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Nokia Lumia Windows Phones, carrier logos allowed?

AT&T Nokia Lumia 820

The other day we reported that Nokia may be prohibiting carriers from branding the new Lumia Windows Phones with their company logos. Instead, preferring that carriers use virtual branding through preloaded software or software hubs.

Several Italian carriers are reportedly preparing to offer the new Lumia Windows Phones without logo branding. As we mentioned previously, the overseas carrier influence is a little more passive that what we experience here in the States. We weren't sure if this logo ban would extend to AT&T, Verizon or T-Mobile until this morning.

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geoDefense Swarm

Three straight weeks of Xbox games receiving more than fifty-percent discounts as the Deal of the Week has come to an end this week. It’s not all bad news though, as the sale game is actually quite good: geoDefense Swarm from Critical Thought Games. It’s now on sale for $1.99, down from $2.99.

Head past the break for more Swarm details, plus news of October's Frightful Games promotion.

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Nokia Lumia 820 headed to AT&T

We've heard rumors, speculation and murmurs about AT&T announcing the addition of the Nokia Lumia 920 Windows Phone to their lineup and now it's official. As an added bonus, AT&T also announced that the Lumia 820 will also be part of the wireless provider's Windows Phone lineup.

AT&T Lumia 920

The Lumia 920 will be available in red, white, black, yellow and cyan (yes, cyan). The Lumia 820 will be available in black. Both the 920 and 820 will be 4G LTE compatible and are planned to be available in November. There was no mention of pricing in the press release.

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MS Mini Store

They may be small, but they're pretty

Although Microsoft has been opening quite a few full-fledged retail Stores over the past few months, the last time we counted there are still less than 30 nationwide. Microsoft’s solution for this, albeit temporary, is to open mini “Holiday Stores” in malls and shops across the country.

While we don’t know the range for these little popups meaning if some will be big and some tiny, we do know they will look quite nice. Case in point are these two photos from the Galleria mall in St. Louis, where we can see two Microsoft kiosks being prepped for the 26th.

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Easy Savings for Windows Phone

The MasterCard Easy Savings Program is an automatic rebate program for eligible MasterCard small business credit, prepaid or debit cards. The Easy Savings app for your Windows Phone is designed to help you find participating Easy Savings merchants and well.... save.

The Easy Savings app will use your Windows Phone location services and list all the offers available in your area. A category listing, map view and any offers tagged as favorites will be displayed on the main pages.

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WP Central

AT&T announcing the Lumia 920 tomorrow? Yup.

Rum: 10

Bloomberg just came over the wire with a story citing two sources that AT&T and Nokia plan to unveil the Lumia 920 tomorrow.

Indeed, the story has merit because AT&T is holding a special invite-only event Thursday evening, which will focus on numerous upcoming AT&T phones, not just Windows Phone devices or the Lumia 920.

We only know about this because AT&T has the event annually and yes, we’re going to be there too.

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Apollo Keyboard Accent

A number of Windows Phone Central readers, who happen to be incredibly observant, have noticed a small change in Windows Phone 8. As one can see in the image above, the Windows Phone keyboard now shows the selected letters in the accent colours, as opposed to black or white.

Readers noticed a fresh look for the keyboard in a HTC 8X video tour, which shows off some features in Windows Phone 8 - something that was disallowed by Microsoft and OEMs in the past. 

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Cowlick!

Moolicious. And temporarily free.

Twitter apps are like shoes—everyone has their favorite and there is tons of variety out there. The client glƏƏk! has been quite popular lately what with its unique design and more rare features like “Extras”, “glƏƏks”, “pƏƏks”. But what if those distinctive add-ons are just not your thang?

Enter in Cowlick! It’s light in a few ways: for one, it is light themed and two, it doesn’t have those aforementioned features. Instead, you’re left with just a really robust and awesome Twitter client.

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Debate

We’re just throwing this little tip for you folks out there in the US who are into the Presidential election. If you have an Xbox 360, you can watch the debate live tonight (9PM ET) in unfettered HD right to your TV and without all the political “noise” from commentators.

It’s all part of this new experiment in politics that Microsoft is spearheading, using the Xbox 360 as a medium for political awareness. See, not only do you get to watch the debates but you can participate in live polling via your Xbox controller. 

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Xpress

Xpress Beta from Nokia

Nokia has gone ahead and pushed out a beta app for its Lumia users. The app is called Xpress (Beta) and it’s an interesting concept, mostly for those folks who are on tight data-plans or are roaming internationally.

In essence, the app acts as a gateway to Nokia’s Xpress cloud service. That program takes data and compresses it before it gets to your device, cutting down on data consumption quite dramatically. It’s a similar concept to what we’ve seen in the past with Opera Mobile which also had a method to server-side compress data.

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Microsoft Surface going global?

We are seeing some indication that Microsoft's Surface tablet will be heading to Europe. If you look at Microsoft's product pages for FranceItaly , the United KingdomGermany and other European Countries, the Surface is now listed.

Rum: 8

We know that the Surface will only be available through the Microsoft's Stores. Stores, at least the brick and mortar variety, that don't exist outside the U.S. which makes the listing a bit of a puzzle.

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Lumia 920

AT&T and the Lumia 920: coming soon, we swear

RUM: 8

Recently we wrote about October 21st as being an important date for the Lumia 920 and AT&T. At the time, the info coming out strongly indicated that this was the release window which AT&T was aiming for (even though it raised a lot of eyebrows).

The problem always had been that Microsoft publicly has not unveiled all of Windows Phone 8 yet and when they do, it’s not expected until the end of October. That makes selling a phone before that time, well, odd.

We now have some new information that sheds light on the issue and it falls back on our previous theory. Here are the latest timeframes we know regarding AT&T’s planned Lumia 920 launch. The info once again comes directly though a highly placed source at AT&T.

