Even though Microsoft appears to be on the cusp of a revolution of consumer devices e.g. Windows Phone 7 and Xbox Kinect, Wall Street seems to be having cold feet when it comes to recommended them for investment.
Seeking Alpha is reporting that just this month FBR, Goldman, Janney Capital, Pacific Crest and Barclays have all issued a 'cut' for Microsoft. Most of this has to do with the news of PC sales leveling off this last quarter, which seems to be negating the other news of Windows 7 being the fastest selling OS in history.
Not all is bad though, as the feeling on Wall Street seems to be that MS is just performing flat for awhile, though we'll see what they have to say come Thursday when they report their earnings.
Windows Phone 7 has been awarded the What Mobile Editors Choice Award. What's "What Mobile" you say? The What Mobile Awards are in their sixth year over in the U.K. and recognizes mobile devices and applications based on consumer voting.
Awards categories include Best Touchscreen Phone (the Apple 4 gets the nod this year), Best Mobile Broadband Provider (O2 this year), Best Mobile Game (Angry Birds) and several more.
Windows Phone 7 was given the Editor's Choice Award,
"in recognition of the work done by Microsoft to re-launch its Windows operating system for mobile, introducing a range of new design features that will create a highly valued additional choice for consumers in the smartphone arena."
HTC was dubbed Best Manufacturer and the Mobile Phone of the Year went to the HTC Desire. Last year's Editor's Choice Award went to the Android OS.
Just as expected, the Windows Phone 7 Connector for Mac users is now available for download. Though only in beta, it should at least allow those users to "Sync music, photos, videos and podcasts from your existing iTunes and iPhoto libraries to your Windows Phone 7".
AT&T's Windows Phone 7 lineup is now appearing over at Amazon.com. While the phones aren't listed for pre-order, like we have seen with the T-Mobile HD7, but it's progress.
The Amazon pages for the Samsung Focus, LG Quantum, and HTC Surround list the phones as un-available (expected to be in stock soon) and ships with free two-day shipping. There is also a notation that the phones come with an AmazonWireless Instant Discount. Could the Amazon discount drop AT&T's prices down lower?
As if we needed more proof that Sprint is embracing Windows Phone 7 (as opposed to Verizon), it looks like Microsoft is getting two sessions at the Sprint Developer Conference in Santa Clara, CA tomorrow (October 26th).
First session is just an overview with the second concentrating on building apps for the new OS. Heck, they even gush a bit saying "We are very excited to be partnering with Sprint to deliver some great Windows Phone Experiences.". Combined with that earlier FCC device approval news and things are looking up for Sprint users.
Well that didn't take too long at all. Just the other day we hit 777 apps in the marketplace and today, just two weeks after Windows Phone 7 went "live" to the world we have hit 1,000.
We still have 14 days before the U.S. roll out, meaning at this current pace we could easily approach 2,000 releases to the Marketplace, in line with earlier estimates. Although WP7 has an uphill battle in terms of market presence, having this many applications available this early is a great sign.
Looks like developer Justin Angel just finished up his app entitled 'Neurons', so named because it's quite the brainy resource allowing you to stream the ever interesting TED Talks, Science Dump, the RSA and FORA.TV for all of your sciency-nerdy media needs.
No word on availability, but we imagine he'll be submitting it for approval soon so it shouldn't be too long before it's in the Marketplace.
I'm throwing this in my "must have" list since I embrace my science geekiness. The only thing that would make this app even cooler would be if This Week in Science was included, but we're not complaining.
While it's always nice to hear developers sing praises of a their new software and it's not unusual to hear them boast that their latest is their greatest, we still like the overall tone we're hearing from PopCap's Andrew Stein and his thoughts on WP7.
Like the quote in the title says, Stein seems to be quite keen on Microsof'ts latest OS, noting that "...the conversion to C# went much more smoothly than we originally expected. It allowed us to add more polish..." His statements echo those of IdentityMine, who made Twitter, IMDb and Graphic.ly.
While they have not announced any more titles for WP7, PopCap does have more projects in the works, meaning we can expect more addictive gaming from them in the future.
When Windows Phone 7 hits the shelves, it'll take some time for everyone to learn the ins and outs of the new system. We've touched on getting set up with Windows Live and X-Box Live to help you prepare for Window Phone 7. To add to the resources, U.K. based Pocket-Lint has compiled a list of seventy-two tips and tricks that might give everyone a leg up on the new OS.
