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The Halo 3 Zune for military service members  (Source: Microsoft)
Microsoft is adding yet another piece of Halo 3-related merchandise to its product lineup

On the heels of the Halo 3 Edition black Zune, Microsoft is introducing a new brown version of the Halo-themed player for military service members. After receiving feedback on the popularity of the Zune players from U.S. soldiers, teams from Microsoft Zune and Microsoft's U.S. Federal business joined together to develop a special Zune - Halo 3 Military Edition, which will be available exclusively at military retail stores in August.

The new version of the Zune player will be packaged in a collectible Halo 3 box, and will come pre-loaded with artwork, trailers, and music from all three Halo games – presumably with similar content found on the Halo Zune found at GameStop.

A group of soldiers leaving for active duty yesterday from the Baltimore Washington International airport were the first to receive the new Halo Zune devices. Working closely with the USO, a non-profit organization focused on improving the quality of life of service members, Microsoft contributed 300 of the new Zune players to the USO of Metropolitan Washington to be part of a special USO care package the soldiers received.

"Microsoft has been a great partner to the USO of Metropolitan Washington for several years, supporting both our U.S. soldiers and the USO's mission," says Elaine Rogers, president of the USO of Metropolitan Washington. "From Zune devices and Xbox 360 gaming consoles to new computers with the latest Windows Vista and Office software, Microsoft's technology has helped service members stay connected and entertained."

Microsoft is offering the Zune - Halo 3 Military Edition to military personnel and their families at discounted rates through military retailers, including AAFES, and Navy and Marine Corps commissaries, beginning in early August.

Special Zunes are not the only Halo promo item on Microsoft’s list. Last month at the E3 conference, Microsoft revealed a special Halo 3 edition Xbox 360 dressed in Spartan Green with HDMI and other extra features. In June, retailer GameStop revealed special Halo 3-themed Xbox 360 controllers featuring Todd McFarlane artwork and Spartan green wireless headset.

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Really cool
By FITCamaro on 8/7/2007 10:12:08 AM , Rating: 5
Props to Microsoft for doing that for our troops. I think its really cool they'd go through that effort to deliver a discounted product especially for them.

I'm sure we'll still get the Microsoft haters who will say things along the lines of "Well they make billions selling shitty software so they can afford to do it."

RE: Really cool
By EarthsDM on 8/7/2007 11:05:19 AM , Rating: 3
It is nice of Microsoft to offer discounts, but wouldn't water-proofing or increased durability be more appropriate?

Also, it kind of disturbs me that Microsoft is being used so much by US forces overseas. Shouldn't the DOD be using its legions of computer experts* to make its own systems? I'm not a hater, I just think that if they used home-brewed software that things would work better for them.

*They should have them, yes?

RE: Really cool
By Moishe on 8/7/2007 11:22:20 AM , Rating: 2
no offense... but we're talking about troops... and media players. Not military systems. The Zune is probably every bit as solid as an ipod or any of the other media players out there.

This is a good thing. I have a friend who is going wait to AIT and our group pitched in and gave him an ipod because we know he's going to be needing something to hold him over when no computers or other systems are available. Stuff like this is big for folks in the military.

Your statement is correct, a ruggedized media player would be sweet, but that would literally be an extra expensive special order for MS. And I think the government has no business getting into making it's own non-war tech for the troops.

RE: Really cool
By EarthsDM on 8/7/2007 11:35:39 AM , Rating: 2
I didn't mean that the DOD should build MP3 players, I meant that the DOD should build it's own OS instead of using exchange and word templates to keep track of its troops.

RE: Really cool
By tdawg on 8/7/2007 12:03:31 PM , Rating: 2
The cost of maintaining a DOD OS project and retaining the experts on staff that can fix it if it breaks would likely be cost inefficient. It's much easier to setup and maintain a system that has numerous experts available as contractors that could fix something if it breaks.

