What's going on in the world of Microsoft for Thursday, July 9, 2015 Richard Hay

What's going on in the world of Microsoft for Thursday, July 9, 2015

Today's news: Today's news: Here's Richard Hay's hands-on looks at the Groove Music App and the Xbox Music App update on Android and iOS. Also, we've got a rundown on Office 2016 for Mac, five years in the making.



Gallery: Groove Music App -- We were not expecting to see the new branding on the app until the next Windows Insider Preview build  which is expected sometime this week.  However, an app update has been pushed to the Windows Store in Windows 10 Build 10162 that introduces the rebranded services app.

Gallery: Xbox Music App update on Android and iOS -- Now there are updates for the Xbox Music app on Android and iOS. These updates do not include the new Groove name, but they do finally deliver the ability to stream or download your music stored on OneDrive without the need for an Xbox Music Pass.

Apple releasing OS X El Capitan, iOS 9 public betas — Perhaps the most interesting are the upgrades to Apple's Spotlight search technology, which started as a file-finding system and is rapidly morphing (along with Siri on iOS) into a full-fledged search engine. 

Windows Phone Isn't Dead, It's Changing — Satya Nadella is definitely altering the face of Microsoft, what this means for the long term has yet to be written. For its hardware business, including Windows Phone, the company is not exiting the market – it's just retooling in an effort to make it more sustainable.

Microsoft releases Office 2016 for Mac — This is an attractive release that looks better than Office for Mac has ever looked, while offering connectivity to the iOS and Windows versions of the product. Bonus: all the apps now behave more like their modern equivalents on Windows and iOS.

Microsoft releases Windows 10 Build 10166 to Insiders as RTM approaches — Something you will begin to notice with these late stage builds as RTM approaches in the next few days is that the blog posts from Gabe Aul announcing them do not contain laundry lists of issues or changes.


Gabe Aul's announcement for Build 10166 features something fun for residents of the Emerald City:

We also have something for you to try out if you live in the Seattle area. With Windows 10, we are giving people the ability to purchase paid Wi-Fi through the Windows Store via the Microsoft Wi-Fi app.

Big news in the Microsoft wearable space, both short- and long-term: In the short term, Microsoft's giving folks the ability to create their own Microsoft Band apps via a website: all you need is an icon and an RSS feed. The company's also opening up its Health platform to third-party developers via APIs that access Microsoft Health activity data.

And in the long term, Microsoft researchers have developed a technology that saved battery life in wearables by off-loading most of the wearable's most most energy-intensive storage operations to a nearby smart phone it is paired with, using a regular Wi-Fi or Bluetooth connection. 

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