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Spec showdown

Which is the best? Surface Laptop vs. Spectre x360 vs. XPS 13

What to expect when you're expecting

What to expect from Microsoft's hardware event in China this week

The grass is greener

This $500 laptop from Acer is a great alternative to the best Chromebook

Limited Fix

There's now a fix for 'WannaCry,' but it's fairly limited

long-term strategy

Microsoft WILL release a Surface 'phone' — but it could take a while

Keep it secure

Try NordVPN for as little as $3.29 a month

Free Surface is the best kind of Surface

Want to win a Surface Laptop? Here’s how to increase your chances.

Surface Pro Refresh

Microsoft's 'Surface Pro 5' leaks ahead of official announcement

More Goodies

All the changes found in Windows 10 builds 16199 and 16193

XboxLiveBook

4 things Microsoft needs to do to make Xbox Live more social

Big Brother will be watching

Dystopian abuse of Microsoft's powerful AI camera tech is inevitable

A home for Quick Actions

Microsoft is building a new Control Center for Quick Actions in Windows 10

Scaling Optimization

How to use DPI scaling in Windows 10 to fix blurry old apps

PC for normies

Windows 10 S can succeed because 'normal' people aren't Windows geeks

(Surface) pen meets laptop

What's the best way to use the Surface Pen on the Surface Laptop?

Windows 10 tip

Access Control Panel quickly from File Explorer with this nifty trick

More the Merrier

Microsoft purposefully aimed Surface Laptop at a very wide audience

Communication is key

Microsoft must manage expectations of Windows 10 S to avoid PR nightmare

A bright future ... or not?

What did Build tell you about the future of Windows 10 Mobile?

Wipe away the tears

What you need to know about the 'WannaCry' ransomware and Windows

< >

Pre-order: Surface Laptop

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Weekly Software Wrangle 19

Fall is here, and it's time for Software Wrangle 19! Throw on your horse blanket, saddle up, and get ready to lasso and wrangle some Windows Mobile apps!

This week, WM Standard new software is Dashwire and Business Professional Ringtones. Updated software includes Elecont Weather and Tank Ace 1944. The free app this week is WeatherBug Direct.

WM Professional new software are Meon and Lyma Power Budget. Updated software includes MeTeoR Digital Multi-Track Recorder and Efficasoft Outliner. Freeware is Media Remote v1.00.

WM Standard: New

First up this week for a WM Standard app is Dashwire. Dashwire makes it easy to connect your mobile device to your desktop or laptop and the web.

Dashwire

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AT&T's October launch sheet leaked

The wily Boy Genius has snagged himself a copy of AT&T's roadmap for the next month or so, and we learn a couple of things.

That's about it for Windows Mobile devices. Of note is that the BlackBerry Bold now has an estimated release date of November, and the original Samsung Blackjack has been placed on the End of Life list.

Update: (From Dieter): As I noted on this story at TreoCentral -- note what's still absent from AT&T's roadmap: The **Treo Pro**.

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Ever have that rich cousin who always seemed to get the coolest toys before you? We're kind of feeling the same way right now. Our blogging brethren over at Crackberry.com were the first to get their hands on the BlackBerry Bold (and we're really hoping they're not the ones who ponied up the $17,000 on eBay for that Javelin).

Now they get to enjoy Street View and walking directions on their phones. (For that matter, so do Symbian users. Don't even get us started on that one.)

Yeah, yeah, it'll probably be available on Windows Mobile soon enough. And it's surprising that iPhone users haven't yet called for a Congressional hearing. The app version that appears in the video is 3.1.0; my just-updated WinMo version is 2.2.0.19.

So enjoy your fancy Street Views, CrackBerry users. Enjoy your walking directions. If you need us, we'll be wandering around aimlessly using Windows Live Search.

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Weekly Software Wrangle 18

It's hard to believe that September is already half over, and it's already time for another Software Wrangle. See what's new, what's been updated, and what's available for free for your Windows Mobile device. Let's get started!

This week, WM Standard new software is Sunnysoft Calling Card and StyleTap Platform for Smartphone. Updated software includes MemoryUp Professional - Mobile RAM Booster and TerraTrack Recorder. The free app this week is mDiamondz.

WM Professional new software are AudioBay Podcast Player and SMS Reports Eraser. Updated software includes phoneAlarm and VsNotepad 2. Freeware is Stopwatch v1.0.1.

WM Standard: New

First up this week for a WM Standard app is Sunnysoft Calling Card - Smartphone v1.1 from Sunnysoft. Do you travel much internationally? If so, you may look into using calling cards for your cell service if you aren't doing so already.

