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What would a mobile phone be without an address book of contacts to open up communication with, or a calendar to keep up-to-date with social events? Windows Phone takes strives in being more socially connected than the likes of iOS and Android by sporting integration with Facebook, Twitter and other social networks. But how does one import contacts and calendars from services that are also used on competing platforms?

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Latest figures published by market research group Kantar has revealed that Windows Phone is on the rise across the board, excluding a number of markets where sales remain low. The Nokia Lumia 920, HTC 8X and Samsung ATIV S are all high-end smartphones that will be pushing the platform forward in 2013 with potential marketshare gain in multiple locations, but how has the platform progressed through 2012?

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Probably the toughest problem any new user faces when switching platforms is finding comparable apps on their new OS. Sure, we have the Windows Phone Central forums to help and we try to do what we can here, but Nokia has something even better.

Nokia, in conjunction with Xyologic, have teamed up to bring a site called Find your Favorite Apps (www.xyo.net/lumia) that allows you to name the platform you’re coming from (iPhone, Android), choose one of 15 supported countries and then the app you are looking to pick up. The service then searches database and comes up with what it thinks is the best choice. Heck, it even auto-creates a QR code for quick and easy scanning.

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Just to throw some water on some of the ridiculousness that is surrounding a single job call by Nokia this morning, we’re going to address this just once.

Evidently Nokia placed a job posting on the site LinkedIn that called for a “Principal Software Engineer, Embedded Linux Middleware”.  A few tech sites (who should really know better) said that this is “consistent with Nokia making a tentative, exploratory move into Android territory” and another site headlining “Is Nokia Planning an Android Handset? New Job Listing Suggests So”.

No, it does not...

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The Windows Phone Store (previously the Windows Phone Marketplace) has been growing at a fairly steady rate since the platform launched back in 2010. The number of apps and games available to consumers to download (both free and paid) is still increasing, and the platform has passed the 100,000 app milestone.

Since Windows Phone is a smaller ecosystem than both iOS and Android, is it worth investing in app and game development? According to data from EEDAR's 2012 Mobile Syndicated Reports, Windows Phone is actually a valid option for developers when it comes to monetisation. According to the reports, Windows Phone users spend more funds in the Store than users on competing platforms.

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HTC has released its unaudited October 2012 financial report, which displays a YoY (year-on-year) decrease in revenues of 60 percent. Last month the manufacturer revealed it brought in NT$17.2 billion ($588 million), down from NT$44.114 billion ($1.5 billion) during the same period in 2011. It's not looking rosy for the Taiwanese handset maker, but how can it look to improve?

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Windows Phone 8 introduces NFC (near-field communication) support to the platform, allowing small packets of data to be shared by holding two supporting WP8 devices back to back. The new NFC-based "tap + send" feature enables Windows Phone 8 devices to share web URLs, contact data and more with another phone in close proximity.

But because it's a multi-platform standard, many of these features work just fine between Windows Phone 8 and NFC-enabled Android phones, as you'll see in our demo video below.

We tried bouncing web pages and contacts back and forth between a Samsung Galaxy Nexus and an HTC 8X, and were able to do so without a hint of trouble. Unfortunately, NFC file transfers remain off-limits for the time being, so if you want to share photos over NFC, it's strictly Windows-to-Windows or Android-to-Android.

Check out our quick video demo below to learn more.

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Have you ever felt like adding your music to the cloud and being able to stream it anywhere, on multiple platforms? To listen to your own music library wirelessly? There are a number of options available, iTunes Match probably being the most likely recommendation, but they’re restricted in some way or another. Cue the introduction of Jukebox (www.get-jukebox.com).

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Microsoft has just started its ramping up efforts to begin promotion of its upcoming Surface tablet. It kicked off in full with the Surface Movement ad that was aired during television show Dancing with the stars.

While many of us have wondered about the effectiveness of the ads it looks as though initial ad has scored high with consumers according to advertising analyst company Ace Metrix.

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As we move ever closer to the launch of Windows 8 we also near the relaunch of Microsoft’s music services. All traces of Zune branding are being replaced with the upcoming Xbox Music.

