• Mobile CRM apps and services for iPad, iPhone, Android, Windows Phones and Blackberry devices to be roll out in Q2 from Microsoft

    Posted on February 7th, 2012 David Brooks | No comments

    Microsoft announced on Monday that it will embrace rival mobile platforms and browsers with a planned second-quarter service update of its Microsoft Dynamics CRM application, including iPad, iPhone, Android, Windows Phones and Blackberry devices. “In today’s hyperconnected world, customers need to be able to access their business-critical data on the device of their choice,” said Dennis Michalis, general manager, Microsoft Dynamics CRM, in a statement. The Dynamics CRM service update will include a new cloud-based mobile CRM service called Microsoft Dynamics CRM Mobile. Check the bellow words from ZDNet writer Mary Jo Foley to get a more detailed acquaintance about the Microsoft Dynamics CRM event.

    Summary: Microsoft will deliver mobile versions of its Dynamics CRM app and service for iPad, iPhone, Android phone, BlackBerry and Windows Phone 7 in the second quarter of 2012.

    Some time between April and May of this year, Microsoft will roll out Dynamics CRM mobile clients and service simultaneously for the iPad, iPhone, Android, Windows Phone 7 and BlackBerry devices.

    The coming mobile components — something some Windows Phone users have been asking about for years — will be part of the Dynamics CRM Q2 2012 service update, Microsoft officials said on February 6. (February 6 is the day when Microsoft is releasing its preview guide for its next update, which Microsoft has committed to provide 60 to 90 days before a new update is available to on-premises and online users.)

    All of the new mobile CRM releases will be ready at the same time and downloadable from their respective marketplaces on the same day, said Craig Dewar, Director of Product Management for Dynamics CRM.

    Here’s a Microsoft-supplied screen shot of what the Dynamics CRM app on the iPad will look like:

    CRM iPad DynamicsThe coming Dynamics CRM mobile clients/service starts at $30 per user, per month and supports the use of up to three devices per user. While this sounds pricey compared to the going rate for Office 365 and its component parts, it looks like it undercuts Salesforce’s comparable mobile-client offering, which starts at $65 per user per month. (Salesforce also has a free Mobile Lite CRM client with limited capabilities and connectivity, as does Microsoft, which still offers Mobile Express for Dynamics CRM.)

    In addition to adding mobile support to its platform, Microsoft also is stepping up its cross-browser support for Dynamics CRM users. With the Q2 update, users will have a choice of Internet Explorer, Chrome, Firefox and Safari running on PCs, Macs and iPads. Here’s a chart showing which versions will be supported on which platforms:

    Browser support Dynamics CRMThe Q2 update also will add more social capabilities, making Microsoft’s social CRM components look and feel even more like Facebook- and/or Salesforce Chatter. Users will have the ability to like/unlike status updates on their Activity Feeds and get improved filtering capabilities.

    Users of the on-premises version of the Q2 update also will have access to new Microsoft Excel Workbooks with pre-defined PowerPivot models and Power View Report templates to help them perform quick analyses in areas like product sales, customer demographics and sales pipelines. (Power View, a k a “Project Crescent,” is a new self-service business-intelligence feature in SQL Server 2012, which is due to launch on March 7.) Microsoft plans to add support for these enterprise capbilities to Dynamics CRM, too, at some point in the future, officials said.

    Microsoft officials said last year that the company planned to deliver quarterly updates (two major/two minor) to both its on-premises Dynamics CRM product and its hosted CRM Online one.

    The Dynamics CRM unit isn’t the only Microsoft division that is upping its cross-platform support.

    Microsoft already offers OneNote for the iPhone and iPad; a SkyDrive cloud-storage app for iPhone; a Lync client for Android; a Lync client for iPhone and Hotmail for Android. Company officials said late last year to expect even more mobile cross-platform app support from Microsoft in 2012, especially on Android devices.

