Posts Tagged ‘Microsoft MCITP Training at certkingdom.com’

11.12
11

Minuscule Mobile Presence Puts IE Market Share Below 50 Percent

by [email protected] ·

If you look at the numbers a certain way, it appears that Microsoft’s Internet Explorer browser has fallen to below 50 percent of the overall browser market, according to figures from Net Applications. That figure, however, takes into account mobile market share, and mobile is area in which Microsoft could soon grow thanks to its ties with Nokia.

Net Applications’ browser market report for October continues to track Internet Explorer’s steady decline, from 60.99 percent in October 2010 to 53.39 percent in September 2011 to 52.63 percent in October 2011.

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Some caveats must be included in these numbers, though. For starters, these figures just refer to desktop use. Some 6 percent of the browser marketplace is now mobile — where Internet Explorer doesn’t have much of a presence at all.

Here, Safari reigns, holding a 62.17 percent share of the mobile market. Android’s browser follows with 18.65 percent.

Add these numbers together and the end figure is not pretty for Microsoft: It holds just under 50 percent of the total browser market.

Two Different Beasts

That is not how Net Applications calculates it though, EVP Vince Vizzaccaro told the E-Commerce Times.

“We track desktop market share versus mobile market share, and on the desktop Internet Explore is still at 52 percent.”

It is not wise to count Internet Explorer out even though its market share is in a decline, Vizzaccaro added, for several reasons, starting with the fact that the mobile market is still very much in play.

“With Windows Phone starting to get out there, especially with the deal with Nokia (NYSE: NOK), I believe there is significant room for growth for Microsoft’s (Nasdaq: MSFT) IE.”
Business Versus Consumers

Another reason why Internet Explorer has staying power, he added, is that it is a staple of the business community.

“The browser market is still very much a dual-user community, divided between consumers and businesses.”

Oftentimes the same user who wouldn’t think of deploying Internet Explorer at home — preferring instead to use Firefox or Chrome — can’t use anything else but IE at work.

The reason for consumers’ preference for Chrome and Firefox are obvious, Vizzaccaro did acknowledge: Both Google (Nasdaq: GOOG) and Mozilla have taken a rapid upgrade, rapid feature-enhancement approach to their respective products.

“That plays wonderfully at home but in the corporate world it falls flat,” he said.

Businesses want to see a much longer deployment cycle, want to know that there was a lot of testing done, want to make sure that the browser is completely safe for business machines, he said.
Usability on Par

Internet Explorer does suffer from a perception problem, Vizzaccaro added, which is unfortunate because all of the browsers are on par with each other in terms of usability and features.

“Because Chrome is the new kid on block, it is gaining some mind share but I don’t see a big difference in usability in any of the browsers,” he concluded.

Not that Net Applications is reflective of that. Besides Internet Explorer’s decline, the research firm’s monthly stats also chronicles Google’s Chrome Web browser ascending star. It has cracked 17.6 percent market share after jumping 1.4 percent month-over-month from September and is closely gaining on Firefox’s 22.5 percent. Indeed, Chrome could well pass Firefox by early 2012.

11.8
11

Get Microsoft 70-680 Exam Video Training

by admin ·

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11.6
11

2 million iOS 5 users choose Hotmail

by [email protected] ·

According to Microsoft, some 2 million iOS 5 devices are connected to Hotmail, and that number is growing by some 100,000 every day.

With the release of iOS 5 it became easier for user to configure their iDevice to send and receive email via Hotmail because Apple added it as a default option in the Add Account … screen. And it seems that users have embraced this option enthusiastically.

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Microsoft also offers up an interesting breakdown of Hotmail users based on which iDevice they use.

40% of those connecting to Hotmail use an iPhone 4, but remarkably a massive 24% are using iPhone 4S handsets. This is particularly amazing considering that the 4S has only been available for three weeks.

11.5
11

Microsoft 70-680 Windows 7 MCTS Exam Prep for WP7

by admin ·

What is Microsoft 70-680 Windows 7 MCTS Exam Prep ?

