Now that Halo 4 will run on Windows Azure, what’s next?

The next release of Microsoft’s popular Halo game will run on the company’s own Windows Azure platform-as-a-service. Inquiring minds want to know when more of the company’s bread-and-butter services will follow suit.

Use Starbucks card, get free WiFi deal starts today

Starbucksattwificard

At the risk of blasphemy, I’m writing this from my home office drinking a mug of WaWa coffee that I brewed myself. My well intentioned plan of rising early and hitting a local Starbucks to see if they indeed launched their new WiFi offering went amok, so I’ll have to rely on the source. Let me see… yup! Right on the Starbucks website, they now detail the plan. Here’s the skinny for those that prefer Skim Milk:

  • Register a Starbucks pre-paid card online
  • Use it at least one time per month for a purchase or a re-charge
  • Get two consecutive hours of WiFi use in a single session
  • Starbucks is working on allowing multiple sessions… stay tuned
  • Your free two hours is good every day for 30 days after you’ve used / re-charged your Starbucks card
  • You will need to agree to receive e-mails from AT&T and you will create an ID / password with AT&T

Not a bad deal if you hit Starbucks even once per month for a purchase. I still may get out to my Quakertown location later today to see if they’re up and running. Some locations might not be ready yet, so be advised…

Web-Based “Cloud OS” Aims for App Developers and Users

While the idea of an Internet-based operating system has already been explored through offerings such as YouOS and EyeOS , Xcerion, a small Swedish company, is taking an ambitious new approach to the idea. The company’s XML Internet Operating System/3 Beta (XIOS/3) is best described as a “Cloud OS” and Web 2.0 service. I’ve been testing it on a Windows machine, loading XIOS/3 in Internet Explorer (you can’t yet load it in Firefox), and it generally looks promising. Read More about Web-Based “Cloud OS” Aims for App Developers and Users

Limelight Kicks Ass in IPO

Limelight Networks, the content delivery network focused on digital media and provider to many of the companies we write about, began trading on NASDAQ today. The Tempe, Arizona-based company sold 16 million shares of common stock for $15 to raise $240 million, and today closed up nearly 50 percent at $22.18.

At times the share price had jumped as much as 62 percent, according to Bloomberg. Limelight lost $3.71 million last year on sales of $64.3 million, but it has seen tremendous growth as more and more web video platforms and viewers are coming online.

Read More about Limelight Kicks Ass in IPO

Convergence 2.0

Christian Lindholm, director of multimedia applications over at Nokia has some interesting thoughts on the whole concept of convergence and the role mobile phones will play in the evolution of a highly digital and mobile lifestyle. Lets call it convergence 2.0. He found evidence of it at the CeBit.

bq. Integrating voice, image, video and text is becoming possible in an uncompromised form factor known to the broad audience as a mobile phone.

Why because he thinks with tiny flash memory cards, MP3 players, cameras and videocams all being bundled into phones, the only thing missing is the high speed connection and even that is around the corner via 3G technologies.

bq. The integration of Wi-Fi totally changes to nature of a laptop. Laptops are now powerful enough and small enough to really become communications tools

Yeah we knew that and don’t need a phone guy to tell us about these things.

bq. The Home server, rebranded as an entertainment center is the future of the Home PC. Intel was showing off the “Kessler” concept which integrated PC, Wi-Fi, RAID and lots of other technology I still do not understand, but it left a permanent impression on me.

This is convergence 2.0, only I personally think the PC guys are still thinking of it as a PC. Intel and Microsoft despite their billions, and their allies like morons at HP, Dell and Gateway are going to fall flat on their face. I would have loved to hear Christian’s comments on the User Interfaces in phones and user Interfaces in the PC world, and what impact do they have in adoption and usage.