CES ended last week without any earth shattering announcements from major players, including Microsoft. While there was no word on the potential launch date for Windows 8 or a slew of mind blowing devices sporting Windows Phone 7, we did get some good news with the impending release of Kinect for Windows.
Even if you take CES out of the mix, this past week was eventful for Microsoft. A cool web version of Cut the Rope is now online, Nokia is secretly working on exclusive apps, a major protest from the workers at a Chinese factory and more. Read on for some of this week’s best Windows app news and updates.
As I mentioned earlier, Microsoft kept a tight lid on what’s ahead for the company throughout the show. But a series of thin and stylish Ultrabooks (MacBook Air clones most of them) grabbed the attention of the audience. Considering how pricey the MB Air is and how close the competing Windows running OEM versions are, they should be selling like hotcakes in the months to come.
Steve Ballmer was the same indelible self and his onstage chat with Ryan Seacrest culminated in a choir! Folks from a choir group sang the tweets that mentioned Windows Phone devices. This video is not going to make life easy for a Microsoft fanboy, but watch it anyway!
Like thousands of other gaming enthusiasts out there, Kinect helped changed the way people perceive Xbox consoles. At a time when a lot of people were waiting patiently for the Xbox 720 (or something similar), not wasting money on an EOL [end of life] product, Kinect made those dark game consoles drool worthy all of a sudden.
Microsoft confirmed long running rumours by announcing that Kinect would be available for Windows PCs as early as February 2012! Without an inkling of doubt, this is going to be a huge success and should be more than enough to convince skeptics from jumping ship. The initial launch is limited to only 12 countries though. Count yourselves lucky is you’re a citizen of any of the following countries: United States, Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Mexico, New Zealand, Spain, United Kingdom.
Despite continued efforts, Internet Explorer’s userbase is constantly getting eroded, thanks to Firefox, Chrome and Safari on Macs. Like a carnival entertainer, Microsoft is desperately trying every trick in the book and then some to make IE cool. In a latest attempt, the famous Cut the Rope game and the cute Om Nom are now available for free on the web, courtesy of HTML5.
You don’t have to use an IE to play the game as any modern browser supporting HTML5 works just fine.
Well, it was no surprise to hear that an upgrade to the now famous Lumia 800 is on the way. Shots and videos of Windows Phone 7 running Lumia 900 enthralled gadget lovers last week. The mobile comes with a large 4.3 inch display and a front facing camera.
Add to it, the buzz that both Microsoft and Nokia are working on exclusive WP7 apps and 2012 does indeed look very promising!
Poor working conditions of Chinese manufacturers are an open secret. Time and again, an outrageous article will pop up detailing the perils of Chinese workers, only to be forgotten after a newscycle. Foxconn employees working on Xbox 360, in addition to Appleware, assembly lines threatened mass suicides if their demand for pay rise and better working conditions were not attended to. But a day later, both Microsoft and Foxconn claimed that the issue is now settled and the outcry was not due to poor working conditions, but over staffing assignments and transfer policies.
Bill Gates isn’t the richest person in the World anymore. You know why? He is donating billions of dollars every year to charity. So far he has donated over 28 billion dollars saving almost six million lives across the globe. It is notable that all his philanthropy is focused towards eradicating diseases and not using the money as a tool to gain potential users for Microsoft products. Kudos, Bill!
If you follow the Android ecosystem closely, you should be familiar with all the muscle phones that pop up every other month or so. With so many cores and memory built into them, they can put to shame a standard desktop PC. Even though I’m an Android enthusiast, I‘ll have to admit that in reality those specs are too much of an overkill.
That’s why Windows Phones will not compete with competitors on specs alone, according to Joe Belfiore, VP for Windows Phone. Instead, they will focus their efforts on making Windows Phone OS a better mobile platform. Sounds great!
Skype is so ubiquitous, I wasn’t aware that it isn’t available on Windows Phone 7, yet. Now that Microsoft has acquired the company, it would be a shame not to have the premier VOIP app onboard. iOS and Android users are using Skpe for many months and now Microsoft has promised that it will be out “soon” for WP7. The Verge expects the app to be launched at the Mobile World Congress next month. Fingers crossed!
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!