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3 years ago

Did Microsoft know Windows Phone 7 would be superceded prior to its launch?

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Not great news today from the Windows Phone camp. It would appear that CNET have been chatting with Greg Sullivan from Microsoft and what he has said isn't what Windows Phone users wanted to hear.

It seems that Microsoft has know for a long time that Windows Phone 7 would be replaced by Windows Phone 8.

"It was right after Windows Phone 7," Sullivan said, speaking in an interview with CNET UK. The team that developed the 7.5 release actually was working in parallel with the core team that was already beginning [Windows Phone 8]. In fact some of that work was already initiated before Windows Phone 7 was even available -- so this goes back a little bit."

"It is true that this is a generational shift -- that is a rare occurrence, but it's something we don't expect to have happen again in the foreseeable future because of the headspace that the new architecture gives us."

While I would imagine that the majority of blogs that write about this will just complain about Microsoft keeping us in the dark, I on the other hand am looking at this realistically. How many operating systems are there that get a big software upgrade that will then work on all older hardware? As far as I can see there is only one that seems to have nailed it and that is iOS. While Android tries to update as many devices from the past 18 months or so they are quite often at the mercy of the carriers and manufacturers. At least Apple seem to have a good track record of keeping older hardware up to date. RIM has been guilty of the same. Many OS 5.0 handsets were not upgradable to BlackBerry 6 and none of those were ever going to see BlackBerry 7.

What I am getting at here is that this is just the way the mobile industry works. Sure, if you have bought a Windows Phone in the last 6 months or so it may have been nice to know an update was coming and the hardware would not be compatible. But that is never going to happen as manufactures need to sell phones.

At least it is encouraging to know that we shouldn't see this scenario again for some time with Windows Phone.

The whole thing isn't ideal but ideal but that's how the business seems to work.

Source: CNET

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3 years ago

Vodafone Germany pushing out Samsung Omnia 7 Windows Phone Tango update

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With all the Windows Phone "Tango" update madness that's currently underway, whether you're forcing the upgrade or receiving it from the carrier, there's a number of networks pushing out the latest version of Microsoft's operating system. Vodafone Germany has joined this list with Windows Phone Central reader EvilEls sending in a screenshot of the Zune update process.

The updates are for the first generation Samsung Omnia 7 smartphone. The first being a firmware update, with the follow-up presumably the Tango upgrade. Device changes reported are as follows:

  • OS: 7.10.7720.68 => 7.10.8773.98
  • Firmware: 2424.11.8.5 => 2424.11.11.2
  • Radio Software: 2424.11.7.2 => 2424.11.9.1
  • Bootloader: 5.8.1.9 => 5.11.1.8

Have you been Tango'd yet? Let us know in the comments if you've received the update or have forced it through Zune.

Thanks EvilEls for the tip!

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3 years ago

Dell shocks the world (again), Tango update pushed out to the Venue Pro

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While the Dell Venue Pro has been discontinued, we were surprised to see the Windows Phone receive the 8107 update pushed out to the phone.  It was equally surprising today to see the Tango update hit the unlocked Venue Pro. While forcing the Tango update on the Samsung Focus S, we connected the Dell Venue Pro up to the computer and sure enough, the update notices appeared on the screen.

There was no need to force the Venue Pro to recognize the update and the previous updates to Tango (7740, 8107, etc) were installed first. Needless to say, it has been a while since my Venue Pro had seen the light of day...

When all was said and done the OS version on the Dell Windows Phone is 7.10.8773.98 and the firmware version is 2250.1800.7720.219. Because the process dealt with several updates, for me, the entire process ran about ninety minutes. If you have been using your Dell Venue Pro more regularly than I, the process may be shorter.

The Dell Venue Pro is a decent Windows Phone (still can't get used to the buttons) and it's nice to see the Venue Pro getting a little update attention.

Thanks, everyone, for the tip!

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3 years ago

Igneous Software looking to develop a BBC iPlayer Radio Windows Phone app

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The folks at Igneous Software, the wizards behind some superbly crafted Windows Phone apps, have been busy working on updates for the popular (and highly rated) BBC Podcast Lounge. In an official blog post, Richard Castle goes into depth about what the team has been up to, namely adding auto-subscribing and downloading for favourite programmes in BBC Podcast Lounge 1.4, which is just about to go into testing.

There's more though. The team have also been looking at new project ideas, one that they've lightly touched on in the article. Many of us (who reside in the UK) deeply desire iPlayer streaming functionality on Windows Phone from the BBC, but we're still yet to see anything. Before you get overexcited and imagine Igneous Software developing an actual iPlayer on-demandTV app, unfortunately this is still not yet possible. 

