Microsoft software roadmap from December leaked
Microsoft has begun sending out a roadmap that shows some details about its future software products such as Office 15, Internet Explorer 10, and Windows Phone to some of its partners. One of them, CEO of Meetroo Maarten Visser, shared part of it over Twitter, revealing said details. Dated December 22, 2011, the images weren't password-protected. Considering the date, the Windows roadmap doesn't mention anything past the Developer Preview and certainly not the Consumer Preview that launched on February 29.
HTML5 may get pseudo DRM with proposal
Google, Microsoft, and Netflix have put forward a proposal that could add a level of copy protection to HTML5 audio and video. Encrypted Media Extensions would let apps on the web and elsewhere use keys to control who has access to a given media stream. It would allow any format that would work in HTML5 as long as the format itself can support some kind of key or bit.
Windows Phone Tango may catch up in speed, reach
Microsoft may have inadvertently spoiled many of its plans for Windows Phone's Tango update after an Indian developer presentation was recounted (since pulled at Microsoft's request) this weekend. During the event, WPSauce heard from attendee Karthik Ragubathy that "the next release," possibly Tango, would support truly native apps for the first time. The approach would let apps optimize for performance without having to be written using XNA code intended for games.
Plug-in expected to be discontinued
As expected, Microsoft has released a major update to its Silverlight plug-in for Windows and Mac computers. Version 5 brings several new features, including hardware decoding for H.264 media and improved 3D graphics performance, however the release is believed to be the final major update for the application framework.
Lovefilm to move to Silverlight, drop Flash
UK DVD and streaming video outfit Lovefilm just announced that it will move from Flash-based streaming to Microsoft's Silverlight. The move was prompted by movie studios, as they believed Silverlight offers greater security in the fight against piracy. The studios were apparently fairly adamant, threatening to pull their movies if the change wasn't made.
Microosft may axe Silverlight after major release
Microsoft may join in decisions to drop proprietary plugins with an exit from Silverlight, insiders mentioned later on Tuesday. Silverlight 5, expected to be finished by the end November, is said by Microsoft partner contacts for ZDNet to be the last-ever version. It might not get any minor updates and may even go without any support beyond Internet Explorer for Windows, backtracking on claims of cross-platform support.
Service now available for Chromebook owners
Netflix has tweeted that its @Netflix app is now available for Chromebook owners. The app is available from the Chrome Web Store. Netflix is a offering a one month's free trial to new customers.
Promises faster, more user-friendly user interface
Microsoft has officially launched its updated SkyDrive service. The new architecture is based on HTML5 instead of Silverlight. The company had said last October it would make this transition to ensure better cross platform compatibility with more devices including iPhones, iPads and smartphones.
Objections have been raised, however
HTML5 community leader Shelley reports that members of the W3C, the international standards body for the Web, are being polled about the proposed new HTML5 standard. If no formal objections are raised before Monday, May 22, then HTML5 would enter "Last Call" status. It could become a standard in 2012.
Microsoft intros Photosynth for iPhones and iPods
Microsoft continued a string of iOS-first mobile app launches Monday with Photosynth (free, App Store). The previously Windows-desktop-only app creates and views panorama photos using an intelligent auto-stitching process that creates a more natural-looking shot. Resulting shots can be posted both to Photosynth.net as well as to Facebook and pegged to a location in Bing Maps.
Our live coverage of Windows Phone 7 at MIX11
Microsoft is using its second-day keynote at MIX11 to focus on Windows Phone 7. The division's Joe Belfiore is expected to talk about the next major update, codenamed Mango, and may also talk about other new technologies at the Las Vegas event. Check our live coverage page at 12PM Eastern, 9AM Pacific for updates from the event.
Silverlight for Xbox 360 may hit next week
Microsoft's plans to port Silverlight to the Xbox 360 may come to a head at the MIX11 conference next week based on a leak. The feature has supposedly been in development for "some months" and could bring a unique level of integration between the Xbox and Windows Phone. A tipster for WinRumors suggested it could bring an app store for the Xbox that would let developers simply port WP7 apps over to the larger screen.
