3 years ago
Report: Microsoft decided against buying Nokia, for now
Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer considers buying Nokia. "Kinda want"
Rumors are flying around today, notably from the Register who has it on good account, that Microsoft did seriously consider buying Nokia but decided against the deal once the Finnish firms' books were opened.
If the story is accurate, it represents an interesting twist on the partnership and may still leave a cold feeling for Microsoft's other OEMs. The Register cites "well placed sources" for the story so we'll have to take their word (and their sources) on the matter but Microsoft reportedly was "unimpressed" with Nokia's numbers--or at least didn't see the added extra value of buying the company versus just partnering with them.
As the Register puts it: Nokia didn't want to sell and Microsoft really didn't want to buy. The only reason for an acquisition would have been to keep Nokia out of someone else's hands due to their IP and engineering value. But both companies have time yet--Microsoft has Windows Phone 8 to launch and Nokia needs still has cash to burn. In other words, Microsoft is there as a golden parachute should Nokia really start to crash by next year. Not only that, should such a scenario happen Microsoft would actually get a better deal due to the de-valued stock.
From our perspective as consumers, we don't see the value had Microsoft decided to go forward. Buying a company, integrating different corporate cultures and alienating your partner OEMs, notably HTC, seems like something that could have backfired. Not to mention, it's not clear what would be different from today as it appears Microsoft is getting all that it wants already from Nokia.
We think there's little doubt that both companies have explored numerous options going forward--that shouldn't be a surprise. But we would rather return to this ongoing rumor late in 2012/early 2013 to see how Windows phone 8 is doing.
Source: The Register; via CNET; Thanks, Shane
3 years ago
Toddler goes gaga over Windows Phone commercial
Disclaimer: There's no news here, but there is a cute video.
It looks as though Windows Phone is the choice of the next generation, or at least for one toddler in particular. The parents of this youngster posted a video of him shrieking in excitement over a YouTube clip of AT&T's LG Quantum commercial. Informed of the news that the commercial is on, he runs from the other room to stand transfixed on the laptop, and plays the video over and over again.
Now, it could be that the kid is just so blown away by the fast, smooth operation of the feature-packed Windows Phone operation system. However, something tells us that it has more to do with the cute, orange alien who stars in the ad.
Source: YouTube, Thanks for the giggles, Rad!
3 years ago
Windows Phone successes and failures at E3 2012
Windows Phone Central recaps the E3 2012 Expo
Mateo Nunez and Paul Acevedo at E3
E3 2012 – the Electronic Entertainment Expo turned out very much like we predicted. During their press conference, Microsoft touted upcoming Xbox 360 sequels: Halo 4, Forza Horizon, and Fable: The Journey; a new Gears of War prequel from Epic; plus several non-exclusive but cool console titles like South Park: The Stick of Truth, Splinter Cell: Blacklist, and Tomb Raider. They also announced several Xbox Live Arcade games, including Ascend, Lococycle, Matter, and Wreckateer. Oh, and Usher mystified us with a performance in the name of Kinect update Dance Central 3. I fear Harmonix may be in danger of running the dancing genre into the ground with these yearly sequels as once befell the music game genre, but time will tell.
Xbox entertainment library
We also knew to expect the rebranding of the Zune service to Xbox Music and Xbox Movies. Not a particularly exciting announcement, since nothing but the branding changed. The SmartGlass initiative is more noteworthy. Basically an evolution of the Xbox Companion App, it allows users to control Xbox 360 system functions (including the upcoming Kinect-enabled Internet Explorer), plus interact with movies, music, and games in new ways. Specifically, we can expect far more console titles to connect with Windows Phone – definitely a good thing.
Head past the break for our full E3 coverage summary, new videos, and lots more!
3 years ago
Nokia Lumia 900 now available in Germany via Amazon.de
It is no secret that the Nokia Lumia 900 is headed to Germany. The only mystery was the "when".
While we are still waiting for the European carrier O2 to receive the Lumia 900, Amazon.de has changed their listing for the Windows Phone from an expected delivery on May 31st to "In Stock".
Amazon.de is listed for 504,89€ with free delivery. The Lumia 900 is being offered in black, cyan and white models. The white model is listed at 499€. Prices do include VAT and all three models are listed as being in stock.
Meanwhile over at O2, reservations for the white Lumia 900 are still being taken with inventory expected sometime this month.
Thanks, mreck, for the tip!
