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4 years ago

Software beta testers welcomed to Windows Phone 7 Marketplace

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In a nice follow up to those Marketplace revisions, Microsoft has just announced that they will allow developers to identify and interact with beta testers for their software via the Marketplace for Windows Phone 7.

Up till now, the question of whether some mechanism for developers to let the public test their program before release was unanswered. With no side-loading available for software installation, it's only through the Marketplace can the public add software to their phones, so some structure in the Marketplace had to be defined.

The mechanism will work via a "deep link" sent by email to the testers and presumably their Windows Live ID will be tagged by the Marketplace to grab the download. In addition, Microsoft is looking for a similar expansion of this public/private "cloud" distribution system to be applied for corporate environments, where they need to roll out their own proprietary software to employees. This latter part is important for the future success of WP7 in the business sector.

Once again, this is a great move by Microsoft and we're glad to see this becoming available.

Read the rest of Charlie Kindel's post on the Windows Team Blog.

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4 years ago

Windows Phone 7 developer “Rockstar” & runners up are announced

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Microsoft held a contest recently for new and independent student developers to submit applications for Windows Phone 7. Dubbed the "Rockstar" award, it was to be a part of the Imagine Cup competition.

Today, they announced the winners out of the 131 teams who participated. Unfortunately, they just have screen shots of the apps and games so it's hard to get excited over these, but still, a big congrats to all the students who participated and were singled out for excellence.

The "Rockstar" main award went for a game called "Droid" (seen above) built by a team of 2 from the Advanced Technology Academy here in the U.S. They walk away with $8,000 and free WP7 phones--not too shabby! The game "...leveraged the use of the accelerometer on the device unlike any other app we’ve seen." Sounds good to us.

Other runners up, some seen below, included programs for a comic book reader, scavenger, task manager, price check, travel trails, restaurant finder, weather, trivia quiz, health fitness and more.

[via Windows Team Blog]

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4 years ago

Subtle changes noted in latest Windows Phone 7 UI at TechEd2010

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TechEd North America 2010 is going this week and Long Zheng of iStartedSomething is there to document that happenings.

This morning he posted some photos of the latest build of Windows Phone 7, which we haven't seen yet. Clearly and obviously Microsoft is still putting the finishing touches on the OS and even parts of the UI, making it look even better today than 4 months ago.

Worthy to note is how the lock-screen text is now smaller to fit on the screen (but looks like this was done for the ReMix events), which Long Zheng comments a lot of people disfavored. Also, the Marketpalce and Outlook "tiles" have been updated with a new look, plus overall changes to icons and other subtle bits.

Head over to check his full photo stream and begin fantasizing what it will be like to use in-real life.

[via iStartedSomething]

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4 years ago

Microsoft launches app design contest for Windows Phone 7; no skill required!

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Ever have a great idea for a program that no one else has thought of, yet are hampered by the fact you have ZERO programming skills and no graphic talent? Then boy does Microsoft has a contest for you.

In an attempt to further lure interest in Windows Phone 7, Microsoft is holding a contest whereby you submit your verbal design for a dream application that doesn't yet exist. The community then votes on it and the winner's creations will be turned into a free app by professionals and dumped in the WP7 Marketplace for all to use.

You'll be a legend!

Oh and the winner gets $5,000 and a free Windows Phone 7 device.

So take those old bar napkins with your hopes and dreams scribbled in boozy ink and submit right over here. As an example, you can check out Todd Portz's creation right here (yeah, he gets a free plug since he tipped us off to this contest).

Anyways, this a great idea from Microsoft. Lets see what you folks have lurking in your geeky heads...

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4 years ago

WMExperts Podcast Episode 101

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4 years ago

Windows Phone Marketplace policies updated

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Microsoft's Windows Phone Marketplace polices have been updated. These policies govern the application submission and certification process.  According to Microsoft, the changes are to "attract a much wider range of developers, from large software companies down to students and hobbyists."

These changes seem to follow Microsoft's efforts to court the development community. From offering the Development Tools for free to waiving any fees for unlocking codes, Microsoft is creating a very developer friendly environment for Windows Phone 7.

