Tag Archives: MSN

ICYMI – Six Updates and a New SDK

Dev Center Acquisition & Engagement Platform

Successful developers use various channels to spread the word about their apps, such as Facebook, Twitter, popular blogs or Windows Dev Center’s own “Promote your app” feature. We’ve grown this solution over the past two and a half years, evolving it into a complete platform with machine-learning algorithms to maximize user acquisition and engagement campaign ROI.

Adding UWP Features to Existing PC Apps

In addition to Windows Store distribution and modern deployment technology, the Desktop Bridge enables you to use exciting Universal Windows Platform (UWP) features and capabilities that were previously unavailable to existing PC software.

Creator’s Update is next week!

Join our livestreamed event on February 8, 2017 to see what’s new for developers in the Windows 10 Creators Update, what it means for your apps and games, and more about Microsoft’s latest developer products. Whether you’re building for the web or UWP, the latest consumer app or line-of-business tool, there’s something in it for you.

Advertise Across Premium Platforms

The first and most important reason to use premium platforms is wider reach. Microsoft premium platforms such as MSN, Outlook, Skype and Solitaire collection are used by millions of users daily, and now your ad campaigns have a chance to showcase your awesome app when they interact on these platforms.

A triple-win with Playtem

Playtem’s monetization strategy is really interesting. The platform, currently available for Unity games deployed to UWP, iOS and Android, combines both ads and in-app purchases.

The latest Desktop Converter update is now in the Windows Store

Desktop App Converter is a tool that enables you to bring your existing desktop apps written for .NET 4.6.1 or Win32 to the Universal Windows Platform (UWP). You can run your desktop installers through the converter in an unattended (silent) mode and obtain an AppX package that you can sideload on your machine or upload to the Windows Store.

Windows 10 SDK Preview Build 15021!

Check it out here: http://wndw.ms/KEXB94

The Windows team would love to hear your feedback. Please keep the feedback coming using our Windows Developer UserVoice site. If you have a direct bug, please use the Windows Feedback tool built directly into Windows 10.

A complete user acquisition & engagement platform

With so many apps getting published to the Windows Store daily, it can be a challenge to attract and acquire new customers. Successful developers use various channels to spread the word about their apps, such as Facebook, Twitter, popular blogs or Windows Dev Center’s own “Promote your app” feature. We’ve grown this solution over the past two and a half years, evolving it into a complete platform with machine-learning algorithms to maximize user acquisition and engagement campaign ROI.

Major milestones during the user acquisition & engagement platform journey

Our platform now lets you use objective-driven ad campaigns, where you can choose to acquire more customers or re-engage with your existing customers. With the recent launch of Universal campaigns, your app can get in front of customers interacting with Microsoft premium surfaces such as MSN, Outlook, Skype, Microsoft solitaire collection, etc.

The Dev Center user acquisition and engagement platform capabilities are tailored to meet the needs of every developer. You can start with zero dollars using community ad campaigns to advertise your app for free in other apps (in exchange for showing ads for other apps in yours).

You can also promote one of your apps in your other apps using house ad campaigns – again, for free. Even more effective are our paid ad campaigns, with a great return on investment for both app install and app re-engagement campaigns.

In addition, we have recently released our APIs so that you can use the campaign creation/update and reporting information with your organization’s built-in tools.

Universal user acquisition & engagement platform

Finally, for developers interested in running larger ad campaigns, we provide extra support with additional features:

  • $50,000 per campaign limit instead of the regular $5,000
  • Higher thresholds for billing campaigns
  • 1:1 product management team support to help tune your campaigns
  • Third-party tracking SDK support
  • Custom campaign dates
  • Custom user segment generation for huge volume goals

For info about qualifying for these features, reach us at aiacare@microsoft.com.

Whether you’re a developer just starting your journey with the Windows app ecosystem or a top developer looking to find users for your next hit title, the Dev Center user acquisition and engagement platform can help you reach more customers and grow your success.

How do I get started?

If you haven’t already used the app promotion capability, follow these steps to create a new ad campaign:

  • Click on the “Dashboard” after your log in to your Windows Dev Center account.
  • Click on the “Promotions” tab under the Main menu.
  • Click on “New Campaign” to create a new user acquisition or user engagement campaign.

