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Sunday, August 19, 2007

Feature: The Wii won, but for how long?

Fact: Nintendo's Wii is on track to outsell Sony's record-setting PS2 at 115 million units sold. That's according to comparative NPD sales data for both systems. No other console has sold faster in its first eight months of availability than the Wii.

Despite its undisputed initial success, however, several industry pundits remain unconvinced. "The Wii will fade," they say, suggesting that the machine's novel motion-controls and antiquated graphics technology will soon cause the system to wane in popularity.

They're probably right, assuming one of two scenarios. Scenario A: Nintendo and/or its third-parties are incapable of delivering compelling software throughout Wii's life cycle (however long that may be). Or Scenario B: That Nintendo will not release a Wii successor in front the traditional five year shelf life expires.


Saturday, August 18, 2007

Skype struggles to return to full service

As users of Skype - the world's most popular Internet telephone set service - struggled to get online Friday, the company continued to ask for patience.

Skype, which is owned by eBay, first reported outages Thursday, blaming a software glitch. By Friday morning, Skype had updated its Web page to tell users it was "on the road to recovery."

"Skype is stabilizing, but this process may continue throughout the day," the blog stated. "An encouraging number of users can now use Skype once again. We know we're not out of the woods yet, but we are in better shape now than we were yesterday."

The company assured users that the crash was related to an algorithm deficiency within Skype networking software and not some kind of cyberattack. Still, the outage is a blow to the growing company that has become a key aspect of eBay's financial strategy.


Friday, August 17, 2007

Microsoft Increases Hotmail Storage

Hot-on-the-heels of Google's announcement that it will start selling additional storage space to be used across it's applications, Microsoft has reportedly now announced increasing the storage limit for Windows Live Hotmail from 2GB to 5GB. The move places Microsoft squarely ahead of Google hitherto far behind Yahoo!'s outright storage offering.

A company blog says the changes will be rolled out over the next couple of weeks together with a series of other upgrades. Significantly, users will now be capable to store 10GB of email data for an annual subscription of $14.99. They will be able to forward email from their Hotmail account to a Gmail or any other email account. Microsoft has announced other improvements including: the ability to shut off the 'Today' feature that shows top news and features on the MSN portal; a modern security feature named 'Report phishing' that warns about possible cozenage Web sites linked to emails; better performance for Hebrew and Arabic writers; prevention of gemination of contact information; and the ability to set an machine-driven response; among others. Meanwhile, the company blog says Microsoft is also trying to make Hotmail run faster, as well as trying to increase the amount of time that messages are stored in the junk and deleted items folders before being automatically flushed.