Microsoft IllumiRoom Demo

The coming console war for (eighth generation game consoles) between Sony and Microsoft promises to be exciting viewing. While the XBox One has technically inferior specs as compared to the PS4, the addition of the IllumiRoom might make a substantial difference to the eventual installed base of the XBox One.  This video includes the full demo and the trailer.

Microsoft Surface Redux: Lenovo’s take at a table computer

Remember the first version of the Microsoft Surface? The version that was aptly named the ‘Table Computer’. Lenovo has just introduced their version of the table computer at CES 2013. Key talking points – it is a large flat screen, running Windows 8, with multi-touch capabilities. Another play towards taking the computer from a personal to a social device.

 

Here is a CNET review:

 

 

 

Here is the original Microsoft Surface:

 

 

Platform Wars 3.0: Resources for making Windows Apps

A list of resources for building Apps for Windows 8

 

One of the biggest criticisms of Windows 8 has been the lack of apps for the platform. [Besides the confusion that is reigning supreme due to Microsoft launching 3 different operating systems and app stores with the same / similar names].

 

Image via Microsoft

Microsoft has been ‘priming the pump’ by releasing a series of resources for developers. The ongoing BUILD development conference in Redmond is the first in a series of steps in this direction. Microsoft is also hosting Windows Store App Labs in 30 other physical locations around the globe.

 

With 10,000 apps and counting, the Windows App Store seems set for explosive growth. Below is a list of resources from Microsoft to help you get started:

 

1. The BUILD website

 

2. Windows Store App Labs

Windows Store App Labs are physical locations in more than 30 cities where you can access Windows 8 devices, get design help, and meet with Windows experts to make your app great. All for free!

 

3. Sample code for printing from a Windows 8 App

    Basic code for printing from a Windows 8 App is below:

To get your printing support started, all you need to do is to add these lines of code to your app.

// Register for print contract
var printManager = Windows.Graphics.Printing.PrintManager.getForCurrentView();
printManager.onprinttaskrequested = onPrintTaskRequested;
    function onPrintTaskRequested(printEvent) {
        printEvent.request.createPrintTask("Print Sample", function (args) {
            args.setSource(MSApp.getHtmlPrintDocumentSource(document));
        });
    }

 

4. Code samples for Windows 8 Apps

This sample pack includes all the app code examples developed for Windows 8. The sample pack provides a convenient way to download all the samples at once. The samples in this sample pack are available in C#, C++, VB.NET, and JavaScript

 

5. Documentation for the Windows 8 App Store

Includes a Getting Started article.

Begin building Windows apps quickly and easily. Our getting started guide walks you through the essentials of writing your first app.

 

6. Code samples for Windows Phone 8

 

7. SDK for Windows Phone 8

The Windows Phone SDK 8.0 enables you to develop apps for Windows Phone 8 and Windows Phone 7.5 devices

 

8. To top it all registration for the Windows Phone 8 Developer Center has been dropped to $8 for the next 8 days (instead of the usual $100).

Windows Phone 8 is out, the tools are available, and devices are about to be released—it’s time to get coding. As an added incentive, for the next 8 days individual developers can register for a Dev Center account for just $8 (a 92 percent savings). Please note because this is a very limited time offer. You’ll be charged $99 USD or equivalent in your local currency, and we’ll refund the difference in the next 30 to 45 days. Watch for more details on Dev Center soon.

Goodbye Live Mesh?

Microsoft released Windows Essentials 2012 yesterday.

 

Today we’re happy to announce new versions of Movie Maker and Photo Gallery for Windows 7 and Windows 8.

 

The big news is that as part of this update, it is goodbye to Live Mesh and hello to mandatory Sky Drive. What this really means is that Windows users will now have to use Microsoft’s cloud to sync their data between different machines. Or as CNET explains it:

 

With Live Mesh, users can sync between PCs without going to the cloud to do so. And with Mesh, users have more granular control over how much of their content they sync, something they don’t have with SkyDrive.

 

This new bundle also contains an updated version of Writer – the tool this post is being written with.

 

Image representing Windows Live SkyDrive as de...

Image via CrunchBase

LinkedIn Integration with Outlook

 

LinkedIn has shared some more details about its ‘native integration with the new Office experience’. The LinkedIn App on Microsoft’s App Store will integrate with the new Outlook email and calendar to pull information from public LinkedIn profiles. Excellent idea – except that folks will have to careful while putting ‘looking for an opportunity’ as their LinkedIn headline! Get the app here.

 

Now every time you send or receive an email or check with whom you’re meeting with that day, you’ll see relevant information to help you be better prepared and armed for your work day, such as:

  • Their LinkedIn profile, including photo
  • Any professional updates or information shared on LinkedIn
  • Common connections and professional groups
  • Information about the person’s company and ability to follow that company
  • Ability to like or comment on their professional activity

 

Image via LinkedIn

 

See the original post here.

 

Microsoft Courier Redux

Microsoft Courier, the cancelled rumored tablet form PC is here. Kind of.

The capabilities showcased in the Courier videos have been incorporated into an iPad app, Tapose. Folks associated with the Courier project have funded Tapose, which is available as a $2.00 download on the App Store.

Image via Tapose.com

Compare the original Courier capabilities and the features of Tapose in the videos below.

Original Courier Video -

Tapose Video -

Microsoft’s demonstrates wearable system with multi-touch capability

Remember SixthSense, the

wearable gestural interface that augments the physical world around us with digital information and lets us use natural hand gestures to interact with that information

which was introduced to an awestruck audience at TED 2009? Microsoft Research has recently demonstrated Wearable Multitouch Interaction, a

depth-sensing and projection system that enables interactive multitouch applications on everyday surfaces.

Built on similar lines using a Kinect sensor and pico projector, this device enables any surface to become a multi-touch, gesture-sensitive input device, while also having potential augmentation capabilities. The device does not require any calibration or guidance markers, such as finger covers, to be worn by the user. The system builds upon earlier showcased technologies, such as OmniTouch. While the system is currently hooked up to a computer, it portends wearable computers of tomorrow.

See the original SixthSense video below:

Read more at Microsoft Research’s shoulder mounted system makes anything a multitouch display — Engadget and see the original video and description here.

Microsoft’s vision of the future of work

In the past week, Microsoft released its vision for the future of work In 2019. Some key technologies that the video showcases are:

- Gesture, touch and speech based navigation

- Context aware intelligence

- Natural speech translation

- 3D holographic output

- Cloud based data and services

- Multi-surface inputs

- Lots of Gorilla glass!

Microsoft’s original post is here.

Skype growth continues

Microsoft released some interesting Skype figures during its Q1 results call. It said that Skype has 170 million monthly users, with 20 million new users being added each month. This would imply that there is high churn in Skype users. We can expect great things once Skype integration with Windows PC and Phone operating systems and XBox happens.

5 Takeaways From Microsoft’s Earnings Call.

The Journey from the Beginning of Skype

This brilliant infographic by focus.com shows Skype’s journey from conception to acquisition. While Skype has yet to make a profit, it has been sold, spun off, and resold. 100 million Skype users make 13% of all international calls – if Skype gets integrated into Windows, expect this number to grow, along with eventual profits.

Skype: From Conception to Acquisition (Infographic)

Image via focus.com