Instead the team have been busy looking at a potential BBC iPlayer Radio app. A working prototype is currently being played with that enables the user to reliably stream the previous seven days worth of programming on any BBC national (and regional) radio station. Want to know something more amazing? This functionality is one step further than what's present on both the iPhone and Android, which offer only national stations. It's that much sweeter indeed.

So we've got the BBC Radio Player and BBC Podcast Lounge app maturing nicely with frequent updates and more functionality being introduced, and now we've got a potential BBC iPlayer Radio app on the horizon. Once they're content with how the BBC Podcast Lounge is heading, the team will look at turning this concept into a feasible app to launch on the Marketplace.

Keep posted for more updates and be sure to check out Igneous Software apps that are already available. We also interviewed Richard Castle, which is well worth the read.

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3 years ago

AT&T sitting on Samsung Tango updates for Windows Phone. Here's how to get it now.

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Samsung has the Tango update but AT&T is not pushing it

Although AT&T itself is not pushing out any Tango-8773 updates for its current Windows Phones, the OEMs evidently have it on tap, or at least Samsung does.

We’ve had isolated reports that the Focus S was getting two OS updates (some are reporting new firmware, we’re still at 2103.11.10.1). However, whenever George Ponder or I would plug in our Focus S devices, it was always reported back to us that we had the latest update (7740).

The trick is to rig the system—basically use the same trick many of you did for Mango where you put your phone into Airplane mode (disable all radios), plug into Zune and check for an update. You then navigate away and go back to “Check for update” but as soon as it starts to look (about 2 seconds) you kill your internet on your PC. Now you wait about 30 seconds and an update will be shown. For more info on how that works, read our tutorial here.

You need to do that at least twice—once for 8112 and again for 8773 (Tango)—but yes, it does work and it’s officially from Samsung. We manually installed 8107 back in the day, so our phone was already on that OS version. The majority of you will need to upgrade to 8107, then presumably it will go to 8112 or 8773.

The changelog for Windows Phone 8112/8773 on the Focus S

So why is this happening? We can only speculate that Samsung has delivered the update to AT&T but the carrier is either holding it, still evaluating it, not releasing it or maybe they’re waiting on HTC and Nokia to do a universal roll out. Honestly, your guess is as good as ours.

We also have heard this works for the Focus Flash and possibly the Focus 2 (we manually installed Tango on our Focus 2 so can’t really verify). In other words, for all of you Samsung users who are on AT&T (and even non-branded versions), feel free to try this method to grab some updates.

We’ll keep you posted if anything official happens in the meantime.

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3 years ago

Price tag for Windows 8 Pro upgrade is just $39.99

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With the anticipation and impatient wait for Windows 8, many have been wondering what the fee will be for upgrading from a previous version of Microsoft's operating system. The team have announced on the Windows blog that the cost to consumers who wish to take advantage of Metro, among other Windows 8 Pro features, is just $39.99. 

Competitive pricing that follows Apple's approach with the latest Lion instalment, Microsoft is set to open up Windows 8 Pro to a larger audience. Those who are running Windows XP, Vista, or 7 installations will be eligible for the upgrade discount. What's more is that you get Windows Media Center for absolutely nothing at all. Good job, big M.

By buying the upgrade through Microsoft's website, the Windows 8 Upgrade Assistant will walk the consumer through the process step-by-step, making it as user friendly as possible. From detailed compatibility reporting (hardware and applications) to actually downloading and installing Windows 8, the assistant will make the consumer's life easier.

Items that can be carried through the process include settings, personal files and apps (depending on what system you're upgrading from). Of course, as well as the upgrade option, one can always choose a fresh installation. Once the Windows 8 Pro upgrade has been purchased, it can be transferred to external media, and Microsoft also offers an option for a DVD to be posted (for a fee).

Who can upgrade? Microsoft is planning to support 100 countries and 37 languages. The full price of the Windows 8 Pro upgrade at local stores will be $69.99 during this promotion, which lasts through January 31st, 2013. But if you're like us and are building your own PC, or are trying Windows 8 out in a virtual machine / on a separate partition, you can purchase and install the Windows 8 / Pro System Builder product.

Source: Windows Blog

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3 years ago

A quick look at the Xbox 360's Windows Phone Theme featuring the Lumia 900

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Although some users complain that Nokia, Microsoft and AT&T aren’t doing enough for the Lumia 900, we can say we do like the presence of the flagship phone on our Xbox 360.