Upward Mobility’s presents our high-value Windows Phone 7 app for the 70-680: Configuring Windows 7 exam. This app’s 107 simulated exam questions written by certified experts, with original questions prepared exclusively for Upward Mobility.
In our WP7 70-680 module, each question is paired with a clear and insightful explanation paired with a Key Takeaway that summarizes the key learning point of the question, ensuring comprehensive understanding of the material. Not only that, Key Takeaways support the answer with important insights on how to practically apply the knowledge in a real world situation so you can be more successful in your career. This module combines questions that focus on core concepts and vocabulary, as well as scenarios that simulate the ones a technician would face in real life.

 

 

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11.4
11

Microsoft 83-640 Exam

by admin ·

QUESTION 1
You work as the network administrator at CERTKINGDOM.com. The CERTKINGDOM.com network has a
domain named CERTKINGDOM.com. All servers on the CERTKINGDOM.com network run Windows Server
2008.
Only one Active-Directory integrated zone has been configured in the CERTKINGDOM.com domain.
CERTKINGDOM.com has requested that you configure DNS zone to automatically remove DNS records
that are outdated.
What action should you consider?

A. You should consider running the netsh /Reset DNS command from the Command prompt.
B. You should consider enabling Scavenging in the DNS zone properties page.
C. You should consider reducing the TTL of the SOA record in the DNS zone properties page.
D. You should consider disabling updates in the DNS zone properties page.

Answer: B

Explanation: In the scenario you should enable scavenging through the zone properties because
scavenging removes the outdated DNS records from the DNS zone automatically. You should
additionally note that patience would be required when enabling scavenging as there are some
safety valves built into scavenging which takes long to pop.
Reference: http://www.gilham.org/Blog/Lists/Posts/Post.aspx?List=aab85845-88d2-4091-8088-
a6bbce0a4304&ID=211

 

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QUESTION 2
You work as the network administrator at CERTKINGDOM.com. The CERTKINGDOM.com network has a
domain named CERTKINGDOM.com. All servers on the CERTKINGDOM.com network run Windows Server
2008.
The CERTKINGDOM.com network has a server named CERTKINGDOM-SR15. You install the Active
Directory Lightweight Directory Services (AD LDS) on CERTKINGDOM-SR15.
Which of the following options can be used for the creation of new Organizational Units (OU’s) in
the application directory partition of the AD LDS?

A. You should run the net start command on CERTKINGDOM-SR15.
B. You should open the ADSI Edit Microsoft Management Console on CERTKINGDOM-SR15.
C. You should run the repadmin /dsaguid command on CERTKINGDOM-SR15.
D. You should open the Active Directory Users and Computers Console on CERTKINGDOM-SR15.

Answer: B

Explanation: You need to use the ADSI Edit snap-in to create new OUs in the AD LDS
application directory partition. You also need to add the snap-in in the Microsoft Management
Console (MMC).


QUESTION 3
You work as the network administrator at CERTKINGDOM.com. The CERTKINGDOM.com network has a
domain named CERTKINGDOM.com. All servers on the CERTKINGDOM.com network run Windows Server
2008.
The CERTKINGDOM.com network has two domain controllers CERTKINGDOM-DC01 and CERTKINGDOMDC02.
CERTKINGDOM-DC01 suffers a catastrophic failure but it is causing problems because it was
configured to have Schema Master Operations role. You log on to the CERTKINGDOM.com domain as
a domain administrator but your attempts to transfer the Schema Master Operations role to
CERTKINGDOM-DC02 are unsuccessful.
What action should you take to transfer the Schema Master Operations role to CERTKINGDOMDC02?

A. Your best option would be to have the dcpromo /adv command executed on CERTKINGDOMDC02.
B. Your best option would be to have the Schema Master role seized to CERTKINGDOM-DC02.
C. Your best option would be to have Schmmgmt.dll registered on CERTKINGDOM-DC02.
D. Your best option would be to add your user account to the Schema Administrators group.

