New gear alert: I received a notification that my Apple TV has shipped this morning. I guess those rumors about October were incorrect, if just barely: It should be here by Wednesday, September 30.

Looks like Ed Bott tried and ultimately rejected the DROID X I enthused over last week. Why Ed is shopping for phones the month before Windows Phone ships is unclear, but his rationale for rejecting the DROID X is very clear: Too big, too hot, battery life, committee-based design. These are all valid complaints, though I like the form factor personally. But yeah, when this thing dies, it dies: Forget to charge it one night and you'll wake up to a brick.

Numerous blogs and other questionable web destinations are reporting that Microsoft will launch Windows Phone 7 in Europe on October 21. I don't know anything about that. But I do know that Microsoft plans to launch Windows Phone 7 in the US on November 8. That October 11 date that's been tossed around, as I mentioned previously, is unrelated to the Windows Phone 7 launch.

I'm late on this--I mean, who cares?--but Microsoft recently finalized Office 2011 for Mac. I guess I'll look at it, but I have gotten a lot of questions about whether this release would appear on the TechNet or MSDN subscriptions. I don't know, but they never have in the past.

I gave Microsoft a lot of flak for helping the Russian government crack down on dissidents. Here's an interesting take on this story from the Russian press.

"the inevitable result is a barrage of news stories that produce more heat than light. It also creates a widespread sense that the software leviathan has once again done something reprehensible, albeit legal."

I wonder if it's a state-sponsored periodical. :) According to Wikipedia, the arbiter of all knowledge, The Moscow Times is "based in the old headquarters of Pravda [and] was the first Western daily to be published in Russia." It is, apparently, biased toward the Russian government.

Give Rob Enderle some credit for knowing how to craft an eye-grabbing headline: Microsoft's Secret Plan to Take Over the World. I love the central thesis: Microsoft's decade-long funk was really just the software giant lulling its competition into complacency. LOL. It's more likely that Microsoft, like so many other aging supergiants, simply became complacent itself, woke up, and then started fighting back. Less dramatic. But more likely.

Just to beat this to death: The IE 9 home button is still in the wrong place, way over on the right side of the screen. And I still keep mousing over to the left to find it. You know, where it should be. Please, Microsoft. Fix this.

Over 20 million people are using Office Web Apps already.

Here's the problem with TV/movie delivery services in a nutshell, using the recent movie "Robin Hood" (which was "eh" at best) as an example: It's all over the map. Netflix won't get it until October 19. Zune has it now, but in typical Microsoft fashion it's confusing: You can stream it instantly over the Xbox 360, but if you want to buy it, it's available only in SD ($17). Renters can choose between SD ($4) and HD ($6). iTunes doesn't support streaming (yet; Apple TV is on the way) but it does have Robin Hood for both purchase ($15) and rent ($4), but only in SD. If you want to rent it in HD, you have to initiate that from an iPad or Apple TV ($5) only. Amazon Video on Demand? Same problems: You can rent for $4 or buy for $15, but it's SD only. You can stream to Roku and elsewhere.

Microsoft reconfirms no SteadyState for Windows 7 but offers a workaround.