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Microsoft just bought Nokia’s hardware division. The tech world is still reeling at the news. We’ve heard from Microsoft why they chose to buy Nokia. And other analysts will surely weight in with their thoughts over the coming hours, days, and weeks as the deal closes. You’ll probably get a nice editorial from Daniel shortly. But in the meantime, why not look over the presentation from Microsoft and Nokia and start forming your own opinions?

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We’re still going through all the details of the recently announced Nokia acquisition by Microsoft and are getting a clearer understanding of all the implications of the transaction. Needless to say, Microsoft is going to come out ahead of this deal and it will be something for its competitors to take note in the morning.

The biggest impact is of course Nokia’s favored patent portfolio, which was already wielded as a weapon against their Android rivals in addition to Microsoft’s treasure trove of license agreements. But just as interesting, Microsoft sees the deal with Nokia as boon for its OEM business and they are expecting the acquisition to help with OEM opportunity.  

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Microsoft: This is why we bought Nokia

What just happened? Did it finally happen? Nokia has just been bought by Microsoft. At least the part of Nokia that directly impacts the hardware in your hand. For 7.2 billion dollars, Microsoft has just bought Nokia’s Devices and Services unit, the part that makes your beautiful Lumia running Windows Phone. It will also license Nokia’s patents and use their mapping services. Why? Here’s why according to Microsoft’s CEO Steve Ballmer and Nokia’s Stephen Elop.

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It's been something mused over for the past few years as a "what if" scenario, and tonight it has come to fruition: Microsoft is buying Nokia's Device and Services Unit and licensing the company's patent portfolio. Since partnering with Microsoft in early 2011 and launching the Lumia line of Windows Phone handhelds Nokia has held a leading and premiere position in the Windows Phone space, though they have struggled to gain significant market share and profitability even with the financial support of Microsoft. The deal is expected to close in the first quarter of 2014, with Microsoft paying €3.79 billion for the Devices and Service Unit, and another €1.65 billion for the licensure of Nokia's patent portfolio.

The deal will see around 32,000 Nokia employees transferred to Microsoft. Additionally, Nokia CEO Stephen Elop is stepping aside as the company's chief executive, replaced by Risto Siilasmaa as interim CEO (formerly chairman of the Nokia Board of Directors). Elop isn't going away - he's assumed the role of Nokia Executive Vice President of Devices & Services - in other words, he's in charge of the division of Nokia that is being sold to Microsoft, and thus will be one of the 32,000 employees making the transition.

The deal is, of course, subject to approval by Nokia's shareholders. To wit, an "extraordinary general meeting" of said shareholders has been called for 19 November 2013. Microsoft and Nokia expect the deal to close in the first quarter of 2014. The total deal adds up to €5.44 billion, or $7.12 billion in US dollars.

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Way back in June, we brought the news of the official Tapatalk client for Windows Phone 7.x and 8 arriving on the Store. The release was still early, requiring further development in addition to costing $2.99. We mentioned at the time that the price was set to assist the developer behind the project, Jagoba Los Arcos, who originally developed Foroplex, but the intention was always to make Tapatalk free.

Well, today is that day. Version 1.0.3 has now arrived on the Store and it is $0 for all.

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The Lumia 1020 is already available for consumers to pre-order in Russia, but a definitive date for when the Nokia Windows Phone 8 handset will launch in the country is unknown. Just like Europe, consumers are waiting for the manufacturer to bring the niche Windows Phone to market, which has been stated to be arriving later in the year. Now WP7 Forum has been informed by sources that this date is in fact October 11th.

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Last week, Windows Phone Central reported on firmware being visible on Nokia’s servers for the Lumia 928 disclosing a “red” edition with a new product code: RM-860 VAR VRZ RED (059R227). At the time, the speculation seems to point to an obvious conclusion: Verizon and Nokia were gearing up for a red Lumia 928 to help refresh the line.

Now, an image posted by Nokia US on their Facebook page appears to reveal the glossy, candy-red device for the first time. The image posted was not meant to highlight a red Lumia 928, but instead bolster the chemical testing process Nokia uses to ensure that the polycarbonate they use holds up under duress.

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The Lumia 625 is Nokia's attempt to launch a smartphone with a rather large display. Featuring a 4.7-inch screen, it's essentially an improved version of the HTC TITAN, a Windows Phone 7 handset. Launching in multiple markets, the Lumia 625 is now heading to the UAE (United Arab Emirates) on Etisalat, a top mobile operator in the region.

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Grab a cup of coffee and that outdated backpack, we are going to get you ready for the first Semester of classes in this special Back to School 2013 Guide. We have broken the guide down by different student types including “The Geek”, “The Artist”, “The Budgeter”, and “The Entrepreneur”. Check it out below and let us know what you think. Alright, all board – let’s go!

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Kantar Worldpanel's latest numbers shows rapid growth for Windows Phone sales in various markets, but slight dips in China and only modest growth in the US

Windows Phone is still making steady progress in Europe, according to latest data published by Kantar Worldpanel. The platform has leaped to grab 8.2 percent of sales across Europe in the UK, France, Germany, Italy and Spain.