The reason government systems are so bloated is that each department uses what it wants, so no systems talk to each other efficiently and no one department can maintain the systems easily because there's no unified system setup. I heard a while back that the US government has something like 140+ accounting systems setup, making it almost impossible to keep track of costs. Maybe they should just move to Quickbooks, or something. :)

RE: Really cool
By housecat on 8/7/2007 1:17:09 PM , Rating: 2
The US government needs to utilize Oracle to keep everything standardized... and hopefully keep a of the vital information offline and have that stuff searched out on a need-to-know basis!

RE: Really cool
By Samus on 8/7/2007 7:41:30 PM , Rating: 2
Actually I haven't heard of many Zune's failing. For the most part, Toshiba did a pretty good job with the internals.

RE: Really cool
By therealnickdanger on 8/7/2007 11:34:02 AM , Rating: 5
Well, MS is an American company, it's only fitting since apparently Apple doesn't give two squirts...

Honestly, I don't really care what brand of products are given to/discounted for our troops, we can never give to them as much as they give us.

RE: Really cool
By Crusader on 8/7/2007 1:05:33 PM , Rating: 2
Maybe this will encourage Apple to do something patriotic?

RE: Really cool
By MonkeyPaw on 8/7/2007 2:03:18 PM , Rating: 2
Maybe Jobs will wear "desert camo" instead of black during his next keynote?

RE: Really cool
By Misty Dingos on 8/7/2007 2:10:53 PM , Rating: 2
Not if any buttons are involved. Still wierds me out, a guy that is afraid of buttons. Maybe he has some form of Aspbergers?

RE: Really cool
By Dactyl on 8/8/2007 2:15:37 AM , Rating: 2
Sure, Apple is very patriotic.

They LOOOOVE Canada.

RE: Really cool
By afkrotch on 8/8/2007 12:29:04 PM , Rating: 1
Ummm...I'm in the military and we do use legions of computer experts to create specialized software for military purposes. It's just, for something like an OS, why not just use what's already available, as opposed to spending millions of dollars on R&D.

Oh...look up something called Defense Message System (DMS). Worst software that the DoD ever put money into.

By Misty Dingos on 8/7/2007 11:37:19 AM , Rating: 2
While I am not going to run out and buy Vista for my PC I will seriously consider dropping by the BX (Base Exchange) for one of these bad boys. I think that MS and the USO should be given big props for doing this. I don't think this move will make MS any money. The numbers of these players they will sell through the exchanges is just not large enough. Not unless they become the only MP3 player to buy.

By Rampage on 8/7/2007 1:04:04 PM , Rating: 2
This is why I support American based companies whenever possible. My cousin is in the army (in Iraq) and the zune is indeed popular over there.

Kudos to MS for taking the effort for something special for our troops, even though its not going to net them any extra cash.

By donttrustme on 8/7/07, Rating: -1
RE: Well.....
By kelmon on 8/7/2007 11:22:35 AM , Rating: 5
You know, I think it's English but then again I might be wrong.

RE: Well.....
By MonkeyPaw on 8/7/2007 2:07:11 PM , Rating: 2
Perhaps he submitted his comment via text message.

RE: Well.....
By Moishe on 8/7/2007 11:24:20 AM , Rating: 2
I think that's where a smaller zune (like a nano) would fit in. MS isn't stupid, they publicly admit that they won't win the first battle, but they will produce ever better media players and MS usually does well for itself in the 2nd and 3rd generations.

RE: Well.....
By afkrotch on 8/8/2007 12:31:25 PM , Rating: 1
The next Zunes will be Microsoft designed. It'll be kind of cool to see a RROD or BSOD on a DAP.

RE: Well.....
By MrDiSante on 8/7/2007 11:43:34 AM , Rating: 2
And you type like a 12-year-old AOLer. I'm fine with people making typos or spelling mistakes, to a certain degree. I'm perfectly fine with people for whom English happens to be a second language making grammatical mistakes. But your bastardization of the language knows no end.

Would it really hurt you so much to type "what" instead of "wat", "marketing" instead of "marketin'" (where's the sense in that? It's the same number of characters AND the apostrophe is actually harder to reach than the g), "that" instead of "tht" and "you" instead of "u"?

