To finish out the week, here are a few more Microsoft news items from around the Web:
Microsoft posts installment No. 1 of iPhone-to-Windows Phone 7 app-porting tutorial: With the Windows Phone 7 launch creeping ever-closer, Microsoft's evangelists are working overtime to get more developers on board with the coming phones. This week, the Softies posted a first installment of a tutorial aimed at iPhone developers to help them port their apps to Microsoft's new phone platform. While the first Windows Phone 7 devices aren't expected to launch in the U.S. until mid-November, and Europe in October, there likely still will be some kind of WP7 soft launch, possibly on October 11 at the company's annual fall consumer open house in New York City.
Microsoft still has no low-cost retort to Amazon in the cloud: Amazon launched this week "Micro Instances" of Unix/Linux and Windows on its EC2 infrastructure. As Microsoft Azure expert Roger Jennings noted -- in spite of Microsoft developers' continued requests for a lower-priced, entry-level licensing plan from the Azure team -- Microsoft doesn't have anything like this. I asked the Softies just to be sure and was told they did not have a counter (at least yet) to Amazon's new pricing/licensing plan. Microsoft officials have said they are working to make virtual-machine roles available on Azure, via which users could host legacy Windows apps, but we'll likely have to wait until PDC 2010 in late October to hear any more details on that option (which isn't really the same as an instance, in any case).
Microsoft's previously scheduled weekend BPOS maintenance is postponed "until further notice": After three outages affecting North American customers using Microsoft Online Services over the past few weeks, Microsoft was planning to do some maintenance on its datacenter infrastructure on September 11. But now the maintenance is off, as the upgrade plan for the network infrastructure is being revised, officials told users on September 10.
Microsoft cuts the SteadyState cord: SteadyState, the Microsoft utility formerly known as the Shared Computer Toolkit, is on its way out. SteadyState will no longer be downloadable after December 31, 2010, and Microsoft will no longer support SteadyState after June 30, 2011. Microsoft has posted for download this week information on how to use Windows 7 to achieve the same functionality as provided by SteadyState.