Tag Archives: microsoft

Meet The Lady Who Gave Cortana Her Personality, Talks About Cortana Creation Process

Cortana Susan

Microsoft Jobs team today posted an interview of Susan Hendrich, Principal Program Manager Lead, Windows Phone at Microsoft. Susan was the person responsible or Cortana’s  personality (written, spoken, and the circle) as well as chit-chat, the new feature that will be part of Windows Phone 8.1 release. In the interview, she revealed that working on Cortana over the last nearly two years has been the highlight of my career and read some behind the scenes stuff below.

How did we create Cortana and who is she?

To create the personality of Cortana, we started by interviewing celebrities’ personal assistants. We learned what makes them successful. Then we thought deeply about what personality attributes our users would like in a personal assistant. From that research and a lot of iteration, we created a brief that outlines who Cortana is. We use it to help guide us in all decisions when thinking about how Cortana would respond in conversation, what tasks she would do, or how she might remind you of an urgent situation.

Cortana is competent, caring, confident and loyal. She’s always prepared to help, but not bossy. She’s eager to learn. When she’s chatting, she can be outright funny, peppering her answers with banter or even a sparky comeback. She assumes friendly familiarity with you, but her job is to be your personal assistant.

Read more from here.

Cortana Answers About Microsoft Clippy Assistant, Steve Ballmer And More

There are lot of funny responses from Cortana digital assistant in Windows Phone 8.1. One of the highlight is its ability to answer questions about Clippy. When asked whether it knows Clippy, it says they are Facebook friends. When asked about Steve Ballmer, it shows ‘Developers, Developers…’, when asked about Bill Gates, it replied that it could not imagine a world without him. Find few of them from the gallery below.

Microsoft Launches Windows Phone OEM Portal To Target Android OEMs

Windows Phone OEM Portal

As announced during MWC, Microsoft today launched the OEM developer portal for Windows Phone platform. The OEM portal provides detailed documentation and all the Microsoft tools and services you’ll need to create a Windows Phone.

We want to help you bring great phones to market quickly and efficiently. Through a well-defined end-to-end process, the OEM portal will provide you with the information you need to design your hardware, customize your phones per market, and manufacture them for retail sales.

You’ll be able to get a high level overview of Windows Phone development, register to be a Windows Phone OEM, and begin the process of reviewing and signing licensing agreements. So please, take some time to review the materials available now, start the registration process.

Microsoft has also released Qualcomm reference design platform enabling OEMs to easily build Windows Phone devices.

For more details visit, https://dev.windowsphone.com/en-us/oem/.

How To: Enable Cortana In Windows Phone 8.1 Even Outside The US

cortana 4 header

Cortana is one of the main new feature in the upcoming Windows Phone 8.1 update. But it is limited to US Windows Phone user for now and Microsoft is planning to expand it over the course of this year. If you downloaded Windows Phone 8.1 preview today and want to try out Cortana, here is how you can enable it.

1) Go to Settings and change your region and language to US English.

2) Also set interface language to US English.

Restart the phone once and you will be able enjoy Cortana now!

How To Download Windows Phone 8.1 Developer Preview For Your WP8 Device

Windows Phone 8.1 Developer Preview app

Microsoft today announced the release on Windows Phone 8.1 developer preview for all Windows Phone 8 devices. Either your WP8 device is Lumia 520 or Lumia 1520, you can download the developer preview now.

How to Download Windows Phone 8.1 Developer preview on your device?

What is developer preview?

Windows Phone Preview for Developers gives registered developers access to prerelease Windows Phone operating system updates for their development phone, directly from Microsoft. Since, this preview program was created to give developers time to test their apps, and to validate that their apps run as expected on a real phone before an operating system update is made generally available to your customers, expect few bugs here and there.

What you need to download this developer preview?

To get Windows Phone developer preview updates, you need to be a registered developer or be running a “developer unlocked” phone.

Find the full set of instructions on how to get those after the break,

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Microsoft’s leaky blog software confirms today is the big day


Via Joe Belfiore we know we can expect the Windows Phone 8.1 Developer Preview “early next week”.

Now, due to Microsoft’s blogging platform, which appears to leak posts which are still unpublished, we can see the first paragraph of Cliff Simpkins’s blog post, announcing the arrival of the software.

He will be saying:

Windows Phone 8.1 now available on Windows Phone Preview for Developers

Cliff Simpkins

Starting today, you can update your personal dev phone(s) to run Windows Phone 8.1 using the Windows Phone Preview for Developers program . Along with the tooling delivered in Visual Studio 2013 Update 2 RC , developers can now get everything they need to start building and testing Windows Phone apps…

on Mon, Apr 14 2014

Unfortunately clicking on the link takes you to a log-in page, but given that the post is dated Monday, the 14th April it is clear we only have a matter of hours to wait.

Thanks Peter for the tip.

How To Get Ready For The Windows Phone 8.1 Developer Preview?

Windows Phone 8.1 Developer Preview app

Based on the tweet from Joe Belfiore, we are expecting the release of Windows Phone 8.1 developer preview on Monday. If Microsoft announces it on Monday, before you can download WP8.1 preview OS on your device, you need to first get your device ready for it.

Microsoft has advised few things you need to do before you can update your device.

  • To get Windows Phone developer preview updates, you need to be a registered developer or be running a “developer unlocked” phone. Check for detailed instructions on how to do it after the break.
  • Make sure you have enough storage space on your phone for the update. To check how much you have available, in the   App list, go to Settings  > Phone storage. For more info about how to move things off your phone to make more room, see  Make room on my phone to update it.
  • Make sure your phone is well-charged, so you don’t lose power during the update.
  • If you’re worried about cellular data charges, use Wi-Fi and manually download the update. See   How can I minimize my data usage? to learn more.

