Here's a quick mid-week round-up of a few Microsoft news items worth a mention:
Microsoft Office for Mac 2011 update is available
On May 7, Microsoft made available for download an update for Office for Mac 2011. That update, 14.3.4, includes a number of important fixes. Among them: A fix for co-authoring when using Microsoft PowerPoint; a fix for saving files to SkyDrive and SharePoint from Word for Mac; a group mail fix for Outlook for Mac; and a couple of junk mail updates for Outlook for Mac. This update is for those running Mac OS X version 10.5.8 or a later version.
A Blue version of Windows Embedded: Think this fall
The Windows Embedded team mentioned in passing this week that it will be delivering a Blue update to the Windows Embedded operating system. In a May 7 blog post, the team noted: "With Windows Blue, we are furthering our platform alignment with Windows to address a growing category of devices on the edge of enterprise networks and will be bringing the update to market later this year."
Right now, the Embedded team isn't share specific SKU details or any other information. (There are several Windows Embedded 8 SKUs available currently.) But Embedded is "aligning with the Windows release schedule," a spokesperson confirmed to me.
Microsoft's official pronouncement on Windows Blue is that it will be out by holiday 2013. My sources say Windows Blue is on track to RTM by August 2013 or so. So I'd say expect Windows Embedded Blue some time this fall.
About that Windows Phone YouTube app...
Microsoft announced earlier this week its redesigned YouTube app for Windows Phone 8 is now available via the Windows Phone Store. In the blog post detailing the app's new features, there was no mention of how or whether Microsoft managed to gain Google's cooperation in building this app. One might think Microsoft would need this, given the Redmondians have said they couldn't advance YouTube on Windows Phone because of Google's decision to restrict Microsoft's access to required metadata.
I asked Microsoft and Google officials if something had changed from a policy/API standpoint that allowed Microsoft to deliver this much more robust YouTube app. Google officials didn't respond to my request for comment. A Microsoft spokesperson sent the following statment:
"Windows Phone invested additional engineering resources against existing APIs to re-architect a Windows Phone app that delivers a great YouTube experience, including support for unique Windows Phone 8 features such Live Tiles and Kids Corner. Microsoft did not receive any additional technical support to create the Windows Phone YouTube app."