Microsoft's future vision of Skype has a wow effect [Video]

skype future

Microsoft launched its preview of Skype for Business just a few days ago, and although Skype has practically become a world standard in video communication, Microsoft wants to take things much further.

The Skype of today is just the beginning of what is set to be a powerful piece of software that not only breaks language barriers, but aims to have presence in even more places and devices in a much more profound way while being cross-platform compatible.

Microsoft sees Skype as an all-around communication tool that will be home to real-time annotations between users, and a much more compelling collaboration experience between users, all while breaking the language barrier.

Microsoft has demonstrated the power of Skype when used with HoloLens, with the use of Holograms and real-time holographic annotations. The newly announced Surface Hub, a giant 84” touchscreen display is another prime example of how Skype will push collaboration and meetings to a new level.

Although these examples are forward-leaning, Microsoft sees a future that is much more profound.  Microsoft has released a video of how they see Skype evolving in their vision of the future. This video really gives you that wow effect, and not because it’s so futuristic, but because the future portrayed in the video doesn’t seem too distant when observing how rapidly Microsoft is evolving Skype.

Windows 10 will be released this summer

windows 10 family1Microsoft is really focused on delivering Windows 10 as early as possible, and in recent blog post, head of Microsoft’s operating system team Terry Myerson revealed that Windows 10 has a planned summer release.

The exact time-frame is not outlined, but Myerson did go on to say that Microsoft’s new flagship OS will be available in 190 countries and 111 languages on release.

Microsoft wants to make a big splash with Windows 10 and intends to get everyone on board as it’s offering the OS for free for those upgrading from Windows 7, Windows 8.1, Windows Phone 8.1 and even from pirated copies of Windows 7.

This time-frame aligns with an RTM version of the OS to be complete in June and it should be perfect timing for Microsoft to unveil the Surface Pro 4 and possibly a flagship Windows 10 phone.

Source: Microsoft

Microsoft to offer free Windows 10 upgrades even for pirated Windows versions

Win10_Windows_StartScreen1_PrintIn a blockbuster announcement, Microsoft has revealed it will give free Windows 10 upgrades to all Windows 7 and 8/8.1 users regardless if they are running genuine or pirated copies of the operating system.

This strategy is important for Microsoft as they’re looking to launch Windows 10 in 190 countries this summer, including China. The software giant wants to make a big push into the Chinese market with its upcoming operating system, the only problem is – more than 70% of the Windows copies used in that country are illegal. So Microsoft figured – if you can’t beat ’em, join ’em!

Terry Myerson, who heads Microsoft’s Operating Systems unit, made the announcement at the WinHEC conference in Shenzhen, China.

“We are upgrading all qualified PCs, genuine and non-genuine, to Windows 10,” he said in a telephone interview with Reuters. The plan is to “re-engage” with the hundreds of millions of users of Windows in China, he said, without elaboration.

As Microsoft is looking to switch monetization strategy for Windows 10 and increase its market share for PCs, Tablets and Smartphones running their OS, having high adoption rates in all major markets will be the key to their success.

China is a very important market for Microsoft and by giving the new OS for free to everyone, Microsoft will greatly benefit in the long run as pirated users all of a sudden become legitimate license-holders.

Source: Reuters

New information about Microsoft's Spartan browser revealed in leaked screenshots

spartan browser features1

Microsoft’s Spartan browser is definitely a highly anticipated feature to Windows 10, and with the recent video from WinBeta showing Cortana integration in action, it’s certainly something were looking forward to getting our hands on.

Although we won’t be able to get our hands on a new build of Windows 10 featuring the Spartan browser since it isn’t available yet, these leaked photos show off some new features which are interesting to see.

spartan browser features4 spartan browser features3

You’ll notice the new reading mode view that’s present, along with some customization options such as the option to show the favorites bar, detecting phone numbers, enabling SmartScreen filter, the option to change your homepage and more.

It’s important to note that this is an early release of the Spartan Browser, and many things can still change, such as the addition and removal of features until its released with Windows 10 later this year.

Source: MSWin, via Pureinfotech

Microsoft demos Universal Windows 10 apps on Xbox One

mwc universal apps xbox one
Photo credit: The Verge

Windows 10 will be the most significant release of Windows for Microsoft in terms of scale and importance to the overall brand. The key aspect of the OS is that it will scale across a vast array of device types while sharing one common app store and one set of app development tools.

