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WP Central

One of the bigger stories to catch fire today was the idea that Microsoft were to start denying Windows 8 app certification to developers who use ‘Metro’ in their app's name. 

The story originated from documentation found on the Microsoft Developer Network (MSDN) that was quite crystal clear on the matter stating such apps will “…fail certification and won't be listed in the Windows Store”.

That wording has now been removed.

We are now getting confirmation through various channels that the wording found today in that documentation had not been added recently, meaning there has been no change in policy. Instead what we are looking at is documentation that had not been updated to reflect the official Windows 8 app certification requirements.

Yup, it was in error.

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Windows 8 RTM, new version released

Microsoft has released a fresh version of Windows 8 release to manufacturers (RTM) for MSDN subscribers. For those who are Windows 8 developers but not subscribers, Microsoft has also released a 90 day evaluation version of Windows 8.

Still slated for release on October 26th, this is the final version of Windows 8.

A few notes about the 90 day evaluation copy is that it can not be upgraded and, obviously, will expire. To upgrade, you'll need to uninstall the evaluation copy and a non-evaluation version of Windows 8 must be installed.

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Windows Phone Location Services - no warrant needed?

The location services on your Windows Phone can come in handy for navigation apps, finding local services and focus ad banners to content relative to your location. It also allows wireless providers and OS manufacturers to provide location services to allow customers to locate their phones if lost.

A recent Court ruling may have opened the door for law enforcement to use the same location services to track you without a warrant (at least in the Sixth Circuit). The case in question involves a drug dealer, Melvin Skinner, who was tracked by Federal Agents using his cell phone location services. Agents received Court authorization to obtain information on the cell phones used by Skinner that was in turn used to track his location. The tracking information obtained by law enforcement not only connected Skinner to the crimes but would also lead agents to his location for arrest.

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WP Central

Update: The anti-metro wording has now been removed from the MSDN site and sources have told us that in fact, that wording had always been there but was just noticed today. Microsoft has no guidance for us on this matter meaning so far it does not seem to be affecting Windows Phone or Windows 8 developers. 

It looks like the other shoe has dropped on the ongoing yet nearly silent saga of the Metro-name for Microsoft. Previous reports suggested that Microsoft were instructing employees to stop using the word ‘Metro’ in describing their new UI paradigm. That UI grew out of Windows Phone and has now taken over Windows 8 desktop and the Xbox 360. The reason for the change was allegedly inspired by a complaint by the German company MetroAG.

Reports also began circulating that Microsoft would soon begin scrubbing the name Metro from all developer documentation and would start to use either ‘modern’, ‘modern UI’ or ‘Windows 8 style’ instead. But the question naturally forced itself into an ugly area: What about current apps with Metro in the name?

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WP Central

Microsoft and Nokia just sent out press invites for a joint conference happening on Wednesday, September 5th here in New York City.

No word on what will be discussed or revealed but you can bet it has to do with Windows Phone 8 and Nokia’s upcoming lineup.

What makes this interesting is the fact that Nokia is to have Nokia World at the same time. But it now looks like that event may be downgraded for carriers and partners only with the main press event for new-phone announcement happening in New York instead.

Of course Windows Phone Central will be there live to cover the event in its entirety, seeing as this our stomping ground. Tune in here for live coverage starting at 9:30am EDT on September 5th.

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WP Central

We gave you a sneak peak a few days ago of the AT&T-Nokia update for the Lumia 900 which features and OS update (‘Tango’ build 8779) and new firmware (build 12223) and now that update is live for all to download (or should be very soon).

Starting today, plugging your AT&T branded Lumia 900 into Zune Desktop should prompt you for an OS update, which will then walk you through the short process. A hard-reset is not required and users will not lose any information.

According to Nokia, this update has many new features...

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WP Central

Nokia appear to be having one of those days where they can’t get much of break from the financial institutions that help determine their fate. S&P has once again downgraded Nokia who now stand with a BB- rating—effectively making them “junk”.

Such a label is an indication to investors that sinking money into Nokia is speculative or high-risk.  What’s more, S&P indicate that further downgrades could be Nokia’s future should things not turn around quickly.

