Microsoft

Microsoft is going to let die Zune

RIP-zune

This week there were several rumors about Zune and the Marketplace. We had also changes on Zune and Marketplace that more or less confirming the upcoming death of Zune as we know.

First, Microsoft removed the Windows Phone app section from Zune. Now we cannot look into the Marketplace for apps anymore (read more at 1800PocketPC).

The second news is regarding the music marketplace, which is realized via Zune. Microsoft is rumored to deactivate it, too. Instead of this, Microsoft will launch a new music service, codenamed “Woodstock”. The Woodstock festival was part of a revolution back in time, and the codename suggests there are big changes.

This is what we know right now, regarding to the verge:

  • the service will not require any browser plugins
  • deep Facebook integration with sharing and group playlists.
  • scan and match function, based on your existing music collection.

Microsoft is said to give us a preview at this year´s E3. Microsoft will launch this service on all of their upcoming platforms, including Xbox, Windows Phone (Apollo) and Windows 8. The verge states also that the service will be extended to the rivaling platforms.

woodstock-spotify-ms-nerd

Yesterday, just one day after the news were showing up, MS_nerd told us via twitter that Microsoft and Spotify are “sitting in a tree”. This makes me believe that the upcoming service will use Spotify as content provider (Spotify lets third party apps easily use their service via an API). I guess there will be a special announcement regarding this.

As we still do not know more details, I can´t tell you whether Zune Pass subscribers will be able to use their service any longer as well whether current Spotify can profit from this.

Only one thing is for sure: Zune Pass will definitely not come to us German users.

source: the verge

Posted by msicc in Microsoft, Windows, Windows Phone, Xbox, 0 comments

Microsoft improves SkyDrive

SkyDrive-exchange

Microsoft is giving Windows Live/Microsoft account users free cloud storage. Today Microsoft released the SkyDrive for Windows app alongside some changes of SkyDrive.

First: Finally there is an official SkyDrive app for Windows desktop.

Unbenannt

You can download it here. The app lets you manage your SkyDrive from your PC. After installing the app, the whole content will be downloaded to your PC, so you can keep your SkyDrive always synced. The SkyDrive folder integrates natively into the Windows Explorer, and supports drag&drop of files.

Second: Fetch you file through SkyDrive.com

fetch-through-skydrive

As I reported in an earlier post, Microsoft gives us the ability to access our files from a remote PC. Only thing is that the target PC has to be on. I will test this feature in the coming days and will give you a tutorial on how to use it.

Third: SkyDrive storage updates

storage plans

Every SkyDrive user gets 7GB for free from now on. You can purchase additional storage space:

  • SkyDrive +20 GB, 8 Euro/year
  • SkyDrive +50 GB, 19 Euro/year
  • SkyDrive +100 GB, 37 Euro/year

But that´s not all. Click here to secure your 25 GB storage. All users that have been using SkyDrive before April 22nd can opt in to keep their 25 GB of free storage.

Fourth: SkyDrive for Windows Phone/other devices

Yesterday I posted about an update to version 2.0 of SkyDrive at 1800PocketPC.com. Microsoft applied this update also to their iOS and their OS X Lion version. You can download the apps at the source below.

Update 1:

Microsoft also posted a comparison of all services:

Comparison-of-all-services

source: Building Windows 8 Blog

Posted by msicc in Microsoft, 0 comments

(Update) Microsoft is keeping only a few patents from AOL deal

Microsoft bought a patent package of 800 for 1 billion USD earlier this month. Now Bloomberg reports that Microsoft is keeping only a few of them for their needs. The major part will be sold.

Many companies do this move to get the patents they want, as often the seller of the patents wants to get rid of a bunch of patents.

Maybe Microsoft is selling the rest of the patents to Facebook. It is said that Facebook was also bidding on this patents, but Microsoft outbid them. There is no official comment about this from part of Facebook. The same day Microsoft and AOL announced the patent deal, Facebook announced they are buying Instagram. Maybe Facebook has decided to buy Instagram instead of the patents?

Update 1:

As I promised earlier, I will keep you informed if there is any news regarding the patents.  As expected, Microsoft keeps a part of the AOL patents on their own.

The rest of 650 patents and patent application will be going to Facebook for 550 million USD. Facebook is getting also a license to all patents that are remaining at Microsoft.

Microsoft was buying the patents package of 800 to get hands on the patents that they wanted. Only with the big deal they could achieve that, Microsoft told us today.

