What Happened to 50+ Xbox Live Games at Launch?

Back when Windows Phone 7 was a mass of rumors and conjecture, Microsoft got the Xbox Live ball rolling by announcing 50 Xbox Live games for Windows Phone 7. Now, two weeks after the launch, many people are wondering why we only see around 33 Xbox Live titles in the Marketplace.

First of all, the Microsoft announcement indicated that these games would be available at or shortly after the launch.

Today at Gamescom 2010, the world’s largest gaming conference underway in Cologne, Germany, Microsoft announced the first wave of video games that will be available for Windows Phone 7 at launch or shortly after.

Second, we’ve already seen some exciting titles show up that weren’t on the original list including Tetris and Need For Speed Unleashed from Electronic Arts.

The first 50 titles – a mix of new and familiar games that target both the casual and hardcore gamer – are just a sampling of what will ship this holiday…

The bottom line is that Microsoft isn’t doing anyone a disservice by releasing Xbox Live games a few at a time. Last week we saw Assassin’s Creed and The Oregon Trail; this week we have access to Butterfly and Women’s Murder Club. Hopefully it allows people like me to budget their game purchases instead of dropping a couple hundred dollars in the Marketplace at a single sitting. I also believe that this is a marketing decision, allowing Microsoft to bring attention to a couple of new things each week so they don’t get buried under the pile of games that were already released.

PowerPoint 2010 Broadcast to WP7

Microsoft’s PowerPoint is one of the most used applications in the business world (see our Office Hub review here). One of the newer features in PowerPoint is the ability to broadcast your presentation simultaneously to people in multiple locations. This facilitates conference calls and is of great use to businesses looking to enhance communication and maximize the use of available resources.

Hit the break for more details on what you need to make this work.

Windows Phone 7 on the HD2? Mostly "demo" of the OS due to MS security

A few days ago we broke the news about the Genuine Software checker for Windows Phone 7. To recap, the system would check the OS against the hardware using PVK (private keys)--if no match occurred, then the OS would be crippled (no cloud services).

Now DFT, the team behind the attempted Windows Phone 7-to-HD2 port, have come forward and said that indeed, this is the case. The result, as predicted, is that the OS is "mostly a demo" without the Live services but that "...it will be released soon, but don't expect anything from it - without Live services it's not really usable".

Looks like Microsoft has won this battle, for now. But it is still early in the game and perhaps someone will figure a way around the security.

Bottom line: if you were expecting a usable port to happen anytime soon for your HD2, you can stop hoping now.

Source: Twitter; via Pocketnow

Windows Phone 7 Companion Available Now

With the release of Windows Phone 7, there are a number of books on the topic making their way to store shelves. We’ll be doing a roundup/review in the next few weeks, but we wanted to call special attention to Windows Phone 7 Companion from Wiley. Author Matthew Miller is a friend of the SmartPhone Experts family of sites; in addition to being regularly featured on mobile technology heavyweights such as ZDNet’s Mobile Gadgeteer and the Mobile Tech Roundup podcast, Matt heads up the Nokia Experts blog.

Matt is doing a give-away on his Twitter feed (@palmsolo) over the next couple of days. If you don’t win a copy, be sure to pick one up from Wiley.

AT&T offering BOGO for Windows Phone 7 starting November 26th

In case you've been missing out on all of those deals of late, just in time for "Black Friday" comes a great offer from AT&T: buy any Windows Phone 7 device and get a second one for free.

Of course the usual fine print applies: $15 minimum data plan, $36 activation (which you can usually get waived), 2 year agreement, etc. But hey, for the family or couple who need new phones, seems like a great deal to us. Anyone else get the impression that Microsoft is doing the "Xbox strategy" by eating the cost of sales in an attempt to gain market share?

Source: Microsoft

TV's Hawaii Five-O focuses on WP7 camera + new AT&T commercial [Video]

In what is becoming a regular occurrence these days, Windows Phone 7 got some major screen time on tonight's Hawaii Five-O (CBS).

Dano basically sneaks into the "bad guy's" house and breaks out his LG Optimus 7 to snap some photos as evidence. He then "shares" them with his partner (who looks to be using an iPhone; cat fight anyone?). Overall, a nice demonstration of the WP7 camera system, even if it annoyingly resets your settings after each launch.

