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Tonight when we're driving around Long Island, we passed no less than three AT&T corporate stores (Long Island is basically a giant strip mall but with attitude). All three stores had Lumia 900 banners hanging from the ceiling and were quite visible from the road -- no doubt an odd thing to see Windows Phone featured so prominently.

Now we have a sneak peek at what some of the in-store promotion will look like with this giant billboard hanging against the wall emblazoned with the slogan "beautifully different".

We've also heard there will be a lot more with the Lumia 900 (and Titan II) with an area to test out the phones (see above) and even a section with accessories for the 900. We'll be curious to hear feedback from you folks tomorrow on what your experience was and perhaps we'll even throw a few photos up if we come across 'em.

Thanks, Jeff B., for the images!

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While Verizon deservedly gets a lot of flack for their shunning of Windows Phone, especially with their single offering of the HTC Trophy, they at least seem set on keeping that phone up to date.

If you navigate to the support page for the HTC Trophy on Verizon's site, you'll notice that information regarding the previous radio update has been removed. Instead, users are greeted with details on the latest software update: 2305.13.20402.605.

While that number doesn't reveal the OS version (8107), reading the new features and fixes reveals that indeed it has to be 8107 since it fixes the disappearing keyboard. Here are the new fixes and enhancements:

  • Improved Voice Mail notifications when traveling outside the U.S.
  • Enhanced Cellebrite contact transfer performance.
  • Improvements in keyboard performance prevent keyboard from disappearing while typing.
  • Device is enabled with the Wireless Alerting System.
  • Improved device performance when downloading large software update files.
  • Original messages will be included when replying or forwarding an email via an Exchange 2003 server.
  • Improvements in text messaging performance

No word on exactly when this update will begin being pushed but seeing as Verizon is coming forward with the details, we're going to say it's imminent. So good new for you Verizon folks, not so great news if you're on AT&T or Sprint.

Source: Verizon Support (PDF); Thanks, Ryan T., for the heads up!

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WPCentral's list of the best apps for the Lumia 900

Although veterans of this site will know what are some of the best, must-have-apps are for Windows Phone, new users coming to the platform with the Lumia 900 (review) will not. So for our new friends, we'll get you started on some of the most popular, useful and impressive apps for Windows Phone.

Sure, we "only" have around 70,000 apps but that's still a heck of a lot to sift through.  And since we've personally installed over 1,200 apps and games on our Windows Phone, we think we can lend a hand.

So without further ado, here's our list...

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So we just came back from Times Square here in New York City where Nokia was throwing a lil' party right in the center of Manhattan for that Lumia 900. Turns out, as you probably know by now, that superstar Nicki Minaj was performing live. In fact, she performed three songs to a fairly massive crowd that was certainly very receptive to the whole scene.

After the songs they introduced the Nokia Lumia 900 while a DJ spun some music -- it was similar to the London-Deadmau5 event, though obviously not as massive. To the side, while the music was pumping, a giant high resolution LCD screen showed off an exciting light show leading up the Lumia 900 finally appearing.

Times Square crowd image via Sokane1/Instagram

All in all in was a fun albeit short event (it lasted about 30 minutes). While not as wow-worthy as the London 3D projection, it will certainly grab a lot of attention and is certainly some great publicity. Oh and a lot of the footage shot there will evidently be used in an upcoming video with the liver performance showing up tomorrow on Facebook.

After the break, you can check two videos we recorded (the second one starts shaky, sorry 'bout that, but it gets better). Also, we have some photos to boot.

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Microsoft hasn’t announced it yet, but we’ve caught wind of a mobile Xbox Live Easter sale. Or it could be a celebration of the Lumia 900's release - who knows? The following games are currently only 99 cents each:

This is easily the biggest and best sale on Windows Phone Xbox Live titles ever – seven titles is a lot, and they’re 66 percent off instead of the usual 33. Which games will you be picking up, awesome WPCentral readers? I probably had the most fun with Burn the Rope, but you can’t lose with most of these.

