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August 27, 2014

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Microsoft Developing Voice-Activated Remote Control: Humanity Is Doomed

by Jean Bentley, posted Oct 27th 2010 3:00PM
Microsoft logoFurther proof that the end is nearer than we think: Microsoft announced Tuesday that it is developing voice- and gesture-activated controls for televisions.

Yes -- in the very near future, not only will we be able to stay put on the couch when switching the TV from 'Teen Mom' to 'American Idol,' we won't even have to lift a burdensome remote control and point at our cable boxes to do so. Instead, all we'll have to do is grunt a command or swing a hand at the screen.

James Baldwin, Microsoft's chief technology officer for television, said the company's Kinect technology, which allows users to interact with their video game consoles without controllers, could be adapted for hands-free remote control use, Variety reports.

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Microsoft Courted Conan to Plug His Show Into XBox Live

by Danny Gallagher, posted Apr 14th 2010 9:03AM
Conan O'Brien in front of the Mario Bros. backdrop
Conan O'Brien's deal with TBS
may have thrown every TV pundit and pontificator for a loop, but here's one that will make your head spin clear around your neck. (WARNING: TV Squad and its parent companies will not be held responsible for any head and/or neck trauma that may occur while reading this article).

While everyone thought Conan would simply jump to Fox because it was the last remaining network without a strong late night slot, Coco and company were being courted by all sorts of networks and media outlets, including ... Microsoft???

That's right, the technology giant had been talking to Conan about a deal that would have brought his nightly talk show to their XBox Live service.

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What You Missed Last Night: Bill Gates talks about his foundation (and robots that love)

by Bob Sassone, posted Jan 26th 2010 11:02AM
This is an interesting Daily Show interview with Bill Gates where he talks about the work of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, but I'm posting it because of a funny question that Jon Stewart asks him about a certain Microsoft competitor.

[Watch clips and episodes of The Daily Show and other shows at SlashControl.]

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Sherlock Holmes will save Seth MacFarlane

by Allison Waldman, posted Nov 1st 2009 4:03PM
sherlock_holmes_wb
Well, Apple didn't take my suggestion to replace Microsoft as the new sponsor of Seth MacFarlane's comedy special. Sir Arthur Conan Doyle stepped up. Actually, it's Warner Bothers Pictures' Sherlock Holmes that'll sponsor the MacFarlane variety special.

Microsoft backed out of Family Guy Presents: Seth & Alex's Almost Live Comedy Show when they caught a run through of the program and objected to the humor. Goodness only knows what they thought they were getting with Seth, but it's all water under the bridge now.

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Microsoft Pulls Out of 'Family Guy' Special Over Incest and Holocaust Jokes

by Michael D. Ayers, posted Oct 27th 2009 3:08PM
Family GuyAs we wrote almost two weeks ago, computer giant Microsoft, Fox and Seth MacFarlane were all set to team up for 'Family Guy Presents: Seth and Alex's Almost Live Comedy Show.' The deal was simple: Microsoft plunked down cash in exchange for Seth MacFarlane making some plugs during the show without breaking away to actual commercials.

Seemed like a win-win situation, right? But Variety is reporting that this sync deal is no longer. The reason? Microsoft is a bit weary of 'Family Guy's' off-the-cuff, risqué brand of humor.

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Microsoft's slide ad: real or fake?

by Bob Sassone, posted Aug 11th 2009 9:30AM
I hardly ever get to see foreign TV commercials, so that's one of the good things about the web. This one is a Microsoft ad from Germany. There seems to be some question as to whether or not it's real or fake, but I'm strongly leaning towards fake.

[via Adfreak]

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The new Microsoft ad might make you want to vomit

by Mike Moody, posted Jul 1st 2009 2:02PM
microsoft exporer 8 ads dean cain
Actually, the entire series of ads might make you want to lose your lunch. Sure, watching '90s Superman Dean Cain randomly pop up in people's homes dressed like Bentley from The Jeffersons is a little funny. But it's all over once the "jokes" and the puke start to fly. I'm not sure why Microsoft thought the image of a woman violently vomiting after stumbling upon her man friend's favorite porn site would sell more copies of Explorer 8. View the ad after the jump

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Microsoft corrects error in Bing commercial

by Bob Sassone, posted Jun 10th 2009 2:36PM
If you were a fan of the movie The Breakfast Club, you might have caught the error in Microsoft's Bing ad (below) when it debuted recently. The ads says the movie came out in 1986, but it actually came out in 1985 (a funny error for a commercial advertising a search engine!). But I saw the commercial again last night and Microsoft has changed it! Now when the woman says the line about the movie, the camera cuts away to the other woman and there's a new voiceover.

