Microsoft issued a news release late late night, announcing it signed a patent agreement with HTC over its entire line of smartphones running the Android operating system.
Specific terms of the deal, including how many patents or what they cover, were not immediately released. Microsoft's statement did say the agreement "provides broad coverage under Microsoft's patent portfolio for HTC 's mobile phones running the Android mobile platform."
“HTC and Microsoft have a long history of technical and commercial collaboration, and today’s agreement is an example of how industry leaders can reach commercial arrangements that address intellectual property,” Horacio Gutierrez, corporate vice president and deputy general counsel of Intellectual Property and Licensing at Microsoft, said in the official statement. “We are pleased to continue our collaboration with HTC.”
CNET's Ina Fried reports that the disputed patents range from the user interface to the operating system itself, and that this is the first time Microsoft has publicly said that HTC was violating patents. Microsoft for years has alleged that Linux infringes on a number of its patents and has sought licensing deals with manufacturers who use the open-source OS, which also is the framework for Android. This, however, is Microsoft's first licensing deal with the mobile OS.
Full text of Microsoft's press release after the break.
Aliph has released an update to its popular Bluetooth headset, the Icon, that gives it the ability to stream music and other audio files. The A2DP update is available through the companies MyTalk website. If you don't own an Icon and the addition to A2DP pushes you over the fence, the headset can be picked up over at the WMExperts Store for the reduced price of $96.95.
In light of the recent Trojan Horse/malware issue that cropped up with a Windows Mobile game, we thought we'd re-visit what security resources are available for Windows Phones. One thing we discovered was that Flexillis has undergone a face-lift (as well as a name change).
Lookout, formerly known as Flexillis, is an anti-virus, backup, security service that not only runs on your Windows Phone but also has an online component. Follow the break the read more on Lookout to see if the changes go beyond the name.
U.S. Cellular has announced a new business-class Windows Phone, the Samsung Exec.
With all the buzz circulating about the Kin and Windows Phone 7 pending releases, it's a little surprising to see an announcement on a new Windows Phone especially when it's running Windows Mobile 6.5 Standard. However, the Exec is being presented as a business solution design and WM Standard is a good fit for such a design. Asides from the center control panel design, the Exec is very reminiscent of the Samsung Jack.
The Samsung Exec specs include 123mb ROM/80mb RAM, 1500mah battery, a 2mp camera, 667mhz processor, 2.4" 320x240 screen, bluetooth, and gps. The Samsung Windows Phone measures 4.61"Lx2.36"Wx.45"D and weighs 3.7 ounces.
The Exec will run you $169.95 before rebates and discounts which will drop the price to $99.95.
Langlearner Full follows that same lesson plan of Langlearner Lite (the free version) in that it focuses on short, everyday phrases (e.g. where's the restroom, what time is it, etc.). Langlearner Full has more content which includes ten languages and 100mbs of downloadable content covering thirty-two lessons.
Navigation is simple and the lesson plans are straightforward. You choose your lesson pack (casual conversation, dining, first aid, etc) to download and then choose your individual lesson. Each lesson covers the full language range and you choose the direction of the translation. The Windows Phone App presents the phrase in the written and audible form as well as a picture illustrating the phrase.
Langlearner Full is available at the Windows Mobile Marketplace for 99 cents. It may not be on the same level as Rosetta Stone but if you're looking for a convenient, simple to use language app, LangLearner Full isn't a bad way to spend less than a buck. Not sure? You can still download Langlearner Lite to get a feel for things.
All you business-types who have been fretting over whether you're going to be able to crank out e-mails on the fly in Windows Phone 7 ... wonder no more. After the break are a couple of new emulator videos of Windows Phone 7, finally showing what the e-mail and Office experience may be like. Opening a PowerPoint presentation within an e-mail? Very cool. We're not sold on the on-screen keyboard just yet, but there's plenty of time for that, and we'll undoubtedly see a slider or two. [MobilityDigest Youtube via Engadget]
Since there is quite the backlash from so-called "power users" against Windows Phone 7 (it is quite the a change), learning to hack and break down the new walled garden of Microsoft will be the new rage we predict.
And while the Zune HD and Windows Phone 7 only share some similar code/structure, learning to port games,load hacks and implement tricks on one may help with the other.
For those who are running cooked ROM's on their Windows Phone, you might be familiar with MaxManila and CoOkie's Home Tab (and yes, it's spelled that way). Both are Manila modifiers that allow you to customize the appearance of your HTC Sense 2.5 Home Tab.
