We've been hearing about the code-names for awhile and now we finally get to see one. We're of course talking about Windows Phone 7 on an HTC device and this one is reportedly for Verizon (and presumably Sprint).
Rocking some current-high end specs, the device features:
8MP camera (No dual flash, not even a single one!)
No HTC customizations in sight
Too early to tell if this will be a release device, what it'll be called and where it fits in with HTC's planned offerings (maybe this is an entry level device, not their flagship?)
Our take: it's exactly what we'd expect from HTC and in that regard, it's a bit underwhelming although we think it'll get the job done admirably. Still, we're sort of hoping for 'an HTC EVO moment' where we really go 'wow' instead of 'meh'.
Are our standards and expectations too high? Yup, and we're okay with that as Microsoft needs to wow us. Your thoughts? Is that Dell Lightning looking better yet?
Edit: Windows Phone 7 hardware specs require a flash for the camera. Hmmm...
The other big story is that HTC does plan to offer 'Sense' or something similar to it. Quoting HTC
"Microsoft has taken firmer control of the core experience [in Windows Phone 7], but we can still innovate," Drew Bamford, who heads HTC's user experience design team, told Forbes.
"We won't be able to replace as much of the core Windows Phone experience, but we will augment it," he said
We're down with that. Now lets see what that actually means.
Let us flashback to the 2010 Mobile World Congress with Steve Manser, HP's Senior VP, saying, "HP is working even closer with Microsoft to develop signature phones on the Windows Phone 7 Series that offer an entirely new consumer experience.”.
Apparently, times have changed and we've seen indications that HP is no longer on board with Windows Phone 7. The latest confirmation of such came in a CNBC interview with HP Personal Systems Group VP Todd Bradley. Bradley left no room for doubt when he said,"I think it's clear to say, that we're very focused on the customer, and giving the customer the experience that's important to them. We won't do -- will not do a Linux / Android phone. We won't do a Microsoft phone.".
Instead, HP will concentrate on using WebOS (a.k.a. Palm) for the company's smartphone lineup. With such a strong position on Windows Phone 7 it would appear that the HP Glisten might very well be HP's Windows Phone swan song.
So, does HP's departure from the WP7 represent a great loss or a void easily filled by another company?
At least we presume those 'bads' are the case as we don't have 100% confirmation either way yet. Even with the limitations, we like the speed and execution of the voice search feature and can't wait to try it ourselves.
Eck. It was bound to happen. Someone put up an iPhone 3GS up against the prototype Samsung 'Taylor" Windows Phone 7 device in a mini-browser war.
Although a lot of press have been giving Mobile IE a 'not bad as we thought' review, it still pales in comparison to Apple's HTML5 based browser.
Now in fairness, Mobile IE may not be finished yet and in fact, is probably not, so we should expect it to perform better by release. On top of that, we know Mobile IE can be updated independently of the whole OS, allowing, in theory, frequent updates to improve the browsing experience.
Having said all of that, who here would not have liked to see WP7 beat the iPhone 3GS out? It sure would have been a nice ego boost and headline grabber. And without 3rd party browsers being available, at least for awhile (Microsoft has said they may be willing to work with companies to offer browser alternatives, if demand is high enough), we won't have much choice. Come on Mobile IE team!
Watch the full, somewhat painful video, after the break!
Verizon has posted its 2010 Q2 financial report and while the company reporting an overall revenue decline, not everything was a loss.
Verizon reported $26.8 billion in total operating revenue, .3% decline compared to this time last year. While the company may have experienced a decline in total operating revenue, the wireless revenue experienced a 3.4% increase.
Verizon ended the quarter with 92.1 million total customers (a 5% increase from last year) and 86.1 million retail customers (a 1.1% increase). That's still about 4 million behind AT&T's 90.1 million wireless subscribers, assuming the full 86.1 million are wireless customers.
As seen in AT&T's quarterly report, Verizon experienced a significant jump in wireless data revenues (23.4%) from last year. Data usage for the quarter is reported to reflect 180 billion text messages, 4.2 billion picture/video messages and 25 million music/video downloads. The data revenue jump makes the 4.2% service revenue increase pale in comparison. Yet another indicator how important data is to consumers?
