Microsoft News Roundup – AT&T downgrades Xbox gaming, Linux gets salacious and Live services going Metro soon

It is Monday so what better way to start the week off than with a roundup of some of the more interesting Microsoft news? We have three more stories for you that might strike your fancy:

  • Microsoft gets caught with juvenile coding prank in Linux
  • AT&T and Microsoft differ on counting online gaming for broadband
  • Microsoft’s Live services (Hotmail, Skydrive) are set to go Metro in the coming weeks

So head on past the break for some roundups!

WP Central

0xB16B00B5, anyone?


Microsoft coders pull prank on Linux, get caught

Sometimes coders like to have fun and while we had a laugh at this little prank by Microsoft it is now backfiring as it is made public. Evidently, if you dig into the kernel code of Microsoft's Hyper-V software – a virtualization server-- it reveals some hexadecimal code "0xB16B00B5". That translates to non-geeks as "Big Boobs" which we guess is sort of funny.

Microsoft has since apologized for the gaffe and is looking to rectify it in a patch to the kernel soon. The incident has split the Linux community a bit with one developer at Red Hat charging that such crude behavior reinforces the notion that developers are a boys club. Another dev responds though noting that all sorts of expletives are found in the kernel code and this never raised the ire of anyone. But now it seems that since this is Microsoft and references mammary glands, people are choosing sides and making hay.

Linux enthusiast and journalist Sam Varghese writes

"Of course, this assumes that everyone in the world is reading kernel code while they have their eggs and bacon (or whatever it is people have for breakfast in different areas of the world) and being shocked at the use of such expressions in the code”.

Indeed. So in case you were wondering what geeks fight about, there you go. Read more at PCMag.



Microsoft disagrees with AT&T on broadband and gaming

As we go forward in 2012, the nature of the internet, broadband, quotas, speed, etc. is becoming more and more important. Some call the internet a new human right while others see it as a service that should be controlled (and manipulated) like Cable TV.

No shock that AT&T falls into the latter camp and Microsoft is calling them out on it.

In short, the US government is looking to expand broadband to all Americans. The issue at play is What is broadband and what is the priorities? AT&T has submitted its vision and in their report, gaming ranks low on the list.

The problem is data like a Pew report (2008) which shows that 97% of teens use the internet for, you guessed it, gaming. Microsoft obviously has a stake in this with the Xbox 360 being the #1 console on the market. Tied in with the fact that the Xbox is increasingly more than just gaming but media and we can see why they don’t want their service “downgraded”.

From AT&T’s perspective, the issue revolves around money and how much data one can use and is entitled too. This topic is thorny and it will be interesting to see how it plays out in the coming months.

Our opinion on the matter is that you should throw your money at Verizon. If you have access to FiOS, you can get the fastest speeds and caps/throttling are rarely an issue (at least from our experience). That’s not to say that Verizon are saints on this matter but if you have to pick the lesser of two evils…  Source: Washington Post


Live going Metro soon?

We’ve covered how Microsoft’s Live services were getting a Metro makeover and now that looks to becoming a reality in the coming weeks. Live Side is reporting that when you go to you can sometimes see the new Metro-styled login with references to Microsoft Account instead of Live ID (which is being phased out).

The rumor is that in August we’ll see the online services Hotmail and SkyDrive finally get a new look which conforms to Office 2013 and Windows 8.

Metro Hotmail

Although we’re “ok” with Hotmail today we’re really looking forward to its Metro makeover. How about you?  Source: Live Side

Daniel Rubino

Daniel Rubino is the Editor-in-chief of Windows Central. He is also the head reviewer, podcast co-host, and analyst. He has been covering Microsoft since 2007, when this site was called WMExperts (and later Windows Phone Central). His interests include Windows, laptops, next-gen computing, and watches. He has been reviewing laptops since 2015 and is particularly fond of 2-in-1 convertibles, ARM processors, new form factors, and thin-and-light PCs. Before all this tech stuff, he worked on a Ph.D. in linguistics, watched people sleep (for medical purposes!), and ran the projectors at movie theaters because it was fun.