Tag Archive for microsoft

WordPress for Windows Phone 7

Wordpress for Windows Phone 7It has just been officially announced by WordPress that following on from last weeks announcement that you could get WordPress for Nokia you can get WordPress on your WindowsPhone7.  Being how a majority of my sites and this blog run on the WordPress CMS platform and I have a WindowsPhone7 that is awesome news.  The platform is designed for busy users running WordPress to enabling quick blog posts, quickly check visitor statistics and manage  visitor comments on the move.

The official WordPress application will be made available for FREE in the Windows Mobile Marketplace but currently you can just download it here and sync via Zune if you want to get it now.  It’s syncs up easily and takes about a minute or two before you are ready to make your first post. The platform is open source and you can get involved with the project here, so expect some very cool customisation that will be released over the next few months and the team is already working to address bug fixes and responding to users already on Twitter about the application.

Just like you can when sending via email from your mobile you can now easily add footer notes like this to any new WordPress posts you write on the go such as the standard “Posted from WordPress for Windows Phone” but you can customise this to suit your blog persona.  I did start this post on my WindowsPhone but after publishing it instead of saving it to a draft I decided to go old school and use my PC to write-up a more detailed post on the new application.

WordPress Mobile Advantages

The ability to moderate comments directly from your WindowsPhone is amazing and makes it possible to manage even some of the larger blogs remotely without your PC, last week I had to wait until I went back to the office to approve a comment which was just annoying.  The ability to remotely moderate a blog, a series or blogs or even your clients websites is amazing and certainly worth the reduced stress and increased control.  The WordPress Mobile statistics are just amazing and certainly worthwhile for anyone who is a bit OCD checking visitor web analytics during the day or when you manage to get a breaking news post out early and is very easy to use.

Windows Phone WP Stats

WordPress Mobile Limitations

The ability to draft up a post is fairly useful but it’s far too easy to publish before you are ready, they have advised that you need to make sure the Publish box is unchecked before saving, but having it set off as the default is a far better setting.  While you can add and select new categories for a blog post I did experience a strange error and the category I selected and saved did not seem to apply correctly and I had to do it again via my PC when I wrote this post. The other limitations included the ability to edit the PermaLink on your blog post and it’s very difficult if you often use HTML in your blog posts to easily do on the initial version, but like the 2011 WindowsPhone update it’s likely the next version of this will address many of the issues.

I suggest you get a WindowsPhone so you can get the app or if you are waiting until Christmas you can still follow their official applications updates on Twitter WP for Windows Phone 7

Google Funds PPC Agency

Trada LogoIt was announced by NYTimes and on Trada’s own blog that Google ventures has made an investment in the crowd sourced ppc agency Trada.com. Trada closed a US$5.75 million Series C round of financing led by Google Ventures and Foundry Group to increase its cash balances and working capital to continuing expanding its network of ppc specialists beyond 500.  The money raised in the latest funding round will be spent on international expansion to covers markets such as Canada, UK and Australia.  It will improve support for Trada campaigns in multiple time zones, currency support and banking details such as credit cards that currently make running some campaigns outside the US less efficient.

According to the press release, Trada plans to expand its platform to cover new types of advertising such as text ads on blogs, banner display, mobile and video ads.  The next expansion is planned around Facebook Ads but also what they can do with the Trada platform on other social platforms such as Twitter.

Does Trada get preferential treatment in Google?

The company argues that it will actually be under more scrutiny by Google because of the nature of their relationship, Google and Google Ventures are separate entities but still questions maybe asked by other technology platforms.  The obvious benefit of the Series C funding means Trada can scrap any plans or requests for what Google may consider grey areas of marketing.  The company will potentially slow the growth in some markets who are looking to bend or twist the search engines ppc rules. similar to the ITA Software purchase by Google recently it does place Trada in an interesting position with Microsoft/Bing. While Trada has plans to expand its platform it’s too early to see how the investment may change their business models if Google makes a decision to purchase more shares.

