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Tag Archives: Windows Phone 8

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  • Microsoft tests its own smartphone
    Posted on November 5, 2012 by ewilkinson

    There's no telling how a Microsoft-made smartphone would affect the company's dealings with hardware partners

     


    Right on the tails of a major week for Microsoft's Windows Phone 8, the Wall Street Journal (WSJ) reported that Microsoft may be developing a smartphone of its own to go with its new OS.


    The November 2 article, which cites "officials at some of Microsoft's parts suppliers, who declined to be named," says the company is running tests in Asia on their own smartphone, a device measuring between 4 and 5 inches.


    However, the article's sources say the company is still undecided as to whether the device in question will ever go into mass production. And, when asked about the phone by the WSJ last week, Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer declined to comment.


    Still, the possibility is intriguing. Should Microsoft come out with their own handset to accompany Windows Phone 8, it's anybody's guess how that would affect its partnership with hardware partners, like Samsung, HTC, and Nokia. After all, Apple certainly doesn't let competitors use its smartphone OS.


    And, if Microsoft really is planning to launch its own mobile device, it would be a complete 180 for them, after years of developing the software and leaving the design up to others.


    Even so, as Gizmodo points out, a Microsoft-made smartphone could be a thing of beauty:


    "Microsoft’s eye for design is keener than ever, and while WinPho is great, it’s yet to make the impressions it could. Or even should. A Microsoft phone could change that."


    But don't get carried away. Quoting an older article on its own site, Gizmodo cautioned:


    "Even if these reports turn out to be totally accurate — and that’s far from certain — this does not mean that Microsoft is close to actually making a phone you can buy. It doesn’t even mean it ever will. Just that it’s developing the hardware, and testing it. That’s it."




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  • The latest addition to the Lumia family, Nokia's Verizon-exclusive Lumia 822 arrives this month

     


    And we thought they'd never get back together...


    Verizon announced this week that, for the first time in three years, they'll be carrying a Nokia smartphone.


    The Nokia Lumia 822, a version of the Lumia 820 customized for Verizon, will start rolling out to Verizon subscribers this November, a press release announced. Though no release date has been publicized, a source told Engadget that it may be available by November 8, while BGR thinks it'll be out on November 12.


    With the announcement no doubt timed to coincide with all of Microsoft's recent events, the smartphone runs on WIndows Phone 8, and is available exlusively through Verizon.


    So how, exactly does the Lumia 820 stack up against other Lumia devices? Well, for one, it's curvier, and its camera pod and flash placement has the same lengthwise setup as the Lumia 920 and 810, "instead of the transverse layout found on the Lumia 820," writes Engadget.


    As for specs, the Lumia 822 packs a dual-core Snapdragon S4 processor, has 8 GB of internal storage, and 1 GB of RAM, though you can get models with up to 64 GB.


    Its 4.3" screen has a resolution of 800 x 400, and it's got an 8 megapixel camera as well as a 1.2 megapixel front-facing camera, and an exchangeable shell for wireless charging.


    It body seems pretty sturdy, which is no surprise for a Nokia phone, though some have called it a little thick. Still, says one TechCrunch reviewer, "If anything, the version I played with was even thicker than normal because someone had swapped the stock backplate with the wireless charging plate, but the end result was a device that was still very comfortable to hold."


    Available in white, black or grey, one of these bad boys will run fairly cheap – about $100 on a 2-year contract with Verizon.




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  • Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer says there have already been 4 million Windows 8 upgrades

     


    Microsoft put the finishing touches on a massive month this week, with the global launch of Windows Phone 8 Monday, and the Build developer conference Tuesday.


    The company already launched their extra-sized Surface Tablet earlier this month, as well as holding their Windows 8 event.


    But what most of us were really waiting for was windows Phone 8, and now it's here. Touted by the event's speakers as "the most personal smartphone operating system you can get," Microsoft began by highlighting the growing number of apps for Windows Phone, 120,000 and counting.


    However, speakers stressed that people, not apps, are the focus of the revamped OS, and called out Apple and Android for not doing enough to really change smartphones since they arrived on the scene.


    As such, Microsoft is banking a lot on one of Windows Phone 8's main features, "live apps." Live apps move like live tiles and update themselves, so that your phone becomes like your fingerprint, says Microsoft.



    "For example, the Facebook app updates the lock screen with your personal photos,"  explains WebProNews. "A number of app developers including Twitter, Zynga and Rovio are updating their apps to take advantage of live apps."


    That brings us to what TechCrunch says the "future of the Windows 8 platform," hinges on – the developers.


    Because the OS – nevermind the idea of live tiles – is so new, Microsoft's going to have to lure developers to it for it to really take off. At the moment, says TechCrunch, the number of new Windows 8 apps is "underwhelming," and that may explain the somewhat middling reviews Microsoft's Surface Tablet has received:


    "Most of the reviewers cited the lack of apps – and not the hardware itself – as one of the reasons they didn’t enjoy the experience."


    But as he took the stage to kick off the Build developer conference, Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer already had some positive news about the new OS' reception, saying that there have already been 4 million Windows 8 upgrades in just the few days since its launch. Hopefully some of those interested parties are developers.


    But as for regular users who want to get in on the new OS, Windows Phone 8 will be globally available by November across a number of devices, including the Nokia Lumia, and HTC and Samsung smartphones.




