Windows Phone News

Kickstarter is a great place for creative projects to get funding. It’s the largest crowdfunding platform on the web. Just today, it passed the one billion dollars mark in pledges across its user base. That’s $1,000,000,000 pledged by over 5.7 million people, with over half of that coming in the past year. We’ve covered a few projects on Kickstarter. One recent project we covered was the FreedomCase for your Surface. Here’s a cool project with an upcoming app for Windows Phone – Dash, the Wireless Smart Headphones.

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Microsoft is set to release Windows Phone 8.1 later this year, which will include Cortana  a personal assistant that will rival the likes of Siri and Google Now. The Verge has today published some screenshots, showing how Cortana will look on Windows Phone, replacing the built-in Bing search feature. There's some bad news for those who were expecting to see the animated character from the Halo universe.

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Google and Samsung have joined Chinese mobile phone manufacturers in expressing concerns to Chinese courts about Microsoft's purchase of Nokia. Redmond is set to absorb Nokia's phone business for 7.2 billion dollars, integrating the division responsible for Lumia, Asha and X device families. The reasons behind this move are fears that the deal will result in higher patent licensing costs.

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Windows Phone 8.1 is only a few weeks away. So with that, let’s jump onto the latest rumor floating around today, namely the one dealing with background images on the Start screen.

There was some confusion about this feature – codenamed ‘shadowbox’ by Microsoft –with people believing that it was the background of the Start screen that would be skinned. As we cautioned in original report, that was close but not exactly how it will be (our lede image was the clue).

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Last week a woman says she was attacked in a bar for wearing Google Glass. It took place in Molotov’s, a San Francisco bar in the Lower Haight district.  It’s an area where you’ll find a lot of young artists and post-college vagabonds idling about. Sarah Slocum was the victim and the incident a real-life manifestation of the comment section of a tech site.

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It's a bit of a catch-22: Acer's not interested in releasing new Windows Phone 8 devices unless the marketshare of Windows Phone rises, but manufacturers like Acer joining in are part of the equation for increasing Windows Phone's marketshare. But, alas, here we are, with Acer saying that they "are having conversations with Microsoft, and if they index Windows Phone to 10 to 15 percent, we are interested."

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The Nokia Lumia 630 (aka ‘Moneypenny’) is expected to be the follow up to the Lumia 620, but with some beefier specs. The reason? It will be one of the first Windows Phone 8.1 devices, so it will be getting a lot of attention.

Information about the device has now come forwarded from Nuoji it, a user on Baidu who leaked the information yesterday. In addition, a new, lower resolution product shot showing the Lumia 630, Lumia 1320 and Lumia 1520 all placed together has also been found.

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Big college hoops fan? Then you’re going to be pretty stoked that March Madness is right around the corner. Since you’re reading this on Windows Phone Central you’ll be even more stoked to know that an official NCAA March Madness Live app is coming to Windows Phone and Windows 8. Let’s make it rain.

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Last season, Major League Baseball fans on Windows Phone went half the season without an official app in the Windows Phone Store. It wasn’t until August that At Bat 13 came out, which, while disappointing, was better than nothing. Are we in for another round of déjà vu this year with an entire season of baseball slipping away before we see a new app out for Windows Phone? Nope. At Bat 14 is coming next month.

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Windows Phone 8.1 is an upcoming update from Microsoft for the mobile platform. The release itself is billed as a major improvement for Windows Phone owners, also addressing many complaints from consumers who have yet to pick up a device. Internet Explorer 11 is the next step for Microsoft's popular web browser, introducing numerous new features.

A video has been published with some hands-on footage of IE11 in action.

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Charging your Windows Phone is a thing of the past with certain Nokia Lumia smartphones. The ability to rest the handset on a cradle or stand makes it painless to give the device a few hours of charge before heading out. If you haven't yet bought a Qi wireless charger to go with a compatible Windows Phone, the Nokia DT-910 is available for just £33.95 on Amazon.

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GSMA today unveiled winners of the 19th Annual Global Mobile awards, held at this year's Mobile World Congress in Barcelona. The ceremony itself was hosted by British actor and comedian James Corden. It's news to us all as Nokia came away with multiple awards.

With the company announcing a new family of Android products, alongside a new plan of action to increase the adoption rate of Windows Phone, it's positive to see Nokia be named in the ceremony.

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Panasonic returns to the smartphone market with a new device running Windows Embedded 8 Handheld. The announcement comes from Mobile World Congress in Barcelona. We don’t cover Windows Embedded too much, because these are devices that are more oriented towards enterprise users. Plus it was only just last month that we first learned Panasonic was working with Microsoft to build a new handheld device for enterprise, the FZ-E1 is it. Specs and more info below.

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The latest figures from Kantar Worldpanel ComTech, for the past three months to January 2014, show Android almost snatching 70 percent market share across Europe. what's interesting to note from this report is Samsung's dominance of the market is starting to erode and Windows Phone has yet again been labeled as the fastest growing European mobile operating system.

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Microsoft is soon to seal the deal and acquire Nokia's hardware division, which will include Lumia, Asha and X family of mobile devices. During today's keynote, Nokia CEO Stephen Elop focused fairly heavily on Microsoft and its services. Skype, OneDrive, Outlook, Skype, OneDrive – you get the idea. But just how many times did Elop and co. talk about Microsoft during the presentation?

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