As part of the massive Windows 10 event today, Microsoft showed off for the first time Office for Windows 10, a completely universal and touch friendly version of Office that will be coming to your smartphone, tablet and PC. It means that the Office experience, no matter which device you are using, will be the same, touch friendly and equally powerful. Finally!
If there were any doubts in your mind about Microsoft’s commitment to the mobile space, today’s Windows 10 event should have but those to rest. Not only did we get some insights into what Windows 10 will look like and now it will function on a smartphone, we also got a commitment to a new flagship Windows phone in 2015.
The magnitude of everything Microsoft announced today at the Windows 10 is hard to capture in one post. So I’m not going to even try. But there is one thing that stuck out almost immediately in the event. Windows is no longer just a Operating System. It is a Service. And as a service, the scope and depth of the platform took on new meaning for developers, enterprises and customers alike. This is a huge turn for Microsoft as a company.
The Skype for Windows Phone app has received a minor update that those with higher resolution devices will appreciate. The update, version 126.96.36.199 for those keeping score at home, brings a new compact design which will have text much cleaner and smaller so you can view more on your display. This has been one of the big complaints about the Skype for Windows Phone app as it stands today and it appears that they have been listening.
Editor’s Note: This post will remain at the top of ClintonFitch.com until after the Windows 10 event on Wednesday. Please see newer posts and news just below it on the front page.
As I write this we are less than 48 hours from what arguably is one of the biggest events for Microsoft in many years. I’ve compared the excitement to this event to that of when Windows 95 was being rolled out and I don’t think I’m far off in that statement. There are a lot of people – Microsoft lovers and haters – who are looking forward to Wednesday, January 21st with anticipation.
I’m certainly one of them.
The main thrust of the event is clearly Windows 10 but there are likely to be a lot more things announced at the event, all of which in some what touch Windows 10 and the drive Microsoft has to be “Mobile First, Cloud First” and “One Windows for Everyone”. Here is a rundown of what I think we will see on Wednesday at the event when it comes to Windows 10, Windows Mobile and a few other bits-and-bobs. No matter what, it’s going to be a busy and big day.
As a reminder, you can watch the event live on Microsoft’s Live Stream of the event.
One of my personal favorite features of Windows Phone is Live Tiles. App that take advantage of Live Tiles allow you to quickly get information on news, sports, weather and whatever else that app provides. Take the Kindle app as an example. It shows me on the Live Tile the book I’m reading and how far along I am in it. Some Live tiles can be setup as transparent meaning that you can “see” through them to a wallpaper or a photo in the background. It’s a whole new level of personalization as the Live tiles become a part of the background image. In this How To I’m going to show you how easy it is to setup transparent Live tiles on your Windows Phone so you can enjoy your favorite photo or background each time you look at your device.
Before I start, there is one thing to keep in mind about transparent Live tiles: Not every app uses them. There are some apps like Swarm, Kindle and MSN apps that do not use this feature and will be displayed in the traditional metro-style blocks. You will need to check with each app to see if it supports it. The vast majority of apps will now simply turn on transparent Live tiles by default once you setup the background wallpaper so you may not need to do anything additional.
Earlier this month at CES, Toshiba announced the new Toshiba Encore 2 Write Windows 8.1 tablet. The new tablet is designed on the popular Encore 2 tablet but now has touch pen for easier navigation, inking and other activities. The Microsoft store now has both the 8″ and 10″ models in stock and available for $349 and $399 respectively and both include the TruePen Stylus. You can read my review of the Encore 2 here on the site.
The music streaming service Spotify has a whole new look and feel this morning for Windows Phone users. Spotify for Windows Phone has been updated to version 5.0 and it brings with it a virtually brand new look and feel to the app. The new looks leans heavily on transparency throughout the app, something that you usually find in iOS apps but no Windows Phone. Spotify for Windows Phone – Free – Download Now
Microsoft has sent out an email notice to all participants of the Windows Insider program that terms and conditions will be changing after next week’s Windows 10 event in Redmond. While no specifics were given in the email, members are encouraged to check the T&Cs page after the 21st for the new rules of engagement. It is yet another hint that the event next Tuesday is going to be huge with a lot of announcements and updates.
Microsoft has made an important and powerful update to the Outlook.com platform that allows you to save email attachments directly to your OneDrive folder. The update was quietly rolled out to some users over the weekend but is now available to all users and is a powerful step forward for the online email service.