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3 years ago

Microsoft signs Android licensing deal with Samsung

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Microsoft has just signed a massive patent deal with Samsung on every Android tablet and smartphone the manufacturer sells, which will earn the software giant royalty revenue per device in addition to being a cross-licensing deal. Microsoft had previously signed a similar deal with HTC and Acer and Viewsonic, but this is said to be the largest Android patent deal to-date.

Microsoft general counsel Brad Smith and top IP lawyer Horacio Gutierrez said in a blog post:

"Together with the license agreement signed last year with HTC, today’s agreement with Samsung means that the top two Android handset manufacturers in the United States have now acquired licenses to Microsoft’s patent portfolio. These two companies together accounted for more than half of all Android phones sold in the U.S. over the past year."

While the deal focuses mainly on patents and Android, it also calls for Samsung to continue to work with Microsoft on Windows Phone, which is a massive bonus for Microsoft (and customers). Something that will hopefully combat what the manufacturer was rumoured to be doing in 2013 - leaving Windows Phone. Unfortunately the exact amount that Microsoft will earn per-device sold wasn't disclosed, could be $15?.

This just goes to show how companies can work together to overcome lawsuits galore.

Source: Microsoft, via: Android Central

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3 years ago

Kinect integration demoed with HTC Radar

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Kinect integration demoed with HTC Radar

In the video above we can see some Kinect and Windows Phone integration being demoed at the HTC Radar launch in Hong Kong. The Windows Phone user looks to be emulating waves through use of the accelerometer while the player has to maintain balance on the raft. We've been seeing more videos cropping up covering the integration between platforms under Microsoft's belt. It's only a matter of time before we see true connectivity released to the mass.

Via: WMPU

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3 years ago

HTC seeing success with Windows Phone

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HTC seeing success with Windows Phone

Melvin Chua, Country manager of Singapore at HTC, spoke at the Windows Phone Mango launch in Singapore and claimed that the platform has been crowned with success in terms of customer sales across all platforms with 30% being made up from Windows Phone handsets. What's not clear is whether he's talking about global sales or limited it to Singapore, but that didn't stop Melvin from continuing:

  "We believe that Windows Phone 7 will eventually be better than other platforms and will give Android a run for its money"

John Fernandes, director of marketing and operations at Microsoft Singapore, also took to the stage and said:

"We have over 30,000 apps in less than a year since we launched Marketplace, making Windows Phone as one of the fastest growing mobile app marketplaces, … This is an endorsement of Microsoft’s continued support of the developer communities globally as well as the proven Windows Phone developer platform. We expect this growth momentum of Marketplace to be stronger with the launch of Windows Phone 7.5."

With the recent downturn with Nokia discussing plans with O2 UK, let's hope that HTC remains successful through the launch of their Titan and Radar handsets.

Source: ZDNet Asia; via WP7Lab News

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3 years ago

Nokia drops O2 UK as stocklist for WP handsets

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File this under "O2 you muppets" as it seems the carrier and Nokia couldn't reach an agreement on strict criteria including volume targets, store displays and marketing campaigns for the manufacturer's upcoming handset. I knew we could count on Nokia to push carriers in launching Windows Phone handsets with pride and force to match the iPhone and Android. O2 UK, enjoying a cosy partnership with Apple, could not agree with Nokia on the above due to the iPhone 5 launch just around the corner.

A source close to both O2 and Nokia told Mobile News:

"O2 is very good at handset marketing, better than any of the other operators, which tend to stick to promoting tariffs and deals. They work very well with the manufacturers and channel their message very well. But they are very close to Apple and will not look to compromise that relationship. O2 was initially very excited by the Nokia portfolio, but in recent weeks that attitude has changed."

Of course if O2 has had a successful run with the iPhone since the first generation device then it would make sense to focus on the iPhone 5, but to not allow each platform to compete with one another fairly for consumers to make their choice without bias marketing is poor (much like bias sales staff). Hats off to Nokia for putting their foot down. With Three UK looking to decide as to whether they will continue stocking Windows Phone handsets or not, it may prove worthwhile to approach the carrier (or Orange) since they could use some exclusive devices.

Source: Mobile News

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3 years ago

Mini-review - Cosmic Jumper by Magiko Gaming

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I don't often give reviews for games, that's Paul and George's thing, but when I do it's because I really dig it. That's the situation here for Cosmic Jumper by Magiko Gaming (Platformance Castle Pain, Temple Death) which is just a lot of arcade fun.

The game is a platform jumper, of which we have plenty in the Marketplace. But this plays different--more like an arcade game from the 1990's. It has great controls, spiffy graphics and probably the best music you'll ever hear for a game. Going further, the re-playability is quite high and there's even an Xbox 360 Arcade version (under the different title 'Who is God').

