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3 years ago

Poll results: 54% think Microsoft should re-name WP8 to Windows 8 Phone instead

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Windows Phone Central ran yet another interesting poll this past weekend on the forever controversial topic of “What should Windows Phone be called”?

The proposal was to re-name “Windows Phone 8” to “Windows 8 Phone” due to the benefit of co-branding and the fact that the new iteration of Microsoft’s mobile OS shares the same kernel as the upcoming desktop OS.  The benefit for advertising seems obvious to us as consumers will see the significant overlap between the two systems.

Of course there are some problems with the proposal, including the fact that the Windows Phone group at Microsoft may not want to consider themselves under the umbrella of Steve Sinofosky’s Windows desktop division just yet. There’s also the issue of version updates and whether or not both systems would stay in parallel (though we think that could be easily solved by planning appropriately).

Still, you folks spoke up. Once again we had a large turnout with 5,773 of you voicing your opinion. Surprisingly 54% of you agreed that Windows 8 Phone would be the better choice (something we actually agree with ourselves) while 37.5% thought that Windows Phone 8 was just fine. Meanwhile, a small but significant portion thought that “something else” would be better.

That “something else” of course is always hard to nail down. Many of you thought that Microsoft should capitalize on the “Surface” name and make a “Surface Phone”. While it certainly has a nice ring to it, the name “Surface” seems more appropriate for a tablet device than a phone due to its structure and shape. There's also the (slight) possibility that Surface tablets could bomb and then Microsoft would have two bad names floating around.

The other popular name is not surprisingly related to Xbox—either XPhone or something similar. Though the Xbox brand is certainly successful, Microsoft is clearly courting enterprise with Windows Phone 8 and we’re not sure the more button-up types would opt for a gaming-centric themed phone. Heck, we hear that even the new white phones are a little too flamboyant for some business types—no joke.

The take away message though we think is clear: If Microsoft is serious about aligning their various operating systems, then perhaps doing the same for their names--for practical usage as well as branding—may not be a bad idea at all.

Thanks for all who voted and your thoughts on the matter!

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3 years ago

Massive update for Chickens Can't Fly for Windows Phone now available, drops to $0.99

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Good news for you Xbox LIVE game fans as the huge version 1.1 update planned for the super popular (and WPCentral favorite) Chickens Can't Fly (review) by Amused Sloth is now available. The update was planned months ago and like usual, the update has taken literally months to pass Microsoft's rigid certification process for Xbox LIVE games.

You can hop to the Marketplace to grab it now. To refresh just what this update entails, we'll report the changelog:

  • Dive deep in the new Aquarium Laboratory
  • Xbox LIVE Multiplayer: Challenge your friends and see who's better!
  • Customize your chicken with new skins
  • Unlock Avatar Awards!
  • PDLC: The Dojo Laboratory and more skins
  • A new ringtone
  • Option to change the game's language manually
  • Performance improvements

A new ringtone, Avatar Awards (detailed here) new levels, chicken customization...what doesn't this update have? As always, we're impressed with Amused Sloth's dedication to the platform and this game.

If you haven't tried Chickens Can't Fly, then you can do so by clicking the link here for the Marketplace. The game is chock full of fantastic animations, hilarious levels and innovative obstacles which will keep you plenty busy. While the early levels are very easy, once you enter the other labs you'll have a challenge on your hands.

What's more, the game is at the low-low price of $0.99 which is one heck of a deal. Grab Chickens Can't Fly here in the Windows Phone Marketplace. Video of our hands on after the break...Thanks, DarkSynopsis, for the heads up

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3 years ago

NFL Live now available at the Windows Phone Marketplace

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NFL Live is now available over at the Windows Phone Marketplace. It may not be endorsed or affiliated by the NFL but it does bring a hefty amount of NFL stats, news, and scores to your Windows Phone.

The main pages for NFL Live cover news items, scores, team standings, and a More Page that has links to ESPN videos, ESPN NFL Tweets, FOX NFL Tweets, and...well...more.

Key features of NFL Live include:

  • Live scoreboard of current games
  • Live game details including stats and play information
  • Shake to refresh feature
  • Live tile support for your favorite team
  • Team information
  • League leader stats
  • Ability to create a unique landing page for your favorite team.

The landing page for your favorite team creates an additional page for that team. The team page will display scores, news, and schedule information for that team. 

NFL Live is a well laid out, information packed app for your Windows Phone. NFL Live is a free app and you can catch it here at the Windows Phone Marketplace. Thanks, Brock D., for the tip!