Bonus/Hey that's no coincidence: Microsoft and AT&T premiered their new commercial tonight which also features the camera function of WP7. How odd! (New commercial after the break).

Previous coverage of WP7 on TV: 'Castle', 'Bones', 'Hawaii Five-0' & 'The Vampire Diaries'; Thanks, Joe T., for the tip!

Confirmed: Samsung doubling down on Windows Phone 7, sidelines Android

We mentioned last week that Samsung was making Windows Phone 7 its number one OS, knocking Android down a notch and putting their own Bada OS in a distant third.

Now a graph, reportedly from Samsung themselves, seemingly confirms the earlier story that for 2011 Samsung will put Windows Phone on 63% of its smartphone releases. Android follows in a distant second with just 32% and Bada at a tiny 6%.

Samsung must see something special with Windows Phone 7 and evidently that "licensing cost" argument is blown out of the water. Free licenses alone won't win you OEM love, our little robot friend. Now if Sammy could just bring their Super AMOLED gear to the remaining carriers...

Source: iMobile.cn

Samsung going big with Windows Phone 7--double that of Android?

In a revealing, if not odd tid-bit out of AsiaOne News, Samsung seems pretty gung-ho about Windows Phone 7. What's interesting is how Samsung went from reportedly cold, to warm to now hot on Microsoft's mobile OS, even in the face of huge sales with Android.

The section of the long article, detailing smartphone growth in Asia and related companies (HTC, LG, Samsung, etc.), this was mentioned:

Next year, Samsung will introduce 15 to 20 new smart-phone models using Android, Windows, and Brada operating systems. For every 50 smart phones using Windows, it will make 24 using Android and five using Brada.

Certainly odd numbering there, though the interpretation for us is that Samsung will be making twice as many WP7 devices over Android. We already know that Sammy is a big player with Microsoft. Perhaps now we're seeing what that means.

Hey, if it means devices like the Samsung Focus (review), we're pretty psyched.

Source: AsiaOne News

Did Steve Ballmer just hint at a Windows Phone 7 tablet?

Ballmer and Co. at Microsoft have been pretty coy on the matter about adapting Windows Phone 7 for tablet use. While many of us see it as a no-brainer--it's fast, smooth, elegant, powerful, etc.--Microsoft has said in the past that it won't happen.

While we still don't expect it anytime soon (WP7 is still very early), Ballmer dropped an interesting tidbit in an Ars Technica interview. On the question of tablets and when they would happen, this exchanged occurred:

AT: How long am I going to wait... I don't want to ask you lots of stupid questions about tablets because I know you've been asked them before, so what I'm going to ask you is a very specific question: how long am I gonna have to wait to get a tablet that when I'm on-the-go has a nice touch- and finger-friendly interface, and when I sit down at my desk, I can add a keyboard and mouse and get a nice, full Windows experience. When is that going to come?

SB: I won't give you an answer, because it will all depend on what you want, and we're going to have various things coming at various times coming over the next months and years, and some things, I think you will see things that you will fall [in love with]—I know I'm seeing things that I'll fall in love with, and I know there will be more things that I desire.

The truth of the matter is, look at that device [my Lenovo X300]. It doesn't weigh anything, it just sits there, pretty nice, and very powerful, works pretty well, so you have to say, OK, what is the scenario that we're trying to optimize against? And you're gonna see some things that do a very nice job over the course of the next, let's call it year—you'll see some stuff now, you'll see some stuff after Christmas, you'll see some stuff as we get new Intel chips, you'll see some things as you move Windows Phone along—and which one you'll fall in love with, I can't predict.

Yup. Just 10 words long but 10 words that technically did not need to be there if Windows Phone was wasn't being considered for tablet use.

Dear Microsoft: Wait for WP7 to mature a bit, then just do it.

Source: Ars Technica; Image: Umang Dokey

Software Review (Windows Phone 7): Office Hub

Microsoft is one of the most diverse technology companies in the world. Search, Gaming, enterprise class Mail and Storage solutions, and of course Mobile; Microsoft is among the world leaders in all of these areas.

