At the Build conference, last week, once piece of technology that we heard very little about was Windows RT (not to be confused with WinRT). Many were left wondering if Microsoft was still committed to Windows RT especially given the new leadership. All OEMs with the exceptions of Microsoft (and Nokia) had abandoned the ARM hardware. The most prominent Windows ARM tablets are the Surface RT, Surface 2, and Nokia 2520.  The Surface mini is also rumored to be based on ARM hardware.  I still maintain that ARM is the future of Windows and the desktop will die, but that is a minority opinion and a lengthier philosophical discussion for another time. Mary-Jo Foley got a chance to interview Terry Myerson who commented, among other things, about Windows RT: ZDNET: What about Windows RT — not WinRT, the API (application programming interface) — but Windows RT, the Windows flavor on ARM? ...

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In March, we did an editorial on the current infotainment systems in Automobiles and how Microsoft is losing yet another opportunity/market even though it came too earlier than others. It seems, Microsoft is working on the same and they showed some of their concepts at BUILD developer conference last week. Microsoft’s current strategy is similar to that of Apple’s iOS in the Car and Google’s projected mode. It is based on MirrorLink which will allow you to use your smartphone to power your car’s infotainment system. MirrorLink is a device interoperability standard that offers integration between a smartphone and a car’s infotainment system. MirrorLink transforms smartphones into automotive application platforms where apps are hosted and run on the smartphone while drivers and passengers interact with them through the steering wheel controls, dashboard buttons and touch screens of their car’s In-Vehicle Infotainment (IVI) system. Windows in the Car will adapt apps ...

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Microsoft launched Windows Phone App Studio Beta eight months ago and since then over 400,000 people have made use of it. Lots of novice developers have built and published their first Windows Phone app with ease. But it didn’t allow you to develop apps for Windows Store targeting PCs and tablets. Microsoft yesterday relaunched the tool as Windows App Studio Beta with which now you can build a universal Windows app project that results in an app for Windows Phone and Windows, all in a single session. Read how to create an app in minutes here. f you are planning to publish to the Store, you’ll first need to register for a Dev Center account ($19 USD annual registration fee). You will need to reserve a name for your app—just go to Dev Center to reserve the App Name, and then place the App Identity, App Display Name, Publisher ID, ...

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Kobo was one of the first e-reading service that released their app on Windows platform. But the app was pulled few months back due to poor UX and performance. Kobo has today relaunched their app with all new design and user experience. Description: With Kobo, you can read on your Windows device anywhere, anytime. Download the Kobo app and browse from over 3.5 million free and affordable eBooks, comics and children’s books. Features: Pick up right where you left off. We’ll sync your bookmarks so you can keep reading across all your devices. Customize your reading experience. Enjoy crisp, clear text, in the size and style you prefer; try Night Mode for easier nighttime reading; and lock the screen in portrait or landscape mode to read how Enjoy first chapter previews for thousands of select books and save them in your library. Get access to more than 3.5M titles in ...

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MetroTwit for Windows Desktop was one of the best looking and well thought out apps on the Windows platform build with Metro design language. The developers behind that app later developed a Windows Store app which is optimized for touch devices. Similar to its desktop counter part, MetroTwit for Windows 8 was built on Metro design language. Over 400,000 users downloaded these apps since its release. Today, they announced that MetroTwit apps have reached their end-of-life due to Twitter’s token limit. Here is the message from the developers, We are saddened to announce the end-of-life of the MetroTwit for Desktop and MetroTwit for Windows 8 apps effective immediately. Due to the “access token limit” imposed by Twitter since August 2012, we are preemptively sunsetting MetroTwit due to technical limitations of Twitter’s API which may prevent existing users from accessing the app after the limit has been crossed. Effective immediately, we ...

