Tag Archives: microsoft

Build Windows Contest for Windows 8 Store Developers

Its Window’s time to gear up developers across the globe for their Windows App Store and so Microsoft has decided to lure developers and other enthusiasts by putting  up buildwindowscontest. Here developers can download the developer preview and start coding and creating their own metro-style apps.

Prior to creating your app users need to have a valid WindowsLiveID and also there are some important things to keep in mind like,

Submissions are due by Sunday, January 8 at 11:59pm PST. This gives you just over 30 days to design and develop your app. Finalists will be notified on Sunday, January 15. Finalists must update their app to run on a new, confidential Windows 8 build provided by us and resubmit their app before February 3 to be eligible to win.

You’ll need a Windows Live ID to sign in to the contest site and submit your app. You’ll also need the Windows 8 Developer Preview with developer tools in order to start building your app.

Our panel of judges is very excited to review the innovative apps you submit. The judges are:

  • Jensen Harris, Director of Program Management, Windows User Experience
  • Antoine Leblond, Senior Vice President, Windows Web Services
  • Jason Zander, Corporate Vice President, Visual Studio

You can also sell your apps with thorough transparency in the procedure.Your apps will be available to customers around the world. You write your app once, set the price in your local currency, and the Windows Store can make it available in the worldwide marketplace in 100+ languages.

So hurry up!! guys because,  The First Apps contest will select eight winning apps to be the very first apps in the Windows Store when it opens.  The winning developers will also get some goodies to help them build even better apps:

  • A Samsung Windows Developer Preview PC from the BUILD conference, so you can test your apps with touch and sensors
  • One year of Windows Azure, so you can build apps that feel connected and alive
  • A two-year subscription to the Store, so you can continue to update and improve your app

This is your chance to show off your great app and to be part of an exclusive group of developers invited to participate in the Store when it first opens.

Xbox Companion For Windows Phone Now Available Over Marketplace

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 ]

Install Language Packs on Windows 8 using New Universal Language Installer

Its been a fair amount of time since the launch of Windows 8 developer preview and many of its users often come up with different things which an average user would want to know. Many of the advanced users more than often share their knowledge and findings with others.

On similar lines, Winunleaked yesterday posted of  how users can install the win8lang files with this tool and perform single reboot. With the help of  WDP Universal Language Installer user will be able to chose from an array of languages and change it and reboot only single time.

How to change the language in windows after reboot (after this, reboot one last time) :

You can download the language packs according to your language preferences and Operating System version(32 bit or 64 bit).

Download Language packs from Here.

New Screenshots Show Charm Bar In Windows 8 Build 8158

PCBeta has posted images of another leaked build of Windows 8, build 8158. This time around they have displayed an updated “Longhornesq” charm bar on the right side of the screen, and unlike the Windows Developer Preview, it’s brought out by bringing the mouse to bottom-right of the screen.


As you can see from above screenshot, now you can get on with your work while updates of IE are being installed with the addition of new fetaure “Install new versions automatically” option. However, there are still doubts of whether it will require any restarts after successful installation.

The fact that the Control Panel icon has been placed on the desktop by the leakers of these screenshots, could mean that accessing it from the Start button is still a tedious exercise for desktop users, perhaps indicating that it still links to the Metro styled “apps” screen.


Images credit: PCBeta

Windows 8 Beta Might See an Early Release in January 2012

It’s been a busy day today with many rumors of  Windows 8 beta public release doing the rounds since yesterday. Earlier today we reported about the release  rumored  to be in February.Rumors earlier this year pinned a beta offering for the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) 2012 but it appears Microsoft is not targeting a release for this particular event. TNW reported on Thursday that the company is planning to offer a beta copy in late February.

As of now, it appears the Windows 8 beta would eventually miss the  CES 2012 bus, but its is expected to be made available in late January. Microsoft will demonstrate a near final beta copy of Windows 8 alongside a Metro version of its Office product at the Consumer Electronics Show in January, according to one source. Microsoft is planning to provide a preview copy of its next-generation Office 15 suite in late January too.

However, very less is known of the features which are set for  Microsoft’s Windows 8 beta. Recently leaked screenshots indicate that Microsoft will allow users to change the Start Screen color and the Start Screen background image in beta copies of Windows 8. Microsoft has previously detailed some other minor improvements to the Windows 8 beta. Users will be able to create, name and rearrange Start Screen groups as well as navigate with the Windows 8 Apps screen in a better way.

Microsoft is planning to  use grouping for applications which will make  it easier for users to identify them in Windows 8 beta. Windows Media Center will also return to Windows 8 beta along with the  Windows games, DVD creator and .NET 3.5.,currently all of them are missing from the Windows 8 Developer Preview.

Windows 8 Public Beta Coming in February 2012

All this time we have been wondering about what would be the release date for Windows 8 beta,as per the rumors till now it was expected on the CES 2012 which would be held in the month of January and the Final release by the second half of 2012.

Now according to recent reports by TNW sources close to Microsoft has apparently informed them about a supposed public beta release for Windows 8 in the month of February 2012.Though no details whatsoever about the Windows 8 beta build were revealed to them by the informer.

Microsoft released the Windows 8 Developer Preview online a few weeks ago at the Build Developers Conference and it got a tremendous response by the community.Over the past few weeks yet another build image leaks started floating around which is said to be the Pre Beta build of Windows 8.
Though we were expecting an earlier release date with CES 2012 on the horizon this new report about the late February release would again start some more heavy discussion threads over internet communities for sure.

Long Wait For Windows 8 Tablet Could Cost Microsoft Dearly

When it comes to Microsoft and their “Tablets”, there has been some undoing which has led to some sort of delay. According to marketing research firm Forrester’s reports, consumer interest in a Windows tablet, even one running Windows 8, has reduced significantly in the last 6 months.

