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OG Xbox!

All the backward compatible original Xbox games confirmed for Xbox One

Is this the end ... ?

What if there really are no more new Windows Mobile devices?

FCU FTW

Windows 10 Fall Creators Update's top 5 features

i5 or i7?

Comparing performance and battery in the Surface Laptop Core i5 and Core i7

Don't be an easy target

7 tips to protect your Windows PC against malware

¯\_(ツ)_/¯

What do you think of Skype's new Snapchat-esque makeover? (poll)

1080P vs 4K

How important is 4K gaming on the Xbox One X to you?

Surface > Mac

Microsoft's latest device lineup truly (and finally) rivals Apple's

New pen is mightier than the old pen

Own an older Surface? Here's what you should know about the new Surface Pen

Driving back in time

Wondering why ALL Microsoft's Windows drivers are dated June 21?

A good port

Spotify shows the world how to do Centennial apps the right way

♏ vs. 🅿

Here's how the Xbox One X stacks up to Xbox One S and PS4 Pro

Cream o' the crop

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

(╯°□°)╯︵ ┻━┻

Share your experiences with Microsoft tech support for Windows 10 Mobile

What's the difference?

What to expect from ‘Xbox One X Enhanced’ games

Best o' E3

Ashen for Xbox One was the best game we saw at E3 — here's why

AR hearts and minds

Will Apple beat Microsoft to the AR punch?

ThinkPad Mini

The updated ThinkPad X1 Tablet has a few unfortunate flaws

To be continued

Windows 10 Fall Creators Update: Everything we know so far

all in on alcantara?

Are you a fan of the Alcantara on Microsoft Surfaces and Type Covers?

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iOS

Microsoft has unleashed its popular 365 Office suite onto the iOS platform and is available to iPhone owners who have an active subscription. Those who download the app will be able to view and edit Word, Excel, and PowerPoint documents while on the go. The suite is fairly feature rich with SkyDrive support and more, but there's the absence of Outlook.

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Kantar Worldpanel has released a new report that shows Android leading in the US, but both iOS and Windows Phone are growing at a faster rate. Both platforms experienced an increase in sales of 2.3 and 1.8 percentage points respectively, while Google's mobile platform was reported at 1.4 (year-on-year). Good news for Microsoft and its continued struggle to establish itself in the competitive North American market.

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The BBC (British Broadcasting Corporation) has been accused by Android owners that the corporation is biased against Google's mobile platform with its iPlayer TV catch-up service. If you thought it was just the Windows Phone community battling hard against the BBC to get a worthy iPlayer solution available, you'd be wrong. That said, the BBC Trust has found that the corporation has not been biased against competing platforms to iOS.

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Latest figures released by Kantar Worldpanel shows that Microsoft is actually starting to perform rather well in the US, one of the more important markets for the company. So much so that the platform is growing at a slightly faster rate than Google's Android. Microsoft still has a tough mountain to climb to tackle both Android and iOS, but it would seem as though the third position is firmly in its grasp.

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By now the narrative that Windows Phone is finally starting to pick up steam with developer should be familiar. It seems as if every few days a few big titles get released to the Store, giving Windows Phone users a semblance of platform parity.

The app Countdown+++ is one of the most popular utilities on iOS due to its colorful simplicity. It’s what it sounds like, an app for entering in due dates for whatever topic you want, creating a countdown clock for you to periodically check. It’s one of the top 50 utility apps on the iPhone and maintains a strong 5-star rating from 4500 reviews. The fact that it is now on Windows Phone is always a welcome sight, as it allows iOS users to more easily switch platforms.

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Trader Media Group (TMG), parent of UK Auto Trader, is set to replace its iPhone arsenal with Windows Phones. It's said that Android will not be considered as it has too many security vulnerabilities. In an interview with Computing, TMG CIO Tim Jones revealed that the company has operated in an iOS ecosystem for the last five years, because the iPhone was the more mature smartphone available on the market. But now the group is looking at alternatives. 

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Gartner has released their data for smartphone sales and market share for the fourth quarter in 2012 and while the data is not conclusive by itself, it does show general trends in where the market is heading.

For Microsoft and partners the picture is most certainly better than it was one year ago, which is the good news. The bad news is the hill to climb to global relevancy is still as massive as ever, mostly due to the continued growth of Android (specifically Samsung) and iOS. Meanwhile BlackBerry (formerly RIM), is still bleeding heavily prior to its transition to BB10, showing a massive decline in sales.

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Alright, so Nokia has a good grasp on what the word exclusive means. But Microsoft takes a more liberal stance towards supporting other platforms. We’ve seen the big MS publish previously Xbox Windows Phone exclusive games to iOS before, such as Kinectimals and Tentacles. It always hurt, but we sucked it up and complained only in small doses.

Yesterday, another exclusive turned coat and migrated to iOS: Microsoft’s own Wordament. I had previously speculated that Wordament could function as a killer app, attracting gamers to Windows Phone with its highly addictive gameplay and smart design. That will no longer happen, but here’s the really bad news: Wordament on iOS is an Xbox Live title complete with real Achievements!

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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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In a recent interview Google stated they will not devote any resources to making apps for either Windows 8 or Windows Phone 8. They have also now ceased consumer support for ActiveSync.  Some are calling it ‘war’ while others passionately question if Windows Phone can survive without Google products and services.

The relationship between Google and Microsoft has always been somewhat hostile. In many ways the battle they engage in now can be seen as a kind of echo from a distant technological past. Google have dug in their heels and to some degree shown their true colours by declaring zero support for Microsoft’s newest operating systems, Windows Phone and Windows 8.

But does it matter and has anything really changed?

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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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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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10

Windows Phone 8 Rooms feature

Windows Phone 8 brings with it many improvements to its social abilities, one such improvement is the inclusion of “Rooms”.

Taking some of the ideas from Windows Phone 7’s Groups feature and expanding it out, the new feature allows for powerful social interaction with a selection of your contacts. Windows Phone has always been a powerful performer with regards to its social networking prowess and Rooms is going to take that a step further.

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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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Platform exclusivity isn’t what it used to be these days. Several Windows Phone-exclusive Xbox games have moved to iOS in the past, including Kinectimals, Tentacles, Rocket Riot, Max and the Magic Marker, and more. Microsoft has even published Halo Waypoint and Xbox Live companion apps for Apple's competing platform. We can now add WP7’s sole Japanese-developed exclusive to that list as well. Dodonpachi Maximum from CAVE hits iOS on October 26.

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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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Staff at Hackney Wick Station in east London have a dig

Apple's CEO Tim Cook has issued an open letter to customers on the company's official website (www.apple.com). The letter addresses iOS 6 Maps, which replaced the Google-powered solution with an in-house developed service from Apple. The mapping service has subsequently been under scrutiny and the subject of controversy due to the quality and accuracy of presented data.

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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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We first looked at live music service Pepper earlier this year at a previous WPUG event. The app and backend service impressed us with the variety of features available, as well as how unique the functionality is in a package we've yet to see elsewhere. Exclusively available for Windows Phone, we enjoyed having the Pepper team on-board pushing the platform further with continued support. We've now got word that an imminent update is on its way, as well as apps for both Windows 8 and the iPhone.

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