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Xamarin for everyone

On March 18th, 2016, Microsoft’s acquisition of Xamarin officially closed.

We love C# and we want every developer to be able to take advantage of the power of .NET in every app, on every device. Being part of Microsoft makes it possible for us to do some incredible things, and today we are announcing several big changes to the way we ship our products.

Visual Studio now includes Xamarin
As of today, we are including Xamarin in Visual Studio at no extra cost.

Xamarin will be in every edition of Visual Studio, including the widely-available Visual Studio Community Edition, which is free for individual developers, open source projects, academic research, education, and small professional teams. Develop and publish native apps for iOS and Android with C# or F# from directly within Visual Studio with no limits on app size.

For developers on the Mac, Xamarin Studio is now available as a benefit of your Visual Studio Professional or Enterprise subscription. Developers can use the newly-created Xamarin Studio Community Edition for free.

To begin developing iOS and Android apps with the full power of Xamarin and C#, download Xamarin Studio or Xamarin for Visual Studio today.

We love open source
And we know you do too.

So we are announcing today that we have contributed the Mono Project to the .NET Foundation, including some previously-proprietary mobile-specific improvements to the Mono runtime. Mono will also be re-released under the MIT License, to enable an even broader set of uses for everyone. In addition, to help clarify users’ rights to Mono under Microsoft patents, Microsoft has issued a broad patent promise for Mono. Miguel has posted more details to the Mono Project blog.

These changes to Mono remove all barriers to adopting a modern, performant .NET runtime in any software product, embedded device, or game engine, and open the door to easily integrate C# with apps and games on iOS, Android, Mac, and Windows, as well as PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and any emerging platforms developers want to target in the future

But wait, there’s more!

In addition to these important steps, we are announcing today our commitment to open source the Xamarin SDKs for Android, iOS, and Mac under the MIT license in the coming months. This includes native API bindings and the basic command-line tools necessary to develop mobile apps. It also includes our popular cross-platform native UI toolkit, Xamarin.Forms.

With these changes, .NET is now open source and native on every single device, from mobile to desktop to cloud. This is a proud moment for all of us who have invested years into making .NET the best platform, and we know that this change will make it even easier for developers to invest their own time into building great software in C#.

We look forward to building a true open source community around Xamarin, and eagerly await the first pull requests.

Xamarin Insights is joining HockeyApp
Xamarin Insights delivers incredible value to mobile .NET developers by helping find and debug issues in your apps. Now we are ready to bring that experience to an even wider audience.

Over the next few months, Xamarin Insights will merge with HockeyApp bringing experiences that made Xamarin Insights so great into HockeyApp.

During this transition, current Xamarin Insights customers will be supported through existing contracts and Xamarin developers can still freely integrate Xamarin Insights into their apps. For more information, please see the FAQ.

Xamarin Test Cloud
This morning at the BUILD conference Scott Guthrie showed how Slack and Pinterest are using Xamarin Test Cloud and our 2,300-device test lab to make sure their apps work everywhere. We will continue to provide Xamarin Test Cloud as a standalone product, and we will be investing heavily in its future.

Xamarin University
On the Xamarin University front, we’re working with other teams within Microsoft to expand our content to cover mobile development with more Microsoft products. We’ve also launched a free self-guided class designed to get you up to speed on Xamarin quickly, and it even counts toward Xamarin Developer Certification! Start learning today.

To our customers
Our commitment to your success in mobile is stronger than ever. We want to continue to be your trusted partner, and you should hold us to the highest standards in the quality of our products and support.

If you have additional questions, visit our FAQ or reach out at hello@xamarin.com. We would love to hear from you.

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Saving Data – Myth Buster

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A data usage myth exists about “saving data”, this concept far beyond defeats logic, we can rather term it as a comforter of thoughts if at all anything.

There’s an increase in the number of people who believe that once you turn off ? the mobile data on your device that there is immediate saving benefit of using data. Now I have tried to understand this from various sides (1) of the consumer, (2) my own, (3) the truth (or rather logic).

Continue reading Saving Data – Myth Buster

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Introducing Windows 10 Editions

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Windows 10 is coming this summer in 190 countries and 111 languages. Today, we are excited to share more details on the Windows 10 Editions.

