You probably heard about Microsoft's cloud sharing platform "SkyDrive" which got major updates in the last couple months and now it gets even better. Microsoft aadded some HTML5 features to optimize the user experience on touch devices and added drag-and-drop support too.
The new implementations are enabled by HTML5, so you know they'll be future-proof for a wide range of browsers. SkyDrive allows you to share content across a wide variety of platforms, such as social networks and email in addition to generating a direct link. Now, the sharing interface is generated on a single screen, so you can choose how to share a file and with whom from one place.
It's time to upgrade the Xbox 360 to something New, Xbox Live's head Larry Hyrb aka "Major Nelson", posted a countdown on its blog to E3 2013. It counts the days until June,11th this year which may be the launch day of Microsoft Xbox 720 console.
There is one more thing unlike most past shows, this upcoming one isn't expected to bring some hot sequels or smashing new IPs to Xbox 360. Halo 4 is out, Gears of War and Mass Effect Trilogies are over, and there are just few announced games that seems to deserve the gamers' attention. Oh, and none of them is an Xbox 360 exclusive. A new Xbox should definitely be on the cards then.
Today, Microsoft filed a patent for an Application Smart Glasses that is very similar to the idea of the Google Project Glass.
The big difference between Google's approach and Microsoft's is that Google's Project Glass is intended to be something you wear all day long, while moving around the world to get information about things that are nearby, receive notifications, communication, get directions, and more. Microsoft is designing it's product to be something that is worn at live events like concerts and sports games. Microsoft's glasses will beam text and audio overlays relating to what you're watching.
After launching the Surface tablet, Microsoft is willing to enter the handheld gaming market. The company is now said to be building a 7-inch gaming tablet named the Xbox Surface. Moreover, the hardware is in its final stages, and specs should concur with earlier leaks from June.
Microsoft has developed a secret hardware production process for its Surface tablets that is separated from partners that traditionally manufacturer the company's Xbox console. We're told that the Xbox Surface will likely be manufactured in the same factory, but that any future "Xbox 720" console will be manufactured in mass quantities by companies like Pegatron or Foxconn.
Also, we've just got this leaked document shows the Xbox surface tablet Hardware Specifications, Looks like Microsoft want to lead the windows tablet market.
SmartGlass was announced by Microsoft during their keynote this past summer at E3 (Electronic Entertainment Expo) with an open ended release date of "this fall."
In the video below, we see a Samsugn ATIV S and a Windows 8 tablet in action interacting with the Xbox 360 and each other in sharing an internet browsing experience and media as well.
Many of the features may seem familiar overall, but the integration with the SmartGlass app is pretty smooth. Microsoft's products appear ready to deliver with SmartGlass, which is a unified and seamless experience across platforms which allow us to control media and content across all our devices with no headaches. Based on the video presentation below, if it lives up to this billing, then it is safe to say this is a winner all-around. This is different from the Nintendo Wii U which serves as a controller.
Microsoft and 343 Industries released the Halo 4 launch trailer today as the Game official launch is only few weeks ahead. Halo 4 will once again give us control over Master Chief and we'll have to fight an ancient threat. The game launches on November,6 but only on Xbox 360.
The video features live-action of the gameplay itself, Enjoy!
Early this month, Microsoft reported to file a lawsuit against Motorola Mobility to the German's court, in order to get the company paying royalty for infringing a patent on covers the use of data points from two different sources and overlaying them on top of each other. Other Android manufacturers like Samsung and HTC pay Microsoft to use the patent. Microsoft made $792 million in the second quarter from royalty fees paid by Android manufacturers only.
Now Microsoft will add Google to the lawsuit file, Making the case against Google because Motorola Mobility has said that data important to the case belongs with its parent company. Google said that it will defend itself against any complaint that Microsoft files in court.
"It became necessary to add Google to this particular case because Motorola maintains that it lacks sufficient information about actions occurring on Google's servers." - Microsoft spokesman
Microsoft has confirmed the Office 2013 suite as well as the Office 365 Home Premium and Small Business Premium services. Prices has been revealed too.
The subscription-based Office 365 Home Premium will give 5 people access to the full Office 365 features via their individual accounts. For the privilege they will have to fork out $99.99 a year.
Office 365 Small Business Premium gives organizations of 1 to 10 people the same access with each employee getting to use 5 PCs. The service will set businesses back $149.99 annually, which makes $12.50/month.
Microsoft has just Officially unveils its NEW look, starting with changing its NEW logo for 2012, Yes... Microsoft changed its logo as a part of moving towards its Modern UI for Windows 8.
The New logo is still have the Windows' 4-squares logo but in a new shape and also "Microsoft" has a New Type font too.
Microsoft launched its New E-mail service Outlook.com back in june, replacing/re-branding the old Hotmail service. The New email service has the new Windows 8 Modern UI (aka Metro UI) and it allows users to register email on Outlook.com domain.
Today, Microsoft Official blog announced that Outlook.com users has reached 10 Million user, which is a great number in 2 Months only.
Acer has renewed its commitment to Windows 8 and Windows RT tablets, with chairman JT Wang saying that the company's criticisms of Microsoft's Surface don't mean it is ditching its Windows slate plans. The company made headlines after criticizing Microsoft's own-brand hardware, arguing that the tablets would "create a huge negative impact" to the Windows ecosystem. Now, DigiTimes reports the Acer CEO Wang has tempered his comments, though still believes that Surface will do more harm than good.
