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Just in time for the holiday season, Dell has announced a few new additions to its line of PCs. Typically Inspiron has served as the company’s budget line of machines, but with these latest editions, Dell is going above and beyond to make budget seem premium for Windows 8.

The first introduction is a selection of new Inspiron 7000 series laptops. Typically, Inspiron units have been made from plastic, but not this time; this time, the 7000 series is made of “forged aluminum” and features “diamond-cut beveled edges”. According to Dell, the 14-inch model that measures in at .6 inches is 27% than its predecessor. The 15 inch and 17 inch models are just as impressive, coming in at .9 inches and 1.1 inches respectively (Remember, these are budget machines).

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Yesterday Microsoft officially announced and detailed the upcoming Surface 2 and Surface Pro 2. They also revealed over half a dozen new accessories for the Surface family and all those new gadgets went on pre-order this morning. Surface boss Panos Panay also did an AMA on Reddit yesterday where he and the Surface team answered hundreds of questions. If he didn’t answer one of yours, you might be able to ask him in person at your local Microsoft Store.

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New data shows entry level Windows Phones doing very well, while the Lumia 1020 remains niche; Nokia near 90% of the Windows Phone market

AdDuplex have released Windows Phone ecosystem data for the month of September. The company powers the ads that are found in Windows Phone apps worldwide and have become a solid metric for platform statistics.

This month's data continues a few trends, including steady growth of Nokia's dominance and the rise of low-cost Lumias. However, the high-end market, including the Lumia 1020, have so far not sold nearly as much. Expectation due to niche device or market failure?

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Today it seems everywhere you turn in the financial media, there is a story about how Nokia’s chairman screwed up in disclosing information about Stephen Elop’s bonus package to the media. Some of the reporting on it is a bit wonky, so I thought I’d clear things up.

Long story short, Nokia’s chairman was initially quoted as saying Elop’s contract was essentially the same as that of the prior CEO, Olli-Pekka Kallasvuo. When a Finnish newspaper, “Helsingin Sanomat”, dug into his employment contract, which is published to the SEC website, they discovered one important major difference. Elop stands to have his stock compensation vested in an accelerated manner should he resign following a change of control. The prior Finnish CEO didn’t have this clause. The difference amounts to about $25 million, according to various other folks who did the math (I didn’t, and I’m assuming their math is correct).

People love to complain about these things. A Forbes article even went so far as to say that Elop gets paid specifically because he managed to get the stock to go down, and then sharply up again on a takeover bid from Microsoft. The Forbes piece made it seem like this roller coaster action was a requirement to trigger the bonus.

That’s not true. Here’s what is true:

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This week’s episode of "On The Whiteboard" gives us an up-close look at yesterday’s Microsoft Surface 2 and Surface Pro 2 launch event. Editor Pamela Woon has made her stop in New York City to speak with Brian Hall, General Manager of Marketing For Surface, and get the “inside scoop” on the company’s latest tablet devices.

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The story of MOGA Pro Controller support for Windows Phone 8 has consisted of little else other than disappointment in the months following its March announcement. Microsoft touted Windows Phone 8’s support for the peripheral at the Game Developer Conference, where we actually played Drift Mania Championship 2 using the controller.

Somehow, the MOGA-enabled version of the game didn’t become available until June, several months after the controller arrived in stores. And since then, exactly zero Windows Phone games and emulators have included MOGA support. It’s like the March announcement was just a cruel joke.

The cruelty of that joke has just diminished, because a second game now supports the controller! Spectral Souls, the massive strategy RPG from HyperDevBox has been updated to work with the MOGA Pro Controller. We also know of at least one other app that will definitely support it upon release. Details after the break!

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A new test developed shows Apple far ahead of Android and Windows Phone for reduced display latency

When it comes to smartphones, screen response time is one of those key features that helps ensure a great user experience. Some of you may recall the use of resistive touch panels on smartphones years ago and how slow those were to respond to touch. Capacitive displays are certainly much quicker, and it’s the reason why touch-typing is so common today, having been accepted by the masses.

The question for one company though is how to measure that display latency i.e. the time it takes for the system to detect and register a touch, thereby launching an app. App streaming company Agawi has come up with a solution called TouchMarks to make accurate and quantifiable measurements in this area and the Lumia 928, while not the worst, is far behind Apple.

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Learning a new language isn’t easy – especially Asian languages. Of course you want to immerse yourself in the language you’re learning as much as possible. It also helps to make the learning process fun somehow. After that, it’s up to your personal dedication and interest in the idiom.

