xbox

The force is with Microsoft at CeBIT 2012

The force is with Microsoft at CeBIT 2012

As I wrote in an earlier post today, Microsoft demoed some Kinect games on CeBIT. Also Darth Vader was there with some storm troopers to support the demo of the game “Kinect Star Wars”. The Force is with Microsoft!

WP_000027

My colleague is a huge Xbox fan, and loves especially the Kinect games. He could not leave the possibility to play Kinect Star Wars. Thanks to him and his open mind, I am able to share this video on the game with you.

If you are on my Windows Phone app or on a mobile browser, click here to watch the video.

The gameplay is very realistic, and I am sure there will be also gadgets like laser swords in future to give the game an even more realistic character.

The release of the game is in April, you can watch now what you will get if you buy the game.

May the force be with you!

Posted by msicc in Xbox, 0 comments
My CeBIT 2012 review

My CeBIT 2012 review

WP_000424

Yesterday I was with a colleague at Hannover (Germany), to visit the CeBIT fair of this year. We started there in the morning, looking around what is new and cool.

The first things we looked at where some German ministries, but that was not so interesting. Then we watched a keynote for IPv6 and security, but the speaker was way too boring to stay there longer than the 15 minutes we rested there. We were moving around, having a look what Google does (promoting G+ for pages and a coffee bar), had a look at some German web content provider, but there was nothing really exciting there. Finally, we arrived at hall 4, where Microsoft had its presence.

WP_000002

As you can see, the stand of Microsoft is big, in fact it is one of the biggest I have seen there.

So what did Microsoft present?

WP_000011

  • Cloud Computing (Windows Azure, Microsoft CRM Online, Windows Intune and Office)
  • Productivity and Collaboration with Office & Co. (Microsoft Exchange, Lync, Sharepoint, Project, Office and Office 365)
  • ERP and CRM Solutions with Microsoft Dynamics
  • Data Management, Business Intelligence (BI), Integration (SQL Server 2012, BizTalk Server, Sharepoint Server, Silverlight and Visual Studio 2010)
  • Client and Server (Windows Server, System Center, Small Business Server 2011, Forefront)
  • and of course they did a preview of Windows 8

While presenting this things above, of course there was even more to discover:

WP_000009

Above you can see another view on a part of the Microsoft stand, where you were able to play around with some Ultrabooks and Windows 7. But that was not interesting for me, as I know Windows 7, and the Ultrabooks are nice to look at but more interesting was to get a view on a Windows 8 tablet. Microsoft used the Build Slates to demonstrate. Sadly you could get your hands on only after you made an appointment, and of course they did not have any appointment left before the afternoon/evening. So I decided to go to the Windows Phone part.

WP_000015

At the Windows Phone part, I had to wait a couple of minutes to get my hands on. First I could not believe what I saw there, but it was true: Nokia Lumia 900. Here are some hands-on shots:

WP_000436 WP_000441 WP_000442

WP_000437 WP_000438 WP_000439

Screenshot (35)

Screenshot (37)

Screenshot (39)

The device has similar specs to the HTC Titan, it is only slightly smaller in screen size and has the equal good haptic of the  Lumia 800. Paired with the fact that Nokia offers a bunch of very useful apps with its Windows Phones for free, I am really thinking about swapping my Titan into a Lumia 900. With this Nokia device it is really hard to stay on the Titan.

After playing around with the Lumia 900, we recognized that there is also an Xbox part. My colleague (who is originally an Apple fanboy) recently  bought an Xbox and a Kinect, so he could not resist to play Fruit Ninja:

WP_000024

Microsoft also presented Dance Central 2 and another Kinect game – I will talk about this in another post.

As we finally could tear away from Microsoft´s stand, we were looking into the other halls. Dell, IBM, HP, nothing spectacular than already available products or talking about server racks and vending machines. After a short break it was time for me to turn to hall 8, where Microsoft did a CeBIT special about “Developing for Windows 8”.

My colleague was turning another bit around while I was there. He told me that he was at AVM´s stand, where he had a look to an LTE router, and visited an cellular carrier, where they were  demonstrating LTE.

My conclusion: it was a bit disappointing for me as there was not so much interesting stuff as I hoped (especially from the hardware part), but my experience yesterday confirmed my thought that it is difficult to see something new, because all was presented already on MWC last week and not all vendors and companies are heading to CeBIT afterwards. Microsoft did an excellent job in my eyes by presenting some interesting information about their products, and the did also include developers. So for this part I can only say: all thumbs up!

