Monday, January 31, 2011

Nokia May Embrace Android, Windows Phone 7 Operating Systems

Nokia Corp., the world's largest maker of mobile phones that is struggling to maintain its market share, said that it would reveal a major smartphone strategy shift on February 11, 2011, during a conference for investors and financial analysts. Potentially, the company may announce plans to start making phones featuring Microsoft Corp.'s Windows Phone 7 or Google Android operating systems.

"Nokia faces some very significant challenges. The game has changed from a battle of devices to a war of ecosystems and competitive ecosystems are gaining momentum and share. The emergence of ecosystems represents the broad convergence of the mobility, computing and services industries.

How many Windows 7 phones have Microsoft really sold?


The new Microsoft Windows Phone 7 launch has not went according to plan, according to many analyst reports. Microsoft claim they have shipped 2 million units to carriers, but no one is delivering actual sales figures.

When Microsoft are questioned on their sales figures, they have spoken to the press and said that they never have made a habit of releasing comprehensive sales numbers for Windows Mobile, the previous platform to Windows Phone 7.

Shipments of Windows Phone 7 Topped Two Million in First Quarter

Windows Phone 7 Sees Moderate Success, Lags Behind Android

Partners of Microsoft Corp. shipped two million handsets based on Windows Phone 7 operating systems (OS) in Q4 2010, an executive from the company said in an interview. Even though sales of Windows Phone 7 (WP7) are clearly slower than those of Google Android, the company seems to be optimistic and claims that end-users like WP7 experience.

“We are still in the early stages. When people use this phone, they really, really like it,” said Greg Sullivan, a senior product manager said on Wednesday.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Deutsche Telekom: Windows Phone 7 sold excellently

Deutsche Telekom, the largest telecommunications company in Europe, has come out and voiced its thoughts on Windows Phone 7. The statements are in stark contrast to the negative comments made by LG last week.

Ingo Hofacker, Head of Consumer Marketing at Deutsche Telekom, told the Deutschland version of Yahoo News (via WMPoweruser) that Windows Phone 7 handsets sold by the company were in fact selling excellently. He said that the company was ahead of ahead of budget and that Microsoft was very pleased.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Halo: Nation coming to WP7?


Halo has been previously reported to be coming to the Windows Phone 7 platform, especially around the list of planned releases last year prior release of the OS. At CES, which we were able to cover, Steve Ballmer presented and discussed a number of games coming to the mobile platform. Among these were Fable: Coin Golf and PES 2011 along with many already-confirmed titles, but there was one mention that caught some attention – Halo: Nation.

Upcoming Xbox LIVE titles for WP7 revealed


Although we like the weekly Tues/Wed excitement of our 2-fer Xbox LIVE games (like today), sometimes it's nice to peek ahead. Evidently, the site Xbox 360 Achievements is able to pull down "Achievement" info, hence the data here.

We imagine these are games really close to being released which is why their data is flowing around a bit:

Deal or No Deal
Game Chest - Board Games
Centipede (Game Room)
I Dig It
Implode XL
Super Monkey Ball 2
Zombie Attack 2: Second Wave

Microsoft tracks down 'phantom data' bug in Windows Phone 7, points finger at unnamed third party


Tired of your Windows Phone 7 device sending and receiving random bouts of data? Well, Microsoft is, too -- and they've started to reach some conclusions from that investigation opened a few days ago. Apparently, there's a "third party" that's responsible for the misbehavior, and Redmond's already reached out to help 'em make the necessary fixes; the story isn't necessarily over, though, because they're still "investigating additional potential root causes," which we presume could involve the operating system itself. As for the third party, it seems a "small" number of customers are affected, which probably explains why it's taken this long for the complaints to come to a rolling boil.

Sony Ericsson Open Minded About Windows Phone 7


Sony Ericsson says that while they've released some smartphones running previous versions of Windows Phone in the past, they've taken the decision not to launch a Windows Phone 7 device in the first wave.

Steven Walker, head of global marketing at Sony Ericsson, also told Pocket-lint in an interview that the company "continues to engage in a relationship with Microsoft, but we haven’t made any concrete announcement about when and how we would introduce Windows phone 7 into the portfolio".

Windows Phone 7 Backup is More Like System Restore


You may have noticed some other sites reporting on how the upcoming update to Windows Phone 7 will bring a Backup & Restore feature. The feature is already part of the Zune client, and it's not what you might expect. The backup is really more of a system snapshot that's taken before and only before a system upgrade. There's no user-configurable or scheduled backup happening.

GeoHot shows interest in WP7, Microsoft offers him a device

Hacker George Hotz, also known as GeoHot, is known for helping crack the iPhone and for releasing the PlayStation 3 root key and custom firmware. Understandably, he is fed up with both Apple's and Sony's stances on jailbreaking (Apple wants to make jailbreaking illegal while Sony is suing GeoHot). According to his website though, he likes Microsoft's approach on homebrew and wants to try Windows Phone 7:

perhaps a more appropriate way to deal with jailbreakers
I'm going out to buy a Windows 7 phone

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Microsoft to disable Windows Phone 7 unlocking in first update

In the first update to Windows Phone 7, Microsoft is planning to block ChevronWP7, which allowed users to unlock any retail Windows Phone 7 device for application side-loading without having to pay $99 per year for a WP7 marketplace account. The update, which is slated for release this month, will also introduce copy and paste functionality, among other improvements.

