10 Cool Microsoft Garage Projects You Didn't Know About - InformationWeek

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10 Cool Microsoft Garage Projects You Didn't Know About
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Whoopty
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Whoopty,
User Rank: Ninja
1/29/2016 | 7:27:12 AM
Privacy
What are these apps like when it comes to privacy? I like the idea of Arrow's personalisation, but does Microsoft use the data on how you use your device for advertising purposes?

I should really give FindTime a go next time I'm at an expo too. That would make things so much easier.
shamika
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shamika,
User Rank: Ninja
1/30/2016 | 4:34:09 AM
Re: Privacy
@Whoopty you have raised a valid concern. Nowadays most of the apps will grab the data use it be marketing purposes. Therefore as users, it is important to know how the privacy behaves.
Li Tan
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Li Tan,
User Rank: Ninja
2/2/2016 | 2:11:20 AM
Re: Privacy
I like FindTime, too - at least it can do something to ease people's busy life. I think it's a matter of getting used to it and keep using it until it's a habit.
Stratustician
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Stratustician,
User Rank: Ninja
1/29/2016 | 10:09:00 AM
Mouse without Borders
I like this concept already!  using a mouse across multiple computers might not be a huge thing right now, but if i can extend it to a tablet, the ability to drag and drop between devices could be a great productivity tool.  I'm curious to see how this one expands as the project matures.
progman2000
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progman2000,
User Rank: Ninja
1/30/2016 | 6:36:32 AM
Re: Mouse without Borders
I thought Mouse with Borders has been out for years already?
mak63
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mak63,
User Rank: Ninja
2/1/2016 | 3:32:42 AM
Re: Mouse without Borders
@progman2000 I've never heard of this program before, but there are similar programs like Mouse without Borders.
I use Input Director everyday. It's been out for almost 9 years. Very useful little thing. I read that a version compatible with Windows 8 and 10 is coming out soon. I might give a try to Mouse Without Borders in the meantime.
shamika
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shamika,
User Rank: Ninja
1/30/2016 | 4:40:30 AM
Find time
This is a good app. However I think it is easy to check others schedules before setting up a meeting? In my view I think Microsoft outlook already has this feature. Any thoughts?
shamika
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shamika,
User Rank: Ninja
1/30/2016 | 4:41:02 AM
Arrow
I like the concept of arrow. Can we use this in any android phone?
progman2000
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progman2000,
User Rank: Ninja
1/30/2016 | 6:39:28 AM
Re: Arrow
Yep, agree about liking Arrow. I'm downloading it right now, will report back on it in a later comment!
shamika
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shamika,
User Rank: Ninja
1/30/2016 | 8:29:18 AM
Re: Arrow
Thanks for the update. I searched this on the internet and got to know that it can be downloaded via google play app. Yay this is awesome.
SachinEE
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SachinEE,
User Rank: Ninja
1/30/2016 | 10:22:21 PM
Re: Arrow
Arrow is a laggy launcher. And it had a learning curve. You want to see an interesting launcher? Try the Z Launcher from Nokia LLC. That is just an unique experience.
progman2000
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progman2000,
User Rank: Ninja
1/31/2016 | 6:16:30 AM
Re: Arrow
Yeah, agreed. Arrow lasted for about 10 minutes on my phone before getting the hook LOL. A launcher is a super personal and invasive app for a phone though. I have a pretty short tolerance for one that shows the slightest bit of weakness.
yalanand
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yalanand,
User Rank: Ninja
1/31/2016 | 10:03:14 PM
Re: Arrow
@Progman: I'm not ashamed to say that I find Google launcher and Nova launcher to be the best experience. It's snappy, sometimes laggy but is visually appealing.
tzubair
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tzubair,
User Rank: Ninja
1/30/2016 | 12:36:29 PM
Cool stuff
Some of these apps are actually pretty cool and quite productive as well. I liked the one that lets you take notes automatically during the meeting. Solves a great problem with a lot of users. What needs to be done is proper marketing of these apps so they become a strong selling point for selling Windows devices in the long run.
progman2000
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progman2000,
User Rank: Ninja
1/30/2016 | 3:30:14 PM
Re: Cool stuff
I don't know, I have never particularly thought that electronic note taking apps were great for meetings, and frankly I don't like to encourage people to have their phones in their hands during meetings. Far too much of a distraction, I prefer pen and paper for note taking.
SachinEE
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SachinEE,
User Rank: Ninja
1/30/2016 | 10:09:41 PM
Re: Cool stuff
@progman2000: That is correct and it gets on my nerves when people start note taking on their smartphone. Maybe they should forget technology and start using the old methods. Nowadays the newbies roam around with an iPad, creating a mobile workstation for work that doesn't require processing power. It looks so funny and irritating as well.
progman2000
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progman2000,
User Rank: Ninja
1/31/2016 | 6:14:54 AM
Re: Cool stuff
Exactly - there is a reason that the schools don't want my teenager taking notes on his phone during class. It's the same reason peers shouldn't be using their phones during meetings (or whatever) in the workplace.

