Microsoft

Microsoft wants your Feedback on WindowsPhone – Developer and User!

Microsoft wants your Feedback on WindowsPhone – Developer and User!

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With the release of Windows Phone Mango Microsoft issued also two new Feedback programs.

First I want to have al look on the developer-part:

Microsoft created a userchoice.com-site for developers, which can be found here. Recently they extended the page with an dedicated app for Windows Phone.

Here are some shots:

Screen Capture (13)  Screen Capture (14)  Screen Capture (16)  Screen Capture (20)  Screen Capture (24)  Screen Capture (22)

You can vote for an existing topic or create a new one. For every topic you can give up to 3 votes, with a summary maximum of 10. There is a description which can be added to a topic. Also you can add your own comment on the topic. Check the shots below:

Screen Capture (26)  Screen Capture (28)  Screen Capture (30)

So if you are a developer, head over to the marketplace and download this app to give feedback to Microsoft.

Let´s have a look at the consumer part of the feedback program:

Here you can have a look on the page for the consumer feedback. The App for consumer looks very similar to the developer feedback app, as you can see on this shots:

Screen Capture (15)  Screen Capture (19)  Screen Capture (23)Screen Capture (25)  Screen Capture (27)  Screen Capture (34)

Of course there is the same functionality for a topic as in the developer version: Give up to 3 votes for a topic, read or add a description as well as leave a comment:

Screen Capture (10)  Screen Capture (11)  Screen Capture (12)

So if you want to tell Microsoft what you want to have on your OS, head over to the marketplace an download the app right now.

There are some topics which are flagged with “started” on both the developer as well as the consumer feedback program. It seems really Microsoft hears to its customers.

Please provide feedback, only with this Microsoft will deliver those features we are waiting for!

Posted by msicc in App Reviews, Dev Stories, Microsoft, Windows Phone, wpdev, 0 comments
First venue maps available for Germany on Bing Maps

First venue maps available for Germany on Bing Maps

While writing my post about Streetside in Germany, I recognized a button for venue maps on German Bing Maps.

Currently there are two airports and 13 malls available.

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I used the airport of Nuremberg in my previous post, so i recognized that there is also a venue map for it. Here are some screen shots:

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So you can see the two floor levels of the airport, and can use Bing Maps to navigate In-house to your desired terminal or other places like ticketing etc. Great to see this improvement coming (slowly, yes, but still coming) to other countries.

Although there is also a link to a “more info about this venue”-page, this currently does not work. So I guess this is something like a test for Germany, I will update this post as soon as I am able to open this additional page.

Posted by msicc in Bing, Microsoft, 0 comments
Microsoft starts Bing Streetside in Germany

Microsoft starts Bing Streetside in Germany

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Microsoft recently announced the availability of Bing Streetside in Germany.

From start there are only a few cities which can be explored with Bing Streetside . They are Augsburg, Berlin, Darmstadt, Düsseldorf, Essen, Frankfurt, Ingolstadt, Mainz, Munich, Nuremberg, Offenbach am Main, Regensburg, Stuttgart, Wiesbaden and Würzburg.

Here is a short guide to help you use the new feature in Bing maps

In my example we are discovering the airport of Nuremberg, Germany. I love the bird view feature of Bing, so here is where we start:

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Now click on this button above the map image:

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After clicking this button, the map changes with blue lines around the streets. If there is no blue line, the street or place is still not available yet.

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Now the Street-side is loaded into the map view:image

Now you can turn around using the compass like control in the middle of the street. You can navigate around by clicking on a place in the image as well as use the mini map on the right top corner.

Anyway, you need to install Microsoft Silverlight on your PC to use this features.

Remember, there are only a few cities, and the may not be full covered at this moment, so it is more like a Beta. Hopefully Microsoft is updating this service as soon as possible.

I will update this post as soon as there are news for the coverage.

Posted by msicc in Bing, Microsoft, 0 comments

(Update) GEMA and BITKOM reached an agreement for online music services

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Just a few weeks ago I wrote about how the GEMA cuts the user experience in Germany.

Today, the GEMA and BITKOM announced that they finally reached an agreement for internet music services. The Federal Association for information technology, telecommunications and new media e.V. (BITKOM) is the Trade Association of the German information and telecommunications industry.

The agreement covers the amount of copyright remuneration which must be dissipated by the operators of Internet music portals. License fees are per piece of music now usually between 6 and 9 cent net.

Because of this agreement, music stores are now able to offer previews with a length up to 90 seconds.

The agreement also includes licensing of copyright for streaming services over the Internet. “Individual services that are successful abroad, find that similar licensing conditions in Germany,.” “We go therefore the assumption that there will be even more music services in Germany, in which users for a monthly flat fee entirely online can listen all tracks”, as BITKOM Vice-President Smid. “This online business models in the music business for suppliers and users are much more attractive than ever before.”

Ad-funded music services and music videos are not covered until now from the contract. To do this, BITKOM and GEMA will further continue their negotiations, as well as for online video services.

Update: Yesterday the GEMA announced also a tariff for ad-funded music services. The prices are set only from the GEMA – means there is no agreement with BITKOM. BITCOM said it was a locigal consequence, that the GEMA was raising up a tarif. They will prove how they can work with the new tariff.

Let´s hope that in near future all content provider like Spotify and Microsoft with Zune Pass will let us receive the same user experience as in the rest of Europe/the World.

Posted by msicc in Microsoft, 0 comments

(Update) How the GEMA cuts the user experience in Germany

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I struggled with myself to write about this for a while. But now I can´t hold back any longer.

The society for musical performance and mechanical reproduction rights (GEMA) is a collecting society which represents the rights of the copyright of those composers, musical, and publishers of musical works in Germany. It is similar to the Harry Fox Agency. Until here there is still no problem.

So why I am writing this article? Well, as I am a Windows Phone User, I normally would love the Zune Pass. The Zune Pass was announced back in 2010 also for Germany.

But it turned out that it will not be released due to the GEMA. So what does the GEMA?

Due to the Fact that the Zune Pass has nearly unlimited streaming, the want to get paid for every streamed song. Microsoft and others are offering a fixed sum per user to the GEMA. The GEMA does not accept.  As a result we still do not have Zune Pass here in Germany. And honestly, I do not think we will get it at one day.

So we have to be glad  the Zune Marketplace, were we can buy songs, albums and videos.

Another example are videos on YouTube with content from Sony Music. YouTube and the GEMA currently do not have an agreement for displaying videos with Sony Music content.  The GEMA wants to be paid per click/per view. Before the got an agreement with a flat amount (until 2009). Now on every video with Sony Music content we get the error: “Sorry, this video has content which is not available in your country”.

Update: Also Apple and Google customers are facing those problems. Apples iTunes Match as well as Google Music will be available, but not or only restricted in Germany.

The GEMA works with the principle of turnaround the burden of proof. If you are a content provider (like Microsoft´s Zune), you have to show the GEMA that your content is not reliable to them. Else you have to pay. Sadly this practice has been confirmed by justice.

I agree that the GEMA is in general a society to help the artists. But they do not work together with the content provider.

Other European countries like Italy, the UK and France also have their agencies similar to the GEMA. They are working together with the content provider.

As often, in the end we customers are punished here in Germany.

Posted by msicc in Windows Phone, 3 comments