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3 years ago

RIM said thanks, but no thanks, to Windows Phone

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Reuters reports what we kind of knew back in December, that Microsoft boss, Steve Ballmer approached RIM about making a Nokia-style deal to scrap its own operating system in favor of adopting Windows Phone. Unlike Nokia, however, RIM decided it would sink or swim on its own, declining an infusion of cash from Microsoft, in exchange for a stake in the company. During a conference call yesterday, RIM CEO, Thorsten Heins, shot down the idea of moving to another company's OS, be it Android or Windows Phone:

“We came to the decision that joining the family of the Android players, for example, would not fit RIM’s strategy and its customers,” he said. “We are not trying to be one of many. We’re trying to be different. We’re trying to be the best solution for our customers that buy a BlackBerry, know why they want a BlackBerry. And we’re aiming for nothing less than being a viable, successful, mobile computing platform of the future. This is what we’re aiming at. And I think that’s the difference. If you compare us with others, did we take the hard road? Absolutely. Absolutely. But having done this and building and completing this new mobile computing platform that then expresses itself as a smartphone or as a tablet or as a vertical application or embedded in cars, whatever you want to do, that is where we will take BlackBerry. And this is – that’s why it was absolutely required and necessary to build its own platform. I would argue the other way around. If I continue to rely on somebody else’s OS and somebody else’s platform, would that allow me in the long run to really differentiate towards my customers and provide them the services and the environment that they request from me and that they would like to have? I have a big question mark around this. So I think going this way and building the platform we are building has the absolute intent to serve our customers and our markets better than on a standard-based OS and platform.”

Cheers to RIM for standing their ground. Sadly, integrity doesn't always translate into success. Yesterday saw them reporting a large loss for Q1. In addition, they announced that their latest operating system, BlackBerry 10, will not see the light of day until Q1 of 2013. Their struggles have also led to the decision to cut about 30% of their workforce, about 5000 jobs, in order to save money. Read more at Crackberry.com.

Source: ForbesReuters

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3 years ago

US Cellular throws its support behind Windows Phone 8

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US Cellular has informed PCMag that they are looking forward to Windows Phone 8, which will play a major part of the carrier's lineup. The carrier currently holds a single Windows Phone - the HTC 7 Pro. It's a positive sign to see the smaller US carriers positive announce their support for Microsoft's mobile platform.

"We believe in giving our customers the latest technology and device options and we are excited about the Windows 8 phone. It will be an important part of our device lineup going forward."

It's going to be exciting to see which Windows Phone 8 devices go where, and how the carriers play their part in the marketing and promotion of the platform. We're yet to hear anything from Sprint, which has the potential to disappoint loyal Sprint Windows Phone owners who are arguably amongst the most dedicated.

Source: PCMag, via: Engadget; thanks, Michael, for the tip!

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3 years ago

Windows Phone Central Ringtone Contest Winners! (Updated)

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While we had hoped to announce the winners of the Windows Phone Central Ringtone Contest yesterday, judging proved to be more difficult than expected. We had a lot of quality entries submitted over in our Forums Discussion.  Nonetheless, after listening to all the entries our Ringtone Contest Winners are:

All have won a Nokia Play 360! We are dispatching emails to get everyone's shipping information and will get the Nokia Play headed their way shortly.

We would also like to extend our congratulations to Elvis7 and Kyle H for being randomly selected for our weekly prizes, WPCentral Accessory Store gift card, during the contest period.

Thanks to everyone who participated in the contest and if you didn't win, don't give up hope. We've got a few more contests up our sleeves for next month.

Update: It has come to our attention that one of the entries selected as a winning entry may not be original content, which was a requirement.  That entry is under review and we will update the post shortly.

Update II: Okay... we've review things and the ringtone in question was not original content and disqualified.  We've looked over the entries that and have chosen our third winner.  Congrats to all.