How does Trada work?
1) Setup client’s ppc campaigns in Trada, and request to add new campaigns on demand
2) Get the best ppc experts in the world to work on your campaigns
3) Complete control of your clients relationships and campaigns
4) PPC ads begin to run on Google & Bing
5) Conversions/Clicks are generated and shown on customised reports
Watch more about the Trada.com platform

Googled TV

Google TV LogoGoogle has finally completed the loop it started a few years ago when it launched Google AdWords for TV Ads, when today it officially launched Google TV a consumer product based on Adobe Flash and Android 2.2.  The Apple TV inspired device appears to be almost a beta version with much of the features already available with a HDMI or VGA cable, your PC and a your current TV. Some of the integrated features are likely to be found in the ability of Google to better target users with their TV AdWords platform and publishers can expand the audience for TV Adsense. Below you can watch the Google TV initial product demo featured at Google I/O 2010.

Google TV Trends

In an interesting benefit with the new Google search interface it can now add modules such as trends, and according to Google Trends, Google TV is the #1 most popular search term in the past hour as shown in the image below but peaked 3 hours ago. The point is that similar to the previous Twitter trends,  growth worked on a percentage basis can skew the actual volume of searches for that term which can make it easy for such a term to rank #1 most popular search term when most of the search queries only really started in the last hour or two.

Google TV Trends

The interesting element is the searches related to Google TV are very action focused with searches for:

  • sign up for google tv
  • google tv search
  • google tv invite
  • get google tv
  • google tv box

This shows that there is a strong interest in getting the product but most likely before people actually know what is it going to cost, when it will be available, what devices or TV networks will be compatible.  It also shows that it is likely very early in the products life cycle as many purchase searches such as “how much does it cost”, “where can i get”, “can i buy google tv”, “google tv guides” do not yet appear as related search queries.

Google TV Hardware Partners

One of the likely benefits will be manufactures such as Sony and Logitech start to roll out with the software built into their hardware it will start to gain traction but that can take years as Digital TV is still struggling to gain a foothold and the addition of this may confuse consumers and complicate the steps to consider when buying your next TV.

Google TV Partner – Logitech

Logitech Google TVLogitech advises that its not here yet, and they will be providing full product details for their Google TV companion box later this fall. The Logitech Google TV companion box is an external device that connects your TV through a HDMI port, using a intuitive controller to use the Google TV platform.The issue for international readers is that you will have to reside in the USA to be able to use the new Logitech Google TV device.

The early sneak peaks confirm that the Logitech companion box will use Logitech Harmony technology which will integration with your current home entertainment system.  It will offer features such as video calling and offer a variety of controllers, including a Google TV smart-phone app…

Logitech press pack download on the Google TV announcement.

Google TV Partner – Sony

Sony Internet TVSony has pitched its Google TV device as the world’s first HDTV product that incorpates the Google TV format.  Similar to Logitech there is a wait until the new Sony Internet TV device is available. Much less information is available about the new range of Sony TV products that Logitech provides about its device, which may mean the Sony product has a fair bit more development work before its due to be released.

  • The HDTV device enables searching for: channel, show or website
  • The HDTV device automatically upgrades its software
  • The HDTV device allows you to customise your TV experience via Apps
  • The HDTV device is powered with Intel Inside
  • The HDTV device uses a handheld wireless QWERTY remote

The marketing Sony is using to promote its Internet TV seems very similar to how the iPhone was originally introduced as a new way to look at your phone.”iPhone Apple reinvents the phone” & “Say Hello to iPhone”

The new Sony Internet TV slogan is “Television, meet Internet.”, it makes it also very close to its competitor Apple who still runs “YouTube, Meet Apple TV”.

Microsoft Project Natal (Competitor)

It will be interesting to see how Google TV will compete with Microsoft Natal who doesn’t actually require you to use a keyboard or mouse to interact with your TV.

Apple TV (competitor?)

Apple TV has been around for a number of years, while the device is ground breaking it never had enough attention as many of the other products in the Apple range were offered, but this might be the finally push Apple needs to get the product back into the ring.