Mediaroom IPTV may bring Silverlight and WMC hooks
Microsoft's Mediaroom IPTV backbone might get a major boost soon if leaks prove accurate. One project, codenamed Taos, would give it direct support for the Silverlight plugin and play web-based TV on DVRs without needing special support. While few details were available, ZDNet reiterated that it might be part of a wider strategy for web video in the living room, since Microsoft is already porting Silverlight to the Xbox 360 and has been working on support for system-on-a-chip hardware needed for set-top boxes.
Google WebM plugin for IE9, Safari due soon
Google in a defense of its decision to pull H.264 from Chrome's HTML5 revealed that it will put out WebM plugins for Internet Explorer 9 and Safari. Expecting no official support from Apple or Microsoft, Google plans to develop extensions that would load its self-owned video codec. No timetable was given.
Paramount makes movie apps for WP7 handsets
Paramount on Tuesday said it will bring out 10 movie apps of its films just for Windows Phone 7 smartphones. The first of these apps is School of Rock, now available in the US and Canadian Windows Phone Marketplace, with other markets getting it before year's end. Each app uses Microsoft Silverlight and includes the full movie, as well as themed menus, buttons, bonus features and other special experiences.
Windows Phone 7 may get 2nd big update at MWC
Microsoft's update to add copy and paste text to Windows Phone 7 may just be a prelude to much larger updates that put it more on par with Apple and Google, tips divulged this morning. The company would catch up in text editing with an update in January that might go live at CES, but an update at the Mobile World Congress show in February would dramatically expand the available support. It would open up programming interfaces for some multitasking, add in-app downloads and allow more user customization, WinRumors was told.
Silverlight 5 due in beta second half of 2011
At the Silverlight Firestarter event on Thursday, Microsoft announced the new features users can expect in Silverlight 5, the cross-platform runtime and development platform. These will be made despite a shift to focus on HTML5, with executives at the software giant saying a public beta will arrive in the second quarter of 2011, and a final release-to-Web arriving before the end of 2011.
Last link in the multi-platform chain
Microsoft earlier today placed an ad on their web site -- since reworded -- that revealed they are seeking developers to bring Silverlight to the Xbox 360 and to enhance features in Silverlight for Windows Phone 7 and other platforms. The ad comes ahead of a planned event on the future of the technology scheduled for December 2nd and keynoted by Silverlight project head Scott Guthrie.
WP7 discovery shows jailbreaking possible
Efforts to jailbreak Windows Phone 7 and let it run unsigned apps took a large step forward today with the discovery by Australian programmer Chris Walshie of a file that would let code run without restrictions. After a finding of a Samsung network management app on Windows Marketplace that talked directly to the OS, enthusiasts found an unprotected InteropServices DLL file that didn't have to go through Silverlight like regular apps. Referring to the DLL would let phone owners sideload apps through the usual developer method but give the apps access to hardware functions that wouldn't be allowed otherwise.
Silverlight will not be required
Microsoft has announced that it will no longer continue to invest in its Bing Maps 3D control plug-in, which allows users to access "Bird's eye" views using Silverlight. The functionality is not being dropped entirely, but rather reworked using HTML5 and AJAX for cross-compatibility on Bing.com/maps without requiring users to download a dedicated plug-in.
Microsoft backs HTML5 over Silverlight
Microsoft server president Bob Muglia late this week confirmed a broader shift at the company away from Silverlight on the web and towards HTML5. Silverlight was now primarily the development platform for Windows Phone 7, but more cross-platform efforts would rely on the more universal standard. Muglia stressed to ZDNet that Silverlight would still run on Macs and (indirectly) Linux systems, but HTML5 was the only guarantee of support for the iPhone and Pad.
