Despite boasting a thriving app market, Microsoft isn’t content with remaining in Apple’s shadow as an “after thought” for developers.
Instead of spending more marketing dollarsÂ wooingÂ developers, Microsoft is now attempting to reduce the friction for iOS developers thinking about experimenting with Windows Phone 7.
Launched today, the iPhone/iOS to Windows Phone 7 API mapping tool helps developers find their way around when they discover the Windows Phone platform. [...]
With this tool, iPhone developers can grab their apps, pick out the iOS API calls, and quickly look up the equivalent classes, methods and notification events in WP7. A developer can search a given iOS API call and find the equivalent WP7 along with C# sample codes and API documentations for both platforms. (Windows Phone Developer Blog)
Honestly this is a smart move by Microsoft, who needs high quality apps built upon their platform in order to attract the attention of consumers (who thanks to Apple’s marketing are more interested in apps than tech specs).
Although this tool is great for some iOS apps, developers looking to recreate iOS apps upon Windows Phone 7 would be wise to study Microsoft’s mobile OS (or hire an expert who is fluent in WP7).
Surprisingly Microsoft isn’t offering something similar for Android, webOS or even Blackberry developers, although that could change in the future if their API matching tool proves to be successful.
Unfazed by the iPad 2 juggernaut, Microsoft is attempting to enter the tablet arena with a touch screen device of their own (albeit a little late).
Microsoft Corp., the worldâ€™s largest software maker, wonâ€™t release a competitor to Apple Inc. and Google Inc.â€™s tablet operating systems until the 2012 back-to- school season, people with knowledge of the plans said. [...]
Microsoft is working to update its Windows 7 operating system with features more tailored to the touch screens, size and battery life of tablet computers to win a place in the surging market for the devices. (Bloomberg)
While it’s understandable why Microsoft is making a tablet that supports their full fledged OS, it’s unclear whether doing so would make the companyÂ competitiveÂ against Apple.
Such a device would probably be well north of $1,000 USD, making it more expensive than many laptops as well as some of Apple’s notebooks (not to mention iPad 3 which will probably be out by then).
Unless Microsoft can convince developers to optimize their software for the device at launch, the software giant will run into the same problems facing HP’s TouchPad and Motorola’s Xoom (hint: a great OS with very few tools).
After remaining exclusive upon Windows Mobile 7, Microsoft has apparently had a change of heart after announcing that they have ported OneNote to the iPhone.
If you use an iPhone, now you can experience the organizing power of OneNote right there. Starting today, you can download Microsoft OneNote Mobile for iPhone from theÂ iTunes App Store, and it’s free for a limited time. [...]
It looks like Microsoft is no longer going to sit on the sidelines and watch Apple and Google eat up the TV market all too themselves.
Apparently the software giant is attempting to invade the TV space, but unlike their rivals (or rather Google), Microsoft may actually be able to conquer this market.
Microsoft has reportedly entered into talks with media companies like Disney and HBO to offer a pay television service through its device platform, including the XBox 360, but possibly extending to other devices like Windows 7 PCs and even Windows Phone 7 devices. Although no official comments or announcements have been made, Reuters reports that Microsoft has put several options on the table, including enabling customers to pick what premium television channels they want in an a la carte mannerâ€”something cable customers have been demanding for years, but have never received. But TV fans shouldnâ€™t hold their breath: the service, if it materializes, could be as much a a year away. (Digitrends)
Instead of creating a whole new device to hook up to your TV, Microsoft is taking the shrewed path by utilizing both Xbox 360 as well as Windows Phone 7.
While the Xbox integration is a no brainer, allowing smartphone users to view television upon their phone could give Microsoft another edge over its Android and iOS rivals (note: the iPhone does have apps that provide a similar service, although truth be told the app is ratherÂ sub par).
Although the company has refused to confirm or deny the rumors surround the Microsoft TV reports, they may want to consider “speeding up” the process before Apple decides to redouble their efforts in the television arena.
With Facebook unveiling their new social inbox, it looks like Google’s ancient nemesis is partnering with the social king in order to help make its online office suite a little bit more relevant.
Facebook’s new messaging platform integrates the Office Web Apps to enable Facebook users to view Microsoft Word, Excel and PowerPoint documents with just one click. As you know, Office helps you create stunning documents that bring your ideas to life. Now you can easily share those ideas with your friends and family on Facebook.Â I’m really excited about being able to make it even easier for people to use Office to access and share information across different devices, networks and platforms. With the Office Web Apps on Facebook, you have even more ways to express yourself with Office and easily share your thoughts with people that are important to you.
So go ahead! Create a personalized invitation to your dinner party next Saturday with Word or share that killer PowerPoint presentation you delivered for your school project. Let your ideas run free and inspire you to create something unique and share it on Facebook using Office. (The Microsoft Office Blog)
Although Microsoft’s Office web app has a long ways to go before it will convince users to ditch Google Docs en mass, the partnership with Facebook could help users unfamiliar with office web apps choose Microsoft over Google.
