Posts tagged huge

Why Microsoft’s Universal Windows App Store Is Huge For Developers—And Consumers

Windows is now truly one operating system, whether you’re on a smartphone, tablet or PC.

Windows Phone 8.1, Windows 8 RT and Window 8.1—that is, the phone, tablet (sort of) and PC flavors of Windows—are no longer distinct operating systems that largely look alike but vary wildly under the hood. Microsoft has spent the last couple of years updating its disparate Windows versions so that they work together with the goal of letting developers write one app and deploy it—after some tweaking to the user interface—to Windows PCs, tablets and smartphones.

True, Microsoft’s operating system naming conventions are still awful. But that shouldn’t obscure the major step forward this code-base unification represents to developers, nor the benefits that will flow to users as a result.

All three flavors of Windows now run on a common software core, or “kernel,” with a common runtime (i.e., the set of tools necessary to run programs). The major remaining differences between them have mostly to do with how they handle user-interface issues across a variety of devices, input methods (think touchscreens vs. mouse and keyboard), hardware (not just CPU and memory, but graphics processors, accelerometers and other sensors) and screen sizes.

Microsoft knows that those differences still present obstacles for developers, and hopes to address many of them with an update to its integrated developer environment, Visual Studio 2013, which it announced at Build 2014 this week.

Kevin Gallo, Microsoft’s director of the Windows Development Platform, describes it in a post on the Windows blog:

We’ve designed Windows for the long term, to address developers’ needs today, while respecting prior investments. We do this with one familiar toolset based on Visual Studio 2013, with support for C#, C++, JavaScript, XAML, DirectX, and HTML. The tools and technology stacks already used by hundreds of thousands of developers extend app development across Windows devices. Developers who have built apps for Windows 8.1 will find it fairly easy to reuse their work and bring tailored experiences to Windows Phone 8.1. Windows Phone 8 developers can use the same code, and also access new features, when they develop for Windows Phone 8.1.

Write Once, Deploy To All The Windows

The Visual Studio update allows developers to port existing apps across devices and their specific versions of Windows. For instance, if you have a Windows 8.1 app, you can use settings in Visual Studio to target smartphone-specific capabilities in Windows Phone 8.1. Visual Studio is designed to let developers use the same basic app code across different devices and Windows flavors, and allows them to emulate how an app will behave in each case.

From Microsoft’s perspective, the two most important takeaways for developers are these:

  1. You can build universal apps and share all the code while just making tweaks to the user interface
  2. Visual Studio offers a variety of diagnostics tools to optimize apps for use on different device—smartphones running Windows Phone, laptops running Windows 8.1, etc.

Essentially, Microsoft wants to make it as easy as possible for developers to build Windows apps. Given Microsoft’s minuscule share of the mobile market to date, you can hardly blame it.

In practice, this means Windows Phone developers—and you know who you are— essentially have three options. If you’ve built your apps using the Silverlight Phone 8.0 development tool, you don’t have to do anything; they’ll continue to work as is on Windows Phone 8.1.

Alternatively, you can update your apps to Silverlight Phone 8.1 to access the new features in Windows Phone 8.1, such as the Cortana personal assistant and customizable homescreens. Or you can migrate your apps to the universal Windows app platform with the new tools in Visual Studio. Of course, if you prefer, they can also just start from scratch and build a “universal” Windows app to Microsoft’s specifications, which would theoretically optimize it for the new unified Windows code base.

One of the biggest bits of news is that Microsoft is encouraging developers to use whatever tools they want. Whether a developer chooses to use C# or Visual Basic (VB)—or C/C++—to write native apps, it’s all good. Microsoft is also actively encouraging developers to build cross platform apps with JavaScript and HTML5/CSS and has promised an update to Internet Explorer 11 with hardware accelerated graphics support that takes advantage of a device’s GPUs while leaving the CPU untouched. 

Buy Once For All Of Your Windows

For consumers, Microsoft aims to make the process of buying an app easier. If you buy an app for your Windows 8.1 laptop, you can automatically download it to your Windows Phone or vice versa. Microsoft insists that you won’t need to buy separate apps for separate versions of the operating system because, essentially, Windows is now all one big operating system now. The same is supposed to hold true for in-app purchases within these apps—they should migrate from laptop to tablet to smartphone as well.

Apple doesn’t do this. If you buy an app on Mac OS X for your iMac or MacBook, you will still need to download or buy the same version for your iPhone or iPad. Google doesn’t do this, either. If you buy an app or extension for Chrome OS, you will still need to buy that app for Android on Google Play.

Some individual apps for Android and iOS, of course, do let customers download versions for different devices—for instance, via a subscription service or universal login. But that’s up to the app developer. It’s not required by Apple or Google.

View full post on ReadWrite

10 Huge Online PR Mistakes You Must Avoid

Press releases have a part to play in link building campaigns. Is your press release actually newsworthy? Is it getting to the right people? Is it focused? Is it structured properly? These are just 4 of 10 avoidable online public relations mistakes.

