Outlook.com Plugins

Those of us who have been on the internet long enough would remember the 1990’s when free internet email accounts from providers such as AOL, Mail.com, RocketMail (acquired by Yahoo) and of course Hotmail (acquired by Hotmail) were all the rage. There were others such as from Excite and Lycos but I didn’t really think those were that commonly used, at least not here in Singapore.

I registered a Hotmail account way back in 1990’s when I think the mailbox limit is 4MB. It has since been rebranded by Microsoft countless times, MSN, Windows Live Mail, Live and now Outlook.com.

Despite the confusion each rebranding has caused, I still love Outlook.com and use it as my personal email address. The latest iteration is intuitive, modern (I love the ‘Flat’ interface), and minimalist (it’s ooh so clean).

Another very cool feature is the tight integration with the other Microsoft properties and products such as OneDrive (previously Skydive), Skype (they used to have Windows Messenger too but they then killed it) and my favourite – the web-based Office suite of productivity tools.

Last week, they announced that soon there will be 3rd-party Outlook.com add-ins via APIs. This is interesting for a number of reasons:

1) Typically add-ins are client-based (think Chrome, Firefox plugins). This is on the cloud.
2) Add-ins by Microsoft have typically gotten a bit messy, probably due to their huge size and developer base. Just recall Internet Explorer (if you’re old enough) and you can imagine how the once-dominant browser is now passé due to the bloat. There is even a Microsoft project to kill it! Read on Project Spartan here
) Add-ins/Plug-ins typically slow down the service and lead to a bloated piece of software over time if not managed well.

I hope Microsoft manages the the 3rd party add-ins a lot better this time round because I have grown to love Outlook.com and would hate to change my de-facto mail service anytime soon.

Read more from TechCrunch here

How old are you?

How old do I look? 

Typically a question asked during social gatherings and one that has gotten a lot of guys with little EQ into hot soup with their dates.

Seems to be also the latest craze on Facebook. My news feed is swarmed with everyone trying out this new site from Microsoft –  http://how-old.net 

An attempt by the guys at Microsoft to showcase how rapid application development (RAD) can be achieved with Microsoft’s impressive Azure platform. (Blog post)

I did a test with a photo I took with my elder son just to see how old Microsoft thought I was. Here’s what Microsoft thought of me and my son (Javian). Looks like with 75% of my face visible and with Instagram filters applied (Rise filter if you are curious), I look 19 years old. Flattering definitely. Not too happy about being thought of as a member of the fairer sex though…

Javian was 2 years old when this photo was taken so he’s not too stoked about being thought of as 250% of his age. He’s literally pouting now as I type.

From Microsoft’s post, it apparently took 2 developers 1 day to code this, so it’s really impressive. I have worked in a few companies in my career thus far – some large MNCs and also in government organisations and to get anything done in a day is amazing. For almost all my projects, 1 day is about enough time for me to schedule a meeting with my IT developers to run through my requirements documentation. Then I need to wait 1 month for them to come back to me with a quotation of man-effort, etc etc… Heck, I have even met vendors who quoted me 2 man-days to change some static text on a simple website (with existing CMS provided)…

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SkyDrive changes to OneDrive with pleasant surprises

A couple of months back SkyDrive was renamed to OneDrive following a UK court ruling. As part of that rebranding exercise Microsoft gave out 10 Petabytes (10,000 Terabytes) to users in an online contest.

Unfortunately I was not one of the 100,000 users to receive 100GB of extra space. However Microsoft was nice enough to send me a 20GB consolation by way of an ‘Enthusiast Bonus’.

Coupled with my paid 20GB top-up and a free 3GB given by OneDrive as part of their Camera Roll bonus I have a nice 68GB quota in my OneDrive account.

If you have not used the Camera Roll upload feature of the OneDrive iOS App (also available on the Android version), you should try it. Every couple of days I turn on the OneDrive App and it automatically uploads all newly captured photos to my OneDrive account, ensuring that I never lose my photos if I ever misplace my phone (pray never..).

In addition to being an insurance policy for your special moments, it is also a great way to view your photos on your laptop without actually having to manually sync your photos to your laptop.


SkyDrive changes name to OneDrive

Last Monday, Microsoft announced that SkyDrive will be renamed OneDrive going forward.

The decision to rename it came about after a U.K. court case between Sky Broadcasting Group (BSkyB) and Microsoft. Microsoft came out with a nice video showcasing some of the possibilities you could do with OneDrive when it is re-launched.

I don’t know about you, but I am eagerly awaiting the launch! Sign up to be notified for their launch here