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You Can Buy Windows 8.1 Enterprise Sideloading Rights For An Unlimited Number Of Devices For $100

Microsoft is making a number of announcements at the Build conference regarding sideloaded apps.  Businesses often have internal apps that they do not want to publish to the Windows Store.  Sideloading is a way of installing an app without going through the traditional process of finding and downloading the app from the Windows Store.  Sideloading can be managed by the IT department. Enterprises can now get rights to sideload apps very cheaply, for a little as $100: Enterprise Sideloading– In May, we will grant Enterprise Sideloading rights to organizations in certain Volume License programs, regardless of what product they purchase, at no additional cost. Other customers who want to deploy custom line-of-business Windows 8.1 apps can purchase Enterprise Sideloading rights for an unlimited number of devices through Volume Licensing at approximately $100. For additional information on sideloading licensing, review the Windows Volume Licensing Guide. Windows is also providing developers with new tools to leverage existing code to easily create and deploy touch-friendly business apps, and improve efficiency across devices, including:…

Microsoft Announces Updated Version Of Internet Explorer 11 For Windows

Microsoft yesterday officially announced an updated version of Internet Explorer 11 available with the Windows 8.1 Update and for Windows 7 customers as well as the debut of Internet Explorer 11 for Windows Phone 8.1. Microsoft also released two new experiences today – 22Tracks and FishGL that allows you to explore what’s new with IE11 across Windows and Windows Phone. If you are one among the people who browse the Web on many devices, switching between your laptop, tablet, and phone throughout the day, this update to IE11 means that whatever device you pick-up, your tabs and favorites are there for you, right where you left off. Windows 8.1 and Windows Phone 8.1 share the same experience and underlying Web standards that help developers build interoperable sites and apps that just work across many browsers and devices. That includes updates to the latest specs for hardware-accelerated (and stable) WebGL as well as professional quality rich media like HTML5 video including closed captioning, adaptive streaming, and rights management. Source: IE Blog

Japanese Bank Upgrades 30,000 PCs To Windows 8 From Windows XP

Microsoft Japan has announced that Resona Holdings Inc. has migrated approximately 30,000 client terminals to Windows 8 and Microsoft Office 2013. Resona Holdings, which had been running on group client terminals, completed the migration in February 2014, well before Microsoft ends support for Windows XP and Microsoft Office 2003 on April 9. This 30,000-unit deployment of Windows 8 and Microsoft Office 2013 is one of the largest ever made. Resona Holdings, which oversees the operations of Resona Bank, Saitama Resona Bank, Kinki Osaka Bank and other group companies, intends to become a “true retail bank that is highly trusted by our customers and the local community.” Its business revitalization plan prioritizes leveraging “All Resona” comprehensive capabilities, promoting cross-selling and reducing operational costs. The key features of Resona Holdings’ migration to Windows 8 and Office 2013 include the following: Significant cost savings by replacing approximately half the group’s client PCs, and by upgrading the software on PCs used for less than two years. Utilization of BitLocker Drive Encryption in Windows 8…

Microsoft Announces Bing Knowledge Widget & App Linking For Publishers And Developers

Bing just released a new app-linking feature that allows you to link your Windows and Windows Phone apps to web search results.  By surfacing app links alongside web search results, app linking helps boost discoverability and engagement of your apps.  If you’re a travel provider, for example, and on-board your Windows Phone app to the Bing app-linking feature, anyone who looks up “paris hotels” on Windows Phone would also see your app link alongside relevant search results for your website. With one click, users can then deep link to the content about Paris hotels in your app or, if the app isn’t installed on the device, users can easily install it. Over a dozen apps have already on-boarded, including Hulu, Foursquare, and TripAdvisor. Look up “Modern Family” in Windows 8.1 Smart Search and, with one click, you can deep link into the Hulu app and start watching the show. App Linking will be available for businesses. Bing Webmaster Tools will be the interface to linking a website to your app. Bing App…

Microsoft Details Enterprise Mode For Internet Explorer 11 In Windows 8.1

Many businesses have built internal web applications that rely on Internet Explorer 8.  This was perfectly fine for many years as Windows XP was still being supported.  But as end-of-life for XP is only days away they are upgrading their operating systems and web browsers.  To ease the pain of having to rewrite their web applications, Microsoft has introduced a “Enterprise Mode” within IE11 for Windows 7 and Windows 8.  As Microsoft describes it “A modern, up-to-date browser that helps customers extend their existing investments in older Web apps.” Some of the areas targeted by Enterprise Mode include: User agent string differences. Many legacy Web apps use browser detection, not today’s best practice of feature detection. By replicating the original Internet Explorer 8 user agent string, Enterprise Mode works for sites that fail if they can’t recognize IE8 as the browser. ActiveX controls and other binaries. Some ActiveX controls silently fail if they query the browser version and get a response they don’t expect, so Enterprise Mode appeases these by…

