Tag Archives: microsoft

Analysis on Microsoft Walking Back on XBOX One’s DRM Policies

Microsoft has been in massive clean up mode since the first unveiling of its next generation console, XBOX One. In the biggest turn of events, the company has reversed its DRM policies for the upcoming console.

Following outrage from all corners of the Internet, the company issued a press release on  June 19 explaining its new changes to their DRM policies and the design of the hardware. Chief among them, you will no longer need a 24-hour Internet connection to play games offline nor will you need daily internet check-ins and there are no longer limitations to using, buying, trading and sharing your games.From the company’s press release:

“you can take your Xbox One anywhere you want and play your games, just like on Xbox 360…[games] will work just as it does today on Xbox 360”

Apple Rivals Pandora with Streaming Music on iTunes Radio

Apple is launching a rival streaming music application called iTunes Radio, throwing the company’s digital music resources- and its partnerships with music studios- into the fray against other tech giants vying to compete with Pandora’s online music service.

Apple’s CEO Tim Cook announced the new service today during the Worldwide Developers Conference in San Francisco along with other innovations for Apple products. Video of the speech is available online, and Apple fanatics at Macworld kept a detailed live blog about the company’s announcements.

We at TechVoid are excited to see how streaming radio technology could be transformed by this escalating competition between tech companies including Google and Microsoft, which have already unveiled their own subscription-based streaming services. For now there seems to be little innovation by the new entrants.

Xbox One: Gaming Just Became a Lot Less About Gaming

The Xbox One was unveiled last week, and the event was arguably less about gaming than any console debut has ever been. Executives talked better Kinect motion tracking, heart rate and body temperature monitoring, multi-tasking via “Snap,” and of course, voice command. “Xbox, on.” “Xbox, watch TV.” “Xbox, game.” These are just a few of the nuggets that Microsoft had to offer “the all-in-one gaming and entertainment system” about to replace the long-beloved (8-years-old) Xbox 360.  Microsoft also touted its new slimmed-unibody plastic molding. Without the battery pack jutting out, different hand-sizes can handle the controller more comfortably.

However, all of this has been buried by the user and media reaction to what Xbox One DOES NOT offer as well as its increasingly strict user mandates. We’re talking about Big Brother-esque ruminations of the new Kinect silently listening and watching at all hours for your commands; full-retail fees to replay Xbox 360 content (Yes, paying for backwards compatibility); a once a day Internet check-in required to use Xbox One; full installation of games onto your console, and extra cable provider requirements to use the One’s television features. While a live action film for Halo was announced, numerous new, exclusive gaming titles, and all downloadable Call of Duty content will be available, the restrictions on Microsoft’s new console are enough to off-put any freedom-craving gamer. And you shouldn’t be surprised.

Even Wii U and PS3 offers backwards compatibility on previous games, a free online network, limited DRM and support for independent game developers. Add that to the brand new open-source Android-based Ouya gaming console, which almost exclusively caters to the indie developer market, and you might start to scratch your head too. What is Microsoft trying to do? In essence, capitalize on every ounce of entertainment it will provide.

And that’s exactly the problem. The One is NOT about gaming, it’s about “entertainment,” just like other entertainment-based services such as Amazon, iTunes, or Google Play.  Pay to watch a brand new episode, listen to a new album, get a digital copy of your favorite new release, or download Temple Run 2 on your tablet. Just use their online store and swipe your credit card. Easy. And downright American.

Of course, there’s always the option of holding onto your beloved Xbox 360, avoiding the need for the upgrade altogether. The problem gamers have to understand and weigh is that this console wasn’t aimed at them. It was aimed at the Netflix-Hulu-gaming family. The all-in-One entertainment system is less about the prolific gamehog than it has ever been. PS3 and the WiiU are still focused on gaming, putting their titles first. Microsoft’s presentation didn’t even bother to mention its five games at launch until the end of its presentation.

We must remind our readers that everything noted now could change dramatically by its sell date (we’re guessing December based Microsoft’s vague “Later this year” shipping date). Stay tuned.



11 reasons why you want Windows 8

The time is fast approaching to make the decision of whether or not to jump on the Windows 8 bandwagon.  Its publicity, to say the least, is not making the operating system seem at all inviting. Well, I am here to put all the naysayers to rest. The future is here, and by God, I will ween you all off Windows XP if it is the last thing I do.

So strap in, because I am turning this post up to 11…  Here are 11 reasons that make Windows 8 a BUY.  Jim Cramer would be proud.

1. ISO and VHD Support

You know those pesky .iso files you had to burn to a disk or install a special program to read .iso’s before you could install them?  Well, they are pesky no more!  ISO and VHD are now natively supported by Windows 8.

For those of you unfamiliar with these files, they essentially make it much easier to install software. Normally, you would have to burn these files to a DVD, but Windows will now allow you to simply double-click on them for installation. You know, one less thing for Apple to potentially brag about in those awfully angelic commercials.  Well done, Microsoft.