Microsoft Releases IE8 Kids Edition

For those of us with kids, the Internet can be a scary place to let them play. Sure, they have Disney sites and other kid friendly sites. But, what happens when they accidently misspell a word? Some sites are definitely not appropriate for kids. Ars Technica takes a look at the new IE8 optimized for kids browsing. I’m sure this combined with the Windows Parental Controls, your PC will be a bit safer online for your children. Of course, I really like the conclusion! 🙂 [Emphasis is mine]

If you believe these tools will be useful to you and your kids, we definitely recommend you go ahead and use them; they look like good resources. That said, we’ll repeat what we’ve said many times before: software is there to help you parent, not meant to do the job for you.

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Update On Windows 7 Killing Batteries

Some of you might have experienced a message stating that your laptop battery needs replaced when using Windows 7. Over the past few months, a lot of fingers were pointing at Microsoft, calling it a Windows mistake. Microsoft has fired back stating that it isn’t their fault, but is in fact a battery issue. I haven’t seen this first hand yet, but I have seen it reported on the various newsgroups.

Last week, Microsoft said it was investigating issues in Windows 7 that affect batteries on certain notebooks after hundreds of users reported they thought the OS was to blame. Steven Sinofsky, president of the Windows and Windows Live Division, has posted a lengthy response on the Engineering Windows 7 blog. “At this time we have no reason to believe there is any issue related to Windows 7 in this context,” Sinofsky writes. Here’s his explanation…

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Microsoft Zune HD Prices Lowered

In a move that may be a temporary, Microsoft has slashed some prices on the Zune HD to help boost sales. Sure, the iPod Touch is fun, but it has a lot of little quirks that I don’t like. I’ve been wanting to grab this new Zune, and it looks like the time may be soon to pick it up. As soon as I do, expect a thorough head to head against my Wife’s iPod Touch and my shiny new Zune HD! 🙂

The company has dropped the prices of its 16GB model to $190 on Amazon, while the 32GB model will now sport a price tag worth $249, a significant drop of around $30 and $40 on the models respectively.

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Visual Studio 2010 RC Available

Sorry for the lack of updates the past week and a half, I was on a much needed vacation to the Oregon/Washington Coast. It was great! But, I also tried to follow my rule: no work while on vacation. 🙂 So, back to the news!

For you programmers out there, Visual Studio 2010 Release Candidate has been released to MSDN subscribers, with a public release very soon after (February 10th). Check it out if you are a programmer that needs the extra features. Even if you are just a beginner, it’s still fun to play with. Also remember that Microsoft has the Express versions of Visual C#, C++ and Visual Basic. Very handy.

An integrated development environment that simplifies the entire development lifecycle, from design to deployment. Beta 2 comes with a

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Zune Phone Rumors

The reports have been flying left and right about Microsoft working on and releasing a new phone based on the Zune, basically, the Zune Phone. With a Zune update and the driver .INF file showing that there is a Zune and a Phone entry as evidence, and a job listed by Microsoft for “working knowledge of cell-phone 2G and 3G technologies” to back it up, it looked promising.

However, Neowin decided to go for some formal acknowledgement from Microsoft themselves. As usual, Microsoft has denied the claims. Although, in this industry, most companies cannot comment on hardware and software that has not been formally announced to the public. So, while it is a denial by Microsoft that a Zune phone exists or is in the works, it isn’t a total shutout. I know I would love to see a Zune phone to combat the iPhone. I prefer the Zune over the iPod any day of the week. I’ve only used the previous versions, but am looking forward to a ZuneHD very soon!

As a related note, Windows Mobile 7, which supposedly sports the Zune interface, is said to be revealed in Barcelona at the Mobile World Congress conference.

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Try Some Older Microsoft OSs

For those that want a blast from the past and want to relive the old Windows 3.1 operating system, or the somewhat newer Windows 2000, these sites are great at recreating the experience for you. Very detailed and a lot of time had to go into these. Definitely brings back memories. A bit of caution, though: The Windows 2000 site is only supposed to work on Internet Explorer. I didn’t do a lot of thorough testing, but it worked alright on Firefox 3.6 for me…

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An Interview With Microsoft

For those that want to work for Microsoft, the interview process is described over at Carson Critique. I’ve heard that some of the questions are pretty wacky, and try to get you to really think (although there are no right or wrong answers).

They stated to dress casually, as that’s how most Microsoft employees dressed. So instead of suiting up in my jacket and tie, I went with a more casual button up and jeans. As I walked up to my interview location, I noticed a good amount of people were in suits (interviewing with other companies), but my recruiter greeted me sporting a casual attire as well, so all was good.

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