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3 years ago

Official: Microsoft buys Yammer for $1.2 billion to boost cloud services

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On June 14th, rumors were circulating that Microsoft was poised to buy Yammer, a social-network and messaging service for enterprise, for at least $1 billion dollars. Speculation cooled down a bit as Microsoft intended to focus on the Surface and Windows Phone 8 announcements but a new week is upon us and so the deal is now official.

Microsoft has now purchased Yammer (www.yammer.com) for a massive $1.2 billion in cash and it will be folded into the Microsoft Office Division, led by division President Kurt DelBene. The team will continue to report to current CEO David Sacks to maintain continuity, at least for the near future.

A statement from Microsoft on the acquisition states

“The acquisition of Yammer underscores our commitment to deliver technology that businesses need and people love. Yammer adds a best-in-class enterprise social networking service to Microsoft’s growing portfolio of complementary cloud services.”

Yammer is only four years old but has nearly 5 million users including employees at 85 percent of the Fortune 500, making it an interesting and strategic purchase. So why the acquisition even though Microsoft has Lync and Sharepoint already? Mary Jo Foley (ZDNet) ruminates that Microsoft "...needed a cooler brand and wanted the cross-platform support" which sounds about right to us.

Here's to hopefully seeing Yammer built into Windows Phone 8.

Full press release after the break...

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3 years ago

Traffic data comes to UK and Italy in continued Bing Maps update

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It was a few weeks ago when Nokia and Microsoft announced that Bing Maps would be getting a bit of a backend overhaul. Specifically in two areas: new color codes for traffic and more detail on back roads.

Perhaps even more importantly, some countries which previously didn't have access to mapping data would be getting the feature in a timed rollout. All in all, 24 countries were being added to the list including Italy and the UK.

We can at least verify that those latter two now have traffic as an option on their devices. Users can simply launch Maps and tap the three-dots on the lower menu. There, the "enable traffic" option should now be available.

It's great to see such a feature comes to other regions as it's something many of us have taken for granted since Windows Phone 7 came out in 2010. If you've noticed traffic added to any of these other countries, sound off in comments: Austria, Belgium, Brazil, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, India, Indonesia, Ireland, Luxembourg, Mexico, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Russia, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland or UAE.

via: Plaffo; Thanks Andrew, James, for UK info

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3 years ago

E-Plus releases Windows Phone Tango update for Lumia 800

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E-Plus in Germany is currently preparing to release the Windows Phone Tango update to consumers, according to reports. Much like Australia's Telstra, the update is set to hit Lumia 800 owners. "Tango" introduces a number of new features and improvements to the experience, including added MMS functionality and WiFi tethering (depending on carrier restrictions and firmware versions).

Be sure to keep an eye out for any update notifications and let us know when you receive the release.

Source: Mobile Professionals, via: WP7App.de; thanks, Tali, for the tip!

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3 years ago

Windows Phone Tango update in testing at Telstra

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The Windows Phone Tango update is currently in testing by Australian carrier Telstra. What is being referred to as the Mango Commercial Refresh 3 update is being tested for release to the Nokia Lumia 800, HTC Mozart and HD7, Samsung Omnia W and LG c900k.

Speculation has the Tango MCR3 update being pushed out sometime in July. The update will bring these older Windows Phones current with the HTC Titan, Nokia Lumia 900 and 610 which are shipped with the updated version of Windows Phone.

Source: wpdownunder; Thanks, Peter and Sheeds, for the tip!

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3 years ago

Contest - WPCentral Nokia Lumia 710 Dark Knight Rises Cover Giveaway

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Name your favorite Batman, win a Dark Knight cover for your Lumia 710

We've mentioned the Dark Knight Rises covers for the Nokia Lumia 710 Windows Phone before. T-Mobile is currently giving the covers away with new purchases of the Lumia 710. Well, we've gotten our grubby little hands on three of them to give away.

The covers are stamped with the Dark Knight Rises movie logo and we thought it might be fitting to somehow tie the Dark Knight into this giveaway. So... keeping it simple... in the comments let us know who is your favorite Batman. Was it Adam West, Val Kilmer, George Clooney, Michael Keaton, Christian Bale or is the comic book version the best?

Chime in through the day (say until 5pm PST) and tonight we'll randomly pick three winners, each to receive a Nokia Lumia 710 Dark Knight Rises cover. You do need to register so we can get in touch with you (registration is done here) and remember these cases are for the 710. Feel free to chime in but if you don't have the 710, let us know as you comment to avoid winning a case that doesn't fit your Windows Phone.

