11/24/2005

Microsoft Loses $126 Per Unit on XBox 360

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

Redmond will sell every Xbox console at a big loss, says researcher iSuppli. Not to worry, the profit is in the associated software

Microsoft will carry on its tradition of taking a loss on the console, according to a preliminary analysis by market researcher iSuppli.

An up-close look at the components and other materials used in the high-end version of the Xbox 360, which contains a hard drive, found that the materials inside the unit cost Microsoft $470 before assembly. The console sells at retail for $399, meaning a loss of $71 per unit — and that is just the start.

Other items packaged with the console — including the power supply, cables, and controllers — add another $55 to Microsoft’s cost, pushing the loss per unit to $126. These estimates include assumptions that Microsoft is getting a discount on many components.

Source: businessweek

Google’s New Click-to-Call Service

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

Google is testing a new product that gives you a free and fast way to speak directly to the advertiser you found on a Google search results page – over the phone.

Here’s how it works: When you click the phone icon, you can enter your phone number. Once you click ‘Connect For Free,’ Google calls the number you provided. When you pick up, you hear ringing on the other end as Google connects you to the other party.

Google say that they won’t share your telephone number with anyone, including the advertiser. When you’re connected with the advertiser, your number is blocked so the advertiser can’t see it. In addition, Google will delete the number from their servers after a short period of time.

Microsoft floats new extensions to RSS

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

Software giant Microsoft is working on an extension to the popular RSS feed, it has been revealed. The new format, which the company dubs ‘Simple Sharing Extensions’, is intended to extend the standard to enable the sharing of such things as calendaring and contact lists between individuals.

The idea is to use OPML (Outline Processor Markup Language), which is used to allow exchange of outline-structured information between applications and RSS, to create a new format to allow exchange of data.

Source: PC Pro

Some Xbox 360 Buyers Reporting Crashes

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

Microsoft Corp. on Wednesday said some Xbox 360 owners are reporting problems with the new video game console that debuted in North America earlier this week.

“We have received a few isolated reports of consoles not working as expected,” Microsoft spokeswoman Molly O’Donnell told Reuters in a telephone interview.

Enthusiast Web sites such as www.engadget.com and www.xbox-scene.com as well as Microsoft’s own Xbox Web forum on Wednesday carried postings from Xbox 360 owners reporting that some systems had crashed during regular play as well as during online game play using the Xbox Live service.

Problems included screens going black and the appearance of a variety of error messages.

O’Donnell, who declined to say how many reports the company had received, said calls represent a “very, very small fraction” of units sold. The number of calls was not unexpected, she said.

“With any launch of this magnitude, you’re bound to see something happening,” she said.

O’Donnell said the best way to resolve the issues is to call 1-800-4MY-XBOX for trouble shooting. If that does not solve the problem, she said, Microsoft will repair or replace the unit.

Source: Reuters

Verizon testing 7mbps DSL

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

Verizon Communications is testing a new service that more than doubles its download speeds on its DSL service.

The trial, which is open only to select home users, provides download speeds of 7.1 megabits per second with upload speeds of 768 kilobits per second upstream.

A Verizon spokeswoman confirmed that the company is testing the new service, but she said the company has not determined if and when it will offer the upgrade to consumers or how much it would cost.

Source: News.com

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