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Microsoft is soon to seal the deal and acquire Nokia's hardware division, which will include Lumia, Asha and X family of mobile devices. During today's keynote, Nokia CEO Stephen Elop focused fairly heavily on Microsoft and its services. Skype, OneDrive, Outlook, Skype, OneDrive – you get the idea. But just how many times did Elop and co. talk about Microsoft during the presentation?

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This morning Nokia announced 4 new devices to their handset line-up, 2 Asha devices, and 2 Windows Phone devices.

Nokia’s sights did not seem set on the US market though, where the carriers heavily subsidize even higher end devices to bring them into consumer’s hands. Instead we saw indications that Nokia is continuing to drive into markets where upfront cost is everything. Stephen Elop was also clear that Nokia are pushing aggressively into the enterprise market, highlighting Windows Phone's integration with Microsoft Office services as well as the full device encryption available on every handset.

There’s no arguing against the fact that the two Asha phones, selling at less than the price of your average video game or dinner for two, will sell in their target markets. So we’ll focus on the Lumia 720 and the Lumia 520.

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One of Mobile World Congress's keynote speeches just wrapped up and this one featured three different speakers: Dennis Crowley, founder and CEO of Foursquare, CEO of HTC Peter Chou and CEO of Nokia, Stephen Elop. The topic was simple: Mobile OS & Applications, specifically what challenges each CEO is facing and how the mobile OS can transform technology.

Each CEO gave their take on what they do and what they are doing for the future. Crowley is concerned with data aggregation on Foursquare and how to "give that back" to the customer in a useful manner. Chou was interested in the infinite possibilities of smartphones but more importantly how to smartly managed that e.g. HTC Sense. Finally Nokia's Elop focused on three areas:

  1. Ecosystems including big apps versus local apps, with the latter being Nokia's concern. This can be seen in things like App Highlights on their phones.
  2. Location-based services e.g. filling in the "Where? equation" on smartphones. We see this demonstrated with their Drive, Maps and Transport apps
  3. How to monetize this ecosystem for the smaller developers in emerging markets

Elop's discussion was frankly much more interesting as he was laying out, in no uncertain terms, what Nokia's plans were. They see growth in the untapped emerging markets, where 60% of cell phone users do not have a smartphone yet. He reiterated once again how he thought Nokia could be a "disruptive force" in the industry with Windows Phone (versus iOS or Android) and that Nokia had a great symmetry with Microsoft in regards to software/hardware design.

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Microsoft took the opportunity to reflect on its accomplishments and give us a peak at what's in store for the future in this year's CES Keynote Address. CEO Steve Ballmer took center stage to deliver a "State of the Union" type presentation for the software giant.  After 14 years of delivering a keynote address at the International Consumer Electronics Show, this would be Microsoft's last.  At least for a while.

Presented in conversation form with Ryan Seacrest moderating, Ballmer began the conversation on Windows Phone. Naturally, he was pleased with the success Windows Phone has had and felt it is the first phone to put people first. It provides a consolidated glance at what's important in your life.

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Just a quick reminder that Microsoft will be delivering its 2012 CES Keynote speech in just a little while. Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer is expected to take the stage around 6:30pm PST and deliver the last CES Keynote for Microsoft. If you remember, Microsoft announced some time ago that it was bowing out on delivering the Keynote address. Instead, they will turn to special events for announcements and let their industry partners take the lead at future CES events.

You can catch Microsoft's Keynote Speech here and check back for our thoughts and follow-up on the presentation.

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2012 CES Keynote, the last for Microsoft

The 2012 Consumer Electronics Show is just right around the corner and Microsoft is scheduled to give the keynote address on Monday, January 9, 2012 which will mark the last keynote Microsoft at CES.

Microsoft recognizes that their industry is fast moving and the manner in which they communicate with consumers must keep pace. Frank X. Shaw, Microsoft's Corporate Vice President over Corporate Communications states,

"We have decided that this coming January will be our last keynote presentation and booth at CES. We’ll continue to participate in CES as a great place to connect with partners and customers across the PC, phone and entertainment industries, but we won’t have a keynote or booth after this year because our product news milestones generally don’t align with the show’s January timing."

Microsoft will now turn to special events to share new products, services and innovations with consumers such as the Big Windows Phone event that was held in New York, through social networking resources and their retail stores. Microsoft won't disappear completely from CES with their partners likely taking the lead in making product announcements at future CES events.  While the approach makes sense, it's going to be strange not to have Ballmer take center stage at CES.