Note: thanks to @dominiksichling for supporting me yesterday and let me use photo/video where he is shown for my blog post(s).

Posted by msicc in Microsoft, 0 comments

Microsoft at CeBIT 2012: “Microsoft Heartbeat – The Power of Design”

This was the motto today on Microsoft´s CeBit opening press conference.

It was all about Metro. Ralph Haupter, General Manager at Microsoft Germany, explained what this means for Microsoft:

”Design also says something about the state of a company. We used to define ourselves by our software’s functionality. Today the question at Microsoft is how we people can get to grips with this wonderful new digital world and enjoy it, whether we want to entrust it with our data and if we can control it. This is a question of integrated design.”

A homogeneous look on Windows Phone, Xbox and Windows 8

All major products of Microsoft are using the Metro look. Be it the experience on Windows Phone, the new Xbox Dashboard or last weeks previewed Windows 8: Metro leads to an homogeneous look and feel. Also the CeBIT trade show stand is shining in the new Metro look.

Microsoft is facing three critical factors here:

  • Esthetics of the experience. For Microsoft, working with technology nowadays should be both appealing and enjoyable.
  • Clarity of the function. IT must stay controllable with a vast number of devices as well as data sources
  • Intelligence of the blueprint.  New the technologies only become flexible and smart, if they are in first place.

The result is shown through the Metro Design. With the consumer preview been downloaded over a million times within the first 24 hours, it is clear the there is a huge interest in the Metro UI. Also for developers the Metro UI has potential:

One of the first German suppliers in the new Windows Store is the Berlin start-up company ”6Wunderkinder”. Their ”Wunderlist” app, a no-frills and easy-to-use Task Manager will soon be available to download. Christian Reber, CEO of the successful company, underlines that an attractive and effective operational concept is key factor for the app’s success. The Metro Design provides the ideal framework here. Plus Windows, which is by far the most popular operating system worldwide. ”We are not only convinced by the Metro Design approach, but also see an enormous potential for our company to reach far more people with our ideas and apps via Windows 8 in the future,” explained Reber.

The new experience will be available in 231 different markets, while using more than 100 languages. This opportunities are only given on Microsoft´s upcoming OS.

Tomorrow there will be a keynote of Kevin Turner, Microsoft´s Chief Operating Officer, at 10 am (EST). He will talk about „What’s Next: IT trends, business opportunity and Windows 8”. You can watch the keynote live at the CeBIT Global Conferences 2012.

Interesting words at the end:

“Windows 8 is also ”Windows reinvented” for a whole new generation of devices. It will be the best operating system for hundreds of millions of PCs, tablets and other devices, and for way more than one billion people across the whole world”, says Ralph Haupter.

I find interesting that Microsoft says “PCs, tablets and other devices”. Maybe this is also another hint of merging the Windows 8 kernel into Windows Phone, or even another Xbox Dashboard upgrade?

If you want to find out more about the CeBIT-News from Microsoft, head over to Microsoft´s official CeBIT site (also fully designed in Metro).

Posted by msicc in Microsoft, 0 comments
Discovering Xbox LIVE and Xbox Companion apps on W8CP

Discovering Xbox LIVE and Xbox Companion apps on W8CP

As the Xbox Live apps do not work in every country, I want to give you a short view to both apps. Both are preinstalled on W8CP.

Screenshot (21)

Xbox LIVE Games

The Xbox LIVE Games app comes with a few functions which you might know from your Smartphone app. Once you start the app, you will get to the overview screen:

Screenshot (9)

As you can see, your Avatar (if you have one), is loaded into the app. You can view your own profile as well as have a look on your friends profiles:

Screenshot (10)

On your profile you can see your achievements or modify your avatar. If you choose a friend, you will be able to compare your achievements:

Screenshot (11)

Here is a look on a friends profile:

Screenshot (12)

 

Currently, you cannot send or view messages within the app like on the smartphone app. Hopefully this app will be updated during the preview time to fit with the smartphone functionality.

Xbox Companion

The Xbox companion is very similar to the one on Windows Phone. Once you have logged in and connected to your Xbox, you will see a start screen with your last activity as well as your last played games:

image

You can scroll through videos. games and music as well:

image

Finally, you have the search, like on the smartphone app:

image

Again, please remember that the W8CP is still a “Beta”-release, so it is usual that not all functions are working. I am sure the apps will be updated – at least with the official launch of Windows 8. I hope you liked this small overview over both Xbox apps. Feel free to leave a comment if you want to.

