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June 4, 2002—In this issue:
1. NEWS AND VIEWS
- Microsoft Updates MSN TV Hardware
- Microsoft Updates MAC OS X Wares
- Raising Windows 2000 Availability—Free Webinar
- Win a Free $200 Gift Certificate to RoadWired.com!
3. CONTACT US
- See this section for a list of ways to contact us.
1. NEWS AND VIEWS
(contributed by Paul Thurrott, [email protected])
Microsoft announced today the immediate availability of its next-generation MSN TV set-top box. RCA manufactures the new MSN TV Internet Receiver, which costs $99 and provides TV-based Internet access through a wireless keyboard or remote control. The receiver provides email, Web, and Instant Messaging (IM) functionality through a simple UI that doesn't require a full-fledged PC.
"MSN is committed to making the Web incredibly useful for every consumer," says Richard Bray, vice president of MSN. "For people who have never been on the Internet and who are looking for an inexpensive, simple way to get connected, or for more experienced Web users looking for a secondary way to get online, the MSN TV service continues to be a great solution."
Originally sold under the name WebTV, Microsoft's TV-based Internet-access devices have generally sold poorly. The latest release offers fairly low monthly rates, however, and existing MSN dial-up customers can add the device to their service as a secondary Access Point (AP). For more information, visit the MSN TV Web site.
Microsoft has addressed performance and feature problems by releasing bug fixes for Microsoft Office v. X, its Mac OS X-compatible Office suite. The update, dubbed Office v. X Service Release 1 (SR1), fixes more than 1500 problems with the original version of Office v. X, adds several new features—including text smoothing on Mac OS X 10.1.5 or later and toolbar button customization—and improves performance and stability in the Office v. X applications, including Microsoft Entourage, Excel, PowerPoint, and Word.
"Microsoft is committed to providing the most seamless experience possible with the Office v. X \[SR1\], particularly in terms of compatibility and ease of use," said Kevin Browne, general manager of Microsoft's Macintosh Business Unit (MBU). "To that end, we have made more than 1500 improvements, updates, fixes, and new features in SR1 that make Office v. X faster, more stable, and more reliable than ever. With great new features like Quartz text smoothing \[and\] FileMaker and ODBC \[compatibility\], which help Office v. X connect with Mac OS X and other applications more seamlessly, users will see why downloading SR1 from the Mactopia Web site is so important."
In a related announcement, Microsoft also released MSN Messenger 3.0 for Mac OS X, which includes file-transfer capabilities, contact-grouping functionality, and improved emoticon support. Both Office v. X SR1 and MSN Messenger 3.0 are free downloads and are available now on the Microsoft Web site.
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