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3 years ago

Nokia slashes a further 4,000 jobs and moves production to Asia

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Nokia has announced plans to slash a further 4,000 jobs by closing down plants in Hungary, Mexico and homeland Finland. The cuts come to light as the handset manufacturer begins to shift production to Asia. As we mentioned with the previous 3,500 positions being hung up to dry, these plants have been under review since.

The cuts include 2,300 in Komarom, Hungary, 700 in Reynosa, Mexico, and 1,000 in Salo, Finland. The Finnish handset maker has had to take drastic measures to cut down costs and reach saving targets, and Salo (the oldest production facility - 1979) has not been spared from this round of job cuts.

Riku Aalto, chairman of the Finnish Metalworkers' Union, has stated that the company will look at possibly providing 12 months of training for new jobs to the fired workers, following its model of the Bochum closure in Germany, in 2008.

Source: Bloomberg

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3 years ago

Multiplayer gaming with Photon Cloud Network Engine for Windows Phone

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Yet another step in the right direction has been carried out for multiplayer gaming on Windows Phone. Already available on other platforms, Exit Games have released a free Windows Phone SDK that will use their socket-based network engine. While Microsoft was working on "Switchboard", a solution to mobile real-time multiplayer gaming, this solution will be welcomed by developers who wish to implement such functionality into their titles.

Some quick-glance features:

  • Develop in C# .NET 4.0
  • Easy UI creation and view-management via Silverlight/XAML
  • On device debugging
  • Demo containing sample code for easy integration in your Windows Phone Apps 

What's more is that this technology supports cross-platform connectivity. You can head over to the Exit Games website and check out the free SDK for yourself. For consumers, this could mean an MMO (or online FPS) title could be around the corner.

Source: Exit Games

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3 years ago

Windows Phone Game Review: Touch War

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Windows Phone Game Review: Touch War

Remember the board game Risk? If so, you've got a pretty good idea of what the Windows Phone game Touch War is all about. Touch War is a strategy game where you try to march your Orange Army across the globe in an attempt to achieve global domination.

Touch War has three game levels and if you like the game of Risk, you'll like this Windows Phone game.

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3 years ago

Win 1 of 4 Lumia 800s signed by Tinchy Stryder

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Attention all those who reside in the UK and wish to get their hands on a Lumia 800, Nokia UK is giving away four to lucky winners. What's unique about these Windows Phones compared to a generic 800 you can purchase in-store? It's signed by Tinchy Stryder, a popular British music artist.

To celebrate Nokia UK's Facebook page accumulating 200,000 likes, the handset maker will also award three lucky runner-ups who will receive Nokia Purity HD Headsets by Monster. All that's required to enter are some details and a signed 800 could be heading your way. The promotion ends February 17th. 

As well as the Facebook competition, the Nokia Lumia 800 is featured in his latest single "Bright Lights", featuring Pixie Lott.

Source: Facebook (Nokia UK), YouTube

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3 years ago

Wooter app finally gets Mango update and fixes

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If you're a big fan of Woot.com, the daily deal site with hilarious product descriptions, then you'll want to try out Wooter for Windows Phone. Wooter is one of the oldest apps on the Marketplace with version 1.0 landing in October 2010. That was the first and only update.

Now, version 1.2 has appeared (guess we're skipping v1.1) and thankfully the app is now "Mango" ready with fast app switching, performance enhancements, Home Woot and some general bug fixes. We still would have liked to see a nice Live Tile thrown in but we'll take what we can get with this rare update.

The app is free, ad free and well designed from a Metro perspective. Pick it up here in the Marketplace.

Have a better Woot.com app that you prefer? Sound off in comments and tell us why.

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3 years ago

Director of User Experience at Microsoft speaks on Android, Windows Phone

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Gizmodo has posted a nice interview with Sam Moreau, Director of User Experience for Windows, Windows Live and Internet Explorer (LinkedIn) at Microsoft. He's basically the guy tasked with the Windows 8 UI redesign which obviously has taken its cues from Windows Phone (which took its cues from Zune and goes back to Windows Media Center). The interview is quite fascinating as it entails discussions on challenges the team faced, decisions made and what they are expecting.

