Rumors

It is not exactly a hidden secret that Microsoft is rebranding its business orientated Lync platform to the more accessible Skype for Business. The rebranding had already begun a few months ago and soon after, hints that a Windows Phone app was on the way as well. In fact, during a recent Reddit AMA, members of the Skype for Business team at Microsoft dropped some significant signs an app was being tested.

Now, a private report to Windows Central claims the planned release date for this app is Friday, May 15. The report goes on to tell us that this app is ahead of the iOS and Android versions, which are still being worked on though there is no ETA for their release just yet.

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The Surface 3 is barely out the door yet, and talk of the Surface Pro 4 is inevitably around the corner. To our knowledge, no one is expecting this device until later this year when Windows 10's big marketing push begins. After all, the Surface Pro 3 is doing well, and the Surface 3 compares favorably as an alternative to that device.

However, Chinese tech site 36kr has come across some possible specifications for the next gen Microsoft 2-in-1. Although I often pass on such reports, this one has caught my interest for a few reasons.

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File this one under wishful thinking, but Elephone is evidently working on a new flagship device. The alleged phone vaunts a QuadHD (2560 x 1440) display, 4GB of RAM and a 20.7-megapixel camera (Sony's IMX230 sensor). Powered by an Intel processor and boasting a fingerprint scanner, the phone runs Windows 10 for mobile.

A version with Android 5.0 Lolipop was also shown, although it is not clear if these are two separate versions of the phone or a more unlikely dual-boot scenario.

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Windows Central has learned that Verizon Wireless in the US is still picking up the Nokia Lumia 735 mid-range smartphone, tentatively scheduled for a May release.

Windows Central first reported that Verizon would be grabbing the Lumia 735 back in September of 2014. By October, however, our sources had reported that the phone was delayed until "early 2015". Later in November, the phone was spotted passing through the FCC with Verizon's LTE bands, solidifying the intention of the carrier to stock the smartphone.

Up until recently, we had written off the Lumia 735 as coming to Verizon. Now, people familiar with the matter have informed us that the Lumia 735 is estimated for a May release.

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When it comes to Microsoft's mobile future, everything is on the table, including the possibility of running Android apps to fill in the 'app gap'. Windows 10 for phone is not even out the door yet, but intel on Microsoft continues to keep this strategy alive.

A new report from Neowin sheds more light on this program's status and obstacles.

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The Lumia 635 is nearly a perfect budget phone. It has an excellent display with ClearBlack, a modern design with replaceable covers, and it even handles Windows 10 with ease. However, it does have a few faults, including the lack of a front-facing camera and 1GB of RAM. Indeed, the 512 MB currently found on the Lumia 635 seems antiquated and too little for modern phones.

An early report cited a Lumia 635 with 1GB of RAM on Telenor's website in Hungary. However, it does not take long to find carriers mislabeling devices – even with the wrong OS – to cast some skepticism on the hardware change. However, corroborating evidence has now been found to suggest that indeed, Microsoft is set to fix the Lumia 635 that was previously released under Nokia.

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Update: New information has come forward to suggest that this is really the unannounced Lumia 640

Mobile World Congress is just a few short weeks away, and Microsoft is expected to unveil some new additions to the Lumia line. No flagships are on the horizon to our knowledge, not at least until later this summer. However, an expected replacement for the aging Lumia 1320 is certainly plausible, bringing the affordable phablet series up to par with the '30 series of Lumias.

The site Janela Tech has found a filing with Anatel, the regulatory agency in Brazil similar to the FCC that jives with a new Lumia model they may be for a Lumia 1330. The model number RM-1109 is tossed around the documents, but the only piece of real information about the device is its battery model and size: BV-T5C model and 2500mAh of power.

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Lumia Denim is still on its last leg of being pushed out to carriers and users around the world. However, there are still some holdouts. Although Denim is lagging on US carriers, it is due to extended testing, not it being cancelled. The same evidently cannot be said for T-Mobile Germany, conversely.

The information comes by way of their support forums, which we would consider semi-official.

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Update: Bloomberg Business is now corroborating the earlier WSJ story, adding that the two companies are in talks to create "a version of the Android mobile-operating system that's more friendly to Microsoft services".

Original Story: According to the WSJ, Microsoft may be one of a handful of companies investing in Cyanogen. Cyanogen started off as a customized version of the Android operating system named CyanogenMod back in 2009 but has grown to a business of 80 people named Cyanogen, Inc. starting in 2013. The company co-launched their version of the Android OS on the OnePlus One smartphone in 2014.

Now, Cyanogen is looking for money, and Microsoft is reportedly putting cash into the company as a minority investor.

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The Spartan browser, or more accurately understood as 'Project Spartan' is a next-generation web browser for Windows 10. Its main features include being a Store app for dynamic updates, using the older IE11 rendering engine for legacy websites, Cortana integration, and the ability to annotate right on the web page for document sharing.

However, Spartan is not the final name, just the internal codename that Microsoft is currently using for the project. The question is, what will Microsoft call the browser upon its final release? A new report suggests a few names are being kicked around and we have the list.

The information comes from a person who participated in an online survey from a company acting on behalf of Microsoft. Although 'Spartan' was not named specifically, it was referred to in the description including "Writing on webpages", "A built-in digital assistant" and the fact that it is a browser from Microsoft launching later this year. No doubt that the survey is referring to Project Spartan.

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