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Microsoft Launches Windows Phone 7

Initially released ten years ago in 2010, Windows mobile played an important part in the arena of smartphones, until, Apple released the iPhone in 2007 changed the way phones were. Then came Google with its Android OS which  quickly gained popularity with most companies switching loyalties from Windows Mobile. Somewhere in between, Microsoft released Windows Mobile 6.5 but lets face it, it was more of a fix then a major OS update.

With declining share in the mobile OS market, month after month, Microsoft finally threw away the stylus and made a new platform for mobile phones, The Windows Phone 7 operating system which was a MAJOR upgrade from the older Windows Mobile series. The new OS like many of the other ones available right now provides stylus free use, integrating with Microsoft services like Bing, Xbox Live as well as social networks such as Facebook and Live Tiles, a new unique way to customize your home screen.

Microsoft announced that Windows Mobile 7 will first be available on 10 handsets, in 30 countries by the end of October. Major companies releasing phones with this platform are HTC, LG, Samsung and Dell.

Will Microsofts new OS be able to compete with the likes of iOS and Android? Will developers embrace the new platform? Will we see a shower of applications? Well, we’ll have to wait to find out.

Click Here to check out Mashable’s Gallery of the phones with which Windows Phone 7 will release.

Update: Windows Phone 7 won’t have Copy and Paste until early 2011. It also does not support tethering.

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Microsoft Surface in AT&T stores

AT&T became the first retail store to showcase and utilize the Microsoft Surface.

The Microsoft Surface is a hardware and software combination technology that allows a user or multiple users to manipulate digital content by use of hand gestures, natural motions or physical objects.
AT&T is using the Surface in five locations in four different cities which are Atlanta, San Antonio, San Francisco and New York. A total of 22 devices have been sent to AT&T’s stores.
Customers are allowed to place devices on the surface which in turn will read the devices such as a cell phone and give the customers information about the device.
If there is a good response AT&T might start using the Surface for purchasing ringtones, graphics, video content and the like using the Surfaces’s multi-touch gestures. Customers can also view interactive coverage maps and use touch and hand movements to determine the
coverage areas for their wireless service.
The stores with the Surface have got many customers compared to before, most of them who just came to get a hands-on on the device.

Microsoft, Intel give US$20M for multi-core research

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Microsoft and Intel are donating $20 million to two U.S. universities for parallel-computing research.

Imagine a man you know but whose name you can’t remember approaches you, and your mobile phone uses face-recognition capability to give you his name and information about him before he says hello. This is the kind of application that researchers hope will be developed from US$20 million Microsoft and Intel are giving two U.S. universities for research on parallel computing.

The companies are donating the money to Universal Parallel Computing Research Centers (UPCRCs) at the University of California Berkeley and the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, they announced at a news conference on Tuesday. The centers are aimed at tackling the challenges of programming for processors that have more than one core and so can carry out more than one set of program instructions at a time, a scenario known as parallel computing.In addition to the $20 million, the University of Illinois will provide $8 million to fund its center, and UC Berkeley has applied for $7 million in grants for its research.UC Berkeley quietly opened its Parallel Computing Lab in January, according to aUC Berkeley Web site. The lab was born out of research done there and published in a white paper by researchers at Berkeley’s Electrical Engineering and Computer Sciences department in 2006.

In the paper, they said the current evolution of programming models from single-core to the dual-core and quad-core processors available today from Intel and AMD won’t work for a future where processors could have as many as 16, 32 or hundreds of processors. They set out to find a better way to develop programming models to meet the challenges of multi-core chips.

UC Berkeley’s David Patterson, a professor of computer science and director of the UPCRC, described the problem as one of designing programs to take advantage of parallel computing’s ability to divvy up workloads across different processors. On Tuesday’s conference call, he compared the scenario to dividing the work of writing one story between 16, or even hundreds, of reporters. While the work could potentially be done 16 — or even hundreds of times — faster, “we won’t get to deliver on that performance without balancing the work well,” he said.

Microsoft’s and Intel’s interest in parallel computing is not merely altruistic — both companies already are doing their own research so they can take advantage of the computing power that comes with multi-core technology, and thus gain a competitive advantage in their respective software and processor markets. The agendas of the research centers will align closely with Intel’s Tera-scale Computing Research Program and Microsoft’s Technical Computing Initiative, the companies said.

As for some of the real-world applications of parallel computing, Patterson and Marc Snir, professor of computer science at the University of Illinois, said if researchers can use programming to harness the capabilities of multi-core machines, it will give mobile devices the computing performance that today comes only from supercomputers.

Patterson described the scenario in which a mobile phone might use face-recognition technology to save someone — he used himself as an example — from an embarrassing situation of not knowing a person’s name. “I’d personally be excited to buy a cell phone that has that technology,” because this is a situation he often encounters as a university professor, Patterson said.

Fourteen members from the UC Berkeley faculty, as well as 50 doctoral students and postdoctoral researchers, will staff the UPCRC, while the center at the University of Illinois will be led by Snir and Wen-Mei Hwu, professor of electrical and computer engineering. Twenty additional faculty members and 26 graduate students and researchers also will participate in research at the Illinois center. Both centers will make software available to the technology community for additional development.

