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4 years ago

Microsoft announces Windows Phone Live

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Microsoft has announced a new companion site for Windows Phone users, Windows Phone Live.  The new service sounds a lot like the KIN Studio but with more gusto. The "Find My Phone" resembles the security features "MyPhone" has but are slated to be free. MyPhone currently charges if these services are used.

In describing the new website at Microsoft's Windows Phone blog,

"..the new Windows Phone Live companion site that gives people a central place to see pictures they’ve published, view their Windows Live calendar and contacts, exchange OneNote files and access other information shared between the phone and the Web. The site will offer 25GB of SkyDrive and host the Find My Phone service, which allows people to find and manage a missing phone with map, ring, lock and erase capabilities right from your PC – and all for free."

There is a question of when Windows Phone Live will become available. Windowsphone.live.com is already an active URL. However, when you sign into the site with your Windows Live ID you recieve a notice that "No Windows Phone 7 Detected", then redirected to windowsphone.com.  This is a good sign that the services should be available when Windows Phone 7 launches later this year.

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4 years ago

About this week's podcast ...

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About this week's podcast ...

We had a hell of a WMExperts Podcast Monday night. If you missed the live show, well, you missed it. Because of a technical glitch (erm, or somebody -- erm, me -- pushing the wrong button), all but the first 10 minutes were lost. And while the first 10 minutes were pretty good, it's the middle half-hour where we really got going, and the last 10 minutes that were set to make us all stars. Really. They were that good.

So our apologies as you have to go another week without your dosage of Malatesta and yours truly. As soon as Mal recovers from the shock of losing the greatest podcast in the history of podcasts and is able to feed and bathe himself again, we'll be right back atcha. (Chances are that'll be by next Monday night at 7 p.m. EDT/4 p.m. PDT.) See you then.

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4 years ago

Review: OtterBox Commuter Series Case for AT&T Tilt 2

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Review: OtterBox Commuter Series Case for AT&T Tilt 2

One of the first accessories that I purchase for any smart phone that I’ve ever owned is a case to protect my new investment. I’ve mentioned before that choosing a case for your phone is very similar to the process of choosing the phone itself. A large part of the decision is based on your lifestyle and how you use your device.

OtterBox makes some of the most rugged cell phone cases on the market, though they sometimes sacrifice in the portability/usability department. The OtterBox Commuter Series case makes a reasonable compromise between protection and usability.

 

Pros: 
Tough Case. Nice Fit.
Cons: 
Power button hard to access
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4 years ago

AT&T gifting Microcells?

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AT&T gifting Microcells?

AT&T wireless customers are getting complimentary Microcells? It sounded too good to be true but we were seeing reports over the weekend that AT&T was handing out the Microcells to a  few fortunate AT&T customers.  Apparently, letters were sent out thanking customers for their patronage and invited them to the local AT&T store for a FREE 3G Microcell. 

Speculation as to why AT&T was giving away free Microcells ranged from an attempt to retain customers with soon to expire contracts to attracting iPhone customers to stick around in light of the persistent rumors another carrier will get the iPhone.

Curious as to how one would go about getting on such a mailing list, we received an official statement from AT&T that reads,

"AT&T's 3G Microcell is designed for the very small percentage of our customers who have wireless voice coverage challenges inside their home. While the product is now available to customers nationwide, we are conducting trials in two markets on the most effective way to introduce this product to customers for whom it was designed."

Just as with the initial trials, it appears that these lucky customers are simply part of a marketing research group. No conspiracy to get contracts renewed or entice iPhone owners to stick around, just marketing research.  Regardless of the reasoning, the free Microcell does serve as a nice bonus (it works like a charm) for those who received the letter.

Update: Just got word from AT&T that the free Microcells are being sent out on a very limited basis.  According to the revised statement, "AT&T's 3G Microcell is designed for the very small percentage of our customers who have wireless voice coverage challenges inside their home. While the product is now available to customers nationwide, we are conducting very limited trials on the most effective way to introduce this product to customers for whom it was designed."  Not much new with the updated statement other than the odds of getting a free Microcell just greatly reduced.

