Daily Archives: January 8, 2007

CES: Live for Windows (Games)

Live for Windows

Note: Live for Windows is a CES codename which may or may not be the final marketing name for the XBOX Live service on Windows. Rumors the web-services team won the name from a late-night game of poker with the games team.

Inside the Microsoft Partners Pavilion, Edward Un who is the Lead Program Manager overlooking the development of Live for Windows at the Beijing Advanced Technology Center for Microsoft Research, explained to the group of community leads including myself this morning more about the technology. I noted as much as I could, and here is as much as I can read from my own handwriting.

  • Possible Aiming for Spring 2007 launch. Stage-by-stage release – first release may not include all the features mentioned below.
  • A pre-beta build of Halo 2 on Windows Vista was demoed. Rumored to have cross-platform play which I did not see.
  • Live for Windows framework are initially built into individual games. May eventually be built into the OS.
    • Does not significantly affect the size of games.
  • Features/services from Live ported includes:
    • Guide
    • Gamer card/profile
    • Community
    • Friends
    • Live Arcade
  • Works with XBOX controller on the PC.
  • Voice chat and webcam will be supported in the future.
  • Working towards out-of-game experiences (non-gaming services).

Brandon LeBlanc also briefly talks about this technology. Expect more news around March or April 2007.

CES: Reclusa – Microsoft gaming keyboard

Absolutely no one gave any loving to Microsoft Reclusa at CES today, not even Bill Gates who seemed to have covered everything from A to Z. Reclusa is the name of a Microsoft-branded gaming keyboard manufactured by Razer which was I uncovered the trademark from over 4 months ago.

Here is a photo of Reclusa from the Windows Vista Partners booklet.

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Reclusa merges best-of-breed features from two hardware leaders – Microsoft and Razer. The keyboard integrates Razer Hyperesponsive&#153 Gaming Key Action for virtually no latency, on-the-fly Profile Management for creating and storing macros, blue LED backlighting for use in low-light conditions, and a removable wrist rest for added comfort.

The press fact sheet highlights a few extra details about Reclusa. Here’s a summary.

  • Uses 2 (two) USB ports to reduce latency.
  • Supports Windows XP and Vista (and Windows 2000).
  • 4 (four) programmable bumper buttons on side of the keyboard.
  • 6 (six) programmable gaming Hot Keys.
  • 2 (two) 360 degrees jog-dials for volume, movement and more.
  • Spring 2007. Estimated US$69.95

There’s no further information on this on Microsoft Hardware or Razer’s websites. Did everyone forget about this?

CES: Vanishing Point camp (update 2.5)

Special shout outs (very quietly) to Steve Sinchak for reminding me numerous times to continuing write this post after I keep getting distracted by Ryan Hoffman eating. Steven Bink wants a link otherwise he was going to drag me out of BlogHaus.

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There were five of us and one of them. We are still wimps.

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Vanishing Point is (tower) powered, at least.

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Loki’s camera crew, or Loki herself with a gender change? Possibilities. I hope that’s not the ‘ultimate vista’.

Vanishing Point was also hinted at through the CES keynote by Bill Gates. Some people like Mauricio Freitas picked it up, but most attendees would not have. Natural selection at its finest.

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Here is a (painful-to-type) transcript for those who don’t have microscopes.

Fountain Show Planning
Summary

As audience of general spectators and key players arrive at the Bellagio Hotel on Monday night around 6pm and wait alongside the street in anticipation of something unspecified. The general public will not be aware of anything unusual is about to take place, but the community will have deciphered the countdown and the precise time and viewing location for this spectacular event. The famous Bellagio foundatins Cafe Bellagio, world-renowned as the visual icon of Las Vegas are about to reveal the global challenge and deliver the first set of visual clues, in a way no one has ever seen before. Of course, there is still one big surprise they won’t see coming. Countdown hits zero at exactly 6:30pm. I look left to right scanning the audience.

Lights and music turn off (fountains stay on). All we hear is the beating of a clock. Two more water curtains turn on to the left and right side of the original curtain. As these curtains rise, they fill with multiple clocks, and the sound of the original clock multiplies by hundreds revealing…(See full production notes).

I don’t think this is the end of Vanishing Point. Stay tuned, for at least 20 more hours.

DreamScene, Deskscapes & Ultimate Extras

The wraps are off on Windows DreamScene, the Windows Vista Ultimate Extra also known as codename Motion Desktop as reported by AeroXP. The effect is similar if not exactly what we imagined, but not everything is as reported. It is animated. It is not rendered. It is static. It uses (nearly) high-definition MPEG2 video files to render looped movies onto the desktop surface.

Some of these content comes from Stardock, whilst Microsoft is also working with the Discovery Channel to deliver more content for Dream Scenes. These additional content might be free, or might come at a cost from the provider. This opens an interesting market for high-quality nature videos.

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The unveiling.

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Desktop background control panel

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Aurora.

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Don’t really remember/know what this is.

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Waterfall.

Continue reading

CES: Microsoft Partners Pavilion

We had a nice early morning tour of the Microsoft Partners Pavilion at CES 2007 today. We were free to roam around the small but precious space inside a tent full of Microsoft hardware and software showcases. There were a lot of NDA stuff, as well as a silly ban on photography, but an enjoyable experience at least.

Bill Gates also arrived to deliver a video-webcast about Microsoft and CES. He arrived to greet a warm welcome by bloggers, who jumped and surrounded him within seconds. No photos, no records. Shame.

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The pavilions outside of the CES halls.

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The dark room of surprises.

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Computers have become…mobile phones?

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Wow. Its so true.

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Yahooooooooo!

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Other tents around the pavilion area.

Mauricio Freitas also has a post about the Partners Pavilion. Neowin has coverage too. PROnetworks too. Josh from WindowsConnected met Gates too.