Microsoft Zune – A new social experience?

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So Microsoft has finally declared that the Zune will be priced at $249. They make a bold statement there on the press release:

“On Nov. 14 we’re delivering not only a device, but a shared, social experience that will be shaped by the collective imagination of consumers,” said Chris Stephenson, general manager of global marketing for Zune. “We’re infusing the spirit of discovery and sharing into everything we do — from the experience we crafted around the device and service to pre-loading music and videos on every device to expose people to something new.”

We will only know for sure once we experience it, but this sure has me all excited. So now you know what I want for Thanksgiving.

Television Screensaver

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You know you are spending too much time on your laptop watching media when you start getting restless after 3 minutes of watching television. Why are you restless? Coz you are reaching for the mouse to move it a little coz you think you forgot to turn off the screensaver. But the 3rd minute passes and the television doesn’t give as much as a blink and you start getting comfortable again.

Closure

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So you quit your job in a good software company, move to a new country, start school again but it just doesn’t feel complete until you do that one thing: Format+Clean+Reinstall Windows on your laptop.
I finally got around to doing that yesterday and it’s only now that I feel like my “transition” is complete.
Microsoft Office 2007Interestingly, as a cheaper alternative to Microsoft Office 2003, I go ahead and install Microsoft Office 2007 Beta (which can be had for as low as $1.50 which gives you a valid license till Feb 2007). And I am quite impressed by it. Coupled with Microsoft OneNote 2007 Beta, I feel all set for school. Proudly using Microsoft Outlook 2007 Beta for all my structured and non-browser information needs I am happy that they have removed the Exchange Server bias and treat IMAP accounts with more respect. I also go ahead and install Internet Explorer 7 RC1 and I am surprised at myself for not using Firefox anymore. More interestingly, I also go ahead and Format+Clean+Reinstall the OS on my phone and I suddenly become aware of how stress-relieving this activity can be.
Six ZoneTick clocks in taskbar, auto-arranged in 2 columnsOfcourse, I do not feel complete until I have installed Zonetick which I so willingly bought as the best solution to the “what time is it there?” problem. Dictionary and Translation software by Babylon
Nor can I feel at ease until I install my good old Babylon – a tool which is surprisingly indispensible despite the fact that a browser can probably get you more information than it. Probably its only winning factor now is that it’s a more efficient and structured interface to the big-bloated-information-blob the Internet is.
With a light heart and a light mind I sleep at peace when I retire to bed.

Windows Live Writer

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Windows Live Writer is a really good tool. It’s a freeware windows beta which surprisingly isn’t simply tied down to only MSN Spaces. I could use it perfectly fine with this “Customer Installation of WordPress”. I am impressed.
Setting it up is extremely easy – you simply tell it the URL of your blog and it will try and find out what you use. If it’s a custom installation (like mine) you just need to point it to the publish interface and it takes it from there. It then loads your blog, decides the presentation elements and brings out a template just as it appears online for you to populate. I would give it a 10/10 as far as first impressions go. But do check back some time later to see the long-term assessment and views on it!