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4 years ago

Ballmer: Windows Phone 7 devices by Christmas?

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We keep hearing various time-frames for the release of Windows Phone 7. Usually "holiday season" is tossed around, which here in the States stretches from mid-October (if you count Halloween) through January 2nd.

Some of us have been hearing October as the big month, but we're not even sure if that's just announcing products or actual release date. For instance, we can see Microsoft back here in NYC at their "Open House" event kicking off WP7 with a bunch of OEMs and developers, but not releasing till...well later.

Ballmer today is India, once again doing what he does best, giving speeches and pep talks, much like an impromptu Chris Farley. In response to a question about WP7, Ballmer reportedly had this to say:

We have to deliver devices with our partners this Christmas...We have got our work cut out on Windows Phone 7, but we are good competitors.

We suppose this isn't really news if they do "deliver" by Christmas, after all that is still the Holiday season.  But we can't help but wish it was more October-ish? And to throw in a zinger, he also reportedly said this

One of our competitors seems a little confused, has come out with two operating systems that I cannot tell the difference between.

Ahem, not sure if he should be throwing stones on such a day as this one, but okay.

[via @nimishdubey@cellpassion]

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4 years ago

Arkanoid ported to Windows Phone 7

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4 years ago

Pharos offering swap-out program for the Traveler 137

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Pharos is offering a free swap-out program for those who purchased the company's Windows Phone, the Traveler 137. Pharos will ship for free, replacement phones that will lack the power management issues and faulty power button issues the early production models developed.

According to a company spokesman, some of the Traveler 137 units would require a soft reset or removing the battery to power down the phone. The phone would then operate normally for a few days and then go on the fritz again.

In addition to swapping the problematic phones, Pharos will upgrade the replacement phones (which ran Windows Mobile 6.1) to Windows Mobile 6.5. A nice plus seeing that the current Traveler 137 models are shipping with Windows Mobile 6.5.

[read: twice.com]

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4 years ago

Ballmer: No plans for WP7 in tablets?

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Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer is in Singapore today to help promote the launch of Office 2010/Imagine Cup Awards Ceremony, nothing too surprising there.

Evidently Steve took some questions from the audience and on Windows Phone 7, he reportedly had this to say:

We're focused on putting Windows Phone 7 in phones, no plans for tablets.

With the cancellation of Courier, the uncertain future of HP's Slate and the likes of Bach and Allard leaving, what exactly is Microsoft's strategy for tablet computers going to be? We know WP7 can scale up to large resolutions and evidently has a robust enough DPI to handle a high-resolution tablet.

So was he just being cagey or legit? It's not like he would just announce a Windows Phone 7-Tablet initiative in such an offhand way. Then again, MS has made some boneheaded moves in the past, and not taking advantage of WP7 + tablets could be one of them.

Speaking of shakeups, regarding the latest to the E&D division, he also reportedly said (paraphrasing)

There will not be further changes in mobile and entertainment strategy after management shakeup

That's a relief. The whole web seems to be crackling with 'WP7 FAIL' predictions after yesterday's news.

Update: In a video interview with Fortune, Ballmer clearly states they are going with Windows 7 and not Windows Phone 7 for tablets. Can Windows 7 answer the craving for instant-on, low power, low heat and fast mobile OS that consumers demand?

[image via @hyperous]

 

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4 years ago

Samsung (Omnia HD) prototype with WP7 gets handled; game 'Twin Blades' shown

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Looks like the folks at MobileTechWorld got to play with the Samsung Omnia HD modified for Windows Phone 7.

They note that the processor has been updated from the lackluster TI OMAP 3430 to a Snapdragon (presumably 1GHz) and that this device probably won't make it to production, for obvious reasons.

Their impressions? Very positive noting 

As you can see in the video below everything is running smoothly with no sign of lag or stuttering and everything was functional on the handset (GPS, data, and even camera). It’s the smoothies mobile experience I have ever witness (on par with the iPhone) and it definitely feels a lot better when used on a real handset compared to the desktop emulator.

That seems to be the consensus lately on anyone who gets to play with one of these prototypes, which is a great sign considering finalized hardware and software is still months away.

Also, the video game 'Twin Blades' by Press Star Studio was shown off. The game is currently available on Xbox Live Arcade (400 points) and was ported in under 2 weeks by one programmer. It's already fully integrated with Xbox including achievements and this will be available when WP7 launches. Sweet--going to download to XBox right now.

Both videos after the jump.

[via MobileTechWorld; Twin Blades]

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4 years ago

Review: Microsoft KIN, Part Two: Software

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Review: Microsoft KIN, Part Two: Software

 

While the KIN is being marketed as a Windows Phone, it doesn't run Windows Mobile or Windows Phone 7.  The primary mission, if you will, of the KIN is to keep you in touch with your friends and social networks.  While the KIN's OS is a dramatic departure from the traditional appearance of a Windows Phone, it does a decent job of keeping you in touch with your social networks.  