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Are you ready to Bing?

by Bob Sassone, posted Jun 3rd 2009 6:23PM
So Microsoft has launched a new search engine called Bing. It's supposed to revolutionize the search game and take on Google, but who knows if that will ever happen (I think that "search" and "Google" are the same in the public conscious right now). Here's the new commercial for Bing. It's well-done and dramatic and tries to say a lot, but is it persuasive (beyond the initial "hey, I think I'll check out Bing.com!" thought we'll all have)?

[via AdFreak]

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Those "I'm A PC" commercials have gone too far

by Bob Sassone, posted May 19th 2009 6:33PM
The first 20 seconds of this video below could easily be mistaken for one of the real "I'm A PC" ads that Microsoft is currently running. Same filming style, same type of actress, the locations even look the same. But then it all goes horribly wrong (a few naughty words so a little NSFW).

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Everybody hates the new Microsoft commercials

by Bob Sassone, posted Apr 21st 2009 1:09PM
MicrosoftHow about you?

These new ads are trying to say you shouldn't pay a lot for a computer, especially those damn Macs that, well, everyone who uses them really loves. (Disclaimer: yes, I'm typing this on a Mac.)

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Bill Gates and Jerry Seinfeld go to Shoe Circus - VIDEO

by Brett Love, posted Sep 5th 2008 10:00AM

Bill Gates and Jerry SeinfeldWe talked about this when they announced that Jerry Seinfeld had signed on to promote Windows for Microsoft. If you were watching the big NFL kickoff Thursday night, you might have seen what that looked like. If you missed it, it's embedded after the jump. I've watched the commercial a few times now, and I'm torn. I agreed with Brad's take in the original post, that Seinfeld may be a few years past the point of ideal pitchman.

That being said, the first half of the commercial is quirky, and pretty funny. The idea of stumbling on Bill Gates in a discount shoe shop is an amusing place to start. And Gates does a good job as the straight man for Seinfeld. I really like the odd cut to the family watching through the glass. "They run tight." It all pays off nicely with that familiar image of Gates on his Platinum Shoe Circus Clown Club card. It loses steam when they leave the mall. A moist and chewy cake computer? I think the writers got tripped up by the iffy tag. The future. Delicious.

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Jerry Seinfeld will be selling us Vista

by Brad Trechak, posted Aug 21st 2008 2:25PM
Jerry SeinfeldIn an attempt to appeal to the hip, mod audience, Microsoft is hiring Jerry Seinfeld to be its pitchman for the Vista operating system. This is being considered as a counter to Apple's successful "Mac vs. PC" commercials. It is expected that he'll use a variation of the new "Windows, not walls" slogan.

There are two problems with this strategy. First off, while he was an icon of the 90's, Jerry Seinfeld hasn't been relevant for a few years now (Bee Movie didn't do so well, despite his major attempts at promotion). American Express got him when he was a big deal and I'm sure more people used their production as a result, but I'm not so sure that would work now. Plus, it's not like he needs the money.

Second, the Vista operating system has gotten bad press. I mean baaaaaad press. Much of it deserved. Microsoft would be better served by having Jerry pitch whatever operating system came next rather than Vista, because there is a lot of negative publicity there to counteract.

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Microsoft adds Netflix, NBC, Universal videos to Xbox Live Marketplace

by Brad Linder, posted Jul 14th 2008 3:27PM
Engadget
Microsoft has announced plans to expand the internet video content available to Xbox Live users. Probably the most exciting new feature (although also the most predictable) is a partnership with Netflix that will let Netflix customers stream video using an Xbox 360 starting this fall.

Netflix currently lets users stream selected content using a web browser or a dedicated set top box developed by Roku. You won't need to pay any additional fees to watch Netflix videos. But you will need a Netflix subscription. Microsoft says the Xbox 360 will be the only video game console to support Netflix videos, but I wouldn't be surprised if what Microsoft is really saying is that the Xbox 360 will be the first video game console with Netflix support.

Microsoft has also announced that customers will be able to purchase and download videos from NBC and Universal. Titles will include Battlestar Galactica, The Office, Monk, The Mummy, and the Bourne Supremacy. The videos will be available in high definition. Microsoft says there are now over 10,000 movies and TV shows available through the Xbox Live marketplace.

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ABC Family doesn't want you to watch The Middleman

by Brett Love, posted Jul 1st 2008 11:20AM

middleman
At least that's the somewhat sarcastic conclusion I'm jumping to. As I started watching the east coast feed, an email bounced into the TV Squad inbox from reader 'Jay.' He noted that when he tried to record The Middleman on his PC, he was greeted with an error message. I had to wait three hours for the regular airing on the left coast, but I dusted off an old Media Center PC and got that very same error, as you see in the picture. I like to think that Wendy is showing her shock and outrage at the snafu in that shot. But wait, there's more ... after the jump.

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