Pinned sites are one of the cool features of IE9 on Windows 7. A pinned site–if done right, and developed to take advantage of being pinned–treats the site as if it were an application, and makes it easier to navigate to key elements of the site.
Microsoft reports that sites that take advantage of pinning in IE9 have more engaged visitors who spend more time on the site:
- Business Insider – read 57% more pages, spend 95% more time on site
- Flixster – read 34% more pages, spend 57% more time on site
- Gilt – visit 39% more often, add 160% more items to shopping cart, complete 45% more sales transactions
- The Killers – read 65% more pages, spend 103% more time on site
- hi5 – respond to 200% more social requests (like friends, games, notifications)
- Huffington Post – spend 49% more time on site
But, there are some things that organizations must do in order for their sites to take advantage of pinning. I have written previously about how to prepare your site to take advantage of the features of Internet Explorer 9, but now Microsoft is making it even easier.
Microsoft has created a new site for developers (www.buildmypinnedsite.com) to add pinning capabilities in 15 minutes or less. Check out this post from the Exploring IE blog for more details, then go to buildmypinnedsite.com and hook your site up.
…Or, is it the future of WIndows Phone 7 riding on Nokia? No, definitely the former. WIndows Phone 7 seems to be doing OK, and with the upcoming Mango update it seems to be blazing new trails and creating a uniquely innovative niche for itself. I think WIndows Phone 7 will do OK.
Nokia, on the other hand, I’m not so sure about. It is still a dominant player in the global mobile phone market, but it has less of a footprint when it comes to the exploding market of smartphones, and is almost unheard of in the UNited States right now. Nokia needs a strong smartphone to establish some relevance as a foundation to reinvent itself.
Nokia is in a virtual freefall, and hopefully the first of its WIndows Phone 7 smartphones–expected at the end of this year–can help it get back on course.
Intel unveiled a new, thinner, sleeker netbook which it is rebranding as an ultrabook. Aside from assigning it a new marketing buzzword, though, I fail to see what sets an “ultrabook” apart from a “netbook” or why Intel expects users to drop nearly $1000 for an ultrabook when that same $1000 could buy two iPads.
According to a PCWorld article, “Subsequent ultrabooks will be based on upcoming processors code-named Ivy Bridge, to be released next year, and Haswell, to be released in 2013.” But, the first models of ultrabook will not have any different hardware specs or capabilities than existing netbooks.
Intel hasn’t placed all of its eggs in the ultrabook basket, though. It is also hard at work developing tablet architectures. Its a good thing too. The Nvidia quad-core Tegra looks impressive, and ARM predicts its processors will own half the mobile market by 2015.
Intel is pretty bold, though, with its own predictions, forecasting that its new “ultrabook” will make up 40 percent of mobile PC sales by the end of 2012. Good luck with that.
Mooly Eden, vice president and general manager of Intel’s PC Client Group, said, “ARM technology will try to go up into the notebook space. We will try to go down into their space. Let the best one win.”
I am the first to point out that hardware specs don’t make the tablet. Most of the rival tablets coming out beat the Apple iPad, and even the iPad 2, in terms of the hardware components, yet the iPad continues to be the superior tablet because Apple managed to develop iOS specifically to maximize the efficiency of the tablet, and Apple delivers a better experience overall.
That said, when tablets start hitting the street with these quad-core Tegra chips from Nvidia, it could be a bit of a game changer. The video that Nvidia released to demonstrate the power of the quad-core Tegra focuses on a game with a rolling ball and lighting effects. The point, though, isn’t necessarily to demonstrate the ball-rolling game, but to illustrate that if the chip can smoothly render a demanding game like that, imagine what it can do with regular old Web surfing, or email.
Microsoft is expected to demonstrate the tablet version of Windows 8 this week. I know I wouldn’t mind seeing how Windows 8 runs on a tablet armed with one of these processors.
WordPress–the blogging platform relied on by millions around the world–is doing its part to support the demise of Internet Explorer 6. Microsoft, and Web developers everywhere have been trying to kill the archaic, yet tenacious browser for years.
The Web has moved on. IE6 is insecure, unstable, and unable to deliver the interactive Web content of today. Microsoft created an entire site to track the death of IE6. We are making progress, but 11.4 percent of the world is still using IE6.
Microsoft has already released IE9, and has moved on to developing IE10. There really isn’t any excuse to still be on IE6. Web browsers are free. If you don’t like IE8 or IE9, then get the latest release of Firefox, or Chrome, or something…anything but IE6.
Internet Explorer 9 is now available in more languages than any other Web browser on Windows. Microsoft released IE9 in an additional 53 languages, bringing the total to 93–seven more than Firefox 4.