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WP Central

Although augmented-reality sounds a bit gimmicky to our ears, bringing back memories of the 1990’s and 'virtual reality', there’s little doubt that some of you of use these tools. And they are kind of cool.

Nokia City Lens (beta) is just such an app as it uses your Lumia’s camera, compass and accelerometer to display what’s around you or perhaps more accurately, to highlight areas based on categories. It’s a useful tool especially if you’re in a urban environment, walking around, looking for an establishment or wanting to discover something new.

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7

Mush: Xbox Windows Phone Review

People play games for many different reasons: to be challenged, to be stimulated artistically or intellectually, for the narrative, and even for the Achievement points. Not every game needs to be a high-pressure experience or a bombastic assault on the senses though; sometimes you just want to relax and play. In fact, I would argue that calming games are especially suited for mobile play since we often play them on the go during our otherwise hectic days. Mush - from student developers Angry Mango - is just the game for such an occasion.

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Nokia AU HEadphones

The title sounds familiar, right? It should, as this is the same Nokia offer as what we previously saw here in the UK. The manufacturer is offering Australian Lumia 800 and 900 owners the opportunity to claim a free pair of Purity HD headphones. If you have purchased a Lumia Windows Phone (either the 800 or 900) from today through to August 30th, you'll be eligible for a set of your own.

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WP Central

Explained: A familiar error message for some Windows Phone users

Ever since WhatsApp was pulled and then re-released this past weekend, we have had a small deluge in complaints from users that they cannot install the update. Instead, they are greeted with the above error message, resulting in user frustration. What’s more, uninstalling the app, resetting the phone and dancing around in a circle did not fix the problem either.

We’ve been trying to figure out exactly why some users have the problem while others, including ourselves, do not. Just as interestingly, we wanted to know which apps were exhibiting the error.

Microsoft has now detailed the problem on the Windows Phone Blog and there’s good news and some bad news. The good news is they acknowledge that there is an issue and they even know what is causing it. As it turns out, there are some problems with certificates for new apps published in the Marketplace within the last week. 

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WP Central

The new SkyDrive login screen

Two weeks ago Hotmail became Outlook.com with a new Metro…errr..modern look to it and now it is finally time for SkyDrive to get the same makeover.

Heading to www.skydrive.com you can see the new site redesign (log out and refresh if you are not seeing it) that brings it up to par with the Windows 8, Windows Phone and Outlook’s new appearance. And yes, Microsoft is not calling it Metro but rather are using ‘modern’ instead—take that as you will.

Besides the new look, SkyDrive also gets some new features on board including instant search, contextual toolbar, thumbnail multi-select, drag-and-drop organization, and HTML5 sorting which should make the service is more fun to use.

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Surface Tablet

Rum'o'meter

Microsoft will be unveiling its Windows RT Surface tablets this coming October with a price tag of $199, according to an Engadget source. Microsoft first unveiled the Surface family of Windows tablets earlier this year, and pricing rumours have been flying all around the room. The tipster reportedly revealed details from a session at Microsoft's recent TechReady15 conference and notes that the Surface Windows RT tablet will launch on October 26th.

Should Engadget's source be correct, this will definitely put the Surface on the map as an affordable tablet experience compared to competing Android and Apple offerings. With the low-end Windows RT version sporting 32GB storage, Office 2013, a variety of connectivity ports, and weighing in at just 676g, $199 would be an excellent launch price. For comparison sake, the Apple iPad 2 starts from $399 for the 16GB WiFi model (or $499 should you desire the new Retina iPad). Too good to be true?

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Exclusive Windows Phone fear for your Xbox Avatar!

You probably wouldn't have guessed it, but here at WPCentral we love two things: Windows Phone and our readers. That's why when redeemable Xbox Avatar codes for Windows Phone gear caught our eye during a press event, we grabbed a handful and ran. It was a close call but with the help of the good ol' rubber chicken with a pulley in the middle, we managed to escape with 30 of them (15 for each sex).

Here's what you need to do to enter our little giveaway here:

  1. Comment on this article. Anything will do, really. But make sure you specify which code you want -- either male or female. Otherwise we'll laugh at you when you don't get a code.
  2. (Optional) Share this with friends via your choice of technology. (See the social buttons at the bottom of this post.)

