Recent Articles

Headlines

3 years ago

Changes to the Zune Pass for U.S. subscribers coming October 3rd

31

Good news and bad news for Zune Pass subscribers or potential new customers. On October 3rd, Microsoft will be making some changes to our beloved system and some of it makes sense, while other aspects are a little disappointing.

First off, the Zune Pass will effectively drop from $14.99 a month to $9.99 a month for new customers (or those wishing to 'downgrade'). As a trade off though, you're going to loose the ability keep those 10 MP3s every month, meaning they are going strictly streaming. Finally, you'll be able to only sync up to four devices (down from six) with 1 PC + any combination of PC, Zune device and Windows Phone. Xbox 360 and PC streaming of course do not count towards that four-device limit.

If you're already on the $14.99 a month plan, the good news is you can stay there and keep getting your MP3s. But new customers will be effectively cut-off from such a deal starting October 3rd, meaning if you want those features (and we're think they're pretty good), then you best sign up now--maybe even get a year pass and save $50.

One last change, which is a good one, is you'll soon be able to stream "tens of thousands" music videos to your Zune PC and Xbox 360 (this fall). Up till now, you had to actually pay for music videos, which always seemed just wrong. No word if Windows Phone will get the same feature.

Source: Zune Insider

More →
0
loading...
0
loading...
0
loading...
0
loading...
3 years ago

Zune Marketplace coming to Canada Oct 3rd

14

Good news to our friends up north. On October 3rd, the Zune Marketplace is headed your way, hopefully completely unfiltered.

"We are excited to announce that Zune Music Marketplace and Zune Music Pass will roll out in Canada on October 3rd, providing access to a growing music catalog of more than 14 million tracks from all the major labels, as well as tens of thousands of indie labels. Zune Music Pass will also be available for C$9.99 per month or C$99.90 annually and can be used on Xbox 360, Windows Phone, Windows PC, Zune devices and Zune.net."

The deal sounds good to us, especially since up to this point people with Windows Phones up in Canada have not had the full experience. This looks to finally fix this and the pricing seems right about in line with other countries.

In addition, you'll be able to stream "tens of thousands" music videos to your Zune PC and later, the Xbox 360.

Source: Zune Insider

More →
0
loading...
0
loading...
0
loading...
0
loading...
3 years ago

MS working on deals with content providers for XBox TV [Updated]

18

Microsoft may be close to announcing an expansion to its XBox Live streaming, paid television content.  Bloomberg reports that they are planning to provide Comcast and Verizon TV, and have also been in talks with close to two dozen other content providers to add sports, music, TV and movies to their current XBox Live services in the US and Europe.  Anonymous sources say that the announcement could come as soon as next week.

Under the plan, current subscribers to Comcast and Verizon television would be able to receive their content through Xbox.  Other media from companies like HBO, Bravo and Syfy would be available to XBox Live members through streaming.  In addition, MS is in talks with manufacturers like Samsung to get a Windows Live gaming hub added as apps on some of their televisions.  Add to that the impending Bing integration with Kinect controls and you have one serious home entertainment hub.

Source: Bloomberg; Via: WinRumors

UPDATE: Microsoft made it official today in a press release detailing the television partnerships that they will have in place starting this holiday season.  The move includes deals with content providers around the world, including Bravo, Comcast, HBO GO, Verizon FiOS and Syfy in the U.S.; BBC in the U.K., Telefónica in Spain; Rogers On Demand in Canada; Televisa in Mexico; ZDF in Germany; and MediaSet in Italy.

You can get the details and a complete list of content in the full press release.

But first, check out this rockin' video of what's in store:

Source: Microsoft

More →
2
loading...
0
loading...
0
loading...
0
loading...
3 years ago

Analyst: Microsoft collects $444 million in patent fees for Android

5

Word from Goldman Sachs, a company with an interesting reputation to say the least, is that Microsoft will generate $444 million in cross-licensing patent fees this year from Android OEMs who make smartphones and tablets. As of yesterday, Microsoft has signed seven deals with Android OEMS, including HTC, Samsung, General Dynamics Itronix, Onkyo, Velocity Micro, Acer, ViewSonic and Wistron. Those seven deals are expected to generate between $3-$6 per device, using Goldman Sachs' numbers.

While that $444 million sounds like a lot, Business Insider points out that Microsoft generated $75 billion in revenue last year--so this is a drop in the bucket. However, that is still money that goes to Microsoft for their patents and re-affirms their position that Android is not free. While these deals won't enrich Microsoft at all, strategically, it may make OEMs second guess the advantages of using Android--either way, they have to pay Microsoft, so why not just use Windows Phones and get a more streamlined ecosystem and legal protection to boot?

Finally, at the very least, there is a certain bitter-sweet victory here for Microsoft, knowing they can fund Windows Phone development via Android sales. In the long term, this could be an important strategic decision. Plus, once you throw in the estimated $600 million in Windows Phone sales in addition to the $444 million in Android patents and Microsoft has potentially crossed the $1 billion mark for smartphone revenue. Not bad.

