This Week in the World of Windows

Microsoft is fierce when it comes to defending its intellectual property. Not mindful of the bad name it garners by suing or threatening sue competitors and fringe companies alike, Team Redmond just rolls ahead. Not even open source and non profit organizations are spared from the onslaught. The latest one to get in the cross hairs is OnLive.

Windows 8 to be fixed soon for WP 7 developers, Nokia might launch a Windows 8 tablet, new Xbox to drop disc drives, Windows Mobile Marketplace to be shut down, the Tango update to launch with a bunch of restrictions and more. Read on for some of this week’s best Windows app news and updates.

Microsoft Not Happy with OnLive Desktop

Microsoft Not Happy with OnLive

Microsoft Not Happy with OnLive

OnLive is one of the important companies of the cloud generation. Immensely popular among gamers and geeks, the company lets you stream and play games on your PC, Mac, mobile phone or TV. The games aren’t the low quality flash games that one plays on Facebook, but the modern, resource hungry and graphics intensive games like Batman: Arkham City, Assassin’s Creed etc.

Onlive is a massive hit and like any other sane company, OnLive expanded its business, by letting tablet users access a Windows 7 operating system online. Unlike remote access apps like LogMeIn – which lets you access your own Windows PC – OnLive Desktop offers its users Windows 7 desktop access that you don’t have a license for (as a matter of fact, they don’t have the right to offer a license too).

To top it, you can access the service for free and there is a premium tier that costs a paltry $4.99 per month. No wonder, Microsoft is pissed! However, instead of resorting to legal action, Microsoft is trying to engage OnLive first. According to Joe Matz, Corporate Vice President of Worldwide Licensing and Pricing at Microsoft,

“We are actively engaged with OnLive with the hope of bringing them into a properly licensed scenario, and we are committed to seeing this issue is resolved.”

Companies have tried this sorta borderline tactics to stream movies and music over the years, but were promptly shutdown by MPAA and RIAA. From the official statement, it looks like Redmond doesn’t want the service to be shut down but instead wants a licensing model to be worked out. I bet we won’t see the free plan in the next few weeks!

Windows 8 Fix Coming Soon

Developers are facing a hard time with the Windows 8 consumer preview. Apparently, they can’t get the WP 7 emulator to work and there are problems with .NET 3.5 and XNA Game Studio. Well, there is a fix in works and will be released shortly. An official blog post notes,

“We are hard at work ensuring that we deliver a cohesive and comprehensive application development story with Visual Studio that enables you to leverage your knowledge and skills to build applications for  Windows and for Windows Phone, in as seamless a manner as possible.”

Nokia might Launch a Tablet

According to rumors, the Finnish mobile giant might launch a 10 inch Windows 8 tablet later this year. This no surprise, given the buddy-buddy relationship of the two companies. Nevertheless, Windows 8 is a compelling tablet OS and expect a few other OEMs to jump the bandwagon once the OS hits the market!

Xbox Rumors Surface

Xbox Rumors Surface

Xbox Rumors Surface

It has been a long time since we have had a major Xbox release. Xbox 360 sales are very strong, thanks to popular new game titles and Kinect. But to stay on top of the market, it’s imperative that a new generation console be released before Nintendo and Sony does. Now that 2013 seems to be the year for the new Xbox release, some crazy rumors have started going around.

If you were to believe the rumors, the next generation of Xbox console won’t have disc drives at all and will support SD cards instead. Microsoft isn’t as radical as Apple and taking into account their record when it comes to backward compatibility (you don’t just expect us to throw away all the $60 game discs overnight, don’t you?), let’s wait and see if the rumor is actually true.

Windows Mobile Marketplace to be Shut Down

Windows Mobile Marketplace to be Shut Down

Windows Mobile Marketplace to be Shut Down

Don’t worry folks! It’s the market place for Windows Mobile 6.x, the grand daddy of Windows Phone 7 that’s going to be shuttered. After May 9, 2012, apps and games cannot be downloaded (or redownloaded for that matter) from the marketplace. It’s news to me that the marketplace is still alive and I’m sure nobody is crying over this announcement.

Tango to Launch with Restrictions

The goal of the Tango update for Windows Phone 7 is to take the smartphones to the masses with affordable handsets. Microsoft has waived off some hardware restrictions in favor of building cheap handsets. However, this does come with restricted software functionality though. If you happen to buy a WP 7 device running 256 MB of RAM, be aware that you might not be able to use some apps, cannot subscribe to podcasts, auto upload images to Skydrive, lose fast app switching among other things.

I am praying to God, Tango doesn’t destroy the goodwill WP 7 has hard earned all these days!

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!