Microsoft to stop push notification for Windows Phone 7.5 and Windows Phone 8.0

Microsoft;

On February 20, 2018, Mobile Push Notification services will be turned off for Windows Phone 7.5 and Windows Phone 8.0. Once this happens:

  • Your phone will no longer receive notifications.
  • Your phone will not receive additional live tile updates.
  • The “Find my phone” feature will no longer locate your phone.

Windows Phone 7.5 and Windows Phone 8.0 have reached their end of support dates, and thus services for these versions of Windows will be discontinued over time.

Note:

Notification services will continue to function for Windows Phone 8.1 at this time, and newer phones running Windows 10 Mobile are still fully supported.

Microsoft is basically saying that they will slowly but surely stop supporting these two mobile OS, which is understandable since both OS are more than 5 years old, which is more or less the standard support cycle for OSes.

15-inch Surface Book 2 coming to all Surface markets

Microsoft;

Today, we’re excited to bring the power of versatility of Surface Book 2 to more people around the world. Pre-orders for Surface Book 2 15” will begin today in Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Ireland, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Poland, Sweden, Switzerland, and the United Kingdom.

Later, beginning in February and continuing through March and April, Surface Book 2 13” and 15” will roll out to Bahrain, China, Hong Kong, India, Italy, Korea, Kuwait, Malaysia, Oman, Portugal, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, Spain, Taiwan, Thailand and the United Arab Emirates. Check with Microsoft Stores, local retail or your commercial reseller partners for details on availability in your market.

Surface Book 2 was first launched last November 2017. You can find Surface Book 2’s full specs here.

Microsoft releases Windows 10 Fall Creators Update

Microsoft;

With the Windows 10 Fall Creators Update, we are introducing some fun, new ways to get creative – from bringing mixed reality and 3D to the masses, to faster broadcasting for gaming, to turning photos and videos into real memories, and so much more. The Fall Creators Update can be experienced on a wide variety of Windows 10 PCs and on a range of Windows Mixed Reality headsets.

Augmented reality!

Looks like Facebook bet on the wrong (virtual) horse when they bought Oculus!

Microsoft to bring Spotify to Groove Music Pass customers

Microsoft;

We will continue to invest in and update the Groove Music app on all Windows devices to support playback and management of owned music, but after December 31, 2017, the Groove Music app will no longer offer the option to stream, purchase, and download music.

And;

An update to the Groove Music app including the ability to move music to Spotify, will be available for Windows Insiders beginning this week. The Groove Music app update for Windows 10 and Xbox One devices will roll out broadly the week of October 9, 2017 and will enable Groove Music Pass customers to move existing music collections and playlists to Spotify. Groove Music Pass content will be available to move to Spotify until at least January 31, 2018.

Makes sense for Microsoft, since developing its own streaming service is much harder and complicated than a music store. There are lots of things that they need to consider, plus the fact that Spotify and other music streaming service already have their own userbase and considerable marketshare.

If ever Microsoft plans to dip its toes in the music streaming space again, an outright acquisition will be the best way for them to go but for now, partnership with the leading music streaming service is the next best thing.

Microsoft helps to empower students and teachers to create the world of tomorrow; unveils new education offerings

A lot of new product from Microsoft aimed at Students and Education in general. Just in time for the coming academic year.

It’s interesting that during the event Microsoft keeps on comparing the Surface Laptop to Apple products but in reality they’ll be competing with Google Chromebook and other Google cloud products in the education space.

Microsoft;

Microsoft introduces Windows 10 S

Windows 10 S is a new Windows experience streamlined for security and superior performance. With Windows 10 S, applications that teachers and students download come from the Windows Store where they are first verified for security, and then locally they each run in a safe “container” to ensure that Windows 10 S offers the power of full-featured applications, with experiences like the full version of Office 365, including all of the capabilities of Microsoft Word, Excel, OneNote and PowerPoint, among others. With Windows 10 S, educators and students will have access to their favorite and most-used applications across STEM, learning tools, secure assessment tools, content publishers, interactive whiteboards and more.

Microsoft Edge in Windows 10 S also makes it easier than ever for students to organize research and manage school projects with the new Tab Preview Bar. With the support for Windows Ink in Microsoft Edge, students can make notes directly on a web page and share them with a classmate. Microsoft Edge is compatible with the sites educators and students frequently use.

Microsoft’s goal with Windows 10 S is to develop its open, vibrant partner-centric ecosystem. Device partners including Acer, ASUS, Dell, Fujitsu, HP, Samsung and Toshiba offer a range of new Windows 10 PCs for education today, starting at $189 USD. In the coming months, these partners will also offer a range of Windows 10 S devices, from powerful and affordable Windows Ink and touch PCs to beautiful premium devices.

Bringing Microsoft Teams to the classroom

Microsoft Word, Excel and PowerPoint Online already allow students to co-author documents in real time. Coming to the Microsoft Store for Education later this year, new classroom experiences in Microsoft Teams take collaboration to a whole new level, and make Teams the digital hub for the classroom where teachers and students come to collaborate and learn. Together with OneNote Class Notebooks and new assignment and quiz experiences, teachers can easily distribute content, grade work and personalize learning, and communicate with students, parents and staff.

