Windows Phone Summary of the Week: August 15-21, 2011

It's another Sunday, so what time is it? That's right folks, prepare yourselves for the Windows Phone Summary of the Week! This week we've been briefed with our weekly Mobile Nations, but no podcast unfortunately (although one was published not-so-long ago). But we have been blessed with episode 122 of the WPCentral podcast, featuring guest Travis Lowdermilk from the Windows Phone Dev Podcast.

Dave Blake has got the latest from our forums, while one of our readers, Dalton Carl, submitted an interview he managed to run with Levi Fussell who has developed a number of apps (apologies for the absence of WPCentral interviews due to a much-needed vocation). Check out the rest of our highlights from the week after the break. 

Let us kick off this summary with a reminder that we're giving away a Windows Phone handset, be sure to check out the post for more details (US only). AT&T are getting defensive surrounding their merger with T-Mobile (U.S.) where thousands of customers remain less than content. Verizon, on the other hand, are now offering a $100 trade-in offer for old mobile phones. Could this be perfect for upcoming "Mango" devices?

Google has been in the news recently with the purchase of Motorola. Some speculation has arose with this move being fuelled by the patents included. Motorola was previously in talks with Microsoft about potentially being interested in WP7 again should they receive Nokia-like treatment. This move by the search giant has had effect on the markets with Microsoft and Nokia stocks rising. How will this affect Android manufacturers?

Microsoft has been gearing up for Windows 8 with a recent job posting. We've previously covered Microsoft altering the Windows Phone logo to coloured squares, now Facebook seems to have received the makeover with "via Windows Phone" updates. Lookin' good! Quickly returning to Motorola, Google and Microsoft, a judge has ruled that Microsoft's Android expert can testify against Motorola.

Dilbert's Scott Adams has posted his conclusion for Brandon Watson's $1,000 bet, which came out to be fairly positive. We're not sure if Brandon will still donate the money to charity, but it's fantastic news for the platform as Scott now prefers WP7 over his iPhone 3GS and the Evo 3D. We're In is a new service over at Bing that is basically a friend finder.

Some big non-WP7 related news this week was HP announcing the shut down of WebOS. Our Tim Stiffler-Dean, better known for being over at PreCentral, published a superb article for WebOS users who may be looking at Windows Phone as an alternative should the OS continue down a path with an undecided future. 

Microsoft's marketing chief for Scandinavia, Peter Wissinger, has posted on Facebook that it's entirely up to the OEMs as to when the next generation of "Mango" devices will be released. While Scott Adams has enjoyed the WP7 experience, CNET's Molly Wood isn't blown away by the platform and has some pretty heavy criticism. Lastly in the headlines is Microsoft's granted patent for Metro UI.

There has been a tonne of gaming news this past week. While Tetris is dropping bricks as this week's Xbox live deal, there is no new Xbox Live game set for August 24th, which has sent our Paul Acevedo into a rage. IonBallEX is ready to download as a now upgraded Xbox Live title and is well worth the invested time, especially with added achievements.

Astro Flare, a fast-paced indie shooter, is in need of some test pilots (beta testers). Beards and Beaks Cave DLC is now available to download for 80 Microsoft Points and is the first title to feature downloadable content on the platform. New "Mango" Games Hub features were announced at Gamescon in Germany, these include downloadable content for titles (which we've seen demoed in Beards and Beaks) as well as Fast Async - improvements to multi-player mobile gaming.

Need some new games for your Windows Phone? How does fourteen new Xbox Live titles sound? We may not be receiving any this week but man this list looks exciting to say the least! Zeboyd Games have joined Indie developers in providing reasons as to why they're still shy of Windows Phone. With recent inide developers making Xbox Live status, perhaps they should jump the gun and take the gamble? 

A new video of the upcoming Xbox dashboard update has been uploaded showing Skype integrated and a mysterious "discoverable" setting. Could this be further connectivity with Windows 8 and Windows Phone? 

Onto software news. Some promising news for SkyDrive users (who wish to stream music and videos etc) with a free SkyDrive Player available in the Marketplace. It's still early days, but functionality is promising. Android's Bing app receives a visual boost of Metro UI and our Phil over at AndroidCentral approves.

Our Daniel Rubino takes a look at enabling Local Scout internationally in English-speaking countries in the dev-build of "Mango". Attention IM+ users, it's just been updated (v1.4) bringing with it faster loading/connecting and advanced push settings, including auto-responder/message forwarder. Remember the UCWeb Browser on WinMob? A Windows Phone 7 closed beta is to begin. It'll be interesting to see how this plays out.

The Fujitsu IS12T pricing has been revealed and is pretty steep, looks like this device wont be a cheaper option. Elbert Perez returns with more device names running his games. These handsets include the Acer M310, Nokia 800 and the HTC Omega. Speaking of HTC, the manufacturer is set to unleash some device goodness on 1st September at a public event. "Mango" handsets with Dr Dre Beats? Our George Ponder looks at the Dell Venue Pro fix for MMS issues.

Brandon Watson is now after Blake Griffin for the bet in preferring WP7 over a troubled platform choice. A Russian Windows Phone developer podcast has kicked off and is well worth the listen -- good to see other countries launching media broadcasting. For developers, we have Microsoft reaching out to WebOS and we have a free webinar on the 23rd and 24th of August.







Rich Edmonds
Senior Editor, PC Build

Rich Edmonds was formerly a Senior Editor of PC hardware at Windows Central, covering everything related to PC components and NAS. He's been involved in technology for more than a decade and knows a thing or two about the magic inside a PC chassis. You can follow him on Twitter at @RichEdmonds.