Windows Phone News

We've just received word that the Lumia 710 and 800 are on sale in Mexico City on Iusacell. Sales teams are reportedly pushing both Windows Phones positively with recommending the devices as "excellent phones". Booths are available in-store for customers (and potential buyers) to experience interactive demos.

We previously covered both devices heading to the country in the week just gone. The Lumia 710 is available at Iusacell from just $320 (pesos) on 24 month plans while the Lumia 800 is priced at $729 (pesos).

The Lumia 710 is also featured on the Iusacell home page. It's positive to see the carrier in Mexico actively promoting Windows Phones, both online and off.

Source: Iusacell (Lumia 710 / Lumia 800); Thanks Pablo for the tip and photos!

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Although the "Smoked by Windows Phone" campaign will always be controversial due to its selective nature, they're still fun to watch and occasionally surprise us. Malaysia is now getting in on the action and while this contest business is a bit "old" for us we have to understand that for a lot of folks, it's not.

In the above video, a different Ben from Microsoft takes on others in the challenge to beat Windows Phone during various predetermined tasks. Nothing new there but at 1:50 we do see a challenger with the brand new quad-core HTC One X, considered by many to the new top of the line Android phone (see AndroidCentral's review). The challenge was simple: take a photo of yourself, upload it to Facebook and tag it, but due to some fumbling around with the One X, the poor participant gets his beat fairly easily.

Of course it doesn't make the One X any less impressive as this contest is a bit fixed with tasks that favor Windows Phone. And perhaps with a different user the One X would have been a lot more effective at competing. But the purpose of the "Smoked" campaign is not to be fair but rather to demonstrate the efficiency of Windows Phone for common tasks that users are likely to use everyday. That focus on simplicity is important and while Windows Phone may not be the absolute winner, it does hold its own against Android and iOS.

By the end of the event, we can see Windows Phone had 98 challenges with 92 wins and 6 losses. Not too bad. And kudos to Microsoft for showing Windows Phone getting smoked by a beaten up, six year old Nokia 3250.

Source: YouTube; via SoyaCincau; Thanks, Johnny, for the heads up

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What could be a very temporary glitch, we're seeing the Windows Phone Marketplace erring out for new downloads of apps. Numerous reports have just been sent in to us that users cannot download new apps to their Windows Phone.

Upon trying it ourselves, we repeated the error, listed as c101abb9, numerous times on a few devices.

We're not going to get too worked up about this as Microsoft could be updating some of those backend servers (and Saturday nights are probably lowest in traffic) or maybe it could be something bigger.

Update: Seems to be widespread as it is affecting Xbox 360 and some general LIVE services at the moment. Hotmail is working though.

Update 2: As of about 9:45pm EST, the Marketplace on our phone and others has started to work again

We'll keep an eye out but for now, if you're experiencing the same, you're not alone. Thanks, XboxOmac and Kalet B., for the tips

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Although web browser IDs can be easily faked, these data strings from DSLReport's mobile site look fairly legit, if only because they don't push the boundaries too far. According to WMPU, a few instances of Windows Phone 8 OS (aka "Apollo") have been caught doing some download tests on both T-Mobile and Verizon, with the later using LTE.

The names "Nokia Fluid" and "Qualcomm Fluid" are used as device IDs with Internet Explorer 10 caught as the browser in question doing the test. No details are currently known about that device though it's safe to presume it'll be a killer "premier" phone to kick of the new OS, assuming the info is accurate. And that's a big "if".

Along the same lines, WMPU notes that their server logs have showed numerous device resolutions showing up that have WP8 as their ID. Those two resolutions include 768×768 and 480×480 which are ideal options for BlackBerry messenger phones.

On WPCentral, we too have had some Windows Phone 8 visits (56 unique to be exact) and like WMPU we see similar info, listed below:

  • 768x768 Resolution
  • 24-bit
  • Domains: Comcast.net,  Microsoft.com, unknown.unkown, Quest.net
  • Browser 1 x IE9; 55 x IE10
  • Flash Version: Not set
  • Cities visited from: Redmond, Bellevue, Seattle, Woodinville

That should wet your appetites a tad although it still leaves a lot of questions including higher resolutions on the table. Also the fact we haven't seen a 480x800 browser test with Windows Phone 8 despite earlier reports is a bit telling and worrying. Though perhaps it's still too early..

