Microsoft revealed its own tablet, which it calls the Surface tablet. This could be a game changer for the company as it fends off Apple and the iPad. Microsoft took the wraps off two models of the Surface on monday: one running an ARM processor featuring Microsoft’s new tablet OS, Windows RT, and one an Intel Core processor featuring the Windows 8 Pro operating system — which is a step up from the ordinary Windows 8 OS.
Surface for Windows RT will be available to the public when Windows 8 is officially released. Microsoft still hasn’t given an exact date for that, but we do know it will be in the fall, in plenty of time for the holiday shopping.
The Windows 8 Pro model will be available about 90 days later, Microsoft said. So that’s around year-end. But, Microsoft didn’t mention how much this device will cost. For a deeper dive, keep the picture tour
It’s very thin 9.3 mm for the Windows RT version and 13.5 mm for the Windows 8 Pro version.
It’s got a 10.6” ClearType HD Display 16:9 aspect ratio, HDMI all set up for HD video.
It has a built in stand — smart!
The kickstand folds down to disappears when it’s not in use, too.
The Intel version includes a 3 mm ‘Touch Cover’ keyboard in lots of colors.
The Touch Cover clicks in and then becomes the tablet’s protective case.
The Intel version includes a digital ink app and pen for drawing, annotating.
The outside case is something Microsoft calls VaporMg that creates a finish like a luxury watch.
Like other Windows 8 Pro devices, the Intel version will run Windows 7 software.
Here’s the tablet running Adobe Photoshop Lightroom for editing photos.
Surface is 9.6mm thick – just enough to get a USB 2.0 port in it.
Three years ago Microsoft was “resetting” it’s approach to mobile operating system software. They made big changes to their design, their approach to partners, and their platform. The result was Windows Phone 7. And today Microsoft has officially launched Windows Phone 8. Officially announced this morning in San Francisco, it’s the most advanced mobile OS Microsoft has ever made and will arrive on new phones later this year.
Many of Windows Phone 8’s new capabilities come from a surprising source: Windows, the most successful and powerful operating system on the planet, and one used by more than a billion people. Yes, you read that right: Windows Phone 8 is based on the same core technologies that power Windows 8. As a result, Windows Phone 8 will unleash a new wave of features for consumers, developers, and businesses.
The power of Windows
If you’ve seen Windows 8, Microsoft’s groundbreaking new release for PCs and tablets, you’ve probably noticed it bears more than a passing resemblance to the look of Windows Phone. Here’s how the Windows 8 Start screen looks in the latest preview release.
With Windows Phone 8, the similarity is more than skin deep. Microsoft has based the next release of Windows Phone on the rock-solid technology core of Windows 8. It means Windows Phone and its bigger sibling will share common networking, security, media and web browser technology, and a common file system. That translates into better performance, more features, and new opportunities for app developers and hardware makers to innovate faster.
This new shared core—along with all the extra work we’ve done on top of it—opens up a new world of capabilities, which you don’t have to be a techie to appreciate. Here’s a taste:
Multi-core processor support: As reviewers have noted, Windows Phone runs buttery smooth on phones with a single processor. But piggybacking on the Windows core provides support for multiple cores—so we’re ready for whatever hardware makers dream up.
Bigger, sharper screens: Windows Phone 8 supports two new screen resolutions—1280×768 and 1280×720, opening the door to amazing new handsets with high-definition 720p displays.
More flexible storage: Windows Phone 8 supports removable MicroSD cards, so you can stuff your phone with extra photos, music, and whatever else is important to you, and then easily move it all onto your PC.
NFC wireless sharing: If you haven’t heard the term “NFC” yet, I’m betting you soon will. This emerging wireless technology lets phones share things over short distances. In Windows Phone 8, it helps make sharing photos, Office docs, and contact info easier—just tap your phone another NFC-equipped device. How cool is that?
Internet Explorer 10: The next version of Windows Phone comes with the same web browsing engine that’s headed for Window 8 PCs and tablets. IE10 is faster and more secure, with advanced anti-phishing features like SmartScreen Filter to block dangerous websites and malware.