We don’t know the dates of the sale, but it’s likely to run at least through Sunday. This post will be updated should we spot an official date.

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The question of whether or not today's Windows Phone apps will be able to work on the next "major version" of Windows Phone aka 'Apollo' or Windows Phone 8 was never a major concern for us as we just assumed they would work. We even saw a job description which said as much back in February.

Still for some developers there were lingering questions about Windows Phone 8 would have the same core as Windows Phone 7.x. While details are still very sparse to that former aspect, tonight on the Windows Phone developer blog, Microsoft's Larry Lieberman reaffirmed that indeed, today's app will work just fine on Windows Phone 8:

"With regard to existing applications: today’s Windows Phone applications and games will run on the next major version of Windows Phone. Driving application compatibility is a function of Microsoft’s commitment to its developers. Regardless of what we release in terms of new developer features and functionality, we have made a large investment in protecting your existing investments."

That is certainly good news and should allay some fears for devs. But perhaps what is even more interesting is we're getting the first hints that Silverlight may be de-emphasized for the next generation of Windows Phone:

"We’ve also heard some developers express concern about the long term future of Silverlight for Windows Phone. Please don’t panic; XAML and C#/VB.NET development in Windows 8 can be viewed as a direct evolution from today’s Silverlight. All of your managed programming skills are transferrable to building applications for Windows 8, and in many cases, much of your code will be transferrable as well."

To our ears, that doesn't sound like Silverlight will be a major part of Apollo (though it will be compatible) and from what we've heard from devs, that's not a bad thing at all. A more interesting reading is that Windows 8 and Windows Phone 8 will be based off the same bits, especially when Lieberman notes that "...targeting a tablet vs. a phone, you do of course, need to design user experiences that are appropriately tailored to each device."

There's certainly a lot of reading in between the lines in that post and makes some interesting discussion, so fire away in comments.

Read more at the Windows Phone Developer Blog. Windows Phone 8 concept image by PocketHacks

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Even though the Lumia 900 is barely out the door it doesn't mean we can't start the rumor mongering and passing of faked images for Windows Phone 8, does it? Phone Arena were sent the above image described as a "non final poster template" that allegedly came out of Nokia's headquarters.

The poster reveals a "Windows Phone 8" name, a designation that has not been officially given for the updated OS, expected in late 2012. Nicknamed 'Apollo', little is known about the successor to the current Windows Phone 7.5 'Mango' although an earlier leak from a video was purported to divulge some details including dual-core support, higher display resolutions and removable SD cards.

Besides the neon-glow of those three Nokia phones, which vaguely looks like Nokia's newly granted design-patent, we get the Nokia slogan of "Breaking the limits since 1865" which as pointed out in comments, references Nokia's origins  as a "ground wood pulp paper mill in Tampere, Finland". Odd, yet we kind of like it -- how many tech companies can claim that much of a legacy?

Then again, this could easily be spoofed as that "Windows Phone 8" font may be a little off and there's no redesigned Windows 8 logo present, which we would expect. Plus lets be honest, there's just really nothing in this image that's too informative.

It's fun to wonder but for now, we're going to remain skeptical.

Source: Phone Arena

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We've noticed in our Twitter stream and from interacting with developers that there have been quite a few delays with Windows Phone Marketplace submissions. Before, it would take around 72 hours from submission to approval to publishing of the app. Now, it's taking significantly longer and there have been a few hiccups along the way too (see Rowi's recent update woes).

In the latest Windows Phone Developer Newsletter (April 2012), Microsoft confirms that indeed "due to high submission and update volumes, the app certification process is continuing to take longer than it has previously." Just how long? Microsoft states it can now take up to seven days which is quite an increase from the previous 72 hours. In turn, Microsoft is recommending to developers to plan accordingly by submitting as early as possible if they want a certain publishing date.

