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By Hamza Jawad
Microsoft highlights new products and investments ahead of Inspire 2019
by Hamza Jawad
Ahead of Microsoft's Inspire 2019 partner conference, the tech giant has published a news round-up regarding new investments in various programs. The investments are primarily aimed toward improving the company's partner engagement in the cloud era.
There have been some improvements to current programs today, as well as introduction of new ones. Microsoft unveiled new features for Teams, along with the announcement that it had crossed the 13 million users mark. The service is now also available with existing Office 365 ProPlus installations. Moving on, new integrations for Dynamics 365 have been mentioned, along with updates to the service's Nonprofit Accelerator. Additionally, the Business Applications ISV Connect program is now also generally available.
With regards to new products and programs for the Azure cloud, the Azure lighthouse has just been introduced, offering the required capabilities for partners to implement cross-customer management without any additional costs. Overall, it is said to provide greater security and visibility on the customer end as well. Furthermore, the Azure Migration Program has been launched to help transfer existing applications and systems to Azure with ease.
There have also been a few announcements to help in furthering opportunities for partners - one of the base ideas behind Inspire conferences. A range of benefits to expand profitability will now be provided to partners through Microsoft Security, which is now generally available. Moreover, advanced specializations including Windows Server and SQL Server Migration, Modernization of Web Applications, and more have been introduced in Azure. Lastly, additional benefits, including a rewards program and new pricing models, are being rolled out this month for firms that "publish transactable offers" in the tech giant's expanded commercial marketplace.
This year's Inspire partner conference is set to be held on the coming Monday, July 15, with keynotes beginning at 8:30 a.m. PT / 11:30 a.m. ET. You can learn more about it here.
Google begins rolling out dynamic email to Gmail web users
by Paul Hill
Google has begun rolling out dynamic email to the Gmail web client. Dynamic email allows companies to send more interactive emails to drive usage. To accompany the launch, Google has worked with several businesses to get them started using the new feature. Google announced last year that AMP-powered dynamic emails were entering the developer preview stage.
The companies that have started sending dynamic emails include Booking.com, Despegar, Doodle, Ecwid, Freshworks, Nexxt, OYO Rooms, Pinterest, and redBus. The most familiar name on that list is probably Pinterest. With dynamic emails, Pinterest now lets you discover new posts right from your inbox and save them to boards. Different businesses use the service in different ways but hopefully they’ll help you stuff done in fewer clicks right from your Gmail inbox.
Google said that mobile support for dynamic emails will arrive soon and that if you’re reading emails from a desktop client, such as Thunderbird, you’ll get a static version of the message. Those in charge of G Suite accounts will be able to enable dynamic emails in the next few days via the Admin console.
Developers who want to get started building dynamic emails are encouraged to head on over to the AMP blog which explains how to get started with the format.
By Jay Bonggolto
Microsoft now supports AMP directly from Bing's mobile search results
by Jay Bonggolto
While Microsoft's Bing has been supporting Google’s Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP) since 2016, that capability was limited only to the Bing app for both iOS and Android. Now, Microsoft announced that it has started allowing AMP-supported web pages to work directly from Bing’s mobile search results, thanks to the release of Bing AMP viewer and Bing AMP Cache.
With the new release, Bing users will be able to experience fast load times of AMP-enabled web pages on their preferred mobile browser. Microsoft said it initially rolled out the AMP viewer and AMP carrousel in the U.S. earlier this week for the news carousel. Those residing in the country may check out the feature on their mobile device by visiting the Bing domain, searching for news topics, and then tapping the search results bearing the AMP icon.
That's only the first part of its global release, with the Redmond-based company promising to continue rolling out that support to more websites and regions in the future. More links in the search results pages will also be supported soon.
For AMP webmasters and AMP advertisers, Microsoft recommends allowing the Bingbot crawler to obtain AMP content and enabling cross-origin resource sharing for the bing-amp.com domain in order to push AMP content to Bing.
Google wants to modernise email with AMP for Email
by Paul Hill
Google has announced that it is launching AMP for Email through the Gmail Developer Preview in an attempt to modernise email. The internet giant hopes that AMP can make email more engaging, interactive and “actionable”. It won’t be long until you get to experience amped up emails because Pinterest, Booking.com, and Doodle are all apparently working on content.
In its announcement, Google said:
Your browser does not support video.
Google has already opened up AMP for Email to developers, you can sign up here if you want to join the programme. Otherwise, Google says it’ll bring support to Gmail later this year. Thankfully, AMP for Email is an open spec which means that other email clients will be able to incorporate the technology too, so there will be no lock out if you use an alternative email client.
Source: Google | Image via The AMP Project (YouTube)
Google is expanding its lightning-fast AMP support to display ads and landing pages
by Vishal Laul
Just over a year ago, Google launched the AMP project – Accelerated Mobile Pages – with the aim of speeding up web pages, but with a focus on static content like news stories and blogs.
AMP have since been adopted by 900,000 domains, publishing more than two billion AMP pages. Google claims that these pages render and load with a median time of less than a second. That’s mighty quick, especially on a mobile device.
Today, Google is slightly widening the scope of AMP by allowing advertisers to use an AMP page as the landing page for advertisements published in Google’s search results. In effect, clicking an ad in Google Search could lead to an advertisement that opens in less than a second.
For now, the feature is limited to a beta, requiring advertisers to sign up before they can participate; big-name advertisers like Johnson & Johnson, and eBay have already been testing the feature, and have noticed increased engagement.
In a statement, Paul Ortayer, Head of Digital Analytics – EMEA at Johnson & Johnson, said:
In addition to that, Google is also taking a significant step in making advertisements themselves load faster. Starting from this week, a “significant number of ads” on the Google Display Network will load in the AMP Ads format, if they are loading on an AMP page.
Google says that AMP ads load up to five seconds faster than regular ads, despite looking identical.
At Google I/O earlier this week, Google announced that AMP pages are now loading twice as fast than they used to when the project was announced 18 months ago. It’s clear that Google is still improving the platform, and the speed gains are proving to be a great boost in attracting users concerned about mobile data usage.
China’s two major search engines, Baidu and Sogou, accounted for 90% of China’s search market in 2016 and announced three months ago that they would be linking to AMP pages in their search results. Yahoo Japan also joined them in Japan.
The AMP project is growing to become a significant part of the mobile web. Hopefully, Google’s commitment will continue to bring more improvements to the platform.
Source: AMP Project Blog via Mashable | Image: YouTube (TheAMPProject)