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Credit where credit is due, this isn’t the first technology job advertisement to feature an “encoded” message, but it’s still nice to see Microsoft UK (note the pound) experimenting with it too. However personally I think it’s way too easy, especially for a challenging employer like Microsoft.
(found via The Chip Shop Awards 2009).
Update: It turns out the Chip Shop Awards is a light-hearted advertising competition that accepts entries which may not be for actual clients or have been published in public. It’s impossible to tell if Microsoft UK officially sanctioned this particular creative, although they probably should.
In the same competition is another “faux” creative worth mentioning for XBOX 360 that makes reference to the 13 year old kid who claimed to the be a father.
Long Zheng

Office 2010, the next version of Microsoft's successful office programs suite, has been in closed testing for a while now. With a public beta expected later in the year, development is stepping up before the program, previously dubbed Office 14, is finally let out into the wild.

Earlier this year we posted some screenshots of alpha builds of Word and Excel, and just over a week ago Zack Whittaker posted some new screenshots on his iGeneration blog.

Here are some images of the new about screen of Office and screenshots of the new version of Outlook, including the ribbon toolbar.

Images credit: igeneration and presspass

Whilst attention has shifted towards Windows 7 and Office 2010 for the time being, Microsoft’s other major product launch up for this holiday season, the Zune HD, is always at the back of our heads. On one hand, the unceremonious announcement of the Zune HD late May helped confirm many of the rumored technical specifications of the device, but at the same time there is still a lining of mystery over how its browser works and what other capabilities the device may have.
A trademark application by Microsoft early last week could be an indication of what more the Zune HD might do, applications.
Trademark application 77775625 for the trademark “ONEAPP”, or alternatively pseudo-marked “One Application”, is classified as a trademark for “online retail store services facilitating the download of computer software for use on mobile phones, media players and other portable electronic devices”.
Furthermore, a separate classification describes,
computer software for allowing mobile device users to send messages, make payments and access and play music, games and videos on mobile devices; computer software platforms for developing mobile applications; computer software, namely, software development tools for the creation of mobile applications; computer software for running retail store site for purchase and download of mobile applications over wireless networks
Of course all of this is assuming the mention of “media players” is intentional, but considering the Zune has always been a Windows CE device under heavy disguise, it’s not entirely far-fetched either. Certainly if XNA games is any indication already, then these devices are perfectly capable of running practical applications.
What’s even more interesting is the actual word, “OneApp”, which definitely gives the impression that the applications are somehow universal across classes of devices. It’s no secret that the Windows Mobile 7 team is collaborating with the Zune team. Write-once apps that works on both Windows Mobile and Zune? Wouldn’t that be nice.
Long Zheng

Chinese Microsoft enthusiast blog today posted a bunch of links to some interesting portfolios by a handful of Chinese designers who works at the Microsoft Advanced Technology Center (ATC) Studios in Beijing. What many people don’t know is that the ATC has been largely responsible for the user experience design of Windows Mobile. This however is no longer the case as WM 6.5 was their last project, but up and until now, they’ve been busy conceptualizing the future of Windows Mobile. Most of those concepts have never surface in public before, until now.

Out of all the portfolios linked, one stands out as the juiciest. Teng Lei, a user experience designer at the ATC recently blogged about a new portfolio by Robin Zhu (not yet launched) who appears to also work at the ATC. What appears to be a teaser quickly turns into an enormous gallery of high resolution clippings from Robin’s portfolio which showcases some extraordinary Windows Mobile concepts he’s designed over the years.

Here’s a select few I found the most interesting, but I would encourage everyone to visit the original blog post to see the whole range.

With these amazing UX concepts, one wonders, where did it all go wrong for Windows Mobile?

Author: Long Zheng