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4 years ago

Tiered Data Plans might be a good thing after all.

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When AT&T changed their data plans and moved away from those pesky unlimited plans, some were upset while some looked forward to the savings. If you're not sure if tiered data plans are a good thing or bad, Fierce Wireless has stumbled upon research that shines a positive light on these plans.

The Nielson Company reviews more than 60,000 wireless bills each month and analyzes them line by line, including data usage. In looking at that information sampling over a one year period, the average data consumption increased from 90mb to 298mb. While the averages consumption increased dramatically, it was discovered that during the first quarter of 2009 more than a third of smartphone users consumed less than 1mb of data per month.  In 2010, this group dropped to a quarter of the smartphone users.  Could this mean that smartphone users are relying more on wifi for their data needs?

Other conclusions from the data usage numbers is that the top six percent of smartphone users consume half of all data and that most users in the Nielson sampling would have be better off with a tiered plan. 

In looking at the charts, about 70% of the smartphone users in the study could stay within AT&T's Dataplus Plan (200mb a month) and save $15 a month. About 99% of the users in the study could easily stay within the DataPro Plan (2gb a month) and save $5 a month.

So, for those who have gone to a tiered data plan, are you staying within your monthly data allocation and enjoying the savings?

[read: boygeniousreport.com]

 

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4 years ago

Office Mobile heading to other platforms?

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Microsoft has already sent BING to the iPhone and now it looks as if Office Mobile may be following suit. A recent Microsoft job posting for a Business Division Software Engineer reads, in part, "In addition to the current Windows Mobile 6.5 and upcoming WM7 clients, with the recently announced alliance between Microsoft and Nokia we are working to bring Office Mobile to hundreds of millions of Nokia smartphone owners, followed by other leading Smartphone platforms."

One can only assume that the "other leading smartphone platforms" would include the iPhone 4 or possibly Android phones. While expansion isn't necessarily a bad thing, one has to wonder if Microsoft should keep their focus in-house and get Windows Phone 7 finely tuned before branching outwards.  Then again, Microsoft is a huge company and having more than one pot on the stove shouldn't be an issue.

[read: wmpoweruser.com]

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4 years ago

Verizon reduces the prices of Microsoft's KIN

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While rumors of software updates for the Microsoft's KIN, Verizon is busy slashing prices on the Windows Phones.

The KIN One has been reduced to $29.99 (from $49.99) and the KIN Two's price has dropped from $99.99 to $49.99.  These prices reflect an online discount and requires the standard two-year commitment with Verizon.  The pricing also makes the KIN more competitive with similar Feature Phones.  All that is needed now is that software update to give the KIN a little more functionality and a lower priced data plan.

 

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4 years ago

AT&T Pure price cuts

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AT&T Pure price cuts

While the HTC Pure from AT&T hasn't been as successful as planned, it's still a very good Windows Phone.  And lately, it looks like you can pick one up for a steal of a price.

AT&T is offering refurbished Pure's for free (with the obligatory two-year contract) on their main website.  It's an AT&T web-exclusive and not available through retail stores.

For the AT&T Premiere Customers (available through many employers) you can pick one up for $39.99.  You'll need to hurry on this one because the sale ends tonight at midnight (PDT).  Oh...and the same sale has the Tilt2 going for $74.99.

While the new Windows Phone 7 is due out in a few months, these price cuts should help if you're looking for an inexpensive way to get into a Windows Mobile Phone.

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4 years ago

Marketplace Spotlight: Wordly

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4 years ago

KIN update in the works?

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KIN update in the works?

Microsoft's KIN appears to be scheduled for an update later this summer. ROM aficionado Conflipper picked up on chatter to suggest that updates will add twitter replies, the ability to re-tweet, and the ability to view more than three Facebook pictures. You may even see You Tube support in this update.

Could this be the spark that gets the KIN rolling? Or will it require a data package that fits the scaled down Windows Phone better? Mid-summer is just around the corner and we'll keep an eye out for more information on the potential upgrade. I wonder if Microsoft will remember the calendar app with this upgrade.

