Jigar Mehta’s WebBlog

October 31, 2006

Microsoft to release Office Live on November 15..

Filed under: Uncategorized — jigarme @ 7:07 pm

Microsoft has been beta-testing both Windows Live and Office Live ever since they were first announced last November. Now, a year later, Microsoft is saying that they will release the final version of Office Live on November 15.

Office Live is a bit of a misnomer—it is not a replacement for Office, but rather a set of web hosting tools provided by Microsoft for small businesses. It offers domain, e-mail, and web site hosting, as well as tools for document collaboration and customer relations management (CRM).

Office Live has been free for the duration of the beta period, but will cost $39.95 per month for the premium version following release. That gets you 2GB of online storage and 20 workspace users. There will also be a free, ad-supported, stripped-down version called Office Live Basics, and a lower-cost version called Office Live Essentials (10 workspace users and 1GB of storage) which will cost $19.95 per month. Many industry analysts look at Office and Windows Live as primarily a defence against Google, but a closer investigation shows Microsoft’s goals to be slightly different than they first appear.

Office Live in particular is another step in Microsoft’s efforts to establish a beachhead in the CRM industry, a market currently dominated by high-end product vendors such as Siebel and PeopleSoft (now part of Oracle). Microsoft’s approach to this market has been to come in at the bottom end, selling services to companies that are not large enough to afford expensive CRM software. The strategy has worked for some markets (Microsoft’s original Office software competed against word processors, spreadsheets, and databases that were more expensive when purchased separately) but not others (Microsoft’s low-cost Publisher package never really displaced DTP stalwarts like PageMaker and Quark).

There are a few differences in Microsoft’s methods this time around, however. Microsoft is also releasing Office Live adManager on the 15th, which will serve as a revenue generator for both the software company and its customers. The interesting thing about adManager is that it will allow customers to purchase ad campaigns on any platform, including Google’s and Yahoo’s services.

From reading reviews and customer testimonials of the beta Office Live service, it seems as if most customers are only interested in the web site builder and hosting services. Microsoft is hoping that if it gets people to start using Office Live to build a small company web site, they will start to use and appreciate the other features, such as web-based document collaboration. That will add to the value of Microsoft Office, and help Office Live live up to its name..

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Google adsense for audio !!!

Filed under: Uncategorized — jigarme @ 6:50 pm

What a concept !! Google is planning to release google adsense for audio.. So, on the page, we might have an on-demand audio podcast as an advertisement.. and that too contextual.. So, if you are reading something about a bike, and google asks you if you want to listen Hero Honda audio advertisement !!!

Read more about this here..

Don’t like to wake up when its still dark, WakeUp Light is to help you..

Filed under: Uncategorized — jigarme @ 6:42 pm

Americans [these days indian too…] don’t get enough sleep, period. This is because of a combination of an overwhelmingly Puritan work ethic coupled with really good late night talk shows. It’s endemic and must be stopped.

The Wake-up Light can help you, though. Instead of blaring Top 40 or Stern to shock your system into wakefulness, the light starts at a dim level, gradually increasing over half an hour, until it reaches a point that your body finds acceptable to wake to. This gentle way of removing you from REM makes you feel far more rested and refreshed, as interrupting a REM cycle can leave you feeling drained all day.

The Wake-up Light is made by Royal Philips and will be available early next year in Europe, but people in states will have to probably bare the Sharper Image. We’re hoping it’s got a snooze button of some sort, or else we’re screwed :-))

Microsoft Natural Wireless Laser Mouse 6000…

Filed under: Uncategorized — jigarme @ 6:37 pm

Just had a look at new design of mouse from Microsoft. The new Natural Wireless Laser Mouse 6000…. Aside from using a fancy new LAAAAZER BEAM engine, the mouse offers a new ergonomic design that is said to reduce wrist tension and increase comfort. I can see this as maybe being a valid option for basic users, but not so much for gamers and power users.

Almost everybody always needs a better mouse… And this looks nice too…

Read more about this nice mouse here

XBox update coming tomorrow !!

Filed under: Uncategorized — jigarme @ 6:30 pm

Good news for Xbox 360 owners, the new dashboard update will be available tomorrow, October 31. There are a number of changes coming, a few good ones to point out are 1080p support over VGA and component cables, Xbox 360 HD DVD player support, support for video playback from CD and DVD data discs and you will be able to stream music, video and pictures from your Zune! Personally, the Zune’s compatibility with Xbox 360 is extremely exciting, especially if in the future we will be able to get content we’ve download on the 360 onto the Zune. Now, if Microsoft could find a way to get Geometry Wars onto the Zune… Also, no more “Your Friend Is Now Online” notifications while you’re watching DVDs. It’s about time, it really sucks watching a serious movie and having a notification popping up on the screen telling you “PooInMouth Is Now Online.” With that being said, hit the jump for the complete list of changes coming to your Xbox 360.

New Features

  1. HD 1080p video mode support over VGA and component cables.
  2. Xbox 360 HD DVD Player support.
  3. Stream WMV video from a Windows PC running Windows Media Player 11, Zune software, or Windows Media Connect.
  4. Play video from storage devices such as USB flash drives, Xbox 360 Memory Units, etc.
  5. Play video from CD or DVD data discs.
  6. Xbox 360 Wireless Headset support, including battery level indicator in the Xbox Guide.
  7. Video support for 50 Hz HDTV modes (DVD and HD DVD only).
  8. Xbox 360 Wireless Racing Wheel support.
  9. Set up automatic downloads of newly released Xbox Live Arcade trial games.
  10. Support for upcoming release of XNA Game Studio Express (separate download and subscription required.)
  11. Sream music, pictures and video from a Zune device.

