Microsoft reveals translating phone that works in almost-real-time

Not only will the next version of Microsoft Exchange transcribe telephone calls, it’ll go one step further: Microsoft is also trying to translate telephone calls in real time. You’re speaking English, she’s speaking Russian — but you can both understand each other! HOW COOL IS THAT?

It was only a matter of time, of course — and Google’s also working on the same tech — but still, watch the video and tell me you’re not impressed. I experienced a similar sensation to when I saw the real-time translation in the Google Wave tech demo — it’s that kind of tingling… that prickling sensation, where the words that articulate your thoughts are just out of reach, on the tip of your tongue.

Just imagine the possibilities when real-time language translation becomes a reality. It’s not far off; a year, maybe two. It’s simply a matter of processing power, nothing more. I’m thinking of the universal translators that appear in Star Trek and Dr Who. Imagine travelling anywhere in the world, or the universe, and being able to understand what’s being said. Obviously it wouldn’t be as large as a phone — perhaps an earpiece, or sub-cranial implant… hmm…

AT&T Stores Set To Introduce Microsoft Surface

It looks like AT&T will be among one of the first to feature Microsoft’s Surface, an interactive touch screen table, in a retail environment. Customers will be able to place handsets on the Surface and through the magic of Bluetooth communication be able to review the handsets feature sets and options, in addition to coverage areas and making custom modifications to their handset. The first Surfaces will appears in major cities such as NYC, Atlanta, San Antonio and SF. Expect Microsoft’s Surface to appear in AT&T stores sometime this month (April 08).

Microsoft Launches Windows Mobile 6.1

At CTIA Wireless 2008, Robbie Bach unveiled new features for an update to Windows Mobile, which includes enhanced features for socializing like threaded text messaging and features for simpler navigation. He also announced Microsoft’s plans to bring desktop-grade Web browsing experience to the Windows Mobile phone with an upcoming version of Internet Explorer Mobile.

Updates and new phones are expected to be available beginning in the second quarter of 2008. IE Mobile will be available to mobile phone partners in the third quarter of 2008 with the first Windows Mobile phones using the new version to be available by the end of 2008.

For Windows Mobile phones used in businesses, System Center Mobile Device Manager 2008 is now available.

The Microsoft Mobile Services Plan (MMSP) was also announced today in partnership with AT&T, O2, Orange, TaTa Teleservices Ltd. and Verizon Wireless. The plan will help businesses with:
• Securing Windows Mobile phones with the same ease and flexibility as Windows-based PCs and providing access to information behind a company’s firewall.
• Helping businesses meet their mobile device management needs through mobile operators with the MMSP.
• Managing and securing phones with Exchange Server 2007 SP1 advanced mobile policies while enabling people to find, share, and use information no matter where they are

Microsoft Partners with Top Social Networks to Put Users at the Center of their Data

Today Microsoft is announcing some significant developments to the Windows Live platform that demonstrate Microsoft’s commitment to data portability and giving users a choice of how to use and control their information.

Today I’m pleased to announce that Microsoft has partnered with some of the world’s top social networks on contact data portability. Starting today, we will be working with Facebook, Bebo, Hi5, Tagged and LinkedIn to exchange functionally-similar Contacts APIs, allowing us to create a safe, secure two-way street for users to move their relationships between our respective services. Along with these collaborations, Microsoft is introducing a new website at http://www.invite2messenger.net that people can visit to invite their friends from our partner social networks to join their Windows Live Messenger contact list.

We encourage you to visit http://www.invite2messenger.net to see these ideas in action, and to invite your Facebook, Bebo, Hi5, LinkedIn and Tagged friends to join you on the world’s largest instant messaging network, Windows Live Messenger.

Source- Windows Live Dev blog

Vista SP1 failed to spark migration

Microsoft’s latest efforts to persuade customers to upgrade to its much-maligned Vista operating system have met with a cool response from users. Historically, Microsoft’s first service pack for one of its marquee products – such as Windows – provides the impetus for users to upgrade. As Gartner analyst, Stephen Kleynhans recently noted, customers see SP1 as the sign that the OS has reached maturity and is ready for enteprise deployment.

But even the offer of free support for using installing Vista Service Pack 1 (SP1) and tools to lower implementation cost, the user response has been one of stony indifference. Vista SP1 includes a number of fixes for bugs that have plagued the operating system, as well as improved support for drivers. It initially became available to download from Microsoft’s website and will be included as part of the Window’s Update feature from mid-April.

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