Check out the documentation for more details, then give it a try! If you’ve got suggestions to make these features even more useful, please let us know at Windows Developer Feedback.

Go Universal! Now your ad campaigns can reach users across Microsoft premium surfaces like MSN, Outlook and Skype

Here’s your New Year’s gift from Windows Store team. The “Promote Your App” ad campaigns that delivered ad creatives in other apps in the Windows eco-system just got a major update.

We are happy to announce the launch of universal campaigns that will deliver your ads across Microsoft premium surfaces such as MSN.com, Outlook.com, and Skype, as well as games like the Microsoft solitaire collection.

Why should I use universal campaigns?

The first and the most important reason is wider reach. Microsoft premium surfaces such as MSN, Outlook, Skype and Solitaire collection are used by millions of users daily, and now your ad campaigns have a chance to showcase your awesome app when they interact on these surfaces.

Second, your ad campaigns will now get a very wide variety of touch points. Studies have shown that media-mix models can fetch your company multi-fold revenues. In the context of app promotions, it is the app installs and app engagements that can grow multi-fold.

MSN is primarily used in the context of news and entertainment, while Skype is used for personal communication and Outlook is used for email. Many Windows customers spend a fair amount of time playing popular games like Microsoft Solitaire. Your ad can now capture the attention of users in all these different situations, as well as improve recall and conversion rates.

Finally, the allocation of budget among the Microsoft surfaces is driven by powerful machine-learning algorithms. These algorithms start with finding the right set of users who should be exposed to your ad campaign, and then measure the effectiveness of each surface to adjust the target user profiles and budget allocations. Rest assured, these algorithms are working to give you the best possible ROI.

How do I get started?

  1. All campaigns that use auto-targeting will be universal campaigns by default. To use auto-targeting, make sure Automatic is selected for the Audience section of your campaign settings in the Dev Center dashboard.
  1. If you wish to create a manually targeted campaign, make sure you choose Universal for the Surface setting in the Audience section of your campaign.

Give it a try!  If you’ve got suggestions for how we can make these features even more useful, please let us know at Windows Developer Feedback.

A first look at Windows 10 — Weekend Reading: Oct. 3rd Edition

In this edition of Weekend Reading, we’ve got stories on the introduction of Windows 10, the relationship between Microsoft and the NFL, and a YouthSpark expedition into the jungle with five young technologists.

Terry Myerson, executive vice president, Operating Systems, introduced Windows 10 as “the first step of a whole new generation of Windows.” Windows 10 will run across a broad set of devices – from the Internet of Things, to servers in enterprise datacenters worldwide. “We’re not talking about one UI to rule them all – we’re talking about one product family, with a tailored experience for each device. And across this breadth of devices, we are delivering one application platform for our developers. Whether you’re building a game or a line-of-business application, there will be one way to write a universal app that targets the entire family. There will be one store, one way for applications to be discovered, purchased and updated across all of these devices.”

Now that the NFL season is in full swing, fans and teams can find new and better ways to experience this fall favorite thanks to the ongoing collaborative sponsorship between Microsoft and the NFL. Through the Microsoft NFL app for Xbox One, fantasy football aficionados and amateurs can fully engage in the fierce competitiveness that defines the fun and the drama of this pastime within a pastime. And on the field, players and coaches are using the specially designed Microsoft Surface Sideline Viewing System.​

Five young technologists who entered Microsoft YouthSpark’s “Challenge for Change” contest are thrust into a situation that will challenge them to the core, and in doing so, change them forever. They sent in ideas for how to use technology to make their communities better. Then, they were named among 20 finalists and after public voting online, they each won a pile of Microsoft technology, $2,500 for their projects and a two-week trip to Ecuador to help them boost their leadership skills and galvanize their knack for creating change.

The new MSN arrived. The new MSN rolled out Monday to more than 425 million people in 50 countries that come to the site each month. The top of the homepage now has one-click access to all favorite services including Outlook.com, Office, OneNote, OneDrive, Skype, Facebook and Twitter. It provides a global, comprehensive perspective from thousands of authoritative sources across 11 categories and it’s easy to personalize based on your interests. With this release, there is now one unified, consistent Azure-powered experience that spans the apps on Windows 8.1 devices to MSN in the cloud. While Bing will continue to provide search and intelligent experiences, now the apps will be branded to reflect their alignment with MSN.

