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WP Central

On June 14th, rumors were circulating that Microsoft was poised to buy Yammer, a social-network and messaging service for enterprise, for at least $1 billion dollars. Speculation cooled down a bit as Microsoft intended to focus on the Surface and Windows Phone 8 announcements but a new week is upon us and so the deal is now official.

Microsoft has now purchased Yammer (www.yammer.com) for a massive $1.2 billion in cash and it will be folded into the Microsoft Office Division, led by division President Kurt DelBene. The team will continue to report to current CEO David Sacks to maintain continuity, at least for the near future.

A statement from Microsoft on the acquisition states

“The acquisition of Yammer underscores our commitment to deliver technology that businesses need and people love. Yammer adds a best-in-class enterprise social networking service to Microsoft’s growing portfolio of complementary cloud services.”

Yammer is only four years old but has nearly 5 million users including employees at 85 percent of the Fortune 500, making it an interesting and strategic purchase. So why the acquisition even though Microsoft has Lync and Sharepoint already? Mary Jo Foley (ZDNet) ruminates that Microsoft "...needed a cooler brand and wanted the cross-platform support" which sounds about right to us.

Here's to hopefully seeing Yammer built into Windows Phone 8.

Full press release after the break...

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WP Central

It was a few weeks ago when Nokia and Microsoft announced that Bing Maps would be getting a bit of a backend overhaul. Specifically in two areas: new color codes for traffic and more detail on back roads.

Perhaps even more importantly, some countries which previously didn't have access to mapping data would be getting the feature in a timed rollout. All in all, 24 countries were being added to the list including Italy and the UK.

We can at least verify that those latter two now have traffic as an option on their devices. Users can simply launch Maps and tap the three-dots on the lower menu. There, the "enable traffic" option should now be available.

It's great to see such a feature comes to other regions as it's something many of us have taken for granted since Windows Phone 7 came out in 2010. If you've noticed traffic added to any of these other countries, sound off in comments: Austria, Belgium, Brazil, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, India, Indonesia, Ireland, Luxembourg, Mexico, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Russia, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland or UAE.

via: Plaffo; Thanks Andrew, James, for UK info

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WP Central

E-Plus in Germany is currently preparing to release the Windows Phone Tango update to consumers, according to reports. Much like Australia's Telstra, the update is set to hit Lumia 800 owners. "Tango" introduces a number of new features and improvements to the experience, including added MMS functionality and WiFi tethering (depending on carrier restrictions and firmware versions).

Be sure to keep an eye out for any update notifications and let us know when you receive the release.

Source: Mobile Professionals, via: WP7App.de; thanks, Tali, for the tip!

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36

Windows Phone Tango update in testing at Telstra

Tango in testing at Telstra

The Windows Phone Tango update is currently in testing by Australian carrier Telstra. What is being referred to as the Mango Commercial Refresh 3 update is being tested for release to the Nokia Lumia 800, HTC Mozart and HD7, Samsung Omnia W and LG c900k.

Speculation has the Tango MCR3 update being pushed out sometime in July. The update will bring these older Windows Phones current with the HTC Titan, Nokia Lumia 900 and 610 which are shipped with the updated version of Windows Phone.

Source: wpdownunder; Thanks, Peter and Sheeds, for the tip!

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Nokia Lumia 710 Dark Knight Rises covers

Name your favorite Batman, win a Dark Knight cover for your Lumia 710

We've mentioned the Dark Knight Rises covers for the Nokia Lumia 710 Windows Phone before. T-Mobile is currently giving the covers away with new purchases of the Lumia 710. Well, we've gotten our grubby little hands on three of them to give away.

The covers are stamped with the Dark Knight Rises movie logo and we thought it might be fitting to somehow tie the Dark Knight into this giveaway. So... keeping it simple... in the comments let us know who is your favorite Batman. Was it Adam West, Val Kilmer, George Clooney, Michael Keaton, Christian Bale or is the comic book version the best?

Chime in through the day (say until 5pm PST) and tonight we'll randomly pick three winners, each to receive a Nokia Lumia 710 Dark Knight Rises cover. You do need to register so we can get in touch with you (registration is done here) and remember these cases are for the 710. Feel free to chime in but if you don't have the 710, let us know as you comment to avoid winning a case that doesn't fit your Windows Phone.

Good luck everyone!

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WP Central

We received a few reports from users that the excellent reminder + scheduling apps TVShow and PrimeTV are both "broken" right now. Specifically, when users try to update the app to pull down their customized TV schedules, they are met with an error message that they cannot connect to the servers.

