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Microsoft teasers, tips and tidbits: 5 things to know now

Christina DesMarais | March 27, 2013
Microsoft has had a busy week, judging from the breadth of the buzz about the company's next ventures. Windows 8 is shipping on all its myriad platforms; now what?

His optimism smacks against the confusion experienced by consumers who learned that Windows RT tablets won't run legacy Windows software, but only apps written specifically for the platform and downloaded through the Windows Store.

Hardware manufacturers also have been vocal about their disappointment with Windows RT. This week Nvidia CEO Jen Hsun Huang told analysts "We expected to have sold more than we did... I think everybody expected to have sold more than we did."

Microsoft again looks to lure developers

And there's always the paltry selection of Windows 8 and Windows Phone apps to complain about. In fact, in recent months Windows app development has come to a near-complete halt--a worrisome fact considering that people love that Apple and Google offer millions of apps to load up on their devices.

But you can't say Microsoft doesn't put its money where its mouth is--again the company is bribing app developers to build new apps for its platforms. To stoke app development, Microsoft will pay U.S. developers $100 per app published in the Windows Store and Windows Phone Store, with a limit of ten published apps per store. The company is pitching it as a temporary promotion, running the offer through June 30, or for the first 10,000 published apps, whichever comes first.

However, the promotion has been widely panned because it encourages quantity over quality and won't do anything to attract big-name apps like Pandora and Facebook. A better carrot for major companies will be when people start buying Windows Phones and tablets en masse.

For its part, Microsoft says paid incentives aren't a core strategy and the best apps will come from its partners who are invested in the platform.

Got a Website? Don't ignore Windows 8

And while conventional wisdom remains that Windows 8's adoption is slow, in fact millions of people are already using it.

PCWorld's Eric Geier this week pointed out that website owners would be wise to take advantage of little-known features buried in the operating system that can give their businesses a competitive advantage. If that's you, you want people to pin your site on their Start Screens, share it with the Charms Bar, and use shortcuts to access your content, right? Here's how to do it by easily adding custom code to your site.


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