Danilo Pianco
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Microsoft Launches IE10 For Windows 7

Microsoft Launches IE10 For Windows 7 | Danilo Pianco | Scoop.it
This sure took a while, but Microsoft just announced that Internet Explorer 10 is now finally available for all Windows 7 users worldwide.

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IS Decisions's curator insight, February 26, 2013 11:09 AM

"According to Microsoft, IE10 is at least 20% faster than IE9 when it comes to real-world performance" ... Good news, if true ...

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You don't really need a Start Menu in Windows 8

You don't really need a Start Menu in Windows 8 | Danilo Pianco | Scoop.it

"Greg Shultz shows you several techniques you can use to launch your Desktop applications in Windows 8 that don’t involve a Start Menu...."


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IS Decisions's curator insight, November 30, 2012 3:35 AM

"You are cruising along, and then technology changes. You have to adapt". (Marc Andreessen)

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Internet Explorer 10 for Windows 7 arriving tomorrow

Internet Explorer 10 for Windows 7 arriving tomorrow | Danilo Pianco | Scoop.it

Microsoft has been steadily losing browser share for the best part of a decade, with Google’s Chrome the main competitor to Internet Explorer. Firefox and Opera have loyal followings, but Chrome is the one Microsoft would be looking to fend off.

Now that Windows 8 has hit, the early adopters are getting to experience Internet Explorer 10, in both in Modern UI and regular desktop flavours. But what about Windows 7 users still stuck on IE9? Microsoft famously left XP users in the cold when it released IE9 for Vista and 7, so when Microsoft promised the latest browser was coming to their most popular OS in preview form, people still took note that there was no firm plans to bring IE10 to Windows 7 in final form.

Well mark November 13th in your diary, as this is when IE10 will hit for Windows 7. Yes, that’s tomorrow! It was Roger Capriotti, Product Marketing Director for IE that stated that the build will be available from tomorrow.

With benchmarking results for the new browser mixed, mostly losing out to Chrome and Firefox, Microsoft might struggle to convince some users to switch back to the bundled browser. For the most part however, the average user, especially the new Windows 8 user(s), should help build consumer confidence in the once dominant browser.


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Windows prelaunch paranoia: 17 years of gloom and doom

Windows prelaunch paranoia: 17 years of gloom and doom | Danilo Pianco | Scoop.it

My personal favorite paranoid headline from the 2012 rollout is Forbes's "Is Windows 8 going to kill Microsoft?" In the article itself, the writer, Forbes contributor Tim Worstall, doesn't actually assert that Microsoft will go under; the headline is more trollish than anything. Instead, Worstall hypothesizes that, because Windows 8 looks different from Windows 7, "the very change [Microsoft is] bringing in means that people will be open to changing to a non-Windows platform." For pure entertainment value, I like the headline better.

A more nuanced risk analysis comes from ZDNet's Larry Dignan, who writes in "Microsoft: Radical shift to devices, risk ahead of Windows 8" that the Windows 8 launch represents Microsoft's move from being a software company that earns the lion's share of its revenue from software licenses to being a "devices and services company," to quote Steve Ballmer.

The risk for Microsoft if it doesn't adapt to change is that it might lose a portion of its 1.3 billion Windows users as Android smartphones and Apple tablets continue to transform the way people use computing devices. The challenge for Microsoft is to keep traditional desktop users happy while hoping that they migrate away from the desktop OS to Windows 8-powered gear—and not to those Android or Apple devices.

Windows OS sales in 2011 brought Microsoft $11.5 billion in revenue. If people forgo upgrading to Windows 8 or make the decision to buy a new Apple iPad instead of a Surface tablet, all of a sudden Microsoft is in trouble.

However, given that Microsoft makes the majority of its money from licensing software to businesses—it took in $24 billion in revenue and posted $15.8 billion in operating income in 2011—I'm not sure even sluggish sales of Windows 8 could topple Microsoft anytime soon.

This is just the most recent roundup of paranoia: Skeptics have been around ever since Microsoft released Windows 3.0 in 1990 and went head-to-head against IBM's OS/2. But let's begin our walk down Naysayer Lane in 1995.


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Microsoft Surface RT Priced: 32GB For $499 Without Touch Cover, $599 With; 64GB For $699

Microsoft Surface RT Priced: 32GB For $499 Without Touch Cover, $599 With; 64GB For $699 | Danilo Pianco | Scoop.it

Microsoft today detailed pricing for its Surface tablets, at least those running the scaled down RT version of its upcoming Windows 8 operating system designed for use on low-power processors.


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Heck Yes, Microsoft Absolutely Should Make Its Own Phone

Heck Yes, Microsoft Absolutely Should Make Its Own Phone | Danilo Pianco | Scoop.it