Answer: B

Explanation: To ensure that CERTKINGDOM-DC02 holds the Schema Master role you need to seize
the Schema Master role on CERTKINGDOM-DC02. Seizing the schema master role is a drastic step
that should be considered only if the current operations master will never be available again. So to
transfer the schema master operations role, you have to seize it on CERTKINGDOM-DC02.
Reference: http://technet2.microsoft.com/windowsserver/en/library/d4301a14-dd18-4b3c-a3ccec9a773f7ffb1033.
mspx?mfr=true


QUESTION 4
You work as the network administrator at CERTKINGDOM.com. The CERTKINGDOM.com network has a
single forest. The forest functional level is set at Windows Server 2008.
The CERTKINGDOM.com network has a Microsoft SQL Server 2005 database server named
CERTKINGDOM-DB04 that hosts the Active Directory Rights Management Service (AD RMS).
You try to access the Active Directory Rights Management Services administration website but
received an error message stating:
“SQL Server does not exist or access is denied.”
How can you access the AD RMS administration website?

A. You need to restart the Internet Information Server (IIS) service and the MSSQLSVC service on
CERTKINGDOM-DB04.
B. You need to install the Active Directory Lightweight Directory Services (AD LDS) on
CERTKINGDOM-DB04.
C. You need to reinstall the AD RMS instance on CERTKINGDOM-DB04.
D. You need to reinstall the SQL Server 2005 instance on CERTKINGDOM-DB04.
E. You need to run the DCPRO command on CERTKINGDOM-SR04

Answer: A

Explanation: You need to restart the internet information server (IIS) to correct the problem. The
starting of the MSSQULSVC service will allow you to access the database from AD RMS
administration website.


QUESTION 5
You work as an enterprise administrator at CERTKINGDOM.com. The CERTKINGDOM.com network has a
domain named CERTKINGDOM.com. The CERTKINGDOM.com network has a Windows Server 2008
computer named CERTKINGDOM-SR03 that functions as an Enterprise Root certificate authority
(CA).
A new CERTKINGDOM.com security policy requires that revoked certificate information should be
available for examination at all times.
What action should you take adhere to the new policy?

A. This can be accomplished by having a list of trusted certificate authorities published to the
CERTKINGDOM.com domain.
B. This can be accomplished by having the Online Certificate Status Protocol (OCSP) responder
implemented.
C. This can be accomplished by having the OCSP Response Signing certificate imported.
D. This can be accomplished by having the Startup Type of the Certificate Propagation service set
to Automatic.
E. This can be accomplished by having the computer account of CERTKINGDOM-SR03 added to the
PGCertificates group.

Answer: B

Explanation: You should use the network load balancing and publish an OCSP responder. This
will ensure that the revoked certificate information will be available at all times. You do not need to
download the entire CRL to check for revocation of a certificate; the OCSP is an online responder
that can receive a request to check for revocation of a certificate. This will also speed up certificate
revocation checking as well as reducing network bandwidth tremendously.

 

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11.3
11

Gmail native app reportedly coming to the iPhone. Can Apple and Google play nice?

by admin ·

While iPhone owners have long enjoyed (or become frustrated with) a slew of Google developed applications including Search, Earth and Voice to name a few, there is curiously no native app for Gmail.

It looks like that is about to change!

TechCrunch columnist and newbie venture capitalistMG Siegler is reporting that a Gmail iPhone app is on its way. To date, Gmail owners have lived with accessing email through the iPhone’s native Mail app or other workarounds.

“Perhaps the biggest issue with using Gmail through the iPhone’s native mail client is that Gmail is not Push-enabled,” Siegler aruged in his parislemon blog “Yes, you can hack it to work through Exchange, but then you lose other functionality, such as the ability to star messages via flags…. Well the real big deal is Push Notifications. Finally.”

In addition to Push Notifications, other features of the official Gmail iPhone app—which may have already been submitted to Apple—potentially include:

Priority inbox
The ability to star messages with only one click
Improved email search
Better threading
Contact icons
Integration of Google+ features

 

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But will Gmail ultimately be in the hands of iPhone users?

Assuming Siegler’s reporting is accurate and Google has indeed submitted a Gmail app for approval, the big wildcard question is whether or not Apple will ultimately release and promote it in the App Store.

The increasingly hot war between Apple and Google was further flamed last month when it was revealed in the “Steve Jobs” biography that Apple’s recently fallen founder was willing to “Go Thermonuclear War” on Google for what he deemed to be the “Grand Theft” of taking intellectual property from his company and applying it to its own devices and services.

