Microsoft Comes To Utah City Creek

On my way to the office this morning I noticed the covers have finally been pulled off what I suspected to be the Microsoft retail store in City Creek.

Microsoft Retail Store At City Creek Salt Lake City Utah

Makes sense Microsoft would put themselves on what I call the Average Joe side of City Creek. What I mean by that is stores on the east side of the mall are places normal folks shop, like Disney, Solomon, Forever 21 and Claire’s. On the west side of the mall, are places the 1% shop, like Tiffany & Co., Porche Design, Brooks Brothers, and of course, Apple.

Map of City Creek Center mall in Salt Lake City

Microsoft SkyDrive Cloud Storage Gunning For Dropbox

Microsoft released an update to their SkyDrive product, and they did its in a big way. This is a serious challenge to Dropbox, with the addition of Mac and Windows native app, and mobile apps for iOS and Windows Phone. But not Android mobile, which is a shame, because it would have been just as easy to write an Android client at the same time.

This is a big win for those who already have a SkyDrive account, you can be grandfathered into a 25GB plan, everyone else will be offered a 7GB plan. I’ve had my SkyDrive account for years but there hasn’t been any integration with the desktop (not Mac anyway), and no mobile use antil just recently.

SkyDrive is available everywhere I travel; laptop and mobile.

There are a few quirky things about the interface. The layout isn’t like Windows Explorer, or Mac Finder. Files and folders are represented by big blocky icons, no detail list. And even weirder was they stuck the mechanism to change from large icons to small icons in the Pull Down process to refresh the screen.

Why do I think this is a serious player? Because aside from Android, which I’m sure is on the way, SkyDrive now integrates with all your systems, and you get more space. Microsoft says a study they did indicates most user have less than 7GB of data stored in the cloud, and that may be true, but the the big reason I don’t have as much as I want in the cloud, is the file size limitation. I would push video files to the the cloud drives if most didn’t limit to 100MB or less. That’s a service imposed limit, not a user issue.

Limitations aside, 25GB is a lot of space, and I intend on using it, all of it. Get a SkyDrive and software here.

5 Tech Stories Worth Reading

Netflix Headed For A Brick Wall?
It was bound to happen, subscriber backlash over pricing, and recent news that major content providers are cutting ties with Netflix. Read more of the story here: http://thom.ws/mUNE5C

Is Steve Balmer Actually Surprised At The Crappy Windows Phone 7 Sales?
Steve, you have to actually build a brand, a community, and a solid app store before you can start to capture market share. Oh, and if you have to battle the retail sales folks for pushing people away from your product, you will have an even harder time selling your product. You have some serious holes in your plan. Read more here: http://thom.ws/qgZ7yI

MOG Launches Free Version Of Music Service
MOG announced today that they are offering an ad-supported free version of their music service. The interesting thing here is they are trying to gamify the service, giving users free music,  based on the amount of sharing, playlist creation, and the number of referrals to the service. This could be interesting. According to their press release “Tastemakers and influencers can easily get a lifetime of free on-demand music.” Read more here: http://thom.ws/o4P0CC

Chegg Buys Zinch In A Move Towards A Social Education Platform
You may not have heard of either of these companies, but they are leaders in their own industries. Chegg is an online book rental service for college students, and Zinch is an online service that connects high school students with college recruiters. On the surface, this is an odd acquisition, but more and more companies are buying complimentary services and products to increase their over all sales. Read more here: http://thom.ws/nvLUNG

Samsung Wants To Own Your First, Second, And Third Screen
Samsung is making a push to build technology that directly competes with Apple and it’s AirPlay technology. The company has had some success in the past, but this push could be fueled by the back and forth patent infringement claims made by both Apple and Samsung. Read more here: http://thom.ws/qZK9T4

5 Tech Stories Worth Reading

1. Steve Jobs Confirms Discontinuation of iWeb in iCloud Transition
Since last week’s unveiling of Apple’s new iCloud service and the transitioning of the company’s existing MobileMe service into iCloud, many users have been wondering about the fate of some of the MobileMe services that were not mentioned in the transition discussion. In particular, users have been concerned about iWeb, Apple’s website creation software included with iLife that can be integrated with site hosting via MobileMe.

2. DIY U: The Future Of Learning [Video]
The future of learning is open–and it’s in your hands. This video series, based in part on my book DIY U, explains that while the higher education bubble may be overblown, there is an explosion happening in the edu-world, with technology and openness transforming content, social learning, and accreditation all at once. Part One explains what’s happening and why the old models no longer apply.

3. Bunchball raises $6.5M, doubles down on gamification
Bunchball, the social gaming software company, has raised $6.5 million in a new round of venture capital. The San Jose, Calif.-based startup plans to put the funds toward growth initiatives such as hiring, new product development, and international growth, CEO Jim Scullion told me in an interview last week.

4. Sony Knows Cross Game Chat is a Huge Thing
No, Sony is not talking about PlayStation LifeStyle’s podcast, “Cross Game Chat.” Andrew House of Sony Computer Entertainment Europe is talking about cross game chat for the PS3.

5. Apple iCloud Not Supporting Windows XP
We strongly suspect all the support Apple has shown the venerable Microsoft OS with iTunes and Mobile Me has mostly been a way of keeping people from buying shiny new copies of Windows 7, but that’s all coming to an end with Apple’s music-streaming iCloud, which won’t be featuring Windows XP support and will need either a Vista or Windows 7 PC to run.

BONUS

6. Use Binder Clips to Replace Broken Keyboard Feet [MacGyver Tip]
They make great cable organizers and phone stands, but the humble binder clip can also fix things that are actually broken, too. In this case, it’s those little flip-out “feet” on the bottom of most keyboards. Just take the metal wings off two clips, and replace the feet by squeezing the those wings into their place. If nothing else, it’s a lot cheaper than replacing the keyboard.

7. iOS 5 Allows For 1080p Video Exports, Confirms iPhone 5 8 Megapixel Camera
The iPhone 4 features a 5 megapixel camera, and it is capable of recording video in HD at a resolution of 720p, we have been hearing rumors that the iPhone 5 will feature an 8 megapixel camera, possibly a Sony CMOS sensor, which would mean it would be capable of Full HD Video in 1080p.