Microsoft's attempts to crack the mobile market have thus far failed.
The latest comScore data shows it is still losing marketshare in the U.S., even with critically acclaimed phones from Nokia. It's in fourth place, behind Research In Motion, and far behind Apple and Android who are running away with the market.
As a result of being backed into a corner, it apparently now feels the need to make its own smartphone, putting it in direct competition with its most important mobile partner, Nokia, as well as other manufacturing partners like HTC and Samsung.
Our snap reaction to Microsoft's decision to make its own phone is that it's a big mistake. On further reflection, we think it makes sense. Microsoft is pretty much screwed either way, so it might as well go down swinging and make its own phone.
We laid out the reasons for Microsoft to skip making its own phone. They're pretty straightforward, and obvious.
The main point is that Microsoft's smartphone partners are making really good phones. The Lumia 920 looks great. The HTC Windows Phone 8X also looks like a solid phone. This is the key difference between the smartphone market and the tablet market. Microsoft's computer partners were not going to make great tablets, therefore it had to build the Surface. With smartphones, Microsoft doesn't have to make a phone. It can trust its partners to make good hardware.
This argument is weak, though. As long as Microsoft makes a phone that's as good as Nokia and HTC, then that's good enough.
Smartphones are all quickly reaching the point of parity on the specs level. The difference in performance between a Samsung Galaxy S III and an iPhone 5 is negligible.
It all comes down to the look of the hardware, the software, and the marketing of the phone. If Microsoft can make a good looking phone that competes with its partners, then markets it well, the Microsoft has as good a chance as anyone.
But won't Microsoft infuriate its partners? We've got two words to say about that: Who cares.
Nokia decided to bet the company on Windows Phone software. It has no choice but to work with Microsoft. HTC just made a huge investment in Windows Phone, building the 8X from scratch. It's not going to throw in the towel on that effort right away. Plus, HTC isn't exactly doing all that well with just Android. It needs Microsoft.
Besides, the entire idea of competing with partners is overblown. Imagine if Apple suddenly had a change of heart and decided to license iOS to anyone in the world. Do you think HTC, Samsung, and even Nokia, would pass on using iOS because Apple makes iPhones? Of course not. Those companies would immediately jump at the opportunity because iOS is good software people love.
If, against all odds, Microsoft builds a phone, and it's a smash hit, it's good news for HTC and Nokia. It means consumers want Windows Phone 8 software. Nokia and HTC will be able to go to consumers with alternative options to Microsoft's phone.
There's another reason for Microsoft to do its own phone. The Windows business model that once made Microsoft the most valuable company in tech doesn't work in mobile. It can't charge partners $80 for Windows Phone software. It charges much less, thus making less money. If it can sell phones, and copy the Apple model of charging carriers $600 for a phone that sells for $200, then it could net $400 per phone, which is obviously much better.
Most importantly from Microsoft's perspective, the Nokia and HTC phones are not working. We can't emphasize this enough. We want to shout it: Microsoft's current plan is not working!
So, it can stick with Nokia and HTC because it doesn't want to hurt their feelings, or it can strike out on its own and take a chance building and marketing its own phone.
When you think about it like that, Microsoft making its own phones isn't a crazy decision, it's Microsoft's only decision.


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Where oh where is Windows Phone 8?

Where oh where is Windows Phone 8? | Danilo Pianco | Scoop.it

Two companies have now announced their Windows Phone 8 hardware. Samsung was first out of the blocks, showing off its ATIV S at IFA last month. With much fanfare, Nokia revealed its first pair of Windows Phone 8 handsets, the Lumia 820 and Lumia 920. But in spite of gathering journalists from all over the world, a few things were missing from Nokia's press conference.

Some things weren't entirely surprising. Nokia didn't announce any availability information—pricing, dates, carrier partnerships, all were left unspoken. While one always has to wonder about the value of this kind of paper launch—it may create excitement, but there's no way of converting that excitement into revenue if nobody can actually place an order—it's an unfortunate industry standard practice.

But what was a little surprising is that there were no handsets for the press to play with. There were some demonstration units carefully attended by PR personnel, and while we were able to get kind of close to them, the general rule was "you can look but you can't touch." This isn't unprecedented, but it's a little unusual for such a high-priority smartphone launch. Touching the phones, seeing how they feel in the hand, checking that their UI is nice and fast, these are all important parts of a smartphone launch.

The problem Nokia has appears to be not so much its hardware; it's the software. Windows Phone 8 isn't done yet. Not only is Windows Phone 8 not done, it's not even public yet. If Nokia let the assembled members of the fourth estate use its shiny new phones, they'd end up learning about Windows Phone 8's unrevealed features—features that Microsoft hasn't yet talked about.

All we officially know about Windows Phone 8 was announced in San Francisco in June. This event was originally billed as a "Windows Phone Developer Summit," and according to the first set of invitations that were sent out, it was originally due to last two days. It's unconfirmed, but widely believed that Microsoft was planning to ship the Windows Phone 8 SDK at the same time.

That didn't happen, though, because the SDK wasn't ready. So instead of cancelling, Microsoft put on a much smaller event, announcing just a handful of new features—turn-by-turn navigation, VoIP integration, an NFC Wallet, a more flexible Start screen, greater enterprise support, and underlying it all, a version of the Windows NT kernel—and promising that an SDK would arrive at some point in the summer.

With the end of summer fast approaching (I may be old-fashioned, but the equinox marks the end of the season), with the occasional leak excepted, the SDK is still nowhere in sight.

Apparently aware that time is running out, Microsoft has at long last spoken. Next week, the company will release a beta SDK... to a few people. Calling it a limited "Preview" release, some number of developers with existing, published Windows Phone 7 applications will be able to use the new SDK. This is in addition to an existing private beta program already running, that's giving OEMs and special software partners access to the software.

A full SDK will come, but not until the company properly unveils the operating system—which is currently rumored to happen on October 29th. Presuming Windows Phone 8 devices ship this year—and Microsoft is certainly talking as if they will—that leaves developers little time to update their applications and get ready for the new platform.

Needless to say, developers are unhappy. They had months of SDK access prior to Windows Phone's initial release. The same was true of the major Mango update; Microsoft gave developers beta firmware, so that they could test it on real devices, and an updated SDK months before the software was actually delivered. iPhone developers similarly have ample access to new SDKs and firmwares; the iOS 6 SDK was first made available on June 11th. With iPhone 5 likely to materialize next week, that will be three months of SDK access to prepare for the new platform. This compares to a handful of weeks for Windows Phone 8 developers.

And getting that SDK is important, given just how disruptive it's going to be. The development model on Windows Phone 7 was pretty straightforward; normal programs used C# and XAML (Microsoft's language for developing user interfaces), 3D programs used C# and XNA (Microsoft's cross-platform 3D API built on top of Direct3D), and, with the release of Windows Phone 7.5, programs that needed both could mix and match both.

Windows Phone 8 is more complicated. Although it will continue to run Windows Phone 7 applications as is (whether XAML, XNA, or both), any applications that use new, Windows Phone 8-specific features, will have to fit a new development model. 3D programming will have to be C++, using Direct3D directly. XAML programs will continue to use C#. Mixing 3D with XAML will be possible, but will require a mix of C# for the XAML parts and C++ for the 3D parts. Certain Windows 8 APIs will also be available to new programs, with a mix of both C++-accessible Win32 APIs, and C++ and C#-accessible WinRT APIs.

