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While none of us hip kids get to play with them just yet, Microsoft has gone ahead and flipped the switch on for those Xbox games for Windows Phone 7. Well, for two of them at least: 'Flowerz' and 'Hexic Rush'

It's basically a milestone for the company since this is the first time, as Michael Klucher tweets above, that achievements are being counted towards your Xbox gamer-tag.

Klucher also notes on his blog that this is still a test-phase:

I did want to let everyone know who might have access to these games through pre-release hardware that they should be considered test games and not early launch titles. You can and should expect that everything about the game is subject to change or be disabled at any time.

Finally, Paul Thurrott has also has a write up on this happening with some screenshots of the games in the Zune software and his achievements. Cool stuff and it means we're inching closer and closer to that big day.

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Microsoft has announced a couple of promotions within the company today. One of which directly impacts their Windows Phone 7 efforts.

Twenty-year Microsoft veteran Andy Lees has been promoted to President of the Mobile Communications Business. Lees has been at the center of Microsoft's efforts in developing Windows Phone 7 and will continue to oversee this development as well as other product developments for Microsoft's mobility efforts.

Along with Lees, Kurt DelBene was promoted to President of Microsoft's Office Division and Don Mattrick was promoted to President of Interactive Entertainment Business.

Congratulations goes out to all three and you can read the full press release from Microsoft here.

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Microsoft released Windows Live Essentials 2011 yesterday afternoon. While the Windows Live software package is focused on PC functionality and Windows 7 integration, there is a growing connection to Windows Phones.  Especially Windows Phone 7.

For those not familiar with Live Essentials, it is a series of tools and applications that range from Family Safety filters for the internet to Windows Live Mail.

Essentials also contains several connected services that we expect will integrate with your Windows Phone 7 device. These services include:

  • Windows Live Photo Gallery:  A photo management application that has the ability to share photos on your Skydrive, Flickr, and Facebook accounts.
  • Windows Live Movie Maker:  A video editor that has the ability to instantly publish movies to YouTube.
  • Windows Live Messenger:  While known for it's instant message ability, Messenger now allows you to stay in touch with friends on Facebook, LinkedIN and MySpace.
  • Windows Live Mail: An email application that keeps you in touch with your Hotmail and other email clients.
  • Windows Live Mesh:  Mesh will give you the ability to sync files across multiple devices and to your Skydrive making them accessible wherever you are.

How tightly integrated these connected services will be with Windows Phone 7 has yet to be seen.  We could easily see taking a photo and it's automatically uploaded to your Photo Gallery storage on Skydrive or create a Word Document on your PC and have it accessible through Mesh on your Windows Phone. While you can do all this now, everything will be native to the Windows Phone and third party apps or plug-ins won't be needed.

We have heard that Windows Messenger will be a part of Windows Phone 7 and cloud storage has been increased with Skydrive increasing from 2 gigabytes to 5 gigabytes.

The one feature that most will agree was the KIN's strongest feature was the KIN Studio. The KIN Studio offered online access to your phone's photos, videos, messages, contacts and social feeds. Many felt it was the one feature that should carry over to Windows Phone 7 and with the updates to Windows Live and the release of Essentials 2011 we may very well see this be WP7's Studio?

You can download your copy of Windows Live Essentials here and follow the break for some screen shots and observations on the update process and finished product.

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We are learning that AT&T will be the only game in town (carrier wise) for the Windows Phone 7 U.S. launch. The Wall Street Journal reports that AT&T will kick things off by announcing three Windows Phone 7 devices on October 11, 2010 and having them on the shelf on November 8, 2010. Confidence remains high that the HTC Mondrian, Samsung Cetus and LG Optimus 7 will be those three.

Not exactly ground breaking news but it is just one more confirmation of time table Windows Phone 7 is on. Our guess is that T-Mobile will get into the mix later this year and all indications still have CDMA phones surfacing some time next year.

This will put AT&T in an interesting situation. They have the iPhone, a strong Blackberry and Android presence, as well as a few Nokia and Palm phones in their smartphone line-up.  If our math is correct, when you add in the exclusive period to offer Windows Phone 7 AT&T will be the only U.S. carrier to offer all the smartphone systems under one roof.

It will be interesting to see how Windows Phone 7 will match up against the other systems but could AT&T's stacked deck hurt initial sales of Windows Phone 7?  

via: infosyncworld

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In preparation for Windows Phone 7, Microsoft is rolling out a beta-preview update for some Xbox users that features some new things including access to the Zune Marketplace, a re-designed UI and streaming video content (reported here earlier). The full preview contains: "ESPN on Xbox LIVE, Zune music, Netflix search, the new Xbox LIVE dashboard, and new updates to Zune video and Family Settings "

The new UI is very minimalist, having removed the next and previous "rows" from view and instead makes them just text when not highlighted. The effect is much cleaner looking now and truth be told, it's also much faster.

