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Happy 1st Birthday Windows Phone 7

This week marks the week when Windows Phone was officially released in Europe last year. The platform has turned one and boy what a year it has been! We've gone through two updates since launch, NoDo and Mango, and the future looks bright with Nokia coming on board.

It's been a year, how do you think Windows Phone has done so far, and what are you looking forward to most next year? Happy Birthday Windows Phone. Feel like reliving some memories? Click here to see our coverage a year ago of the Windows phone 7 launch.

Thanks TheWeeBearUK for the image!

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This is an interesting report about the continuing rise of interest in Windows Phone. It's amusing to remember the skepticism earlier this year before and after the release of NoDo, yet the platform is still growing at a steady pace and Microsoft has big plans to include the platform with Windows 8 and Xbox to create a unified ecosystem.

Connected Intelligence has reported that Android is the most preferred OS among current smartphone owners and those who intend to purchase a new handset within the next 6 months. 44% of these owners and potential smartphone owners are considering Windows Phone as a credible option.

Check out the press release after the break. 

via: wmpu

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Samsung Focus v1.4 update now live

Title says it all. The Windows Phone Blog has just posted that the Focus (v1.4 only) is getting NoDo + Security fix as an update (7390 + 7392). So go and plug your phone into your computer now and head to Settings and "check for update" to get it sent on over to your phone.

No word on when the v1.3 Focus will get he 7392 "Security update".

As a side note, they go on to explain why occasionally you may a specific update for your phone, unrelated to the OS (the Focus for Mango has one recently)--these are basically fixes and improvements for your phone's hardware. They're nothing new, per se, as Roger's rolled one out, the Mozart has received one, etc.

"A few months back I explained that you may occasionally receive a notification of a hardware-specific update for your particular Windows Phone. These updates improve things like battery life, call clarity and touch responsiveness - to name a few examples. These updates are designed to make specific improvements. Not every phone around the world needs the same package of improvements. In some cases no update at all is needed. I wanted to remind you of this because some of you will start to see these types of updates soon, and I wanted you to have a little insight into what is included. It’s all part of keeping your Windows Phone in tip-top shape."

Sounds good to us and it sounds like some "updates" are on their way soon. (Thanks, Bryce and our forums admin Dave Blake, for the heads up)

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The update is almost here. I'm sure Focus owners have gone beyond pulling out their hair and have waited enough, but it seems as though you'll have to wait just a bit longer. AT&T are now testing updates for v1.4 Focus handsets so we should expect to hear more information sometime next week. Hopefully it wont be a continuous drag from here on out. To refresh, the Focus comes in two hardware variations, with the v1.4 having different memory modules on board, resulting in update headaches for Microsoft.

As always with any update news for the Focus device, users are expressing both anger towards and dissapointment in Samsung, Microsoft and AT&T over the delay that has been caused. Microsoft rolled out NoDo on March 22nd. Some four months later and we're almost there and it's been over two months since Microsoft explained the issue.

Source: Windows Team Blog 

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All updates are now heading to Telefonica customers, this includes both NoDo and the recent security update. Orange UK Omnia 7 devices are scheduling and updates should begin rolling out again soon. I would write that there's still no news regarding Focus handsets but I don't think any of you expected anything new on that front. Keep an eye on the Mcirosoft updates page to see the status of your carrier/device.

Oh and we should mention that this finally actually completes the NoDo update for all (save a few Focus owners, of course). So while it took three months to complete the full roll out for every device, it's still faster than Android, relatively speaking. Having said that, let us hope for a faster turn around with "Mango".

Source: Windows Phone Blog

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Rejoice Orange customer, updates (NoDo and the security fix) are heading your way. A million miles away from us, the LG Quantum on AT&T has joined HTC handsets and is now being scheduled so owners of this device should receive the 7392 notification soon.

As for the Samsung Focus, well, we still have hope right? Be sure to keep a watchful eye on the Microsoft update page or download the "Dude, where's my update" app.