Teams also enables teachers to bring in rich and engaging content from the web, guest speakers and solutions from education partners like busuu, Canvas, Flipgrid and Kahoot!. Most importantly, Teams helps students develop the communication and collaboration skills they’ll need to be successful in the future.

Code Builder for Minecraft: Education Edition teaches coding in the classroom

Teachers in more than 100 countries are using Minecraft: Education Edition to promote creativity and collaboration in the classroom. Minecraft has become a favorite resource with students and with educators who are using it to teach digital citizenship, inspire creative problem-solving and enable student-centered explorations across the curriculum.

Microsoft is broadening the game’s appeal further with Code Builder for Minecraft: Education Edition. This new feature is designed to inspire students to learn the basics and the power of coding by combining the open worlds of Minecraft with popular learn-to-code platforms such as Tynker, ScratchX and a new open source platform from Microsoft called MakeCode. Players can move around, build and create in Minecraft by writing code. A free trial of Minecraft: Education Edition is available today for schools around the world in the Microsoft Store for Education. Code Builder Beta is available at education.minecraft.net.

Free offers for Teachers and Students

To make it easy and affordable to bring Windows 10, Office 365 for Education with Microsoft Teams and Minecraft to the classroom, Microsoft is offering teachers and students the following:

New Windows 10 education PCs starting at $189 USD
Free one-year subscription to Minecraft: Education Edition for new Windows 10 education PCs
Free Windows 10 S for all schools on any current Windows Pro PC
Free Microsoft Office 365 for Education with Microsoft Teams
Free trial of Microsoft Intune for Education

Windows 10 S, Office 365 for Education with Microsoft Teams, Minecraft: Education Edition and Microsoft Intune for Education offer a complete solution for teachers and students.

Microsoft introduces new Surface Laptop, powered by Windows 10 S

To bring the streamlined performance, simplicity and security of Windows 10 S to university students, Microsoft is expanding the Surface family of devices with Surface Laptop. Available for preorder today in 20 countries, Surface Laptop is the perfect balance of portability, performance and elegance. Powered by Windows 10 S, Surface Laptop is engineered to start fast and stay fast with a 7th-generation Intel® Core™ processor and up to 14.5 hours of battery life.1

Every detail is crafted to bring new form and function to the classic laptop design, drawing the user in. The vibrant 13.5-inch PixelSense Display is optimized for touch and inking for an immersive experience, and the optically bonded Corning® Gorilla® Glass 3 makes it as durable as it is beautiful. The signature keyboard is covered in luxurious Alcantara® material and features a quiet and responsive keyset, large precision trackpad, and soft palm rest for a new level of typing comfort. Surface Laptop is available in four rich tone-on-tone colors2: Platinum, Graphite Gold, Burgundy and Cobalt Blue.

Surface Laptop starts at $999 USD and will be available starting June 15. Customers can preorder Surface Laptop starting today in the U.S. and Austria, Australia, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and the United Kingdom where available at Microsoft Store, microsoftstore.com and BestBuy.com. Surface Laptop will also be available in Canada and China later this year, and availability in other markets will be announced in the coming months.

Bringing 3-D and Windows Mixed Reality experiences to the classroom to spark creativity

With 3-D and Windows Mixed Reality, Microsoft is helping empower educators with a whole new set of tools to create curriculums for their students and peers. On Tuesday, Microsoft announced a new feature coming to Windows 10 this fall, called View Mixed Reality. This feature allows you to see 3-D content through your screen into the real world as Mixed Reality, using a simple RGB camera.

Microsoft also announced a new strategic partnership with Pearson, one of the largest education companies in the world, which is working to integrate 3-D and mixed reality into its secondary and university level curriculum. By the 2018 school year, Pearson will offer curriculum in health, commerce, history and STEM on Windows Mixed Reality devices.

So.cl is saying farewell as of March 15, 2017

So.cl Team on Microsoft’s Fuselabs;

Socl has been a wonderful outlet for creative expression, as well as a place to enjoy a supportive community of like-minded people, sharing and learning together. In supporting you, Socl’s unique community of creators, we have learned invaluable lessons in what it takes to establish and maintain community as well as introduce novel new ways to make, share and collect digital stuff we love. Through you we’ve been able to introduce many interesting ideas such as:

  • Collages; beautiful posts of content discovered through search and auto-assembled
  • Riffs; themed conversations based on community inspiration
  • Automatic Translation; seamlessly spanning languages and culture
  • Collections; telling your story through collections of posts
  • Picotales, Video Parties, Blinks, Kodu – new ways to create and share

From the very beginning, we’ve been amazed by your creativity, openness, and positivity. Thank you so very much for sharing your inspirations with us.

The So.cl Team

So.cl (pronounced “social”) is an experimental social media network by Microsoft’s Fuselabs.

Xbox Live Creators Program

Microsoft;

Xbox Live will soon be open to all developers via the Xbox Live Creators Program – no concept approval required! You will be able to rapidly publish your game to Xbox One or Windows 10 through a short and simplified certification process.

The Xbox Live Creators Program will let any game developer create and publish Xbox games. Indie or solo game developers can directly publish their games to the Xbox platform. There is a $19 USD to $99 USD one-time registration fee needed to enroll for the program.

If you’re an Apple Developer, the Xbox Live Creators Program looks very much like the Apple Developer Program.