Microsoft Makes WinJS Cross-Platform And Open Source

Today Microsoft has open sourced the code of the Windows Library for JavaScript (WinJS).  It is being released under the Apache 2.0 license as an Open Source project by Microsoft Open Technologies (MS Open Tech). The source code is available now on GitHub where developers provide feedback, and submit contributions. Additionally, WinJS is taking its first steps to becoming cross-platform by supporting browsers and other devices. For those unfamiliar with WinJS here is some background from Microsoft program manager Maria Kang: WinJS is a JavaScript library that was first created for Windows 8 to enable first class, native-quality experiences in Windows Runtime apps using familiar web technologies like HTML, CSS, and JavaScript. The first version of WinJS provided high-quality infrastructure including page controls, promises, and data-binding. It also offered polished UI capabilities like virtualized collections and high performance controls such as ListView, FlipView, and semantic zoom. WinJS 2.0 was introduced with Windows 8.1 and added new UX patterns like the Hub control, and optimized performance for greater flexibility for designers and developers. WinJS was initially focused on native Windows Runtime apps,…

Microsoft Updates 3D Printing Support In Windows 8.1

Windows 8 was the first major operating system with native support for 3D printing.  Microsoft is even selling 3D printers within retail Microsoft Stores, did partnership with MakerBot, and built a 3D Builder app.  Microsoft has seen a good response from 3D printer manufacturers supporting Windows 8.  For example, Beijing TierTime announced Windows plug-and-pay drivers for their consumer 3D Printers at CES and Autodesk delivered Meshmixer, an easy to use consumer application, with a 3D File->Print experience. Microsoft has made a number of announcements regarding 3D printing at the Build conference. 3D Manufacturing Format (3MF) published The 3D Manufacturing Format (3MF) is available for download on MSDN (http://aka.ms/3dquickstart). 3MF is a file format that makes it possible to File->Print from an app to any supported 3D Printer on Windows. It is a file format specifically tailored for 3D Printing and Windows. 3MF supports colors, textures, scale, a print ticket containing recommended print options, and many other improvements. Printrbot plug-and-play Microsoft is delivering a 3D plug and play print driver for Printrbot’s new…

Microsoft Details New Enterprise Features In Windows 8.1 Update

Microsoft yesterday announced that Windows 8.1 Update is available on MSDN and TechNet. For consumers, it will be made available via Windows Update (WU) beginning on April 8th and for Volume Licensing customers later this month. This Windows 8.1 update delivers important capabilities designed for the enterprise that includes updated Internet Explorer 11 with new Enterprise Mode, extended Mobile Device Management and more. Read about it in detail below. Better Internet Explorer Compatibility – Enterprise Mode for Internet Explorer improves Internet Explorer 8 compatibility on Internet Explorer 11 for Windows 8.1 and Windows 7. Meaning that IE11, the most secure and enterprise-ready browser, can now run legacy IE8 web-based applications and modern sites seamlessly side-by-side. Companies can standardize on the latest version of Internet Explorer across all Windows 8.1 and Windows 7 devices, experiencing increased performance, improved security, better backward compatibility, and support for modern web standards. UI Improvements – The modern Windows UI and Windows Store apps are now easier for mouse and keyboard users: move your mouse to…

Microsoft Announces .NET Native Preview, A Compiler Technology That Makes Windows Store Apps Start Faster

Microsoft yesterday announced the first release of .NET Native. It is a next generation compiler technology that is making popular Windows Store apps start up to 60% faster and use 15-20% less memory when compiled with .NET Native. .NET Native compiles C# to native machine code that performs like C++. This first release is a Developer Preview that allows you to develop and test apps with this new compiler. This preview release of .NET Native offers you the performance of C++ with the productivity of C#. .NET Native continues to provide a first-class .NET developer experience in Visual Studio. You still get a great edit/compile/debug environment with productivity enhancers like Edit and Continue and code refactoring. You continue to upload MSIL app packages to the Windows Store. Our compiler in the cloud compiles the app using .NET Native in the Store, creating a self-contained app package that’s customized to the device where the app will be installed. .NET Native optimizes Store apps for device scenarios in all stages of compilation….

Microsoft Announces More Personal Bing.com With Cortana Inputs

In a blog post, Microsoft explained the technology behind Cortana, Bing.com and other Microsoft products that is making use of a platform that combines Bing’s massive investments towards indexing the real world, with speech recognition, language and entity understanding, and stream processing that, taken together, make Bing more personal, helpful and intelligent. Apart from Cortana, Microsoft is also planning to deliver a more Personal Bing.com for users. In the coming days, we are unveiling a set of personalized cards on the Bing homepage that capture things that matter to you. You can also experience Cortana like personalized and helpful approach on Bing.com. Now Bing can automatically help you keep track of the interests you care about. Just tag a topic in your Bing settingsand we will do the rest. Tag things you care about, and start seeing personalized news, weather, flights, stocks with more to come – all as part of the search experience you already love. These new homepage tiles are just the start of a new batch of…