What About Windows 8 Music App?

In case you are wondering about Microsoft Music app buzz on Windows 8 lately, I’d made a video to let you have a quick glimpse at it.  Anyhow, I forgot to mention few details about the Windows 8 Music app, but it was no big deal since the video wasn’t meant to be a complete tutorial or anything close to that sort for Windows 8 Music app.  Plus, the Windows 8 Music app is very simple to use anyway.  Besides you have to know when to do a right click on for whatever that needs to be right clicked on so a contextual menu could be brought up at the bottom of the Music app (or next to the very item within), Windows 8 Music app is rather self-explanatory.  Anyhow, check out the short video on Windows 8 Music app right after the break.  Enjoy!!!  (I wish I can do a screen capture correctly on Windows 8, but at the moment it is impossible since Camtasia Studio 8 isn’t working correctly on Windows 8 for me.)

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Sometimes, I’m Very Whiny! This Time, It’s About Where The Heck Is My Lumia 900…

Nokia Lumia 900, powered by Windows Phone

Nokia Lumia 900, powered by Windows Phone (Photo credit: gui ambros)

I know I should not be whining too much, but I was infuriated.  I ordered Lumia 900 through Amazon Wireless, and the order went through as Amazon thought AT&T had approved my phone upgrade.  The order was hard to pass since I could upgrade to Lumia 900 from iPhone 4 (not the 4s) for only $20 (actually it would be $56 since one time activation fee from AT&T would be $36).  I was so happy and went on with my day as I so expected to be able to play with Lumia 900.

At first I was not even thought about having a phone upgrade since I was pretty happy with iPhone 4.  Unfortunately, it turned out that my iPhone 4 refused to charge its battery for couple times already.  Then there was this feeling that I was bored with iPhone ecosystem.  I had too many useless apps on iPhone that I would never even have time to play around with.  Furthermore, I rarely used my iPhone for anything else besides talking on the phone for obvious reasons, listening to music through Spotify, playing chess in spare time (although I’m really bad at chess), and using Flipboard to catch up with technology news.  The decision to upgrade to Lumia 900 was easy.  First, it was cheap as in $20 upgrade.  Second, Lumia 900 could do all the things I had described that I would do with an iPhone.  Third, Lumia 900 is a Windows Phone, therefore it’s radically different than iPhone and Android phones in term of operating system.  Fourth, Lumia 900 looks gorgeous.  Fifth, Microsoft’s mantra for Windows Phone is to be less app centric and more of getting things done.  Well, the last point could be a propaganda from Microsoft, but I see it as something I have been doing already anyway… playing less with senseless apps and stick with what matter most.

So, I was so expected to see Lumia 900 to arrive at my front door.  A day later, Amazon sent me an email and informed me that they had redirected my would be gorgeous Lumia 900 back to their base of operation, because something had went wrong with my phone upgrade approval.  In their email, Amazon told me to call AT&T up for further explanation.  I called AT&T, and they told me that Amazon might have ran out of Lumia 900 phone.  I was amazed!  Could it be Lumia 900 was this hot?  On a second thought, could it be Lumia 900 wasn’t a sure deal for everyone, therefore they would not stock enough of these phones and had none in stock when the supply of these phones ran out?  Eagerly, I rang Amazon up since AT&T told me Amazon might be able to help me with straightening my problem out since I went through Amazon the first time around for the phone upgrade.  Amazon told me that AT&T had sent them a message which to deny my phone upgrade plan.  Nonetheless, I spoke with AT&T earlier and they told me that my phone upgrade plan was already approved and all I had to do was to activate the phone when I could receive the phone.  I told that to Amazon, but all Amazon could do was to reverse my upgrade plan so I would have my original phone plan again.

I know, my original phone plan was a great phone plan as it had unlimited data option.  My iPhone 4 was grandfathered in with earlier phone contract.  Still, I was prepare to let go the unlimited data option for a radical change to Windows Phone ecosystem.  So, in the end, I have to wait and wait and wait in order for anything to happen.  I wasn’t impatient but as a customer I was expecting a lot more from the two giant corporations.  I’m curious how came these two gigantic corporations had failed to communicate with each other and let the customer to experience a non-smooth transition in regarding to phone upgrade?

I’m not really an impatient person, but I guess once you got used to super fast deliveries from Amazon you would expect too much from them in the end.  Amazon had never failed to deliver anything to me before, but this is the first.  Perhaps, once in a while, there will be the first of something which begs me to have an experience of.  Amazon was my first choice of ordering smart phone since it would deliver products amazingly fast, and it would be cheaper for me to order Lumia 900 through Amazon.  I talked to AT&T and they told me AT&T could only sell me Lumia 900 at $90 something (I forgot the exact amount, but it was $90 something).  The choice of ordering Lumia 900 through which party was obvious.  Now, I’m crossing my fingers that they would reverse my phone plan correctly so I could once again begin the upgrade process… again… sigh!!!

