Rumors

Microsoft made some radical changes to the Windows platform with the launch of Windows 8. Some consumers adapted to the new Modern user interface, while others struggled to move on from the Start menu, not effectively utilising the Start screen with Live Tiles and other functionality. According to latest reports, the company is looking to return the Start menu in a coming update.

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Nokia’s Lumia Black firmware, which will come along with Microsoft’s Update 3 OS bump, is due in "early 2014". It seems however that the Finnish company wants to make sure all is right with the firmware as they are offering customers early access to work out any bugs.

The proposal seems to be tied to using the ‘Feedback to Nokia’ app found under Settings. Users who have evidently competed the mini-survey are being contacted via email with the offer to test Lumia Black before anyone else gets it. The early-access beta program appears to be linked to Lumia 520 and Lumia 521 devices, although it’s not clear if other Lumias will have the same testing program.

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Just yesterday we reported on some forthcoming features in the popular messaging app WhatsApp. The new features, which include saving of videos to the device, were found in the private beta of the app. Soon after that article though, WhatsApp pushed out another update to version 2.11.322 and it now has the long coveted feature of attaching videos. We have verified that the new functionality is present.

The system for attaching videos is very basic. Users simply tap on the ‘Albums’ icon to browse their library of media, but instead of just photos, videos are now visible there as well. From that screen, users can just attach the video, which will then be auto-sent to the contact. It’s basic but it works and we imagine it will be refined a little over the next few betas. Limits for video size and length are currently not known.

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When WhatsApp isn’t pushing out public updates on a regular basis for Windows Phone, they’re busy jamming them out behind the scenes for their private beta. Looking at the latter, version 2.11.318 is making the rounds and it has been discovered that a few new features are on board. (The current public version is 312).

That’s good news as it means those features will be headed to the official, public version, presumably in a few weeks (or sooner).

So what’s new? Glad you asked as we have some screenshots and details.

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Although Windows Phone 8.1 is not expected until spring 2014, there is already talk about what comes after the next major Windows Phone OS. This morning, Mary Jo Foley at ZDNet has leaked some new information about some updates coming in spring 2015, specifically its codename: Threshold.

The name, originating from the Halo series, refers to a wave of updates for Windows Phone, Windows and the Xbox One OS in 2015 that will work on bringing those platforms closer together. This won’t be the final merging of Windows Phone and RT, which is expected to come at some point, but a wave up updates that will allow those platforms to “share more elements” including "high value activities".

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Going into Monday morning and the world is aflutter with talk of Microsoft’s User Voice feedback forum. Specifically, some user-requested features like a file manager, swipe to close an app (like on Windows 8) and storing apps on the SD card have been relisted as being ‘completed’.  The requests, submitted and voted by consumers, can only be closed by an administrator, in this case someone named ‘Mobile Guru’.

One of the requested features is “Add File Manager to Windows Phone”, which has had over 77,000 votes, another is “Allow a flick down to close applications like you can on Windows 8” while a third that is now closed falls under “Store apps & attachments on external storage and improve/provide micro SD support”.  All three are now listed as complete and are “available for Windows Phone 8”, though of course that is not true.

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Although both Sony’s PlayStation 4 and Microsoft’s Xbox One are expected to sell well over the holiday period, there will always be those who pick sides, wanting to see who does better. Will Microsoft’s “one” system sway shoppers over Sony? Or will both consoles break even? In reality, it doesn’t matter as both systems will be around for years to come, but in terms of stock, Microsoft may have the edge over the PlayStation.

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Nokia rumored to be working on dual-SIM Windows Phone

There are some of us who require a mobile phone with multiple SIMs, whether this be due to having two numbers or be frequently traveling abroad with a local SIM on-hand to avoid extreme contract fees. Nokia has dual-SIM hardware available within its Asha line of low-end smartphones, but we're yet to see a Windows Phone support this feature.

That's about to change, account to a new tweet by leakster @evleaks with the codename "Moneypenny" being thrown into the mix. We previously looked at Moneypenny when both itself and "Goldfinger" were unveiled, the former reported to introduce Jedi hand gesture support.

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The time is nigh. Steve Ballmer announced his retirement plan not very long ago, leaving Microsoft quite little time to find the best candidate for its next CEO.

There have been rumors all around, highlighting key figures like Stephen Elop and Alan Mulally. Now a new round of rumors has arrived, saying that the board of directors at Microsoft has already made up their collective mind on this matter, and the decision is sort of surprising and not surprising at the same time.

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For Bluetooth and accessory fans, one big hole in the Windows Phone platform has been the lack of Bluetooth 4.0 Low Energy (LE) support (although Android lags here too). The Bluetooth LE standard allows newer hardware to connect using less energy for transmission, saving battery and allowing continuous background syncing. The most common example today is for Fitbit, which can sync to the iPhone constantly, keeping users abreast of their fitness status.

Recently, Nokia updated the 520, 620, 625, and 720 with the 'Amber' update and that firmware brought with it support for Bluetooth 4.0—so not all is lost. That update allowed the Adidas miCoach app to work with their heart rate monitor accessory. However, for those with the more premium 82x, 92x and 1020 devices, the question was when would we get the update?

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With the late night announcement from Nokia and AT&T about the pre-order for the Lumia 1520, due for release on Friday, November 22nd, “which color?” has become the hot topic.

The good news is if you pre-order through AT&T, you can nab yourself a yellow one. But if you want to get it through Microsoft via their Store, you’ll have to look elsewhere. Indeed, we’re hearing from a close source that yellow will be “scarce”, hinting at a possible shortage of the color.

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As it currently stands, should you wish to develop for both Windows 8 and Windows Phone, you'll need to take out two subscriptions - one for each platform. WPDang now reports that Microsoft is looking to combine both into a combined account, making it easier for developers to move from one platform to the next and cover not only the desktop but also the smartphone too.

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Steve Ballmer has been Microsoft’s CEO since 2000. That’s over 13 years ago for you mathematicians out there. Earlier this summer, he announced plans to step down as CEO sometime during the next year. Who’s going to be the next CEO of Microsoft? We’ve heard reports of Nokia’s Stephen Elop, Ford’s Alan Mulally and others. Now Reuters is claiming the list has been narrowed even further. Who made the cut? Read on to find out.

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The Nokia Lumia 525 is a rather mysterious Windows Phone, but more details on the Lumia 520 successor are beginning to emerge. We recently looked at the handset passing certification in china (coupled with the above renders - since removed) and now full specifications alongside a press render have been published on the Chinese website, Baidu.

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Nokia finally unveiled a Windows tablet at its conference in Abu Dhabi last month, the Lumia 2520 (pictured above), but already rumours are starting to come out that Nokia is working on a follow-up. Codenamed the "Illusionist," trusted Twitter leakster @evleaks has revealed that an 8-inch device is well on the way. Unfortunately, not much else was teased in terms of specification or imagery. 

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