Wow, what a week! With the impending consumer preview of Windows 8 in the next few days, not a lot of us were expecting any major announcement from Redmond. Windows logo went through major rebranding and now looks more aligned with the overall metro style. It isn’t a flag anymore, we now have true windows.
Microsoft took a jab at Google’s privacy violations, a new social advertising campaign was announced, Bing and Facebook apps for WP7 got updates, Hotmail was lauded for effectively curbing spam, Microsoft shares reached a new high, Zune might be replaced with a new music service and more.
Read on for some of this week’s best Windows app news and updates.
The Windows flag is one of most popular logos of all time. With each version of Windows, the logo went through a slight rebranding, but nothing significant enough to make sure people can identify it instantly. Last week, as a part of the continued effort to make the Metro design more uniform and pervasive, Microsoft unvieled the brand new logo.
Instead of a flag, we now have a real window, designed at an interesting perspective. Not only the logo, but the typography and colors have changed as well. In the place of a riot of colors, we now have only one, blue. The new look is trendy, cool, but needs a lot of getting used to for the masses.
Justifying the new look, the official announcement came up with three strong points:
“1. We wanted the new logo to be both modern and classic by echoing the International Typographic Style (or Swiss design) that has been a great influence on our Metro style design philosophy. Using bold flat colors and clean lines and shapes, the new logo has the characteristics of way-finding design systems seen in airports and subways.
2. It was important that the new logo carries our Metro principle of being “Authentically Digital”. By that, we mean it does not try to emulate faux-industrial design characteristics such as materiality (glass, wood, plastic, etc.). It has motion – aligning with the fast and fluid style you’ll find throughout Windows 8.
3. Our final goal was for the new logo to be humble, yet confident. Welcoming you in with a slight tilt in perspective and when you change your color, the logo changes to reflect you. It is a “Personal” Computer after all.”
It’s real interesting how far similar the new logo looks like the one for Windows 1.0. The more things change, the more they remain the same indeed!
It’s a new week and Microsoft had a new blogpost up taking a jab at Google for its privacy violations. Reports from last week exposed that Google has been able to track users of Apple’s Safari browser while they surf the web on their Apple iPhones, iPads and Macs, deliberately circumventing privacy protection measures.
It might sound opportunistic for Microsoft to take a dig at Google even before Apple did, but one has to wonder how much fodder Google gives its opponents every passing week!
Like almost every other aspect of our digital lives, advertising has gone social too. Facebook gets a lion’s share of the social advertising pie. Despite being an investor in the World’s largest social network, Microsoft Advertising has come up with People Powered Stories, a new form of social advertising.
With it, advertisers can incorporate real peoples’ ratings and reviews about their products within a rich brand ad. Couple of Microsoft advertising campaigns adopting PPS were immensely successful, so the technology has great potential for success.
Firefox is on a roll. Chrome might be eating into its marketshare, but the makers of the open source browser don’t miss an opportunity to establish themselves in every major new software platform. After a solid showing in the Android ecosystem, Mozilla has turned its attention to Windows 8. In addition to the classic desktop version, there will be a fullscreen Metro styled version too! No word about the extensions though.
Facebook for WP7 update came with a complete redesign of the user interface and some nifty new features like panorama view, improved toolbar among other things. Following the footsteps of Facebook, Bing announced two updates to it app – Bing Vision and Image matching. Available right now, Bing Vision now scans barcodes, CD, DVD and book covers in addition to QR codes and Microsoft Tags.
Bing Image Matching for Newspapers allows users to take a photo of an article using their Windows Phone camera and link directly to a digital version of the article online. This update will be rolled out in March.
Microsoft tasted success with Xbox Live. But they couldn’t repeat the same magic with Zune. Lack of a true iTunes competitor is a gaping void in Redmond Giant’s digital offerings. In a latest attempt, Microsoft is rumored to launch a streaming music service for WP7 and Xbox users. Right now, Zune doesn’t allow users to stream music, so we will have wait and see if MS launches a new brand or goes for a revamp of Zune.
I’m a die hard Gmail and Google Apps fan. But, I still find that occasional spam mail in my inbox in my Gmail and more often than I should, in my Google Apps inbox. A recent study has found that Hotmail tops the chart (beating Gmail by a fraction) when it comes effective spam control. Though funded by Microsoft, the study was conducted by an independent consultancy and is vouched by the New York Times.
Share Your Thoughts!
What news from the Windows universe grabbed your attention in the past few days? Share your thoughts and insights in the comments section. Thank you so much for reading!