 

Posted by msicc in Microsoft, 0 comments

Why Microsoft should not sell Bing to anyone

In the last few days several sites are telling us Microsoft eventually will be selling Bing to Facebook. One week ago there was an article on Neowin; today Business Insider published another one.

Microsoft already works close together with Facebook. So why should they sell Bing to Facebook for a higher stock amount?

Microsoft loses the huge amount of 2.5 billion USD. This is something investors are not amused about. And they would probably love to see Bing sold to Facebook.

In my eyes this would be a big fail.

Microsoft had a hard start with its own search engine. Bing has to stand up against Google, which is still the most used search engine. But slowly Microsoft´s Bing is getting attention. Bing has most of Google features like Search, Maps and Translator. What Bing is missing in my eyes is a Google reader equivalent.

Bing offers a background image which changes on a daily base. Users can easily download it or set it as background directly. Recently, Microsoft improved their image and video search results with endless Scrolling and other features. I love this features. Bing is also rolling out Street-Side as well as Maps changes (recently added venue maps to more regions).

But Bing is more.

Bing is an integral part of Microsoft´s ecosystem. Bing is part of the Xbox Dashboard, where it is used to search the whole Xbox content. Bing is also part of Windows Phone, and it is used a lot. You can use the Bing Bar to integrate Bing into your browser. I am sure we will see more integration with Bing in a future or the final Build of Windows 8.

Bing is not only part of Microsoft´s ecosystem. It is part of the company´s strategy. Microsoft is working to get Bing your decision engine. Bing will help you to decide all kind of things in future as it is becoming more intelligent.

I use Bing daily. From time to time I run a comparison search on Google. And for my needs Bing gives me the better results in over 90% of all cases. Someone may argue this to the fact that I am a Microsoft fanboy.

But it is not. I tell you why: today I ran a search on both Bing and Google. Bing gave me some really good matches on the first 5 search results. Google did another thing. It listed first Amazon and eBay results to me, which were in this situation totally useless. The results I found immediately with Bing were on page 4 and 5 of Google´s search results! This is the experience I often have when I compare the two. And yes, every time I run this comparison I use the same search terms on both engines.

Microsoft should not sell Bing.

Instead it should keep going on with promotion. Bing rewards for example. Sadly it is an US-only thing. Microsoft should roll out this globally. They have Windows Phone users, Xbox Users, and also PC users who can benefit from the rewards program. And it would help to broaden the user base that uses Bing on a daily base.

Bing for sure has room for improvements. But it delivers good results. It delivers a good user experience. And it will grow. One day Bing will write black numbers. And I am feeling like this day is not too far away.

Posted by msicc in Bing, Microsoft, 0 comments

Skype is also coming to Xbox!

xbox-live-skype

Microsoft runs a strategy: “three screens, one experience”. One of those screens is of course Xbox.

Last year, Microsoft bought Skype. Naturally, we expect Microsoft to release Skype on all platforms. Recently we learnt that Skype is coming to the Web and also Windows 8. Today we received news that they also will port Skype to Xbox Live.

According to their job posting, Microsoft has just founded the London Skype office as well as the team. So we all will have to wait a good time until Skype is available on Xbox.

If you know how to develop for Xbox, this might be your great chance to enter at Microsoft.

I will keep you informed as soon as I got new information.

source: enConnected

Posted by msicc in Microsoft, Xbox, 0 comments

Microsoft releases a small update to SkyDrive

skydrive-odf

The SkyDrive Team at Microsoft announced a small update. They announced it not like usual as a blog post, but as a SkyDrive document this time.

Microsoft´s online storage now supports the Open Document Format (ODF). This format is an XML-based file format for spreadsheets, chart, presentations and word processing documents (from Wikipedia).

skydrive-share-twitter

Until yesterday, we were able to share our SkyDrive uploads on Facebook and LinkedIn. From today on, we are also able to share them on Twitter!

As you can see on the tweet, Microsoft has now also a new short url for sharings via SkyDrive: “sdrv.ms”. Also our photos posted via Windows Phone´s people hub have this short url now instead of the primary far too long url.

Last but not least Microsoft screwed up the file size for upload in the browser to 300 MB. This will be helpful if you want to share videos. I will test this in the next few days and report about it.

Microsoft added that they have still some really big things to come soon. I am really curios how Microsoft will improve SkyDrive and what new killer features we will get.