Posted by msicc in Windows, 0 comments
My review of a year with Microsoft and a to-do-list for 2012

My review of a year with Microsoft and a to-do-list for 2012

iluvallMS

With the end of the year just around the corner, I want to take a look back to an amazing year for me as a Microsoft fan. There were certainly ups and downs, but over all it was a great year – as user and also as developer.

I do not want to take any numbers – there are already dozens of post where the numbers were discussed, so I guess we don´t need to get another post about this. I will tell you how the year felt for me.

ces_2011_logo

First we got a look into the future at the CES. With the CES we received a first view on Microsoft´s new strategy: Metro over all devices. We saw a first preview of Windows 8 with a Metro design part, but still have to wait for more information until Build in September, which was a specific event for Windows 8 (codename for now). The most appreciated news was the SoC-technology (System on a Chip), which will be supported by Windows 8. Also there were some Kinect improvements, as well as an updated version on Microsoft Surface. And finally Microsoft announced the NoDo-features like Copy&Paste.

The NoDo-Update came for Windows Phone. Well, as I got an unlocked HTC HD7 at this time, this was no real problem for me. I forced the update (thanks to the guys who found out this little trick), and that was it. This changed only little things. The carrier locked phones had to wait a bit longer, as the carriers were still in testing. The update seems also to do not well with some Samsung Phones, so there was always bad critics for the update process.

mwc_logo

Ok, Back to February and to the Mobile World Congress. MS gave us a first preview on the Internet Explorer 9, and compared it to the iOS-Safari. It was clearly the better one. But as always Microsoft also made us sad, as we had to wait until Windows Phone Mango. Finally we got also the first note that Windows Phone will receive Multitasking capabilities. And then there was the big bang of Nokia joining the Windows Phone game.

At the same time I made my fishing license. After I got approved for it, I wanted to download some fishing apps. But there wasn´t even one at this time. I thought by myself, ok, give them some time, they will come.  The first time I was on the water I needed a special knot, luckily I was on a place where I got an internet connection. But it was annoying to not have an app for it. So I decided to learn the Windows Phone development.

248d30bf-8674-434f-9841-f376d8221ab9

Back at home, downloaded the tools, and found out that at Channel 9 is a Beginner series for Windows Phone Development. I stepped through to all the videos, and after 2 month or so (due to my primary work it took that long) I started to develop my fishing knots application. I learned a lot more while I was coding this application, but the basics I learned helped me a lot to get started.

mix11

While I started with my own WPDev-Story, in April Microsoft held his annual MIX-conference. This was the first time for me, that it was not only from a user part from interest, but also from a developer part. We received an updated SDK, which was an huge step towards Windows Phone Mango. Microsoft announced 1500 new features which we developers can take advantage from with the new Windows Phone Mango release. User will get over 500 new features. The Kinect SDK expanded to Windows, with some really cool projects to use with. And last but not least Microsoft released the final Beta of Silverlight.

Skype_Logo

The rumours were also going wild for Microsoft to buy Skype. Well, finally in may Microsoft and Skype announced that the rumours were true.

e3primer6

Until now, a awesome first half of the year. Then in June, the annual E3-Games convention started. Microsoft introduced a bunch of new games, like Fruit Ninja Kinect, Forza Motorsport 4 as well as Family Titles like Disneyland Adventures for Kinect or Once upon a Monster for Kinect. My kids where as excited as I was, there was only one big error: We had a Xbox, but no Kinect. This was one reason I wanted a Kinect like never before. Well, Santa (aka my wife, 1000 kisses for her) solved this little problem for me a few days ago. Also some titles for Windows Phone were announced, sadly not all of them where released until now. We also were introduced to the new Xbox Dashboard and the new bunch of features like Voice commands. Microsoft released also Kinect fun labs, which is a portal to some awesome Apps for Kinect like Build a Buddy or Kinect Me!.

wpmango

In July Windows Phone Mango got RTM-status, followed by a special developer beta. I enjoyed the beta, and all on my primary work were jealous about the fact I had mango before them.

threescreens

After a calm summer, in September Microsoft revealed Windows 8 and released to Windows Phone Mango Update. Together with the new Xbox Dashboard, Microsoft revealed its “3-Screens”-Strategy.

1200-nokia-lumia-800_group

With new Windows Phone Hardware it steps forward, Nokia launched also finally their first Windows Phones. More and More must-have Smartphone-apps came to Windows Phone, such as Navigon or Whatsapp. Microsoft´s own advertising system launched in other countries like Germany and some other European countries.

image

Well, also my Blog made a change. With all that Metro-stuff around me, I am now addicted to this design. A hosted blog on WordPress was no longer good for me, so I registered msicc.net and host it on my own. I found a good designer who has experience with themes for WordPress, and he made this fantastic metro design for me. It is currently still a work in progress, as there will be a mobile metro theme as well as some other features.