Read: Microsoft Answers

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4 years ago

Office Live Workspace to merge with Skydrive

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At the end of that Cannes Lions video, Kostas takes a photo and it is immediately uploaded to Windows Live SkyDrive. That ability is going to be key to Windows Phone 7 as well as anyone who uses Office Live Workspace. And combined with Sharepoint, you have some serious cloud computing going on.

In short, we just got word that Office Live Workspace will be combining with SkyDrive to offer that additional 25GB of storage space, as well as further integration with Hotmail and Messenger, allowing seamless manipulation of documents and photos.

The merger is scheduled to occur over the "next few months", no doubt in preparation for Windows Phone 7.

[Thanks, Mark W, for the tip!]

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4 years ago

Silverlight embedded in Mobile IE in Windows Phone 7? (Update: Probably not)

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Following up on that Cannes Lions video yesterday, Mobility Digest (and 'Stepehn' in our comments, natch) noticed that when Kostas loads up that Xbox website, the site contains embedded Silverlight material--specifically an HD video.

Now, Microsoft has repeatedly stated, even as little as one month ago, that Silverlight won't be embedded in Mobile IE in WP7, at least not initially  Seems odd for them to want to hide such a feature since promoting Silverlight web development would be in their interest. However, the Mobile IE team is working quite hard and perhaps they have been ahead of schedule in building on features?

But to play devil's advocate, we never actually see any Silverlight content load or play. Then again there must be some type of Silverlight recognition going, since we don't get a grey placeholder box or something similar, like when say the iPhone/iPad can't load Flash.

Right now we'll file this under plausible. But until we hear from the Mobile IE team, Microsoft themselves or see it in action, we're going to remain a wee bit skeptical as we don't want to get anyone's hopes up.

Update: Actually, as pointed out in comments and evidenced by the picture below, Silverlight is not embedded. What you get is a notification to download Silverlight (assuming its supported), which is mentioned in the video. The static-image is automatic and nothing unique as can be seen by the screenshot from my Android HTC EVO. So yeah, nothing to see here folks :-/

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4 years ago

WP7 demonstrated in HD at Cannes Lions; Marketing takes priority; Coming in October?

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Time for yet-another-video demonstration of Windows Phone 7, this time at the Cannes Lions advertising festival. What is nice about this video is the HD quality--seriously, it looks gorgeous. The other is for the first time, we get to see the Bing voice-search in action.

Dieter first noticed Bing voice-search waaaaay back in February, but at the time it was a no-go in terms of demonstrations. But now it looks like this function is finally enabled and working. While nothing completely radical, it's still nice to see. It clearly has the same sound-scheme as 'TellMe' which we haven't heard from since the anemic Samsung Intrepid. We're also still hoping that Microsoft's voice technology goes much, much deeper than just Bing search, ahem.

The thrust of the video is from an advertiser's perspective, so forgive the marketing parlance where you're treated as just a sponge-like consumer. All glory to the HypnoToast!

(If you get that joke and its temporal relativity, you're in the club)

The other noteworthy bit is this quote at the very begining:

I’m gonna ask rock star Kostas… to come on. And Kostas has brought with him Windows Phone 7, which we launch this October.

Well, Microsoft did launch Windows Mobile 6.5 last year in New York City in October. So yeah, we're going with that date and location, again, for the official launch of Windows Phone 7. We'll see you there.

Full video after the jump...

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4 years ago

Swype to be on 50 devices by 2011--any of those Windows Phone 7?

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Swype has had one heck of a year. First debuting on Windows Mobile, the popular soft-keyboard alternative has quickly grown to be a popular option on various HTC devices including the T-Mobile HD2. More recently, Swype has exploded on the Android scene quickly making an impression on that OS. In fact, 90% of Swype's business is currently on Android.

Now the developers of Swype are boasting to boost their current 'official' availability from 10 devices to a whopping 50 by the end of the year. Some of those will be tablet-type computers, but no plans for the iPhone.

Certainly not an impossible task but the one question we have is this: What about Windows Phone 7?

