As promised, Microsoft is offering software that will allow Kin owners to share photos and music between a Mac and the new, youth-oriented phone. One new wrinkle, though, is that Microsoft went with a third-party firm to develop that software. Mark/Space, which is known for its software for syncing mobile devices and the desktop, created Kin Media Sync for Microsoft.

The free software download lets users transfer music, photos, videos, and podcasts from a Mac to the Kin, though it won't work with copy-protected songs or videos purchased from iTunes.


Microsoft has on occasion been accused of letting its mobile efforts lag, but it's not letting any grass grow under its feet this time. In conjunction with the release of Office 2010 for PC users, Microsoft is making the mobile version of Office 2010 available for smartphones running Windows Mobile 6.5. Enterprise Mobile Today has all the details.

After a public beta release late last year, Office Mobile 2010 officially debuts today, along with the release of the full desktop version of Microsoft Office 2010, bringing updated versions of core Microsoft productivity tools such as Word, Excel and PowerPoint to the mobile computing workforce.


The new version of Microsoft's popular project management tool, Project, went on sale for business customers this week, along with its business diagramming software, Visio. Both Project 2010 and Visio 2010, released in connection with the Office 2010 launch, aim to incorporate new collaborative features enabling users to better share and work with colleagues across the Web.

Both also share close ties to SharePoint 2010, a centerpiece of the Office 2010 debut. Project Manager Planet takes a look at Project 2010 and Visio 2010 and what they offer users looking to trade up.


When Microsoft makes its business pitch for Office 2010 on Wednesday, it will be putting its money where its mouth is.

Only a few hundred people will be in New York to hear Microsoft Business Division president Stephen Elop speak at a live event. Far more will take part via an online "virtual launch," which will be held simultaneously in 60 markets, in 38 different regional variations comprising 26 languages. And that effort is being run using a key component of the new Office--SharePoint 2010.

Microsoft considered using an existing virtual launch tool, or off-the-shelf software from a third party, but decided last year it could get more for its money using the latest version of SharePoint, then still in beta. The new SharePoint meant the site could be made more social and be able to be translated into more languages.


In its fourth round of funding, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation's Grand Challenges Explorations grants have been awarded to 78 science projects, with each collecting $100,000.

Through its grants, the five-year, $100 million initiative aims to foster "creative projects that show great promise to improve the health of people in the developing world," and as part of the Grand Challenges in Global Health initiative is supported by the Gates Foundation.

This latest round of grants brings the total number of Exploration projects receiving funding to 340. Although the group originally anticipated funding roughly 60 projects per round, it is averaging closer to 80.


In an important first step in advancing their strategic alliance, Microsoft and Yahoo said on company blogs that they plan to transition Yahoo's advertising customers over to the software titan's adCenter system in time for the holiday shopping season.

Failing that, however, Microsoft and Yahoo will then shoot for early 2011 in order to not cause havoc for advertisers during the critical holiday period.

"We know how important the holiday selling season is to many of you, so our aim is to complete the transition in the U.S. and Canada before the start of the 2010 holiday season," said a post Thursday on the Yahoo Search Marketing blog.


After years of bad blood between them, Microsoft and Nokia are collaborating to make the software giant's Office Communicator Mobile available on Nokia's Symbian-based smartphones.

Microsoft, this week, made its unified communications client, Office Communicator Mobile, available on two of Nokia's Eseries devices -- the E72 and E52 -- with support for more devices on the way, according to a joint statement from the two companies.

Office Communicator Mobile is the first deliverable in an alliance spawned last summer wherein Microsoft promised to port mobile versions of its Office applications, including Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and OneNote, to run on Nokia's Symbian mobile operating system.


Microsoft on Wednesday delivered the second developer-oriented preview release of its Internet Explorer (IE) 9 web browser, fulfilling an earlier promise to deliver updates to the technology on a regular schedule. The IE 9 Platform Preview 2 is a bare-bones application that provides no hint about the future UI, but it provides developers with an updated peek at the product's hardware acceleration and rendering capabilities.

"Today's release builds on the first Platform Preview, delivering improvements to IE 9's performance, support for standards, and hardware acceleration of HTML5," Microsoft General Manager Dean Hachamovitch wrote in a blog post announcing the release. "Developers should expect much more from browsers in order to deliver the graphically rich, interactive applications that HTML5 will enable. In IE9, our goal is to provide professional-grade, modern HTML5 support on top of modern hardware through Windows."


Microsoft packed up TechFest and took it on the road Thursday, bringing a chunk of the company research unit's annual science fair to Silicon Valley.

TechFest, and the smaller TechFair event that is taking place here this week, are designed to allow product teams at Microsoft to better understand what folks in the research labs are up to--and vice versa.

Just how important are Microsoft's research labs? Well, the head of the unit notes that Microsoft started the research effort in the early days of personal computing.

"Microsoft is still here," Rashid said. "Virtually all of Microsoft's peer companies from that era are gone or not recognizable. Ultimately it is about survival."


Ever wish you could get a decent still image from that so-so video clip you took on your digital camera?

That ability may not be too far away. At Thursday's TechFair on Microsoft's campus here, researcher Neel Joshi showed several cool approaches of using short video clips and burst-mode photography to create some pretty nifty pictures and panoramas.

In one example, Joshi used a hazy view of Mount Ranier and tracked the motion of the atmosphere to take the haze away and create an image that was far sharper than what was visible with the naked eye. In another example, he showed how a wobbly video of Microsoft's Building 99 could be turned into a surprisingly sharp panorama.