    Source: http://www.zdnet.com/blog/microsoft/microsoft-to-deliver-crm-apps-for-ipad-iphone-android-windows-phone-in-q2/11822?tag=nl.e550

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  • Top 8 most anticipated technical products of 2012

    Posted on January 9th, 2012 David Brooks | No comments

    With the fast development in technology, 2011 has brought the world quite a lot of surprises in mobile industry and other industries, like the Apple iPhone 4S, iOS 5, iPad 2, Android Ice-cream, and various popular tablets. These devices have made 2011 a glorious year in the development of communication history. Now, it has been 2012 already. And what we wonder for in 2012? Thanks to Jeff Bertolucci from PCWorld, who have made a conclusion on the most anticipated technical products of 2012. Now, I would like to share my own opinion about the most anticipated technical products in 2012 with top 8 options for your reference. Check the bellow content to get to know the Top 8 most anticipated technical products of 2012.

    Apple iPad 3

    Apple iPad 3If the gossip is true, the next-generation iPad will be a sight to behold. Its most compelling (alleged) feature: a 2048-by-1536-pixel display, offering four times the resolution of the iPad 2′s 1024-by-768-pixel screen and better user experience for users to watch HD videos on iPad. Considering that the iPad and iPad 2 each shipped in the spring, if the Apple Company maintains its tablet upgrade cycle, the iPad 3 is not far away.

    Microsoft Windows 8

    Windows 8Microsoft’s next operating system promises to be everything. Designed to power both tablets and conventional PCs, Windows 8 is ambitious and risky. The new OS will feature the touch-oriented Metro interface that we first saw in Windows Phone 7, which means Microsoft’s “reimagined” flagship OS will be the first Windows version since the iconic Windows 95 to revamp, rather than simply tweak, the desktop interface.

    Apple iPhone 5

    Apple iPhone 5Apple just released iPhone 4S last October as the successor of iPhone 4 with quite wonderful voice-recognizing personal assistant Siri and an excellent 8-megapixel camera. With the edge-to-edge design, the iPhone 4S provides even better video enjoyment for users to watch watch HD Blu-ray/DVD on iPhone 4S. The next generation of iPhone is firmly believed to be more suitable for HD video enjoyment. The rumored curved glass screen and daring teardrop shape are apparently still on the drawing board over in Cupertino. Assuming that the iPhone 5 arrives in 2012, it just might pack the visual wallop that Apple watchers have been waiting for.

    Quad-core Mobile device

    Quad-core mobile deviceSpeedy dual-core processors, such as Apple’s A5 in the iPad 2 and iPhone 4S, will soon be old news as even faster quad-core chips migrate to the mobile market. Chip maker Nvidia says that smartphones featuring its quad-core Tegra 3 processors may arrive in the first half of 2012. And quad-core tablets, such as the Tegra 3-powered Asus Eee Pad Transformer Prime, are already here. Qualcomm, meanwhile, says that its quad-core Snapdragon chips will appear in Windows 8 tablets in the second half of 2012.

    Xbox 360 update

    Xbox 360Will the next-generation Xbox arrive in 2012? The latest rumors from reliable sources, including Supersite for Windows editor Paul Thurrott, say the next Xbox is slated for a 2013 debut. Until then, Xbox fans will have to be content with software upgrades, including an Xbox 360 dashboard update sporting a Windows 8, Metro-style interface.

    Android 4.0 phones

    Android 4.0 PhoneThe latest version of Google’s mobile operating system is already generating buzz in the mobile world. Android 4.0 offers a lot to love: a polished interface, improved multitasking, better search tools, and the intriguing-yet-gimmicky Face Unlock and Android Beam.

    Plus, a fresh batch of Android smartphones (led by the Samsung Galaxy Nexus) and a new generation of tablets (including the Asus Eee Pad Transformer 2) are designed specifically for Android 4.0, also known as Ice Cream Sandwich.