The Microsoft slates one of which will run Windows RT, the other Windows 8 will be more negative overall than positive, Wang says, but Acer still intends to launch its own products running the new OS. In fact, Wang claims to be "the most optimistic CEO" about Windows, claiming that the company's concerns were around understanding "the new rules of the game".
Microsoft, he said, was now considering possible differentiation strategies to minimize any possible impact on OEM partners, including introducing an artificial price gap. Still, it sound like Acer's expectations of Surface are somewhat skewed in the first place; Wang supposedly claimed that the major damage would be done if Microsoft priced the entry-level tablet at $199 thus directly competing with the Nexus 7, a figure which would be very unlikely. If Surface was $499-599, however, Wang sees less of an issue.
Microsoft popular Email service "Hotmail" is now officially called "Outlook". The New website for the service is Outlook.com, it changes the design and layout of Hotmail to bring it more in line with the minimalist design aesthetic of Windows 8 Metro, emphasizing straight lines, thin fonts and white space.
Microsoft New Outlook.com
Don't worry, If you have a Hotmail Plus account, that still works with Outlook Plus, and you won't see any ads, ever. The right side is blank in your regular view, and when you click on a newsletter, you'll simply see the option to search for the sender on Bing.
With no message selected, the only "action" item available is to compose a new message. Also note the text ads to the right of the Inbox.
Microsoft Surface tablet has just been Officially announced, but Microsoft didn't reveal the internal specifications of the tablet yet.
However, NVIDIA was quick to acknowledge that the Windows RT Microsoft Surface tablet will sport a Tegra processor, probably the Quad-core Tegra 3 with 4-PLUS-1 architechture. One possibility is that the chip will be implemented using the NVIDIA KAI platform, which promises fluid performance at a competitive price point.
Having a Tegra 3+ setup in the ARM-based Microsoft Surface tablet does not seem impossible either, although we are not quite sure whether this platform would be a good match for the device.
E3 event just ended last week, and as expected Microsoft provided absolutely no details about the Next-Ge Xbox product line. However, there are some new supposedly leaked details that shed insight to what the company is working on behind-the-scenes. Based on what has been presented as a confidential series of concept art, it looks like Kinect isn't going away.
In fact, it appears to be one of the major points of the Xbox 720. If these leaks are to be believed, the new console will have "Kinect v2" built directly into the console, so there will be no need for an extra peripheral. Among the enhancements referenced are the ability to track four players simultaneously, stronger integration with other devices like the PC and Windows Phone 8, and just all-around more powerful performance.
Another interesting thing mentioned in the leak is a project Microsoft is reportedly working on, called Kinect Glasses, which has hints of Google's Project Glass in it. Few solid details are laid out, but it looks like they'll both enhance your core experience with the Xbox 720, and can be used on-the-go as well. And the biggest piece of information from this alleged document - the console will launch at a nice price point of $299.
Just days after Microsoft launched the Release Candidate of Windows 8, the company proudly announced another great achievement Windows 7 has been sold in more than 600 million copies. Steven Guggenheimer, CVP of the OEM team at Microsoft made the announcement at Computex adding that more than 75 million licenses were sold in the past four months alone.
Microsoft also has a treat for those who purchase a system with Windows 7 installed from June 2 onward and will offer an upgrade to Windows 8 for just 15$.
Microsoft next-generation machine code-named "Durango". That name was partially verified on Feb,28 but its market Name is rumored to be "Xbox 720", when a senior technical artist at Crytek tweeted that he was "enjoying the Durango developers summit in London. So far, great swag and interesting talks." He then deleted the tweet and his account. In meetings, Microsoft reportedly showed details of the new console hardware.
Now Xbox World magazine is reporting that development kits for the new console were shipped to developers in March. Those kits include an IBM PowerPC central processing unit (CPU) with 16 cores, compared to just three cores on the Xbox 360 CPU. The graphics chip is equivalent to an Advanced Micro Devices AMD Radeon HD 7000-series graphics card, and the machine has a Blu-ray optical drive. The report mentioned that Kinect 2 will chow up as many as four cores tracking multiple players.
Windows users can now enjoy the benefits of high quality video, granted they have a webcam capable of recording HD video, as well as a fast enough internet connection.
This update also finally sees the integration of group screen share, which enables sharing your screen in conference calls, rather than with just one person at a time. Group screen share is currently only available to Skype Premium members, however.
Features and improvements of Skype 5.8 for Windows are:
- Full HD video-calling
- Support for Facebook audio and video-calling (beta)
- Group screen sharing
- Hide offline Facebook contacts
- Push to Talk
- Skype updater service
- Bing Toolbar integration
Microsoft is testing prototypes of -enabled notebooks using motion-sensing as an interface for , it is been revealed, ahead of what are believed to be plans to license the technology to laptop vendors.
Specially modified ASUS netbooks are being used to demonstrate the system, which builds on Microsoft freshly-announced , reports the ultraportables replace the single webcam above the screen with a row of sensors that can track movement.
Android app virtualization specialists have announced a version of its cross-platform software support for , adding titles created for Android phones and tablets to the Metro UI of Microsoft upcoming OS.
The new version of BlueStacks App Player software will come preloaded on some new Windows 8 PCs later in the year, the company has confirmed.
has released two new apps for the iOS platform, and , targeted at enterprise users with an Apple gadget in their pocket or bag. Both free downloads though requiring a Lync Server or Office365/Lync Online account in order to actually function the two apps offer instant messaging, audio conferencing and VoIP calls while on the move.
