Tag Archives: IFA

IFA 2015, a visit with Christina Chen and the latest Microsoft Garage apps roll out – Weekend Reading: Sept. 4 edition

Welcome back to another edition of Weekend Reading! We bring you stories about IFA 2015, fast-rising Microsoft exec Christina Chen and the latest wave of apps releasing through the Microsoft Garage.

IFA 2015, a leading trade show for consumer electronics and home appliances taking place in Germany, is showcasing new Windows 10 devices and featured Nick Parker, corporate vice president of Microsoft’s OEM Division, as its keynote speaker on Friday. “Windows 10 Lights Up New Devices” showcased many of the new devices, including tablets, 2-in-1s, premium notebooks, gaming devices and all-in-ones that will light up the Windows 10. Catch up on Parker’s post and more of this week’s news from the event at Blogging Windows.

Christina Chen, a fast-rising star at Microsoft, was recently named by Business Insider as one of the “most powerful women engineers in the world.” She is the general manager for Microsoft’s Emerging Devices Experiences team, building apps for new devices. She recently shipped four high-profile apps for wearables that some might call emblematic of a new, cross-platform era at Microsoft. And on top of that, she is responsible for fostering innovation within her larger organization through incubation, open sharing and code reuse. Check out her profile by the Stories team.

(L-R): Microsoft Snip team: Aravind Bala, Anoop Gupta and Jim Federico.(Photography by Scott Eklund/Red Box Pictures)

(L-R): Microsoft Snip team: Aravind Bala, Anoop Gupta and Jim Federico.(Photography by Scott Eklund/Red Box Pictures)

Snip, Keyboard for Excel and Snap to Pin are the three projects in the latest wave of releases from the Microsoft Garage. All are highly focused on improving core productivity tasks – such as screenshots with voice notes, number entry and saving articles for later reading – and making it easier for people to do things on the go. The Garage is dedicated to developing the hacking culture across Microsoft, and is the platform for Microsoft teams and individuals around the world to get cutting-edge apps and projects out to the public.

The Beagle Freedom Project became Microsoft’s 10th global nonprofit organization partner for the Upgrade Your World initiative. Its mission is to save the lives of laboratory animals and change the lives of people through rescue operations. Microsoft also announced that people can vote via social media for their favorite local nonprofit in 10 different countries for a chance to receive a donation. Announced with the July 29 launch of Windows 10, Upgrade Your World is a yearlong initiative that celebrates people and organizations doing great things, including a series of partnerships with 10 global and 100 local nonprofit organizations.

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New and updated apps and games continue to pour into the Windows Store. There’s something for everyone amongst the Red Stripe Deals, the Indie Game Spotlight collection and the App of the Week, iHeartRadio for Windows 10. On Xbox One, “Mad Max” takes you into the lone warrior’s post-apocalyptic world at full speed, and over Labor Day weekend, Xbox Live Gold members can play “Evolve” for free this weekend. Also new in the Xbox world: the Xbox One Elite Bundle, unveiled Monday.

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To kick off the week, we shared some Monday motivation from illustrator Hugh MacLeod. Follow along as we share more of his journey inside the heart and soul of Microsoft.

Hope you’re enjoying the end of summer! See you next week for another installment of Weekend Reading.

Posted by Athima Chansanchai
Microsoft News Center Staff

Weekend Reading: Sept. 5th Edition — New devices unveiled at IFA and Xbox One coming to 29 new markets

It may be time to put away those flip flops and linen whites, but there’s no post-Labor Day blues for Weekend Reading. We’ve got a September that’s already full of sizzle. Check it out.

It’s been an exciting week in Berlin at IFA, one of the world’s largest consumer electronics trade shows, where Microsoft announced additions to the Lumia line of devices, including the ultimate Skype and selfie phones, while Yezz also announced devices with Windows Phone 8.1. And there were tablets, tablets and more tablets, writes Nick Parker, Microsoft’s corporate vice president, original equipment manufacturer division. For more on the latest in devices and PC gaming announcements at IFA, check out Parker’s post.

That slight snap in the air means only one thing: football! After nailing most of the matches during the biggest global soccer event this summer, Bing Predicts is ready to call NFL games, which means virtual assistant Cortana is the secret weapon that could elevate you to pro pigskin oracle.

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Also in the category of awesome, Xbox One is coming to 29 new markets this month, Phil Spencer, head of Xbox, announced Tuesday. The new markets include: Chile, Colombia, Japan, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, Greece, Hungary, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Saudi Arabia, Slovakia, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey, the United Arab Emirates, Israel, Hong Kong, India, Korea, Singapore, South Africa, Taiwan and Russia, with Argentina in the works.

Want to know more about the people behind Bing? Check out this profile of Bing Data and Analytics Program Manager Kevin White and find out why red wine and data science make the perfect pairing.

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In other news this week, the Willis Independent School District in Texas announced it has chosen ASUS Transformer Book T100 tablets – equipped with Windows 8.1 and Microsoft Office Home & Student 2013 – over Chromebooks for its students citing “flexibility, portability and security.” Here here!

Never enough football? The NFL Now app, which boasts a personalized video stream of your favorite teams, players and coaches, as well as breaking news, interviews and feature stories, is now available in the Windows Phone Store and the Windows Store. More mid-century than mid-field? Check out “Time Mysteries 3: The Final Enigma” for Windows and Windows Phone, which brings the timeless story of Esther Ambrose and her family to a stunning conclusion. And because there is life after Labor Day, download the GroupMe app for Windows Phone to connect with friends and coworkers and get the next round of party planning going. Finally, your Windows Phone does more than help you manage your calendar, it can also help you keep track of your medical records and doctor visits with the Microsoft Health Vault.

