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Freshmen at Seton Hall University are receiving free Lumia 900s and Windows 8 tablets, thanks to collaboration between Nokia, AT&T, Microsoft and the University itself. The entire class of 2016 will receive the Samsung tablet and Lumia 900 to support the University's mission of providing state of the art technology tools to enhance the student's college experience.

Last month we reported on the announcement and in the above video you can see the rollout commence. Stephen Landry, Chief Information Officer at Seton Hall, explains that the university had a large pileup of Android tablets and iPads, which proved to be unproductive for students. He notes that they require the functionality of Microsoft Office - something both Windows 8 and Windows Phone supports out the box.

Students with the new Windows devices will be able to make use of a SHUmobile app, which provides access to campus news feeds, directories, maps and other University resources.

Source: YouTube; thanks, Daniel, for the tip!

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Summer Of Metro Continues – SkyDrive gets the new look

The metrification of Microsoft’s web properties continues. Yesterday we reported that the Accounts page update was rolling out. This time Liveside are reporting a leak of the new, flatter SkyDrive. Word is, that we will see these changes appear around August time. Amongst the changes deduced from the screenshots looks like we can expect to see:-

  • Thumbnails of Office document types
  • Ability to select files from the thumbnail view
  • Improved access to storage management, tagging and changing language type
  • Groups accessible from the left hand column
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Good Technology Report – Windows Phone Enterprise Activations

Good Technology has released their annual report detailing the spread of device activations for Q2. Good are well known for being at the forefront of providing technology for IT departments to facilitate users who wish to use their own devices for work, commonly referred to as BYOD, or to allow departments to use technology that's not quite as secure or manageable out of the box. The premise is simple; the software provides a heavily encrypted shell to keep corporate email private and secure. Windows Phone is making its presence known in the workplace according to this report.

The Good Windows Phone client was only debuted in April 2012 but already it’s showing as accounting for 1.2% of the overall activations. Bear in mind that the lion’s share of activations are currently going to the non-enterprise friendly, but current executive fondle-thing-business toy, the IPad. The iPad is accounting for a whopping 94.5 of all activations.

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WP Central

The highest rated phone on Sprint is...

The HTC Arrive, one of our trusty go to devices on Windows Phone especially for you physical-keyboard lovers, never got too popular despite its uniqueness. The phone is a bit thick and sort of lacks that ‘sex appeal’ that Nokia or Apple bring to the market yet it’s still a darn good device despite its age and lack of updates.

Looking over Sprint’s customer ratings though, the device comes out on top with 89% of customers recommending the phone (from 402 reviews). Here’s how the Arrive ranks compared to the competition...

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WP Central

Backing up app data on SkyDrive--not cool with Microsoft?

An interesting controversy spring up over at the AppHub forums over the use of SkyDrive for backing up app data—not so much photos and documents (which is fine) but rather unintelligible files created by apps for app-specific data.

The crux of it was someone from the SkyDrive team made a comment that using SkyDrive for such a purpose goes against the user agreement for the API and it could result in the Windows Phone app being yanked from the Marketplace.

Justin Angel, Principal Engineer for Windows Phone experience at Nokia, fervently objected to this idea noting

“As SkyDrive API usage is not part of the Application Certification Guidelines I resent that team threatening app developers with expulsion from the marketplace for misuse of their API.”

It’s certainly a good point although we see the reasoning behind the SkyDrive team’s position. Luckily things are not as dire as expected.

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40

Microsoft begins rolling out Microsoft Account logins

WP Central

The new Microsoft Account page is now live but no longer 'Live'

We’ve reported on the slow rollout of 'Microsoft Account' for a few weeks now. The replacement for 'Live is slowly transforming as we’ve first noted it back at the beginning of June with the commerce site showing the new style.

Today, we’re getting reports (and have verified ourselves) that Microsoft Account is showing up on the https://account.live.com/ site, allowing you to create a new account (if you already didn’t have one). We saw this a few days ago but now it seems to be finally go wide today. You can of course login but you’ll be taken to the familiar services like Hotmail (still a terrible name) but they have not yet had their Metro makeover, which along with SkyDrive should be happening soon...

