Archive for April, 2007
The Microsoft Sliverlight team have put together a Microsoft Silverlight DreamScene called ”Dusk” which they are releasing at MIX07 this week, in both standard 4:3 and widescreen 16:9 aspect ratios.
And though I have yet to see the offcial download links go up on the Microsoft Silverlight Homepage, Brandon has pointed out in his post, that you can download “Dusk” in both the Standard or Widescreen formats ahead of everyone else!
As well as being able to download them above, you can also check out a preview of it in his post at the new Windows Vista Experience Blog.
Here is a list of the cities with new or enhanced coverage.
Italy – Aerial and Birds eye coverage was already very good here. 73 new cities now have 15cm resolution aerial coverage
US Aerial – States of Indiana and Hawaii, Malibu, Joiliet, Miramar, San Francisco, Aurora, La Jolla, Naperville, Niagara Falls, Beaverton, La Mesa, Brooklyn, Portland, Indianapolis, Newark, Roseville, Columbus, Dallas Ft. Worth, Imperial, Juneau, Fairbanks
US Birds Eye Counties – Cleveland County OK, Chittenden County VT, Canadian County OK, Bernalillo County NM, Oklahoma County OK, Suffolk County NY, Chesapeake County VA, Franklin County NY, Wood County OH, Riverside County CA, Minneapolis Metro MN, Yates County NY, Douglas County CO,
Hamilton County IN
France Aerial – Bordeaux, Montpellier, Toulouse, Cannes, Nice, Monte Carlo
Canada Aerial – Toronto, Quebec City
Mexico Aerial - Puerto Vallarta
With the seven new and updated 3D cities being: Calgary, Redmond, Buffalo, Beaverton, Portland, Swindon and Brighton.
Microsoft has today announced a new collaboration service between Silverlight (previously named WPF/E) and Windows Live called “Microsoft Silverlight Streaming by Windows Live”.
Microsoft® Silverlight Streaming by Windows Live is a companion service for Silverlight that makes it easier for developers and designers to deliver and scale rich media as part of their Silverlight applications. The service offers web designers and developers a free and convenient solution for hosting and streaming cross-platform, cross-browser media experiences and rich interactive applications that run on Windows and Mac. Combined with the ability to create content with Microsoft® Expression Studio and other 3rd party tools, Web designers and content publishers wishing to integrate Silverlight applications into their online properties can enjoy complete control of the end user experience.
Microsoft® Silverlight Streaming by Windows Live can be used either directly from the administration web site (https://silverlight.live.com/) or via a REST API. The API allows you to upload, update, delete, and invoke Silverlight applications using the Silverlight Streaming service. Click here to view the complete API reference.
While the product is in pre-release, storage and delivery is free up to 4 GB, with outbound streaming up to DVD quality (700 Kbps). As we move out of Beta, developers/designers will have continued use of the service with up to 1 million minutes of free video streaming at 700 Kpbs per site per month. Unlimited streaming will also be available for free with advertising, or with payment of a nominal fee for the service for use without advertising.
If the Silverlight application contains a video, the video file must be smaller than 22 MB.
This is equivalent to a continuous video stream of 10 minutes at 300 Kbps. If the video stream is encoded at any higher bitrate, it will have to be shorter than 10 minutes.
For example, if the video stream is encoded at the highest allowed bitrate of 700 Kbps, the maximum length of the video is just below 4.3 minutes.
About Silverlight Streaming: To learn more about the benefits of Microsoft Silverlight Streaming by Windows Live, visit microsoft.com/silverlight/streaming.
For Developers and Designers: To learn more about how to program Microsoft Silverlight Streaming by Windows Live please review the SDK on dev.live.com/silverlight.
Learn about Microsoft Silverlight: Explore the possibilities of Microsoft Silverlight, a cross-browser, cross-platform plug-in for delivering the next generation of media experiences and rich interactive applications (RIAs) for the Web, visit microsoft.com/silverlight.
Reports of large scale earth tremors in the Deal and Folkestone areas of Kent (UK) at approximately 08:18 local time have been confirmed as an earthquake registering 4.7 in the richter scale.
More detailed infomration about the Earthquake can be found here.
Looks like Microsoft’s document recently titled “Improving E-mail Deliverability into MSN Hotmail and Windows Live Mail” has been updated to reflect some of the recent changes within Windows Live Hotmail, the document now titled “Improving E-mail Deliverability into Windows Live Hotmail” can be located here.
The document serves to provide an overview of the services, resources and best practices that marketers and online advertisers may utilize to improve their deliverability into Windows Live Hotmail and other receiving networks. As the tactics employed by spammers and deceptive mailers change, technologies, policies and processes will evolve to support the primary goal of improving end-user trust and confidence in e-mail and the Windows Live Platform.
Microsoft has recently made a small adjustment to its Windows Live Hotmail unsubscribe function that should mean good things for marketers.
