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The Nokia Lumia 800, which was announced yesterday at Nokia World, was seen featured on BMF TV in 'Geek Culture'. It's compared to the iPhone and is labelled as a "challenger" against Apple's handset by Anicet Mbida. It's good to see the 800 being featured on technology shows so soon after being officially announced with availability and pricing

Via: MonWindowsPhone (translation

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Yves Maitre, senior vice president of devices and mobile multimedia at Orange, has told CNET in an interview this week that Windows Phone is the worst-selling platform in Orange's market (behind Android, iOS and Blackberry) in Europe, the Middle East and Africa.

"Honestly, it hasn't been as successful as we expected."

I'm not sure if every Windows Phone owner shares the same view as Maitre, since we've already covered problems with carriers not displaying working demo units in stores and promoting the platform in the media. Do you see Orange adverts for Windows Phone on TV, online, on billboards, in newspapers or in stores? If the overall response is "no", then how can Orange expect the platform to sell well against competitors that get more reach to their customer base?

"By Barcelona [the site of February's Mobile World Congress conference], we'll know for sure if Microsoft is in the game or not. If Nokia/Microsoft is not successful in Europe then it will be tough in other countries"

He does remain cautiously optimistic that the Nokia brand will push forward the platform and will force other OEMs to compete with one another through advertising. Maitre views Nokia as an expensive vehicle, "it's like you're driving a Mercedes Benz". With smartphones counting for 50% of sales for Orange, the carrier is going to have to work hard, as well as Microsoft, if they want the OS to compete with Android, Blackberry and the iPhone.

Nokia is set to unveil a "bunch" of handsets at Nokia World next week. Microsoft is banking big on this event and top names will be present as speakers. We'll be there too, so be sure to say hello should you be attending.

Source: CNET

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Google's User Experience Director for Android, Matias Duarte, said about Windows Phone being too forceful everything into a constrained look and feel. While he says that he offers the web, there's no denying that Metro is a beutiful UI and effectively provides content with no pixels wasted to chrome. Even Android took some pointers from Windows Phone (as well as other platforms).

Steve Ballmer, being the legend that he is (see the above image), has lashed back at Android but praises the iPhone to keep it from being a targeted attack. Ballmer mentioned that Android is simply difficult for the user to get into from the off.

"You don’t need to be a computer scientist to use a Windows phone and you do to use and Android phone ... it is hard for me to be excited about the Android phones."

Android fans have taken what he said the wrong way, which is easy to do with words used. Ballmer is talking about the lack of a central design or theme across apps and the system as a whole. It looks like a giant jigsaw puzzle that is built with odd pieces. iOS has a fluid, chrome rich, interface while Windows Phone is the opposite with content, content, and more content wrapped in Metro lingerie.

This sums it up perfectly:

"Both [an iPhone and a Windows phone] are going to feel very good in your hand and both going to look very beautiful physically, but when you grab a Windows phone and use it your information is front and centre and you don’t have to scroll through seas of icons and blah blah blah."

Ballmer goes on to say that the team understands the launch of more competitively priced handsets is a must, but with the Omnia W pricing announced and Nokia coming up shortly, there might be a short wait. Good on you Ballmer, good on you sir.

Source: The Telegraph

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Last night we reported on how Microsoft was giving away 25 Windows Phones to frustrated Blackberry users (and later expanded to iPhones), who were in the midst of a near worldwide disruption of RIM services. Today, after more than 1,500 well thought out responses to the question "Why do you want a Windows Phone?", twenty-five winners were announced, including their reasons.

Here are the top five:

  1. Jon404: @BenThePCGuy I'm sick of drinking the Apple Kool-aid! I need some Mango to take the taste away ;)
  2. mattymorgs: @BenThePCGuy with #iOS still stuck on its bubbly look from 5 years ago, #windowsphone is the true 'Think Different' of UI style today.
  3. jdnorthwest: @BenThePCGuy As a frustrated #DearBlackberry user I was shopping the Bellevue @MicrosoftStore yesterday for a #windowsphone
  4. sweeneyben: @BenThePCGuy #DearBlackberry my Storm2 was great if I went back in time, but is so outdated, with poor service. I want to go back to Windows
  5. joegaus: @BenThePCGuy i want a #windowsphone because only Beyoncé Knowles' beauty can compare to those DAMN SEXY LIVETILES

What's even better is Microsoft via Ben Rudolph, will be giving away a Windows Phone once per month using the same criteria: send a story about why you want (or need) a Windows Phone. Then, they'll turn that story into a blog post on the Windows Phone Blog. Seems like a decent enough idea!

