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This again?

Windows Central Podcast 37: Windows 10 Mobile is still dead

Redefining the PC

Why Microsoft's Surface phone could be MUCH more than a mere 'phone'

Surface Pwn 5

Surface Pro 5, Project NEON details leaked on LinkedIn?

XP-YESSSSSSS

Dell's already awesome XPS 15 gets even better in 2017

Surface table meets Windows 10

Yes, we did put Windows 10 on the original Surface table ... and it rocks

Cream o' the crop

Before buying a Microsoft laptop, check out our pick for the absolute best

Simple and secure, just the way I like it

We think Windows 10 Cloud is a great idea, here's why

uber micro

Halo Wars 2 has something for everyone. Here's our full review.

Oldie but goldie

We reviewed Microsoft's decade-old Surface table

Creators Update comin' at ya

These are the coolest new features in the next big Xbox One update (video)

Buyer's guide

The Razer Blade 14 is the best laptop Razer has to offer

Windows 10 app gems

10 terrific Windows 10 apps you should be using

Tower of power

Here's what we think of Dell's XPS Tower Special Edition

Quite a deal

Grab the complete C# coding bootcamp for $41!

Your go-to laptop guide

Introducing our ultimate laptop buyer's guide

Listen here

Attn Android and iPhone users: What you need to know about Windows phone

Old is new?

The original Surface Pro still holds its own in the 2-in-1 world

Xbox Greenlight?

No, internet, Microsoft isn't opening Xbox to all UWP games

Falling in love

HP Envy 34 review: An ultrawide curved all-in-one after my heart

2015 machine in 2017?

Surface 3 still holds its own in 2017

< >

Shop: Surface Studio | New Surface Book | Xbox One S Bundles | NEW Dell XPS 13"

shipments

Windows Phone continues its ascent in the global smartphone race, at least according to shipment numbers released by IDC. While the increase in global market share continues for Microsoft’s mobile OS, perhaps the more interesting story is in individual markets.

IDC’s new numbers show that Windows Phone “posted the largest increase for both the quarter (46.7%) and the year (90.9%)” when compared to iOS and Android. That’s down from Q3, where shipments were pegged at 156%, but is line with year-end performance. The take away is that Microsoft has nearly doubled their growth.

Likewise, Nokia’s dominance of the Windows Phone market is confirmed again at that 90% number, which has had multiple corroborations at this point.

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The International Data Corporation has released a report showing an unexpected growth in the tablet market. Worldwide tablet shipments reached a record total of 52.5 million units in Q4 2012. This is the same quarter Microsoft chose to enter the competition with the Surface family of tablets, releasing the Surface RT tablet. But how did Microsoft perform in the first quarter of selling the product?

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Strategy Analytics is a global research firm out of Boston that studies various market trends. According the Strategy Analytics latest research, global mobile phones (which includes our Windows Phones) grew 1% annually to reach 362 million units shipped in the second quarter of 2012. Leading the pack was Samsung with 26% of the marketshare or 93 million mobile phones shipped world wide.

Nokia experienced a decline of about 1% but still was strong enough to come in second with 23% of the marketshare or 83.7 million units. Strategy Analytics Executive Director, Neil Mawston, notes:

"Nokia’s Windows Lumia family of smartphones has made a relatively encouraging start, but shipments are not yet high enough to offset rapidly fading volumes for its Symbian platform."

Keep in mind that this research looks at all mobile phones from the feature phones to the smartphones. So how do smartphones shake out in the research? According to a separate Strategy Analytics report on smartphones, global smartphone sales grew 32% annually to reach 146.1 million units in the second quarter of 2012.

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Last we covered the app 'Package Tracker' a simple but colorful program that allowed you to input a package tracking number and then enabled you check its status. We gave the app some great praise, mostly due to the UI and ease of use (plus, you can basically use it for free if you track less than 3 packages at a time).

However, its competition, 'Parcel Tracker' (see review) has added a killer feature: push notifications and a live tile. That makes Parcel Tracker a more "set it and forget it" app because now it'll notify you every time the shipment gets updated.

We've been using it for the last few days and it's worked pretty solidly for us, giving us a nice counter for missed notifications and in general, makes tracking our packages that much easier. Parcel Tracker is also better for international users because it has way more carriers available (of which you can disable for a shorter list, natch).

The app does fetch for $1.29 so we still like 'Package Tracker' for those of you who only use these kinds of things on occasion. But for those of us with Amazon Prime (hallelujah!), you'll probably want to give 'Parcel Tracker' and its push notifications a trial. Keep in mind though, the developer of 'Package Tracker' has said live tiles/notifications for his app may come as well. We'll keep an eye out.  Grab 'Parcel Tracker' here.

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