In November, Major League Baseball Advanced Media, the league’s tech unit, announced it would discontinue using Silverlight, the browser plug-in that MLBAM had signed up for barely a year earlier. The decision was not insignificant. MLBAM not only runs the profitable MLB.com streaming-video service, the Web’s most successful subscription service, but the group is also influential with other leagues and sporting events. MLBAM handles much of the back-end operations for CBS‘ Webcasts of the NCAA Basketball Tournament and this year will do the encoding for the 2009 Masters golf tournament.
Baseball never detailed the reasons for dropping Silverlight but sources close to the negotiations between the league and Microsoft said it was a series of glitches and conflicts between the companies that led to the split.
Read the full article at CNET News.
And, boy, am I glad that week is over.
Microsoft’s browser rules the roost with about two-thirds of the market, according to Net Applications, which collects a broad set of data on which browsers people use. There’s nothing like being built into the dominant operating system for winning a popularity contest. Microsoft takes advantage of that position by building instrumentation into IE that illuminates what a typical Web user is doing.
There’s typical, and then there’s me. As somebody who spends dozens of hours a week in a Web browser, I’m sorry to say IE 8 is not for me. Although my Web-heavy lifestyle isn’t average, I believe the challenges I face on the Web foreshadow what the rest of the world will experience as the Internet inexorably encompasses ever more of our work and personal lives. I prefer browsers that aim toward where the puck is heading, as the tired but useful cliche goes.
IE 8 (download link) catches up to where the puck is today. It’s definitely a big improvement over its predecessors, with some commendable features including default support for Web standards. And I do hope people upgrade.
In reality, it was something more mundane that gave me a Pavlovian feeling of dread when it was time to use the browser: its interface is slow.
When it was time for basic interactions such as launching new tabs, switching tabs, closing tabs, commanding IE to open pages, and scrolling through pages, I found myself all too often waiting for the browser to respond to my mouse and keyboard. I did miss some Firefox extensions, though I’m not a big user of them personally, and I did find Web applications like Gmail and Google Docs a bit slower. But those two gripes paled in comparison to performance…
See the full article at Webware.
For the month of February, the industry recorded sales of $1.47 billion, up from $1.34 billion a year earlier, according to numbers released Thursday by industry analyst NPD Group. And the February numbers also outpaced January’s $1.33 billion. In February, software accounted for $733.5 million in sales, while hardware and accessories came in at $532.7 million and $207.1 million, respectively.
According to NPD, Microsoft‘s Xbox 360 had its second best non-holiday-season sales month since its launch, with 391,000 units sold. But once again, it was Nintendo that had the best overall performance. It sold 753,000 Wii consoles, as well as 588,000 DS handheld systems. Those numbers were up 10.8 percent and 15.1 percent, respectively, over January.
Sony’s PlayStation 3 and PlayStation 2 didn’t have quite as successful a February. The PS3 moved 276,000 units, while just 131,000 PS2s were sold. However, those figures did represent a 35.8 percent and a 29.4 percent jump over January. In February, Sony’s PSP sold 199,000 units.
Nintendo also dominated the software sales side of things. Six of the top 10 best-selling titles in February were for either the Wii or the DS, including the repeat No. 1 performer, Nintendo’s "Wii Fit.
"The sheer quantity of great content coming to market early in the year should keep industry sales humming throughout 2009," Frazier said in a statement.
Source: CNET News.