The Zune Marketplace allows you to buy or rent TV/movies in Standard or High Definition for various prices points ~200-300 points to rent ($3-4 roughly); ~800 points to buy (~$10).  Rentals are for 24 hours, whereas buying it allows you to stream or download (and later can sync to our devices with Windows Phone 7). The movie, TV and video selection id decent with content mostly geared to males aged 15-35).

Unfortunately, there doesn't seem to be a way to stream music or podcasts directly from your Zune account and it's not clear if that is something they are planning. But overall the update is looking quite nice and we're pleased..

We'll have more coverage and an HD video up, probably in the AM tomorrow (as soon as our video camera shows up). Ask any questions in comments and we'll try to answer. For now, you can check out some more snapshots of the new UI and Zune Marketplace after the break!

Update: Received some clarification via email "...with Zune Pass, our monthly music subscription service, you stream or download as many songs as you like from the Zune Marketplace and listen to them for as long as you hold your subscription – on your PC, Windows Phone, Xbox, or in any browser via zune.net".  Sweet!

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A lucky chap over at XDA got to take some nice pics of the HTC Spark (Mondrian). While of the keyboardless black-slab type, it sure looks nice and thin.

On board is also the HTC Hub, which for some reason people are under the impression wouldn't be there on launch (though we think it will be).

The device features 8GB of internal memory, which for our needs is about 8GB too short. Also on board is 576MB of RAM, 1GHz CPU, 3.8" screen, etc.

You'll need to register to see all of the photos (there'a quite a bit), but we selected the most interesting, which can be seen after the break.

[XDA Developers via Engadget]

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Samsung joins forces with Microsoft

Samsung has announced today an agreement to use Windows Phone 7 as a key component of the Samsung smartphone line-up. While this isn't exactly earth shattering news, it should dis-spell any lingering rumors that circulated back when Samsung said it was prioritizing Android.

In the press release Samsung's Mobile Division head in the UK and Ireland, Simon Stanford, stated, "“The addition of Windows Phone 7 devices to Samsung’s smartphone portfolio is a significant milestone. Samsung’s new Windows Phone 7 based smartphones will play a key role in reinforcing Samsung’s leadership in the smartphone market and commitment to providing a range of devices across a variety of platforms.”

Samsung did add that plans exist to launch several Windows Phone 7 devices this year in Europe, the U.S. and Asia. There were no mention of how many devices is considered "several" or what additional devices we may see.  So far we have seen the Samsung Cetus, i8700 and the mystery Focus. Maybe we'll see Samsung move into the other chasis styles (sliding and front facing keyboards) later this year.

via: Pocket-Lint, Samsung

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Windows Phone 7 YouTube Channel

Curious what new apps are waiting in the wings for Windows Phone 7? Well, Microsoft's Windows Phone Channel over at YouTube might satisfy some of your curiosities.

The Channel has a wide assortment of app previews and demos ranging from the Netflix Demo to a preview of the Windows Phone 7 game Paperball. You will also find short walk through videos for Windows Phone 7 features such as the Office Hub. 

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Police Scanner headed to Windows Phone 7

Police Scanner for Windows Phone 7, developed by Carmelo Milian (developer of PhotoWiz), is dialed in and ready for release. The application taps into Police and other emergency service feeds from various cities in the U.S. and abroad.

Based on the demo video, locations range from Los Angeles, California to Memphis, Tennessee to Manitoba, Canada. The application browses for feeds, pick country, then state, then get all feeds (a little over 2,000). You also have a handy "Ten Code" reference to make it easy to interpret what "10-09" or "10-20" means.

Police Scanner is an interesting application that brings a new twist to Windows Phone 7. It will be nice to see this one in action.

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PhotoWiz transitions to Windows Phone 7

The popular photography app, PhotoWiz, is making the transition to Windows Phone 7. The application is a quick reference guide for photography providing information on exposure, shutter speeds, depth of field calculations, as well as tips and tricks to improve your photography.  We liked the Windows Mobile version and based on the demo, the Windows Phone 7 version looks just as good.

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We've gotten the message: Chassis 1 specifications for Windows Phone 7 is "black slab" style--long 800x4800 devices with an optional slide out keyboard (with only the LG C900/GW910 using that option so far).

But little was known about Chassis 2, though speculation was always that it would be some type of front qwerty device because we knew 480x320 resolution support was coming.