Of course this is a good news/bad news situation. It's a bit frustrating to developers who now have to wait significantly longer than it did a few months ago to get their app or app update to market. On the other hand, these delays are caused by a nice problem: a huge increase in app submissions to the Windows Phone Marketplace.

For point of reference, nearly 340 new apps are being published daily in addition to over 400 app updates which has resulted in just over 70,000 apps being available in the Marketplace (the 80,000 number is a bit misleading since it aggregates worldwide and doesn't count removed or inactive apps).

We imagine that if the Nokia Lumia 900 is successful, new app submissions could also increase over the next few months -- an issue we'll return to soon enough. Finally, Microsoft probably won't let this delay get any longer as they are trying to scale appropriately to meet the demand.

Marketplace statistics provided by WP7AppList

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Nokia Lumia 900 Review

WPCentral's Review of the AT&T Nokia Lumia 900

“With one of the best displays for a Windows Phone around, a $99 price point and Nokia’s svelte and sexy design, the AT&T Lumia 900 is one of the best values for a smartphone today. For those people upgrading from a first generation Windows Phone to those folks just coming on board, the Nokia Lumia 900 is sure to impress.”

Design:
The Lumia 900 is designed and manufactured to perfection. This shows in the end result, while not as smooth as the Lumia 800, it's still beautiful.

Feel:
Unibody, check. Single piece of injection molded polycarbonate, check. Feels great to hold and use? Check.

Performance:
Powered by Windows Phone Mango Release 2, a 1.4Ghz processor, 4G LTE and an 1830mAh battery, the Lumia 900 will keep you going throughout the day.

Quality:
AT&T, Nokia and Microsoft have done a great job with the Lumia 900. It's not perfect but it's certainly close.

 


 

Solid 8MP rear camera and outstanding 1MP front camera make the Lumia 900 a great video phone. The polycarbonate unibody design makes this device one of the nicest looking on the smartphone market and the 1830mAh battery ensures great battery life even when using AT&T's blindingly fast 4G LTE. To cap it off, the 900's AMOLED screen is one of the nicest we have used.


 

The rear 8MP camera could stand to use a BSI sensor to reduce noise and increase brightness in low light situations. The non-removal battery may be an issue for some and the rattle from the vibrate feature is cringe worthy.


 

For $99 on contract, the Lumia 900 is one of the nicest Windows Phone on the market today and for the foreseeing future all at a great price. It has solid hardware including super-fast 4G LTE and the latest version of Windows Phone Mango ensuring a great experience for new users and veterans looking for an upgrade. Plus the device oozes with Nokia's quality craftsmanship making it a device many will want to talk about. With all the hype around this phone, this could be the next "it" device for the summer.

The Nokia Lumia 900 on AT&T is the most anticipated release for the Windows Phone since the system was released back in October 2010. There’s a lot riding on this launch for Microsoft, AT&T and certainly Nokia, with the latter betting everything on the fledgling mobile OS from Redmond.

In fact, this is the first time outside of Microsoft enthusiasts that a Windows Phone actually has some buzz in the mainstream media, partially due to Nokia’s rapid buildup with the Lumia 800 and Lumia 710 along with those respective advertising campaigns.

Does the AT&T Lumia 900 live up to the expectations? We gave the 900 high marks for its display, super-fast 4G LTE speeds, mesmerizing design and solid battery life. All of which exceeding most of our expectations.  Yet, all is not perfect though and there are few minor complaints, especially around that rear 8MP camera. Still, the Lumia 900's esthetics and visual appeal will make up for any deficiencies it may have in the long run.

Read on for our definitive AT&T Nokia Lumia 900 review...

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We knew Nokia wasn't going to just sit by and let the AT&T Lumia 900 launch without an "event" to go with it. Low and behold, that whole countdown on the SmartphoneBetatest.com site was counting down to this very day.

The launch party is happening in New York City, specifically Times Square at 7 pm and is open to the public. There will be a live performance from....someone and we're hoping for something awesome visually (Lasers? Can we get some lasers?).

