The consumer push from Microsoft continued this week, with the retail launch of Kinect on November 4 and the opening of the newest Microsoft store in Oak Brook, Ill, the same day.
There's more consumer news coming next week, as well as some goodies for business users as well.
On November 6 (Saturday), Microsoft will be opening another new Microsoft Store. This one will be in Bloomington, Minn., at the Mall of America. The Bellevue, Wash., store is slated to open on November 18.
On November 8, Microsoft and partners will make its first Windows Phone 7 phones available in the U.S. on AT&T. The Samsung Focus and HTC Surround will be available in stores that day (no pre-orders allowed). The HTC HD7 will be available from T-Mobile the same day, as well.
It will be interesting to see if the U.S. launch is as plagued by phone shortages as the earlier launches in other countries have been. Microsoft has more than 1,400 apps in the Windows Phone Marketplace now, the vast majority of which are games at this point.
On November 8, Microsoft will kick off its TechEd Europe conference, which is targeted at IT professionals. From the docket, it looks like there will be lots of focus on the cloud, virtualization, its Lync PBX-competitor technology and more.
Microsoft is on tap to show off a new Windows 7 migration tool — “P2V Migration for Software Assurance” — at the conference. The P2V tool is a combination of the Microsoft Deployment Toolkit (MDT) and the company’s Sysinternals Disk2 VHD product, and is currently in beta.
The Silverlight vs. HTML 5 panel at the show should yield a few fireworks, as well.
Other Microsoft tidbits from this past week about which I didn't blog already:
Microsoft has released F# 2.0 under the Apache 2.0 license: The Microsoft F# team made a new drop of the F# 2.0 compiler and core library available this week as part of the F# PowerPack Codeplex project -- all of which is now under the Apache 2.0 open-source license. Previously, F# was available under a Microsoft Shared Source license. Microsoft moved IronRuby and IronPython under the Apache 2.0 license just before the company offloaded those development efforts to the community. It doesn't sound as if that's the company's intention with F#, however, as Microsoft recently integrated F# support directly into Visual Studio 2010.
Microsoft may have another Azure prize-cut plan up its sleeve: On the heels of introducing the new "Extra Small Instance" pricing for entry-level Windows Azure developers, Microsoft may be readying another low-end pricing option, as cloud blogger Roger Jennings noted this week. Microsoft is surveying Azure users regarding their interest in a pay-per-use/consumption pricing model -- something that would give Microsoft more leverage against Google with its Google App Engine platform-as-a-service offering. Extra Small instance offer doesn’t start until January 7, 2011 and requires participants to be Microsoft partners, Jennings said. But so far, there's no start date, or even guarantee, that Microsoft will end up fielding pay-per-use Azure pricing.