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, head reviewer, podcast co-host, and analyst. He has been here covering Microsoft since 2007 when this site was called WMExperts (and later Windows Phone Central). His interests include Windows, Microsoft Surface, laptops, next-gen computing, and for some reason, watches. Before all this tech stuff, he worked on a Ph.D. in linguistics and ran the projectors at movie theaters, which has done absolutely nothing for his career.

  • Hotmail and Skydrive looks really messy today, this will be a nice facelift.
    Now dont let us Europeans wait another year for this!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
  • Maybe when the EU stops blackmailing forign companies. 
  • The whole cheeky hex code story is a complete farce. Blown way out of context.
  • Its like doing 58008 on a calculator and flipping it upside down. Harmless joke. Get over it
  • I just looked up the word farce because I thought you used it incorrectly there, and now I know what the word farce actually means.  Thanks for that, and thanks to Bing for making it all possible.
  • Haha, +1 for learning AND having fun! (Hear that kids?Stay in school, don't do drugs!)
  • Plus who doesn't like big boobs? Most men and women I know love big boobs.
  • I'm excited
  • The code thing is hilarious. Some people just find an issue with anything.
    And I can't wait for Hotmail's upgrade because currently it looks quite bad compared to other Microsoft software.
  • They have an issue with anything Microsoft.
  • I think the News Roundup segments here at WPCentral are really great!
    Really great!!!
  • Glad you like 'em. They're a lot of work actually, lol so I'm happy you folks are getting value from 'em ;-)
  • Some developers use to insert "Easter eggs" and fanboy strings into their code. Really funny in my opinion as they do not affect usability or speed :)
  • Yay, Hotmail could use a new look, thought the new Metro one seems a tad boring. I also like these News Roundups!
  • for the code thing, its allot less then what the Animators at Disney had done with all does SEX things.. 
  • I can't wait for Microsoft to really Metro-ize everything. Hotmail and Skydrive are really good examples of sites that are in need of a makeover. Also glad they're phasing out Windows Live
  • I think the code thing is really funny, and in an age that everything so serious, everything so politically correct, it's great to see that some people can try to throw a joke even when they're doing serious work.
  • Being a user of windows phone and the release preview of windows 8 and the preview of office 2013 makes the current look of the live web properties somewhat jarring. I can't wait for the metrofication of live.
  • Really looking forward to the live services update. Right on time.
  • Hotmail is REALLY resource heavy on lesser spec'd machines. A makeover is more than welcome, especially if the footprint is lighter as well.
  • Hotmail to go metro? I'd switch from Gmail this instant. Hotmail is a good service but its cluttered. Make it metro! :D
  • Apple can slaughter animals/pets and still get away with it.
  • The people who have at&t are not in Verizon areas and therefore do not have access to FiOS. The inverse is also true but I doubt anyone with FiOS wonders if they can get at&t DSL.
  • I think ATT is just being a typical American corporation. That being said I'm all for free internet and it being a right but I don't understand how it's a right. Could someone explain this to me?
  • Or people can just get Comcast instead of FiOS especially if they don't live in a FiOS area
  • Only if they are in a Comcast area. Cable companies have a complete monopoly on their geographic areas. Same applies for Charter, TimeWarner, and other cable providers. The phone companies can complete for local and long distance carriers but since Verizon is laying down the last mile fiber, they will only do so in their areas.
  • That's not accurate. On Long Island, Cable Vision is the main cable company and internet provider. Verizon has literally fought them in every town/vilage to get permission to run fiber and offer their services. They're winning. Now almost in all areas of Long Island and major parts of NYC you can get Cable Vision cable (phone, internet, TV)  or Verizon FIOS (phone, internet, TV)--it's your choice. Cable Vision hates it (duh, competition) but it's great for consumers.
  • Metro 4 life!
  • Hotmail is getting a facelift? Can it be called something else? Sorry, I know that hotmail as a service has gotten a lot better, but it still has a stigma these days.
    There has to be a way to make the Microsoft mail service cool again, right?
  • I've never really understood capping or throttling broadband connections,  at least outside of mobile connections. If any of our ISPs here in Sweden would try that they'd lose there customers record fast.
  • They do it to stop people from cancelling cable or IPTV services and just streaming content
  • Like the idea of my email looking fresher, my question is how long will the metro trend last??
  • You guys do realize that the washington post article regarding AT&T and Microsoft is from 2009 right... this is not even relevent to todays discussions, i am fairly certain that 3 years on AT&T's position on what is essential is different from before...
    The article should be removed from this NEWS round up - since it isn't NEW
  • I have notice my Xbox content has been doing alot of buffering lately ,I wonder if this is why it never buffered the last few years ......hell even the dashboard takes a while to load now.
  • Not mine, still plays smooth.