Flickr, the grandfather of online photo-sharing sites, is giving the kids a new way to use the site with their fancy Windows 7 and Windows Phone 7 devices. Yahoo has announced Flickr for Windows 7 and Windows Phone 7 — native Flickr apps for Windows phones and tablets.
According to our friends at ReadWriteWeb, the new Flickr for Windows 7 apps use Windows Azure, Microsoft’s foray into cloud-based software, behind the scenes. It’s an interesting choice of platform considering Flickr is already, well, in the cloud. Given that Yahoo has a considerable infrastructure of web-based services, why use Azure?
Marcus Spiering, Flickr’s mobile product manager at Yahoo, tells RWW that “Azure allowed us to build an app quickly and do it with quality.” Reading between the lines it’s hard to escape the subtext: Yahoo’s own tools weren’t up to the task.
Whatever the case, Flickr for Windows 7 and Windows Phone 7 is a slick looking app and we’re hoping to see the iOS version get a similar makeover. Curiously, there’s still no official Flickr app for Android.
Microsoft announced plans to buy Portuguese based mobile software company Mobicomp Thursday. The purchase reflects efforts by Microsoft to upgrade its Windows Mobile platform to match Apple, Nokia and Google’s planned mobile cell phone advancements.
The way to tell what Microsoft is doing behind the scenes is by the companies they buy. With its latest plans, we can speculate future Windows mobile devices will probably be packaged with Mobicomp’s line of software:
MobileKeeper Backup & Restore allows your phone to backup personal files and settings “over the air” to a ground-based server. With the software, personal files and the ability to restore your personal settings will be available through the MobileKeeper website. The software also features the ability to create and share content via sites like Flickr from your phone. Active mTicker pushes news through RSS feeds for display on your phone.
The software will likely be featured in conjunction with Windows Live online services. Apple plans similar backup features for its iPhone using its rebranded .Mac service, MobileMe. Google and Nokia have not yet announced similar features for their upcoming OS’s, but are likely expecting them to develop through its own open source communities.
If you can’t wait for these features to hit your Windows Mobile device, you can download similar enhancements through existing third-party apps. If you’re interested in backup and RSS, try SPB Backup for backup and SPB Insight for RSS feeds.