We’ve been hearing a lot lately about consumer cloud services. There’s Apple’s recently-announced iCloud, Amazon’s Cloud Drive, Google’s Music Beta (which is your music in the cloud) and, of course, Microsoft’s SkyDrive. All of these to one extent or another are moving away from simple online lockers, and we see that today with the release of the latest update to SkyDrive.
The navigation is less… → Read More
Perhaps you read the news late last week or this past weekend that Microsoft is shifting their strategy when it comes to Silverlight. Essentially, they indicated that they were commited to using it as the development platform for Windows Phone, and for certain media applications (like Netflix), but for a true cross-platform strategy, they’re going to shift their focus to HTML5. That all sounds… → Read More
Nearly a year ago, Microsoft pulled together a group of reporters for Bing Fall Release event. The highlight of the presentation was a demo showing off some nifty new features in Bing Maps. The problem? All of this stuff required Microsoft’s Silverlight browser plug-in to work. I berated the company for once again pushing users towards a more proprietary web. So today it’s time to laud them, as… → Read More
This isn’t exactly the most momentous announcement, but the evolution of the streaming media platforms out there is worth keeping an eye on. SRS is a good, established sound standard, present on many TVs and now decodable to your local setup through Silverlight. → Read More
As we all know, the battle between Flash and HTML5 for the future of online video is raging. But what about that other plugin some sites use for video? You know, the one made by Microsoft — Silverlight? A new posting tonight may call that platform’s future in video into question as well. Because arguably their most important client is looking to jump on the HTML5 video bandwagon: Netflix.
Sling-fan Dave Zatz has some information about their upcoming iPad plans. The company is moving towards H.264 and Silverlight for future versions of the software, increasing potential resolution over the current 320×240. → Read More
This year’s MIX 2010 was led by Scott Guthrie, who has emerged from Microsoft’s rank and file to own just about everything developer-related. Where last year’s MIX and PDC conferences were spearheaded by Chief Software Architect Ray Ozzie, Guthrie’s keynote appearances focused on the progress Silverlight has made in driving the company’s 3 Screens and the Cloud approach to the disruptions going on… → Read More
Microsoft’s stealth Windows replacement WebOS turned the corner today with the announcement of Windows Phone developer tools. Mention Silverlight on the Gillmor Gang as I did Friday, and Google evangelists Chris Messina and Brett Slatkin did a living Blue Screen of Death. But Nexus One and Android success not only validates the race with Apple, it brings Microsoft into third place in the… → Read More
While digging through the Chromium forums back in November looking for clues about the then-unreleased Chrome for Mac beta, we stumbled on an interesting bit of information: Google was moving away from supporting Gears going forward. While this move was obvious for some given Google’s heavy investment in HTML5, Google hadn’t talked much about what would happen to their plug-in that allowed for… → Read More
Had a wonderful time at the Google Holiday Party the other night both because of and in spite of it being “off the record.” The ground rules created an atmosphere where Googlers could be more frank than they usually are (note irony here) and at the same time get to wall off portions of the media’s brains from talking about what they said. These moments feel a lot like the Washington senior… → Read More
Today at their Bing Fall Release event, Microsoft showed off some nice updates to their search engine, including further information about how the much anticipated Twitter and Facebook data integration will work. But by far the most interesting thing they showed was the new beta version of Bing Maps. While it looked very nice, the real reason why it was so interesting is what it requires: … → Read More
There’s no question multi-touch enabled hardware is going to be invading many homes and offices in the years to come, and it’s exciting to see how some software makers are already building applications that take full advantage of the multi-touch experience, aided by support baked into modern operating systems and increasingly powerful graphics processors.
