OneNote, the popular note taking application, is the first application from Microsoft Office suite available on iOS devices. Available free for a limited time, OneNote Mobile requires Windows Live ID and is currently for US App Store only. There is no iPad specific version but its certain that Microsoft is working on one.
In case you haven’t experienced the unsung hero of Office, OneNote is a digital notebook that lets you put everything you need to remember in one electronic place and then easily find it wherever you are. I use it every day. Think of it as a digital file cabinet for all the random bits of information that are too hard to keep track of in your head. According to comScore, 78 million PCs in the U.S. have OneNote – more than a third of all the PCs in the country.
OneNote Mobile for the iPhone lets you capture and review notes and lists on your phone. Notes are automatically backed up and synced with free Windows Live SkyDrive online storage, so that you can access them from virtually anywhere – your PC, phone, and browser. Collecting thoughts and ideas on the go is what OneNote was made for.
Microsoft OneNote Mobile iTunes link
![Ie6 9 Year old Milk](http://sanziro.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/05/ie6_9_year_old_milk.png)
In its campaign to ask users to [upgrade to Internet Explorer 8](http://www.microsoft.com/australia/technet/ie8milk/Default.aspx), Microsoft is calling Internet Explorer 6 an 9-year-old milk.
Internet Explorer 6 has not been popular among web developers due to its many non-compliances to the open web. Google is one of the major vendors that ceased support for IE6 for its Google Docs site in January. And this week, Google Reader axes support for IE6.
If you still have some Windows XP machines lurking around, its time to check the IE version and do the necessary upgrade.
According to [an analyst with tiny Global Equities Research](http://blogs.barrons.com/techtraderdaily/2010/05/26/apple-will-steve-ballmer-show-up-at-the-wwdc-keynote/), Microsoft has been given a 7 minutes of Steve Jobs’ WWDC keynote on June 7, to talk about Visual Studio 2010. This is rumor at best at the moment, and there is a possibility that we might get to see two Steves (Steve Jobs and Steve Ballmer) on the same stage. Will we finally be able to develop native iPhone, iPad and Mac app using Visual Studio 2010 on Windows? Here’s our thoughts and speculations.
It makes no business sense for Apple to allow compiling native apps using Visual Studio 2010 on Windows as Apple is foremost a hardware business. Right now, if you want to develop for iPhone, iPad and Mac, you have to buy a Mac with Apple’s Xcode development environment. There is less incentive to buy a Mac if you can create Apple apps using Windows PC. Apple might not see the developer community as having a significant number, but they are an influencing lot that helps make the iPhone and Mac what there are today.
There are lots of technical hurdles to allow full and smooth development experience of iPhone/Mac apps on Windows, this is always the case for non-native development work. What we will see is probably Visual Studio for Mac, an interactive development environment that ties tightly with the Xcode environment. This could be the same app that Microsoft Mac Business Unit (MacBU) has been using to develop their Office for Mac suites. The [reorganization this week in Microsoft](http://www.macnn.com/articles/10/05/25/move.to.follow.executive.departures/) by putting MacBU under their Microsoft Business Unit could be a precursor. The question is will developers finally get to develop apps using language other than Objective-C?
Besides Visual Studio for Mac, the other unthinkable announcement is the support of Microsoft .Net and Silverlight on the Mac and iPhone/iPad. This is highly unlikely for the next iPhone OS as iPhone OS 4.0 is into its late stage of beta cycle. .Net and Silverlight for Mac? We do not think Steve will give us this shock as the coming WWDC is a more iPhone/iPad focus conference. Lets June 7 be not a hell freezes over day.
Outside of developers tool, there are other collaboration possibilities between Apple and Microsoft. How about Bing search on iPhone/iPad? It is trivial for iPhone/iPad to add support for Bing, as currently you can use Google or Yahoo search on Safari for iPhone/iPad. How about build-in integration with Microsoft Messenger? One of the main feature of 4th generation hardware is the front-facing camera. Which leads to the obvious iChat app on the new iPhone. Apple might surprise us by integrating Messenger with iChat. This will be welcome news for lots of business users who rely on MSN Messenger. And don’t forget Microsoft owns game studios. A Halo for iPhone and iPad will be greatly welcomed.
Whatever is going to happen in the 7 minutes, we will know come June 7. That is less than 2 weeks away.
**Update:** Microsoft has [confirmed via a tweet](http://twitter.com/Microsoft/status/14850981422) that Steve Ballmer will not be at WWDC. Which suggests that the announcement will not be an earth-shattering one.
Microsoft has [announced](http://www.officeformac.com/blog/A-New-Outlook-for-Mac-Office) that Outlook will be included for the next major release of Office for Mac which will launch in time for the 2010 Holiday season. Outlook is the popular MS Office email/calendar/contacts application that is missing from Office for Mac for years.
Outlook for Mac is being built from the ground up as a Mac OS X application using Cocoa. It will have a new database that delivers a reliable, high performance, and integrated experience with Mac OS X. Users will be able to back-up with Time Machine and search email, calendar and contacts with Spotlight. Additionally, Outlook for Mac and the rest of Office will include Information Rights Management, which helps keep sensitive information for only audiences that you intend. IRM compatibility will make it possible for Mac users to share and receive sensitive information using Microsoft Office tools.
In the same note, Microsoft MacBU announced packaging refresh for Office 2008 for Mac. Coming this September, Office for Mac lineup will reduce from three to two editions to make it easier for customers.