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18

Aupeo! Radio app now available for Windows Phone

WP Central

Aupeo! is now packing a punch on Windows Phone and released an app on the Marketplace last week. The app enables users to listen to over 120 pre-developed stations, which cover a range of genres including pop, rock, R&B, heavy metal, country, techno, classical, and punk. Stations that follow a specific theme, genre or music mood can also be selected.

In addition to the above stations, users can tune into 'artist stations', which (as the name suggests) plays music related to a particular artist. Aupeo! supports a mood tuner that provides stations based on musical mood - happy, relaxing, aggressive, dramatic, stressful, etc. The service is ad-supported, with a premium version available which removes the adverts and includes higher quality music among other features. But the best part is you're not required to sign up to get cracking, unless you want personalisation, etc.

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37

Lumia 900 available for pre-order from Nokia in Brazil

Lumia 900

We've been informed the Lumia 900 Windows Phone is available to pre-order from Nokia in Brazil. The choice of black, cyan or white is present at a price tag of R$ 1.799,00 (about $880 / £560). The Lumia 900 is Nokia's flagship Windows Phone, sporting a 4.3" AMOLED display (with Clear Black technology), 1.4Ghz CPU, 8MP shooter (with FF camera) and 16GB storage.

No word has been given on the release date (though the website says "buy"), and Nokia's Lumia Momentum Map is of no help. We'll keep you guys posted once more information comes to light. Will you be ordering a shiny new Lumia 900?

Source: Nokia Store.br; thanks, @igor_limap, for the tip!

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WP Central

Attending developers prepping for presentation

Last week, Wednesday 18th to be exact, we headed to the Windows Phone User Group meetup in London. The Shooting Star was the venue of the day's presentations and talks about Windows, Windows Phone, apps and other miscellaneous topics. It's a perfect chance for developers to pitch ideas, make contacts, receive help and advice, and meet us folk from Windows Phone Central.

The reason we pop along is simple - to help you (the developing community) receive as much exposure to our readership and beyond as possible. Without developers, apps and games we wouldn't have the same complete Windows Phone experience we have today, so it's important we provide developers with the opportunities to drive more traffic their way. From reviews to update coverage, Windows Phone Central has the means to help developers kick-start promotion and marketing.

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106

More Windows Phone Tango updates being reported

More and more people are getting the Tango update

Man, you guys are quick! It's only been a couple of days since our Tango carrier roundup and already we have another list of carriers and phones that are reportedly getting Windows Phone Refresh (aka, Tango). The Tango update shows up as version 8773 or 8779 and, for most devices, brings minor enhancements, bug fixes and features. But for those of you with any of Nokia's Lumia line of phones, you should see some bigger changes.

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geoDefense

geoDefense has returned as this week's Xbox LIVE Deal of the Week on Windows Phone. Previously taking the title back in November 2011, it's good to see the futuristic light show tower defence game returning with a discounted price tag. The much loved Xbox LIVE title now has an older brother, geoDefense Swarm, but many still power up this classic while on the move.

geoDefense puts the player in charge of forming a tower-based defence around a generated path. This path is where creatures and critters will make their way along to the end where a number displays the remaining lives. Should a creep make their way to this point, a life will be deducted. A solid strategic mind is required to ensure the placement of towers, as well as types used, prevents these pests from making it.

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22

Microsoft announces BUILD 2012 developer conference

WP Central

Although Microsoft’s MIX conference is now kaput the plan was to merge that dev conference with the bigger, more exciting BUILD event. And today, Microsoft has announced BUILD 2012 is a go for October 30 through November 2 at home base, Redmond, Washington.

The timing is of course perfect—Windows 8, Windows Phone 8, Surface, new Xbox updates and more. You almost get the feeling that Microsoft has been planning to sync all of this together for one big explosive event.

