technical solutions and commentary

May 19, 2008

Microsoft Mobile Search and 411

Filed under: internet,windows live — Jason Hartley @ 5:04 pm

On Mobile Phones with Internet Access:

1. Go to to get Web-based Live Search for Mobile devices

2. to download and install Live Search for Windows Mobile directly on your Windows Mobile device. The updated Live Search for Windows Mobile now includes voice input (beta version), gas prices, and hours of operation for businesses.

From any phone – cell phone or land-line phone:

Live Search 411.  Live Search now has a new toll-free number, users can simply dial (800) CALL-411 (800-225-5411) and say the city and state, then ask for the business or business category to hear a list of options. Users say “Connect me,” to instantly connect to the business.

October 23, 2007

Windows Live SkyDrive Updates

Filed under: internet,windows live — Jason Hartley @ 9:43 pm

Windows Live SkyDrive was updated the first half of October with more storage and new features. Here ius a brief run-down:

  • 1 GB of Free Storage (upgraded from 512MB)
  • RSS Feeds – you can subscribe to RSS feeds on public SkyDrive folders. Whenever a file is updated or added you will recieve a notification vis RSS.
  • Add Contacts fron the SkyDrive Website -now you can add contacts on the SkyDrive site without having to log into Hotmail or MSN.
  • Share Files with anyone – who has an E-mail Address. The person you want to share with no longer has to have a Live ID.
  • Enhanced File Details – Now see who uploaded or made changes to a file.

To share data and sync files between multiple PC’s you can also use Windows Live FolderShare for free. You can get access to it from

October 18, 2007

Live Search Updated and Improved

Filed under: windows live — Jason Hartley @ 3:50 pm

The Windows Live Search Team updated the Search with a larger index and more power search capabilties which provide increasingly relevant search results.

The video search has been updated using Microsoft Silverlight and now previews the first several seconds of a video clip — from the results page — by rolling over the thumbnail with mouse pointer. The image search results have also been improved to provide details such as image size, url, and image name by rolling over the thumbnail with the mouse pointer.

Live Search for Windows Mobile has also been updated. It now lets you search on business information, maps, gives driving directions, live traffic reports, movie information and theatre information, and gas prices for the local area. The BEST part is that you can now Speak what you are looking for instead of having to type it in! Instead of haveing to select a location from the menus and type in a search term, you can press the “Speak” button and tell it what your city, state is then you can tell it what to search on. It will then provide the results to you.

There is also Live Search 411 where you can call (800-CALL-411) for business and residential listings and will connect you. You can also call and get movie times and listings, weather information, traffic information, etc.

I have personally switched to as my primary search engine about 6 months ago (98% of my searching is dome through live). I noticed a big improvment in results during the summer release and now even more improvements in the fall release.

Popfly goes into public beta

Filed under: windows live — Jason Hartley @ 1:52 pm

Microsoft release Popfly to public beta today – October 18, 2007. This comes shortly after the Fall Release of Live Search, Live Search Mobile, and Live Search 411.

Popfly is a web tool bases on Microsoft’s Silverlight that allows people to create or edit their own mashups. These mashups can them be used in a web application or on a personal web site like Windows Live Spaces, Facebook, or MySpace. Popfly has on-screen tutorials that walk you through creating a web page or mashup. I created my first mashup in Popfly in about 10 minutes, without ever having used Popfly before. It’s a cool tool for non-developers to be able to create mashups, webpages, and add applications/games to their websites.

See the Vitrual Earth /Flickr Sunset Photos Mashup created using Popfly.

September 12, 2006

Windows Live Essentials Dashboard beta

Filed under: software,windows live — Jason Hartley @ 7:19 pm

Windows Live Essentials Dashboard brings several Windows Live products into a single interface to easily launch the select Windows Live services. The Window Live Dashboard shortcut is automatically placed in the ‘Startup’ menu during installation to launch Windows Live Dashboard at user login. At Windows login, after the Windows Live Dashboard is opened, you are prompted to login to Windows Live services using a Windows Live ID. You can have multiple Windows Live ID’s configured and saved in the Dashboard to choose to login to. The Windows Live Dashboard login screen shown in figure 1.


Once you Login on to the Windows Live Dashboard, you get a list of available Windows Live services to install or update on the left of the dashboard, and Windows Live services which are ready to use on the right of the Dashboard. The Windows Live Dashboard is shown in figure 2.


You can minimize or close the Dashboard, and then use the System Tray utility to launch Windows Live services or exit the Windows Live Dashboard utility. The System Tray utility is shown in figure 3.

As far as the beta program– with only four applications published through the Dashboard it is of very limited use. However, I do look forward to other services being added to the service and made available through the Dashboard. This will make it simpler and more convenient, compared to going to the web site, to discover new Windows Live services as they are launched.

May 8, 2006

Windows Live Messenger Beta Install

Filed under: tech,windows live — Jason Hartley @ 1:42 pm

The current update for Windows Live Messenger Beta has ‘Rhapsody Music Service’ selecet for install by default. Looks like Microsoft may be joining the crowd with having 3rd party software installed with it’s free services for either a paid endorsement — or possibly it was forced to do this by the court ruling between Real and Microsoft. I would think if it was from a court ruling it wouldn’t be selected by default however.