It's the last day of September, but the first Autumn edition of WPD Bits. See, there's always a silver (or in this case, brown) lining!
Just because it's starting to get a little chillier outside doesn't mean the news is slowing down! This week's Bits are comprised of four new Microsoft Stores, the redesigned Microsoft.com, a PR disaster from one of Microsoft's most important partners, an apology from Apple (gasp!), and a new feature in Bing that empowers the world's influencers.
Head on past the break for the all of this week's Bits.
Grand openings of four new Microsoft Stores in New York, New Hampshire, and Delaware this weekend
Microsoft Stores are a rare sight to see right now, but the odds of seeing one in your area rose over the weekend. Four new locations in the following cities cut the ribbon yesterday to welcome shoppers: Newark, DE; Salem, NH; Huntington Station, NY; and White Plains, NY. Those who attended the grand openings also got to participate in free concerts from John Legend, Taio Cruz, O.A.R., Young the Giant, and Weezer. Lucky! [ Via: Microsoft Store (Facebook) ]
Refreshed Microsoft.com design goes live (sort of)
Microsoft previewed a new design for its website several months ago, and now it's finally ready for primetime—actually it's more like daytime soap opera. That's because as of right now, it's only appearing for Internet Explorer 10 in Windows 8, though some reports say the latest version of Chrome is also seeing the new layout. We can't wait for the site to go live either, because it's one of the first demonstrations of a new 'responsive' web layout that automatically adapts to the width of any screen: mobile, tablet, desktop, or anything else. [ Via: Neowin / Source: Microsoft.com ]
Intel CEO reportedly expresses doubt in Windows 8, says it is being released "before it's fully ready"
For those who might have missed the past decade or two in computing, the partnership of Windows-Intel (or more affectionately known as "Wintel") has been a dominating force. The two companies have made a lot of money together, but apparently Intel CEO Paul Otellini is worried about the future. Bloomberg has published a report claiming that the company's head-honcho told employees in Taiwan that Windows 8 was being shipped before it's fully ready. Intel later refuted the idea of doubt in Microsoft, but did not actually say the CEO's comments were untrue. With ARM processors leading the charge for cheaper Windows RT devices, is the Wintel honeymoon finally over? [ Via: ZDNet / Source: Bloomberg, Intel ]
Apple CEO Tim Cook apologizes for mediocre Maps in iOS, recommends Bing and Nokia Maps as alternatives
Speaking of CEOs and public comments, Microsoft and Nokia may have temporarily benefited from a rival's misstep. Apple CEO Tim Cook published a letter on the company's website, apologizing for their almost universally-panned Maps app in iOS 6. Cook goes on to recommend alternatives found in the App Store, like the official Bing app. Shockingly, he also tells users to visit the Nokia Maps mobile site (as well as Google's Maps) and pin it to their home screens. Following some brutal attacks by Nokia, it's quite interesting to see Apple still recommend them. [ Source: Apple ]
Bing gains Klout with Social Sidebar integration following Microsoft investment
Bing's Social Sidebar is a remarkably innovative feature that integrates social networks like Facebook and Twitter in logical ways. Now you can add Klout to the list of supported networks in the Social Sidebar, following a reported investment in the company. Now those with a high Klout score may be featured in Bing's sidebar, and from there users can tweet or message them for their input. For those unaware, Klout helps users track their level of influence on other social networks by calculating a Klout Score. [ Source: Bing Search Blog ]