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4 years ago

Microsoft hands Windows Mobile licensing over to Bsquare

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We're about to get into some pretty heavy inside baseball here, so bear with us. Microsoft has given control of licensing and distribution of Windows Mobile to Bsquare and will no longer be handling things itself. From the presser:

Bsquare will begin supporting approximately 30 select Windows Mobile partners with licensing, technical support and go-to-market activities as their current direct agreements with Microsoft end. Bsquare will offer personalized account management and highly-responsive technical support to ensure these Windows Mobile OEMs are successful with current Windows Mobile products.

Why, you ask? Said Daren Mancini, general manager in the OEM division at Microsoft:

“As developers and OEMs expand the number of mobile applications, services and devices, Microsoft is taking a new approach to sell and support Windows Mobile to a broader base of both consumer- and enterprise-focused Windows Mobile customers. Bsquare is uniquely positioned to leverage its deep knowledge of the Windows Mobile operating system, ecosystem and marketplace and serve the broader base of customers with its consultative approach.”

Um, so, why, you ask, would Microsoft not want to handle the licensing of its own product? (And if there's anything Microsoft loves to do, it's license products.) Guesses are all over the map right now.

  • JKontherun opines that it could distance Microsoft from its partners enough to allow it to develop its own hardware. (Something Microsoft has repeatedly said it does not want to do, will not do, and we should all quit asking if it'll do it.)
  • IStartedSomething's Long Zheng offers that it could fuel competition and let Microsoft concentrate on the OS more. He also says that could be the reason for the recent (and very much supposed) crackdown on some of the latest cooked ROMs. Zheng also worries that this could cause even more delays in getting future versions of Windows Mobile (and updates) out the door.

As for us? We're on the fence. We're less worried about delays, given that we know Microsoft is at least thinking about over-the-air updates for its OS, and you wouldn't just hand over control Windows Mobile if you thought the new company would sit on it. So will this this a good thing? (And, like you, we're trying to suppress or feelings of "Can it get much worse?") Only one way to find out.

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4 years ago

Deal of the Day: SBSH Facade 2.0

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4 years ago

Review: Ecolife Element Top Case

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Review: Ecolife Element Top Case

Generally, I think that we are all looking for the same thing when considering a case for our Windows phone. How the case fits, how it looks, the protection and durability it offers are the keys to finding the perfect case. Often, though, there are several cases that meet all of those qualities. Cases that set themselves apart by offering unique features are often the best option when you are shopping for that perfect holder for your phone.

Ecolife is one of those companies that make its living being fundamentally different than the rest of the market. The Element top case for HTC’s Touch Pro 2 line is made of 100 percent recycled fabric. Now I don’t know anyone who intentionally chooses to do things that are harmful to the planet -- most people just don’t think about it as much as they should. If you’re stuck looking for the best case for your new phone, let me introduce you to an option that will keep your new investment safe, while also investing in the long-term health of the planet that we call home.

Get the full review after the jump.

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4 years ago

Windows Mobile User Interface Roundup

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Gone are the days Windows Mobile fans had to settle on the "stock" Today Screen. Third Party user interfaces have grown in popularity and capability over the past year to give you plenty of choices for your Windows phone. Choices that include SPB's Mobile Shell, Vito's Winterface.  Proprietary interfaces have also increased in popularity and capability such as HTC's Touchflo 3D and Samsung's Touchwiz. The variety isn't limited to Windows Mobile Professional and those who fancy Windows Mobile Standard have a few choices as well.

So, what's your favorite user interface? The Windows Mobile Today Screen has come along way and may very well be tops on many user's lists. Choose your favorite in our poll then ease on past the break to see some of the choices available for your Windows phone.

Which Windows Mobile User Interface do you prefer?(trends)
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4 years ago

HD2 Quick Start Guide, manual now available

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4 years ago

Tip: Change your system & TouchFLO 3D fonts in Windows Mobile 6.5

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Bored of your regular old system font for Windows Mobile 6.5 and TouchFLO 3D? We've covered changing system fonts before, but it turns out that WM6.5 changes it up a bit and the old ways don't work so well.

Fret not as MajorSarcasm has stepped up and cab'd up various system fonts that will also alter the fonts for TouchFlo 3D.  Just download the .cab for which font you like, disable TF3D (if using), install, restart device and re-enable TouchFlo.

Don't care for how it looks? Simply uninstall the cab and restart your phone again. Choices include Eras, Century Gothic, Jott, Helvetica (great film by the way), Droid, Lucida Handwriting, Comic Sans and 13 others.

We have to admit, these new fonts breathe new life into our phone (we're partial to Kabel, pictured) and there seems little risk, so give it a shot.

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4 years ago

Review: PointUI Home 2 Pro

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Review: PointUI Home 2 Pro

It seems like any weakness in the Windows Mobile platform is an area in which third party developers spend a lot of time trying to create software that will fill in the gaps. This makes sense for business reasons, who wants to buy an application that the platform already does a good job of handling?

One of the most maligned facets of Windows Mobile in the past years is the interface itself. Consequently, multiple developers have been applying their expertise to building a product that consumers will flock to in order to make their powerful devices more user friendly and customizable. HTC’s TouchFLO and SPB’s Mobile Shell are the two major players in this market, with other options available from the likes of Vito Technologies (Winterface), SHBT (MyHome), and PointUI.

