Microsoft Open House: The Review

Windows phone 7 was the star of the event. It was, to its credit, very pretty.

As you saw last week, I was able to interview Steve Ballmer as part of the Microsoft Open House. But that was really a small portion of the overall event. Most of the day was spent on the launch and demonstration of the new, the shiny, Windows Phone 7. Microsoft will be releasing three of the phones on AT&T for $199.99 in the coming months, and there will eventually be 9 phones released–the next carrier set to get them is Verizon, which will see them next year.

Before we start anything: the new Windows 7 phones don’t have a copy and paste feature. They will get it starting next year.

Moving on: Microsoft completely overhauled the Windows Phone interface for Phone 7, and it shows. The focus of the new phones is on the devices as extensions of people. As a result, it’s possible to add individual contacts to your desktop as apps. Their app will update with their latest Facebook or Windows Live updates, so you don’t have to enter into the app itself to see what your friends are up to. Unfortunately, the contacts apps aren’t integrated into Twitter–and the Microsoft representatives were a little cagey as to when (of if) that would happen. There is a dedicated Twitter app; however, it’s not dynamic at the main screen level.

Read the rest on HackCollege.

Anthologize Heads the Next Generation of Self Publishing

Anthologize is decked out in the soothing orange and cream color scheme of progress.

If you’ve got a blog running WordPress (the self-hosted .org variety), Anthologize is a plugin which will allow you to publish your posts as a PDF, ePub, or TEI (a scholarly file format). There’s also an RTF option, but the creators point out that it’s still buggy. There is not currently an option to export files as DocX or ODT, but the program’s creators say it’s a feature to look for in future builds, along with the ability to export comments left on the original posts.

Anthologize is targeted at academics–for instance, professors who kept a class blog, or someone who wants to distribute their notes about a conference, or someone who wants to publish field notes as part of a research notebook. The academic focus is a result of the plugin’s origin at the One Week, One Tool program, in which 12 humanities scholars come together and conceive of and build a useful open source digital tool within a week. The program, funded by the National Endowment for the Humanities, sees itself as sort of a digital barn raising: a group of people coming together to make something useful for the wider community.

Read the rest at HackCollege.