Among other things, this means that any developer wanting to add new Windows Phone 8 support to an existing Windows Phone 7 program will have to rewrite all the 3D parts from scratch. That's a big deal.

Talking to some of those who have been using the beta SDKs, the reason becomes clear. The documentation is still very incomplete, and the platform as a whole still has more than its fair share of bugs. The software just isn't ready. It won't be ready next week, either, which is probably why Microsoft is limiting its distribution: in controlling who can use the SDK, Redmond can control who looks at the new features and who talks about the state of the SDK.

This all paints a troubling picture for Windows Phone 8. Microsoft's position in the smartphone market is tenuous, Nokia's is downright perilous, and a strong Windows Phone 8 release is the bare minimum needed to have a chance of turning that around.

As for what's making it take so long, it's hard to be certain, but we can speculate. None of end-user features—either officially announced, in June, or leaked via SDK emulators or other means—do much to justify the delays. The features are certainly desirable and valuable platform additions, but they don't appear to be especially complex or at any real risk of delaying the platform.

This would tend to point the finger at the architectural work Microsoft is performing. The switch to the NT kernel, along with the new mishmash of an API, with its mix of programming language requirements, was in all likelihood a major undertaking, as was ensuring that the NT kernel fulfilled the power and memory efficiency demands placed on a smartphone operating system. There was also plenty of ancillary work: the new Windows Phone 8 emulator, used for testing and development, requires the use of Hyper-V and Windows 8 (and as a result requires a processor that supports SLAT). The old emulator, meanwhile, had much less specific hardware demands, due to its use of Virtual PC as the underlying virtualization technology.

This work does have some value for developers, especially those wanting to use Direct3D, but it is not a pure win even for them—the inability to use XNA and new features in the same application is a bitter pill to swallow.

Whatever the cause of the delays—whether they're because Microsoft has bitten off more than it can chew with the kernel transition, or due to some other reason—the situation is now growing critical. It's not just that it's annoying developers; the delays are undoubtedly hurting Redmond's hardware partners. They need to be delivering the important information like prices and dates, and they need to be putting phones into the hands of press and public alike, without the fear that they'll see something they're not supposed to.


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Mark your Microsoft calendars: Windows 8, Windows Phone 8 launch dates revealed

Mark your Microsoft calendars: Windows 8, Windows Phone 8 launch dates revealed | Danilo Pianco | Scoop.it

Expect September to be a month of Windows Phone 8 handset reveals, and late October to be the official launch of the coming devices.

We Microsoft watchers already knew October was going to be a crazy month, given Windows 8's general availability date is October 26.

But until this week, I didn't realize just how jam-packed that month is really going to be.

A source of mine privy to Microsoft's event plans, who asked not to be named, just shared with me dates and tentative locations for a number of Microsoft's upcoming launches. Some of these we suspected; a few we knew.

Windows Phone 8's build-up to launch started today, August 29, with Samsung showing off what's officially the first Windows Phone 8 device (but offering no pricing or availability details). September 5, Nokia is expected to show off some of its planned Windows Phone 8 devices, with AT&T rumored to be the lead carrier for them. And HTC is expected to be next out of the gate with Windows Phone 8 handset(s) -- around mid-September, I hear.

But October -- specifically late October -- is when things really ramp up.

October 25, the day before general availability, will be Microsoft's big launch event for Windows 8 and the Surface RT. And that event will be in New York City, the site of most recent previous Windows launches. (I don't know specifically where this event will be, but selfishly think it's nice that it's on home turf for me.) Windows 8 and the Surface RT ARM-based devices should be available (at least technically) at midnight, following the launch event.

October 29 will be the official "launch" of Windows Phone 8, I am told. I'm hearing this event will likely be on the west coast, either in San Francisco or Los Angeles. (Again, I don't know exactly where. A photo studio? Outside an Apple store?) But this is considered the "consumer launch" of the product, with handsets to be made available starting a week or two later, meaning early November, as other sources of mine had indicated.

October 30 to November 2 is Microsoft's Build 2012 conference, where the Softies will talk all things developer-focused around Windows 8, Windows Phone 8, Windows Azure, Xbox, and more. If you'll be in the Redmond vicinity on October 30, we're holding our second Build Blogger Bash that evening (tickets are limited and on sale now).

(In November, the coming Xbox Live dashboard update is expected to arrive, but I don't have details as to whether there will be an Xbox event to coincide or where it will be.)

I asked a Microsoft spokesperson to confirm this timetable and was told there would be no official comment.


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Want a Windows 8 Start Button? Open source to the rescue!

Want a Windows 8 Start Button? Open source to the rescue! | Danilo Pianco | Scoop.it

Windows 8 users need not do without a Start button, thanks to an open source application titled Classic Shell that can banish the Interface Formerly Known As Metro (TIFKAM).

El Reg's antipodean lab installed Classic Shell on a Windows 8 RTM virtual machine running under Oracle VirtualBox on Mac OS 10.7.4. We can report that the application installed without a hint of trouble, and as soon as we clicked in its shell-like Start button we were offered a nice set of options to arranged Windows 8 so that it resembled versions of Windows past.

There's even an option to load up Windows 8 without ever seeking the TIFKAM screen, while the app also happily disables the “active corners” features that invokes the tiled interface.

Classic Shell's origins lie in another controversial Microsoft operating system, Windows Vista, which the authors so despised they set to work on an alternative .

The authors aren't 100 per cent certain that Classic Shell will work with Windows 8, as the app's FAQ indicates there's not been formal testing under the RTM version made available for download last week. We've not been able to test Classic Shell for long, but after an hour or so of experimentation can report that if Windows 8 is inflicted upon you, it'll do a job.


