Kim Galleher’s nightmare may be coming to an end. The Nome, Alaska, mother has been trying since mid-February to get Microsoft to send her a shipping box so she could return her 13-year-old son’s Xbox 360, which died of the Red Ring of Death in the depths of winter when going outside to play wasn’t really an option. Microsoft extended the warranty on the Xbox 360, including shipping costs, in summer 2007, responding to what it called an “unacceptable” rate of hardware failures. But representatives at the company’s repair center could not find a way to ship an empty box to Nome for the Gallehers to send back the game console for repair. Their address wasn’t recognized, probably because the town of about 3,500 people on the remote Seward Peninsula has only post office boxes. And so began a month-long back-and-forth with Microsoft agents, nearing a dozen contacts, that starts to read like an Abbott and Costello routine, or an episode of the Twilight Zone, as Galleher put it.More
LAS VEGAS — The netbook market exploded in 2008 with significant implications for Microsoft’s flagship Windows business. The Consumer Electronics Association says in 2008 manufacturers shipped 10 million of these low-cost, lightweight computers meant for Web surfing, e-mail and other light-weight, connected activities.
One of the leaders in the market is ASUSTeK Computer, the Taiwan-based global computer hardware giant, whose Eee PC line helped kick-start the trend. Today the company rolled out the latest in that line, as well as several other new hardware devices, and highlighted its relationship with Microsoft.More
What do hard-core PC gamers have under the hood? Bellevue game maker Valve collects lots of data to answer that question through Steam, the game company’s online PC games distribution platform, which boasts 15 million+ accounts globally. Today, the company relaunched a public results report from the Steam Hardware Survey and the top operating system is Windows XP 32 bit, which was running 68.7 percent of the computers surveyed in November.More
Ellen M. Banner / THE SEATTLE TIMES
Wondering who’s going to build all the shipping containers preloaded with server computers to supply Microsoft’s ambitious modular data center strategy? Dell, for one, is already scoring some of the business with a double-decker model code-named “Humidor.”
Before we go much further, isn’t that just a great code name? There are so many awful code names in tech, it’s nice to see one that makes sense.More
Mary Jo Foley has a good scoop today on a distribution deal between Microsoft and Dell for Live Search. Currently, Google’s search toolbar is preloaded on Dell PCs. Officials aren’t commenting, but Foley cites unnamed sources familiar with the arrangement saying the two tech giants “have signed a deal via which Dell will be shipping new PCs with the Live Search toolbar preinstalled.”More
There are several interesting narratives to be found in the 252 pages of e-mail released last night in the Windows Vista Capable class action lawsuit unfolding in Seattle. Microsoft is accused of deceiving consumers who bought PCs in 2006 labeled “Vista Capable,” but which could only run a basic version of the operating system.
The e-mails are interesting because they give an unvarnished look at how Microsoft worked with its most important partners on marketing for its most important product: Windows. Here is an excerpt from our story in today’s paper:More
Day 2 of Microsoft’s Windows Hardware Engineering Conference starts at 9:30 a.m. with a speech from Bill Laing, corporate vice president of the Windows Server Division. Access to the Webcast is here.More
Jon DeVaan, Microsoft’s senior vice president of the Windows Core Operating System Division, said today that the PC industry is rapidly adopting 64-bit versions of Windows Vista, in the U.S. at least.
“We believe that we have accomplished the tipping point in terms of 64-bit adoption,” he said during a keynote speech to hardware makers at the company’s WinHEC conference in Los Angeles. You can watch a replay of it here.More
Microsoft is set to address another important constituency tomorrow — manufacturers of computers and other hardware for the Windows ecosystem. We’ll be watching closely for new Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2 details at the company’s WinHEC (Windows Hardware Engineering Conference) in Los Angeles.More
Analyst firm Gartner reported third-quarter PC shipments grew 15 percent year-over-year to 80.6 million units, lead by strength in the newer mini-notebook segment. But analysts continue their skeptical view of the tech sector — which begins reporting September quarter earnings this week — in anticipation of tighter IT budgets.More