Microsoft opened a total of 51 new full-line and specialty stores in 2012, the company said in a press statement, including the first international stores in Edmonton, Burnaby, Vancouver and Toronto, Canada.
The company further notes, that it will ring in the New Year, with the more retail store opening in the following new locations for 2013:
- "The Shops at La Cantera, San Antonio, Texas
- Dadeland Mall, Miami, Fla.
- Beachwood Place, Beachwood, Ohio
- Westfield San Francisco Centre, San Francisco
- City Creek Center, Salt Lake City
- St. Louis Galleria, St. Louis," informs Microsoft.
In other news, Windows Phone Developer team blog reflects on the accomplishments for the year 2012 stating, "We literally set a new foundation this year with the deployment of all-new infrastructure - new client platform, new developer toolset, new Dev Center, new catalog infrastructure, and all-new global service."
Further, the team says it has focused on consumer experience as a result, Windows Phone customers now download, buy, and use more apps than at any time since it first launched Windows Phone 7 two years ago. Microsoft adds that on an average Windows Phone users have downloaded 54 apps each to personalize their phone experience.
Over the last year, Microsoft certified and published over 75,000 new apps and games (more than doubling the catalog size) and over 300,000 app updates. In addition, to this year's addition of the capability for customers to tell us if they have a concern about an app.
Microsoft has created opportunity for developers with new developer platform for Windows Phone 8 and sharing that core with Windows 8 that provides an opportunity for innovation, customer reach, and monetization for developers. Microsoft notes, that it has seen an increase in developer revenue, almost 40% in the past 30 days, all thanks to the release of Windows Phone 8 SDK.
"Over the course of 2012 the number of Windows Phones markets increased by over 5x, "from 35 markets at the start of the year, to 63 with the spring release to over 95 and counting with Windows Phone 7.8 (testing isn't complete, the final count may increase) and finally to 191 markets with Windows Phone 8," representing over a 90% increase in addressable market for your apps," the company adds.
Microsoft also added in-app purchase capabilities (for both durables and consumables) in addition to the existing advertising, trial and paid app business models already available. In addition, "to the expansion of the payment options that now added PayPal, Alipay and a large expansion of carrier billing (six new carriers in the last 3 weeks alone)," Microsoft added.
Microsoft continues to tout its Windows Phone 8 platform "as the premiere platform for developer opportunity and suggests new developers visit the Windows Phone Dev Center to download the new SDK to get started."
Also, the Exchange team announced of having increased the recipient rate limit within Office 365 Enterprise (E1, E2, E3, E4, K1, and K2), Professionals and Small Businesses (P1), and Government plans (G1, G2, G3, and G4) "to allow users to send email to up to 10,000 recipients per day."
"These new limits also apply to standalone Exchange Online plans (Kiosk, Plan 1, and Plan 2). Previously, the recipient rate limit for users of these plans had been set at a maximum of 1,500 recipients per day," stated Exchange team blog.
"Office 365 customers who need to send legitimate bulk commercial email -- such as customer newsletters - should continue to use third-party providers that specialize in these services," the team adds.