Whether an approval of the official Gmail app is a sign of thawing between the two companies or just a pragmatic realization that in many ways Apple and Google need to co-exist, we don’t just know.

For starters, let’s see the app in action. Once released, consumers—particularly those who are addicted to both their iPhones and the power of Gmail—ultimately win.

11.1
11

Exam 70-599 – Designing and Developing Windows Phone 7 Applications to be available from July 14 ,2011

by admin ·

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In one of my earlier posts , i mentioned that MCTS Exam – ( 70-599 ) – Pro: Designing and Developing Windows Phone 7 Applications is in the process ,  It looks like the approximate date when the exam will be published is mentioned in Microsoft Learning portal

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The MCTS 70-599 is designed to test the candidate’s knowledge and skills on designing and developing Applications for Windows Phone 7 Platform .

The Candidates for Exam 70-599 are typically “ISV’s” or developers who work in an oirganisation designing and developing consumer applications for Windows Phone 7 .
The MCTS 70-599 counts as a credit for the following exam Microsoft Certified Professional Developer: Windows Phone 7, Developer .

This exam measures your ability to accomplish the technical tasks listed below. The percentages indicate the relative weight of each major topic area on the exam.

Designing Data Access Strategies (19%)

Send and receive data.
This objective may include but is not limited to: design connection mechanisms for communicating with external web services; plan how to consume and parse data from web services (for example, WCF and WS*); ensure a trusted transfer of data to and from a phone
Design a data storage strategy.
This objective may include but is not limited to: differentiate between persistent and transient data; determine when to use isolated storage; plan for size limitations of isolated storage; design cloud-based storage
Plan for bandwidth limitations and implement network connectivity detection.
This objective may include but is not limited to: plan for disconnected scenarios; plan for low network bandwidth

Designing and Implementing Notification Strategies (17%)

Plan for and implement push notifications in the application.
This objective may include but is not limited to: choose method for notifying user of application’s state/status (tile, toast, RAW); respond to notifications; registration for notifications
Plan for and implement push notifications on the server.
This objective may include but is not limited to: when to use toast, tile, and raw; plan for receiving the unique device URL
Create and update live tiles.
This objective may include but is not limited to: update background image, numbers, and text

Working with Platform APIs, Tasks, and Choosers (21%)

Design and implement sensor interaction.
This objective may include but is not limited to: choose which sensors are appropriate for your application; design location awareness (when to use different levels of GeopositionAccuracy); location awareness system setting
Plan for and implement the use of Tasks and Choosers.
Plan for and implement multitouch and gestures.
This objective may include but is not limited to: manipulation events (ManipulationStarted, ManipulationCompleted, ManipulationDelta)
Design and implement application navigation.
This objective may include but is not limited to: pass parameters (NavigationContext API), manipulate the navigation stack (NavigationService API), use of the Back button, PhoneApplicationPage class and PhoneApplicationFrame class and the difference between these two classes

Designing the Application Architecture (21%)

Design for threading.
This objective may include but is not limited to: use of the composition thread
Monitor and tune performance.
This objective may include but is not limited to: frame rate counter; cache visualization; redraw regions; bitmap caching; memory usage limitations; plan for power consumption; tune bandwidth consumption; performance counters
Manage the application life cycle.
This objective may include but is not limited to: tombstoning; response to PhoneApplicationService events (Launching, Activated, Deactivated, Closing)
Prepare the application to meet Windows Phone 7 marketplace requirements.
This objective may include but is not limited to: Windows Phone 7 Application Certification Requirements; design for localization and globalization; plan for trial versions; work with WMAppManifest.xml; design for icon requirements for marketplace

Designing the User Interface and User Experience (23%)

Design for separation of concerns.
This objective may include but is not limited to: presentation patterns that use view models, MVVM
Design Windows Phone 7 control usage.
This objective may include but is not limited to: design control usage as described in UI Design and Interaction Guide for Windows Phone 7; design proper use of PanoramaControl and PivotControl; choose when to use the Panorama Control and PivotControl; recommend when to use ApplicationBar
Recommend keyboard layout for a given situation.
This objective may include but is not limited to: InputScope property
Design for system themes, accent color, and screen orientation.
This objective may include but is not limited to: built-in styles that use system themes and accent colors, ApplicationBar icons (size, transparency), landscape, portrait

Also note that there currently no training , Microsoft Press books like Self training kit or practice tests but these should be made available when the exam is published .

