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2 years ago

Apple's CEO Tim Cook has a dig at Microsoft's Windows 8 PC and tablet convergence

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During the Q2 2012 Apple conference call, CEO Tim Cook was questioned whether there's a possibility of the iPad and Macbook Air converging into one product, much like what Microsoft is doing with Windows 8 and their "three screen vision". Cook answered with a resounding "no", and went on to explain that he believes combining the experience of both the tablet and PC is a 'forced convergence'.

As well as commenting on why he believes this isn't a particularly good idea with regards to the user experience, Cook compared the PC and tablet combination in upcoming Windows 8 much like a "combined toaster and refrigerator". Microsoft has been actively aiming for a unified user experience when it comes to their next major OS release, as well as pulling the Xbox console and Windows Phone closer together. 

The Apple and Microsoft ecosystems are fairly different and this type of comparison (or dig - however you wish to take such comments) is interesting. Apple ensures that each device performs best at what it does, while Microsoft is set to ensure that devices can do more than what the user would usually expect. A Windows 8 tablet running applications in desktop mode is a good example. We'll of course have to see how the average consumer reacts to the changes in Windows 8. 

Source: iMore

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2 years ago

Lumia 610, 900 launch and 710, 800 release delayed indefinitely in the Philippines

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The Lumia 610, 710, 800 and 900 were all set to launch in the Philippines, but the Windows Phones have had their entry into the country delayed due to supporting carriers. According to Electronic Pulp, all four Lumia devices will not be arriving anytime soon, which is a massive blow for both Nokia and Windows Phone with the Philippines being a rather important market to tackle.

We previously covered the Nokia launch party of the Lumia 710 and 800, but it seems as though things have gone downhill for the manufacturer since, with no immediate plan to provide the 610 and 900 with the same treatment. The carrier Globe Telecom is set to stock the Lumia 800, while Smart Communications picked up the remaining three Windows Phones. Nokia has reportedly given up exclusive rights to sell the handsets in the Philippines.

The Finnish manufacturer has an agreement with both Globe and Smart for only the carriers to market and sell the Lumia Windows Phone family of devices. This prevents the manufacturer from bringing in retail units and getting them into consumer hands in a speedy fashion, which has led to subsequent delays due to carrier demands regarding their own exclusive launches. The Lumia Windows Phones were originally scheduled for an early 2012 release in a number of countries. Thus far the rollout has been somewhat successful, but there appears to be a few cracks appearing in the Nokia walls.

According to the Nokia employee that Electronic Pulp who was questioned regarding the delays, the Lumia 610 low-budget handset was planned to be out in the public domain during the first week of April, but the manufacturer has hit a wall with the carrier agreement and now can't provide an accurate ETA on launch dates for any device. The company is reportedly working hard at ironing out the creases and hopefully both Nokia and the two carriers will work things out quickly.

So, to recap (as it confused us slightly too): the Lumia 710 and 800 availability is delayed, and the launch of the Lumia 610 and 900 is also delayed, all due to the agreement made with local operators. Should you be patiently waiting for any of the Nokia Windows Phones on either Globe or Smart, you might have a few more weeks to see through.

Source: Electronic Pulp

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2 years ago

Xbox Live Extras and Netflix for Windows Phone get minor updates

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Two popular apps have just been updated: Xbox Live Extras (version 7.3) and Netflix (version 2.1). Both updates appear to be under the hood, i.e. no new features or noticeable changes. Netflix just received a more significant update two weeks ago, and the release notes for that update still appear, unmodified, on the app’s Marketplace page. It’s likely that after rolling out version 2.0, the development team discovered one or more bugs that needed fixing.

We’ve reached out to Microsoft about the Xbox Live Extras update and will report back if they provide any details. If you guys discover any changes in these two apps in the meantime, please let us know in the comments below.

Both Xbox Live Extras and Netflix are free apps, though Netflix obviously requires a subscription to use. Xbox Live Extras is a fairly important tool for gamers, so make sure to get it here if you haven’t already. Netflix subscribers can get the app here on the Marketplace.

Thanks to everyone who tipped us on both app updates!

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2 years ago

Windows Phone Game Review: Funny Bounce

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2 years ago

Magenta Nokia Lumia 900 exists, coming to Finland via Gigantti. Is AT&T next?

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We've reported in the past that AT&T was rumored to be getting a magenta (red, fuchsia, pink etc) Nokia Lumia 900 on Sunday, May 13th right in time for Mother's Day.

Since that report we've had a sighting in a Microsoft Store (since removed) and Nokia's Facebook page (also since removed).