Microsoft last August answered e-mail marketers’ calls to include an unsubscribe button in its interface so consumers will be less likely to mistakenly report permission-based commercial e-mail as spam.
The unsubscribe link appears in place of the report-and-delete button on some e-mails in Windows Live Hotmail, the free e-mail service replacing classic Hotmail.
To get the unsubscribe button to appear, the marketer must add a piece of code to the headers of outbound e-mail. Instructions on how to do this can be found at www.list-unsubscribe.com. The sender must also be on the receiver’s safe list, or Sender Score Certified by deliverability firm Return Path.
In the latest version of it free e-mail account service, a consumer who hits the unsubscribe button is taken to a Web page created by the marketer where they can indicate specifically what they want to opt out of.
Previously, a Hotmail user hitting the unsubscribe button would trigger an opt-out e-mail to the marketer who would then have no choice but to suppress the user’s address from all mailings even though the subscriber may have been opting out of only one particular newsletter or e-mail list.
With the new design, a marketer can set up a Web page that allows subscribers to manage their preferences, and, say, lower the frequency of mailings or opt of the one program from which they no longer want to hear without being lost to the marketer altogether.
Spinal Tap is back, and this time the band wants to help save the world from global warming.
The mock heavy metal group immortalized in the 1984 mockumentary, “This Is Spinal Tap,” will reunite for a performance at Wembley Stadium in London as part of the Live Earth concerts scheduled worldwide for July 7.
The original members of Spinal Tap will be there: guitarist Nigel Tufnel (played by Christopher Guest), singer David St. Hubbins (Michael McKean) and bassist Derek Smalls (Harry Shearer). Rob Reiner, who both directed “This Is Spinal Tap” and played the fake documentarian Marty DeBergi in the film, will also be in attendance.
Just heard from SFGate and Search Engine Land that Google the Mountain View search engine has outstripped Microsoft on two fronts, by becoming both the most visited Web site and the most valuable global brand.
For the first time, Google has edged ahead of Microsoft as the world’s most visited Internet property. Online measurement firm comScore Networks found that Google had just over a million more unique users in March than its arch-rival.
Google had 528 million unique visitors in March, up 5 percent from the previous month, according to comScore. Microsoft had 527 million visitors during the same month, up 3.7 percent.
Until theses latest rankings, Microsoft was the most popular Web property in every month since comScore began tracking global numbers in January 2006. And given the growth trends, Microsoft was undoubtedly No. 1 long before the survey was started, according to Bob Ivins, executive vice president for comScore.
But Google inched ahead based on its phenomenal popularity, not only in its core search business but also its e-mail service, online maps and personalized home pages. Not to mention the recent acquisition of YouTube, for $1.65 billion, which has also boosted Google’s count of unique visitors.
In comparison, Microsoft’s growth has been sluggish in recent years. It simply hasn’t been adding users fast enough to keep up.
Dane Glasgow, general manager for Windows Live Search, is leaving the company to work for various nonprofits and spend more time with his family, according to ZDNet’s Mary Jo Foley. Only last month did, Christopher Payne, VP of Windows Live Search, leave to start his own company. He was replaced by Satya Nadella, who had been heading the Microsoft Dynamics team in the Microsoft Business Division.
Foley quotes from an internal memo Nadella sent yesterday, which she gained access to:
With the Search team’s exit from planning complete, Dane Glasgow has decided to leave Microsoft to pursue non-profit interests and spend time with his family before taking on a new entrepreneurial challenge. Dane has worked in the services business at Microsoft for nearly 8 years, joining the company in 1999 through the acquisition of Jump Networks. During his time at Microsoft, Dane has worked on large scale services like Hotmail and Search as well as clients such as our Toolbar and Gadgets platform. Dane helped launch our Windows Desktop Search offering, worked to deliver our first release of Windows Live, and has been a strong advocate for incubation within the company. I thank Dane for his contributions, and wish him all the best in his future pursuits.
I am working with my leadership team and Dane’s existing directs to identify the right successor. During this time, Dane’s team will report directly to me. I have asked Ramez Naam to step in as the interim Director to ensure we streamline decision making and making sure that we stay on track with our Fall Release roadmap.”
The Windows Live Product Search Team has just released changes to Windows Live Product Search that boost customer-perceived relevance by increasing the number of query results with images to 88.6%. Previously, the number of query results with images was an average of 79.2%, with the rest having an empty white space, so this increase is clearly somewhat of an improvement. But there’s still some way to go until 100%.
But why aren’t there 100% images in the top results? The reason for this is largely because many sites, including very reputable merchants like Amazon.com, BestBuy.com, and AceHardwareSuperStore.com, block image crawling bots or seriously throttle them.
The Windows Live Product Search Team will have to work with these sites to address these issues, but for the time being will just have to stay with the current improvements, which if I may say so vary from good to bad results depending on the product you searched for!
Try it out for yourself at: http://products.live.com/ and let me know what you think!