Registration opens August 8th at 8am PDT, so make sure you sign up and book your flight for what’s sure to be an exciting few days—especially since it overlaps with Halloween.

We’ll of course be there with our A-Team for live coverage and analysis should you not be able to make it.

Read more at Buildwindows.com

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WP Central

Fulfilling our tradition of badly punned headlines, this week’s Xbox LIVE title is Asphalt 5 from Gameloft. And it's ready for your challenge. The weird part? This game was one of the "original 50" Xbox LIVE titles for Windows Phone, meaning it's like just 2 years late.(Seriously, it was announced in August 2010).

Racing games can be fun and Asphalt 5 should make many folks pleased with some punchy high resolution graphics of dreamy sports cars. Well, at least that’s how Gameloft is selling the game. In fact, it features over 30 cars including such beauts as the Audi R8, Ruf Rt 12, Ford Shelby GT500, Lamborghini Murciélago LP 670-4 SuperVeloce, Ferrari 599 GTB Fiorano.

The game clocks in at 109MB, so you’ll need Wi-Fi to install and it’s priced at a moderate $2.99. While that won’t please you “It must be $0.99!” folks we’re okay with the $3 price range for games—especially ones which have high replay value....

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Windows Phone!

The seaside is a wonderful place for sun, sea, sand and Windows Phones! Looks like Nokia are at it again, but this time they've teamed up with Quiksilver and a load of Surfer dudes to promote Windows Phone. If the images and video in this article are anything to go by, it looks like they had a hoot at Biarritz in France, this time hosting the Roxy Pro surfing tournament. Nokia have teamed up with Sosh and Quiksilver to launch a youth oriented variant of the sleek and stylish Lumia 610.

It’s would seem that no Windows Phone event by the sea is complete without a pair of oh-so-trendy Windows Phone endorsed white sunglasses. Microsoft and Nokia were there in force showing off the full range of Windows Phones, giving the beach boys n girls plenty of hands-on time. Of course no Windows Phone event would be complete without the “Smoked By Windows Phone” team smoking peoples phones so you’ll be happy to know they're at it again. If that's not enough, looks like spray on ‘I love Windows Phones’ tattoos were being dished out. Lets hope they come off this time?

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WP Central

It's on! Well, nearly anyway. MetroSpec, the ZX Spectrum emulator for Windows Phone we previously covered from the recent WPUG meetup in London, has almost hit beta. Lead developer Glenn Edwards is now on the hunt for eager testers who wish to take the app and run it through its paces to squash possible bugs and provide feedback on functionality and features.

MetroSpec enables Windows Phone users to load up homebrew or other Spectrum titles and enjoy a smooth gaming experience while on the go. Game states can be exported to SkyDrive allowing users to continue on the larger screen from a different platform / emulator, games can be imported from both SkyDrive and a known web server, and a number of intuitive features ensures the UI is efficient and easy-to-use.

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Nokia Worth More

Should you be looking at the choice of purchasing a Windows Phone 7.x smartphone or waiting until Apollo arrives, you may find it interesting that Nokia handsets are reported to retain value more effectively than devices from other manufacturers and brands. According to Envirofone, leading UK mobile phone recycle specialists, you're likely to receive a larger return on trading in your Nokia mobile phone.

Of course, when trading in your used handsets - whether they be smart or feature devices, you're going to be receiving a lot less than RRP. That said, it's good to know which brands retain their value most when looking to make a purchase, especially when a looming software upgrade is on its way which will not be heading to all current (and previous) generation handsets. The question is: are we talking about older Nokia hardware, or their newer Windows Phones?

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 Nokia Windows Phone 8 devices on Sept 5th

The crafty cats over at WPDang are hearing rumours that Nokia could be set to announce their first Windows Phone 8 devices on September 5th. They are suggesting that the new devices may be called the "Lumia 910" and "Lumia 920". As ever, we suggest filing this under *rumour* but WPDang have a good track record on these things.

