It's even better news for MS employees, as reportedly their boss will no longer pay for their phone's service plan if it is a non-Microsoft OS (e.g. Blackberry, iPhone, WebOS), at least according to 'Business Insider'. So one hand taketh, the other giveth.
What exactly that means is hard to say--long term trend? Single device or multiple? We're going with the obvious and betting that they will have two maybe three Windows Phone 7 launches within a short period and combined, they expect to order 8 million.
Regardless of the details, if true, that is still a heck of a huge number to order. Now, will they sell?
Back a few months ago, when Windows Phone 7 was first announced, there was talk about how there won't be a separate, native Twitter application when launched. Instead, Microsoft talked-up their Live services which could access and pull down your Twitter feed for you.
Sure, it wasn't a direct route but if you use Live, you had a one-punch solution to social integration on WP7.
Now we're getting word that's just not the case as Twitter as changed their Terms of Service back in June (which explains why it was missing as of late) and have blocked companies like Microsoft from accessing via that method. To be clear, Microsoft is working with Twitter to come to a solution, but it seems Twitter has Redmond by the Rocky Mountain Oysters on this one and since the end of June, it hasn't be restored.
Of course there are a few of third-party solutions, including Twikini, Seesmic and even some up and coming developers who will have clients out the gate at launch--and lets be honest, when it comes to Twitter clients, the free market has made bigger, better and more fully-featured Twitter programs. The Android and iPhone software community are testimony to this approach.
On the other hand, full, native integration is pretty sweet. Can Microsoft, perhaps, pull off a last minute coding trick to get back Twitter or should the Market just have it instead? (Hint: we think Twikini and Seesmic are much better options anyways, so long as they fully integrate in the OS, including contacts).
We've already seen one 'showdown' between coding on platforms: the iPhone vs Windows Phone 7, and now we have what is perhaps the more important one, where Android takes on the new comer.
Android is perhaps more important than the iPhone because at the rate at which it is gaining, it will pass Cupertino sooner than later (they just hit 70,000 apps, nearly doubling the 38K mark in April). In fact, due to the plethora of hardware variations and carrier support, Android is quite the formidable opponent.
Now, in fairness, this is but one person's comparison between coding on two platforms so nothing is definitive--only the free market will decide such things in the end. Still, it's nice to know that when Microsoft says it's going all out to help out and support developers, it just isn't PR spin-- a lot of them agree.
Bad news, everyone. Conflipper, ROM cooker and bearer for all things about HTC, has decided to retire from the community, though we think for understandable reasons.
For the last few weeks, he's been going back and forth with HTC over his controversial website 'Shipped ROMS'--they claimed infringement, he claimed that he was just re-hosting what is already in the public domain.
Conflipper has been a staple around the Windows Mobile community for the last few years and has provided many sites (including our own) with lots of 'inside' information on the workings of Microsoft and specifically HTC. He never sought famed, preferred to remain anonymous and was always just flat out reliable.
While he chooses to go on hiatus from the scene, we wouldn't be surprised if he returns at some point, providing some great Windows Phone 7 information--but like in the past, you'll rarely know that it's actually coming from him. A loss for the community, we totally know how feels about getting to close to the industry and we know whatever he chooses to focus on next, he'll end up all right.
Sometimes, we folks around here wish we had the skills to actually write software for our phones as opposed to just report on 'em, but alas we know our lot in life.
For some of you though, you're a bit smarter and can handle all this stuff and we've been trying to cover the developer community rallying around Windows Phone 7 for awhile now.
Programmer and writer Adam Dawes has a nice lil' book coming out around December for writing games on WP7 (games we''re really looking forward too). We won't get into too much detail but if you program and like WP7 and like games, we'll just drop this link here for your perusal.
Technical Preview units of Microsoft's Windows Phone 7 have landed in the hands of a number of tech writers. The hands-on time these writers spent with the Technical Preview devices provided a good bit of insight on Windows Phone 7. After spending most of the day reading their observations, a few conclusions quickly come to light.
