Rumors

In our forums, poster MarcMaiden happened to have a conversation with a Microsoft employee who stopped by his work (AT&T). The MS employee, who will remain anonymous, was "...going to a few stores and retailers to see what kind of response we were getting...looking for feedback to send to the developers to know what exactly they should work on."

Marc asked him a few questions about the platform and the answers are quite revealing, namely about that rumored January firmware update which should bring quite a bit of functionality to the OS.

Q: Why isn't there an option to add custom ring tones?

A: Microsoft is working on an application that will be included in an update in January which will allow the consumer to edit, customize, and add ring tones of their choice. This app will also include a user "library" to search and download ring tones.

Q: What about turn by turn navi?

A We are beta testing it right now. again, ETA January.

Not really too much info, but with Copy/Paste, custom ringer support, turn by turn navigation in Bing, Skydrive and possibly multi-tasking support (via hubs), this should be pretty huge. Not yet a member of forums? Hop in and join the conversation!

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For those of you who are very anxious to get Angry Birds on Windows Phone 7 (see this forum thread), the developers of said super popular game, Rovio, have chimed in on the matter. Kind of.

As you can see above, in response to the question of them making a port for our beloved phones, they said "We are looking into that, nothing to announce quite yet".

It's almost sad that the above quote is news-worthy, but darn it all if that game is not in high demand by people these days. Now stop asking already!

Source: @roviomobile

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Although just getting a Dell Venue Pro seems hard enough these days, getting to its storage card may even be harder. That's assuming it even has one.

In one of the first shots of the device without a battery cover, there's nary a SD card in sight. Granted, it could be buried below somewhere, requiring you to break out some mini-screwdrivers, but this is no Samsung Focus, which has the slot readily accessible. Of course, with that recent warning from Microsoft to AT&T, you may want to hold off anyways.

The device is reported to come in two varieties: 8GB and 16GB, so at least there's that option. Still, for those looking for a 40GB Venue Pro, you may be out of luck or have a lot of work ahead of you.

Update: Over at wmpoweruser, it was shown that indeed the Dell Venue Pro does have a microSD card, so upgrades are a go, if you want to risk it.

Source: PocketNow

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Dell Venue Pro: $199.99

With just hours before the big day, we just received word (unconfirmed, but highly probable) that the Dell Venue Pro will sell for $199.99 on contract. No word on cost without a contract, though we imagine it to be in the $550 range. The source of the price quote is none other than a Microsoft store, who will be selling both AT&T and T-Mobile phones tomorrow morning.

This sounds right as every other phone is selling for $199.99 (Samsung Focus, HTC HD7, HTC Surround) so this fits right in with the current line up, no more, no less.

Now that you know the price of the Venue Pro, which should be showing up online any hour now, is your decision made for you? If so, take our poll!

Thanks, Joel K., for the tip!

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According to Robert Scoble, tomorrow is not only a big day for Windows Phone in terms of launching hardware, but also for the Marketplace which will see a flood of new apps.

Not much is known as to exactly what will be released nor how many, all Scoble says is "Lots of Windows Phone 7 apps coming out tomorrow." and in response to whether they were ports or something completely different, he responds with "the apps I have seen for Windows Phone 7 are completely new".

Tantalizing. So far, the Marketplace is passed 1,400 apps as of a few days ago. It will be curious to see what Microsoft has in store for us in just a few hours. We'll be keeping a close eye and will report anything we find.

Source: Twitter

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While we just heard about IM+ bringing over their instant messaging solution to Windows Phone 7, the other popular client, Palringo, is also likely to do the same.

No dates given and it doesn't sound like it is yet in active development, but when asked by @sedp on Twitter, they responded with "We'll see how the platform develops but it's likely". It's not a slam dunk answer, but we're confident we'll see them bringing some chattyness to WP7 sooner than later.

Source: Twitter; Thanks, Sed P, for the tip!

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Although we're not even sure how one would begin modifying files on Windows Phone 7 to circumvent Xbox Live Leaderboards, Achievements or use pirated software, it looks like Microsoft is already thinking about it. Just in case.

In a new build of WP7 (not yet released), Conflipper (who is still very much in retirement, so don't get your hopes up) has found an interesting file that says:

This phone has been banned from Xbox LIVE for violating the Xbox LIVE Terms of Use. To protect the Xbox LIVE service and its members, Microsoft does not provide details about phone bans. There is no recourse for Terms of Use violations.

This is similar to what happened on the Xbox 360 in 2009 when nearly 1 million users were permanently banned for evidently modifying their Xbox hardware or using pirated software. Presumably, Microsoft is taking preventive action for when XDA and others start digging into the OS, looking to modify their new mobile OS. In that sense, this is no surprise. On the other hand, it is interesting to know that MS has a system nearly in place to react to such a scenario. So take warning gamers, as once you are banned, it's for evah.

Other notable finds were references in Internet Explorer for copy and paste:

|Cut|Copy|Paste|Encoding|Print Preview||

"Cuts the selection and puts it on the Clipboard."

"Inserts the Clipboard contents at the insertion point."