Oh and speaking of the 2012 CES Keynote, as we understand things Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer will focus on Windows Phones and the XBox this year. Don't expect significant news but more of a wrap up on the past year. Microsoft may be taking a step back and let Nokia's Operation Rolling Thunder take center stage.

Source: Microsoft Blog

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Skype heading to Windows Phone 7

Skype, the popular internet messaging service, is heading to Windows Phone 7. Joe Belfiore, Microsoft's VP of Windows Phone Program Management, provided an early glimpse at the communications app during today's MIX11 keynote.

Skype will definitely enhance the communications capabilities of our Windows Phones. Now we just need a front facing camera to take advantage of Skype's video features. While no specific date was mentioned, we should see Skype landing in the Marketplace later this Fall.

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Wrap-up on today's MIX11 keynote

Today was a superb day for both the Windows Phone 7 platform and the development community behind the 13,000 Marketplace apps. Luckily we were at the front (literally) of the action in Las Vegas and laying our hawk eyes on the live stream to bring you the best coverage of the keynote from a variety of angles. Not only were we live blogging the entire session, we are also bringing you the latest bulletins covering the Angry Birds release date, IMDb working with Bing, Kik Messenger coming to WP7 and more.

Follow the break for a snappy list breaking down the important topics covered in the keynote along with an in-depth summary.

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Las Vegas, April 13th...

Microsoft today showed off the next version of Windows Phone, coming this fall, called 'Mango' as well as announced new developer tools what will give devs a chance to go deeper with the phone.

The improved dev tools include "a performance profiler and sensor stimulation, enabling developers to build more intergrated and high-performing applications". In addition, devs get:

  • Application multitasking for background processing,, audio and file transfer, and fast app switching
  • Deeper phone intergration so apps can, for example, take better advantage of the versatility of Live Tiles
  • Access to the camera and Motion Sensor library so devs can build apps that incorporate device hardware and build augmented reality experiences
  • All of these new tools will be available starting in May. 

In addition, Microsoft showed of the next version of Windows Phone called 'Mango' including new apps such as Skype (!), Spotify, Layar, Quantas, Amazon Shopping and Kik Messenger

So there you go folks. Expect more throughout the day, including videos and more info. But darn it all, Microsoft is listening and look to be delivering. Shout out in comments on your thoughts!

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Although yesterday had some interesting news from Microsoft: IE9, IE10 preview, dev wall, Kinect and Surface news and there were plenty of Windows Phone session, but only on "current" software and development.

Today the gloves come off.

First up, we have a nice hour and half Keynote today, which we know a big part of will be on Windows Phone. Joe Belfiore along with Scott Guthrie will be talking about the future of Windows Phone, specifically about 'Mango' and we expect new developer tools and access to APIs (see our "rumor" coverage). While that may sound dull, it's actually quite huge as it'll really unleash the hardware for devs, who can write a ton of new software.

Follow that right here as we have our live blog of that event, where you can join in the chat too. We've also embedded the livestream if you're able to watch video. It all starts at noon eastern, 9 pacific.

The rest of the day are "Sessions", which are 45 min talks dealing with, yes, Windows Phone 7. Some of those talks today which we'll be going to are listed here. These "secret" sessions had no titles/descriptions until it leaked yesterday, that's because they deal with features/things not yet announced--until this morning's keynote, that is.

So stay tuned here as we'll have some video of the talks, photos and we'll see anything else that we can dig up. But in short, we're expecting a big day around here, so stay tuned.

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Microsoft has updated the list of sessions where the majority were TBA, leading meany to believe they were 'Mango' and/or new dev tool related. We previously covered the rumoured announcements not so long ago and here is the updated session list covering all the goodies of Windows Phone 7 to be presented at MIX'11 this week.

  • What’s Coming Next to the Windows Phone Application Platform
  • Going Mobile with Your Site on Internet Explorer 9 and Windows Phone 7
  • Mini-Session: Get Ready for Fast Application Switching in Windows Phone
  • What’s New in the Windows Phone Developer Tools?
  • Windows Phone Multitasking
  • Multitasking in the Next Version of Windows Phone, Part II: Using Background Agents
  • Sensor Access in the Next Version of Windows Phone
  • What’s New for Windows Phone Development with Silverlight?
  • Windows Phone Architecture – Deep Dive
  • What’s New for Windows Phone Development with the XNA Framework?
  • Enhanced Push Notifications & Live Tiles for Windows Phone
  • New Data Access Features Coming to Windows Phone

Today's keynote was very IE orientated so all WP7 viewers hunting desperately for news and presentations were left lost and forgotten. But it seems both tomorrow and the 14th will be two big days for WP7 (namely 'Mango') and the above list should hopefully only be what it's meant to be - a summary. Of course we'll be at these and since they won't be streamed, we'll record as much as we can ;-)

Source: WindowsPhoneSecrets

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MIX'11 Keynote covering IE9 and WP7

Dean Hachamovitch, Windows Internet Explorer Corporate Vice President, is keynoter tomorrow and after eight platform previews, one beta, one release candidate and one final version of IE9 it's going to be a must-see.

