The Midweek Download: Feb. 9th Edition – Windows Phone 7, Internet Explorer 9 Tries to Break the Sound Barrier, Hotmail and More

Posted by Jeff Meisner
Senior Manager, Corporate Blogs

Microsoft is a big place with lots of technology stories to tell.

The Midweek Download will focus on news coming out of Microsoft’s technology groups, as well as those stories that might not garner the attention of the media and the technology press.

Fans of the Official Microsoft Blog’s Weekend Reading series will doubtless find the format familiar.

Are you ready for your first download?

Windows Phone 7 developers get new tools. In this Feb. 2nd post on the Windows Phone Developer Blog, blogger Brandon Watson reports on the release of the Windows Phone Developer Tools Update. Watson continues, “In practical terms, this is the tools update that supports the forthcoming addition of copy and paste, improved app performance and other enhancements for Windows Phone. All apps which are in Windows Phone Marketplace will continue to work on any phone that gets updated to the new version of the OS.”

And in other Windows Phone news…With the Windows Phone Developer Tools Update now available, the folks on the Interoperability @ Microsoft Blog want to make developers that have been creating applications for other platforms aware of a variety of resources that can help them ramp up quickly on the WP 7 platform.

I feel the need…the need for SPEED! In this Feb. 8th post on the IEBlog, blogger Jason Weber (lead program manager, Internet Explorer Performance) writes about one of the goals in creating Internet Explorer 9 – building the world’s fastest Web browser. Measuring anything in cyberspace is a tricky equation, however. Read the full post to find out how the folks in Internet Explorer measure speed.

H.264 video, we still love you. While some browsers out there have decided not to continue supporting the H.264 video format, Microsoft decided to adopt the opposite strategy. In this Feb. 2nd post on the Port 25 Blog, blogger Claudio Caldato reports on the availability of the Windows Media Player HTML5 Extension for Chrome, “an extension for Google Chrome to enable Windows 7 customers who use Chrome to continue to play H.264 video.” Caldato, who is principal program manager for interoperability strategy at Microsoft, continues, “At Microsoft we respect that Windows customers want the best experience of the web including the ability to enjoy the widest range of content available on the Internet in H.264 format.”

Hotmail sizzles with new “alias” feature. On average, most people have three different e-mail addresses to organize different types of e-mail. However, it’s cumbersome to manage that many e-mail accounts, with their accompanying usernames and passwords. Or, it was. Now, a new Hotmail feature “makes it easy to use a different email address and still get all the benefits of Hotmail without having to change your primary email address and online identity,” writes blogger Dharmesh Meta in this Feb. 3rd Inside Windows Live Blog post.

Ben the PC Guy on the “anti-netbook.” There are guys who love gadgets and then there is Ben “the PC Guy” Rudolph. He doesn’t just love gadgets, he lives for them. In this Feb. 7th post on the Windows Experience Blog, Rudolph gives his thoughts on the Hewlett-Packard Pavilion dm1z, a sub-$500 laptop with that rarest of features: good battery life. The Pavilion dm1z is, as Rudolph calls it, “the anti-netbook.”

Office, NUI and touchscreens. Natural user interfaces and touchscreens have gotten a lot of attention lately. In this Feb. 8th post on the Microsoft Office Blog, Office Casual writer Doug Thomas demonstrates how people can take advantage of certain Office features using a touch screen. Check out the video below:

Thanks for reading, and see you next Wednesday for another Midweek Download!