Watch the video, try the game. If you like it, it'll set you back a measely $0.99. Get it here in the Marketplace.

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3 years ago

On tethering, hidden SSID and Visual Voice Mail, where art thou in Mango?

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For those who managed to get Mango on to your phones in the last 24 hours, congratulations. It seems like so far everyone is really liking the new OS--in fact, folks are ecstatic over it. Still, some features seem to be "missing" from various phones and we want to shed some light on why that is.

This information comes way of Microsoft themselves, who we met with prior to "Mango day" and gave us the details. Ars Technica has also published some of this info recently.

On tethering

Two things will determine if it is available--the chipset of the device and if the carrier wants it. The chipset in question is the Broadcom 4329 which is found in the newer Windows Phones. Specifically, drivers are need for it to work with that chipset. But ah! you say, what about that Samsung Focus we saw? A lot of our older hardware also has the Broadcom 4329 on board, but not the correct, tested drivers. Why?

Microsoft had to make a choice: delay Mango to test the drivers on older devices, or ship now and release a patch later to enable. They obviously went with the former. But even Vodafone is aware of this when they said recently on their blog "Regarding Wireless Hotspot, it isn’t integrated in the initial release of Mango however it may be deployed at a later date." That's exactly the situation--it's basically up in the air at this point for certain phones.

On visual voice mail

This is easy: it's carrier choice, dependent on their system i.e. is it compatible with Windows Phone. What we heard from Microsoft on this was AT&T: no visual voice mail, but yes on tethering; T-Mobile: yes on visual voice mail, but no on tethering. That is subject to change.

On hidden SSID

This too is dependent on some drivers/chipset combo. Microsoft was a little fuzzy on the details on why it is device specific, but that was their explanation at the time. (For instance, our Dell Venue Pro (unlocked, AT&T) does not have hidden SSID, but our Sprint HTC Arrive does.)

Now some of these things, like tethering and hidden SSID may come later in some revised updates for specific phones. Things like visual voice mail are more complicated and require restructuring on the carrier's backend. For what it's worth, we saw some of these features enabled on an AT&T Titan. Still, we hope this helps in explaining where these features are on your new Mango-ized Windows Phone.

Thanks, Marin S., for the link; Image credit: Pocketnow

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3 years ago

Vodafone adopting Micro SIM for non-iPhone devices, Nokia the culprit?

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Pocket-lint has learned that Vodafone will begin to sell Micro SIM cards for non-iPhone devices in the "not too distant future". Such a piece of information forces the obvious question: what device could it be for, since Micro SIM is so rare these days? Says Vodafone:

"We don't comment on rumour and speculation but we do regularly refresh Micro and regular SIM collateral to ensure it's clear and relevant to all customers with compatible devices. Our Micro SIMs would work in any device which requires a Micro SIM to connect to our network. Bar their size, there is no difference between a Micro SIM and regular SIM."

Pocket-lint goes on to speculate that Nokia's Windows Phone is the most likely candidate for the new Micro SIM. We found this interesting because we heard of a certain Nokia phone with the name "Sabre" (though that could be off) being sent to an engineering lab for tests and while no spy-shots were taken, one of the specific things we heard was that it had a Micro SIM card.

So Pocket-lint, we concur.

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3 years ago

TuneIn Radio hits v2.0 for Mango

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TuneIn Radio hits v2.0 for Mango

Few apps are as good as TuneIn Radio, which features 50,000 free internet stations all from your Windows Phone. And while the app has an impressive 4 1/2 star rating (from over 800 reviews), it still could be better. How so? How about getting Mangoized in v2.0, allowing it to stream and play in the background. And while that is awesome, it's even cooler to be able to pin each station to your Start screen for quick 1-touch play. Awww yeah.

Take our money, TuneIn Radio! Oh what's that? You're free?  Well then, even better... Get the app here in the Marketplace. And if you're logged in to the Web Marketplace, try this link and see if that sends it to your phone. (Thanks, NickP for the tip!)

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3 years ago

Microsoft revises chassis specifications for low-end phones

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When the ZTE Tania made an appearance recently, the 4GB of storage caught everyone's eye--that was half of the 8GB that the Chassis 1 specification required.

As it turns out, Microsoft has revised their chassis specification for low-end, cost-conscious devices. During the Microsoft Conference 2011 in Shinagawa Japan, a slide was presented (as seen above) that details the new specifications. 

Tezawaly from the site NanaPho.jp was kind enough to translate the new specifications:

  • Capacitive Touch Panel- 4 points or over multi-touch
  • Sensors - A-GPS, Accelometer, Compass, Proximity
  • Camera -3MP or over
  • Connector - MicroUSB, 3.5mm jack
  • Storage - 2GB or over
  • CPU - ?

