With the coming rebranding of the Zune marketplace to “Xbox Music,” am inclined to wonder if this will lead to even more cross promotion on the Xbox Live Marketplace. Microsoft has been extremely good to the members of the Zune marketplace on Xbox Live by having weekly deals and discounts highlighted on the dashboard, and featuring artists and contests that could allow you to play a game or two with celebrities. But what more would I hope to see? A little bit of gamer-goodies. Continue reading “Will Xbox Music see more cross promotion?”
I’m SMACK in the middle of moving to a new apartment. I’m literally surrounded by boxes and half built furniture, and decided to grab my laptop and do a quick update. I’ll try to be back to my regular schedule by early next week, it’s just been a busy few days planning and executing my move. Thanks for your patience!
For quite a while now, I have been wrapped up in technology, gaming, and so many other modern things… Stay tuned. Thursday’s on the blog may get more interesting, or perhaps I will change the theme of another day, or just do some writing on another of my websites! I have been writing more and more lately, and find a bit of a personal renaissance springing forward. I certainly do not expect to cut the cord and disappear, but I I will be getting away more, to remote areas that remind me of home, where I can find tall grass and much taller trees. Places where honking horns and ties on pavement have never once echoed. Places where a person with a pen can articulate what has what the stow away who has been hidden from sight for their own safety has wanted to say. I am still deciding how to go about this process, and maybe it won’t even end up on this site, but I thought I would mention it and measure some reactions. Let us find out what words are waiting to come out, in the near future!
Oh man. I’m pumped. I’m super pumped. Microsoft heald the Windows Phone Summit today and had a lot to say about Windows Phone 8. It’s the piece that ties at all together. One harmonious, Microsoft-based ecosystem. “One Microsoft Way,” as the street address of Microsoft headquarters states. And I’m one of the ten people on the planet who is all for it!
Android fans are rolling their eyes, saying it’s about time. iPhone users… well… they’re keeping quiet as upgrades to iOS are starting to lag behind the game that “big daddy M” is talking about. But when the announcement of Windows Phone 8 came today, I was at the edge of my seat. Microsoft proudly states that the software at the true core of the OS will be a shared core with Windows 8. In other words, it’s fairly straightforward that Windows RT and the Windows 8 Metro experience overtop of the Windows 8 Home and Pro desktop environments, is going to be all of the hard work that the Windows Phone team made come true. Taking the guts out of Windows CE and Windows Mobile, and turning it around to something that is this good was a lot of work, and I really hope the Windows Phone team is reaping the benefits!
Don’t take my word for it. During the very beginning of their presentation today, it was pointed out that Windows Phone 7 is really getting their biggest reward from their users. Somehow it’s still not selling, but the user reviews on Amazon rate seven of the top 9 phones on Amazon… as Windows Phone 7 devices. It wasn’t a joke, it wasn’t an exaggeration – I checked it out myself.
And what is Windows Phone 8 going to bring us? Better software – the same stuff you can get on the Windows 8 Metro store, you’ll be able to get on a Windows Phone 8. 90% of the code used on Windows Phone 7.5 can be ported to Windows Phone 8, there will be almost no effort needed to have all of the apps already in the Windows Phone 7 Marketplace will be able to make their way to Windows Phone 8. Windows Phone 8 is also going to introduce multi-core support (dual core right away, and more to come – and they’ve already tested it up to 64 cores!). Support for two new higher resolution (720p and WXGA) screens are going to help keep higher definitions coming along, while not causing massive fragmentation along the platform.
MicroSD sounds like it’s “about time” but it is still exciting to know that I’ll essentially be carrying a full-blown Windows device with a memory card in my pocket – it’s not just going to be pictures and ringtones, it is going to be just as useful as an external hard drive on your current laptop. Microsoft made a big deal of their support for NFC, something that sounds convenient when working with multiple devices, and the new “NFC Wallet” type of experience, but that’s not a huge deal for me. Not enough brick and mortar stores that I’ve been to support that. I guess everyone in Seattle and Silicon Valley must have a need for it, but not so much me.
There are a few other benefits that were described, and these really have nothing to do with the real end-user features that Windows 8 will be pushing, but the one they are quite proud of is the more customizable start screen (as seen in the screen capture at the top of the page). Microsoft has decided to take Windows Phone 7 and the Metro UI’s most powerful feature, and make it even more powerful. I can’t wait. This fall, I will have a Surface, I will have a Windows Phone 8, and I will be thrilled. If you want to know more about what to expect from Windows Phone 8, or see it in action, check out the presentation stream from Microsoft’s Channel 9.