Microsoft

Roundup of Xbox 360 E3 Event – a huge ecosystem to come by Microsoft

Roundup of Xbox 360 E3 Event – a huge ecosystem to come by Microsoft

Today Microsoft hosted a 90 minute event at this year´s E3. They talked about several things to come to our Xbox and even to our smart devices.

First I want to show off a list of all games that were presented by Microsoft and their partners:

•    Halo 4

•    Forza Horizon

•    NHL Gamecenter Live

•    NBA GameTime with NBA League Pass

•    ESPN will tur into live on your Xbox (if you are in the US)

•    Gears Of War Judgement

•    FIFA 13

•    Madden 13

•    Splinter Cell Blacklist

•    South Park

•    Dance Central 3

•    LocoCycle

•    Ascend: New Gods (only on Xbox 360)

•    Matter

•    Nike+ Training for Kinect

•    Resident Evil 6

•    Call Of Duty Black Ops 2

There is even more TV and Entertainment coming around the world, and today 35 of them where announced:

•    Absolute Radio – U.K.

•    Ameba TV – Canada, U.S.

•    BreakMedia – Australia, Canada, India, Ireland, Singapore, South Africa, U.K., U.S.

•    Comedy Central Stand Up – U.S.

•    Comoyo – Denmark, Norway, Sweden

•    Corus Entertainment’s Franklin the Turtle – Canada

•    GameSpot TV – Australia, Canada, U.K., U.S.

•    Headweb – Denmark, Finland, Norway, Sweden

•    Indie Flix – U.S.

•    Machinima – All Xbox LIVE markets

•    Napster – Germany, U.K.

•    Nickelodeon – U.S.

•    Paramount Movies – U.S.

•    Picturebox – U.K

•    Quickflix – Australia, New Zealand

•    Rakuten ShowTime – Japan

•    Revision3 – Canada, U.K., U.S.

•    Rhapsody – U.S.

•    RTL XL – Netherlands

•    Slacker Radio – Canada, U.S.

•    SnagFilms – U.S.

•    Terra (Sunday TV) – Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Mexico

•    The AOL On Network – Australia, Canada, Netherlands, U.K., U.S.

•    The Weather Channel – U.S.

•    The Whistle – U.S.

•    TOU.TV – Canada

•    TV3 – Spain

•    Twitch TV – U.S.

•    Univision – U.S.

•    Wuaki – Spain

•    Youzee – Spain

Until here, this is an announcement like we have expected. New Games, Apps and new Entertainment partners. What´s more you ask? Ok, here we go:

Xbox Music

Microsoft announced a Music service for Xbox, Windows Phone and Windows 8. They will call it simply Xbox Music. The service will include about 30 million tracks. Some of you might have been using Zune Pass, you will find similar features like Smart DJ there. No details were announced, so I expect there will be more to come.

Xbox SmartGlass

Xbox SmartGlass is an application for Windows 8, Windows Phone, and other portable devices that connects phones, PCs and tablets with your Xbox 360 console to make your entertainment smarter, more interactive and more fun.

During the keynote Microsoft announced the Xbox SmartGlass app. It will be just an app you download on your Windows Phone, your Android or iOS device and of course to your Windows 8 PC or tablet. It provides you airplaying features for apps, films, music and games.

Internet Explorer on Xbox

Other consoles have webbrowsers, yes. But no one has a browser that can be controlled by voice and SmartGlass.

Through the power of Xbox, the magic of Kinect and the intelligence of Xbox SmartGlass, you will be able to surf the Internet using your voice on your Xbox 360 and navigate using your mobile devices for an incredibly easy Web browsing experience on the television.

Xbox on Windows 8

Finally, Xbox will make its way also to Windows 8. The premium entertainment experiences that Microsoft will launch on Xbox will come to more than 180 countries. You will have a huge experience with the Metro apps for Video, Music, Games and Xbox SmartGlass. And of course Xbox Live will come to Windows 8.

Summary of this year´s event is that Microsoft is about to create a more huge ecosystem that Apple, Sony or Google are have created. With the unique Metro design language, the power of the Xbox and Kinect, Windows Phone and Windows 8 Microsoft will gain marketshare.

I bet we will hear some more about the upcoming Windows Phone version Apollo at 20th of June, when Microsoft is about to hold a developer summit to close the circle for this epic ecosystem we will live in.

You can read and view more here.

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

Internet Explorer coming to Xbox 360 with Kinect support

image

Today we learned from the verge that Microsoft is going to port the Internet Explorer over to Xbox 360.

Microsoft will extend the already existing Bing voice search with more functionality to open a full browser. The browser is said to be able to surf the whole web.

On Top of that Microsoft has also integrated Kinect gestures and voice controls. That is great, because on other living room online systems you always have to type in something. With the Kinect support, it will be easy to surf the web from your couch.

A lot of my friends, family and colleagues asked me if this is possible with the Xbox, so this seems to be another real big plus point for the Xbox.

I guess we will hear more about this at E3, taking place on June 5-7.

source: the verge

Posted by msicc in Microsoft, Xbox, 0 comments

Microsoft is making Bing very social – also for Windows Phone and mobile web

bind-three-columnsMicrosoft  today announced some very cool new features to Bing.

They have  redesigned Bing and will introduce a three column design where all of the new features will work.