The new policies include:

  • Annual registration fee of $99
  • No limit to the number of paid apps submitted 5 free apps per registration, $19.99 each after that
  • Free registration to DreamSpark students (same unlimited paid and 5 free apps applies)
  • A new optional push notification service to help developers stay engaged with customers
  • A new optional Trial API - trials mean more customers try your app, and less likelihood that they return it. The length or type of trial is fully controlled by the developer
  • The ability to publish to all available Marketplace markets through a new “worldwide distribution” option, allowing developers to pay once and distribute broadly
  • Wider range of business models; free, paid, freemium and ad-funded

What isn't changing includes:

  • A revenue share of 70/30
  • Developers manage their business with Marketplace via the self service portal http://developer.windowsphone.com
  • Payout takes place monthly for developers that have earned more than USD$200 worldwide
  • Developers can make ad funded applications
  • All applications go through a process of technical and content certification
  • Marketplace offers support for credit card commerce, and where available mobile operator billing.

A full list of the Windows Marketplace policies can be found over at the Windows Phone Developer site.

[read: windowsteamblog.com]

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4 years ago

Marketplace Spotlight: AP Mobile

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4 years ago

Have a question about WP7? Ask here & it may get answered by Microsoft.

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If you folks recall, a few weeks ago we summarized an interview with Brandon Watson, Microsoft's Director of Developer Experience. The video itself was very informative as Brandon was especially forthright in answering questions about Windows Phone 7. No PR spin here, just answers from someone who knows software development on the inside and what WP7 can and can't do.

Mobility Digest has graciously organized a Q&A with Brandon with various supporting sites, including our own.

How this works is simple: post your question about Windows Phone 7 in the comments of this post by Friday, 5pm EST.

Out of all of the questions, a total of 20 will be chosen from the participating sites to be answered by Brandon (since he can't possibly answer them all, plus there will no doubt be redundancy). In about a week, the results will be posted.

Now what we're going for here is new stuff--not the usual why no copy-paste or why is the OS the way it is kind of thing, but rather advanced, detailed questions that we haven't heard yet. So put on those thinking caps! As a good primer, maybe go watch/re-watch the interview with Brandon to get some ideas.

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4 years ago

HTC HD3 "fantasy phone" shows up in fake promo

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Back a few months ago, someone on a Chinese site (QQ.com) published the supposed specs for the HTC HD3.

We didn't really cover it, because

  • Sure, it's HTC anything is possible
  • There's no real proof

Flash forward six-months later and the situation is still the same, but the technology landscape has changed a bit. For instance, 1.5GHz processors are now real and ready to roll, so that's possible. WiMax is out now (HTC EVO) and even 8MP cameras are legit. But yeah, we also know that 1280x800 is not a supported Windows Phone 7 resolution and a 4.5" screen was always suspect (plus just getting ridiculous; then again, hello Dell Mini 5 'Streak'!).

But still, suppose HTC does make a HD3--not really a stretch of the imagination, is it? Lets take a guess: it'll be a big black slab, three capacitive buttons on the front,  8MP back camera, 1.3MP front, WiMax (or LTE) and a 1.5GHz Snapdragon. The screen will be 4.3", give or take. Slap and HTC logo on there, sell it off to Sprint and AT&T and we're good to go. Are we close?

So the phone featured in this fake video-promo for the supposed HD3?  Probably still fake, but also likely pretty close to whatever the actual HD3 will be, since this isn't rocket science. Go ahead watch, get your drool bucket and put that Sprint EVO order on hold for a few months.

Check the "video" (really just still shots and HTC logo) after the break...

[edit: And of course some of this was published over at WMPU awhile back]

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4 years ago

'Metro' UI and themes modifiable after jailbreak?

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File this under 'rumor' but technically very plausible.

We know Windows Phone 7 will be locked for advanced OS options and privileges and that developers will have access to these.  And like the iPhone and Android platforms, presumably after the device is "rooted" or "jailbroken", the modding community can have a real go at the OS.