I did get an Beta Invite for the above exam sometime back , but sadly there was a region restriction . I reside in India and hence could not take up the Beta Exam .

 

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11.1
11

HTC Radar 4G is first Windows Phone Mango device in U.S.

by [email protected] ·

I purchased the T-Mobile HTC HD7 on launch day last year and have been using it and the Dell Venue Pro as my main Windows Phone devices for the last year. This year we see T-Mobile getting another new Windows Phone device, the HTC Radar 4G, and it is one to consider if you are looking for a WP device.

In the box, first impressions, and pricing

The HTC Radar 4G comes in the same type of rock solid box we are used to seeing from T-Mobile with a glossy image of the device on the front and a list of features on the back. Inside the box you will find the device, battery, USB to A/C charger, USB cable, SIM card, and Quick Start Guide.

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The very first thing I noticed after taking the Radar 4G out of the box was that is looked just like a smaller brother of the HTC Flyer as you can see in my image gallery. It has a sleek unibody aluminum design with a white plastic upper piece around the camera and a lower plastic piece at the bottom. The front face is white with silver around the body and it feels and looks great in your hand.

The HTC Radar 4G will be available at T-Mobile retail stores and through select national retailers and dealers on Nov. 2. The HTC Radar 4G is expected to cost $99.99 after a $50 mail-in rebate card with a two-year service agreement and qualifying T-Mobile Classic voice and data plan, plus taxes and fees.
Specifications

Specifications for the HTC Radar 4G include the following:

* Windows Phone 7.5 (Mango) operating system
* 14.4 Mbps HSPA+ radio
* 1 GHz Snapdragon processor
* 3.8 inch WVGA 800×480 pixels LCD display
* Preinstalled 8GB storage with no expansion capability (about 6GB user accessible)
* 1 GB RAM
* 5 megapixel camera with single LED flash and f/2.2 aperture
* Integrated A-GPS
* Wi-Fi (802.11 b/g/n)
* Bluetooth 2.1
* 3.5 mm headset jack
* 1520 mAh lithium-ion battery
* Dimensions: 4.7 x 2.4 x 0.44 inches and 4.83 ounces

The battery is non-removable and there is no expandable storage capability. I was disappointed to see only 8GB in the device (only about 6GB is actually usable though) and believe that all Windows Phone devices should have a minimum of 16GB, especially given how cheap flash memory is today. I am not that concerned about the 1 GHz processor since Windows Phone has been shown to fly with minimal processor specifications.

I also understand there is no digital compass in the HTC Radar 4G (kind of ironic given the name) and thus there will be limits on some app usage, such as augmented reality.
Walk around the hardware

The front of the HTC Radar 4G has a 3.8 inch WVGA 800×480 pixels LCD with the three capacitive Windows Phone buttons below the display. You will find a front facing camera on the upper right front, but at this time there is no application that can use it so it’s value is a potential value and not something that can be realized now.

There is a large volume button and camera shutter button on the right side with a microUSB port on the left side. The power button and headset jack are found on the top with just a mic opening on the bottom

On the back you will find the 5 megapixel camera, single LED flash, and speaker grille inside a white plastic area that is not removable. The rest of the back has the unibody aluminum finish with HTC branding. The bottom part is also white plastic and can be removed to access the SIM card slot. Every review I read after I finished writing this one confirmed that the back bottom piece doesn’t seem to fit up and in place as securely as it should and could have been better designed. There is no removable storage card or battery on this device.
Daily usage and experiences

Even though the Radar 4G has a 1 GHz Snapdragon processor, it still flies like all the other existing devices upgraded to WP 7.5 (Mango) so I am not concerned at all with the processor. The 5 megapixel camera takes much better photos than the 5 megapixel camera on the HD7 and I do not see any of the pink camera problem found on the HD7. It is not as good as the Amaze 4G though and I am thinking I may hold out for a Nokia WP with Carl Zeiss optics.