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3 years ago

Windows Phone Game Round-up: Platformer Games

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This week's roundup takes a simple approach on things. We'll take a look at the top platformer games for your Windows Phone. With no rhyme or reason, we tapped half a dozen of the top fifty platformer games. We have a rolling ball, a running dude, ninjas without legs and temples of death.  Most are fast paced, entertaining games that are challenging enough to keep you interested without being too frustrating.

Keep in mind that if an app doesn't make the roundup it should not reflect poorly on things. These are just a collection of apps or games that have stood out to us. If we've missed an app that you think should have been included, sound off in the comments.  With 100K titles, we'd be scrolling for hours to cover them all in one round up.

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3 years ago

Windows Phone 8 Marketplace to support 180 countries at launch

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Todd Brix has announced on the Windows Phone Developer Blog that Windows Phone 8 will support 180 countries at launch. The platform currently covers 63 markets, making this a fairly sizeable improvement. Developers will also be able to make full use of this added support, which will be a bonus for consumers in those markets.

So which countries are being added? Check out the chart after the break for all the juicy details...

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3 years ago

Official Twitter app for Windows Phone finally gets Notifications in latest update

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3 years ago

BaconSync Beta for Baconit (try saying it five times fast) in the works

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BaconSync is a really neat feature coming to the Windows Phone app Baconit . The feature is still in beta form and should be released to the masses shortly.  For those not familiar with Baconit, it is a Reddit.com app for your phone which we have been impressed with and BaconSync looks to make it even more impressive. 

BaconSync is a in-browser extension for Baconit that synchronizes read links across multiple phones and browser. It is currently only compatible with Chrome browsers. The extension not only lets you review what you've read from your Windows Phone on your PC but you can send web pages from your PC to your Windows Phone. In these situations you'll receive a toast notification on your Windows Phone that will send you straight to the web page.

BaconSync is an handy extension that will extend the capabilities of Baconit rather nicely. The BaconSync extension should be ready shortly and in the meantime, if you haven't tried Baconit, you can find the free version here at the Windows Phone Marketplace.  There is also a donation version that you can find here for $1.99 to help support the developers efforts.

                    

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3 years ago

Nokia backs Elop and Windows Phone despite low stock levels

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Windows Phone Central and Stephen Elop at Nokia World 2011

Just when you thought the situation couldn't get any better for Nokia, or CEO Stephen Elop, some positive news has come out the HQ with Risto Siilasmaa, Nokia's recently appointed chairman, reaffirming faith in the Windows Phone strategy. The chairman also backed Elop's performance thus far.

"For the first time in the history of technology, the Windows Phone 8 operating system makes it possible for users to have the same experience on a PC, tablet or smartphone, and for many people on their televisions via their gaming consoles, and to do the same thing almost seamlessly from one screen to the next."

The switch of focus from the dwindling Symbian to Microsoft's new vision of the smartphone has been continuously questioned, but with the brand development the manufacturer has carried out with the Lumia line of Windows Phones, the future is looking at least slightly more bright. Siilasmaa commented on Elop's performance:

"Extremely analytical, critical, open and transparent."

Many would agree. What do you make of the performance of Nokia's CEO with the transition to Windows Phone?

Source: MarketWatch

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3 years ago

AT&T internal document reveals Windows Phone 7.8 coming after Windows Phone 8 launch

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Seeing as Microsoft is busy showing off the new Start screen for Windows Phone 7.8 and knowing so far that it is the only announced feature coming with that update, speculation as to when we will get the update is on the tips of everyone's tongues.

We just received a copy of an internal AT&T document which reveals that the 7.8 update won't come out until after new Windows Phone 8 devices launch. New Windows Phone 8 devices are not expected until the fall, putting the 7.8 update off untill very late in the year.

The document was for specific AT&T employees and it breaks down to the reps what the Windows Phone Summit involved including details on Windows Phone 8, Windows Phone 7.8, updates and more. Regarding the 7.8 update, the document states the following:

When will Windows Phone 7.8 be available?
Windows Phone 7.8 will be made available sometime after the Windows Phone 8 is released. 