As well as the above, Joe Belfiore, who oversees Windows Phone Program Management, and is responsible for the design and software product definition will also keynote MIX. He will be accompanied by Scott Guthrie, who is head of Microsoft's .NET Developer Platform and manages the teams who are responsible for Silverlight, Visual Studio and .NET framework technologies.

If nothing else, it's going to be huge and we're going to be right there amid the presentations. We'll be following up this post soon with coverage and discussion to allow your opinions to be voiced.  The Keynote is slated to start at 9am PST on Tuesday and you can check the full MIX11 schedule here.

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While many didn't expect much from Microsoft's Keynote Address at the 2011 Mobile World Congress, Steve Ballmer and company did find a way to surprise us. While the first part of the presentation was a re-cap of the progress Windows Phone 7 has made, the Microsoft CEO also touched on how well the new phones are being recieved by consumers. Nine out of ten Windows Phone users would recommend the phones to other and many feel that Windows Phone 7 is the easiest and most delightful to use.

Building phones that people love and that are operator friendly is the top priority at Microsoft. Ballmer also mentioned that the first update for Windows Phone 7 is only a few weeks away, being release in March and will include the copy/paste feature and overall performance enhancements. No surprises there.

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We are live at Mobile World Congress, but you knew that. Steve Ballmer is set to give his keynote at 4pm local time, which equates to 10am Eastern in the US. We hope we're going to hear details on the next version of Windows Phone, but with Steve, anything is possible. We're at the Keynote viewing party at Microsoft's digs at the Catalonia hotel, where we will not only watch the Keynote stream but also hit up Microsoft folk for questions after the event. Join us after the break!

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Ballmer Keynote

Steve Ballmer has just wrapped up his 2011 International Consumer Electronics Show Keynote Address. He addressed three key components for Microsoft; Xbox 360, Windows 7, and Windows Phone 7.

Discussing how productive 2010 has been for Microsoft, Ballmer described it as a year filled with new experiences for consumers. Ballmer touched on the success of the Windows Phone Marketplace that now has over 5,500 apps and 20,000+ developers on board. On average, Windows Phone users are seeing 100 apps a day introduced to the Marketplace.

The success is being reflected by consumer confidence in that 9 out of 10 AT&T customers would recommend Windows Phone 7 to a friend. It was clear that Microsoft was pleased with the two month impact Windows Phone 7 has had and Ballmer continued to voice a strong commitment to the new phones.

Here are a few points from Ballmer's keynote on what we can expect in 2011 for Windows Phone 7.

OS Updates: Ballmer phrased it: "Over the next few months we will be delivering a series of platform improvements that show we are taking feedback to heart in an effort to continue to enhance the products we release. The updates will be released automatically and will include a few changes". No time frame was set but Ballmer did mention these updates will bring Copy/Paste to Windows Phone 7 as well as "significant improvement in performance when loading or switching between applications".

Sprint and Verizon: During the first half of 2011, Sprint and Verizon will join the Windows Phone family.  While there was no mention of which phones are headed where, indications remain that the HTC Trophy is headed to Verizon and the HTC 7 Pro will be Sprint's Windows Phone device.

Games: One of the strengths of Windows Phone 7 is the Xbox Live integration. Windows Phone users will see a series of new Xbox Live games heading to the platform including a version of the popular console game, Fable.

Fable Coin Golf (we're assuming it's a golf themed game) will allow any coins earned on the Windows Phone, carry over to the Xbox Live version of the game.  You also have Pro Evolution Soccer 2011 heading to the Windows Phone as well as the much anticipated Zombies!!!.

Apps: We saw a few new apps that caught our interests. There will be an app and a Bank of America app that will allow you to take care of your shopping and banking needs.  Hopefully, this will break the ice for more online retailers and financial institutions to bring their apps to Windows Phone 7.

It looks like 2011 is shaping up to be another year filled with new experiences for Microsoft consumers.

