Review Category : Microsoft

At Microsoft BUILD 2014, Microsoft made it official that the Kinect for Windows v2 sensor and SDK are coming this summer. Also another important announcement was that they are adding Windows Store app development support. With it, developers will be able to start creating Windows Store apps with Kinect for the first time. Kinect for Windows v2 sensor: The Kinect for Windows v2 has been re-engineered with major enhancements in color fidelity, video definition, field of view, depth perception, and skeletal tracking. In other words, the v2 sensor offers greater overall precision, improved responsiveness, and intuitive capabilities that will accelerate your development of voice and gesture experiences. Specifically, the Kinect for Windows v2 includes 1080p HD video, which allows for crisp, high-quality augmented scenarios; a wider field of view, which means that users can stand closer to the sensor—making it possible to use the sensor in smaller rooms; improved skeletal ...

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Microsoft along with other industry-leading companies announced a new partnership for American innovation. Apple, DuPont, Ford, GE, IBM, Microsoft and Pfizer is partnering with Former U.S. Patent Trademark Office (USPTO) Director David Kappos to highlight the value of intellectual property and patents to U.S. jobs and the economy. Read the full press release below. NEW YORK, April 3, 2014 /PRNewswire/ — A diverse group of industry-leading companies — Apple, DuPont, Ford, GE, IBM, Microsoft and Pfizer — which have staked their businesses on innovation, have launched the Partnership for American Innovation (PAI) to safeguard America’s position as a global innovation leader. Former U.S. Patent Trademark Office (USPTO) Director David Kappos, now a partner at Cravath, Swaine & Moore, is a senior advisor to the group. PAI members represent a diverse cross section of the economy; they have different business models, use their patent portfolios in very different ways, and are frequently ...

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At a press event in San Francisco last month, Microsoft announced Office for iPad suite. Office for iPad suite includes Word, Excel and PowerPoint apps to be specific. OneNote for iPad is already available in App Store and Microsoft released an updated OneNote version for iPad with new design. Reviews of the new Office for iPad suite were on the positive side and even the consumer reaction was great. Consumer response was evident from the fact that Office for iPad apps including Word, Excel and PowerPoint now ranked No.1, No.2 and No.3 in Apple iTunes App Store in several markets around the world. Also, OneNote for iPad was rising among the Top 10 lists in several markets. Today, Microsoft announced that there were over 12 million downloads of Office apps for iPad. @Office: More than 12m downloads of Word, Excel, PPT & OneNote for #iPad from the @AppStore pic.twitter.com/8MtGTGykZz ...

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Microsoft yesterday announced the updated Skype app for Windows Store devices. With Windows 8.1, you can now pin Skype app to your taskbar. Microsoft also announced a new update for Skype app with Windows Phone 8.1  As with Windows Phone 8.1, we’ve made integration a priority to make sure our users have a great next generation experience. We know Skype users feel most connected to their friends and family when they can see their faces.  For the first time on mobile, you can easily upgrade your regular phone calls to Skype video calls. You can preview the feature in the current Store app, with more to come in the next few months. As part of Build, we also announced improvements to make your Windows 8.1 experience more accessible and familiar. Skype for Windows Modern is built for touch devices, but we know that many users use 2-in-1 devices and often ...

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At the Build 2014 conference today, Microsoft announced it is creating an independent .NET Foundation to foster open development and collaboration around the growing collection of open source technologies for .NET. Scott Guthrie was joined onstage by Miguel de Icaza of Xamarin to announce the .NET Foundation. It will serve as a forum for commercial and community developers alike to strengthen the future of the .NET ecosystem by promoting openness, community participation and rapid innovation. The preview of the .NET Compiler Platform codenamed Roslyn is one of the first projects at .NET Foundation.  The .NET Foundation will be the steward of a growing collection of open source technologies for.NET, Microsoft’s comprehensive development framework. Come back soon to watch community reactions from community members including Xamarin CTO Miguel de Icaza and others. More info from the website, Community leaders such as Miguel de Icaza (Xamarin), Laurent Bugnion (IdentityMine), Niels Hartvig (Umbraco), Nigel Sampson ...