Source: Business Insider

More →
1
loading...
0
loading...
0
loading...
0
loading...
3 years ago

Windows Phone Beta website launches [Developers]

0

'Sup developers (and users)? Fancy a service that provides you with the means to get some beta testers on board for your app(s)? Of course you do. Introducing Windows Phone Beta, a brand new service that has recently launched. What's it all about? It's a catalogue of apps that are currently in beta and are in need of testers. Consumers can register an account for free, browse the active and pending beta tests and register interest in particular apps.

Registering your interest is as easy as clicking a single button. Developers are then able to communicate with all interested testers for feedback and comments. If you're interested in finding more testers for your app(s) with a dedicated service, or you'd like to participate in testing apps, head on over to the Windows Phone Beta website for more details.

Thanks Hardrock1a for the tip!

More →
1
loading...
0
loading...
0
loading...
0
loading...
3 years ago

Mango Internet Sharing/Tethering hack for Focus and Omnia 7 is not for the faint of heart

12

So the good is this: folks at XDA are working, with some success, on hacking onto our Mango phones internet sharing/tethering (first seen on the Focus). The bad news is, most of you can't do this (developer unlocked) and even if you could (like us) you wouldn't want to because good lord are there a lot of seemingly complicated steps.

We won't post the directions here, because honestly it wouldn't make sense, but you can head over to XDA, take a look and promptly return here.

Now, even though this is seemingly complicated and only for Samsung phones at the moment (sorry, HTC and don't even think about it Dell), it's a good sign that the community is moving forward on this as perhaps and easier method will come forth (see "all-in-one provxml file" as an example). So maybe, just maybe this is the start of something that the rest of us will be able to use in the future.

See our earlier coverage of why this feature is missing from current phones here.

Source: XDA; Thanks, Steve S., for the heads up

More →
1
loading...
0
loading...
0
loading...
0
loading...
3 years ago

Samsung Omnia W available for pre-order

8
8

Samsung Omnia W available for pre-order

Should you be excited about the Samsung Omnia W then perhaps pre-ordering the handset would be a wise investment? Especially since it's reasonably priced on Expansys at £329.99 (€384,99 on the Italy site), which is in the neighborhood of $515 U.S. dollars.  The mid-range device is slightly cheaper than the competitive HTC Radar, which was spotted on Clove for £285 (excl. VAT) or $447 U.S.

The Omnia W specification sheet has the device sporting a 3.7" Super AMOLED screen, 1.4Ghz processor and a 5MP rear camera (with FF VGA camera), running Mango of course. Check out some HD shots of the Samsung Omnia W and HTC Radar for more eye-popping content.

So, question being, which are you? Radar or Omnia W?

Source: Expansys IT, Expansys UK, via: Plaffo, thanks Antonino and @J45PER for the tips!

More →
0
loading...
0
loading...
0
loading...
0
loading...
3 years ago

Beta test the new adCenter app

0
0

Beta test the new adCenter app

Microsoft is developing an application for adCenter to be used while on the go. In an article on the adCenter blog published by Amit Goel, Senior Product Manager, he has asked for help in testing the beta and ironing out features, bugs and whatnot. The app will provide basic functionality to control the connected account while mobile. Requirements for applying are pretty obvious:

  • Have access to a Windows Phone 7
  • Agree to provide feedback in 4-5weeks in the form of a survey
  • Have an active adCenter account

Note that this is limited to 50 testers - first come, first served. Also, it's US only (yay). To sign up, check out the application form.

Source: adCenter

More →
0
loading...
0
loading...
0
loading...
0
loading...
3 years ago

Nokia continues with cuts slashing 3,500 more jobs

3

Nokia has announced that it's cutting the workforce by 3,500 personnel. The manufacturer will also be closing its Romanian production facility by the end of the year as well as the Location & Commerce sites in Bonn, Germany and Malvern, US. The reduction and closure is expected to be completed by the end of 2012 and CEO Stephen Elop has said that this is a "painful, yet necessary, steps to align our workforce and operations with our path forward".

Salo, Finland, Komarom, Hungary, and Reynosa, Mexico plants will be under review with the expectation that they will shift their focus to customer and market-specific software and sales package customisation, which could result in more cuts being made to the workforce. The Location & Commerce business, which pulls together Nokia’s NAVTEQ and other location services, appears to be in the process of being automated.

It's a shame that Nokia, much regarded as a European manufacturer, is looking to close doors on the continent in favour of Asian facilities. We hope the job losses will be met with new openings for staff and wish them all the best in the tough economic future. Let us hope that the upcoming handset will be a killer device.

Source: Nokia, via: SlashGear

More →
0
loading...
0
loading...
0
loading...
0
loading...
3 years ago

Microsoft discovers privacy bugs, fix on the way

11

Microsoft is reporting that they have discovered unintended behavior with its Windows Phone location services. Following a Federal Lawsuit that claims Microsoft was doing such, Microsoft said they'd look into the claims and sure enough, they found a bug.

