Microsoft

RIP Microsoft Reader

If you used a Pocket PC/Windows Mobile device, you probably were somewhat familiar with Microsoft Reader. It was Microsoft’s answer to the niche ebook market, though it was left behind as Mobipocket was purchased by Amazon, eReader by Fictionwise (and the combined entity by B&N) and of course the rise of dedicated ebook readers like the Kindle and NOOK. Still, it was one of the early ebook pioneers, and now Microsoft is putting it out of its misery. Before you wail and gnash your teeth, though, Microsoft is doing this in a very orderly fashion. They’re giving almost a full-year…


Rant: Trapped in Hell (Okay, Microsoft Support – Same Difference!)

image by signap I haven’t posted in a while.  Life has a way of getting in the way of the things you’d like to do sometimes.   I missed writing here – a lot – but the world is a crazy place (a new job, a new city, a new apartment).  Things are finally getting back to a semblance of calm and order.  I finally have some time to start writing again.  In a twist of divine comedy and coincidence, I have run into a support incident that has got me completely annoyed and provided me with an excellent platform…


Rackspace and Microsoft: A Possible Answer for Small and Medium Businesses

In a world of the “Haves” and the “Have Nots”, the “Haves” will always have a clear advantage. In business, large companies “have” dedicated IT personnel, while small to medium businesses “have not”. Rackspace Communications Services is looking to help change all that by making it possible for companies of all sizes to have their own IT access while providing a wide range of hosted and “cloud” solutions. Rackspace offers products including hosted exchange for email, calendar and task management, SharePoint, mobile solutions and storage. Rackspace is designed to provide comprehensive communications solutions in a manner that is affordable, powerful, and…


Nokia and Microsoft Get in Bed Together to Produce Prettier and Presumably Smarter Babies

This is so good, it’s almost hard to believe: Microsoft and Nokia have just formally announced their “Broad Strategic Partnership” as they “combine assets and develop innovative mobile products on an unprecedented scale.”  The joint press conference occurred at 2:00 a.m. PST/5:00 a.m. EST, and unfortunately (or is it fortunately?) I was still awake trying to catch up on things when the news came out. From a post titled “Open Letter from CEO Stephen Elop, Nokia and CEO Steve Ballmer, Microsoft” on the Official Microsoft Blog, here is a summary of what the two companies hope to achieve. (Note that…


Checking out the ASUS Eee PC 1008P Seashell Karim Rashid Collection Netbook

I was selected to be one of a group of bloggers who’ll get the use of an ASUS Eee PC 1008 netbook for a year. This isn’t quite the typical netbook though, as this is a “Seashell Karim Rashid Edition” … and before you ask, no — I had never heard of Karim Rashid until I saw his name attached to this netbook. With that said, this is easily one of the most intriguing case designs I’ve ever seen. The entire surface of the netbook is covered in Karim Rashid’s soft-touch “Techno-chic Digi-wave design”, and instead of being the type…


Microsoft Released OneNote for iPhone, Free for Now!

When I heard that Microsoft was rumored to be working on OneNote for the iPhone I was intrigued but skeptical. I was skeptical because I have found most of the stuff Microsoft has released on iOS to be garbage, and with their own phone to support I had very low expectations. But since I use Hotmail, have data on SkyDrive with several of the Office Online apps, I was interested in how it would work. And then I saw on BGR that it was available … and for FREE, so it was time to check it out! Here are the…


Gear Diary 2010 Gear of the Year and Predictions for 2011

The past year has seen interesting developments in the gear we all use: the term iOS replaced iPhone OS as the OS that started on iPhone was also on the new iPad when it took the world and Gear Diary writers by storm, Android phones blossomed and became real competitors to the iPhone, and the iPad got its first real competition in the Samsung Galaxy Tab just a few months before 2010 drew to a close.  While there’s much more that happened in the past year, I thought let’s ask the following questions of the Gear Diary Team. 1. What was your…


Don’t Believe Me? Bing It!

It’s not like you could possibly miss it, but if you were watching  last night’s Hawaii Five-0 episode, then you likely saw the scene where … oh heck, just watch! Chin Ho Kelly challenges Kono Kalakaua to perform the search while they are looking at a sculpture, when she reaches into her bag and pulls out the LG Optimus 7 — the first time I have seen one in the wild, even if only on TV. Larry has pointed out Apple’s movie and television product placements, and it looks like Microsoft is taking a page from their book; the one…


PC/XBOX360 Game Review: ArcaniA: Gothic 4

If you read my ‘impressions’ of the demo version of ArcaniA, you know that even though I pre-ordered the game I had several hesitations about the potential for the game to be any good, and even more reservations about it being a ‘good Gothic game’. Having now completed the game as both a mage and a warrior, I’m ready to render my verdict on both counts … The Hype: Arcania is a Fantasy Action game set in a rich world that invites the player to explore all of its innumerable attractions and details. Different climate zones, abundant flora and fauna,…


Gear Gadget Review: AAXA P1 Jr. LCOS Pico Projector

I’ve been fascinated by the numerous pico projectors that have been released in the past few years. The idea of being able to connect your phone or media device to something just about the same size and throw the picture, slide or video playing on the former up on a wall by using the latter seemed… well, it seemed rather cool to me. It certainly intrigued my geekier side. So when AAXA released their AAXA P1 Jr. I took note. It claims to be the “world’s smallest LCOS pico projector with onboard MP4 player”. When they reached out and asked…


Microsoft’s “PC vs. Mac” Site: What on Earth Are They Thinking?

