Saturday, March 24, 2007

Microsoft on the PS3 launch

Stephen McGill, Microsoft's head of gaming and Entertainment and Devises Division UK, speaks exclusively to CVG about the arrival of PS3.

With Xbox 360 and Wii already selling well across Europe, the obvious question is; has the PS3 launch come too late?

McGill: I think consumers are certainly going to see it as quite late and they've got lots of great choice already out here. I think the good thing is that they're actually here now; we've been waiting for them for quite a while and I think it gives consumers the chance to make an informed decision, because there's been a lot of hype and a lot of great demos. Now they can actually see the real thing and decide whether the £425 is worth it or not.

I'm feeling pretty good about where we are in the business; we've got a great install base, we've got fantastic membership on Xbox Live, we've got a portfolio that's unrivalled and I don't see that changing. It's a great position we're in and we're looking forward to continuing that position.

Do you think the average gamer will decide PS3 is worth the price tag?

McGill: I think there's certainly going to be a few people going out this weekend and buying it as a willingness to fork out that kind of money. If you look at what the difference is between the Xbox 360 and PS3 we're both big power-horses in terms of we've both got a lot of power in the box and we can both do amazing things.

Through us we're putting gaming in the centre and so games are part of everything we do, but we do do a lot of different things; you can play music, you can watch movies and look at your photos and stuff, which actually seems to be something that Sony is really focusing on - they don't seem to be focusing too much on the games.

So if you look at the early reports of people queuing outside of Virgin Megastore - there's another report in the paper today - they're already saying they've got 27 games that are already out but where are the killer games that will drive console sales?

With Blu-ray playback and a hefty hard drive, do you think PS3 purchasers get what they pay for?

more information

Monday, March 5, 2007

Microsoft Forms Business Process Alliance, Develops BPM Roadmap

Microsoft is honing in on business process management with the formation of the Microsoft Business Process Alliance and the release of a BPM roadmap that will include a key standard—Business Process Execution Language—in the Windows Workflow Foundation.
The company announced Feb. 26 at the Gartner BPM Summit in San Diego that it has formed the Microsoft Business Process Alliance, a group of about 10 companies dedicated to building out BPM functionality on Microsoft's BPM platform.
The companies include IDS Scheer (a key process modeling partner with SAP and Oracle), Fair Isaac, Global 360, Metastorm, Ascentn, SourceCode Technology Holding, AmberPoint, InRule, PNMsoft and RuleBurst.
The goal of the alliance is to break down barriers to BPM deployment—particularly for small and midsize businesses—by providing a less expensive BPM technology deployment option for companies, Microsoft officials said.
"The business process management space has become a classic case of the haves and have-nots between very large enterprises and the rest of the industry," said Steven Martin, director of product management in the Connected Systems Division at Microsoft, in a statement.
"The formation of the Business Process Alliance serves as a great opportunity for a wider range of customers to adopt game-changing business process management technologies."
The way Microsoft plans to lower the cost of BPM is by integrating those technologies companies need to automate processes on its BPM platform.
Click here to read more about IBM working to align and integrate CBE concepts into its business process management capabilities.
That platform is composed primarily of BizTalk Server, which has capabilities for system-centric processes and rules, and Office SharePoint Server 2007 that has human-to-human and human-to-system capabilities through document collaboration, workflow design (in the SharePoint Designer) and through its integration with the 2007 Office System that includes Word and Excel. more information

Friday, March 2, 2007

Fujitsu LifeBook P7230

With the exception of Sony, no company has mastered the art of ultraportable laptop design like Fujitsu. The compact LifeBook P7230 is one of the most lightweight systems on the market, and it's one of the sexiest, with your choice of two colors: black or white (an extra $50). The fact that this system has an integrated optical drive makes it all the more impressive. The LifeBook P7230 comes somewhat more modestly configured than several competitive models, but at $1,899, it's worth a look if every ounce counts.

Measuring 10.7 x 7.9 x 1.1 inches, the attractive and solidly built LifeBook P7230 (see photo gallery) is slight enough to tuck into the smallest carry-on, and at three pounds, it's light enough to carry all day. With such diminutive dimensions, however, come sacrifices: The keyboard is cramped and may fatigue your fingers during extended typing stints, particularly if you have big hands. Likewise, the touchpad is tiny, and the petite mouse buttons offer insufficient tactile feedback; you'll definitely want to use an external mouse hooked up to one of the LifeBook P7230's three USB ports. more information

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