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3 years ago

MSFT and Nokia stocks get a boost from Google's deal

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While the long term impact of Google's acquisition of Motorola (Googarola?) is still anyone's guess, one short term effect appears be to Microsoft and Nokia's benefit. Microsoft's stock rose 1.63% (up .41 points) and Nokia's stock rose 17.35% (up .93 points) in today's trading activity.

In comparison, Google's stock fell 1.16% (6.54 points) while Motorola Mobility's stock made the biggest jump at 55.78% (up 13.65 points).  We're pretty sure the jump with Motorola was due to the 63% premium Google paid for them but it is a little surprising to see Google sag. In addition, it's now been disclosed that Google has agreed to pay Motorola Mobility $2.5 billion if the deal doesn't go through, a figure that is six times the average according to Bloomberg.

Granted none of this could have a thing to do with the $12.5 Billion deal and the stock market these days may not be the best litmus test.  As crazy as Wall Street has been lately, tomorrow we may see completely opposite results. 

Still, it's nice to see Microsoft and Nokia stocks doing well.

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3 years ago

UberMage launches at the Marketplace

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UberMage is a new game over at the Windows Phone Marketplace that has you pitted against an Evil Mage and his evil minions in search of Mana Stones. The game has a little bit of a Dungeons and Dragons feel with a touch of Zelda mixed in.

The initial launch of UberMage is being described as a soft-launch. The game is broken up into four worlds, with each world having a number of objectives to complete. The soft-launch has only twenty-one objectives with more in the works. The developer's goal is to have sixty five objectives across eight worlds by September. The ultimate goal is to have a total of one hundred sixty-one objectives to the game.

In tinkering with UberMage just for a short time, I found the game entertaining. I was a little concerned about the main character being three dots but it grows on you. The 3D graphics are great but the controls take a while to get used to. Luckily, the learning curve isn't so steep to take away from the game. UberMage is worth a try.

There are two versions available for UberMage over at the Marketplace. You've got the free, ad-supported version that you can find here and a $2.99 ad-free version that you can find here (both links open Zune).

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3 years ago

Did Google buy Motorola Mobility to block Microsoft?

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According to a Gigaom "exclusive," Motorola Mobility was in talks with Microsoft, as well as other parties, to discuss acquisition.  Their sources tell them that Microsoft was primarily interested in Motorola's 17,000 patents and 7,500 patent applications, which would have have become a WMD of sorts against Google.  Acting in self-defense, Google moved about 5 weeks ago, opening talks of their own with MM, which included CEO Larry Page and Motorola CEO Sanjay Jha, though more recently, Android co-founder Andy Rubin was brought into the mix.  Allegedly, Motorola preferred a deal with Google because Microsoft was only in it for the patents, and no the hardware manufacturing.  The result, Google's $12.5 billion payout or a 63% premium over previous stock estimates of Moto. Good deal?

If these claims are accurate, it is the next giant step in a patent war that's been brewing between Google and Microsoft for a while now.  It is also a possible sign of the decline of Android and the rise of Windows Phone 7.  Google now owns one of the many companies that use its Android platform, and has become a competitor to itself.  Google's new position as a player in the manufacturing game could drive other companies away from Android and into the arms of another operating system, say, perhaps Windows Phone.  Throw Microsoft's deal with Nokia, and now you have what could be a huge boost for WP7.

While this has the potential to be exciting for those of us who would like to see Windows Phone flourish, the situation is, sadly, one more example of how patents are being used to crush competition, rather than to bolster innovation. 

Source: Gigaom

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3 years ago

Astro Flare is looking for test pilots

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Astro Flare is a new, fast paced, space shooter game for Windows Phone. The game looks good and the developer needs your help. If you're interested in becoming a test pilot of sorts (also known as a beta tester), Astro Flare is looking for a few good players.

To apply for the beta send and email to digitalmarsh@gmail.com with the subject "Beta Test" and include your Windows Live ID the your Windows Phone is registered under.

There is also a discussion going on in the WPCentral Forums on Astro Flare. If you'd like to share your two cents without diving into the beta, you can chime in here at the Forums or leave your thoughts in the comments section.

Thanks Joe for sending this in!

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3 years ago

Verizon trade-in program will offer basic phone users $100 to upgrade

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Don't look now, but Verizon wants you to ditch your old "basic" cell phone and upgrade to a smartphone.  Between August 18 and September 30, customers who purchase new smartphones will be able to mail in their current phones to receive a $100 Verizon gift card three weeks later.  Current customers who are eligible for an upgrade can get the new devices at discounted prices, along with a new data plan and 2-year agreement, while those who are not may be able to extend their agreement for the deal.