Wallet: Windows Phone 8’s new digital Wallet feature does two great things. It can keep debit and credit cards, coupons, boarding passes, and other important info right at your fingertips. And when paired with a secure SIM from your carrier, you can also pay for things with a tap of your phone at compatible checkout counters.
Better maps and directions: Windows Phone 8 builds in Nokia mapping as part of the platform. Our partnership will provide more detailed maps and turn-by-turn directions in many countries, plus the ability to store maps offline on your phone so you can work with maps without a data connection.
Cooler apps and games: Basing Windows Phone 8 on the Windows core will unleash a new wave of amazing apps and especially games, for reasons I’ll touch on in a moment.
A new Start
Microsoft is putting the finishing touches on Windows Phone 8. It has a ton of great new consumer features that such as the beautiful, flexible new Start screen.
As you can see, Microsoft is making Windows Phone 8 even more personal, with a new palette of theme colors and three sizes of Live Tiles, all of which are under your control. We know Live Tiles are one of the things current owners really love about their Windows Phones, and Microsoft wanted to make them even more flexible and unique. This short video shows the new Start screen in action.
The new Start screen is so useful and emblematic of what Windows Phone is about that we want everybody to enjoy it. So Microsoft will be delivering it to existing phones as a software update sometime after Window Phone 8 is released.Let me repeat: If you currently own a Windows Phone 7.5 handset, Microsoft is planning to release an update with the new Windows Phone 8 Start screen. We’re calling it “Windows Phone 7.8.”
Some of you have been wondering, “Will we also get Windows Phone 8 as an update?” The answer, unfortunately, is no.
Windows Phone 8 is a generation shift in technology, which means that it will not run on existing hardware. BUT we care deeply about our existing customers and want to keep their phones fresh, so we’re providing the new Start screen in this new update.
100,000 apps and beyond
Today Microsoft announced that the Windows Phone Marketplace officially hit 100,000 apps and games—a milestone that Microsoft reached faster than Android, and a testament to the thousands of talented developers around the world who’ve supported us since launch. Together they deliver more than 200 new titles, on average, each day.
To mark the milestone, today Microsoft is announcing a new batch of marquee titles. The official Audible app for audiobooks arrives in Marketplace today. Official apps from Chase and PayPal are in the works. Gameloft has Windows Phone versions of Asphalt 7: Heat and N.O.V.A. 3 Near Orbit Vanguard Alliance on the way.
And Nokia is helping deliver the much-requested Zynga games Words with Friends and Draw Somethingto Windows Phone later this year.
Developers, developers, developers
Some of the exciting changes on the way include:
Native code support: Windows Phone 8 has full C and C++ support, making it easier to write apps for multiple platforms more quickly. It also means Windows Phone 8 supports popular gaming middleware such as Havok Vision Engine, Autodesk Scaleform, Audiokinetic Wwise, and Firelight FMOD, as well as native DirectX-based game development.
In-app payments: In Windows Phone 8 we make it possible for app makers to sell virtual and digital goods within their apps.
Integrated Internet calling: In Windows Phone 8, developers can create VoIP apps that plug into our existing calling feature so Internet calls can be answered like traditional phone calls, using the same calling interface.
Multitasking enhancements. Windows Phone 8 now allows location-based apps like exercise trackers or navigation aids to run in the background, so they keep working even when you’re doing other things on your phone.
This is just a taste. Later this summer, we’ll have much more for developers on the Windows Phone 8 Software Development Kit (SDK) and the new Visual Studio 11-based development tools. So stay tuned.
Windows Phone 8 @ work
In Windows Phone 8, we’re also moving into the workplace in a big way, introducing a number of features and capabilities that companies and their IT departments demand. This is just one more benefit of sharing a common core with Windows 8. Some of the new business-friendly features include:
Device encryption: To help keep everything from documents to passwords safe, Windows Phone 8 includes built-in technology to encrypt the entire device, including the operating system and data files.
Better security: Windows Phone 8 supports the United Extensible Firmware Interface (UEFI) secure boot protocol and features improved app “sandboxing,” so the phone is better protected from malware with multiple layers of security.
Remote management: With Windows Phone 8, IT departments can manage apps and phones remotely, with tools similar to ones they now employ for Windows PCs.
