Articles

Xbox Music

We just received our email notification from Microsoft about the soon-to-happen changeover from Zune Pass/Zune Music to Xbox Music. While most of the features seem to remain, including being locked in your $10 or $15 a month subscriptions (the latter for old school users), there are some significant changes that we’re not exactly too excited about.

The changes are due to rollout August 31st, leaving little time to adjust to those new adjustments. The features that we will be losing in a few days are the following...

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Ballmer Like WP

According to Bernstein Research's Pierre Ferragu, who has joined Nokia and Windows Phone skeptics, consumers simply don't want Microsoft's mobile platform, no matter which OEM pumps out hardware - it's just too little too late. It was thought that Microsoft could see a surge of interest in Windows Phone due to the results of the Apple and Samsung patent battle, which we covered earlier this week.

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WPCentral Podcast

In case you were under a rock today, both Android Central and Windows Phone Central had a busy afternoon covering all the IFA news coming out of Germany.

To cover the big Samsung (and Sony) announcements including the ATIV S, we gathered AC’s Phil Nickinson and myself along with Alex Dobie and Richard Device (who were on location) for a roundup.

So tune in or watch the HD video for the podcast after the break, which clocks in at a brisk 34 minutes.

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Unity Interview  David Helgason Windows Phone 8

Unity as a company has one mission: help games developers be more successful. Unity is one of the top game development platforms, routinely seen powering the biggest games on a multitude of platforms such as Castle Warriors, Battle Bears, Max & the Magic Marker, CSR Racing, Temple Run and Shadowgun and now its the turn of Windows Phone to get in on the Unity action.

We recently sat down with CEO of Unity Technologies, David Helgason--freshly back from Unite 12--to hear why they are betting on Windows Phone 8 and why it is good news for developers and gamers alike. 

David tells us right off that they want to bring Unity to the platforms that matter most. Surprisingly their decision to bring Unity to Windows Phone was driven by an upwelling of requests from developers...

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More close-up shots of the Samsung ATIV S Windows Phone

Samsung ATIV

Samsung announced the ATIV S Windows Phone today at its IFA 2012 presentation in Berlin. The current-most powerful Windows Phone features a similar look and feel of the Galaxy S3 (which isn't necessarily a bad thing), not to mention impressive entries on the specification sheet. 

Sporting a 4.8" HD Super AMOLED display with GorillaGlass 2, dual-core 1.5Ghz CPU, 2300mAh battery, NFC, with 16GB or 32GB for storage (with SD support) it's certainly got a enough power for Windows Phone 8. But does the device interest you as a consumer? Be sure to participate in our poll.

Back on topic - we've got some more shots of the ATIV S, which were uploaded to the Windows Phone Facebook account. Be sure to check them out for a closer look at Samsung's Apollo offering.

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Although we like to have our Nokia events here in the States, we cannot forget our good friends across the pond and neither can Nokia.

With Nokia World kicking off at the same time as the New York event, it seems Nokia Italy has a new teaser video foretelling that “things are going to change” next week for Europe as well.

Should we speculate about this video too? It’s simple enough with a bewhiskered Italian answering his Lumia 800 and then entering in the September 5th date. Nothing odd there although we would also note that the video is not exactly high-end HD level that you would expect, lending credence to the idea that this too is perhaps filmed on a new Nokia Lumia device.

Guess we’ll just have to wait until next week!

Source: Nokia Italy (YouTube); via Plaffo.com

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Imagine Cup 2012

Winners of Microsoft's Imagine Cup 2012

Registration has opened up for the 2013 Microsoft Imagine Cup for sudents aged 16 and above. The technology competition is in its 11th year, and to more inspire students and encourage a wider variety of aspiring innovators to participate, Microsoft has redesigned the Imagine Cup to cover the World Citizenship, Games and Innovation. If that wasn't enough, the prize money has been raised to $300,000 (US). 

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Could this be the Nokia Arrow Windows Phone?

Rumored Nokia Arrow

A rather blurry image has surfaced that some believe is the back cover of the Nokia Arrow. The back cover does slightly resemble the patent drawings we ran across earlier but there's enough variations to have us scratching our head.

For instance, the photo has the camera and flash above and below, while the patent drawing has the two side by side. The rounded corners seem to match though.

There's still a lot of unknowns surround the Nokia Arrow and hopefully everything will come into focus next week at Nokia's New York event.

Curious though... if this holds true what would you think if the Arrow was a yellow Nokia Windows Phone?

Source: welovewp; Thanks, Simon, for the tip!

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Windows 8 and Windows Phone 8 launching in October?

Mark your calendar, October is shaping up to be a busy month for Microsoft. Rumors have surfaced for release dates for both Windows 8 and Windows Phone 8.

Okay... we've known for some time that the general availability for Windows 8 is October 26th. It now appears that on October 25th, there will be a Microsoft launch event for Windows 8 and the Surface RT in New York City. No specifics on the event as of yet but Windows 8 and the Surface tablets should become available at midnight following the event.

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Microsoft Surface

“Microsoft is not, and never will be, a hardware company.” That’s according to Charlie Kindel, former Windows Phone General Manager, who spoke at an event at ThinkSpace in Redmond last night. Referring to Microsoft’s Surface family of tablets, Kindel notes that sales will be a small fraction of its business in the PC industry as a whole. But didn’t we already know this?

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Samsung ATIV Lineup

Samsung has just announced their range of Windows 8 devices. We have already touched on the ATIV S and Tab rumors earlier and now we know a whole lot more about what Samsung has in store. Samsung is no strangers to producing Windows PCs and looks like they are taking their duties very seriously with this latest line up.

