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4 years ago

WMExperts Podcast Episode 98

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4 years ago

Microsoft shows off new tech: real-time translation and social networking 'Spindex'

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Microsoft is having a busy week at the Web 2.0 Expo and TechFest, showing off new UIs, developing technology and things we can hopefully look forward to actually using one day (Microsoft has a reputation of not delivering on some cool stuff, if you recall).

Of interest to mobile users is two fold. First is the ability for live language translation via some new software. The program combines speech recognition, machine translation, and text-to-speech technology into one package, allowing two users speaking different languages to converse in real-time. While occasionally making an error or two, overall the program does a pretty knock up job of acting like a real translator. Watch the video demo from CNet here.

While no time-frame or release schedule was mentioned, it looks to be integrated into Microsoft's Office Communicator, of which there is a mobile version. So hopefully we'll see some of this trickle into our WP7 devices sometime in the future.

The second venture by Microsoft is once again into social networking, but luckily for us they are not "inventing" another new service but rather a smart aggregator. Called 'Spindex' it will take in all your feeds from Facebook, Twitter, etc. and consolidate said streams into an easier read and used service. More interestingly, it does personalized "trending topics" and automatically prefetches articles related to said topics via Bing. It even takes advantage of the popular 'EverNote' (see review here): 

Make sense of your social overload, open your personalized Spindex page, and find out at a glance what topics are hot in your social world. You can also keep track of the things you are remembering via Evernote--right inside of your Spindex page. Spindex is not just a social reader--as you browse your friends' updates, Spindex continually suggests related content from Bing--giving you better insight into the topics and trends spinning around you.

Of course between Kin and Windows Phone 7, you can already see some of this social networking consolidation/ease of access in action. No doubt we'll see more of this as Spindex rolls out and works its way onto our devices.

[via CNet and PCWorld]

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4 years ago

HTC records record revenue

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HTC records record revenue

We pretty much new HTC was a major contender in the smartphone industry and now, they've got the revenue numbers to prove it.

HTC's revenues for April 2010 is being reported as NT$18.01 Billion ($571.9 million US Dollars), bringing revenue for 2010 up to NT$55.71 Billion (or $1.75 Billion US Dollars) for the year.  The 57.93% increase on the year is a record for the Taiwan-based company and puts them on an easy pace to top its second quarter revenue projection of NT$50 Billion.

HTC's success is being attributed to the company's aggressive marketing of new devices running both Windows Mobile and Android.

While life is good over at HTC, challenges are on the horizon. New phones are due to be released later this year from competing manufacturers such as Apple and RIM.  Plus there is still questions on when HTC will have a device to add to the Windows Phone 7 lineup. Speaking of Apple, HTC still has that pesky patent lawsuit lurking in the shadows.

Regardless of all the hurdles HTC is facing, if the success of the HTC HD2 is any indication on what the future will bring, things should stay brilliant for some time to come.

[read: Digitimes.com]

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4 years ago

HTC HD2: Takes a lickin' but keeps on tickin'

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Important safety tip, don't place your HTC HD2 on the roof of you car and drive off.

However, if you do, all might not be lost. The Talk Show host in the above video was loaned an HTC HD2 to review. He was distracted while leaving work and left the Windows Phone on top of his car. Once home, he realized what had happened, traced back his steps and found the HD2 lying face down in the road.

The HD2 didn't look pretty but the overall condition of the phone might surprise you.

[via: wmpoweruser.com]

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4 years ago

Nokia working on a Windows Phone? (Not holding our breath)

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So the rumor of the day is something about Nokia making a phone featuring Windows Phone 7. The source, Times Online, mentions this tidbit in passing in a general article about British tech companies stating:

Wolfson suffered a blow in 2008 after it lost a contract to supply components for the Apple iPod. However, some of the pain was lessened last year after it was selected by a leading mobile phone manufacturer — believed to be Nokia — to provide some of the technology for its new Windows Mobile handset.

