The latest demonstration of its prowess is a competition by Microsoft Netherland for web designers to showcase their HTML5 masterpieces in just a frame of 300 pixels squared, thus the name Framerate Fest.
Since the website just launched days ago there are currently only 8 submissions showcased. At the time of writing the most voted for is a dynamically generated and playable “Amazing maze“, and my personal favorite is an interactive bacteria-like visualizer “Pixel Outbreak“.
In our first meeting with Brandon Watson and members of the Windows Phone 7 team about homebrew on the WP7 platform on-campus at Redmond, we received a “I was the first to jailbreak Windows Phone 7, and all I got was this lousy t-shirt.” Our meeting is now complete. Just kidding.
To fit in with the theme of the event Microsoft is sponsoring, the two ads – one briefly mentioning Windows Phone 7 and the other Bing, shows off a number of aspiring actors hoping to make a name for themselves. The text “You don’t know them. But you will” appears before the voiceover “Windows Phone pre-congratulates the Golden Globe winners of tomorrow” is heard.
On a related note, I feel the arbitrary product placement of WP7 and Bing are extremely out of place and distracting from the otherwise sincere message. Perhaps it might have been much better if it just said “Microsoft pre-congratulates the Golden Globe winners of tomorrow”. What do you think?
To enter, the Windows Phone 7 application must already be submitted to and approved in the Marketplace. Applications will be judged on originality, creativity, marketability and the potential popularity by a panel of local Australian mobile industry experts.
Everyone who submits an entry will receive a free Windows Phone 7 shirt so there’s no reason not to enter, plus five runner ups will also receive a HTC 7 Mozart phone. Entries close 28th of February.
Using a combination of applications on the Windows 7 desktop, including (in sequence) Windows Media Player, Quicktime, Office 2010 Word, Excel, Internet Explorer 8, iTunes, Windows Live Messenger, Adobe Photoshop CS5, a custom game, Google Earth, Google Chrome and PowerPoint, the ad illustrates a short 2-minute action-packed story involving some bandits chasing a female agent.
Although some of the graphics and animations appear to be simulated, most of the sequences appear somewhat practical for the applications they are shown in. After all, a real OSX desktop and applications has been demonstrated to make a similar movie in the past.
As demand for more energy efficient cars has driven the development of car technologies in the past several years, another aspect of the driving experience, infotainment, is also rapidly changing and Microsoft with partners like Ford is clearly leading the way.
Ford’s second-generation SYNC with MyFord Touch included in the newly announced Focus Electric, originally based on top of the Microsoft Auto platform, offers an impressive range of functionality presented with a futuristic user interface both inside the instrument panel and center console. Specific to EVs are numerous customizations that inform the driver of their driving habits and energy usage.
Microsoft’s early investments into a platform optimized for the automotive industry as early as 1998 might pay off very well in the near future as more car companies will leverage more functional and better designed infotainment systems as a differentiator in the marketplace.
The latest release, Windows Embedded Automotive 7, offers an impressive range of features including support for Silverlight UIs, flawless voice recognition via Tellme, connectivity to a wide range of mobile devices and comprehensive media management features.
No matter how foolishly easy it is to make a joke about blue screens in a car, the reality is Microsoft clearly leads the industry and might very well show up in your next car.
Disclosure: Ford Motor Company paid for my travel and accommodations at the 2-day Driving Green Technology event.
User experience entrepreneur
I'm a person and stuff. Mostly person, sometimes stuff. Proud introvert.
I make stuff people love to use: PTVGlass Melbourne bus, tram & train timetable on Google Glass, Map2Glass type and send addresses to Google Glass, Omny personal radio, listen to the web with SoundGecko, Twitter for Windows MetroTwit, Speedo Plus Windows Phone app, Bing Image Archive and Windows UI Taskforce crowdsourced bug tracker.