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After Microsoft added the Unity framework support in Windows and Windows Phone Store last year, there are more than 2000 games now available in our stores. Microsoft is happy with the way Unity Developer program for Windows is progressing and they are announcing a new special incentive offer, exclusively for Unity developers, to continue to create great games for Windows. Unity developers can get some great benefits including store registration, a Microsoft Windows 8 license, a Windows device (phone/tablets), a promotional package and technical assistance. Check the details of the offer and the Terms & Conditions. Read more about it below, How to qualify: Any Unity developer using Unity 4 to develop their games and apps can apply. Applicants are required to have experience with shipping games and apps on mobile platforms. The content that is submitted for review needs to stand out: it needs to be innovative, interesting, and different from ...

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At MS-News, we are fans of Hal who writes a great blog entitled Hal2020. For those not familiar with Mr. Berenson, he is a former Microsoft distinguished engineer and worked at the company from 1994 – 2002 and spent decades at the Digital Equipment Corporation before that. He often writes about Microsoft’s products, people and policies. Today, he wrote a blog post titled “Now I get it, the Consumer guys at Microsoft are just plain wrong!” in which he criticized Windows platform’s “shut up and ship” policy as opposed to older ways of engaging with platform developers in advance. For example, Windows Azure is now following the rapid release cadence and public previews releasing every few weeks. On the contrary, Windows and Windows Phone releases are closely guarded till its release leaving little time for developers to jump in to the new platform. Let me contrast three strategic thrusts going on at Microsoft.  ...

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If you are more into Windows Phone 8.1 leaks in the past couple of days, time to move to Windows 8.1 Update 1. We already saw the changes that are coming in Windows 8.1 Update 1 in which Microsoft is trying to address the concerns of keyboard/mouse users of Windows 8.1. Some of the most notable changes include the ability to pin Windows Store apps in taskbar, ability to close/minimize/close Windows Store apps via black bar on the top, search and power buttons and Start screen and more. Today, a new Win 8.1 2014 Update build  got leaked with build string. 6.3.9600.17019.WINBLUE_GDR.140205-2003. This 9600.17019.WINBLUE_GDR.140205-2003 is a Escrow build and you can expect Microsoft to sign-off RTM build of Windows 8.1 update 1 soon. It was reported that this update will be rolled out to consumers in April via Windows Store. via: WZor ...

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Xbox Fitness is a fitness training program available on Xbox One platform. It used Kinect 2.0 to deliver personalized program recommendations based on your workout history and past performance. While Xbox 360 used used a library of 200 captured moves to track performance, Xbox Fitness uses a catalog of more than 2,000 moves. It is more accurate than ever. It can even measure user’s pulse using micro-fluctuations in the blood coursing through their face. Speaking to Polygon, Dave McCarthy, general manager for Lifestyle Entertainment at Microsoft Studios revealed that Microsoft may be expanding the Xbox fitness to other devices in the Microsoft eco-system. You could see Windows Phone as a potential device that could have Xbox Fitness and if Microsoft is working on some smartwatch, that could be even better device for Xbox Fitness. “We realize people don’t just do stuff inside the home,” he said. “We’re starting to, articulate ...

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Similar to Lync for Windows Phone app, Microsoft has updated its iPhone and iPad app on iOS platform to v5.3. This new version of Lync mobile brings the capability to view shared PowerPoint presentation during a Lync Meeting and iOS7 support. What’s New in Version 5.3 for iPhone & iPad View shared PowerPoint presentation during a Lync Meeting Full support of the new iOS 7 Key Features: •View shared meeting content during a conference, on your mobile device •Initiate a group conversation (IM or Video) or invite additional participants •Join, rejoin and initiate a Lync Meeting to communicate and collaborate amazing ideas •Control the meeting (mute or remove attendees) and know more about participants’ modalities •Transfer your calls to another phone-number or another contact •Pick-up your conversations from the point you ended them •Join (and enjoy) a Lync Meeting even if you don’t have a Lync account •Enhanced Security with ...

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Microsoft is always looking forward to attract more developers to its Windows platform and the recent App Builder rewards program is one of the ways in which it is trying to lure new developers. Join App Builder Rewards and you could win one of 28 Dell Venue 8 Pro tablets. Here is how it works, Join App Builder Rewards and enter your Windows Store apps to the Apps Quest. If your app has less than 100 downloads when you complete the Quest between January 21st and February 28th, you’ll get a $15 Windows Store gift card.** Use the members-only App Promotion Kit, Windows Store gift card and AdDuplex advertising impressions to reach 100 downloads before the end of February and earn your chance to win one of 28 devices. Want to increase your odds?  The more apps that get 100 downloads by Feb. 28th, the more App Builder Rewards points ...