Company Hub and apps: Companies can create their own Windows Phone 8 Hub for custom employee apps and other critical business info.
New languages, update process
Windows Phone 8 will support a total of 50 languages, or double the current geographic coverage. Microsoft is also expanding Marketplace, their store for apps and games, to support app downloads in over 180 countries—nearly triple its current footprint.
Windows Phone 8, will now let you get latest software more quickly and easily. How? First, Windows Phone 8 updates will be delivered wirelessly over-the-air, so you don’t have to bother plugging your phone into your PC to update anymore. Second, Microsoft will support devices with updates for at least 18 months from device launch.
Finally, Microsoft is working to create a program that gives registered enthusiasts early access to updates prior to broad availability—a little gift to our biggest fans and supporters.
Microsoft has just released the specs for its new Windows 8 tablet, Surface. The webs has been set ablazed by the new tablet unveiling by Microsoft and many do now call it the iPad competitor. Surface will come in two flavors. The Windows RT model will only run the "Metro" version of Windows 8. The "Pro" model will run the full-featured version of Windows 8 and give you all the benefits of a desktop computer.
Microsoft did not announce a price or release date. Expect the RT model to cost about the same as the iPad. The Pro model will probably be pretty expensive. Check out the spec sheet below:
Microsoft wants to rule the living room. To do that, it’s going to have to face off against Apple, which is rumored to be working on a television that will serve as a hub for entertainment in the living room. It already has a big head start, thanks to Kinect, its motion-sensing and voice-detecting controller, and a ton of content partnerships.
But it’s going to have to pull out all the stops when Apple inevitably makes a play for the living room. To do that, it’s laid out a brand new console – dubbed the "Xbox 720" — to ensure its lasting control. A supposed full presentation on the new device leaked on the web.
The Xbox 720 will have an improved Kinect device that will track four players at once and have better voice recognition, and the console will connect to additional sensors — like glasses for a 3D experience — according to this presentation. This console will cost $299.
By 2015, the Xbox 720 will serve as a hub that will instantly stream any content you want — including the top-level games that normal consoles wouldn’t be able to handle — through the Internet.
Microsoft may have stumbled on a way to make Internet Explorer cool again. It will be adding a voice-controlled version of the browser to Xbox Kinect, reports Engadget.
Microsoft thinks that Web browsers on televisions suck because "keyboards don’t belong in the living room,"
Voice-controlled IE will also be integrated with the company’s new Smart Glass app for Xbox. Smart Glass, introduced today, lets games, movies, and other media bounce around from tablet to Xbox-controlled TV to PC.
IE for Kinect running with Smart Glass will let users manage the browser on their TV from their smartphone or tablet.
Today at an event in Hollywood, Microsoft unveiled Surface: PCs built to be the ultimate stage for Windows. Company executives showed two Windows tablets and accessories that feature significant advances in industrial design and attention to detail. Surface is designed to seamlessly transition between consumption and creation, without compromise. It delivers the power of amazing software with Windows and the feel of premium hardware in one exciting experience.
Conceived, designed and engineered entirely by Microsoft employees, and building on the company’s 30-year history manufacturing hardware, Surface is designed to seamlessly transition between consumption and creation, without compromise. Surface represents a unique vision for the seamless expression of entertainment and creativity. Extensive investment in industrial design and real user experience includes the following highlights:
Software takes center stage: Surface sports a full-sized USB port and a 16:9 aspect ratio – the industry standard for HD. It has edges angled at 22 degrees, a natural position for the PC at rest or in active use, letting the hardware fade into the background and the software stand out.
VaporMg: The casing of Surface is created using a unique approach called VaporMg (pronounced Vapor-Mag), a combination of material selection and process to mold metal and deposit particles that creates a finish akin to a luxury watch. Starting with magnesium, parts can be molded as thin as .65 mm, thinner than the typical credit card, to create a product that is thin, light and rigid/strong.
Integrated Kickstand: The unique VaporMg approach also enables a built-in kickstand that lets you transition Surface from active use to passive consumption – watching a movie or even using the HD front- or rear-facing video cameras. The kickstand is there when needed, and disappears when not in use, with no extra weight or thickness.