Of course being that we're in New York City, heck we're not too far from Times Square right now, we should be able to be there to cover the event with video, photos and a full report.

Stay tuned...

Source: Twitter

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There is little doubt that Nokia has the deep pockets, ingenuity and cleverness to make an effective advertising campaign for the AT&T Lumia 900. The question is, when will "Operation Rolling Thunder", their nickname for their advertising bombardment of the US begin and what will it entail?

Part of that question is now answered with the site 'Smartphone Beta Test' (www.smartphonebetatest.com) which is a bold and humorous attempt on taking on Apple's iPhone. The site features a countdown clock that expires on April 6th and a video of a man who looks a whole lot like ex-Saturday Night Live alum Chris Parnell sitting in a chair, being bored as he waits for the countdown to expire.

Below that section we see three videos that directly take on the iPhone: Exhibit A "Outside", Exhibit B "Sick Golfer" and Exhibit C "Death Grip". All three videos feature marketing people sitting around a conference room discussing a blurred out, un-named device that is clearly an iPhone. One of the members raises a problem with the device e.g. the famed iPhone death-grip while the other two mercilessly mock him for even caring.

From here we can see one of Nokia's angles for selling the Lumia 900: they will directly be picking a fight with AT&T's former 'hero' device, Apple's iPhone (in addition to possibly any other "beta" phones, which for us brings to mind Google's Android). It is certainly a risky move but if any company can do this, it would be Nokia.

What's interesting is the site currently has the Nokia name crossed out and there is no mention of the Lumia 900 just yet, but we know it's them. For one, the colors of the site are very much a part of the Nokia "Amazing Everyday" campaign and the whole design screams Nokia. And while their domain lookup tells us little (it was registered by proxy, so no information), there is some solid proof it is them behind the site. By looking at the source code for the web page we can see a single Java script link-back to Nokia.com (see above image), which seals the deal for us.

We look forward to see what happens with the site in 5 days and the following Tweets (#BetaPhone) that go with it. Currently those hashtag tweets are done by just a few people, notably from Butler, Shine, Stern and Partners an ad agency which is probably behind this whole Nokia project.

Update: As noted in comments by wp7rocks, going to the site's images directory reveals AT&T and Nokia items. The most curious is this one, calling every other smartphone in "the last 5 year years" a "tester".

Update 2: Reports have come in noting that a teaser ad of this has shown on TV during some NBA games today. You can watch it here.

Source: Smartphone Beta Test; Thanks, cmunic8r99, for the link

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There are reports being circulated on the web that the AT&T Nokia Lumia 900 has sold out of pre-orders. We've received several tips from readers indicating they've received notification that reads along the lines of,

The items in your order are currently out of stock and will be shipped when inventory becomes available. When the items in your order ship, we'll send you an email with the ship tracking number(s).

Before you panic and think that the AT&T warehouse has run out of Lumia 900's remember, the phone is backordered because it hasn't been released yet. As we understand things, because the Lumia 900 hasn't been released yet i.e. stocked on shelves, the system sees the phone as "backordered" or not in stock.  We still are expecting the Lumia 900s to ship within the next few days and for AT&T to have plenty on hand at the retail stores on April 9th (along with the HTC Titan II).

Of course there is always the slight chance that AT&T became so overwhelmed with pre-orders that the supply just isn't there--who knows what the response so far has been to Nokia's latest effort. It's possible, but unless Nokia had a very tight supply we don't really think that has happened yet. Still, we'll keep an eye on this for any further developments.

We've got a discussion going on over in the WPCentral Forums on all this or you can express your thoughts in the comments section.

Thanks, everyone, for tipping us on this!

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Although it took some time for AT&T to hit the refresh button on their site, we're happy to report you can now officially pre-order the Nokia Lumia 900 online.