Real-time availability updates are given, as well as single-touch Lync conference call participation to avoid having to punch in lengthy passcodes. There is also transport layer security (TLS) and perimeter/internal network protection, neither of which demand a VPN, for increased data security.
Microsoft is believed to have replaced the design architect responsible for the Xbox 360 user-experience Dan Coyner the general manager of Design and Planning within the Xbox team, has been replaced with Emma Williams, who led this month Xbox dashboard update.
Williams will now lead design on the next-gen Xbox, tongue-in-cheek referred to as the "Xbox 720", which a source in the team has confirmed is on the roadmap for a 2013 release as per earlier rumors. Microsoft is working on two new consoles, one hardcore gaming flagship and a second, slimmed-down model with a focus on casual gaming and multimedia use.
After , Microsoft is now releasing an official SkyDrive app for iOS and their own Windows Phone. but No Android version AGAIN!
You have the ability to view all your files and folders saved on your SkyDrive account, create more folders, delete them or upload files from your device to them. You can also share the files or folders with others, whereby it mails a link to the file or folder to your recipient and you can choose whether the viewer can just view it or edit it as well.
WP7 Demo Below!
Microsoft has to automatically upgrade older versions of , such as the much-maligned IE6, from January 2012. The decision is intended to bring Windows XP, Vista and 7 users up to date with safer, more efficient versions of the browser, though Microsoft is keen to point out that nobody will be forced to upgrade if they don’t actually want to.
Previous arguments for keeping IE6 and other earlier releases of the browser have been generally related to enterprise browser-based tools not updated for newer iterations. Microsoft is respecting that, and says that not only will its existing IE8 and IE9 Automatic Update Blocker toolkits stop new versions from being installed, but anybody who has declined an update through Windows Update will also be left alone.
has outed a new keyboard, the Microsoft Bluetooth Mobile Keyboard 5000, targeted at mobile professionals hoping to do some serious text-entry on their iOS, Android or Windows tablets. On sale later this month, the wireless peripheral offers the hardware division familiar Comfort Curve design along with low-profile keys and a few helpful shortcuts such as volume.
Power is from three AAA batteries Microsoft even throws in a set with the keyboard itself. The Mobile Keyboard 5000 is compatible with Windows XP/Vista/7 machines, as well as iOS 4.2.1, 4.3.1, and 4.3 devices whether iPad or iPhone. It will also play nicely with Android 2.2, Android 3.0 and Android 3.1 phones and tablets. Cost is only 49.99 USD !!
Microsoft has So.cl, and contrary to it is a hybrid system pulling together social networking and search and targeted at students. Found at , the new tool allows "montages of visual web content" including photos, video and text to be constructed and shared for collaborative editing and discussion, as well as video parties for real-time conversation.
Students are expected to build communities with similar research goals, and Microsoft is targeting those on social media courses who may lack the collaborative tools that other disciplines have. "So.cl might even give students the ability to create their own social tool" Microsoft suggests, "customized for their own community."
The folks at Microsoft appear to be taking several opportunities to give away Windows Phone devices on Twitter with a clever usage of the hashtag term #droidrage thus far the response has been a mixed bag of respondents having real problems and a gigantic collection of obvious user errors gone wild.
Taking the opportunity to gather in those Android users who are not able to fix problems on their own into the Windows Phone 7 and Windows Phone Mango fold is Microsoft latest tactic in showing off how simple the platform can be what we will be waiting for here is the response from the people who though they were not able to figure out how to use an Android phone were then able to use a Windows Phone without a hitch.
Microsoft began rolling out the latest dashboard update for Xbox 360 consoles everywhere yesterday, bringing a new look and a number of new features to the platform.
As well as the metro-style UI, Kinect support for controlling the dash and voice search powered by Bing, the update coincides with simultaneous launches of companion apps for both iOS and Windows Phone.
My Xbox LIVE centers around control of your Xbox profile with support for Xbox Live messaging. The app also gives you access to your community of friends and the achievement browser. What really impressed us, though, is the way the Metro UI-styled application fits into iOS without looking like it is artificially stitched onto Apple platform. This is probably partly due to the immersive full screen interface, but is definitely something you would notice.
The Xbox Companion for WP7 is much richer in functionality and that's understandable as Microsoft wants to keep some of the flare for its own platform. Basically, the app turns your Windows Phone handset almost into another Xbox remote control allowing you to navigate in the dashboard and inside applications, launch games, control media playback, and search with Bing. The app works via Wi-Fi and cellular data, and if you have a solid connection the experience promises to be really smooth.
The Xbox 360 fall update is coming tomorrow and it will bring tons of new stuff. But the first and most important change is the complete interface overhaul. Microsoft has put the Metro UI in charge.
The first new feature of the upcoming Xbox 360 firmware update is the Metro-styled dashboard. There is one horizontal bar at the top with different categories, each of them using Metro interface with live tiles. That way we have much more content showing on the screen and the sub-menus are almost extinct.
Sources from Microsoft has informed us that the public Windows 8 beta will be released in late February of 2012.
The timing of the public beta launch has been the subject of much debate in the technology community. It is expected that Windows 8 will be released in 2012, but the exact expected date for the completion and shipping of the forthcoming operating system remains undisclosed.
