Microsoft spent more than $100 million on the Xbox One controller

Some argue that the Xbox 360(s msft) controller was the greatest one ever made. Perhaps concerned that it was resting on its laurels, Microsoft poured $100 million into developing a new controller for the Xbox One, according to a VentureBeat four-part exclusive. The company researched tons of wacky features: a built-in projector, speakers and even the ability to emit smells. But the end result actually has just a few tiny tweaks from what made the 360 so successful — though those tweaks apparently cost millions in their own right. I guess it’s a small price to pay in the quest for perfection.

Microsoft looks for input

The Surface’s ability to support multiple input modes and to run software designed for anything from keyboard, to touch, to game-controller input will enable Microsoft to tap existing networks of developers already working in multiple related ecosystems, none more important than the Xbox ecosystem. If Xbox games can easily be ported from console to tablet without needing to be rewritten for multitouch input the Surface could prove to be a very popular portable gaming device, and Microsoft will have a vast installed base of potential users to market to.

Shuffle’s Hardware DRM Not DRM at All…Or is It?

features_key_20090311 Much has been made about the new iPod shuffle’s neat new features, like voiceover narration to make up for the lack of a display, and its incredibly small form factor. Much more, perhaps, has been made about the limitations the new form factor presents, since it lacks physical controls on the device itself, and also requires headphones specifically designed for the platform because of the unique control scheme it uses instead.
That unique control scheme recently raised even more eyebrows when it appeared as though Apple had not only forced customers to seek out specially designed headphones for use with the new device, but had also actually built-in a chip that would force third-party accessory manufacturers to pay them a licensing fee in order to be able to make headphones that would work with the new shuffle. When BoingBoing Gadgets took apart a brand new Shuffle, they found a unique chip soldered to the remote, from which a third wire was connected to the same ring on the mini-jack plug that governs the iPod’s controls. Read More about Shuffle’s Hardware DRM Not DRM at All…Or is It?

Disks Aren’t SaaS: How to Value On-demand Peripherals

Everyone’s on the software-as-a-service bandwagon. The economics make it easy to love: Running your own applications is a costly endeavor; turnkey software, running on demand, can dramatically reduce the cost of IT. A recent McKinsey study found that over 70 percent of companies surveyed want their software on demand — and that includes big enterprises.

But not every company that calls itself SaaS deserves the title. Read More about Disks Aren’t SaaS: How to Value On-demand Peripherals