Cool & Innovative are the two words that describe the Microsoft technologies that hit the Indian market in 2010. Be it Realtime search or bringing Microsoft Office to consumers through cloud computing, gaming without any controllers or web cameras that give real life images the message was clear – Consumer is God!
Here is a look at some of the technologies from Microsoft that revolutionized & rocked the Indian consumer’s life in 2010 and some you can look forward to in 2011.
Microsoft Office 2010.
Your office in the cloud might have seemed a distant statement a few years back but today cloud computing has become the new way of doing business on the web. What’s more this year Microsoft broken all boundaries & took your office to the cloud with Microsoft Office 2010. Office 2010 enables unprecedented levels of seamlessness across the PC, web & Mobile. It comes packed with enhanced and easy-to-use tools, customizable templates, color schemes, and photo-editing capabilities. Along with Office 2010, Microsoft also introduced Office Web Apps – which are the light weight versions of familiar Office programs (Word, Excel, PowerPoint and One Note), delivered through the browser. Office Web Apps extends the Office experience on the web by letting customers access their documents from virtually anywhere online letting them easily share and work with others.
Price: Office Home & Student (FPP): INR 4,999. Office Home & Business (FPP): INR 10,999.
Internet Explorer 9.
With IE9, it was the first time that a browser looked beyond the user interface and leveraged capabilities like HTML5, CSS 3.0 to create an immersive web experience. What’s more, IE9 harnessed the power of the whole PC through GPU-CPU acceleration, making the website work faster for consumers. With a clean & minimalistic look IE9 surely has re-imagined the role of the browser making it feel as native as an application on the PC.
Kinect for Xbox 360.
This latest gaming wonder from Microsoft, the Kinect for Xbox 360 lets you get off the couch to dance, dodge, leap and kick using the whole body and voice to play – no controller required. And there are the 11 exciting Kinect games available across genres.
Price: Kinect Sensor: INR 9,990* (Estimated Retail Price). Xbox console and Kinect bundle: INR. 22,990* (Estimated Retail Price).
Windows Live Refresh.
Windows Live brings alive all the elements that matter the most to a consumer in his socially connected life. Whether it’s the social dashboard on WL Messenger that brings together updates from across social networks like Facebook, LinkedIn and MySpace, as well as videos directly from YouTube – all in one place or the integration of several email accounts & social networks on the new Hotmail or ‘cool’ features like Spam control that help unclutter an email account. WL lets consumers prioritize their online lives and live a cleaner, clutter free online life.
250 GB Xbox 360 console.
Black is back with the new Xbox 360 console. It is sleek, silent and very very sexy. Connect in seconds to the always- expanding world of Xbox LIVE through built-in Wi-Fi N and store twice as many games and entertainment on a 250GB hard drive. The newly designed console is whisper-quiet, so the silent tension of a game or movie is never broken. The new Xbox 360 system comes with everything you need to get started, including an Xbox 360 wireless controller, Xbox 360 headset, HDMI input, USB flash drive storage capabilities and best part it is Kinect ready. Microsoft has also put in a touch sensitive power button, five USB ports and an onboard optical digital audio.
Price: 250 GB: INR 21,990 (Estimated Retail Price). 4 GB: INR 14, 990 (Estimated Retail Price).
Halo: Reach, one of the most successful Halo titles ever which raked in $200 million on its very first day, even beating Avatar – the highest grossing Hollywood blockbuster. Halo: Reach is the blockbuster prequel to the award-winning “Halo” trilogy that will let players experience the events that transpired on the planet Reach. The “Halo” franchise is an entertainment phenomenon comprised of best-selling novels, collectibles, industry acclaimed anime and genre-defining games that have sold more than 34 million units worldwide.. For Xbox LIVE members, Halo: Reach builds on the success of its predecessors, setting a new standard for competitive gameplay, customization, variety and community integration. In fact, the Halo franchise is the most popular game on Xbox LIVE, so popular that over 3.3 billion hours of Halo have been logged on it by people playing the game. Xbox LIVE brings an unbeatable entertainment experience right to Xbox 36O, where you can connect with friends and family, download and play games, and access a huge library of games and music in an instant.
