The week that was

MISCOSOFT HOLIDAY GOODIES

I was in Toronto last week, checking out Santa’s helpers at the Microsoft hardware workshop. I must admit, some of the designs and functionality impressed me and I am not very forgiving on Microsoft mice of the past. Well now they have some fancy blue light models coming out that work on just about any surface the traditional red laser mouse starts losing itself on. I saw cool tiny web cams and an eye-catching portable mouse that folds over for storage. Honest, I thought I had a flip phone. So I put first dibs on the next model that comes with a Skype enabled Bluetooth speaker and microphone. You read it here first.

I got to see the new larger capacity Zunes too and discuss new features on the recent Zune 3 upgrade, for both the player and the PC software. Zunes now have games to play! One neat feature is being able to tag a song you listen to on your Zune player radio. When you synch it later at home, wirelessly through WiFi or with USB cable, the software directs you to where you can buy the audio CD that contains the song. Hmmm…buy audio CD, there’s a blast from the past! Microsoft Canada says Canadians buy more audio CDs than online music. Let me get this right. Use cutting edge digital audio players to buy audio CDs. I am sure the Zune Canada folks will change their “tune” when the longwaited  Zune Canada Marketplace finnaly get’s going.  

Geez, you guys. You have a sharp looking and working media player going and unless you deliver the full experience in Canada soon, you are encouraging users to fend for their own digital music, and most of it btw, illegally gotten and shared. Not to mention slowly eroding allegiance from your fan base. When Zune Marketplace opens here, Zuners might keep away sticking to their audio CDs instead!

LENOVO HOT DEALS

Lenovo just announced its new line of ultra small and light ThinkPads, one of them an irresistible Tablet PC, using the new Intel Centrino 2 chip family. But if you want a great deal on the slightly older but still excellent line of ThinPads and Tablets check out some hot hot hot prices on www.lenovo.com/ca  with phenomenal discounts. These deals are so hot, more than a third off, for still very decent and current quality performing laptops, that even I ordered one system (as a reviewer, I live from one loaner PC to another or build my own). I have not done that since the first 386 I bought back in the late early 90s for “only” $4,000!

ONE MORE APPLE SHOP

Calgary just got its first genuine Apple store, with crazy overenthusiastic staff, following Edmonton’s recent Apple store at WEM. I must say the service is most excellent, making shoppers feel like a winners with well-trained and knowledgeable staff. I think Microsoft would have been better received from consumers too if it had  a bunch of Windows Stores in North America. Instead we are being bombarded by touchy good feelie ads featuring cameos from BillG and regular folks who are, you guessed it, PC users. Too late guys, Vista is still not appreciated. BTW, I checked out the most recent lapbooks or NetPCs from Acer, Asus, Dell and HP and they all run on Windows XP, or Linux.

Linux store openings…now there is an idea!

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