    Windows Phone 7 Platform

    Windows Phone 7 platformThe Microsoft platform is very strong in the enterprise space because of the management and security features released in 6.x. Windows Phone 7, released in 2010, will be a leap forward for Microsoft, with strong hardware and UI standardization better integration with social networks. Nokia’s adoption of WP7 should also help spur sales, and WP7 handsets such as the Samsung Focus S are getting good reviews. The next 12 months may decide whether Windows Phone 7 handsets succeed or go the way of the Zune.

    Sony Playstation Vita

    Sony PlayStation VitaSony’s Vita, announced last year, includes a five-inch display, dual analog sticks for game controls and a quad-core processor. The Vita will come in two models, one version with Wi-Fi only while the other version with Wi-Fi and 3G cellular connectivity. The detailed price levels of both two versions have been confirmed online: the version that includes both Wi-Fi and 3G offers two AT&T data plans: $15 for 250 megabytes a month or $25 for 2 gigabytes a month, while the Wi-Fi-only device will cost $250, and the 3G-plus-Wi-Fi one will cost $300.

    These are the top 8 most anticipated technical products in 2012. Of course, there are still many other advanced tech products which also are worthy of waiting and longing for. What are you looking for this year? You can share with us your own opinions in the comment part.

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  • New Windows Phone 7 Mango Specs: User friendly Custom ringtones are coming

    Posted on June 29th, 2011 David Brooks | 3 comments

    It has been all known that the next generation of Windows Phone, Windows Phone 7 Mango, will come out this fall. Right yesterday, the Windows team blog released another great improvement of Windows Phone 7 Mango, which has settled the long anticipated custom ringtone problem. The upcoming Windows Phone 7 Mango would provide users with user-friendly ringtone customization function.

    Windows Phone 7 Mango

    One possibility of this long expected upcoming function is that an additional option “Save as Ringtone” will be added for you to add your customized sound, audio or music, which would help you turn your customized files into a unique ringtone on Windows Phone 7 Mango. In Mango, any Marketplace app that revolves around sound or music—karaoke apps, sound effect apps, DJ apps, music instrument apps—potentially become a source of new custom ringtones for your phone.

    Custom Ringtone

    Yet, the Mango will provide users the chance to customize ringtones with some restrictions, shows as bellow:

    1. 39 seconds or shorter

    2. Smaller than 1 megabyte (MB)

    3. Saved in MP3 or WMA format

    4. Not copy-protected (i.e. DRM free)

    The detailed tutorial of how to do this would be out along with the street date of Windows Phone 7 Mango. For Zune users, when you have customized an audio file that meets the above conditions, just save it in the Genre of Ringtone and then you could sync your customized ringtone to the Windows Phone 7 Mango, showed in the bellow picture:

    Custom Ringtone Zune

    Besides the function of customizing ringtones in Windows Phone 7 Mango, it also provides some new native Microsoft ringtones for users.

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  • Angry Birds is pushed back to land on Windows Phone 7 on June 29th

    Posted on May 19th, 2011 David Brooks | No comments

    The landing time on Angry Birds game on Windows phone 7 platform was set to be May 25th. And for some reasons, the company had to wait until the official release date was close to announce the delay, so it could be that the Angry Birds team, Rovio, was unsure of the delay until recent days. Now, Angry Birds is made clear to land on Windows Phone 7 platform on June 29th, more than a month later.

    Angry Birds

    It has been a long time for Angry Birds to land on Window Phone 7 platform, ever since February. However the cooperation between the Angry Birds team and Microsoft seems to be not as fluently as people anticipated. Until April, the official landing date was released. Now, the landing time has been delayed.  


    Angry Birds is a cultural phenomenon of a game, with fanatic users cross a half-dozen platforms all around the world. Its entrance into the world of Windows Phone 7 has been hotly anticipated by both expectant users. Due to the delay, Windows Phone 7 users may have to wait for a little long time experience Angry Birds game on Windows Phones.

