Announcing BUILD 2012 – October 30th until November 2nd

Tim O’Brien on Channel 9:

“In January we shared some thoughts on our approach to developer events, including a commitment to come back with more on our plans for an event this coming fall. Well, here it is: our next developer conference will be this fall, and it’s (again) called BUILD. It will be held on Microsoft’s campus in Redmond, Washington, from October 30th until November 2nd. Yes, that’s right … it’s the week after Windows 8 becomes generally available worldwide. And in addition to Windows 8, we will have lots of other stuff to talk about, too: Windows Azure, Windows Phone 8, Windows Server 2012, Visual Studio 2012, and much more.

BUILD 2012 will be on the Microsoft campus, and I know what you’re thinking … if it’s not in some cavernous convention hall, then it must be a dialed-down version of last year’s event, etc. … but don’t be confused: this will be unlike anything we’ve held on our corporate campus in a long time. More details to come . And, as we talked about in the January post, if you’ve gone to a Microsoft developer event, you know that most of the speakers and participants are from our engineering teams, so a campus event puts you in the thick of things along with the engineers directly responsible for our products and the platform opportunities they represent.

This one’s not to be missed. So what happens next? Well, at 8AM Pacific time on 8.8 (see what we just did there?), we will open registration for BUILD 2012 at www.buildwindows.com.  At that point, we’ll start sharing details over time about keynoters, sessions, content, and more, but for the time being, set a reminder for August 8th.

That’s it for now. Because my thesaurus was unable to suggest a decent synonym for “super excited”, let’s just say we’re stoked about BUILD 2012, and we hope to see you there.”

via Announcing BUILD 2012 | Vector | Channel 9

Visual Studio 2010 #SP1 available (#VS2010)

Since March 8, MSDN subscribers are able to download and install the Visual Studio 2010 SP1. MSDN subscribers also can get, the Team Foundation Server Integration Feature Pack (as part of the Visual Studio Ultimate SKU), which facilitates integration of Visual Studio, Project and SharePoint.

The general availability is planned on March 10 (today also, but keep in mind the time difference).

Kinect Confirmed As Fastest-Selling Consumer Electronics Device – Guinness World Records Blog post – Home of the Longest, Shortest, Fastest, Tallest facts and feats

New Kinect Device sells quicker than the iPhone and
iPad

Guinness World Records, the global authority on record breaking, today
confirm that the Kinect for the Xbox 360 is
the Fastest-Selling Consumer Electronics
Device
.  The hardware, that allows controller-free gaming,
sold through an average of 133,333 units per day, for a total of 8 million units
in its first 60 days on sale from 4 November 2010 to 3 January 2011.

Windows Live Mesh reaches 5 million connected devices

Today, we’re excited to announce an important milestone: Windows Live Mesh has now connected 5 million
devices, with over 3 million users syncing 2.2 petabytes* of data. Windows Live
Mesh was released on September 30th, 2010 and joined SkyDrive, a
service already used by 70 million customers, as a core component of Microsoft’s
consumer cloud strategy.

Microsoft Switzerland #Awards

Microsoft Schweiz Technology Innovation Award

Mit dem Microsoft Schweiz Technology Innovation Award werden die
innovativsten Projekte der Schweiz ausgezeichnet, die auf
Entwicklungstechnologien von Microsoft basieren. Die Auszeichnungen werden
jährlich bei der Microsoft
TechDays
-Konferenz verliehen.

Wettbewerb und Kriterien

Der Zweck dieses Wettbewerbs ist es, Menschen und Teams anzuerkennen, die ein
herausragendes Projekt auf der Grundlage von Microsoft-Technologien entwickelt
haben bzw. dieses gerade entwickeln. Die Jury setzt sich aus Mitarbeitern von
Microsoft zusammen, die die Projekte auf der Grundlage folgender Kriterien
beurteilen werden:

  • Innovativer und durchdachter Einsatz der Technologie
  • Komplexität der Lösung (Mix mehrerer Technologien)
  • Geschäftliche Relevanz der Lösung
  • Volumen der Lösung (Anzahl Benutzer, Anzahl Transaktionen usw.)
  • «End User Experience» unter den Gesichtspunkten Intuitivität und Eleganz

Eingereichte Lösungen müssen folgende Kriterien erfüllen:

  • Die Lösung braucht nicht unbedingt in jeder der oben angegebenen Kategorien
    zu brillieren, um einen Award gewinnen zu können. Möglicherweise reicht schon
    eine herausragende Leistung in einer der Kategorien zum Gewinn.
  • Die Lösung braucht noch nicht zwingend in einer Produktionsumgebung
    bereitgestellt worden zu sein. Sie muss sich jedoch in einem fortgeschrittenen
    Entwicklungsstadium befinden und vorgeführt werden können.

Alle zur erfolgreichen Anmeldung Ihres Projekts erforderlichen Informationen
finden Sie unter Teilnahmebedingungen.

My baby is growing up and getting a new dress!

Submit your amazing applications, we want to honor your work!

Live@Edu grows, evolves into Office 365 for Education, leapfrogs Google Apps for Education | ZDNet

Live@Edu grows, evolves
into Office 365 for Education, leapfrogs Google Apps for
Education

By Christopher Dawson | January 11, 2011, 3:33am PST

Summary:Microsoft
announced major milestones for Live@Edu today, as well as finally revealing
details for Office 365 for Education.

There. I said it. This dyed-in-the-wool Google Apps fan and Google Docs power user just admitted that the new Office 365 for Education was leapfrogging Google Apps for Education even as I write this post. Remember when Microsoft launched its “We’re all in” cloud computing campaign and most of us thought it was nonsense? I mean, how could a company that makes so much money on desktop computing come up with a slogan like that? As it turns out, Office 365 for Education, detailed today at the Microsoft Education Conference in London, makes the cloud a powerful platform for education and collaboration in a genuinely unified way that its competitors (cough, ahem, Google, cough, cough) just haven’t managed to achieve.

