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Microsoft debuts on Mac App Store, Warner movie apps broaden global availability

post #1 of 32
Thread Starter 
Apple's rival Microsoft has launched its first application on the Mac App Store for syncing Windows Phone 7 devices, while movie studio Warner Bros. has begun releasing software on the iOS App Store that includes hit movie titles, allowing the films to be released in countries where the iTunes store is not available.

Windows Phone 7 Connector now on Mac App Store

Microsoft on Wednesday launched the Windows Phone 7 Connector application on the Mac App Store. It is the first application from the Redmond, Wash., software giant available on Apple's new Mac OS X digital download destination.

In addition to allowing users of Windows Phone 7 devices to sync to their Mac, the application also connects to the Zune HD media player. Users can sync music, movies, TV shows and podcasts from their existing iTunes library to their devices, as well as photos and videos from iPhoto.

The free software lets users retrieve videos and photos from their portable device and automatically add them to an existing iPhoto library. It can also be used to browse and preview media items, and download and install operating system updates.

Windows Phone 7 Connector requires a Windows Phone 7 device from any carrier or a Zune HD, as well as a computer running Mac OS X 10.6.6 or higher. It is a 2.6MB download available in English, French, German, Italian and Spanish.



Warner Bros. movies come to iOS App Store

Warner Bros. on Wednesday announced the launch of "App Editions" for popular movies "Inception" and "The Dark Knight," both helmed by director Christopher Nolan. The movies are available on the App Store for the iPhone, iPod touch and iPad, and provide "a fully-loaded, connected viewing experience."

Downloading a free "App Edition" of the movie gives users the first five minutes of the feature film and a portion of bonus content that can include games, trivia, soundtracks and soundboards. Customers can unlock the movie via an in-app purchase, which enables both downloading and unlimited streaming of the film and its bonus content.

The move allows Warner Bros. to sell "Inception" and "The Dark Knight" in over 30 territories, including some which did not have access to films through iTunes. Those countries include China, Brazil and the Netherlands.

"Warner Bros. is bringing more than 100 million Apple device owners a highly innovative new way to experience their favorite films," said Thomas Gewecke, President of Warner Bros. Digital Distribution. "For many, watching a movie is a social activity and App Editions are the first mobile product to deliver this capability on a global scale.

"They offer a fully connected experience, allowing viewers to engage with others around the world in real-time through Facebook and Twitter. In 2011, Warner Bros. will release a full slate of App Editions including new release and catalog films."



Inception: App Edition allows an in-app purchase of the feature film for $11.99, while The Dark Knight: App Edition allows users to view the hit film for $9.99 with an in-app purchase.
post #2 of 32
Good for Microsoft! Next up, MS Office!.. even though I'm sticking with iWork.

But the App versions of movies look weird and possibly full of fail. 1 App = 1 movie = fail.
post #3 of 32
post #4 of 32
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Originally Posted by Slurpy

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post #5 of 32
Great news from Microsoft, and a great start for Windows Phone 7 Series Series! This is a step in the right direction for a company that has had its head so far up it's own ass that it can see through its own mouth.

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"Apple should pull the plug on the iPhone."

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post #6 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by allmypeople View Post

Good for Microsoft! Next up, MS Office!.. even though I'm sticking with iWork.

But the App versions of movies look weird and possibly full of fail. 1 App = 1 movie = fail.

Next up...Note Pad. and then MS Paint
post #7 of 32
Looks like Microsoft had the photocopiers out for the Windows 7 Phone syncing application.
post #8 of 32
Wait for Apple to stop these movie apps cos they bypass the iTunes Movie Store and let Studios price their movies instead of Apple pricing the movies in iTunes.
They are a win for the many areas without an iTunes Movie Store.
post #9 of 32
The new App Store guidelines specifically ban apps that are just a single song, book or movie presented as an app.
post #10 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by ascii View Post

The new App Store guidelines specifically ban apps that are just a single song, book or movie presented as an app.

How did they get approved in the first place and timed so perfectly?
post #11 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by OmicronTurtle View Post

Wait for Apple to stop these movie apps cos they bypass the iTunes Movie Store and let Studios price their movies instead of Apple pricing the movies in iTunes.
They are a win for the many areas without an iTunes Movie Store.

Yea, I think it sounds interesting, but I was wondering how the Warner app would jibe with this from Apples new app guidelines:

"Apps that are simply a song or movie should be submitted to the iTunes store. Apps that are simply a book should be submitted to the iBookstore."