Both mods can be run independently (installation .cabs available) and many ROM Chefs are cooking them directly into their products (NRGZ28 for example). These mods add a considerable amount of functionality and customization to your home tab.
Now for the obligatory cautionary advisory. Custom ROMs aren't for everyone and plenty of research, read up on the ROMs and proceed at your own risk. The modifiers are home cooked as well and while many find them stable and well developed, you need to do your research and proceed with caution.
Now, to read more about these Home Tab modifications, follow the break.
Microsoft released their third quarter numbers today and things are looking good over at Redmond. Third Quarter Revenue was reported at $14.50 billion (a 6% boost compared to last year) which is another earnings record for the company. While Windows 7 may get a lot of the credit for the boost in revenue, Bing is getting a little credit as well.
Peter Klein, Chief Financial Officer for Microsoft, stated "Windows 7 continues to be a growth engine but we also saw strong growth in other areas like Bing Search, Xbox Live and our emerging cloud services."
Windows revenue was up 28% compared to the same quarter last year and with more than 10% of the computers in the world running Windows 7, it becomes the fastest selling OS in history.
While I don't think Microsoft's overall success hinges on the Windows Phone market, it will be interesting to see how the release of the Kin next month and the Windows Phone 7 later this Fall will influence the financial statements. You can find all the numbers on the Third Quarter Report here.
The Prince of Persia gaming series is one of those that jump out as a classic. First introduced in the late 80s, Prince of Persia has made the jump to mobile devices including Windows Phones. While some games go through a complete transformation in their transition to mobile, Prince of Persia attempts to maintain as much of the story and feel as possible.
High quality in all aspects. Controls are easy to learn and use.
Need a one stop shop for custom ROMs? Want to see what a particular chef has cooked up? XDA ROMs is hoping to fit those needs.
XDA ROMS is a clearing house of sorts for cooked ROMS that has been created by bowpay, an XDA Developer's Forum member. The cooking is categorized based on the device, chef, language and OS. XDA ROMS also has the ability to compare up to five ROMS side by side and you can also rate the ROMS.
The site is still in a Beta stage so it may take some time to iron out all the bugs and get the ROM database fully stocked.
There is a little joy in Mudville tonight. Especially if you were hoping that one day Google Maps would have voice search capability. Because today is that day.
Google has updated Google Maps to version 4.1 for Windows Mobile and has added voice search the the app. It will detect different variations of English as well as Mandarin. The voice search is activated by the call button on your phone.
It also appears the search is location based (a good thing). When I searched "Yankee Pizza" the results were limited to the one local pizzeria. In searching "wal-mart" it brought up the closest store to my location.
In the short time I've tinkered with Google Maps voice search, it is a little buggy (locked up once) and isn't as fast as Bing's voice search. But it is a step in the right direction.
Whoa. We've all been wondering if and when Dell would ever legitimately get back into the smartphone game -- and we've been wondering if we'd ever see a portrait QWERTY phone ever again. Looks like both questions might have been answered in this leak Engadget scored. The Dell Lightning has a 4.1-inch OLED display as a vertical slider, powered by the (now) usual 1GHz Qualcomm QSD 8250 Snapdragon processor. There's also a 5MP camera, 1GB of ROM/512MB of RAM with another 8GB of onboard storage, GPS, accelerometer, compass, FM radio, full Flash video playback, and it'll be GSM, to boot. Oh, and if that's not enough, it might well be upgradable to LTE sometime in 2011. Welcome back, Dell. [Engadget]
We haven't mentioned much about the Sony Xperia X2a. The predecessor to the Xperia X1 has been making the rounds overseas and it appears to be headed to the U.S. Market.
Over at SonyStyle.com, Sony is accepting pre-orders for the X2a (only $599.99) and is noting expected availability as on or about April 29, 2010.
The X2a is a sliding keyboard styled Windows Phone running Windows Mobile 6.5. It features Sony's "tile" user interface and an 8.1mp camera. Other features include a 3.2", 800x480 screen, Qualcomm 528mhz processor, 1500mah battery, 256mb RAM, 512mb ROM, and is shipped with a 4GB MicroSD card.
From the advertisement's footnotes: "This device is 3G enabled for tri-band HSPA (850/1900/2100 MHz). Please check with your preferred carrier as some features, applications, and services are not available in all areas. GSM network with compatible radio band required. Not available in all countries. Local SIM card required to make local calls, sold separately. Check with a service provider for details."
So if you're on AT&T (or another compatible network) and are dying to get your hands on a Sony Windows Phone, now's your chance.