One interesting area that came up was Windows Phone, where Gizmodo asked about Microsoft's new found "strong sense of vision". Moreau responds and summarizes Android nicely:

"Yeah, because that was the thing that we get blamed for a lot. Or, I would say the thing that annoys me about Android is I don't think it has a point of view. I think it's trying to be this weird sci-fi version of an Apple design language, poorly executed. Some of it is starting to get there, you know, they got Matias (Duarte) there, and some things are starting to get a little better. They're starting to get that—some sense of soul, but I do think that a lot of their soul is derived from some other place."

That sense of soul is something Apple clearly has and now something Microsoft has too. Android and RIM? Not so much. Certainly design-philosophy or as Moreau calls it, redesigning a religion, is no small task and in a lot of ways it's remarkable that Microsoft is leading in this core area. Part of that is due to Microsoft's "low-self esteem" in terms of design and with the combo of strong leadership and strong competition i.e. Apple, Microsoft has turned themselves around.

The Metro design language is just starting to hit the mainstream and Windows Phone, for all intents and purposes, was the first. It should be very exciting to see in late 2012 how the masses react to the "sudden" alignment of Microsoft's three screens of phone, TV and gaming.

Source: Gizmodo; Image credit: Annie Marie Musselman/Fast Company

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3 years ago

Windows Phone Marketplace nearing 50 native apps

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As some of our readers may already know, Windows Phone allows for the execution of both managed and unmanaged code, with the latter requiring special sign off by Microsoft. (Or an unlocked phone.) It's always interesting, however, to keep track of who gets permission to publish apps onto the Marketplace with native code in place from both a security and enthusiast perspective.

Windows Phone blogger @tezawaly wrote us today, letting us know he ran a count of all the applications on the Marketplace containing a copy of the WMInteropManifest.xml file. (He did this, presumably, by downloading every single XAP and inspecting the contents of each.) This file is special in that, if present, acts as a flag to the operating system letting it know you're okay to use APIs on the phone that would otherwise be blocked. He counted 48 native applications ranging from carrier applications such as the HTC Hub to high visibility ISV applications such as NAVIGON USA.

You can check out the full app list on his blog.

Source: Nanapho.jp

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3 years ago

Bullet Asylum is safe on the Xbox Live Marketplace

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Following Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit, the second Must Have Game of 2012 is now upon us. Bullet Asylum from UberGeekGames and Microsoft Studios has hit the Marketplace.

Bullet Asylum, which WPCentral previewed earlier this week, is a modern update to the classic Missile Defense formula. Aliens rain down from the sky and it’s up to your turrets to stop them. You can use a single finger to fire all your weapons at one area or two fingers to split the fire. Game modes include the extremely easy Arcade, an endless Survival mode that has no Achievements for some reason, and the frustratingly hard Architect mode. Seriously, what were they thinking with Architect?

That one mode notwithstanding, Bullet Asylum is a mostly easy shooter to zone out to. Plus it has the flashy neon graphics that we all love and a fair upgrade unlocking system... Just wait till you see the Peace Mode modifier; it’s a trip.

Bullet Asylum costs $2.99 and there is a free trial. Get it here on the Marketplace and help stop those aliens!

 

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3 years ago

Nokia Lumia 710 now available in Canada on Rogers

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Looks like folks up North can breathe a little sigh of relief as a 2nd generation Windows Phone has launched on Rogers today. Yes, the Nokia Lumia 710 is now available for the low-low price of $49.99 on a crazy three-year contract.  We first reported this a few weeks ago and looks like Rogers stuck to the date.

If signing your smartphone future away for three long years is not your cup of joe, you can have it on a no-term deal for a fairly decent $254.99. That's not shabby when you consider the Samsung Focus is still listed as $499.99 no-term.

We gave the 710 pretty high marks in our review, so while the phone is not for you high-enders, it's a great starter device for many.

Source: Rogers; Thanks, Steve, for the heads up!

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3 years ago

Nokia at Mobile World Congress with a new high end Windows Phone

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Though Nokia likes to deny that there's a Lumia 910, the rumored Euro version of the AT&T Lumia 900 with a 12MP camera, they evidently do have something to show off in a few weeks in Barcelona during Mobile World Congress.

Nokia will have a press conference on Monday, February 27 8:30-9:30am to announce a new device and as Forbes reports, it looks to have something unique to offer:

"While the partner did not specify whether the upcoming device was a Windows Phone handset, it did say it was a phone that would run an unusual software feature normally found only on high-end smartphones."

