In the build up to making Windows Phone 8 a huge success, Microsoft is leaving no stone unturned by firstly, opening up registration for Windows phone 8 SDK and now revamping the marketplace into the Store. According to the latest post on the official Windows phone blog, Microsoft is in all readiness to attract more users for its upcoming product.According to Mazar Mahmood, Microsoft employee who authored this post, Microsoft will be rolling out these changes beginning with Australia and New Zealand, and in the weeks ahead, gradually around the world.
He shows us some improvements which are meant to be in the new Store.Firstly,starting today Microsoft will be retiring the name Marketplace and renaming it to Windows Phone Store.
In addition to its new name, the Window Phone Store also has a few improvements designed to make finding great apps and games for your phone even easier. The Search box is better, since it now relies on the Bing search engine to supply results.The cool thing about relying on Bing search algorithm is that it’s designed to learn from all the searches people do and will actually get smarter over time, returning more relevant search results.The online Windows Phone Store not only clarifies labels such as, New, Free, Top Apps and adds some new browsing options to make finding apps even easier. The renamed and improved New+Rising list is not only refreshed more frequently, but takes into consideration how quickly an app is being downloaded. A new addition to the lineup is “Best Rated” that ranks apps based on customer ratings and actual usage patterns.
The Spotlight area of the Windows Phone Store, meanwhile, showcases a mosaic of recently-published apps chosen by Microsoft’s in-house experts.
Along-with these, other improvements include apps with overtly sexual content to be a little less prominent on your virtual shelves. Also, Microsoft will be adding a mechanism for reporting apps that concern you.
Microsoft is trying very hard to improve the user experience and will continue to add such innovative methods to make the Store an easier and fun place to search for apps for your Phone.
Finally after some initial delay with the release of the app,Xbox Companion app is now available over Windows Phone Marketplace. Its a Free app which helps the users find, learn more about and control content from popular entertainment services on Xbox LIVE.
Some of the cool features of This Xbox Companion app includes:
Xbox Companion search powered by Bing. Search the unified Xbox catalog for movies, TV shows, music, games and apps using the Windows phone.You can View a detailed unified results page across all content providers. You can also see recently played games and apps and browse the Zune video catalog.
Using the Xbox Companion app you can learn more details about the movie, TV show, music or game that is playing on your console. You can also get friend activity (friends online, friends with beacons, friends who have recently played), achievements and related items. You’ll also be able to select a search result, and launch a movie, TV show, game or app on the connected console as well as play, pause, fw, rw the playing video or music on the connected Xbox,initiate media purchase and navigate your Xbox console with Windows Phone using the Xbox Companion.
Download Now [Xbox Companion app for WP7 ]
Microsoft’s Chief Research & Strategy officer Craig Mundie spoke to the Forbes magazine recently and stated that Siri — Apple’s new voice activated digital assistant — is nothing new. Microsoft has been doing it for over a year now. Windows Phone 7 already has a feature called Tellme that allows you to dictate and send text messages to people. And there is Bing’s voice search engine as well. Mundie also added that Siri is only this popular because of Apple’s marketing and admitted that perhaps that only area where they (Microsoft) could learn from Apple is in the marketing.
Now that he has highlighted it, let’s look at Windows 8 and its allied resources that are going to start becoming available throughout next year. Microsoft’s official word on the Windows 8 phone situation says that it is not happening with the Windows 8 launch for PC’s. So let’s talk only about PC’s here.
As Mundie has already pointed out, Microsoft already has the necessary resources to pull off a proper voice recognition system. It can in fact do more than just voice — it can recognize colors and gestures too. Yes, I am talking about Kinect. Recently Kinect came in to news because Microsoft decided to star making a SDK for Kinect on Windows 8. And earlier this week, Microsoft announced that they are going to launch a beta hardware of Kinect for Windows in January 2012.
With the technology already in place, it is hard to think of reasons why Microsoft would not want to put it in there. Thus, it is entirely possible that once you buy a Windows 8 PC, all you have to do is hook it up with Kinect and start talking to it. Give it dictations, ask it set reminders, open an application or a website, etc. Bing voice search is already coming to Xbox and it is a Kinect dependent feature. Hence, Windows 8 is very likely to be completely voice aware just as the new iPhone 4S is with Siri.