Although we have verified that this was from AT&T and it seems quite definitive on the matter, we should leave a little wiggle room here for Microsoft. We have seen a lot of changes recently, including the dropping of one display resolution (480x640) just a few weeks ago from Windows Phone 8. That modification happened just two weeks prior to the Summit demonstrating how fluid Microsoft can be on these matters.

Having said that, it's not looking too good for consumers if the 7.8 update is that far off, especially if Microsoft and AT&T tease current Windows Phone users with new WP8 hardware. In addition, AT&T reaffirms that it is only the new Start screen that is coming to WP7.8. Then again, perhaps Microsoft is planning to add more with all of that extra time. We can only hope.

Update: Joe Belfiore actually says the same thing on the Windows Phone Blog "So we’ll be delivering it to existing phones as a software update sometime after Window Phone 8 is released"

Read the contents of the internal memo after the break. Thanks to our source for the info.

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3 years ago

Windows Phone Game Review: Staring Contest

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3 years ago

Editorial - Windows Phone getting fragged

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Editorial - Windows Phone getting fragged

Fragmentation is the modern day Darwinism. Only the strong survive and technology is not above this rule. Every three months there is something, bigger, badder, better. There is no doubt in any ones mind that there is always something more amazing coming out when you buy a new phone. Back in the 1990's and early 2000's, when you bought a phone, you expected it just to work. Smartphones were called PDA's and they were like a mini computer. They were big, expensive, clunky and were complicated to learn for the average consumer. Then the iPhone was born and took the world by fire.

After the iPhone, there was Android with their unshackled operating system. There were many promises with both operating systems that there would be improvements with hardware, software, and how you would interact with their devices. No one thought they would have to buy a new phone every two years to take advantage of the newer software and hardware.

The older generation of cell phone owners keep their phones for as many years as they can. They will duct tape, glue, rubber band, their phone together because they feel they shouldn't have to buy a new phone. It should just work forever.

We can all agree, technology moves at a fast pace. Currently Android has five versions running ( Eclair, Froyo, Gingerbread, Ice Cream Sandwich, Donut) in the market. with Jelly Bean just announced. The iPhone has about 3 versions of its operating system, and Windows Phone also has 3 (NoDo, Mango, Tango) which are hardware independent.

The current generation of Smartphone users are use to the 2 year cycle and getting new hardware and software at the end of their contracts. Even newer smartphone users that get their phones in 2012 always want the next big thing now!  

They don't want to wait 2 years for a new phone, because when they see what they missed out on, they get upset and sometimes cancel their accounts and start a new contract with another carrier, just to get the newest phone.

Android and Apple started the fragmentation game and we are all playing by its rules. Microsoft recently announced that current Windows Phone will not get Windows Phone 8, but will get a version of it called 7.8. Twitter users reacted with outrage because Windows Phone was the last OS that kept everyone phone current with updates. Microsoft delivered the Mango update to 100% of eligible phones last year. It is safe to say that every Windows Phone is running the current software. For most people this was a great change. No more fragmentation for a platform.

At the Windows Phone Developer Summit, Microsoft announced that with Windows Phone 8, there will be a change for hardware. This leap in technology is giving the platform, NFC support, dual core processors, higher resolution displays, and removable SD card support. The current Windows Phones hardware doesn't have any of these new specs. In order to give customers what they want, there had to be a change. It created fragmentation, but Microsoft is completely upfront about these changes.

Unlike Android or iOS, where you have to read the fine print, or scour the internet looking for clues to what devices will receive the latest software. Microsoft is being honest and telling their customers why this is happening. I can empathize with people who just bought Lumia 900's or the Titan 2, but a large amount of regular users never ask about updates. They see the phone, love how it works, and are satisfied with what they have now.