On trying to go to www.zune.net we now get a re-direct to Xbox.com to be told that Zune Music is now Xbox Music. We’re going to miss that crazy pink and white website but it's had its time.

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Look at the shiny shiny...

According to latest data released by comScore, Microsoft remains comfortable in fourth position (behind RIM) with only a .4% reduction in US marketshare. This was expected with the upcoming launch of Windows Phone 8, especially with new hardware unveiled for consumers to hold out on making a purchase.

Sat at 3.6%, Microsoft continues to witness the downfall of RIM which was hit by a sizeable 3.1% drop in US shares as the company continues to battle through the tough period until it releases Blackberry 10. Falling to just 8.3% of the market, unless RIM can slow down the descent of the platform's fall, Microsoft may well find itself in third position - dependant on the imminent Windows Phone 8 launch.

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One of the biggest knocks that critics like to sling against Windows Phone is that there aren't enough apps available when compared to Apple and Android. Well, a new deal between chip maker AMD and software developer BlueStacks will ensure that the same cannot be said for Windows 8. The two companies have agreed to work together on bringing around 500,000 Android apps to Microsoft's upcoming operating system for PCs and tablets using AMD's AppZone Player.

By updating code in their processors and graphics chips, AMD has made it possible for apps designed for mobiles devices to look good on the larger displays of PCs and tablets. They hope that this will lure consumers to AMD-powered devices, rather than those running Intel chips.

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Carbon, has left the building...

Say what you will about Twitter clients, but the developers behind them can be a finicky bunch from our experience. That notion is being reinforced again today with the announcement that Carbon has been pulled from the Windows Phone Store for good.

The man behind Carbon, M.Saleh Esmaeili, took to his Google+ page to discuss what had happened after his interview on our podcast, Iterate. In short, Carbon was never meant to be multi-platform.

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Google is getting bold, telling OEMs 'no' on other OSs

Update: Google's Andy Rubin finally responds. See after the break...

A bit of a controversy is slowly erupting over Acer’s widely publicized plan to use the Aliyun OS in a new line of low-cost smartphones, mostly destined for the Chinese market. Aliyun OS is a Linux-based system developed by the Chinese company Alibaba Group and offered a way for OEMs like Acer to diversify.

Acer has now abruptly canceled plans after Google “expressed concerns” over the announcement.  Though Acer still wants to use the Aliyun OS, the move by Google is being interpreted as a hostile action to block competition. Reportedly Google threatened to cancel Acer’s license to make Android devices, which many consider playing hardball.

The question is, how far is Google willing to go to maintain dominance?

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People really like the Lumia 920 but switching is always hard

In a new poll conducted by CouponCodes4u.com, 2,371 US smartphone owners between 18 and 35 were surveyed on the new Lumia 920 introduced by Nokia last week.

The survey found that most respondents were impressed by the new device with 61% of those interested intrigued by the PureMotion HD+ screen and 52% said the PureView camera system appealed to them.

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Nokia hoping to dine on jellybeans today

As we all sit here on tenterhooks awaiting the coming announcement from Nokia and Microsoft, Nokia’s twitter account just posted something strange. In what appears to be a little knock directed at Google’s Android OS, Nokia say “Today we dine on Jellybeans”.

Nokia appears to be stepping up their PR antics in the run up to the announcement with placards at Samsung’s recent event and of course the teaser trailers. Considering how well regarded Jellybean is, Nokia must be feeling confident they have the goods on this fine day.

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As the fallout from the Apple v Samsung case is being realized, there is a lot speculation as to what that decision will mean for the likes of Microsoft and Windows Phone. Opinions range from it will big big for Microsoft to it won’t matter for them at all.

The Korea Times, a paper with a mixed reputation on these matters, has gone on record in saying that Samsung is looking to form a stronger relationship with Microsoft as a result of the Apple decision. But is it accurate?

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The team over at Plaffo have been experiencing issues with the LG Optimus 7. The Windows Phone would lock when booting and appear to 'freeze' on the LG logo, rendering the device useless. The problem is reportedly due to faulty boards in affected smartphones, but one would assume a simple return would solve everything with a shiny new Optimus 7, right? Wrong, or so it seems anyway.

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