Microsoft Office is one of the most popular software suites ever. Word, Excel, and PowerPoint have been used by millions of people throughout the world. As such a popular set of tools, the Office products are also the de facto standard for document portability. Because of the sheer popularity of Office, even competing products are forced to offer as much support for Office documents as possible.

Windows Phone 7 is Microsoft’s attempt to put their best foot forward in the mobile market. But how does the Office Hub live up to the high standards that Microsoft has set for itself? Read the review for my opinion.

Very Usable, Syncs with SkyDrive and SharePoint
Not yet a full featured product, lack of Cut & Paste hurts

TV: Castle's Nathan Fillion digs Windows Phone 7 [Video]

Yup, another week another product placement for Windows Phone 7. It's almost getting ridiculous at this point probably since we're documenting every instance. But we imagine for public perception, this will go a long way...

Last night on the show 'Castle', Richard Castle (the super awesome Nathan Fillion) pulls out his LG device in what has to be one of the more obvious product demos on TV. Ever. But still, it was a cool demo of Bing voice search, something we haven't seen yet on these ubiquitous TV spots. We also went the extra mile this time, getting the video clip you see above (you're welcome!).

See previous WP7 product placements: 'Bones', 'Hawaii Five-0' & 'The Vampire Diaries'

--> (Image - 0)' author='Daniel Rubino' original='/sites/wpcentral.com/files/resource_images/castle1.png' height="181" width="400" /> --> (Image - 1)' author='Daniel Rubino' original='/sites/wpcentral.com/files/resource_images/castle2.png' height="189" width="400" />

Registry and File system access on HTC & Samsung devices: done

The other day, we mentioned about running native, unmanaged code on Winodows Phone 7. The achievement was illuminating since it showed that advanced "rooting" can take place on WP7and that modifying system software was feasible. A milestone, indeed.

A minor, but important, advancement was just accomplished by the same developer, Chris Walsh, who just tweeted that he has managed to get "registry and file system access" on an HTC and Samsung device, noting that the LG was next. This is good news because it shows that this type of work is device independent--something we would assume to be the case, but as the Samsung/LG tethering tricks show, sometimes there are device level differences after all.

Verizon's "excited", waiting on Microsoft for Windows Phone 7

A few months ago it seemed Verizon Wireless was giving the cold shoulder to Microsoft and their new OS, taking a "wait and see" approach.  However, things may have changed recently, possibly due to positive word-of-mouth that WP7 may have potential after all.

In a recent Tweet, the company suggested that they're just waiting on Microsoft to deliver the OS and that they're "excited" to offer the new platform to their customers. The waiting on Microsoft bit goes back to the unfinished work on porting the new OS to CDMA. We know Sprint is a big partner with Microsoft and that they're getting close to launching the much anticipated 7 Pro.

Will we see some WP7 action from Verizon sooner than later? It looks like we will.

Thanks, Joe C, for the catch!

Windows Phone 7 and OS updates: lots of speculation, little to go on

Lately, there has been a lot of talk about how updates will work on Windows Phone 7. Now there's talk about talk about talk in Ars Technica's latest article on the subject. Much of this we find amusing but not too illuminating. Still, we'll take a crack at why some of this is wrong and misguided.

The issue, we believe, starts from what Microsoft's Charlie Kindel said awhile back about WP7:

"We want everyone on the same version of the OS." He continued, "Updates will be available through the Zune desktop or over the air." Larger updates would be handled through the Zune software while minor updates would be handled OTA.

Recently however, Windows Phone Thoughts had an in-depth interview with Andrew Brown, Program Manager for Windows Phone Update who stated that OTA updates are now out of the picture.

Reason? Read more to find out why and why some of Ars Technica's arguments are either incorrect or unimportant.

Windows Phone 7 sales, the echo chamber and why it doesn't matter

Much like how technically the number of applications in the Marketplace doesn't really matter (though you can glean some info from it), how well Microsoft did or did not do on Monday,  in terms of raw sales, seems to be a moot a point in the long run. Unless of course you're looking to ask rhetorical questions for major publications. Such was the case yesterday where lots of headlines were phrased "Was the launch a bust?" "Did it underwhelm?" "Is it really a huge success?" etc.