  • How to edit DVD movie with Windows Live Movie Maker

    Posted on November 30th, 2009 Maky | 3 comments

    Windows Live Movie Maker is a component of Windows Live Essential Package, which comes independently of Windows 7, the latest Windows operation system. Anyway, to access Windows Live Movie Maker, you just need a few minutes to download it from Microsoft official site and it is totally free. As was mentioned in an early post, Windows Live Movie Maker is a rebirth from the traditional Windows Movie Maker. One of the most impressive renovations is that additional video types are supported, e.g. MP4, MOV, 3GP, MTS. But one may be frustrated on how to edit DVD movie with Windows Live Movie Maker, because DVD movie is not a native support option of Windows Live Movie Maker. Fortunately, you have timely support from us. Among our long lineup of products, Leawo DVD to MP4 Converter is born to suit the job. It can easily and fast rip your DVD movie from the disc and convert it to high quality MP4 video that can be imported for edit in Windows Live Movie Maker. Now, let’s get your DVD movie into Windows Live Movie Maker.

    Download Leawo DVD to MP4 Converter here for free. Install and run it. Then put you DVD movie disc into your DVD drive. Click "Load DVD" to automatically analyze and display information of the DVD movie.

    Tips: the program selects all titles by default. You can check and uncheck any titles and chapters you want to convert. If you want to get a specific playback preview, double click on the title or chapter you selected.

    After you load the DVD movie and make selections, click on the rollout list of profiles and select "Common Video -> MP4 – MPEG-4 Video (*.mp4)". This will convert your DVD movie to regular MP4 videos. Then click "Convert" to start the DVD to MP4 conversion process.

    Leawo Free DVD to MP4 Converter is a quick and handy tool for on-demand DVD to MP4 conversion. However, some features for advanced users are excluded in this free edition. If you would like to get excessively good output quality and do practical video customizations, just get Leawo DVD to MP4 Converter Pro here.

  • Windows 7 ramps up support for video and audio format

    Posted on November 23rd, 2009 Maky | No comments

    As a supernova in the history of Windows operation system, Windows 7 furnishes a cluster of compelling and spicy features. One of the big margins between Windows 7 and its predecessor, currently dominant Windows XP OS is manifested on the system’s multimedia capabilities. Users of Windows XP must have long been cumbered by the system devoid of playback support for many popular video formats except the software giant’s own patent formats ASF and WMV. Now with the advent of Windows 7, gone was the requirement to install a third-party media player, added with the powerful ability of video playback. And you are to be convinced by the charts below.

    Chart 1: Video formats supported by Windows 7 in terms of Format Name

    Chart 2: Multimedia decoders toted by Windows 7 listed in categories

    Windows 7 not only supports AVI and MP4 formats but embraces mobile video format 3GP/3G2 for the very first time. This rich batch of toted codec allows for immediate playback of such popular video formats right upon the first installation of the system, enabling fast experience between the system and many portable devices without the hassle to consider a third-party player or codec pack. Additionally, HD video formats like AVCHD and HDV are found supported in Windows 7. It is a great boon for users especially netbook users to enjoy HD videos in no time.

    Reversely, portable media players are known to lag behind in video format support, for example, iPod/iPhone acknowledges MP4, handsets mostly accepts only 3GP, Windows mobile excludes formats other than WMV. But it is not a trouble any more, we can use video converter to convert to video to almost any format we want. Leawo Video Converter is a one-stop solution for video conversion plus ingenious video customization. With complete optimal profiles, Leawo Video Converter can enable video to smoothly play on iPod/iPhone, PSP/PS3, Apple TV, Zune, Windows Mobile, PMP, Wii/DS and many other devices. Here is a collection of introductions of Leawo Video Converter’s highlighted features, feel free to take a peek.

    1. Adjust audiovisual effects
    2. Trim video length
    3. Crop video screen size
    4. Add watermark
    5. Capture video screenshot
    6. Advanced codec settings

  • Can I use Windows Live Movie Maker in a more efficient way?