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4 years ago

Updated Windows Phone Developer Tools Beta now available

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4 years ago

Marketplace Spotlight: Cadorian Astrosky

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4 years ago

Reminder: Microsoft's Worldwide Partner Conference 2010--stream it!

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For those of you folks who want to check out the things Microsoft will be talking about this week at their "Worldwide Partner Conference 2010" (WPC10), you can stream the keynote speeches right here.

Of interest to us will be Brandon Watson’s reported keynote at 2pm EST, where of course Windows Phone 7 will be discussed.

We'll do up a summary afterwords for those who can't watch it live. We're hoping to hear more of these unannounced consumer features alluded to recently and maybe some other surprises.

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4 years ago

Firefox Mobile still not coming to WP7

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Mozilla's Director of Developer Relations, Christopher Blizzard, sat down with Gizmodo to discuss Firefox's mobile browser (formerly known as Fennec). Blizzard took the opportunity to reaffirm the company isn't developing for Windows Phones. This isn't anything new but it's more so how Mr. Blizzard make the affirmation that caught our attention.

"[On Windows Phone 7] they said, 'You can use stuff in Silverlight if you want, but you have to come through our app store, and we get to veto.' We're not going to bother. They're gonna ship some version of IE, which is gonna be terrible..."

We will assume "they" is Microsoft.  In referring to Windows Mobile Blizzard said,

"We were going to do Windows Mobile because Windows Mobile really needed a good browser, but they shut down their platform.".

We can't blame for Mr. Blizzard presenting Mozilla's mobile browser as the best thing since sliced bread but there are good browsers out there for the Windows Phone. Skyfire and Opera come to mind.

So, can a Windows Phone 7 ever survive without Mozilla's mobile browser? Are the current crop of browsers on Windows Mobile that bad? Personally, I think Mr. Blizzard is well off the mark. How about you?

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4 years ago

Bing for Windows Phones Quietly Updated

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It looks like Microsoft has updated Bing for Windows Phones, though what the update provides isn’t immediately clear. Microsoft’s download site shows the "Date Published" as 7/1/2010. My Bing version went from 5.1.2010.5040 to 5.1.2010.6280.

The last update we saw to Bing was the big one back in May that gave us turn-by-turn navigation with voice prompts. Grab the download from Microsoft, and let us know if you see anything new and improved.

Thanks to Muirwoody in the WMExperts forums for getting us looking.

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4 years ago

Yet another 'expert' analyst predicts Microsoft's demise in the mobile market

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No doubt the media seems to be riding Microsoft pretty hard these days, especially with the KIN situation which was a divide that should have stayed behind doors at the company. Throw in the supposedly influential, yet sketchy world, of "analysts" and you have a perfect storm of just bad media complete with regurgitation.

The latest comes from 'Gerson Lehrman Group' the "most valuable NYC company no one outside of Wall Street has ever heard of." which means of course you're suppose to take them seriously, even though like most things tied to Wall Street it has the academic research chops of a fourth grade show-n-tell project.

In an "article" (we use the term loosely here) called "Microsoft's Mobile Demise" who's main prediction is that "It is highly likely that after the KIN fiasco, Microsoft will exit the mobile OS space within the next year.", it is put forth that Microsoft blew their cred with KIN and that Windows Phone 7 just won't deliver. Full of assumptions, lack of context, splash of straw man and no data and you have yourself some headline making material that lacks any substance.

Here's a fact: even if WP7 doesn't sell well at first, Microsoft won't fold shop because they are stubborn as heck with tons of money to throw at the problem. The Xbox market is a perfect example, with them notoriously writing off $1B in repairs for the dreaded 'Red Ring of Death" hardware failures, or even just taking a loss on hardware sales for years just to gain market place strength. KIN was so unknown, distanced from WP7 and under the radar that no will be talking about it in 6-months, which is precisely why it was "killed" now.

