Архив метки: Windows Phones

What Will Microsoft And Nokia’s September 5 Press Conference Be About?

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PROBABLY NOKIA’S NEW WINDOWS PHONE 8 DEVICES.

But seriously, Microsoft very publicly revealed the future of its Windows Phone platform a few months back. At the time Nokia though, didn’t have much more to announce than some conciliatory apps for all the people whose Lumias wouldn’t work with Windows Phone 8.

Now it looks like Nokia and Microsoft are finally ready to talk hardware. The two companies jointly sent out invitations to a press conference in New York on September 5, and while the invite doesn’t provide much insight into the day’s proceedings, you don’t need to be a mind-reader to figure out it has something to do with Nokia’s new batch of Windows Phone 8… phones.

The multiple tile sizes in seen in the invitation are a clear sign that WP8 (or WP7.8) is involved, and it just so happens that Nokia World is also slated to kick off in majestic Helsinki that same day.

In case you were wondering, the last time Nokia World rolled around the Finnish company officially pulled back the curtains on its first two Windows Phones, the Lumias 710 and 800. What better opportunity is there for Nokia to reveal its swanky new handsets? Of course, neither Nokia or Microsoft has specifically said any of this, but the timing is just too perfect to be anything else. If I’m wrong, I’ll make and eat this ridiculous hat and document the whole damn process.


What Will Microsoft And Nokia’s September 5 Press Conference Be About?

Nokia Fixes Lumia 900 Data Woes Ahead Of Schedule With New Software Update

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Nokia certainly didn’t waste any time when it came to fixing that pesky data connection bug that popped up in a few first-run Lumia 900s. Just two days after Nokia acknowledged the issue and pledged to make things right, they’ve already made that critical update available to those in need. In case you were keeping track, that’s a full three days before Nokia promised to have the fix in the field.

Not too shabby, Nokia.

The cynic in me wants to say that the Finnish phone giant could have talked up the original date in order to give understandably upset customers a pleasant surprise, but all that really matters is that the update is out and the Lumia 900′s first crisis is over. If you haven’t already swapped out for handset for a less screwy one, all it takes to perform the update is plug it into your computer — if you’ve already got the Zune software (for PCs) or the Windows Phone 7 Connector (for Mac) installed, you’ll be prompted to update and that’s that.

Those of you on the fence about buying a Lumia 900 may as well bite the bullet now. Nokia’s rather awesome $100 bill credit will continue to run until the 21st and a little scouting around will ensure that you fiscally come out ahead. Perhaps more importantly, customers didn’t have to rely on AT&T for a fix, a trend that hopefully continues for any major updates that should come down the line. AT&T has proven themselves to be a little lax when it comes to pushing updates to Windows Phones, but with Nokia once again gunning for some American limelight, they may try and fill in any of those gaps themselves.


Nokia Fixes Lumia 900 Data Woes Ahead Of Schedule With New Software Update

Microsoft Still Fighting For Windows Phone Developer Love (And Buying It When Needed)

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Microsoft is pushing their Windows Phone platform like crazy these days — it recently debuted in China, and the flagship Nokia Windows Phone is due to hit U.S. shelves shortly with a huge marketing blitz in tow — but the company still has a little app problem to deal with.

More than a few developers still don’t see developing Windows Phone apps as a priority, and the New York Times reported yesterday that Microsoft is doing what they have to in order to change those minds. Among other things on their list of tactics, Microsoft has offered to fund process of bringing big-name apps to Windows Phone “where it makes sense.”

Microsoft is no stranger to this sort of thing — they’ve offered plenty of free Windows Phones to developers in the past in an effort to spark some interest in their still-growing platform. Hell, Microsoft has been offering financial support to developers since before the first Windows Phones were even released.

Among the parties who have taken up Microsoft on their generous offer is Ben Huh of Cheezburger Network fame (not to mention soon-to-be reality TV star), who told the Times that Microsoft “took care of everything” when it came to developing a lolcat-touting Windows Phone app. Foursquare jumped on the wagon too, with bizdev head Holger Luedorf mentioning that a Windows Phone app was low on their list of priorities until Microsoft offered to underwrite its development.

Despite Microsoft’s paradoxically small presence in the mobile space they’ve got a decent-sized checkbook to play with. I can’t blame Microsoft for trying to buy love from developers — right now, they’re just fighting to keep up with major releases that have already found their way to other platforms. If they want to stand any chance at gaining traction in this market, they’ve got to give their customers the impression that they’re not missing out on anything by taking a chance on Windows Phone.

Take the Angry Birds kerfuffle for example — Rovio CMO/Mighty Eagle Peter Vesterbacka ruffled more than a few feathers when he remarked that Angry Birds Space wouldn’t find a home on Windows Phone. Rovio followed up the next day with news that the franchise’s latest game would indeed make the WP transition, but writers and pundits had plenty of fun with the news while it lasted.

That’s exactly the sort of thing Microsoft needs to avoid, and it seems as though they’ll grease the palms they need to to keep it from becoming an issue. While those highly popular, big-name apps may keep consumers from regretting their choice of smartphone, Microsoft still has another issue to contend with: many of the apps to be found are awful.