Indie game developer MNE Creations (located in Shangai, China) has taken all that into account when creating their Windows Phone 8 exclusive game, Tawkable Chinese. They aim to get users started on the road to learning Mandarin Chinese by wrapping language lessons up in an adventure game. The main game is free, with language drills sold as a single In-App Purchase.

Head past the break for our full impressions and hands-on video!

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Yesterday was a big day for Microsoft, unveiling their follow ups to last year’s Surface tablets. The Surface 2 and Surface Pro 2 look to shake things up by building off of a solid foundation started in 2012, now powered by Windows 8.1.

While both devices remain at the same price points, the have improved substantially. The Surface 2 is now lighter, thinner and sports a 1080P display while the Surface Pro 2 has upgrade graphics, processor, better display, higher quality speakers and more than double the battery life.

That’s in addition to the newly re-worked kickstand, power connector and all the other refinements added to the updated Surface series (plus all of those accessories).

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By now it seems to be an open secret that Windows Phone 8 will be getting HD 1080P support in GDR3, a small OS update due in November.

That version of the OS is expected to debut on the Nokia Lumia 1520, a device reportedly being announced on October 22nd in Abu Dhabi and later released in the US in early November. Likewise, Verizon Wireless is supposed to get a similar 1080P Windows Phone 8 device dubbed the Lumia 929.

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This morning, Nokia has unveiled their latest app to help young college graduates find pre-job placement through an app called Internships Lens. Built off of their previous effort called JobLens, Internship Lens will help recent college grads find that work experience in their immediate area and tuned for their academic training.

The app is part of a partnership between Nokia and Internships.com, which is the world’s largest database on those opportunities and it will be made available today for those in the US who also own a Nokia Lumia Windows Phone.

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This morning, Nokia has sent out press invites and announced on their Facebook page their October 22nd event, now dubbed Nokia World. While we knew previously that the event was to take place on that date, after being postponed from late September, we did not know the location.

Nokia will reportedly unveil the 6-inch Lumia 1520 and the Windows 8.1 RT tablet, the Lumia 2520, in Abu Dhabi, located in the United Arab Emirates. The location is certainly unusual for them as traditionally Nokia has announced new devices in New York or London.

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Instagraph is a popular Instagram client for our Windows Phone that was the first to allow uploads to the photo sharing network. The Windows Phone photography app was updated today to version 2.6 and adds new features to both the Windows Phone 7.x and 8 versions.

The Windows Phone 8 version gets forty-five new effects filters that are powered by Nokia's imaging SDK. Everything from an antique filter to a cartoon rendition to a lomo filter. Instagraph also gets lens support with the Windows Phone 8 version allowing you to launch the app from the camera lens selection.

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Along with the other big news from Microsoft today, troubled smartphone company BlackBerry was snapped up by Fairfax Financial—or at least they have signed a letter of intent to do so. That means any dreams (or nightmare) of a Microsoft acquisition can be put to rest.

We won’t go too deep into the news, as we have a sister site called CrackBerry for that, but for now we’ll just summarize what it all means.

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The Lumia 1020 by Nokia is a premium smartphone. So premium that it has a rather expensive price tag. For the cost you're getting a 41MP camera and the latest innovations running on Windows Phone 8. O2 and Telefonica will be sporting the exclusive 64GB variant, but EE has now got the 32GB version available in black on its website, starting from just £9.99 when taken out with a contract.

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You can now add 200GB to your SkyDrive account

The SkyDrive team has been killing it lately. Sure there was the whole needing to change the name setback, but other than that it’s been a rosy year. Earlier in May, it hit the 250 million customer mark, which is very impressive. Earlier today, Microsoft announced that anyone who buys a Surface 2 or Surface Pro 2 will get 200GB of SkyDrive storage for two years. That 200GB option has been extended to everyone with a new pricing tier on SkyDrive.

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Mexico has become an increasingly strong market for Windows Phone broadly and Nokia specifically. In fact, latest sales estimations from Kantar Worldpanel show a monstrous 10.5% year over year sales increase, landing at 12.5% market share for recent sales.  Heck, they even have a Starbucks app.

With that in mind, it’s great to see the Nokia Lumia 925 finally getting ready to launch there.

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Earlier this morning Microsoft shared details for the next generation of Surface products. They announced the Surface 2 and Surface Pro 2. There were also a new accessories for both old and new Surfaces. They shared a lot of details, but some information was left out. Right now on Reddit, there’s a Q&A with the Surface team where we learned more about pricing and worldwide availability. Details below.

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Mozilla, the company behind Firefox, has announced that a version of their web browser is now available for download and features optimization for Windows 8 tablets. It is important to note that the download is a preview and may contain bugs alongside its enhancements. This is after we learned that the company would be delaying the release until 2014.

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