Posts By Kit Dotson
Microsoft and Skype sealed the deal today—the most famous and best branded VoIP provider across the Internet will now become a division of the most powerful software house in the world. The future of personal communications may yet have an interesting road ahead of it with the well funded might of Microsoft behind it.
“Microsoft is committed to the ubiquity of the Skype experience–communication across every device and every platform will remain a primary focus,” said Tony Bates, President of Skype. “And we’ve only scratched the surface. We’re at the starting line of integrating world-class talent, innovative technologies and products. By bringing together the best of Microsoft and the best of Skype, we’ll deliver amazing new experiences for consumers and business around the world.”
The statement about the ubiquity of Skype for devices is extremely interesting to me—and falls right in line with exactly what VoIP provides for communication which is all about communication beyond voice.
Almost all mobile devices nowadays have cameras, some smartphones now have two cameras—one forward facing and one facing the user—we may not quite be at the level of the Dick Tracy watch-videophone but people are becoming a lot more comfortable with having our phones “see” us. Not only that, being able to telepresence another person to where you’re at is a big deal. After all, why just listen to the concert your friend is at when she can hold up the phone and show you the band during the conversation.
It’s been only a week since Microsoft put the final stamp on their case against the Rustock botnet, and they’ve already pounced again—this time on equally notorious prey: the Kelihos network. In a particularly amusing twist of fate, Kelihos is also called “Waledac 2.0” due to how much code it allegedly shares with the first botnet that Microsoft took down.
The salient details are all posted on Microsoft’s official blog, but it looks like the software giant is using the same tactics that worked so effectively against both Rustock and Waledac: legal action against strategic points in the botnet’s command and control chain.
Microsoft has gone to the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia and asked them to compel VeriSign to shut down 21 Internet domains associated with the botnet. The botnet’s command and control network ran between two IP addresses and 21 domains, according to Richard Domingues Boscovich, Senior Attorney, Microsoft Digital Crimes Unit.
However, taking out the command-and-control is only the first part of the plan. The infection needs to be swept out of cyberspace as well.
Even two years ago, Microsoft may have realized that videogame consoles are a brilliant stalking horse for bringing influence into the living room. With the set-top-box wars heating up, and the fact that videogame consoles often outnumber even VCRs and DVRs in any given home, it’s the perfect place for a corporation to position themselves to get a foot—or at least a cable—in the door. The Xbox console can already deliver a great deal of content from short videos, downloadable content, social experience (via VoIP and on-screen keyboard), and multiplayer gaming.
Now, according to an article published on Digiday, Microsoft partnering with Verizon and Comcast will be bringing the Xbox fully into the living room cloud with Xbox TV.
As Microsoft readies the launch of Xbox TV, the company is exploring a partnership with the biggest cable distributor, Comcast, and upstart Verizon Fios. According to multiple sources, Microsoft would rather not pick a fight with cable and would prefer to think of Xbox as a distribution device for cable TV.
While details are still emerging, the talk is that consumers could subscribe to Comcast or Fios TV packages directly through their Xboxes, without the need to install a set-top box. And given that most Xboxes are Web-connected, the partnership could result in a more sophisticated programming guide and other bells and whistles, such as better targeted advertising. The partnership may even incorporate the technology from Kinect, Xbox’s wildly popular gesture-based gaming platform.
It’s been long rumored, but now it’s close to being confirmed: Skype integration will be coming to Xbox 360. Tom Warren at Winrumors discovered a video on YouTUBE (although quickly pulled by Microsoft) that demonstrates a new Xbox 360 Dashboard and a panoply of interesting new features.
With E3 just a few days back down the road, we’re getting buried in further Microsoft revelations, especially those pertaining to Xbox LIVE. What’s been unexpected is that there would be a connection to the eventual release of Microsoft’s next …
Yesterday, Microsoft’s press event at E3 revealed a new direction they intend to take the Xbox—into the realm of becoming an Internet entertainment center—but also away from trapping all of their content on that box by allowing players to carry their personalization with them. As a result, Xbox LIVE is moving themselves into the personal cloud.
In a new report, Microsoft brags that their Xbox 360 system accounts for an interesting level of entertainment use above and beyond video games. “While people are still playing a ton of video games, 40 percent of all Xbox activity now is non-game.” According to the stats, Xbox owners watch an average of 30 hours of streaming video a month.
In a speech that’s caused quite a stir amid Microsoft aficionados, CEO Steve Ballmer made remarks at a developers’ conference in Japan on May 23rd by referring to the next-gen of their OS “Windows 8” as appearing next year. However, …