Microsoft Office live is also currently offering users 25 GB’s of free storage in an attempt to woe current users away from Google docs (the latter who offers users 1 GB of storage, with 20 GB available for $5/year).
The Facebook integration thus far isn’t very intuitive (which doesn’t exactly surprise me).
However if Microsoft can find a way to make it easier to share as well as allow users to edit documents from within Facebook, Office live could easily challenge Google Docs, as well as help both companies take down a common foe.
Dear Bing!, we have a problem. Despite the fact that you were able toÂ assimilateÂ Yahoo! search (without having to buy the whole company), you are still falling behind your number one nemesis, Google.
Not only has Google come out with Instant Search, but now they are already rolling out their preview feature to the masses.
Instant Previews provides a graphic overview of a search result and highlights the most relevant sections, making finding the right page as quick and easy as flipping through a magazine. To use it, click once on the magnifying glass next to the title of any search result and a visual overview of the page will appear on the right. From there, hover your cursor over any other result to see a preview. (Official Google Blog)
Although Microsoft could simply hire a few extra engineers to create the same exact thing upon Bing!, it might be a better idea to acquire a startup by the name of Snap Shots instead. More →
Despite being impressed by the design of Windows Phone 7 models, it was uncertain whether or not Microsoft would be successful in the age of iOS and Android devices (which unfortunately capture most of the media’s attention).
Although the company has yet to release any sale figures for their phones, developers are excited about Windows Phone 7 (as one can tell by the number of apps debuted Â at launch).
Windows Phone 7 is now available at AT&T and T-Mobile retailers across the United States. Iâ€™m pleased to announce that as of today, Windows Phone 7 customers in launch markets around the world already have access to nearly 2,000 apps and games â€“ exceeding the 1,000 mark we set in early October. Iâ€™m also happy to report that Marketplace is fully open to submissions from any of our 13,000 registered developers in the 30 supported markets. [...]
Weâ€™veÂ added to a great set of free Windows Phone Developer Tools that have already been downloaded well over half-a-million times, delivered a brand new developer portal dubbed App Hub that brings app and Xbox indie game developer resources together and have now made Marketplace available to all registered developers to help get their apps to market. Â (Windows Phone Developer Blog) More →
After first coming across hints of Windows 8 by Microsoft, it seems as if the software giant is pondering launching the OS a few years from now.
Microsoft is working on the next version of Windows, the blog says in Dutch, but it will be about two years before Windows 8 is on the market. [...]
The presentation also said that Microsoft wanted to improve startup times and the time it takes to resume from sleep, improve power efficiency, as well as work more closely with computer makers to better differentiate their respective computers. While these are all needed things, it’s going to be a very long two years for Microsoft if it can’t better address Apple’s moves in the tablet and notebook models before Windows 8. (CNET)
Note: Emphasis mine
Unfortunately for us it looks like Microsoft has removed Â all references of Windows 8 upon the Dutch blog post CNET pointed towards earlier and even a Google cache fails to reveal the original post.
WhileAlthough Microsoft launching a new OS isn’t Earth shatterning news, the fact htat the company is flirting with the idea of allowing PC manufacters to alter the user interface is (as Microsoft in the past has been veryÂ adamantÂ about Windows looking the same upon every computer).
Whether Microsoft is merely referring to merely themes or allowing PCÂ manufacturersÂ to drastically alter the Windows UI has yet to be seen, but hopefully its the former as drastic changes could lead towards fragmentation (which probably would not be in Microsoft’s best interest).
It’s official! Today Windows 7 Phone has made its debut with Steve Baller appearing on the Today’s Show expressing giddyness about the device (despite skepticism from NBC).
Unfortunately for Microsoft, the smartphone space is a little crowed with Apple and Google dominating the space (mind share wise at least), not to mention RIM’s Blackberry Torch (which one of my friends chose instead of an iPhone–go figure).
Despite being an iPhone geek, I do like what Microsoft has done with their latest and greatest smartphone, and while I have yet to leave Steve Jobs flock, here are 4 reasons why you should choose Windows 7 phone over the competition. More →
Now that Facebook Places has finished rolling out to the masses (that is if you reside within the US), users are now able to “check in” and checkout where their friends are hanging out throughout the day.
Bing however was able to provide an explanation as why iLovers were seeing their rival instead of them.
Chris Pendleton of the Bing Maps team offers this explanation: “Bing Maps is the map provider for Facebook Places on Facebook.com. Facebook is using the native Apple iPhone map kit within the SDK which fetches Google Maps for check-ins. Note, this is an Apple API that proxies to Google Maps and not a Google Maps API.” (via TechFlash Mobile)
Since Google Maps is the default maps program for the iPhone, Facebook had no choice but to utilize their frenemy’s application, despite their partnership with Bing.
While users can check in via Facebook’s web app, most users will probably use the native iPhone app instead, which (to Bing’s displeasure) will help push Google Map’s mobile numbers even higher.
Although a future iPhone SDK could change all of this, for now it looks like the Google has once again secured victory, this time against 3 of their biggest rivals (Facebook, Apple and Microsoft).