Nov 17

In 4 days and 12 hours Xbox One will launch… Last 12 months have been crazy busy building it, excited to see it all come together. Smile

Xbox One
Oct 31

Good CNET article on XBox Music.

Getting started with Xbox Music on Windows 8

Xbox Music is the new streaming music service from Microsoft. We’ll show you how to get started with Xbox Music on Windows 8.

Ed Rhee

by Ed Rhee

October 31, 2012 12:06 PM PDT

Xbox Music on Windows 8(Credit: Screenshot by Ed Rhee/CNET)

Xbox Music

Xbox Music was initially announced in June of this year and released toXbox 360 users first. When Windows 8 reached general availability on October 26, Xbox Music became available to all Windows 8 users as well. Like Spotify, Microsoft’s new music service can stream full songs on demand, as well as play taste-based radio like Pandora. Here’s what you need to know to get started with Xbox Music on Windows 8:

To begin using Xbox Music, click on the orange Music tile on your Windows 8 Start screen and sign in with a Microsoft account.

Streaming songs on demand
To start listening to music right away, click on “Play an artist” and enter the name of an artist you want to listen to. A random selection of songs by that artist will begin playing immediately.

To play specific songs or albums, you can browse music from the All Music and Top Music sections. You can also use the Win+Q shortcut to perform a quick search.

Xbox Music search in Windows 8

Click to enlarge.

(Credit: Screenshot by Ed Rhee/CNET)

Once you’ve found music that you like, you can add it to a playlist by right-clicking on the track/album details. The control bar will appear at the bottom of the screen with the option to add the song or album to a playlist. In addition to playlists, you can also add songs or albums to My Music. When looking at track/album details, you’ll see the option to “Add to my music.”

Xbox Music control bar

Click to enlarge.

(Credit: Screenshot by Ed Rhee/CNET)

Smart DJ
Smart DJ is a taste-based radio feature, similar to Pandora and Spotify Radio. Just click on “New Smart DJ” and enter an artist. It will begin playing music right away and add the new Smart DJ station to My Music. Unfortunately, Smart DJ doesn’t have a rating system, so you can’t customize the station as you go along.

Adding your own music
To add your own music to My Music, open Windows Explorer (Win+E) and copy your music files to the My Music library. When you go back into Xbox Music, you’ll see your music in the My Music section.

Windows 8 My Music library(Credit: Screenshot by Ed Rhee/CNET)

Managing My Music
You can manage the music in My Music by clicking on the heading. You’ll be able edit playlists, delete Smart DJ stations, and remove albums and songs.

Xbox My Music management

Click to enlarge.

(Credit: Screenshot by Ed Rhee/CNET)

That’s it. Don’t forget that you can also look at your account details and set other preferences from within the Xbox Music app by using the Win+I shortcut

Getting started with Xbox Music on Windows 8 | How To – CNET

Jun 10
Sep 28

5 lessons in social media from Home Depot executive. Pretty good article.

  1. You can’t control the conversation
  2. Be authentic
  3. It’s about people
  4. Your people need hands-on expertise in what customers care about
  5. Be patient and flexible

At Home Depot (HD), we first realized we needed to have a real conversation with our customers back in 2007. A blogger flamed us about customer service in a post that drew thousands of comments. In the past we might have responded in a corporate voice, but our chief executive officer took a different tack. He wrote a personal response in the comments, acknowledging that the blogger was right and that we had to work to improve.

Social media has since become a way for us to improve our customer service—not merely a vehicle for us to talk about it. In 2008 we started on Twitter, but many of the solutions our customers were looking for needed more than 140 characters. In 2009 we launched our Facebook page and a year later started a DIY (do it yourself) community online.

One of our more important decisions was to use store associates in much of our social interaction. They are the ones with the project and product expertise customers need. It was the right choice.

Here are five lessons we’ve learned about social media from our own still-evolving experience.

Five Social Media Lessons for Business – BusinessWeek

Jul 07

Article in Windows 7 News on Light Switch. Light Switch is really awesome… Smile 

Microsoft’s LightSwitch to Launch on July 26. This program will give developers a simpler and faster way to create high-quality business applications for the desktop and the cloud. LightSwitch is a new addition to the Visual Studio family.

LightSwitch 100x100 Microsofts LightSwitch to Launch on July 26

Create Custom Business Applications

Microsoft may not be winning the Mobile Phone war, but it is certainly on top of the PC war. With LightSwitch Microsoft hopes to let developers build custom applications that rival off-the-shelf solutions.  In this way, when developers want to pursue more serious applications that are not “Apps” Microsoft shows a way to do this. There will be pre-configured screen templates that give your application a familiar look and feel. There is prewritten code and other reusable components to handle routine application tasks, along with step-by-step guidance tools. However, if you need to write custom code, you can use Visual Basic .NET or C#. You can deploy to the desktop, browser, or cloud to share your application with others more easily without the cumbersome installation processes.