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Microsoft releases new 60 second IE9 TV advert

Microsoft releases new 60 second IE9 TV advert | Danilo Pianco | Scoop.it

Around four months ago, Microsoft released a TV advert showing off the capabilities of Internet Explorer 9. Back then the emphasis was largely on graphically rich HTML5 web sites and experiences, including the free version of the game Cut the Rope which Microsoft launched for IE 9 in January.

This time around, Microsoft has released a new 60 second TV ad exclusively to Facebook; and unlike the previous ad which was first presented on the IEBlog there isn't much details to go on other than the video itself, which we've embedded below.


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As Microsoft retools, Ballmer has chance to rewrite his CEO legacy

As Microsoft retools, Ballmer has chance to rewrite his CEO legacy | Danilo Pianco | Scoop.it

A year ago, the influential hedge fund manager David Einhorn was calling for Steve Ballmer's head.
It was time to give someone else a chance, Einhorn, the president of Greenlight Capital, told an investor conference. "His [Ballmer's] continued presence is the biggest overhang on Microsoft's stock."
Microsoft had long been milking its installed base and enterprise business for profits -- Windows still accounts for more than 90 percent of the desktop market -- while rivals swept into tech's hot growth areas. The stock was going nowhere, at the time trading just above $24 per share, not much higher than where it finished in late 2000. Even though the company continues to grow by billions of dollars each quarter -- $5.1 billion in net income on $17.4 billion during the three months ended March -- critics still label the company as hopelessly old guard.
But the one constant in the technology world is change, and with the company's latest announcements, Ballmer has a chance to convince the critics they were wrong. Last Monday, Microsoft surprised the tech world when it unveiled a couple of sleek Windows 8 tablets. Two days later came the official debut of the Windows Phone 8, the operating system that will ship in next-gen Windows Phones. That news was expected, though the existence of a bevy of rumored cool new features -- including a complete mobile payment system was a surprise. So much for technology laggard. (Take that, Apple.)
For the 56-year-old Ballmer, this was a moment to relish. The early buzz on Surface was mostly positive, although there are still unanswered questions, such as price, battery life and apps that will be available for the device. Windows Phone 8, introduced last week, will be technically competitive with Apple's iOS and Google's Android but still lacks apps and carriers, such as Verizon. However, the research firm IDC predicts that Windows Phone will catch up to Apple's iPhone, attaining 19.2 percent market share in 2016, growing from 5.2 percent this year.


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Windows 8 RTM may Land in July

Windows 8 RTM may Land in July | Danilo Pianco | Scoop.it

Windows 8 may reach its ‘release to manufacturing’ build (RTM) in July. A rumor has the date pegged for the upcoming MGX event that will be held between July 17th and 20th.

Microsoft made waves last week with the announcement of its Surface line of tablets, and Windows Phone 8 software. Somewhat lost in the mix was the fact that development on Windows 8 itself continues apace. The code is racing towards completion, as OEMs prepare to design and ship new systems to run it.

Windows 8 has to be completed in the next month or two if Microsoft expects its hardware partners to have the number and diversity of machines prepared and in the market for the holiday season that it wishes.

The rumor reported at the top of this post comes from Wzor, a source that NeoWin notes has “been known to leak Windows information in the past.” This isn’t 100%, but the signs look right: a late July release is right on schedule, and Microsoft has an event already set up to use as a stage.

Even more, the company will need a fresh set of press to keep Windows 8 in the minds of consumers, once the Surface story completely blows over. That shouldn’t take long, given that the hardware isn’t in the hands of the press, or the public. Out of sight, out of mind.

We’re prying under rocks to see if we can scare up more information on the RTM date, and if we find anything new, this post will be updated.

Top Image Credit: Microsoft


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More business features coming to Windows Phone 8

More business features coming to Windows Phone 8 | Danilo Pianco | Scoop.it

Windows Phone 8 devices are going to inherit a number of the security features from the Windows NT core. Device encryption and UEFI secure boot are both baked into the platform, Microsoft officials said during the June 20 Windows Phone Summit in San Francisco.

Microsoft is not calling this new encryption “BitLocker Encryption” on the phone. (It also doesn’t use that terminology on Windows RT devices). This subtle naming difference is because of differences in key escrow and manageability, officials said. The WP8 encryption will feature a secure key, as the technology is “derived from” BitLocker, officials added.

Microsoft also is making tweaks to the private sideloading capability on Windows Phones with the coming release. Businesses will be able to become a “registered app provider” for Windows Phone 8 so they will be able to circumvent submitting their apps through the Marketplace.

“You will be able to do this through your own catalog,” said Alan Meeus, Microsoft Senior Product Marketing Manager. “Today, you do this (via) a hidden app in the Marketplace.”

Microsoft will require those interested in doing this to pay some kind of yearly subscription fee, which Meeus said will be “nominal.” There will be a way to certify your own applications and tokens for phones of those who are testing and/or installing those apps.

Another new feature with the platform is the custom company hub, a Microsoft-supplied mock-up image of which is featured in this post. This is the business equivalent of the Windows Phone gaming hub, providing a panoramic view of company-specific apps, IT site links and other proprietary information a company may want to supply to all of its employees.

Meeus wouldn’t say more on what Microsoft is doing around advancements in managing phone devices. (It sounds like this could potentially be tied to whatever mystery management platform/infrastructure Microsoft is promising for Windows RT systems.)

Microsoft officials said today that they will be exposing both speech and voice-over-IP (VOIP) programming interfaces for any developer and any app. They said that the next version of Skype for Windows Phone will add the ability for users to see incoming Skype calls even if they are not in the Skype app — something lacking in the 1.0 Skype client. They also will make it easier for third-party VOIP products to work with Windows Phone. Skype does not get baked into the Apollo Windows Phone OS, contrary to some reports.

“Skype still remains a separate app that will be downloadable from the Marketplace” even with Windows Phone 8, said Meeus.

Update: I’ve had a number of business users ask me about whether VPN might ever come to Windows Phone. Meeus said Microsoft has decided instead to rely on things like Secure SSL to address this need. “We consider it a better, light-weight approach” to providing this kind of functionality in the new BYOD (bring your own device) world that is adopting Web servcies, Meeus said.