3 years ago
Windows Phone Review: Doodle Bomber 7
3 years ago
Look for SmartGlass support in all future Microsoft Studio games
Microsoft's SmartGlass took center stage at E3 2012 and was rather impressive. SmartGlass aims to bridge entertainment and productivity from the Xbox console to computers, tablets and smartphones. A connection that will go beyond simply pausing a video on your Xbox console and picking it up on your Windows Phone. While we aren't sure how far reaching SmartGlass will be with developers, according to Phil Spencer, Corporate VP of Microsoft Studios, we should expect SmartGlass support to be a constant feature in all of Microsoft Studios games going forward.
"It just makes so much sense for a developer who wants to supply, maybe not time-critical information, like 'that enemy is getting ready to shoot you,' but information that augments what's happening on screen."
"...you're even going to see situations like with Ascend, where there's actually gameplay that happens on the phone, even when you're away from your television and that interacts back with the online game that's happening."
We may see supplemental information appear on your Windows Phone while playing a game on the Xbox console or the game completely transfer to your Windows Phone when you walk away from the console. SmartGlass has the potential to seamlessly connect the three screens. Or is it four screens with tablets on the horizon?
3 years ago
Monday Brief: WWDC Kicks Off, SGS3 Review, Project SmartGlass, and More!
3 years ago
eBay app buggy? Auction bids entered way too high?
The official eBay app for Windows Phone has been out for some time and while the Marketplace reviews aren't stellar, they don't really call for you to run for the hills either. Yet we received a tip from a German reader that there could be a potentially disastrous bug in the app.
It appears that while bidding on a Nokia Lumia 800 a bid was entered as 211.69€ and appeared that way in the confirmation screen. However, when the bid was submitted it registered as 21169.00€. Luckily the ending bid didn't make it that far, ending at 270 Euros.
According to the tipster, eBay Germany was contacted and recommended contacting the seller to request a cancelation. While we first thought this could easily be pilot error, in scanning through the Marketplace reviews on the eBay app (found here at the Windows Phone Marketplace), other Windows Phone users report similar instances where the confirmed bid is higher than the submitted bid.
We aren't sure if this is a wide spread issue and hopefully if this is a bug, the quirk can be resolved easily with an update to the app. Still, bug or not, you might want to be extra careful to review your eBay bids when submitting via the Windows Phone app. If my recollection of eBay is correct, an incorrectly submitted bid can be canceled before the auction closes.
Thanks, aerone, for the tip!
3 years ago
Windows Phone Central Ringtone Contest (Win a Nokia Play 360)
Got some musical chops? Then make us a ringtone and win yourself a Nokia Play 360!
Have you created a unique, entertaining, humorous, inspiring, "turn your head", jaw dropping, "make everyone smile" type ringtone for your Windows Phone? If so, you could win a Nokia Play 360 ($150 value) which will allow you to stream and blast music from any Windows Phone via Bluetooth. That's right, we're having a ringtone contest and we're looking for the best.
The winner will also have their ringtone featured in our app to be used by everyone. Ka-ching.
Here's how this contest will work:
Create an original ringtone
Post it in this Windows Phone Central discussion
The ringtone has to be original content to qualify. No use of copyrighted music or materials unless it is yours.
You can submit two entries but they need to be distinct and original
You have until June 23, 2012 at 5pm EST to submit your entry.
From there, we'll listen to all the entries and select the two ringtones that stand out as the best to us. Expect the winners to be announced by June 28th.
Oh... as an added bonus, on Friday, June 15th and 22nd we will randomly draw a winner from the entries to receive a $50 gift card to the Windows Phone Central Accessory Store.
So get creative, get humorous, get original and start working up that ringtone. You will need to register to participate and you can take care of that here.
3 years ago
Show your loved one you care with Thinking of You messaging for Windows Phone
For all of those with a significant other and two Windows Phones, you'll want to check out Thinking of You by Quinn Damerell. Damerell is also the developer of the super popular Reddit app, Baconit, which just received a fantastic update.
Thinking of You is a secure personal messaging app the allows you keep in contact with your latest beau. The service which is free, works by connecting two Windows Phones via a personalized PIN. The service then pushes messages between two devices by connecting to a server for Toast and Push notifications.
It's cute, quaint, secure and free. The service doesn't maintain the messages on the server and get this, if you "break the connection" i.e. you get dumped, the app will automatically erase the messages on both devices. That's good news for those worried about their SMS messages coming back to haunt them later.
The app is fairly limited with just text being able to be sent (no photos, no location information) and you can only have one-secure connection at a time (sorry, swingers). It works well and there's even a prefab "Thinking of you!" message to quickly send to your loved one without all that effort making is a niche but well-done app.
If you have an SO that you want to use the app, just send 'em here to the Windows Phone Marketplace or the app's homepage for more info. Thinking of You is free and ad-free.