Price: Standard Edition: INR 2,599 (Estimated Retail Price). Limited Edition: INR 2,999 (Estimated Retail Price). Legendary Edition: INR 6,999 (Estimated Retail Price).
LifeCam HD-6000 and HD-5000.
Share your world irrespective of time zones, make that meeting without having to commute, stay in touch anytime anywhere. Now bring your world closer with Microsoft’s new LifeCam series. These state of the art web cameras possess the TrueColor Technology – a ground breaking new image processing technology that provides superior color and brightness in even the worst lighting conditions. This new LifeCam HD-6000 and HD-5000 are plug-and-play, so no software downloads are necessary. The webcams also have a great Auto Focus. Microsoft Hardware’s LifeCams come from the same range of award winning webcams as the LifeCam Cinema which was declared as the “Best Computer Peripheral” of the year at the NDTV Tech Life Awards 2010.
Price: HD 5000: INR 2,205 (Estimated Retail Price). HD 6000: INR 2,375 (Estimated Retail Price).
You can now go to your favourite information repository online – Wikipedia and not worry about language being a barrier. Microsoft Research announced the launch of the beta version of WikiBhasha, a multilingual content creation tool for Wikipedia. It enables you to find content from other Wikipedia articles, translate the content into other languages, compose new articles, enhance existing articles in multilingual Wikipedias and adapt English-language Wikipedia articles for local languages. So go on add & contribute to the amazing world online in more than 30 languages!
Microsoft Office for Mac 2011.
Microsoft Office for Mac 2011 is the most recent version of the Microsoft Office productivity suite for Mac operating system and a successor to Microsoft Office 2008 for Mac. With Office being used on more than 1 billion Macs and PCs worldwide, users of these platforms can now work on documents with virtually anyone, anywhere—with no technical impediments. The new Office for Mac 2011 includes more robust enterprise support and greater feature parity with the Windows edition. It contains the familiar commands, formats, and interfaces known to users, which saves them precious time getting familiarized with the new software. Further, it offers the most complete feature set, with everything users expect from top-of-the-line software – now delivering impressive, professional-looking documents becomes easier for users.
And what can the Indian consumers expect in 2011!?
Windows Phone 7.
Windows Phone 7 will redefine the mobile user experience and has been designed to bring together what consumers care about most- more easily and much faster. With Windows Phone 7, Microsoft will offer a fresh approach to phone software, distinguished by smart design and truly integrated experiences that bring to the surface content that people care about from the Web and applications. For the first time ever, Microsoft will bring together Xbox LIVE games, the Zune music and the video experience on a mobile phone, exclusively on Windows Phone 7 Series. Windows 7 Phone has been showcased in Europe, North America and Asia Pacific in 2010 and will roll out in India in 2011.
I have been personally using the HTC Windows Phone 7, and must say that it has a truly refreshing approach and sure feels responsive and snappy!
Arc Touch Mouse.
At less than 15 millimeters thick at its widest point, the Arc Touch Mouse has been designed to deliver ultimate portability to easily slip into a bag, purse or pocket. It also goes from curved to flat with one simple movement, so working on the go is easier than ever — just collapse the Arc Touch Mouse to turn it off, and pop it up to turn on. The new mouse features Microsoft’s first touch scroll strip for easy navigation — just move a finger slowly for controlled scrolling or flick for hyper fast scrolling. Come 2011 and you will experience the Arc Touch Mouse: there is no equal in look, feel, and performance.
Gears of War 3.
One of the most anticipated game titles of all time, Gears of War 3 is the spectacular conclusion to one of the most memorable and celebrated sagas in video games. Developed by Epic Games exclusively for Xbox 360, Gears of War 3 plunges you into a harrowing tale of hope, survival, and brotherhood. The latest edition includes a four-player co-op mode, the introduction of three playable female characters, new weapons, a fully controllable mech suit and new moves like the ability to swap weapons with squadmates and knocking over enemies while going over cover. The “Gears of War” series is one of the most popular franchises in Xbox history, having sold more than 12 million games worldwide, and spawning New York Times best-selling novels, an upcoming film and more!