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Microsoft Wins Out Over Apple And Google, Acquires Home Entertainment And Automation Company R2 Studios

Microsoft Wins Out Over Apple And Google, Acquires Home Entertainment And Automation Company R2 Studios | Danilo Pianco | Scoop.it
Late last year, it was reported that Microsoft, Apple and Google were all speaking to id8 Group R2 Studios Inc. about a potential acquisition of the startup, and now the Wall Street Journal is reporting that Microsoft has indeed sealed the deal.

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IS Decisions's curator insight, January 3, 2013 7:46 AM

Good news for Xbox and Microsoft home control solutions ...

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Review: Windows Phone 8

Review: Windows Phone 8 | Danilo Pianco | Scoop.it

Windows Phone 8 is here, and finally consumers can get their hands on the latest and greatest from Microsoft. It's a seriously major change, the biggest since Windows Phone 7.5 "Mango" over a year ago, and it brings some critical new features that will keep the operating system relevant in the ever changing world of smartphones.

In fact the change is so big that Microsoft required a whole new bunch of hardware to run the software, which not only brings the latest hardware tech to the table but also the platform for Microsoft to add whatever they liked without worrying about performance on legacy devices. The choice to support Windows Phone 8 only on new hardware disappointed a lot of people, especially those who recently purchased the Lumia 900, but going forward it will be the right choice.


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Dez tecnologias que estarão em alta em 2013, segundo o Gartner

Dez tecnologias que estarão em alta em  2013, segundo o Gartner | Danilo Pianco | Scoop.it
Dez tecnologias que estarão em alta em 2013, segundo o Gartner Ascensão de dispositivos móveis está no topo da lista, que inclui ainda soluções em memória e lojas corporativas de aplicativos. Patrick Thibodeau, Computerworld/EUA

Primeiro, veio a adoção pesada da plataforma móvel da Apple pelos consumidores, que encantados com a mobilidade forçaram as empresas a apoiar o uso de dispositivos pessoais para fins profissionais.  

O Android invadiu o mundo corporativo logo depois e chega agora o Windows 8, o mais recente esforço da Microsoft para manter seu império no mundo do PC intacto e ganhar participação de mercado em dispositivos móveis.

Para o instituto de pesquisas Gartner, a chegada do Windows 8 esquenta a "batalha de dispositivos móveis", forte aposta para 2013, que está na lista das dez maiores tendências de TI nos próximos meses.

O Gartner prevê que em dispositivos legados "90% das empresas vão ignorar implementações do Windows 8, pelo menos até 2014", avalia Peter Sondergaard, que comanda a operação de pesquisa do Gartner.

Veja abaixo as dez tecnologias estratégicas para empresas que estarão em alta em 2013 a e vão impactar a TI nos próximos meses, segundo o Gartner.

1. Dispositivos móveis
No próximo ano, os telefones celulares vão ultrapassar os PCs como dispositivo mais comum de acesso à web em todo o mundo. Será que isso significa que aparelhos móveis vão substituir os PCs? Sim e não, diz o Gartner. 

Alguns departamentos de TI só precisam suportar dispositivos móveis para profissionais específicos cujas funções exigem mobilidade. Os demais permanecem nos tradicionais computadores. Mas, acrescenta o Gartner, a ascensão de dispositivos móveis sinaliza o fim do Windows como plataforma corporativa única.

"Até 2015, os embarques de tablets vão atingir cerca de 50% dos embarques de laptop e o Windows provavelmente ficará em terceiro lugar na preferência das pessoas, atrás do Android e do iOs, da Apple", relata David Cearley, analista do Gartner em relatório. "Como resultado, a participação da Microsoft na plataforma do cliente (PC, tablet, smartphone) provavelmente será reduzida para 60% e pode cair para 50%."

2. Mudança de aplicativos nativos para aplicativos web como HTML5 
O Gartner nota que os aplicativos nativos não vão desaparecer e "sempre oferecerão a melhor experiência ao usuário e recursos mais sofisticados."

3. Nuvem pessoal substitui a noção de computador pessoal
A nuvem vai abrigar todos os aspectos da vida de uma pessoa, diz o Gartner. Por ser um modelo tão vasto e capaz de empacotar recursos infinitos "nenhuma plataforma, tecnologia ou vendedor vai dominá-lo", indica o instituto de pesquisas. Isso também significa que TI terá de suportar quase tudo.

4. Internet das Coisas
Tudo vai conectar-se à internet, incluindo câmeras, microfones, realidade aumentada, edifícios e sensores embutidos em todos os lugares. Em muitos casos, ela já se faz presente. A Internet das Coisas vai conduzir novos produtos, como os baseados em uso seguro ou de políticas fiscais. Também levantará novas questões.

"Estamos em um momento em que já não é exagero imaginar que muito do que e quem interagimos esteja ligado à internet", aponta Cearley.

5. Cloud computing
Como a adoção da nuvem cresce, os departamentos de TI terão de criar "serviços em nuvem" para servir como foco central para gerenciar o acesso à serviços externos.

6. Big Data estratégico
Projetos de Big Data estão se tornando mais econômicos para as empresas, graças, em parte, aos servidores e CPUs de baixo custo. Big Data estratégico, acredita o Gartner, fará com que usuários executem projetos não mais isolados. Companhias vão incorporar a análise da grande massa de dados em mais atividades que desempenham.

7. Analytics acionável
Analytics acionável é, em alguns aspectos, um subconjunto da sexta tendência (Big Data estratégico). Processamento de baixo custo está fazendo o possível para "realizar análises e simulações para cada ação tomada em um negócio". A maioria das análises hoje se concentra em olhar para a análise histórica, o próximo passo é prever o que pode acontecer.