Throughout the reviews the positives and negatives on the Technical Preview units were fairly consistent. We found a lot of what we already knew, some affirmations on what we suspected and a few new things.
Follow the break to see what we pulled from the hands-on time these fortunate few have shared with us.
Okay, we're not even sure how to categorize this outside of it's from Taiwan, uses computer animation with Darth Vader references and taking a metaphor to a whole new level. It hails from NMA News, who has made a reputation for themselves by making computer reenactments of current events, practically as they happen, including Tiger Woods and the Leno/O'Brien controversies.
It's not even in English but you'll get all of it, including some of the somewhat tasteless Foxconn jokes. Still, the "solution" for the antenna/reception issue? Hilarious. Not completely SFW either!
Looks like some of the big sites managed to get a hold of some tester Windows Phone 7 devices (luuuucky!) and the consensus overall seems to be quite solid. The hardware is a Samsung Taylor SGH-i707 with 480 x 320 (HVGA), which is a bit odd although reportedly it looks really good. The Taylor also has a 5MP camera, speakers plus microphone on the top and bottom for both and a non-functional front-facing camera. There's even a dedicated camera button that works if the device is locked.
Engadget points out the great on-screen keyboard, camera and even browser, and finally concluding that WP7 is a work in progress, a promising one, but not quite there yet.
Paul Thurrott also does a fantastic tour of the device and is quite impressed with the OS. Although we have to experience Windows Phone 7 vicariously through him, we usually agree with his insight and highly recommend the full read.
There's also Matt Miller of ZDNet (and of Nokia Experts) who has a nice 8-page review, concluding that the "...current experience is amazingly stable and fluid and I am quite impressed with what they have done".
Anyways, we'll let their reviews stand for themselves. Read 'em and comment back here if you're more or less excited now.
We're getting word, confirmed though two sources, that anything and everything KIN gets sent back to...wherever...starting tomorrow. What happens to them is anyone's guess.
That's right folks, we may be on the verge of a fabled E.T. game situation for the KIN-they will perhaps be dumped in a big landfill, where 20 years from now, rare NIB KINS will fetch for thousands of dollars on eBay.
The geek inside of us wants to run out and buy one to keep next to our big-head Han Solo action figure; the analyst in us sees Microsoft trying to erase this mistake from history and think that's OK.
As some of you may have heard, Apple held a press conference today in an attempt to get ahead of the ongoing 'antennagate' controversy surrounding the iPhone 4 (see TiPB's ongoing coverage here). Basically once Consumer Reports did their story, all heck broke loose and the usual Apple-friendly media turned a bit on Cupertino.
Here, Steve Jobs cites the Samsung Omnia 2 on Verizon (see our full review) as having the same reception/grip issue. While not exactly the poster board Windows Mobile phone (that would easily be the Touch Pro 2 and HD2), the Omnia 2 is a decent piece of hardware, despite being pretty much forgotten by most of the world, including the WM community.
Any validity to Jobs' claim? A cursory search of various forums and sites would suggest that the Omnia 2 (both on GSM and Verizon's CDMA) is not the best of the world, but neither is it the worst. In fact, it doesn't come up even as a recurring problem or complaint. Having said that, we did find this video of the Omnia HD (i8910), which basically demonstrates the same phenomenon, lending credence to the claim by Jobs.
Bottom line: Windows Mobile and Windows Phone may suffer from such occasional hardware inconsistencies (CDMA Palm Treo Pro is just awful for reception, see this doozy of a fix), but having multiple devices for consumers to choose from, instead of just one-flagship phone, gives consumers options. If you're going to put all of your eggs into one basket, you better make sure that basket is 100% perfect or nearly so. Kudos to Apple for giving away those free cases, but we think that this problem should have never had happened in the first place.
See Omnia HD i8910 reception video after the break.
Call it excitement, curiosity, or just simple interest the development community is taking note of Windows Phone 7. From the get-go, the development community was a key component to the success of WP7. Based on the numbers that component appears to be very healthy.