Good luck everyone!

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3 years ago

Windows Phone Game Review: Pairanoia

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Pairanoia is a Windows Phone puzzle game from Beautiful Mind Games, the developers of Triangula, Quadrata and other puzzle games for your Windows Phone. Pairanoia is a game that calls upon you to match up tiles with assorted colors and shapes. As you create the matches you earn points in an effort to out score you opponent.

Pairanoia does take a few games to get the hang of things but once you do, it's an entertaining way to pass the time.

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3 years ago

PGA Tour app is available for Lumia Windows Phones

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3 years ago

TVShow and PrimeTV temporarily down but should return soon

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We received a few reports from users that the excellent reminder + scheduling apps TVShow and PrimeTV are both "broken" right now. Specifically, when users try to update the app to pull down their customized TV schedules, they are met with an error message that they cannot connect to the servers.

We reached to TVShow's developer Rudy Huyn about the matter and we were given a simple explanation. In short, both apps use the site TVRage for their information and that API is currently undergoing maintenance

There's no word on when it will be back but rest assured it should return. Until then, there's not much it seems either developer can do until TVRage flips the switch again.

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3 years ago

Microsoft Store opening soon in Westchester, NY

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Microsoft is set to open a new store at Westchester in New York, and according to the construction manager on-site it's set to open "very soon" indeed. We've previously looked at an unofficial list of Microsoft Stores that are to be revealed in the states and the software giant has also recently opened a store in Freehold, NY.

New York Metro has a job listing for a Retail Store Teacher position at the Westchester store, should you be interested in such a career with the software giant. More information will be published when the store is open and ready for business, so stay tuned and take a look at the above photo of the retail store under construction.

Thanks, Sean, for the heads up!

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3 years ago

Last day to catch Twabbit for $.99

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Twabbit for Windows Phone is a Twitter client that is nicely laid out, has plenty of features and overall is a really nice Windows Phone app.

Twabbit's main pages cover your Twitter home page with all your tweets, interactions with other tweets and your direct message inbox. Other key features include:

  • Persistently present tweet button that enables you to compose tweets from anywhere in the app
  • Quick reply bar, Support for multiple Twitter accounts
  • Ability to mute users, hastags and apps
  • Support for Twitter, TwitPic and yFrog photo upload services
  • Live Tile Support

Tweets load fast and there are a ton of settings to let you customize Twabbit to suit your needs and tastes. There's even gesture settings for customizable single and multi-touches.

There is a free trail available for Twabbit and the full version is currently running $.99. Today's the last day to pick Twabbit up for $.99 and then the price jumps to $1.49. If you're looking for a nice Twitter client for your Windows Phone, Twabbit is worth checking out.

You can find Twabbit here at the Windows Phone Marketplace.

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3 years ago

WPCentral Poll: What's in a name - Windows 8 Phone instead?

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Ever since Microsoft unveiled "Windows Phone 7 Series" back in February 2010 (and then changed it), much debate has taken place on what it should be called. Many people had made convincing arguments at the time that Microsoft should drop "Windows" all together and opt instead for an Xbox alignment.

In hindsight, such arguments now seem silly to us as Windows Phone 7 was hardly a killer gaming platform, nor does that send the right message to business/enterprise. Likewise, the phrase "Windows" has made quite the comeback with "8", as early reviews would suggest.

However, reader 'umovies' sent in this idea which piqued our interest because it actually makes sense:

"[Microsoft should] change Windows Phone 8 to Windows 8 Phone. They're going to have more products out so its kinda crazy saying Windows Phone 8 when you got Windows 8 OS, Windows 8 Surface's, you should have a Windows 8 Phone as well and it will get rid of the confusion over Windows Mobile."

Indeed, now that the core of Windows Phone 8 has been shown to be the core of Windows 8 desktop (which will also be used in the next generation of Xbox), it does seem obvious to call it Windows 8 Phone instead. Technically speaking, it's just more accurate. (Heck, our site wouldn't even need a name change as it is still "Windows Phone" but the specific version is just "8".)

Plus as our writer Seth Brodeur notes, you can finally say "I have a Windows 8 Phone" instead of a " I have a Windows Phone 8 phone" which is redundant (notice we usually say "Windows Phone 8 device" to avoid this. but it also sounds...odd).

What do you think? Hit the poll, people, and share it with others. Then we'll see about sending it to Microsoft.

 

Should Microsoft rename Windows Phone 8 to Windows 8 Phone instead?
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