8. Computação em memória (in-memory)
Computação em memória, diz o Gartner, pode ser transformacional. Ela permite que as atividades que consomem horas para serem executadas levem minutos ou apenas segundos. A computação em memória vai se tornar uma plataforma dominante no próximo ano ou dois, já que cada vez mais os usuários buscam consultas em tempo real.

9. Appliances virtuais integrados à ecossistemas
Eles não vão acabar com aparelhos físicos e suas vantagens de segurança, mas dispositivos virtuais vão ganhar um lugar de destaque nas operações de TI.

10. Lojas corporativas de aplicativos 
Lojas empresariais de aplicativos vão transformar os departamentos de TI em gerentes de mercado, proporcionando governança e até mesmo apoiando a "apptrepreneurs". Lojas de aplicativos serão o espaço para encontrar tudo o que o usuário precisa para aprimorar seu trabalho.

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Windows Phone 8: Cheat Sheet

Windows Phone 8: Cheat Sheet | Danilo Pianco | Scoop.it

Windows Phone 8? Don’t you mean Windows 8?

Windows Phone 8 is the next iteration of Microsoft’s smartphone operating system, due to be unveiled in late October. It’s a hugely important release, vital for the credibility of Microsoft in smartphones and for companies that are using Windows Phone 8 in their handsets - especially Nokia. It’s part of a series of linked product launches, along with Windows 8 and the Surface tablet, through which Microsoft is strengthening the connections between its smartphone, desktop and tablet offerings.

So what’s new?

From an engineering point of view, the biggest change is that Windows Phone 8 is based on the same core technologies that underlie Windows 8. By switching to the Windows NT core, the phone and the desktop and tablet operating systems will share a common networking, security, media and web-browser technology, and a common file system.

That approach should make it easier for developers to reuse Windows code on Windows Phone - in turn making it more attractive to develop for the smartphone.

What about new features?

Windows Phone 8 also supports multi-core processors, plus two new screen resolutions -1,280×768 and 1,280×720. It supports removable MicroSD cards and NFC wireless sharing, which can be used for sharing photos, Office docs, and contacts by tapping a Windows Phone 8 handset against another NFC-equipped device.

The new operating system will also come with Internet Explorer 10, the same browser used by Windows 8 PCs and tablets, plus a digital-wallet feature to store debit and credit cards, coupons and boarding passes - somewhat like the iOS6 Passbook.

When paired with a secure SIM the wallet app can also be used for mobile payments. Windows Phone 8 also builds in Nokia mapping as part of the platform, which could give it another boost following the iOS6 maps debacle. Windows Phone 7 apps will run on Windows 8 but not the other way around.

Updates will be delivered wirelessly over the air, and Microsoft said it will support devices with updates for at least 18 months from device launch.

So what will make Windows Phone devices stand out?

The Start screen for Windows Phone 8 is probably one of the standout features. The Live Tiles concept that came out of Windows Phone 7 returns, but with additional colours and sizes, so users can customise their Start screen - for example, by making the email tile larger or the text tile smaller.

In fact, the Windows Phone 8 and Windows 8 user interfaces are very similar, which just emphasises how Microsoft is thinking about its device and operating system portfolio in a much more interconnected way.

Windows 7 phones will get the new Start screen as part of a 7.8 update sometime after Windows Phone 8 is released - but Windows Phone 7 devices themselves cannot be upgraded to Windows Phone 8, which has been the source of some dismay.

What about the apps?

No smartphone can prosper without a significant array of apps. Microsoft said in June that there were already 100,000 apps on the Windows Phone Marketplace, with another 200 new titles being added each day.

Windows Phone 8 also includes a number of updates of interest to developers. Microsoft said Windows Phone 8 has C and C++ support, making it easier to write apps for multiple platforms more quickly. It also means Windows Phone 8 supports popular gaming middleware such as Havok Vision Engine and Autodesk Scaleform, as well as native DirectX-based game development.

It will also allow in-app purchases, and integrated VoIP calls. Improvements to multitasking will allow location-based apps such as exercise trackers or navigation aids to run in the background.

What about business users?

Microsoft has been keen to tout the business-friendly aspects of Windows Phone 8, to lure in those IT departments that are fed up with supporting Androids and iPhones and yearn for something that plays nicely with their existing infrastructure.

As such, Windows Phone 8 boasts technology to encrypt the entire device, including the operating system and data files. It supports the Unified Extensible Firmware Interface secure-boot protocol and features improved app sandboxing, so the phone is better protected from malware with multiple layers of security. It also includes remote-management tools and allows companies to set up their own hub for custom employee apps.

So what about the handsets?

While the new OS hasn’t been formally unveiled, handsets running on it are already being showcased - for example, Nokia’s Lumia 820 and its flagship 920. The phone boasts a 4.5-inch TrueBlack display and dual-core Qualcomm S4 Snapdragon processor, plus Nokia’s PureView software, and wireless charging.

Other handset makers have shown off their devices. Samsung unveiled its ATIV S handset featuring 1GB of onboard RAM, and 8MP autofocus rear camera and 1.9MP front-facing camera, and a choice of 16GB or 32GB versions, both with MicroSD. Also last month HTC showed its Windows Phone 8X and Windows Phone 8S.

Are people really ready to buy Windows Phone devices?

Right now Windows Phone is a smartphone minnow. According to figures from analyst firm IDC, in August it had about a 3.5 per cent market share, compared with Android’s gigantic 68 per cent of the market, and the 17 per cent held by iOS devices. But it is making headway, closing the gap on BlackBerry.

Microsoft and its partners will be hoping the renewed emphasis on design - through features such as Live Tiles - will attract the consumer audience which have so far snubbed Microsoft.

IT directors will want to see how deep the integration is between Windows Phone 8 and Windows 8. For Microsoft getting this right is vital. It’s part of a broader strategy that encompasses tablets through Surface and PCs through Windows 8, and is key in presenting consumers and businesses with an entire hardware ecosystem that they can buy into - as well as fighting off the threat from Apple and to a lesser extent Google.

But success in the consumer market is absolutely essential here, but it’s also vital for partners such as Nokia, which have bet heavily on Windows Phone 8’s success.