Samsung TVs

This is an obvious competitor to the current range of Samsung Internet TVs that already offer internet ready features and have for a number of years, the only difference is that Google is the search engine and Android is the operating system you will be using. Samsung also has the more flexible options for firmware and software updates with automatic via internet, manual via internet and manual via usb.  This allows the product to be suitable to markets outside of the USA where ISPs can limit users bandwidth where Google TV only offers automatic updates.

The obvious competition is that Google TV is mainly linked with Google properties and uses Netflix to power its ondemand movie platforms.  Samsung Internet TV runs mainly on the Yahoo content network using Y! TV Widgets and features the following competitors applications.

  • Twitter
  • Flickr
  • eBay
  • Amazon Video on Demand
  • BlockBuster ONDEMAND

Competitive issues?

The platform is likely to raise the interests of competition watch dogs as the ability of Google to link data and track users across multiple platforms has now been extended from PC to Mobile and now to TV.  It is likely that Google Analytics will also require some slight tweaks to ensure this new platform can be tracked and advertisers are able to start to measure the true costs or benefits of advertising on TV. With regulators already struggling to swallow the idea of Google buying AdMob, any purchase by Google of set-top box makers or software developers purchased which would improve the Google TV platform may be disapproved.

Google Adsense for TV

One of the bigger benefits to Google and marketeers is the expansion of publishers who would be interested in Google Adsense for TV, where publishers are able to attract advertisers who traditional wouldn’t use TV easily to their networks. But Google needs its TV product to succeed in growing the network of advertisers in order to make its Google Adsense for TV profitable, but to attract advertisers it needs an audience with Google TV in their lounge room.  So the whole focus of what Google Adsense can bring to your business depends on the success of the Google TV platform, so either buy shares in Google or buy a new Google TV…

What Google AdSense for TV can bring to your business
  • Adsense for TV reaches new advertisers – Leverage our platform and salesforce to reach our new to TV advertisers. Read their success stories.
  • Adsense for TV allows you to maintain control – Exercise quality and editorial control over all ad creatives; approve and reject ads days before airtime.
  • Adsense for TV offers quick, no-fee integration – Integrate with Google TV Ads in a few short weeks using our Fast Track integration tools.
  • Adsense for TV offer precise measurement and insight – We provide anonymised tuning data from millions of set-top boxes that you can share with your salesforce, advertisers, and leads.
  • Adsense for TV offers simpler, guaranteed payments – No make-goods, no stewardship, and we’re designed to provide thirty days net payment— regardless of collections.

Googled TV now what?

It is a very interesting power play by Google but it is not anything ground breaking thanks to Jason Kincaid at Techcrunch breaking the news 1 day early about Google TV, and there had been rumors for months about the product.  The biggest impact I can see is that Apple will relaunch their Apple TV product, Hulu will face more competition from YouTube and Google will be able to sell more AdWords.

Microsoft launch Docs.com

Announced today at the Facebook F8 conference, Microsoft has launched its first cloud product specifically targeted to social media with Docs.com.  The product developed by Microsoft’s fuse labs and is built around Microsoft Office 2010.  Docs.com enables Facebook users to discover, create, and share Microsoft Office documents with your Facebook friends. Because its built using Microsoft Office 2010, Docs.com for Facebook lets you work from just about anywhere with the familiar Office experience.

FuseLabs has produced a number of social media products that enable a richer social experience, and allows their products to harness the wisdom of the masses. Typically the FuseLabs projects uptil now have focused around Twitter and gaming “Kodu“, so this latest Docs.com product is likely to be very interesting.  The product is a smart move for Microsoft, from an audience perspective with the 400,000,000 Facebook members now able to use the service.

Smart Domain Name

By securing the Docs.com domain, it now makes it much more attractive for users to share documents and much easier to remember the website address Docs.com than some previous cloud solutions. The benefit of having a generic keyword domain, makes it easier for search engines to understand your site and often easier to rank for competitive terms.

WordPress Blog = Smart

To show have Microsoft is changing how some of its labs like FuseLabs work, they are running their blog on the WordPress platform, this means once again they can benefit from the WordPress and don’t have to allocate resources to rebuild the wheel and can focus on building cool apps like Kodu or improve Docs.com.