Congrats to all the winners! We hope you enjoy your new OS, in fact we know you will!

Read more at the Windows Phone Blog.

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High quality humorous wallpapers

Some humorous iPhone wallpapers have been cropped over at 1800PocketPC and are ready to fit any Windows Phone. As you can see from the above sample, they look superb and are well work checking out. Glenn is the freelance graphic designer and illustrator from Auckland, New Zealand, who is behind the designs and sells amusing shirts, among other miscellaneous items. Check out his store for the free wallpaper downloads.

Source: Glennz, via: 1800PocketPC

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Apple announced the iPhone 4S today, which millions of hipsters and fruit fanatics will be lining up to purchase on October 14. Does the new iPhone threaten to stall Windows Phone’s rise to the smartphone big leagues? In some ways, yes. Whenever the competition rolls out a new product line, that’s always cause for concern. In the following editorial I’ll spell out the different areas that Apple has me worried. Just don’t forget that I absolutely love Windows Phone and I’d sooner give up one of Rich Edmond's kidneys than live without it.

Head past the break to find out in which areas the iPhone 4S may have current Windows Phones beaten.

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HTC: iPhones are for old people

Now this is pretty interesting, acting president of HTC America, Martin Fichter, said that the Apple iPhone is for old folk at the Mobile Future Forward conference in Seattle. Fichter took an informal survey at his daughter's domitory to see what her friends thought of the iPhone:

"None of them has an iPhone. 'My dad has an iPhone.' There’s an interesting thing that’s going on in the market. The iPhone becomes a little less cool than it was. They were carrying HTCs. They were carrying Samsungs. They were even carrying some Chinese manufacturer’s devices."

While many will dispute this with the iPhone being cool and trendy, I must say that it can be accurate, depending as to where you live. I remember commuting to work daily; bankers and businessmen on the train had iPhones, young women had Blackberries and everyone else had Android handsets. A large proportion of school girls use Blackberry devices, for BBM more than anything else.

What do you think? Are iPhones loosing its 'cool' for the young market?

Source: Mashable

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Brandon Watson betting $1,000 on WP7

 

Brandon Watson, Senior Director of Windows Phone 7 development, is bringing out the big guns by staking $1,000 on Mango. Scott Adams, author of popular comic strip Dilbert, in a recent blog post has expressed disappointment in both the iPhone and with Android. Watson saw the opportunity and dropped a bombshell of an offer:

"Scott -

My name is Brandon Watson and I am responsible for the developer platform on Windows Phone. Since your readership has a high probability of cross over with our developer base, how about I make you a deal with one of the phones we reserve for developers. Take Windows Phone for a spin. I’ll send you a developer phone with the new Mango OS on it. Give it an honest run, and if you don’t love it more than either of your iPhone or Android experiences, I’ll make a $1000 donation to the charity of your choice. You can’t really lose on this deal.

Do we have 500K apps? No. Do we have 25K, growing as fast as iPhone did, and 2x as fast as Android? Yes. Do developers love the dev environment? Uh huh. Do we have the only phone that puts people and communications first? You bet. If Androids dream of electronic iSheep, people dream about people – and that’s what you will get with Windows Phone. Keep in constant contact with those most important to you with Live Tiles, groups, messaging threads, and native Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. And no special instructions on how to hold the phone to make calls. Oh, and the battery lasts a long time.

I can be reached at ThePhone [at] microsoft. You can call me if you want – 425-985-5568. Windows Phone devs will tell you that’s the right contact info, because it’s shared with every one of them.

I hope you take me up on this one…there’s no reason to hate your phone."

