Anyone else catch the crazy Lost finale tonight? If you didn't, then be sure to watch it at the ABC site (assuming you keep up with the show) because it was pretty awesome. Anyway, Microsoft wormed its way into a few popular articles today, and they don't help out the company's image all that much. The first one isn't so bad: an article at the NY Times with word from Microsoft that they're on track for their new target release date of Vista and they're entering their last round of testing now. Unfortunately, it doesn't sound like Beta 2 is all that great. An MSNBC columnist had extensive troubles installing the beta on multiple machines, and it sounds like the troubles I'm having installing SP2 (long story short: I thought it would help with my cheap wireless network card that doesn't work). I don't doubt that they'll likely have such problems ironed out by its real release, but the columnist goes on to say that it's like just a luxury car rather than a better one overall (i.e. more bells and whistles, not a better kernel). There are other reviews more positive than his and others that agree with him, but I like to introduce you all to articles like this one that are representative of what many others are saying as well. As if that wasn't enough, their issues with worker morale have come up again. I suspected such problems when I've spoken with friends this past year who have interned at M$, and that's why I don't think I'll apply there again. This MyMicrosoft thing sounds like just a gimmick to pass on to investors as improving the workplace, but I don't think their employees are satisfied with their pay or how management is structured. At least they're trying to initiate change, but they're going to lose a lot more employees to competitors if they don't do more faster.
To top it all off, they may lose even more business soon (though I doubt it): Dell is going to start offering computers without preinstalled software to maintain the best possible deals. I think it'd be great for college students who can already get the software they'd need real cheap at their campus's computer store. I'm sure that most average people will go for it anyway (or come to their senses and just get a Mac, which has real neat preinstalled software). Speaking of Macs, anecdotal evidence seems to be pouring in that the ability to boot Windows on an Intel-based Mac seems to really be drawing in more people. It has definitely solidified my case for a Mac being my next computer purchase when I do away with my current machine, which is still pretty nice for now. Samsung has unveiled some new laptops with flash-based hard drives rather than magnetic disk-based, which means that it'll be a lot faster, but much more expensive (they start at over $2,400 USD). The less movable parts will be nice, but I hate that flash memory is an EEPROM (i.e. it has a set lifespan). IGN has an interview with an Opera vice president about the Internet browser being on the Nintendo Wii, but he was pretty vague on the details. I wonder how much Nintendo actually has planned out already about using the Web on the Wii? On the PS3 side of things, a rumor came out and was squashed today that the PS3 wouldn't play borrowed or used games because of DRM software. It makes you wonder though, could they really do that? More importantly, would they? Lastly, I think it sucks that schools are cracking down on students talking about school on their blogs. Why don't they just start putting wires on students?
We finally have a review of Talladega Nights, and it sounds like a really great comedy. I'm looking forward to it because I'm one of those people who considers Anchorman to be a classic, though I'm sure many of you will disagree. We have yet another teaser for Clerks II as Kevin Smith's online publicity machine keeps chugging along, and I like it. It's all based on a humorous observation regarding a commonality among many sequels. You'll have to watch to find out what I'm talking about though. The Weinstein brothers are opening a new label to release Asian films under called Dragon Dynasty, and it looks like just another way to hype up these movies (aside from the shameless Tarantino endorsement). Some of these films are awesome though and really need the boost though, so I can't hold it against them for doing it. We think that we know the actual title of the Transformers movie: Prime Directive. I don't really get it or care much for it, but it may just be a temporary title (or just a plain ol' rumor). Lastly, IGN has some exclusive pictures from Cars if you care.
Now for a Wednesday Mind Hump:
1. Do you prefer baseball games during the day or at night? Why?
In the day, because baseball just isn't a night game.
2. What's your favorite baseball team?
I'm not big on baseball, but I'd have to say the Houston Astros, of course ;)
3. What's your favorite baseball park treat?
Those unwholesome hot dogs. However, they've become way too expensive in recent years and almost the same price as a decent meal at a sit-down restaurant!
4. Babe Ruth, Hank Aaron and Barry Bonds are in a home-run hitting contest. Everything's the same - bats, balls, etc. Who are you rooting to win?
Probably Babe Ruth, since Barry Bonds was on the steroid for a while. Plus, I just don't think he's as good as Ruth. I don't know why, he just strikes me that way. Like I said though, I'm not big on baseball.