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Here’s hoping there’s still a little sizzle left in your summer. See you back here for more hot news next week.

Posted by Aimee Riordan
Microsoft News Center Staff

Brand new Windows 8.1 devices innovate and impress at IFA 2014

This is an exciting week in Berlin with IFA, one of the largest consumer electronics trade shows in the world. We always look forward to seeing new technology innovation from the industry and supporting our partners as they announce new Windows devices coming to market for holiday.

One area we have seen incredible momentum over the last year is with new Windows Phones both from Microsoft and our OEM partners. At Mobile World Congress, Joe Belfiore and I had the pleasure of introducing nine new Windows Phone partners to the ecosystem, to help continue growing and scaling Windows Phone globally. Since then, we’ve announced 13 new Windows Phone partners from key markets including India, China, the U.S., Europe, APAC, Russia and Latin America. Here in the U.S., we just saw the new HTC One (M8) for Windows, while in India, we are seeing new phones from Micromax and Xolo and in Vietnam, there is the new Q-Smart. In Europe, Prestigio announced new Windows Phones and just at IFA, ARCHOS, Kazam and Yezz announced devices with Windows Phone 8.1. Microsoft also announced additions to the Lumia line of devices.

At Computex in June, I talked about our expanding ecosystem of partners, how they are helping us deliver a broad range of Windows devices across more price points and in new markets, and how we continue to invest and drive growth with our partners through innovation in our business model, software and services platforms. I’d like to highlight just a few of the coolest new Windows devices seen during IFA.

There is incredible innovation and creativity from our partners in the 2-in-1 category, and we are seeing a range of new devices to meet customer needs, whether it’s low-cost, versatility, mobility, productivity or all of these combined. The 2-in-1 is a great no-compromise solution and our OEM partners are delivering even more revolutionary features in each new device like the new Acer Aspire R13. For those that loved last year’s Aspire R7, Acer has taken this device to the next level with the hinges now on the side of the device, giving it a futuristic look and feel. HP is also continuing to innovate and improve on some of their most impressive designs. Just an hour ago, they announced two new additions to the HP ENVY x2 line of Windows PCs and they introduced the Pavilion x2. These thin and light detachable PCs are perfect for anyone that needs both a laptop and tablet but the convenience of just one device. And the 2-in-1 category is not just for fun, it’s about business too. Just a few hours ago, Lenovo announced the next generation of the business-ready ThinkPad Helix. This convertible device is now thinner, lighter and has improved battery life over the previous models. You will never have to worry if your laptop will make it through your next meeting at work, let alone worry if it will last the whole day.

More of our partners around the world are introducing new Windows tablets in a range of sizes, from 5 inches to 10 inches and larger. I had the chance to unveil a 7-inch device from Toshiba during Computex and Wednesday at IFA, they officially announced it as the Encore Mini. The beautiful little device offers the best of Windows and Office 365 Personal in an ergonomically designed, affordable, mobile package. If you have ever worried about breaking a phone or tablet, then you will be impressed by Panasonic’s announcement today bringing the ToughPad FZ-E1 to Europe. This rugged 5-inch tablet with Windows Embedded 8.1 can withstand the harshest environments, from being submerged in water to freezing temperatures to being dropped on concrete. It also has a 14-hour battery.

When it comes to value, many of our partners are shipping the $0 Windows SKU on smartphones and tablets that are less than 9 inches. There is incredible value in these devices, many of which include Office 365, OneDrive and Bing services to enhance the experience. For example, the newly announced Toshiba Satellite CL10-B Cloudbook offers the freedom to save and access files in the cloud, using one travel-friendly laptop that is coming this holiday at an incredibly affordable price. The brand new ASUS EeeBook X205 shown off yesterday will fit within any student’s budget as they head back to school. This affordable 11.6-inch laptop is priced at just $199.

For PC gaming, there are some special things that gamers want to see in a device and our partners are delivering. A great example is the new Acer Aspire V Nitro that was announced at Gamescon last month. While it is not your traditional gaming rig, the cutting-edge, slim design comes with Full HD IPS display, four built-in speakers with 8W output total and Dolby Digital Plus Home Theatre Dialog Enhancement technology. The Black Edition V Nitro series laptops have a special “Turbo Mode” that can be manually activated when heavy use requires added ventilation and enables 19 percent faster fan speed, and 11 percent lower CPU/GPU temperatures. Last week, Dell announced the all-new Alienware Area-51 with the Triad chassis industrial design engineered to provide superb thermal efficiency, amazing ergonomics, ease of access for upgrades and looks as powerful as it performs. Just announced at IFA is the new Lenovo ERAZER X310, which has 2TB of storage, though not all gaming needs that much power. For a family that is just looking for a computer to share and play all the great apps available on Windows, the latest in the Lenovo portable All-in-One line, the Horizon 2s and 2e, are a great solution. The slim 2s is 10 pounds lighter and perfect to take into the family room for a quick game or just to watch a movie.

It’s great to see the progress we’ve made in these areas with our partners, in just three months since Computex. There are more than 6,624 Windows 8 and Windows 8.1 certified products and our new local partners in the China Technology Ecosystem will bring more than 86 Windows tablets to market by holiday. Through a new strategic alliance with Gome Electrical Appliances, a major retailer in China, we have also launched a strategic platform to sell Windows tablets in the region.

The innovation on Windows devices certainly doesn’t stop here! We continue to work closely with our partners and are excited about the range of devices they are bringing to market for holiday.