Well, there are already hundreds of rumors floating around the web, so I do not want to hook up on all of them. This post will be about what I expect – and of course what you can expect from Microsoft and its OEMs at this years most important trade fair in mobile/technology.
Apps, Apps, Apps!
We all are still curios about what apps we will get at this years MWC. Here are my predictions:
- Skype for Windows Phone: I guess/hope Microsoft will finally release the still missing Skype app we all are waiting for since the launch of Mango last October.
- Photosynth: also rumored to be released with Mango. The iPhone is still the only one device at the moment which has an app for it. But as we heard recently, chances are good that it will be released soon – hopefully at MWC.
- for WPDevs: an App Hub app to check from our phones?
- Games: As Microsoft is also the Xbox-manufacturer, will we see some new games for Xbox and Windows Phone?
- Xbox-Apps: no rumors, but I take up the chance to mention it!
- There are still a bunch of apps which are missing, so feel free to predict yours in comments!
Windows Phone – Let´s Tango
I expect Microsoft to release Tango-Update for Windows Phone. There are different opinions about that. Before, we heard there could be a Tango 1 and a Tango 2 update. How this will end, knows only Microsoft.
- I guess Tango 1 will be as rumored to make low-speced devices possible. This will be a thinner OS version than Mango, but with some Mango bits in it.
- Tango 2 I guess will be for the first/second gen and better devices like the Lumia 800 or the Titan from HTC, to add another bit of goodness. Biggest hope, as it was rumored, to add folders support, including the Live-Tile support on folders.
Windows 8 – Consumer Preview (CP)
It is almost a fact that Microsoft will use the chance of the audience to release the Consumer Preview of Windows 8. It is said that it will be released on February, 29. This makes sense as Windows 8 is special, so is the date returning only once in 4 years. I will not post any more rumors or suggestion, as we are nearly there. Expect more posts afterwards, as I surely will be one of the first to download the CP of Windows 8.
Windows Live – No, not anymore: Microsoft Hotmail, Microsoft SkyDrive, Microsoft Account
With the recent bits about Windows 8, its further supported language number upgrade to 93 and also the merging of our Live- and Billing-Accounts into Microsoft Account, I guess there will also be a good time to talk about what the changes mean for each one of us. For know is known that with Windows 8 your Live ID is your Microsoft Account, and all other services will be replaced – including the Zune brand. Microsoft currently seems to be in negotiations with music and video labels to offer a better streaming service. Hopefully we will get some more information on MWC.
Developers, Developers, Developers!
There are certain things we developers are waiting for. On thing is confirmed: Visual Studio 11 – which will be released at the same the as the CP of Windows 8. It will bring certain improvements like sharing designer with Blend and optimized search options. There will be a ton of other stuff. What about the Windows Phone Development SDK? Will we “semi-professional-Software-using”-Devs also get an Update? I hope we will get some information about that. And I also hope that we will get finally some more APIs, especially the TELLME-API. This will be an important step to be simply better than Apple´s Siri, as we developers can integrate it in our apps. We will see what Microsoft is willing to enable us to.
There are also floating around several rumors about new hardware on the internet. All top vendors are mentioned:
- Nokia (Lumia 610, Non-US-version of Lumia 900, Windows 8 –Tablet)
- HTC (Non-US-version of Titan II, some low-end Windows Phones, Windows 8-Tablet)
- LG (LG Miracle/Fantasy)
- Sony (again?)
- and maybe: Fujitsu, Huawei, Acer
So this is what I expect to hear from Microsoft about, after the MWC has finished I will do a conclusion post to compare what we got and what we wished. Feel free to post your suggestions in comments.
Today Microsoft posted another bit of the upcoming Windows 8 features. Today we are talking about the SkyDrive app for Windows 8.
Delivering personal cloud storage for billions of people
is Microsoft´s goal. Microsoft stores at this time already 10 petabytes of user data, used by 17 million of SkyDrive customers. With the availability of Windows 8 this numbers will even increase.
So what is this all about?
Enter the new SkyDrive app. With the SkyDrive app, an early version of which will be available at Consumer Preview, we focused on two things: 1) designing a fast, fluid, touch-first version of SkyDrive that makes it quick, easy, and even fun to browse and access your files, and 2) making your SkyDrive available for use from any Metro style app via the file picker (open/save) and the new Share charm in Windows 8.
The new SkyDrive app will be able to use some of Windows 8 advantages like the sharing function on your pc/tablet. Here are some preview shots:
I have to admit, I love it! But the nice look is not all to that: SkyDrive will be available through the whole system – and through other apps:
- as file picker from any app you will be able to open/save files on your SkyDrive
- if a developer enables it, your data could be stored to SkyDrive automatically
- content files (e.g. documents) could save directly to your SkyDrive
- SkyDrive will enable you to share your files without adding attachments
The experience is said to be like on your local hard drive.
