At the Windows Hardware Engineering Conference (WinHEC) last year, Microsoft officials shared their vision for what users might expect from hardware vendors via their next-generation ultra-mobile PCs (UMPCs). At the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas this week, Microsoft showed its planned advances for some of its own next-gen UMPC technologies via the 2.0 release of the Origami Experience Pack.
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Microsoft watcher Mary Jo Foley's blog covers the products, people and strategies that make Microsoft tick.
Mary Jo Foley
Mary Jo Foley has covered the tech industry for 30 years for a variety of publications, including ZDNet, eWeek and Baseline. She is the author of Microsoft 2.0: How Microsoft plans to stay relevant in the post-Gates era (John Wiley & Sons, 2008). She also is the cohost of the "Windows Weekly" podcast on the TWiT network. Got a tip? Send her an email with your rants, rumors, tips and tattles. Confidentiality guaranteed.
But at the Consumer Electronics Show this week, Microsoft is discussing and demonstrating some different Surface application prototypes that seem somewhat more compelling -- customizable retail, education -- and dropped hints about gaming and office-productivity Surface apps that might be in the pipeline.
Microsoft is bolstering its enterprise-search product line-up via the acquisition of Norway-based Fast Search and Transfer for $1.23 billion, the Redmond software vendor announced January 8.
Whether you think the recently proposed class action lawsuit over Xbox Live service holiday outages is crazy or justified, there are undeniable problems with Microsoft's back-end Live infrastructure that Microsoft needs to address.
Microsoft is privately testing the next release of its Windows Home Server (WHS) operating system -- an update called "Power Pack 1" -- that it plans to ship to its device/PC partners and customers some time this spring.
At this year's Consumer Electronics Show keynote -- which will be Chairman Bill Gates' last (at least for the foreseeable future) -- there were not many hints about Microsoft's view of the coming digital decade. Should we read anything into that fact?
Microsoft has announced a new sales milestone for Windows Vista: 100 million retail copies sold. That's 12 million additional copies the company has sold into the channel since late October 2007.
Nathan Weinberg, over on his InsideMicrosoft blog, has posted some interesting information from an alleged internal Microsoft document on future user interface directions for the Windows Mobile platform. What's your take? How much of this new input technology will debut in Windows Mobile 7? And how much of it, if any, will also show up in Windows 7?
Microsoft, justifiably, has come under a lot of criticism for blocking Office 2003 users' access to older file formats -- even if it was in the name of security. But it looks like the public outcry did some good, as Microsoft has detailed options to allow users continue to access the old formats.
When Microsoft starts shipping Windows Web Server 2008 real soon now, the licensing terms and conditions it will require of its customers will be different than they were for prior versions of the company's Web-server version of the product.
Microsoft is making available in the U.S. and Canada a volume-license subscription plan aimed at small and mid-size businesses (SMBs). The new offering, Open Value Subscription License, is going live on March 3.
Sunday night is Microsoft Chairman Bill Gates' big hurrah: His last Consumer Electronics Show (CES) keynote as Chief Software Architect.Gates is expected to talk about future scenarios for the Microsoft Surface platform as part of his keynote address (according to an e-mail message I got from the Surface team):"Since you last saw Surface, a lot has changed – there are new applications and a great deal of momentum.
As part of Microsoft's latest Windows Vista promotion, Microsoft is offering a variety of prizes to its MSDN and TechNet Vista testers, including a two-for deal on Vista Ultimate; $250 Amazon.com gift certificates (in exchange for completing an online Vista deployment-plan survey; and a chance to win one of ten ASUS W5fe PCs that have been signed by Chairman Bill Gates.
Developers are puzzling over recent clues blogged by a few Microsoft employees regarding a new "Emacs.Net" tool the company is building -- and about which it will share more details at the Professional Developers Conference in October 2008.
I've been thinking about Microsoft's quiet reorg, via which the company unified the IPTV, Media Center and HD DVD initiatives into a single organization, known as the Microsoft Connected TV business group. It would seem that this is the group now in charge of the elusive "Fiji" Media Center update -- a release I'm expecting we'll hear more about soon. Maybe even as soon as the Consumer Electronics Show....
The best of ZDNet, delivered
- 1 Microsoft kicks off its Office for Android tablets preview
- 2 Microsoft's latest target release date for Office 16: Second half 2015
- 3 What's next for Windows 10?
- 4 Microsoft's Windows 10: What's new and how to get the preview bits
- 5 Microsoft Surface Pro 3 vs. Acer Aspire S7: May the better Windows 8 laptop win