In an interview with Silcon.com, Microsoft's ISV developer evangelist Paul Foster mention this specifically about the second design specifications:

WP7 devices will have one of two screen resolutions - either 800 x 480 for large touchscreen devices with the potential for slide-out Qwerty keyboards, or 480 x 320 for 'BlackBerry' style handsets that can incorporate a Qwerty on the front of the device. Microsoft expects the majority of WP7 devices to have the larger screen resolution at launch, with smaller resolution handsets coming later, said Foster.

Once again, this is not really that shocking and was to be expected (what else could you do with Chassis 2 or 3?), in fact if you go back to February 23rd at CNet, this was pretty much known back then:

Chassis 2-compliant phones will support real sliding keyboards plus touch, the podcasters claimed. They said these would be more Palm-Treo-like.

Sounds like the Dell Lightning, no? Which also explains why that won't be ready till 2011. Now we just have to figure out what Chassis 3 is...that's some real news.

[Silcon.com via WMPU]


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On Windows Phone 7 there are two types of games: Xbox LIVE supported and non-LIVE supported. The former requires more time, money and skills for getting approval and is typical reserved for the "bigger" game studios who can get access to Microsoft's LIVE network (higher standard); the latter anyone can write games for and sell/distribute through the Marketplace.

Therefore, it shouldn't come as a surprise that Xbox LIVE games, the ones that will be of high quality and leverage the full feature-set of WP7, will get listing priority on your device. 

This is according Michel Klucher (Lead Program Manger XNA Development Platform at Microsoft), who on his blog gave some details on this issue noting:

Games that do not use Xbox LIVE will be listed right below the Xbox LIVE enabled titles in your collection. All games can be pinned to the start menu just like any other content in Windows Phone 7.

While not a big deal, it seems this would push developers to go for the LIVE option if possible though it may make a few developers feel a little lower on the totem poll if they don't have the deep pockets, like the studios.

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LG's Optimus 7 (or E900) is being reported to have voice to text capabilities. This feature would allow users to convert voice into text for email, status updates and sms messaging.  No indications on whether or not this is a Microsoft feature, an LG feature or something lost in translation.  Regardless it sounds like an interesting feature.

The Korean Economic Daily spent some hands-on time with the Windows Phone 7 from LG and indicates the phone has a 3.8", 480x800 screen, a 1500mAh battery, 16gb of storage, and a 1ghz processor.

Another interesting feature mentioned in the review is the Optimus's ability to create panoramic pictures simply by panning the camera. Images are automatically stitched together.

The reports don't shed any light on when or where the Optimus 7 will land but the voice to text feature, if accurate, does give the LG phone a bit more appeal.

via: Engadget

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Hotmail gets new security features

The updates keep rolling in for Windows Live. This go around, Hotmail gets new security features.

The features include:

  • Hotmail detects if legitimate user accounts are compromised and treats them differently than accounts that spammers setup themselves to send spam, working with the user to help them recover their account.
  • New account proofs that identify which personal computers and Windows Phones are trusted to access your Hotmail accounts.
  • More secure proofs. Previously (and still on other services), users could add/remove proofs with just their password. Now, the ability to validate an existing proof is required to change them.
  • Closing back-doors the hijacker may try to leave open. When a compromised account is detected, it is locked to prevent further abuse, and vacation auto-reply messages and linked accounts are suspended.

Windows Live and Hotmail will become more popular as Windows Phone 7 devices begin hitting the shelves in October/November. The more widely used, the greater potential for security threats.

The features are designed to address malicious accounts and to keep hijackers out of legitimate accounts. If you feel your Hotmail account has been compromised or are having trouble accessing it, you can visit Windows Live's Account Recovery site to re-establish your account.

via: WindowsTeamBlog

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Going way back to April 2009, when the sky was the limit for Windows Mobile and 6.5 was our great hope, Toshiba was just ramping up their plans for devices. We had the monstrous (at the time) TG01 on the scene (though no U.S. 3G on board) and then came word of the TG02 and TG03.

While the TG02 eventually saw the light of day (for a refresh, see our hands on with video), the TG03 disappeared from the cosmos. Until today.

According to theunwired.net it looks like the TG03 has received that sweet Euro certification from the Global Certification Forum (GCF), clearing it for near-release status. It was signed off with quadband GSM/GPRS/EDGE as well as triband UMTS/HSDPA/HSUPA at 800/850/2100 MHz, so you know what that means...

The 2009 specs would still be solid for today, if they are unchanged: a 4.1 inch touchscreen, Snapdragon processor, a 5-megapixel camera, 5.1 (simulated) audio pumped out of two speakers, and "video box" mode to easily get video off the device. Then again, we'd find it difficult to believe that some of that wasn't upgraded in the last year and half.

But the million dollar question is: what OS? Unfortunately, we just don't know. While the original TG03 was a WM6.5 device, it makes sense with the timing that this would be Toshiba's push into WP7 territory--even if they're not named as a launch partner. Then again, that little damn droid bot has been stealing our thunder...

