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Windows Phone News

The Nokia Lumia 710 is being offered through the Canadian wireless provider MTS for $29.99 after a three year contract and a minimum $24.99 voice plan. The 3.7" screened Windows Phone can also be had outright through MTS for $279.99.

MTS is a local carrier servicing Manitoba and the pricing point is a little on the high side. Rogers Wireless, who also services the Manitoba region, is offering the Lumia 710 for a penny on a three year contract.

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SplashID is a Windows Phone app that is a carry over from the Windows Mobile days and has had a fair amount of success on iOS, Android and Blackberry systems. What is SplashID you ask? It is a handy Windows Phone app to help you manage, backup and remember all your usernames and passwords.

SplashID can be used to store credit card numbers, registration codes, PINs, bank account information, birthdays, serial numbers, website usernames, passwords, and more. The app covers twenty two types of data that can be filed under business or personal categories. All of which can be edited.

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Verizon have returned with an announcement that the Windows Phone Tango update is almost ready to fire up for their HTC Trophy handsets. Customers will be able take advantage of new features and functionality in the next version of Windows Phone. This will begin to prep consumers for the Windows Phone 7.8 update which is sat on the horizon.

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Microsoft has today unveiled the Outlook.com preview to the public, which is essentially a Hotmail upgrade. The successor is completely metrofied, and is feature rich taking elements and functionality from both Hotmail and Exchange. Outlook.com is integrated into Windows and Office, while being able to connect to social networks including Twitter, Facebook, Gmail and LinkedIn for contact synchronisation.

Microsoft is offering 7GB of free storage through SkyDrive for those signing up to the new email service, and is attempting to turn users away from email attachements to cloud storage. Outlook.com will become a supported option when setting up email on Windows 8, Windows Phone (as well as other smartphones that support Exchange ActiveSync). From the video below, we can see Skype integration being present for video calls to be made without launching the app. Exciting stuff.

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Boring phone with outrageous price?

We’ve reported on Samsung’s Omnia M phone in the past noting that their latest phone is a low-end, borderline Tango entry meant for new and developing markets. That translates into ho-hum specs (4” display, 1GHz CPU, 4GB storage, 5MP camera) and in theory, a low-entry price.

For whatever reason though, we’re not seeing Samsung place nice with local markets with their pricing of the Omnia M borderline unreasonably high for such a mediocre device...

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The PEGI (Pan European Game Information) ratings system has become legally enforceable in the UK, which means retailers and publishers that sell video games to children are now liable for fines and possible imprisonment. This is due to a new age classification system being forcefully implemented to crack down on unsuitable content for certain age groups.

All video games will be regulated under the PEGI system this coming Monday, which also makes it illegal to sell 12-rated games to underage children (among the usual certifications). Until this time, the BBFC (British Board of Film Classification) has only provided 15 and 18 age certificates that are legally enforceable, making it legal for children to purchase 12-rated media. But what does this mean for Windows Phone users?

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A SuperSport (website) app is now available for Windows Phone, which enables users to keep up to date with latest sport headlines, scores, fixtures and more for a number of sports. The website is a portal for those who enjoy sport in general, from football and rugby to cricket and golf, it's all covered. The Windows Phone app is a perfect companion should you visit the website often to read daily content.

With the Olympics currently taking place in London, SuperSport is also covering the headlines and also sports live event footage through DStv (website only), which is handy should you find yourself situated away from the TV. Regarding normal day-to-day sport, SuperSport for Windows Phone features live rugby and football events and commentary with results, logs, fixtures and more being presently available.

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Nokia's stock is on the rebound

We don’t normally cover too much when it comes to company stock but Nokia was an interesting case only because it dropped so low in the last few months. In fact, it dropped to its lowest price ($1.63) in 15 years and made some investors edgy—after all, if you go too low the company becomes financially meaningless and can get de-listed.

Nokia though was always a mixed bag with analysts noting that Windows Phone 8 could be its savior because the company can be unleashed with limitations on hardware lifted. Combined with the drastic cuts in the company, which unfortunately translates into layoffs, investors are now coming around....

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Question is: are you fast?

Do you reside in the US and fancy winning a brand-spanking-new Lumia 900? Who wouldn't? Microsoft has kicked off a new weekly sweepstake, which will see the software giant handing out a Lumia 900 each and every week until August 31st.

As with any sweepstake, you'll be required to fill in your personal details, email address, favourite colour and - of course - answer which shoe you put on your feet first. Unfortunately this sweepstake is only available to those who live in the US and is unfortunate (but the norm) for outsiders to be left out.

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With more screen caps from the Windows Phone 8 SDK coming out we can glean a lot of new functionality that is coming to the new OS this fall. In fact at this rate we’re not sure what Microsoft will have left to tell us come September/October.

Head past the break for a break down of a few new features that we’ve come across including:

  • New features for Bing including Deals, Buzz and News
  • Custom audio alerts
  • Bing Map improvements
  • Photo Hub options
  • Email dictation

It’s sure to make an exciting OS and we think many of you will appreciate the new additions.