Source: Windows Team Blog

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Mango vs iOS5 with features

In the aftermath of the "iOS5 has copied features from other platforms while they sue manufacturers for copying them" drama going around since this year's WWDC one has to look at the features in both iOS5 and upcoming Mango. 

For everyone who's in the loop with WP7 and how the OS is very young in comparison to Android and iOS, it seems rather odd that one of the older standing and more established platforms would copy WP7 after it has been continuously struck down for lacking too many features. My personal favorite is copy & paste. According to a select minority, we still don't have copy & paste. It's as if NoDo never came around (unfortunately for some this is still the case).

Windows Phone 7 Center have compiled a table comparing features between the iPhone, iPad and WP7 and it's interesting to note what WP7 has built in. To me this proves how iOS is simply a stand for apps, whereas WP7 is more integrated and offers a more complete solution without the use of apps for basic features. What I do find odd about iOS5 is the Twitter integration, where's Facebook? Surely if you're going to implement social media into your OS you'd also use the largest social networking website?

Check out the table after the break. 

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Microsoft has posted an update on the Windows Phone Update and you can add Telefonica in Spain to the list of Windows Phones on the verge of receiving the pre-Nodo, Nodo and Security Updates. Testing is done and the rollout should begin shortly.

Omnia 7 owners on Orange are also in line for the updates and scheduling should begin shortly as well.

In other news, Microsoft wants to assure Samsung Focus owners that they are continuing to work on the solution to get these updates to your phone. Eric Hautala, GM, Customer Experience Engineering states,

"We want to make sure you have a quality experience with the update. That is taking time, but we’re not resting until it’s done."

So.. the February Nodo has stretched to become a June Nodo for some. Let us just hope that a)Everyone is learning from this experience to make the Mango update flow with better efficiency and b) Nobody tags Mango with a month (e.g. the November Mango Update) which may likely jinx things and we won't see it until March 2012.

Remember, you can check your update status over at Microsoft's Windows Phone Update page or download the "Dude, Where's my Update" app here in the Marketplace.

Source: Windowsteamblog Thanks goes out to D-Bur for the tip!

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We've received word from readers that they are receiving the NoDo update for their Samsung Omnia 7 devices on T-Mobile UK and Deutsche Telekom. I can also confirm that Three have been rolling out updates to their Omnia 7 handsets, so we can only hope that this is the last of the problems Samsung device owners will encounter. Should you encounter problems when updating to 7392, be sure to check the Samsung patch.

Unfortunately, still no word on Focus handsets. We will -- of course -- notify you all as to when we receive any information. To some, the news of more manufacturers coming to the platform is music to the ears with the potential switch to avoid future mishaps.

Source: T-Mobile, Thanks @awicksey and mydefposse for the heads up!

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Samsung release Omnia 7 patch

Samsung has just come out with a new patch for their Omnia 7 product to make updating to 7392 (or NoDo) a reality without fail - or so it seems. We're (as of now) unsure whether the Focus will receive a similar patch from the manufacturer, but at least this is a sign of progress behind the closed doors. Also, Microsoft has not yet given word on when Samsung devices will begin to receive the May update.

Since this patch is for devices that have failed to update to the May security build, we would recommend that everyone who hasn't actually attempted to update in the first place not to use this patch unless the update to build 7392 failed with the error: 801812C1.

Source: Samsung,via: WMPU, Monsmartphone

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We've been covering the "Walshed" device situation where attempting to install the May security update failed for many users who used the work around to receive NoDo using the Chevronwp7.updater. A while back Chris posted on his blog that a fix was being approved by Microsoft. This tool has now been released and is available on his blog (link below).

Source: Chris Walsh

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The Windows Phone Blog just ran their weekly update, sharing the latest info in regards to phone updates and more.

While there wasn't too much to share, for those on Telstra, you'll be happy to know your NoDo and Security Update (7392) should be rolling out now, making you folks the tail end of the caboose. This was something we knew was close, after all we heard 11 days ago that it had been finalized and was just waiting to be rolled out.