At the site, they are also hinting that September 5th could be when Microsoft reveal more details about Windows Phone 8. It’s good to keep in mind that the dev event where Windows Phone 8 was initially launched did not go into specifics of end user features or UX changes. There is still much to come.

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Microsoft Surface Price - Priced to compete?

Swedish website Webhallen.com is listing Microsoft Surface tablet pricing on its site. If these details are correct then pricing would be substantially higher than previously thought. Of particular interest here is the cheapest Arm based WinRT device, a 32GB model, showing up costing around £648.00 or $1000.

It had previously been suggested that WinRT tablets would be priced relatively in line with current ARM based tablets. If we were to rule out Android tablets and aim at the higher end iPads for a price guide then comparatively, the Surface is going to be much more expensive. Currently you can pick up a 32GB Wi-Fi only iPad for about £479.00 or £579.00 for the 3g variant. In either case, that puts the Surface well above the current market leader. Even if the Surface device is to be 3g enabled it would still be £70 more expensive in comparison. It has been rumoured that the Surface is not 3g capable, if that’s the case then the price gap leaps to £169.

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7

Windows Phone Olympic app, Ripple, now available

Ripple for Windows Phone

Just in the nick of time for the Summer Olympics, Ripple has been released over at the Windows Phone Marketplace. Ripple is a map based companion app for the 2012 Olympic Games in London (that start Friday).

The app offers two views, a map view and an augmented reality view. Information tabs line the sides of the screens and an image/attraction filter can be pulled up from the bottom of the screen.

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Infinite Flight for Windows Phone

Infinite Flight is one of the most comprehensive flight simulators you will find for Windows Phone and possibly any other mobile platform. Since it's release, the app has been updated several times adding new features and planes to the mix. With Infinite Flight you can fly everything from a bi-plane to the Space Shuttle.

...or in my case, barely get the aircraft off the ground only to stall out and crash into the countryside.

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Turbo Camera for Windows Phone

Turbo Camera is a neat camera app for your Windows Phone that delivers high speed shutter performance and allows you to convert your images into an animated .gif file.  The burst mode reaches as high as 30 frames per second on some Windows Phones. The app recently passed the 250,000 download mark and in celebration, the developer has lowered the price to $.99.

Turbo Camera normally runs $1.99 and the sale price will stay in place until the version 2.0 update hits the Marketplace. According to the developer, the update is scheduled in the next few weeks.

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40

Windows Phone users now 18% more satisfied!

Windows Phone users now 18% more satisfied!

As well as Nokia shifting almost 4m Lumia handsets in Q2, it would seem there is yet more good news for our Windows Phone. If true, as a recent survey by Amplified Analytics is showing, and there is a 18% rise in customer satisfaction then things are looking rosy indeed. The survey carried out by aggregating over 104,691 customer reviews suggests that the Windows Phone users are almost 20% more chuffed with their recent purchase than in the previous quarter.

Drilling into the details it seems that the current Windows Phone darling, the Lumia 900 seems to be wiping the floor with the other OS satisfaction results in some areas. Depending on how you read into these bar graphs, the Lumia owners are more than happy with the OS. The same seems to be echoed in the results for the design also.

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Microsoft Sweepstakes

Want school supplies with a cool surprise? Of course you do. Microsoft has kicked off the "Cool is in Session" sweepstake on its Facebook page, which sports some interesting prizes. Like all sweepstakes on Facebook, you'll need an account and be able to "like" Microsoft's page (if not done so already) to access the entry form with more details. 

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WP Central

Box is available for Windows Phone

The team at Box, a cloud-based storage and sharing service, have published a blog article detailing the release of their Windows Phone app, which has been published since June. The app joins their catalogue of mobile apps for iOS, BlackBerry and Android.

The Windows Phone app is a native client so you're getting all the goodies offered from Box. So what's the service all about? Box enables users to upload, store and share files from computers to the cloud. Much like DropBox, SkyDrive and similar services, Box provides a limited amount of space (5GB) for free.

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