The WiFi hotspot function, new to Mango, is in this device and works well. Unfortunately, the “4G” is limited to the 14.4 Mbps speed and not up to the full 42.2 Mbps found in the T-Mobile network in many locations and with the latest Android devices. Unfortunately, I found the RF reception to be a bit disappointing and in areas where I normally have a solid 3G signal I was seeing the words “2G” appear on the Radar 4G, which is something I haven’t seen in a long time.

Phone call quality sounded OK, but also sounded a bit hollow and was not as solid and clear as other phones I have tested recently on T-Mobile. Mobileburn.com also noted there was some hissing noise in calls.

I personally like the form factor and still enjoy using the Windows Phone operating system. However, the limited selection of devices on all carriers, but AT&T, is not a good thing and IMHO is one major factor keeping Windows Phone down in market share figures.

I have only been using the Radar 4G for about 4 days and am finding the battery life to be quite acceptable and much better than the HD7 or Dell Venue Pro I have been using over the past year. It also seems to be beating out my new iPhone 4S.
Will I be buying an HTC Radar 4G?

My wife has been using a blue Nokia N8 since last year and won’t give it up because the camera is fantastic and that is something she values. She doesn’t particularly like the OS though and is tired of lockups, misdialing, etc. I was hoping to see a Windows Phone similar to the HTC Amaze 4G with a great camera since I know she would like WP on a device. The 5 megapixel shooter on the Radar 4G is OK, but as soon as I gave her the device she handed it back and said she did not like the feel of it and wouldn’t consider it.

I love my HTC Flyer Android tablet with very similar form factor and design so I am considering the Radar 4G for myself. However, the limited 8GB internal storage, lack of battery replacement, and camera that is just OK and not super are causing me to hesitate a bit. If I end up being eligible for the full upgrade price of just $100 I will likely pick one up on Wednseday, but I am not going to pay the $450+ that it will probably cost for the unsubsidized phone.

First time buyers who are eligible for the $100 price will like the solid design and form factor and smooth operation, but there are some compelling Android devices on T-Mobile too that do offer more.
Other HTC Radar 4G reviews

The opinions above are mine alone and I always recommend you check out other reviews. You can find a couple others online here:

* Pocketnow.com gave it a 4.5/5
* Mobileburn gave it a 3.8 out of 5

10.31
11

Why Microsoft’s vision of the future will really happen

by admin ·

Two videos from Microsoft show the future of technology. Here’s why I think they’re dead-on

Computerworld – Microsoft released a video in 2008 and another one this week that together predict the sleek, wireless, connected gadgets we’ll all enjoy by the year 2019.

Called Productivity Future Vision and Future Vision 2019, the videos fascinate in the way that science fiction does. But what’s even more interesting is that this vision will almost certainly come true.

 

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Microsoft’s videos depict their vision of the future. Use the “Next” button to advance between the two videos.

When you see them, you may be surprised by my conclusion. Will technology really move that fast?

Just remember how quickly things moved in the past 10 years.

Ten years ago, there was no such thing as a multitouch consumer device — no iPhone, Android phone or anything even remotely like it. The original iPod was brand new, and there was no iTunes store for buying music. There was no Xbox, no YouTube, no Flickr, no Reddit. Google was just a search engine. Gmail, Maps, Docs, Calendar, Voice, Talk, Reader and many other Google services didn’t exist.

Facebook? Ha! Mark Zuckerberg was still in high school, and even MySpace was still years away.

In fact, virtually every aspect of today’s consumer electronics scene was nonexistent or even beyond imagining 10 years ago. Almost everything Apple sells right now — the iPad, iPhone, Siri, Apple TV, iMac, MacBook Air and other products, would have seemed like science fiction in 2001.

When most people imagine the future of technology, they envision better versions of what they’ve already got. But changing technology will sweep away almost all the products and services we use today.

Microsoft’s videos brilliantly capture what is likely to replace them.
Where did these videos come from?

Office Labs is one of Microsoft’s in-house think tanks. The initiative comes up with working concepts, some of which can be downloaded and experimented with (you need to be running Microsoft Office). Some of them are created by employees in their own time (similar to Google’s 20% time projects).