The three devices we’re most interested in are the ATIV Tab, Samsung's super thin WinRT device, the ATIV Smart PC Pro and ATIV Smart PC running the full fat version of Windows 8. Aside from the ATIV tab they will have the detachable keyboard that’s looking to be the in thing with Windows 8 devices.  These three new tablets join the ATIV S Windows Phone to complete the Samsung ATIV lineup.

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WP Central

Tell us your secrets, O fair maiden!

WP Central

This morning we awoke to yet-another Nokia video, teasing us that things are about to change. You have to give the Finnish company credit—even as Samsung is unveiling their new flagship phone, they know how to keep “Nokia” in the news.

Many people were befuddled at the short clip, which shows a woman with carefree abandon riding a bicycle down a road, mugging for the camera. It’s whimsical, cute and frankly it makes little sense for a smartphone ad...

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With Samsung’s huge press conference just wrapping up, we’re going through all the news. Of course the big story of the day for our audience is the ATIV-S, the new Windows Phone 8 device coming this fall.

For those of you who missed the unofficial unveiling, you can watch that segment of the conference right here at Windows Phone Central. It's even in glorious 720P, thanks to our Rafael Rivera.

And when done, head over to our poll to voice your opinion on the Samsung’s new flagship Windows Phone!

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WP Central

PlayUp - The new JBL-Noka portable speaker with NFC

[Updated with new images and Nokia link]

Bloomberg BusinessWeek and Nokia’s own Chris Weber have revealed that JBL and Nokia are getting together for some new NFC-enabled mobile speakers called PlayUp.

Much like the Play360 currently on the market from Nokia, the new JBL-Nokia offerings look to improve upon their existing model of high quality portable media speakers. The device is expected to feature NFC and Bluetooth for easy connectivity and since Nokia’s new Lumia lineup will feature NFC, it makes a good pair for retail.

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WP Central

Does the ATIV-S impress? Take our poll.

Now that we have a good idea of what Samsung is bringing to the table for Windows Phone 8 with the ATIV-S (at least for their flagship phone), the question is What do you think?

The specifications, a 4.8" HD Super AMOLED display with GorillaGlass 2, dual-core 1.5Ghz CPU and ample storage should appeal to a lot of our enthusiastic users. The brushed aluminum should also bring a more classy, high-end feel to the device, a nice change up from the previous "plastic" that Samsung is known to use...

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WP Central

The ATIV-S from Samsung featuring Windows Phone 8

Looks like Microsoft wanted to break the news of the new Samsung ATIV-S Windows Phone 8 device as Ben Rudolph just posted his thoughts on the new phone, being unveild today at IFA.

The specs for the device are exactly as reported earlier with the addition of GorillaGlass 2 and either 16GB or 32GB models, both with expandable storage via microSD…

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Sony unveils new Windows 8 VAIO Tap 20 table-top PC

20 inch Sony tablet

Hold onto your seats, this is a big one. Sony has unveiled a 20" table-top Windows 8 PC today at IFA Berlin, titled VAIO Tap 20. The battery-powered PC features a stand allowing the user to adjust the device to suit immediate needs, whether it be tablet photo viewing (on the lap as it weighs in at a sturdy 11 pounds) or desktop-style web browsing. It's a Windows 8 PC that's surely going to turn some heads, so what's included in the package?

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WP Central

WP Central

File this under: Expected.

Currently the IFA show is occurring in Germany right now and we have our team on the ground for live coverage throughout the day. As somewhat expected, Samsung is presumed to be showing off a Windows Phone 8 device, specifically the Ativ-S.

The name Ativ-S was revealed yesterday as the new lineup from Samsung for forthcoming Windows Phone 8 series. The name Ativ (which is oddly ‘Vita’ backwards) looks to be the codenamed Odyssey that T-Mobile US is rumored to be stocking this fall.

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Modern UI Elements

With the official launch of Windows 8 on October 26'th, things in the developer world are heating up. Microsoft has been furiously getting quality apps onto the Windows Store via their App Excellence program, and devs have been touching up their XAML skills. And why wouldn't they be? With a potential market this big, any developer would be silly to not be planning to get something onto the store at some stage.

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Sally's Salon lead

Since the Xbox Live Deal of the Week program’s humble inception in March 2011 (with Frogger on sale), the program has become quite popular with deal hunting gamers. Perhaps I should say had become, because the deals of the week unceremoniously stopped coming after the August 8 late Marketplace update.

We theorized that Microsoft’s Xbox Live gaming division might have been too busy gearing up for Windows Phone 8 to bother with poor little WP7 games any more. Whether or not that played a factor, the program just might be back! Sally’s Salon Luxury Edition from Game House is now $2.99, down from $4.99.

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We are ever so close to the 5th of September where it’s possible Nokia and Microsoft are planning to reveal all about Windows Phone 8. We still have much to learn about the next version of Windows Phone such as possible consumer features for the OS that include Xbox Live and music improvements, as well as anything else Microsoft may still have hidden up their sleeves.

While there is still much to learn about Windows Phone 8, a recent video release only adds to the mystery of what's in store for September 5th.

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Nokia

Nokia certainly knows how to throw a party. Nokia World 2011 (the first evening) and the Deadmau5 performance are two examples of the kind of events the manufacturer has held here in the UK. We've now learned that Nokia has plans to hold a party in New York on September 5th. So what's in stall for attendees?

We're not entirely sure as details are scarce as to what exactly is on the agenda. What we'd imagine to be on the night (from previous experiences) is loud music, an unlimited supply of beverages, and -of course- new Nokia Windows Phones. It wouldn't be a party without Windows Phone Central, so we'll be heading on down to see what all the fuss is about. 

The event is for those who are 18 or above and will take place between 6-9pm in the Chelsea neighbourhood. You can register your spot at the Nokia event over on the RSVP page.

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