UI Centric cancels plans for Windows 7 tablet PC
Work on a promised Windows 7 tablet PC preloaded with the Macallan user interface has been stopped and the tablet itself canceled, Engadget reported on Wednesday. UI Centric, the maker of the software that lets users navigate like turning pages in a book, no longer promises a tablet with its software. Details for the cancellation haven't been released.
Windows Embedded 7 outed, gets Silverlight, more
At the SAE Convergence 2010 exhibition on Tuesday, Microsoft revealed the new Windows Embedded Automotive 7 is now available to its car and in-vehicle entertainment partners. The new software brings with it enhanced speech commands, touch input, a Bluetooth connection with phones and other devices as well as access to maps, music, navigation and third-party apps. Silverlight is now integrated, letting partners create 2D or 3D graphics on their desktops and have them quickly be deployed on the car platform.
Windows Phone 7 tools done, Netflix, Seesmic shown
Microsoft today said it had finished the official Windows Phone 7 development toolkit and showed apps due to reach the platform from Netflix, Seesmic, Twitter and others. The update is minor but will be needed to submit apps to the official version of the Windows Phone Marketplace. The largest change is the addition of a Bing Maps hook to work the service into their own apps.
Microsoft Silverlight for Symbian official
Microsoft's alternative to Adobe's Flash, Silverlight, has now exited the beta stage and is available for Nokia's Symbian^1 (S60 5th edition) devices. The software can now be downloaded from Nokia’s Ovi Store or directly from Microsoft. Users can see Silverlight sites in Symbian^1's integrated browser and install Symbian^1 apps developed in Silverlight.
MS hoping outright cash will get iPhone app ports
Microsoft is outright paying iPhone developers to port apps to Windows Phone 7, one account of the process claimed today. The unnamed programmer said he was offered immediate money to convert games. How much wasn't mentioned; it was "substantial" but not enough to lure over PocketGamer's source.
Wild rumor of Ballmer at WWDC triggers talk
Microsoft today denied that Steve Ballmer would present at Apple's WWDC. It follows a questionable rumor that Microsoft's Steve Ballmer would make a presentation at the conference in roughly two weeks. Global Equities Research analyst Trip Chowdhry believed the Microsoft CEO was penciled in for seven minutes of time at the keynote and would talk about a new version of Visual Studio 2010 that would produce iPad, iPhone and Mac apps.
Netflix says HTML5 not ready for protected media
Netflix Cloud Architect Adrian Cockcroft on Thursday said Netflix was working on building HTML5 into its service. The newer web technology is primarily being used for the interface ad would make drag-and-drop or visual transitions. It would mostly be used for set-top boxes and features built into TVs.
Leak has MS dropping dual-screen Courier
Microsoft has killed its Courier dual-screen tablet before it even became a real product, reports from within the company said. CEO Steve Ballmer told the Courier team on Wednesday that the project would "no longer be supported" even though it had never been made public. The reasons why hasn't been divulged to Gizmodo or any other source so far.
Company working with SoC makers for TVs, Blu-ray
Microsoft on Thursday announced several new products and initiatives that will be dully disclosed at next week's NAB show in Las Vegas. The Silverlight team is said to be working with System on a Chip (SoC) makers, such as Intel and Broadcom, to bring Silverlight support to set-top boxes, connected TVs, Blu-ray players, or other devices.
iPad would get Hulu and Netflix streaming soon
Two of the most important Internet video websites are planning native iPad apps, a pair of leaks showed in the past few hours. One set of tips claims that the Hulu iPad app is real and will carry a subscription that will also cover other services. Core details have reportedly been worked out, with only rights negotiation is left over.
Sling plans larger-res video for Apple tablet
SlingPlayer marketing manager Dave Eyler today confirmed that his company is working on a version of SlingPlayer for the iPad. The app should be a visible upgrade from the iPhone version as it will carry higher-resolution streaming from a TV-attached Slingbox. Any other changes weren't mentioned, but Eyler told ZNF that the finished version wouldn't be ready for the Saturday iPad launch.
