25 March 2013

Microsoft 2013 Lync Windows Phone 8 app is live

Written by Martin Borowski, Posted in Windows 8, Contact Center, Lync, Unified Communications

Microsoft’s 2013 Lync app is now available for Windows Phone 8 and is expected over the next few days for iOS.  Delivering heavily anticipated features such as VoIP and video calls, instant messaging, and audio conferencing, the Lync app aims to provide a consistent experience across multiple platforms; a real coup in the increasingly diverse business phone market.  It’s not clear at this point if the Lync 2013 client will be made available for Windows Phone 7.8, but the iOS is should be out as soon as it passes the Cupertino App Store approval process.

07 November 2012

Windows Phone 8 Start Screen and Lock Screen

Written by Martin Borowski, Posted in Windows 8, Microsoft, Technology

Award-winning design of the Windows Phone 8 start screen is amazing. Made up of fully customizable icons called Live Tiles. The user can stick everything they love or just want to be updated on regularly right on the part of the phone they see and use most often. Just brilliant. No more static, do nothing icons with limited information. Users can pin items to their Start menu with status updates of a friend or loved one. They can add CNN app for the latest headlines, their Twitter, calendar. The list is pretty impressive. They can fully customize it to their needs and likes. If this wasn’t great enough, the user can also position the Live Tiles as they wish, with different size and color preference. Perhaps they want the photo app to be bigger while their internet browser smaller. This allows for unique layouts which are as different as each user.

Windows Phone 8 definitely reached their goal of producing a more balanced, uncluttered look that puts the focus on “your stuff, not our stuff.”

Since Start screen menu and lock screen go hand in hand, Windows Phone 8 also made significant improvements to lock screen. For example, the user can customize the notifications at the bottom of the screen. User can choose to see email, phone, messaging and even see their pictures change every 30 minutes from their Facebook. Apps can also register to be on the lock screen so users can see CNN’s top story, how many Skype messages they missed, etc. All this can be customized in phone settings. Giving users the power to decide what they want to see. Another cool feature worth mentioning to prevent accidently losing all data because too many times the wrong PIN was entered by wrong user (e.g. toddler) is the step of entering the alphanumeric phrase allowing the true user enter their PIN one final time before the phone resets. While listening, music controls are also available on lock screen, but for those who worry of accidently hitting play while in a meeting they just need to press power button to bring the controls down.

Windows Phone 8 has the best home and lock screen. It truly stands out from the competition.

UPDATE: Videos after the break.

01 November 2012

Windows 8 review

Written by Martin Borowski, Posted in Windows 8, Microsoft

It's unusual, to say the least, for us to spend a year with a product before publishing our review. In the case of Windows 8, we've written thousands of words already, starting with our first hands-on in September of 2011, followed by deep dives on the Developer Preview, Consumer Preview, Release Preview and RTM build. Even our readers have had ample time to get acquainted with the OS -- it's been available as a public download since February. And yet, we've never tested a final version of the software running on brand new, made-for-Windows-8 hardware. With the OS now on sale (alongside dozens of new PCs), it's finally time for us to double back and revisit everything we've previously written in the form of a final, comprehensive review.

And what a challenging assignment this was: it's hard enough to give an OS the full review treatment without burying the reader in minute details. It's even tougher when the software was built for so many different kinds of hardware. Combining a traditional desktop with Windows Phone-inspired Live Tiles, Windows 8 was designed to be equally at home on traditional PCs and more finger-friendly devices, like tablets and hybrids. In addition to walking you through the operating system's various gestures and built-in apps, then, we'll spend some time talking about which form factors are best suited to this redesigned version of Windows. Read on to see what we found out.

Read full article

SOURCE Engadget

30 October 2012

Meet Windows Phone 8

Written by Martin Borowski, Posted in Windows 8, Microsoft, Technology

Few years back, a group of designers and engineers here looked at the smartphones people were carrying and saw an opportunity for something better. Phones had become centered on icons and technology, and we believed they should be centered on people. So we set out to build a phone for each of us, rather than a single phone for all of us. The result, in November 2010, was Windows Phone 7. We didn’t expect to change the world overnight. But the design awards and glowing reviews that poured in from customers and critics told us we were onto something special.

Today I’m pleased to announce the launch of Windows Phone 8, the world’s most personal smartphone operating system and perfect companion to your new Windows 8 PC. The first new phones are expected to start going on sale at operators and retailers in Europe this weekend, and continue to roll out around the world throughout the month of November.

Read full article

SOURCE Windows Phone Blog

04 October 2011

What Windows 8 means to ComputerTalk. Part 9 of 9. Microsoft Build 2011 - Windows 8

Written by Chris Bardon, Posted in Windows 8, Microsoft, ComputerTalk

After several posts discussing what Windows 8 is in a more general sense, this one is going to try to focus on what it means to ComputerTalk specifically. This means that if you’re not a customer, potential customer, or admirer of ComputerTalk and our products, this might only be interesting from the point of view of a case study: here’s how one person is looking at applying what he learned at build to a product suite.

For the current products that ComputerTalk offers, anything we support on Windows 7 will be supported on Windows 8 in at least its current form, just like we did when Windows 7 released. We’re already working with Microsoft to make sure that both our web and windows clients are compatible with their changes, and so far we’ve already helped them identify some bugs in the current Windows 8 build. The goal is to be Windows 8 compatible at RTM, at least when running our software in desktop mode.

03 October 2011

Rampant Speculation. Part 8 of 9. Microsoft Build 2011 - Windows 8

Written by Chris Bardon, Posted in Windows 8, Microsoft

Now that the build conference is situated firmly in the past, there are things that we now know, things that we know we don’t know, and things that we don’t know we don’t know. For example, we don’t know the release date of the OS. In the keynote, they committed to a beta and a release candidate, but no hints on timing for either. We can, however, guess when it might be based on what we already know. After spending some time hands on with the OS, I can say that it’s definitely not finished. The claim that “everything that works in 7 works in 8” is not true yet, as I’ve found some of our applications that use features that don’t work in this build. I’ve also had to go into the task manager to kill errant metro apps a few times, and run into UI strangeness like apps disappearing from the back stack when they are killed (which is sure to confuse users). Add to this the fact that everyone is going to need a lot of time to get the hang of developing metro apps, and I’d guess that RTM by next fall is possible, but even optimistic. A year from now we’ll definitely have a new build, and likely even the RC, but having an OS that’s ready to hit the shelves in October 2012 is probably not going to happen. Honestly, that’s fine with me-I’d rather the OS be complete than rushed, and should they be able to prove me wrong with a complete product before then, I’d be happy to take it.