HP General

Microsoft Office released a preview of a new content creating tool and new Office 365 plans for small and mid-sized business. Office Sway provides an easy way to make and share interactive creations. A “Sway” is the canvas you create using Sway. Drop in your content from your cloud storage, your devices or social networks. Sway’s built-in design engine takes the hassle out of formatting your content, integrating it into a cohesive layout as you work. New Office 365 plans for small and mid-sized businesses became available this week. They offer more flexibility, with the ability to mix and match plans to meet specific employees’ needs. They also provide more value by offering additional services such as Yammer.

Fans of games and apps found sales, updates and new additions to the Stores. The latest Red Stripe Deals give you discounts of at least 50 percent, for instance. Now, you can tell Cortana to “Shazam” that song on the radio. Get your motor running and head out on the highway with the App of the Week, “Asphalt Overdrive.” And, the Sibos financial conference revealed new apps and services from Microsoft customers and partners.

This week on the Microsoft Facebook page, we asked fans about their passions outside of work. Tell us how you own your #5to9.

5To9_EOD

Thanks for checking out this edition of Weekend Reading. Hope your first fall weekends are going well. See you next week!

Posted by Athima Chansanchai
Microsoft News Center Staff

Bing apps get updated, now branded MSN

The Bing apps have been providing people with a set of really awesome immersive vertical experiences around Weather, News, Sports, Finance, Travel, Health & Fitness, and Food & Drink on devices running Windows 8.1 and Windows Phone 8.1. They are some of my favorite apps and highly recommended. With today’s updates, these apps will now have one unified and consistent Azure-powered experience across all these devices to MSN in the cloud. These apps will now be branded to reflect their alignment to the MSN premium experience for content as well as personal productivity features. Bing will continue to provide search and intelligent experiences such as powering Cortana. All the apps will retain their existing names except for Bing Finance which will now be MSN Money.

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As part of today’s updates, the Health & Fitness and Weather apps now make it easy to access information from these apps right on the Lock screen of your Windows Phone. Now at quick glance, you will be able to see the latest weather from the Weather app right on your Lock screen. And if you have a Nokia Lumia 1520, 635, or 630 smartphone, you will now be able to keep track of steps taken via the pedometer and GPS tracker in the Health & Fitness app also right on your Lock screen. You don’t need to unlock your phone and launch the individual apps!

Read about these app updates as well as the new MSN launch happening today here in this blog post.

The new MSN arrives

Earlier this month, we unveiled a first look at the new MSN. Over the past 3 weeks, nearly 10 million of you took the opportunity to test out the new site and more than 80,000 of you even took the time to tell us what you thought. Based on your feedback, we have made numerous changes to the site. From everyone here, a sincere thank you.

Over the next 72 hours, we will roll out the new MSN to the more than 425 million people in over 50 countries around the world that come to the site each month. In addition, people using Windows and Windows Phone 8.1 will have the option to update their devices to the new MSN apps starting today. At the top of the homepage, you will see easy one-click access to all of your favorite services including Outlook.com, Office, OneNote, OneDrive, Skype, Facebook and Twitter.

The new MSN is here

The new MSN is completely built from the ground up on Azure to provide massive, cost-effective scale (with more than 30,000 Azure cores for serving and 100 Terabytes of storage), reliability, and ongoing agility for a cloud-first, mobile-first world. Every single line of code was re-written to ensure that you have one consistent experience regardless of whether you are accessing your stocks in MSN Money, your favorite sports teams in MSN Sports, or your recipe collections in MSN Food & Drink. All of those experiences will always be with you across your devices.

The new MSN provides a global, comprehensive perspective from thousands of worldwide, authoritative sources across 11 categories. It’s simple to personalize what you want to see based on your interests. In the coming months, we will release a suite of MSN apps across iOS and Android to complement today’s release of the Windows and Windows Phone apps. You only need to set your favorites once, and your preferences will be connected across MSN, Cortana, Bing and other Microsoft experiences.

MSN app updates arrive on Windows 8.1

In Windows 8, we introduced Bing Apps to help you explore your world with a set of immersive vertical experiences. With today’s release, we now have one unified, consistent Azure-powered experience that spans the apps on your Windows 8.1 device to MSN in the cloud. While Bing will continue to provide search and intelligent experiences, now the apps will be branded to reflect their alignment with MSN as a premium experience for content, combined with personal productivity features. Aside from Bing Finance, which will now be MSN Money, all of the apps retain their existing names.

