New Microsoft SideWinder X3 Mouse Unveiled

Microsoft’s SideWinder family has a new member in their fold. The new product is the Microsoft SideWinder X3 Mouse, which combines gaming performance and versatile design at a value price of $39.95.

This ambidextrous, eight-button gaming mouse delivers comfort for either hand along with the performance features fans of SideWinder products know and love, including a 2,000 dots-per-inch (dpi) laser-tracking engine with on-the-fly dpi switching between high, medium and low sensitivity. The SideWinder X3 Mouse is easy on the wallet, but it does not skimp on performance, offering gamers a full set of features and launching them ahead of the competition.

The SideWinder X3 Mouse will be widely available in May for an estimated retail price of $39.95 (U.S.). The mouse is available now for pre-sale on and will ship in May when it is released.


IE8 Removable in Windows 7

After some horrendous problems with the Microsoft Vista, the Windows 7 which is tasked to recover the lost faith that Microsoft users have had due to inconveniences brought about, are getting quite a number of reprieves including the potential removal of the Internet Explorer 8 browser just in case you don’t like it. Microsoft has confirmed, via its Engineering Windows 7 blog, that IE8 among other significant features will be user-removable.

A “Windows Features” dialog box will allow users to remove programs they don’t want, although the programs themselves are more buried than actually removed. I guess Microsoft heard the million cries of annoyance when users had to put in their install disc just to get some service installed: now everything will be installed initially and then unwanted components will be “removed,” but ready for reinstallation in a heartbeat.

The “big ones” you can remove are:

  • Windows Media Player
  • Windows Media Center
  • Windows DVD Maker
  • Internet Explorer 8
  • Windows Search

There are lots of other services, games, and so on as you can see in the big list (right), but I think we’re all thankful that Microsoft has made these main five programs totally optional. It should be noted that any dependencies or shared services will not be affected by removal, so you won’t have to worry about DVDs not working in other programs because you removed the Windows version, or the like.


Microsoft and Lenovo Unveil PC Dean’s List

Buying a computer these days has to be done carefully. Unlike in the past years when the economy was not that bad, PC or laptop buying was made regularly with flourish. Today however, banking on guides on which PC or laptop is suitable to cater to the needs of every individual persists and perhaps this PC Dean’s list by Microsoft and Lenovo can offer more than just a guide.

Microsoft Corp. and Lenovo announced the availability of the Ultimate Academic Personal Computer promotion with high-powered, highly functional, affordable laptop PCs designed specifically for college and university students, faculty, and staff. As part of the program, initially offered as a pilot by Microsoft, Lenovo will offer four different ThinkPad laptops pre-loaded with Windows Vista Ultimate and Microsoft Office Ultimate 2007.

The Ultimate Academic PC promotion offers four exclusive configurations:

  • ThinkPad T400. The 14-inch widescreen laptop gives users powerful processing functionality, a host of wireless connectivity options and multimedia features essential for college students. Lenovo also builds in a roll cage to give the laptop extra durability to meet the rigors of academic life.
  • ThinkPad R500. This laptop packs in the same functionality as the ThinkPad T400 but gives users extra screen real estate with a 15-inch display.
  • ThinkPad X200 Tablet. The Tablet offers note-takers the best of both worlds with a Tablet PC and a laptop all in one. The 12-inch screen swivels both directions for easy maneuvering in class, and has low reflectivity and wide viewing angles; the Tablet also features a full-size keyboard, and more than 10 hours of battery life for all-day computing.
  • ThinkPad X301. Lenovo’s thinnest and lightest full-function PC, the ThinkPad X301 comes with several leading technologies such as solid state drive storage for greater reliability, an LED display for a crisp viewing experience and two roll cages to make the laptop extremely light yet sturdy.


Windows 7 Trials Released

In a move that has been christened to save the face of the mess that Windows Vista has left, Windows 7 has been pre-released for trial to some programmers before its actual release in the market within the year. Windows Vista has gotten nothing but negative reviews and apparently Microsoft wants to erase that notion by improving the new Windows 7 as much as possible.

The pre-release is actually a tactic to get the initial feedbacks from the computer geeks themselves. They are the best option to solicit the possible problems that Windows 7 has right now, learning their lesson well from the debacle that Vista has created.

Windows 7, which analysts say is a streamlined version of Vista, is expected to play nicely with most of the computers in the market. That should make the software an easier sell as the sour economy leaves companies and consumers less inclined to replace computers.

Indeed, if the Windows 7 lives up to the expectations and makes use of the flaws that Vista obviously showed, then perhaps consumer confidence on the new Microsoft operating software can be established. There are a lot of disappointed computer users out there and Microsoft has to start somewhere if they want to once again win their approval for the best operating software to be used today.


Google Chrome Being Preferred by PC Manufacturers

It looks like Google is buckling down and seriously trying to penetrate the software market via its new product installment, the Google Chrome. Today, most computers come installed with the usual Internet Explorer but manufacturers are seriously considering shifting towards the Google Chrome for a change.

