Microsoft announced a host of forthcoming media upgrades for the Xbox 360 at its E3 press conference Monday. The chief highlights: an updated video store, now using the Zune branding, that will allow instant-on 1080p video purchases of movies and TV shows; improved Netflix integration; access to Last.fm's streaming audio service; and expanded access to online video content in more countries around the world. (Disclosure: Last.fm is owned by CNET's parent company, CBS Interactive.)
For starters, the Xbox Video Marketplace will be rebranded as the Zune Marketplace. The pay-per-view movies and TV shows will be upgraded to 1080p (from their current 720p incarnations), and will be available as instant-on streams rather than "queue and view" downloads. Availability of the service will also be expanded from its current 8 countries to 18.
The Zune branding was hinted at last week when Microsoft announced the updated Zune HD portable media player. Despite indications of cross-linked functionality, the Zune HD did not make an appearance at the Xbox event, nor were any specifics on syncing between the Zune and Xbox provided.… Read more
As a reformed sneakerhead, I understand the mentality behind getting the latest gear, but my mind was officially blown after seeing a pair of custom Xbox Nike Dunks sell for $4,000 on eBay this weekend.
It should be noted that this isn't an official collaboration between the two companies, but rather a special one-off pair made by Sole Junkie, an online company specializing in custom sneakers.
The sneaker is a hi-top version of the popular Nike Dunk basketball shoe, but Sole Junkie snuck fiber optic wiring into the patent leather in the shape of the popular Xbox logo … Read more
Update: Congratulations to CNET reader Isaac W. of East Lansing, Mich, who was randomly selected as the winner from more than 2,700 entries. Be sure to check back Friday starting at 5 a.m. PDT to see what our next prize will be!
OK, we're starting something new here on Crave. We can't say it's original or new to gadget blogs, but it is new to us. And we think you'll like it. It's called, "Crave giveaway of the week."
For our inaugural installment, we've got a limited-edition Battlestar Galactica 16GB … Read more
LAS VEGAS--It seems there are going to be as many ways to run a mobile application store as there are stores themselves.
One of the big topics this week at CTIA 2009 has been mobile applications, as Research in Motion unveiled BlackBerry App World and Microsoft talked about its forthcoming Windows Marketplace for Mobile. The dam has truly broken with mobile applications; for years, most consumers seemed indifferent to third-party applications, but now they are viewed as an essential part of any smartphone, just like they are on a PC or Mac.
Most of the credit for that trend has … Read more
LAS VEGAS--Microsoft had little new to say about its Windowsat CTIA 2009, but reinforced its intention to play in all the future arenas of personal computing.
Robbie Bach, head of Microsoft's Entertainment and Devices Division, ran through essentially the same news that his boss, CEO Steve Ballmer, presented about six weeks ago during the Mobile World Conference in Barcelona, Spain. The company demonstrated how Windows 7 has built-in software for connecting to 3G wireless networks, showed off some of the features of Windows Mobile 6.5, and played a quick video highlighting its mobile application store, … Read more
Microsoft plans to show off its forthcoming Windows Marketplace for Mobile this week at CTIA 2009, as well as its ties to the fashion world.
Microsoft's Robbie Bach plans Thursday to discuss Microsoft's take on the mobile phone application store, an old concept that is being reinvented for the smartphone following the success of Apple's App Store. Windows Marketplace for Mobile won't arrive until later this year, along with Windows Mobile 6.5, but this week the company will demonstrate how users can select, purchase, and download an application from their Windows Mobile handsets.
Microsoft has backed off plans to charge Windows Mobile developers $99 for submitting even minor updates to their applications.
Last week, Microsoft said that unless developers submitted updates to their applications within 7 days of their release, the company would charge developers $99 to get those updates onto the Windows Marketplace for Mobile application store, which is expected to debut later this year. But the company has decided to back off that policy, which did not seem like it would be all that popular with mobile developers trying to decide where to focus their attention amid lots of competition.
Now … Read more
Microsoft plans to charge mobile-application developers $99 to release upgraded versions of applications they submit to the Windows Mobile Marketplace, and will also charge them for minor updates unless they are released within seven days of the application's debut.
When Microsoft announced plans for its Windows Mobile Marketplace application store earlier this month, it said it planned to charge developers $99 a year to participate in the program as well as a $99 fee per application submission--although as part of a promotional offer developers who registered this year could submit up to five applications for free.
Microsoft on Wednesday is offering up more details on its would-be rival to the iPhone's app store.
The software maker said it will charge developers $99 a year, plus $99 for each application they submit to get an app into the Windows Marketplace store. Through the end of this year, though, developers who register will be able to submit five applications at no additional charge.
The software maker defended the charge: "Microsoft will run a rigorous certification process to ensure that the end user's experience is optimal, and that the device and network resources aren't used … Read more