Like our earlier report on a Windows Phone 8 OS sighting, these could all be from software emulators.

Source: Google Analytics, DSLReports; via WMPU

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For this week's developer interview we've had the pleasure of being joined by Pratik Kothari of Techark Solutions. The company has produced some high quality (and highly rated) Windows Phone apps with Social Mints, Mood Swing and RedMinder to name but a few.

As well as having Social Mints winning the Core77 Fast Track to the Mobile App International Design Challenge and being featured at Mobile World Congress by Microsoft, the developer has also been selected for the "Your App Here" campaign.

Head on past the break to read the full interview.

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Today marks day one of the Dare to Live marketing campaign by Microsoft and Nokia that will have the teams tour the UK challenging the public to see if their smartphones can beat Windows Phone (white Lumia 800s were used at today's event). Much like the Smoked by Windows Phone challenges that have been held across the globe, participants will pocket £20 on the street if they can beat Windows Phone at standard tasks.

Should they lose, participants will have the opportunity to take on the Microsoft team with a dare. Whether it be tightrope walking or the Big Air, the dares are fear destroying. We went down to the Westfield shopping centre in Shepard's Bush to see what was happening. As one can see from the photos, it was quite a sight to see inside the building. There were a number of losing contestants who took to the ropes and bagged themselves a "DARED" Windows Phone shirt.

Be sure to view the tour calendar to be sure as to when the team will be at a city near you. For now check out more photos after the break.

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We heard rumblings that the some Lumia 900s are shipping with an earlier firmware than the data-fix one pushed out last Friday. Our Glossy-White Lumia 900 came with a green-dot on the box, meaning it should be "ok" for data usage. But a quick glance of the firmware and we noticed a discrepancy: it was 2175.1000.8112.12082.

That's the old firmware. The one that had a memory issue causing errant data connections with the Lumia 900.

Indeed, when we plugged into our trusty Zune Desktop we were quickly prompted that an update was available. A quick 10 minutes later and we were on the latest firmware with the important data fix on board which is 2175.1002.8112.12084.

So take heed everyone, don't trust the green dot on the box. Double check your firmware and make sure you sync up with Zune to see if there's an update, otherwise you're likely to have problems.

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Though it technically goes on sale tomorrow, we reported yesterday evening that some stores were selling the super limited and highly coveted Glossy-White Nokia Lumia 900. A device which has already earned the nickname 'The Stormtrooper.' We likey.

We managed to track one down (literally, it was the only one) here in midtown Manhattan and we picked it up for quite a steal ($99 and all we did was extend our contract by 3 months). To celebrate the latest addition to the Lumia 900 family, we figured we'd snap a couple of photos for you to get you drooling a bit and even do an old-fashioned unboxing video for giggles.

Many have concerns about the durability of the Glossy-White polycarbonate shell of the Lumia 900, specifically if it scratches or gets dirty. While we can't answer that now, we'll be putting it through its paces of the next few weeks.

For what its worth, the AT&T representative told us that Nokia's flagship phone has been selling very well, basically clearing off the shelves. That's a big deal for a store smack in the middle of the Big Apple. There are no Cyans around but we were told that customers were still ordering them and getting them direct fulfilled in about 2 days time, which ain't half bad.

Although seeing how the Lumia 900 is selling a few weeks from now will be more important than today, we have to admit, this is starting to really feel like a hit device with AT&T. There's a lot of buzz and nearly two weeks after launch, the phone is still clearing off of shelves. Now with the addition of the Glossy-White  version, we think this will keep it going even longer.

Finally, remember: today is the last day to get the $100 credit applied to your AT&T account for buying a new Lumia. That counts for the Glossy-White too, if you can find it...