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Samsung GT-i8700 get GCF approval

While the Cetus may be the more visible Windows Phone 7 from Samsung, the GT-i8700 has recently received the Global Certification Forum's seal of approval.

No details on the phones specifications beyond it's radio bands. The i8700 supports GSM/GPRS/EDGE and UMTS/HSDPA/HSUPA at 900/1900/2100mhz.  This will make it a European release and possibly one of the phones headed to shelves in late October.

via: the::unwired

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Over at Windows Phone Secrets, Paul Thurrott tells us that the launch date for Windows Phone 7 is November 8th and notes that although Microsoft will have an event on October 11th in New York City, that's not the launch date for our new OS.

First some clarification is in order: we've never been under the impression (and we doubt you have been as well) that on October 11th, you would be able to actually buy one of the three Windows Phones from AT&T. We've always assumed that Microsoft and partners (OEM and carriers) will show off their wares on that day and then weeks later after an aggressive advertising campaign, actually make them available. With less than 2 weeks to go, we certainly would have seen some shipments of phones move by now (and more leaks) if otherwise.

Basically we're looking, as we've said numerous times before, for a repeat of last year's timeline with the Windows Mobile 6.5 launch, which was:

  1. Show off/announce phones from carriers and OEMs in NYC
  2. Talk release dates and ROM upgrades for a future dates
  3. Spend the news few weeks advertising & promoting 

Sure, the Microsoft Open House event on October 11th is not all Windows Phone 7, in fact we expect Xbox, Windows 7, Ford Sync, etc. all to be demoed as well--like last year. But we're quite confident (and have to disagree with Thurrott here) that the NYC event is "...unrelated to Windows Phone".  We're betting that there will be some Windows Phone 7 devices on  hand and we have a feeling we'll be hearing from AT&T (and maybe T-Mobile) about that November 8th date at that time.



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We're pretty sure we've been saying this for months now, but reportedly Microsoft is getting ready to launch Windows Phone 7 in New York City on October 11th, at least according to Pocket-lint.

While the exact date has been up in the air, October and New York have been been assumed to be the time and place for the big launch--after all, it was exactly one year ago (October 6th, 2009) in New York City that Microsoft launched Windows Mobile 6.5 (see our earlier coverage of that, to relive some memories), so it makes sense for them to repeat that event.

Hey, we're in New York City...how convenient!

Microsoft has not yet named the date for their 'Open House' where they show off all sorts of new tech, including Xbox, Kinect (aka 'Project Natal'), Windows 7, etc. Last year was seriously a blast and very well done, so we're kind of hoping for a repeat.

Assuming the rumor is accurate, you can bet U.S. carriers will be on hand with their wares to show off (though not sell, that's probably weeks later). While AT&T is confirmed with their multiple devices, we're still waiting on the likes of Sprint and possible hold-out Verizon to see what they be bringin'. Sprint last year did surprise (and eventually underwhelm us) with the Samsung Intrepid, so perhaps they still have some WP7 gear under wraps?

Finally though, let's remember, this is still all unconfirmed rumor at this time, but a very plausible one. We'll keep you posted.

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Two AT&T ads have surfaced on YouTube featuring the HTC Mondrian. We've seen speculation that the Mondrian was headed to AT&T but nothing as strong as an advertisement.

AT&T has long been considered at the forefront of the Windows Phone 7 launch and could have as many as six devices in their Windows Phone 7 lineup. While the ads don't shed much light on when the Mondrian will be available, is it safe to say that with these ads the Mondrian will be one of the six?

Follow the break to see the second ad featuring the HTC Mondrian for AT&T.

via: pocket-lint.com

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Microsoft is scheduled to officially release Windows Phone 7 to the world on October 11, 2010 in New York City. According to the Spanish website elEconomista.es sources close to Microsoft are saying that, in Spain, the phones will be on store shelves ten days later on October 21, 2010.

Quoting the article, "Ten days later on October 21, the mobile will reach stores Spain MoviStar, Vodafone and Orange, hand already working these days in their respective campaigns launch. As it has know sources close to Microsoft, elEconomista (MSFT.NQ) ) the first manufacturers shall HTC, LG and Samsung. Later add Dell and Toshiba, among others."

Granted some things could have been lost in translation but this is in line with other rumors we've heard about October 21st.  It's also nice to see Dell and Toshiba still in the rumor mill with regards to Windows Phone 7 is concerned.

Considering Europe will get Windows Phone 7 on the 21st, the question now turns to whether or not WP7 will be release outside Europe on the same date?  Will the U.S. market see the phones on the 21st as well?  Or will the previous rumors hold true with Windows Phone 7 hitting the shelves in the U.S. in November?

via: Liveside

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