The image above clearly shows once and for all that a magenta Lumia 900 does indeed exist. What's more, those in Finland will evidently have the honors of  being one of the first regions to get their hands on it.

The retail site Gigantti has the phone listed with the SKU NOKLUMIA900MA with a release slated for an unspecified day in, you guessed it, May.

The phone is up for pre-order now but who knows how long it will be up since last we checked, Nokia has not made an official announcement on such a color being offered. Of course knowing that the Lumia 800 comes in that color choice, it's not much of a stretch to see its bigger brother get the red treatment as well.

So AT&T, your move.

Source: Gigantti; via e's PhoneBlog; Thanks, Jonne

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2 years ago

Zombies are on the Phone and the Xbox Live Deal of the Week too

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Remember that Xbox Live Deal of the Week poll from last month? Microsoft allowed users to vote on whether ZOMB1ES on teh ph0ne, Earthworm Jim, Doodle God, or Deer Hunter would go on sale this month. Doodle God and Deer Hunter have already permanently dropped to 99 cents, which left only Zombies or Earthworm Jim to go on sale. Zombies on the Phone (as I’ll now type it) won the poll anyway, and so it’s now the current Deal of the Week for $1.99.

Zombies on the Phone is the Windows Phone port of popular-‘cause-it’s-cheap Xbox 360 indie game I MAED A GAEM W1TH Z0MB1ES 1N IT!!1. Thankfully it includes a new game mode, 'Endless Zombies,' as well as the entirely new side-view shooter 'Time Viking.' It’s like two or three games for the price of one! Look past the intentionally basic yet chaotic visuals and you’ll find a challenging shooter with a nice sense of humor; just listen to the horrid but silly lyrical theme songs for proof. To learn more about the concept, check out our Xbox Live Developer Interview with Ska Studios and read the full game review.

Zombies on the Phone is on sale for $1.99 for one week only. Get it here on the Marketplace and start shooting those darn zombies,

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2 years ago

The Windows Phone Challenge racks up 40,522 wins for Microsoft and very few losses

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All good things must come to an end and so does the Windows Phone Challenge at Microsoft Stores in the US as April 12 was designated to be the last day (Evidently the contest is still going on in many stores)

Although the Smoked by Windows Phone Challenge will remain forever controversial, there is little doubt it made waves and got the OS noticed (hey, any publicity is good publicity). Guess we didn't figure Microsoft were tallying up every single win (and loss) though perhaps it shouldn't be a surprise. Here are the results:

  • Won - 40,522
  • Lost - 462

We're assuming that these numbers are just for the US at the various Microsoft Stores and don't include the expanded contest in places like Italy, Malaysia and Brazil (to name a few). Even Nokia picked up and ran with it in London.

If our math is correct, Windows Phone has won 98.87% of the challenges which is, umm, really high. Of course, we all know that the challenge favors Windows Phone as the tasks are predefined, but Microsoft has made some changes to make it more fair to challengers.

We're sure the naysayers will still cry foul though. Fair enough. The publicity stunt started a great conversation about the efficiency of using your smartphone for everyday tasks and put the spotlight on Windows Phone for once, something we rather enjoyed seeing.

Source: Microsoft Store (Facebook)

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2 years ago

From the Forums - Poll: What color is your Nokia Lumia 900?

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The Lumia 900 has been available for over a couple of weeks now. Reports are that it is selling well. What we want to know is what color Lumia 900 do you have? The numbers are going up and everyone has their favorite choice.

Forum member baseballbert has an opinion on the Cyan Lumia 900.

"Cyan, blue is the best color in the Crayola box. Already had a white iPhone and several black phones, it was time to go outside the lines with something new. Plus, its 1970's Batman Blue, I mean honestly, does it get better than that?"

Forum member NicholasCL has an idea. This is what he had to say.

"I like the white but the cyan is a little too close to powder blue for my taste...I'll stick with my matte black but why don't we have phones that change colors yet? In the 80's I had t-shirts and Hotwheels that changed color I want a phone that will change. Think about the Nokia Chameleon, the only phone that changes to match your mood or your outfit. I'd buy one."

Now that's a fun idea, but you won't find that in our poll. We only added the colors we already had and Magenta just in case. Forum member nokia4life had this to say about the White Lumia 900.

"You might have had a white iphone but it does not look better than the white lumia 900 by the way i also had the white iphone 4s this black screen floating on top of the white is awesome the phone looks like a piece of  untouched glacier it pops for real more the cyan"

The Black Lumia isn't getting much love in the thread comments even though it is holding it's own in our poll. Forum member Neibl likes his Black Lumia because of how the screen blends in and he thinks it looks more professional.

