Windows 8 Embedded Confirmed

Last Updated on Sunday, 22 August 2010 01:15 Written by Mire_B Sunday, 22 August 2010 12:06

It appears that Windows 8 Client and Windows 8 Server will be joined by Windows 8 Embedded. There’s no telling if customers will get Windows Embedded Standard 8, but the next version of Windows Embedded will certainly be based on Windows vNext. No real surprise here, Microsoft is simply doing a repeat of the Windows 7 – Windows Embedded Standard 7 pairing.

Software Development Engineer in Test-Windows Embedded (731223) Job

Date: Aug 20, 2010
Location: Redmond, WA, US
Job Category: Software Engineering: Test
Location: United States, WA, Redmond
Job ID: 731223 24731
Product: Windows Embedded
Division: Entertainment & Devices Division
This Job is eligible for the following work arrangements :Flex Time

The Windows Embedded for Vertical Industries team is looking for an experienced and strong SDET. Our team delivers Windows Embedded toolkit and Windows Embedded Ready solutions for several key device categories like Point of Service, Thin clients, Set top box/Connected TV, Digital signage, Multi-function printers, Industrial automation, etc…

Our current product, Windows Embedded 7, is the next version of the Windows Embedded tool kit that uses the same binaries and technology as the regular Windows 7 product, but with the potential for much smaller footprint and more robust OS. The idea is to remove any and all unnecessary features so that the device works in custom and usually down sized environments. Our customers deliver a wide variety of solutions from Multifunction print devices to Kiosks and ATM machines, thin client machines to industrial automation. Think of Windows Embedded 7 as a Windows 7 solution which can be tailored directly to the customers’ needs. We interact with both MSR as well as the core Windows groups as well as other teams throughout the company to provide the customers with the rich Windows Experience.

As an SDET on our team, you will be an expert in providing feedback on product design and user scenarios, ensuring testability of our product, developing test suites, and contributing to our automated testing infrastructure. Additional responsibilities include mentoring other SDETs in testing methodologies. A passion for Engineering Excellence will also be essential as it will be crucial to enabling our Product Unit to rapidly innovate in the Mobile space. This team offers an opportunity to development significant knowledge about many features in Windows, gain significant customer exposure through a combination of blogs, DLs, and customer events, develop an early view on future expansion to other areas including thin clients, POS, multi-function printers, and Win 8 Embedded and last but not the least, an opportunity to work with a product and organization that is very successful in the financial and business sense.

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Office 15 Comes with New “Microsoft Limestone Integration Application” Feature: Microsoft Lime

Last Updated on Friday, 20 August 2010 10:50 Written by Mire_B Friday, 20 August 2010 10:50

Wzor broke the news, but then it got picked up by a range of websites – very early, pre-Alpha Builds of Office 15 are already tested internally at Microsoft. It also appears that there’s already a new feature, called  “Microsoft Limestone Integration Application” or Microsoft Lime for short. No way of telling just what MIcrosoft Lime is yet, or whether it will end up into Office 15.

Another thing. Wzor claims that Office 15 will be released in 2014. That’s obviously more than 3 years after the launch of Office 2010. Still, considering the GA for Office 2007 was January 2007, and Office 2010 hit store shelves in June 2010, an early 2014 release might actually be right.

Are you looking forward to Office 2014?

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Download: Windows Live Essentials 2011/Wave 4 Beta 2/Beta Refresh

Last Updated on Tuesday, 17 August 2010 11:33 Written by Mire_B Tuesday, 17 August 2010 10:00

Windows Live Essentials 2011/Wave 4 Beta 2/Beta Refresh is now available for download. Here’s the link.

The Build version for this Beta release of Essentials Wave 4 is 15.4.3001.809. But as before, the versions for Essentials apps can vary:

Windows Live Messenger 2011 – 15.4.3002.0810

Windows Live Mail 2011- 15.4.3002.0810

Windows Live Movie Maker 2011- 15.4.3002.0810

Windows Live Photo Gallery 2011-15.4.3002.0810

Windows Live Sync 2011 – 15.4.3001.0809

Windows Live Family Safety 2011 – 15.4.3001.0809

Windows Live Writer 2011 – 15.4.3001.0809

The official announcement from  Microsoft:

Today we’re releasing an update to Windows Live Essentials 2011 beta. One of the main reasons we release betas is to allow early adopters to enjoy our products and provide feedback on their experience. First, we want to say thank you for your help. For Messenger alone, we had over 3 million unique users, 3.5 million updates to display pictures, 6.2 million video calls, and 7.6 million updates to status messages.