Microsoft has dominated the PC market for some time now but a lot of factors right now may be pushing some PC manufacturers towards considering a change of pre-installed programs. Among them include the bugs that new Microsoft software has been bringing, making life miserable for vendors as well since they will be the immediate people tasked to help out people experiencing these problems like system and driver incompatibilities.

Google has been known to go all out and it is reportedly trying to cater to other platforms as well like Linux and Mac. It gives you an idea on how dead serious Google is as far as expanding its niche and that is focused a lot on the software business.

The company is pushing hard to get Chrome pre-installed on computers getting shipped directly from the factory. Big computer companies Dell, HP, Acer and Toshiba are reportedly thinking about ditching Internet Explorer and pre-packaging Chrome instead.


Don’t Risk System Capable Tags for PCs

Often you would come across new software or operating systems like Microsoft Vista that assures you that they can run on previous PC hardware despite its high requirements prior to installation. Now the question that remains is on whether you will buy the claim or not?

Apparently as a PC user, you will not know if the claim is really true or not unless you try it. While some computers can accommodate them, there are the hidden lines that include actual performance rendering that has not been stressed. For sure, having a PC that was able to accommodate a previous Windows operating system like Windows XP will have its problems with an advanced and higher grade operating system. Issues such as processes and of course computer speed are bound to be the significant factors and as a PC user, you should place this into consideration.

With that said, would you wait to upgrade a computer before installing new software or take the risk? The safer way out is to really install these operating systems on a brand new PC with latest specs. It is not bad to improvise but if you demand high quality performance, save yourself the trouble of trying to make do with an old system that is bound to give way and perform below par.

Do take note that these are part of a marketing gimmick to save the PC companies from being unable to sell their old stock of computers. As a sign of reprieve, software manufacturers put that into consideration so make sure you avoid it.

Linux Can Shed Light to Windows Blackouts

So Windows has been aggressively cracking down the pirated Windows users and has gone to the extent of blacking out the computers of people using their famous operating system unusable. Now this may be good for putting a stop to piracy but may also be bad as far as user preference since to continue to enjoy the Microsoft software today, you have to pay to get a license.

Red Hat is sure to be monitoring the market as well. If there is one thing that people hate is spending, especially in these times of crisis. So we all know that Linux is free and may perhaps be a turning point as far as software preference and while adjustments and software preference may need to be addressed, it is a better price to pay rather than the discomforts that Microsoft is aiming to provide at the moment.

So if you look at it as a business opportunity, the time to break into the domination of Microsoft Corporation is now. It may still need the proper development as far as compatibility and interface is concerned, but the point of it all is convenience. Microsoft has made quite an inconvenience and this is surely going to affect most people today, especially the ones who are clueless when they update their operating systems.

If you find Microsoft falling in the market, then you know that this recourse is the protagonist for it. It has to be done but intruding through updates is simply foul at this point, regardless if they are authentic or not.

Turn Off Your XP Updates

Unless you are sure that your copy of Microsoft’s Operating System is genuine, you are best off turning those automatic updates off. Microsoft is serious in cracking down the pirated versions of their famous Windows XP and they have done this via the update service that normally comes with the operating system for patches.

This time around, once the Windows XP software has been found to be pirated, your computer will go completely black, rendering your computer useless. Now that is not a dirty way to deprive a computer owner of updates. In fact, it puts an end to “stealing” since why get something free as updates for a software that is pirated in the first place?

Depending on your stand, it would be best to avoid the updates if you are unsure of the validity of your Windows operating software. This is not really to warn Windows users on the use of pirated versions but merely informing you that your days of using these pirated operating systems are numbered.

We have heard this news sent out before. And while we may be looking for ways to avoid paying for an authentic copy of operating systems, bear in mind as well that Microsoft has stopped manufacturing and selling the Windows XP OS.

The new operating system in the market today is the Windows Vista. And while some hate it for now, better get used to it since you are really left with little options as far as operating system performance.

Windows XP SP3 on AMD Chips Showing Problems

Applying the patches and service packs issues by Microsoft Operating Systems are usually seen to be solutions to improve and safeguard Windows users but apparently there are issues surrounding the type of processor that is in use. If you use an Intel based processors, chances are you will not be having much trouble installing and rebooting your system. The real problem really exists when AMD processors are being used and much of this lies in the configuration.

Apparently, to be able to adhere towards the proper specifications, some tweaks have to be done to the main processor of AMD based units to accept the new add-ons and patches offered periodically. Normally, you will have issue after applying the updated patches and this becomes a cause for consideration on whether people should install the service packs or not.

Ideally, installing these patches is a good way to be able to safeguard your computer from threats around the web. But in some cases like this AMD issue, it would be best to be open to proper installation and compatibility issues. In short, as a user you should be able to research and find proper troubleshooting tips so that you can avoid messing up your current system rather than improving it.

There are several issues that can cause a Windows XP computer to not reboot properly after installing Service Pack 3. Most of them affect relatively specific configurations, and most appear to have relatively simple work-arounds. Please: do not do anything rash. I have seen a lot of reports of people who reformat and reinstall when they run into this problem, losing all their data in the process.