This application handles the whole process of using prepaid calling cards to make cheaper calls for you. All that without having to type in a single number.Just choose the destination number you want to call directly from your Contacts list.

Features: - Quick management of calls with ANY type of prepaid calling card. - Create profile for your prepaid calling card (define name, PIN number, your provider etc) and define call sequence (describe step by step how the call will be made). - Enables creating as many profiles and sequences for as many calling cards as you wish. - Supports any service provider or operator. - Automatically detects your location (where you are currently) to choose type of call you need to make (International or Local etc.). - and more.

Get Sunnysoft Calling Card for $18.00 here.

The next new WM Standard app is StyleTap Platform for Windows Mobile Smartphone v1.1 by StyleTap, Inc. Did you migrate from a Palm OS device into the Windows Mobile world? Do you miss some of your favorite Palm apps?

StyleTap Platform is a Windows Mobile application that creates a virtual runtime environment that enables you to run most applications for the Palm OS

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"I love my cigar, too, but I take it out of my mouth once in a while." - Groucho Marx

Chances are if you're reading this, you're pretty passionate about phones. There's also a good shot that you're sitting in your underwear, eating cold Chinese food, but that's neither here nor there.

But there can be too much of a good thing, as evidenced by a recent survey of "workplace professionals." [via]

Apparently 87 percent of you take your, er, devices into the bedroom, according to the findings by Sheraton Hotels & Resorts. (Yes, insert your own "I leave it on vibrate" joke here, filthy reader. And for our money, we're betting it's mostly CrackBerries.)

What's worse:

In a potentially related finding, more than one-third of folks surveyed (35%) say if forced to choose, they’d pick their PDA over their spouse!

Gasp, indeed!

So to help you make your decision, we've worked up a handy questionnaire to help with your decision. Click through for more. (And for the record, tonight was General Tso's Chicken.)

Your significant other uses:

Your S.O.'s wireless plan includes

  • Everything unlimited (+10)
  • Unlimited nights/weekends, 200 texts, "unlimited data" (+5)
  • Plenty of minutes and texts, but just 5 megs of data (+3)
  • Bare bones minutes & data, pay-per-text (0, but they're probably smarter than you think)
  • No data (-10)

Your S.O.'s mobile browser of choice

  • Skyfire (+10)
  • Safari (+10 - So sue us. It's good.)
  • Opera Mobile 9.5 beta (+7, but add +3 if the device actually has the muscle to run it well)
  • Opera Mobile 8.65 (+5)
  • Blazer (+3)
  • Pocket IE (0)

For music, your S.O. uses

Bonus question: ARPU stands for

Your score

  • 50 to 60 - They're a keeper. And probably as big a nerd as you. And that's a good thing.
  • 30 to 50 - There's potential, but you have some work to do.
  • 10 to 30 - Outlook not so good.
  • 0 to 10 - You're better off with your phone in bed.

Full disclosure

This Windows Mobile user/writer is in the midst of celebrating his fourth anniversary with his Palm OS, Treo-using wife, and he bought her a new iPod Touch for an anniversary present. Do the math on that one. And, it's laying on the nightstand.

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The HTC Touch Cruise - the keyboardless follow-up to the Touch and precursor to the Touch Diamond - never managed to officially made its way into the United States.

And while that didn't stop people from importing the device, tempers have flared as we've seen other phones in the HTC family receive update after update, most noticeably the Touch receiving updates to Windows Mobile 6.1, and the Diamond getting multiple ROM fixes.

Finally, it appears that the Touch Cruise will get some 6.1 love, at least according to HTC's Twitter feed.

@danyw We're in the process of making sure the Touch Cruise upgrade is rock solid. It should be ready for release soon!

So congrats, all you Touch Cruise owners. Looks like you have just a little bit longer to wait.

Via Mobile Tech Addicts

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Power up your texting with PowerSMS

Looking for a way to make sending text messages a little easier? Give PowerSMS a shot.

The free app is still in beta but is very well put together. With it you can:

  • Note to Self: Quickly send yourself a text message without having to lookup your own name first. Makes sense.
  • Group message: Just like it sounds. Set up groups and send them messages.
  • Auto reply: Again, just like it sounds. Set it and forget it.
  • Schedule SMS: Write a text and schedule it for later delivery.
  • Cool stats: See how many messages you've received in a given time frame, average per day, most active day, most active hour and who you text most. You're probably aware of these stats, but it's a quick way for a soon-to-be-ex loved one to check up on you.
  • Backup and restore: Hang on to those texts, or export as a .csv or .xml file.