Once Windows 8 makes it way to phones, it should be able to deliver the exact experience that Siri delivers but probably with some Microsoft twists in it. You can already to a lot with Tellme, so it would interesting to see that technology developed further and ported over to Windows 8 so that it can eventually work without any Kinect support. Right now however, even if Microsoft does not include a voice recognizing digital assistant in to Windows 8, third party solutions surely will have it ready soon with the Kinect SDK for Windows 8. At which point we should be seeing a sharp rise the adoption of Windows 8.
Recently Microsoft has published a press release giving details about the new social features added to Bing. According to this Microsoft is bringing personalized search based results in Bing on the bases of the opinions by their friends by simply signing into Facebook. According to the press release Microsoft is also adding a like button in Bing Bar which would be available for download sometime later tomorrow.
Read more at MS News Flash
Recently Microsoft has posted a job post on Microsoft careers site stating that they are working on a Windows Azure-based service and integrating with certain Microsoft online services and Windows 8 client backup which clearly means that Windows 8 would be have an option to backup files online via Windows Azure.
Here is what the job post reads-
The Windows Server Solutions group is under the Server and Cloud Division. Our mission is to promote adoption of Microsoft server and cloud platforms/products by using features that appeal to specific market segments. The segments we currently focus on are homes, educational institutions and small businesses. (Windows Home Server, Windows MultiPoint Server and Windows Small Business Server are our key product lines.) We work on a wide range of technologies to appeal to these segments – from kernel-level to native UI to managed UI to web services. For instance we have developed a centralized PC backup, extensible storage, UPnP-based router configuration utilities, a remote web workplace with a GFS backend and a simplified IT management UI. We are currently working on a Windows Azure-based service and integrating with certain Microsoft online services and Windows 8 client backup. Many of the features we develop have ended up in the Windows Client and Windows Server OSes.
Another job has been posted by Microsoft stating that they would be integrating Microsoft’s online service with Windows 8.
Want to work on products that your friends and family use every day? Windows Live designs and runs some of the largest web applications in the world. We are Cloud Directory Platform, and our services are used by Windows Live, Office, Windows Mobile, Xbox, Bing, and MSN-branded properties. We are the backend of Windows Live providing identity (LiveID), contacts (ABCH), and social graph (SUP) for individuals and Microsoft services and applications. For the most part, you would know these as Messenger and Hotmail, as well as the entire Windows Live suite. We are seeking a highly motivated individual to come join our team and pour passion and talent into building some of the most used services on the planet. We are a growing team with a strategic and highly visible charter helping to build and operate some of Microsoft’s most strategic Internet assets. Our service supports hundreds of millions of users, who exchange billions of instant messages, photos and email each day, and store billions of contact relationships in our service. We live the life of "software and a service" every day, at high scale and you will play a pivotal role as we integrate our online services with Windows 8.
Microsoft announced a new record turnover of $16.2 billion for there first quarter ending Sept. 30, 2010, a 25% increase from the same period of the prior year. Operating income, net income and diluted earnings per share for the quarter were $7.12 billion, $5.41 billion and $0.62 per share, with increases of 59%, 51% and 55%, respectively, when compared with the prior year period.
REDMOND, Wash. quotted
“This was an exceptional quarter, combining solid enterprise growth and continued strong consumer demand for Office 2010, Windows 7, and Xbox 360 consoles and games,” said Peter Klein, chief financial officer at Microsoft. “Our ability to grow revenue while continuing to control costs allowed us to deliver another quarter of year-over-year margin expansion.”
During the quarter, Microsoft saw year-over-year growth across all business segments. Among the highlights are these:
||Office 2010 is off to a fast start with revenue growing over 15% in its first full quarter in market.
||Microsoft continues to see a healthy and sustaining business PC refresh cycle.
||Xbox 360 consoles grew 38%, outselling every competing console in the U.S. for each of the past four months.
||For yet another quarter, Bing continued to grow market share, while achieving major milestones in implementing Microsoft’s partnership with Yahoo.
