Microsoft is providing more training resources for Windows Phone 7 developers. Windows Phone 7 Jump Start Training series is for all developers, of all levels, who are interested in developing WP7 apps. Microsoft MVP's Rob Miles and Andy Wigley to lead the charge in this twelve part online training series.
Inspired by the Live Jump Start Training held last month, each training session runs about fifty minutes long. Sessions cover building Silverlight apps, building games, building XNA games, advanced application development, marketing your apps, and working with media.
The training sessions can be accessed through Channel 9's website, the Windows Team Blog, a Zune subscription and even iTunes. The sessions are described "as a semester's worth of class time to help you in your quest to be an awesome Windows Phone 7 developer." Even for the non-developer, the training sessions offer valuable insight into Microsoft's new mobile OS.
Namco Bandai announced today that the Tekken game franchise was going mobile with the game Tekken Resolute. The mobile version of the popular arcade game is available for Java, Windows Mobile, BREW and RIM platforms.
Tekken Resolute promises to bring intense graphics and fluid animations to the mobile platform. Players can choose between the Iron Fist Tournament with the Arcade Mode or fight through various stages of a Story Mode. Tekken Resolute also has a Tekken Force Mode where you battle multiple enemies.
Tekken Resolute can be purchased for $6.99 through various wireless provider's app stores such as AT&T's Media Mall or through Namco (still billed through your wireless provider). Namco is slowly updating their website so if Tekken Resolute isn't listed under your carrier and device, check your wireless provider's app store.
According to the research firm Current Analysis, Verizon will test a $99 unlimited talking, texting and date plan in Los Angeles and San Diego markets. If the plan eventually rolls out nationwide, it will compete directly with Sprint's $99 Simply Everything plan and T-Mobile's comparable $99 unlimited plan.
The $99 plan represents a $20 per month savings from what Verizon currently charges for these unlimited features. The test package is being described by Verizon as a limited time promotion available for single line accounts. It is not available for family plans and does not include domestic long distance.
If you're in the Los Angeles or San Diego markets, check your local retail outlet for availability or contact Verizon's customer service at 1-800-922-0204.
Verizon is also testing a Unlimited Any Mobile plans in parts of Texas and Louisiana which offers unlimited calling to any mobile number. This latest test plan may be an indication we're about to see an overhaul of Verizon's wireless plan structure.
BlueAnt has released its latest Bluetooth Speakerphone, the S4. The S4's main features center around the use of voice commands to enhance the "hands free" experience. While you can still control the speakerphone with buttons, with the S4 you can say "answer" or "ignore" to manage incoming calls.
In addition to offering hands free calling, the S4 also puts BING information at your disposal through BING 411 and allows access to audible text messages by being Vlingo compatible. All in all, the S4 hopes to keep your hands more on the wheel and less on your phone.
We had the opportunity to take the S4 out for a test drive and found it to offer some "cool" features. We also found some features still needed a little work. Follow the break to what type of impression the S4 left.
Over at Gamasutra, they had an nice interview with Kevin Unangst, Microsoft's senior director of PC and mobile gaming, and Brian Seitz, senior marketing manager for Windows Phone 7.
The topic was gaming and there were a few interesting bits of information, the first found in this blog's headline:
We're partnering really closely with Qualcomm so they're going to be the chip of choice... It will be a good experience with developers," says Brian Seitz, senior marketing manager for Windows Phone 7.
Some much for nVidia's Tegra2 or ARM Cortex A8 /"Hummingbird", eh?
Other things which we're sort of already knew:
Two tiers for games: more professional Xbox Live Arcade and regular Marketplace games; the former is exceptional quality with high standards, the latter anyone can develop on. This also means you won't need an XBLA account to play all games on WP7
Microsoft helps set the prices for games; trying to avoid 'race to the bottom' for pricing to protect developer's interests
Tiered pricing for games, like the Xbox console
...it's just the beginning of what we're going to do with multiplayer."