Pretty handy stuff. The only thing I'd like to see added is the ability to send pictures, but that'd make it PowerMMS, now wouldn't it?

Check out more at the Trinket Software Web site, or download the CAB file directly here.

And for more SMS options, take a look at our reviews of SMS Chat and Vito Threaded SMS.

[via MSDN]

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Qik adds more phones for live streaming

We've been enjoying the Qik video streaming and recording service on our iPhones, Motorola, Samsung and Nokia phones for a while now, and HTC devices are finally getting some love [via], as is the Samsung ACE and the Sony Ericsson Xperia X1. (Congats if you actually have that in your fat little fingers.)

Qik's Web site lists the following devices as newly compatible:

  • AT&T Tilt
  • HTC Touch Dual
  • HTC Touch Diamond
  • HTC Touch Pro
  • HTC TyTN II
  • Samsung SPH-i325
  • Sony Ericsson Xperia X1

Check out Qik's signup page for a full list of supported devices. And hit us up after the jump for Dieter's Qik test video.

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Weekly Software Wrangle 17

It's time for the Weekly Software Wrangle 17 and there are new, updated and free apps featured for your enjoyment.

This week, WM Standard new software is Virtual Caller and Callstat. Updated software includes PocketCopy and Softick CardExport. The free app this week is mGomoku.

WM Professional new software are Pokarus and PocketExport. Updated software includes Pocket 15C SE Scientific Calculator and Mobiola Video Studio Pro. Freeware is PictoPocket.

Let's get started with this week's Wrangle!

WM Standard: New

First up this week for a WM Standard app is VirtualCaller for smartphone v2.0 from MobiTNT. Now your smartphone can do much more than calls, messaging and email. What about giving you an excuse to leave a meeting or end a boring conversation?

VirtualCaller can be used for a fake call or fake sms, or even as an alarm clock.

Features:

  1. Support making call/sms now
  2. Support quick call/quick sms, you can specify a call/sms after 1/2/4/7/10/15/30 minutes
  3. Setup a sms, you can select sms sender's name from contact list or name it whatever you like, compose content and choose the time
  4. Setup a call and choose mp3/wav format ringtone, and choose caller name from contact list or just enter from keypad as well; play your favorite voice during the call
  5. Unlimited calls and sms
  6. Support Delete/edit the existing call/sms
  7. Once you schedule the call/sms, VirtualCaller will exit until it's time for the call/sms.

Get VirtualCaller for $12.99 here.

The next new WM Standard app is Callstat for smartphone v2.0, also by MobiTNT. Need a better way to track all your calls and text messages?

Do you think the call logging system in your wm smartphone is enough for you? For example, you want to know the total time of calls that you have made with your girlfriend, what can you do with the existing call logging system in your phone? Nothing! Right? Then, try Call Stat.

Features: Call Stat will help you fulfill the following tasks 1. Count all incoming call logs 2. Count all outgoing call logs 3. Count all missed call logs 4. Count all incoming sms 5. Count all Outgoing sms 6. Support analyse between the time you specified

Get Callstat for $12.00 here.

WM Standard: Updated


PocketCopy v2.1.2.3 by Chapura is our first updated software for WM Standard this week. If you are switching from Palm OS and Palm Desktop and need a way to transfer your data into the Windows Mobile world, this may be the app for you.

Free your vital data from the Palm Desktop Software and put it where you can use it

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Ditch threaded SMS on Windows Mobile 6.1

For many Windows Mobile users, threaded SMS long had been the Bigfoot of the mobile operating system. You were pretty sure it was out there, you had seen snippets of it, but you'd never actually seen it.

That finally changed with Windows Mobile 6.1 (yes, Palm had it much sooner, and there are hacks and third-party solutions out there, either as an alternative or for older phones).

But say you just updated your Blackjack II or your Motorola Q9h to 6.1, and you just don't like having your text messages look like instant message conversations (why, we'll never understand). The enterprising souls over at MoDaCo have you covered.

It involves a wee bit of registry hackery (and has also been neatly wrapped into a cab file), and reportedly works on touchscreen and non-touchscreen devices.

If threaded SMS on WM6.1 just isn't your thing, check out the solution here. And as always, backup your device first.

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Have 10 years in marketing, product management or development? Five-plus years in the mobile industry?

Experience working with mobile operators and marketplaces? Helped the initial launch of products in the mobile industry?

Why, that sounds like a few people we know around here!