View full post on Search Engine Watch – Latest

Mt. Gox CEO Apparently Confirms Huge Bitcoin Loss

Bitcoin exchange Mt. Gox went dark on Tuesday without much explanation beyond an unconfirmed and purportedly leaked document (embedded below) that alleged thieves had stolen 744,408 bitcoins worth $380 million from the world’s largest exchange and that it could “go bankrupt at any moment.”

That document, titled “Crisis Strategy Draft,” now appears to be genuine, according to none other than Mt. Gox CEO Mark Karpeles himself. Karpeles apparently confirmed that it is “more or less” legitimate earlier this week in an Internet Relay Chat with a self-described adviser to bitcoin investors.

Shrouded In Ambiguity

Like so much news about Mt. Gox, a notoriously tight-lipped, Tokyo-based company, this confirmation is shrouded in ambiguity. Karpeles’ online chat allegedly took place two days ago, at 10:39am ET on Tuesday, with Jon Fisher, an affiliate marketer in New York who told ReadWrite that he now advises “some of the largest private holders of bitcoin.”

Mt. Gox CEO Mark Karpeles

Mt. Gox CEO Mark Karpeles

Fisher posted the text of the chat on his website, WickedFire.com, on Tuesday roughly eight hours after it took place. Fox Business News reported the text of the chat on Tuesday. Fisher told me by email that the chat is genuine. There doesn’t appear to be any obvious way to contact Mt. Gox for comment.

In addition to laying out Mt. Gox’s woes, the crisis document outlined a four-point recovery plan for the exchange that included asking partners, investors and donors for bailout funds to continue operations; ousting Karpeles as CEO; and taking the exchange offline for a month in order to restructure both its underlying technology and its business.

In the course of the chat, Fisher asked Karpeles if the crisis-management document is “even legit.” The CEO, writing under the pseudonym “MagicalTux,” replied:

[11:04] <MagicalTux> more or less
[11:05] <MagicalTux> as the name suggests it’s a draft, and it’s a bunch of proposals to deal with the issue at hand, not things that are actually planned and/or done
[11:06] <MagicalTux> this said this document was not produced by MtGox

Bitcoin blogger and entrepreneur Ryan Selkis, who first published the crisis-management document on his blog, now reports that it originated with a global consulting firm called Mandalah. Selkis also reports that Mt. Gox’s initial attempts to solicit bailout funds from outside investors have gone nowhere.

A Casual Tone

During the Tuesday discussion, which took on an especially casual tone for a man facing the wrath of millions of angry customers, Karpeles said he’s still in Japan trying to make things right. “We haven’t given up,” he wrote. 

Karpeles declined to say whether he plans to step down as CEO. But he said he’s unable to access his own money, and presumably that of Mt. Gox customers, although he added this caveat: “technically speaking it’s not ‘lost’ just yet, just temporarily unavailable.”

Members of the Bitcoin community were less than pleased with Karpeles’ lackadaisical tone. During the conversation he complained of gaining serious weight due to stress, referenced Batman, and—in an odd attempt to verify his identity—posted a picture of his cat asleep beside his keyboard.

“First public communication after shutting down site containing millions of dollars belonging to thousands of people who have been kept completely in the dark with no information about the status of their money. Posts a picture of his cat, links to a batman meme, and complains about getting fat. This f*cking guy,” redditor thesacred wrote.

Here’s the Crisis Strategy Draft:

Photo courtesy of Mt. Gox

View full post on ReadWrite

Google’s Rap Genius Penalty Results In Huge Traffic Declines For The Lyrics Site

Before Christmas, Rap Genius was outed for link schemes and then on Christmas, Google penalized the site for those link schemes. The penalty is still on and a couple metrics sites show huge drops in traffic for the site, some as much as losing 90% of their traffic since the penalty. Marcus from…



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PPC Excel Tips For Every Level: Part 1, Huge Time Savers For Beginners (And Beyond)

Excel is that must-have tool for managing, analyzing and reporting on paid search campaigns that is impossible to know too well. Many of us are self-taught — picking up tips and tricks here and there — which makes it even harder to know what shortcuts and secret powers we’re…



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How a Single Experiment Can Give You Huge Business Exposure by @abbas_rajani

Image Source: GenetechSolutions.com As per current trends in the search industry, spammers and link builders who mainly work for search engines results rather than users are a thing of the past. Like designers, the search industry is looking for creative minds who can give companies natural exposure instead of artificially built traffic. If you are […]

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Abbas Rajani

SEO Strategist at Genetech Solutions

is a prolific blogger and SEO Strategist at Genetech Solutions, a fastest growing Web Services Company offering Web Design/ Development, Mobile Apps Development, SEO and other customized web solutions to their clients. Read more of his work on Genetech’s Blog.

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