"...this can be a great alternative to the DS and PSP, as much as we think [it can be to] the iPhone and the Droid"
Interesting stuff, though we're a little uneasy with the Qualcomm thing as..well, lets not bring up the past. We're curious to see if any hardware vendor will use non-Qualcomm chipsets, guess we'll have to wait and see.
Funny thing reading social networking sites after the Microsoft Gamescom announcement: Windows Phone 7 suddenly went from potentially good to potentially killer status. Basically, the XBox integration has really impressed people--heck, in our unscientific poll, most of you are going with "better than expected" as your reaction.
All of this begs the question: why call it Windows Phone 7?
It was bad enough with the word 'Series' after it but three words to name the OS is still a mouthful these days, especially compared to 'WebOS', "Android', 'iPhone'/'iOS' or 'Blackberry'--all of which have a simple, identifiable and unique name.
Chris Pirillo, who's always an interesting read. of course agrees with this and even more so after the Gamescom announcement. His take?
Our thoughts? It's a heck of a lot better than 'Windows Phone 7' and 'XBox Compass' has a nice ring to it. Lets face it, calling Windows Phone 7 is just too geek, too tech, too long and too bland. Microsoft should really consider going with something different. Your thoughts? Take the poll or shout in comments.
Though many of us were hoping for some type of 'Halo' mobile offshoot game for the Windows Phone 7 launch, 'Halo' fans will have to settle for Waypoint, which is basically a media/news aggregator for the 'Halo' universe.
The app was written in only 3 months on Silverlight and will be a free download from the Marketplace. Hard for us to get excited over, but we suppose if you're a 'Halo' fan you might enjoy.
In an exciting move, Microsoft has announced a whole hodge podge of game titles that will be released during the launch phase of Windows Phone 7 and there are some biggies. The are so many in fact, you'll have click the link to see the whole list, but we'll tease you with a few:
But they are giving you (and a friend) a chance go behind the scenes at the 2011 Sports Illustrated Swimsuit photo shoot. Winning the "Behind the Tan Lines" contest won't be all fun and games though. The lucky winner will have to use their HTC smartphones to document and share the experience via social networks.
All you need to do to enter is submit a three minute video or photo (shot with your smartphone) highlighting what unique perspective you can bring to covering the swimsuit shoot. Then "tweet" HTC with a short message on why they should look at your video/photo.
The Grand Prize winner will receive a trip for two to the photo shoot, access to the 2011 Swimsuit launch parties in New York and Las Vegas, an HTC Smartphone of your choice (and for your travel partner), and $10,000 cash.
Four Primary (second place) Prize winners will receive an HTC smartphone of their choice and $400 cash while twenty-five Secondary (third place) Prize winners will win an HTC smartphone of their choice and a SI Swimsuit prize pack.
Full details on this contest can be found here. Our fingers are crossed that a Windows Phone user walks away with the Grand Prize!
The next bit is that in the U.S., we'll be getting the version with the keyboard, like above (Panther/GW910), in November. We're guessing AT&T for that one, but wouldn't mind a Sprint model to kick around.
Finally, LG is either trying to make Microsoft look good or they really believe in Windows Phone 7, as they supposedly told Korean reporters that
... it expects WP7 to outperform the two rival smartphone operating systems
The rivals being of course Android and the iPhone (don't you love how Blackberry is not even mentioned anymore?). Sounds good to us.
Microsoft's Bing search engine continues to do well, passing Yahoo! in July for the first time to be #2. Not bad for a market that really no one thought would change much, though we should point out Google is in no real trouble yet. Results are based on Chitika's web-ad network, similar to Google's AdSense.
Bing will also power Yahoo!'s search engine by the end of August, gaining them even more power, albeit hidden. Combined with their powering of Facebook's search, the upcoming Windows Phone 7 and maybe even Mozilla/Firefox (once their contract with Google expires), Bing could see some real growth in the next 24 months.