Should Adams take this offer up, he will receive a free Mango developer device (presumably with Twitter integration) and will give the platform a test run to determine whether or not he enjoys the experience compared to competitors. If the results are positive then great. If not, Watson will donate $1,000 to a charity of his choice.

The head of Windows Phone didn't stop there as he set sights on Molly Wood, CNET reporter, on Twitter who was/is experiencing some issues with her Droid. Hopefully this work will pay off, especially if we look at a recent customer satisfaction survey that puts WP7 above Andorid. Social media has a good-will category 'Social Good', we now have 'WP7 Good'. Bravo Watson.

Source: Scott's blog, via: WinRumors

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Browser wars are always fun. Not because they are definitive or slam dunk tests that once and for all decide which is the best browser, but because they induce so much chest thumping about standards, specs and specific environments for testing. It's like saying your football team is the best--sure it may or may not be true, but sometimes it's fun to throw the war paint on and act like it is.

In this case, Derek Snyder of Microsoft demonstrates once again the famous "HTML5 fish test" (see MIX 11), comparing it between a BlackBerry, Samsung Android Charge and an iPhone 4. And once again, Windows Phone Mango clearly beats everyone, coming in at an astounding 50 FPS. But what makes this test more interesting is the fact that the iPhone 4 is running the iOS5 beta 3 (just released) which puts Apple's "fall update" up against Microsoft's "fall update", making it a more realistic comparison.

Your move, Apple. 

Source: WMPU

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One of Microsoft's angles for leveraging better smartphone market share is to lure iOS developers to Windows Phone (see their API mapping tool). Although they would prefer such devs to completely switch, just getting them to co-develop would be a 'win' in many ways.

In that case, it'a always interesting to see Windows Phone development from the iPhone side. We've seen this before in a head to head developer contest (see here) and now we hear it form Steve Troughton-Smith, who makes numerous apps for the iPhone, including Orbit, Stack, Grace, Lights Off, SameGame, Speed, Nuker, Chalk and Doom. He even helped crack Airplay for third party apps a few months ago. In other words, he's rather prominent.

Via a recent Tweet, he's evidently toying with Windows Phone development and had this to say on the matter:

The more I make things with the WP7 SDK, the more I like it. I feel safe writing all the XAML from scratch

...I'd certainly prefer it to Android's SDK

We're sure that's the exact response Brandon Watson and his team would want from an iOS developer, so it's good to hear. It's also good to hear that such a developer is tinkering with WP7--judging by his past releases, we'd love to see what this man can do on our platform.

Source: Twitter 1, 2; Thanks, Rene Ritchie of our sister-site TiPb, for the heads up

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Although boasting about the size of one's app store has its place--really it's the quality of the apps that matter and nothing beats those "big titles" that people want and use.

PCWorld has done an interesting analysis of Apple's top 35 apps to see how the other platforms compare. Android, comes the closest, offering all but 3 of the top 35 apps on the iPhone. Their biggest gap of course is in games--something we've pointed out before. Next, however is Windows Phone 7 which offers all but 8 of the top 35--beating out Symbian and Blackberry (guess WebOS wasn't worth looking at). That's not too shabby for the new guy in town who's been in the market a little less than seven months.

Part of the difference is Microsoft has been very aggressive in courting Apple developers to either switch or port over their apps, often offering financial incentive to do so e.g. covering the cost of development. Combined with the Xbox LIVE gaming system and their relationship with the "big" developers there, Microsoft has made tremendous in-roads into taking away any "exclusive" app that the iPhone may offer (and more often than not, the Windows Phone version looks better).

We may not have the numbers, but we have the apps.

Related story: Beating Apple's exclusivity: How Microsoft caters to developers while Google does not

Source: PCWorld/Yahoo News; Thanks, hd7guy, for the heads up

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The above video shows a task speed test between the iPhone and a Windows Phone 7 device (Samsung Focus), which included the following steps:

  1. Take a Picture
  2. Upload Picture to Facebook with Caption ("Check out my new hat!")
  3. Update Status ("I love weekends!")
  4. Find Directions to a Restaurant (Olive Garden)
  5. Get Movie Times ("Fast Five")
Unfortunately for our iOS friends, WP7 comes out tops due to it's simplicity and superb social integration. Does this remind everyone of the previous comparison adverts Microsoft released

Thanks James for the tip!