That's right, in theory you won't have to actually talk to a human being to order the latest and greatest from the 'Ma Bell and their Finnish partners. Selling for $449.99 off-contract or $99 with one, the Lumia 900 is a good deal which ever way you purchase. What's more, we're told if you order soon you can get the phone by April 6th, a full two days before the stores will sell 'em to everyone else.

The 4.3" device with an AMOLED screen, 8MP camera (1MP front), 16GB of storage and 4G LTE is available in Cyan and Matte Black for now. For those who want the Glossy White, you'll have to wait till April 22nd and we're told only in-store purchases for that version. 

To start your preorder, simply go to AT&T's site here.

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We're back this week with Jay Bennett, Rafael Rivera and Daniel Rubino to discuss AT&T's update plans, the impending release of the Lumia 900 and Titan II some developer news and more!

Get the full shot notes after the break along with the HD video if you want to watch...

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It appears as though Nokia Germany are rolling out the 12070 update that addresses battery life issues and will prove to be a must-have for Lumia 800 owners. We previously looked at Singapore rolling out the Lumia 800 12070 update, and later confirmed that it tripled the battery life of our handset. As well as the juice improvements, bass has been improved and camera white balance has been tweaked.

The update, which was originally destined to be released on April 18th, will now be rolled out globally in stages / batches (starting today). April 4th, 11th, and 18th will be the three remaining steps until the update has been pushed out to every Lumia 800 (depending on networks). Note that this is not the WiFi tethering update. Be sure to keep an eye on the Nokia update section of their website to see when you'll be seeing the notification.

Source: Nokia, Nokia conversation

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AT&T has revealed that Lumia 900 marketing plans (combined with Nokia and Microsoft) will best any product they've launched before - including the famous iPhone. In an interview with CNET, AT&T device head Jeff Bradley, said that it'll be a notch up on anything the company has attempted previously.  We met with AT&T reps early today and have no doubt that AT&T's efforts to market the new Windows Phones should be a full court press.

But should we be surprised? The Lumia 900 on AT&T is Microsoft's (and Nokia's) best chance of survival in the competitive mobile market. Windows Phone has been performing arguably well with Nokia marketing the 710 and 800 on a global scale, but the Lumia 900 is the big gun for the U.S.

We previously covered how the Lumia 900 will be given "hero status" in the AT&T mobile arsenal. So how will they go about it? How will the stores convince people that Windows Phone is a solid choice against the iPhone and Android?  AT&T has told us that we can expect to see banners in windows of AT&T stores and Windows Phone walls featuring the TITAN II and Lumia 900.  In a nutshell, we were told AT&T stores are going to look like Nokia stores.

As well as the promotional material, we can confirm that we're likely to see demonstration tables, accessories (including skins, Monster Headsets, third-party cases, screen protectors, and more) and -of course- salestaff training. Nokia will be training employees to compliment the web training they'll receive from AT&T. This will hopefully result in more platform awareness internally as well as increasing the Windows Phone recommendation chance rate to customers.

Let's see what April 8th brings us, I would recommend we strap ourselves in. Then again, it could be a belly flop. Fingers crossed that it wont be and AT&T / Nokia / Microsoft get this right.

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AT&T caught a lot of flak over the weekend regarding their semi-public announcement to not support the 8107 OS update for their current Windows Phone lineup. That update, as many of you know, is critical for security fixes as much as for fixing the famed disappearing keyboard bug.

We just spoke with AT&T on the situation and we can confirm and clarify a few things on the record. First, it is true that they have passed on 8107 or what they referred to as "Windows Phone Mango Commercial Refresh 1" or just CR1. They've also passed on CR2, which is what the Lumia 900 and Titan II are running (that's build 8112). That update brings LTE and Visual Voicemail support for AT&T with the first aspect obviously being pointless for current Mango phones.

So that's the bad news.

The good news is they have not shut the door on OS updates for their current lineup including the Samsung Focus S, Focus Flash and HTC Titan.  Stacey Harth, a spokeswoman for AT&T, told us this morning "AT&T plans for a Windows Phone update that will contain the improvements in the 8107 update and more" with no commitment to a time-frame.