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Although we're expecting the white Lumia 900 to go on sale this Sunday, Nokia's North American President, Chris Weber, posted on Twitter a couple of photos with customers buying the phones today (see below).

We called six corporate stores (and one affiliate) here in metro New York to find out what the situation is for selling them early. Most stores received one demo unit to be put on display but aren't allowed to sell that one (obviously). Those same stores are expecting a second shipment of white Lumia's either today or tomorrow for purchases, however it is as their discretion if they will let them out the door early.

Most stores we spoke with seemed to be adhering to the "launch date" of Sunday the 22nd but of course, exceptions abound.

The glossy-white Lumia 900 will sell for the same $99 price point ($450 of contract) as the near impossible to find cyan and abundant matte-black. Should you be so lucky as to get one early, hit us up in comments.

Source: Chris Weber (Twitter 1, 2); Thanks, Motorcycle Jim, for the lead image

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Though the past few days have looked fairly grim for Nokia, who posted a €590 loss for Q1, there is some positive news for the Finnish manufacturer.  It appears that signs of strong sales of the Lumia 900 have proven true, especially for the cyan model, which has now sold out completely on Best Buy's website.  We saw the same thing happen a few days ago over at AT&T, who initially sold out of both the black and cyan, but has since restocked their black models.  The cyan, however, still remains "temporarily out of stock." 

The Best Buy and AT&T sellouts are important both to consumers and carriers alike.  Carriers are beginning to see that Windows Phone can be a viable option in the marketplace.  Verizon recently said in a conference call that they see a place for Windows Phone and hinted at a future increase in offerings, though some European carriers remain skeptical.  Consumers are seeing that there now a clear alternative to Android and Apple.  In fact, our online poll indicated that the majority of people who became Lumia 900 owners were in fact converts from iPhones or Android devices.  Sure, it's not the most scientific evidence, but it's surely a positive sign.

Source: Best Buy; Thanks for the tip, kylengai!

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AboutOne (official website) is a Philadelphia-based, Microsoft BizSpark featured startup that helps families securely organise themselves online or with the upcoming Windows Phone app. AboutOne CEO Joanne Lang will speak at Philadelphia's Women in Tech Summit, showcasing the service and app.

The event will see the launch of the beta version, which incorporates a year's worth of customer feedback. Lang explains what the Windows Phone app will bring to the mobile platform:

"AboutOne turns Windows Phone into a remote control for everyday tasks by adding online filing and reporting to customers' existing calendar and contact tools to provide fast, easy access to family memories and household paperwork. AboutOne automatically combines and formats this information so it's instantly useful - anytime, anywhere."

The service uses patented technology that the company, which specialises in cloud-based computing, uses to:

  • Blend the power of business tools with the fun, user-friendly nature of popular social media apps.
  • Provides one central location, accessible anywhere, to manage family information.
  • Requires no technical proficiency to install and run, expertly handling data security so users don’t have to.

In easier-to-digest terminology, AboutOne allows users to organise memories, todos and household paperwork in a single accessible location. The service builds on calendar and address book tools the user is already using, enhancing both with document filing and reporting tools.

Via: MarketWatch; thanks Gopalan for the tip!

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The Smartphone Beta Test is the latest marketing campaign from Nokia that's to be continuously rolled out in the U.S. The videos highlight key features of the Lumia handsets, with the above commercial focusing on the Carl Zeiss optics. Nokia is set to release more firmware updates to introduce Internet sharing among other features missing from the Windows Phone experience.

It's interesting that the ad states the Lumia handsets sport better camera specifications for low-light photography, which we'd agree with. But we've said before that it would appear as though the hardware is a slight let down with regards to performance on the Lumia 900.

Source: Youtube; thanks Konstantin for the tip!

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The Windows Phone UK team are giving away four Windows Phone mugs to those who send in the best photos representing Spring. With the constant weather alterations we're currently experiencing, now would be a perfect time to get snapping to win your own brew server. The winning photos will be selected based on originality and how eye catching they are compared to other submissions - check the above photo for inspiration.