I appreciate what Apple is trying to do, but this is really sounding restrictive for companies trying to innovate on the platform.
post #12 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by VdkaShaker View Post

Yea, I think it sounds interesting, but I was wondering how the Warner app would jibe with this from Apples new app guidelines:

"Apps that are simply a song or movie should be submitted to the iTunes store. Apps that are simply a book should be submitted to the iBookstore."

I appreciate what Apple is trying to do, but this is really sounding restrictive for companies trying to innovate on the platform.

It sounds that the Apps are more than just a movie though. They will contain "bonus content that can include games, trivia, soundtracks and soundboards."
Qualifies for Apples new rules I think.
post #13 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by ascii View Post

The new App Store guidelines specifically ban apps that are just a single song, book or movie presented as an app.

From the article:
Quote:
Downloading a free "App Edition" of the movie gives users the first five minutes of the feature film and a portion of bonus content that can include games, trivia, soundtracks and soundboards.

So it sounds to me like a little more than just a movie being presented as an app.

Quote:
Customers can unlock the movie via an in-app purchase, which enables both downloading and unlimited streaming of the film and its bonus content.

Nice of them to include some options for those who go for this. If I were to get movies through iTunes, I personally prefer to have them in my movies library rather than to have them in an app.
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post #14 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by PatsFan83 View Post

Looks like Microsoft had the photocopiers out for the Windows 7 Phone syncing application.

I thought the purpose of GUI guidelines were so the user had a consistant experience across applications, or would you rather them design something that looked strange in OSX?
post #15 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

Inception: App Edition allows an in-app purchase of the feature film for $11.99, while The Dark Knight: App Edition allows users to view the hit film for $9.99 with an in-app purchase.

In certain European countries the prices for in-app purchase of these old movies are closer to 21 USD than to 12 USD. So much for global availability..
post #16 of 32
Sorry AppleInsider, but this is not Microsoft's first app. They had a photo app early on.
post #17 of 32
Why mix these utterly divergent stories into one thread? Is this some kind of gag meant to increase clicks? It just creates a pile of mixed responses that makes following and posting in the threads even more confusing than they normally are.

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post #18 of 32
I don't quite see how the Warner app goes against the guidelines? You buy through in-app purchase (controlled iTunes/Apple), so Apple will get its 30% cut! Don't see how things can go wrong… and this is a new app, an therefore the guidelines should have been enforced prior to store release.

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post #19 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by ascii View Post

The new App Store guidelines specifically ban apps that are just a single song, book or movie presented as an app.

These so called 'App Movies' contain more than just a movie as an app. They are ultimately a vehicle for purchasing (or renting?) a movie so I am not sure how that works with Apple's new In App purchase deal but they supposedly add value by containing more than just the theatrical presentation. There are many photos, games, interviews and the similar kind of stuff that would be called 'extras' on a DVD or BR disk - only it is supposed to be a bunch more. Since I have no idea what Apple had negotiated for movie distribution thru iTunes directly (either for rental or for sale) it is hard to say if the 30% for In App purchase compares favorably. Who knows if this is a good or a bad deal. I guess as long as the price matches or beats what they have available for download elsewhere then its cool with Apple - but that would only be thru them (the distributors e.g., WB) exclusively I assume, not an agent, such as Amazon, NetFlix, etc. This gets more complicated as it goes on and could ultimately become something the Feds will stick there nose into re:anti-trust if it ends up fixing prices (thru 3rd parties).
post #20 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by AdonisSMU View Post

How did they get approved in the first place and timed so perfectly?

Likely because it isn't just the movie.

My question is how this opens up international sales. Wouldn't Warners be the ones restricting content from iTunes in the first place

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A non tech's thoughts on Apple stuff 

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post #21 of 32
these topics are horribly disparate and it's distracting.

Anyway

Why go through so much trouble creating Apps and not work towards offering them on a fully international itunes? Seems like they're just confusing the market. Like this thread.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jfanning View Post

I thought the purpose of GUI guidelines were so the user had a consistant experience across applications, or would you rather them design something that looked strange in OSX?

There's consistency and then there's that app. I mean who cares. You know the old adage, "Imitation... etc". You don't get copied if you're not "it".
turtles all the way up and turtles all the way down... infinite context means infinite possibility
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turtles all the way up and turtles all the way down... infinite context means infinite possibility
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post #22 of 32
The first five minutes; ooohh, those are usually the best out of the whole movie.
post #23 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by jfanning View Post

I thought the purpose of GUI guidelines were so the user had a consistant experience across applications, or would you rather them design something that looked strange in OSX?

