Microsoft

All things related to Microsoft Corporation

Bye bye Windows Start icon

 Microsoft  No Responses »
Jul 062012
 
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Windows 8 is making some major interface changes and some are wondering just how many changes people are willing to put up with in their desktop environment. The latest version of the Windows Operating System does away with the famioliar Start button on the Taskbar and now relies on the keyboard Windows Key for the same function.

We can certainly see how it can make things faster with the action of moving a mouse across the screen and losing your place in a document taking seconds where a tap on the keyboard can take milliseconds but the idea of losing the Start icon can be unsettling for some who have grown so accumstomed to dragging the mouse over to launch a new program.

Windows 8 will bring a lot of new features and improvements, do you think this is one of them?

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Microsoft shutters Pioneer Studios

 Microsoft  No Responses »
May 202011
 
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It looks like a dream team of intellectuals all working on the next big thing might be harder to make succeed than Microsoft first expected. They have finally closed the doors on Pioneer Studios where one J Allard worked on Xbox, Zune and other consumer electronics and gadgets.

The test be was supposed to crank out gen ius products but in the end the ideas were bigger than their capabilities and apparently they were never able to come out with any usable products other than improvements to existing lines such as the Zune and Xbox Experience.

Anyone looking for space in Redmond?

Microsoft shutters Pioneer Studios, we pour one out for J Allard
By Amar Toor posted May 20th 2011 5:28AM
It’s been about a year since he left Microsoft, but the J Allard era came to a more definitive close yesterday, with the shuttering of his brainchild, Pioneer Studios. Microsoft opened the incubation lab more than three years ago as an entrepreneurial space where designers could toy around with new consumer technologies. The tragically shelved Courier tablet was first developed within Pioneer’s exposed brick walls, where Allard and his Alchemy Ventures team also worked on the Xbox, Zune and Windows Phone 7.

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Microsoft and Nokia announce partnership for two sinking ships

 Microsoft  No Responses »
Feb 122011
 
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An internal memo at Nokia recently described the company as a “burning oil platform” and Microsoft has failed miserably with Zune and Windows Phone so the two companies got together and decided that the best choice would be to link the companies and just like that Microsoft will have it’s oft maligned new operating system on phones with the largest handset maker in the world.

We have to assume they have been in talks for awhile but the timing is certainly strange when you consider how badly both companies need each other at the moment. Nokia was about to become irrelevant with more affordable smartphones hitting the market and their Mobile OS Symbian being rather far behind other choices such as Apple or the hot and popular Android. Microsoft has spent years and millions to redesign it’s mobile operating system while steadily losing all the ground they gained as the most popular choice early on in the industry.

Now they are having a hard time to get phone manufacturers on board with their new software for various reasons but Android being basically free must certainly weigh heavily in the choice on what software to install especially with an open format like Android that allows phone makers to freely modify the operating system unlike the proprietary software from Microsoft. Open source is gaining ground on copyright code and I could not be more excited about that.

 
Nokia, Microsoft in pact to rival Apple, Google – Yahoo! News

Microsoft CEO Steven Ballmer said the partnership would give the team “more innovation, greater global reach and scale.”

“We need to, and we will, collaborate closely on development … so we can really align and drive the future revolution of the mobile phone,” he said.

The key challenge will be to come up with devices of a quality level and hip factor that helps position Windows Phone as an attractive alternative to iPhone or Android.

Windows Phone 7, which was launched last year, still has a lot of catching up to do in terms of both the number of users and the number of “apps” available for the phones.

Nokia said its expertise in developing new software with Microsoft will be “on top of the platform in areas such as imaging, where Nokia is a market leader.” Its map services will be a core part of the new device as will Microsoft’s Bing search engine, Nokia said.

Neil Mawston of London-based Strategy Analytics said Microsoft was the big winner in the partnership, by teaming up with the biggest mobile hardware vendor in the world.

“In terms of expanding their distribution reach, this is a huge win for Microsoft,” he said.

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Microsoft KIN voted biggest tech failure of 2010

 Microsoft  No Responses »
Dec 162010
 
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It is a shame really the number of awards Microsoft has earned with the Kin and Zune line of electronic dcevices. First Zune was called the biggest tech failure of 2007 and now Kin has been nominated the biggest tech failure of 2010 and there is no doubt that regardless of the whiz bang features the Kin Phones had they were by far the biggest failure of the year and quite possibly in tech history. Can you imagine spending 100′s of millions to design and develop a mobile phone that is pulled from the market in just 48 days? it took about 48 months for them to do the leg work in building the phones and they shut the whole thing down in under 2 months.

That is a failure of unimaginable purportions and should be the nail in the electronics coffin for the Entertainment and Devices division of the worlds largest software company. It really is a mystery to me how Microsoft was able to kill Zune and Kin so efficiently and so effectively. When Zune was released I remember a few conversations I had with users about wheter or not there was a spy in the Zune division whos only purpose was to kill the project. Do you remember the Zune software photo of the young lady in pain? Can you say FAIL?

Do you think Microsoft has a chance in the mobbile phone market or should they just focus on software?

Zune Software Fail

 

The worst tech of 2010 – Technology & science – Tech and gadgets – Digital Home – msnbc.com

In an era where everyone wants a smart phone, who would buy a dumbed-down handset that has no apps, provides a terrible browsing experience on its tiny screen and has a UI that makes users jump through silly hoops like dragging photos onto a tiny green circle just to share them? Teenagers and young adult hipsters would flock to Kin in droves, Microsoft reasoned, and even pay the same data fees Verizon charges for its Droids. Fortunately, consumers aren’t stupid. The product was pulled from the market in just 48 days. (Msnbc.com is a joint venture of Microsoft and NBC Universal.)

