Yesterday, Nokia's CEO Stephen Elop sat down with Walt Mossberg at the D9 Conference to discuss everything from the fate of Symbian to the company's future with Windows Phone. While a good bit of the interview was a re-hash of what we already know and Elop voicing his support for Windows Phone, a few interesting tidbits did come out of the interview. Including a vague exchange on where Nokia's initial Windows Phone launch will take place
Elop commented on the key role developers are playing with the success of Windows Phones, reiterated the partnership goals with Microsoft, and again, refuted the rumors Microsoft was negotiating to buy Nokia. Elop also attributed Nokia's lack of presence in the U.S., in part, was due to the popularity of the flip phone. A form factor Nokia didn't see as important. But what might be the most interesting portion of the interview came when Elop was questioned on Nokia's Windows Phone launch.
Elop commented that Nokia is still scheduled to hit the market during the 4th Quarter, in time for the holidays. The interesting thing about this segment of the interview is that Elop wouldn't commit as to which markets will be involved.
When asked if this would be a Global launch, a U.S. launch or both, Elop replied, "A number of variables will control that."
When asked if the U.S. would be a part of the launch, Elop replied, "We are still working on what countries, in what order and variance will be involved."
When pressed further on this issue, Elop simply stated he wouldn't comment on any details before he was ready to comment on them. While very positively animated during the interview, this was the only time Elop seemed to get a little nervous.
Could Nokia give the U.S. Market the cold shoulder and continue to focus on the global markets with their Windows Phones? Or is it a case where the details on a U.S. launch aren't ironed out enough where Elop was comfortable enough to comment on things?
After the break, catch the video highlights of the interview.
Following up on a post from earlier today, where we make mention of Windows 8 and the inclusion of Metro, we have this nice tidbit from Microsoft regarding, well, Windows 8, and the inclusion of Metro. They have replaced the desktop with a start screen that should be familiar to anyone with a windows phone, and, well... The video demo says it all and we could type for hours, and not explain it well enough to do it justice.
Remember alt-tab? Yeah, just a swipe from the left to switch between apps.
The old start button/orb? Swipe from the right.
Remember Aero-snap? Well, look at Snap now. Re-sizable, and beautiful.
Remember the horrible old onscreen keyboard? Check out the new thumb board.
And underneath it all, the familiar trappings of Windows 7.
Windows Vista and 7 applications seem to be fully supported, if seeming a little out of place. We already know that legacy applications will not work on ARM processors without being recompiled, so I would expect a new version of Office to launch around the same time as Windows 8.
So, now we know how Windows tablets are going to look and act, and it gives us an interesting view of a possible future of Windows Phone. The tiles are incredibly flexible, and when we are able to utilize them on a larger screen, they should prove to be very useful tools.
It's not all roses, though, and people that were hesitant to make the switch to Vista or Windows 7 are in for a new shock. I am willing to bet that the Metro UI can be turned on and off, but imagine the first time your grandmother accidentally turns it on? And, more importantly, companies are always concerned about their workforce, and having to retrain when new versions of software come out. How will decision makers react to the new UI, and how will Microsoft sell it as a productivity enhancer, as opposed to just an awesome information layer? Remember the Mac Dashboard?
And, as a side note, when you are watching the video, watch on the right side of the screen for a wall, covered in censoring blur. Let us know what you think they are hiding in the comments. And follow the break to read Microsoft's full press on the Windows 8 preview.
If you happened to miss the Mango (7.5) VIP event last week (shame on you), a number of requested features were shown off in the presentation. Not all 500, which were promised by Steve Ballmer, but some 50-odd (give or take a few). While the ones shown were enough to maintain the hype and excitement for Mango, which is expected to produce a more complete OS, we have just found out that the Japanese Microsoft site had posted some screen captures on their homepage of features that were absent from the VIP event.
We have a few that LiveSide managed to pick up and take a look at, skip on past the break to check them out and remember to click the images on the right for a larger view.
We mentioned earlier that the LG Quantum ranked the best with respect to the smartphones with the lowest radiation emissions. On the heels of that report, we've learned the WHO has chimed in on the issue of whether or not cell phone radiation is dangerous or not. No, not the rock group the Who but the World Health Organization.
In a joint press released issued today with the International Agency for Research on Cancer, the WHO classifies radio frequency electromagnetic fields as possibly carcinogenic to humans. This tags the electromagnetic fields as a Group 2B carcinogen that also includes lead, DDT pesticides, and chloroform. They base this possibility on an increased risk for glioma, a malignant type of brain cancer associated with wireless phone use.
A more extensive report on the assessment by the WHO will be published in the July issue of The Lancet Oncology, but commenting on the findings, Dr. Jonathan Samet, chairman of the working group for this studying, states,:
"The conclusion means that there could be some risk, and therefore we need to keep a close watch for a link between cell phones and cancer risk."
Additionally, the Director of the IARC, Christopher Wild, commented:
"it is important that additional research be conducted into the long-term, heavy use of mobile phones. Pending the availability of such information, it is important to take pragmatic measures to reduce exposure such as hands?free devices or texting."
It is nice that there isn't a rush to judgement on this issue (keeping things termed as "potential" or "possible" risk) and that it is recognized that additional research is needed to determine what connection exists between serious health issues and cell phone use.
Again, by no means are we suggesting you should stop using your Windows Phone. But it never hurts to be informed on the equipment we use. After the break you can catch the full press release from the WHO.
Not so long ago, 1800PocketPC reported that the Marketplace ranking system which moves apps and games up and down within a category depending on popularity and rating was broken (probably Chuck Norris had his app declined at certification and decided to round-house kick the Marketplace). Everything now seems to be back to normal and rankings reflective of respective ratings.
The problem was most notable with Lunar Lander, released on 11th May, has a two and a half star rating and was frozen at 68th position, while newly released Hydro Thunder GO, which has a four star rating was stamped at 1277th position. While this may not affect big developers much in terms of reach, indie developers who don't have Live titles in the games category would have found this particularly worrying, especially since they already have problems with Live titles getting more coverage.
A member over at the XDA Developer forum, by the username hx4700Killer, has come up with a backup tool for your Windows Phone 7 device. It's a simple .Net program that allows users to backup their device via Zune and can be used for restoration when you use the "update" option.