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The world’s most badass Windows 8 computer

While CES may not feature a ton of Windows Phone news, Windows 8 made quite the impact at the show with Lenovo, Samsung, Acer and others all showing off their new computers for this year. Heck, Corning with their awesome Gorilla Glass booth (more on that in a bit) had a huge Windows 8 computer that was provided by Microsoft.

We’re not sure on the size of it, so we’ll just call it a BFC (if you ever played the game ‘Doom’ you can extrapolate on our meaning there). The display features Corning’s glass on board resulting a very low resistance screen, which is important when you’re swiping all around with those new gestures (and demod by WPC's Sam Sabri in the video).

In short, it was quite fun using Microsoft’s new OS on such a ginormous display and yes, we want one for Windows Phone Central HQ.

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Here at CES 2013, Windows Phone news is few and far between (though no worries, we have some stories coming up in the next day or two). We’ve already seen quite a bit of the Huawei Ascend W1 which was informally announced here at the convention.

Today we got a chance to play with some of the other colors besides black for the entry-level phone. The W1, following Nokia and HTC, comes in White, Black (soft-touch), Cyan and Red and we have to admit the color scheme continues to work with those themes on board (there is a “dreamy blue” custom Accent color as well).

Though the 4” device with 1.2Ghz dual core CPUs won’t be for everyone it’s not a bad low-end phone at all (though Windows Phone 8 stutters a tad with 512MB of RAM).

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Weather Smiles updated with Windows Phone 8 support

Weather Smiles is a fairly simple weather app for your Windows Phone that has been recently updated to support Windows Phone 8. Version 2.0 adds multi-sized live tiles, support for all Windows Phone 8 resolutions, and lockscreen support to the mix.

Weather Smiles supports two locations for your weather forecasts, your current location and another that you choose. The app will display the current conditions and a five day forecast for each location. Live tiles will display current conditions (and forecast depending on the size) for each location as well.

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The Nokia JBL PowerUp Wireless Speaker, an accessory that's marketed by the company for its Lumia range of Windows Phones (see our unboxing first impressions), has made an appearance in a Verizon commercial. The advertisement is for the HTC Droid DNA Android smartphone, which sports wireless charging, NFC and Bluetooth for similar functionality to Windows Phone when used with the wireless speaker.

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Are you an avid movie buff, or a hardcore gamer? Do you own a HDTV and enjoy a high definition experience? Microsoft Research aims to further enhance your visual pleasure when watching the screen with IllumiRoom - a concept that uses peripheral projected illusions for interactive experiences. Forget 3D glasses, this involves subtle projections without any potential eye-strain.

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Sprint to offer two new Windows Phone 8 devices

While Sprint has announced they would be adding two Windows Phone 8 devices to their lineup this summer, they were rather vague as to which Windows Phones. Sprint did say HTC and Samsung would be the manufacturers but could it be the HTC 8X and Samsung ATIV S?

Today at CES 2013 Sprint tried to shed a little light on the subject but left us with more questions than answers. Ryan Sullivan, Sprint's Director of Device Delivery, said that the wireless provider will introduce "current" Windows Phone 8 devices. Okay, so what does current mean?

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It may not be an official Instagram app for our Windows Phone, but Instagram Lockscreen does bring the popular photo sharing service to your Windows Phone 8 device.

As you would guess, Instagram Lockscreen lets you set your lockscreen wallpaper with images from Instagram. You can choose image feeds by your favorite Instagram member, your favorite hashtag or just set it to your own Instagram images.

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What better way to say, "I love you," than with a Windows Phone? Verizon will reportedly be offering their Nokia Lumia 822 in red and for under $50. The already available black, grey and white models sell for $49.99 with a two-year contract, so we likely won't see a price drop. No precise date has been given yet for he red Lumia 822, so keep an eye out for it.

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This morning we woke to a nice little surprise: reports from users that Google Maps via the maps.google.com web address is once again now working on your Windows Phone. Heading to the site (in “mobile mode” not “desktop”) it asks to use your location and it loads up just as it should.