WP7 would let users watch movies live
Netflix at Microsoft's MIX10 keynote today has shown off a mobile Netflix app for Windows Phone 7. The early app would be the first mobile app to not only browse the movie rental app's library but play videos live. Since Netflix already uses Silverlight, the app can play Watch Instantly titles without special tricks.
Microsoft shows WP7 dev features at MIX10
Microsoft at its MIX10 developer event detailed some of how app development and sales will work for Windows Phone 7. Confirming that it's based on Silverlight and XNA, the mobile OS will fence off third-party apps from true native code but will give them access to all the key features: it will recognize accelerometers, cameras and multi-touch gestures. WP7 will also mirror iPhone development by using background push notification for those not allowed to multitask and include a general location service that any app can use.
Microsoft says WP7 to have broad app base
(Update: unified Windows/Xbox gaming added) Microsoft on Friday outlined some of its hopes for Windows Phone 7 in an interview (viewable below). The company's Charlie Kindel argues that third-party app development for the Silverlight-, Windows CE- and XNA-based is "very easy" and has already shown off some of the first non-default apps for the platform. Flashlight, level, and weather apps have been shown and, in the case of the level, have direct access to the phone's accelerometer in a way not possible with Windows Mobile 6.
Emblaze says IIS as guilty as iPod of infringing
Emblaze today sued Microsoft for allegedly violating the same patents that resulted in a lawsuit against Apple late last year. The Israeli patent holder believes that Microsoft's IIS Smooth Streaming, an important ingredient behind both Silverlight and the 1080p movies at the Zune Video Marketplace, infringes on the same patents for device-to-device media streaming.
New Win Mobile to get renamed, due at MWC
Microsoft has inadvertently removed the last doubts about its Mobile World Congress plans by posting an event listing. A day of presentations at Energize IT in Ottawa, Canada on March 30th makes specific reference to "Windows Phone 7" along with the company's usual fare. The slip confirms both a rebadge of Windows Mobile as well as that the OS update should be revealed at MWC in mid-February.
Win Phone UI like Zune, breaks Win Mo 6 apps
Windows Mobile 7, possibly known as Windows Phone 7, could represent a complete break from version 6 if a scoop this evening bears fruit. A developer claims that the new OS is a complete break and mimics that of the Zune HD with phone elements put in. Microsoft's services would run deep and would include not only Xbox Live gaming and social services but even an app store with an "easy" approval process would be onboard.
Flash remains inaccessible
Microsoft has demonstrated Silverlight video streaming for the iPhone, according to reports. The technology relies on server-side transcoding and HTML 5's video tag, but displays Silverlight content in a native MPEG-2 v8 format recognized by the iPhone's version of QuickTime. "So it's the same IIS smooth streaming content, the same server, the same point of origin, but now I can get that content to play without any code changes, without any real work, on the iPhone. That's the critical thing for our customers," says Microsoft User Experience platform manager Brian Goldfarb.
Software to run HTML and protected H.264 video
Microsoft on Wednesday released an early beta version of the upcoming Silverlight software. Version 4 adds a variety of new features including the ability to integrate HTML content within applications, while Google's Chrome browser will also be supported. The company claims performance optimizations allow apps to start quicker and run up to twice as fast as they would with Silverlight 3.
Akamai intros HD Network with online streaming
Akamai on Tuesday announced it will soon launch the Akamai HD Network that will be capable of delivering HD video to hundreds of thousands of people using Adobe Flash, Microsoft Silverlight and, eventually, the iPhone. The Akamai HD Network will support both live and on-demand streaming. It will run on Adamai's global EdgePlatform network platform composed of over 50,000 servers, allowing content providers with a reach to some 70 countries.
Microsoft, Tesco movie service
Microsoft announced on Wednesday that it has teamed with UK-based retailer Tesco to bring out a new service that will provide customers with DVD-quality movies delivered to them over the web using Microsoft's Silverlight technology. While details are scarce, customers who buy DVD movies from Tesco will be able to download digital copies of the title to their Windows PCs and Macs.