Microsoft estimating that Windows 8 should be released to manufacturers (RTM) in June. Given the newly known late February planned beta release, our estimate remains possible, if perhaps a bit optimistic.
Samsung has put the second-gen up for , with 23 countries including the US and much of Europe getting the chance to pick up the slimmed-down multitouch worksurface. Targeted at retail, healthcare, education and hospitality, the Windows 7 based table has a Full HD 1080p 40-inch display covered with a sheet of toughened Gorilla Glass.
Less bulky than the first-gen model, the SUR40 can track 50 points of simultaneous touch, including fingers, hands and objects unlike in the first-gen Surface, with used a camera-based tracking system in the base of the table, this new model "PixelSense" system has individual cameras embedded in the pixels themselves. Keeping things running is an AMD Athlon II X2 2.9GHz Dual-Core Processor paired with an AMD HD6750M GPU.
After Adobe their plans to stop developing Flash Player for mobile devices, we are now hearing that Microsoft plans to do the same with their own proprietary plugin, Silverlight. Microsoft Silverlight never really managed to gain the same amount of popularity among web developers.
But now it seems that will not be an issue for long. Microsoft is on the verge of announcing the next version of Silverlight, with the beta version already having been released back in September. But this will probably be the last version of Silverlight.
There is doubt that Microsoft would be working on the next generation of its gaming consoles the Xbox. The current Xbox 360 has been around for a very long time now and is due for a replacement. Other console markers are set to launch next generation consoles soon. We have previously heard the rumor that the Xbox 720 will be unveiled at Q.
But this still unconfirmed by Microsoft. A new rumor is swirling today that claims the codename for the next generation Xbox console is Loop. According to the rumors, the Loop will pack a custom ARM-based processor that is a modded Win9 core. The processor is supposed to have assistant cores as well for graphics, AI, physics, sound, encryption and other core services.
The Microsoft Kinect has anounced some very interesting uses that are not at all what most of us first envisioned when the controller landed for the Xbox 360 and gamers. Microsoft would be offering a to make apps that would use Kinect for things in the business world.
The Kinect for Windows has now hit beta 2 and you can download it right now to play with. The SDK still supports the Kinect on machines running Windows 7. It offers APIs for raw sensor streams and human motion tracking. The SDK allows devs using C++, C#, and Visual Basic via Visual Studio 2012 to access the capabilities of the Kinect.
Microsoft has announced a special version of the popular Firefox browser that comes with the Bing search engine. As you might guess, this version of Firefox changes the default search engine and homepage from Google to Bing.
For Mozilla, this will serve as another form of revenue. For Microsoft, this move will help boost the user base for Bing. With two of the world most popular web browsers using Bing as their default search engines, this could help accelerate Microsoft plans to take over Google as the most popular search engine.
Microsoft 8.5 billion USD acquisition of Skype has finally been closed, the company recently announced. The plan is for Skype to become a new business unit within Microsoft, with Skype CEO Tony Bates becoming the president of the newly created Skype division. Users should expect for Microsoft to integrate Skype into a variety of its products, including mobile.
The Official Skype blog Posted :
"Joining forces with Microsoft is the best way to accelerate this mission and capitalize on our position at the intersection of social, mobile and video communications. Simply put, we want to transform communications. Microsoft is committed to the ubiquity of the Skype experience communication across every device and every platform will remain a primary focus. And we have only scratched the surface."
We have seen of the redesigned Xbox 360 dashboard before that uses the slick new Metro UI but now a video has leaked that gives us a nice little tour of the interface and all the various menu options that we can expect to see when the update is released this fall.
The video is low resolution and a bit blurry. Moreover there is no audio and the text is all in French so its basically like watching a French movie with no audio and subtitles. You still get a good look at the UI, including the new Bing search bar. Unfortunately, there is no web browser built-in and you are limited to searching content for Xbox. Everything else seems the same as what we have now, just in a different looking interface.
Apples implementation of Intel Light Peak technology is going places. Intel has now announced that they will be bringing the technology to Windows-based computers as well, with companies like ASUS and Acer joining the bandwagon and getting their products ready for a 2012 launch.
Being the same essential technology, Thunderbolt on these other devices will work the same way as it does on the new range of Mac computers. It will have the same specifications and features that Apple touts for its new range of Macs and will work with the same set of accessories.
Today, Nokia and Microsoft announced that they would deliver Symbian software updates called Microsoft Apps. These updates will add some serious business productivity tools for anyone buying a new Symbian Belle device, as well as anybody looking to upgrade from Symbian Anna to Symbian Belle. Read on to find out exactly what’s coming, and when.
If you are into downloading apps that wil increase your productivity and we know you all are you will be happy to hear that during the fourth quarter of this year you will be able to start up the Software Update app from within your phone and find the following apps:
- Microsoft® Lync™ 2010 Mobile – for cost efficient IM, presence, audio and web meetings on-the-go.
- Microsoft® PowerPoint® Broadcast – quick broadcast of presentations directly from PC to mobile.
- Microsoft® OneNote™ – rich note taking with images. Syncs with Microsoft® SkyDrive®.
- Microsoft® Document Connection – single view to documents stored on mobile, including email attachments as well as documents on Microsoft® SharePoint® 2010 sites.
A second update in early 2012 will add:
- Microsoft OneNote sync with SharePoint (in addition to SkyDrive)
- Adding Microsoft Word, Excel and PowerPoint as native applications for the first time outside the Windows platform.