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While not much practical use to our readers, it's nice to see Microsoft's Metro UI catching on in a big way. A new iPhone Twitter app called 'Maha' is an exact clone of some of the popular Twitter apps on Windows Phone 7 that adhere to the Metro theme e.g. Twitter (official), Rowi and Twitt.

Between what's been shown of Windows 8, Windows Phone and Xbox 360, this Metro thing seems to be catching on. Hey, imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. And maybe, just maybe, a few iPhoners will want a phone with the whole Metro UI.

via: nanapho

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During today's Microsoft keynote at MIX11, a phone browser speed test was given and for once, Windows Phone (Mango + IE9) trounced the competition. The competition here was the iPhone 4 and Nexus S. 

Is it us or has Microsoft really thrown their weight behind browsers lately? IE9 on Windows Phone 7.5 looks pretty incredible and to put this persepctive, Android Central's Phil Nickinson says he doesn't know how that got the Nexus S to be that fast in the above video--which means MS wasn't playing trickery here. 

Of course we're interested in seeing more than one site load and the devil's in the details. But hey, we like what we see.

via: GeekWire

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Mashable love their polls, and any reader would agree that they are fairly useful with majority of votes coming from tech enthusiasts (the majority being Apple owners over at the social media giant). Publishing the results for their holiday gifts for 2010 poll, it is clear to the eye that Windows Phone 7 has actually performed relatively well.

Having only been officially around for a few months, receiving a mixed reception, and majority of news surrounding the platform outlining negativity over positive announcements, many predicted that the platform may not perform too well over the festive period. Reaching 5,000 apps in the Marketplace, shipping a good 1.5 million products, and listening to the end-user’s feedback, Microsoft have continued to display their determination to create a solid dent in the already-established competition.

Taking a quick look at the pie chart, it’s easily noticeable that Android has continued to dominate over all other platforms, with the iPhone maintaining a healthy share. This is all to the book and is expected by, well, everyone. What’s interesting however, is where Microsoft’s new product is sitting comfortably. Taking a promising 10.3% of votes in the smart phone category is a fantastic achievement, and shows that the insane amount of investment made by Microsoft, the decision with starting from scratch and bringing a new OS to the monopoly board is beginning to show signs of positive results.

Although the chart does shed some light on the current state of the war between the operating systems, it should be noted that this is a Mashable poll, and should not be used as an accurate calculation. As for Windows Phone 7, the 2010 launch has been nothing more than a blur for most. Next year, however, should prove to be either a fast paced sprint with the proposed updates, marketing and what not, or a slow walk ensuring satisfaction is maintained at a reasonably high level.

Source: Mashable; via WMPoweruser

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Analyst Charles Wolf of Needham and Co., is calling the launch of Windows Phone 7 a success. Wolf bases his analysis not on current numbers, but on Microsoft’s commitment to marketing Windows Phone 7. The report further states that if Microsoft continues to grow market share, Google’s Android platform could be the big loser. Much of Android’s success is due to Verizon’s Droid line of phones, which in turn can be attributed to the lack of a Verizon iPhone. A potential iPhone launch on Verizon, coupled with Microsoft’s commitment to CDMA support, could leave Google the odd man out.

Source: Needham and Co.; via: Computer World, Apple Insider

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One of the most popular and universally acclaimed games on the iPhone/iPad, Pocket God by Bolt Creative, is coming to Windows Phone 7 this holiday season.

Basically, you are a god-like figure in the game who rules an island of Pygmies.

Well, I'm sold!

Wielding your powers for either good or evil, the game looks like a ton of fun with a brilliantly warped sense of humor (see Bolt's "From the suggestion box" video). With over 30 free updates delivered as "episodes", the developers have won quite the following amongst fans and at least according to the press release (after the break), even a comic book had been made.

