Microsoft cloud services remade for Windows 8 and Windows Phone
Microsoft's official Windows 8 developers shed light on their plan to "reimagine" Windows Live services, which will be rebranded for the upcoming OS. Chris Jones, VP of the Windows Live group, wrote that Windows 8 will provide the company with the opportunity to “design them to be a seamless part of the Windows experience.”
Live ID, Zune brands won't appear in Windows 8
When it launches the Consumer Preview of Windows 8 at MWC next week, Microsoft will have done away with two long-standing brands, The Verge found out. The Windows Live brand will be gone, replaced by similarly functioning Windows Communications apps. At the same time, Microsoft Live ID will now be known as Microsoft Account, likely with some minor changes and improvements.
Zune HD references temporarily disappear
Microsoft sparked a brief moment of panic after dropping all references to the Zune HD on its Zune Pass page. The absence, which only left PCs, Windows Phone, and Zune, led some to believe that Microsoft had quietly dropped the MP3 player. Michael Yaeger from the company's team posted a clarification noting that the product pages were still up and it was a "publishing mishap."
Features one-click purchasing, social networking
Windows Phone Web Marketplace is now live in the US and Germany. Windows Phone Web Marketplace is also linked from search results in Bing. A one-click purchase feature in Web Marketplace allows users to pay for apps with the credit card information stored in their Windows Live ID. The new app portal will send a link to a Windows Phone 7 device by SMS or email to make installing apps easier. Windows Phone Web Marketplace will also have social networking buttons for each app to allow users to share and rate apps.
Windows 8 to allow syncing across Windows Live
Microsoft just revealed that Windows 8 will bring with it the ability to sign into a PC with a Windows Live ID for quickly accessing quick settings wherever they are. Doing so is available for all compatible devices, apps and services. Logging in will have the Metro-style apps in their last-used settings and state, for example.
Photo Gallery now imports Raw file, edits JPG copy
Microsoft will now support raw format images with Windows Live Photo Gallery 2011. Until now, photographers working with photos in RAW had to work with third-party apps such as Adobe Photoshop or Corel PaintShop Photo Pro. Apple has supported RAW formats natively since 2005.
Microsoft dev update helps Live in Android, iOS
Microsoft on Wednesday outlined an updated developer platform that should help bring its services into third-party apps on smartphones, including those using its competitors' platforms. Apps on Android, iOS, and Windows Phone 7 now just need a basic client link and to point the app to an OAuth 2 sign-in. The link gives them access to information from Windows Live's core services, including Hotmail, Windows Live Messenger, and SkyDrive cloud storage.
Nokia offloads messaging to Syncrhonica
Nokia on Thursday continued its offloading of Symbian businesses by selling its messaging service to Synchronica. The mobile messaging developer will get Nokia's self-run e-mail, instant messaging, and social networking portals. It plans to take on all of Nokia's ten contracts in North America and will keep supporting both basic S40 phones and Symbian smartphones.
Zune HD has official mail app
Microsoft in a belated step has quietly brought out the first true e-mail app for the Zune HD. The official software gives the MP3 player checks for both Gmail and Windows Live mail as well as any mail account that uses a POP3 server for incoming messages. The app isn't as full-featured as on Windows Phone 7 but lets users quickly mass-delete messages or filter by the folder or the status.
Lion does Yahoo audio and video chat
Another finding late Saturday has shown Apple expanding iChat AV to Yahoo Messenger. Marck Unkow has found that users can now sign into Yahoo for both audio and video conversations, much as they could with AIM in the past. The client's only non-AIM support in the past had been for Jabber, which led to support for Google Talk, but only for text.
WP7 to get internal video and VoIP chat
Microsoft was confirmed this weekend to already have code in place for a FaceTime-like video chat system in Windows Phone 7. A DLL handling media in the OS makes reference to a 'self portrait camera,' and a second scoop has also unearthed registry entries for VoIP and SIP support for voice-only features like Skype. Neowin in finding the info noted that all of the features were set to off and didn't have write permissions to switch them on.
Windows 8 said having gaming focus
Microsoft's Windows 8 could have a much stronger focus on gaming, a slip alleged today. The developer is said making gaming not just important but a "key component for the whole OS." What that would entail wasn't given to the TechRadar source.
A sponsored post by Microsoft
Once you’ve experienced life on the cloud, it’s hard to remember how you got by all these years without it. For instance, do you think your 1980s self could ever imagine a time when you could live, work, and play in a virtual world? Yet, here we are in 2010 doing just that with Windows Live.