Do you have a bad experience of ordering a new or upgrade or replacement smart phone with Amazon and AT&T before?  Why don’t you share your story with everyone in the comment section, right beneath this post of mine.  So, go ahead and post yours OK?

Skydrive Updates With Dropbox Like Features; For Limited Time, Users Can Retain Skydrive 25 GB Of Free Storage Space

Skydrive img taken from Vinh Nguyen's MacBook Pro and Skydrive account.

Skydrive img taken from Vinh Nguyen's MacBook Pro and Skydrive account.

I’m rushing this blog post out as for a limited time, Microsoft Skydrive allows users to retain their 25 GB of free storage space, and in the very near future Microsoft will only allow Skydrive users to have only 7 GB of free storage space.  How come?  According to a piece on Techradar.com (Microsoft SkyDrive cloud storage gets Dropbox-like features boost), Microsoft has added new features to Skydrive that behave similarly to how the features that can be found on Dropbox.  I’ve not yet able to experiment these features such as syncing files from Desktop to Skydrive folder (i.e., allowing files to be remotely synced to Skydrive’s servers/cloud), because like I’m saying I have to rush this blog post out.  Anyhow, I had gone ahead and installed Skydrive app on Mac, and so now I have Skydrive folder in my finder.  So, in a way I think Skydrive will be very similar to Dropbox even though I have not yet used it in similar manners to how I would use Dropbox.  Nonetheless, I can feel that Microsoft has turned up the heat in regarding to the race in the cloud.

Skydrive is supporting so many devices and operating system types!  On Skydrive app download page (https://apps.live.com/skydrive) where you can download the Skydrive apps, it appears that Skydrive has apps for Windows Phone, iPhone and iPad, Mac.  I don’t really have to mention that Skydrive has a Skydrive app for Windows, but I guess I just did.  Anyhow, this means users can now access files that are residing on Skydrive with most devices, allowing users to feel that their files are more accessible.  I’m sort of disappointed that Skydrive has not yet come out an app for Linux (i.e., I don’t see Skydrive app for Linux on Skydrive app download page).  Hopefully though, Linux users will soon be able to use Skydrive just like users who use other popular devices and operating systems.

In conclusion, I think Skydrive will now be more appealing than before since it has been revamped with new features that compete against a very popular cloud service Dropbox. Plus, Skydrive provides 2 GB more of storage space than Dropbox (i.e., 7 GB free storage space).  For limited time, Skydrive allows users to retain 25 GB of free storage space.  Of course, if you or any Skydrive user isn’t going to log-in into their Skydrive account now to retain their 25 GB of free storage space, sooner or later, Microsoft will stop giving out 25 GB of free storage space — users will then have to play with 7 GB of free storage space only.  With Skydrive and Dropbox services are available for free, I think my using of these services have just allowed me to make the files that I want to have easy access to from anywhere are now even more resilient (i.e., in case of either one of the services is down or inaccessible).

Source:  http://www.techradar.com/news/internet/microsoft-skydrive-cloud-storage-gets-dropbox-like-features-boost-1077366?src=rss&attr=all

Skyrim On XBox 360 Will Get Kinect Integration Update For Free

Lighting in Skyrim

Lighting in Skyrim (Photo credit: John "Pathfinder" Lester)

How awesome will it be if you can use Kinect to play Skyrim?  Well, how about casting a spell by yelling out the name of the spell?  Check out the video on Skyrim Kinect Integration right after the break, enjoy!

Source:  http://www.forbes.com/sites/erikkain/2012/04/12/skyrim-kinect-support-coming-to-xbox-360/

Windows 8 Might Help Microsoft Dominates Smartphone Market For Good!

English: Windows Phone 7 powered LG Panther(GW...

Image via Wikipedia

Microsoft is bold and subtle at the same time.  Many people might not realize that they would unintentionally switch to Windows Phone eventually, because when they use Windows 8 on PC more and more, the benefits of having Windows Phone are tremendous.  Of course, nobody knows the future, and that is only a guess of mine.  Nonetheless, to be bold and somewhat careless I say that Microsoft’s Windows Phone might eventually win the smartphone war if there is actually a smartphone war.  How?  Only Microsoft can convince people to stick with PC longer, and we don’t even have to wait for the arrival of Windows 8 to prove it since Windows 7 is doing a good job of staying relevant.

Business sector is so important to the economy, and the economy is so important to business sector; business sector and the economy are very important to Windows Phone and Windows Phone might too be very important for so and so.  Especially, the economy has been hopping on one leg, I don’t see how the business sector would want to buy each employee a Mac unless Apple makes the Mac a lot cheaper or makes a special case for business sector. This is why I think when Windows 8 comes out, the business sector will go on trying to upgrade their affordable PCs and laptops to Windows 7.  While at it, they will ponder on upgrading to Windows 8, too.  Windows 8 is the key to why I think Microsoft will win the smartphone war if there is truly a smartphone war.