Oh and it's now on Android too, but whatever. Seriously though, the game looks to be quite a lot of fun as we currently don't have any "god" games yet, as far as we know.

via AndroidCentral

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In a new video on YouTube, it's alleged (and seemingly demonstrated) that the HD7 suffers from an antenna/reception issue similar to the Apple iPhone 4--namely if you grip it a certain way, it has a noticeable effect on the reception, up to the point where calls and data are dropped. This so-called "death grip" problem dubbed antenna-gate by many is related to having the antenna near the bottom of the phone, which is a design choice to keep the antenna (and radiation) away from the head.

At first, we were skeptical of the evidence found in the video, noting that in general, T-Mobile's coverage and reception is worse than AT&T and to put it bluntly, the HD7's overall signal reception was not the best to begin with. In turn, we tried to duplicate the situation numerous times and in the video above, you'll see our results which came as a surprise. In short, the HD7 does appear to have a death-grip problem--even to the point where data can be held up.

By way of comparison (not in the video though) the Samsug Focus seems to be just fine.  Combined with the "pink camera" issue, the HD7 to looks have a few notches against it. Feel free to chime in with your experiences in comments! See the original YouTube video after the break.

Source: YouTube, via: Geekword; Thanks, Muhammad A., for the tip

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Recently, in a jocular back and forth between Matthew Mller (ZDNet), myself and Chad Garrett of TiPB, Chad suggested that we're enjoying just old ports of iPhone games and therefore nothing special when it comes to things like Assassin's Creed.

But after reading John Gruber's excellent article on Where Are the Android Killer Apps? I realized that Microsoft has done something that Google/Android have not: taken away Apple's exclusivity on various games and killer apps. Sure, we don't have nearly as many and are still lacking some big ones, but isn't that just a matter of time? Here's Gruber's quote on the matter which sums it up perfectly:

A final thought, regarding Android’s relative weakness as a software platform. iOS’s exclusivity for a bunch of big-name mobile games — Need for Speed Undercover, Star Wars: Battle for Hoth, Monopoly, Tetris, The Sims, Assassin’s Creed — has been broken. Not by Android, where none of these games exist, but by Windows Phone 7, a one-month-old platform.

That really is huge. Why, despite how popular Android is, have they failed to get many big titles? Why no killer, exclusive apps, except the closely held "Google experience" ones (e.g. Gmail, Google Talk)? We already know about why there's no Netflix (poor security, fragmentation).

Of course we know the answer: Microsoft puts a lot of emphasis on courting developers, even throwing money at them to cover the cost of development. Sure it's brash, perhaps uncouth but it works. Remember, this about the ends (consumer experience) not so much the means (save it for you business ethics class). Fact is, at this pace, Microsoft and Windows Phone 7 will have more quality big-name offerings than Android, who's big sellers instead tend to be ones that modify or fix the OS.

Sounds a lot like our old Windows Mobile, aka the past.

So yes, Apple, we'll take your ports and exclusives and any apps that make your platform "unique"--you'll loose that  and a reason for people to choose your product over Windows Phone 7.

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When people talk about smart-phone platforms, the two that stand out to people (for better or worse) are iPhone and Android. There are a lot of reasons for this; usability, ecosystem (apps, services), and just sheer popularity are all factors. It makes you wonder why a brand-spanking-new platform like Windows Phone 7 would get a popular app like NetFlix before one of the two 300 lb gorillas in the room (Android); and if you really think about it, the Windows Phone 7 app was demoed at the Mix conference (March 15-17) before it was available for the iPhone (August 26). So what is it about Windows Phone 7 that makes a company like NetFlix choose a fledgling OS as their starting point for mobile over the more established platforms?

It turns out that the answer comes down to security (ironic, considering this is Microsoft). According to Wired (via @joebelfiore), Android doesn’t offer a secure enough DRM system to make Hollywood happy. With all of the concerns about piracy digital rights, Microsoft has been able to get a leg up on the competition by building Windows Phone as a secure platform.

Now before I start getting hate mail from the Android faithful, I recognize that NetFlix is coming to Android; but the current plans are for limited device support (can you say fragmentation?); not a full-fledged roll out.

So what does this mean to Joe Consumer? Microsoft is making every effort to make app developers happy and successful with Windows Phone 7 as a platform. This will serve to help the Windows Phone ecosystem (apps and services) grow and mature; which is great news for you and me.

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