Microsoft released also some of their services on the other smartphone platforms iOS and Android. MS is a software company, and this step is more than logical for me. Some features are also after exclusive to Windows Phone, so it does not really hurt.

It was an amazing year, but there were also some disappointing things: Microsoft stated that Skype will launch on Windows Phone this fall, then by the month of December. Sadly it is still missing. We tried to force Microsoft to release it via twitter or Facebook, but there was and is not statement when we will get it on our Phones. Also Photosynth, launched on iPhone and promised for a launch with Mango, is still not here – without comment from Microsoft.

I really hope Microsoft will really work with the feedback we provide trough their programs on userchoice.com to improve the overall experience on Windows Phone, Xbox and Windows.

Still there are a lot to-dos for Microsoft for 2012:

  • release Skype as an app
  • built in Skype into Windows Phone
  • Make all Bing features available outside the US
  • improve the Xbox-Live-Game-Submission on Marketplace
  • continue to get more devs on their side to provide Windows Phone apps
  • more marketing for Windows Phone and the experience
  • improve Windows Phone with the newest technologies like NFC, dual core CPU´s
  • open even more APIs to us developers
  • make TellMe simply better than Siri on iOS, including opening to developers
  • shorten the time between announcement and release btw. increase betas to more customers
  • release Zune-Pass in more countries. This is still a huge advantage over the other platforms as it is built in!
  • gain more partnerships for content on Xbox, Windows, Windows Phone
  • release more features in small updates to the Windows Phone platform to compete with the others, instead of releasing only one major update
Posted by msicc in Bing, Dev Stories, Microsoft, Windows, Windows Phone, wpdev, Xbox, 0 comments
XBOX Live Update is coming today – Germany Edition

XBOX Live Update is coming today – Germany Edition

Major Nelson announced via his blog the new Xbox Dashboard Update.

I will focus this post on what we will get here in Germany.

First, I will show you some shots of the new Dashboard:

WP_000051WP_000050WP_000063

As you can see, it is very metro-inspired and integrates into Microsoft´s Metro Design language.

Here are the special functions which were announced to launch worldwide:

Signals

signalsSignals allow you to your Xbox LIVE friends and Facebook contacts communicated that you would like to like to play a particular game online. On the other hand it works as well: one of your friends play a game that you play a note makes you point out, so that you can play with the same.

 

Cloud

cloudIn the future you can to fall 360 ®, which is connected to the Internet from any Xbox to your player profile. This means that you no longer need to copy your profile on a USB storage device, if you want to play on a different Xbox 360. You log in you simply on Xbox LIVE and play go!

 

 

 

Facebook

facebookIt is now even easier to tell all your Facebook friends that you have set a new record or a tricky success played freely. Cool thing: you do not even have to leave the running game to post such messages.

 

 

Here are the Movie-services, which will be launched with the update. Click the image to go to each service´s site.

With Sky Go you can enjoy the movie offers of Sky Germany. You will need a Gold membership as well as a subscription with Sky.

 

ZDF

ZDFmediathek for Xbox. The famous video portal of ZDF from the PC.  The ZDF is a state television in Germany.

 

Stream a wide range of movies now directly through your Xbox! LOVEFiLM members with a loan package of 7.29€ or more can choose from Germany’s largest film selection and top movies directly look at no extra cost.

 

 

 

You can watch YouTube as well as MSN Germany´s videos on your Xbox.

Daily motion offers the latest content by independent content providers and premium partners. Thanks to use of the most advanced technology, we offer top quality and videos in HD, which a quick and easy-to-use online service can be used. Copyright violations are automatically reviewed and filtered.

MUZU.TV offers almost 80,000 music videos and songs of the world’s most famous artists. Music of the stars of today and tomorrow, all news and interviews of your favorite artists.

The easiest way to select movies. And the coolest anyway. Simply watch trailer, determine seasons, see stars. For each film, there are user ratings, FILM launches criticism and press review. With FILM STARTS your get the fun guarantee cinema evenings!

But that´s not all at least! If you have a Windows Phone, you will get the XBOX Companion app! This is a remote app for the new Xbox Dashboard. Check some Screenshots here or check this article.

The Update will appear today on your Xbox.

I will do some reviews in the next days after the update, stay tuned folks!

Posted by msicc in Windows Phone, Xbox, 0 comments