Many of the Office Labs concepts would require technologies and computing power that aren’t available yet. So the researchers create special-effects-laden videos and demos to communicate ideas. Microsoft also maintains an “Envisioning Lab” where close business partners can see and discuss the prototypes on display.
What to look for in the videos

In Microsoft’s vision of the future, connected computers and displays are built into everyday objects.

A woman’s eyeglasses whisper real-time translations of a foreign language in her ear. A coffee cup shows the drink’s temperature and has a display that indicates how high the liquid is inside. An electronic newspaper is as thin and flexible as actual paper, but it functions like a wireless connected multitouch text-and-video e-reader.

“Monitors” in the video are often depicted as clear smart glass. Call ’em “Microsoft Windows.” What the heck.

A businessman uses a clear-glass display that is straight-up Minority Report, controlled with both touchscreen and “wave your hands in the air like you just don’t care” gestures. Both display and touch-input devices look like regular clear glass until they come to life with gestures. In some scenes, touch gestures become in-air gestures, as they extend beyond the screen.

On-screen buttons, dials and other controls appear as needed for the task at hand, then vanish when no longer required.

A clear-glass stylus is also used in one scene, suggesting a role for a pen.

Keyboards are depicted, both the onscreen and physical variety. But there’s a lot less typing in this future, as Siri-like voice assistance and dictation replaces most typing.

See-through glass displays, of course, are perfect for augmented reality. A mobile version is held up to a green plant, which is visible through the clear glass. But then the device recognizes the species, and throws information about it on the screen.

The window of a taxi turns into an augmented reality screen, pointing out to the passenger the building where her meeting is to take place the next day.

Other displays aren’t clear, but appealingly opaque. In many cases, surfaces that used to hold analog information tools themselves replace the tools. For example, instead of a whiteboard mounted on a wall — a standard feature in today’s conference rooms — the wall of the future is the whiteboard — computerized and connected, of course. Instead of a tablet on a table, the table is the tablet.

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Microsoft to eat its own cloud dog food with Photosynth

by [email protected] ·

Microsoft has started moving the 40 terabytes of photo data created with its Photosynth photo-stitching technology to Windows Azure.

In an October 18 post to the Photosynth blog, company officials said the process of moving all Photosynth synths and panos to Azure had begun. Moving the entire 40 terabyes should take a number of weeks, but shouldn’t interfere with users’ ability to view old synths or upload new ones, according to the post.

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Microsoft execs have said since Windows Azure launched in early 2010 that the long-term plan was to host most of Microsoft’s own cloud services on Azure. Most of the company’s new services are hosted on Azure from the get-go these days, but some existing services — like Dynamics CRM, Office 365, Hotmail and Xbox Live — are hosted in Microsoft datacenters, but are not running on top of Azure.

The Photosynth team noted in its post that three years ago when Photosynth launched, Microsoft didn’t have its own general-purpose cloud-based storage and distribution network, so the team used a partner for storage and content-distribution-network (CDN) services.

“But things have changed dramatically in the last few years, and our own  Windows Azure is now among the strongest cloud solutions in the industry,” said the October 18 post. “We’re excited to be ‘eating our own dog food,’ as we say, and moving every last Photosynth pixel to Azure.

As of last week, half of new Photosynth uploads worldwide were being directed to Azure and served using the Azure CDN. If all goes well, Microsoft was expecting to increase this to 100 percent within a few days, and then begin migrating existing content.

In other Windows Azure news, Microsoft is cutting the price of Azure storage, officials said on October 28. For those storing less than a terabyte of data on Azure, the price is going from 15 cents per month to 14 cents per month per gigabyte. For those using up to 50 terabytes, the price is dropping to 12.5 cents per gig. For those using up to 500 terabytes, the new price is 11.2 cents per gig; for those using up to a terabyte, it’s 10.3 cents per gig; and for those using up to 5 petabytes per month, it’s dropping to 8.5 cents per gig. Those using above 5 petabytes per month can call to negotiate their new storage rate.

And on the rumor front, Business Insider is reporting that Kevin Timmons — Microsoft’s former datacenter services general manager who joined Apple to head up its datacenter efforts back in April 2011 — has left Apple to join datacenter solutions vendor CyrusOne. BI says that according to its sources, Timmons didn’t take the post at Apple due topossible non-compete issues with Microsoft.