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Microsoft considering 'Surface Phone,' but not this year

Microsoft considering 'Surface Phone,' but not this year | Danilo Pianco | Scoop.it

Microsoft won't release its own Windows Phone device this year, sources have told The Verge. Multiple insiders have confirmed there are no plans to introduce a Microsoft-branded Windows Phone device before the end of 2012, but that the company is likely considering it as a "Plan B." Microsoft officials continue issuing non-denials about a potential Surface phone. "We are big believers in our hardware partners and together we’re focused on bringing Windows Phone 8 to market with them," a spokesperson tells us.

Microsoft's initial introduction of its Surface tablets hinted at the start of Microsoft-made hardware. Although speculation has persisted about a Microsoft Surface phone, we understand recent rumors about Microsoft's own phone are the result of the company considering its options for Windows Phone in 2013. If such a plan for a device exists, which we're told is likely, then it would not debut until the beginning of 2013 at the earliest.

SURFACE IS A BIG TEST FOR MICROSOFT

Microsoft's Surface tablet, which will launch at midnight on October 25th, is a test bed for a number of different approaches from Microsoft this holiday season. Microsoft has been evaluating ways to sell the tablet alongside subscription services or bundled-in packages at its Microsoft Stores. The approach could mean we'll see a low-priced Surface tablet with a subscription model that mirrors a similar one for the company's $99 Xbox 360. Microsoft's Xbox subscription is a pilot program to test whether such an offering is popular with consumers ahead of its Surface release and next-generation Xbox.

This approach could also work its way over to the Windows Phone side. Microsoft has been working closely with US operators to offer Windows 8 tablets this holiday season alongside Windows Phone deals. The combination is designed to generate additional interest in Windows 8 and Windows Phone, but if the deals fail to generate momentum behind Windows Phone 8 sales then a Surface phone appears to be the next logical step.

REMEMBER THE KIN?

Microsoft is no stranger to branding its own phone hardware. In early 2010 the company released two Kin devices on Verizon. Manufactured by Sharp, the Kin phones were billed as social devices aimed at teenagers and younger adults. Ultimately, they failed to gain any traction due to poor pricing and a lack of features. The Kin handsets were branded as Windows Phone ones, running a modified core of the Windows Phone 7 operating system. Microsoft announced a $240 million write-off due to the cost of manufacturing, distributing, and supporting Kin.

A Surface phone would presumably bypass carriers and receive software update directly from Microsoft, just as Nexus devices do from Google. Windows Phone 7 owners battled against carriers to receive regular updates that were held back in some cases. Whereas Google's acquisition of Motorola Mobility isn't necessarily a sign of the search giant entering into its own hardware business at the expense of its Nexus partners, Microsoft's Surface move signals a new future for a company synonymous with software. A Microsoft-made phone would pit it directly against its ally — Nokia.

Nokia has bet the company on Windows Phone. Although the Finnish firm looks set to pocket $1 billion in annual income from Microsoft, thanks to quarterly platform support payments of $250 million for using Windows Phone, a potential Surface phone could upset that strategic alliance. Nokia's Windows Phone sales are increasing each quarter, but not by as much as hoped. Microsoft appears to be increasing its Windows Phone efforts with HTC too, rekindling an old romance. The tricky balance of a Surface phone may undo this work.

MICROSOFT IS CHANGING
Microsoft is changing rapidly, with CEO Steve Ballmer saying the future lies in a "devices-and-services company." While Google continues to offer software and services at low-cost to OEMs, undermining Windows and Windows Phone license fees, Microsoft is battling to ensure the Windows ecosystem remains attractive to consumers and businesses who are continuing to focus on mobile devices. Unless Windows Phone manages to secure some improved momentum with version 8, then don't be surprised to see a Surface phone next year. Nokia CEO Stephen Elop says he has "no indications they are planning to do their own phone," but in a separate interview he also admits he didn't know about the Surface tablet either. "We were no different than anybody else." If Microsoft is preparing to launch a Surface phone, then, like its tablet, it will surprise everyone.


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Rumor: Microsoft making smartphone for 2013 release

Rumor: Microsoft making smartphone for 2013 release | Danilo Pianco | Scoop.it

A new rumor from a Chinese publication states that Microsoft is working on its own smartphone for a release in the first half of next year.

According to the China Times, Microsoft is working with Chinese manufacturing partners to create the smartphone, and has been working on creating the phone since "more than four months ago." The report also states that Microsoft doesn't want to leave phone design and manufacturing in the "hands of others," which is why the company has chosen to make a smartphone, as it will have control over "material selection, design, services, [and] software and hardware integration."

Earlier this month, a device identified as "Microsoft Surface Phone" was discovered by a Windows Phone benchmarking app. In June, however, a Microsoft representative stated the company would not be releasing its own smartphone.

Neowin has contacted Microsoft for a response on the matter. This article will be updated if and when a response is received.

Update: A Microsoft spokesperson has issued the following response to Neowin: "We are big believers in our hardware partners and together we’re focused on bringing Windows Phone 8 to market with them."


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Windows 8 hardware explosion – Comparing the devices

Windows 8 hardware explosion – Comparing the devices | Danilo Pianco | Scoop.it

It’s been a crazy busy day on the Windows 8 front (and Windows Phone 8, too, but that’s a different story). At IFA in Germany, Samsung, ASUS, and Sony all revealed hardware planned for Windows 8 and Windows RT. If you’re like me, its been a bit of a blur trying to keep up. That’s where we come in.
Here below is a (hopefully) handy table that compares all the current Windows 8 hardware we know about (along with the latest gen iPad for comparison). We’ll be updating and adding to this as new hardware comes out, so consider that my warning to never consider this final. Note that most of these specs came from official company press releases. That’s worth noting because there have been a lot of incorrect and varied specs passed about as the announcements came fast and furious today. The gray highlighted areas indicate specs yet to be revealed. Also note this list is contained to hybrid and tablet devices (of which Sony’s Duo 11 barely qualifies in).
Update 9/4 - Added Acer Iconia W700/W510, ASUS Transformer Book/Taichi. Also added a line in the table for hardware type (hybrid, tablet, etc.) and updated the links for the ASUS Vivo devices.
Update 8/31 - Added the Lenovo ThinkPad Tablet 2.
Update - Added items from Dell, Toshiba and HP to the chart. The Dell items were announced but very little is known about them at this time. The HP is likely not going to hit stores until late 2012, early 2013.