According to the study, Windows 8 is just going to be too late to make an impact. It is suspected to be that, Windows 8 will be, at best, a fifth-rate player in the Tablet Wars, behind even RIM’s BlackBerry PlayBook or HP’s short-lived TouchPad. This could be a valid concern; by the time Windows 8 hits the market, Apple would have already released the third version of their iPad, along with other competitors like Samsung’s Galaxy Tab.

In the first quarter of 2011, a whopping 46% of consumers said that they would prefer a Windows tablet with an interface designed for touch over any of the competing products. Now only 25% of consumers are interested, and it might drop even more before Windows 8 hits the stores sometime next year.

This might again be the case of Microsoft arriving too late to make an impression. Only time will tell whether it will make any sort of  impression on the tablet market or it will be a disaster. Considering how quickly the Kindle Fire came and changed analyst’s projections, who knows what will happen between now and then. Rest assured, if Microsoft doesn’t make it quick they might miss the bus.

Now Get Metro-Style Startscreen On Your Browser With New Plug-in “EIGHT”

Windows 8 has put in new life into the already very popular OS genre of Microsoft,and with this new found enthusiasm  Microsoft lead into the life beyond Windows 7 where the emphasis is on making the user experience one to remember. The newest version of Microsoft’s massively popular OS is scheduled to make its impact on loads of  Microsoft devices such as tablets, desktops, notebooks, Microsoft Surface tables. Among many of  Windows 8 features such as faster boot times, less restarts, better search options, and ISO mounting the one that stands out is the introduction of tablet-like interface known as Metro.

Metro features smart updating tiles, tablet optimized interfacing and flexible apps. Metro is very new to the desktop, tablet, and laptop world but it is very familiar to those of us that use Windows Phone 7.However, there are mixed opinions about Metro.Overall  Metro looks pretty good and with more apps coming out of it  we can expect it to be an exceptional hit and it would display its true potential and will eventually silence its critics.

Now, If you want to use the Metro UI without  installing  Windows 8 until either the Beta or the final release,then your wish has come true.  There is a new plugin called “EIGHT” for Firefox, Chrome, IE, and Safari which will allow you to set your browser start page so that it has the look and feel of Metro UI.

This cool plugin was created by L’ubomír Krupa to give users a small taste of what UI looks like in action while giving easy access to your favorite websites and is basically just an alternative to the start screen found on most modern browsers. It is also a very highly customizable plugin as well. It is more of a series of links to different web portals that has a Metro-feel to it. If you don’t want to install Windows 8 but like the idea of at least getting a minor preview of what it would be like, this plugin is pretty cool. It is not even close to actual metro UI but it is still worth toying around until the Beta or Final version arrives.

Download Now[ EIGHT plugin ]

Windows 8 Will Be Fully Cloud Enabled With SkyDrive

Although Microsoft has already spoken about how Windows 8 will have SkyDrive features right in to it, they have now posted an in depth look at how it is going to change the way consumer computers work with the cloud. This post, penned by Microsoft SkyDrive group program manager Omar Shahine, talks about how SkyDrive is going to take cloud services on personal computers to a whole new level with SkyDrive on Windows 8.

Whilst talking about cloud services, he talked about three main service types — File Clouds (e.g. the SkyDrive service itself); Device Clouds (e.g. Apple’s iCloud because it is all about keeping Apple devices in sync with each other) and app clouds. This last one he broke down further in to fully cloud based applications like Google Docs and and media service like Netflix and Pandora.


With SkyDrive, Microsoft seems to want to try doing everything. That would include enabling the whole Windows 8 system with cloud features. This give you features like having access to your files from anywhere on earth via the internet. It will allow the future generation tablets that are going to come out in large numbers next year, to stay connected and updated with all your file changes or just the ones that you have chosen to be synced. Even if Microsoft ends up not providing such features, third party solutions are bound to show up. You already have services like DropBox where the application starts backing your files up online right as you are working them and they even give you time based restoration features. App developers can easily do this because cloud features are built right in to the SDK. They can build access to SkyDrive in to any software that needs cloud support.

This way, any developer who has a brilliant cloud based idea can execute wit without being stymied by the need for a reliable cloud that he/she can afford. The cloud needs to be reliable, fast, secure and over all sturdy. Only very large entities have the resources to hold such services and Microsoft is one of them with their SkyDrive. On top of that, Skydrive is a tried and tested service. According to the October 2011 stats released by Microsoft, over 17 million users onboard SkyDrive every month. Together they upload more than 320 million files every month. All of this comes from 5 million devices that connect to SkyDrive.

According to Shahine, the order of the day is simplicity, security, favorable storage limits and cross-device compatibility. He seems to be pointing at a seamless experience across different device. He also said that they would work with key apps especially that help users collaborate, organize  and share things.

Via [PCMag]

Microsoft Apparently Signed NDA With Yahoo !

According to reports  from the New York Times , Microsoft has signed the NDA to align itself for a potential bid for the struggling Internet company and also take a closer look at the financials of the company.This latest piece of information comes after a long trail of news about a possible buy-out of Yahoo by Microsoft .It was not long ago that Microsoft did bid for the company but the offer was later rejected by Yahoo!

Although, Microsoft currently has a search agreement with Yahoo! which the company is looking to maintain and if Yahoo! is however acquired by another firm, then Microsoft would not be willing to break that contract.However, the question still looms at large about what Microsoft would do with Yahoo! Surely they would integrate many of their products such as Skype, but how it would handle the other operations of the website is still a mystery. Also, there is the curious case of what Microsoft would do with its own portal site, MSN.com.

Signing the NDA and actually bidding for the company are two separate things but, by signing the NDA, it does come to show the interest levels of  Microsoft in Yahoo!