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March 31, 2009

Something is stiring at Microsoft…

Filed under: General — Tags: , — Bryan @ 6:31 am

I haven’t been able to quite put my finger on it yet. Part of me suspects this might be them finally realining the company to move towards the Software as a Service they have been building for several years. Internet infrastructure is about there and customer acceptance is nearly there as well. Not sure if it will make it to Windows 7 though… but I do suspect whatever is going on will be across all product lines.

So… some of what I’ve been noticing.

Microsoft shutdown and laid off the entire staff of the ESP platform group. This was the team developing the new architecture for the Flight Sim engine as well as building a next gen Simulator environment. A number of companies building virtual world and other commercial simulator projects were just hung out to dry and there is no indication that there will be any on going support. This caught people off guard because it looked like a very promising technology direction for Microsoft to be going.

Related to that mother of all Microsoft games, Flight Sim is being shut down as well. While this news came as a shock to alot of people, given that ESP was killed it probably isn’t as big of a surprise. Apparently Microsoft has decided that this whole segment is worthless as they didn’t just simply cancel a release. They have terminated the product line all of the staff and really any way for them to be able to support the product and there are no signs that it is being spun off either.

They cut loose David Edery who appeared to be doing an excellent job of running Xbox Live Arcade… although it may be related to the next item…

Reconfigured Xbox Live Arcade so anyone and their uncle can shovleware crap into the service through the Community Games area. Unfortunately this could mean that real underdog 3rd party publishers may end up getting delegated over to the Community Games instead. I’m guessing this since I believe David was involved in screening these kinds of titles for higher-profile full Arcade release and with him gone with no replacement… well….

News today is that they are closing down everything to do with Encarta. This isn’t really a surprise though, who the heck ever used it?

Exchange Server 2008 apparently ships with four default web themes. One of them is Xbox 360.

Microsoft has streamlined their Data Center in a shipping container stacked in the middle of a field with dozens of other shipping containers now to a point of reasonable efficiency from what I’ve heard.

The roll-out of the new NXE interface for the Xbox 360.

Better support for Xbox Live Silver level membership (Free) across Xbox live so that you’re encouraged to put your profile on Live rather than just keep it local, even if you’re not buying anything, or allowing some purchases without having to have a subscription. (This is the kind of stuff that equates to software as a service).

Anyways… I’m just prattling…

Cheers!

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