MSNPreviewLaunchMSN_Web

We are also rolling out updates to the Health & Fitness and Weather apps, making it easier to access what’s happening from the lock screen of your phone. Now at a glance, you will see up-to-the-minute weather statuses from the Weather app. If you’re running the Nokia 1520, 630 or 635, you can keep track of steps taken via the pedometer and GPS tracker in the Health and Fitness App directly from the lock screen. No need to launch the individual apps.

MSN apps

World class content

With the new MSN, we focused on bringing the best-in-class content from the leaders in both content and data from around the world. In the U.S., some of our premier partners include The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, CNN, AOL (including TechCrunch and Huffington Post) and Condé Nast (including Vanity Fair, Epicurious, Bon Appétit).

Worldwide, we’re excited to showcase The Yomiuri Shimbun and The Asahi Shimbun in Japan; Sky News, The Guardian and the Telegraph in the United Kingdom, NDTV and Hindustan Times in India, Le Figaro and Le Monde in France, and many more.

As autumn has just arrived, we urge people to go check out the site and customize the Sports experience to showcase your favorite NFL team or peruse the Food & Drink section to find that perfect recipe for fall.

Weekend Reading: September 12th Edition—Rebuilt MSN combines content from media outlets with personal productivity tools

As we head into autumn, we’ve got stories on a revamped MSN, the expanded availability of the Surface Pro 3 docking station and highlights of the YouthSpark program as it enters its third year.

The new Web experience of the rebuilt MSN merges premium content from the world’s leading media outlets with personal productivity tools. “With a quick hover, you can easily check your email, browse your OneDrive, or even access your OneNote notebooks. We’ve also integrated popular sites like Facebook, Twitter, Office 365 and Skype,” writes Brian MacDonald, Microsoft corporate vice president, on The Official Microsoft Blog. The preview is now available.

The Surface Pro 3 docking station is now available in 28 markets. The Surface Pro 3 becomes a powerful three-in-one device – tablet, laptop and desktop – when it’s clicked into the docking station. The docking station has a Mini DisplayPort for HD video of up to 4,096-by-2,304 resolution, a Gigabit Ethernet port for up to 1 Gbps for wired network speeds, and five USB ports, including three high-speed USB 3.0 ports.

Surface Pro 3 docking station

Surface Pro 3 docking station

As YouthSpark enters its third year, Lori Forte Harnick, general manager for Citizenship & Public Affairs, shares how its programs are expanding. Two years after YouthSpark launched, it has created education, employment and entrepreneurship opportunities for 227 million young people in more than 100 countries. Upcoming is an updated Microsoft Digital Literacy curriculum, delivering Microsoft IT Academy broadly for the first time through YouthSpark nonprofit partners worldwide. The TEALS (Technology Education and Literacy in Schools) program is also placing more software engineers as volunteer computer science teachers in 131 high schools across 18 states, plus the District of Columbia.

Got a big file to share? You can now upload files of up to 10GB on OneDrive. Using the OneDrive desktop apps for Windows and Mac, any of the OneDrive mobile apps and the OneDrive website, you can now upload files of up to 10GB total on OneDrive. “We recognized that people not only have more files than they did before, but they have bigger files as well,” writes Jason Moore, OneDrive group program manager. You can also drag folders directly into OneDrive.com “from browsers where folder dragging/dropping is supported (specifically Google Chrome).”

OneDrive

OneDrive

The Xbox world saw the introduction of Bungie’s “Destiny,” the digital pre-order and pre-download of “FIFA 15” and the final “Forza Horizon 2” car reveal. “Destiny” is now available for Xbox One and Xbox 360. “FIFA 15” – due out Sept. 23 for Xbox One – is now available for digital pre-order and pre-download. To celebrate the launch of the game, two “FIFA 15” game bundles are available for pre-order globally through the Xbox Store on the console or online. And for all you car lovers, the “Forza Horizon 2” full 210-car list is finally available. Vroom, vroom!