Xbox Live Arcade

  1. Lightning-fast enumeration and listing of all Xbox Live Arcade games on the console.
  2. Find games quickly with two new sort options: Recently Played and By Category.
  3. Have all new Xbox Live Arcade games at the ready with auto downloads. Auto downloads optionally adds newly released trial versions of games to active downloads when you enter Xbox Live Arcade.
  4. View full achievement info in Xbox Live Arcade, including icons, achievement point details, and descriptions.
  5. Friends leaderboard: Compare yourself with friends and view leaderboard details right from the Xbox dashboard.
  1. Tell a friend: Send a message to a friend about your newest favorite Xbox Live Arcade game.

DVD Player

  1. Optionally disable notifications from Xbox Live while watching DVD movies.
  2. Improved support for audio streams on incorrectly authored DVDs.
  3. Better handling of unreadable discs.
  4. Updated count-down timer.
  5. HD DVD player support.
  6. Added zoom support for non-anamorphic content.
  1. Added support to Family Settings to block Unrated Content.

Video Player

  1. Improved support for extended all black scenes in WMV content.
  2. Added support for Windows Media Video 9 Advanced profile video.
  3. Screen saver now becomes active when videos are paused.
  4. Now shares UI and player controls with DVD player.
  5. Improved video playback while downloading from Xbox Live.
  6. Added skip controls (forward approx. 30 seconds, back approx. 7 seconds).
  7. Improved messaging around unplayable video content.
  8. Added time elapsed and time remaining displays.
  9. Improved playback of high bit-rate HD content on fragmented hard drives.
  10. Improved visual quality of video playback.
  1. Added selectable display modes: default and letterbox zoom.

Localization

  1. New locale setting for China.
  2. Improved German translations in console settings.
  3. Improved German translations in memory area.
  4. Improved Japanese translations in Family Settings.
  5. Added localized text for all supported languages in pictures area.
  6. Improved Spanish translations in camera effects.
  7. Improved locale-specific decimal denominators.
  8. Added localization support for title menu and main menu in the DVD player.
  1. Added localization support for “Attempting to Read Media” system message.

Memory Area

  1. Added support for Xbox 360 HD DVD Player content.
  1. Added new page for viewing content size by category.

Other System Improvements

  1. Updated support for new Daylight Savings changes coming in 2007.
  2. Improved support for games to better handle host migration in multi-player matches.
  3. Improved Xbox Live Vision camera support for changing room lighting while zooming.
  4. Background downloaded videos appear in video area.
  5. Improved Xbox Live Vision camera support while using VGA.
  6. Playing photo slideshows from PC now maintains picture folder hierarchy.
  7. Improved user experience when playing and deleting videos from the Games or Media areas.
  8. Improved handling of invalid characters during Xbox Live signup.
  9. Better handling of watermarks in gamer cards.
  10. Improved text for Windows Media Connect.
  11. Improved UI performance in Media Center Extender.
  12. Improved connection support for Buffalo WZR-G108 wireless router when using Xbox 360 Wireless Adapter.
  13. Redownload of deleted Arcade Games no longer re-enumerates all games on the Arcade page.
  14. Improved visual display of text in themes.
  15. Improved support for CD playback after signing up for Xbox Live and losing network connectivity.
  16. Improved support for long names of items memory area.
  17. Improved handling of gamer pictures downloaded from Xbox Live.
  18. Improved background download notifications when downloading many small items from Xbox Live.
  19. Improved support for custom backgrounds after returning to the Xbox Dashboard from the Account Management area.
  20. Improved network reliability between Windows Media Center Extender on Windows Vista and Xbox 360 consoles using Xbox 360 Wireless Adapter.
  21. Improved voice chat quality in Xbox Dashboard and in-game chats.
  22. Improved messaging when failing to connect to Windows Media Center Extender.
  23. Improved USB keyboard support when using a USB hub.
  24. Improved consistency of user experience when deleting various types of content.
  25. Improved handling of low storage space for background downloads.
  26. Improved handling of Picture streaming from attached Digital Cameras over MTP protocol
  27. Improved error messaging for optional iPod support download when storage devices are full.
  28. Improved handling of multi-key repeating for USB keyboards.
  29. Expanded Family Settings to include support for blocking unrated DVDs and videos.
  30. Added ability to clear space from storage devices in download areas.
  31. Added support for low-speed and full-speed USB keyboards.
  32. Improved CapsLock behavior for USB keyboards.
  33. Improved look and feel in Xbox Live Marketplace and Xbox Live Arcade areas.
  34. Added redeem code option to Xbox Live signup.
  35. Removed system message at the start of new downloads. Messages will be displayed for completed items.
  36. Added support for CCV credit card validation field in Xbox Live Marketplace purchase areas.
  37. Updated “More Information” instructions in the Xbox Dashboard for connecting an Xbox 360 console to a Windows PC to stream digital media content.
  38. Added auto-scroll to long text descriptions in Xbox Dashboard UI.
  39. Improved support for DVD insertion while playing a video file.

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