"On a similar note, we're aware the ChevronWP7 unlocking tool is still being utilized since it has been discontinued," according to the ChevronWP7 team. "Although this has been subtly communicated before, we'd like to reiterate Microsoft has informed us the 'coding error' used in the ChevronWP7 unlocker will no longer work after the next Windows Phone 7 update (officially announced at CES 2011). We hope to provide an update after the discussions."

Microsoft: Windows Phone 7 Is Our Mobile Platform for Games

No Plans to Release Xbox Portable - Microsoft

Microsoft Corp. said in an interview that it still has no plans for a specially-designed mobile platform for video games. Instead, the company will concentrate on better Xbox Live experience on phones powered by Windows Phone 7 operating system (OS).

"This is our mobile platform for games. The same people who make the Halo game, the same development folks, work on this, this is our mobile console," said Kevin Unangst, senior global diretor of PC and mobile gaming at Microsoft, in an interview with Kotaku web-site.

Microsoft Revealing Internet Explorer Mobile Plans "Very Soon"


It seems all but certain that Microsoft will be bringing HTML5 to Windows Phone 7, but the question on our impatient mind is "when?". Internet Explorer 9 on the PC already has support for the internet standard, but it hasn't made the way over to Microsoft's mobile platform yet. It may not be much longer before we get our answer, as Microsoft has stated that it plans on discussing the evolution of its mobile browser in the near future.

Zune's Windows Phone 7 Promotional Video


The Zune team just posted a new video to their YouTube channel that shows off some of the features of the Zune integration on Windows Phone 7. It showcases the ability to stream or download new music anywhere using a Zune Pass, as well as the ability to sync videos and playlists from a PC. All the while you get to see the very nicely designed Windows Phone 7 user interface and gorgeous artist imagery.

TouchXperience Advanced Config Tool for WP7 Coming Today


If you've been holding out for a way to tweak your Windows Phone 7, today might be your lucky day. The developer of TouchXperience (the same folks to bring us Windows Phone Device Manager) is on the verge of releasing a tool that will allow for some customization of the Windows Phone 7 interface:

Halo not coming anytime soon to WP7, but may in the future


So for all of us that were hoping that Microsoft and Bungie were secretly working on a Halo-port, we can probably stop now, or at least diminish it a bit. According to CVG, Bungie put out a job request for a senior mobile application programmer to startup their mobile gaming entry to the market:

Two New Windows Phone 7 Xbox Live Titles Added


Two new Xbox Live titles -- Brain Challenge and Zombies!!! -- have appeared in the Windows Phone 7 Marketplace, both with release dates before Christmas 2010 but now available to purchase for your Microsoft powered smartphone.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Tribune's Mosaic app brings elegant media aggregation to Windows 7 tablets, soon to Windows Phone 7


Tribune is hardly the first media monolith to try something like this, but the more the merrier, right? And for once, a company's out to provide an elegant, useful news aggregator for a platform not named iOS. Mosaic is a fresh piece of software, designed to pull together news and information from all sorts of sources onto Windows 7-based tablets. At least, that's what we're guessing.

Microsoft video chat coming to Windows Phone?

I don’t believe Microsoft could have fit anything else into CES this year without the entire building expanding, providing the audience with insights into what’s coming and what’s to be expected. There were many key products announced while all things Windows Phone 7 left many slightly disappointed.

A Microsoft employee threw some comments about where the mobile platform may head from here on out. A feature that was discussed is an application sharing the same concept as FaceTime. However, the obvious observation being that no WP7 device currently has a front-facing camera. Could be a new feature for future WP7 devices, or a WP8 requirement? A front-facing camera for WP8 has been hinted at.

Windows Phone 7 using lots of 3G data while idle, even on WiFi?


Complaints seem to be growing among some users that Windows Phone 7 is consuming an abnormally plump quantity of data when you're not doing anything. Granted, there's lots of stuff on the platform that might need data continuously -- email accounts and live tiles, for example -- but folks are reporting consumption measuring in multiple megabytes per hour, which can add up pretty quickly: 2MB per hour over a month is nearly 1.5GB, which can be a bummer for anyone with a 2GB data plan.

LG offering free apps over at the Marketplace


If you own a LG Quantum, LG has updated it's Marketplace offerings with a handful of new, free, apps. There are ten apps in all and they include:

Microsoft suggests Windows Phone Live will get more Kin Studio-like features


Microsoft's Kin may have been a failure of spectacular proportions, but it did introduce a few interesting ideas -- namely, the Kin Studio web-backup service. Now it looks like Microsoft may be set to revive at least some elements of the service on Windows Phone 7. Speaking with the Seattle Times, Microsoft's Aaron Woodman said that the company has made "very, very small baby step with Windows Phone Live," and added that it's "definitely part of the road map to have enriched services that make the phone more meaningful, and the Web more meaningful.

