The next chapter for the Microsoft Partner Info, I mean Microsoft Info Partner Windows Phone Mobile

62x62Just over two years ago, my Microsoft Partner Information Mobile App made its debut in the Windows Phone Marketplace, bringing a single solution to pull together information for Microsoft Partners around the world, right on their mobile phones. Since that time, my Microsoft Partner Information mobile app has gone through many updates, improvements, and changes, based on input, feedback, and online factors. Today I am letting you know about the next chapter in the Microsoft Partner Info mobile app story, which brings several more updates and changes to the app, which will be delivered to you phone soon (if it hasn't been already) if you already have the Microsoft Partner Info mobile app installed on your Windows Phone.

A Removal:

The first change to the app is one that was brought about due to a change here at Microsoft. Just under a year ago, you may recall that one of two big changes we brought to the app was the introduction of the VChat feature from our Worldwide Partner Group Team. Late last week, I received an email from our Worldwide Partner Group Team letting me know that due to some changes in their infrastructure, they would no longer be supporting the VChat functionality in the mobile app. What this means is, the VChat functionality is being retired for the app and will no longer function. Because of this change, the VChat tile and functionality has been removed from the app. Oh, and if you are wondering, the actual VChat functionality itself for the app has been turned off by the Worldwide Partner Group, so keeping the older version of the app will not give you the VChat functionality until you update to the latest version of the app, so there is no benefit to staying on the older version.

Given the need to make the big change listed above regarding the VChat functionality, I thought I would also take this opportunity to make several other updates to the app, included below.

An Evolution:

The next change in the app actually includes two changes, and these came about based on input, feedback, and questions I have received about the app ever since t was launched. When the Microsoft Partner Info mobile app first hit the market, it was received very well because of what it provided and several people contacted me asking questions such as:

  • Is this app limited to Microsoft Partners only, since much of the information included in the app is helpful and applicable to more than just Microsoft partners?
  • Is there a version of the app for individuals and businesses that are not Microsoft partners that provides information that is not Microsoft partner specific?

The first change made to my app is the scope of the app, and therefore, the name of the app. Since much of the information (like the Product info, many of the People info, the country info, and more) is applicable to not only Microsoft partners, but also others, the app is now shifting from being just for Microsoft partner information to being your partner to help you get and access Microsoft information broadly. Due to this change, I'm changing the actual name of my app from the Microsoft Partner Info (info for Microsoft partners) mobile app to the Microsoft Info Partner (your partner for accessing Microsoft information) mobile app. You'll notice this not only in the name of the app itself in the Windows Phone marketplace, but also in the app itself. Here are just a few examples:








The splash screen of the app now shows the new name and look of the app. Screen (1)
The background of the app now represents the new name and scope of the app Screen (2)

 

The second change made to the app, due to the shift above, is some of the content of the app itself. In this release, and over time, I will be bringing more feeds into the app that apply broadly to not only our Microsoft partners, but also others interested in Microsoft in general. One example of this is in the former “Partner Talk” section of the app. If you look in the new version of the app, you will notice this section is now named the “MSFT Talk” section, and it includes new feeds in it that have broad appeal, such as:





  • Microsoft Talk - See what others are saying about Microsoft on right now
  • Surface Talk - See what others are saying about Microsoft Surface right now
  • Windows Talk - See what others are saying about Windows right now
  • Windows Phone Talk - See what others are saying about Windows Phone right now
  • Xbox Talk - See what others are saying about Xbox right now

Screen-10

      

A New “Talk” Backend:

In the prior versions of the Microsoft Partner Info (now the Microsoft Info Partner) app, the Partner Talk section utilized a Tweetchat backend to serve up the streams of tweets for that section. Recently, Tweetchat has been acquired and the service itself no longer provides the functionality it used to. As such, this new version of the app has moved away from the Tweetchat backend for the MSFT Talk section of the app, and once again the tweet streams are flowing for these feeds.

A New Look:

In case you haven't already noticed in the screenshots above, the app itself has been given an entire makeover in appearance, ranging the new app icon, to the new splash screen, to the new background, to the new tiles and tile colors,

Content:

One question that some of you may be wondering is, with all of the changes listed above, has any of the Microsoft partner specific information that has been included in the app before been removed from the app? The answer is, “No, all of the information and feeds you have enjoyed over the past versions of the app continue to be included in this new version of the app and in future versions of the app to come.” The expansion listed above is just that, an expansion in scope and information that will be included in the app, not a reduction. As such, the app now (and in the future) has, and will have, an even broader appeal and ability to bring valued Microsoft information to even more people., including our Microsoft partners

Note:

One quick note on the app to let you know that I am aware of and working on tweets in the ap. As some of you may be aware of, Twitter just changed its Twitter feed API, which changes the access to tweets for inclusion into third party items, such as the Microsoft Info Partner Mobile App. With this change, Twitter feeds are currently not flowing into the app (and I am working on the correction of this for a future update). Fear not though, all of the other feed sources, such as blogs, RSS, and YouTube are all still flowing into the app and being displayed for you all. As an FYI, this API update affects all versions of the app, not just the latest one, which is why you may have noticed Twitter feeds not coming in over this weekend.

App Update:

For those of you with the app already installed on your Windows Phones, you should be receiving a notice of an update for the app being available very soon (if you haven't already). For those of you that haven't installed the Microsoft Info Partner mobile app yet, you can install it right from here.

Thanks again to all the current users of the app already for using the app and for your input and feedback that you have been providing to me regarding it (which have led to many of the changes listed above to bring even more value for you in the app.

Did you find this information helpful? If so, you may want to make sure you are utilizing all of the areas I share information online, such as:





Get the Microsoft Info Partner Mobile App and get access to the latest from all of those plus: product teams, MPN teams, Microsoft News and hundreds more resources here at Microsoft right on your phone:

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Thanks again for being a reader of my blog!





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Thank you and have a wonderful day,

Eric Ligman - Follow me on TWITTER, LinkedIn, and Facebook
Sales Excellence Program Manager
Microsoft Corporation
This posting is provided "AS IS" with no warranties, and confers no rights

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