Many of you have noticed the occasional Windows Phone ad the pops up in one of the Xbox 360’s Home screen Tiles. When you click on it, you’re greeted with the image, which you see above, promoting the Lumia 900. What’s more, if you click on it and follow the directions, you can download and unlock a free Lumia 900 theme and Gamer Pic.

The Xbox 360 Windows Phone Theme feat. the Lumia 900

The theme is fairly basic—white with a Lumia 900 dropping in the background and “Windows Phone” emblazoned—but it’s effective and we like it quite a lot. The Gamer Pic is a lot more basic with just a black box and “Windows Phone” being displayed. At least it sticks out.

Combined with some of those free Windows Phone avatar props, our Xbox 360 is all about the Lumia 900 and Windows Phone, which is a pretty neat combo. Not bad Microsoft, not bad at all. As to how you can get these freebies, you'll just have to check your Xbox 360 and grab it when you see it (US residents only since it's an AT&T tie in).

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3 years ago

Nokia has Windows Phone "contingency plan"

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Many have speculated that if Windows Phone 8 should somehow flop, then Nokia's goose is cooked. Not so says Nokia board chairman, Risto Siilasmaa. In his first television interview on Thursday, Siilasmaa said that Nokia has a "contingency plan" in place just in case Microsoft's mobile OS "fails to live up to expectations." That being said, he stressed that the company was confident that it would be a success, describing Windows Phone 8 as "a technological first, providing users with a seamless user experience across multiple platforms, from PCs to tablets and smartphones."

He defended Nokia's decision to ditch their own operating system after “Symbian’s market share has come down close to zero,” since it began to decline in 2008. Siilasmaa also stood by CEO, Stephen Elop, who "came in at a tough time." Nokia's stock has plummeted since making the move to Windows Phone and the Finnish manufacturer has announced that it will be cutting 10,000 jobs.

Contingency plan or not, Nokia's fate seems to be closely tied to the success of Windows Phone. They took a huge hit after the change in strategy, and it's hard to believe that they could survive a second one in such a short time.

Source: Yle Uutiset; Via: CNET; Thanks, everyone, for the tip!

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3 years ago

Microsoft has stopped the market share bleeding with the Lumia 900, but still has a lot to gain

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Microsoft, Nokia & AT&T had high hopes for the Lumia 900 back in January

Microsoft with the help of Nokia has stemmed the bleeding of market share over the last two years as the new comScore number just published reveal.

The number of mobile subscribers is up 0.1% to 4.0% ending at the end of May, 2012. That means those numbers include the launch of Nokia’s much hyped Lumia 900 on AT&T and softer launches of the admirable Samsung Focus 2 and HTC Titan 2.

That’s the good news because Microsoft has been losing market share to Android and the iPhone for a very long time now. If we look back to the same period in May 2011, you can see Microsoft had 5.8% of the market and continued to slide up until the end of May this year.

The bad news is multifaceted. For one, these numbers include Microsoft’s legacy Windows Mobile devices, which presumably have now mostly died off. Number two should be obvious. Although stopping the hemorrhage and gaining some market share for the first time in years, a 0.1% increase is hardly anything to be excited about—especially if you’re Nokia.

comScore's latest numbers show Microsoft doing slightly better

The Nokia Lumia 900 on AT&T is hands down the most visible and well promoted Windows Phone to date. The marketing campaign was quite solid, presence was high and it was being heavily discussed in the press. Despite those efforts, Microsoft and Nokia have barely been able to squeak by and if anything, we can read the 900’s sales as being mediocre, at best. We're also curious to see how Nokia's stock will respond, though our guess is not well (currently it's still at the very low $2.14, up slightly).

That certainly has to be disappointing, especially for those of us who had pinned high hopes on this AT&T flagship device. And although June may also bring in some more numbers, our bet is sales of dropped slightly and not increased making 4.1% by the end of the summer the likely market share for Microsoft.

comScore of course is not the only numbers house around, so take these numbers with a grain of salt until they can be corroborated with other market indicators.

Source: comScore

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3 years ago

Tip - How to soft-reset a Nokia Lumia 800 & Lumia 900

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While it is very rare for any Windows Phone to crash or freeze, we have on a few occasions seen it happen. It's rare because 3rd party apps don't have access to the core of the OS and therefore it's very difficult to cause the system to become unstable. Still, the problem may pop up and we figured we would cover you for the Lumia 800 & 900.

