Rumors

We live in a day of leaks often without context. Such is the case today when Windows Blog Italia posted a 'new' image of a Nokia device. The image, seen above, came out of China and was posted by Nokibar and it has all the hallmarks of something interesting. First off, it is not like any Lumia on the market today and it does 'prototype' all over it.

Of course, it also says 'Nokia' all over it and we now know these devices go under the Microsoft Mobile name instead, reflecting their division at the company.

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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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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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Back when the Surface 3 was announced it was also revealed an LTE version would be released later in the summer. Looking at our late July status, we are certainly well into that season meaning we should start to see those devices appear. Indeed, in the UK and Germany the Surface 3 with LTE is already available with France and Spain following suit.

Windows Central has learned now through a few trusted sources that the Surface 3 with LTE is headed to AT&T in the United States either this week or next week at the latest.

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In another cost savings effort, Microsoft may be closing its Nokia Care Points in Poland and other European countries. This rumor comes right on the heels of 7,800 job cuts from Microsoft, and a major write off from the Nokia acquisition. Nokia Care Points are authorized walk-in repair locations, that are able to do cosmetic and component level repairs on malfunctioning Nokia phones.

According to wpworld.pl, Microsoft has terminated the authorization for these repair points, a change which takes effect in three months.

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The site MicrosoftInsider.es tonight is reporting on four new alleged Microsoft devices heading to market later this year. The code names for the devices include Valora, Munchkin, Murano and Livana and there is an accompanying graphic giving more details about the hardware.

According to MicrosoftInsider.es and their sources, Valora is the next-gen of Treasure Tag. In fact, this device was recently seen passing through the FCC. Evidently it has a new feature on board called 'Motion Guard' likely to alert users when the tag is moved, as opposed to just being out of distance from the paired Windows Phone.

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Windows 10 desktop is getting most of Microsoft's attention these days as the race to the July 29 date quickly approaches. It is expected that as soon as the core of Windows 10 desktop wraps many of those team members will be re-tasked to mobile to catch up. Now, a new report from someone with a developer release of Windows 10 Mobile sheds light on the unreleased 10158 build.

Windows 10 Mobile build 10149 is the last the Insider update that the public has seen but between the emulator and now this report posted at XDA forums, build 10158 looks like a big step up in completeness.

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Over the last few days, bits of information have been leaking out over what may be the next build of Windows 10 Mobile for Insiders. Currently, Microsoft has all their focus on getting the desktop version of Windows 10 ready for the July 29 launch as evident from their three releases this week.

The site msmobile.pl allegedly got their hands on build 10158 of Windows 10 Mobile, up from the current Insider release of 10149. Although the changes are not massive from the posted screenshots, presumably the performance, reliability and battery life are all also better. Here are the items identified as new in 10158.

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When parts of phones appear randomly on the internet, it can often be hard to understand the full context. Moreover, we are at the will of the person posting it and the information they were given.

Case in point is this new photo of a display bezel and touchscreen component with a scribbled 'Lumia 1030' and printed Verizon branding. There is no doubt that this is a part of a phone, but it is not clear on the details. The image comes via Nowhereelse.fr and there are no details about the device itself, which is exasperating. Even more, some of the hashtags and the tweet are just incorrect.

The article and tweet references both the "Lumia 1030" and "McLaren" as coming to Verizon and noting that this is the display component for it. However, some things just do not add up.

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The Russian site OneTile.ru have posted an article about two new apps located in the Windows 10 (beta) Store. The apps cannot be downloaded at this time, but their names suggest they may be related to upgrades and licensing of the Windows 10 operating system.

The apps go by the straightforward names of 'Windows 10 Core' and 'Windows 10 Pro'. No other details about the listings, including images or size can be learned. The links to the listings also cannot be opened in the Windows 8.1 Store, at least not yet.

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Microsoft has been busy rebranding and realigning many of their services over the last sixteen months. One of those that has yet been redefined is Xbox Music (and Xbox Video, for that matter). People have often criticized the branding because the name 'Xbox' implies that you need an Xbox 360 or Xbox One console for the service. Although this is not the case, this exclusionary inference may be harming adoption of Microsoft's music offering.

Now, new evidence suggests that Microsoft may finally be dropping the 'Xbox' name from the service. Instead, the more direct 'Microsoft Music' may be the new moniker.

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The Verizon Lumia 735 has been rumored as coming to Verizon since late last year until further reports from our sources pushed the phone back to "early 2015". That earliness has slipped in late spring and after being recently outed at the FCC, the phone finally has a launch date.

Thursday, June 11 appears to be the set launch date for the mid-range phone first launched under Nokia. The Verizon variant ships with CDMA plus 4G LTE bands for Verizon's network and presumably Windows Phone 8.1 Update 2, which may have held up the release.

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Samsung has made some waves with their Galaxy S6 Edge phone, one that we have in the house for testing. The curved edges while gimmicky for usage do lend a nice esthetic design to that Android device.

Now, a new photo on Twitter appears to show a display piece from an unknown Lumia device. Even more revealing are the curved edges on the screen. In the past, Nokia has played with 2.5D displays that curve very slightly e.g. Lumia 920 and Lumia 930, but these look to be full-on sweeping drop offs.

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File this one under obvious, but WinFuture.de, who recently "confirmed" specs about two upcoming Microsoft flagship phones is now saying that the software and services company is planning on releasing a Microsoft Band 2 later this year.

Important things like details are missing from the report, although it does say that "the second generation has already progressed very far" and it is being internally tested extensively.

I suppose that Microsoft releasing a second iteration of their Microsoft Band nearly one-year after the launch of the first is not news. The launch would likely coincide with the big Windows 10 push, which starts with Windows 10 for PC this summer and progress through Surface Pro 4, Mobile, Xbox One, and HoloLens throughout the rest of the year.

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It is not exactly a hidden secret that Microsoft is rebranding its business orientated Lync platform to the more accessible Skype for Business. The rebranding had already begun a few months ago and soon after, hints that a Windows Phone app was on the way as well. In fact, during a recent Reddit AMA, members of the Skype for Business team at Microsoft dropped some significant signs an app was being tested.

Now, a private report to Windows Central claims the planned release date for this app is Friday, May 15. The report goes on to tell us that this app is ahead of the iOS and Android versions, which are still being worked on though there is no ETA for their release just yet.

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The Surface 3 is barely out the door yet, and talk of the Surface Pro 4 is inevitably around the corner. To our knowledge, no one is expecting this device until later this year when Windows 10's big marketing push begins. After all, the Surface Pro 3 is doing well, and the Surface 3 compares favorably as an alternative to that device.

However, Chinese tech site 36kr has come across some possible specifications for the next gen Microsoft 2-in-1. Although I often pass on such reports, this one has caught my interest for a few reasons.

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File this one under wishful thinking, but Elephone is evidently working on a new flagship device. The alleged phone vaunts a QuadHD (2560 x 1440) display, 4GB of RAM and a 20.7-megapixel camera (Sony's IMX230 sensor). Powered by an Intel processor and boasting a fingerprint scanner, the phone runs Windows 10 for mobile.

A version with Android 5.0 Lolipop was also shown, although it is not clear if these are two separate versions of the phone or a more unlikely dual-boot scenario.

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