And what color Lumia 900 do you have? We want to know, so jump in the forums here and place your vote. Then tell us in the comments or in our forums thread why you got what you got.

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2 years ago

Microsoft removing Windows Phone Marketplace from Zune Desktop

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In a surprising move, Microsoft announced today on the Windows Phone blog that in the near future starting today you, won't be able to purchase or browse apps using the Zune Desktop software. (If you launch Zune Desktop, you'll be notified of the changes). In addition, you'll need Windows Phone 7.5+ to access and purchase new apps in the Marketplace, basically forcing users who are still on NoDo to finally update.

The Zune Desktop move seems odd until Microsoft explains that the overwhelming majority of users browse and purchase apps right on their phone or at the very least, use the Web Marketplace. So trying to focus their engineering efforts where it matters, Microsoft has decided to concentrate their efforts on those two areas and to forsake the Zune Desktop client.

Of course, we've also heard a lot of rumblings that come Windows 8 (and Windows Phone 8), Zune Desktop as we know will be completely gone. Instead, purchasing Windows 8 apps and music will be handled more natively by the OS itself and plugging in your phone will be more akin to the Active Sync experience back in the Windows Mobile heyday.

The other requirement, needing Windows Phone 7.5 "Mango" to access the store is also an interesting move. Without going into specific details, Mazhar Mohammed explains "Requiring Windows Phone 7.5 is part of a larger effort aimed at improving Marketplace performance and security, and paving the way for even faster growth and more new features."

We're not sure what the engineering limits are that are forcing these changes but evidently Microsoft considers it a priority enough to enforce it in the Marketplace.

Regarding  the Zune Desktop situation we have mixed feelings. On the one hand, we have to recognize that it is very likely to be a thing of the past in 6-8 months and we need to move on. On the other, one could argue that Zune Desktop absolutely killed iTunes as far as usability and it was one of Microsoft's really innovative desktop apps, so we're sad to see it slowly loose functionality.

How do these changes affect you? Sound off in comments and let us hear your thoughts.

Source: Windows Phone Blog

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2 years ago

Reminder: Your App Here advertising campaign closing date April 30th

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The "Your App Here" marketing campaign is a venture by both Microsoft and Nokia that aims to help Windows Phone developers establish a foothold in the online media world with free advertising / promotion for selected apps.

We've previously covered the campaign at entry intervals, and it seems April 30th marks the closing date for the last known campaign in June. Microsoft has sent out a reminder email to developers that contains the following:

"Windows Phone & Nokia are looking for innovative new apps targeted for Windows Phone 7.5 to showcase in our promotional ad campaign. This opportunity is open to all developers with newly published Windows Phone apps relevant to the U.S. Marketplace. [...]  Tell us about your app today; the last submission deadline is April 30th."

Should you desire to get your app featured on the last campaign, be sure to get your app submission in by April 30th. Check out some photos below of the marketing in action (click for larger versions) for a handful of apps by Techark Solutions.

Thanks Pratik for the campaign images!

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2 years ago

UK Lumia 900 delayed due to 'overwhelming demand' in the U.S.?

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The Nokia Lumia 900 has previously been announced to be heading to the UK shores next month, with Clove UK expecting to stock and ship the handset by May 16th. The Carphone Warehouse and Phones4U have also jumped on the Lumia 900 train with pre-order and registration pages being published for interested customers to keep up-to-date. We've now seen reports that point to a delay with the Windows Phone hitting shelves.

According to V3, a UK technology news website, Nokia has officially confirmed that the availability date for the Lumia 900 at Phones4U has been pushed back from April 27th to May 14th, due to 'overwhelming demand' in the US on AT&T. We've covered a few times how the handset has gone out of stock, and the white Lumia 900 remains to be particularly rare.

"The overwhelming demand for the Lumia 900 in the US with AT&T has, unfortunately, had a small knock-on effect on product availability in the UK. The Lumia 900 is now expected to be available from Phones4U around the 14th May."

This date is pretty much bang on with what both Clove UK and the Carphone Warehouse originally published which makes us believe that either Phones4U was exclusively set to stock the handsets first, or they were jumping the gun slightly with the estimated date of availability (Nokia hasn't officially announced a release date). But the Finnish manufacturer has been relatively broad with their statement. What's not clear is if this just affects the Phones4U white Lumia 900, or the other versions available at the three retailers.