Touch Cover: The 3 mm Touch Cover represents a step forward in human-computer interface. Using a unique pressure-sensitive technology, Touch Cover senses keystrokes as gestures, enabling you to touch type significantly faster than with an on-screen keyboard. It will be available in a selection of vibrant colors. Touch Cover clicks into Surface via a built-in magnetic connector, forming a natural spine like you find on a book, and works as a protective cover. You can also click in a 5 mm-thin Type Cover that adds moving keys for a more traditional typing feel.
An Amazing Windows Experience
Two models of Surface will be available: one running an ARM processor featuring Windows RT, and one with a third-generation Intel Core processor featuring Windows 8 Pro. From the fast and fluid interface, to the ease of connecting you to the people, information and apps that users care about most, Surface will be a premium way to experience all that Windows has to offer. Surface for Windows RT will release with the general availability of Windows 8, and the Windows 8 Pro model will be available about 90 days later. Both will be sold in the Microsoft Store locations in the U.S. and available through select online Microsoft Stores.
Contributing to an Expanded Ecosystem
One of the strengths of Windows is its extensive ecosystem of software and hardware partners, delivering selection and choice that makes a customer’s Windows experience uniquely their own. This continues with Surface. Microsoft is delivering a unique contribution to an already strong and growing ecosystem of functional and stylish devices delivered by original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) to bring the experience of Windows to consumers and businesses around the globe.
Additional Product Information
Surface for Windows RT
OS: Windows RT
Light(1): 676 g
Thin(2): 9.3 mm
Clear: 10.6” ClearType HD Display
Energized: 31.5 W-h
Connected: microSD, USB 2.0, Micro HD Video, 2×2 MIMO antennae
Productive: Office ‘15’ Apps, Touch Cover, Type Cover
Practical: VaporMg Case & Stand
Configurable: 32 GB, 64 GB
Surface for Windows 8 Pro
OS: Windows 8 Pro
Light(1): 903 g
Thin(2): 13.5 mm
Clear: 10.6” ClearType Full HD Display
Energized: 42 W-h
Connected: microSDXC, USB 3.0, Mini DisplayPort Video, 2×2 MIMO antennae
Productive: Touch Cover, Type Cover, Pen with Palm Block
Practical: VaporMg Case & Stand
Configurable: 64 GB, 128 GB
Do you think, Microsoft can dent Apple iPad with this? Leave us your comments…
Microsoft just announced Xbox SmartGlass, a new screen-sharing/entertainment platform that is very similar to Apple’s AirPlay. Using your mobile device (Windows 8 tablet, Windows Phone, etc.) you will be able to interact with your movies, TV shows, music, and games on your Xbox.
SmartGlass isn’t strictly screen sharing; it’s a way to interact with your media without a keyboard getting in the way. Instead of just watching content, SmartGlass lets you interact with it creating a much more enjoyable experience.
For example, if you are sharing a movie from your tablet to your TV, your tablet will then provide you with a summary of the movie, information about the actors, when the movie was released, etc.
Kinect controls are also integrated into SmartGlass. If you don’t want to use Kinect gestures to control content on your Xbox, you can use your smartphone or tablet as a remote instead.
Microsoft did not specifically say that the SmartGlass app will be available for iOS or Android, but we’ve seen AppleInsider and Engadget suggest that the app will be available on these devices as well. We’ll have to wait and see what the official word is.
Microsoft is adding HTML output support to its Visual Studio LightSwitch tool, the latest version of which is available to testers. Microsoft is enabling its LightSwitch tool to render HTML5, company officials announced during the Day 1 keynote at its TechEd North America conference.
LightSwitch, codenamed “KittyHawk,” is a rapid-application-development (RAD) tool targeted at fledgling coders interested in building business applications. Microsoft has positioned LightSwitch as a way to build business applications for the desktop, the Web and the cloud. It’s a tool that relies on pre-built templates to make building applications easier for non-professional programmers. (It’s so easy, it’s like flipping a switch, the Softies have said when explaining the choice of final name for the product.)