The KIN may also give us a feel for the social networking abilities the upcoming Windows Phone 7 may have.

In Part One of this review we looked at the design of the KIN phones. While there are design differences between the KIN One and Two, with respects to the software, I can only think of one (the KIN Two has screen rotation).

Hit the break for more on the software, some screen shots and to find out what's missing.

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4 years ago

Elecont Weather gets updated

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Elecont Weather gets updated

Elecont Weather has been updated, increasing the worldwide weather coverage from 41,000 to 67,000 cities. Version 1.3.5 also includes a 10-day weather graph for day and night temperatures, an independent scheduler for weather updates, and added information on moon phases and moonrise/moonsets over a ten day period.

The graphical weather app still retains features such as UV alerts, hourly UV forecasts, severe weather alerts, barometric readings, and "feels like" temperature conversions (factoring in heat index or wind chill).

You can pick up your copy of Elecont Weather over at the WMExperts.com Software Store for $14.95. If you're not sure, there is a trial version available so you can give it a try before you buy.

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4 years ago

"Paper Ball" game and London Tube app shown for Windows Phone 7

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Another day, some more demo Silverlight apps beings built for Windows Phone 7. We've been stating for awhile now that the combo of Silverlight and XNA as a development platform for the OS would be huge and so far, developers seem to be loving it.

First up is "Paper Ball" by Jimmy Interactive, which looks stylized enough to be something on an iPhone. Think of it as literally paper-football, where the paper are people cutouts. You direct your offense/defense by drawing their plot and then watch what happens. Looks to be a fun little time-waster and the graphics are just superb. Also check out his other game "Frog Log". Video demos after the break!

The other notable app is one for the London Tube which shows you their current status and pushes notifications to your phone if there are delays or problems. Similar programs exist on the iPhone for the NYC subway, so we look forward to others using Andy-Team G's code to use as a starting point.

Once again, while apps like London Tube are nothing revolutionary, the fact so many developers are making these mini/widget programs with in so little effort, bodes well for when Windows Phone 7, you know, actually comes out five months from now.

[via @jamesfdickinson and @andy_gore]

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4 years ago

Shakeup at Microsoft?

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Shakeup at Microsoft?

The eminent Wall Street Journal is reporting late last night that Microsoft may be significantly altering its corporate structure around the division focused on videogames, mobile phones and other consumer devices (e.g. Zune, Ford Sync).

As we reported earlier, J Allard is sadly still expected to be leaving Microsoft. The WSJ is also backing up the story that his departure is a result of the Courier cancellation.

Likewise, Robbie Back, who oversees the Xbox Live and Mobile division, may also be part of the re-organization process, reportedly as a result of Microsoft's continued poor performance against Google and Apple. This is especially evident as we are on the eve of Apple surpassing Microsoft for the #2 spot on the S&P 500, which though not ultimately important, is certainly symbolic and revealing.

This may also just be routine with Microsoft preparing for the emergence of Windows Phone 7 and Project Natal in the fall. Either way, we hope it works out.

Update: Robbie Bach is retiring in the fall; J Allard is leaving; transition plan detailed

Update 2Leadership Profiles: Andy Lees & Don Mattrick. Andy Lees, who will lead the Windows Phone 7/KIN teams, will report directly to Ballmer starting July 1st

Update 3: Ballmer's letter to the employees about the changes (via ZDNet)

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4 years ago

Review: Microsoft KIN, Part One: Design

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Review: Microsoft KIN, Part One: Design


The Microsoft KIN has been on the market for a few weeks now and we've shared a brief video tour of both KIN models and now we'll take a closer look at the latest Windows Phone from Microsoft.

Reviewing a single Windows Phone has its challenges and looking at two phones at the same time is really challenging. To help maintain sanity and break things down a little better, we'll separate things into three parts: design, software and performance.

The initial impression of the KIN (both One and Two) is that the phones were more like a feature phone with a little more "feature" thrown in. I don't believe either were designed to replace your Windows Phone running Windows Mobile but instead, to offer an alternative to those who don't need as much.

We start with looking at the KIN's design. While the KIN Two has more of a traditional design, the KIN One compactness stands out. Ease on past the break to read more on the design and what impression it left.

 

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4 years ago

Ahead Project Manager for WP7 gets demoed

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We admit, you don't need to fasten your seatbelts to view this application. While not the most exciting thing to grace mobile devices, so-called 'time' or 'project management' applications are very important for those who actually need them.

A few French friends got together to make this program for some competition but now they're committed to releasing it to the Marketplace and overseeing its continued development.

Following the minimal-design principles laid about by the Metro UI, Ahead is not flashy but does enable quick access to basic project management sections including: tasks, time tracking, projects, accounts (funding), clients and settings.