Source: http://sdrv.ms/JbpjH4

Posted by msicc in Microsoft, 0 comments

Confirmed by job postings: Microsoft is bringing Skype to the Web and Windows 8

skype-world

Last year Microsoft bought Skype. And Microsoft is continuing to bring their services on as many platforms as possible.

WPSauce.com has been tipped of a job posting from Microsoft. In this job posting, Microsoft searches for passionate, team-oriented and self motivated developers to help them bring Skype on to the web.

Aiming hundred millions of thankful users worldwide, Microsoft wants these developers to integrate existing Skype solution in web services. Soon we will be able to use Skype even without a client on nearly every device that has a browser.

The most interesting part is surely that the web version of Skype could be written in HTML5/JavaScript. That means also nearly all mobile Systems will support the web version also!

I found out that Microsoft is also searching for Windows 8 developers to bring Skype on their next operating system. Skype will also be written in HTML5 and JavaScript on Windows 8.

You can read the web job posting here and the Windows 8 job posting here.

Posted by msicc in Microsoft, 0 comments
Metro style menu is coming to Microsoft´s Live web services

Metro style menu is coming to Microsoft´s Live web services

Recently leaked images of coming changes to Microsoft´s Live web services show us that the Metro style is coming to the web.

As I am hugely Metro addicted, I can´t wait until these changes go live. Sadly we still have to wait until the changes go live.

Let me first show you the changes in two screenshots:

Windows-Live-ID-Metro

On the image above you may notice that slim grey bar. If you click on this bar, a new menu opens:

Windows-Live-Metro-menu

As you can see, the menu looks very similar to the Windows 8 Metro style apps. The logo of each service is the same as on Windows 8.

Currently Microsoft is hiring a new UX Designer to make the web experience more seamlessly Metro integrated.

As I mentioned, I love the Metro UI and I cannot get enough of it. It is really good to see Microsoft is continuing its conversion on all services, to create a really unique user experience.

Of course I will keep you informed if any news regarding this pop up.

source: LiveSide.net

Posted by msicc in Microsoft, 0 comments

Microsoft releases “a year in the like” to show your Facebook story

Recently Microsoft released a new site to show your Facebook story.

start-screen

The site connects to Facebook, and allows you to show the last year with comments of your friends and family. Once all the data is collected, you can create a video and share it through Facebook and Twitter.

Here is a little walk through:

Once all comments are collected, you will see them waving on your screen:

first-screen-after-collect

At the bottom of this there is a timeline, where you can snap into specific times:

time-line

The color of the timeline depends on your profile image that you had set at that time. If you click on a comment, you will get a detailed view of the comments with the complete story behind:

details-of-entries

Of course you can filter your view, to show only the comments of some friends. it is also possible to show your story related to only one person:

filter-your-view

If you want to share your experience with your friends and family, you can create a little video:

create-highlight-movie

There are two ways to create the video, the automatic one, that creates it with all your friends (even if you have unfriended them in the meantime), or with persons you choose by yourself.

video-start

The creation of the video takes some time. It shows your uploaded pictures/photos and related comments and takes two minutes. As this is a kind of a Facebook app, you can share this video on Facebook and even on Twitter.

share-on-facebook

This is a real funny way to recap a year of my Facebook story. Click here to create yours!

Posted by msicc in Microsoft, 0 comments
Microsoft secures 800 patents from AOL

Microsoft secures 800 patents from AOL

aol-microsoft

Yesterday, Microsoft and AOL were announcing that both companies matched a deal about 800 patents.

For Microsoft it is worth to pay 1 billion US-Dollar for this patents. AOL has still a license to use the sold patents, to assure their business is going on.

The patent package is expected to contain a lot of patents with major importance to Microsoft:

  • mapping  patents
  • Netscape patents
  • advertising patents
  • search patents
  • content generation & management
  • social networking
  • multimedia and streaming technologies
  • security
  • other, not detailed  mentioned patents

These patents will help Microsoft to further improve their own businesses.

As you can see, most of the patents are related to online services. Microsoft is currently working on all their online services like Office 365, Microsoft Live (which has transformed from Windows Live) and Bing.

We can be sure, with these new patents in the back, we will see more new features on Microsoft´s online services  in future.

The conclusion of the deal is said to be by the end of 2012.

source: Techcrunch

Posted by msicc in Microsoft, 0 comments