Last week, Microsoft grabbed a lion’s share of the news cycle. The drama surrounding the prospective Office app for iPad and a tongue in the cheek ad campaign against Google were the two main reasons. Even after a couple of days of claims, accusations and denials, no one is sure if an Office iPad app is in the works or not.
Google called IE privacy policies non operational, expiration dates for Windows Vista and 7 were pushed back, massive Skydrive upgrades are about to come, Visual Studio beta launch date was announced, Hotmail for Android clocked record downloads and a bunch of Microsoft apps and services are gonna be rebranded and more.
Read on for some of this week’s best Windows app news and updates.
TheDaily scooped the news that Microsoft’s productivity suite, Office is about to be launched in the iPad app store. The article also carried an image of the launch screen of the app running on an iPad. All major outlets carried this news (it was a slow news day) and everyone was convinced that the app was a lock.
But, Microsoft spoiled the party saying that the news was incorrect and TheDaily has been duped by someone with some terrific Photoshop work. TheDaily shot back that MS is full of it, and in fact they saw an actual demo of the app by someone who is working at Microsoft. Redmond denied this claim again and this went on for a couple of days.
There are a couple of theories going around the blogosphere. The one I liked the most was that Microsoft might be launching Office on stage when the iPad 3 is released (which could be on March 7, according to another rumor!). Given the number of apps developed by MS for rival platforms, there is no denying that Office will eventually be available for iPad too. But honestly I don’t think it would be released in an Apple event. That would be accepting defeat on so many fronts!
“Microsoft omitted important information from its blog post today.
Microsoft uses a “self-declaration” protocol (known as “P3P”) dating from 2002 under which Microsoft asks websites to represent their privacy practices in machine-readable form. It is well known – including by Microsoft – that it is impractical to comply with Microsoft’s request while providing modern web functionality. We have been open about our approach, as have many other websites.
Today the Microsoft policy is widely non-operational. A 2010 research report indicated that over 11,000 websites were not issuing valid P3P policies as requested byMicrosoft…”
We all know about the epic Mac vs PC ads. While not on the same level of awesomeness, Microsoft came up with an interesting video slamming Google Apps. Titled “Googlighting”, the video accuses Google of moonlighting in the enterprise software business. Google Apps is my go to productivity suite (as a matter of fact, this very article was composed on Google Docs), but I agree with Microsoft completely.
Feature additions and upgrades are hard to come by and Google Apps is half baked at best. Compare this with the amount of effort MS puts into every major and minor release of Office and you will see the truth behind this accusation.
For whatever reason, Windows Vista got its mainstream support cycle extended till 2017. Vista userbase is in the single digits, yet it got a full five year extension. Windows XP got so many extensions that people have lost count, thanks to Vista. Not to be left behind, the dependable Windows 7 will now be supported till 2020, another five year extension.
Crowd favorite Skydrive is about to get a whole lot of cool additions. The amazing cloud storage utility will be deeply integrated with Windows 8 and files will be searchable too. That isn’t all! A metro styled app for Skydrive is in the works too. Still no word on premium plans, but 25GB is more than enough for a free service.
On February 29, the World will get to see not only Windows 8 but also the Visual Studio 11 and the .Net framework 4.5. Many wondered the reasoning behind mixing up the launch of two starkly different products on the same day. As long as we get new, innovative software I ain’t complaining!
The native Gmail app in Android is a communication powerhouse. And we all know how fabulous Gmail is. Yet, Hotmail app still has a massive following. In less than five months after its release, the app has been downloaded more than 5 million times. Now, that’s a sweet victory!
Over the past few years, Microsoft has made a mess with branding. There was “Live“, then it got a “Windows” prefix, which then got a “Microsoft” prefix, making it impossible for people to follow. To add to the lot of sane steps Redmond is taking with Windows 8, there is going to be significant changes to branding of the following apps:
- Microsoft Account (Windows Live ID)
- Mail (Windows Live Mail)
- Calendar (Windows Live Calendar)
- People (Windows Live Contacts)
- Photos (Windows Live Photo Gallery)
- Music (Zune Music Player)
- Video (Zune Video Player)
The names inside the braces will be used no more!
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!