So what does that mean exactly? It means "Tango", which goes by the alternate name CR3, is something that they are looking to evaluate for an OS update. While they did not want give any time-frames they are definitely committed to updating those devices with a post-8107 OS update from Microsoft. "Tango" (or a build post-Tango) is certainly the most viable candidate for such an update.

Of course what you want to know is why are they passing on 8107? It's a bit complicated and you don't have to agree with their position but they do have a rationale (and it's not to get you to buy a new phone). In short, each update comes with a corresponding OEM firmware update which also fixes hardware bugs and/or optimizes the software (these are often at the request of AT&T). Those updates need to be scheduled with the "bits" from Microsoft and it does take a bit of coordination to get that to happen. Moreover, while 8107 does fix a pretty annoying bug, the updates in CR3 (aka "Tango") brings that fix and even more . For example, AT&T very much likes the idea of multiple-photos in MMS, voice notes, etc. that Tango brings to the table.

And that's the crux of the matter: AT&T is admittedly conservative on OS updates and would prefer to not certify every single one that Microsoft releases for evaluation. Instead, they prefer the method where you can pack numerous bug fixes and new features into a single, bigger update. It's similar to the "do I buy this phone now or wait 3 months for a better one?" scenario that many of you face when you follow technology. For AT&T, the question is do we push this update or do we wait for that even better one just a few weeks away?

That does raise a larger, ongoing issue, which is why can't Microsoft just push out mini-bug fixes to the OS without interference by AT&T, especially if it does not touch the radio firmware? It's certainly a very valid point and the reason seems to be a combo of "this is how carriers operate" and Microsoft has not made "patching" as easy (or perhaps they've just conceded too much power to the carriers).

Regardless, the take away point is that AT&T is planning to update your phones and that update will be a larger, post-8107 update which will include that keyboard fix and even more features. We can disagree on what makes an update imperative and yes, we consider the keyboard fix to fall into that, but that is the current situation.

In the end, it may not be the answer you want to hear but we think it is a lot more palatable than the perception left from this weekend.

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China Telecom and Nokia have launched the first CDMA Windows Phone in China, the Lumia 800c. Following the official launch of the Windows Phone platform itself earlier this month, the 800c will likely be accompanied by an expensive marketing campaign to really provide the device with some steroids in able to throw a heavy punch at competitors.

Stephen Elop explained the company's excitement:

"We're excited to introduce our first Lumia smartphone, the Nokia 800C, to this important market with our exclusive launch partner, China Telecom. Working closely together, we've created a compelling, locally relevant experience on the Nokia 800C especially tailored for people in China."

Wan Xiaochu, Chariman of China Telecom, also expressed enthusiasm:

"This grand launch for China's first CDMA Windows Phone represents our optimism and excitement for the future of Windows Phone and Nokia Lumia in China."

The manufacturer and carrier aren't halting at just the Lumia 800c, as there are plans to introduce the low budget Lumia 610 (also in a CDMA variant) to China Telecom's customer base in Q2 2012. The Lumia "610c" (following the 800c with regards to branding) will be targeting younger audiences - something Nokia intends to achieve on a global scale to rejuvenate the company brand.

The Lumia 800c is available in both black and cyan colouring, and sports a 3.7" AMOLED ClearBlack display, 1.4Ghz processor, 8MP rear-camera (with Carl Ziess optics), and 16GB storage. Consumers who make the purchase will also be able to enjoy the experience with exclusive Nokia apps.

Nokia Maps will be available, with local content support from Fantong, Jiepang, Ctrip, Qunar and Soufun. Nokia Drive is also present for the Chinese market and will sport the same turn-by-turn navigation enjoyed by those in other supported countries. Finally we have Nokia Music, but the service comes limited with 12 months worth of free music, after which it's unclear whether consumers will have to pay a fee to continue using the streaming service.

