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3 years ago

Microsoft prevails in patent complaint

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Microsoft prevails in patent complaint

Amongst all the recent patent litigation, Microsoft filed a complaint with the International Trade Commission claiming that Motorola violated six of their smartphone patents. An Administrative Judge has ruled in favor of Microsoft in one of these complaints and dismissed the other five. Both sides have proclaimed victory.

The patent in question deals with generating meeting requests and group scheduling from a mobile device and involves the Motorola Droid 2, Droid X, Cliq XT, Devour and Backflip. The ruling could be seen as a victory for either side.  Motorola skated on the majority of the claims but won't get off scot free.  Motorola faces importation bans and will either have to develop/tweak the technology to avoid the infringement or pay licensing fees to Microsoft.  Still, Motorola is seeing the glass half full.  Motorola's Senior VP and General Counsel stated,

""We are very pleased that the majority of the rulings were favorable to Motorola Mobility. The ALJ’s initial determination may provide clarity on the definition of the Microsoft 566 patent for which a violation was found and will help us avoid infringement of this patent in the US market."

In a similar statement from Microsoft's Deputy General Counsel David Howard, Microsoft claims victory in winning one of six complaints by stating,

“We are pleased with the ITC’s initial determination finding Motorola violated four claims of a Microsoft patent. As Samsung, HTC, Acer and other companies have recognized, respecting others’ intellectual property through licensing is the right path forward.”

So what does all this mean? The Administrative Judge's ruling is the first step in resolving things. The ruling will now go to the full ITC Commission, who will likely support it, and an appropriate action will be determined that may include a ban on importing the devices in question. The ITC's final ruling is then subject to a sixty day review by President Obama.

The ITC final ruling is expected by April 20, 2012. 

source: tgdaily, allthingsd

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3 years ago

Xbox Live: MiniSquadron touches down onto the Marketplace

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MiniSquadron is one of those Xbox Live games that was announced back in 2010 and yet never seemed to materialize. We even ran an exclusive preview of the Windows Phone version all the way back in April. The wait is finally over, as MiniSquadron has finally emerged from the Bermuda Triangle of Xbox Live certification and onto the Marketplace.

MiniSquadron is a 2-dimensional aerial combat game, originally developed by Supermono Studios and ported by Fat Pebble. Players start out with a single plane, but as they defeat enemies they’ll eventually unlock a total of 60 unique aircraft. You’ll do that unlocking via two gameplay modes – Classic, which involves taking on the game’s 9 stages one at a time, and Survival, a battle against endless waves of enemies. The aerial action is accompanied by an appropriate soundtrack of classical tunes.

MiniSquadron costs $2.99 – quite a bit less than most holiday air travel, I can tell you. Pick it up here on the Marketplace.

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3 years ago

The Sims 3 is the Xbox Live Deal of the Week again, plus exclusive update details

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Good news for bargain hunting gamers: in addition to the Countdown to 2012 sale, we still get the regularly-scheduled Xbox Live Deal of the Week. Now the (kinda) bad news: the DOTW is The Sims 3, on sale for $4.99.

Why is this bad news, other than the fact that the iOS version regularly goes on sale for a dollar? Well, The Sims 3 on Windows Phone doesn’t quite match up in quality to the PC and console versions. As our review points out, the character customization is extremely limited. Load times are lengthy and frequent and menu navigation is clumsy. Worse, the game has a habit of losing save files; it happened to me once.

All of those problems mean The Sims 3 is badly overdue for an update. WPCentral has learned from the game’s developer that an update is indeed coming. But again, it’s not the best of news. The impending update adds Fast App Switching support and nothing else. EA did not commission a single bug fix from the team behind the Windows Phone port.

Heck, maybe you don’t mind a few bugs and loading screens. If so, you can find The Sims 3 here on the Marketplace. The $4.99 sale price lasts for one week.

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3 years ago

Nokia, Microsoft have been in talks with RIM

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Hot on the heels of that analyst calling for RIM to adopt Windows Phone OS comes this report from the Wall Street Journal which claims that Nokia and Microsoft considered making a joint bid for RIM in recent months. Nothing of course is actually in the works nor are there any impending announcements, but reportedly Microsoft and Nokia regularly meet with RIM to discuss industry and partnerships--which shouldn't be to much of a surprise. But now that reports are swirling that both companies are at least considering such a bid is certainly enticing.

