Microsoft was busy on the announcement front yesterday. Firstly, the have admitted that the so called ring of fire problem with the Xbox 360 will cost them $1 billion to cover the cost of extended warranties that it is offering system owners who have experienced the problem, which is indicated by three red flashing lights on the console. Despite the problem Microsoft says the Xbox division will still make a profit for the fiscal year beginning July 1, 2007. In other 360 news, Microsoft has announced an October launch date for the new Xbox 360 Elite. The console will go on sale first in Japan where it's predecessor's sales lag behind Sony and Nintendo. Finally, Microsoft is planning to open a software development center, likely in Vancouver, the move is to allow the company to hire talent from abroad who are having difficulties obtaining work visas to enter the US. BBC News story here.