Of course we know copy and paste are coming soon, so this is just more evidence that the feature is already in the works. Sweet.

Thanks, Conflipper, for the info!

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While we knew that copy and paste is coming to Windows Phone in the first half of 2011, no other specific time frame was given although there is a rumor of a January update, which now seems to be accurate. Arpan Shah, a Director at Microsoft who leads Product Management for Microsoft Project, mentioned in passing about when we can expect that update:

Critics have commented on the lack of specific features like copy & paste and lack of 100s of thousands of applications. And while both are true, copy & paste will be available as an update in a matter of weeks (early 2011) and as for applications, it’s just a matter of time.

While not written and stone and we're sure Microsoft would not want to publicly commit to such a timetable, we believe that this is probably quite accurate. If so, we can finally stop hearing about the lack of said feature as a knock against an otherwise fantastic v1.0 release. The rest of that January update is rumored to bring task-manager/hub mutlti-tasking, turn-by-turn directions, clipboard and Skydrive/OWA support.

Source: Arpan Shah's Blog

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The other day we had an interesting rumor about the HTC 7 Pro: Sprint was starting pre-orders on December 8th for the new device. As it turns out, we learned that this was for Microsoft peeps only (lucky them). That ties into the "free phones for all Microsoft employees" boast that we heard awhile back and verified recently by Ballmer himself.

Here are some more details of that program just given to Microsoft employees:

Do NOT purchase your Windows Phone 7 device prior to November 18, 2010 or after June 15, 2011 . You will not receive reimbursement for your phone purchase if you have purchased your phone outside of the start or end date of the program. (A preorder may be placed through an authorized channel prior to November 18, but not an actual purchase).

Seems like a fair system: employee picks phone and carrier, pre-orders/purchases through authorized channel, Microsoft reimburses you for the device. No other details were given but it sounds good to us!

Source: Anonymous tip (thanks!)

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Well, there's no direct evidence to support this, though we've heard rumors internally that this was coming real soon in addition to this new tidbit: MS_Nerd is reporting that Sprint will begin pre-orders for the much anticipated Sprint 7 Pro on Wednesday,  December 8th.

Notice that's exactly 30 days after AT&T and T-Mobile begin to sell their stock, so either someone is making a good connection or we see a reasonable pattern here. It also sort of jives with the FCC certification recently that suggests a 7 Pro release is getting quite close. Combined with Sprint and Microsoft being cozy recently at Sprint's Developer Conference and we think CDMA D-Day may be fast approaching.

No word on actual release date, though we can guess.

Update: BGR is reporting that this pre-order is happening, but only for Microsoft employees. That's certainly a new one on us, though perhaps it has to do with those 89,000 devices they have to give out. We also think that a public pre-order can't be to far behind this one.

Source: Twitter (@ms_nerd)

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We haven't been covering the Nokia "will they or won't they" rumors about them adopting Windows Phone 7 to either replace or augment their Symbian/MeeGo lineup, but in the case we will because we find it quite definitive.

In an interview with CNet Asia, Niklas Savander, Nokia's executive vice president and general manager for Markets, said this about using other platforms:

Currently, we don't think the platforms out there which we are not using--Android and Microsoft--offers an incremental opportunity for us to add value that would sustain a competitive advantage over somebody else. So, no plans.

Sure, maybe he's just being coy on the issue, but we have a feeling that this is pretty legit. It would have been nice to have Nokia on board, but we'll survive without them.

Source: CNet Asia

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We're not sure how to take this and perhaps this one of those that Garm-Asus could 'walk back', but evidently Steven Tu, marketing manager at ASUSTeK South Africa, said in regards to that "mystery" Asus device we saw awhile back:

As always, Garmin-Asus seeks the best for our consumers either on Android platform or on Windows platform. However, we see the potential of Android platform devices, so we are focusing on Android platform currently,

Sounds like Asus is stepping back a bit from deploying its wares for Windows Phone 7, which is even more evident since they were completely absent from New York City on October 11th. This also backs up news from yesterday about Garmin-Asus splitting up. It will be curious to see if Asustek corporate responds to this or clarifies the matter. 

In brighter and related news, South Africa is expected to get Windows Phone 7 devices in time for the "December holidays", according to Microsoft SA. No word on which devices though.

Update: Sure enough, Asus has sort of confirmed the above/what we already know. In an interview with Forbes Jonney Shih, the Chairman of the Taiwan-based electronics maker, says: “Regarding Windows Phone 7, we haven’t yet decided yet we would like to do”. He also adds they will introduce a device sometime in 2011 under the Asus name.

Source: MyBroadband.co.za

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Though we just saw pre-production hardware a few weeks ago in New York City, looks like HTC may have being coy with us when they didn't reveal much about the 7 Pro (including the fact it couldn't turn on). Engadget just uncovered the FCC documents showing that some "HTC CDMA Windows Phone device" has approval to be sold here in the U.S. We don't know for sure that it is the 7 Pro, but that's the best guess right now. No sign of 4G WiMax though, which could be a missed opportunity.