    Posted on November 22nd, 2009 Maky | 3 comments

    Yes! Windows Live Movie Maker is a remake of the default Windows component based on much advanced and human technologies. Some new features are especially added in the perspective of a better operability and efficiency. Let’s take a look at how the efficient features can appeal to us.

    Firstly, use keyboard shortcuts! Windows Live Movie Maker adopts the same Ribbon design introduced in Office 2007. This "scenic" and magical Ribbon erases the complexity of menus and reduces access time by always putting user’s favorite functions at the front. If you are a keyboard shortcut fanatic, you could find Windows Live Movie Maker embraces familiar keyboard shortcuts as are used in Office 2007. Apart from ordinary shortcuts, here is a table illustrating particular shortcuts in Windows Live Movie Maker.

    General keyboard shortcuts

    To

    Press

    Toggle ribbon keytips on and off

    Alt

    Stop the current task

    Esc

    View Help for Movie Maker

    F1

    Close Movie Maker

    Alt+F4

    Save a project with a new name

    F12

    Create a new project

    Ctrl+N

    Open an existing project

    Ctrl+O

    Save a project

    Ctrl+S

    Undo the last action

    Ctrl+Z

    Redo the last action

    Ctrl+Y

    Previewing and editing keyboard shortcuts

    To

    Press

    Play or pause

    Space or K

    Go to the previous frame

    J

    Go to the next frame

    L

    Trim the video so it starts at the current point in the video

    I

    Trim the video so it ends at the current point in the video

    O

    Split the video into two items at the current point in the video

    M

    Storyboard keyboard shortcuts

    To

    Press

    Cut the selected item

    Ctrl+X

    Copy the selected item

    Ctrl+C

    Paste

    Ctrl+V

    Delete selected items

    Delete

    Move the selection one item in the direction of the arrow

    Left Arrow, Right Arrow, Up Arrow, Down Arrow

    Move the focus one item in the direction of the arrow

    Ctrl+Left Arrow, Ctrl+Right Arrow, Ctrl+Up Arrow, Ctrl+Down Arrow

    Move the selection up one page

    Page Up

    Move the selection down one page

    Page Down

    Select the first item on the storyboard

    Home

    Select the last item on the storyboard

    End

    Select all items on the same track of the storyboard

    Ctrl+A

    Zoom in on the storyboard

    Plus Sign (+)

    Zoom out on the storyboard

    Minus Sign (-)

    To name a very special one of the shortcuts, there is a very intuitive way in edit videos on the Storyboard, i.e. use "Ctrl" key and key "A" combination to make a full selection of the videos to batch edit them through one shot. Similar to the scenery in the file browser, you can hold down Ctrl Key and select multiple videos to batch edit, which is very efficient when you want to apply many videos with the same setting.

    Secondly, use Quick Access Toolbar! You can self-customize a set of shortcut to your liking. Hover to the function icon and right click to expose a context menu as below. It will add the function to the Quick Access Toolbar and allow you to quick access it with key combinations of "Alt" key and numeral key "0"-"9".

    Thirdly, use Multi-monitor span! If you are handling a huge batch of video clips, don’t sigh as your monitor screen is not big enough to give you a full view of them, because Windows Live Movie Maker seamlessly supports multiple monitor display! You can just span the interface to the second monitor to get the video preview and the Storyboard to display separately on the monitors. Would you not prefer a nice and clear view of the work you are doing?

    I would like to conclude by saying Windows Live Movie Maker is really a wow to us home video makers. User experience is greatly improved. Novice users will be happy to see not only the bar is lower but they are given more flexibility to use the program in their favorite way. Whether or not you are big on efficiency, you would unlikely resist such appeal.