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  • Now that the launch of the Surface tablet is history and the Windows 8 hoopla will be behind them today, Microsoft is revving up for their next event: release of the new devices that will run on Windows Phone 8. Lucky for all of us, Microsoft will live stream the event to be held in San Francisco on Monday, October 29th. Get ready for a broadcast at 10am PST.


    Microsoft will also show off more Windows Phone 8 features like Xbox Music, new competition for Spotify and iTunes. “There are a whole series of…new capabilities and features that will come that we haven’t talked about and there’s integration with Windows 8 that we’ll demo closer to the date,” promises Greg Sullivan, Microsoft’s Windows Phone senior product manager.


    Both product manufacturers and wireless providers have been announcing they'll be showing off a range of Windows Phone 8 devices at the event. The lineup includes HTC’s Windows Phone 8X and 8S, Samsung’s ATIV S, Nokia’s Lumia 820 and 920, and Verizon’s exclusive Nokia Lumia 822 (aka the Atlas). There’s also an outside possibility that ZTE will be there with a Windows Phone 8 device, too.


    Hopefully Microsoft will be specific about shipment dates for Windows Phone 8 devices. So far, we've only heard that they will begin shipping in November.


    In the meantime, Microsoft is showing its new Windows 8 to the world today.




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  • Word has it that AT&T will take preorders for their Windows Phone 8 devices starting on October 21st. Microsoft’s official launch date for its new OS is October 29th, so AT&T and any of the other carriers won’t be letting them loose before then. According to The Verge, the Microsoft announcement will probably identify a market entry date for its devices in early November.


    AT&T will offer the HTC 8X, the Nokia Lumia 920 and the Lumia 820, as well as Samsung’s Ativ Smart PC and Asus’ Vivo Tab RT tablets, all equipped with Windows Phone 8. The Lumia 820 will be available from other carriers, such as T-Mobile, but the Lumia 920 will be exclusive to AT&T.


    AT&T plans to carry additional HTC smartphones that run on Windows Phone 8. The HTC One X+ and One VX would be available "in the coming months."


    Recent market share data shows that devices powered with Microsoft’s Windows Phone occupy just 3.5% of the smartphone market. Microsoft updated its mobile OS in June, adding support for multi-core processors, higher screen resolutions and near-field communication (NFC). Window Phone shares the same source code as Microsoft’s Windows 8 desktop OS. We’ll see where Microsoft takes that connection in the future.




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  • The bright and colorful Nokia Lumia 920 line is coming in November, but only to AT&T

     


    It's big, it's bright, it's beautiful, and it's coming in November – but only to AT&T?


    Nokia recently unveiled the Lumia 920 at a press event in New York last month. But as TechCrunch and many others reported today, the company just announced that its flagship Windows Phone 8 device would be coming exclusively to AT&T in November, along with the Lumia 820.


    TechCrunch seems to have anticipated this news, brushing it aside to focus instead on how great they think Nokia's new smartphone is:


    "The Lumia 920 has just about everything you could ask for in a smartphone, with a 4.5-inch 720p display, a 1.5GHz Snapdragon S4 processor, a relatively large 2,000mAh battery, and of course, the heady combination of Windows Phone 8 and Pureview imaging."


    But others, like Gizmodo, are taking issue with the Nokia's recent deal with AT&T, calling the exclusive "dumb" and citing 5 reasons why.


    According to Gizmodo, the deal is going to hurt Windows Phone 8, and that "the premier Windows Phone device of the year [...] should be made available to as many U.S. shoppers as possible."


    Captain Picard facepalms at Nokia's decision to give AT&T an exclusive

     


    Meanwhile, says Gizmodo, carrier exclusives in general almost never work, and that, in particular, the exclusive Nokia gave to AT&T for the Lumia 900 didn't work either. The argument here is that users don't change carriers just for a new smartphone.


    Another reason why Gizmodo is facepalming over the whole deal? They say that the Lumia 920's Qi wireless charging capabilities should be a major selling point, but that it's being downplayed by the fact that their device with Qi won't be widely available.


    What do you think? Is an AT&T exclusive on the Lumia 920 a good idea? Leave your opinion in the comments section.




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  • A Windows Phone 8 exclusive from Red Bull
    Posted on September 19, 2012 by kduggan


    Consumers haven’t yet weighed in on whether the Nokia Lumia will be some serious competition for Android phones (let alone Apple’s iPhone), but now that a Red Bull app is in the works, it looks like the Nokia/Microsoft partnership might get a nice boost.


    Red Bull just announced that it will release the World of Red Bull app exclusively in a Windows Phone 8 version for the Lumia and Nokia’s Series 40 debuting later this year. The Red Bull app lets you pull your favorite content, Red Bull athletes and stories into a customizable platform. The app, also known as “My Red Bull,” has a nice mapping feature for spontaneous meetups.


    This is a big deal because developers aren’t yet clamoring to create apps for Microsoft’s Windows Phone 8 OS. Since the Nokia phones that run on that OS haven’t caught on with consumers, developers are slow to do the app designing.


    Microsoft is trying to help the stalemate by paying developers to give some attention to Windows Phone 8-version apps. But they’ve got a huge mountain to climb. Apple’s App Store inventory totals more than 700,000 apps and Google Play has crossed the 600,000 mark for Android devices. Microsoft is the laggard at 100,000. Still, that’s a pretty good start for a brand new system on a limited number of devices.


    What do you think? Would a Red Bull app (and more like it to come) be enough incentive to consider switching to a Windows Phone 8 device?



    This post was posted in General, News and PR, Nokia and was tagged with Red Bull app, Windows Phone 8, Nokia Lumia

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