Being American, it is easy to take English for granted. When I get new software–whether it’s the latest release of Windows, an update for iOS on my iPhone, or a new Web browser, I assume it will be in English. And it is.
However, for billions of users around the world, English is not the native language. In many countries, English is still used to some extent, and users may be familiar with it, but that doesn’t mean they are fluent in it, or comfortable using it.
I think the number of native languages is sort of a silly thing for browsers to compete on, so I won’t focus on that aspect. I do, however, think it is important for users to be able to use software in their native tongue, or at least a language they are fluent in, to ensure they fully understand the features and controls and can use the software more effectively.
Microsoft unveiled details of a major update to Windows Phone 7–codenamed “Mango”–earlier this week. The update contains more than 500 changes to the Windows Phone 7 platform–a mind boggling number for a platform that is still nascent to begin with. But, one of the messages from Microsoft in revealing Mango is that it wants more of the functionality of the smartphone to be an integrated, inherent part of the mobile platform and the smartphone experience, rather than an app that is bolted on after the fact.
In Windows Phone 7 Mango, Windows Live Messnger is woven into the fabric of the messaging hub and provides one-stop access to instant messaging, text messaging, social networks, group chat, and more. An Inside Windows Live blog post explains the seamless integration, “For example, if we’re both online in Messenger, it will use Messenger IM so that we can share rich photos and more, but if we’re Facebook friends or just have each other’s phone numbers, it will automatically select the right service for our conversation. Of course, you can always choose (and easily switch to) the service you want to use for any given conversation based on presence, network availability, cost, and personal preferences.”
I used a Windows Phone 7 smartphone for a couple weeks, and found it capable, but I wasn’t blown away. By the end of the two weeks I was anxious to get back to my iPhone 4. But, I have to say that I am looking forward to taking Windows Phone 7 for another spin once Mango hits the street. Microsoft really seems to be innovating and developing Windows Phone 7 into a solid smartphone contender.
Feeding America has jumped on the increasingly crowded Windows 7 bandwagon. The workers at Feeding America will be more productive and be able to feed America’s hungry more efficiently now that it has transitioned the entire desktop infrastructure to Windows 7.
A Windows For Your Business blog post explains, “everyone at the national office and 100 percent of supported food banks are enjoying Windows 7. Feeding America couldn’t be happier with the results – from IT’s ease of adding peripheral devices, to 85 percent reduction in service calls reporting errors, to employees’ overwhelmingly positive responses to Windows 7 features like Snap, Search and the Snipping Tool.”
Last year I got to follow two other organizations as they went through the process of switching to Windows 7. Cupcake Royale and Balin Accountancy were the subject of a pilot experiment conducted by Microsoft and Dell to demonstrate the value of migrating to Windows 7.
If you haven’t yet switched to Windows 7, take a look at these success stories and explore whether your organization should take the plunge. If your organization has migrated to Windows 7, comment here or email me and let me know what prompted the switch, how smoothly the transition went, and your thoughts on how things are now compared with the platform you were using previously.
I guess I picked the wrong time to decide to spend an entire month using Google Docs. While I am living and working in the Google-verse, Microsoft is rolling out new features that make Office Web Apps better. I miss out on all the fun!
The changes are not Earth-shattering, but as I am learning while immersed in Google Docs–it is often the little things that count. In the PowerPoint Web App, Microsoft now lets you change the design theme of the presentation from within the Web app.
The Excel Web App is even better. The Microsoft Office Web Apps blog explains, “You can now insert, delete or rename sheets in a workbook within the Excel Web Apps, and use familiar tools like AutoSum and formula assistance to crunch data more efficiently.”
See, the little things add up. I am sure that inserting, deleting, and renaming worksheets is nice, but I excited about AutoSum. I am not an Excel guru, or even power-user, but I make frequent use of the AutoSum feature in Excel and I have missed it when using the Excel Web App.
I like Office Web Apps, but really I am looking forward to Office 365. Still, I will definitely check out the new Office Web Apps features next week after my 30 days with Google Docs is over.
A lot of the buzz about “the cloud” is just marketing hype. The cloud is all the rage, and everyone wants to jump on the cloud bandwagon. But, marketing buzz aside, there are actual advantages and benefits to be realized from moving certain tasks and technologies to the cloud. Windows InTune is a prime example of a tool that delivers on the promise of the cloud.
A Windows For Your Business blog post quotes Windows IT Pro explaining the decision to award Windows InTune with these honors:
Windows Intune makes system management easy. Companies of all sizes can begin managing their clients in hours rather than weeks or months. And this significant first step opens the door to a whole range of future management services to be released at a pace that traditional on-premise products simply can’t match. Windows Intune will change the way we manage everything.
If you haven’t checked out Windows InTune, take a look and see what Windows InTune can do for you.