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November 12, 2014

Microsoft announces .NET open source and free Visual Studio Community

Posted by David Hunter at 10:54 PM ET.

Microsoft takes .NET open source and cross-platform, adds new development capabilities with Visual Studio 2015, .NET 2015 and Visual Studio Online

On Wednesday, Microsoft Corp. reinforced its commitment to cross-platform developer experiences by open sourcing the full server-side .NET stack and expanding .NET to run on the Linux and Mac OS platforms. Microsoft also released Visual Studio Community 2013, a new free edition of Visual Studio that provides easy access to the Visual Studio core toolset. The announcements kicked off Microsoft’s Connect (); event, where the company released Visual Studio 2015 Preview and .NET 2015 Preview.

Delivering on its promise to support cross-platform development, Microsoft is providing the full .NET server stack in open source, including ASP.NET, the .NET compiler, the .NET Core Runtime, Framework and Libraries, enabling developers to build with .NET across Windows, Mac or Linux. Through this implementation, Microsoft will work closely with the open source community, taking contributions for future improvements to .NET and will work through the .NET Foundation.

Available Wednesday, Visual Studio Community 2013 is a free, fully featured edition of Visual Studio including full extensibility. Targeting any platform, from devices and desktop, to Web and cloud services, the community edition provides developers with easy access to Microsoft’s Visual Studio toolset for all nonenterprise application development. Developers can get started with Visual Studio Community 2013 here.

Built from the ground up with support for iOS, Android and Windows, Visual Studio 2015 Preview makes it easier for developers to build applications and services for any device, on any platform.

Microsoft on Wednesday announced the preview of ASP.NET 5.0, a streamlined framework and runtime optimized for cloud and server workloads. In addition, the new Connected Services Manager in Visual Studio 2015 makes it easier to connect applications to line-of-business API services such as the Office 365 API and SalesForce, among others.

Building on a year of service enhancements, Microsoft announced additional capabilities for Visual Studio Online, its online service for development projects, by announcing additional capabilities for the service, including these:

Release Management as a service, available in preview, to enable customers to automate and manage application releases without the need to set up or maintain any service infrastructure.

Cloud Deployment Projects, to allow organizations to more easily and reliably provision and configure development, test and production environments in Azure.

Also on Wednesday, Microsoft announced the availability of Visual Studio 2013 Update 4…

Filed under .NET Foundation, ASP.NET 5.0, Coopetition, Microsoft,, Technologies, Tools, Visual Studio 2015, Visual Studio Community 2103, Visual Studio Online

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February 21, 2014

Microsoft to cut Windows price for low cost PCs and tablets

Posted by David Hunter at 10:35 PM ET.

Tim Culpan and Dina Bass from Bloomberg have got a scoop – Microsoft Said to Cut Windows Price 70% to Counter Rivals:

Microsoft Corp. (MSFT) is cutting the price of Windows 8.1 by 70 percent for makers of low-cost computers and tablets as they try to fend off cheaper rivals like Google Inc. (GOOG)’s Chromebooks, people familiar with the program said.

Manufacturers will be charged $15 to license Windows 8.1 and preinstall it on devices that retail for less than $250, instead of the usual fee of $50, said the people, who asked not to be named because the details aren’t public. The discount will apply to any products that meet the price limit, with no restrictions on the size or type of device, the people said.

It won’t require products that use the cheaper licensing to complete logo certification, a process that verifies hardware compatibility, one of the people said. Devices aren’t required to be touch-screen compatible, they said.

While the regular Windows list price was $50, some of the largest global computer makers paid closer to $30 after incentives such as marketing funds provided by Microsoft, the people said. Products that receive discounted license fees won’t be eligible for such marketing support and incentives, one of the people said.

Free always beats fee as long as the free product is good enough and Chromebooks are evidently good enough for a lot of folks. Microsoft could try to appeal to the carriage trade like Apple but are way behind on both low end apps and cachet. I don’t really think a price cut is going to give Microsoft much more traction.

Filed under Apple, Coopetition, Google, Microsoft, OS - Client, Windows 8

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November 6, 2012

Microsoft retiring Messenger in 2013 and moving users to Skype

Posted by David Hunter at 2:16 PM ET.

While titled "Talk to your Messenger Contacts on Skype" this blog post by Tony Bates (President, Skype division, Microsoft) is more than interoperability – Messenger is being retired in 1Q2013:

We’ve got good news to share! Skype and Messenger are coming together. Millions of Messenger users will be able to reach their Messenger friends on Skype. By updating to Skype, Messenger users can instant message and video call their Messenger friends.

This effort started with the release of Skype 6.0 for Mac and Windows a few weeks ago, which allows you to sign into Skype using a Microsoft account. Now Messenger users just need to update to the latest version of Skype, sign in using a Microsoft account, and their Messenger contacts will be there.

Our goal remains to deliver the best communications experience for everyone, everywhere. We want to focus our efforts on making things simpler for our users while continuously improving the overall experience. We will retire Messenger in all countries worldwide in the first quarter of 2013 (with the exception of mainland China where Messenger will continue to be available).

One of the perils of a large company is too many overlapping products so this seems like a wise move since Skype is bigger and has the momentum while Messenger is declining, but getting 100 million plus Messenger users to convert should be exciting.

Filed under Executives, Microsoft, Skype, Tony Bates, Windows Live, Windows Live Messenger

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September 19, 2012

Nokia Lumia 920 and HTC Windows Phone 8x: dueling top phones for Windows Phone 8

Posted by David Hunter at 4:58 PM ET.

Microsoft’s Windows Phone 8 Isn’t Even Out Yet And It Already Has A Big Mess On Its Hands

On Sept. 5, Nokia and Microsoft announced a new smartphone, the Lumia 920, calling it the "flagship" device for the Windows Phone platform.

On Sept. 19 HTC and Microsoft announced a new smartphone, the Windows Phone 8x, calling it the "signature" device for the Windows Phone platform.

There seems to be a messaging problem here.

A lot of members of the tech press who attended both Nokia and HTC’s events this month were left scratching their heads today. How can Microsoft have two hero devices?

I’m not sure anyone knows.

I’m not sure anyone cares but the marketeers, although even worse will be if very few buyers care about Windows Phone 8.

So between all the hype for unfinished devices and software and Microsoft claiming two different phones from two competitors are the *it* device for its new mobile OS, I bet the next round of phones have the same amount of success with the public the last generation did. None at all.

See also Nokia slams HTC’s Windows Phone 8 announcement, calls it a ‘tactical re-branding’. Whatever you call it, I rather like HTC’s chutzpah. I think I’ll emulate them and start selling a line of rebadged personal computers called Windows 8z.

Filed under Coopetition, HTC, Microsoft, Nokia, Windows Mobile, Windows Phone 8

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