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Microsoft has many challenges in the mobile world, and one of them is cracking the Japanese market. Previously, the company had a few offerings and partnerships, specifically with Toshiba for Windows Phone 7 (the Toshiba-Fujitsu IS12T from 2012). Since then, the OS has floundered there even worse than in the US.

Now, Mouse Computer, a Japanese PC OEM, who has some significant presence in the region, is detailing their new Windows Phone. Named MADOSMA (Mado = window in Japanese. Sma = Smartphone) the device sports some decent mid-range specifications.

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Windows Phone Weekly Digest: May 16, 2015

There's a lot going on in the world of Windows Phone. So much, in fact, that it is sometimes tough to catch every important story. Device rumors come and go. New apps join the Windows Phone Store, and your favorite app can get a big update with a new look or new features.

Therefore, every week we will compile a list of the Windows Phone news that you just shouldn't miss.

Welcome to the "Windows Phone Weekly Digest."

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Some BLU Win HD LTE owners are reporting that their devices are currently receiving an update to Windows Phone 8.1 Update 2, also known as GDR2. The dual-SIM device originally launched last month, an LTE version of the BLU Win HD.

Update 2 has been slowly making its way out to phones, with on the Lumia 735 and 830 confirmed to be receiving the update as of early last month. Update 2 also shipped with the recently-launched Lumia 640 and Lumia 640 XL.

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Update Verizon is now showing that the on-contract price for the LG Lancet is just $19.99 as a special sale price, rather than $69.99.

Original story: Yesterday, a rumor suggested that the Verizon-bound LG Lancet would be available starting May 21, but it looks like the carrier decided to pull the trigger on the phone ahead of ahead of schedule. The Lancet is now up for sale from Verizon for $69.99 on a new two-year contract and $120 outright. If you're looking to go with a monthly payment plan, you can grab the handset for $5 a month for 24 months.

Targeted at the entry-level segment, the Lancet includes features normally found in LG's Android-based models, such as KnockOn, through which you can double tap to wake the screen, and Gesture Shot, which allows you to automatically click pictures from the front camera through gestures.

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In a low key announcement last month, Microsoft announced the Lumia 540 Dual SIM for the Middle East, Africa, and Asia Pacific markets. Yet another budget device, the Lumia 540 is expected to be launch in India tomorrow, with Microsoft sending out invites for a press event in New Delhi.

The Lumia 540 features a 5-inch 720p display and is powered by a Snapdragon 200 processor with 1 GB RAM. The decent specifications are rounded off by 8GB internal storage, an 8MP shooter at the back and a 5MP front shooter:

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Last week, Microsoft held their annual Ignite conference, which his mostly aimed at enterprise and developers. It follows up on the previous week's Build conference in San Francisco.

One of the talks named 'Tiles, Notifications, and Action Center' with Christine Matheney and Jerry Nixon went into detail about what is coming in Windows 10 for those familiar tools. Some of these changes users are already experiencing in the Technical Previews for phone and PC. However, there are a few other alterations, including a delineation of new Notifications and even the promise of interactive Live Tiles.

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Windows Phone Weekly Digest: May 9, 2015

There's a lot going on in the world of Windows Phone. So much, in fact, that it is sometimes tough to catch every important story. Device rumors come and go. New apps join the Windows Phone Store and your favorite app can get a big update with a new look or new features. Therefore, every week we will compile a list of the Windows Phone news that you just shouldn't miss.

Welcome to the "Windows Phone Weekly Digest."

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Lumia Windows Phones are fairly easy to get started with, it's a strong selling point of the operating system. That said, new users may require some assistance. Microsoft plans to lend a hand by launching a new Lumia Pro campaign to provide demos and training for those who have shiny new Lumia Windows Phones.

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Microsoft Edge aka the Project Spartan browser is due to launch with Windows 10 later this summer. Post-release, it will receive support for third-party extensions later in the year. Developers can easily port over existing extensions from Firefox or Chrome, making Edge a very powerful option for many users.

The question lends itself to asking about Windows Phone. After all, Microsoft Edge is a universal Windows app, so extension support would seem highly likely. However, as it turns out, it is rather nuanced.