May close some common vulnerabilities
Beginning with two Tuesday updates, all future iterations of Mozilla's Firefox browser will check for at least some outdated plug-ins, the company has announced. Firefox 3.5.3 and 3.0.14 will both scan for the latest version of Flash, prompting users to visit a link where an updated plug-in can be downloaded. "For now, our focus is on the Adobe Flash Player both because of its popularity and because some studies have shown that as many as 80 percent of users currently have an out-of-date version," says Firefox security team member Johnathan Nightingale.
RIM Buys Torch for Browser
Software developer Torch Mobile on Monday hinted at Research in Motion's (RIM) future plans for the BlackBerry by confirming that it has been bought out by the Canadian smartphone maker. While the terms of the deal aren't known, Torch explicitly says it expects to bring its experience with developing WebKit-based browsers like Iris to BlackBerry devices. It will similarly continue to develop WebKit as part of its open-source nature.
BBerry Gets Flash in 2010
A rumor from a purportedly certain source suggests RIM will have full, near desktop-grade Adobe Flash and Microsoft Silverlight on the BlackBerry's web browser next year. Full details aren't given, but BGR understands that the update is primarily waiting on hardware. As either web plug-in demands both a strong processor and a fast Internet connection, RIM is said to only be launching the more advanced browser in summer 2010, when its phones will be faster and should have faster 3G and potentially 4G connections.
MS Nokia Office Tomorrow
Microsoft this evening said it and Nokia together would hold a conference call late tomorrow morning to unveil an "alliance" between the two firms. The two aren't specific about details. As the call will be led by Microsoft Business president Stephen Elop as well as Nokia's executive devices VP Kai Öistämö, however, it's the news may involve the addition of Office apps to Nokia's smartphones, especially its Eseries business models.
Netflix iPhone Rumor
Netflix may soon be opening the gates to its unlimited movie and TV streaming on the iPhone and iPod touch, a rumor indicates today. An executive for an unnamed company claims to MCN that Netflix will "soon" extend Watch Instantly to the Apple devices. The service would likely be limited to Wi-Fi for bandwidth concerns, though it's unclear whether this would be due solely to pressure from AT&T or simple practical concerns: Netflix streaming normally needs hundreds of kilobits per second and would be likely to encounter connection problems over 3G.
MS Silverlight 3 released
Microsoft has released Silverlight 3, a new release of its multimedia software for Web. The software is available for Mac OS X, Linux and Windows. Version 3 of new version of software, designed only for Intel-based Macs, offers better performance, GPU acceleration, tools to run on the desktop, and support for higher quality audio and video, including native H.264/Advanced Audio Coding (AAC) Audio, live and on-demand IIS7 Smooth Streaming, full HD (720p+) playback, and an extensible decoder pipeline. For developers, it new 3D graphics, animation features, hardware accelerated effects and text improvements to enable designers and developers to create next generation Web visuals.
Microsoft Silverlight 3
Microsoft tonight launched the public version of Silverlight 3, its animation and video plugin for the web. The rival to Flash is the company's first to use hardware graphics acceleration both for 3D and for offloading the work of decoding video from the main processor. Regardless of graphics power, the update is also the first to promise a near-seamless HD video experience: a "smooth streaming" technique that automatically lowers the bitrate to start playback immediately and quickly brings it back up to provide the maximum quality the connection allows.
MS outs Silverlight 3 Beta
At its MIX 09 developer and designer conference which kicked off on Wednesday, Microsoft released a beta version of its upcoming Silverlight 3 Internet media player. The Flash alternative is smaller in size than its Silverlight 2 predecessor, at 4.4MB, and aims to improve on the earlier software which launched in full build four months ago. Along with the player, the software giant release associated tools for developers, including the Software Development Kit (SDK) and various authoring programs.