This week at Microsoft: Bing, Windows 8, and Open Source

This week at Microsoft: Bing, Windows 8, and Open Source

TNW loves it some Microsoft, and while Apple has kept itself from the news, and Google has mired in it, Redmond has been chugging right along in the last few days. The company, however, is in that awkward moment between major releases, as it readies the release candidate (RC) of Windows 8, works on wrapping Office 15 (shipping early 2013), and preps the next round of Windows Phone software.

That in mind, the next big thing to drop should be the Windows 8 RC, but more on that in a moment. Today, as it is a lovely Friday, we are going to meander back through the last week’s Microsoft news to make sure that you know exactly what is up.

Now, we can’t fit it all into this post, so hit the archives for a full dose. Ensure that you are following TNW Microsoft on both Twitter, and Facebook, and let’s get into the news.

Bing Goes Paid

No, not the search product itself, but its API will soon cost some dough for developers to use. However, Microsoft is being quite smart about this shift. Instead of just slapping a paywall on its API, the company is fusing it into its Azure line.

Yes, Bing API’s will be offered in the Windows Azure Marketplace. This matters for two reasons. First, it helps seed the Azure market. Bing has some users that will convert over to the paid APIs as they depend on the product. This will boost the Azure store, and perhaps even bring Azure proper more customers in the long run. Secondly, what momentum Azure has may now help Bing. By bringing Bing into the Azure market, it could become the defacto search product of choice for those who use Microsoft’s cloud system.

And that would be great for Bing, a Microsoft division that could use a revenue arm-shot. As I said earlier, I think that this is ‘an effective cross-seeding between two huge investments.’ Prices will start at $40 per month for 20,000 queries.

Windows 8: RC A’ Comin’

Leaked slides have a way of making things quite open, if you get me. Here’s the gist: a confidential slide from the end of 2011 showed that Internet Explorer 10 is set to wrap up and hit the market in the middle of 2012. Nothing surprising about that.

However, I’ve long thought that IE10 and the Windows 8 RC were going to launch into the market as a unit, or at least in a very narrow time frame. Why? If Windows 8 is put out as an RC, but not a final version of IE10, chances are the browser product would remain buggy.

And therefore, testers might fault Windows 8 for IE10’s bugs. This means the Windows 8 could suffer. Therefore, Windows 8 can’t RC until IE10 has its druthers straight. And if IE10 is coming out in the middle of this year, just when we thought that the RC of Windows 8 is due, well, we think we can read those tea leaves.

Microsoft and Open Source

This one is straight out of the Twilight Zone (this one, you fool, not this one). From our own Drew Olanoff:

Microsoft is stepping up its game when it comes to involvement in open-source initiatives. The company has announced a new subsidiary called “Microsoft Open Technologies Inc.”, which will handle open-source products and standards projects for the company.

While Microsoft hasn’t always had the best relationship with the open-source community, it has taken steps to involve itself more and to build a stronger developer ecosystem around its products. Since this new venture is an entirely separate company, it will have its own board of directors and will be able to work independently from Microsoft’s money-making efforts.

I’ll give you time to clear the coffee you just spit all over your monitor. This is hard to believe. Yes, Microsoft has been investing into open source projects, such as Hadoop, but it has always done so when there has been a very clear reason to do so. With Hadoop, it had to support the tech, or it would have fallen grossly behind. I’m not trying to sound cynical; Microsoft is a business, and should, and does, behave like one.

But now it has a brand new, independent (to a point) venture into open source. Woah. Start to process this one. As the subsidiary gets into gear, we’ll bring you more.

Lumia Roundup

Roundup in your roundup. Hit the button. Here’s the big Lumia stories from the week:

  • Nokia’s big ad spend on Lumia also covers this funny Russian viral video [link]
  • Nokia sold 2 million+ Lumia devices in Q1 2012, lowers outlook in light of ‘disappointing’ results [link]
  • Nokia Lumia 610 NFC becomes official with Orange, will launch with Visa and Mastercard NFC support in Q3 [link]
  • Nokia jumps the gun, unveils its first NFC Windows Phone handset: The Lumia 610 NFC [link]
  • Nokia acknowledges Lumia 900 issue, plans software update and $100 discount [link]
  • About face: AT&T Lumia 900 launch budget not $150 million after all [link]
  • Report shows that Nokia leads smartphone sales in the Middle East [link]

Alright, that’s enough of all that. When the time comes, make a delicious, and proper, scotch.

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