Unfortuantely, for those with Samsung devices (Omnia 7's and limited amount of Focus devices), there's no news outside of some progress being made. According to Microsfot's  Eric Hautala:

I know some of you are eager for news on the Omnia 7 and Focus issues I discussed last week. We’re making progress, but I don’t have anything new to report just yet. As soon as I do, I’ll let you know.

Hopefully that will be resolved sooner than later.

Source: Windows Phone Blog

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Users around the globe are reporting, and we have confirmed, that the Windows Phone Marketplace is unavailable.  It's been hours now, and users from the US to the UK are unable to download apps or update apps that are already installed.  Early on it was believed that all users were affected equally, but many people are reporting that it only applies to NoDo phones (version 7930 and above).  The outage also appears to apply to Zune Pass.

Microsoft is aware of the issue but has yet to comment on it.  With all of the prior woes associated with NoDo, this is just what Microsoft doesn't need.  We will keep you posted as more information comes to light.

Hey, WPCentral users, what's happening amongst the rank and file?

Source: WinRumors Thanks Peter for the tip!

Update: It appears the Marketplace is back in action.  We just got a few update notifications that were processed without problem.  We aren't sure the Marketplace is up across the board but progress is being made to resolve the issue.

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Chevron have posted on their Twitter account that a fix from Chris Walsh is being validated by Microsoft to see to the problems that have arisen from unofficially updating handsets to NoDo.

We recently looked at how the Chevronwp7.updater has caused issues for many users attempting to receive the May security update, hopefully once this fix is approved by the Windows Phone team, we should see some positive results without having to re-flash devices.

In addition, there has been a new article posted on the Windows Phone developer blog. Brandon Watson explains why the unofficial tool may have a negative impact on Windows Phones by putting them in a changed state, as opposed to an updated state (if looking at the devices as state machines). 

When we test our update process, we test against a known state machine. Further, as a health protection mechanism, the phone will always try to recover from an error state (as in an incomplete update), and will begin doing things to solve for the fact that it is in an unknown state. This is the reason why phones started downloading OEM updates after forcing the update via this unofficial tool. It’s also the reason why people who used the unofficial tool to get to 7390 reported that their phones later updated to 7390 via the Zune PC software. The state machine looked more like pre-7390 than it did 7390. However, because of the existence of some of the 7390 bits on the phone, and the fact that the 7390 update process was not intended to run against this a priori unknown state machine, the result was an incomplete 7390 update. 

If you have a phone that was updated using this unofficial tool, and you attempt to update to 7392 from the Zune software, you will get the error code 80180048. Zune is the only official way to update the operating system on the phones.

So, good news for you guys who are experiencing the 80180048 error when attempting to receive the May security update. It should be noted that the Chevron team are working on this fix and are taking responsibility off their own backs, which deserves much appraisal. The Windows Phone team are busy working on Mango among other workings which the unsupported tool is not apart of.

Source: Chevron and Windows Phone blog

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Nodo OneNote Bug?

The Windows Phone Nodo Update may have created a image scaling bug with OneNote. Images look clean and crisp when viewed from a computer but after being synced to OneNote, the note becomes distorted, washed out and pixelated.

It was first suspected that the problem could be an optimization issue to save network traffic but when the notes were emailed and opened via computer, they looked fine.

To those who have updated their Windows Phone with NoDo, have you seen image scaling problems with OneNote? To test this, simply "print" any document or web page with text to your OneNote notebook that is synced to your Windows Phone. Sync and open the note on the phone and zoom in on the image. Are your results similar to what's displayed above?


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The Windows Phone Blog has been updated again to give details on a few lingering issues users may be facing, the HTC Surround NoDo update and Deutsche Telekom (which we covered yesterday).