After the purchase, users will receive a PIN for Verizon's trade-in site, which will walk them through sending in their old phone for the gift card. 

According to the source, information about the promotion pertained to Verizon's Western region.  It is not yet known whether or not other regions will be offering up the same deal.  Check out the leaked promo docs below.

Source: PhoneArena

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3 years ago

From the WPCentral forums...

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From the WPCentral forums...

This week we have a lot of interesting new topics.  Sometimes it surprises me what you folks want to talk about. Come on join us in the forums as you never know what we might be discussing. Heck, sometimes we even talk about Windows Phones. Have something on your mind or just a quick question about your phone? You never know what will spark the next great debate. Here are a few examples of the current hot topics.

I know you have an opinion on at least some of those topics.  Come share your thoughts, you never know we might be wrong and you could set us straight but you have to signup. Just follow the link.

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3 years ago

WPCentral Podcast 122

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WPCentral Podcast 122


We're back this week with another exciting, in depth and over-extended Windows Phone podcast! This time around you can join Daniel Rubino and special guest-host Travis Lowdermilk, who's filling in for a vacationing Jay Bennett.

Travis is the co-host of Windows Phone Dev Podcast, a podcast for Windows Phone developers and enthusiasts. The show can be seen LIVE each week in HD video and found in the iTunes and Zune marketplace. You can find more info at wpdevpodcast.com.

Join us for a great episode and check the show notes after the break...

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3 years ago

AT&T fights back at anti-merger arbitration cases

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AT&T has filed lawsuits in eight different jurisdictions to defend itself against a wave of arbitration cases filed by Bursor & Fisher on behalf of over 1000 AT&T customers.  The New York law firm started a website called FightTheMerger.com to find a horde of AT&T users to file individual arbitration cases against Ma Bell, in order to prevent the acquisition of T-Mobile.  The method of attack was chosen because AT&T's terms of service bar customers from filing lawsuits against them, instead offering the option of third-party arbitration.

AT&T issued a statement to each court claiming that Bursor & Fisher intend to proceed with each case individually, that they are actually launching a thinly-veiled class-action suit, which is prohibited by the terms of service as well.

“This merger will provide tremendous benefits for customers and unleash billions of dollars in badly needed investment, creating many thousands of well-paying jobs that are vitally needed given our weakened economy — a fact that’s been recognized by consumers, public officials, and groups of all types. However, the bottom line here is an arbitrator has no authority to block the merger or affect the merger process in any way. AT&T’s arbitration agreement with our customers — recently upheld by the Supreme Court — allows individual relief for individual claims. Bursor & Fisher is seeking class-wide relief wrapped in the guise of individual arbitration proceedings, which is specifically prohibited by AT&T;s arbitration agreement. Accordingly, the claims are completely without merit. We have filed suit in order to stop this abusive action.”

So it looks like a battle of semantics versus loopholes that will ultimately be decided in the courts.  But even if AT&T prevails in this matter, there is still a long road ahead.  A seemingly wary FCC still needs to approve the deal, and there is a long list of other challengers as well, including advocacy groups, politicians and other carriers. 

Source: AllThingsD; Via: TechCrunch

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3 years ago

IM+ v1.4 headed to Marketplace with new features but drops Live Messenger

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Eck. As IM+ themselves say, this is a good news/bad news announcement. Version 1.4 of their app has been submitted to the Marketplace, meaning we should see it in the next two days. This update will bring the following new and improved features:

  • Significantly improved contact list scrolling and overall application performance
  • Push-to-Email option allows incoming messages to be forwarded to your email
  • Autoreply feature will instantly notify your contacts that your are in Push mode
  • ICQ / AIM / AOL / iChat group chats
  • ICQ contacts can now be added into your AOL/AIM/iChat contact lists and vice versa
  • VKontakte and Yandex IM services are now supported

Now the bad news: no more MSN/Live Messenger. From their mouth, Microsoft has asked them to remove their service and alas SHAPE Service has to comply:

"MSN/WLM support has been dropped due to Microsoft request. For those of you who care more about MSN/WLM support than new features (again, new features list will follow), we strongly recommend to do not update once version 1.4 is released."

Ouch. We guess Microsoft didn't give them exception for v1.1 awhile back? So consider this your fair warning folks, if you need MSN/Live Messenger then you don't want to update to v1.4 when it hits. Resist it. At least you can get Mango on your phone and solve this problem that way.

