Articles

Microsoft Surface

“Microsoft is not, and never will be, a hardware company.” That’s according to Charlie Kindel, former Windows Phone General Manager, who spoke at an event at ThinkSpace in Redmond last night. Referring to Microsoft’s Surface family of tablets, Kindel notes that sales will be a small fraction of its business in the PC industry as a whole. But didn’t we already know this?

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Samsung ATIV Lineup

Samsung has just announced their range of Windows 8 devices. We have already touched on the ATIV S and Tab rumors earlier and now we know a whole lot more about what Samsung has in store. Samsung is no strangers to producing Windows PCs and looks like they are taking their duties very seriously with this latest line up.

The three devices we’re most interested in are the ATIV Tab, Samsung's super thin WinRT device, the ATIV Smart PC Pro and ATIV Smart PC running the full fat version of Windows 8. Aside from the ATIV tab they will have the detachable keyboard that’s looking to be the in thing with Windows 8 devices.  These three new tablets join the ATIV S Windows Phone to complete the Samsung ATIV lineup.

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WP Central

Tell us your secrets, O fair maiden!

WP Central

This morning we awoke to yet-another Nokia video, teasing us that things are about to change. You have to give the Finnish company credit—even as Samsung is unveiling their new flagship phone, they know how to keep “Nokia” in the news.

Many people were befuddled at the short clip, which shows a woman with carefree abandon riding a bicycle down a road, mugging for the camera. It’s whimsical, cute and frankly it makes little sense for a smartphone ad...

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With Samsung’s huge press conference just wrapping up, we’re going through all the news. Of course the big story of the day for our audience is the ATIV-S, the new Windows Phone 8 device coming this fall.

For those of you who missed the unofficial unveiling, you can watch that segment of the conference right here at Windows Phone Central. It's even in glorious 720P, thanks to our Rafael Rivera.

And when done, head over to our poll to voice your opinion on the Samsung’s new flagship Windows Phone!

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WP Central

PlayUp - The new JBL-Noka portable speaker with NFC

[Updated with new images and Nokia link]

Bloomberg BusinessWeek and Nokia’s own Chris Weber have revealed that JBL and Nokia are getting together for some new NFC-enabled mobile speakers called PlayUp.

Much like the Play360 currently on the market from Nokia, the new JBL-Nokia offerings look to improve upon their existing model of high quality portable media speakers. The device is expected to feature NFC and Bluetooth for easy connectivity and since Nokia’s new Lumia lineup will feature NFC, it makes a good pair for retail.

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WP Central

Does the ATIV-S impress? Take our poll.

Now that we have a good idea of what Samsung is bringing to the table for Windows Phone 8 with the ATIV-S (at least for their flagship phone), the question is What do you think?

The specifications, a 4.8" HD Super AMOLED display with GorillaGlass 2, dual-core 1.5Ghz CPU and ample storage should appeal to a lot of our enthusiastic users. The brushed aluminum should also bring a more classy, high-end feel to the device, a nice change up from the previous "plastic" that Samsung is known to use...

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WP Central

The ATIV-S from Samsung featuring Windows Phone 8

Looks like Microsoft wanted to break the news of the new Samsung ATIV-S Windows Phone 8 device as Ben Rudolph just posted his thoughts on the new phone, being unveild today at IFA.

The specs for the device are exactly as reported earlier with the addition of GorillaGlass 2 and either 16GB or 32GB models, both with expandable storage via microSD…

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36

Sony unveils new Windows 8 VAIO Tap 20 table-top PC

20 inch Sony tablet

Hold onto your seats, this is a big one. Sony has unveiled a 20" table-top Windows 8 PC today at IFA Berlin, titled VAIO Tap 20. The battery-powered PC features a stand allowing the user to adjust the device to suit immediate needs, whether it be tablet photo viewing (on the lap as it weighs in at a sturdy 11 pounds) or desktop-style web browsing. It's a Windows 8 PC that's surely going to turn some heads, so what's included in the package?

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WP Central

WP Central

File this under: Expected.

Currently the IFA show is occurring in Germany right now and we have our team on the ground for live coverage throughout the day. As somewhat expected, Samsung is presumed to be showing off a Windows Phone 8 device, specifically the Ativ-S.

The name Ativ-S was revealed yesterday as the new lineup from Samsung for forthcoming Windows Phone 8 series. The name Ativ (which is oddly ‘Vita’ backwards) looks to be the codenamed Odyssey that T-Mobile US is rumored to be stocking this fall.

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Modern UI Elements

With the official launch of Windows 8 on October 26'th, things in the developer world are heating up. Microsoft has been furiously getting quality apps onto the Windows Store via their App Excellence program, and devs have been touching up their XAML skills. And why wouldn't they be? With a potential market this big, any developer would be silly to not be planning to get something onto the store at some stage.

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Sally's Salon lead

Since the Xbox Live Deal of the Week program’s humble inception in March 2011 (with Frogger on sale), the program has become quite popular with deal hunting gamers. Perhaps I should say had become, because the deals of the week unceremoniously stopped coming after the August 8 late Marketplace update.

We theorized that Microsoft’s Xbox Live gaming division might have been too busy gearing up for Windows Phone 8 to bother with poor little WP7 games any more. Whether or not that played a factor, the program just might be back! Sally’s Salon Luxury Edition from Game House is now $2.99, down from $4.99.

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We are ever so close to the 5th of September where it’s possible Nokia and Microsoft are planning to reveal all about Windows Phone 8. We still have much to learn about the next version of Windows Phone such as possible consumer features for the OS that include Xbox Live and music improvements, as well as anything else Microsoft may still have hidden up their sleeves.

While there is still much to learn about Windows Phone 8, a recent video release only adds to the mystery of what's in store for September 5th.