Related Images:

Microsoft Office 2010 Preview

logo_microsoft_office2010Forbes today covered news around the Microsofts hints about the move towards office in the cloud and how they hope to expand the current market as only 4% of office productivity applications are web-based.

Microsoft’s web development team seemed to have moved faster than their marketing team as a recent update has exposed their new Microsoft Office 2010 release.  Rafael Rivera tweeted the accidental release office mini-site release around 4 hours ago.

The new Office 2010 mini-site has a number of preview videos that talk about many of the much anticipated Office 2010 web applications plus some amazing new features never shown in public.

Was this a private pre-release to show media/tech buyers that was not to be publicised or tweeted about? It is likely it was just a time zone error, that enabled the web servers to release Office 2010 mini-site. This is a common issue with complex CMS systems, having a administrator the only person who can utilise the publish button can sometimes save embarrassment of an early release.

Office 2010 Product Review

We have taken time to view all the presentation videos that were displayed on tech blog “istartedsomething” and listed some of the new advanced features of Office 2010, so please enjoy and more features will be rolled out by Microsoft as the product moves closer to release.  As the one of the presenters points out the theme of Office 2010 is to “Bring Ideas to Life”.

Microsoft Office helps you work from anywhere as it moves to take the product into the online/offline world with collaboration features. The popular new ribbon feature now the common menu system for the whole Office suite. Office offers improved co-authoring features, powerpoint broadcast, central backend for common printing/sharing tasks.

The new central backstage view allows for common functions such as: Set permissions, Save as PDF, Send Via Email,New Print settings

office-backstage

Microsoft Word 2010

Office works towards making most actions 1-2 clicks away
New formatting tools
3D effects, shading & glow
More Creative Smart Art
Visualise & Arrange Documents
More of a content management system
Document Map allows for outline view
Can create subsections for pagesoffice-authors

Use document map to easily search within documents: Section, Thumbnail, Phrase View
Real-time collaboration online within Word
Can communicate with collaborations via phone, email or IM

Microsoft Excel 2010
Useful business intelligence sharing among your company
Make informed decisions faster with sales/company data
Better and faster analysis of data
Create effective visualisations “charts”
Quickly visualise trends within Excel

Excel Backstage View – Sample Reports & Templates
New Feature “Slicer” to filter down, dynamically drill down and analyse dataoffice-2010-sparklines
Spot revenue trends with SparkLines to show mini charts within cells

Backstage view – set permissions, preview & print in one easy view

Microsoft Sharepoint 2010
New transitions to creat richer presentation experience
Can use animation painter to easily apply animations to items
Users can trim video within powerpoint
Email features – Compress Media feature to easily compress file size
Slides can now be group into sections for easy sharing/collaboration
Broadcast slide shows using Sharepoint server
Broadcast is great for remote presentations as viewer don’t even require a copy of powerpoint

office-2010-outlook

Microsoft Outlook 2010
New clean interface using the ribbon menu
Conversation field, similar to Google Wave that shows single conversation lines
Can categorisies emails in conversation window
Outlook can filter emails in conversation window
Mail tips to warn when sending to external users
Quick steps, makes common meeting actions 1 click away
Meeting requests show previews to reduce double bookings

Microsoft Web Applications 2010
Microsoft working to make remote work easier
You can now use any internet kiosks to access & edit documents
Microsoft Web Applications work within Firefox & IE
Web Applications preserve the richness of Office 2010 documents online
Access your Office documents directly in a your web browser
Excel documents can be easily edited on sharepoint servers from any PC just like on the desktop.

Microsoft OneNote 2010
Can easily view who has made changes to shared documents
Share all your web clippings and notes from the road with colleagues & co-workers

Microsoft Publisher 2007
This video seems to be having issues and will only play audio and will not show the video, so we cannot provide a review at this time.

Windows 7
One interesting point is the Microsoft is already updating these videos to promote Windows 7.  It is being marketed under the campaign of “Ready Set 7“, you can visit their website and learn more about their replacement to Windows Vista.