First Look: Xbox Game Room

We mentioned the news of Game Room coming to Windows Phone 7 a few days ago and we were able to catch a demo of the games while at CES this week.

Game Room will bring classic, arcade style games to the Windows Phones. Initial titles will include Shao-Lin's Road, Asteroids, and Centipede with more to come. The games have been ported from the original and game play and controls seem to represent the original very good. Games will have shared leader board and achievements that will add to the appeal of these classic games.

Microsoft Says Sprint and Verizon Getting WP7 Before July


We know that CDMA-compatible Windows Phone 7 smartphones are being manufactured, but so far there hasn't been much indication as to just when carriers will start selling those models. It still leaves us with a big release window, but now we have some confirmation straight from Redmond that both Sprint and Verizon will have WP7 phones by June 30.

Microsoft shows off Home Server 'Vail' app for Windows Phone 7


Things may have been looking bleak for Microsoft's upcoming version of Windows Home Server, dubbed "Vail," when HP announced that it was dropping the OS in favor of WebOS last month, but Microsoft has now given it a boost of confidence that should put any rumors of its death to rest. The company is showing off an add-in for Vail that will let you manage alerts on your Windows Phone 7 phone, access media stored on your home server, and in turn send pictures stored on your phone to your server (but not other media, apparently).

Windows Phone 7 Cloud Security Cracked, But There's a Catch


A Windows Phone 7 security measure designed to perform real-time server authentication has indeed been bypassed, according to a person familiar with the situation, allowing cloud services like Xbox Live, Zune, and Marketplace to function on ported copies of the operating system, such as on an HTC HD2. However, since the method requires extracting what's known as a unique private key (PVK) from the device provisioning partition (DPP) of an actual WP7 handset, it is far from ready for widespread deployment.

Specifically, Microsoft has apparently employed a variation of Windows Genuine Advantage on the new platform, so we're told that its servers will only authorize three activations associated with a given PVK (four if you count the factory provisioning). Not only will further activation attempts fail to give those handsets cloud service access, but the initial devices using the now-blacklisted key actually lose their networked privileges as well -- including what was presumably the retail WP7 unit.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

HTC doubles profits, doing very well with Android and Windows Phone 7

To little surprise, HTC is still doing very well, fueled mostly by the exponential growth in Android but also those five Windows Phone 7 handsets. According to Bloomberg:

"Fourth-quarter net income climbed to NT$14.6 billion ($500 million) from NT$5.5 billion a year earlier, the Taoyuan, Taiwan-based company said in a statement today.

HTC’s fourth-quarter consolidated sales more than doubled to NT$104 billion, from NT$41 billion a year earlier, it said."

Flickr Coming To Windows Phone 7 On January 31


Flickr together with Microsoft have previewed the upcoming Windows Phone 7 version of the Flickr dedicated application with the occasion of the ongoing Consumer Electronics Show.

$99 Marketplace Rebate Extension for Windows Phone 7 [Developers]


For better or worse, if you want to develop for Windows Phone 7 and publish, you have to pay Microsoft $99 for the privilege. However, if you publish two games to the Marketplace, you can get that back in a rebate from big'ol MS. That rebate was set to expire...well soon (it was always a temporary offer). Well, both an extension and a firm date has been given: February 15th, 2011.

Microsoft Reveals Windows Phone 7 Update Features


Microsoft has started a dedicated website for Windows Phone 7 updates which are scheduled to hit devices soon. We know that the Copy/Paste update is close by as Microsoft reconfirmed it for early 2011.

Kindle For Windows Phone 7 Available In The Marketplace


The Kindle application for Windows Phone 7 is available, as of today, as a free download in the Marketplace for all those who want to start/continue reading on their new Windows Phone 7 devices.

Ilomilo Now Available For All Windows Phone 7 Devices


Microsoft's own Ilomilo game, previously only available as a bonus for AT&T Windows Phone 7 owners as part of the free Entertainment Pack, is now available for purchase to all Windows Phone 7 device owners.

Monday, January 3, 2011

New Samsung Omnia 7 ROMs Leaked; Omnia 8 Rumors Emerge


Two new ROM updates have been leaked for the Samsung Omnia 7 Windows Phone 7 handset -- namely I8700XENJK1 and I8700BSEJK1 -- and, while they are not containing Copy/Paste functionality, they bring some performance improvements according to reports.

NES emulator lands on Windows Phone 7, barred from the Marketplace


It's an important time in any young OS's life: NES emulation. Windows Phone 7 has just passed this important puberic milestone, thanks to the hard work of Matt Bettcher. Unfortunately, Microsoft doesn't seem to recognize the significance, and is keeping the emulator out of the Marketplace (as per its no-funny-business terms of service).

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Windows Phone 7 App DRM Cracked by One Developer in Six Hours


Apparently Microsoft "ironclad" piracy protections aren't really that strong

Thus far the Windows Phone 7 platform hasn't reportedly been suffering as severely from piracy as Apple's iOS or Google's Android. However, Microsoft may be in for a similar fate as its competitors.