Update: See the entire video presentation after the break (grab a coffee, you'll need it, but it's worth it)

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For some reason on Monday, the keynote on Windows Phone 7 at 2pm during WPC10 never aired--presumably "technical difficulties" but alas the video is now available to watch in its entirety right here or just click the 'Read the rest of this entry' below.

Some interesting tidbits of the nearly hour long video focus in on Office, Outlook, pictures, contacts, maps and basically the core aspects of the phone. What's real interesting is how much is done on the phone without "launching" any applications--so much of the foundational programs are just built in, linked to each other in an--to borrow their phrase-intelligent way.

Overall Windows Phone 7 looks incredibly easy to use without any fuss--just to the point productivity. Below are also a few screen grabs of their slides, nothing huge but still interesting.

Watch the full video after the break...

[Phone 7 via Reddit]

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CTIA Keynote Day 1: Livebogging

We're live at CTIA 2008 in San Francisco and the Keynote is set to begin in about 10 minutes. On tap is Marco Boerries of Yahoo's "Connected Life Division," plus CEOs of T-Mobile, Sprint, Verizon, plus the Chairman of Clearwire.

What to expect? We're hoping for new software from Yahoo (Yahoo Go 4.0 would be nice), maybe a mention of the Kickstart from T-Mobile, and perhaps a surprise or two from Verizon and Sprint -- i.e. it's be nice if Hesse talked up Windows Mobile this year instead of the silly Instinct.

Anyhow, it will be relatively low-key, but hit us up after the break for what news we can gather!

New updates at the top, Yo.

The Liveblog

10:30: Alright, show floor time. We'll catch you guys soon -- more as we find the gadgetry out in the booth sea.

10:28: No more "one more thing" expected, folks.. or not -- They've created an SDK within the iPhone SDK with Blueprint.

10:26: It also includes a new yahoo-developed, cross-platform mobile browser -- sort of. Companies can basically make 'apps' of their websites that are essentially mini-browsers.

10:25: Yahoo Go is built on blueprint. You can develop Yahoo Go widgets with Blueprint.

...Now you an make standalone apps for Windows Mobile, Java, and Symbian. Develop for all three platforms with one language. That's actually pretty cool. Available as a developer preview today.

10:20: Blueprint as a new mobile platform. "The best way to create mobile internet services." It's not another mobile OS, not a platform for games, not proprietary, not limited to Yahoo.

It offers a very quick mobile services development platform based on XML. Basically it's a large set of XML setup you can program a mobile app in and it will display very nicely on different platforms -- iPhone, Windows Mobile, BlackBerry, Symbian, etc. They are opening it up for anybody and anybody can distribute however they'd like. Yahoo would prefer you use Yahoo's ads on your apps, but not requiring it.

10:15: Demoing oneConnect. Socially connected addressbook is pretty sweet. Come on, Microsoft, you need to get this sort of stuff done on WinMo.

10:12: OneConnect for the iPhone. A socially connected address book. Nice to see somebody at CTIA admit the iPhone exists, eh?

It works with Yahoo Messenger and can fall back to SMS-based Messenger, all integrated. pretty cool.

Post status to facebook, twitter, etc. "Pulse" like Friend Feed -- includes a bunch of social network feeds into a neat iPhone screen. Should be available in the App Store any minute now.

Sigh -- bring this to Windows Mobile, okay, because I think Yahoo Go is still a big disappointment.

10:11: It's too bad that Microsoft didn't take these guys over -- Ballmer gives a lot better speech than this. Yahoo's OneSearch powers AT&Ts MEdiaNet search now. They're going to launch a Today Screen Search Bar for Windows Mobile soon (it's on Nokia now).

Talking up Yahoo Go very briefly.

10:10: OneConnect and Yahoo Blueprint is on the agenda. Both appear to be ways for 3rd parties to use their Yahoo Go! platform. The stuff is cross-platform, so they hope folks will target it instead of targeting individual platforms.

10:08: Marco Boerries of Yahoo takes the stage. Whoa, he's low key.

10:06: The chat is over. Next up: Video introducing Yahoo Mobile.

10:06: Dobson: BlackBerry isn't open, but it has the best email experience in the mobile world (I beg to differ)... Making the point that closed can be good.

10:05: Do you want to put any device and any software on any network? Scattered applause (I whooped). "We need to be careful not to all run to the same side of the ship." Um... Talking about how people go to Verizon for support for their phone but don't go to their cable provider for support for their desktop computer.

10:04: Verizon/McAdams: We get another bite at the Apple with the release of LTE. (Wokka Wokka Wokka!)

