Tag Archives: Microsoft

Xbox 360 Elite price drop

ELITE Console

Microsoft’s not about to let Sony have all the price-dropping fun, and its brought the Xbox 360 Elite down to US$315. That puts the 120GB console within spitting distance of Sony’s newest PlayStation, the Slim (at US$355). Both have similar spec, but the Slim’s diminished size and Blu-ray player are mighty tempting. What do you think?

Zune HD gets officially announced


After a long jaunt round the rumour mill, Microsoft’s next-gen Zune has been announced. Enter a bigger 3.3in screen, multitouch capabilities, HD radio and 720p video output. Wi-Fi comes as standard, with touch browsing supported on the portable Internet Explorer, and it’ll play nicely with Xbox Live and Zune Marketplace. No word on pricing or availability just yet, but the Zune HD will be coming to ‘new markets’. Here’s hoping the UAE fits that bill.

UPDATE: Official word is, Microsoft has ‘no plans as of yet to launch Zune in the region’. We’ll keep dreaming then…

[via Gizmodo]

XP mainstream support finishes tomorrow


Yep – Microsoft’s most widely-used product ceases to get mainstream support tomorrow. Punters using the world’s most successful OS will continue to get free security updates until 2014 (by which time XP will be truly off the menu), but anyone who wants a more focussed support network will need to ‘upgrade’ to Vista or wait for the forthcoming launch of Windows 7.

[via Slashdot]

Girl gamers dominate the PC


Nielson media analysis group has released a new report that says females between the 25-54 age bracket account for around 29 per cent of all PC game players. Males in the same category only amounted to 20 per cent. Installing usage-traffic software onto over 180,000 computers, Nielson tracked how frequently participants played games and what games they were playing. Many of the games played were pre-loaded Microsoft games, with popular office timewaster Solitair being the most popular on the PC. We love the idea of girls getting their game on, but come on girls, put the cards down and start fragging with the big boys.

Twitter gets first ad – more to follow?


Okay, Twitter. We know you’ve just turned three years old. We know that you’ve been giving us followers and tweets unselfishly for free these past years, and you deserve a little payback. Even if it is in the form of advertising ExecTweets, a tweet aggregator for business execs. The service is from Federation Media and Microsoft, and it appears just below the user name on profile pages (only in the US and UK for the moment). All it does is follow several high profile exec’s tweets. For example, Marisa Thalberg (big shot digital marketing executive for Estee Lauder) has this to say, “Contemplating: is the (often thought to be feminine) trait of being a “pleaser” a strength in business or a detriment? Or both?” Hmm. That’s very thoughtful Marisa, thank you for that.

[via Times Online]

Ten inventions that changed the world

A panel of 20 expert scientists from the British Science Association has come up with a list of the top 10 inventions that changed the world. Included in the list are the Bar Code, trainers and TV dinners. Stuff disagrees, and puts forward this (admittedly gadget-heavy) list of its own:

#10 Polaroid Camera Model 95

The world’s first instant camera, revolutionizing the photography world. It was easy to use, almost completely automatic with only eight shutter and aperture settings, and able to produce a photo print in one minute. Magic.

#9 Google


So successful it’s now (officially) a word in the English language, the sometime search engine has become an online giant with more services than we’ve got room to mention. Want to know more? Google it!

#8 Compact Discs


The Compact Disc, or CD, changed digital storage. Originally a breakthrough in digital audio, the idea later spread to video, giving rise to DVD and Blu-ray. But indestructible? We think not.

#7 Nintendo Entertainment System (NES)

Released in 1985, the NES was the best selling game console of its time. It set the standard for everything gaming, from graphics design to controller layout, and it gave birth to Super Mario Bros.

#6 Apple II

The Apple II was one of the first mass-market home computers. It featured an integrated keyboard, sound, a plastic case and eight internal expansion slots… makes you wonder what else we take for granted.

#5 Sony AIBO

It could walk, see its environment via a built-in camera and recognize spoken commands. Sony’s AIBO brought joy to people of all ages who were allergic to real dogs, or just didn’t have any friends.

#4 Intel Pentium P5

It wasn’t the first home PC chip, but while you had to have at least a drop of geek blood running in your veins to know whether you had a 386 or 486, the 586’s fresh moniker had mass appeal that turned Pentium into a household name.

#3 Nokia 5110

Released in 1998, Nokia’s 5110 was the most popular mobile phone of its time and the first consumer handset to be truly ubiquitous. It was rugged, user-friendly and it had Snake, still among the most addictive phone games ever designed.

#2 Windows 3.1


Microsoft’s first widely-used operating system introduced a serious desktop publishing platform for the first time. It became the world’s most widely used GUI-based operating system, a title now held by its descendant, Windows XP.

#1 Apple iPod

The ultra-chunky first-gen model had 5GB or 10GB of storage and introduced us to the signature click wheel. With 18 different models released in a mere 8 years, it transformed the music industry, product design and lifestyle.

[Post written by Stuff intern Haziq Ariffin]

Top Five: case mods

Not everyone is happy with the mundane appearance of their gaming consoles, so there are always a few looking for different ways to transform them into bizarre shapes and sizes. From PCs to Nintendo Wiis, take a look at some of the most interesting, or just plain weird, case mods out there:

#5 Xbox 360 tissue dispenser/alarm clock

A tissue dispenser and an alarm clock in an Xbox 360, what more could you ask for?

#4 Hello Kitty laptop


For all you die-hard fans Hello Kitty (and the girls here)


#3 Rockstar Games Wii

Stunning mod for the Wii. Shame it won’t handle the graphics on GTA IV.

#2 Rainbow Six-themed PS3

An awesome, detailed design of the Vegas scene, disguising the PS3 as a casino.

#1 R2D2 PC

Cleverly-designed case mod for the PC. Probably cleverer than the original R2.

[Post written by Stuff intern Haziq Ariffin]

PC rules the gaming roost


Gaming research firm NPD Group has found that PC gaming trumps other systems for multiplayer use. Among the online players surveyed, 87 per cent play PC games online while Xbox Live only accounts for half. The Wii came in third with 27 per cent, and the PS3 fell over the finish last with only one in five. PC gamers can probably thank their 11 million World of Warcraft players for the win, it was their dedication to grinding, levelling and raiding that clinched it.

[via Edge]

Win stuff! Colour Microsoft Arc mice arrive


Microsoft is launching a range of new colours for its Arc mouse and to celebrate Stuff is giving away a couple of the regular old black numbers (plus Explorer mice and LifeCams). All you have to do is pick up a copy of Stuff* (available at all good newsagents) and follow the instructions. It’s free to enter and there are a ton of other goodies up for grabs too: an Xbox 360 Elite, SanDisk Sansa View and loads of flash storage and games. All competition entries are picked at random, so there’s no benefit in sending us pictures to prove your loyalty to the world’s biggest-selling gadget magazine (except that we might put them up on the blog – thanks SungHo Choi).


*March issue, Middle East edition only

Surface lives at Dubai Airport Terminal 3


After we scooped the Dubai Airport E-Zone, we thought we’d better check it out first hand. And, yep, we sent this postcard from the Microsoft Surface in the Emirates biz class lounge. Features are limited at the moment (paint, destination browser, postcards), but plans are in the offing for pre-flight movie selection and menu choices. We also endured a fail-rated half lap on the Xbox 360 racing pod (Forza 2 running some triple-console, triple-screen action) and tried to hack a tablet PC, but were led away before we could lay into the ‘pentabox’ game station. From now on, we demand to fly business class. And apologise in advance for missing the flight.