Those are a few of the requirements of a job listing on seattle.computerjobs.com and spied by CNET as a possible indicator that Microsoft has its own applications store in the works.

The job title is listed as "Senior Project Manager - Skymarket," with the following description:

This is a unique opportunity and time of rapid change in the mobile industry for a Senior Product Manager in the Mobile Communications Services team to drive the launch of a v1 marketplace service for Windows Mobile.

Along with the responsibilities you might expect in this sort of job comes this particular nugget:

Preparation and driving the cross group collaboration with stakeholders in the commercial launch of the marketplace service with the launch of WM 7.

Interesting. Might that mean that Windows Mobile 7 will be held up for the creation of an app store? That might just be worth the wait.

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Weekly Software Wrangle - Week 16

Welcome to the Weekly Software Wrangle #16. There's a corral chock full of new, updated and free apps to overview, so pull on your cowboy boots and let's rodeo!

This week, WM Standard new software is Golden Tee Golf and Pinball Evolution. Updated software includes SmartMileage and Uno Free Fall. The free app this week is AIM.

WM Professional new software are WordPlay and Documents to Go Premium. Updated software includes Calligrapher 8.7 and Photo Contacts Pro 5. Freeware is PocketCAS.

Get those lassos out and lets rope in some apps for this week's Wrangle!

WM Standard: New

First up this week for a WM Standard app is Golden Tee Golf (Smartphone) v1.0.8 from InFusio Inc. I spent an awful lot of quarters playing the arcade version with my co-workers years ago.

Golden Tee

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Sony says Xperia X1 still on for Q4

Sony Ericsson's doing a little damage control after reports over the past several days said the much-hyped Windows Mobile Pro device would be delayed until possibly January.

A Reuters report has an SE spokeswoman saying that they're still "on target."

"There is absolutely no delay. The product is on track," Sony Ericsson spokeswoman Merran Wrigley said. "We have said it will roll out in Q4 and we are on target to do that."

So, we continue to wait. And wait. And wait some more. To pass the time, enjoy Dieter's hands-on with the Xperia X1 from CTIA back in April.

Via Engadget Mobile & WM Power User

Update: Can't get enough Xperia? A new promo video from Sony, after the break.

[via]

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Viigo, long one of our favorite RSS readers, recently updated its free Windows Mobile beta of Project Tango to version 3.0.18.

In the listed improvements are a U.S. Elections channel, options for the stocks services, and a channel for the Olympics, which, of course, are now over.

Also now available are live NFL scores, just in time for the beginning of the season Thursday.

Remember that this is a beta application, and there are bound to be some bugs. And while its multimedia capabilities are still behind that of Kinoma Play, it does pick up in the RSS reader category. And, best of all, it's free.

Check it out now at http://www.viigo.com/wmbeta.

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DIY Windows Mobile Drone

We normally refrain from using salty language here at WMExperts, but sometimes, well, sometimes something is just too bad ass and such a great example of the power of the platform that we can't help ourselves. Witness: The Windows Mobile-based remote-controlled airplane drone [via]. Sincerely, we're tearing up a little from the sheer awesome:

  • It's auto-piloted along a preset GPS path by the iPaq 6515 you see strapped to the bottom
  • It automatically takes pictures are pre-set GPS waypoints, instantly sent along by MMS.
  • It accepts course changes, camera commands, and more by SMS

You can download the code yourself to create your own drone. Chris Anderson, the heroric DIY Drone poster who created the software last year (seriously, how did we miss this?), notes that the software is still technically Beta. Our advice: toss some Qik realtime video streaming up in this rig.

Ladies and Gentlemen: this is why having an open platform that's easy to develop for is important.

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Get your tweets on with ceTwit

We've previously discussed Tiny Twitter, a stand-alone Twitter client for WIndows Mobile pro and standard, and Twit Today, a today screen plug-in for touchscreen devices.

Now we bring you Kosertech's ceTwit. Version 2.0 of the popular microblogging app recently was released, and here's what you get:

  • Timeline display (merged and filtered)
  • Account storage
  • Status Updates
  • Direct Messages
  • Click to reply
  • Automated Refresh
  • Smartphone support
  • Avatars in timeline
  • Local caching of avatars
  • Squeezer support
  • Relative Timestamps
  • Follow/Unfollow
  • Twitpic support
  • ping.fm support
  • timeline updates while device is sleeping
  • audible/vibrate alerts
  • retweet
  • favorite
  • delete

Also offered from Kosertech is ceSnipURL, which makes long Web site addresses Twit-friendly right from your phone - a very handy feature.