Apps and games flourished in the Windows Store and Windows Phone Store, including those that challenge your mind, indulge your fantasy life and keep everyone in the loop on projects. The App of the Week unleashes your inner enigmatologist with the NYT Crossword for Windows and Windows Phone. The weekly Red Stripe Deals save you at least 50 percent on “Plants vs. Zombies” and much more. “Order & Chaos Duels” is now in the Windows Store. But if you need more fantasy battles, try “Dark Lands” from the Windows Store and Windows Phone Store, or “SoulCraft 2” from the Windows Store and the Windows Phone Store. Back in the real world, Wunderlist is the ultimate destination if you’re in search of one stop to capture ideas, to-dos and places to see.

NYT Crossword

NYT Crossword

This week on the Microsoft Facebook page, we got in the game with the help of a Kinect for Windows.

Thanks for checking out this edition of Weekend Reading. Enjoy that blissful transition between summer and fall! See you next week!

Posted by Athima Chansanchai
Microsoft News Center Staff

A first look at the new MSN

For nearly two decades, MSN has been a place where millions of us go every day to discover and connect with what’s important in our lives. Whether it’s a great article that sparks us to think differently or following our favorite sports team, MSN has always aspired to keep us in the know.

At the same time, how we explore, discover and interact with our favorite content has changed in profound ways. It’s become increasingly hard to keep up with all of the information swirling around the Internet, let alone do something meaningful with information once we’ve found it.

Looking at this landscape, we have rebuilt MSN from the ground up for a mobile-first, cloud-first world. The new MSN brings together the world’s best media sources along with data and services to enable users to do more in News, Sports, Money, Travel, Food & Drink, Health & Fitness, and more. It focuses on the primary digital daily habits in people’s lives and helps them complete tasks across all of their devices. Information and personalized settings are roamed through the cloud to keep users in the know wherever they are.

People around the globe can try out the new Web experience today at preview.msn.com. We’re excited to talk about the details here for the first time.

Introducing the new MSN

New MSN 2

At the top of the MSN homepage, users have quick access to what we call the Services Stripe. This allows easy access to personal services to stay on top of what’s happening in your life. With a quick hover, you can easily check your email, browse your OneDrive, or even access your OneNote notebooks. We’ve also integrated popular sites like Facebook, Twitter, Office 365 and Skype.

Additionally, the new MSN presents actionable information together with content and personal productivity tools like shopping lists, a savings calculator, a symptom checker, a 3D body explorer, and more.

A clean, fresh design makes it easy to find and enjoy content that interests you. You can reorder categories and interests to reflect your tastes.

New MSN 3

One of our goals was to make it simple to personalize what you want to see regardless of which device you use. In the coming months, we will release a suite of MSN apps across iOS and Android to complement our corresponding Windows and Windows Phone apps. You only need to set your favorites once, and your preferences will be connected across MSN, Cortana, Bing and other Microsoft experiences. Whether it is your watchlist of stocks in MSN Money, your favorite sports teams in MSN Sports, or your recipe collections in MSN Food & Drink, those things will always be with you at your PC at work, on your iPad in the living room, or on your Android phone when you are on the go.

Comprehensive & best-in-class 

Throughout all of the categories in the new MSN, including News, Sports, Money, Travel, Food & Drink, and Health & Fitness, it is a key tenet of MSN that every experience provide a global, comprehensive perspective from thousands of worldwide, authoritative sources.

We’ve partnered with the world’s best to deliver on this goal:

  • In the US, some of our premier partners include The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, CNN, AOL (including TechCrunch and Huffington Post) and Condé Nast (including Vanity Fair, Epicurious, Bon Appétit).
  • Worldwide, we’re excited to include The Yomiuri Shimbun and The Asahi Shimbun in Japan; Sky News, The Guardian and the Telegraph in the UK, NDTV and Hindustan Times in India, Le Figaro and Le Monde in France, and many more.

Every MSN experience includes features to make users more productive and efficient in what they’re trying to achieve.  For example, in MSN News, you can set up topics to follow the news you care about. You can track “Game of Thrones” or “Ukraine” or “Obamacare” and MSN will keep you on top of relevant news – creating a newspaper whose sections are personalized for you.

New MSN 4

When you’re searching for recipes in MSN Food & Drink and find one that you want to prepare, you can convert the ingredients for that recipe into a shopping list that roams to your phone in just one click.

New MSN 5

These are just two examples – a brief taste of what’s coming with the new MSN.  To try out the whole experience for yourself, head over to preview.msn.com.