The subject of this review, PointUI Home 2, began its development as a free application. As is fairly common a Pro version is now available for $19.95, offering an increased feature set for a premium price.

For the full review of PointUI Home 2 and all that it offers, hit the jump.

 

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4 years ago

Gratuitous HD2 video of the morning

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4 years ago

SPB Releases Mobile Shell 3.5.1 Beta

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SPB Releases Mobile Shell 3.5.1 Beta

SPB Software has released the beta version of Mobile Shell 3.5.1. The updated version of Mobile Shell 3.5 is designed to fix known bugs and, according to SPB, not designed to add additional "stand alone" features.

Some of the key fixes and changes in the Beta release include:

  • SPB Pocket Plus close button makes Shell unresponsive
  • Set Ringtone doesn't work for Contacts
  • 6.5: Theme shows incorrectly for Carousel and Tiles views
  • Agenda: One day is shown twice, 25 Oct date is the transition to "winter" time
  • 3D SMS viewer: First word disappears after enter
  • Twitter issues fixes
  • 3D SMS viewer: Picture is absent
  • 3D viewer: Date isn't shown for SMS and Email
  • Birthday widget doesn't update itself when contact info is changed
  • Task widget makes task sychronization with Outlook longer

SPB did tweak the weather widget to where you can now choose between displaying the forecast or current conditions in the weather widget. You still have orientation issues with some layout designs where the widgets get jumbled up when going from vertical to horizontal. I have not experienced the power drain some have reported in the forums concerning version 3.5 with the 3.5.1 Beta.

SPB Mobile Shell 3.5.1 Beta can be downloaded from the SPB Club website.

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4 years ago

Windows Mobile 6.5 available for Samsung Jack

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4 years ago

PointUI Home 2 Giveaway

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PointUI Home 2 Giveaway

Earlier today we reviewed the Windows Mobile user interface PointUI Home 2 Pro. Now we're giving it away. Actually, thanks to PointUI, we're giving it away three times over!

Just head over to the forums and post your thoughts on third party user interfaces. Tell us what you like and why; what you don't like and why; or what you would like to see in a Windows Mobile user interface.  If you could change one thing about Touchflo 3D, what would it be?  Is Mobile Shell too overwhelming?  Give us your thoughts and you might win a copy of PointUI Home 2 Pro.

We'll randomly draw three lucky winners for a copy of Home 2 Pro from posts made between now and Saturday, November 7, 2009 at 6:00 pm PST. Remember you've got to be registered  to post and good luck to everyone.

 

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4 years ago

Microsoft Courier interface detailed (but that still doesn't make it real)

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OK, so there's still no telling if Microsoft's rumored "Courier" project is real, or if it ever will see the light of day. But as a project, it's certainly gaining credibility with Gizmodo unearthing new details about how that slick interface works.

What's that have to do with Windows Mobile, you ask? Admittedly, not a whole lot. But it's another reason why we're expecting Windows Mobile 7 to not just be a new iteration of the operating system of yore. Also, tie it in with that mobile UI concept video we saw a while ago. (And if you want something more near-term, again, we'll point toward the Zune HD.) Even if the Courier never gets out of the concept stage, it shows that there are people thinking into the future. Now Microsoft has to let them loose.

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4 years ago

LG GM730F at the FCC, appears poised for an AT&T launch

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We still haven't seen too many Windows phones from LG in the United States, though that may soon start to change. The GM730F has made its way through the FCC and has all the guts it needs for an AT&T launch (meaning the 850/1900MHz 3G bands), as well as mentions of AT&T services in the manual. There's also Bluetooth, GPS and WiFi (naturally), a 5MP camera, touchscreen, optical trackpad and a 1000mAh battery. Check out the manual (pdf) for the full rundown on what's inside.

Want a better idea of what's in store? Check out Malatesta's hands-on with the GM730's counterpart, the GM750.

FCC via Phone Scoop

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4 years ago

Verizon raising early termination fee to $350

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If you're looking to break out of your contract with Verizon, better do it before next week, as the maximum penalty will be increased to $350. That goes down, of course, $10 for every month of the contract that you've already completed. Why the change in the early termination fee? A scam involving flipping BlackBerries for cash, prizes and small puppies, apparently. But, let's face it: If you're going to break a contract, chances are you're not going to care that much what it's gonna cost ya. [Boy Genius Report]

Have you ever ponied up for an early termination fee?(surveys)
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4 years ago

HTC HD2 officially coming to the U.S.

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When HTC CEO Peter Chou said last month that that the HD2 (aka the Leo) would be coming to the U.S. in early 2010, we weren't entirely sure whether to believe it. This is, after all, the guy who outted that the Touch Diamond 2 and Touch Pro 2 would receive updates to Windows Mobile 6.5 before Microsoft had even announced Windows Mobile 6.5. (Not that there ever was much doubt, but still ...)

Anyhoo, HTC today has made things officially official, if not still vague for us in the U.S. The HD2 is available now in Europe and Asia, and it "will be available with a major carrier in the US in early 2010." As for that major carrier? We're still leaning toward T-Mobile, or maybe Sprint. Full presser after the break.

Mobile Tech World via Engadget Mobile

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