The WSJ suggests that Co-Chief Executive Jim Balsillie is not seriously considering a bid until the company sees how their new OS, not expected till late 2012, performs on the market. Presumably if the OS does well, no sale. But if the company continues to sink in market share, running into the arms of a Microsoft/Nokia partnership could be an emergency 'Plan B'.

So for now, it looks like RIM will try their hand at Blackberry 10 but they appear to be lining up the life-boats in case it all goes south. Certainly having Microsoft-Nokia on the sidelines could only mean good things for Windows Phone. But for now, we wait. As an interesting side note, Amazon reportedly attempted to get talks started on a take-over of RIM but was rejected. Even more interesting of a side note? We found a story here on WPCentral from January 2009 which said if RIM's stock drops low enough, Microsoft will "snap them up". In other words, this may not be that new.

Source Wall Street Journal

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3 years ago

Mobile Nations 12: 2011 Year in Review

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Mobile Nations 12: 2011 Year in Review

Kevin, Phil, Derek, Daniel, Georgia, and Rene take at look at the year in mobile, from BlackBerry to Android, webOS to Windows Phone, iPad to iPhone. Highs, lows, great new devices, frustrating delays, devastating losses, and a look ahead to 2012. This is Mobile Nations!

 

Hosts

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3 years ago

Handelsbanken financial app lands in the Marketplace

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Sweden's largest bank, Handelsbanken, has released its official app over on the Windows Phone Marketplace. The Handelsbanken app gives customers access to a wide range of banking services including:

  • Balance and transactions
  • Transfers between own and others' accounts
  • Open and close bank cards for internet purchases
  • Open and close bank cards for purchases and withdrawals abroad

You also have the ability to find branch office locations, view current mortgage rates, and access tv feeds from Handelsbanken TV. The ability to close bank cards to prevent them from being used is lost or stolen is a very nice feature.

Handelsbanken is a free app over at the Windows Phone Marketplace and you can grab it here.

source: wingadget thanks goes out to Peter for the tip!

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3 years ago

Windows Phone snubbed by Live Messenger

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Here's an awkward oversight by Microsoft's Windows Live Messenger. You have an ad for the Live Messenger app for the iPhone and it lists all the platforms Messenger will reach out to.

You have the iPhone, Android devices, Blackberry devices and the PC. Wait... what's missing?

We all make editing blunders but to forget your own mobile platform? Microsoft is gaining momentum with Windows Phone and really should be missing any opportunities for exposure. Especially when they are advertising their own services.

source: @CJSCO via: wp7connect

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3 years ago

Doodle Grub wiggles into the Marketplace

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3 years ago

o2 no longer stocking the Lumia 800? Not quite

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Feel free to file this under "What the fudge?", because the reasons provided by the carrier are even weirder. o2, the UK network that had issues with Nokia a while back before the Lumia 800 was unveiled at Nokia World, has been stocking the handset and has actually been selling numbers. We took a trip to Lakeside, in Essex, and were told the store there sold out delivered stock in just 24 hours. Stores elsewhere have displays set up or have the 800 in-line with competitor handsets, but the online store tells a completely different story.

Should you search for "Nokia Lumia 800" on the o2 store, one can select the phone's product page from the results. But wait, there is no page. 

So one can only come to the conclusion that o2 is no longer stocking the Lumia 800, correct? Wrong...

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3 years ago

Windows Phone Lock Screen version 2

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Windows Phone Lock Screen version 2

We previously covered the Windows Phone Lock Screen wallpapers by AJ Troxell, which provided owners with an extra layer of protection should they misplace their phone. The wallpapers are customizable with editable files included in the pack so personal information can be added including name, email, number, etc.

As AJ is being non-secret Santa this year with 12 days of freebies, and because the lock screen wallpapers proved to be popular, he's released version 2 today. What's new? 4 styles, 43 backgrounds, 4 variations of complete icon sets, and comes in Photoshop and Illustrator formats. Head on over to AJ's site (link below) to download version 2 of this truly useful pack.

Source: AJ Troxell, thanks AJ!

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3 years ago

Xbox Live Countdown to 2012 Sale is live and fairly festive

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The annual Xbox Live sale (aka The Countdown to 2012 Campaign) is now live. On Xbox 360, a variety of Xbox Live Arcade games and avatar items are on sale. But Windows Phone gamers haven’t been entirely left out of the festivities, as three mobile Xbox Live games just went on sale as well.