Sure, there are some life-altering discoveries that haven’t happened yet, like time travel, teleporting, or flying cars, but Windows Live is a good indication we’re on the right track.
Latest Messenger now out of beta testing
Microsoft has finally released Messenger for Mac 8, the latest version of the communication utility. The update maintains a focus on Office integration for Windows Live users, which excludes the gaming and social features recently added to Messenger 2011 for Windows machines.
Zune HD gets Win Live Messenger in new app mix
Microsoft overnight gave the Zune HD its first significant app catalog update in months and headlined it with Windows Live Messenger. The app is the Zune's first instant messaging app and supports most of the same features, up to Facebook chat as well as social feeds from Facebook, Flickr and MySpace. It doesn't truly multitask but will change status to reflect any currently playing music.
Xbox 360 Dashboard preview going up later today
Microsoft team member Marc Whitten told gamers that the preview program for the new Xbox 360 Dashboard will go live today. The expansion will bring some interface changes but will primarily add features promised at E3, including the ESPN3 live events, Zune Pass music streaming in multiple countries and Netflix in Canada.
RIM promises BB 6 updates to older phones
RIM as part of the BlackBerry Torch launch provided details of the upgrade plan for BlackBerry 6. The new OS will reach the Bold 9700, the Bold 9650 and the Pearl 3G as well as future devices. A timetable hasn't been set, but it should reach devices in the "months ahead."
Vodafone no longer making custom 360 phones
UK wireless provider Vodafone has stopped development on custom, Vodafone 360 handsets, and will no longer work on or release the Samsung H2 altogether. Instead, it will focus on enhancing the 360 social media platform and adding handsets that support it. Currently, Vodafone 360 services include automatic syncing of all contacts from your phone, Facebook, Windows Live Messenger, Google Talk and Twitter, as well as a music, apps and games shop, among others.
Windows Phone Live to give WP7 Apple-like backup
Microsoft in the latest of a string of updates today said Windows Phone 7 would have remote storage and security options much like Apple's MobileMe. Windows Phone Live will sync calendars, contacts, OneNote updates and photos as well as provide 25GB of storage on Microsoft's SkyDrive. A Find My Phone service, virtually identical to Apple's Find My iPhone, will help out with lost or stolen phones and track the phone's position over GPS as well as remotely lock, ring or wipe the phone to help get it back with data intact.
Photo Gallery, Movie Maker improved
As promised, Microsoft has released the full series of Windows Live Essentials betas. The company has made improvements to the full range of utilities, with tighter social networking integration in Photo Gallery and Messenger.
Windows Live Messenger iPhone marks 2nd MS app
Microsoft today posted its second major iPhone app today in the form of Windows Live Messenger (free, App Store). The download gives the expected instant messaging on Windows Live but also integrates closely with other networks; it also talks to Yahoo Messenger contacts, pulls status updates from Facebook, Flickr and MySpace.
MS Kin could finally add IM support soon
Microsoft could significantly expand the functionality of Kin phones with future updates, well-known firmware hacker Conflipper has discovered. References in the code point to AIM, Windows Live and Yahoo instant messaging and imply that one or more chat clients should reach the feature phones. Further parts allude to a USB mode likely to be used for mass storage.
MS claims Win Live Essentials trump iPhoto
Microsoft today tried to claim a rare edge in superiority for media apps with a preview of an upgraded Windows Live Essentials pack. The bundle focuses heavily on Photo Gallery and claims some advantages not seen in iPhoto: users can make composite images that take the best parts of similar images, and Facebook integration is tight with both uploads and the ability to import tags from photos already uploaded to the social network. Batch edits and an Office-like ribbon interface are also new.
Problem persists for several days
Some people have been unable to use the regular Hotmail website on the iPad, Microsoft has acknowledged. Those affected are unable to write or reply to messages, effectively rendering the site useless. Microsoft elaborates that it is currently working with Apple to "understand the issues," and ultimately fix them as soon as it can.
DST buys ICQ from AOL for $187.5 million
The largest Internet company in the Eastern European markets, Digital Sky Technologies has purchased instant messaging program ICQ from AOL, the two companies announced on Wednesday. ICQ is the leading IM service in Russia and other international markets, and Digital Sky purchased it for $187.5 million.