We doubt we'll see any such budget phones here in the US, but it is interesting to see Microsoft really try to go after all ends of the market. It's interesting to note that the CPU specification was left undefined--meaning perhaps someone other than Qualcomm will be used here.

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3 years ago

And now the Dell Venue Pro joins the Mango crowd

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Earlier we reported that the HTC HD7S has received the Mango Update ahead of schedule. We are now learning the Dell Venue Pro wasn't too far behind and is also receiving the official Mango update.

The update process, in my case, was a three step process. First the Mango Update was applied, then the Beta Cleanup was applied and finally a Dell Update was applied. As with the HD7S, I was running the Beta Mango on the Venue Pro.  You won't see the Cleanup portion of the process unless you were running the Beta.  The Dell portion of the process updates the Venue Pro's firmware.

When all was done (about thirty minutes) the OS version is now 7.10.7720.68 and the firmware is 2250.1800.7720.219. There is one caveat to share. My Dell Venue Pro is unlocked and we're not sure if this update is being pushed through to the carrier branded (T-Mobile and AT&T) models. If you have a branded Dell Venue Pro, feel free to share in the comments if you're seeing the update as well.

Thanks goes out to Aaron for the tip!

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3 years ago

Accuweather.com brings Mango into the forecast

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The popular Windows Phone weather app, Accuweather.com, has gone Mango. The update gives the app the fast resume feature and, most notably, the ability to pin multiple weather tiles to your Start Screen.

Just go to your locations, tap hold on a forecast city and you can choose to pin the location to your Start Screen and give it a custom name. Tapping on one of these tiles launches the Accuweather.com app and sets the weather information to that location.

Accuweather.com is a free application for your Windows Phone and you can download it here at the Windows Phone Web Marketplace.  If you happen to see any additional changes to Accuweather.com feel free to share in the comments.

Thanks goes out to Miguel for tipping us on this!

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3 years ago

Mango 7.5 now available for HTC HD7S running Mango Beta 2

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Good news for the HTC HD7S owners in the house. The Mango Update is now available for your Windows Phone.

We were tipped on this and have confirmed the update. You will first go through the update to the RTM build of 7720 and then the ISV beta Bundle Cleanup. The second update is the Friends and Family update we reported on yesterday. You should only see this second update if you were running the Mango Beta.  When all is said and done (about thirty minutes) I'm now running OS version 7.10.7720.68 on the HD7S.

It's nice to see AT&T on top of things today with a really nice roll out of Mango. It's equally nice to not have to wait until the end of October to see the HD7S join the Mango crowd.

Update: Evidently this only works if you have the Mango beta on your phone and not NoDo. Sorry folks, live and learn.

Thanks goes out to Dominick for the tip!

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3 years ago

Even the Samsung Taylor original developer device gets Mango

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Going way, way back to when Windows Phone 7 Series (ahem) was first announced in February 2010, it was within a few months we saw the first "developer" phones making the rounds. One was the Samsung Taylor (SGH-i707), which of course never went commercial but proved to be a decent device for trying out new software on.

Surprisingly, even this device has managed to get the Mango update, at least according to Nuno Luz, who's a Mobility Solutions Specialist at Microsoft. Posted on his Facebook page, he shows us the screen shot of the Settings for evidence. Makes us wonder if our Toshiba TG01 would get Mango...hmmm.

Source: Facebook; Thanks, Steve M., for the heads up!

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3 years ago

LG Optimus 7 (E-900) Update Error

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LG Optimus 7 (E-900) Update Error

For the most part, the Mango Update event for the day has gone smooth. While some have had to force the update out of hiding, the only major issue we've seen reported involves the LG Optimus 7 or E-900. It seems the Windows Phone is generating a 8018001e Error code during the update process.

There is a lengthy discussion going on over at Microsoft Answers but no real solution has been identified. It appears that during the jump from 7403 to 7720 the update fails and the error code is generated. There are a few who have made it to the 7720 update but failure occurs when the LG Update is applied.

Unfortunately, Microsoft hasn't identified a solution as of yet. For the LG E-900 users in the crowd, keep an eye on Microsoft's Troubleshooting Page for Windows Phones. If a solution is found for the 8018001e Error, it's sure to be posted there. We'll keep a watch on this one and if a solution is found, we'll pass it on. 

Source: Microsoft Answers thanks goes out to everyone who tipped us on this!

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3 years ago

New Windows Phone Mango advert [Video]

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A new advert has been uploaded to the Windows Phone YouTube account that shows off the top features in Mango. The music is definitely familiar (from a previous video) and suits the platform well with the sleek look of Metro and the elegant device. This seems like the user-orientated brother to the developer advert we covered earlier this month. Still up-beat, still awesome.

Source: Windows Phone (YouTube)

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