News

Microsoft's Joe Belfiore took time from his presumably busy schedule to share a little more on Continuum for phones. Now that Windows 10 for PC is out the gate the focus for the team at Redmond is on the mobile side of the OS.

For a while now, Microsoft has been saying that Continuum for phones requires new hardware. Despite the demos at Build 2015 and speculation to the contrary only newer, high-end phones can second-screen to an external display. In fact, the only reason I am mentioning this is some people who don't follow every drip and drab of Microsoft news may still have questions. Hopefully, this answers them.

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IFA is the next big consumer electronics trade show, taking place this September once again in Berlin, Germany. We know that Acer will be there with new products, but a rumor today suggests that among any new PC products and Android devices will be a total of four Windows Phones.

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Microsoft's Joe Belfiore shared on Twitter than an Insider program for Xiaomi handsets will commence in China over the coming weeks.

Microsoft rolled out a Windows 10 Mobile ROM to the Mi 4 earlier this year following an "experimental program" to test the upcoming OS on Xiaomi hardware. Xiaomi was taking registrations for the beta program in May that was limited to Beijing, and it now looks like that program will be expanded to cover the entire country:

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It was one year ago that I reported on the cancellation of McLaren, the next Nokia flagship Windows Phone that was supposed to launch that fall. Not much was ever revealed about the device although photos did later appear.

One thing we did know about McLaren (aka Goldfinger ) is besides having a 20 MP camera the phone famously had an experimental 3D Touch navigation system. This system would let users manipulate items on the display without physically touching it. One part of this was supposed to be a hover-and-explode trick whereby hovering over a Live Tile would cause it to explode and reveal smaller tiles with bits of information. Think of it as the next stage of tile flipping.

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Windows Phone Weekly Digest: July 26, 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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Yesterday, Windows Central revealed details regarding Microsoft's two upcoming flagship Windows Phones codenamed Talkman and Cityman. Since then, the story has resonated around the internet so we figured we would provide a more detailed look at one of the phones.

To be clear, these renders of Cityman aka the upcoming Lumia 950 XL are 100% created in-house by Windows Central. These are not official or leaked in any way, and we want to be very clear on that. However, we are basing them off of images, sketches, and first-hand reports from multiple sources.

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Microsoft's Lumia 640 and Lumia 640 XL Windows Phone are arguably their best budget-minded Lumias to date. Since their announcement, there has been strong interest from users and positive reviews from many publications.

Now, new July data from AdDuplex finally lets us see the impact of these phones on a few markets, specifically the U.S., Russia, and India. The AdDuplex data is collected monthly from advertising data on the Windows Phone platform.

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Over the last few weeks, rumors of Microsoft's upcoming flagship Windows Phones have been circulating the internet. Obviously many of these rumors contain half-truths or are just plain false. The referenced phones are codenamed Cityman and Talkman, and it is time to set the record straight on their specifications and features.

The first accurate reporting of Cityman and Talkman go back to April 17 when Blog Jack published exact information about the two devices.

Since then, I have been able to fill in the gaps and will complete most of the picture. To be clear, the information contained below is confirmed with multiple sources and I have the highest confidence in its accuracy. However, like all leaks, some of this should be treated with caution as plans can change.

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Microsoft has detailed the specifications Windows 10 Mobile will require for future mobile phones to run the operating system. It's a strong insight into what we can expect to see from future hardware, released not only by Microsoft but partnered OEMs too. As an added bonus point, Intel is included for x86 support on phones (as well as Intel-powered tablets).

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The future of Microsoft's Windows Phone division has been under attack recently due to cutbacks and continued reorganization. However, all is not terrible as sales of Lumias are still inching up in sales.

In Microsoft's FY15 report for Quarter 4, they are saying 8.4 million Lumias as being sold "growing more than 10% over prior year full quarter sales". Although that doesn't sound terrible, it also noted that overall revenue is down due to only low-end Lumias being sold. This decline should not come as a surprise though as Microsoft has not released a full-fledged flagship Windows Phone yet, leaving only small margins for profit in current Lumia sales.

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Windows Phone Weekly Digest: July 19, 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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Microsoft had a rather significant event yesterday with their keynote at their Worldwide Partner Conference down in Florida. After the keynote, ZDNet's Mary Jo Foley was able to speak with Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella about Microsoft's strategy – and more importantly – plans for mobile.

The 30-minute transcribed interview is truly fascinating to read in its entirety. Nadella is very precise in his language, and it is clear he certainly has an impressive albeit abstract vision of the company and Windows 10 and Windows 10 Mobile. Although you should read the interview yourself, for now we are just focusing on one area that Foley focused on for a few questions: Windows Phone.

Much has been made of Microsoft's decision last week to cut back on Lumia models and to seemingly scale back investment on the consumer side of mobile. Some pundits are claiming that this is the beginning of the end while others like myself see this as a smart – and necessary – shift in strategy (see also my #AskDanWindows Episode 2).

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More and more people are installing the Windows 10 Mobile Insider Preview every day. That's great for Microsoft, in particular, with more users meaning more feedback to fix more bugs and provide more suggestions. The latest build, 10166, is easily the best yet, and is a good starting point for folks who've been on the fence about taking the plunge.

We're all learning more about Windows 10 Mobile as each day passes and one of the best ways to pick up something new or share your own experience is in the Windows Central Forums. Whether you're looking for advice, have some tips and tricks to share or just want to shoot the breeze, our Windows 10 Mobile forums are the place to be.

So drop by the link below and join the discussion!

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Windows Phone Weekly Digest: July 12, 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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Of all that is new in the Windows 10 Mobile Store, there's one that stands out for me as the best feature of them all. It'll tell you the what and the how much for in-app purchases.

For all the things people don't like about iOS, one thing that Apple has certainly done right is providing access to in-app purchase information in the App Store. Before downloading that free app or game, you can get a clear look at how much you might end up forking out down the road.

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It is Friday evening so time for another round of #AskDanWindows! If you recall, we started a new web series last week where you ask me a question, and I do my best to answer them. As it turns out, you really liked the format, so we'll continue with these weekly (and thanks for all the positive feedback).

Normally, we want to keep these to around five to seven minutes. However, there was obviously a lot of news this week so many questions we asked. As a result, this one runs a bit longer than usual, so hopefully you will not zone out too much.

What's on the agenda? Glad you asked.

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Today, Microsoft released build 10166 for Windows 10 Mobile to those on the Insider program. The release brings the mobile version up to date with the desktop release, marking the first time both operating systems are lined up.

In terms of raw features, there is not a whole lot new. After all, at this stage Windows 10 Mobile is mostly feature locked. There is the new larger sized (or just 'normal') battery icon and a lot more polish to the UI and core apps like the Store, which is now out of beta.

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The tech world is still reeling from today's announcement by Microsoft regarding the restructuring of its phone division. Between the costly write-down of the Nokia devices acquisition and the 7,800 layoffs, it is hard to see a silver lining in today's news. Many tech sites are going right for the jugular and proclaiming Windows Phone's death, despite the coming release of Windows 10 Mobile and new flagships this fall.

In a new article, Bloomberg BusinessWeek cites an unnamed source familiar with Nadella's plans for phone. Regardless of some expecting Windows Phone to be phased out by 2016, Microsoft will evidently stick with making phones for at least the new two years. Bloomberg's Dina Bass and Olga Kharif explain the strategy:

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