But less talk more action. The developers have made a great demo video which walks you through everything. You can watch that after the jump to get an idea of just how polished the program is at this early stage in Windows Phone 7 development or just go to their website to see it all in action: Ahead--manage your projects on the go

     

[via @ahead_app]

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4 years ago

HomeScreenJump now available for Sense 2.5

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For those who don't follow Android news, about a week ago the HTC Wildfire became official. One cool trick that HTC added was the ability to jump to different screens in Sense via multi-selector screen, instead of sliding all over the place. (See Tracy & Matt's hands on at 0:42)

And anyone who's used Sense 2.5 on WinMo can know the feeling of having to slide the tabs all over the place to just find that one you're looking to use right now. It can be frustrating.

Well combine those two ideas and you have HomeScreenJump from XDA member dotcompt!

Simply install the HomeScreenJump.cab and tap the icon to run and there you go.  Want to go the extra step? Install two more .cab files and now you can map it to your Start button as a long press.  Now you can call it up wherever, whenever.

Our thoughts? We highly recommend this mod. And do map it to the Start key. This method makes it very fast, efficient and darn it all it just works well. You now have quick-access to your Home, People, Messages, Mail, Weather, Twitter and Programs tabs.

[XDA forums via PDA.pl]

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4 years ago

Marketplace Spotlight: Glympse vs. Wizi

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Marketplace Spotlight: Glympse vs. Wizi

 

Some time ago we looked at Glympse, a GPS Tracking app.  More recently, we've also taken a look at Wizi, a similar GPS application.  While we've reviewed both, we thought a comparative piece was in order.  Is Wizi strong enough to lure you away from the Marketplace or does Glympse have more to offer along with the convenience of the Marketplace?  (Okay...so it's not like downloading the Wizi .cab is all that inconvient but we needed to tie this into the Marketplace.)

Follow the Break to see how these to GPS location apps measure up.

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4 years ago

Settlement proposed in AT&T "locked phone" lawsuits

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AT&T has proposed a settlement that will end several class action lawsuits that surrounds the software locks on most AT&T phones. These locks are put in place to prevent AT&T phones from operating on other compatible wireless carriers.

Each of the four lawsuits, in some shape, form or fashion claim it is improper for AT&T to sell phones that have been programmed not to operate on compatible services and that this restriction hasn't been properly disclosed to customers (still scratching my head on the latter claim).

The proposed settlement allows customers owning eligible phones who have completed a minimum of 90 days of active service with AT&T and be in good standing, upon request, receive an unlocking code. Phones that have an exclusivity sales contract with AT&T of ten months or longer (e.g. the iPhone) are excluded from this settlement. Phones with an exclusivity sales contract of less than ten months the exclusive period mush have expired before the unlocking code is released.

Customers are limited to five unlock codes per year and AT&T will pick up the attorney's fees, on the litigation, up to $5.7 million. The settlement proposal now goes to those suing AT&T to allow anyone not interested in the proposal to opt out or object to the terms. The Court will determine whether or not to approve the settlement on July 2, 2010. 

No word if this includes or excludes Windows Phones such as the Tilt2, Samsung Jack and Pure. While these phones are offered by other carriers, the name is unique and possibly exclusive to AT&T.  While one can hope that this might lead the way for more unlocked phones to appear in the U.S. market, one also has to wonder if this development is related in any way to AT&T recently increasing their early contract termination fees?

[read: attlockinglawsuits.com]

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4 years ago

HTC Huashan and Hengshan: probably WM6.5 devices for China, not WP7

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Conflipper recently posted some info about two HTC devices slated for 2010:  Huashan and Hengshan, named after mountains in China.

Sinces these reference-names are Chinese and not very Western e.g. Mondrian, Rhodium, Whitestone, it's a pretty good indication that these are devices that we'll never see here in the U.S. or Europe for that matter. Well that and they're on Dopod's release schedule.

Going further, Engadget are calling these Windows Phone 7 devices which is incorrect (WMPoweruser was savvy enough not to make this mistake). The following reference is inside the files:

Microsoft Internet Explorer Mobile 6

5.2

In case you forgot, this is Internet Explorer Mobile 6 (5.2), the same one that debuted with WM6.1.4 and is in WM6.5. That browser is quite at odds with the Windows Phone 7 browser based on the IE7 and IE8 Trident rendering engines. Just going by screen resolution (480x800 and 320x480) tells you nothing meaningful to differentiate between the two OSes.

So here's the deal: HTC and other lower-tier manufacturers will continue to churn out WM6.5 "Classic" devices in certain markets, namely Eastern as a low-cost alternative to the high-end Windows Phone 7 experience. Sure, both of these new HTC devices could be bumped to Windows Phone 7, but right now there is zero evidence that they are currently planning it. In fact the 320x480 device is probably just a HTC HD Mini spin off.

In other words HTC Huashan and HTC Hengshan: nothing to see here

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