Clove UK has remained silent on their official blog, not announcing any delay with the Lumia 900. We'll keep our eyes and ears open for any further details regarding the possible delay. Could U.S. sales really be that positive? As well as the potential UK delay, as if that wasn't enough, according to Belgium retailer PDAshop.be the Lumia 900 will be available for shipping for €599 on May 9th - a full five days before Nokia expects to be able to ship the Windows Phone in volume to the UK.

Although dates are being flung left, right and centre, we'd recommend readers keep a mid-May release in mind when considering the Lumia 900. Should delays to the UK prove to be reality, it may well affect other European countries too in the U.S. backlash. On a brighter note, at least AT&T's CEO Ralph de la Vega can have a laugh on CNBC with the Windows Phone.

Source: pdashop.beV3, via: Inquirer; thanks to babse and Michael for the tips!

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2 years ago

Buddy platform goes free until August [Developers]

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In September of last year we wrote about the startup created by two ex-Microsofties called Buddy.

Buddy is a cloud platform that has support for all the major mobile Operating Systems (and HTML5), and makes it really easy to integrate web services into your app. With a few lines of code you could add a high score list, or get push notifications and Live-Tile updates out to all of your users, and that is just the basic stuff. There is support for a wide range of other usage scenarios which you can checkout in their documentation.

Here is the basic flow that they provide for a global high-score list:

Up until now there were different price tiers based on your usage, starting at a free account which provided enough API transactions for most small apps. But to celebrate reaching 5000 signed-up developers, the service is now totally free until August!

Check out the newsletter below:

Buddy Announces 5000 Developers
... and a pre-v1.0 launch gift!

We have great news that we want to share - but first, since our launch in beta last September we've been THRILLED with the support we've received from the mobile app development community the world over.

In fact, we're pleased to announce that we now have 5000 developers on the Buddy Platform - so thank you to every single one of you for your support, your feedback and your contributions so far!

The Buddy team has been working super hard (in fact so hard, that we need more people! Click here to learn more about opportunities to join our team), and we're in the final prep stages before we emerge from beta and release our v1.0 product.

To celebrate, we want to give our developers FREE access for all accounts consuming less than 2 million API calls per month - and we're going to continue doing so until August! So if you've been thinking about building an app on Buddy - there's never been a better time to get your feet wet.

To get started, download our free full code samples for iOS, Android and Windows Phone - these are full apps that will compile and execute - and tinker away from there!

Thanks again for your support, and we look forward to sharing more info on our post-v1.0 launch pricing shortly!

So if you aren't looking forward to forking out for Azure (or learning it for that matter), now is a great time to jump on board. Hit the source below to sign-up.

Source: Buddy platform

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2 years ago

Lumia 900 on its way to Norwegian retailer Elkjøp?

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The Lumia 900 is yet to be officially announced in Norway and nothing's detailed on the Lumia Momentum Map, but we've just been sent in a photo of a retailer terminal displaying an order for Lumia Windows Phones. As one can see in the photo, the Norwegian retailer Elkjøp is set to stock a handful of all three variants of the Lumia 900, including the glossy white version.

The expected delivery date of the ordered handsets, which we presume are simply demo units, is May 2nd, according to the employee. We could well be on the edge of an upcoming Nokia push in Norway with the flagship Lumia Windows Phone. We'll keep you all updated as this story develops and more information is officially released.

The Lumia 900 launch in the U.S. on AT&T is suffering from major sellouts due to simply not enough handsets being available on shelves. This could be due to not many being in stock to begin with, but with the device being featured as a "hero smartphone", we still like to believe that the sales have been strong.

Thanks tipster for sending in the photo!

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2 years ago

Nokia Lumia 900 Case Review: Smartphone Experts Top Case

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2 years ago

AT&T's Ralph de la Vega shows off white Lumia 900 instead of talking iPhone 5

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President and CEO of AT&T Mobility, Ralph de la Vega, was interviewed on CNBC recently answering questions surrounding both AT&T's latest financial report and the rumoured iPhone 5. One would ask, "what has this got to do with Windows Phone?" Well, nothing. But what's both humorous and surprising is Vega holds up a shiny new Lumia 900 instead of discussing the iPhone.

Check out the above video, at around the 7:40 mark. He jokes around the questions being fired by the reporters and states that the Lumia 900 is a fantastic device and carries one around with him as a daily smartphone. We're aware that Nokia has a deal with AT&T for employees to exclusively use the 4G Windows Phone, but it's good to see the captain of the ship actively promoting it on public television.

Source: CNBC; thanks Christian for the heads up!

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