We know that that the Xbox One is running on the Windows 8 core and that Microsoft will be bringing Windows 10 and Universal apps to the gaming platform.  Today, the software giant’s technical lead for Universal apps, Kevin Gallo demonstrated some of this at Mobile World Congress.

Gallo demonstrated an app designed to run across phones, PCs, and Xbox One, which he used as an example to show the broader message with Universal apps, the scaling and concept behind such a strategy. Microsoft didn’t mention when developers would be able to start developing Universal apps on Xbox One, but we expect Microsoft to release all of the details at Build this April.

This is certainly going to be an exciting time for the Xbox community as their device will soon become a much more capable machine and provide a seamless software experience with their existing Windows devices. We look forward to hear how Cortana implementation would work with Xbox One, as this also remains an area which Microsoft failed to address but one of high expectations.

Source: The Verge

Microsoft gives us a first look at the Windows 10 Universal app platform

unversal appsThere’s been a lot of emphasis on Universal Apps with Windows 10, and the idea is for these apps to work across a wide array of devices running Microsoft’s latest OS. Today at Mobile World Congress, Microsoft took some time to reveal how this will all work.

It’s all quite simple. It would mean developers can build an app that works on all of Microsoft’s devices using one set of tools, whether it be IOT devices, phones, tablets, PCs Xbox, and even the new Surface Hub.

Microsoft’s Kevin Gallo explains what the software giant is trying to achieve with the following:

“As we built the universal app platform, we set out to ensure that all Windows developers would equally benefit from this one core. The platform enables a new class of Windows universal apps – apps that are truly written once, with one set of business logic and one UI. Apps that are delivered to one Store within one package. Apps that are able to reach every Windows 10 device the developer wants to reach. Apps that feel consistent and familiar to the customer on all devices, while also contextually appropriate to each device’s input model and screen size. The new universal app platform completes our developer platform convergence by providing you with the ability to finally create one app that can run on mobile, desktop, console, holographic, and even IoT devices.”

universal apps spartan browserOne of the really interesting things about Universal Windows 10 Apps is how they can adapt to the type of hardware you’re running. This is an important part in achieving the best possible experience for every device type as the same app will look slightly different as the screen size of different devices typed varies.

“Windows 10 will determine, at runtime, how the customer is interacting with your app and render the appropriate user experience (e.g. on a laptop with a touch-screen, an app fly-out control will provide larger touch-targets if tapped with touch, as opposed to clicked with a mouse).

Microsoft is really leveraging Cortana in Windows 10 and further integrating her capabilities into Windows 10 apps. Some benefits of this integration feature the ability for Windows 10 apps to show up in Cortana search results

As if these features aren’t alone good enough, Microsoft is also making it easy for developers to repackage web apps as Universal apps.

Windows 10 will make it easy for you to create a Windows app that packages your website for publishing to the Store. Once installed, your website can update and call Universal APIs from JavaScript, creating a more engaging user experience.

Microsoft will focus heavily on Windows 10 and its Universal app platform this April at Build conference, and judging by how fast it sold out, there’s definitely a lot of interest from developers in this Windows 10 story.

Source: Microsoft   

Windows Insider app is updated; now prevents Windows 10 preview installs on unsupported devices

windows-10-for-phones-video-demoA common way to install Windows 10 for phones preview on devices that are not on the supported list, up until now, was to use a spoofer such as the Fiddler. Fiddler would allow you to trick Windows Insider app into thinking that you are using one of the “allowed” mid-rage Lumias, even if you’re not, and the preview OS would install.

Microsoft has good reasons for allowing the new OS to be installed only on some devices (for now) but many folks wanted to take the risk anyway, and try it on an unsupported devices. This has occasionally led to big issues for some of these users and Microsoft just doesn’t want to deal with helping folks revert back to WP 8.1 when they should not have installed Windows 10 to begin with.

With that being said, Windows Insiders app has been updated today to version 1.2.217.1 and many users are reporting that they can no longer spoof their device with this update. So it does look like Microsoft has indeed found a way to prevent this sort of thing form happening but beside that, there are likely other updates bundled. There is no official change log available.

So head to the Windows Phone Store and grab this update as it is highly recommended. We are very certain Microsoft will release Windows 10 preview to more devices pretty soon, it is worth the wait to not have your phone bricked for doing something that is not recommended nor supported.

Microsoft is preparing a major Xbox One app push with Universal Windows 10 apps

Win10_Xbox_Devices_PrintWindows 10 is set to become a truly universal OS across all of Microsoft’s platforms and it will soon start to make its way into the Xbox One. According to The Verge, Microsoft is planning to open up the Xbox One in a big way as the Universal app strategy starts to take place.