There are also few other things you need to keep in mind before updating your device. Read it after the break.

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Microsoft harmonize Windows Phone and Windows 8 app pricing

On the Windows Blog Microsoft has announced a move to consolidate the pricing tier structure between the Windows Phone and Windows 8 store.

The move is intended to help developers create universal apps which will work and charge the same on both platforms, and which buyers ideally will only have to pay for once.

This has meant the introduction of the $0.99 and $1.29 pricing tiers to the Windows Store, which on the Windows Phone store makes up 55% of transactions.

In addition to the consolidation, Microsoft also made adjustments for changes in foreign exchange rates, taxes and market-specific pricing customs which may cause automatic pricing changes in some markets. Developers are advised to visit Dev Center to review their app pricing and make any necessary adjustments. 

More can be read at the Windows Blog here.

Microsoft’s talks about their Internet Of Things (video)

When most companies talk about the internet of things, they are talking about smart watches and thermostats, smoke alarms, and other consumer gadgets.

It seems however Microsoft’s approach to this area is all about monitoring the performance of machines in the factory and doing preventative maintenance, which is hardly sexy.

In a blog post Microsoft talked about Intelligent systems and the internet of things and spoke of the vast opportunities it opens up for business leaders.

They described how IOT can provide  new insights, optimize business processes, make more informed decisions, identify new revenue opportunities, and understand and predict customer and partner behaviors in ways they never thought possible.

Microsoft planned to help companies by enabling connections between existing intelligent but isolated systems and helping companies interpret the big data generated using tools such as Microsoft Azure cloud service offers massive processing capabilities that can be tied into data storage and analytics tools in Microsoft SQL Server, Azure HD Insight and Power BI for Office 365, discussed at www.InternetofYourThings.com.

Microsoft’s strategy appears not to try and strike gold, but to sell the shovels used by everyone in the gold rush.

This approach is however unlikely to win Microsoft much needed mindshare, and without mindshare a company can often sink into a spiral of irrelevance, as they get brought up less and less in the conversation, much like IBM did.

Do our readers think Microsoft’s strategy of going after their traditional strong point, enterprise customers, is wise, or should Microsoft continue to fight the good fight against Apple and Google in the consumer arena? Let us know below.

Microsoft Releases Windows Phone 8.1 Security Features Overview Whitepaper

Windows Phone 8.1 Enterprise

Microsoft has recently released a whitepaper on the security features in the upcoming Windows Phone 8.1 release. Windows Phone 8.1 delivers important enterprise-grade capabilities such as Mobile Device Management, Windows App Platform Convergence, S/MIME for Secure Encrypted Email, Security, Assigned Access, Enhanced App Management, Certificate Management, Enterprise VPN and Wi-Fi  and more.

From highly secure identity features, such as Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA) with virtual smart cards and PINs to its defense-in-depth, multilayered approach that addresses organizational security requirements in numerous ways, Windows Phone 8.1 is designed with security in mind. Explore these features in more detail and learn why, because Windows Phone 8.1 shares many of the same underlying components, including those related to security, as Windows 8.1 and Windows Server 2012 R2 operating systems, it offers predictability, reliability, and commonality in how Windows Phone 8.1 devices can be used and managed in an enterprise environment.

Download it here from Microsoft.

via: @MaryJoFoley

Windows Phone 8.1 Update Coming Early Next Week


While everyone of us are eagerly waiting for Windows Phone 8.1 update, Joe Belfiore today confirmed the timing of the release. Windows Phone 8.1 developer preview is not coming this week and he has provided us hint that it is coming early next week.
Most probably, we will get Windows Phone 8.1 developer preview on April 14th or April 15th. Are you ready to update your WP8 device?

Microsoft Increases Memory Limit For Apps In Windows Phone 8.1

wp 8.1 mem cap 1

Windows Phone is always known for performance and it comes as a result of strict memory requirements for apps. Developers have to plan in advance on how to utilize the resources allocated for their apps. In Windows Phone 8, developers had a 150mb memory limit even on a 2GB RAM device for their background tasks. But with WP8.1, Microsoft has increased it to over 300mb. Also, a foreground App can use up to 825mb of memory on a 2GB RAM. Check the above and below images for comparison.
wp 8.1 mem cap 2

Anyone can build a simple app, but a complex app requires more thought. Building a serious app on a device with significant memory and CPU constraints can pose some interesting technical challenges. You also have choices about the breadth of markets you want to address with your app. In this session, we’ll look at your choices, and how you can work within the resource constraints to build compelling, resilient apps. We’ll also deep-dive into the platform Resource Manager, examine what’s new in Windows Phone 8.1, and explain the rationale behind the resource management policies.

Watch the session after the break.

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Check Out This Heated Conversation Between Microsoft’s Cortana And Apple’s Siri

Arsenio Hall is an American actor, comedian best known for hosting The Arsenio Hall Show which was recently revived from September last year. Microsoft revealed Cortana digital assistant for the first time last week and it created lots of positive press for Microsoft. In this show, Arsenio was shown using Cortana and Siri for completing a task and things get out of control when Microsoft’s Cortana and Apple’s Siri started a conversation between themselves. This is just for fun, so watch the video above and enjoy it.

Cortana has been getting a lot of attention for being a hipper, more “with it” digital assistant, but Siri isn’t taking that lightly. Arsenio was talking with both of them on the show when things got a little out of control.

Are you looking forward to try out Cortana on WP8.1?