Mac vs. PC ad still courtesy Chiat/Day One of the things that’s wonderful about writing for Gear Diary is the diverse  mix of folks involved in the endeavor.  You got your PC folks… you got your Appleheads… and you got your LINUX fans (well fan… Joel) and so on. We’ve got gaming folks; hard-core gadget nerds; exercise mavens; and gear heads (“petrol heads” to you “Top Gear” fans). You have folks who are into fashion and making sure their high-end handbag matches their Oberon iPad case, and people who get help from their partner when matching shirts with pants for…


Why is Apple’s iOS4 Crashing Microsoft Exchange Servers?

I’m going to be honest, I really could care less about Apple’s current antenna/signal reporting woes right now.    Businesses and users who use their iPhone with a Microsoft Exchange server are facing a much bigger issue that, by and large, is not being covered.  The problem?  Apple’s iOS4 crashes Exchange servers.   What’s worse is that the problem won’t just impact iPhone or iPod touch users.  It will impact everyone using ActiveSync on those Exchange servers.  That’s right folks, right now Apple’s iOS4 will impact service to every Windows Mobile, Palm webOS, Symbian, Android and iPhone/iPod touch, bringing businesses worldwide to…


Ditch the Everything Bar on Google’s Search Page

If you’re a heavy Google user such as myself, then you probably noticed the new mandatory “Everything” bar now located on the left side of your Google search page. Some may not care but me being a daily Netbook user, I need all the screen space I can get. A friend emailed an article from TweakGuides on how to get rid of this new annoyance. I thought I would pass along the information in case anyone else finds this new Everything bar as useless as I do. With a desktop machine or native widescreen it’s not as much an issue…


1Password for Windows Beta Now Available

(Image courtesy of Agile Web Solutions) With more people creating a variety of online accounts and putting more information online and with the increase in the number of hacks trying to get into accounts, having a password manager is worth looking into. One of my favorite password managers, 1Password, has been available on the Mac platform for years and works seamlessly with a variety of browsers. 1Password is also available on the iPhone/iPod Touch and iPad. Well, imagine my surprise to see that Agile Web Solutions has released a beta of 1Password for Windows! While it does not yet have…


SpiderOak Cloud Backup Review

Backing your data up to the cloud and living out of the cloud is all the rage.  SpiderOak cloud backup has a lot of features that I have been looking for in an online backup solution. First, to get started with SpiderOak, you need to download the software for Windows, Mac or Linux and install it.  The version delivered for Ubuntu works on pretty much any version of Ubuntu.  You can install it with standard dpkg commands or double-click on it and us the graphical package manager, GDebi package installer.  Click on install, enter your system password and it installs….


Review: PDAir Leather Case for Zune HD

It’s no secret that we here at Gear Diary have enjoyed PDAir cases for many of our devices.  You can see some of our past reviews here, here, and here.   Oh, and here, too.  PDAir recently released several leather cases for the Zune HD and offered Gear Diary a chance to review a sample.  The new Zune HD styles include flip type, book type, sleeve type, and both vertical and horizontal pouch types.  I was sent a horizontal pouch case for review.


PDair’s aluminum Zune HD case offers solid protection at a great price

Image courtesy of Flickr We are no strangers to cases here at GearDiary. PDair has offered many cases in the past for us to take a look at, today we will take a look at the PDair aluminum case for the Zune HD. Over the past two weeks I had a chance to take the case out in the field during the Eastern Snowpocolypse and run it through some everyday situations. I am quite happy with the case so far, and plan on using the case to keep my Zune out of harms way. PDair makes a great aluminum cases…


New Video on the HP Slate Demoed at CES 2010

At CES 2010, Steve Ballmer was showing off a variety of computers, including an HP Slate device. All that was said at the time was it would be available in 2010, and that it was an actual product. Read on for more information on the video.


Que Publishing Releases Windows 7 Your Way by Michael Miller

Just published is Windows 7 Your Way: Speed Up and Customize Windows  by Michael Miller from Que Publishing. This book promises to help you make your Windows 7 experience “faster, smarter, easier, better.” They talk about removing bloatware, surfing the web safely, getting better performance and battery life out of your notebook, fixing some of the Windows 7 annoyances, and even finding alternatives to some of the built-in MS software.  Better still, they promise to help you with all of these things in a way that is easy to understand – no advanced degree required! Not long ago I reviewed Microsoft…


Headed to Seattle for a Mobius Group Meet-up

I’m on my way to another Microsoft sponsored Mobius Session this morning, this time in Seattle Washington. There won’t be much for me to post about today, but on Tuesday and Wednesday I’ll share info from sessions attended as I am able. As usual, I’ll be updating on Twitter regularly, so if you haven’t already, then you might want to follow me. 🙂


Getting Started With Dragon NaturallySpeaking Version 10

In this, the second edition of “Look Ma No Hands, Voice Recognition Technology Today” we’ll take a look at getting started with Dragon NaturallySpeaking Version 10 Professional. Dragon NaturallySpeaking 10 Standard has an MSRP of $99. Dragon NaturallySpeaking 10 Preferred has an MSRP of $199.