3 years ago
Best Buy offering T-Mobile Lumia 710 Windows Phone on prepaid plan
The low-cost Nokia Lumia 710 on prepaid
We haven't followed the whole pre-paid plan scene as much as we probably should here at Windows Phone Central. Blame it on our contract-centric culture but for a lot of folks, prepaid plans are brilliant--low cost and no commitment with a contract is a great idea for many (especially if you're holding off for Windows Phone 8 this fall).
Best Buy who's no stranger to the mobile phone biz is now offering the Nokia Lumia 710 (see review) for $299. That's actually $50 more than what T-Mobile sells it for ($249.99) but you do get the brick-n-mortar presentation and perhaps a few impulse buys.
Either way, it's good to see Windows Phone joining the popular Android devices on prepaid plans, especially the 710 which is a fantastic starter-phone. For those on AT&T, however, there's no such luck despite the carrier having the largest Windows Phone selection around.
Thanks, @cagmanthing/Manny, for the photo
3 years ago
Official Foursquare app gets Windows Phone Tango certified but no overhaul for new service
The official Foursquare app still focuses on Check-ins
A few interesting tidbits about the official Foursquare app for Windows Phone that you may be interested in on this lazy Sunday. Even though we swear by 4th & Mayor, some of you like the unique design of the Foursquare app even if it's a tad slow by comparison.
Today the app has an update to version 2.11 which is certainly fairly minor but still important. The first one is that it now runs on devices with 256MB of RAM aka "Tango phones" like the Lumia 610. While less than 2% of the apps of the Marketplace are non-Tango optimized they tend to be some big titles (mostly Xbox LIVE games), so it's nice to get that nod.
The second update is the more vague "bug fixes" which will hopefully address some issues some of you may have had recently.
Perhaps the bigger news (and non-surprising) is the official Foursquare app has not been update to the new "5.0" system like Android and iOS. Those apps were completely rebuilt and re-coded from the ground up with Check-ins losing their primary status for the service. That's right, most users evidently weren't even using Foursquare for check-ins but rather recommendations of nearby locations.
Check-ins in the new Foursquare have been sidelined as the service expands to be more Yelp-ish with new features like Explore and Lists. Photos are also more prominent now as users are more likely now to document their experiences. Of course the much superior 4th & Mayor app already has all of these features built in but with the more original focus on check-ins.
No word on if Foursquare will bother scrapping and re-doing the current Windows Phone app to reflect these new changes. Our bet is they'll wait till Windows Phone 8 comes out to release the overhaul.
Pick up the official Foursquare app here in the Windows Phone Marketplace. Users can also grab the free 3rd party version, 4th & Mayor here instead. Thanks, Brian, for the heads up
3 years ago
Windows Phone Central's favorite Xbox Live Arcade games of E3 2012
Xbox Live Arcade Games: Windows Phone Central's favorites from E3 2012
With so many Xbox Live Arcade games on display at E3 this year, it’s tough narrowing down just which ones are our favorites. We’ve already treated you to footage and interviews of Skulls of the Shogun and Ascend: New Gods, both of which are also coming to Windows Phone with connectivity features. Now it’s time to share a few XBLA games that don’t currently have mobile ports in the works but should definitely be on any console gamer’s radar. We spoke with the developers of all three titles: Double Dragon: Neon, Retro City Rampage, and Pid and came away extremely impressed.
Head past the break for more gameplay footage and our full Double Dragon: Neon producer interview!
3 years ago
E3 2012 - Ascend: New Gods XBLA gameplay and Windows Phone details
For Windows Phone gamers, the most exciting moment of Microsoft’s E3 2012 press conference was the announcement of Ascend: New Gods, an upcoming XBLA and Windows Phone title from Signal Studios. Boasting impressively detailed graphics and a smattering of graphic violence, it certainly caught our eyes. Later on during the Expo we had the pleasure of speaking with lead designer Ian Scott as we played the Xbox Live Arcade version of the game. Even better, he went on to detail Ascend’s cross-platform connectivity.
Head past the break for more Ascend hands-on gameplay footage and Windows Phone connectivity details!
3 years ago
Apple Store employees check out Microsoft Store opening in Freehold, NJ
Today, Microsoft threw the doors open to their Freehold, NJ store marking yet another feather in the growing chain's cap. While we're always excited to see another Store open up, especially on the East coast, what makes this opening just a tad hilarious is the curious Apple employees who evidently showed up.
As it is well known, Microsoft has been opening their stores wherever Apple has theirs (including our own location) and perhaps setting up for some interesting drama. In this case, reader Trav sent us the above photo of the brave Apple employees who were checking the competition.
Hey, we don't begrudge Apple and we more than welcome them to the fold even if for just a visit.
Thanks, Trav, for the tip
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