RE: Well.....
By Misty Dingos on 8/7/2007 2:09:00 PM , Rating: 2
I salute you MrDiSante!

It would be so that the bane of the English language is the unholy trinity of the US public school, the cell phone industry, and lazy fat children.

The trinity has no desire in their coal hard heads or hearts for communication. No skill at speech. No understanding of the rich heritage of their own native tongue.

The youth of today speak as if they learned to read and write from a broken typewriter. I fear a new age of illiterates is soon to be upon us all. The age of the book is over. Ask one, if these misbegotten dregs be nearby, ask when last they looked upon any tome. I say it will be one in ten that even have looked between the cover pages of a book. A smaller portion than that will have read the paper beast from front to back.

A truly sad time is upon us all. For all those that are unlearned are as sheep for the wolves.

RE: Well.....
By FITCamaro on 8/7/2007 2:32:13 PM , Rating: 1
They're not illiterate. They just can't speak or spell properly to save their life.

Eventually anyone who actually can spell though won't know what the fuck they're saying since their speech will have de-evolved into a cross of letters and numbers so cryptic that even they're not sure what they said. My mom is a pharmacy manager at a specialty pharmacy that was bought out by Walmart (yes she hates working for them but she makes over $100k a year) and the people who handle the phones in her office send emails using language like this twit. She is constantly on them about it but their attitude is usually "Why's you getin on my back?".

RE: Well.....
By Misty Dingos on 8/7/2007 4:13:19 PM , Rating: 2
I don’t want to correct you but I will. I did not say they are illiterate, I said.
I fear a new age of illiterates is soon to be upon us all.
If things continue as they are will they be able to functionally read and write? Not likely. Enforced ignorance is the dynamic of the day. It isn’t cool to be smart or be able to speak clearly. And who do the youth of today look up to. Well that would be rap stars and sports figures that can’t dangle a participle without a lawyer, agent and press secretary to help them.

I don’t want to go to school I just got busta rhyme and I will make it big.

I don’t want to go to school I just got to hit the hoops and I will make it big.

Rap music and Michael Jordan are the worst things to happen to the USA in the last 25 years.

RE: Well.....
By FITCamaro on 8/7/2007 4:28:53 PM , Rating: 2
Whoa whoa. I hate basketball but Jordan is not a stupid man. Nor does he speak with or relate to any kind of ghetto rap mentality.

Yes many young guys have aspired to be like him, but I would hardly blame him for them putting sports before education. If you want to blame someone for that, blame the advertising companies who promote sports over school. And blame the parent who fuels it by pushing their kid to always be practicing a sport rather than doing their homework. There are many parents out there who bank on trying to make their kid the next superstar on the hope of being taken care of.

I agree on rap music. But if you want to say athletes are dumb, use someone else. I'd agree with you on many athletes, but not him.

RE: Well.....
By mindless1 on 8/7/2007 4:40:24 PM , Rating: 2
No, blame the kids themselves. They know it's a one in a million longshot to put their future against the odds of failing to make a living at a sport. Then again, it may be they do what comes best to them, while others who had more academic talent (or momentum) were already the ones who would most likely take the best jobs anyway so the rest are scrapping for the crumbs. It just happens that some crumbs are a goldmine if you keep working away at it.

RE: Well.....
By FITCamaro on 8/7/2007 5:49:38 PM , Rating: 2
Sorry. Yes. Obviously the kid is at fault as well.

RE: Well.....
By plimogs on 8/7/2007 4:56:39 PM , Rating: 2
Rap music and Michael Jordan are the worst things to happen to the USA in the last 25 years.

Really? Because I could of sworn that 911 or that whole mega-mess over there in Iraq would have placed higher... Anyway, they sure made a whole big fuss when those towers fell... And how many hundreds of thousands dead Iraqi civilians is it now? What about the G.Is? (for those who tacitly consider American lives somehow more valuable than others).