Microsoft sells up grilled Razorfish

The Financial times reported last month that Microsoft has thrown its digital marketing agency Razorfish on the grill.  The Financial Times rumour microsoft-logonames Morgan Stanley as the financial firm who has been appointed by Microsoft to find a buyer for Razorfish.  What makes this appear to be more of a fire sale is the low price the analyst is rumoured to have placed on Razorfish valuing the company at between $600-700 million dollars.

Microsoft paid $6 billion for aQuantive in May 2007, with a 2x premium on the shares previous days closing price. Some estimates on the purchase price and revenue figures calculated that it might take Microsoft around 15-30 years to recoup its investment in aQuantive. Based on this data and if Razorfish is valued at between $600-700 million this would signal more of a fire sale, so we thought that a link that might be suitable how to Cook Razorfish.

When Microsoft purchased aQuantive it included Razorfish and the Atlas Ad Platform with an original price carrying a 80% premium so this recent valuation rumour for Razorfish seems much too low for such a valuable company. Rumours are that parties reported to be in discussions to buy Razorfish is Publicis Groupe SA the world’s 4th largest marketing company.

publicis-groupeThe biggest points which show that Publicis Groupe SA might be the likely buyer is a recent agreement with Microsoft to establish a broad strategic agreement for digital. This broad agreement aims to ensure the companies can work closely on 3 core objectives: Content, Performance & Audience. Based around these core concepts they can work to bring better value and more efficacy to their clients and seek to potentially level the playing field with Google.

Razorfish is a very successful digital marketing agencies which according to its Wikipedia page in 2008 alone, Razorfish has won over 75 creative awards including 10 Webbys, 16 WebAwards, 3 OMMAs, 2 ADDYs, and 3 Create Awards. Razorfish is also quite a large digital agency with over 2,000 employees worldwide and working with a majority of the worlds largest 500 companies.razorfish

The potential benefit to the buyer of Razorfish is a massive client roll, exclusive technology and a powerful brand which is likely to be worth more than $600-700 million for an agency such as Publicis Groupe SA. If this sales rumour turns out to be true it is likely even in these tough funding climate to start a bidding war as the only growth seems to be in digital.  Sir Martin of WPP recently outlined that their digital is around 25% of their business and they are expanding their digital offering considerably throughout the world, which could be assisted by a purchase such as Razorfish.

The other bigger global agencies besides Publicis Groupe SA which are likely to want a piece of Razorfish are: WPP, Omnicom, Interpublic who could benefit from an increased number of higher growth digital projects.

We have listed some of the manyRazorfish client projects:
Automotive
* Ford – Ford Sync
* Honda Formula One – My Earth Dream
* Mercedes – Mercedes-AMG
* Audi – A4 Global Drives
Consumer Goods
* Coca-Cola – iCoke & World Cup Campaign
* Coors – 4:53 Silver Bullet
* Krafts – Chips Ahoy
* L’Oreal – Garnier Nutritioniste
* Red Bull – Red Bull Fusion
Financial Services
* Visa – Visa Discounts
Healthcare & Life Sciences
* Roche – FluFacts.com
Media & Entertainment
* CNN – Cnn.com
* Conde Nast – Concierge.com
* Netflix – Instant Viewing Player
* Nielsen Media Research – NielsenMedia.com
* Sony – Playstation Portable
* New York Times – NewYorkTimes.com
Retail
* JCPenney – Ambrielle
* Levi Strauss & Co – Levi’s RedWire DLX
Technology & Telecom
* AT&T – Digital Lifestyle Center
* Microsoft – Xbox
* TED – Encyclopedia of Life & Pangea Day
Travel & Leisure
* Northwest Airlines – NWA.com
* Startwood Hotels – Global Search Website

If you want to learn more about Razorfish follow them on twitter.

Update NYTimes confirms that Publicis Groupe purchased Razorfish for $530 million in stock and cash, who will continue to advertise on MSN & Bing as part of a 5 year deal.  Microsoft also confirmed it will continue to spend money with Razorfish as part of the deal.