While there are only dual-core and quad-core processors available today, Intel plans to release a six-core processor, code-named Dunnington, in the second half of this year, and an eight-core processor, called Nehalem, at some point in the future.

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Release of Windows XP Service Pack 3 will reduce the flow of Upgradation to Vista

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Analysts say that the more secure, stable and reliable Windows XP is, the less reason businesses have to upgrade to Vista in a hurry.

The upcoming release of Windows XP Service Pack 3 will further slow the rate of business adoption of Windows Vista by extending the life of the older operating system, some analysts say.

Microsoft quietly released Windows XP Service Pack 3 Release Candidate 2 to the masses Feb. 19. But the company finds itself in a Catch-22, given its need to provide comprehensive security to protect its large installed base of business customers still running XP while, at the same time, encouraging those customers to upgrade to the new Vista operating system.

But the more secure, stable and reliable XP is, the less reason they have to upgrade in a hurry.

“XP SP3 does lengthen the useful life of XP. People don’t like to move, particularly IT folks, and anything that makes it so they don’t feel they have to move will be well received and delay that move,” Rob Enderle, the principal analyst at the Enderle Group, told eWeek.

In addition, Windows XP is now on its third service patch and by any measure very mature, while Vista is only reaching its initial level of acceptable maturity with SP1, which is expected to be released in March, Enderle said.

Michael Cherry, the lead analyst for Windows at Directions on Microsoft agrees, saying that many customers are quite satisfied with Windows XP and that the release of a third service pack should only increase its stability and reliability.

“It also seems to run on older hardware—being less resource dependent than Vista is. Therefore it would appear many customers could be quite happy to stay with Windows XP for some time,” he said.

XP SP3 will also make support easier, and it could be the delivery vehicle for some new features such as support for the Network Access Protection client that works with Windows Server 2008, Cherry said.

Microsoft declined to comment.

While Chris Swenson, the director of software industry analysis for the NPD Group does not agree that XP SP3 is likely to slow down the adoption of Vista, he does acknowledge that the many businesses with older PCs will roll out SP3.

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Microsoft releases first beta of Internet Explorer 8

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Microsoft released the first beta version of IE8 a few days ago. The new version of the IE comes with many new improvements. Two major features are Activities and WebSlices. Look down for a bit more about these features.

Microsoft could have comfortably leave IE8 as an IE7 look alike that it standards compliant, but they went a step forward and actually brought something new to the browser industry, which will surely be mimicked in a near future in the form of an extension for everyone’s favorite fiery browser.

To start things off, one of the things that instantly drew my attention was the “Activities” feature that allows you to do those repetitive tasks like finding the location of something on google maps, or submitting an article to Digg, by simply selection an option from the context-menu when you right click.

Another nice feature is the Webslices feature, that allows a user to “capture” a part of a website’s code and place it as a link on your toolbar. Very similar to the new widget feature that Apple added in Leopard that allowed you to select an area from a website and create a custom widget for it. The only difference here is that in order for Webslices to work, the webdevelopers need to place a special code on their website, which renders the feature almost obsolete except for the select few websites (like Microsoft ones) that place the custom code.

Most other features are small improvements over the current ones, which makes IE8 a simple, yet capable, browser that earned my respect. Kudos to Microsoft!

[Download Internet Explorer 8]

Microsoft’s coffee-table shaped computer

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Microsoft Corp. has announced that it will exhibit its coffee-table-shaped “surface computer” at Wall Street Journal’s “D: All Things Digital” conference on Wednesday. The ideology behind this innovation is to replace mouse and keyboard by more natural interaction using voice, pen and touch. Microsoft Surface has a 30-inch display under a hard-plastic tabletop. You can touch and move objects on screen. It can help you place your order from the carte du jour in a restaurant.

Interesting to know, Microsoft Surface can interact with the devices placed in its surface. The cell phone users will be benefited by getting access to latest ringtones, or change payment plans by placing their handsets on in-store displays. It will run the Windows Vista operating system.

“We see this as a multibillion dollar category, and we envision a time when surface computing technologies will be pervasive, from tabletops and counters to the hallway mirror,” Chief Executive Steve Ballmer said in a statement. The targeted customers would initially be corporate customers.

Company aims at deploying the first units in November in Sheraton hotels, Harrah’s casinos, T-Mobile stores, and restaurants. Currently it will be sold at a price ranging from $5,000 and $10,000 each but they are saying that they will try to bring prices down to consumer levels in three to five years and introduce various shapes and forms.

Via Cybertheater

Here is a video from Youtube

                 

 Here is the link of another video

 

 

Microsoft’s next move? Code-name Falcon

“Here’s a trade secret that Microsoft is unlikely to publicly acknowledge. 

Sony’s cutting the price on the PlayStation 3. How will Microsoft react? We’ll find out soon. But a key part of the strategy is going to be a project code-named Falcon.

Falcon is the name for the latest internal electronics in the Xbox 360. It will have an IBM microprocessor and an AMD/ATI graphics chip that are manufactured in a 65-nanometer production process. These are cost-reduced chips that do the same thing as their 90-nanometer predecessors, but they’re smaller.

For the rest of this great article click here

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