Why these two Nokia devices? With their unibody design, there's no physical way to access and therefore pull the battery. That puts users in a pickle if they need to soft-reset a stuck device. So without further ado, here's how you do it:

Lumia 900

  • Press and hold the volume keys, power button and camera together for 3-5 seconds
  • The phone should soft-reset (although some say you should feel 3 vibrations, ours never has)

Lumia 800

  • Press and hold the volume keys and power button together for 3-5 seconds
  • The phone should soft-reset

That's it. So although you will probably never need this it's good to know if you're in a pinch.

Edit: Some are saying in comments that just holding the power button for 10 seconds works too.

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3 years ago

The Encyclopedia Britannica official app launches for Windows Phone

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Are you into absorbing knowledge and facts? Would you like 80,000 articles in your Windows Phone to browse at your leisure? Well you can, with Encyclopaedia which is a Encyclopedia Britannica application now available in the Windows Marketplace.

The only downside I can see here is its price. At $4.99 and without a trial it isn't the cheapest app but it would appear you do get a lot for your money.

Features of the application include:

  • 80,000 articles in a fully searchable database
  • Tens of thousands of images, diagrams and charts
  • Ability to download articles for offline viewing, store your favorites and access your search history
  • Research noteworthy events and birthdates from 'This day' in history
  • An A-Z browse allows users to browse the entire contents of the Encyclopedia Britannica

You can pick up the official Encyclopedia Britannica app for Windows Phone here in the Marketplace.

via: WPSauce

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3 years ago

Two new Nokia phones go through the FCC, one destined for T-Mobile with LTE?

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Update: As pointed out in comments, these could be Nokia's Asha phones (305 and 306) which are just hitting the market. The smaller battery and dual-SIMs give credence to that notion, although Nokia often recycles a lot, including battery types to reduce costs.

Despite Windows Phone 7.x devices looking all but DOA for new launches, a few phones have popped up on the FCC that has caught our attention. At this point, we can’t really believe that (a) these are still WP7.x devices or (b) they will launch anytime soon. That means we may be looking at some Windows Phone 8 devices or these are formalities for other reasons (lots of phones get FCC certs without ever being picked up).

First up is of course Nokia (you can read about ZTE’s phone here). They have two devices, RM-844 and RM-852, which are making their way through the FCC. Both devices look to be the same model but RM-852 appears to be destined for Canada with dual-SIMs while RM-844 looks to be for, wait for it, T-Mobile. We're assuming they are Windows Phones due to Nokia's commitment to the platform but there's nothing conclusive in the documents.

The reason we’re looking at T-Mobile of course is due to the bands being tested: GSM 850 / WCDMA 850, GSM 1900 / WCDMA 1900,  WCDMA 1700 / LTE 1700.  Let’s step back a bit: AT&T uses the 700 MHz band for its LTE service while T-Mobile will be using 1700/2100 band for its 4G LTE network which is not due to until 2013.  T-Mobile also uses 850 and 1900 MHz bands. [Note: these still could be used by AT&T though, so it's a bit confusing with so little to worth with]

That’s not a slam dunk of a prediction but if T-Mobile wants to come out with a new Windows Phone 8 Nokia device in late 2012 (when WP8 is expected to launch), it makes sense to have it "LTE-ready" even if that network will still be in its infancy. Then again, we could be reading too deeply into things here but we think that’s a safe bet for now.

We shouldn’t be too surprised though if T-Mobile is going to aggressively push a Nokia 4G LTE Windows Phone, after all they have to compete against AT&T some way and with Verizon on board with WP8, it will be an interesting fall for new devices. Windows Phone 8 is expected to have HD displays (720x1280), dual-cores CPUs, NFC, expandable SD storage and other tidbits which should make them highly desirable for consumers.

Did we miss anything in the FCC docs? Let us know in comments…

Source: FCC (RM544, RM-852); via Engadget

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3 years ago

ZTE N859 passes FCC certification running Windows Phone 7.5

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Recent FCC documentation shows that a new Windows Phone device made by Chinese manufacturer ZTE has passed certification. There are not many details on the N859, as it is called, other than that it is CDMA-only and will be running Windows Phone 7.5 (Mango). One N859 has popped up on Occasional Gamer's gaming stats page, so we know there is at least one out there being tested in the wild.

It's a little odd that ZTE would be looking to release a WP7.5 device so close to the launch of Windows Phone 8 (Apollo), as many consumers will likely just hold off on buying a new phone so they can get the latest and greatest. However, ZTE tends to target emerging markets and cost-conscious consumers, so perhaps they are betting on demand for a more economical device with fewer bells and whistles.

Source: FCC, OccasionalGamer; Via: WindowsPhoneDaily, Engadget

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3 years ago

Amazing Weather goes Lite with free version

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