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Microsoft Brings Some Zune Features To Bing

 Microsoft  No Responses »
Jun 292010
 
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So Microsoft has finally stepped up and integrated some Zune features directly into their hot new search engine and it seems you can actually stream free music using their newly branded “Entertainment Engine”. By doing a simple search for your favorite artist or song you pull up a variety of new features which allow you to hear a song once or can also send you straight to the appropriate music store for your online purchases. Bing now offers link directly to the Zune music store as well as iTunes and more.

Microsoft Brings Some Zune Features To Bing – ITProPortal.com

Microsoft is taking on Google in the fight for online search supremacy by introducing new music-related features from Zune marketplace to its search engine, Bing.

Users in the US will be able to play tracks from within the search engine results page. Microsoft says that music searches will now include lyrics and playable tracks from more than five million songs which are already available from Zune.

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Verizon drops prices on Microsoft Kin Phones

 Microsoft  No Responses »
Jun 292010
 
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Hey maybe now I can afford a KIN. It seems I was right and the KIN phones are a bit to expensive so Verizon has taken the early lead and dropped the prices on the Zune enabled phones. I can only say that now I can consider owning one of these feature rich Windows 7 phones and I suppose I may have to head over to the Verizon store for some updates on exactly what this will cost me with the Zune Pass and data plans.

I really wish mobile phone companies would offer better rates on data plans and that the KIN phones were less expensive to own. If the prices were right I think I would have one for myself and one for my wife but its hard to justify switching carriers just to have a new phone no matter how long I have waited for the design and features that the KIN Phone offer. I really liked the Sidekick phones and KIN was supposed to be the next generation but the price points seemed a bit steep in comparison to available competitors. Maybe now some others will see the value in Kin phones and they will start to pick up in sales.

Sadly I really think they missed the boat with the branding of these and they should just drop Kin and rejuvenate the Zune line but if I had my way the Zune would not have been an also ran in the media device market anyway.

TECHNOLOGY – Verizon Wireless Slashes Microsoft Kin Prices

Verizon decided to lower the prices of the youth-oriented social-networking phones as the device could generate scant attention since its launch and the sales were below par. The Kin was designed to target a similar demographic as the Sidekick but could not hold on in the wake of iPhones and other smartphones that don’t cost any more per month and offer the ability to run thousands of applications.

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Has Microsoft gone far enough to fix Entertainment and Devices Division?

 Microsoft  No Responses »
Jun 212010
 
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I think the first time I wondered about the Zune team at Microsoft was when they releaseed the software installation with that horrible photo of an asian woman writhing on the ground with a face like she just nutted all over herself. It was really bad and the beginning of the end in my  opinion. The Zune became an instant joke and this along with the shit brown color for the first Zune were enough to sink the poor mobile device from the leading tech company in the world.

When it took 4 years to come up with KIN in a world full of truly intelligent smartphones I knew they were in real trouble. Don;t get me wrong I think KIN phones are great but simply the wrong way for them to start in a market saturated with also ran devices. I don’t know if cutting the top guys will be enough or maybe they need to look higher up the chain. It could be that these guys are laying down on the sword for Ballmer because if you ask me it rests on his shoulders to keep the Gates Empire afloat.

Is Microsoft’s shake-up enough to get E&D back on track?

The news of the departures of J Allard and Robbie Bach from Microsoft’s Entertainment and Devices division has been met with a remarkable breadth of opinion. Bach and Allard were both instrumental in the development and marketing of the Xbox console.

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KIN Phones show us what Microsoft has planned for our future

 Microsoft  No Responses »
Jun 132010
 
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The article below may be one of the first to tie notice how cool the KIN phones really are regardless of their limited success and also shows us just what Microsoft has planned for our future. As I have stated before the KIN Studio services are awesome and a truly visionary feature that all mobile devices will employ in the future. I can’t give credit to MS for Studio because they basically bought it from Sidekick when they assimilated the pioneering handset maker.

Sadly it may have taken them too long to integrate the features into WinMo 7 and so it’s a bit unfinished at this point but anyone with a brain can see just how wicked cool the future of mobile is going to be. I can see a day when I can walk the streets of my home town and shoot a video of some newsworthy scene and upload it to my Studio and within seconds have distributed said video to the entire digital stream. My video will sync across all of my devices including my home gaming console and every web connected device I own. I’ll be able to share it over all social networks with my friends and even send it to major publishers like CNN or my local news station without ever having to upload or transcode a thing.

Within minutes I can share this video with the entire world and I would not have had to make a single change in my day or activity. For parents like me, KIN Studio would be a great way to shared the fun and excitement of children with all our friends and family without the trouble of taking the content from one device and moving it to another device or service. How cool will that be?

How a silly phone for teens reveals Microsoft’s plan for us all – Wireless- msnbc.com

Despite its mobile prowess, Apple sucks at the Internet.

But surprisingly it’s Microsoft — not Google—that’s best positioned for Our Future in the Cloud. Here’s why. (MSNBC is a Microsoft – NBC joint venture.)

It’s common for writers to trot out the Google/Apple binary. It’s not entirely invalid: Yes, following spectacular success with the iPhone and the App Store, Apple has let its online ambitions — Mobile Me and the like — whither. And Google, inexperienced in hardware and consumer software as it may be, is an Internet company, so you’d expect it to be ahead of the curve when it comes to, well, using the internet. But consider Microsoft, the lumbering giant, the sprawling monster. This is a company with more experience online than the other two companies combined; which could, if it wanted to, bring the lives of people — their media, their documents, their photos, their everything — online in a way that its competitors only dream of.

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