Currently, Microsoft offers a subset of Exchange Online and Office Web Apps called Live@Edu for academic institutions. It’s a perfectly nice platform for storing and sharing information online and offers rich email and IM capabilities. It goes beyond “perfectly nice” when you have Microsoft infrastructure to leverage and strengths ranging from massive storage in the cloud to Active Directory integration to high-fidelity rendering of Word documents make Live@Edu a worthy competitor to Google Apps for Education.

Live@Edu, however, has always felt a bit like a token effort by what has become a stodgy old company to get into the student computing space with something that represents their “all in” claims. Obviously a lot of people disagree with me, since Microsoft is also announcing a major milestone in London today: 15 million active student users of Live@Edu. Those numbers are nothing to sneeze at, whether you think of them as future Microsoft customers or just as students who have access to powerful tools for free.

Google, on the other hand, provides a set of tools that, if not brilliantly integrated, were created for the cloud and run very well in a browser. For Google, it has always been a case of the web-as-a-platform. Creating documents that looked just like their Word equivalents was far less important than simply creating content (preferably together).

Now, however, with the introduction of Office 365 for Education, Microsoft is changing the game. Think what you will of Microsoft, Sharepoint 2010 is a very powerful, intuitive, highly customizable platform for workgroup and enterprise collaboration. The cloud-based Sharepoint Online does just as good a job of empowering workers and administrators to create social spaces in which authentic collaborative work or learning can take place.

And here is where the leapfrog begins. When I attended the launch of Sharepoint 2010 last year, I was really impressed by the ease with which users could interact and work together. Google Apps, of course, allows such things as real-time editing with multiple users in the same document, but Sharepoint goes far enough that I called it a potential  Facebook alternative. Add to that, threaded discussions, VOIP, and instant messages through Microsoft’s Lync cloud application, make it free for students, and then add Microsoft Office for dirt cheap prices and you end up with quite a compelling package.

That’s right, I said Microsoft Office. There are several so-called “offers” that will be available from Microsoft when Office 365 officially launches; these are essentially package deals with steep discounts on the services not included for free. Some of these offers actually include a copy of Office 2010 Professional  so that both the rich desktop clients and the cloud-based server applications can be used to meet student needs.

The offers specifically are:

a1 (academic 1) – entry level, exchange, link, sharepoint for faculty – $6 per staff/month (free for students)

a2 -All features in a1 plus Office Web Apps – $10 per staff/month (free for students)

a3 – All features in a2 plus Office 2010 Professional Plus (available as a managed subscription service for  $14/user/month ($2/user/month for students) and manageability features)

a4 – All features in a3 plus on-premise voice capability (Microsoft reps suggested removing an old PBX system in a dorm and moving to VOIP or for creating an international workgroup that requires face-to-face meetings) (17/user/mo for faculty or staff and $5/month for students).

The leapfrog ends with extremely tight integration across all of the cloud-based applications in Office 365. Everything works together quite seamlessly and integrates fully with Active Directory. Google Apps often shows the disparate roots of multiple startup companies whose products became Google Spreadsheets and Google Docs. Office 365 for Education, on the other hand, provides a visually consistent interface that is designed to launch applications and surface backend data whenever necessary.

This leaves us with 2 questions:

  • Is going with Google Apps for Education a mistake
    in the face of all of this free, well-built collaborative technology?

  • Is it worth hopping on the Live@Edu bandwagon now when Office 365 for Education will be available “sometime in 2011??
For the first question, the answer is absolutely not! Google Apps is easy, straigtforward, and will, no doubt, make huge strides to catch up with Office 365. If I had to choose between the two right now, I’d pick Office 365.
For the second question, this is a bit like deciding between the iPad now and waiting for the iPad 2 a few months from now. While Microsoft wouldn’t confirm, I expect that schools moving to Live@Edu will have an easy path to becoming Office 365 schools.
Bottom line, Microsoft’s Office 365 for Education platform really is the next generation of learning productivity tools. Check back for followups as more details crystallize around its formal launch and I highlight cool use cases teachers dream up for these tools. It’s going to be an interesting year!

#Chromium Blog: HTML Video Codec Support in Chrome (#H264 #html5)

HTML
Video Codec Support in Chrome

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

The web’s open and community-driven development model is a key factor in its
rapid evolution and ubiquitous adoption. The WebM Project was launched
last year to bring an open, world-class video codec to the web. Since the
launch, we’ve seen first-hand the benefits of an open development model:

  • Rapid performance
    improvements
    in the video encoder and decoder thanks to contributions from
    dozens of developers across the community

  • Broad adoption by
    browser, tools, and hardware
    vendors

  • Independent
    (yet compatible) implementations that not only bring additional choice for
    users, publishers, and developers but also foster healthy competition and
    innovation
  • We expect even more rapid innovation in the web
    media platform in the coming year and are focusing our investments in those
    technologies that are developed and licensed based on open web principles. To
    that end, we are changing Chrome’s HTML5
    support to make it consistent with the codecs already supported by the open
    Chromium project. Specifically, we are supporting the WebM (VP8) and Theora
    video codecs, and will consider adding support for other high-quality open
    codecs in the future. Though H.264 plays an important role in video, as our goal
    is to enable open innovation, support for the codec will be removed and our
    resources directed towards completely open codec technologies.

    These
    changes will occur in the next couple months but we are announcing them now to
    give content publishers and developers using HTML
    an opportunity to make any necessary changes to their sites.

Pretty bold…