But until today, I had’t really seen… → Read More
Ever since FriendFeed was sold to Facebook, we’ve been told over and over again that the company and its community were toast. And as if to underline the fact, FriendFeed’s access to the Twitter firehose was terminated and vaguely replaced with a slow version that is currently delivering Twitter posts between 20 minutes and two hours after their appearance on Twitter. At the Realtime CrunchUp… → Read More
The Gillmor Gang convened Wednesday to ponder the last several weeks of events loosely contained in a discussion of the next generation Web operating system. Three major announcements set the table for this Thanksgiving edition: Google’s ChromeOS, Microsoft’s Silverlight 4, and salesforce’s Chatter collaboration platform. The last might be pigeonholed as enterprise Twitter, but Marc Benioff’s… → Read More
Earlier this summer I traveled to Redmond to talk realtime and the cloud with senior Microsoft executives. In this conversation with Robbie Bach, President of Microsoft’s Entertainment & Devices Division, I tried to delve into what “we inelegantly call Three Screens and A Cloud” from Bach’s vantage point atop Xbox, Zune, Windows Mobile, Media Server, and related hardware. The subtext… → Read More
Microsoft announced the availability of Silverlight 4 in beta at its Professional Developers Conference (PDC) today. Some of the new features include more fluid animations, Webcam, microphone and printing support, 200 percent faster start times than Silverlight 3, deep zoom and multi-touch support and more. It now also supports Google Chrome, even though it’s just a rounding error of a… → Read More
Earlier this summer I traveled to Redmond to meet with a number of Microsoft executives, including Bob Muglia, President of the Server and Tools Business. Muglia’s group has grown rapidly to become the critical swing vote in Microsoft’s transition to the cloud, now closing in on almost a third of the giant’s overall revenue. And as Silverlight and realtime become the strategic heart of the… → Read More
Here’s a bizarre use for Microsoft’s “Flash-killer” Silverlight—a ballistics calculator. Yes, Silverlight is being used to build an application that lets shooting and hunting enthusiasts “customize shooting conditions” while comparing Winchester-made bullets.
With Windows 7 shipping in less than a month, we’re sure to smell a whiff of the Microsoft of old from the Pacific Northwest. After years of dropped balls and transitions from the Gates era to whatever we’re now in, Steve Ballmer should have plenty to feel good about. Steve Sinofsky has completed his personal reworking from Office chief to Windows czar, and the new OS arrives just in… → Read More
Sometimes a picture is worth a thousand keywords. Today at TechCrunch50, Microsoft senior vice president Yusuf Mehdi announced a new visual search feature on Bing which returns results as an interactive gallery of images.
For instance, if you type in “dog breeds,” it organizes them for you in a grid of images that you can scroll through using a slider on the right. When you hover over a… → Read More
Microsoft has announced that in late August it will be discontinuing availability and support for its once popular mashup creation application Popfly. In a blog post, team leader John Montgomery confirms the internal deadpooling, although he doesn’t call it the way we do. He writes that on August 24, 2009 the Popfly service will be discontinued and all sites, references, and resources will be… → Read More
I know Robert Scoble thinks Office is still not dead, but his excitement about the Office 2010 tech preview should be taken with a large grain of salt. Of course, it was fun to be treated to an old-media style press barnstorm of the flogosphere, and the bells and whistles — poof, don’t need Photoshop, nor iMovie neither, and how about those browser features, cool — certainly will play… → Read More
Microsoft’s “Flash-killer,” Silverlight released the third version of its rich media application platform, Silverlight 3, on the web yesterday. This morning, Microsoft is holding the official launch of Silverlight 3, which is a cross-browser, cross-platform, and cross-device plug-in for delivering media experiences and interactive applications for the Web. The first version was launched in 2007… → Read More
On the Gillmor Gang yesterday, I ended the show with my pick for most important story of 2009, the release of Chrome for the Mac. Here’s why: Chrome represents the leading edge of Google’s development platform for its version of the Web OS. Once Gears is embedded in a Mac client, Gmail Labs can start writing directly to the rich media store as it begins to build out across Google… → Read More
So much of this long protracted struggle for political change has rubbed off on the tech community. In the partisan windup to this long election process, we’ve become almost inured to the fact that as much as things will continue to be the same, already the “choice” between the two candidates has produced one sure thing. That is, either of the two candidates represents… → Read More
Remember Silverlight? Well, Netflix is putting Microsoft’s video playback system to good use by offering “Watch Instantly” functionality under OS X “by the end of the year.” Since “Watch Instantly” was introduced about two years ago Macintosh and Linux users have been complaining bitterly about Netflix’s failure to offer the service on their browsers… → Read More
On Friday we wrote about how NBC were partnering with Microsoft and others to use the Olympics coverage as a test-bed for researching new user habits in viewing content between online, television and mobile. The web experience at NBC is powered by Silverlight, also giving Microsoft its first large-scale opportunity to gain distribution for the new web platform. It seems that there are very high… → Read More
When it comes to casual games online, they tend to be built in Adobe’s Flash (see Kongregate). But Microsoft wants people to start creating Web video games in its competing Silverlight. Today, it is taking a step to make that easier by introducing the Popfly Game Creator. Microsoft launched Popfly last year as an easy way to create widgets and mashups using Silverlight. With Popfly Game… → Read More
New platforms like Adobe Air and Mozilla Prism are evolving that combine the benefits of Internet flow with the flexibility and power of desktop applications. They are part browser, part desktop app and are extremely efficient for certain types of applications. Flash, Silverlight and Ajax get most web applications over the hump in terms of usability and are the technologies behind the fast… → Read More