To put forward your entry, simply follow the Windows Phone UK team on Twitter and tweet them your photo. Be sure to include what app you used (if any) to add effects. On the official announcement post the team have encouraged the use of photo editing apps for Windows Phone. There are a number available, some which we've recommended ourselves. Also, why not check out our Windows Phone camera tutorial to make sure you get the most out of your camera's performance?

You've got until April 26th (17:00) to get your submissions in and note that this competition is open to UK residents only. Check out the terms and conditions for more information.

Source: Windows Phone UK

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If there is one thing you can count on, it's Nokia throwing a great launch party regardless of the location. From London to New York, Nokia has some great flair for device announcements.

A few weeks ago we broke the news of Nokia launching the Lumia 710 and 800 in the Philippines -- an important region for the Finnish company and Windows Phone. The Lumia 710 was launching on Smart while the Lumia 800 was going to carrier Globe. Tonight that launch happened and globe-trotter Mark Guim who runs The Nokia Blog (and the always interesting Married 2 Travel site) was there to film it.

Besides DJs, a great light show and...is that the Blue Man Group?...Nokis seems to have thrown together a popular and successful launch. Kudos to Nokia and to the Philippines -- welcome to the Amazing Everyday.

Source: The Nokia Blog

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While Verizon Wireless does off the HTC Trophy as the company's one and only Windows Phone, customers have been wanting more selection out of the wireless provider for some time. Based on what Verizon's executive vice president and chief financial officer Fran Shammo said during a conference call, Verizon customers may finally see more Windows Phone becoming available.

Shammo said he was fully supportive of Microsoft and discussed the need for a third mobile ecosystem in the wireless industry. This is a bit of a change from late last year when Verizon had issues with the lack of LTE support coming from Microsoft. The feeling was that Verizon would continue to focus on Android devices as their center piece.

If Verizon was waiting for LTE support, the Nokia Lumia 900 and HTC Titan II should prove that LTE support exists with Windows Phones. Another sign that Verizon may be coming around on Windows Phones is the recent announcement of the 8107 update for the HTC Trophy.

Based on Shammo's comments the chances of additional Windows Phones joining the Verizon line up seems promising.  Could we see a Verizon Lumia 900? Or maybe a Verizon Titan II?  

Source: CNET; Thanks, Anonymous, for the tip!

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Nokia released its Q1 2012 interim financial and operating report today, highlighting a €590 million loss. The data is the result of the slow and painful transition from Symbian to Windows Phone, as well as more affordable competition from Android. Ironically the only region to illustrate positive results with regards to volume numbers is North America with a 20% increase (compared to Q4 2011). 

Stephen Elop explained in the report the Lumia handset reception and how some markets, including the UK, are proving more difficult to penetrate. 

"We have launched four Lumia devices ahead of schedule to encouraging awards and popular acclaim. The actual sales results have been mixed. We exceeded expectations in markets including the United States, but establishing momentum in certain markets including the UK has been more challenging."

According to Elop, the manufacturer exceeded expectations in terms of sales with the Lumia 900 launch in the U.S., though no figures were provided. The issue with markets such as the UK is how competitors have secured loyal support, whether it be RIM, Android or the iPhone.

Nokia has announced plans to begin rolling out the Windows Phone "Tango" Lumia 610 in Asian markets at the end of April. Coupled with the Lumia 900 heading to the UK as well as a number of other international markets, Nokia will start to have a comfortable level of coverage.

Source: Nokia (PDF)

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And just like that what seemed to be borderline credible evidence that Windows Phone 7 users would get an update to Windows Phone 8 have vanished again.

Nuno Silva, who stated fairly unequivocally during a video interview that all phones will get Apollo has now retracted his claim. In a post on his MSDN blog, Silva clarified his comments:

"I recently participated in an interview with the Portuguese website Zwame, where I made some comments on the future of Windows Phone that created confusion. Rumors are swirling, so I feel the need to clarify my statements.

The point I was attempting to make was simply that existing Windows Phone applications will run on the next version of Windows Phone. This is the same guidance that Microsoft shared late last year.