As we learn our way around Windows Phone 7, we'll be adding additional tips for Windows Phone 7 to our Help section. In the meantime, here are a few from the list of seventy-two.
3. Add people to the start page: No it's not just about adding apps to the start page, but people too. Find them in your contacts book, click on the "pin" icon, and they'll be added to your Start page so you can speed dial them whenever you need.
10. What are the dots?: Whenever you see three dots at the bottom of the screen, that's a menu for more options. In photo playback for example, it will give you the options to delete the image or perform a quick upload.
25. Turn off 3G connectivity: There is always someone that will want to turn off 3G network support, presumably to save battery, and if that's you you'll need to head to the Settings, Mobile Network page to do just that. While you'll save battery don't expect those web pages you are surfing to load anytime soon.
32. Auto save your images to SkyDrive: It's always a good to keep a backup of your pictures, and Windows Phone 7 comes with SkyDrive which lets you do just that. In steps the auto upload to SkyDrive option. If you got confused the first time it asked you when you went into the pictures area, don't panic, you can re-enable it via the Applications page hidden within Settings. Go to Settings, swipe to the left and then scroll down to Pictures & Camera. In there you'll find the option to set the Auto Upload feature on.
53. Get rid of the "Sent from my Windows Phone" signature: Annoyed by that "sent from my iPhone" message you always get from your mates, and don't feel you need to brand your messages with the Windows Phone 7 love - don't panic, you can turn it off. In Mail press the three dots, select Settings, and then either turn off email signature or change it to whatever you want - maybe "Sent from my iPhone".
61. Merging your contacts: If you've got your contacts book filled with Facebook, Gmail and Hotmail, maybe even your work email, then chances are some of your core friends are going to be in your contacts book a couple of times. Windows Phone 7 is clever enough to "link" these contacts so they are shown under a single page. If it misses some, go into People, select a contact and then press the "chain" icon at the bottom of the page. You can then link further contacts to this page if you wish.
Get your credit cards ready folks! The T-Mobile HD7 is now up on Amazon.com for pre-order. The best part is the device is fetching for a very low $169.99 with a new 2 year contract, which sounds to us like quite the deal for such a new device.
What better way to express your love of Windows Phone 7 than by carrying around business cards inspired by the Metro UI? Exactly, it's just as geek awesome as it sounds. Created by Vangos Pterneas from StudentGuru, the cards are available in Photoshop format, allowing you to customize them as much as you want, including different backgrounds, before you print away.
Sounds good to us! We're going to print up a bunch for ourselves, how about you?
Though we just saw pre-production hardware a few weeks ago in New York City, looks like HTC may have being coy with us when they didn't reveal much about the 7 Pro (including the fact it couldn't turn on). Engadget just uncovered the FCC documents showing that some "HTC CDMA Windows Phone device" has approval to be sold here in the U.S. We don't know for sure that it is the 7 Pro, but that's the best guess right now. No sign of 4G WiMax though, which could be a missed opportunity.
What's more interesting is the report from Microsoft that CDMA won't be done till early 2011, though they seemed to hedge on how early, implying that it may be closer than expected. If this is the case, perhaps we're looking for something only 3 months away which is the usual distance between FCC and when the device is in stores. Lets hope, as you CDMA folk will be surely pining for this beaut. Alternatively, this could be some other unknown CDMA Windows Phone device as well. Hmm...
For those going with HTC as their WP7 choice, you'll be of course getting their allotment of special software, including Weather, Stocks and the focus here, Photo Enhancer.
The app itself looks really nice in this video hands on by 1800PocketPC, with a wide-assortment of filters to choose form, smooth UI and just an overall great experience. While not a complete photo-editing package e.g. cropping, sharpening, etc. don't seem to be there, it looks like a great addon.
Hot on the heels of the WeatherChannel's new WP7 app comes rival WeatherBug (see video demo here for WP7). Not too much is given in the way of screenshots, except what we see above, but it looks like it will be a winner for its complete feature set. We know we've always liked Weatherbug on Windows Mobile and we're happy to see to them offer the same functionality on our new OS.
Bonus features include:
Weather info on the Start screen (Live tile)
Push notifications for weather alerts (nice)
Nine (!) weather map layers using Bing maps
7 day, hourly and detailed forecasts
Enhanced current conditions
No word if they will have the ~$1.99 "Elite" version which throws a few more features in as well as removes those banner ads--but we sure hope they do.