As Blue Badge Insights founder Andrew Brust noted in a guest post on my blog last month, since LightSwitch’s public release last summer, LightSwitch’s traction so far has been lackluster. Productivity programmers don’t seem to have much awareness of LightSwitch and enterprise developers have been dismissive of it.
Microsoft had planned to only ship one application on the new Samsung SUR40 for Microsoft Surface platform, and they came to Stimulant to help design and develop it. Stimulant collaborated with the Microsoft Surface team to conceive and implement exciting new ways to let multiple people collaboratively search for images and locations, while intuitive clustering algorithms make maintaining context easy.
Tagged objects can store searches for frequent and easy execution, and Microsoft Tag lets users take media, business info and directions with them on their personal device.
Microsoft first announced details of its upcoming Office productivity suite, codenamed “Office 15”, back in January this year when the software suite reached its Technical Preview stage. Since then,various screenshots and details about “Office 15” has been revealed, including a revised user interface, a new “touch mode” for touch-screen based devices, and various improvements to each individual applications such as Word, Excel, PowerPoint, OneNote, andOutlook. Today, Chinese website Cnbeta also managed to obtain screenshots to confirm that the software suite will be named Office 2013, and will come with a brand new logo (as shown above).
LiveSide was also able to obtain exclusive screenshots showing some of the upcoming enhancements and UI changes to Office Web Apps, part of the SkyDrive and Hotmail offerings. First is a screenshot showing that users will soon be able to opt-in to join the Office Web Apps Preview:
Whilst the opt-in screen didn’t reveal too much about what’s coming in Office Web Apps Preview, we were able to obtain some screenshots showing a sneak peek at some of the minor UI changes in the newWord Web App. Here’s a list of some of the changes we’ve noticed:
New Metro-style UI with flatter menu buttons and spacing, similar to the Office 2013 applications
Ability to view comments in Reading mode
New options to increase/decrease font size, justify paragraphs, and adjust paragraph spacing in Editing mode
A new “Page Layout” menu in the ribbon in Editing mode
Check them out in the comparison table below:
We also obtained several screenshots showing the new “File” menu in Word Web App and PowerPoint Web App, which brings it much more in-line with the Office 2013 applications too. Check them out below:
Whilst the new UI changes are certainly pleasing, please note that this is by no means a complete list of changes coming in the new Office Web Apps, and we’re sure there’s more changes not shown in these screenshots. Also, remember that these screenshots are coming from an unfinished pre-beta product (as shown by the placeholder orange dots in the screenshots above), so things are subject to change by the time of beta or final release.
According to Paul Thurrott, the Office 2013 beta is expected to drop “sometime in June”. We hope that the Office Web Apps Preview for SkyDrive and Hotmail will also drop around the same timeframe, but that might be working on a different schedule so do expect a later release. Of course, as always take this news with a pinch of salt as nothing has been officially confirmed by Microsoft yet.
So what do you think of the new Office logo? And how do you like the new Office 2013 and Office Web Apps user interface? Let us know in the comments below!
Australian electronics etailer Kogan has implemented the world’s first "Internet Explorer 7 Tax". The new 6.8% tax comes into effect today on all products purchased from Kogan.com by anyone still insistent on using the antique browser.
But don’t worry, unlike other taxes, we’re making it easy to get around this one with a simple upgrade away from IE7 .
The way we’ve been able to keep Kogan prices so low is by using technology to makes Kogan’s business efficient and streamlined. One of the things stopping that is the web team having to spend a lot of time making the Kogan website look normal on IE7. This is an extremely old browser, so from today, anyone buying from the site who uses IE7 will be lumped with a 6.8% surcharge – that’s 0.1% for each month IE7 has been on the market:
Kogan says It’s not only costing us a huge amount, it’s affecting any business with an online presence, and costing the Internet economy millions. Customers who enter our site using Internet Explorer 7 can avoid the impost by simply downloading an up-to-date browser such as Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, Safari, Opera or even a more recent version of Internet Explorer.
As Internet citizens, we all have a responsibility to make the Internet a better place. By taking these measures, we are doing our bit. This will help us increase our efficiency, help keep prices for all smart shoppers down, and hopefully help eradicate the world of the pain in the rear that is IE7!
So, what are you waiting for? Time to upgrade your browser! Amazing Tax…