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At the National Retail Federation’s annual conference, Microsoft is touting how Windows can help retailers grow their businesses, increase customer satisfaction and reduce costs. According to a recent study conducted for Microsoft by Forrester Consulting, surveyed firms report that Windows 8 tablets can increase the effectiveness and accuracy of sales associates, resulting in increased customer satisfaction. Furthermore, businesses can take advantage of advanced management capabilities, high-level security and lower total purchase costs when compared with utilizing non-Windows tablets. Windows tablets are enabling a variety of business scenarios for retail customers, from helping sales associates improve customer service, boost productivity, and increase the size of customer sales. With Windows tablets, retailers can provide their customers with a convenient, fast purchase experience anywhere in the store through a modern point of sale device, and enable field reps and merchandisers to efficiently manage retail execution end to end. This video provides a great ...

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Wild Kratts Creature Power app, which is based on PBS’s science-infused animated adventure series Wild Kratts is now available for download from Windows and Windows Phone stores.  Description Dive into the world of animals with the Kratt brothers in three awesome animal adventures! Explore special creature powers in these engaging games, as you pollinate flowers as a bee, bathe elephants, and feed a family of raccoons. Based on the PBS KIDS series Wild Kratts, Wild Kratts Creature Power includes three fun, immersive games, each focused on a specific science concept, and filled with interesting science facts. Earn stickers and take your picture in a Creature Power Suit as you earn high scores and learn that animals can take you anywhere in science! Key Features: Fly like a Bee to learn about flower pollination! Help Elephants keep cool and clean! Help a mother Raccoon feed her babies! Earn stickers and take ...

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During Xbox One announcement, Microsoft promised Twitch TV as their official partner for game streaming and game play sharing. While game play recorded video sharing is already available on Xbox One, Live streaming of game play via Twitch TV support is not yet available on Xbox One. Sony has already made this feature available on PS4. Adding to the insult, Twitch TV has recently tweeted that there is no estimated time of availability of this feature from Microsoft and they even said that it may take few more months. Xbox One Direct Broadcasting: There is no ETA at this time from Microsoft. Expect a few more months. If we know sooner, we’ll update. — Twitch Support (@TwitchTVSupport) January 8, 2014 Do you really miss Twitch TV integration on your Xbox One? Find Xbox One here from Amazon. ...

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Great news for Windows Phone and Windows developers around San Francisco Bay Area of California. Microsoft has partnered with Facebook to host a hackathon down in Menlo Park at the Facebook offices. There will be number of Microsoft engineers along with Facebook’s engineers to demonstrate easily you can deeply integrate Facebook platform across both the Windows and Windows Phone apps. Microsoft is even promising 1:1 assistance along with some great speakers. Join Facebook and Microsoft engineers for an overnight hackathon on January 17th. Learn how to integrate Facebook login and Facebook platform APIs into your Windows and Windows Phone apps. Why you should attend: Learn how to build apps for Windows and Windows Phone Learn how to integrate Facebook Login and Sharing into your Windows and Windows Phone apps Come ready to hack with Microsoft and Facebook engineers! There will be food, drinks, and prizes Who should attend: This is a technical event and ...

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Microsoft has updated their OneNote app for Android devices. There are lots of new features, such as the Share button support in your favorite browser, news aggregator or recipe application. Select Share and Add to OneNote, and OneNote will store the item for you and also make it available to you on all your devices. And OneNote works for a variety of content types–articles, webpages, images, videos, and files. There is also If you multi-window mode support. You can now add the OneNote Recent Widget on your Home screen and have quick access to your most recently accessed notes. Change log: • Share web content, articles, images, videos, and files with OneNote • Get to your most recent notes right from your phone’s Home screen with the OneNote Recent widget • Add your favorite page, section, or notebook to the Home screen for quick access • Multitask with OneNote in ...

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