Microsoft tablet strategy has always been Windows but previous computer slates it has shown off had Windows 7 on it and this did not fit the form factor because that was never built with tablets in mind. That should change with Windows 8 , as the building Windows 8 blog constantly says that this version has been designed from the ground up with touch input in mind.
We have seen the Metro-style home screen before and it brings a tile-like interface to Windows 8 and elements of this can already be found in Windows Phone and on the Xbox. This is supposed to be a finger-friendly interface that will allow Windows 8 to work properly on a tablet, where touch interface is critical. But Microsoft has to please many masters with Windows, as hundreds of millions of users are familiar with the standard desktop interface and some will freak out with radical changes.
Microsoft Steven Sinofsky addresses this in a somewhat vague way in that blog post about design: Microsoft is taking the middle road where it can still leverage its millions of traditional users, apps and APIs while still designing something that can fit nicely and work elegantly on a tablet.
Windows 8 brings together all the power and flexibility you have in your PC today with the ability to immerse yourself in a Metro style experience. You do not have to compromise! You carry one device that does everything you want and need. You can connect that device to peripherals you want to use. You can use devices designed to dock to large screen displays and other peripherals. You can use convertible devices that can be both immersive tablets and flexible laptops.
Of course, its far more difficult to execute that vision and its unclear if Microsoft is capable of doing it or if thats even the right approach.When Steve Jobs first introduced the first iPhone, he made a big deal about how the OS was OSX.
As time progressed and the and iPad became tremendous hits, that association has been downplayed if not completely ignored even if there are technologically similar underpinnings. Apple iOS is now the company main platform and many of its elements went upstream with the introduction of Lion.
When Jobs talks about the Post-PC era and the iPad, he means that Apple is trying to strip out many of the frustrating elements of traditional computing to make it easy and elegant for the mainstream to use these devices to check the web, do e-mail and social networking and consume apps. The fact that the iPad has been more successful than any other tablet to date show that its on to something.
Over the years, Explorer and its forerunners have gone through several major iterations:
Its a bit daunting but also pretty exciting to have the opportunity to revisit and rethink this cornerstone of our product. Many of you who are reading this are among the most extreme power usersof the file management tools in Explorer and likely start from a different perspective than the broad base of customers. As we approach the work to improve file management in Windows, we do so knowing many of you have long ago given up on Explorer and are using some of the wide variety of add-ons or alternatives.
Explorer in Windows 8
Skype will buy the GroupMe messaging service in order to expand its group messaging capabilities and gain points on the mobile battleground. People close to the deal say that the chat giant will cash out the whopping $85 million although Skype itself has not yet disclosed this information officially.
As Microsoft goes ahead all guns blazing with their new Windows Phone platform, they are starting to tear down the old Windows Mobile services. The web-based Marketplace will be put out of commission on July 15, leaving only the on-device app store functional. The My Phone back-up and sync service will be cut off on August 7, though contacts, calendar items, texts and photos will be migrated to SkyDrive, Microsoft’s cloud storage service. You are on your own for music, video, documents, and favourites, but you can always request that Microsoft ship you a CD with everything on it up until October 5 2012.
Windows Phone and the upcoming Mango update is offering a ton of services, including its own web-based app Marketplace, SkyDrive cloud storage, but it does not look like My Phone is returning for the sequel since its probably folded into SkyDrive. In any case, analysts are feeling optimistic about the future of Windows Phone; Microsoft is already well-entrenched in the home thanks to Windows on desktop and Xbox for the TV, plus they are roping in a bunch of smartphone manufacturers to support WP7. Microsoft is also well-poised for tablets this year through Windows 8.
Microsoft is aiming to limit the variety of future Windows-based tablets by enticing chip makers to work with only one device maker,three sources tell Bloomberg.
The move would allow Microsoft to have greater control over upcoming tablets running Windows 8, and it would also help avoid the problem of trying to support endless hardware variations something that has been a problem for Microsoft on the PC-side for decades. The move is not surprising since Microsoft hasalready established stiff restrictions for Windows Phone hardware.
The plan would involve chip companies like Intel, AMD, and Nvidia choosing a single computer manufacturer for Windows 8 tablets. Microsoft is not making the restriction mandatory, Bloomberg reports, but its offering incentives to chip and device makers that should tempt them towards forming "sole alliance". Potential benefits could include lower software prices and features that would make Windows work better on particular tablets, the sources say.
But while the "sole alliance" plan will certainly be good for Microsoft, many manufacturers will inevitably be left out. Already, Taiwanese manufacturers HTC, Acer and Asus are complaining about being excluded from the short list of manufacturers Microsoft is presenting to chip makers, Digitimes reports. Microsoft is instead offering up Dell, HP and Samsung as recommended manufacturers.
Microsoft will also allow chip makers to choose another manufacturer for netbook-like Windows 8 devices. The sources also made it clear that Microsoft will not be pursuing similar restrictions for the desktop version of Windows 8 on traditional PCs.
Microsoft has chosen to "nurture" the talents of a 14-year-old boy who attempted to hack into the company online gaming network, Xbox Live, rather than slap the kid with lawsuits. The lawsuit approach to hackers is presumed to have led to Sony online game network being crippled for nearly a month.
Microsoft has clearly learned from Sony lesson, because Xbox Live competes directly with Sony PlayStation Network along with other online networks that sell games and demos like Valve’s Steam network for the PC and Mac computers. Sony lost around $171 million while the network was down for 24 days. The PlayStation Store, a critical service for Sony that lets it sell games and distribute them digitally, still remains offline.