STM Glove now available in new colors
Microsoft's Windows Live Messenger app for the iPhone has been detailed in screenshots posted on newowin.net. Sources claim that Microsoft on Wednesday will unveil the next generation of Windows Live Messenger, however the public beta and iPhone app are not expected to be released until June. The app provides photo sharing and chat functionality, along with a social stream.
Microsoft WP7 to have Android-style sign-on
When it ships, Windows Phone 7 will require an Android-style sign-on and have other tight conditions when it ships, a leak today appears to have shown. Using one of the Microsoft-driven phones will need a Windows Live ID as contact sync, Windows Phone Marketplace and other services will all need an account. Google is less demanding but has had a similar practice where customers are encouraged to sign in or setup an account early on.
Microsoft debunked some claims of a unified app store for smartphones by launching OneApp on Monday. The software is aimed at bringing relatively complex Internet apps like Facebook, Twitter and Windows Live Messenger to regular, feature-limited phones. It pools all of these into the namesake single app and keeps the footprint down to just 150K while only loading both the local and cloud-based data that's actually needed.
Moto Rival at Telus
Telus this morning became only the second North American carrier to adopt the Motorola Rival on its network. The QWERTY slider is built for messaging with quick access to e-mail, Facebook and IM across Windows Live and Yahoo. It occupies the entry- to mid-range category among non-smartphones with a 2-megapixel camera, 3G data, a 3.5mm headphone jack and microSDHC support up to 8GB.
Sidekick LX 2009 Leak
Danger and its hardware partners may be preparing a major update to the Sidekick LX that turns it into an advanced media and social networking device, a survey given to a Hiptop3 reader suggests. When asked about smartphones, the reader says she was reportedly presented with an image that shows an Sidekick LX 2009 that centers on an unusually sharp, 854x480 3.2-inch display. It would also have other hardware firsts for Sidekicks, including 3G data, GPS with turn-by-turn navigation and a 3.2-megapixel camera with both flash and video capture.
Besides its first computers, ViewSonic has also used CES to introduce its first 3D-capable displays and a round of photo frames. Heading up the line is the VX2265wm FuHzion. The 22-inch panel can output a stereoscopic 3D image viewable with NVIDIA's GeForce 3D Vision and uses its extra refresh to generate a 120Hz 2D picture that restores some of the detail lost in fast-moving images.
MS hires ex-Yahoo exec
Microsoft has hired an ex-Yahoo executive to run its Online Services Group, the company has announced. Qi Lu -- who until recently was the executive VP of engineering for the Search and Advertising Technology Group at Yahoo -- will assume his new role on January 5th, where he will report directly to CEO Steve Ballmer. His responsibilities should involve directing Microsoft's efforts in online search and advertising, which are centered around Windows Live.
Yahoo Board Survives Vote
Yahoo investors at the company's shareholders meeting have voted to keep executives suggested through a last-minute deal with activist investor Carl Icahn. The vote keeps nearly all of the existing leaders of the company and showed an unexpected level of confidence in particularly vocal opponents of Microsoft's initial takeover bid for Yahoo, including company CEO Jerry Yang and chairman Roy Bostock, who respectively earned 85.4 and 79.5 percent votes in favor of their remaining in place.
Creative ZEN X-Fi
Creative on Thursday took the wraps from the ZEN X-Fi, the company's first-ever wireless player and its first competitor to the iPod touch and Zune. The device succeeds the original ZEN and includes a new, nine-point control pad key to using the device online over Wi-Fi: Wireless LAN versions can use a phone-style text entry system to chat online using Windows Live or Yahoo instant messaging. The network access also gives the X-Fi the ability to stream music and video directly from a home computer on the local network, although a rumored Internet streaming feature doesn't reach the finished product.
MS Yahoo Search Buy Leak
Microsoft's proposed partial deal with Yahoo may see a buyout of the company's search platform in a bid to create a new, alternative challenge to Google, according to tips from those purportedly aware of the negotiations. Rather than buy out all of Yahoo or else strike a license deal, Microsoft will buy Yahoo's core search business and may complete a transaction as early as this week.
BlackBerry Windows Live
Research in Motion today continued a string of announcements for its Wireless Enterprise Symposium with word that it will start offering Microsoft's key Windows Live services on its smartphones. Both Hotmail and Windows Live Messenger will be available from the software and will only require a single sign-in to access both services when they sign in. The BlackBerry's trademark "push" technology will apply to Hotmail and will deliver mail almost in real-time to the phone, complete with full HTML and an optional separate inbox; Live Messenger in turn will have the same multi-chat and emoticon options as with other clients.