You see, the news comes just a few days after the number of apps in the Windows Phone Marketplace tip-toed over 80,000 (that includes region-specific apps, your mileage may vary). It seems like it would be quite an achievement, and it gets them that much closer to the milestone, but sifting through the junk can be a hell of a thing. My former colleague (and my favorite Belgian) Robin Wauters has a great piece on The Next Web about how the Windows Phone app store is populated by questionable, derivative crap.

Make no mistake, Microsoft knows about these cr-apps. Last year, they had to cut down on the number of apps a developer would be able to submit to the Marketplace in a single day, from 20 down to 10. It was all in an effort to stem the hordes of spammy app submissions that would flood the Marketplace’s New section, which meant that actual good apps from honest developers may not get the shot they deserved. It’s an environment that doesn’t always seem very conducive to developers on the up-and-up.

And there will be plenty of those developers, if Microsoft has anything to say about it. The Wall Street Journal notes that Microsoft has put plenty of time and money into sponsoring over 850 developer sessions across the globe in 2011, which the Journal says is triple the number they held the year before.

Now, it’s awfully easy to rag on Microsoft and Windows Phone for its app troubles, but they’ve got a great opportunity here. The Windows Phone platform is the youngest of the major smartphone OS competitors, and while it isn’t as pervasive or as popular as iOS or Android, this sort of hands-on approach may end up paying off big time. It’s a fight that must be fought on multiple fronts — Microsoft should ideally be more stringent with submissions but keep the process smooth for well-reputed and promising developers, as well as making sure those big-name apps keep pouring in. Whether or not Microsoft’s machinations will make for a real three horse race remains to be seen, but you can bet that won’t keep the folks in Redmond from trying anyway.


Microsoft Still Fighting For Windows Phone Developer Love (And Buying It When Needed)

The Wild, Wild East: Windows Phone Makes Official Chinese Debut Today

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恭喜!Microsoft has officially launched Windows Phone in China today and while they deserve a pat on the back for making it happen, they’ve got a great wall to overcome if Windows Phone is going to be a real contender in the Chinese smartphone market.

As mentioned before, the first new Windows Phone to hit China is the HTC Eternity (or Triumph, or Titan, as it was previously known). According to Microsoft’s Windows Phone blog, the Eternity is being sold as an unlocked device complete with a “slew of popular Chinese apps” as well as a new simplified Chinese interface.

There’s plenty more hardware to come though, with Nokia on deck to launch a trio of Windows Phones on the mainland next week. Though specifics are still sparse at this point, the Nokia Lumia 719 is expected to be among them. The device was first spotted in the Bluetooth SIG’s almost a month ago, and a recently leaked image reveals a device that (to no one’s surprise) looks an awful lot like a 710 with a redesigned button layout. Local manufacturer ZTE will also be throwing its hat into the ring with devices like the budget-conscious Tango, which is expected to launch later this year.

While Microsoft and their hardware partners are working to make sure the launch is a success, it’s the long game Microsoft really has to worry about. According to PC World, Microsoft Greater China CEO Simon Leung confirmed to reporters that the company aims to take Google’s place atop the Chinese smartphone heap despite only accounting for only 2.8% of the market right now. To put that in perspective, Android was said to make up over 50% of the smartphone market in China last November, so Microsoft clearly has their work cut out for them.

Low-cost hardware is going to be a key driver for Windows Phone’s growth, and it seems like Leung is set on fighting Google on that front too. While flashier devices like the Eternity sport price tags in excess of ¥4,000 ($632), he says he hopes to bring prices for unlocked Windows Phone devices as low as ¥1,000 yuan ($158).


The Wild, Wild East: Windows Phone Makes Official Chinese Debut Today

LG Spectrum Review: Head-To-Head With The Nitro HD And Galaxy Nexus

Spectrum head to head

The LG Spectrum isn’t necessarily my favorite phone. It’s got pretty nice specs and a killer screen, but there’s something to be said about the way a phone draws you in from across the room. I don’t mean to get all romantic or dramatic about it, but it’s still true: appearance matters. Windows Phones have that engaging, compelling live tile interface. The iPhone has its stunning design and piano black shine. Motorola’s Razr has that crazy thin profile, and Samsung has the ultimate combo in the form of its Galaxy series: giant, gorgeous screens with beautiful design.

LG doesn’t really have that, and this is particularly apparent on the Spectrum. I’ve been spending the past few weeks with it (full review to follow), and despite the fact that it’s pretty slick, has a gorgeous display, and packs badass specs, I can’t get over the fact that it’s ugly.

But maybe you like the specs, and just want something that’s as similar as possible to the Spectrum. Or maybe you want the latest and greatest? Well, that’s why we put together this here infographic which pits the LG Spectrum against the Nitro HD and the Galaxy Nexus.

Here’s my two-cents: the Nitro HD has almost all the same specs, but better. By that, I mean that the back panel has this textured plastic to it, which actually makes for a more premium feel in the hand. Plus, the Nitro HD has dropped from its $250 price point to just $100 at AT&T.

Of course, not all of us are AT&T subs and so a Verizon option is necessary. Might I recommend the Galaxy Nexus, Android’s flagship and by far one of the coolest phones we’ve seen all year. It sports an even bigger 720p display at 4.65 inches and comes locked and loaded with the latest version of Android, Ice Cream Sandwich.

Or maybe you just want to check out how the LG Spectrum matches up against the competition.

Either way, we’re here for you:


LG Spectrum Review: Head-To-Head With The Nitro HD And Galaxy Nexus