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EE announced last month that it would bring Wi-Fi calling to its handsets, starting with the Lumia 640. The phone is now available to purchase from the carrier, with the cyan color variant available exclusively at EE. For those interested in Wi-Fi calling, the carrier states that the feature will be available for pay monthly customers initially. The feature uses the phone's dialer, negating the need to download any additional apps.

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For months now, we have been talking about the Lumia 735 finally getting a US release on Verizon. Unfortunately, the phone, as is a tradition with Verizon, has been pushed back numerous times. Nonetheless, back in April we reported that it was still on track for release "later this spring", likely in May and now that appears to be the case.

Photos and info about the phone were spotted on the FCC website as a confidentiality filing evidently expired. However, unlike other Lumia 735s, this one sports Microsoft branding instead of Nokia, for obvious reasons.

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Here it is, folks. Verizon's upcoming (and so-far unannounced) LG Lancet. The first Windows Phone from LG in years and it looks to bring some of its Android magic to the wide-world of Microsoft.

The information comes to Windows Central via the official e-brochure and spec sheet for the device.

The LG Lancet features an "ergonomic design" with rounded edges, 4.5-inch (854x480) TFT display, and an 8 MP rear camera. For a processor, users are looking at a 1.2 GHz Snapdragon 410 CPU and presumably 1 GB of RAM. The full specifications can are found below.

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Since one year ago, Cortana has been displaying weather information on the Live Tile, including current conditions in number form and weather animations. However, back then Cortana would mostly run this feature only in the early morning, as noted in our forums in 2014.

Nevertheless, starting over the weekend, Microsoft evidently has increased the frequency of this feature past the early morning. In fact, it now appears to be the default status tile for Cortana if you have the weather interest enabled.

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One of the biggest new features of Windows 10 for phone – and the last feature to be announced before RTM – is Continuum. Revealed at Build this week, the new tech lets users adopt two modes for their phone and a second display.

For instance, you can use your phone as a remote mouse and keyboard for the second screen. However, other operating systems can already do such things. The more interesting addition is the ability to run your phone on the second screen, including all the apps. Moreover, since these are universal Windows apps, they scale up just like being on a full PC. This technology lets you turn any second display into a full PC, and it could change how we think about computing.

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Windows Phone Weekly Digest: May 2, 2015

There's a lot going on in the world of Windows Phone. So much, in fact, that it is sometimes tough to catch every important story. Device rumors come and go. New apps join the Windows Phone Store, and your favorite app can get a big update with a new look or new features. Therefore, every week we will compile a list of the Windows Phone news that you just shouldn't miss.

Welcome to the "Windows Phone Weekly Digest."

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Earlier today at Build, Microsoft held a special gathering of media and journalists to meet with some of the Windows leadership team. The purpose of the event was less formal, and more of a chance to interact with and ask questions. As such, video and photos were discouraged.

To kick off the nearly two-hour event, Microsoft's Joe Belfiore gave an introductory talk about some aspects of Windows 10 not yet widely known. One of those was in regards to the planned release cycle of Windows 10 updates and new hardware, including the phone.

For a few months now, Microsoft has been claiming that Windows 10 would be released "this summer". However, the status of Windows Phone in that release was not made too clear. Today we learned that, as many have guessed, Windows Phone will come out a bit later. Belfiore would not commit to a more definitive time frame, although it did not sound like it was that much later.

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As Microsoft India announced the launch of Lumia 430, the most affordable budget Lumia device as yet, it also leveraged the opportunity to announce the company's first ever outreach campaign in smaller cities and towns of India for Lumia devices.

The Lumia Knockout on Wheels has been conceptualized to demonstrate the uncompromised and unparalleled smartphone experience on the Lumia 430. The drive flags off from New Delhi, and will cover over 20 cities across the country taking the Windows Phone experience to tier 2, tier 3, and tier 4 towns in the country for the first time.

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Earlier this morning, Microsoft demonstrated how current Win32 apps (aka 'Classic Windows apps') can be ported as Universal Windows Apps that can run on various devices. Even better, these apps can be bought and downloaded through the store, and they avoid all the pitfalls of traditional Win32 apps, including bloated registries and poor uninstall abilities.

Microsoft is also now going to let those apps (and games) be larger than 150 GB in the universal Windows Store as AppX files.

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