We'll then randomly choose 30 of you and email you the redeem code. That's it! You have 24 hours. Go!  Commenting is now closed. Results will be posted in 24 hours or less.

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WP Central

Image removed by request from ALPS

With just a few weeks before Nokia World is scheduled to take place it is not too surprising to see more and more leaks happening regarding the Finnish company’s Windows Phone 8 plans.

The photo to the right is just another piece of that puzzle and is certainly one of the more unique pieces of evidence to come out. What we are allegedly looking at is the display frame for a new Nokia Windows Phone that came from one of Nokia’s new screen sub-contractors called ALPS (that company does make capactive panels for smartphones).

Measuring roughly 4.3” across the part looks to be a reference design used to manufacture the expected high-resolution display (1280x720 or 800x480). Besides the new Windows Phone 8 logo and hole for the ambient light sensor not much else can be garnered from the image.

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Ask Ziggy

The speech recognition service, offering similar capabilities to Apples Siri is set to get a sweet little cash injection. The company has just walked away from talks to inject $5 million US into expanding its service to include more accents and languages.

The company is working closely with Nuance Communications to deliver mobile apps for Android and Apple devices and even bring the service to normal cell phones too. They aim to bring the service to tablets and computing headsets also.

Ask Ziggy also announced that they intend to release its SDK shortly. Sounds like good news for the company. It is clear that investors see the market value of these speech recognition systems. As Windows Phones users, we have had Ask Ziggy for some time and overall folks seem happy with the service.

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Little Acorns iOS

iOS version

If there’s one thing we love in the gaming division at Windows Phone Central, it’s bringing our readers exclusive news about upcoming Xbox Live releases. Once again we have the scoop on this week’s new Xbox Live game: Little Acorns from Chillingo.

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Blue Update

Windows 8 is done, recently reaching RTM and tomorrow some folks will be lucky enough to get their hands on the final code. Word from a few prominent bloggers is that Microsoft may not quite be finished with WinRT just yet.  Suggestion is that MS maybe moving to update the WinRT environment faster than the current three-year cycle dictates.

If this rumour were true then it would mean a major break with updating policy from Microsoft. WinRT is functionally still a long way from complete, a series of rapid updates could do much to fill in the gaps. Although haven’t we heard the promise of rapid updates somewhere before?

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WP Central

WP Central

Although the Windows Phone 8 software development kit (SDK) was leaked a few weeks ago, allowing us to go through it like drug-starved loonies, the big question on everyone's mind is When will Microsoft actually release the package to developers?

As one can imagine, SDKs do take quite a lot of work to put together. There are APIs to lockdown, questions and answers to be formulated and it all needs to be written up so that developers will have an easy ‘cookbook’ for making apps. In that regard, we can see why it would take the Windows Phone Team some time to put one together.

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Microsoft Store Grand Opening in Boston

We first caught wind of a new Microsoft retail store heading to Boston, MA back in May and now we are finding out the Grand Opening is set for August 23, 2012.

Boston's store will be located at the Shops at Prudential Center. More specifically, the store will be located in the center's Boylston Arcade. Not sure if this was by chance or design but Boston's Apple Store is located across within stone's throw on Boylston Street as well.  Which should make for an interesting Grand Opening and healthy competition.

If you're going to be in the Boston area for the Grand Opening, we've got a discussion going on in the forums. It may be a great opportunity to meet up with your fellow Windows Phone Central readers.

Thanks, gemini5150, for the tip!

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WP Central

Say what you will about Microsoft and Apple but the two companies either appear to be the only adults in the room or alternatively, they have formed an alliance against Android. Or maybe both.

Evidence has come forth in the Apple-Samsung trial that the former has licensed so-called ‘design patents’ to Microsoft, which indemnify them against lawsuits from Apple over their Windows Phone and Surface tablets. This may partially explain why Apple was trying to collect patent royalties from Samsung in their late 2010 offer to the company.

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EA Games

EA Games sees a strong partner in Microsoft

Electronic Arts (or EA - the devil of gaming, as its better known within the gaming industry) is currently in talks with Microsoft to bring mobile games to the next version of Windows (on all platforms). EA sees Windows as central to its handset strategy (so we'll be including Windows Phone too) and have previously worked with both Microsoft and Nokia in getting titles released on the mobile platform.

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