We designed Windows 10 to deliver a more personal computing experience across a range of devices. An experience optimized for each device type, but familiar to all. Windows 10 will power an incredibly broad range of devices – everything from PCs, tablets, phones, Xbox One, Microsoft HoloLens and Surface Hub. It will also power the world around us, core to devices making up the Internet of Things, everything from elevators to ATMs to heart rate monitors to wearables. No matter which Windows 10 device our customers use, the experience will feel comfortable, and there will be a single, universal Windows Store where they can find, try and buy Universal Windows apps.

Introducing Windows 10 Editions
As in the past, we will offer different Windows editions that are tailored for various device families and uses. These different editions address specific needs of our various customers, from consumers to small businesses to the largest enterprises.

Windows 10 Home is the consumer-focused desktop edition. It offers a familiar and personal experience for PCs, tablets and 2-in-1s. Windows 10 Home will help people do great things, both big and small. With it, they will be more productive and have more fun thanks to a long list of new innovations: Cortana, the world’s most personal digital assistant; the new Microsoft Edge web browser; Continuum tablet mode for touch-capable devices; Windows Hello face-recognition, iris and fingerprint login; and right out of the box, a broad range of universal Windows apps like Photos, Maps, Mail, Calendar, Music and Video*.

We are also bringing the Xbox gaming experience to Windows 10, giving games and gamers access to the Xbox Live gaming community, enabling the capture and share of gameplay and giving Xbox One owners the ability to play their Xbox One games from any Windows 10 PC in their home.

Windows 10 Mobile is designed to deliver the best user experience on smaller, mobile, touch-centric devices like smartphones and small tablets. It boasts the same, new universal Windows apps that are included in Windows 10 Home, as well as the new touch-optimized version of Office. Windows 10 Mobile offers great productivity, security and management capabilities for customers who use their personal devices at work. In addition, Windows 10 Mobile will enable some new devices to take advantage of Continuum for phone, so people can use their phone like a PC when connected to a larger screen.

Windows 10 Pro is a desktop edition for PCs, tablets and 2-in-1s. Building upon both the familiar and innovative features of Windows 10 Home, it has many extra features to meet the diverse needs of small businesses. Windows 10 Pro helps to effectively and efficiently manage their devices and apps, protect their sensitive business data, support remote and mobile productivity scenarios and take advantage of cloud technologies. Windows 10 Pro devices are a great choice for organizations supporting Choose Your Own Device (CYOD) programs and prosumer customers. Windows 10 Pro also lets customers take advantage of the new Windows Update for Business, which will reduce management costs, provide controls over update deployment, offer quicker access to security updates and provide access to the latest innovation from Microsoft on an ongoing basis.

As we announced earlier this year, for the first time ever, we are offering the full versions of Windows 10 Home, Windows 10 Mobile and Windows 10 Pro as a free and easy upgrade for qualifying Windows 7, Windows 8.1 and Windows Phone 8.1 devices that upgrade in the first year after launch.** Once you upgrade, you have Windows 10 for free on that device.

Windows 10 Enterprise builds on Windows 10 Pro, adding advanced features designed to meet the demands of medium and large sized organizations. It provides advanced capabilities to help protect against the ever-growing range of modern security threats targeted at devices, identities, applications and sensitive company information. Windows 10 Enterprise also supports the broadest range of options for operating system deployment and comprehensive device and app management. It will be available to our Volume Licensing customers, so they can take advantage of the latest innovation and security updates on an ongoing basis. At the same time, they will be able to choose the pace at which they adopt new technology, including the option to use the new Windows Update for Business. With Windows 10, Enterprise customers will also have access to the Long Term Servicing Branch as a deployment option for their mission critical devices and environments. And as with prior versions of Windows, Active Software Assurance customers in Volume Licensing can upgrade to Windows 10 Enterprise as part of their existing Software Assurance benefits.

Windows 10 Education builds on Windows 10 Enterprise, and is designed to meet the needs of schools – staff, administrators, teachers and students. This edition will be available through academic Volume Licensing, and there will be paths for schools and students using Windows 10 Home and Windows 10 Pro devices to upgrade to Windows 10 Education.

Windows 10 Mobile Enterprise is designed to deliver the best customer experience to business customers on smartphones and small tablets. It will be available to our Volume Licensing customers. It offers the great productivity, security and mobile device management capabilities that Windows 10 Mobile provides, and adds flexible ways for businesses to manage updates. In addition, Windows 10 Mobile Enterprise will incorporate the latest security and innovation features as soon as they are available.

There will also be versions of Windows 10 Enterprise and Windows 10 Mobile Enterprise for industry devices like ATMs, retail point of sale, handheld terminals and industrial robotics and Windows 10 IoT Core for small footprint, low cost devices like gateways.