To download the cab files directly to your phone: ceSnipURL, ceTwit 2.0 for touchscreen devices, and ceTwit 2.0 for non-touchscreen devices

You can follow ceTwit's developer here, and be sure to follow our feed, www.twitter.com/wmexperts.

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Documents to Go now on touchscreen devices

Documents to Go, the popular alternative to Microsoft Office Mobile, is now available on Windows Mobile Professional Devices.

With the app you get:

  • Create, view and edit native Microsoft Word, Excel and PowerPoint files, including in the Office 2007 format.
  • View native Adobe PDF files.
  • Decompress zipped files.
  • "Zip and send" files.
  • Create, view and edit Excel charts.
  • Access password-protected Word and Excel files (in 97-2004 formats).
  • And a slew of other goodies.

You can get Documents to Go Version 3.0031 in the WM Experts software store for $29.99.

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When you think photo editing, usually one name comes to mind. And finally, Photoshop is getting into the mobile game.

In September, Adobe plans to release Photoshop.com Mobile beta, which will work in conjunction with your free Photoshop.com account. From your Windows Mobile device, you'll be able to upload, store, access and share up to 5 gigabytes of photos - $49.99 upgrades you to Photoshop.com Plus and gets you 20 gigs of space. And once your photos are online, you'll be able to edit them in the cloud with Photoshop Express.

The beta will be Windows Mobile specific, at least at first, with the Motorola Q9m and Q9h; Samsung Blackjack I and II, and Palm's Treo 750 and 700w/wx supported.

The iPhone, BlackBerry Pearl, Motorola Razr, Nokia 5310 and 6301 will be able to upload from the ShoZu service later next month.

Via BGR

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Poor little Silverlight. It's gotta be tough enough trying to put a chink in Adobe's Flash armor, and the Summer Olympics seemed like it'd be the place for Microsoft's latest to shine. The technology worked fine, bringing streaming video and loads of Olympic goodness to the masses.

However, not everything's coming up roses. TechCrunch has a good article explaining that despite the spin cast forth by NBC, it's online plan fell short.

NBCOlympics.com flourished with 72 million videos streamed and 1.2 billion page views, but Yahoo Sports still had 400,000 more visitors a day, at 4.7 million, TechCrunch says. Some of that should be attributable to Yahoo being an established portal, but that's still a pretty big hit for NBC - and Microsoft's Silverlight - to take one such a high-profile event. Why the discrepancy?

NBC decided to limit what people could see online, especially live streams, in favor of its TV coverage because it feared cannibalizing its TV audience. Those fears proved to be unfounded because given the choice, most people would rather watch the Olympics on TV than online. But NBC missed a big opportunity here to expand its audience by streaming events it gave short shrift on TV (i.e., anything that wasn’t women’s beach volleyball or sports where the U.S. didn’t have a good chance of earning a medal).

Silverlight is far from dead in the water. And we still have high hopes for it in the mobile sector, hopefully with the release of Windows Mobile 7. But we're starting to get antsy for more than online demos and aging YouTube videos - especially with iPhone 2.0 unleashed (for better or for worse), and Android ramping up (despite rumors to the contrary).

Read: No Matter How NBC Spins It, Olympics Web Strategy Comes Up A Loser

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Tweak, tweak, and tweak some more

Easily the biggest advantage of owning a Windows Mobile device is the ability to, well, tweak the hell out of it. While you can do so with a registry editor, that can be tedious, time-consuming and sometimes a little fraught with danger.

But if you own a WinMo Professional (touchscreen) device, there's a very simple alternative. Enter Advanced Configuration Tool, a free app recently updated to Version 3.0 that now offers more than 200 settings for your OS and its applications.

If you're already a fan, here are some of the Version 3.0 changes:

  • Better device compatibility.
  • Import/export settings using provisioning XML.
  • Customize HTC's TouchFLO 3D, and map soft keys.
  • Full VGA support.
  • Custom values in the configuration files.
  • Restore previous settings.

And so on and so forth ...

This really is a simple way to squeeze out every last drop of power from your phone. It breathed life back into my old Treo 750, and you don't need any programming or super-secret registry skills to make it work for you.

You can download it in cab form or as a desktop installation. To learn more about the app, visit the page at XDA, or the Advanced Configuration Tool Wiki.

Reminder: This is for WinMo Professional (read touchscreen or Pocket PC) ONLY.

And as much as we love this program, please use it wisely, and be sure to back up your device before doing any major surgery. Happy hacking!

Via MoDaCo

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