Ubiquitous phone tool gets easier to use
We really are ungrateful louts, aren't we? Look at what Skype does: it lets you make worldwide phone calls for free and right from your Mac or your iOS device. You can make actual phone calls from it to cell phones and landlines for fractions of the cost it used to be. Yet ask anyone about Skype and they are likely to flick their eyes to the sky and curl their lip. For we forget every single brilliant thing Skype does and we only remember every single time it fails to do them. It's as if it is our God-given right to talk immediately and without the faintest hiccup to anyone, anywhere. Mind you, have you tried using it lately? It's a right pain in the – anyway, Skype 6.0 for iPhone aims to sort that out.
More MS apps expected by end of October
Microsoft is planning on releasing two new native iOS apps using a Metro-style interface by the end of October, an AppleInsider source claims. The first is the Outlook Web App for Exchange 2012 users, also reportedly known as the "OWA Mobile Client for iOS." The app will require both iOS 5 and an Exchange 2012 mailbox, though some offline functions will be supported. Versions for Windows Phone 7.5 and Android 4.0 are planned, but Microsoft documentation is said to list their features as "to be determined," while the iOS app is expected to provide the "best" mobile support.
Microsoft software roadmap from December leaked
Microsoft has begun sending out a roadmap that shows some details about its future software products such as Office 15, Internet Explorer 10, and Windows Phone to some of its partners. One of them, CEO of Meetroo Maarten Visser, shared part of it over Twitter, revealing said details. Dated December 22, 2011, the images weren't password-protected. Considering the date, the Windows roadmap doesn't mention anything past the Developer Preview and certainly not the Consumer Preview that launched on February 29.
Logitech BCC950 combines HD cam, speakerphone
Logitech has just unveiled its BCC950 ConferenceCam, meant for meetings. It's the first device to combine a 1080p webcam with a full-duplex speakerphone. The camera connects over USB and an included remote control or control pad lets users pan, tilt, and zoom the camera to focus on anyone or anything in the room.
Earbuds optimized to Microsoft Link
Logitech has launched a new set of airbuds targeting business users. The BH320 USB Stereo Earbuds are designed primarily for voice and video chats, not music. The earbuds use a five-band parametric equalization technology to optimize both the audio and microphone to make it mirror normal speech. Echo cancellation also adds to voice clarity.
Microsoft outs business apps for Nokia Belle
Nokia and Microsoft this week released the first batch of productivity apps for the former's handsets running on Nokia Belle phones. Called Microsoft Apps, the free productivity suite includes four programs usually only found on Microsoft's own platforms. A common thread with multiple smartphone OS bases is OneNote, which lets users create documents containing text and images.
Platform connects business workers
Microsoft will finally launch planned Lync mobile clients on December 12th, a report indicates. The primary source for the information is Alessandro Zattoni, an Italian IT profession who through Twitter says he learned that the Lync client for Windows Phone will become available on the 12th. Zattoni elaborates that the information was revealed at a partner-only Lync event. Possibly backing up the claim is that Zattoni has been retweeted by a representative for Microsoft's Lync Server technical reference hub, although officially Microsoft has refused to comment.
Mango to bring new business features for phones
Microsoft on Monday detailed some new, business-oriented features that will arrive in the upcoming Mango update for Windows Phone 7 phones. What is expected to be called Windows Phone 7.5, the update will include pinnable e-mail folders, a conversation view in e-mails, a server search feature, and more. There will also be a free Lync app from Lync Mobile.
Microsoft makes Skype buyout official
Microsoft on Tuesday confirmed rumors and said it would buy Skype for $8.5 billion. The mutually approved deal will see Skype's voice and video chat help out platforms like the Xbox 360 and its Kinect camera as well as Windows Phone. Outlook and Microsoft's corporate communication system Lync would also get help, Microsoft said.