We reached to TVShow's developer Rudy Huyn about the matter and we were given a simple explanation. In short, both apps use the site TVRage for their information and that API is currently undergoing maintenance

WP Central

There's no word on when it will be back but rest assured it should return. Until then, there's not much it seems either developer can do until TVRage flips the switch again.

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Microsoft Store opening soon in Westchester, NY

WP Central

Microsoft is set to open a new store at Westchester in New York, and according to the construction manager on-site it's set to open "very soon" indeed. We've previously looked at an unofficial list of Microsoft Stores that are to be revealed in the states and the software giant has also recently opened a store in Freehold, NY.

New York Metro has a job listing for a Retail Store Teacher position at the Westchester store, should you be interested in such a career with the software giant. More information will be published when the store is open and ready for business, so stay tuned and take a look at the above photo of the retail store under construction.

Thanks, Sean, for the heads up!

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Last day to catch Twabbit for $.99

Twabbit for Windows Phone

Twabbit for Windows Phone is a Twitter client that is nicely laid out, has plenty of features and overall is a really nice Windows Phone app.

Twabbit's main pages cover your Twitter home page with all your tweets, interactions with other tweets and your direct message inbox. Other key features include:

  • Persistently present tweet button that enables you to compose tweets from anywhere in the app
  • Quick reply bar, Support for multiple Twitter accounts
  • Ability to mute users, hastags and apps
  • Support for Twitter, TwitPic and yFrog photo upload services
  • Live Tile Support

Tweets load fast and there are a ton of settings to let you customize Twabbit to suit your needs and tastes. There's even gesture settings for customizable single and multi-touches.

Twabbit Screens

There is a free trail available for Twabbit and the full version is currently running $.99. Today's the last day to pick Twabbit up for $.99 and then the price jumps to $1.49. If you're looking for a nice Twitter client for your Windows Phone, Twabbit is worth checking out.

You can find Twabbit here at the Windows Phone Marketplace.

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WP Central

Ever since Microsoft unveiled "Windows Phone 7 Series" back in February 2010 (and then changed it), much debate has taken place on what it should be called. Many people had made convincing arguments at the time that Microsoft should drop "Windows" all together and opt instead for an Xbox alignment.

In hindsight, such arguments now seem silly to us as Windows Phone 7 was hardly a killer gaming platform, nor does that send the right message to business/enterprise. Likewise, the phrase "Windows" has made quite the comeback with "8", as early reviews would suggest.

However, reader 'umovies' sent in this idea which piqued our interest because it actually makes sense:

"[Microsoft should] change Windows Phone 8 to Windows 8 Phone. They're going to have more products out so its kinda crazy saying Windows Phone 8 when you got Windows 8 OS, Windows 8 Surface's, you should have a Windows 8 Phone as well and it will get rid of the confusion over Windows Mobile."

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WP Central

The crowd at the new Microsoft Store in Danbury, Connecticut

As we reported last night, Microsoft was set to open their latest Store in the quaint state of Connecticut who famously just allowed alcohol to be sold on Sunday's just a couple of weeks ago (no joke).

Reader Nicholas R. was there and sent us this report and collection of photos from the event. Overall, we're quite impressed with the sound of things and look forward to that Huntington Station opening here in New York. Check out his telling of the event and pics(taken with a Lumia 900, of course) below!

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Simpsons Monster Island

Monster Island is an Xbox Live title with a tumultuous history. First it launched in the US-only rather than worldwide and with Achievements that broke the Live rules by requiring players to spend money off the bat, and then it got pulled. The game eventually came back with fixed Achievements, and shortly thereafter became available in the United Kingdom too. When would other nations get to visit Monster Island (which is actually a peninsula), we wondered?

Today’s the day, it seems! Monster Island is now available in the frost-bitten climes of France. The region is known for its year-round snows and deadly walrus attacks. It’s also one of the last nations on Earth to still use Latin as its official language. Also, Rayman comes from there (really). Okay, so I don’t know anything about mysterious France, but I do know people from there can finally grab Monster Island and start earning Achievements like the rest of us.

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IronSun Studios Logo

It's been a while, but we're back with another installment of our Xbox Live Developer Interview series! This time we talk with Paul Kelly, director of IronSun Studios. The British development house has already brought IonBallEX, Battlewagon, and MonstaFish to Xbox Live. Here we discuss some of their influences, design philosophies, and even their next Live game. Head past the break for the full interview and lots of exclusive concept art!