Sure Microsoft has a huge hill to climb, but to predict their exit from the market in a year? That takes cajones. And to have such poor "analysis" passed off on such a supposed influential financial consulting site/expert network is sort of insulting.

Sound off in comments.

[Thanks, Anon tipper]

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4 years ago

Review: Sportypal

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Review: Sportypal

Sportypal is outdoor exercise tracking application for your Windows Phone. Sportypal tracks activities such as running, cycling, hiking, skiing, and horseback riding. It collects performance measures from each activity, logs them on your Windows Phone and gives you the ability to upload the sessions to an online component.

To see how well SportyPal stacks up, ease on past the break.

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4 years ago

Marketplace Spotlight: Midomi - Hold Off on publishing

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4 years ago

Rockstar Award winners get WP7 phones

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Microsoft's 2010 Rockstar Award winners received an unexpected surprise to go along with their trophy and prize check, a Windows Phone 7 developers device. The Rockstar Award is presented to a student team that developed the most compelling Windows Phone 7 application for the Imagine Cup 2010.

Team Beastware, Advanced Technologies Academy (a high school in Vegas) students Christian Hood and Eric Lo (ages 17 and 16 respectively), took the prize and are one of the first non-Microsoft developers to get Windows Phone 7 devices.

The winning app, Droid Assault, is a 2D XNA framework based game that uses the phone's accelerometer (simulated for the PC by using a Wii controller) for navigation and you fly through space shooting down enemy ships and dodging their bombs. 

A total of 131 teams submitted apps for consideration and you can find a list of the runner's up here.  Team Beastware plans on fine tuning Droid Assault and release in on the Windows Marketplace once Windows Phone 7 hits the market. 

Oh and to make you even more jealous of the situation, we've heard that Microsoft is giving the Imagination Cup participants (about 400) complimentary Windows Phone 7 devices when they become available.

Follow the break to see a short interview of the winning team as well as a demo of the game.

[via: windowsteamblog.com]

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4 years ago

Windows Phone 7 audio & media codecs

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Windows Phone 7 audio & media codecs


File this under "old, but we missed it" and since s2gordon asked about them in comments yesterday, figured we'd answer...

We're going to leave this to you folks to determine if this list of officially supported audio and video codecs in Windows Phone 7 is a good thing/bad thing, since to be honest we're not aficionados in that area.

Our off-the-cuff first take? It's basic and expected. Nothing extraordinary. 

Full list of WP7 codecs after the break.

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4 years ago

Another Microsoft Q&A on Windows Phone 7

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First, Brandon Watson, Microsoft's Director of Developer Experience, fielded questions from various Windows Phone sites. And now Frank Prengel, Technical Evangelist for Windows Phone and Windows Embedded at Microsoft Germany, has opened up in a Q&A session hosted by TamsPPC- the Windows Phone Blog.

Prengel touched on how manufacturers can use the different chasis styles to differentiate their Windows Phone 7 devices from others and that Windows Phone 7 and Windows Mobile 6.5 will co-exist in the market for sometime.

Prengel also distinguishes the differences in WP7 and WinMo's priorities. He says, "Windows Mobile was traditionally designed primarily to replicate the desktop on a phone, putting the highest priority on manageability, flexibility and line of business applications. Windows Phone 7 actually follows a different approach. Here, the end user experience has absolute priority – usability, performance, stability are the most important design aspects."

As with Brandon Watson's Q&A, Prengel doesn't make any earth-shattering revelations about Windows Phone 7. He did close by saying that WP7 is bringing phones, desktop, web, and game consoles closer together connecting them through the various Microsoft cloud services--possibly referencing services like Skydrive, Xbox Live, Sharepoint, My Phone, Windows Live and who knows what else they haven't told us yet.

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