Online hacktivist group Anonymous, which routinely takes up political causes like defending Wikileaks founder Julian Assange, brought Sony PlayStation Network (PSN) online gaming network to its knees with a distributed denial of service attack as part of "OpSony." The group attacked Sony because the company tried to prosecute George Hotz, a 21-year-old hacker who modified his PlayStation 3 to install unauthorized software a process called jailbreaking the device.
About a year ago, Microsoft formed a patent agreement with HTC that entitled it to royalties for all HTC Android phones. Now, it appears that deal is paying off big for Microsoft.The software giant has made five times as much from HTC Android phones as it has from its newly launched Windows Phones, according to calculations by Asymco Horace Dediu.
Dediu relied on numbers from Citi analyst Walter Pritchard, who stated that Microsoft gets $5 for every HTC Android phone made. Considering that HTC has sold around 30 million Android phones, Dediu estimates Microsoft made around $150 million through its royalty agreement with the company.
Microsoft in January said that it had sold 2 million Windows Phone 7 licenses to manufacturers, and with an estimated $15 per phone licensing fee, Dediu figures that Microsoft only made $30 million from Windows Phone last year.
Great NEWS for college students!
Microsoft announced today that it will offer a free Xbox 360 with 4 gigabytes of storage (a $199 value) to any student who purchases a Windows 7 computer for $699 or more.
Its a smooth move for Microsoft, since it gets Xbox 360s into even more dorm rooms, gives students one more reason to go with a Windows PC instead of a Mac, and is a great way to get rid of its low-end Xbox 360 stock. Even better, Microsoft is allowing students to purchase any Windows 7 PC over $699 though it recommends a few specific models like the sexy Samsung Series 9 ultraportable.
Apple has offered students similar deals in the past by offering them a free iPod Touch. But by offering students a free Xbox 360, Microsoft will also ensure that it has a presence on their televisions. At this point, the Xbox 360 is more than just a game console its an entertainment centerpiece thanks to its support for Netflix, Last.FM, and Microsoft Zune Market.
Work HARD... Play HARD!
HTC have confirmedMicrosoft have taken the lid off a new app they have been working on, MSN Onit, which can really only be described as a guy app. It offers up content that men would find interesting, such as stuff from Esquire, Men Health etc.
The content is very blokish with car themed content from MSN Autos such as reviews, slideshows, etc. There is how-to guides from the likes of Esquire and Popular Mechanics; fitness and health information from Fitbie, Fox Sports Flash, Men Health, etc. Tech news comes from MSNBC, LIFE, Popular Mechanics and TheSmokingJacket.com
If you saw the Apple iPad 2 and wanted to wait to see response, you may have to wait a long time. A report out of Businessweek suggests that a true Microsoft iPad competitor will not hit the market until the back-to-school time in 2012. Yowza.
We already know that Microsoft tablet strategy is Windows has said this multiple times and it will stick with it. The problem is that no matter how much UI goodness you do to Windows 7, its not great on tablets because its not optimized for a multitouch experience that users demand.
So, that means the Microsoft iPad competitor will be running Windows 8, which is rapidly being developed. I expect a beta of Windows 8 to hit later this year with the full version landing in the Spring of 2012. We have seen the leaked Dell roadmap which has a Windows 8 tablet scheduled for the second quarter of 2012 to further cement this report.
Still, that seems like a long, long time for a Microsoft iPad competitor to really hit the market. Yes, we are still in the nascent stages of the tablet market and the software giant will argue that much was made about Linux dominating the netbook space in the early years before Windows came and dominated it.
The problem is that the tablet space is a bit different. Not to parrot Steve Jobs, but this is a post-PC era and patterns and purchasing decisions may be made earlier. Even if the Microsoft iPad competitor rocks our socks off, at least 30 million tablet users will be locked into the Apple ecosystem without an easy way to transition. Throw in the similar lock-in effect of apps with Honeycomb, webOS and and Microsoft may have a tough row to hoe.
Steve Ballmer is most definitely one of the more belicose CEOs on the planet, but when it comes to Microsoft latest baby, Win Phone 7, he is been uncharacteristically quiet. Well he is started doing something about that in an interview with USA Today, in which he claims Windows Phone 7 has the best looking handsets in the business.
"There is a lot of competition, but we have got the best-looking phones on the market. We have got the greatest range of alternatives, the phones, the software, the craftsmanship. It is as good or better than anything out there. We have a lot of work to do. But, we are in the game. We sold 1.5 million into the carriers."
Ignoring the opening line hyperbole he does actually make a good point in terms of being able to offer customers a range of products. This has been one of Android greatest strengths, the ability to fit different types of customers, something not so easy for iOS with its single handset. Microsoft has done this whilst also maintaining a commonality amongst the different handsets through a standardised OS and standardized hardware specifications.
Of course it is early days for Windows Phone 7, but Ballmer clearly feels the platform has come out of its shell enough for him to start bagging it up.
Video calling was initially seen as being a killer 3G app that would wow the punters with its futuristic appeal. Of course that did not happen, rather it fell flat on its face and few, if any, actually used it. Fast forward to the iPhone 4 with FaceTime and suddenly, despite cheesy advertising, video calling is back in vogue. Enter Microsoft. Apparently the Big M is working on a video calling app of its own that will seemingly be integrated into Microsoft's Live services and be available to various Windows powered devices.