For Omnia 7 issues regarding the NoDo update, Microsoft has this to say:

As some of you know, we recently halted delivery of updates to Samsung Omnia 7s after learning of a technical issue that required a new update software package. The new package is nearly ready, and we’re eager to resume updates to this model. Once I have a start date, I’ll let you know.

So a fix is in the works but you'll still have to stand by for a little while.

The other problem that has popped up is in regards to the Samsung Focus--though it seems much more rare. As it turns out, there are two hardware versions: REV1.3 and REV1.4. The latter, v1.4 has different memory modules on board (evidently due to high demand, Samsung had to switch components) and it's causing a minor conflict with the update:

To accommodate high demand for the Focus last year, two separate sources of flash memory components were required during manufacturing. Focus models are identical in all other ways. Most Focus owners are receiving our updates. But some customers with handsets containing the alternative memory component aren’t. We’re now working closely with Samsung and AT&T to test and deliver an update for this group. As soon as I have more specifics, I’ll let you know.

So that too, is in the works.

Finally, Microsoft talks about the 7392 update, which we reported earlier today. They stand by the fact that there's nothing to new to see here except for the SSL security updates. This is contra Chris Walsh who insists that there are a bunch of files on board that are post-7390. These files could represent some minor bug fixes or maybe they're just updated builds for whatever reason.

Of more interest is the fact that carriers can block this update, meaning some of us won't get the update till some off-in-the-future update: "If you’ve already installed the March update, you’ll receive 7392 as a standalone download or bundled with a future update."

The good news to take away though is Microsoft is successfully pushing out another update, seemingly on time too. Perhaps it's a sign of things to come?

Source: Windows Phone Blog; Microsoft Support Forum

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NoDo Update Hitting the HTC Surround

Good news Surround users!

Seems the time has come for you to receive the much anticipated NoDo update. Microsoft's Where's My Phone Update page has the Surround device set at "Delivering" and our own George Ponder is running through the process as we speak. 'bout time, eh? Have you all received the notification yet, or are you still at the edge of your seats?

Thanks goes out to everyone who tipped us on this!

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For those with the super sleek and snazzy HTC Mozart, we getting word that Deutsche Telekom has finally starting pushing the long sought NoDo update for that phone today. Originally scheduled for "end of April" we'll give a "close enough!" pass to DT here.

No more info at this time as far as firmware changes, but HTC almost always includes some under-the-hood changes e.g. the driver required for the hidden WiFi app.

No word on the Omnia's update getting pushed out but we think it's just a matter of time.  Anyone else can confirm their update in comments? Go ahead..

Thanks, Fisi_zubi, for the tip

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There have been a continuous stream of reports and complaints about failed updates (or no notification at all) since NoDo first began rolling out and now we've learn that the Windows Phone team have ceased the Samsung Omnia 7 NoDo roll out. From the image above, you can see a reader querying for any information regarding unbranded devices, however the answer provided by Michael Stroh (consumer writer for Microsoft) was rather generic and could either be all Omnia 7 handsets will not receive NoDo for now, or just unbranded. I would go with just unlocked since Three have successfully rolled out the update to their Omnia 7 army.

We suspect the issue will be fixed soon (which Michael stated) and the NoDo delivery promptly resumed. Have you been experiencing any issues with the Omnia 7 handset, specifically unbranded?

Source: Windows Team Blog, via: WMPU

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Although you wouldn't know it from Microsoft's update page, there's good news for those of you on Australia's Telstra network and who own an HTC 7 Mozart: your NoDo udate has been approved and is now in Microsoft's hands for distribution. "Early May" is given as a time-frame, so basically any day now.

Kudos to Telstra for having a more, shall we say, direct way of checking on their phone's update statuses--seems like a sane approach to what AT&T does i.e. silence. And although the HD7 NoDo update is still in testing, that too should be out in a few weeks.

Update: Strider Auz/Sheeds informs us that the only reason Telstra has that awesome update page is because he lead a campaign against them. Direct action, mon ami! See his site for more info.

Source: Telstra; via @Strider_Aus, @ChrisWalshie

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