I actually had a CEO once who was notorious for sitting there on his phone during meetings, and I know this guy wasn't carrying on the busy work of being a CEO on it. It was super annoying. He got fired.
yalanand
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yalanand,
User Rank: Ninja
1/31/2016 | 10:09:25 PM
Re: Cool stuff
@Progman2000: I heard Google Glass was pulled. Last I checked Glass would have taken these notes and sent the data for processing to the Google servers and highlight the important bits.
SachinEE
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SachinEE,
User Rank: Ninja
1/30/2016 | 10:14:18 PM
Re: Cool stuff
@Tzubair: Digital assistants would become so prevalent in the future that they would do the note taking for you in meetings. I can just tell S voice to "take down whatever is being said" and she will take it down, categorize it and set a reminder for every task.
tzubair
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tzubair,
User Rank: Ninja
1/31/2016 | 12:01:32 PM
Re: Cool stuff
@SachinEE: Recording the meeting conversations or transcribing it is not really the issue here. The technology is advanced enough to do this on its own. The challenge here is to have AI tools that are advanced enough to understand what's recorded or transcribed and bring out the important bits on their own. They should be able to disect and disintegrate the information captured and extract meaning from it. Doing that without any human intervention will be the next challenge.
shakeeb
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shakeeb,
User Rank: Ninja
1/31/2016 | 1:48:47 PM
Re: Cool stuff
@tzubair- I am sure these AIs would take a few more decade to absorb the intelligence of a human. 
yalanand
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yalanand,
User Rank: Ninja
1/31/2016 | 10:01:48 PM
Re: Cool stuff
@SachinEE: S-voice and that snappy? Not in 3 years time buddy. In smartphone terminology that is a huge period of time. But I do agree that Digital assistants would become more aware of the user. But please don't make it self aware though, because then it would press charges for labour of more than 60 hours per week.
hachur
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hachur,
User Rank: Apprentice
1/30/2016 | 1:29:10 PM
Mouse Without Borders
Mouse Without Borders is an excellent product, if only Microsoft's developers added support for Mac OSX.
liverdonor
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liverdonor,
User Rank: Strategist
1/30/2016 | 3:05:21 PM
Here's what I learned from this article.
What do all these projects have in common?

A) they must be "dogfooding" their portability platforms for iOS and Android, since I doubt they'd do this without something like .NET as a library. This is great for all the .NET programmers out there who want to port their skillset to Android and iOS (if they haven't already done so via Xamarin or somesuch)

and

B) Even MSFT employees have given up on Windows Phone.

Good article, thanks for the leads - the FindTime app looks particularly useful. Hope it becomes a product.
SachinEE
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SachinEE,
User Rank: Ninja
1/30/2016 | 10:12:30 PM
Re: Here's what I learned from this article.
Indeed they have given up on the Windows Phone. The app store is even more terrible nowadays. I use my Lumia 950 as a paperweight. I used to use it primarily because of its camera but I don't know why it cannot match up to any of the older Lumias when they were still with Nokia.
liverdonor
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liverdonor,
User Rank: Strategist
1/31/2016 | 12:58:46 AM
Re: Here's what I learned from this article.
Yeah, it's a sad and pathetic end to a platform that had huge potential.

Didja see the 950 phones? Reasonable, upper-mid-grade phone that's priced like it thinks it's an iPhone 7. ;-)

 
yalanand
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yalanand,
User Rank: Ninja
1/31/2016 | 9:58:53 PM
Re: Here's what I learned from this article.
@Livedonor: Still less costly than an iPhone with zero lag. Lumia devices are amazing. That price isn't for the hardware, its for the software engineering that ties together the UX. Remember Lumia 720? It still hasn't had a decent price cut and works just fine, without lag.
liverdonor
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liverdonor,
User Rank: Strategist
2/1/2016 | 12:33:12 AM
Re: Here's what I learned from this article.
@yalanand,

Ever so slightly less costly than an iPhone, and yes, it _is_ a great phone. Never said it wasn't.

Hell, if it weren't for the price and lack of support from the developer community, I'd buy one. Even if it were a mediocre device (and I'm not saying it is, just not quite Flagship fit-and-finish), Windows 10 and Continuum would make it worthwhile.

But if MSFT employees aren't going to support their own device, then why on earth should the business community? Why should the consumer?

It's truly a sad state of affairs for what is actually an excellent platform, that's all I'm saying.

Maybe if they rebrand it the "Surface Phone", it'll get more traction. I hope so, actually. I really like Continuum.

Oh, and btw - I have two Lumias - an 822 and a 929 (Icon).

I'm just disgusted and saddened by the way this device has been treated. Between the schizophrenic madness of Windows Mobile - no Windows Phone 7, no 8 --- no, just Windows 10. No, wait - Windows 10 Mobile!

and the hoky API madness of Win32, no, .NET Compact Framework, no wait - Silverlight! Or, no - just Windows 10.

I am not surprised it didn't take off. Truthfully, buying Nokia and making Windows 10 a unified code base are the only two coherent strategies that MSFT has taken throught this whole debacle.
SachinEE
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SachinEE,
User Rank: Ninja
1/30/2016 | 10:24:12 PM
Findtime
Find time seems to be a really nice app for the working man and especially the woman who is a new mother. I think this needs to be used worldwide.
yalanand
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yalanand,
User Rank: Ninja
1/31/2016 | 10:06:42 PM
Re: Findtime
@SachinEE: Even I didn't know FindTime existed, and I proclaim myself to be an app store explorer. It has brilliant functionality. I like how you said MS needs to make a no nonsense workplace phone with functionalities the iPhone would be scared to touch.
SachinEE
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SachinEE,
User Rank: Ninja
1/30/2016 | 10:24:13 PM
Findtime
Find time seems to be a really nice app for the working man and especially the woman who is a new mother. I think this needs to be used worldwide.


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