The sale games:

Naturally I already own them all (jeez my phone is drowning in games). Still need to go back and finish off Fable Coin Golf, but the others are in the bag. Will you guys be picking any of these titles up, and how do you like them?

The Countdown to 2012 Campaign runs from December 20, 2011 to January 2, 2012. May these cheap games help keep you warm during the holidays.

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3 years ago

Microsoft Research releases Face Swap

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Microsoft Research releases Face Swap

Microsoft Research has released Face Swap over at the Windows Phone Marketplace that allows you to swap people's faces around in photographs. Face Swap uses multiple face detection to identify everyone's faces and with a shake of your Windows Phone, the app swaps the faces around.

Once you've created your newly arranged photo, you can save it to your Photos Hub or share it directly to Facebook or Twitter. Face Swap is a free app that you can grab here at the Windows Phone Marketplace. It is a mango app so you'll need to be running Windows Phone 7.5.  Face Swap is sure to make for interesting Holiday group pictures.

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3 years ago

MSN Autos app is ready for a test drive

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Into cars? Neither are we. But that shouldn't stop those of you who are from taking a look at MSN Autos which just went live in the Marketplace. The app is basically a shopping guide for new or used cars and features the worlds longest app description, even though we just told you what it does. Here's a snippet, from page 128 of said app description:

MSN Autos for Windows Phone is your resource for new & used car news and research, whenever and wherever you need it. Check out photos, car specs, reviews and videos; tag cars as Favorites and catch up on the latest news and tips. The MSN Autos app is your resource for onsite research and comparison, so you’ll be more confident when stepping onto car lots.

Whether you are seriously shopping or simply browsing for a new or used vehicle, the MSN Autos app lets you easily find cars by:

  • Make & model.
  • Criteria, including price, new/used, fuel economy, body style, convenience, and safety (even down to rain-sensing wipers).
  • Category, such as economical commuter cars, affordable performance, fuel-efficient SUVs, etc.

The app is just like every other MSN app out there--black, minimalist and for some seriously stupid reason, populated with ads. We say that out of love (MSN Movies is a nice app) but the ads really ruin what should be a free experience on Windows Phone. But putting our late morning gripes aside, MSN Autos is quite a useful app if you're in the mood for car shopping. If that's you, you'll want to head here to the Marketplace. Thanks, Ryan S., for the tip!

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3 years ago

Windows Phone Game Review: Astro Flare

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Astro Flare is a space shooter game for your Windows Phone. It's a fast paced game with plenty of bad guys to blast into smithereens.

Astro Flare has six game modes, unlockable ships, and plenty of power ups to help you battle against pesky enemy ships. Astro Flare is also an OpenXLive game that gives you access to the OpenXLive leaderboards and social network. If you like action packed, space shooters you might want to take a look at Astro Flare.

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3 years ago

Xbox Live: Enigmo update finally available, despite the certification process

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Since its release in May, Chaotic Moon’s Xbox Live title Enigmo has suffered from an unattainable Achievement. I noted in our Broken Achievements article that the developers had submitted a patch to fix the problem immediately after the game’s release. As the months went by, it seemed like Microsoft would never approve the update.

Today things finally change, as the Enigmo version 1.1 patch is now live! The patch regrettably does not add Fast App Switching support – after all, it has languished in certification hell since May, long before Mango became a reality. But it does fix the broken Achievement, ‘Mad Scientist,’ meaning the game’s full 200 GamerScore can now be earned by all. Just beat level 50 or start a new game and complete a level after having beaten level 50 to unlock it.

The length of time it took Microsoft to approve a very simple fix (7 months) is extremely worrying. Whenever a major problem arises in a game, be it a broken Achievement or a game-killing glitch, the big MS’s first priority should be getting the fix out to consumers. Having a sandwich, taking a nap, having about 200 more sandwiches, and then publishing the update is not good for anyone involved. The developers loses sales from negative word of mouth and awareness of the game’s issues, Microsoft themselves lose the cut they would get from those sales, and gamers become dissatisfied with developer and publisher alike. A rethinking of the update certification policy may be in order.

But enough complaining! Let’s just be happy that Enigmo is working right at long last. As our review states, it’s a fine physics-based puzzler with 3D graphics and a catchy soundtrack. Enigmo costs $2.99 and you can find it here on the Marketplace.

Thanks to Selas Dray for the tip!

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