Pulse, the popular news-reading app for iOS and Android, is finally available on the web. The service, which launched two years ago and now has over 15 million users, was completely focused mobile platforms until now. As the company’s CEO Akshay Kothari told me last week, though, its users have long been asking for a web version. Now, after nine months of development and with a little help from Microsoft, the Pulse team feels that the web app is ready to launch.
When the iPhone launched in 2007, there were three key components of the device that relied on Google:
3) Web search
Let’s look at that list today, following the news that YouTube has been given the boot in the latest beta build of iOS 6:
People want to know: is the new Outlook.com just a reskinned and rebranded version of Microsoft’s Hotmail, aka Windows Live Mail? Answer: Um, sort of. Maybe? OK, the truth is, it’s a little hard to prove. But there are a few things worth pointing out. Microsoft stated that Outlook.com is “a break from the past,” and that it built “a brand new service from the ground up.” But if it’s an all-new, re-imagined, reinvented email service, then why does Oultook.com redirect you to a Live.com URL when you login? Microsoft could have at least switched the DNS around, right? There’s also the fact that part of the brand-new experience takes you to older live.com webpages, still lacking the Outlook.com makeover. You can see this in action if you hit up the mobile site, for example, or try to import email from another service, like Gmail.
But there’s other evidence, too, which indicates that Outlook.com still involves a good bit of re-used Hotmail/Live Mail code.
Microsoft is abandoning its “Metro” branding – the branding that refers to the clean, modern, tiled layout that defines many of its consumer-facing products including Windows 8, Windows Phone, Xbox 360, Office 2013 and more. For over a year, Microsoft has talked about “Metro” in press conferences, blog posts, tutorials, and guides. The reason for the change has to do with a dispute between Microsoft and a European partner, German retailer Metro AG, who has threatened legal action for infringing on its “Metro” trademark.
Oops. Microsoft, of course, is positioning this news as no big deal, saying that “Metro” was always intended to be an internally used code name, not something related to the company’s commercial branding efforts. (Right. Which is why Microsoft is transitioning to new branding without, you know, actually having a new name picked out yet.) But Microsoft may be right on one thing: it’s not really a big deal. Remember what happened with the iPad?
Yammer, the enterprise social networking company that was recently bought by Microsoft for $1.2 billion, is getting ready to add a new instant messaging feature called Online Now to its main service, enabling users to chat to each other in real time. Online Now will sit alongside existing services that let users post status updates and media as well as send private messages.
The feature was spotted earlier today by TNW, and we have now confirmed exactly what is happening with Yammer itself, including the name: “We will be announcing the chat feature through a press release in a couple of weeks as part of our summer release,” a spokesperson told TechCrunch.
Right on schedule, Microsoft has just announced on its Windows Team blog that Windows 8 has emerged from its long development and testing phase, and will soon be in the hands of manufacturers and OEMs for installation on new PCs and devices.
Among those on the list to receive the final build (build 9200, if you were curious) are Lenovo, Acer, ASUS and Toshiba, though that’s clearly just the tip of a very large iceberg.
Microsoft continues to make in-roads into open source development. Early last year it open sourced several development related tools, including NuGet and several libraries for its ASP.Net language. And by the end of the year the company announced sponsorship of projects to port both the Node.js development platform and the big data analytics tool Apache Hadoop to Windows. It’s even making Linux available on Azure, the company’s cloud computing platform.
And now it has open sourced Entity Framework, a framework that helps developers simplify data manipulation.
The Future Of Shopping Looks Blurry: Microsoft And TheFind Launch Glimpse Catalogs HTML5 Shopping AppPosted by Frederic Lardinois, under Microsoft, Social Shopping, TC, The Find
Nothing says modern web tech technology like making print shopping catalogs available online – or at least that’s what Microsoft and shopping search engine TheFind must have been thinking. The two companies unveiled a new project called Glimpse Catalogs today that makes extensive use of HTML5 and other modern web technologies to combine TheFind’s Catalogue app for tablets and its Glimpse social shopping app for Facebook into one Pinterest-like site that lets you browse through all your favorite Brooks Brothers, Williams-Sonoma and Lands’ End catalogs.
The AIDS Quilt, Digitized: Microsoft And The NAMES Project Team Up To Bring Remembrance Project Into The 21st CenturyPosted by John Biggs, under aids, apps, Art, Microsoft, quilt, TC
In 1987, six years after AIDS became an officially recognized disease, the heartbreak of the epidemic was made real in the form of a huge, 1,920 panel quilt created to commemorate the first victims of the disease. Each panel – about the size of a coffin – honored one of the fallen ones who, in the deeply dark years before prevention and effective treatment, risked a death sentence just for being who they were.
Parts of that quilt is now being spread out on the National Mall in DC and the NAMES Project will display the entire quilt over the next 31 days. You don’t have to hop on the Amtrak to see it, however, thanks to a few clever hacks by Microsoft Garage, an internal project group designed to encourage innovation.
Box Debuts Windows Phone App, Qualcomm Deal As CEO Levie Says 40% Of Users Access Box’s Cloud From Mobile DevicesPosted by Ingrid Lunden, under apps, Box, cloud services, collaboration, Enterprise, Microsoft, Mobile, Nokia, TC, windows phone
Some good news for users of Windows Phone devices and customers of the cloud-based content sharing platform Box. The company has announced a new app for the platform — its first for a Microsoft mobile OS. With the app now available in the Windows Phone Marketplace, the relationship between the two is set to deepen in the months ahead, with Box already preparing Windows 8 support for tablets and other devices for when the new platform ships later this year. Separately, Box has announced a deal with Qualcomm offering special integration on devices running on Qualcomm’s Snapdragon processor.
The move to offer a Windows Phone app is significant on two levels: the first is that it underscores how important mobile, and being everywhere on mobile, is for Box’s longer-term success. Aaron Levie, the CEO of Box, says that already 40 percent of Box’s users are accessing Box from mobile devices, with that number growing fast. “We see a huge correlation between users adopting mobile, and users adopting Box,” he tells me. The second is that, for Windows Phone (be it 7 or 8) to have any hope of taking significant market share away from Android and Apple among smartphone users, it needs to make sure that it’s delivering on content. For enterprise users, that means support for services like Box’s, among others.