So what's next on the cards for Nokia and China Telecom now the handset has been officially launched? The two companies are collaborating on a number of plans, including one to feature the Lumia 800c prominently in Tianyi FlyYoung shops, a youth-centred sub-brand of the carrier. Another plan is to bring integrated China Telecom services right to the Lumia 800c home screen, including music, games, videos and integrated reading apps.

Those who purchase the Lumia 800c will be eligible for exclusive apps, including magazines from Trends, and special offers for the free download of popular titles on the Marketplace - 100,000 free downloads of Fuit Ninja and Plants vs Zombies. Speaking of Trends, the provider of fashion magazine apps, the company will be providing Lumia owners with free access to "For Him Magazine" (FHM), Harper's Bazaar and Esquire magazines in the Marketplace.

Microsoft will also be playing a part with the Be Top programme, which is designed to encourage and support developers in creating apps in China. As for availability of the Lumia 800c, the smartphone will be available for purchase through Tianyi FlyYoung shops (China Telecom), Nokia brand stores, China's top chain electronics stores including Suning, Gome, Funtalk, D.Phone, and CentreYou, as well as regional channels and online shops such as 189.cn and hicdma.com. The Windows Phone is sold without contract for 3599 RMB ($570).

Check out some more photos after the break (below photo credit: @Chassit). Source: Nokia

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Who says spring is too late for winter sports? The time is right for iStunt 2 (no relation to Jet Car Stunts), which is now on the Marketplace.

In iStunt 2, players steer a snowboarder around 2D courses, collecting stars and trying to earn high scores – not unlike the GameBoy classic Motocross Maniacs. Your border will have to survive crazy loops, buzzsaws, gravity portals, and other hazards in order to reach the finish line. Steering is as simple as tilting the phone to adjust the board’s position, while swiping down on the screen crouches and swiping up jumps.

iStunt 2 has four sets of levels containing at least 88 levels (we’re not sure of the exact number yet). The coins earned from completing levels can be spent in the game’s shop to unlock new rides, boards, and level skips. You can even unlock Gravity Guy and the protagonist from Fragger, Miniclip’s previous Xbox Live titles.

Miniclip was the first mobile Xbox Live developer to incorporate PDLC in their titles, a trend which continues in iStunt 2. Players can purchase coins for the in-game shop using Microsoft Points – it’s 80 MSP($1) for 1500 coins or 320 MSP ($4) for 20,000. But remember, spending money on coins is an entirely optional timesaver since you earn them in-game anyway.

iStunt 2 costs $2.99 and there is a free trial. Get it here on the Marketplace and start boarding!

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Nokia has been doing an outstanding job rebuilding not only their own brand, but that of Microsoft's mobile division too. But is hardware enough? Not at all (as many have pointed out). We've previously reported on Nokia and Microsoft investing €18 million on an app development program in Finland, but we'll need much more to combat the skeptical outsider comments and the lack of developer support from the big names - Rovio being a perfect example with Angry Birds (though they have since confirmed it is coming).

Cue the software giant. Mary Jo Foley from ZDNet has revealed some interesting presentation slides that show how Microsoft plans to tackle the above problems. The slides all point at a $10 million campaign over three years to round up developers and companies that aren't supporting the platform yet.

Ensuring that the quality bar remains high with apps by driving the message that highlights built-in features of Windows Phone over bolt ons (comparing with Android). It would appear from the first slide that Google's OS would be targeted in campaigns. The second slide simply states that the company would plan to bridge the gaps in the top 25 apps on other platforms. Pandora being another good example.

The remaining two slides illustrate the need to promote top apps and exclusives consistently, while actually capitalising on the exclusivity. What's interesting to note is the plan for offers to be used to drive platform awareness with ESPN sweepstakes, Xbox Companion and Live giveaways, and Univision sweepstakes as examples. For gamers, "price games at parity with iPhone" will be music to the ears with some titles on Windows Phone costing more than on iOS.

Source: ZDNet

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