Your beta feedback and usage has helped shape the many improvements we’ve made and continue to make across Messenger, Photo Gallery, Movie Maker, Writer, Mail, and Family Safety. Today I’d like to summarize some of the more visible changes you’ll see in today’s update, and we’ll follow up with more details in later posts.

Performance and quality of service improvements

We’re always working to improve the performance and quality of our services and we’ve made significant progress in this area in today’s beta update. This includes things like decreasing the time it takes to start each program or render each webpage, and improving the quality of your experiences. It often takes hundreds of small improvements and optimizations to better the final experience. Here are some of the many improvements you’ll see in this area:

  • A quicker Messenger – The time it takes to sign in, and to refresh contacts and social feeds, as well as animation speed, are all faster than in previous versions of Messenger.
  • More efficient video chat – Messenger video chat uses 30% fewer CPU resources by offloading work to the GPU.
  • Better facial recognition – Photo Gallery facial recognition is improved significantly and works more quickly.
  • Larger movie uploads – Movie Maker will upload higher resolution movies to SkyDrive (480×640 vs. the previous 320×480).
  • Higher bit-rate movies – Movie Maker now supports higher quality (bit-rate) content.
  • Better spell-checking – Writer has significantly improved the quality of its spell-checking.
  • Better integration with Office – Writer is much better at retaining all formatting when you copy and paste from Word and other Microsoft Office programs.
  • Better handling of Gmail – Mail now automatically handles Gmail’s spam and trash folders properly.
  • Faster web filtering – Family Safety web filtering is 35% faster than in the previous version.

In addition, we’ve been able to improve the quality of the software and have fixed over 75% of reported crashes. We’re not always able to reproduce all of the reported crashes internally, but we do look at this on an ongoing basis.

Facebook chat in Messenger

Many of you have been asking for Facebook chat, and it’s finally here. More than half of all Messenger customers also use Facebook. With the previous beta, you got a rich social view that brought together all your updates (including those from Facebook) and gave you one place to see and comment on them. With the new Facebook chat integration, you now also have one place to chat with all your friends. And if you use Facebook but don’t use Messenger today, you now have an always-on “people app” on your PC that gives you instant access and notifications as people come online in Facebook or Messenger.

New Facebook chat integration

From a technical perspective, this is a significant task. We’re connecting Messenger’s ~300 million customers (who are already connected to Yahoo! Messenger and Office Communicator) to Facebook’s ~500 million customers. To make sure this happens smoothly while Windows Live and Facebook both build up the needed back-end infrastructure, we’ll start by releasing this chat capability in the US, UK, France, Brazil, Germany, and Russia today. We’ll continue to expand this offering to additional regions over time.

We know some of you want to connect Facebook to Windows Live, while others prefer to keep things separate. This is a major part of our design and you get to decide when to connect Facebook, and if you do what types of activities you want to allow, including chat. You can change your preferences at any time from your profile page.

Connect to Facebook and Windows Live

Quick previews and improved tree view in Photo Gallery

One of the benefits of the new ribbon user interface in Windows Live Essentials is the ability it gives you to preview a change before you apply it simply by hovering over the option. With the beta update today, we’ve also added preview capabilities to the “Find” tab in the ribbon. So before you apply a filter (date, rating, people tags), you can hover over one of those filters and see the results instantly.

We’ve also added back date and keyword to the tree on the left hand side. While we know many customers will use the Find ribbon to sort through their pictures, we heard loud and clear that others found the tree more useful.

The tree helps to sort pictures

Flickr video publishing and Snapshot in Movie Maker

With the new Snapshot feature in Movie Maker, you can select a single frame from a video as it appears in the preview window and add it to your movie. This allows you to quickly grab an image that you want to keep or perhaps use for your movie’s intro or closing.

In addition, because we know many of you use Flickr for photo sharing and have enjoyed publishing to Flickr right from Photo Gallery, we’ve extended support to Movie Maker, so that you can now publish videos directly from Movie Maker to Flickr too.

We hope you’ll download today’s update of the Windows Live Essentials 2011 beta and try out the changes.  And today, in addition to English, Spanish, French, Dutch, Portuguese, Japanese, and Simplified Chinese, you can also now get the beta in Russian or German.  In this post I covered just a few of the things you’ll notice when you use the new beta update. In subsequent posts we’ll go into more detail on other improvements we’ve made, as well as feedback we’ve received on the new Hotmail.

- Chris Jones

Vice President, Windows Live Engineering

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