new digital life. This software is intended for evaluation purposes only. In order to preserve your existing data, you must backup prior to installation. The setup process for server installation will erase any existing data", the official website reads.