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WP Central

Earlier yesterday we reported that in Italy you can get a free Windows Phone prop for your Xbox Avatar. The prop was specifically a Nokia Windows Phone and it was "locked" to those in Italy.

Now reader Illum1na has done some searching and managed to turn on up in the Dutch Marketplace. Actually, he found four in total:

  • Black
  • Magenta
  • Blue
  • White

Not too shabby. Once again, these items are locked to the Dutch Marketplace meaning you probably won't have much luck trying to get 'em if you're not in that region. But if you are, you'll want to go to this link and grab 'em. You can actually get all four of them, in case you feel like changing it up a bit. 

Thanks, Illum1na, for the link!

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WP Central

If you're on Vodafone Australia, you'll want to head to the Marketplace to pick up the the carrier's latest app which is geared towards managing your account.

The app, titled with the obvious "My Vodafone" is chock full of features including:

  • Account Usage checker.
  • View Bills and Payments (limited access to history)
  • Store Locator
  • View Network updates near you.
  • Contact Support and access the Vodafone Blog.

As WPDownUnder points out, Windows Phone has been on the carrier since 2010 so better late than never. Maybe perhaps they're seeing greater uptick in Windows Phone or see great things for Windows Phone 8. Either way, it's good for consumers.

Pick up My Vodafone here in the Windows Phone Marketplace; via: WPDownUnder

QR: My Vodafone

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WP Central

The new Microsoft Store in Danbury Fair mall, Danbury, CT

Microsoft is really on a roll with these official Store openings, no doubt they are in a rush to get them open in time for Windows 8 and Windows Phone 8 this fall. 

The latest is the Danbury Fair mall in Danbury, Connecticut. The store has been under construction since May and now not only are they throwing their doors open at 9:30am tomorrow but at 6pm, they're hosting a concert in the parking lot with an expected 2,000 people in attendance.

Who's playing? Young the Giant with "reggae-flavored rock group" O.A.R. headlining. Not bad, not bad at all.

Microsoft is also donating $1 million in software to the local chapter of Junior Achievement which adds a nice touch. The store is on the 2nd floor of the Danbury Fair mall, located between Lady Footlocker and, we're not kidding, MetroPark. Booya.

​If you feel like going, may we suggest you get there early in the morning to get your wristbands. The first 200 in line on the grand opening morning will receive two premiere viewing tickets/wristbands for the concert later that night. 

We've been promised some photos and report from reader Nicholas R. (who also sent the above shot back in May), so hopefully we can show that this weekend sometime. Either way, this is hands down one of the biggest store openings for Microsoft yet. Feels good, man. Feels good.

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WP Central

Say what you will about the official Facebook app for Windows Phone but they are trying hard to fix things and improve it. Rapidly too.

Version 2.6 just landed in the Marketplace and you can go get it now. Don't expect a slathering of new features like the last few updates but instead it addresses a couple of bug fixes that many of you have been sending into them. These include:

  1. An image posted to a group was appearing on your own wall rather than the group
  2. Users with custom privacy settings set as their default were having their updates created with "Only Me" permissions

Nothing thrilling but hey, at least they're listening and tweaking things with rather a quick turn around. You can grab the latest version of Facebook here in the Windows Phone Marketplace.

Source: Facebook; Thanks, jbarinas & Todd, for the tips

QR: Facebook

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Nokia Maps for Lumia Windows Phones

Nokia Maps for your Lumia Windows Phone was updated to version 2.1 this afternoon to fix a few problems associated with Nokia Maps places and your favorites.

Version 2.0 brought a handful of features to Nokia Maps that included:

  • Sharing reviews on Nokia Maps Places from your Lumia Windows Phone
  • Add your photos to Nokia Maps Places
  • Sync your saved favorites from maps.nokia.com to your Windows Phone

These features give Nokia Maps more social integration and, while minor in nature, the update should resolve issues users were experiencing in uploading photos of Places and accessing their favorites.

You can download Nokia Maps from the Nokia Collection on a Lumia Windows Phone or if you're reading this article from your Lumia Windows Phone, just tap on this link to go to the Marketplace listing.

Thanks, Jamil, for the tip!

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Microsoft Surface

Microsoft's Surface tablet event definitely caused a buzz that was dampened a little with the Windows Phone Summit which was held two days later. In a way, Windows Phone 8 took a little wind out of Surface's sails.  While the spotlight has been on Windows Phone 8, there have been a few rumors growing with regards to the Surface tablets which we'll catch up on.