With greater hardware comes, greater responsibility, and that is exactly what Microsoft is doing when they said that "Windows 8 devices will be supported up to 18 months of release".  Microsoft is being forthright with its community and telling them their update life cycle of each device.

At the end of the day, fragmentation is Darwinism at it's finest, because we all want the best of the best.

Windows Phone is giving us what we want, so no hard feelings, because you know up front what Microsoft is bringing to the table, can Android or Apple say the same? I think not.

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3 years ago

Windows Phone Geek opens Developer Marketplace to all

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The folks over at Windows Phone Geek have finally made their Developer Marketplace open to all. We last looked at the Marketplace when it was released in beta to a select few. The Marketplace enables Windows Phone developers to pick up (or sell) components, tools, templates, frameworks, and more.

The scheduled month to open up the Marketplace to all developers was September 2012, but with increasing interest Windows Phone Geek have decided to bring the release date forward a few months. Boryana Miloshevska, Founder and CEO, had the following to add in the press release.

"Previously, we announced that the private beta was expected to continue until September 2012. I am pleased to announce that, due to the huge interest, we are starting the public beta two months earlier! Starting today, our component marketplace is open to everyone."

Should you be interested to share any supported projects to the community, you can either give items away for free or publish a price tag to fund some beers. Be sure to check out the Marketplace regardless as the purpose of such a place is for developers to create better quality apps for consumers.

Source: Windows Phone Geek

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3 years ago

Bing Venue Maps gets updated with thousands of shopping malls for around the world

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The chaps at Microsoft dropped us an email this morning to let us know that an international update of Bing Venue Maps is rolling out.

The update brings us over 2700 venue maps across 30 countries which predominantly are shopping malls. While the update may not be a huge benefit to us daily it may well come in handy for planning visits to new shopping centers. Google rolled a similar service out not too long ago. It's nice to see Microsoft keeping on their toes.

All new Venue Maps are now available through www.bing.com/maps. Simply zoom in over your favorite mall to enter the experience. You can also browse all the available Venue Maps and countries at www.bing.com/maps/venues.

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3 years ago

Microsoft testing a more Metro influenced website design

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Microsoft has published a sneak peek at what a potential redesign could look like for the software giant's online property. With Windows 8, Xbox and Windows Phone all making use of the new Metro design language, it only makes sense that they further improve other products and properties.

We see this as a superb move. Microsoft appears to be improving all aspects of the company to match upcoming product releases. It's also essential to have an aesthetically pleasing website design to attract potential customers, as well as increasing the number of returning visitors.

Let's just hope the company actually rolls out the new design across the entire network of websites for consistency. What do you guys make of the direction Microsoft is heading with the design? 

via: LiveSide

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3 years ago

Xbox Live - Sid Meier's Pirates! pillaging bugs in latest update

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There’s nothing the gamers at Windows Phone Central love more than revealing the contents of Xbox Live title updates to our dear readers. Scratch that, we especially love revealing new games... And interviewing Xbox Live developers. But title updates are definitely up there!  So then, let’s look at the recent Sid Meier’s Pirates! Update.

Sid Meier’s Pirates! Version 1.1 release notes

  • General bug fixes

Yep, that’s the official word from 2K Games. I’ve heard tell of the game losing players’ save data prior to the update, so perhaps that’s one of the bugs they squashed.

In Pirates! gamers play as the son of a man whose family was unjustly imprisoned by a nobleman in the 1600s. The path to rescue them is fraught with peril, as he’s forced into the life of a pirate. From there, players must form alliances with some nations while warring on others, collecting treasure, upgrading their ship, and hiring new crewmen all the while. Pirates! May be a strategy title, but it packs a wide variety of gameplay, including ship battles, sword fighting, city bombardment, and even dancing. Ladies love a pirate who can dance.

Sid Meier’s Pirates! costs $2.99 and the download weighs in at a hefty 225 MB. No need to consult a map; get it here on the Marketplace.

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