RE: Well.....
By FITCamaro on 8/7/2007 5:47:18 PM , Rating: 2
To me American lives are worth more.

Given two options:
1) 1000 citizens of your country have to die, or
2) 1000 citizens of another country have to die.

No one dying is not an option. Which would you choose?

RE: Well.....
By plimogs on 8/7/2007 9:06:03 PM , Rating: 2
TextGiven two options:
1) 1000 citizens of your country have to die, or
2) 1000 citizens of another country have to die.

No one dying is not an option. Which would you choose?

Whichever one, really -- I'd be much more interested in why I'm being put such an implacable question; why would they have to die, really? -- but sure, whichever one. I'd like to think that if...

if I believed in God,
and if He had to choose,
He would choose whichever,
because it really doesn't matter,
does it?
(a thousand dead)
it really doesn't matter,
(ten thousand dead)
does it?
(one hundred thousand dead)
does it really matter...
(one million dead)
did it really matter?
(one billion dead)
It didn't really matter
It never really matters
So He would choose whichever


RE: Well.....
By Misty Dingos on 8/8/2007 7:38:08 AM , Rating: 2
Yes rap music and Michael Jordan. Pay attention this is simple so you will have a hard time understanding it. Every kid that thinks that the way to success in America by emulating some rap star or bouncing a basketball is selling themselves short. You get ahead in America by education and perseverance. The few human beings that make a living in sports or music is vanishingly small in comparison to the real work that goes on in this country. So stay in school. Get an education and get ahead.

Now as to you other statements.

I wore my countries uniform for twenty years and an American’s life is more important to me than those in other countries. I made it my life to ensure that jackasses like you can say the ignorant drivel that spews from your soft headed limp dick thinking play date making cry baby can’t we all just get along mush that you call brains.

If you want to make that statement you best walk down to the local recruiting center and sign up. After you have done a tour in Iraq then you can tell me that an American’s life is worth the same or less than our enemies. You cowardly balless sack of puss. You make me sick.

RE: Well.....
By koss on 8/8/2007 10:38:42 PM , Rating: 2
If someone goes to Iraq by his own decision he is softer headed than you.
Some of you think that going to Iraq is protecting your country, fulfilling your duties... an act of patriotism???

If the answer is "Yes"

1. Check with your local psychiatrist.
2. Buy a ticket out of the USA. Try a really free country.
3. Finish the college you never started.

A lot of this brainwashed 'patriots' are playing my nerves like a heavy rock guitar. Being killed, killing prisoners, signing oil-connected peace threats... and the war goes on... WHY?
Do not fool yourself - a human being never gives up when it fights for its freedom and his father's land. That is precisely why this war would turn out to be Vietnam II. But hell I do not care if you are suicide minded as long as you don't kill innocent people. But you do that daily. What a nation would have the ABYSMAL ignorance and hostility shown by the USA?
Keep up the good work. "Kick their a**es and eat a burger!" Then listen to your Zune while firing a tank in the streets of Baghdad.
BTW: I am far from being an Arab/Muslim/Iraqi. But I've seen what you’ve done there and I can tell you - humanity is a word out of your dictionary. Profit is in it though. So I suggest you start applying the same sentences you put for your battles to 9/11. You will have the option to rebuild the towers better and even more democratic as will people in the third world have to do with their countries. But wait if you measure up the distance between your definition targets (Ex. Belgrade - Baghdad) I would say soon you will be rebuilding L.A. too ;)

RE: Well.....
By Misty Dingos on 8/9/2007 9:16:23 AM , Rating: 2
I love you guys. No really. I will tell you why.

You wrap yourself in freedom. Roll around in it like a fat lazy hog. And once you have done that you look at yourselves in the mirror and say to yourselves. "Man I am the smartest hog on the planet! I play hard and the world is laying at my feet. Well back to the mud."