System Data Access

LightSwitch supports exporting data to Excel, and you can also attach your application to existing data sources like SQL Server, Microsoft SQL Azure, SharePoint, Microsoft Office Access (post-Beta), and other third-party data sources.

Lightswitch will also allow developers to create custom applications in tune with the way you do business. This will let developers build a scalable application that matches your current needs now and in the future. This doesn’t tie developers down to current technologies. Indeed, applications can grow to meet the technical demands of applications using the Microsoft Windows Azure Cloud Hosting option.

Extend Applications

The development environment for LightSwitch is Visual Studio. With this tool LightSwitch includes a lot of pre-built components .  LightSwitch applications  will support extensions for templates, data sources, shells, themes, business data types and custom controls. Get extensions from component vendors or develop them yourself using Visual Studio Professional, Premium or Ultimate.

You can compare Lightswitch with Visual studio.

You can download the Lightswitch Beta Version.

Lightswitch, a developers tool, will launch on July 26

Jul 05

Another great solution build on BizTalk RFID by S3Edge.

BloodCenter of Wisconsin Blood Center Expects to Automate Product Tracking, Cut Costs with RFID Solution

BloodCenter of Wisconsin provides blood and blood products to hospitals for patients in need throughout the state. In consortium with partners, the center wanted to create an automated, efficient way to reconcile and track blood products and containers. It plans to deploy a radio frequency identification solution based on Microsoft BizTalk Server RFID 2010. Once the solution is implemented, the organization expects to streamline processes, reduce errors, lower costs, and improve efficiency.

Microsoft Case Study: Microsoft SQL Server 2008 – BloodCenter of Wisconsin

Jul 01
Feb 06

I always believed Android was the other one… People who could not get IPhone went for Android. Smile This survey just confirms that. IPhone is just going to take over the phone market.

For Blackberry users it’s 66%, and nearly a quarter are willing to stand in line to get one

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Source: uSamp

We’re not familiar with the work of uSamp, a high-tech online research firm based in Los Angeles, but if the results of the survey (PDF) they released last week are accurate, Research in Motion (RIMM) is in trouble and the run on Google (GOOG) Android phones is about to hit a wall.

Drawing from a pool of 4.7 million panelists, uSamp asked a sample of 727 AT&T (T) and Verizon (VZ) smartphone owners how likely they were to switch to Verizon’s version of Apple’s (AAPL) iPhone next Thursday, Feb. 10, the first day it goes on sale.

The results are posted in full below the fold. The key findings:

  • Among Android owners, 44% are either very likely (19%) or somewhat likely (25%) to buy an iPhone on Feb. 10.
  • Among RIM owners, 66% are very likely (32%) or somewhat likely (34%) to switch on Day One.
  • Nearly a quarter (24%) of the Android and RIM switchers say they’d be willing to stand in line to get one of the first Verizon iPhones.
  • Owners of AT&T (T) iPhones are less likely to switch (8% very likely, 18% somewhat) but the switchers are more likely (29%) than RIM or Android owners to stand in line that first day. Perhaps they have more practice queuing up for an iPhone.

Survey: 44% of Verizon Android users likely to switch to iPhone on Day One – Apple 2.0 – Fortune Tech

Jan 31

Awesome article questioning if Google is new Microsoft. Google has not been able to build new businesses outside of search. It has tried but failed again and again… Actually on that front Microsoft has many Billion+ dollar businesses other than Windows and Office, there is SQL Server, SharePoint, XBox… Good article.

Investors are starting to ask such questions as how the search engine will cope with the social-networking onslaught

ByMathew Ingram

partner logo

One of the justifications that Google (GOOG) provided for former Chief Executive Eric Schmidt’s move into the chairman role and the reemergence of co-founder Larry Page as CEO was the need to become more flexible by speeding up decision-making at the search giant.

Bloomberg Businessweek magazine looks at that issue in a new cover story on the company, which describes how Google is trying to save itself from "the ossification that can paralyze large corporations." But what if Google’s biggest problem isn’t a lack of flexibility or the speed of its decision-making, but a fundamental cultural inability to create new lines of business that can keep the company growing? What if it’s just a gargantuan one-trick pony?

What If Google Is Just a One-Trick Pony? – BusinessWeek

Jan 14

This is great… Smile