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The Microsoft Portable Power DC-21 smartphone battery charger, which was first announced in October, is finally on sale on the Microsoft Store website for $49.

The 6000mAh battery can charge a smartphone — such as a Lumia Windows Phone device — two times before the charger itself needs to be plugged in again. It can also hold its charge for up to a month if needed, and can be plugged in and charged while also charging a smartphone.

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In a surprise announcement, LINE messenger has picked up MixRadio from Microsoft. LINE is one of the biggest messaging services around, although it is mostly prevalent in non-Western countries at the moment.

Microsoft announced the news on the Lumia Conversations blog. The deal is expected to be completed by "early 2015" with the MixRadio team staying in Bristol, UK.

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Find out who won the Xbox One TV Tuner contest!

A few days ago we opened up a quick pre-holiday contest for our European readers to win an Xbox One TV Tuner courtesy of Windows Central. Thanks to everyone who entered and as promised we've closed it down and selected one lucky winner at random.

So, drum roll please...

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Designed to be ultra-compact, this charger is convenient to carry with you while traveling. Included with the wall charger adapter is the Micro-USB data cable that measures 3 feet in length, enough to reach around common obstacles. The wall adapter has a USB port built-in on the side, making it simple to plug in the included cable when you're ready to take charge! Yours for just $9.95 today

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Update: The HERE team has posted an official update on this stating: "we have noticed some discussions in the blogosphere about HERE on Windows Phone. We want to clarify that we are committed to providing great products and consumer experiences for Windows based phones. We will continue to support our HERE apps to ensure that they will be compatible with future versions of Windows."

Original story: It looks like Microsoft is taking over development of HERE Maps for Windows Phone from Nokia. The change comes after it was revealed that Nokia was looking to develop the client from the ground up for Android and iOS platforms.

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There are Xbox One deals galore around of late and British retailer, GAME, is continuing the trend by offering up a great deal on titles like The Crew, just recently launched for Xbox One and Xbox 360. On the former, the title has been reduced to just £24.99, a £20 saving on the RRP, but Xbox 360 owners can also join in by snagging it for just £21.49.

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Today's Microsoft Store daily deal is for either the HP Pavillion x2 or the Dell Inspiron 15 notebook (depending if you live in the US or Canada), but what about for Friday, December 19, the final day of the sales event? As it turns out, it's for a 12-month Xbox Music Pass, which will allow users to stream and download as much music as they want for just $49.90, or for $29.90 if they show up first at a Microsoft Store location.

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The UK government has managed to reach an agreement with local operators to work on the issue of nationwide 'not-spots': areas restricting access to basic mobile functions due to weak signal coverage. EE, O2, Three and Vodafone will invest a guaranteed £5 billion to improve mobile infrastructure by 2017 with the aim to provide 90 per cent of the UK with both voice and text coverage.

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UC Browser has received an update that sees a host of new features added to one of the best browsers available on the platform. Cortana integration allows you to control the browser through voice commands. And then there's the ability to create a picture password, which you can set up by swiping down from the speed dial menu. A background download feature has also been added, which ensures that your downloads aren't interrupted even after locking your screen.

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If you're an EA Access member, a new game has just been added for download. As expected, EA Sports UFC is now available in the Vault. It joins Battlefield 4, Plants vs. Zombies Garden Warfare, Need For Speed Rivals, Madden NFL 25, FIFA 14, and Peggle 2 in an evolving collection of EA games on Xbox One that all EA Access members can play. I have just installed it on my Xbox One. Watch my first gameplay on video.

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Lumia Denim update goes live in Europe

It looks like the Lumia Denim software upload is now starting to hit a few of Microsoft's smartphones in Europe. The Lumia-maker has published a support page for the Denim update where owners of Lumia devices in Europe can check their country and phone model to see if the update is available. For now, it looks like variants of the Lumia 625, Lumia 520, Lumia 530 and Lumia 1320 are starting to see Denim in select countries.

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