Moving forward
We are making strong progress with Windows 10, and we are on track to make it available this summer. And because we have built Windows 10 to be delivered as a service, this milestone is just the beginning of the new generation of Windows. Starting this fall, customers can expect ongoing innovation and security updates for their Windows 10 devices, including more advanced security and management capabilities for businesses.

Customers will continue to help us create Windows 10 even after this summer’s initial release, thanks to the 3.9 million and growing Windows Insiders who are helping us build and test Windows 10. We are grateful for this invaluable feedback that is helping us offer the best Windows ever – for businesses and consumers – across all devices. You, too, can join the Windows Insider Program today and begin experiencing Windows 10.

We are incredibly excited about the innovation in Windows 10 that will be delivered through these editions. Please watch for more information at Windows.com as we move even closer to launch.

Article by Tony Prophet on http://blogs.windows.com/bloggingwindows/2015/05/13/introducing-windows-10-editions/

* Cortana will be available on Windows 10 at launch in select markets. Windows Hello requires a specialized, illuminated infrared camera for facial recognition or iris detection or a finger print reader which supports the Windows Biometric Framework. Apps and services may vary by market.

** More information about the free upgrade offer can be found at Windows.com.

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Samsung’s second Galaxy Gear may arrive running the company’s own Tizen OS

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It is being widely reported that, in addition to announcing a new flagship smartphone, Samsung will also be taking the wraps off of a second-generation smartwatch based around the original Galaxy Gear.

By themselves the reports are not unusual. Samsung has promised to do better with regards to their smartwatch product, saying that they will be working to correct the problems that plagued the original device. What is strange is that the report that started all of this speculation has said that Samsung will be avoiding Android is favour of something a bit more in-house – the company’s Tizen operating system.

Samsung is reportedly concerned that the Android OS isn’t quite as flexible as it needs to be in order to make the smartwatch work as intended and they are also looking to have more control over what the second Galaxy Gear is capable of doing. We’d assume this means that they want to make updating the device a simpler affair, in addition to other reasons.

The Galaxy Gear announcement is expected to take place at MWC next week, we’ll probably be able to put these rumours to rest then.

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Work together with Office Online

Office Online makes it easy to work with other people on the same document, at the same time. You can see changes being made to your document as they happen, right on your screen. This keeps everybody in sync as ideas develop.

  • Office Online is free – there is nothing to install, buy, or download.
  • Everyone can work together on the same document, whether they’re working on a PC or Mac or even a compatible tablet, as long as they have Internet access.
  • Your document is automatically saved to OneDrive while people edit.

Just click Share in the toolbar above your document to invite others to work along with you.

 

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Get 15GB Cloud Storage Free from Microsoft; 1TB for Office 365

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Microsoft is drastically expanding the amount of cloud storage available to both its OneDrive users (formerly SkyDrive), and Office 365 software suite: from 7GB to 15GB, and from 25GB to 1TB respectively.

The changes are likely made to increase awareness of Office 365, and slated to take effect some time next month (today 5 August). If you want to synchronize data across multiple devices for free, this is a great opportunity to experiment with cloud-based storage. Typical usage includes data backup and sharing documents or pictures.

Microsoft OneDrive is available to the general public (for free), so long as you have a Microsoft Live account. On the other hand, Office 365 is a subscription-based software package, which is essentially a mobile version of Microsoft Office.

Office 365 1TB Storage Increase to Compete with Google

The increase in storage for Office 365 could have a dramatic impact on the number of people subscribing to Office 365, a web-based software package that adds cloud integration to Microsoft’s traditional Office suite. Like the standard Office package, Office 365 offers users access to business programs like Word, Excel, and PowerPoint. One major difference is that files created using Office 365 are automatically backed up to Microsoft’s cloud storage service, OneDrive.

Now, Office 365 Home users who typically pay $9.99 per month for their subscription will get 1TB per person, with up to five people being able to create their own accounts. The deal is also available to Office 365 University subscribers, who pay just $79.99 for a four-year subscription. Microsoft says current and new Office 365 users won’t need to make any changes; they’ll see their storage ceiling increase by next month.