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Nokia

Nokia certainly knows how to throw a party. Nokia World 2011 (the first evening) and the Deadmau5 performance are two examples of the kind of events the manufacturer has held here in the UK. We've now learned that Nokia has plans to hold a party in New York on September 5th. So what's in stall for attendees?

We're not entirely sure as details are scarce as to what exactly is on the agenda. What we'd imagine to be on the night (from previous experiences) is loud music, an unlimited supply of beverages, and -of course- new Nokia Windows Phones. It wouldn't be a party without Windows Phone Central, so we'll be heading on down to see what all the fuss is about. 

The event is for those who are 18 or above and will take place between 6-9pm in the Chelsea neighbourhood. You can register your spot at the Nokia event over on the RSVP page.

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WP Central

China to finally get Xbox LIVE on Windows Phone?

WP Central

China is not the most gamer-friendly place on this planet. Once upon a time, all was well and merry. But right upon entering the 21st century, some looney in the Chinese government suddenly decided video games are somehow harmful to the country, and made a law which banned the sales of all gaming consoles.

Sony took the blow right in the crown jewels. The game giant (ruler of the entire console gaming industry back then) prepared a whole batch of “specifically for China” Playstation 2 consoles, and opened up for pre-orders. The new law went live immediately after the Chinese Playstation 2 launch, sinking Sony’s new ship in one elegant hit.

According to urban legends and mythologies, some units were shipped to lucky Chinese gamers. But alas, I have to personally witness a genuine Chinese Playstation 2 yet.

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WP Central

WP Central

Let's file this under "rumors" for the time being. We know Microsoft doesn't have a great track record of keeping secrets, and China has been one major source of leaks. Combine the two factors, here comes another interesting leak.

The chaps at WPDang, the Chinese Windows Phone site who has been reasonably accurate on Microsoft leaks, state that the Redmond gang will be releasing the final version of Kinect for Windows SDK around September 15. Interesting timing, right after the Windows Phone 8 launch, and before the holy coming of Windows 8. What's most amusing is that according to WPDang's sources, Windows Phone division is involved in the development of Kinect for Windows SDK too...

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WP Central

Although Windows Phone Central likes to have our own contests regularly, we would be remiss to ignore this fun one that Nokia USA is having via their Twitter account.

The contest is simple: Tweet a photo with something pink that you are wearing—shoes, your hair, or if you’re like me, my giant pink feather boa (okay, maybe not, but we all know I’d make it work). The winner will be showered with all sorts of prizes including...

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Nokia Concept

Bence Bogár, a designer who publishes work to a majority of websites and resources, has revealed some Nokia Windows Phone concepts on Twitter. Bogár, who works at Egy Stúdió in Hungary, states the device in the images is a Nokia Windows Phone sporting a quad-core processor and HD display. While they may well be mere concepts and ideas as to what Nokia could work with in the future, they do appear to be marmite within Windows Phone Central HQ - it's torn the team between absolute detestation to appreciation.

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MetroPCS is looking to bring Windows Phone 8 on board

In an interview with FierceWireless, MetroPCS COO Tom Key said that the regional carrier is looking into bringing a Windows Phone 8 offering to its customers. When asked what his view on Windows Phone 8 was, Key replied:

Windows Phone 8 we think has a place in the portfolio. We’re actually working with a manufacturer right now on bringing Windows Phone 8 to marketplace.

He went on to liken Microsoft and Windows Phone with Apple and the iPhone, saying that much like a consumer will have an iMac on their desk, they will want an iPad for the couch and an iPhone in their pocket to compliment each other. Such is the value to Microsoft consumers. Key also said that the competition, led primarily by Nokia, is good for the mobile OS ecosystem.

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Samsung WP

Rum'o'meter

Word is already on the street that Samsung is looking to unveil Windows hardware at the closely approaching IFA (official website), which will be held in Berlin this week (yes, we have Mobile Nation's people there for coverage, no worries). This will more than likely include Windows 8 PCs and tablets, as well as a potential Windows Phone 8 (Apollo) device or two. 

Through SamMobile we're now aware that Samsung has trademarked 'Ativ', which could be used as branding for future hardware families. Ativ Tab, being the most conspicuous, looks to be the potential name for Samsung's venture into Windows 8 tablets. There is a high probability this will become reality as we're not likely to see the manufacturer alter its Android arsenal. We hope to find out more information in the next few days at IFA.

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WP Central

WP Central

Getting updates on Windows Phone 7 so far has been a mixed bag for consumers. On the one end, they’re basically simple, universal OS patches in the form of CAB files, allowing even early prototype phones to keep upgrading, years after release.

On the other end, they’ve been just awful due to the lack of carrier support in actually rolling them out to end-users. The process is still much better than whatever Android has to offer but it still pales compared to the iPhone in many ways.

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Casual Connect Seattle lead
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Windows Phone at Casual Connect Seattle Wrap-up

It’s a bit late in coming, but at last we have an official wrap-up of our time spent at Casual Connect Seattle this year. Unlike the Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3), which is a console-focused event, Casual Connect centers around casual games – a ‘genre’ or subset found mostly on smartphones, tablets, and PCs.  As such, we ventured forth in hopes of scoring some juicy Windows Phone games coverage as well as gauging the casual gaming industry’s feelings towards Microsoft’s smartphone platform in general.

Head past the break to see what we learned, plus links to all of our exclusive Casual Connect coverage!

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From the Forums

August is closing to an end, and we're all gearing up for the imminent rumours, announcements and discussion that will take place over the next number of weeks in the lead up to Windows Phone 8. As we prepare for a hopefully eventful September, let's take a quick look at popular threads from the weekend on the Windows Phone Central forums.

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