Fact is, we don't know, they don't know and no one will know for awhile. This is understood by everyone. Citing anonymous sources who claim to know that "40,000" devices were sold was passed around as evidence, trumpeting headlines despite not knowing the authenticity of the claim. It's the equivalent of journalist trolling (the use of "?" is always a sure sign). Sure, there were very few lines if any. Sure it was a Monday (launches do better on Fridays) and we now know that stock was quite low (here and here), not even lasting the day at a lot of AT&T and T-Mobile stores (we heard reports of anywhere from 2 to 12 Samsung Focuses per retail outlet).

Did anyone really expect iPhone like masses to appear? No. The only thing to consider is that Microsoft is in this for the long run. This is day #1 of what will be a multi-year process. Two things to remember about Microsoft: they have lots of money and they are suborn when committed to entering a market. Lets revisit this six months from now where adoption rates will be better understood, where the OS has had a chance to build public awareness and real figures make their rounds, shall we? Yes, it's fun to speculate, but everyone in this business knows one day tells you very little e.g. the Palm Pre sold very well for Sprint its first day, fast forward one year and they're sold to HP.

But instead of going further, I could just refer you to Devindra Hardawar's piece at MobileBeat which does a much better job of making these points.

WPCentral Windows Phone 7 bargain watch

Here we'll try to keep a running log of all t great deals around the web for Windows Phone 7 devices. Turns out, there are a lot and they are changing often. Have a deal not listed? Send it in and we'll add it!


LG Quantum


HTC Surround




Samsung Focus


General Deals

Thanks for everyone who sent these in!

Palringo on a Windows Phone 7 port happening: "It's likely"

While we just heard about IM+ bringing over their instant messaging solution to Windows Phone 7, the other popular client, Palringo, is also likely to do the same.

No dates given and it doesn't sound like it is yet in active development, but when asked by @sedp on Twitter, they responded with "We'll see how the platform develops but it's likely". It's not a slam dunk answer, but we're confident we'll see them bringing some chattyness to WP7 sooner than later.

Source: Twitter; Thanks, Sed P, for the tip!

AT&T: no pre-orders for Windows Phone 7

In what has to be obvious by now, those listings on Amazon.com for AT&T's lineup won't be active till next week. How come? AT&T are not taking pre-orders for any Windows Phone 7 device.

It’ll be available in AT&T Corp stores and online @att.com/wireless, sold on a first come first serve basis on 11/8.

Reason? None given. Which means we can speculate that perhaps stock is low and they will on have on hand what they have in the stores. We hope that is not the case and that everyone here can get their phone on Monday or Tuesday without having to get a raincheck.

Anyone going to be at the store when it opens?

Source: AT&T Twitter; via: Windows Phone Secrets

Review: Windows Phone 7

About 24 months ago, Microsoft began to re-build it's mobile operating system and while there may be signs of Windows Mobile under the hood, you can barely see any resemblance from the working end of Windows Phone 7. With Windows Phone 7, you need to forget everything you know about Windows Phones.

After using Windows Phones based on Windows Mobile for years, it's tough to let go of the old while learning the new. For those familiar with Windows Mobile, I'm inclined to describe Windows Phone 7 as a peppier, streamlined version of Windows Mobile Standard. The OS is straight forward with minimal settings to tweak. It's a very fast OS and while there is a lot to Windows Phone 7, it doesn't take long to learn your way around it.

I've spent several days using the new mobile OS and ease on past the break to read my observations on Windows Phone 7.

New Windows Phone 7 ads appear for AT&T

As mentioned earlier, the last week of October would se the kick off of Microsoft and AT&Ts advertising campaign. Word is that "extended" ads were appearing before the films 'Hereafter' and 'Paranormal Activity 2', which opened this weekend.

Likewise, some TV & YouTube spots are now appearing, including the three after the break. All three are very short (15 second spots) and continue the theme of "we need a phone to save us from our phones", which some people like and others are 'meh' about. We fall into the former category as we think they're at least conversation starters, mildly shocking and certainly entertaining.

Still no word about T-Mobile ads as they get ready to launch their HD7 next Monday as well. Check the ads after the break, especially the "bedroom" one. Saucy.

Source: Windows Phone (Youtube); via PocketNow & Twitter (@windowsphone)