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AT&T has today announced a new trade in program for select new hardware, including the Lumia 1520 from Nokia. Starting today, you'll be able to trade in a qualified smartphone at your local AT&T store to receive at least $100 off Nokia's "phablet." The Windows Phone will still require a two-year contract, but at least you're slashing something off the initial cost, which would set you back $199.

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The Xbox One is launching in just 8 days. It’s shaping up to be a device that’s in position to transform your living room and become the center of entertainment for all your content in the Microsoft ecosystem. You’re also getting the chance to see Macklemore or Deadmau5 if you’re lucky enough to be in either Los Angeles or New York for launch events. Details below.

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We just showed you guys that one of the most popular mobile racing franchises just came back to Windows Phone. That’s right, you can now download Asphalt 8: Airborne for Windows Phone 8 devices. But wait! There’s more. You can also get Asphalt 8: Airborne from Gameloft for Windows 8. So now you need make a decision – Do I get the Windows Phone or Windows 8 version of Asphalt 8?

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Good news for those of you are who racing fans as Gameloft’s Asphalt 8: Airborne is now available for Windows Phone 8 devices. The bad news is it’s a massive 819 MB to download, meaning you’ll need even more to install. The worse news is the game is not an Xbox Live title, as Gameloft has evidently decided to eschew Microsoft’s rigorous certification.

The upside to being a non-Xbox Live title is that Gameloft can update and tweak the game as often as they want, and presumably they will. The other upside is this massive racer only costs $0.99 and yes, there is a free trial as well.

So what is Asphalt 8: Airborne? It’s a relatively new title to the Asphalt series, only launching on Android and iOS back in August. While that’s a three month delay between those platforms and Windows Phone, that is considerably less time that previous games, especially for Gameloft. Of course it did just drop in price to free on Android, but hey, we’ll take what we can get.

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Zune Marketplace retiring as early as November 22nd

Microsoft just sent out a notice that Zune Marketplace will no longer support rental and purchase of content, or browsing movies and TV shows, beginning as early as November 22, 2013. This is part of the Fall 2013 update that also retires Microsoft Points for local currency. Remaining Microsoft Points balance are transitioned to local currency when initiating a purchase or redeeming a Microsoft Points card or code on your Xbox 360.

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When you email photos from your Windows Phone device, it is downsized for faster transfer. What if you want to share full resolution photos taken with the 41-megapixel sensor on the Nokia Lumia 1020? What if you want to send the high-resolution photos to your computer without using the USB cable? Read on to find out how to do it by using the Phriz.be application. We also have video to show you how it’s done.

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AwesomeLock is a Windows Phone 8 lockscreen app that allows you to customize your lockscreen wallpaper with weather information, stock activities and news feeds.  You can also minimize your next calendar appointment to run across the bottom of the screen in ticker tape fashion.

The app was recently updated to version 2.3 which addresses a few minor bugs and improves support for Windows Phones with 512MB of RAM memory. Additionally, AwesomeLock now has six different sets of weather icons to choose from, support for XGA, 720P and HD devices, plus a gallery feature for your background images.

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Microsoft has released a rather major upgrade to the Bing search engine. The company details a new way to explore, discover and browse music videos with a new experience. Whether you're seeking videos of favourited songs or looking to see what else is out there to discover, it's a pretty sure bet you'll find something on Bing. That's the claim, but is it worth using?

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Windows Phone moved 9.3 million handsets in the third quarter of 2013, according to a report from the IDC. That’s an increase of 156% for the same period year-over-year. Nokia was responsbile for 93.2% of those shipped. 

The current status of Windows Phone’s market share is always interesting. We’ve never really received solid numbers from Microsoft, instead we rely on third-party data from market researchers and analysts. We’ve seen some recent data from comScore, Kantar, and Strategy Analytics. Now we’re getting some new data from IDC. The big takeaway? Windows Phone saw shipments grow 156% year-over-year for the third quarter. Details below.

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If you're looking for an action packed, battle riddled, monster filled, see-how-long-you-can-survive type game for your Windows Phone, take a look at Dark Lands.

Dark Lands is one of the many products being generated from the Microsoft/Nokia sponsored AppCampus.  It is an infinite-runner styled game with RPG combat elements. We've been tinkering with the Beta version for some time now and are happy to report that the game has finally been unleashed to the Store.

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We know you're all excited to soon be able to pick up the Xbox One, power on the beast and smash some skulls in Ryze or net some superb shots in Fifa 14. Until the launch date comes around (November 22nd, should you require the friendly reminder), we've got some videos to keep us occupied, courtesy of owners who received their Xbox One units prematurely from retailers.

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One of our favorite apps at events, like this past Nokia World 2013 or //Build/, is GroupMe for Windows Phone. The app allows those of us covering the event to stay in communication with the rest of the Windows Phone Central team. It’s great because it works on nearly every phone, either via push notifications in the app or SMS. GroupMe was also just updated for Windows Phone. Let’s see what’s new in this latest update.

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For those pre-ordering an AT&T Nokia Lumia 1520, if you want to enjoy wireless charging you'll need to pick up a wireless charging case. That's the bad news.  The good news is that Incipio is now listing a wireless charging case for the Lumia 1520 on their website. The bad news part two is that the case is out of stock.

The charging case is listed as being made of rigid Plextonium (high density plastic) and has all your customary cut-outs for the 1520's buttons, ports and microphones. However, based on the pictures, it looks as though you'll have to remove the case to access the Lumia 1520's expansion card slot.

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Hands on with the official Vine app for Windows Phone

It’s finally here. Silently announced back in July and mentioned again at Nokia World, the official Vine app is now available at the Windows Phone store. We’ve been using third-party apps like 6sec and Viner for a while now, but it feels great to finally have the official app at the store.  We go hands-on with the new app to show you how it looks on Windows Phone.

Head past the break to watch our walkthrough video.

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Back in August, we learned about a special edition white model of the Xbox One console that was going to be given to employees working in Microsoft's Interactive Entertainment Business division as part of a gift package. Now Microsoft is offering one lucky (and financially well-off) eBay bidder a chance to own the only white Xbox One unit to be offered to the general public. The auction will benefit the Wounded Warrior Project, a charity geared toward helping wounded service members and their families.

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Stack Ranking is a system that companies like Microsoft use to measure and rate the performance of their employees. Amazon, Facebook, and Yahoo all have their own versions of stack ranking. It’s a pretty controversial system for those involved, both currently and previously with the company. And it’s also no more. Microsoft has sent out an internal memo to employees letting them know that the system will cease to exist, starting from now.

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