To put the new deal into perspective, consider that users of Google’s cloud service (Google Drive) must pay just under $120 for a one-year subscription equipped with 1TB of online storage. Comparatively speaking, Office 365 subscribers are getting Office applications like Word, PowerPoint, and Excel for free at the same price point. (Source: computerworld.com)

15GB OneDrive Storage Increase Available to General Public

Microsoft isn’t just cutting costs for Office 365 users. The Redmond, Washington-based firm is also offering OneDrive users who don’t have an Office 365 subscription 15GB of storage at no charge. The current storage limit is set at 7GB, but will increase some time in July. (Source: zdnet.com)

Microsoft Office 365 Login / OneDrive Login – How To

To access OneDrive, you first need to have a Microsoft Live account (free).

Users can then access the OneDrive free cloud storage by either visiting the OneDrive website directly or by installing the OneDrive app on their PC or mobile devices (supported are: iOS, Android, Windows Phone, Xbox, and Windows Tablet).

The benefit of installing the app (even on a PC) is that it allows for seamless operation. For example: you can access OneDrive services like it was a folder on your desktop, rather than having to login to the OneDrive website in order to upload a file. You can then share the same file across multiple devices simultaneously as it will be accessible on cloud storage. You can download OneDrive for Windows Vista, 7 and 8 Microsoft’s site, and there’s also separate instructions for OneDrive for Windows 8.1.

Analysts Impressed with Microsoft’s Move

Most industry analysts say the move should increase the popularity of Office 365, leading more people to purchase subscriptions.

“Clearly, Microsoft has been pushing hard on Office 365, and if it can incentivize customers based on value, it can raise subscriptions over time,” noted Reticle Research analyst Ross Rubin. Directions on Microsoft analyst Wes Miller agrees, calling the move a “big win” for Office 365 users and people interesting in purchasing Office 365 subscriptions. (Source:computerworld.com)

Still, experts say the move is less likely to hurt Google, one of Microsoft’s most significant competitors, than smaller cloud storage companies like Dropbox and Box. These firms simply don’t have the capital or market presence to compete with Microsoft if it’s going to offer users such a large amount of storage at little to no cost.

What’s Your Opinion?

Does this deal make the Office 365 software package more attractive to you, or are you just as happy using an older version of Microsoft Office (or perhaps an alternative office suite)? Do you currently use Office 365, and if so, how do you think it compares to previous versions of Microsoft Office? Do you think cloud storage is an imperative feature for office suites in today’s market, or do you think Microsoft is simply following Google’s lead? Have you tried using Microsoft OneDrive to synchronize data across multiple devices? If so, what was your experience?

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OFFICE Tip: Stream Office anywhere

Use your Microsoft ID to stream copies of your Office apps to other PCs (Windows 7 or Windows 8). Log into the Office website to use Office on Demand.

Having the ability to install and use Office 365 ProPlus on multiple devices, in browser capabilities with Office Web Apps and mobile features with Office Mobile are all great. However, you may need the full Office experience when you don’t have your devices with you. With Office On Demand, you can stream Office applications to any internet connected Windows 7 or Windows 8 device. No installation is required and you don’t even need the admin rights on the device.

Using Office On Demand is as easy as 1-2-3. Here how it works;

1. First, you need to open up a browser, go to www.office.com and log in with your Office 365 credentials

2. On the top of the page click on SkyDrive and on the left of the screen you will see “Use Office On Demand” link

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3 . Once you click on the link, you will see list of Office applications that can be streamed down to the device. Click on your desired application and in matter of minutes, you will have full featured Office client running on the device

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Since the application is not installed on that device, it can run side-by-side with an older version of Office and when closed, it will leave no trace behind.

With Office 365, regardless of the device, you will always have the best experience and you can be productive anytime anywhere. Keep in mind, you can purchase your Office 365 plan subscriptions via OPEN licensing, like other Microsoft licenses. Please connect with Joxicraft your local Microsoft Partner to see your purchasing options, try Office 365 and start enjoying the benefits.

Sources: technet blog, TechRadar

Thank you!

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Handy Microsoft Office 2013 tips, tricks and hints

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A good morning to all our Joxicraft followers, this week and the coming up one we will dedicate to exploring the new features found in the new Microsoft Office 2013 compliments of TechRadar website.

Whether you’ve bought the apps as one-offs, the whole Office 2013 suite or signed up for Microsoft’s new Office 365 subscription package, there’s lots to like about the new versions of Word, Excel, PowerPoint and Outlook.

If you’ve taken the plunge with the new-look touch-friendly apps, these tips and tricks can help you go further with the software – from tailoring the interface to embedding online clips, there’s plenty to explore.

We will focus on the new features in Office 2013 (though you will find some tricks that work across the board), while providing a mix of quick hints and more in-depth tips to suit every level of user.