I think the idea behind Apple's GUI guidelines is conformity and consistency not duplicity. Putting aside the issue for the moment of whether an Application must follow exactly the Apples GUI guidelines exactly anymore (or even if such an exacting thing exists anymore) there are very big differences in the way iMovie 6 works and iMovie 8 - I dare say they both follow the Apple GUI pretty well (with allowances for move into territory that was not covered in detail in the guidelines early on when the bulk of the design was done.) Both deal with video tracks and accompanying audio that are presented in timelines, both list media assets/resources and have tools for controlling them but from there they depart. The point I am trying to make here is although they deal with the same kind of resources and the end goal is similar (to make a movie) these can be accomplished without being clones.

You can design something for OS X that accomplishes the same thing as iTunes without using a photocopier (and does not look weird) and maybe, just maybe come up with a cool product at the same time. If not an entire product than at least some base ideas that can be improved upon for the next version. It appears Microsoft has just cloned iTunes (as the fine folks at Double Twist did - I assume 'cause it was safe). As much complaining as people do about iTunes and all the baggage it carriers I find it interesting that instead of improving on it they would rather copy what Apple has done.

Some end up liking the 'new' way the other the old but we all benefit due to innovation. Don't misunderstand me, I am not saying that every package that does the same kind of task has to be new but I do think Microsoft can afford to take a chance instead of turning on the copy machine every time.

BTW: the guidelines IMHO are more about a general look and feel that is gained by sweating the small details of each component and what components can, should and should not be used for and more importantly how to present the whole as a package that has discoverability as well as predictability (due to the consistent user interface). Its a big part of what makes Apple products like the Mac, OS X and iOS what they are instead of looking like the front window of an over-crowded pawn shop window that Windows and now Android tends to employ. I've got on my asbestos gear and kevlar vest so blast away!
post #24 of 32
Looking at the screenshot of that movie app, my biggest question is who the hell is going to pay to download a 2.2GB video to their phone? Even on wifi that's kind of crazy.
post #25 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by ascii View Post

The new App Store guidelines specifically ban apps that are just a single song, book or movie presented as an app.

However, they could make the excuse that it allows them to have special features and thus makes it more than just the movie.
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post #26 of 32
I am of the opinion that Apple should ban all M$ rubbish from all its Apps stores.
It is a well know fact that M$ simply cannot create good software, much of its effort bordering on the incompetent and immoral.
I for one will NEVER use M$ nor Google garbage on my iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad, MBP and Macs.
I think all Apple followers should follow suit. Why support the enemy.
post #27 of 32
C'mon Microsoft, put Outlook on there. Look how well Sparrow sold, clearly OS X Mail is not an impediment to 3rd party mail clients selling.
post #28 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

Warner Bros. has begun releasing software on the iOS App Store that includes hit movie titles, allowing the films to be released in countries where the iTunes store is not available.

This is just daft. Apple should extend the iTunes Movies store to these and other countries. It can't be that hard to strike distribution deals in each country around the world one by one.
post #29 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by TheWatchfulOne View Post

So it sounds to me like a little more than just a movie being presented as an app.

Even if Cocoa Touch lets you make the best DVD extras ever, with mini-games and everything, that's irrelevant imho. The App Store should be for computer software: spreadsheets, drawing programs, email programs etc. Substantial computer applications.
post #30 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by PatsFan83 View Post

Looks like Microsoft had the photocopiers out for the Windows 7 Phone syncing application.

Is it just me or does it just look like a very basic Mac App? I'm not really sure what there meant to have copied. It's the same kind of layout as iTunes but not identical and everything in it looks like standard Mac UI components.
post #31 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by Damn_Its_Hot View Post

You can design something for OS X that accomplishes the same thing as iTunes without using a photocopier (and does not look weird) and maybe, just maybe come up with a cool product at the same time. If not an entire product than at least some base ideas that can be improved upon for the next version. It appears Microsoft has just cloned iTunes (as the fine folks at Double Twist did - I assume 'cause it was safe). As much complaining as people do about iTunes and all the baggage it carriers I find it interesting that instead of improving on it they would rather copy what Apple has done.

I can see 3 possible reasons:
  • While MS does want to be present on Macs, they still don't care too much.
  • They are playing safe, since Mac users are already more than used to iTunes interface.
  • They don't want to give Mac users best possible experience at this point, only to let them use Windows devices on Macs.

I have recently played with Zune desktop app. I don't have device that will work with it so I cannot make complete judgement, but as it is - desktop application only - I do prefer it tremendously to Windows version of iTunes I am forced to use with my 3Gs.
post #32 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by OmicronTurtle View Post

Wait for Apple to stop these movie apps cos they bypass the iTunes Movie Store and let Studios price their movies instead of Apple pricing the movies in iTunes.
They are a win for the many areas without an iTunes Movie Store.

I agree, it's true.
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