There is also a desktop part of SkyDrive in Windows 8, which underlines this experience:
And at least you will still be able to use it through SkyDrive.com. If you are working on SkyDrive.com, you will get the same user experience in Metro as in the app.
Another nice feature will be a remote access your PC through SkyDrive. This feature is secured by a token you will get by SMS to access your PC. This will look like this:
Microsoft said this is just the beginning, and we all be experiencing this over the next month.
You can read the full article at Microsoft´s Building Windows 8 Blog.
Stay tuned, as we sure will get more bits over the next few days!
Microsoft just has done a real big post about Windows on ARM (called “WOA”) .
Check what is all about in short:
- Windows on ARM, or WOA, is a new member of the Windows family that builds on the foundation of Windows, has a very high degree of commonality and very significant shared code with Windows 8, and will be developed for, sold, and supported as a part of the largest computing ecosystem in the world. We created WOA to enable a new class of PC with unique capabilities and form factors, supported by a new set of partners that expand the ecosystem of which Windows is part.
- WOA PCs are still under development and our collective goal is for PC makers to ship them the same time as PCs designed for Windows 8 on x86/64. These PCs will be built on unique and innovative hardware platforms provided by NVIDIA, Qualcomm, and Texas Instruments, with a common Windows on ARM OS foundation—all running the same Windows OS binaries, a unique approach for the industry. PC manufacturers are hard at work on PCs designed from the ground up to be great and exclusively for WOA.
- Metro style apps in the Windows Store can support both WOA and Windows 8 on x86/64. Developers wishing to target WOA do so by writing applications for the WinRT (Windows APIs for building Metro style apps) using the new Visual Studio 11 tools in a variety of languages, including C#/VB/XAML and Jscript/ HTML5. Native code targeting WinRT is also supported using C and C++, which can be targeted across architectures and distributed through the Windows Store. WOA does not support running, emulating, or porting existing x86/64 desktop apps. Code that uses only system or OS services from WinRT can be used within an app and distributed through the Windows Store for both WOA and x86/64. Consumers obtain all software, including device drivers, through the Windows Store and Microsoft Update or Windows Update.
- WOA can support all new Metro style apps, including apps from Microsoft for mail, calendaring, contacts, photos, and storage. WOA also includes industry-leading support for hardware-accelerated HTML5 with Internet Explorer 10.WOA will provide support for other industry-standard media formats, including those with hardware acceleration and offloading computation, and industry-standard document formats. In all cases, Microsoft seeks to lead in end-user choice and control of what apps to use and what formats to support.
- WOA includes desktop versions of the new Microsoft Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and OneNote. These new Office applications, codenamed “Office 15”, have been significantly architected for both touch and minimized power/resource consumption, while also being fully-featured for consumers and providing complete document compatibility. WOA supports the Windows desktop experience including File Explorer, Internet Explorer 10 for the desktop, and most other intrinsic Windows desktop features—which have been significantly architected for both touch and minimized power/resource consumption.
- With WOA you can look forward to integrated, end-to-end products—hardware, firmware and WOA software, all built from the ground up. Building WOA has been an ongoing engineering effort involving Microsoft, ARM licensees, PC makers, and developers of components and peripherals. These efforts spanned a wide array of subsystems that have been newly created or substantially re-architected for WOA. Partners will provide WOA PCs as integrated, end-to-end products that include hardware, firmware, and Windows on ARM software. Windows on ARM software will not be sold or distributed independent of a new WOA PC, just as you would expect from a consumer electronics device that relies on unique and integrated pairings of hardware and software. Over the useful lifetime of the PC, the provided software will be serviced and improved.
- Around the next milestone release of Windows 8 on x86/64, a limited number of test PCs will be made available to developers and hardware partners in a closed, invitation-only program. These devices will be running the same branch of Windows 8 on x86/64 as we release broadly at that time. These are not samples or hints of forthcoming PCs, but tools for hardware and software engineers running WOA-specific hardware.
- The Windows Consumer Preview, the beta of Windows 8 on x86/64, will be available for download by the end of February. This next milestone of Windows 8 will be available in several languages and is open for anyone to download.
They also released a video to show this all new features, which you can watch here (thanks to Tom Warren @ the verge who uploaded the video on YouTube).
I don´t dive deeper into that whole thing as we all can watch the video. Once the consumer preview is launched, you can expect more posts about the next Windows version.
There are several discussions on the verge as well as on twitter about this post.