10:01: Consumers rights to have unfettered, Open access to the web on mobile devices -- why not on T-Mobile (aka: I hate you T-Zones)? Dobson -- standard answer about how the experience sucks on a two inch screen. They'd rather make the mobile internet fit what consumers want. (Pah! Don't try to figure that out, T-Mo, it changes too quickly.)

9:58: McAdams wants to put cell radios in Thermostats, medical devices, airplane engines, etc. Plenty of opportunity to expand the industry -- hm, these embedded devices might actually be a great way to actually utilize Verizon's Open Initiative.

9:55: Why not use any phone on any network, eh? Dobson: well Europe has it. In the US we have CDMA vs. GSM. People who put a random, unlocked phone on a T-Mobile network don't have an optimal experience. Hm.. oh, he's referring to data and MMS setup, ok sure. (Well, the solution is to FIX THAT and MAKE IT EASIER, not to lock it down... it looks like Dobson might agree...)

9:54: Dan Hesse "there's such a thing as too much choice." 1 in 5 cell phones given as gifts last Christmas were returned.

9:52: What's up with the Open Initiative on Verizon? McAdam says we're seeing results of it now. (Tell that to VX6800 owners!). Showing off a random featurephone and a wireless router that you can plug a Verizon card into and it makes it into a WiFi network (meant for insurance agencies for emergency hotspots). That last is pretty cool.

9:50: Walled Garden or Wild West. Does the "wild west" hurt customers? Dobson says you need to have "stewardship and control." Dobson hating on municipal WiFi because of the security and variability of the network. "Walled Garden sits in the past" and that helps innovation explode. Talking about that balance. Ok, fine.

9:47: McAdam of Verizon (will this be rich?). Hm, "What the carrier thinks of open is irrelevant." Ok... "Opening up the doors and protecting the network [..] is the only thing we have to do." He's talking up their new open initiative. Put the risk on developers to place bets on new ideas.

9:45: Dobson of T-Mobile's turn. Most important piece is unleashing innovation. (Come on, Dobson, stick it to everybody else over Android and openness. Come on). for getting everything you need to develop apps for T-Mobile. Ah, here he mentions Google. But only in passing. Chicken.

Faster time-to-market, speeds and feeds, somehow that helps with openness. Ah, open source can speed up time to market. KK, we'll buy that.

GSM: Advantages and disadvantages of being open via SIM-swapping. Up to 30% of devices in NYC are on non-T-Mobile locked devices (!). Dobson says he wants to ensure 4G LTE has that same SIM-swapping ease.

9:42: Hesse starts is up as you'd expect: "Open is not regulation." Open applies in three cases: to the customer, to the developer, to the device. In the 3 and 4G world, there's less need for 'walled gardens' because data is faster. Hesse talks up full HTML browsing across all of Sprint's devices. Of course, he mentions the "Simply Everything" plan. Today Sprint launches "One Click" (hi Amazon, now is when you file the lawsuit). They're 'tiles' for shortcuts to "voicemail, email, text, google search, a website, etc." Gawsh, we hope he's talking about featurephones there, because we've managed that fine.

For developers, "Open means making it easy to put apps on the network." Yes please.

For devices (please stick it to Verizon...). Mentions that GSM has it easier to switch because of SIM cards (holla!), but at least Sprint allows for MVNOs (what?). He does mention that with WiMAX you can more easily 'bring your own device.'

9:40: Larget introduces the CEOs: T-Mobile's Robert Dobson, Sprint's Dan Hesse, and Verizon's Lowell McAdam. It looks like they're all going to share the stage and have a nice little coffee chat about Openness.

9:35: Video telling us how much wireless companies have done for us. Now Largent is talking about how wireless is rocking and rolling despite the fact that the economy as a whole hasn't been doing so hot.

Here comes the stats:

  • Data Revenue: 14.8 billion in the first 6 months of 2008. It's more than 20% of overall carrier revenues.
  • America has just pulled ahead of Western Europe in Mobile 3G adoption - that's a big shift. 28% percent of US consumers have a 3G device.
  • Text messaging is huge. 75 billion text messages every month. 160% increase over last June. 2.5 billion texts a day.
  • More fun stats at

9:30: Steve Largent, President and CEO of CTIA is up. Get ready for wireless stats. He's talking up how incredible the last year has been -- we fully agree, just think about how much awesome we've had. Ah, here comes the campaign to "influence legislators."

9:27: About to start. One thing I forgot to mention that we're expecting: plenty of political talk about how regulation of the Wireless Industry is evil and bad. He we go!

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