InsideMicrosoft

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Catching Up: Closing Up

I’m nowhere near caught up in Bloglines, but, thankfully, this will be my final tab-dump…

Microsoft last week launched 10, a technology enthusiast site. Basically, what Channel 9 is for those who create technology, 10 is for those who want to use it. It certainly is friendlier (especially for consumers) than 9 is. It even uses MP4 in some places more than regular Windows formats, which is kind of a pissoff since Quicktime formats are far more proprietary and less useful, and require the install of extra, crippled software that tries to load on startup.
(via Steve Rubel)

There’s a very strong rumor making the rounds that Microsoft has retasked the excellent team behind designing and marketing the Xbox 360 to making a handheld device. It would be a PSP-like device, designed for gaming, music and video, competing with the PSP, DS and iPod.

J Allard, Greg Gibson and Bryan Lee are said to be heading different aspects of the project, and all were instrumental in the 360s (arguable to a level, but undeniable) success. Their roles on Xbox were heading the hardware and software teams, system designer, and finance chief, respectively. Microsoft has considered making a handheld in the past, but shelved the project on more than one occassion.

The article also mentions Alexandria, which would be Microsoft’s new music service to compete with iTunes. We’ve seen some idea of Alexandria running on the UMPC in recent weeks.

While the system would reportedly be targeted to take ports from the original Xbox, I think a huge part of the strategy is the XNA framework announced yesterday. The Xbox 360 has made a lot of money from smaller, but addictive, games like Geometry Wars, arguably the only true hits on the console, while the PC has thousands of smaller games made by smaller developers. If Microsoft lets developers use XNA to port .NET games to the XPlayer (or XBoy, or whatever), then it could have thousands of downloadable games, some free, some $5-10. And that option looks a lot better than the lack of useful PSP content.

There’s a video of OneNote 2007 in action by Darren Strange. They’ve added multiple notebooks, but I worry the interface is starting to bloat. You’ve got notebooks on the left side, tabbed sections on the top, and page tabs on the right side. A good feature, though, is you can drop a notebook on a server and share it with a whole bunch of people, a great way to collaborate.

For integration, in Outlook you can click a button to take notes in OneNote linked to that specific calendar item. You also get that option in emails and contacts, which links the information in the email or contact to OneNote, lets you take notes in OneNote while showing data from Outlook, and Outlook knows about and can get to that information.

In IE, you can click a button to send to OneNote. In a shared notebook, you could drop webpages in, write notes on it, and your collaborators would be able to see it. There’s a new system printer called Microsoft OneNote Import, that means that anything you can print, you can send to OneNote (very smart).

You can very easily create hyperlinks to other notebooks, or just hit the tab key to instantly create a table. There’s a built-in calculator that you can activate simply by hitting enter, so if you type in an equation anywhere, OneNote will print the answer in your notes. OneNote also has OCR, so if you drop in a screenshot, it can find words in the image.

You may not be aware, but Microsoft has a lot of Express editions of its developer software, perfect for small coders to do some serious work. You can get lighter versions of Visual Studio, SQL Server 2005, Visual Web Developer 2005, Visual Basic 2005, Visual C# 2005, Visual C++ 2005 and Visual J# 2005.
(via Digg)

Microsoft outlined at Mix its developer strategy for Windows Live, unveiling an MSDN site for Live and positioning it as a serious platform that can be built upon. From Mary Jo Foley:

Microsoft is still thinking through the business models and licensing models that will be permitted in the Windows Live world, Arbogast said. But the company has decided that a few key principles will prevail.

Users must be in control of their own data at all times, Arbogast said. Windows Live services should be designed to support any platform, browser, language or device, and Windows Live services should make use of simple, standards-adherent HTTP-based application programming interfaces, he added.

Dean Hachamovitch has the IE7 t-shirt with a cool logo you’ll likely never see… unless someone gets it on CafePress soon enough.

The Windows RSS platform, in its final stage, will ship without secure feed support. Are you freakin’ kidding me? Bonehead move! Undo, undo!
(via Findory)

Finally, Miel sent me a link to a funny video of Steve Jobs keynote bloopers over the years. Hilarious. Where’s the Microsoft equivelant video?


13 tabs open, 1431 Bloglines items to go…

March 21st, 2006 Posted by Nathan Weinberg | Apple, Outlook, OneNote, Developers, Xbox 360, Xbox, Applications, Blogs, Internet Explorer, General | no comments



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