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Surface Advertisements Grand Central DC

Microsoft's Surface advertising campaign appears to be in more public locations than first believed, thanks to a batch of photos sent in by Windows Phone Central reader Micah. The Windows 8 tablets that are being developed at Redmond have already been spotted in a subway in Washington DC, and a handful of photos were thrown up earlier today.

Now we can confirm similar adverts (with a pink coloured Surface tablet) are featured at Grand Central station, New York. As mentioned in our earlier coverage, the promotion material is unique, straight to the point, and effectively shows off the design of the Surface. Check out a few more photos after the break.

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HTC 8X and Windows Phone 8 gets unfettered video tour

Although at most events where Windows Phone 8 is being ‘lite’ demonstrated, the handlers of the devices are notorious for not letting the media go beyond the Start screen. That’s presumably because Microsoft doesn’t want the entire OS shown before their big announcement—whenever that may be.

In a new HTC 8X hands on video, taken at the GITEX Computer Shopper show currently being held in Dubai, UAE, we can see the device and OS in its unfettered glory. No one is stopping anyone here...

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Xbox Music and free streaming coming on October 26th

Xbox Music

It looks like the 26th will be a major day for Microsoft as Windows 8 gets released, Surface RT tablets reportedly go on sale, third-party Windows 8 Pro tablets become available, Holiday Stores open and new services launch.

That last one is the focus here with Xbox Music aka Zune Music for days of yore. As of right now, most of the core of Xbox Music looks to be just a re-brand of the current Zune offerings but Microsoft is building off of it. Some of those new features that will come with the launch is a free, ad-supported music streaming service and utilizing SkyDrive for playlists with cloud storage of music.

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EE to launch UK's first 4G network on October 30th

EE

EE plans to launch the UK's first LTE network on October 30th, according to a press release which was sent out today. EE, along with UK carriers, have only just reached an agreement with Ofcom and the government to bring forward the launch of multi-carrier 4G launches, which will take place in spring 2013.

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Lumia 510

The Lumia 510, which we took a gander at not too long ago, has been captured in the wild. GSMArena has received a rather small photo showing the Lumia Windows Phone in its glory with a sizeable reflective screen. What's more is pricing and specifications have been reportedly confirmed by an unnamed source. Nothing's official, nor have any details been announced, so be sure to take this with a minute grain of salt.

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HTC 8X

Both the HTC 8X and HTC 8S are on their way to UK carrier O2, according to the "coming soon" section of its website. While no dates for availability are provided, we can speculate using pre-order product listings published by Amazon and other retailers to reach a rough estimation. 

The HTC 8X will be able to make use of O2's upcoming LTE network, which will be rolled out thanks to the carrier, Ofcom and the UK government reaching an agreement to bring forward the originally set date for when the UK will begin to see LTE be deployed by carriers.

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LTE

The UK is going LTE

UK mobile operators, communications regulator Ofcom, and the government have agreed to start rolling out LTE in early 2013. The goal is for high speed data connectivity to launch by spring, approximately six months earlier than originally planned, providing consumers with quicker speed while using Internet services on smartphones.

EE (Everything Everywhere) has already been given the green light in 'switching on' its LTE network at multiple locations across the country ahead of the competition. To the dismay of the other carriers, EE aims to have 16 cities with LTE speeds by this Christmas, providing 20 million customers with a significant increase in speeds.

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Elop Pres

Everybody gets down to the groove with Elop

Nokia's Stephen Elop is as committed as ever to the Windows Phone path he began to lead the company down last year, according to a report by AllThingsD. As Symbian gradually closed its eyes in the pit of smartphone doom, Elop shifted Nokia's focus to Windows Phone. This move gave consumers the first generation Lumia family. Recently the company unveiled the Lumia 820 and Lumia 920 that will both be running Windows Phone 8.

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Microsoft Surface Subway Advertising

Microsoft Surface advertising material has been spotted in Washington, DC and thanks to Windows Phone Central reader Conan we've got some photos to show everyone. The advertising shows off the tablet's connectivity between the device itself and the smart covers with the "Click in." caption to highlight the user friendliness.

The advertisements show off light blue and pink coloured Surface tablets and the look of both designs is appealing. We're still yet to see Microsoft unveil its Windows 8 tablet family to the world, but the official launch can't be too far off with the company prepping temporary holiday stores across the US. So how aggressively will Microsoft push Surface?

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Nokia HQ

Nokia HQ, Espoo, Finland

File this under rumor but it's coming from a notable source, Finland’s own Helsingin Sanomat newspaper. The report states that Nokia is in the process of selling off their main headquarters in Espoo, Finland. The move would be quite shocking to the country as physically the building has come to represent the company in many ways--much like the Chrysler building in New York City years ago.

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Lumia 920 iPhone 5

Look at the shiny shiny...

According to latest data released by comScore, Microsoft remains comfortable in fourth position (behind RIM) with only a .4% reduction in US marketshare. This was expected with the upcoming launch of Windows Phone 8, especially with new hardware unveiled for consumers to hold out on making a purchase.

Sat at 3.6%, Microsoft continues to witness the downfall of RIM which was hit by a sizeable 3.1% drop in US shares as the company continues to battle through the tough period until it releases Blackberry 10. Falling to just 8.3% of the market, unless RIM can slow down the descent of the platform's fall, Microsoft may well find itself in third position - dependant on the imminent Windows Phone 8 launch.

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We’ve noted previously that Nokia has some boldness when it comes to teasing their competitors and today that is definitely being demonstrated with this latest pro-Lumia ad.

The video is has some very stylized animation, showing the masses in line for the new iPhone 5, handing their money over and being tossed the latest from Cupertino in a boring, “let’s do this again” manner.

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