What's more interesting is the report from Microsoft that CDMA won't be done till early 2011, though they seemed to hedge on how early, implying that it may be closer than expected. If this is the case, perhaps we're looking for something only 3 months away which is the usual distance between FCC and when the device is in stores. Lets hope, as you CDMA folk will be surely pining for this beaut. Alternatively, this could be some other unknown CDMA Windows Phone device as well. Hmm...

Source: FCC; via Engadget

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In what is probably not a huge surprise, according to Digitimes, the Garmin-Asus relationship is coming to end January 2011 after a short 2-year flirtation. Sales of branded Garmin-Asus devices really never made waves (seven in all were released) so it makes sense to end this experiment. In addition, it was told to CNet Asia, that they had no plans to deliever a WP7 device. This contradicts an earlier report which suggested that a Q1 2011 WP7 device would happen.

This also begs the question of what was that Asus phone we saw awhile ago running WP7--it does seem to be solely Asus branded phone, so perhaps they're already on the go to deliver some new wares (we actually really like the brushed metal look on this device; see video here) No word from Asustek on their WP7 plans have been confirmed though.

Also, in related news, HTC is reportedly working more closely with Garmin rival TomTom to bring better mapping solutions to its devices. We've already seen this on some Euro HD2 handsets, though no word if this will also come to Windows Phone 7.

Source: Digitimes; via ZDNet Asia

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HTC denies shipment delay problem

In a follow up to yesterday's story in which HTC's stock plummeted upon news of "shipment delays" in regards to Windows Phone 7, HTC has come out denying such charges.

ZDnet is reporting by personal communication with HTC that no such delays are occurring and that HTC are shipping devices this week as planned.

However, they are not denying earlier reports that they have had some issues "here and there" with the new devices (specifically, the proximity sensor having problems when on a call). They have said that things have "popped up" but they are addressing them as they occur. Of course, when launching a new OS on new hardware, we can expect the occasional issue to be found, though HTC seems to be a step ahead in combating such problems.

Source: ZDNet

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Typo or are there different Windows Phone editions?

That was kind of a tease headline in as we're like 99.99% sure that this is a typo on Microsoft Portugal's website. But hey, it's a big, silly typo by Microsoft. Or perhaps they're just not ready to break with their past, convoluted ways?

Anywho, the gist is that on the Microsoft Portugal website for various Windows Phone 7 devices e.g. the HTC Mozart, it lists the OS as "Windows Phone 7; Standard". While for other devices e.g. the LG Pacific it lists the OS as "Windows Phone 7; Professional".

Considering we heard absolutely nothing to imply different OSs at Monday's NYC event, this reeks of "intern did it!" shenanigans. So, if anything, we'd just like to take this moment to highlight Microsoft's mistake and chuckle a bit.

[via Go Windows Go; Thanks, Sam, for the tip]

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HTC 7 Pro headed to the U.K.

The HTC 7 Pro made a surprise appearance at yesterdays Windows Phone 7 launch and is headed to the Sprint network next year. We are now hearing rumors that it will also be headed across the pond to the United Kingdom.

Tracy and Matt are reporting that while they demoed all the HTC Windows Phone 7 devices headed to the U.K. they were told that the Pro 7 would also be included in the mix. Speculation has the Pro 7 being available to all networks in the U.K. and will be available Spring of 2011.

Update: Here is the HTC product page for the 7 Pro GSM.

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Here it is folks.  Looks like HTC snuck in a little surprise as this is the so far unseen HTC 7 Pro, featuring that all too familiar and wonderful sliding (and tilting) keyboard and it's coming to Sprint this spring.

The device will reportedly feature 16GB of storage, has a 3.6" screen, presumably a 1Ghz processor. No confirmation on 4G, but we wouldn't doubt it.

Overall it's a solid device, with a great keyboard. This is the device many of us have been waiting for, so kudos to Sprint and HTC on this design.

Anyone else getting excited?

 

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While we only have a few hours left till the big Windows Phone 7 launch in NYC (Phil is in the air as we speak...I'm getting ready to, well, take the LIRR), some good news has come regarding the HD7.

Though we expect to see this bad boy tomorrow at around noon for ourselves, TMoNews is reporting that the U.S. T-Mobile branded version of the HD7 will indeed have 16GB of storage, up from the European 8GB.

For many, that small bit of storage was a deal killer but 16GB is certainly a lot better. Other than that though, the specs are the same and as you can see, that's a new pic of it with the branding. Full specs after the break. Oh and expect this sucka for $199 after contract.

Tune back in tomorrow for our live, all day coverage in New York City. Remember, here is the schedule, Eastern time.

[via TMoNews; Thanks to all who sent this in]

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WP7 Rumor: 2,000 apps at launch

Rumors of Windows Phone 7 hitting the shelves in Europe on October 21, 2010 isn't anything new. But we are now seeing signs that the Windows Marketplace will have over 2,000 applications at launch.

A leaked Three UK (wireless provider) document indicates that the Windows Marketplace will be well populated with applications at launch. A clear sign that developers have been working in high gear to give users plenty of choices at launch.

 

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