Win8

Windows 8 is still fresh out of the proverbial gate and many of the apps are still getting their updates out to iron out the kinks and improve functionality.

Skype isn’t long out as a Windows 8 app and it’s getting a nice update from today to allow better searching, Messenger integration and performance tweaks. Read on to find out more...

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We wrote yesterday about the things to watch out for with the launch of Windows 8. One of those things was SmartGlass and Microsoft have now revealed more ahead of the launch. They have updated the Windows 8 apps and free streaming is now available for Xbox Music.

As part of a broader roll out of better entertainment services, SmartGlass aims to improve the ability to use tablets and smartphones to better control the experience with the Xbox 360.  The video goes on to show how internet sessions can be shared from Windows Phone 8 to the console, along with bouncing it back from the console to your tablet. It’s looking awesome, check out the video after the break.

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As if Amazon wasn't doing well enough with Windows 8 sales, seeing pre-orders dominate it's Best Sellers list, they have decided to sweeten the deal. Now you can pre-order Windows 8 Pro for $69.99 and get a $30 Amazon credit to boot. For those of you who aren't too good at subtraction, that brings the price down to $39.99, the same cost as the online upgrade price for current users of previous Windows versions.

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Asus seems to have leaked it’s pricing for its coming Windows 8 tablets and convertibles prompting some to leap to their word processors and get on the fear, uncertainty and doubt bandwagon.

We all know that pricing for tablets is an extremely sensitive subject, just yesterday we looked at Steve Ballmer’s interview to see what he had said about Surface pricing. Even though some sites announced there were new details surrounding pricing, we found it was the same message we already knew. Headlines such as “pricing comes in high, demand likely low” and “Windows 8 Tablets: Born to fail” seem wildly premature. We take a look as these leaked prices and what they could mean.

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Listening to podcasts on the go is one of my favorite pastimes, a great way to catch up with the latest news or a special interest. For those of us who reside outside of North America, podcast support has been a bit limited to say the least. Unlike our pals in the US, we cannot subscribe to podcasts through the marketplace on either Zune desktop software or directly using the phone. Annoying, but Mango at least introduced a half-workable solution. Unfortunately, after the Tango update it’s no longer possible to use that either.

To subscribe to podcasts prior to Tango, first we needed to set them up in the Zune desktop suite. Once subscribed, simply plugging in the phone and synchronising would pass the podcast to it. Podcasts would the automatically download without further PC interaction. Alas, this is now not the case. What’s going on?

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Microsoft in a surprising move has updated the Windows 8 Marketplace so that there is now another SkyDrive app available. This is not the WinRT version but instead a shortcut to the full-blown desktop app that is currently available to all. SkyDrive is going to be a linchpin of Microsoft’s cloud based continuous client strategy. So what are they up to?

Windows 8 already has the WinRT version of SkyDrive, but currently that does not support folder synchronisation. I have to say I find this rather odd. I would have expected MS to simply update the existing built-in app to support such a function.

I do think there are number of reasons they have chosen this route. Firstly, it could be that a pure WinRT version will make it impossible to execute that level of interaction with the classic desktop environment. It could also be there to help aid install until a fully featured SkyDrive app baked in  with the WinRT environment and the Classic environment.

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2012, Microsoft’s Epic Year?

Steve Ballmer took to the stage yesterday at Microsoft’s annual powwow, the Worldwide Partners Conference. Steve was as bullish as ever calling 2012 an “EPIC!” year for Microsoft. Steve is always excited but this time Microsoft does have it ‘going on’. Why is Steve so pumped, and what makes 2012 a year of “epic”?

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Will Windows Phone 8 have an Advert Tile?

There is still a lot we do not know about Windows Phone 8. What we do know is that it will share many things in common with the slightly newer Metro inspired UI’s of the Xbox 360 and Windows 8. Let us discuss the recent trend with Microsoft inserting advertising into its products using metro tiles. These adverts are already present in Windows 8 and the Xbox 360. Will those advert tiles be making an appearance in Windows Phone 8 too? 

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Red Badger – Developer Insight

Back when Windows Phone 7 was new on the smartphone scene the choice of Twitter apps was limited. Birdsong was one of the most interesting clients of the time, it was 100% accurate in getting the aesthetics right for how an app should look and work on WP7. Making good use of smooth scrolling, panoramic slide overs whilst embracing the best feature of Windows Phone, Metro.

At the time Birdsong was innovative, indeed Red badger became a poster child for how Metro style apps should look and feel, receiving praise from its users and even Microsoft. I wanted to catch up with the team and see how their start-up is going and what brought them back to re-kindling development for Birdsong. I met with one of the founders, Cain Ullah and Red Badgers newest team member, Joe Stanton to see what’s happening...

 

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