Well, that sounds interesting. Augmented Reality, possibly i.e. City Lens? That's certainly a contender, we think. NFC also comes to mind but that's more than software and is not expected until Apollo.

Either way, we'll be there that morning to cover it as usual. So mark the date and time down as we'll have the scoop. (And perhaps we'll also see that white Lumia 900 too.)

Source: Forbes; Thanks for everyone who sent this in

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3 years ago

Service outage: Xbox LIVE friends busted on Windows Phone

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Bad news if you're playing Xbox LIVE on Windows Phone right now or want to see your friends and what they're up to, you'll be having some problems with the system. Specifically, if you check your friend's list on the phone, you'll get the result in the above image. We've been following this in our forums today and now Microsoft has put out a service message:

Users may experience difficulties with the following services:

  • Windows Phone 7 users will experience issues when attempting to post or read statistics to leaderboards, view or receiving messages, and viewing their friends.

We are aware of the problem and are working to resolve the issue. We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause and thank you for your patience

These little outages happen on occasion so we're not too worried, but we figured we would keep you folks updated so you don't freak out too much. Hopefully it'll all be back up soon.

Thanks to our forum admin, Dave, for the heads up

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3 years ago

From the WPCentral Forums...

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From the WPCentral Forums...

We have been talking a lot about the future this week in the forums. There was some information leaked about Windows Phone 8 aka "Apollo". This information lead to a lot of speculation about what the future holds for Windows Phone. We spent some time debating whether Windows Phone 7 devices will be updated to Windows Phone 8. What do you think? Will we see some version of "Apollo" on our Gen 1 and Gen 2 phones?

We covered issues with Sales reps earlier this week and that discussion continues in this thread by KarateDad: "Two AT&T Reps tried to talk me OUT of buying a WP".  If you're heading in to a store to look at a new Windows Phone this thread is a must read. It's better to be prepared than surprised.

Forums member bush715 needs your help. He is trying to decide what Windows Phone to get on which network. Jump in the discussion and let's get him headed down the right road. You can join the discussion in this thread: "Here's what happened"

"Am I dreaming?" I think you just might be. Forums member scottcraft wants a new device and he has a very specific request and it sounds good to me. What do you think?

When we're not talking Windows Phone were discussing Supper Bowl predictions and even with the game over the discussion continues. How can that be? Well we like to get a little silly at times in our forums.

When your done with all of those threads jump in our Applications Spotlight and Games Spotlight forums and pick up some new offerings from our developers. Yes, our developers have been busy again this week. Here is a small sample of what has been added this week:

Applications Spotlight:

Games Spotlight:

The forums are more fun when your registered so sign up today I want you to join the fun.

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3 years ago

Test your reflexes with ReactTime for Windows Phone

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Do you believe you have quick reflexes and instant reaction? Prove it. Introducing ReactTime, by Sandak. This little game will test your reaction times by stopping cars as soon as they appear on screen before they crash into the vehicles on the right hand side. Your average reaction time will be displayed throughout with highscores being recorded.

While it's simple and doesn't have a thousand achievements to aim for, ReactTime will see you test your reactions and boast to your friends should you be faster.

You can download ReactTime from the Marketplace for absolutely nothing.

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3 years ago

Winners of the Greek Windows Phone App contest announced

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Students at the Department of Computer Science and Telecommunications of Larissa Institute of Technology (TEI) in Greece were invited to participate in a Windows Phone app development contest earlier this year. Sponsored by both Microsoft and Nokia, the event saw students compete against one another for the grand prize, which were two Nokia Lumia 800s.

The winners of the contest were as follows:

  • Escape From Heaven ($0.99/79p) is an interesting indie game that puts the player in control of a hedgehog that is attempting to escape from heaven.
  • Ο.Σ.Ε (free - Greek) aids those who desire to use the public transport networks in Greece with live maps of train stations, details and more.

The remaining apps are the work of the runner-ups, who all received a free Windows Phone (HTC or LG) each (note that some of these apps are in Greek).

For more information on the event, apps and winners, head on over to the website (link below). It's worth checking out for the design of the contest website, which makes use of Metro elements. With all the trouble that Greece is in with regards to economics and unemployment levels, it's fantastic to see young aspiring developers produce such fine works.

Source: TEI of Larissa, thanks Sofokis for the tip!

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3 years ago

Windows Phone Game Review: Who Wants 7 Millions

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