The release date is still up in the air and Microsoft is sticking with the Surface RT being released with the general availability of Windows 8. The Windows 8 Pro Surface would hit store shelves about 90 days after that. Initial availability will be through Microsoft's stores and select third party retailers. Likely Amazon.com, Best Buy, etc.

Price speculation has ranged from $500 on up with the Windows 8 Pro being the higher priced of the two. At this point, pricing is anyone's guess and Liveside.net is seeing the ballpark pricing as $399/$499 (32gb/64gb versions) for the RT Surface and $799/$999 (64gb/128gb versions). We would hope the ballpark is a little smaller but $399 for a 32gb Surface isn't too bad. Is it? In fact, over at Techie-Buzz, Manan Kakkar notes that even at $599 it's a steal compared to an iPad:

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Poll results

Certainly the most controversial issue for Microsoft and Windows Phone users right now is the 7.8 update which will bring the new Start screen to current devices. This update is in lieu of getting Windows Phone 8 proper which is reliant on advanced hardware for most of its new features.

Some in the tech media are portraying this as a fiasco though the majority see the light at the end of the tunnel, recognizing that Microsoft had to switch the kernel from CE to NT if it wanted the platform to move forward. Combined with the difficulty in providing direct-upgrades to Windows Phone 8 (it's not a simple "update" but rather requires wiping the device, backing update data and re-writing aspects for current hardware) we can sympathize with Microsoft in not spending invaluable time and resources on making WP8 backwards compatible. 

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WP Central

Nokia's Lumia Windows Phone now in mini-size

We all love those free Xbox Avatar Gadgets, especially when they're Windows Phone focused. And for those in Italy, your day just a got a little brighter.

If you follow this link code (LINK) you can download and add a Nokia Lumia gadget to your avatar all for free. It's wee little Windows Phone with Nokia emblazoned on the top and ties win with the Lumia 610 launching over in that region.

Unfortunately when we tried here in the US, we were told it's not available in our region. Heck, even changing our region settings on our 360 didn't help but if any of you clever blokes figure out how to bypass this limitation, hit us up in comments.

via: Plaffo

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WP Central

Dear phone, we're not in Akron!

Update: Nokia just pinged us to let us know they are "...aware of the issue and it has been addressed, but users may need to restart their phones to see the fix take effect." Moreover, this does not seem to be a Lumia 900 issue per se but rather related to AT&T's LTE towers. Evidently some Android users have had this problem too.

It looks like the Nokia Lumia 900 on AT&T is experiencing yet another odd and seemingly random bug these days. For some users, when they fire up a GPS application such as Maps, Local Scout, Foursquare (for checkins) or Yelp, they show up as being in Akron, Ohio despite not actually being there.

The issue first popped up in Nokia's support forums with two threads and a handful of users noting the problem. Another thread appeared here in the Windows Phone Central Forums as well. But to be honest, we had only received one email complaint on the matter from reader Alex T. and we had not seen this bug ourselves to verify--so off it went into the "quirks" pile for further investigation.

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WP Central

Looks like Nokia was sitting on the release of Camera Extras & Play Now for its Lumia phones as you can now go ahead and download both apps from the Nokia Collection.

Camera Extras is what it sounds like, yet another camera app from the Finnish company that adds a lot of unique features to hopefully improve some of those pics. Features include:

  • Smart Group Shot - automatically selects faces, lets you create the perfect picture
  • Panorama - takes  numerous photos and stitches them together
  • Action Shot - rapidly takes photos
  • Self timer - 10 second countdown

WP Central

The app downloads as a separate program but it does integrate into the camera module meaning you can just quickly load the whole thing by hitting your dedicated camera button. Overall, the features are pretty good and we think many of you will enjoy the new additions. Nokia may be late to the game but they often get it right in the end.

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Windows Phone App Roundup: Sports Apps

WPCentral's Sport App Roundup

Windows Phone Central's Roundup of Sports Apps for your Windows Phone

In this week's Windows Phone App Roundup, we're focusing in on sports apps. Apps (not games) that will keep you up to date on all the scores and news from the sports world. We have a few all encompassing apps and then a few that are sports specific.

And now for the customary disclaimer. If an app doesn't make the roundup it should not reflect poorly on things. These are just a collection of apps or games that have stood out to us. If we've missed an app that you think should have been included, sound off in the comments.

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