What we don't know is exactly how much of the 'Metro' UI can be changed or modified, but for a lot of folks, they're hoping that most if not all of it can be replaced.

Justin Angel, a former Microsoft Silverlight Program Manager involved heavily with software development in Windows Phone 7, said recently in a tweet:

OEMs (phone vendors) can replace Metro completely, but they won't. It'll be easy to jailbreak WP7 into another theme though.

OEM get to ship 2 themes (OEMLight and ORMDark). A Theme _can_ customize anything, including control templates.

OEMs will have an advanced tool set not available to the public (how long before those leak) which gives them access, to among other things, the phone-radio and evidently the UI (though one wonders what WP7 would "look like" without 'Metro'?). The good news is something we expect to here more of: once the device is jailbroken (which won't take long), people will be able to modify the UI to their liking.

How deep we can go is all the remains. Hopefully it's more than just changing color "accents".

[via @JustinAngel 1, 2]

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4 years ago

Weatherbug headed to Windows Phone 7

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Weatherbug has been a popular application for Windows Mobile and now it looks like it is on board for Windows Phone 7. In a recent interview over at Channel 9, Weatherbug developers talked about using Silverlight and Bing Maps with their mobile weather application.

Weatherbug uses both Microsoft products in their website development and is having success moving Weatherbug over to WP7. Developers see using Bing Maps and Silberlight offers them more detailed maps, easier code to transfer to WP7, and takes a lot of the worry out of developing these applications.

This is encouraging news to see a popular Windows Mobile developer transitioning to Windows Phone 7 with such ease.  The only downside to the interview comes when Weatherbug demos their WP7 app and the video abruptly ends without showing anything.

[via: Mobility Digest]

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4 years ago

Windows Phone ownership holding steady

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Windows Phone ownership represents 19% of the market. A recent survey by Nielson still shows Blackberry leading ownership with 35% and Apple firmly in second at 28%.

The survey reflects smartphone ownership for a three month period ending in late March. Overall smartphone ownership increased from 21% to 23% compared to the previous three month period.

The surprise stat in the survey is likely Android's placement. While gaining two points, Android is still well behind Windows Phones with only a 9% share of the market. With the popularity of Android devices and all the doubt surrounding Windows Phone's future, one would think the numbers would be reversed.

I reckon' Windows Phones aren't dead just yet.

[via: wsj.com]

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4 years ago

Flip2Mute Released for Windows Mobile

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Flip2Mute Released for Windows Mobile

Flip2Mute for Windows Mobile has been released which will allow you to silence your Windows Phone when it is face down.

The application, designed by x86shadow, is similar to the native features on various HTC Windows Phones such as the HD2. Your Windows Phone needs to be running Windows Mobile 6.5.xx, have .NET CF 3.5 installed, an accelerometer, and be a WVGA device.

Along with silencing your phone, you can set Flip2Mute to turn off the screen or set the phone to vibrate. This works out great for those who are constantly in and out of meetings and need a simple way to mute their Windows Phone. Simply turn on Flip2Mute and set your Windows Phone face down on the conference table.  The only bug I experienced in testing Flip2Mute was that occasionally the phone stayed on silent even after being turned face up. 

Flip2Mute is a free application and if your interested in giving it a try, you can download it here.

[read: wmpoweruser.com]

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4 years ago

Hit Flash game "Learn to Fly" coming to Windows Mobile this month

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We'll admit that we're not hip to all those popular Flash games on the internet these days, but evidently one is being ported over to Windows Mobile this month due to its popularity.

"Learn to Fly" is about a hapless penguin who is determined to overcome his flight-challenged biology. Its has bold graphics, silly achievements and it's indeed addicting. In fact we would have written this up sooner but we're playing the online Flash game for the last hour.

We'll keep you posted on the actual release and hopefully it's as smooth as the online one. If you want to waste the rest of your day at work, go here to play the free Flash version. Apologize to your boss in advance for us, thanks!

[Pocket Gamer; thanks, segadc, for the tip!]

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