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Microsoft will begin upgrading the App Hub's infrastructure this Friday. Upgrades that will add more server capacity to better handle the load increases and streamlining the processes in an effort to speed up the rate in which apps can be submitted, certified and published.

Developers planning on submitting new apps or updates should do so no later than tomorrow. The maintenance work may cause delays in app certification and publication.

The maintenance will also require the App Hub to go offline on Monday, August 6th for about 24 hours (or less). When all is said and done, the maintenance should improve the effectiveness and efficiency of the Marketplace submission and certification process.

We'll be keeping our fingers crossed that all goes well. 

Source: Windowsteamblog

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Yes, after my long trip to “the Peg” in Canada (more on that later), I’m back with some more Microsoft news that’s too good to pass up. Today’s stories:

  • Bing gets Facebook “tagging” today
  • Xbox 720 info leaked looks real
  • Microsoft announces new mice, keyboards for Windows 8

So head on past the break for the full scoop on all of this exciting news…

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Looks like that Windows Phone 8 SDK preview (leaked on the web a few days ago) is still coughing up many little changes. The latest deals with the Live Tiles of Windows Phone 8 and yes, there are some subtle but welcome changes.

  • New Live Tile counter – instead of a black circle we now have a square which more closely matches the Metro UI
  • Tiles can cycle through images – we’re not sure what this is called but evidently a Live Tile can have multiple images within it, allowing it to run through them.

The first one is well overdue in our opinion as the circle counter really never fit in with the Tiles not to mention they sometimes were jaggy. Going to Square looks much better to us and we bet you’ll agree too...

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Samsung are set to unveil dual-core hardware when Windows Phone 8 launches, according to documentation acquired by The Verge. The two listed Windows Phones are included in court documents submitted as part of the trial Samsung has against Apple. Both devices are stated to be packing the Qualcomm MSM8960 chipset, which is a dual-core 1.5Ghz CPU that Microsoft has been using for Apollo test devices.

According to the documentation (see above snapshot), the Samsung Odyssey will sport a 4.65" S-AMOLED display (with HD resolution) and an 8MP main rear-shooter. It is also marked as supporting NFC, a feature which is currently being marketed on the Nokia Lumia 610. It would seem that OEMs will attempt to include such functionality to further expand on the possibilities of NFC on the Windows Phone platform.

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Orange Stripes has released a NeatStreets app for Windows Phone. NeatStreets is a service available for those who reside in Australia (website) and New Zealand (website), which enables residents to report on any issues with litter, graffiti, sanitation, footpaths, roads, streetlights, and more. These reports are forwarded to the authorities who will be able to act on the compiled information.

We have a similar Windows Phone app here in the UK, called Love Clean Streets, which pretty much shares the same functionality as NeatStreets. The services are a great way for Windows Phone users to help keep local environments clean and to alert local authorities to anything that's considered an issue. NeatStreets is a simple, yet effective, app which can be utilised wherever the user may be located.

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UK mobile phone retailer Phones 4u has announced today that it will be launching the Samsung Omnia M exclusively. The Windows Phone is said to be arriving into the UK on August 1st when Phones 4u will exclusively stock the device for two months until it opens up for other retailers.

The Omnia M sports a 1Ghz chip, 4" S-AMOLED display, and 4GB of storage, perfect for those who don't require a powerful device and who don't particularly want to splash out on a shiny new Lumia 900. Phones 4u has been able to bag a handful of exclusives on the Windows Phone platform, including the white Lumia 800 / 900.

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Microsoft has, in a round about way of doing things, may have unintentionally announced that the Surface tables will become available on October 26th. In a filing with the U.S. Security and Exchange Commission, Microsoft states:

"The next version of our operating system, Windows 8, will be generally available on October 26, 2012. At that time, we will begin selling the Surface, a series of Microsoft-designed and manufactured hardware devices."

According to the original announcement from June, this would be the WindowsRT version of the Surface with the Surface Pro making it to market about 90 days after the WindowsRT hits.

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Yesterday saw the start of a new developer group, this time not based in London but on the south coast in Bournemouth. Scott Lovegrove of Ferret Labs and Dan Thomas of Moov2 conceived the meet up. The core idea in creating the group is simple, to bring developers interested in both Windows Phone and Windows development together. With the looming releases of both Windows Phone 8 and Windows 8 now seemed like the time.  We signed up to attend the event and were invited to present a short talk. With everything from games development to a platform overview of Windows Phone 8 from a Microsoft evangelist, it proved a very worthwhile trip.

The event was generously hosted by local digital agency redweb. As well as the excellent space, they were able to provide a great meeting room and a fridge stocked with refreshments for the ever-thirsty developers. We arrived after a very early start to make it for 10am to find that the place was already buzzing with devs. We took our places and the talks began, first it started off with a show and tell section.

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