Tag Archives: microsoft

Microsoft Arc Touch Mouse Review

MS Arc Touch Mouse

Believe it or not, Microsoft has been creating hardware devices for over 25 years. They are no stranger to devices with both form and function. Very recently, Microsoft Hardware Division has created the new Arc Touch wireless mouse that falls in line with such products as the previously reviewed Arc Keyboard. Benchmark Reviews has been given the opportunity to check out Microsoft’s Arc Touch Wireless Mouse. With such features as a scroll-wheel replacing touch-strip, 2.4ghz wireless technology, and an ambidextrous design, this looks to be a very promising device. There are plenty of wireless mice out on the market already, does Microsoft have what it takes to be competitive in this saturated market? Read the full review of the Microsoft Arch Touch on Benchmark Reviews to find out.

Wireless mice are nothing new to the world, nor are they new to Microsoft. For as long as I can remember, Microsoft have been making wireless mice and trying to improve on functionality, performance, and design. With the Arc Touch, Microsoft strives to take good technology and make it look good. Some of my biggest pet peeves with wireless mice are battery life and range. Often you get a mouse with incredible battery life, but you can’t be more than 5 feet away from the receiver, or you get a mouse that will reach to the other side of your house, but find yourself replacing the batteries every two days. Microsoft has stated that this gets up to 6 months of battery life, and uses 2.4GHz wireless technology, so hopefully it will resolve both of those issues.

This is a guest article written by our content partners at Benchmarkreviews.com

Read on @ Benchmark Reviews

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Just how crazy is Steve Ballmer?

People often criticize Microsoft’s CEO Steve Ballmer for his outward, intense optimism and unnerving psychotic behavior in front of technology conferences. But rarely do they see just how off the ground the Redmond front man can be. This 25-year old clip from Youtube shows a much younger Ballmer peddling Windows version 1.0.

The year was 1985, and Ballmer was only 31 years of age (believe it, I’ve checked..). In a video that comes off like a One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest outtake, Ballmer begs us to guess the price of version one Windows.

If you saw a salesman like this in an electrical store walking in your direction, would you a) call for security immediately, b) just run for the nearest exit and hope he doesn’t follow or c) get your iPhone out and share the human condition with your friends on Youtube.

“Except in Nebraska..”

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Windows 7: The Definitive Guide

How to clone your Windows 7 DVD onto a thumb drive

USB Thumb Drive

Here is a short guide to show you how to clone your Windows 7 DVD onto a USB thumb drive, for use in Windows installations. Using a USB thumb drive to install an operating system has become much more accessible and easy in the last year or so.

Where this comes in most handy is on Netbooks with no optical drive, but there are other benefits in using this method even on your desktop. When you install Windows with a USB thumb drive it’s also a lot quicker than using a DVD, so the install for Windows 7 can take anywhere between 10-12 minutes, which is great.

What you will need is:

1. Windows 7 DVD

2. USB thumb drive (4Gb capacity)

3. Microsoft’s Windows 7 USB tool (free)

4. ImgBurn (free)

5. At least 5 Gb of free space on your hard drive

6. 1 x DVD drive

Step. 1

Firstly what you want to do is make an image (copy) of your Windows 7 DVD on your hard drive. This is simple but may take a few minutes. Make sure your Windows 7 DVD is in your drive, then install ImgBurn and open it up. You will be presented with a few options. What you want to do here is click on “Create image file from disc” as highlighted below.

ImgBurn

This next screen shows you where ImgBurn will be saving your copy of Windows 7 to. You really don’t need to change any options here. It will usually save the .iso file to the root directory of your hard drive that has the most free space. All you need to do here is click on the disc icon with the blue arrow as highlighted below.

Microsoft's Windows 7 USB Tool

After a few minutes this will be complete, so just close down ImgBurn. Your new Windows 7 image backup should be in your root directory (usually on the C: drive). Mine is called “GRMCHPXFRER_EN_EVD.ISO” but yours may be different.

Step 2.

Now you want to put your thumb drive into an available USB port. After you’ve done that, install and open up Microsoft’s USB tool. You then want to tell the program where your copy of Windows 7 is.

ImgBurn saved it to the root directory of your drive, so press the browse button, find it and select it. As you can see, the Windows 7 USB Tool saved mind to the D: drive. Simply find yours, click on it and press open.

