Tag Archives: microsoft

Microsoft looks at flexible hardware specification for Windows Phone 7

12 Apr

WinRumors has gotten wind of whispers that Microsoft could be exploring the possibility of having flexible hardware specifications where its Windows Phone 7 platform is concerned, and this could result in different hardware companies rolling out more affordable Windows Phone electronic gadgets. Of course, with varying hardware on different handsets, you could end up with a software fragmentation problem that Android is currently experiencing – some games which require a high level of processing muscle can only be played on certain high-end phones, leaving the rest of the Android community in the dark. Is Microsoft willing to follow such a route? Apparently, an announcement on the matter might be made as early as the company’s MIX11 conference sometime later this week. Of course, there are pros and cons to this situation, where the added flexibility lets electronic gadgets manufacturers use cheaper components in order to make owning a Windows Phone a whole lot more affordable. What do you think – should Microsoft maintain a high standard, or can they relax a bit?

Source from ubergizmo

Advertisements

Razer Chimaera wireless Xbox 360 headset review

2 Apr

When a product takes well over a full year to go from introduction to release, it’s natural for consumer expectations to amp themselves up a notch or two tech gadgets. Such is the case with Razer’s Chimaera, an Xbox 360-centric wireless gaming headset that was initially teased at CES 2010, and just started shipping to end users early this year. The company’s been in the gaming headset business for some time now — if you’ll recall, we thoroughly enjoyed our time with the (wired) Carcharias headset right around two years back. This 2.1 system promises to give Xbox Live yappers exactly what they’ve been waiting for, but is it really worth the $129.99 entry fee? Head on past the break for our take.

For all intents and purposes, the Chimaera is a pretty simple product. There’s a wireless base station with a 3.5mm audio input jack, a 3.5mm microphone output port, a sync button (not unlike the Wiimote situation you deal with on a daily basis) and a standby button. Upon unboxing ’em, you’ll probably spend the first ten minutes trying to figure out where a pair of rechargeable AAA batteries (included, phew!) are to be inserted. Here’s a tip: rip the panel from the earcup that lacks a microphone. You’ll thank us.

The sync process is a lot easier, and while the charging stand is hardly childproof (a simple bump will have your headset tumbling), it serves the purpose without being too unsightly. The headset itself, unfortunately, is both heavy and intimidating. And by that, we mean large. Having ample padding around the top edge and on the ear cups is certainly appreciated, but unless you have a rather sizable noggin, you’ll most likely wonder how on Earth to adjust the band down. We’ve never had any issues with the sizing on any prior headset tech gadgets, but the Chimaera essentially swallowed our head, and with no way to extend the band tighter (there’s only ten notches of extension — you know, for Goliath’s intense gaming sessions), we were left in an uncomfortable pinch.

In all seriousness, we’d recommend stopping by a retail shop and trying these on before buying — it’s hard to imagine them not being too large for a huge swath of people. In an attempt to make the most of it, we kept ’em loosely draped around our skull for a bit of gaming, and while the wireless performance was stellar, we found the 3.5mm headphone input to be (also) a bit on the large side. We tried three different cables, and all of them just felt a wee bit loose. No connection troubles were noticed, but it still managed to get under our skin. Audio quality was above-average for wireless gaming headsets, but these tech gadgets certainly won’t be your go-to cans when it comes time to sink back into a sofa and enjoy an album. The lows were definitely accentuated, likely to enhance explosions often felt in first-person shooters, and we’re guessing that everything’s equalized to best suit movies and games, not music.

The fold-down boom mic was perfectly positioned, and our chats soared through loud and clear; we couldn’t help but long for a USB connection option in order to use this as a Skype headset in a pinch, but alas, no such luck. All told, the Chimaera feels like a solid product that wasn’t exactly executed to perfection — the large, bulky design turned us off right away, and the shoddy 3.5mm input didn’t do much to rebuild that lost confidence. At $129.99, you’ve simply too many other options from the likes of Turtle Beach and SteelSeries (just to name a couple), and unless your cranium is larger than most, you’ll probably have no choice but to pass this one by.

Source from Engadget

Microsoft Kinect Hits 10 Million Sales

15 Mar

In a short press release sent out yesterday, Microsoft [MSFT] confirmed that it had now sold 10 million Kinects since launch last year. Not only did it hit 10 million sales, it also took the title as quoted below:

Guinness World Records: Kinect for Xbox 360 is Fastest Selling Consumer Electronics Device

In a nod to the recent sales success of Kinect, Guinness World Records has officially named Kinect for Xbox 360 the fastest selling consumer electronics device

As well as shifting 10 million Kinect sensors, Microsoft also confirmed that more than 10 million games had sold. These figures are worldwide numbers.

For those questioning the 10 million games, this doesn’t include the 10 million that were bundled with the Kinect. This is actual individual games sold. Impressive! Cool tech gadgets!

Kinect Now Used In Medical Research In Place Of $150,000 System

15 Mar

The Kinect has only been out for a few months and it has been used for a bunch of different purposes and even broke a Guinness World Record for sales. Now, Kinect can add another milestone to its resume: medical research.

Researchers at the University of Minnesota have found a way to use the Kinect in place of a $100,000 system to monitor children being diagnosed with OCD and ADD. Professor Nikolaos Papanikolopoulos said that, “As a doctor, you don’t have tangible data. We try to provide the tools in order to back up claims of a mental disorder.” The data he is referring to is now gained from a tweaked version of Kinect.

The Kinect has proven itself to be an amazing tech gadgets, especially at its price point. “Something we can do three years down the line, we can do it today because of technology that was destined for the gaming industry. I don’t think Microsoft has realized that [Kinect] is something that could change medicine,” said Papanikolopoulos.

The research recently won a $3 million grant from the NSF to use Kinect in observing and analyzing abnormal movements and behaviors in children.

Source from: CrunchGear