Over the last few days a brouhaha has exploded over Google unceremoniously dumping maps.google.com for Windows Phone users on top of confessing no desire to make a dedicated mobile app. The move was explained away at first under the guise of the Webkit theory, notably that Internet Explorer is a non-Webkit browser and ergo not optimized to run maps.google.com though not many of us took them seriously...

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Things haven’t been looking too good for Xbox games on Windows Phone lately. As our readers probably know, there hasn’t been a new Xbox game released since KenKen on December 19th. Just before that there were two more weeks with no release: one before and one after AlphaJax arrived. Nokia users have a bit more to play thanks to iBomber Defense, but that does not help everyone else. Well, this week the disturbing trend continues: Microsoft has confirmed that there will be no new Xbox Windows Phone game or Deal of the Week this week. Yikes!

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CameraPro for Windows Phone 8 updated, stability added

CameraPro is a feature rich camera app for your Windows Phone 8 device. An update is being pushed out for CameraPro bringing the app to version 1.0.3.

The update should fix the stability issues experiences on HTC Windows Phone 8 devices (8X and 8S) and the Samsung ATIV S. It also adds options to switch between fixed exposure times and exposure compensation for image bracketing and adds the option for manual white balance. The developer does note that the manual white balance feature does not work properly on Nokia Windows Phones.

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Good news today for the prospects of seeing more Windows Phone make their way into the important business market. Nokia and Avande have signed a deal to get Microsoft services, Lumia products and expertise into the enterprise.

Avanade is a global business technology solutions and managed services provider. Currently the company is helping a large UK bank replace its current fleet of phones with Windows Phone 8 devices. Read on to find out more.

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Nokia Pulse Beta updated: Windows Phone gets a look in

Nokia have had this one baking in the labs for some time but there still seems no sign that it’s about to leave beta and be made publicly available to all. The app and accompanying service bills itself as “Messaging, now with location”.

Nokia Pulse and its documentation do not seem to have been updated with any changes but essentially it looks as though the bump was to bring it to Windows Phone, as was previously reported.

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Microsoft has previously confirmed it was looking to introduce Sina Weibo connectivity to China for use with its platforms. The micro-blogging service is a must-have for the array of products the company now has on offer. With popular social networks already available through Microsoft Accounts, it's only right that Chinese consumers be able to achieve the same level of integration.

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There's no shortage of photo sharing apps for Windows Phone, with the likes of Pikchur already available on the store, but here we have eyeMe. The app is also available for iOS and enables users to share photos and updates to social networks. It's a simple but useful offering, especially for those who enjoy taking a load of photos when out and about.

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Last week we covered the Stacks for Instapaper app for Windows 8, it’s safe to say we think it’s the best way to use Instapaper on your Windows 8 tablet right now. As part of that review we also did a sneak peak of the coming update to the Windows Phone 8 app. Today it has arrived.

The update essentially brings a host of improvements to the mobile app to bring it visually in line with the Windows 8 app while taking on some new features provided by Windows Phone 8.

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SkyDrive updated with new features for 2013

Microsoft’s cloud based storage solution; SkyDrive has picked up its first set of updates as we go into 2013. The service has quickly evolved to become the hub for nearly every product in Microsoft’s line up. Windows Phone has always been deeply connected and the past year has seen Windows and Office hook into the mesh.

The public face of SkyDrive is through a web interface and it's here that many will create folders and share them. The team has improved sharing, speed and touch responsiveness to the latest update.

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Messenger users: It’s time to update to Skype

We reported on the demise of Microsoft’s long serving Messenger instant chat and video calling service some time back. If you are already an existing user then you’ll have been greeted with pop up notices urging you to update to Skype over the last month or so.

Seems like Microsoft is now putting the word out in full, an official email was sent to users today explaining what you’ll need to do and how long the service will continue to work for.

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Official Windows Phone Central app v3.3 released

We’ve just published the v3.3 update to our app out into the global marketplace, this release contains some important bug fixes and brings the app in line with our overall site branding.

Most important of which is a fix for the dark tile issue (where the tile would fail to render), the tile now may take some time to render correctly but in testing has a 100% render success rate finally. Please note: you will need to re-pin the main tile and forums tile to your start screen in order to see the correct new versions.

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