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At Build 2014 day 2 keynote, Microsoft shared a number of new innovations for .NET developers. They announced the preview of the .NET Compiler Platform codenamed Roslyn. It provides open-source C# and Visual Basic compilers with rich code analysis APIs. You can build code analysis tools with the same APIs that Microsoft is using to implement Visual Studio. This is also available as open source, enabling new scenarios for .NET and Visual Studio developers. What is Roslyn? Traditionally, compilers are black boxes — source code goes in one end, magic happens in the middle, and object files or assemblies come out the other end. As compilers perform their magic, they build up deep understanding of the code they are processing, but that knowledge is unavailable to anyone but the compiler implementation wizards. The information is promptly forgotten after the translated output is produced. For decades, this world view has served ...

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  Microsoft today announced that they are revamping the Azure Management Portal with a whole new UX that will delight developers and IT admins. It now offersa fully integrated experience that will enable customers to develop and manage an application in one place, using the platform and tools of their choice. The new portal combines all the components of a cloud application into a single development and management experience. New components include the following: Simplified Resource Management. Rather than managing standalone resources such as Microsoft Azure Web Sites, Visual Studio Projects or databases, customers can now create, manage and analyze their entire application as a single resource group in a unified, customized experience, greatly reducing complexity while enabling scale. Today, the new Azure Manager is also being released through the latest Azure SDK for customers to automate their deployment and management from any client or device. Integrated billing. A new ...

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Microsoft is making a number of announcements at the Build conference regarding sideloaded apps.  Businesses often have internal apps that they do not want to publish to the Windows Store.  Sideloading is a way of installing an app without going through the traditional process of finding and downloading the app from the Windows Store.  Sideloading can be managed by the IT department. Enterprises can now get rights to sideload apps very cheaply, for a little as $100: Enterprise Sideloading– In May, we will grant Enterprise Sideloading rights to organizations in certain Volume License programs, regardless of what product they purchase, at no additional cost. Other customers who want to deploy custom line-of-business Windows 8.1 apps can purchase Enterprise Sideloading rights for an unlimited number of devices through Volume Licensing at approximately $100. For additional information on sideloading licensing, review the Windows Volume Licensing Guide. Windows is also providing developers with ...

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Microsoft yesterday officially announced an updated version of Internet Explorer 11 available with the Windows 8.1 Update and for Windows 7 customers as well as the debut of Internet Explorer 11 for Windows Phone 8.1. Microsoft also released two new experiences today – 22Tracks and FishGL that allows you to explore what’s new with IE11 across Windows and Windows Phone. If you are one among the people who browse the Web on many devices, switching between your laptop, tablet, and phone throughout the day, this update to IE11 means that whatever device you pick-up, your tabs and favorites are there for you, right where you left off. Windows 8.1 and Windows Phone 8.1 share the same experience and underlying Web standards that help developers build interoperable sites and apps that just work across many browsers and devices. That includes updates to the latest specs for hardware-accelerated (and stable) WebGL as ...

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Microsoft Japan has announced that Resona Holdings Inc. has migrated approximately 30,000 client terminals to Windows 8 and Microsoft Office 2013. Resona Holdings, which had been running on group client terminals, completed the migration in February 2014, well before Microsoft ends support for Windows XP and Microsoft Office 2003 on April 9. This 30,000-unit deployment of Windows 8 and Microsoft Office 2013 is one of the largest ever made. Resona Holdings, which oversees the operations of Resona Bank, Saitama Resona Bank, Kinki Osaka Bank and other group companies, intends to become a “true retail bank that is highly trusted by our customers and the local community.” Its business revitalization plan prioritizes leveraging “All Resona” comprehensive capabilities, promoting cross-selling and reducing operational costs. The key features of Resona Holdings’ migration to Windows 8 and Office 2013 include the following: Significant cost savings by replacing approximately half the group’s client PCs, and ...

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Bing just released a new app-linking feature that allows you to link your Windows and Windows Phone apps to web search results.  By surfacing app links alongside web search results, app linking helps boost discoverability and engagement of your apps.  If you’re a travel provider, for example, and on-board your Windows Phone app to the Bing app-linking feature, anyone who looks up “paris hotels” on Windows Phone would also see your app link alongside relevant search results for your website. With one click, users can then deep link to the content about Paris hotels in your app or, if the app isn’t installed on the device, users can easily install it. Over a dozen apps have already on-boarded, including Hulu, Foursquare, and TripAdvisor. Look up “Modern Family” in Windows 8.1 Smart Search and, with one click, you can deep link into the Hulu app and start watching the show. App ...