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Skype for Windows 8 leaked, shows off Microsoft's tablet interface

Skype for Windows 8 leaked, shows off Microsoft's tablet interface | Danilo Pianco | Scoop.it

Microsoft appears to be readying a new version of Skype that's designed for the new Windows 8 interface. An image of the Skype Metro style app leaked to Twitter this week, showing how Microsoft has optimized its voice and video calling service for upcoming Windows 8 and Windows RT tablets. The new version of Skype matches existing Metro style apps from Microsoft and uses a sidebar to display status and message history.

The application is clearly marked as "App Preview" in screenshots posted by Neowin — indicating that Microsoft may be preparing to release a public preview version shortly or it's in the middle of a beta testing phase internally. Other features include the ability to initiate voice and video calls, pinned favorites, and access to pay as you go or pay monthly options for Skype calling. We reached out to Microsoft regarding the leak and a company spokesperson says it has "nothing to share at this time" regarding beta or final availability.


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Surface to arrive with Windows 8 on 10/26, says Microsoft

Surface to arrive with Windows 8 on 10/26, says Microsoft | Danilo Pianco | Scoop.it

Though it's not exactly an earth-shattering revelation, Microsoft has confirmed that Surface tablets will arrive October 26 along with Windows 8.
"The next version of our operating system, Windows 8, will be generally available on October 26, 2012. At that time, we will begin selling the Surface, a series of Microsoft-designed and manufactured hardware devices," Microsoft said in its annual report filed this week with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.
Microsoft has said before that Surface products "would be available the same time that Windows 8" was launched, but it's reassuring to see the date in writing.
And, remember, those are Windows RT tablets only. The Intel-based Surface Pro is expected about 90 days later, according to Microsoft.
Microsoft has also peppered disclaimers throughout the annual report (these appear often in SEC filings) about the success, or lack thereof, of Windows 8.
In fall 2012, we are launching Windows 8...Its success depends on a number of factors including the extent to which customers embrace its new user interface and functionality, successfully coordinating with our OEM partners in releasing a variety of hardware devices that take advantage of its features, and attracting developers at scale to ensure a competitive array of quality applications. We expect to incur substantial marketing costs in launching Window 8 and associated services and devices, which may reduce our operating margins."
That last part about "may reduce operating margins" is something Wall Street will of course be watching closely. In short, if Windows 8 is not relatively successful, this may fuel doubts about Microsoft's viability in the age of the iPad and Android.
The Surface products will be offered in basically two forms. One is expected to be a more price-friendly version running Windows RT on top of ARM chips. The other, likely a bit pricier, will run Windows 8 Pro on top of Intel "Ivy Bridge" processors.


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Megaupload tem vitória em corte, mas caso está longe do fim - INFO

Megaupload tem vitória em corte, mas caso está longe do fim - INFO | Danilo Pianco | Scoop.it

São Paulo – A corte da Nova Zelândia julgou que a polícia fez uso de mandatos de busca ilegais na apreensão de bens de Kim DotCom, fundador do Megaupload.

 

Segundo a Cnet, apesar de ser uma vitória marcante, ela não impacta a audiência de extradição de DotCom, marcada para 6 de Agosto, ou as acusações feitas pelos Estados Unidos. No dia 19 de janeiro, a pedido do governo norte-americano, a polícia neozelandesa invadiu a mansão alugada de DotCom e se apossou de seus bens.

 

O governo dos Estados Unidos acusa os diretores do Megaupload, um serviço popular de armazenamento e troca de arquivos, de conspiração e crimes envolvendo violações de direitos autorais.

 

Caso DotCom seja condenado à prisão, o caso pode servir de precedente para que serviços similares, ou mesmo um usuário que partilhar conteúdo em algum canal, possa ser incriminado. Se o governo falhar, a decisão pode ser embaraçosa para a administração Obama, que deveria se tornar mais rigorosa em relação à pirataria.

 

DotCom e outros seis diretores do Megaupload são acusados de somar 175 milhões de dólares em ganhos ilícitos, gerando um prejuízo de mais de 500 milhões de dólares aos detentores dos direitos autorais.

 

Gary Gotlieb, um jurista neozelandês, afirmou ao jornal One News que o Megaupload pode argumentar que, pela batida ser considerada ilegal, todos os bens apreendidos na ocasião devem ser devolvidos. A questão deve ser levantada na próxima audiência, marcada para 4 de julho.

 

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Microsoft starts compiling final RTM versions of Windows 8

Microsoft starts compiling final RTM versions of Windows 8 | Danilo Pianco | Scoop.it

Microsoft has not yet committed to a release date for Windows 8, but the company has started to compile final builds of the operating system. Listed as Release to Manufacturing (RTM), the builds start at 8500 internally and include the company's Aero removal that it is planning for the final copy of Windows 8. Microsoft revealed in late May that an RTM announcement was due within two months, and it appears that the company is on schedule.

We have confirmed that the company is compiling RTM Windows 8 builds, and a tentative internal schedule places an RTM date at the end of July. We're hearing that Microsoft is planning to release Windows 8 to the public in mid-October, with a Windows Phone 8 launch expected in late October.


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Microsoft Is the Most Exciting Company in Tech, Hands Down

Microsoft Is the Most Exciting Company in Tech, Hands Down | Danilo Pianco | Scoop.it

I never thought I'd ever hear myself utter such words post-1995, but after reveal of the Surface tablet and Windows Phone 8 announcement, I'm a believer that Microsoft is the most innovative consumer tech company right now.


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