Tag Archive for 'Microsoft'

MISE8 upgrade fails

So Microsoft patch Tuesday came and went. I finally got around to installing the new upgrades last night (yea, yea) and decided to upgrade MSIE7 to MSIE8 at the same time. Might as well…I mean what’s one upgrade among the 15 or so I’m already installing.


MSIE8 upgrade starts at around 6pm, starts doing its malware check without asking me if I really want to do one (I don’t…I run anti-virus scanners every day), and then continues performing the malware check for the next 15 hours with no visible progress. What the fuck!?

I left the upgrade running overnight and when I woke up at around 9am in the morning, the malware check was still running.

Since there is no way to disable the malware check on the installer, I guess it means I will not be upgrading to MSIE8 on this computer.

Way to go Microsoft!

My regular anti-virus scanner finishes its scans just fine, although it does take a while. It does NOT take 15 hours, however. More like 3. I have a lot of files, what can I say.


Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me?

Looks like I’m going to be taking “advantage” of Microsoft’s “generous” new warranty program. Again.

Over the Labor Day weekend it seems as if my XBox 360 took upon itself to commit suicide. I got the dreaded ring of red lights. I managed to get the box running for an extra day by switching it from HDTV mode to SDTV mode, but that only lasted one day. My XBox 360 now dies regardless of what graphics mode I’m running it on. It does look like its graphics card got fried.

Funny thing. My Tivo is running 24/7 on the same stereo rack with no problems, and has been doing that for three years non-stop. My cable box is doing the same. My new laptop is running 24/7 as well, and it runs considerably hotter than my XBox 360. My wireless router is on 24/7, no problems, and so is my cable modem.

The PS3 I own runs Folding@Home 24/7 for months in a row. No problems. My Nintendo Wii is on standby (not quite off) 24/7 as well. No problems.

The only goddamn piece of electronic equipment that keeps dieing on me is the XBox 360, and I’m not using it nearly as much or strenuously as my other electronic equipment. What kind of garbage did Microsoft put inside this thing anyway???


Breaking news: Microsoft extends XBox 360 warranty to 3 years

Amazing. Pigs do fly after all.

In a stunning admission of XBox 360 hardware problems Microsoft has announced that they’re extending warranty on all XBox 360s to three years. Microsoft is also reimbursing any costs paid by customers for earlier repairs.

This comes after months of ducking the question about XBox 360 failure rates. It seems Microsoft grew tired of not answering the same question and instead decided to address their quality issues the way they should’ve done it in the first place.

I’m looking forward to my check from Microsoft. I am going to frame it.

Big MegaCorp vs. Customers 0 – 1

Also read Peter Moore’s Open Letter to XBox 360 customers. Quite the change of tune from before.


Me, a game designer

Microsoft is running a game design contest sponsored by Doritos (huh?).

I couldn’t help but enter my most awesomenest game idea in the contest. It puts a player in charge of fixing a video game console with chronic overheating problems. Gee, that sounds awfully familiar.

Somehow I think my chances of winning are quite remote.


Microsoft continues to deny quality problems with the XBox 360

The XBox 360 video game console is built by Microsoft. It was launched November 2005 in the United States and it cost $400.

The early manufacturing run(s) have widely been reported as having pretty serious quality issues. Those early units are failing at alarming frequency, in fact at such alarming frequency Microsoft offered to repair any 2005 manufactured XBox 360s for free, but only until the end of 2006. If you didn’t get a free repair, it’ll cost you $140 plus shipping to get it repaired by Microsoft.

I belong to a large online gaming community called Seasoned Gamers. We’ve got close to 1,000 active members. A lot of us own XBox 360s. The failure rates among the members are nowhere near the 2 – 3 percent range Microsoft wants us to believe, that is when they actually do talk about numbers. Four months ago the SG members had reported over 50 dead XBox 360s. There were several who had had more than one die on them.

If you round the SG members’ numbers up generously (for Microsoft) assuming there are 1,000 active members (there are less), and that everyone owns an XBox 360 (they don’t), you end up with a 5% failure rate within our community. During the past four months more XBox 360 units have died, so the failure rate among the members of SG is much closer to 10% than 5%, and it is probably higher than 10% by now. What Microsoft is saying and what SG members are seeing is statistically significantly different. Microsoft is basically full of shit when they claim the failure rates are not significant and are within “normal boundaries” or failure rates in electronic devices.

Yet Microsoft continues to publicly deny a problem, as is evident in an interview by Dean Takahashi, a well known journalist who has written books about the video gaming industry and the XBox in particular. In his interview of Todd Homdahl, Vice President of Gaming and Xbox Products Group at Microsoft directly responsible for the quality of the XBox 360 product, Dean tries to get a straight answer from Mr. Homdahl regarding the XBox 360 failure rates. The interview is a bizarre game of hide and seek with Dean trying his best to get an answer. Mr. Homdahl isn’t budging though and keeps evading the question with platitudes, half-truths and marketing bullshit.

Mr. Homdahl sums up Microsoft’s position with this wonderful statement:

We continue to say the vast majority of the people are really happy with it.

Way to go Todd! That’s exactly the message people with 100% failure rates need to hear. We know you really care, you’re just one of those shy silent types that aren’t really comfortable in saying you care. We know.


How would you make XBox Live better?

Andre Vrignaud, or Ozymandias, is a Microsoft employee whose job is to help manage the overall gaming platform strategy for Xbox and Windows.

He posted an article on his blog asking community feedback from XBL users on how to make the XBL better in the future.

At the time of writing this, he’s got over 800 responses from the user community. There’re some great suggestions from users about future enhancements to the XBL service. If you have time to read through all those comments, by all means do. It’s a very interesting read.


Microsoft patents breathing

The USPTO has published a patent filing originally filed by Microsoft in 2004. The filing is an attempt to patent a way to visually emphasize numbers in an eletronic document by surrounding the number in a rectangle frame. Wow! The groundbreaking research at M$ really does come up with some really great ideas!

Here’s an example of what’s getting patented:

In case any M$ lawyers are reading, you can send your cease-and-desist letters to me.


Microsoft to reimburse for damage caused by their faulty software

So you download the new anti-spyware tool from Microsoft cause your wife has installed every bargain hunting spyware, pop-up ad, get rich scheme application on the family computer.

You run the application and it destroys your files, including the collection of mp3s you bought from allofmp3.com for 10 billion rubles.

Fear not, Microsoft will reimburse you for the damage. Up to $5 USD.

Oh my god, I’m, like, so going to install that application. Awesome!