We don’t know about you, but we’ve pretty excited about this Windows Phone 7 thing. The closer we get to that October(ish) release, the more desperate we get for all the juicy details on what to expect from Microsoft’s new mobile OS. Most of the information that we have on Windows Phone 7 up to this point has come from developer resources and documentation. The Microsoft UI Design and Interaction Guide for Windows Phone 7 is an attempt to communicate Microsoft’s design and UI principles to developers in the hopes of maintaining some level of consistency. The full guide is available from Microsoft (PDF link).
We’ve gone through the guide for you and broken out some of the guidelines/specs that we either haven’t heard or at least haven’t had confirmed. Get all of the details after the break and then let us know what you think in the comments.
After all of those tech-previews of Windows Phone 7, if you're like us you already feel you "know" the new OS in and out. Likewise for Bing on board, which while currently lacking turn-by-turn directions (boo) promises to build off of what looks to be a solid search platform.
Heck, even the Bing folks think so as they posted a few screen shots to gaze at. Credit is due: it sure looks real nice and we're excited to make daily use of it and finally ditch Google-everything.
Now, before we get all giddy over these, it should be noted that even CF is not 100% if these will see the light of day, rather all he knows is that they were at least one time planned--whether or not they get through development and production is always up in the air until they are announced.
Looking at WP7 device Mozart, being a dance, Salsa, Tango, and Swing, are all dances, HTC likes to name devices under same category.
Maestro looks to be Worldphone, (CDMA + GSM), Swing is a GSM, Swing#C CDMA, Salsa is GSM, Salsa#C is CDMA, Vienna and Vienna#C
How do these fit in with those previous WP7 device-codenames e.g. HTC Gold_W (Sprint)/Gold, HTC Mozart/Schubert, Mondrian and HTC Spark_W? Heck if we know. While we're excited HTC evidently has a whole slew of devices coming for WP7, for FSM's sake can we get at least one leaked image of what they'll look like already?
Microsoft's KIN may be dead but it keeps on ticking. Microsoft has released an update for the KIN that offers minor functionality changes. Not enough for resuscitation but the update is reported to include the following:
Twitter avatars showing up in the KIN Loop
Changes to Twitter status appearance
Re-tweets by contacts show up in the Loop
Twitter contact profiles show up
Twitter contacts can now be pinned to Favorites.
Rumors were circulating that Microsoft was working on a KIN update to give it more functionality that included better Twitter integration. This may have been the last item on the KIN Team's "to do" list before they turned off the lights completely.
AT&T has released it's second quarter earning report and life over at the wireless company is looking pretty good. AT&T experienced positive revenue growth during the quarter with consolidated revenues totaling $30.8 billion, up $194 million from last year's second quarter. AT&T can also boast a 25.9% boost in EPS (earnings per share) of $.68 compared to $.54 last year.
Wireless service revenue increased 10.3% and Wireless data revenue experienced a 27.2% growth, up $936 million compared to year-earlier quarter. Apparently the new data plan structures haven't been that bad.
Total wireless subscribers rose to 90.1 million, a 1.6 million net increase, setting a best-ever second quarter mark. The other wireless highlight was, despite "antennagate", AT&T set a company record by activating 3.2 million iPhones.
Confidence is high over at AT&T heading into the second half of the year. As a launch partner for Microsoft's Windows Phone 7, AT&T should be at the forefront this Fall when WP7 hits the shelves. It will be interesting to see what impact the new Windows Phone will have on future earnings.
Windows Phone 7, via Live and/or Exchange, can sync up your calendar events. You can also add external sources like Google to the mix. All of these can by synced to the phone is a very easy fashion, the problem though is syncing back as you can only have one "source" that gets synced too.
Then there is the issue of multiple, nested calendars that are "subscribed" too within a calendar e.g. 'weather' within Google calendar--those don't get synced.
Granted, this is v1.0 of calendar support in WP7, but obviously some "power users" will have a tough time swallowing those limitations, while for us with not much to do in our lives (ahem, raises hand) it won't be a big deal. As Thurrott notes:
...you can’t be both simple and full-featured. Microsoft has opted with Windows Phone, in v1 form anyway, for simple. This is arguably the right choice, but the limitations of this choice will appear in multiple places all over this system. And this is just one basic example.
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).