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Many businesses have built internal web applications that rely on Internet Explorer 8.  This was perfectly fine for many years as Windows XP was still being supported.  But as end-of-life for XP is only days away they are upgrading their operating systems and web browsers.  To ease the pain of having to rewrite their web applications, Microsoft has introduced a “Enterprise Mode” within IE11 for Windows 7 and Windows 8.  As Microsoft describes it “A modern, up-to-date browser that helps customers extend their existing investments in older Web apps.” Some of the areas targeted by Enterprise Mode include: User agent string differences. Many legacy Web apps use browser detection, not today’s best practice of feature detection. By replicating the original Internet Explorer 8 user agent string, Enterprise Mode works for sites that fail if they can’t recognize IE8 as the browser. ActiveX controls and other binaries. Some ActiveX controls silently ...

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Today Microsoft has open sourced the code of the Windows Library for JavaScript (WinJS).  It is being released under the Apache 2.0 license as an Open Source project by Microsoft Open Technologies (MS Open Tech). The source code is available now on GitHub where developers provide feedback, and submit contributions. Additionally, WinJS is taking its first steps to becoming cross-platform by supporting browsers and other devices. For those unfamiliar with WinJS here is some background from Microsoft program manager Maria Kang: WinJS is a JavaScript library that was first created for Windows 8 to enable first class, native-quality experiences in Windows Runtime apps using familiar web technologies like HTML, CSS, and JavaScript. The first version of WinJS provided high-quality infrastructure including page controls, promises, and data-binding. It also offered polished UI capabilities like virtualized collections and high performance controls such as ListView, FlipView, and semantic zoom. WinJS 2.0 was introduced with Windows 8.1 and added new UX patterns like ...

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Windows 8 was the first major operating system with native support for 3D printing.  Microsoft is even selling 3D printers within retail Microsoft Stores, did partnership with MakerBot, and built a 3D Builder app.  Microsoft has seen a good response from 3D printer manufacturers supporting Windows 8.  For example, Beijing TierTime announced Windows plug-and-pay drivers for their consumer 3D Printers at CES and Autodesk delivered Meshmixer, an easy to use consumer application, with a 3D File->Print experience. Microsoft has made a number of announcements regarding 3D printing at the Build conference. 3D Manufacturing Format (3MF) published The 3D Manufacturing Format (3MF) is available for download on MSDN (http://aka.ms/3dquickstart). 3MF is a file format that makes it possible to File->Print from an app to any supported 3D Printer on Windows. It is a file format specifically tailored for 3D Printing and Windows. 3MF supports colors, textures, scale, a print ticket containing recommended print ...

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Microsoft yesterday announced that Windows 8.1 Update is available on MSDN and TechNet. For consumers, it will be made available via Windows Update (WU) beginning on April 8th and for Volume Licensing customers later this month. This Windows 8.1 update delivers important capabilities designed for the enterprise that includes updated Internet Explorer 11 with new Enterprise Mode, extended Mobile Device Management and more. Read about it in detail below. Better Internet Explorer Compatibility – Enterprise Mode for Internet Explorer improves Internet Explorer 8 compatibility on Internet Explorer 11 for Windows 8.1 and Windows 7. Meaning that IE11, the most secure and enterprise-ready browser, can now run legacy IE8 web-based applications and modern sites seamlessly side-by-side. Companies can standardize on the latest version of Internet Explorer across all Windows 8.1 and Windows 7 devices, experiencing increased performance, improved security, better backward compatibility, and support for modern web standards. UI Improvements – ...

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Microsoft yesterday announced the first release of .NET Native. It is a next generation compiler technology that is making popular Windows Store apps start up to 60% faster and use 15-20% less memory when compiled with .NET Native. .NET Native compiles C# to native machine code that performs like C++. This first release is a Developer Preview that allows you to develop and test apps with this new compiler. This preview release of .NET Native offers you the performance of C++ with the productivity of C#. .NET Native continues to provide a first-class .NET developer experience in Visual Studio. You still get a great edit/compile/debug environment with productivity enhancers like Edit and Continue and code refactoring. You continue to upload MSIL app packages to the Windows Store. Our compiler in the cloud compiles the app using .NET Native in the Store, creating a self-contained app package that’s customized to the ...

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