There are suggestions that the app would be a closed loop meaning that users would only be able to video call other people also using the same app. Its also worth pointing out here that currently no Windows Phone 7 powered smartphone has a front facing camera so this app, if it proves true, would presumably be for future hardware and thus may also come with a change in the minimum hardware specifications for Windows Phone 7.
The information was given out by a Microsoft employee described as being in a key position at Windows Phone 7. The employee was quoted as saying that the app would reach beyond the hand of Skype. If further proof than comments from a mysterious employee were needed then take a gander at the picture below. Its a a screengrab from the Microsoft.Phone.Media.Extended.dll and shows work on a front facing camera system.
The market was agitated by a report from Bloomberg, which claimed that CES will be used to launch a tablet version of Windows, also available for devices with ARM processors. We do not know any technical details and Microsoft initially planned to adapt Windows 7 for tablets, but it did not happen. Do you remember the project of HP Slate and Steve Ballmer who showed the prototypes in January 2010? The device could not compete with Apple iPad even before the launch and HP cancelled it. Sales of iPad confirmed that the market potential is huge and it is only the beginning. It is clear that Microsoft would like to get its own share of the pie, but it is still unclear what the OS is about. It should be similar to Windows 7.
I would like to remind you of another story. Do you remember why Intel started developing MeeGo? Microsoft declined to create Windows 7 version for Intel Atom, while Intel required the OS for their devices. Free MeeGo emerged, but its development was pretty slow. Microsoft solutions will decrease the popularity of MeeGo for many producers of netbooks and tablet PCs. It will be further enhanced by an ability of Microsoft to sell its products in packages with discounts for particular OS versions. Interests of different companies are so entangled in the segment, that we get a complete helter-skelter. It is interesting to see what Microsoft is going to unveil and how attractive this solution will be for its partners. Their decisions will influence the sales of future devices with different OS on board.
The title says it all, but let us get into some details about the closing of Microsoft KIN Studio, which was the backbone in the cloud for the device.
Evidently, come January 31st, people with KINs will lose the ability to do everything over-the-air, except use your Zune Pass over WiFi and email. Check it:
- Feed Reader will stop working
- Search Near me will stop working
- Posting Photos to social sites will no longer be possible
- Most pictures currently on Kin will only appear at thumbnail resolution
- Posting to Social Networks will no longer work.
- No comments from the loop
- Social network contacts will disappear.
- Loop will stop to work
- Kin Spot will only send to emails.
- Social networks only accessed from web browser.
So outside of making phone calls and playing music, the KIN is really, truly dead. Why even bother after that last, half attempt at a re-launch? We have no idea either. But Verizon is trying to make things right by letting users know now to back up their data now and going one step further, allowing them to pick a 3G phone of their choice for FREE. Offer is valid only through March 31st. Attached are some images from the pamphlet that Verizon is sending out to KIN customers.
It was just the other day that reports were circulating of a massive Windows Phone 7 update coming in Janaury. Some fresh chatter, however, downplays that excitement and suggests that we should not be getting to hopeful of a gargantuan update for the platform.
All Things D are reporting that the January update, and there will be an update around that time yes, will contain two major things, copy/paste and support for CDMA networks. The former is probably the more well known and talked about, but the latter may very well prove to be the more important, at least from Microsoft point of view.
With Windows Phone 7 off to what some have seen as a rocky start the ability to sell devices through more networks, especially the large American Verizon network, would be a big boost for Microsoft.
As for multi-tasking, that is not being touted as a major feature of the forthcoming update, which suggests that it will not be included. Multi-tasking would almost certainly be classified as a major new feature so it looks like that might be something we end up waiting a little longer to see, in whatever form it eventually comes to WP7.
Microsoft has pursued a rather aggressive strategy when it comes to getting apps up and running for its new Windows Phone platform, even offering cash incentives to developers to bring their apps over.
PopCap Games, who make Plants vs Zombies, has revealed that Microsoft had a cool $100,000 on the table if PopCap brought the game over to Windows Phone. As enticing as that offer was PopCap declined, citing various strings attached to the offer that they said they would have trouble accepting.
PopCap did bring Bejweled to Win Phone 7 and as they commented to GigaOm, "We were not sure we could meet the commitment but we already identified we wanted to be on there. If the platform succeeds, the dollars we were kicking around the table will be peanuts."
Foursquare was another company offered cash upfront to develop for Windows Phone. Originally Foursquare had decided that they would wait until Windows Phone hit 10 million sales before developing an app for it, but they changed their minds when Microsoft decided to pay for the development costs.
Whilst some may criticise Microsoft for paying to win, it does meant hat early adopters of Windows Phone 7 have access to many of the most popular apps found on other platforms. It also means that Windows Phone gets out of the starting blocks looking ready for business, a re-assuring sign that many customers may look for.
Microsoft have posted up the video of yesterday Windows Phone 7 launch in New York and its definitely worth a watch, if for nothing else than the demo of the various services. The video starts out a bit slow with Steve Ballmer giving the usual corporate shtick, but it soon gets into a full blown demo so you might want to skip ahead.
Here is some of the First Real Hands-on windows phone 7 devices that spread on the web for the last two days. The Hands-on shows 3 windows phone 7 devices from 3 different Manufactures Samsung, LG and HTC.