The question is really two-fold:

  1. Does WP7 even allow third-party keybaords?
  2. If so, does Swype have plans to roll out for our new OS?

Really this all hinges on question #1 and we have no indication if such an add-on will even be possible with Release 1 of WP7 as no one has yet asked--though we have and are hoping to find out soon...

[Reuters via AndroidCentral]

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4 years ago

iPhone 4 Day schadenfreude

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iPhone 4 Day schadenfreude

While we don't normally like to throw stones, especially at the competition which pretty much decimated our OS marketshare, who can resist pointing out some of the problems with the new iPhone 4? Sure, when mass-launching such a complicated device, issues are bound to pop up and no doubt 'quality control' is a tough thing--heck Microsoft lost a billion dollars on the Xbox RROD. Holla.

But here are the major ones for the iPhone 4, most of which can be expounded upon by our sister site TiPB.com:

  1. Reception: holding the phone in the wrong way absolutely kills voice/data reception, see video above and this Gizmodo post
  2. Yellow splotches on the screen, which may be temporary
  3. So-call Gorilla Glass is not so tough after all

Will Microsoft and its partners have the similar issues when launching this fall? Lets hope not.

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4 years ago

Zune Marketplace adds ability to buy songs, bypass 'Points'

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In a continuing effort to revamp and modernize the Zune Marketplace in anticipation of Windows Phone 7, Microsoft will now allow you to purchase songs with just a credit card. This is evidently the follow up to this story we did a few months ago, talking about the Xbox. This is especially useful when searching for an artist or song via Bing, where you can now be taken to the Zune Store to buy the song directly, similar to Amazon.com or iTunes.

While this sounds extremely obvious, up until now you had to buy into the "points" system of Microsoft, which like Xbox, would allow you to transfer those for songs. Yes, it is overly complex and at times leaves you with a useless 'balance' of points, requiring you to purchase more points in bulk.

Of course Zune Pass users won't notice any changes but for the soon to be throngs of users who are new to the Marketplace, it will be a big step. Yahoo News also notes these interesting figures in terms of marketshare: Zune is at 2.6 percent to iTunes’ 69.1 percent and AmazonMP3’s 7.6 percent.. Got a long way to go baby.

Anyone else really dig the ad-free lyrics service in Bing provided by LyricFind? We would still love to see this implemented directly on Windows Phone 7 and Zune HD.

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4 years ago

WP7: Social Networking Buttons & 'Nuke Your Office'

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Two parts to this story:

The first is about how social network buttons can be implemented in third-party applications in Windows Phone 7. This is something that Android and the iPhone do quite well--they allow you to share your media, scores, basically anything, with social-networking sites. The app can call up the API and it then allows you to send it via that app to a service like Twitter.

Silverlight developer Ian Walker shows how this can look when implemented in WP7. While the details of how this is done is of interest only to the developer, seeing what it'd be like is what most of us may be curious about. We just hope other developers to do the same.

The second part involves two Silverlight games (by the same Ian), both being ported to WP7. The first is 'Nuke Your Office' which combines Bing maps with, well, simulated mass annihilation. Sweet. The other is a puzzle game  Back to the one with nukes though, you can play it right now at work and vent your frustrations. Not sure how much-repeat value this will get, but if you're bored now, here ya go...

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4 years ago

Former Windows Mobile employee starts Apple-only dating site

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Awhile back, we made a big deal about Microsoft employee Mel Sampat--after all, that cool Star Trek-esque calendar in Windows Phone 7 was his thing, he also did the MS coding train-race and was most recently tied to the updated Twiikin-for-WP7. He seemed hip, geeky cool and well, he was a face besides Loke Uei's that we could identify.

And now he broke our heart. Leaving Microsoft is one thing, but building a dating site dedicated only for Apple users and fans?  Gag us with our HD2's.

Yes, turns out Mel is quite the Apple fan even owning an iPad. (Wait, yours truly owns an iPad too, but that's different). Anyways, we'll begrudgingly wish Mel the best of luck with his dating site and hope he still has plans to bring some of his unquestionable talent back to the Windows Phone 7 side (we need all the help we can get).

Read the full article here.

[Thanks, RobP, for the tip!]

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