What was the average Iraqi doing while Saddam was in power? Well he didn't wrap himself in a blanket of freedom. He just hoped that he wouldn't end up arrested for some imagined infraction by the Secret Police. He hoped his daughters would not be raped by the secret police. Or worse by Saddam’s wonder kids. A country run by an insane megalomaniac with aspirations of nuclear weapons and your solution is to let him get richer by bribing the UN Oil For Food Program. On his eastern border a country run by religious fanatics that torture and hang petty criminals in public and you don’t have a problem with them. A country that will imprison anyone that speaks against the seated government. And they want nuclear weapons too.

So given these facts your solution to these international issues is to go back to your pig pen and roll around on your belly in the mud. Your comment? “Well I got my freedom. What they do in their country is their business. Besides they could never handle the freedom I have. It isn’t in their nature to be free. They are better off with some despot in power. And besides it will never affect me. So what if they get nukes. We got’em why shouldn’t they. They would never really use them on anyone.” So it is back to the hog wallow where you can roll in your own filth and spit on those who think this a problem at all. A couple words of advice here. Isolationism didn’t work in the 30’s and it will not work today.

So you think that Iraq will be another Vietnam? Are you even old enough to remember the body bags of Vietnam? I doubt it and if you are you are probably emotionally and behaviorally arrested to that era. You think of the military as a bunch of mindless thugs wanting to kill and maim without thought or reason. Some comic book representation of the military in general I am sure. I wonder if you have an inkling of the lessons pounded into graduates of the military academies concerning Vietnam. What was wrong with the execution of the war there? Why did the military missions succeed yet the overall goal elude us? Learning from the past so as not to repeat the same mistakes, what a radical thought. Us poor unthinking military robots would never do something like that.

What are our goals in Iraq? Oh wait. The generals in charge of the mission in Iraq have said what their goal is. You can’t achieve a military solution, we need to provide enough military stability so that the differing sides can reach a political solution. Where did we just apply this strategy? Kosovo. Do we still have troops there? Why yes we do. What are our barriers to applying this solution? Iran. Syria. Al Qaeda. All with near limitless resources. Despite this we are still there attempting to do something that might result in a country in the south west Asia that is a true democracy.

But don’t let me weigh too heavily on your poor frayed nerves, you just head back to your wallow and the warm filth that you have turned your freedom into will ease those nerves. Don’t you worry at all. No one is going to break down the door and drag you off to a prison for the words you have posted on line. Don’t worry your little head for that at all, when you wake up in the morning your freedom hog wallow will be there for you roll in. Nothing will have changed. Well except while you were sleeping a few brave Americans will have died trying to provide freedom for a people you don’t think deserve it. Will have died trying ensure yours. Men and women that understand something you don’t. Freedom is a tree that must be bathed in the blood of patriots from time to time. The cost of freedom, something that you just don’t understand.

I love you guys because without you the world would be so much better. And if the world was better I wouldn't have anything to rant about.

RE: Well.....
By koss on 8/9/2007 7:28:33 PM , Rating: 2
Indeed, you’ve shown a powerful and notoriously stupid statement here.
I would strengthen you out – just so you know what’s what in the world.
1. You said:
“What was the average Iraqi doing while Saddam was in power? Well he didn't wrap himself in a blanket of freedom. He just hoped that he wouldn't end up arrested for some imagined infraction by the Secret Police. He hoped his daughters would not be raped by the secret police. Or worse by Saddam’s wonder kids.”
WHAT? The average Iraqi was just living his live in his country. You may not find it democratic, but for a reason you cannot comprehend (such as the terrorist groups) the people there must set a society most of the western countries cannot understand. This is, I am sure, too complicated for your big-bang minded head, but nonetheless a fact the world was living with. That is until you ran out of cheap gasoline.
First the major problem of Iraq was the minorities and especially Kurdish minorities. You may not know anything about them but a simple fact is that they (mostly) refuse to modernize and socialize. It is like installing 10 million Iraqi in Boston. The territory would need a strengthen military forces. Guess how the Turks deal with them - ooohhhh but they are an ally of the USA… so they are ok. In turkey there are 18mln. Kurdish people, banned by the authority, living in the mountains… do you attack Turkey?
Sadam – that’s right. This is the guy you put in charge the last time… ahhh and he refused to pay oil-homage! What an Axx!!! Bomb him!

