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Both great devices

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WPC

Everyone's favorite build-your-own furniture store IKEA has just announced a partnership to start integrating Qi charging for devices into some of its furniture. Starting in April 2015, IKEA will offer bedside tables, lamps and desks with Qi charging built in, meaning you won't need to drop any extra cables or charging bases to keep your phones topped up.

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Broadcom has announced a new wireless charging chip that aims to simplify wireless charging by combining all three current standards onto a single chip. The Wireless Power Consortium (WPC), the Power Matters Alliance (PMA), and the Alliance for Wireless Power (A4WP - of which Broadcom is a member) all have their own standards, though the PMA and A4WP have recently agreed to merge.

While the WPC's Qi standard has found its way into many products, it faces some challenges. For instance, though Nokia includes Qi charging in its phones, models bound for AT&T in the U.S. use the PMA standard, thanks to the carrier's partnership with the Alliance. This is set to change with Broadcom's new chip.

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Qi wireless charging is heavily supported with Windows Phone, especially since Nokia utilises the technology in most of its premium Lumia smartphones. Today, the Wireless Power Consortium announced that both Microsoft and Samsung Electro-Mechanics (a subsidy of Samsung) have joined the board.

This board drives Qi's adoption across mobile hardware and other technologies and the move for Microsoft makes sense as the company prepares to take Nokia's hardware division.

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The Wireless Power Consortium (WPC), a collaborative effort of more than 180 companies, is the brand behind the Qi wireless charging standard we've enjoyed on Nokia Lumia Windows Phones since the Lumia 920. Today, the consortium announced a new resonant wireless charging system, which will be demonstrated this week at CES.

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If you’re like us, you’ve spent a good chunk of the day updating your PCs, tablets and Ultrabooks to the brand spanking new (and spectacular) Windows 8.1 OS. If you did, pat yourself on the back because we have a small, but cool, bonus for you troopers: The Windows Phone Central Live Tile.

Sure, it’s not our official RT app, which is still in the works (you can bug Jay about it), but as runner up you can use the new Internet Explorer 11 “pin to start” feature, which will give you four Tile sizes: small, medium, large or wide. The tile is also Live, pulling directly from our site—think of it as another cool way to keep up to date on your favorite Windows Phone and Microsoft news.

The Tile will update every 30 minutes, giving you a peek at what’s new on the site!

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Microsoft’s Worldwide Partner Conference 2013 (abbreviated as WPC, not to be confused with Windows Phone Central) is currently going on at the spacious George R. Brown Convention Center in Houston, TX. The yearly event focuses on Microsoft’s IT and Enterprise business, allowing companies designated as Microsoft Partners to come together for learning, networking, and much more.

A few weeks back, we reported that Microsoft would be making its Surface Pro and RT tablets available to WPC 2013 attendees at drastically discounted prices. Well, never let it be said that we don’t follow through on our news stories. Your friendly neighborhood Games Editor stopped by the first two days of the event and put the discount offer to the test. Find out if I succeeded and see lots of photographs from the show after the break!

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Microsoft has announced that their Surface RT and Surface Pro tablets will be available at a discounted price for WPC attendees. The company’s annual World Partner conference will offer a Surface RT 64 GB with touch cover for $99 and a Surface Pro 128GB for $399.

Don’t get too excited though, a ticket to access all of WPC 2013 will cost you $2,000. The conference this year is hosted at the Toyota Center in Houston Texas from July 7th to July 11th. Over five hundred speakers will be present including Microsoft’s CEO, Steve Ballmer.

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