In a statement released earlier on Wednesday, Microsoft revealed,

"We have identified an unintended behavior in the Windows Phone 7 software that results in information about nearby Wi-Fi access points and cell towers being periodically sent to Microsoft when using the Camera application, and, for phones that are configured for US-English, when using the phone’s voice command features (such as “Find Pizza”). For the Camera, the software bug results in the behavior even where you have disabled geo-tagging photos in the Camera application."

Oops.

Microsoft did state that the recent Mango Update eliminates the unintended behavior (lawyer talk for "we didn't know it was there") by the camera application and voice command feature. However, the bugs are still present when using the "Me" feature in the Peoples Hub. Wifi access points and cell tower information is sent to the Windows Phone location service each time a user accesses "Me".

Microsoft is already working on an update to fix the "Me" bug after which, information about nearby Wifi access points and cell towers will be sent only if you agree to allow the "check in" feature of "Me". There was no time frame on this update but I suspect it will be sooner than later.

In the meantime, Microsoft is reminding Windows Phone customers that you can prevent access to location information by applications and the collection of location information by going to Settings>Location and turning this feature off.

While it's never good for any operating system to have such bugs, you've gotta give kudos to Microsoft for moving quickly to identify the problem and working to fix things without delay. You can read more about this disclosure and Microsoft's Privacy Policy here at Microsoft.com.

For more intelligent discussion on the matter, take a look at Rafael Rivera's take on it here: "Dissecting Case 01438 Exhibit B, Part 4"

More →
0
loading...
0
loading...
0
loading...
0
loading...
3 years ago

Samsung and T-Mobile rolling out Mango for Omnia 7?

33

We're getting word from one of our readers that T-Mobile UK is at least rolling out Mango for the Omnia 7. Owners of the Omnia 7 may recall the double/triple asteriks in the international 'Where's my Update' page that plainly stated "Except Samsung Omnia 7 models".

Now, Martrin R. has let us know that he received the notification and successfully updated his Omnia 7 to the final Mango build. We should note that he was on the unofficial developer beta, meaning this could be like the HD7s situation--people on the dev beta can get the update, but folks on NoDo or earlier, not so much.

But it looks like at least some users won't have to try the force-update trick, which at least in this case, is only partially successful for some (see forums). Let us know if you're having any luck with the Omnia 7 in comments.

More →
0
loading...
0
loading...
0
loading...
0
loading...
3 years ago

From the WPCentral Forums...reminder!

4
4

From the WPCentral Forums...reminder!

Just a quick reminder for all of you folks out there with Mango on their phones, who need help getting Mango on their phones or just want to share in the awesomeness that is Mango: head into our forums, which are rocking with enlightening discussion this very minute on all of these topics.

Have a question about your specific phone? Found a cool app? Need wallpaper? Have a question about Zune services? It's all covered here, so hop in, browse and join the conversation in one of the largest Windows Phone communities around. Remember, you're what makes this place the best, not us!

More →
0
loading...
0
loading...
0
loading...
0
loading...
3 years ago

Video tour of the Samsung Omnia W

4
4

Video tour of the Samsung Omnia W

While not exactly the creme of the crop for Generation 2 Windows Phones, the Samsung Omnia W (see announcement) isn't half bad either. In the above video, we get to see it manhandled in an ultra close fashion, as well as focus a little too much on the video recorder (seriously, it's not that amazing folks).

While featuring a 5MP camera, 1.4GHz CPU and a 3.7" Super AMOLED screen makes this a nice middle of the road device for new customers, we're sure many of you might pass on this for HTC's offerings or perhaps the Focus S, if that ever makes it to Europe.

Thanks, Andrew M., for the tip

More →
1
loading...
0
loading...
0
loading...
0
loading...
3 years ago

Confirmed: AT&T getting visual voice-mail for Windows Phone

22

For many who updated to Mango in the last day, especially if you were on AT&T, you may have noticed the lack of visual voice-mail. We covered how this was a carrier decision--or rather a technical hurdle they had to overcome in order to get it to work.

While AT&T did not launch Mango with visual voice-mail, the door is certainly open for them and others to enable it at some point. Indeed, that seems to be the case with AT&T who in response to a Tweet asking when will they enable VVM, responded:

"We're working to offer that as soon as we can, and will share more info here when we have it!"

While that still won't satisfy everyone, you have to be just a little happier knowing that AT&T does plan to offer VVM for our phones in the near future.

More →
0
loading...
0
loading...
0
loading...
0
loading...
3 years ago

Windows Phone App Review: WPRemote for Roku

6

Here’s something I’ve been wishing Windows Phone would get for quite a while: a Roku remote control app. It’s called WPRemote for Roku and it comes from indie developer Localyf. (Note that this app was previously called ROKUbox before the Roku company asked Localyf to change its name.)

“What’s a Roku?” you might wonder. That’s what I love about you, dear reader – your inquisitive nature.

Had past the break for our full review.

More →
0
loading...
0
loading...
0
loading...
0
loading...
Show More Headlines

Pages