Archive for August, 2008

Microsoft Releases Office Translator for Office 2003 and 2007

The Microsoft Research Machine Translation (MSR-MT) Team today annouced they have released the new Office Translator plugin for Office 2003 and 2007.

I have yet to test out the tranlation capabilities, but when I do I’ll post here!

In the meantime go read the instructions on how to install it manually now, or wait for the Windows Update!

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Microsoft Finally Discusses ‘Fiji’ – Should’ve Stayed Silent

My mother used to tell me, “If you don’t have anything good to say, don’t say anything at all.” Microsoft today responded to much of the rumors and criticism that has been circulating regarding it’s new Media Center TV Pack. Unfortunately, I didn’t much care for what they had to say. Chris Lanier (Microsoft Media MVP) sums it up nicely: “Fiji will go down in history as one of the worst coordinated projects to come out of Microsoft in a long time.”

Mary Jo Foley has been covering it in detail, if you’d like to read more. But for me, it comes down to these issues:

  • No h.264 support (though third party codec packages like the K-Lite Codec Pack will enable it. Check out MediaControl 5.3 if you go that route.)
  • No DirectTV support. I don’t use satellite, but this would have gone a long way towards increasing adoption.
  • No 16:9 or otherwise widescreen thumbnails! This is the biggest for me since I have a media collection with lots of widescreen videos and hate that my thumbnails all have black bars on the top and bottom.
  • It was delayed, a lot.
  • And last but not least, I CAN’T GET IT IF I WANTED IT (at least not officially, it’s OEM only and rumors are OEMs won’t release it for already sold computers).

All in all, way to go Microsoft! Media Center may be the only consumer product where you have true technological dominance. This isn’t doing much to reassure customers of that, nor build your lead over competitors.