  • On the journey to Windows Live Movie Maker, a magical rebirth

    Posted on November 20th, 2009 Maky | 9 comments

    Even since its introduction in Windows Me, Windows Movie Maker has been a default component of the following Windows versions until the latest Windows 7. Rather than detached from the system, it is completely rebuilt from the core. With an orderly name, Windows Live Movie Maker is now available in Windows Live package along with Windows Live Photo Gallery and Windows Live Mail. Note that the program is no longer expected to run on Windows XP, because it is based on advanced technology brought in by Vista. For better or worse, it is good to see the Phoenix gain a new life after death.

    Here we are going to look into how Windows Live Movie Maker is different from the old Movie Maker.

    Firstly, the program’s UI is reorganized and polished. If we put them side by side, the harsh and intimidating look of the old Movie Maker is absolutely not an eye candy, just for the first glimpse. Most users including me who are new to the movie maker will undoubtedly fancy a steep learning course of making a movie. The timeline view is the biggest contributing factor. It is bad to greet home users, the main user group of the program, with too much professionalism at the startup. So inside Windows Live Movie Maker, the timeline is totally "gone".

    In fact, the new movie maker has introduced an innovatively friendly style in place of timeline, which I am going to review later. The preview window is logically resized compared to the one in the old version stuffing in the place as if it shouldn’t be there. And if you are familiar with Office 2007, you must be amazed at the elegant Ribbon menu, which has now been implemented in Windows Live Movie Maker as well. The overall impression is intuitive, reasonable and comfortable, not to mention the visual stun brought by the system’s Aero effect.

     

    comparison between home layouts

    Secondly, we often care much about how to begin using the program and how we may expect from the program. And Windows Live Movie Maker does seem nothing like the old maker. In the old maker, the first thing we do is create a new project and then import videos. To edit the video, we have to drag them onto the timeline. The thumbnail of the video will immediately resize to the scale of its time length, which is fine for people who want to align the videos and audios as they would like it to work as it looks. What about Windows Live Movie Maker on the right hand side?

     

    comparison between video imports

    If you are puzzled at how the videos can be edit without a timeline, you should be pleased you are no longer going to deal with one too long to go without a scroll bar in company. Instead of arranging the videos on linear timeline, Windows Live Movie Maker gives a smooth and distinct look of the videos on the storyboard with regular size thumbnails. As you can see, this arranging style goes way more complete and natural than the scrollable timeline, and it spares quite a large space to add in more sources. With the same amount of video clips, the old movie make can’t cater to more without scroll bars, and that inevitably creates a stifling view. In contrary, Windows Live Movie Maker stays fine with its space saving style.

     

    comparison between Storyboards

    Thirdly, this is where I am going to review how the concept of timeline is reflected in Windows Live Movie Maker. In the old version, if we want to stretch the thumbnail on the timeline, we use the magnifier. The same in the new maker is an intuitive zooming slide bar as is marked at the bottom right. As you move the slider, you can zoom in or out on the thumbnail smoothly. The width of the thumbnail will change according to its time length. So you can easily judge the clips based on its relative length.

     

    comparison between zoom features

    Note than you can benefit from the new layout. It is usually troublesome to shuffle a clip to a new place in the old maker, because the clips are so compacted together and you may lose the idea of which video you are actually picking at. As is shown in the comparison below, I think you may prefer the more distinct and accurate way featured in Windows Live Movie Maker. This is the reason and result for the remake of the program, to become friendlier in user experience.

     

    comparison between video reorderings

    Fourthly, in terms of transition effect, instead of all or nothing approach, the new maker only display the most commonly used ones on the Ribbon. It means the program could smartly understand the user’s habit and automatically alter itself to go with it. Just one of the merits the Ribbon possesses.

     

    comparison between transition effects

    It could hardly deny the significant renovation does bestow a new life on this popular household movie maker. I am not saying bad words against the old maker. It remains the best choice for simple movie making at home on Windows XP and previous systems. Windows Live Movie Maker is a tribute only to Windows 7 and Vista, so you have to upgrade your system before taste the magical rebirth of the beloved movie maker.