The Devices are (HTC Surround), (LG Quantum) and (Samsung Focus) All runs Win Phone 7 OS.
Here is the Ads and Commercials of the New Microsoft Windows phone 7 for Smart phones. The Ads has just been released on Youtube and Many other TV Channels. In addition to the two adverts above Microsoft have also released some short presentations more aimed at the technorati amongst us by the looks of things.
Videos Are Below!
Today big news if of course the launch of Windows Phone 7 and Microsoft have done their best to hit the ground running. They've unveiled nine handsets that will kickstart the platform and they have also revealed that thye have some 30 network partners around the world so far.
Windows phone 7 Devices:
- HTC Surround - 3.8 inch screen, 16 GB storage, slideout speaker
- HTC HD7 - 4.3 inch screen and the successor to the much praised Windows Mobile powered HD2
- HTC 7 Trophy - 3.8inch screen, will be the lowest specced of HTC's launch handsets
- HTC Mozart - 3.7inch screen, should be launching globally
- Dell Venue Pro - 4.1inch screen, slide out QWERTY keyboard
- Samsung Focus - 4inch AMOLED screen, a rebranded Cetus
- Samsung Omnia 7 - 4inch SAMOLED screen, the previously rumoured i8700, will launch in Europe
- LG Optimus - 3.8inch screen, previously known as the E900
- LG Quantum - 3.5inchs creen, slider, debuts on AT&T
It certainly a bigger lineup than Android had when it launched back in 2007 with just a single handset, the G1. Adding to that choice is the number of networks that these handsets will be available on around the world.
- North America - AT&T, T-Mobile, TELUS, America Movil
- Europe - O2, Orange, SFR, Movistar, Deutsche Telekom, Vodafone
- Asia-Pacific - Sing Tel, Telstra, Vodafone
A modern smartphone OS needs to be balanced drawing on excellent cloud services and standing on the cutting edge of software. The Windows Phone 7 OS is nothing like Windows Mobile. Its got a trendy, almost magazine like new look and it is incredibly simple to use despite its different approach to just about everything.
Microsoft is not fossilized in their own mythology. They are finally looking competitive in the apps and services part of smartphoning and Windows Phone 7 is their ticket out of the mold.
Windows Phone 7 is just around the cornerand as we get closer and closer to launch day the final pieces of the store are being put into place. One of the most important pieces, perhaps even the most important piece, is the app store. No modern smartphone OS can get by without an app store and Microsoft has been finalising its Windows Marketplace for the launch.
Microsoft have taken a very pro-active stance when it comes to launching with a good selection of apps, even going so far as to pay developers to code apps for its new platform. Starting from today Microsoft will be sending forth invitations to registered devs asking them if they want to participate in an early submission process. Its estimated that a few thousand devs will be able to gain early access and get their apps published in time for the launch of the handsets, which most now believe will take place in either late October or perhaps early November depending upon region.
Microsoft Press Release:
"There are several app store models out there today, but we’ve been given a unique opportunity to start from scratch and launch a Marketplace with one great year of experience under our belt. As I said earlier, our approach is philosophically the same. But now we know how to do it better. We’re focused on enabling a broad developer community to create quality apps and games that take advantage of the unique features of our phone, and we’re providing better tools and guidance to do it. We continue to keep our certification standards high and our policies transparent, while keeping the door closed to more questionable content. We also continue to improve the speed and predictability of our certification process so developers can more accurately plan."
Microsoft have confirmed that Windows Phone 7 will be launched on 11th October in a series of worlwide events. The main party seems to be taking place in New York where Microsoft CEO, Steve Ballmer, will be joined by ATT head honcho, Ralph de la Vega to give a presentation.
ATT will be in attendance as they are Microsoft preferred launch partner in the USA. T-Mobile would also be making an appearance at the New York Event. That is true in so far as T-Mobile will be making an appearance at an event that is for Microsoft customers only. Both ATT and T-Mobile will have Win Phone 7 handsets ready for launch, with AT&T reported to have 3 separate handsets ready to fly off the shelves.
On the subject of handsets its worth noting that even though the platform is launching on 11th October the handsets will probably not. Rather they are expected to go on sale over a week later in Europe on 21st October and even later still in America on 8th November.
Some people have gotten a chance to have a play with Windows Phone 7 ahead of its official launch later this month and they have recorded the experience on video for you to gawk at. Note though that the handset they are using in the video is not a final production unit, so cut it a little slack.
They go through things like the Xbox Live view, the contacts list, bing voice search, the Zune player and more besides.
Of course one has to remember that Toshiba is not a named launch partner for Windows Phone 7 so this could all just be pie in the sky. Having said that Toshiba could still release a Win Phone 7 handset soon after the platform becomes official as Acer is planning to do. In fact being slightly behind the curve here might actually be a good move as it would give them time to fine tune their handset once the initial reaction to Win Phone 7 has been assessed.
Well it was only yesterday that we were posting up that leaked image of the HD3/7 and commenting on how even though there was a nice picture of it there was no specs list. Fear not gentle reader for the specs list has now also leaked out! Most of the specs you could probably have geussed to be fair, but it's still nice to see them in black and white.
The noticeable thing here is that the HD7 is similar to the HD2, both running with 1 GHz processors, 4.3-inch touchscreens and 576 MB of RAM. Both handsets also sport 5 MP cameras. So far the expected launch date is sometime in October, presumably after the 11th when Windows Phone 7 itself officially launches.