Unfortunately, the same can't be said for progress in the US, but there's still progress and Microsoft is growing its share of the market in terms of device sales.

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Vector 8: Sascha Segan on the fastest mobile networks

Vector is Mobile Nation's newest show. It takes the most important topics in technology today, focuses on them from interesting angles, and then discusses the hell out of them. On this episode Sascha Segan, lead mobile analyst at PC Magazine, talks to Rene about the evolution of data connections, the annual Fastest Mobile Networks survey, the triumphs and tragedies of modern carriers, and why we can't always have nice phones.

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Summer may be unofficially ending this weekend in the United States with Labor Day, but that doesn’t mean families won’t stop flocking to southern California for Disneyland. While Disney World in Florida may be larger, Disneyland still boasts 16.14 million visitors per year. If you find yourself going to Disneyland sometime soon make sure you download MouseWait for Windows Phone.

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In the Windows Phone community there are a handful of devs we all seem to know on a first name basis. Add Andy Stumpp to that list, he’s the developer of a handful of apps you use and love. He was one of the first devs to take advantage of the Nokia Imaging SDK with OneShot. He’s also made two very popular lockscreen apps – Lock Buster and Hello Friends. He’s just updated Lock Buster to version 4.0, let’s see what’s new.

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Ciel is a free app that allows you to tack on current weather and location information to your photos for sharing on social networks. It’s a bit of a fad right now, though when traveling around or laying at the beach, it’s a fun way to rub it in to your friends and family. Ciel actually goes beyond just weather though as you can share location information (via Foursquare) or even ratings in case you’re a coffee shop.

Version 3.0.5.606 went live in the Store late Friday night and while it brings the usual fixes and enhancements, one big addition is the ability to share the image directly with 6tag for Instagram support.

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We’re not big watchers of the media show Entertainment Tonight, but at least some of our readers are. It looks like Nokia had a sponsorship in place for last week’s MTV Video Music Awards as Rocsi, a correspondent for the show, was seen hyping the Nokia Lumia 1020.

The phone was used to take photos of celebrities and posted on the ET website, in addition to having it pimped on the show during Rocsi’s segment (you can see a video of that below).

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Clarity Consulting has been around Windows Phone since day one as development partner. They were involved with the original Facebook app, Nokia Music for Windows 8 and have had various concept apps floating around. We also know that a Path app for Windows Phone 8 is in the works, as revealed during the Lumia 1020 announcement back in June and recently teased by Nokia.

In a video that was posted last month to Vimeo by Erik Klimczak, Creative Director at Clarity Consulting, we can see what looks to be a fully-functional prototype of Path for Windows Phone. The video shows lockscreen support for images, a double wide Live Tile, notifications, friends and chats all in action on a Nokia Lumia 925.

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Seeing as it’s the weekend, a holiday one for those in the States, it seems appropriate now to highlight some guesstimation on the size of the Nokia Lumia 1520. Sure, we’ll know more in the coming weeks on the actual dimensions but there’s no harm in adding a little math to give a rough idea.

Revealed in a photo earlier this week, the Nokia Lumia 1520 was placed next to the Lumia 1020 for size comparison. Windows Phone Central can now confirm that the photo is legitimate through a second source who attested to its authenticity. Based off of that image, forum member Cornelius took a break from his bachelor thesis to calculate the Lumia 1520’s exact size.

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Sometimes official isn’t always better in the app world. Remember the first Foursquare app on Windows Phone back in the day? It was pretty bad, which is why Jeff Wilcox created 4th & Mayor, a Foursquare app that many consider to be one of the best apps of its kind. Well, the same situation is shaping up with Untappd, the social beer network that put an official app in the Store back in April. Like the idea behind Untappd, but can’t really get on board with their mediocre app? Join the beta for Tapped.

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Microsoft recently made the decision to drop their Point system from Xbox Live. It was a move that many people on Xbox Live have been wanting for quite some time. While you could get discounts on Microsoft Points (thus saving money), the system itself had a few annoyances that many aren’t mourning the loss of. Now Microsoft is refreshing their Xbox Live Reward program to reflect changes to the loss of Microsoft Points. Details after the break.

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Last week we reviewed the Windows Phone game Yatzy Online and found it to be a decent Yahtzee styled game except for some annoying advertising banners. Banners that cover up the top portion of the screen, preventing you access to a few menu options.

We just received word from the game's developers that this overlapping of the ad-banner shouldn't be happening. A fix will be going out over the next week or so to correct this issue and until then, the developer has suspended the ad service.

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Halo: Spartan Assault has been available on Windows Phone 8 for some time now, but there isn't a trial to take advantage of for a free go to see if the game is right for you. Now a lite version has been published that sports the first level to give you an insight into the gameplay and whether you feel it's worth the price tag. Perfect if you've never jumped into the Halo universe before or are hesitant at playing a Spartan on the small screen.

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