“The strategy and vision of Zune is to continue to build out that full entertainment experience. This is a very important step for us to introduce Zune to new consumers around the world,” Christine Heckart, general manager for TV, video and music marketing at Microsoft, told the Financial Times. Apart from rebranding the video service on the Xbox 360, the company will also be introducing direct access to social networks like Facebook and Twitter.
YouTube has launched what it terms as “a small test of skippable pre-rolls.” But don’t be misled by YouTube’s humble choice of words for describing its latest experiment. After all, it is something that could shape the advertising strategy of one of the most popular sites on the internet.
YouTube wants to test the viability of optional pre-roll ads. Such ads will not only give more freedom to the viewers but also force those responsible for creating the ads to come up with more informative, entertaining and compelling ads.
“We've learned from Promoted Videos that advertisers are often willing to pay more money for an engaged opt-in view, as opposed to a forced view like an in-stream ad, so this also has the potential to increase CPMs,” the company said in a post on the YouTube Biz Blog, which it uses to make advertising and business related announcements.
YouTube first flirted with in-stream ads in 2007. But that experience proved to be far from perfect as it found the abandonment rate to be as high as 70%. It then went on to realize that in-stream ads work best with longer videos.
Microsoft has revamped its Bing Video interface, and over the next few days will be rolling out a new unified online video destination, the software maker announced. The overhauled service, which meshes MSN Video with Bing, promises to be more organized and contain plenty of high-quality content.
"With the New Bing Video you can now access videos from across the web, MSN's array of high-quality videos, and videos from sites such as Hulu, ABC, and YouTube," Microsoft said on its Bing blog. "Bing videos viewing options are nearly endless."
Microsoft said its video portal grants users access to over 900 television shows, all of which it says are organized and easy to sort through, even if the episode you're looking for is from last season. Users will also be able to share videos, and the portal now includes a 'dim the lights' feature.
Give Bing Videos a peek here, then hit the jump and tell us what you think.
Sony Ericsson today published the specs and a video of the Xperia X10, its debut Android smartphone, which was hitherto known by its code name “Rachel”. It can be expected to be a guaranteed fixture on the list of the most powerful Android phones by the virtue of its 1GHz Snapdragon processor.
As for the software, the X10 will run Android 1.6 Donut. In addition to apps found on the Android Marketplace, apps for this phone will also be available through Sony Ericsson’s PlayNow arena service. The X10 will feature a 4-inch TFT touchscreen, an 8MP camera with LED flash, WiFi, A-GPS and 3G. The company is expected to release the X10 in the first quarter of 2010.
Technology purists may still swear by the ubiquitous DVD. It is probably a sense of nostalgia that usually deludes them when a much loved technology draws perilously close to the brink. But the writing surely has to be on the wall for the DVD if one of its biggest backers and beneficiaries is busy bracing for its demise.
“All these guys — Best Buy, Blockbuster and Netflix — realize is that the era of the boxed DVD is about to end,” Creative Stratigies' president Tim Bajarin told the New York Times. The service is set to debut early next year.
As advertised, the very first Microsoft Store opened this morning in Scottsdale, Arizona, and unless you happened to be in the area, you weren't there to take part. But that's okay, because Microsoft has posted a handful of videos and pics documenting the occasion.
Consumers lined up overnight and stood for hours to be the first customers ever to set foot in a Microsoft Store, which they're sure to boast to their grandkids (or favorite message board). And hey, the first four campers would undoubtedly tell you it was totally worth the wait, as each of the four received a free Zune HD from Microsoft. Not a bad score.
As expected, there was plenty of hype leading up to the ribbon cutting, and the energy stayed high at least for the duration of the next video, which has the camera man panning around the room amid hoots and hollers and lots of hand clapping from the crowd.
And then again, maybe it’s not. Rumors have surfaced which suggest Twitter is considering whether to allow users to video-tweet. These rumors appear to have originated from unsourced reports in a both the TimesOnline and the Telegraph.
Two problems seem to exist for video-tweeting. First, video-tweeting is currently available, but not very popular. Twiddeo and Tweetube, which require linking to their site currently offer the service, but there aren’t many takers. Second, video is contrary to Twitter’s standing rules. Biz Stone, Twitter co-founder, in an email to the social media website Mashable, makes this clear:“...no video hosting. 140 characters of text including spaces. You know the drill.”
I have an Acer L310 that runs Vista Home. Recently, I have only been able to start in Safe Mode. When I try to start in normal mode my monitor won’t work, but when I go with Safe Mode with Networking the monitor works. How can I get around this?
Read the answer to Terrence's question after the jump.
Another video of Microsoft’s Courier booklet made its way onto Gizmodo today, a week after the same site had leaked the first video of this exciting multi-touch device. The second video is meatier and more informative compared to the first one. Apparently, the device is centered on the “infinite journal,” which can be uploaded on the internet and freely shared with friends.
A journal, once it is published online, can be downloaded in three different formats - a Courier file, Powerpoint or PDF, making it possible for even non-Courier users to access it. The “infinite journal” can seamlessly shift between being an insipid digital notepad to an artist’s canvas. It also features a library that catalogues subscriptions, notebooks and apps.
Two videos of the device have now been leaked but there is not even a single frame grab of Courier’s media capabilities. ZDNet’s Mary Jo Foley claims to have learnt from one of her sources that the Courier is based on Windows 7, although it is not possible to install Windows 7 apps. This is because Microsoft only wants it to run applications that are “tailored to a tablet form factor.”
According to comScore, Internet users are spending a lot of time watching online videos, with 161 million users tuning in online during the month of August, which ranks as the largest audience ever recorded. And with 25 billion videos viewed, August also recorded its busiest month ever.
Google Sites continues to lead the charge, again taking the top spot, this time recording over 10 million videos viewed and claiming just shy of 40 percent market share. Not surprisingly, YouTube accounted for all but 1 percent of Google Sites' video views.
Microsoft came in second and claims 2.2 percent of the online video market, enough to edge out Viacom Digital at 2.1 percent and Hulu at 1.9 percent.