June 7, 2011

Microsoft Launching Google Docs Competitor, Office 365

Google took the lead ages ago by providing a free Office suite replacement on the web. Microsoft followed suit and it has been working on a web-based office suite called Office 365. It’s been in beta for a long time and it’s finally time to be launched. According to Neowin, the suite is all set to launch sometime this month. 

According to a Tweet post by Jon Roskill from Microsoft, the date set for the launch this year on the 28th of June. He also states there are some 100,000 customers on beta. The beta first launched in late 2010 to limited users after which it was made available as a public beta in April, this year. Those who register for the beta will also get an additional month of free access to the service. The Office 365 suite will include Exchange, SharePoint, Lync (which isn’t available to Mac users) and Office Web Apps 2010. To compete with Google’s mostly free Docs service. Microsoft also has a free version available for non-business or enterprise users. Docs.com is one of them. For business users, the schemes for Office 365 start from $10 a month to $27 a month.

Facebook Inside Xperia for the X10

That your Sony Ericsson Xperia X10 will be getting a Gingerbread update is not surprising. However, the update is also said to be bringing the “Facebook inside Xperia” feature to the handset.

From what the Mobile Indian has to say, a certain Sony Ericsson spokesperson said that the Gingerbread update will be arriving to handsets in India, but they didn’t have an idea about the timing of the launch. What we know is that the update should be launching at the end of this month or maybe beginning of July. A few days back we saw SE releasing the “Facebook inside Xperia” feature for the Xperia Play and the Xperia Arc. If these features make it to the X10, that’ll just add to the happiness to the X10 users, as well.

These small progresses definitely are going to earn Sony Ericsson those brownie points that they have been in need of for a while now. Let’s just wish that there’s no change of plans or anything of that sort.

June 6, 2011

Angry Birds Comes to Windows - No Browser Required

Rovio's quest to bring its ├╝ber-popular Angry Birds to every computing platform known to humankind shows no signs of letting up.

Just three weeks ago, a browser-based beta version of the game debuted in Google's Chrome Web Store. And Roku yesterday announced plans to bring three versions of Angry Birds to its video-streaming set-top boxes this summer.

Well, it appears the Birds have migrated to Windows PCs too, and no browser is necessary. Rovio is selling two flavors of Angry Birds--the original and Rio versions--for Windows. Each is $4.95, or you can download a free demo version to check it out.

The games run on Windows XP SP2 or a newer version of Microsoft's OS. Rovio plans to release a third Windows edition, Angry Birds Seasons, sometime in the future, but hasn't announced an exact date.

Angry Birds debuted as an Apple iPhone app in December 2009. Users have downloaded the game more than 200 million times, Rovio says.

With Angry Birds flying everywhere, I wonder which platform they'll invade next. And will these avian dive-bombers have staying power, or become the next Guitar Hero?

Nokia and TOI Launch an App on the Ovi Store

The readers of Times of India, one of India’s most popular, and subsequently the most widely read newspaper can now be accessed on their Nokia phones, courtesy the launch of the new Times of India app on the Nokia Ovi Store.

The app intends to give the traditional habit of reading the newspaper a major facelift. With the app on the phone, Nokia claims that it is possible to comfortably glance to the latest happenings around the globe while on the go, quite literally. The app is a free one and can be downloaded off the Ovi Store (www.store.ovi.com). The application can be viewed in both portrait and landscape formats, and allows easy sharing on social networks like Facebook, Twitter, as well as can be emailed or SMSed. Users can also incorporate the scroll and swipe gestures while they view the app. Additionally, Nokia has enabled the app with the high utility, auto update widget that would update news automatically, without the user having to perform any tasks specifically. This feature holds great promise since it bears in mind the dynamic nature of news.

Using the app, users will be able access news across all major sections like general affairs, politics, sports, world news, business, city news, among others.

Google Launches The '+1' Button

Facebook's 'Like' button has been immensely popular ever since its inception. It was only a matter of time before others implemented the same feature. Google as you all know by now, had announced plans of launching the '+1' button. Now they have gone a step further by announcing that the +1 button will be a feature added to websites so as to decrease the time spent for searching.

The users have to do is simply click '+1' if they happen to like a website. At first it was reported that '+1' would be implemented only with some websites, but now some reps have let a cat out of the bag by saying that just about any website will be able to add the '+1' button which would help users rate their favourite posts.

How would this help?
Users searching for a particular article on Google can now see what their friends have liked, making it easier for them to pick the best out of the lot. Google has launched this service for websites today. This service is supposed to change the way one searches for articles or something on Google, such as a recipe. While some may think this is a good service, others may think otherwise. Either way, this is a welcome addition which will save a lot of time and most likely result in more relevant search results. 

You can read more about Google '+1' button over here.