I mistakenly confused app compatibility with phone updateability, which caused the rumors we saw yesterday.  I did not intend to give the impression I was offering new guidance on any products under development or their upgradeability.

While we have given Windows Phone developers this preliminary guidance on app compatibility to help them with long term project planning, Microsoft does not have any further news to share on future products at this time. "

Interestingly, his response aligns perfectly with Microsoft's PR statement to all tech blogs the other day which took the stance that Silva must be confusing device updates with software compatibility for apps

We're not claiming conspiracy but there must be little doubt that Redmond probably had a phone call or two with Silva and had him prepare a statement to undo the damage (or redo if you believed him).

Does that mean that no current phones will get Windows Phone 8? Not exactly. Until Microsoft gives us the official roadmap and plans, we're not ready to call this the end.

With low-end Tango devices just about to launch, we're really having a difficult time believing that they won't have any OS updates during their run -- that just seems, odd.  We're still leaning towards the two-pronged route (an Apollo-like update for current devices but "true" Windows Phone 8 phones will have technically a new OS) as a possibility. Or just wishful thinking.

And if you believe supposed insider MS_Nerd, the Lumia 610 is already testing with Apollo.

Only time will tell and that time is getting shorter every day. For more speculation, debate and explanations, read yesterday's summary.

Source: MSDN Blog; via WMPU

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We recently put the question to you whether Microsoft is doing enough to promote and market Windows Phone, and now we've just caught wind of a new campaign kicking off from the software giant in the UK. The Windows Phone team will be touring the country (10 cities - 11 weeks) and challenging participants who believe their smartphone is faster than a Windows Phone.

Much like the Smoked by Windows Phone campaign, should contestants win the "Dare to Live" challenge, they'll pocket £20 there and then. But should they lose, and this is the exciting part, they'll not have to hold a sign up and announce their loss, oh no. Microsoft is taking things to the next level with actual fear driven activities instead.

Throughout each week the team will hold the challenges, but on every Saturday they will hold adrenaline intensive activities that will push yourself beyond comfortable limits. From tightrope walking to the Big Air, you're destined to get a buzz for losing to Windows Phone. Think of it as Smoked by Windows Phone with a twist for losing participants.

As well as the challenge and campaign, Microsoft is teaming up with O2 and Phones4U to provide a number of deals on Windows Phones throughout the duration of the event. Phones4U is currently featured with an up-to £100 cash back on the Lumia 800 when trading in your old phone. Be sure to check out the Dare to Live Facebook page for more details about locations, dates and -of course- the special offers.

Kicking off on April 21st, do you dare the live? The team is hitting London this week for the challenges. Should you be lucky (or unlucky) enough to lose you'll find yourself on a tightrope at the Westfield shopping centre in Shepherds Bush this coming Saturday. Be sure to pop along to see the action, WPCentral will be there to return with some photos of course.

Source: Dare to LiveWindows Phone UK; thanks Mark for the heads up!

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Elgiganten, a Swedish electronics retailer, currently has an intriguing offer for those who are looking to move to Windows Phone. Should you pick up your own first generation LG Optimus 7 for 2390kr (approx. $360), you'll also walk away with a brand new Xbox 360 console to make use of that Gold subscription while on the go as well as on the big screen.

The website states that there's over 100 in stock so it would be unwise not to take advantage should you still be on the fence of making a purchase. 

Source: Elgiganten, via: WinGadget.se; thanks Peter for the heads up!

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Nokia has today announced that the manufacturer will be kicking off the Lumia 610 Windows Phone "Tango" smartphone launch in Asian markets at the end of April. Philippines will be the first country to see the 610, with the following weeks taking the Windows Phone to China, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, Taiwan and Vietnam.

The more affordable Windows Phone sports the low 256MB RAM, 8GB storage, 3.7" LCD screen, and 5MP camera. Running "Tango" the Lumia 610 features the improvements and fixes included in the update, as well as introduced limitations due to restricted resources.

Check out the full press release after the break. Source: Nokia

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