Source: IM+ Facebook

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3 years ago

Google to acquire Motorola Mobility

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Just as we were lamenting Motorola Mobility's position on using Windows Phone (and their stock situation), Google comes out of nowhere and buys them up out for $12.5 billion. From the press release they mention how they want to "...supercharge the Android ecosystem and will enhance competition in mobile computing. Motorola Mobility will remain a licensee of Android and Android will remain open."

Although Motorola is a dedicated manufacturer of Android devices, they also happen to have something that Google really wants--namely a large patent portfolio. Remember, Moto for all intents and purposes invented the cell phone back in the day resulting in a large arsenal of patents that Google can finally wield in defense of Android (seeing as that OS is evidently build on stolen IP). That's something that they will have to do a lot of as Microsoft is currently suing Motorola Mobility over patent infringement, meaning now they are suing Google over the same issue. That court case should get interesting, to say the least.

Google's Andy Rubin states that they remain committed to still working with other partners, although this obviously puts HTC in an odd position--they're not Microsoft's exclusive partner anymore and neither are they Google's. Various OEM partners have publicly come out in support of the deal, notably LG, Samsung, Sony-Ericsson even HTC paying lip-service with the same paraphrase of "We welcome Google‘s commitment to defending Android and its partners.” although you wonder what they have to be saying privately about the deal.

The big question is what does this actually mean? Too early to tell though clearly Google is stepping up things against Apple and to a lesser extent Microsoft. Apple already has the hardware thing down and Microsoft now has Nokia in their corner. As to our thoughts? We'll gladly take our Nokia deal over Motorola any day.

Full press release after the break.

Source: Official Google Blog; via AndroidCentral 1, 2

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3 years ago

IonBallEX is this week's Xbox Live game

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Last week, WPCentral broke the news that IronSun Studios’ IonBallEX (yes, the developer is averse to spaces) would be coming to Xbox Live. We just didn’t expect it so soon! IonBallEX is this week’s Xbox Live release.

IonBallEX is an Arkanoid-style game in which players use a paddle and ball to break bunches of bricks. This game is more interesting than many of its brethren thanks to its darkly futuristic setting, a wide variety of block types and power-ups, lots of enemies and bosses to fight, and its experience system. Plus it’s a sequel to an indie game, which we don’t often see on Xbox Live. For more details and screenshots, check out our preview.

IonBallEX (boy I’d rather type that as Ion Ball EX) comes out on Wednesday, August 17 and will cost $2.99. Brick-breaking fans won’t want to miss it.

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3 years ago

ESPN Goals now kicking in the Marketplace (UK)

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We mentioned a few days ago about ESPN Goals making its way to the UK Marketplace. That day has arrived and you can now grab it to begin the new football season. Though we haven't tried the app yet ourselves, from what we've heard, it's pretty nice. From the app description:

"The complete Barclays Premier League video App! This season football fans can watch video clips of all the goals* from every Barclays Premier League match – completely free on the ESPN Goals app. The ultimate Barclays Premier league app includes live scores, video highlights and clips of every goal, for all 380 games – within just minutes of it taking place*."

  • The essential football app for fans of the Barclays Premier League will feature:
  • Video of goals and match action from every Barclays Premier League match all season long
  • Live scores and match stats
  • Fixtures and results from around the league
  • Additional video including match previews and weekend round-ups
  • Video alerts: Alerts for goal videos, match highlight clips and Weekend roundup clips
  • In-match Clips

Sounds fairly comprehensive to us and the app looks well designed as you can see from above. If its something you think you'll want to pick up, you can get it for free here in the Marketplace. [Not available in the US]

Thanks, Damien H. and Dale B., for the tip!

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3 years ago

Tank Battle - Review

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Tank Battle - Review

The title of this Windows Phone game says it all; Tank Battle. Your goal is simple, destroy the enemy tanks. The battlefield is peppered with obstacles that not only hinder your movement but also acts as protection from enemy fire.

To see how big or tiny a blast Tank Battle can be, power your way past the break.

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3 years ago

Word Blast - Review

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Word Blast - Review

Okay... here's another word game for your Windows Phone. Word Blast is a scrabble-like game that allows you to compete against other users online or pass and play with someone in person.

Where AlphaJax, Words by Post and Spellit follow the Windows Phone Metro theme, Word Blast takes on a more traditional layered design. You have a main menu that gives you access to creating games, view games, view the leaderboard, and access your gaming options. From there you're sent to other menus to access more particular parts of the game.

More after the break.

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