2. You said: “Why did the military missions succeed yet the overall goal elude us?”(regarding Vietman); “What are our goals in Iraq?”
Because, first they lied to you, then tested your own chemical weapons on your very own dumb-ass soldiers and now you seem to have forgotten about it. Now you don’t even need to know what exactly your goals in Iraqare… WoW man, you rule them all!!!
But hey go save Russia the next time – or maybe they should come to a rescue of the countless communists living in the USA, which voice is banned by a right opposed undemocratic leader and constitution. Got my point?

3.You SAID:
"No one is going to break down the door and drag you off to a prison for the words you have posted on line.”
Funny that you mention that since the only place that actually happens is exactly where the liberation is supposed to come from. Since we saw how democratic that brave nation of woodpeckers and pseudo democrats are we don’t want to be liberated anymore. I don’t want to be arrested for watching a porn site or having a beer at the age of 18. But then again liberty is a word that can be twisted and psycho minded ‘rednecks’ declared that owning a gun at age of 16 is vital to democracy and freedom. USA stand for United States of Absurdity these days.

And your case – definitely missed the college, only watched CNN and LARRY KING as a source of information – are the worst soldiers/voters a free world can get.
Case Dismissed.

RE: Well.....
By Misty Dingos on 8/10/2007 9:01:16 AM , Rating: 2
Alrighty then koss. I have read your post. Three times. It is a little confusing and the concepts are dizzying.

The average Iraqi was just getting on by getting on and didn't care that his country was being run by despots.

That people in other countries (like Iraq and Iran) have to have systems of government that are oppressive and inhumane. Thus we in the USA don’t understand them and want to overthrow them.

And the USA bombed Iraq because we wanted the oil.

We like the Turks so we don't bomb them when they have problems with the Kurds.

I am not sure the average Kurd would like living in Boston, it is cold in the winter and the cost of living is extremely high. But perhaps they are closet Red Sox fans.

We put Saddam in power because we needed to control the Kurds. I get the feeling you don't like them but you didn't explain that to me and not wanting to make you angry I will just drop that whole Kurd thing.

The communists in the USA need liberation from oppression.

You can't cruise for porn and drink beer because you are only 18. And if you do the police will catch you and drag you off to prison.

I am going to have to cede the ground to your military intellect on Vietnam and Iraq obviously I am completely uninformed and off the mark as to what our goals were in either conflict.

And the USA has the worst military in the world. Sorry the worst soldiers.

So is this about right? I want to get this right because you are very smart and nice for taking the time and effort to helping me understand the ways of the world and all.

RE: Well.....
By kyp275 on 8/30/2007 1:53:21 AM , Rating: 2
If someone goes to Iraq by his own decision he is softer headed than you.

People like you sickens me. You have no clue about the sacrifices that each soldier and marine and their family makes when they go over there.

Some of us volunteered, some were volun-told, but in the end, we all signed our name on those dotted lines, we have our orders, which part of this is not fufilling our duties?

And just FYI, most of us could care less about the politics behind it, that's not our problem and frankly is out of our hands. When we're over there, we fight to keep ourselves and the men next to us alive so that we can all go home to our loved ones, and it's for this exact reason so many people volunteered to go back again and again, but I guess you probably can't understand that either. After all, according to you we're all retards that need to go see a psychiatrist, and to me that is the greatest insult against the servicemen and women possible.

But I've seen what you’ve done there and I can tell you - humanity is a word out of your dictionary

Oh yea? You've seen what we've done there eh? when were you in-country in Iraq? where did you go? My guess would be that you've never actually been there, and are just talking out of your arse from all the ultra-liberal stuff you read all day.

“And I don't know why [Apple is] acting like it’s superior. I don't even get it. What are they trying to say?” -- Bill Gates on the Mac ads

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