Office 2008 for Mac Home & Student will include the familiar Word 2008 for Mac, Excel 2008 for Mac, PowerPoint 2008 for Mac and Entourage 2008 for Mac. A new Office 2008 for Mac Business Edition will, in addition to the applications in the Home & Student edition, include tools to help manage and grow a business:
* Entourage 2008 for Mac, Web Services Edition: Improves performance, brings new features including task, note and category syncing and support for the latest version of Exchange Server
* Microsoft Document Connection for Mac: Improves access and browsing to documents on SharePoint Products and Technologies and Microsoft Office Live Workspace
* More than 200 business-related templates and clip art
* Training for beginning to advanced users by lynda.com Inc.
Office 2008 for Mac Business Edition will be available for pre-order on August 18 and on sale beginning September 15.
Microsoft starts to embrace Twitter by [integrating Twitter data into Bing search](http://www.bing.com/community/blogs/search/archive/2009/07/01/bringing-a-bit-of-twitter-to-bing.aspx). For starter, Bing will only include tweets from more prominent and prolific Twitter users.
When you enter those famous people and do a Bing search for example “Kara Swisher Twitter” or “Kara Swisher Tweets” or even “@karaswisher”, the result will include the latest tweet from the user, together with a link to more tweets from the user.
![Microsoft Bing Twitter Search](http://sanziro.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/07/microsoft-bing-twitter-search.jpg)
We did a trial using the search examples “Kara Swisher Twitter”,“Kara Swisher Tweets” and “@karaswisher” provided in Bing’s blog post, but none returns the above result format. Maybe Bing is fine-tuning this feature at the moment.
And now you can follow [Microsoft on Twitter](http://twitter.com/microsoft). This Twitter account is run by four members of Microsoft’s corporate communications team. There is no [verified account logo](http://sanziro.com/2009/06/twitters-verified-account-brings-peace-of-mind.html) on the page but it should be the real thing.
![Microsoft on Twitter](http://sanziro.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/07/microsoft-on-twitter.png)
So far there are only 3 tweets, with the first tweet being a Xbox promo: “Anyone can make games now, Kodu is available on Xbox LIVE Marketplace http://bit.ly/3wlWKo #microsoft #xboxlive #kodu”.
Compare this first tweet with the [stylish first tweet by Google](http://twitter.com/google/status/1251523388) back in February. Do you see a winner already?
![Microsoft Windows 7 to Launch October 22](http://sanziro.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/06/microsoft-windows-7-to-launch-october-22.png)
Microsoft [will release Windows 7 on Oct 22](http://online.wsj.com/article/BT-CO-20090602-711873.html), ahead of its original schedule and in time for the year end holiday season.
“We feel confident that we will deliver Windows 7 with our partners on Oct. 22,” Bill Veghte, senior vice president for Microsoft’s Windows business, said.
There is no news on pricing, and we do not know if there is any licensing restriction to run Windows 7 on virtual machine. And it is still early for Apple to announce support for Windows 7 on Bootcamp. The wait is almost over for the true upgrade to Windows XP.
![Microsoft Kumo Bing Search](http://sanziro.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/05/microsoft-kumo-bing-search.png)
Microsoft [is spending an estimated $80 million to $100million](http://adage.com/digital/article?article_id=136847) to convince people to go “binging” instead of “googling” when it comes to search. Microsoft will launch the ad campaign when it unveils its new search engine next week.
Code-named “Kumo”, the search engine will most likely be branded Bing, and is Microsoft’s third attempt at winning the lucrative search marketplace, after the not-so-successful MSN Search and then Live Search. Live Search is the fourth most used search engine, after Google, Baidu and Yahoo!. Microsoft Bing is likely to incorporate the semantic search technology of Powerset which Microsoft acquired last year, after its failed bid for Yahoo! search.
Not much is known about the new search engine except for [leaks screenshots in March](http://www.pcworld.com/article/160541/sneak_a_peek_at_microsofts_kumo_search.html). From the look of it, we could not see how Bing will be drastically better than Google, which is what Bing needs if it intends to sway away users’ search habits. Playing catch-up is not always easy, the problem for Bing is Google is doing a pretty good job at the moment.
Lately it is hard to get excited by anything from Microsoft. We will see if third time is a charm for Microsoft. Let’s hope Bing brings some cool search breakthrough and spice up the competition. Winning the search marketplace is a daunting task, increasingly we are seeing ‘live-search’ capability (Twitter search) gaining importance in the search landscape, and we doubt Bing is equipped and ready for it. Bing’s challenge is Google and Yahoo, and not forgetting Twitter and Facebook search.
Will spending 100 million greenbacks be enough to convince people Bing is a better verb than Google for search? Good luck Microsoft.
It had to happen, Microsoft has announced plans to open its own Microsoft branded outlets, there is no information on details but David Porter, who used to work for Wal-mart, is enlisted to spearhead this effort.
Microsoft COO Kevin Turner said, “We’re working hard to transform the PC and Microsoft buying experience at retail by improving the articulation and demonstration of the Microsoft innovation and value proposition so that it’s clear, simple and straightforward for consumers everywhere.”
It looks like Microsoft is showing keen interest in Apple’s operations lately. Before the retail store, we have an iPod like Zune. And Microsoft recently announced an App Store like service for its Windows Mobile platform called SkyMarket. And the just announced My Phone syncing service looks similar to MobileMe. And iPhone touch features is coming to Windows Mobile too. And no doubt many Mac users would find Windows 7 somewhat familiar.
But retail store is in a territory that is not familiar to Microsoft. Gateway, Palm and Dell boutique stores have come and go. The success of Apple Store is hard to copy. There is no other tech retail store at the moment that is as successful or even come close. Apple open its first store back in 2001. And today it has 251 retail stores with nearly 16,000 employees. 41 of its stores is outside of the US. It is interesting to see if Microsoft could pull it off, especially during this difficult times.