Windows 8 is designed to shine on as many components there are within Microsoft ecosystem.  It’s all about the coherence of an ever tighter software and hardware intertwining ecosystem; connecting people tightly together through technology so data can be facilitated as if hardware and software boundary don’t matter in a technology ecosystem.  Well, that’s how I see Windows 8 would do for Microsoft ecosystem.  So, in the very very near future, you and I pick up a tablet or a smartphone, it might not be too hard for us to see that PC isn’t going anywhere as Windows 8 would remind us of PC even though we might be holding a smartphone or a tablet.  Think about it, business folks don’t do serious typing and calculation and planning and designing on smartphones and tablets, because it’s just simply a fool’s errand to do such things on those half-serious devices.  Just take a look at real estate of a screen of one of those on-the-go (i.e., mobile) devices and it would be crystal clear to see why it’s not possible to do serious works.

I think PC will stay around much much longer than we could ever imagine.  Its form might change but its purpose has to be making serious works seem easy.  So, as long PC stays around for foreseeable future, who says Microsoft doesn’t have a chance to convert most people over to Windows Phone?  It is just making sense that Windows Phone and Windows 8 would fit nicely alongside each other.  It is just making sense that people might want to fully invest in Microsoft ecosystem for Windows 8 is the key to encourage them to do so.  From PC to smartphone, and even gaming console such as Xbox 360, all could be somewhat coherent as Metro style would be the dominant design/theme to tie most components within Microsoft ecosystem together.  I think, a coherent ecosystem is the main key for Microsoft future success in regarding to a bid to win more customers over unless Metro style fails to charm the mass.  While at it Microsoft, why don’t you throw in your own version of Siri?

Windows Phone 7 Live Tile Concept Makes Static Screen Concept So 2010

Picture from the Samsung Omnia 7 (also known a...

Picture from the Samsung Omnia 7 (also known as Samsung I8700) with Windows Phone 7 Homescreen. Deutsch: Bild des Samsung Omnia 7 (auch bekannt als Samsung I8700) mit Windows Phone 7 Homescreen. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Windows Phone 7 does look very responsive as you can see in the video below,

Besides a responsive and futuristic UI (User Interface), Windows Phone can look very stylish and classy with HTC HD7 which shows in the video below,

I have to say Windows Phone 7 does make the other smart phones look outdated especially for the ones that are creating their UI around the idea of application centric.  It’s not to be misunderstood that Windows Phone 7 isn’t application capable, but it’s quite application friendly just like any other smart phone — only that Windows Phone 7 decides to concentrate on simplifying the meaningful tasks that even a monkey can use it (don’t take this literally, or you be disappointed).

Another good thing that Windows Phone 7 will have is that more applications will be developed for Windows Phone 7 as the tools that to be used for developing Windows Phone 7 applications are free.  Microsoft is releasing these tool for free.  An example of a free tool would be Visual Studio.  Developers can go to http://create.msdn.com/en-US/ for downloading free tools.  A thumb up for Microsoft in doing this as now the market base for smart phones has just gotten bigger and better for the developers who want to make even more money.  There isn’t a reason why a developer would be only developing iPhone applications or Android applications but not Windows Phone 7 applications, the bigger the market base the more users there are for a developer to sell his or her applications.

As long there are more smart phone developers jump onto the Windows Phone 7 wagon, the better for Windows Phone 7 users in term of more choices for applications.  Microsoft knows this well beforehand, and so the company decides the tools for developing new applications for Windows Phone 7 should be free — a plus for the developers as they can also use the same tools to develop applications for Windows 7 operating system and XBox.  It’s good that Windows Phone 7 is coming out.

I love Google TV and anticipate for it, but I hope Google is using Windows Phone 7 as a lesson for their Google TV’s UI.  Static UI is so 2010.  I feel that UI should be alive just like humans are!  Take a look at Windows Phone 7, its funky square live tile start screen comes to life as it pulls in new data and images constantly.  Notice I use the words funky square live tile start screen, because I think the aesthetic side of the UI needs to be improved, but I settle with its live tile as it’s alive.  Google TV may look outdated before it even comes out in term of UI unless its screen is just as alive or even more than Windows Phone 7.  I don’t even want to talk about the static screens of Android and iOS (i.e., Droid X and iPhone 4).

Nonetheless, those are my opinions regard to how big of an impact I think Windows Phone 7 has made even though it’s not even yet ready to be shipped out.  By the way, you don’t have to agree with my opinions as you are also entitling to your very own opinions!  So, what you think about Windows Phone 7?  Would you buy one if you have the chance?