Here is what we will get over the next days/weeks (Bing is still in final test stadium):

  • Core Web Results: Relevant, comprehensive and trustworthy.Microsoft will not mix search results with social updates. There will be only search results, and lets us concentrate on the core web results.
  • Snapshot: Get it done faster.Snapshots will show you relevant information to search results in the second column.
  • Sidebar: Social search done right. The third column will contain all of your social integration while you are on the web. Bing describes the sidebar as following:
    • Always present, never intrusive. The sidebar will appear as part of every query, but it will remain off to the right, allowing searchers to decide when and how to interact with it. We’ve moved most of the social content out of the main search pane and put it in a dedicated place where people can always expect to find it.
    • Ask Friends: You can post a question to get help from your Facebook friends as you search. You can “tag” friends Bing suggests might know about the topic. In a few simple clicks you can share your search and your friends can reply to your question on either Facebook or Bing.

    image

    • Friends Who Might Know: Once you authorize Bing, sidebar helps you post a question to get help from your Facebook friends as you search. Bing suggests friends on Facebook who might know about the topic – based on what they “like”, their Facebook profile information, or photos they have shared – so you can easily ask them about relevant experiences and opinions and go quickly from searching to doing. For example, if you’re searching for diving spots in Costa Rica, with the new Bing, you may discover that one of your Facebook friends knows a great spot, based on photos from their last trip to Costa Rica that they shared on Facebook. Or you might find a friend who lives in Costa Rica based on his or her Facebook profile. You and your friends can only see information you could already see about each other on Facebook.
    • People Who Know: Beyond friends, Bing can help you find people who are influential about the topic you’re searching, based on what they’ve publically blogged or tweeted about. In a glance you will see top experts and enthusiasts from leading networks like Twitter, Foursquare, Quora, LinkedIn, Google Plus and Blogger to quickly check out what they have to say about the topic you’re searching for. You can follow them, ask them a question or see what they have shared in the past.
    • Activity feed. From the activity feed in the sidebar, you can see, posts and queries you and your friends have chosen to share from Bing. You can help answer friends’ questions, “like” something interesting they have shared. Because these activities show up in both Bing (activity feed) and Facebook, you can comment on them from either place.

Bing added also a video to show you the new functions in action:

If you are like me and want to be amongst the first who hear if there is something new for Bing, check this page: http://www.bing.com/explore/new

As I mentioned above, Bing is in final testing and will bring the new functions after finishing it.

If you are outside the use, I recommend you to swap the country of Bing to the US to obtain the new features. You can do this by clicking on your country´s name in the top right area of Bing.

image

Sadly also this time, Microsoft launches their new features for US only. But I guess they will port them over to rest of the world after some time.

Windows Phone will also get these features. They will add a webpage where you can swipe through the three columns, like it is integrated in a lot of apps.

Windows Phone will also get these features. They will add a webpage  where you can swipe through the three columns, like it is integrated in a lot of apps.

m.bing.com

You can also register for more information on m. bing.com/new.

A connection from Bing mobile to Facebook can be established right now, suggests to contain also social results:

bing connect to Facebook

I will use Bing as webpage instead of the integrated Bing function of Windows Phone to find out how deep the integration already goes.

I will keep you informed as soon as there are more news.

source: Bing

Posted by msicc in Bing, Windows Phone, 0 comments

Changes to Windows Live and other Microsoft services

Windows-Live-crossed

Yesterday Steven Sinofsky blogged about the changes Microsoft is doing on the Windows Live brand name.

Windows Live was launched as brand back in 2005 as “a set of personal Internet services and software designed to bring together in one place all of the relationships, information and interests people care about most, with more safety and security features across their PC, devices and the Web.” The services itself have been under continued development since then.

Meanwhile Windows Live services are used by over 500 millions of people. Now Microsoft is starting to streamline the naming.

First, you no longer have a Windows Live-ID. You have now a Microsoft account. With this Microsoft account you can log in to all services like Mail, SkyDrive, Windows Phone Marketplace and others.

Microsoft recalls each single service. All services are losing their “Windows Live”-tag:

  • Windows Live Mail or Hotmail becomes Mail
  • Windows Live Messenger becomes Messaging
  • Windows (Live) Calendar becomes Calendar
  • Windows (Live) Contacts becomes People
  • FolderShare, Windows Live Mesh becomes SkyDrive

All services are still usable like most of us are used to. But with the great cloud integration on Windows 8 and Windows Phone, it only makes sense that Microsoft renames those services to fit the naming of both OS. All services will run as equally named apps. Check out the table below for more info:

changes-to-live-services

But that were not all changes Microsoft announced. Let us go next to Microsoft´s adCenter.  They recently announced that for Small and Medium businesses the service now is called simply “Bing”. As already stated by LiveSide.net, this is a real strange decision. Why are they calling the adCenter now only Bing? Bing is known as Microsoft´s search (decision) engine- so how does this fit?

Of course as I have a developer account for Microsoft Advertising. But it seems there is no change to it – for now.

Inside Xbox will be discontinued. It is a collection of news, game tips and tutorials, packed into a video series popping up on Xbox. For the moment, it is discontinued only in the US, Canada, Australia as well as New Zealand. In Europe, the future is uncertain, as Major Nelson, first class Xbox promoter from Microsoft, has no news to share from here. Head over to his blog to read more and even let him know how disappointing this decision is.

Change is happening, yes. But not all change is good, as you can see on this news roundup.

sources: Windows 8 Blog, LiveSide.net

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

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

Windows 8 Release Preview will be released in first week of June – W8CP used twice as much as Windows 7 beta

japan-announcement-w8-june

We all are excited about the Windows 8 Consumer Preview. Microsoft gave us a really fast and stable OS preview at the end of February.

Only a few minutes ago Microsoft announced via twitter that the next version, a Release Preview, will be available in early June. They announced it while they are on Japan Dev Days. Earlier this week Microsoft announced also that the Consumer Preview is now already used twice as much as the Windows 7 beta at the same point in time.

Personally I do not wonder about this. W8CP is a preview you can use as a daily driver already, and many of us are doing so. And it seems that there are a lot of people are beginning to like the Metro part of Windows 8.

Posted by msicc in Windows, 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

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