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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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4 years ago

Wuvuzela: join the world & annoy every human around you

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In case you've been living under a rock, there's been a new phenomenon taking place at the World Cup, a tradition unknown to us, which is the vuvuzela horn. Need more? See this Discovery story on it and you'l be caught up.

The other annoying fad is replicating that aforementioned 'experience' on smartphones. The iPhone has 'em, Android has 'em and yes, now Windows Mobile.

JDB software has made a freeware app (like anyone would pay for this function) and it's actually pretty top notch. It works on all WM6.x touchscreen devices, all resolutions.

The UI design is very-much Windows Phone 7, which we like. You also get choices in the size of the horn and sound-type (traditional or euphoric) as well as skinning the horn with you're country's colors, 'cause nationalism is still very en vogue these days.

Probably the most, dare we say, fun part is the ability to play it by traditional screen-tapping or by blowing in the microphone. Okay, that's kinda cool.

Grab it here and apologize to your friends/family for us in advance.

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4 years ago

Another live video demonstration of Windows Phone 7

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Wish we could tell you that there was something new or amazing in this extensive look at Windows Phone 7 being demoed last night in New York City, but alas it's just more eye candy. InToMobile did a good job though and at least the video is top notch.

We do get to see some pink tiles (WP7--for her) and how they can be moved around as well as the general guided tour. We wonder if WP7 has a native picture editor in it, sort of like the one in Windows Mobile, you know to crop, resize and do some basic fixes--we're betting on no.

Anyways, watch the full video after the jump.

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4 years ago

T-Mobile due to disappear in 2011?

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T-Mobile is due to fold up it's tent by the end of 2011.  Or so says 24/7 Wall St.

The financial analysis website has compiled a listing of companies they see as not making it to 2012. Other companies joining T-Mobile on the list include Blockbuster, Reader's Digest, KIA Motors, and Radio Shack.

While we're not holding our breath on this prediction, the opinion is based in part because T-Mobile is the number four wireless provider and will face competitive challenges that will either force the company to merge or collapse. Profits have declined over the past year which will make it difficult for T-Mobile to develop. The analysis points out that "it (T-Mobile) has to begin to offer 4G service to compete with Sprint’s new WiMax service and LTE-based products from AT&T and Verizon." and T-Mobile is likely not to get either complete before the competition offers such service.

It is yet to be determined how many new customers took advantage of their recent "Mother of all Father's Day" sale where every phone was free (two year commitment required) and the company is rumored to get the new iPhone 4. On the Windows Phone front, T-Mobile has seen some success in offering the HTC HD2 and we still don't know what impact Windows Phone 7 will have on the market. So all may not be as bad as 24/7 Wall St. makes it out to be.

So, what do you think? Is T-Mobile's goose cooked?

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4 years ago

Bing + Zune = happiness

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Bing + Zune = happiness

For those who don't know, the Zune Marketplace went offline today and users were only given a few hours notice. As of this writing, they're still offline (6pm) and it could take all night before they're done.

But done doing what? That's the cryptic part here as there was no pre-announcement, but as ZDNet did some digging, they found out that Microsoft is arranging a marriage between Bing and Zune.

In fact, you can kind of see it working now. Go to Bing.com, search for your favorite band and you'll get a bunch of info on them plus songs which can be played (see the little 'play' button?). Of course it doesn't stream right now and instead you get the image to the right, but we think by late tonight it'll be a different story.

Nice to see Microsoft taking Zune to the next level and putting these two services together, it just makes sense. To what extent though these features overlap remains to be seen. It would be nice to have a Bing search launch my Zune software and add it directly to my Zune HD or, come November, my Xbox and Windows Phone 7.

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4 years ago

Google Voice: No invitation required

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Google Voice has been out for about a year now and up until today, you had to request an invitation to use this service. Today, Google has announced that Google Voice is open to the public.

It’s still only available to residents of the United States but offers you free call, SMS messages, voice mail transcripts, and having one number for all your phones. To get your Google Voice number simply log into voice.google.com with your Google account and follow the set-up wizard.

There is a slight charge for International Calls (here's the rate schedule) and while there's still not a Windows Phone mobile app for Google Voice (hopefully that will change), you can still access things through your mobile browser at google.com/voice/m .

[Read: Google Voice Blog]

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