The software giant will fully unveil its plans on how app development on the Xbox One will work at their Build developer conference which runs from April 29 to May 1, and it’s expected that the company will also allow developers to turn a retail Xbox One into a development kit. Microsoft is expected to “publish an SDK preview in May alongside the retail to dev kit switch,” according to the report.

With the SDK preview becoming available in May, developers will be able to start building apps in the summer timeframe. In November, Microsoft will switch over to Universal apps which will start to significantly  increase the number of apps available on the platform. This means that apps written for the Xbox One will use the new Universal app SDK as Xbox One gets updated to Windows 10, and developers will be able to target any Microsoft device and deliver tailored experience to all users.

Apps currently written for the Xbox One are restricted to a very small group of developers but this new program will open up the possibility to everyone. In addition, Xbox One apps will now be able to run in the background, allowing music to be played while playing a game.

The Xbox One is already a state-of-the-art entertainment box, but with it being open to development in such a way, it will grow significantly in this regard.

Source: The Verge

Microsoft to dive deeper on gaming between Xbox One and Windows 10 PC's on March 4 at GDC 2015

xbox gdc15During the Windows 10 event last month, Microsoft showed off how gaming across the PC and Xbox One will work and demonstrated cross-platform play between the two with the upcoming Fable game.  This gave us a vision which to go by, but it raised many questions that still remain unanswered as this new capability has left the gaming world intrigued.

This year’s Game Developers Conference is taking place in San Francisco from March 2-6th. During the event on March 4th, head of Xbox Phil Spencer will dive deeper into this topic of cross-platform gaming between the Xbox One and Windows 10 PCs.

“At GDC 2015, Xbox will share new tools and roadmaps with developers for creating games on Windows 10 devices. On March 4th at 11:00 PT, Spencer will host a presentation about developing games across the Microsoft ecosystem – from Windows 10 PCs, to Xbox One consoles. As the session will be open to GDC attendees only and seating is limited, it will be made available later that day on Xbox Live, YouTube, Channel 9, and here on Xbox Wire.”

This event will not be live streamed, but it will be available later in the day on Xbox Live, YouTube, and on Microsoft’s Channel 9.

Source: Xbox Wire

Windows 10 Technical Preview for Phones is now available! Here is how to get it & who is eligible

[ Update – February 12, 2015 2:01PM ] Great news! Windows 10 for Phones technical previews is now officially available!

To install the new preview OS, you will need to do it through the Windows Insider app (assuming you’ve already signed up for the Windows Insider preview program at https://insider.windows.com).

But before all that, you will need to make sure that your phone is on this list of eligible Windows Phone devices – this list is expected to grow if your phone isn’t listed so stay tuned as more are added.

Once you’re signed up for the program, you’ll start receiving new builds as Over-The-Air updates. For the initial OS install, make sure you’re connected to Wi-Fi and you have at least 50% battery life remaining.

These are the devices currently supporting the Windows 10 preview, according to Microsoft:

– Lumia 630
– Lumia 635
– Lumia 636
– Lumia 638
– Lumia 730
– Lumia 830

[ Update – February 12, 2015 1:35PM ] As we patiently await for the preview OS to arrive today, Microsoft has just released this video (above) that shows Joe Belfiore giving us a first look at Windows 10 for Phones, demonstrating all the key features. Take a look at this 6:25min video.

Original story:

Well, the day is here folks – Microsoft is rolling out the first ever, publicly-available Technical Preview of Windows 10 for phones.

The Windows Insiders program manager Gabriel Aul has confirmed on Twitter, after playing some mind games earlier with his followers, that the Windows 10 Technical Preview for phones is indeed coming today. More info on exact time it will become available and how to get it will be released shortly, but make sure to download the Windows Insider app on your Windows Phone (click here to download from the store) and get it setup so you’re all set.

The big question however is, should you get this update? The initial release of the preview OS is going to be quite buggy. You should think twice before updating your phone, especially if you plan on getting the preview on your main device. Battery drainage, dropped calls and crashes can all happen at this stage, just to name a few bugs you can expect. Click here to see some reasons why this update may not be for you.

Microsoft is also going to roll out the Recovery Tool which will let you restore back to the previous Windows Phone OS version as long as you’ve backed it up. Click here to read more on this.

We’ll share more info as soon as it becomes available, make sure to follow us on Twitter @MSProdReviews for the latest on this exciting news.