Microsoft's Windows 7 USB Tool

Microsoft's Windows 7 USB Tool

Now click on the next button.You will be warned about your thumb drive being formatted and all data being erased. I should stress this right now, you don’t want to have anything on this USB drive that is of any significance (photos, music etc) as it will all be erased. This thumb drive will only be used for the purpose of installing Windows 7.

Microsoft's Windows 7 USB Tool

This next screen is pretty self-explanatory, all you need to do is press the “USB device” button as highlighted below.

Microsoft's Windows 7 USB Tool

Make sure to select the appropriate letter that coincides with your thumb drive. You can easily find this out if you are unsure. Just open up My Computer and have a look at the drives. You can check the capacity and obviously your USB drive will be approximately 4Gb in size.

After clicking on “Begin copying”, the program will start copying the OS files onto your thumb drive. This will take a few minutes or more, depending on the power of the system you’re using. But generally speaking it shouldn’t take more than 3-5 minutes unless you’re using a extremely old PC.

Microsoft's Windows 7 USB Tool

After Windows is finished the procedure of copying the OS installation files to your thumb drive, the program will let you know and the green progress bar will have reached 100%. Close the program down, and unplug your USB thumb drive and you’re done.

Microsoft's Windows 7 USB Tool

Conclusion:

What you have in your hand now is an exact clone of the contents from your Windows 7 DVD. You can now use this to install Windows 7 on any PC, Notebook or Netbook as long as they have a spare USB port. As I pointed out before, installing Windows from a thumb drive is a cinch and it takes significantly less time than using a DVD. And as a lot of people are moving away from optical drives I think this procedure will be used more and more.

One thing I want to stress is when installing Windows 7 with your USB drive, make sure you unplug it after the first restart. If you don’t, the installation procedure will just loop back to the beginning. This has happened to me once or twice so make sure and stick around while you’re doing the install and after the first restart simply take out the USB drive as all the installation files are already copied to your hard drive at this point and the USB drive is no longer needed.

Good luck.

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Halo: Reach makes $8,333,333 an hour on first day

Microsoft have hailed the 14th September launch of Halo: Reach as ‘the biggest US entertainment launch of 2010′, raking in $200 million in the USA and Europe in 24 hours, or $8,333,333 an hour.

The game surpassed Halo 3′s first day sales by 30 million, but the current record holder remains Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 for earning $310 million in 24 hours in 2009.

Since Halo: Reach’s release, it has garnered full 10 out of 10 reviews from at least 14 major games publications and an overall rating of 92% on Metacritic.

Halo: Reach is to be Bungie’s departure from the Halo franchise. They have entered a 10-year alliance with Activision to develop a new IP through 2020.

As for the Halo franchise, Microsoft control the IP and plan to expand the brand into comics, anime, books, and other forms of media.

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What are Amazon’s plans regarding the video games industry?

Amazon.com logoXbox Live guru Andre Vrignaud has left Microsoft, saying he is ‘very intrigued about what Amazon is looking to do’.

There are no details on exactly what is up Amazon and Jeff Bezos’ sleeves regarding online games, but it must be something major to lure Mr Vrignaud away from Microsoft after 8 years. He was previously their director of games platform strategy, joining in 2002 to help turn Microsoft into the top games brand it is today.

I wouldn’t be surprised if a major revamp of digital download games was on the cards over at Amazon. One thing that sticks out like a sore thumb on Amazon.com at the moment is their video game downloads section, which is admittedly in beta.

Everyone knows you can buy digital downloads of top games like Mafia II, StarCraft II, World of Warcraft and Dragon Age to name but a few big names – but not on Amazon.

If you take a cursory browse of Amazon’s downloads section, it’s inexplicably filled with Nancy Drew, Hardy Boys and Agatha Christy mystery games, with not a big-name game in sight. It’s mere speculation on my part, but surely if Amazon are serious about making an impact into the video games business, this is an obvious way in for them.

Meanwhile, The Register speculates that perhaps the Kindle could be planned as an online games device, but from what I’ve learned about the slow-to-refresh Kindle screen, it seems unlikely as a games device.

We’ll just have to wait and see what Amazon has planned.

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