Last July, Microsoft took the wraps off a new collaboration application/service called GigJam. Today, May 12, Microsoft is broadening availability of the preview version of GigJam beyond the current private-preview tester group. Those interested in testing GigJam can request an invitation (if they haven't already) and download the new app "shortly." The Invitation Preview is currently available for Windows and Mac OS X, with an iOS preview "coming soon," officials said. Once users receive an invitation, they can download the GigJam client app and User Guide, and then immediately start testing the new app/service.
Windows Phone is on its way out. To no one's surprise, Microsoft's Joe Belfiore recently confirmed its demise. In its place, the company has adopted a more pragmatic approach that embeds pieces of its Windows experience in iOS and Android. You can trace this strategy back to 2014, when Microsoft released a trio of Office apps for iOS. More recently, it's been ramping up with the launch of Cortana and an Android launcher.
In the quest to release better collaboration tools, Microsoft released its Whiteboard Preview app in a private beta. The software lets teams mark up multiple boards with cute skeumorphic details to ease users into working on a shared digital canvas. Now Microsoft is publicly rolling it out for all Windows 10 users to download, which will soon go live on the Windows Store.
Microsoft has incorporated its revamped Paint 3D app into the latest Windows 10 Insider Preview build. First announced as part of the Windows 10 Creators update, it has nothing to do with the crude raster tool that has been the butt of jokes since Windows 1.0. Rather, it's more of a 3D app for the masses that lets you create complex scenes with relative ease. You can scan real-world objects using a smartphone camera, use 3D "clipart" created by by the Remix 3D community and even output your final models to a 3D printer. Paint 3D and Remix 3D will only be available in English for now, Microsoft says, but it'll expand regions and languages soon.
Windows 10's Creators Update will have its fair share of pleasant surprises, apparently. Microsoft has released a new Windows Insider preview that stuffs in quite a few new features, some of which you might just use every day. For one, its Edge browser now includes tab previews. This isn't a novel concept (hi, Opera), but it'll be immensely helpful if you have loads of tabs open and don't want to play a guessing game. Also, Microsoft's Flash crackdown is in full effect: Edge now blocks untrusted Flash content as a matter of course, and you'll have to click to play it.