Rumors

Say what you will about Microsoft – and you can say a lot – but the company is certainly trying all avenues to find its way in 2014 and 2015. Whether it is acquiring a phone division for hardware, merging its operating systems, streamlining the workforce for quicker responses or putting 'One' everywhere, the company is trying to reinvent itself for the modern consumer.

A new poster purported to be circulating inside Microsoft, features some new tag lines linked to ' Threshold,' the major revamp of Windows due next spring. Threshold is Microsoft rebooting the much-maligned Windows 8 OS to bring it back to desktop users and tone down the radically forward-thinking UI changes that Sinofsky wrought.

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Although all eyes are focused on the imminent release of the HTC One (M8) for Windows, Verizon is expected to get also get a mid-range phone dubbed the Lumia 830. The Lumia 830 goes by the codename Tesla/Superman, and as the model number suggests, it is a 2014 replacement for the aging Lumia 820.

Over at TK Tech News, a site that is making waves recently with some of their leaks (which they shamelessly pay for), a new photo reveals a Windows Phone lit up in the dark, and it is supposedly the Lumia 830 for Verizon. The image in the video is unremarkable as it could be any Windows Phone, but the phone is being sent directly to TK Tech News who will presumably do a full hands-on if it proves to be accurate.

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The Lumia 730, known internally as "Superman," is a forthcoming successor to the mid-range Lumia 720 from early 2013. Yesterday, the first photos of the device came forward, along with the new firmware, codenamed 'Debian Red.' At the time, the one piece of the puzzle missing came down to specifications. Luckily, we now have some more information to connect the dots.

According to our source of the original photos the Lumia 730 looks to be the ideal mid-range Windows Phone 8.1 device, as the specifications (if accurate) should please most at this price range.

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New photos of Microsoft's next mid-range phone, codenamed Superman, reveal a bright green Lumia 720 successor is being developed, along with new firmware.

Two new Lumia phones, thought to be the 'Lumia 730' and 'Lumia 830' are reported by the Verge as arriving in the next few months. Recent images leaked of the Lumia 830, which is thought to have the codename 'Tesla.' Now, the first photos of what is understood to be the Lumia 730, codenamed 'Superman' have been obtained by Windows Phone Central.

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Microsoft is rumored to finally open a retail store in New York City. Believe it or not, there isn't a bonafide Microsoft Store in New York City. You do have a specialty Microsoft Store, but those are smaller and don't have as large a selection as typical Microsoft Store locations. A new rumor has a Microsoft Store set to open on Fifth Avenue – near Apple's glass cube store.

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A few days ago, it was widely reported that HTC is repositioning their flagship One M8 as a new Windows Phone dubbed "One (W8) for Windows." The phone may be the same as the hot selling Android phone, but with Windows Phone 8.1 Update 1 on board and destined for Verizon.

Windows Phone Central reported the phone could go on sale as early as August 21 and coincidentally enough, HTC has sent out limited press invites for August 19 right in New York City. No clues or themes were present on the invite, though the timing is suspect.

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Reports that HTC would be reconfiguring their popular Android based One M8 for Windows Phone have been circulating for months with Verizon as the flag bearer, but details of the device – and release – are now coming into focus. Tonight, Engadget is reporting that the name of the phone is called "One (M8) for Windows," which is a little awkward, although if you drop the M8 it has a nice ring to it.

Engadget reports that they phone should launch by on "Verizon during the third quarter, or no later than the end of September" although our sources tell us that Microsoft Stores have a planning date of August 20 with a launch on the 21st. The off-contract, full price of the phone is listed at $610 with on-contract price most likely nearing $199. The name is also confirmed as "One (M8) for Windows" according to documents we have seen.

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File this one under rumor, but an AT&T Community Manager for the AT&T help forums is stating that the Windows Phone 8.1 update may begin to rollout at on "certain devices as early as this week!". The AT&T employee then directs users to watch for an update on the AT&T Consumer blog, where the company usually posts details about such events.

The Community Manager named 'ATTMarianaCM' revealed the news and marked the thread "solved," effectively ending the help topic (though the thread is still open for comments).

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Microsoft is once again going through a major transition. Earlier today, expected layoffs were announced, totaling 18,000 over the next year. Although in and of itself this is important news, perhaps the renewed focus on Windows Phone in particular is even bigger.

In an internal memo obtained by the Verge, details of Microsoft's realignment of mobile products is good news for those who are fans of the Windows Phone OS. In the memo it is revealed that Asha, Series 40, and Nokia X development is being put on hold, with teams going into "maintenance mode." The goal here is to keep those devices – and customers – happy with their mobiles but over the next 18 months, those lines are being killed off in favor of Windows Phone.

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Yesterday, @evleaks noted that the Nokia Lumia 1020 with its 41 MP camera is reaching 'end of life' status on September 14, effectively ending the renown camera-phone's run. However, we inquired with some of our sources and learned October 15 as the date Microsoft and their Stores are using for sending back and ending sales of the Lumia 1020. One-month difference though does not change the fact that the Lumia 1020 is indeed reaching its finish.

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Back in April, Windows Phone Central reported that Windows Phone 8.1 is scheduled to receive two OS updates in 2014, with one in July and another in November. Previously known as general distribution releases (GDR), the updates bring some new features, optimizations, and bug fixes to those with Windows Phone. Neowin is reporting that Update 1 is nearing completion by the Consumer Experience (CXE) team, and they may wrap in the next week. If accurate, Update 1 looks to be on schedule.

Once the Windows Phone program managers clear Update 1, the bits are pushed to Microsoft's OEM and carrier partners for further testing. An expected public release with carrier/OEM support is still a few months out, especially since the original Windows Phone 8.1 update has yet to be delivered to most users. However, like previous GDR updates, those enrolled in the Preview for Developers program are setup to get the update early, possibly within weeks.

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BLU Products recently announced support for Windows Phone, including at least two devices due in the coming months. It should therefore not be surprising that BLU and Microsoft plan to sell the devices direct through the Store, including possibly physical locations.

One of the phones, reportedly the Dash 5.0 features a 5-inch display with a resolution of 480 x 854, a 1.3 GHz dual-core processor, 512MB of RAM, dual-SIM support and comes in a variety of bright colors. Windows Phone Central has now learned that the second phone has a 4-inch display, which suggests that it is a BLU's Dash 4.0 design. The Dash 4.0 model features a 480 x 800 display, 4 GB of storage, a 5 MP rear camera, dual-core 1.3 GHz CPU and a 1500 mAh battery.

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