“We are seeing improved business demand and adoption. Our enterprise agreement rates were strong, reflecting business commitment to Windows 7, Office 2010, and our server and database products,” said Kevin Turner, chief operating officer at Microsoft. “Customer demand and excitement for our cloud and commercial online services continue to grow as demonstrated by major new customer wins this quarter for Windows Azure and by the significant customer interest in our recently announced Office 365 service.”
Peter Klein, chief financial officer, Frank Brod, chief accounting officer, and Bill Koefoed, general manager of Investor Relations, will host a conference call and webcast at 2:30 p.m. PDT (5:30 p.m. EDT) today to discuss details of the company’s performance for the quarter and certain forward-looking information. The session may be accessed at http://www.microsoft.com/investor. The webcast will be available for replay through the close of business on Oct. 28, 2011.
The guys at Schtickers have sent us a couple of Bing Laptop skins for giveaway.Earlier these skins were available only for the Microsoft Employees but now everyone can get if from here
Laptop skins are:
• Easy to apply and remove
• A cool way to instantly makeover a laptop
• Available in a variety of styles and sizes
• Removable and reusable
• Intended for the top outside of a laptop
Laptop Skins create a unique personalized look, and are easily applied to the top of any laptop. And they come off as easily as they go on. Laptop skinsare available in a wide range of different sizes, and can be trimmed to fit if needed.
Besides the Laptop skins they have iphone and ipad skins as well,which you can get from here
We have also got 3 skins for the giveaway.For the giveaway you have to do is to tweet or share this giveaway on facebook and post here. We would be announcing the winners on 5th November.
The contest is open worldwide and the winners would be chosen using random.org..
Today Microsoft has announced that with there Partners from Yahoo they have completed another major search alliance transition in the U.S. and Canada. So as of today, Microsoft’s ad-Center advertising platform is now powering all the paid search listings for searchers on both Bing and Yahoo! in the US and Canada. Advertisers will operate a single account in ad-Center to reach Microsoft and Yahoo!’s audience of 163 million searchers in the U.S.1 and 15 million searchers in Canada.
This has come about following more than a year of planning, engineering and A strong collaboration between the engineering and sales organizations of both companies, who have both worked round the clock to complete both the algorithmic and paid search transitions in 2010 with the quality customers deserve.
This provider’s advertisers a combined marketplace through a single platform, Rather than managing campaigns on Bing and Yahoo! separately, advertisers can now reach the combined audience of both search engines by managing a single account, saving time and simplifying campaign management.
Microsoft recently launches Bing Rewards Preview, which you can earn credits and exchange them for a variety of rewards, such as movie tickets, computer & office tools and equipment, gaming consoles etc, directly from Microsoft!
(Excerpt from Microsoft Bing Rewards’ : How Does It Works)
What is Bing Rewards?
Bing Rewards allows you to earn credits and redeem for rewards through surfing the Internet, search information you want by using the Bing search engine, and many more. From charitable donations to computer, gaming consoles, office equipment, you can choose what kind of rewards you want and have them to be shipped to your house, for free!
How do you (member of the Bing Rewards) get the credits?
Its simple. By trying out new features of Bing, setting homepage to Bing, search information using Bing, and many more, and then you earned credits. An amount of 250 credits bonus is credited to your account upon first time sign up. When you accumulated enough credits, you can redeem your rewards then.
I want to sign up. Does it cost a penny?
Nope. Joining as a member of Bing Rewards Preview is totally free of charge and anyone with a Windows Live ID can join it instantly. Click here to register one.
So, if you want to earn some free stuff, joining for Bing Rewards is the best way to redeem a free gift. What’s more, its from Microsoft, so you won’t be afraid for cases such as fraud.
What are you waiting for? Visit the website below to register one!
A toolbar (“Bing Bar”) will be installed to your Internet Explorer browser as part of the program. Because additional toolbar has the potential to slow down your system performance and surfing speed, so install with caution and make sure it is totally safe and it is downloaded from the official publisher of the toolbar program.
Facebook has just confirmed via it’s official fan page that the two big giants would be announcing a new partnership today. Here is what the facebook team wrote on it’s wall-
Still very less information is available about this new deal but we are hoping more integration of Bing in Facebook.We would be posting more information when available..