Yeah, that's not really much to go on. Does anyone really think Nokia, who has been quite happy with the Symbian OS, would do such a thing? Then again, Palm did it a few years ago with some initial success. But there's an important difference: Palm was desperate (having lost control of Garnet), Nokia...not so much.

We should also mention that Microsoft and Nokia did just announce a partnership, with Nokia agreeing to distribute Microsoft's 'Communicator Mobile' a "...unified communications client connects directly with a company's communications systems for mobile collaboration". While certainly a great move for both companies, that really doesn't get us to "ZOMG, Nokia is making a Windows Phone!".

What we think: Microsoft and Nokia are certainly working closely together to dislodge RIM, but to suggest they are swingers with their OS's is a bit of stretch.

[Times Online & Nokia Experts]

 

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4 years ago

GPS Tab for Sense 2.5

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GPS Tab for Sense 2.5

Tabs seem to be popping up out of nowhere these days. You have a tabs for Facebook, Call History, Twitter, Documents, eReader, and now there's one for GPS.

XDA Developers Forum member xaoc747 has developed posted a GPS tab designed for Sense 2.5 and the HTC HD2. The tab defines your current position and object motion parameters for calculation between the current and previous points. It will record tracks in a Yandex map format along with an analysis of the tracks (distance, speeds, time, etc.).

In skimming over the discussion on this Sense 2.5 tab, there is no mention of it being compatible with any Windows Phone running Sense 2.5 other than the HD2. The Russian Developer has released a similar tab for the HTC Touch Diamond but there is no mention as to whether or not this tab will function on a Touch Pro 2 running Sense 2.5. There is some discussion that some of the settings menus are not translating from Russian to English as well.

If you're in an adventurous mood, you can find the full discussion on the custom tab as well as the download here. Keep in mind this is a home-grown modification that may or may not have bugs and is essentially in the Beta stages.

Correction: This mod was posted over at XDA by xaoc747.  The mod was actually developed by member, MoonNah.  

[read: wmpoweruser.com]

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4 years ago

Microsoft looking to swap WinCE for NT core? Project 'Menlo' gets outed, sorta

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File this under 'stuff we may not see for a long, long time, if ever'. In case you have not noticed, Microsoft has lots of "projects" that they work on that have 5 and 10 year outlooks on them. A lot go nowhere, others get folded into different programs and some are just for research-exploration in computing.

The latest one, via ZDNet is a Microsoft project called 'Menlo', which is headed by Galen Hunt, a fellow who also started MS's 'Singularity' project (which if you haven't read about, you should as it deals with a potential future OS rewrite). 

'Menlo' is reportedly an attempt to replace the current WinCE core of Windows Phone/Mobile/Zune with NT, the same core that Windows desktop is built around. However, two sources from Mary Jo (one anonymous, the other an analyst on Microsoft), are doubtful of the idea, noting that WinCE is not really a problem and and that MS is pushing developers into using Silverlight, not WinCE for writing programs.

Still, like a lot of research programs, 'Menlo' could just be an exploration of the feasibility of developing a more powerful and ubiquitous NT core for mobile than an actual 'go ahead' to do so. Mary Jo hints at how having a NT core would allow developers to easily port software from the huge Windows desktop world to the mobile one (phone and tablets) with very little effort--similar to the current XBox/Phone push with WP7.

Finally, like all things dealing with these MS projects, you may not hear about this again for years if ever. But it is fun to get a glimpse into Microsoft's thinking about "...the future of computing when mobiles becomes users primary PCs". A future which is certainly coming fast.

[via ZDNet]

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4 years ago

KIN Un-boxing

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KIN Un-boxing

It looks like the KIN has taken center stage today with regards to Windows Phone news.  Earlier today, Microsoft released pricing and confirmed availability.  We are now seeing a few un-boxing (or should I say un-tubing) videos surfacing for the KIN One (bottom sliding keyboard version).

Initial impressions are that the phone is small and probably feels better with the keyboard extended.  Speaking of the keyboard, it appears well spaced and with the clicking sound that is evident in the videos I would imagine the keys aren't soft to the touch.  The touch screen seems to be fairly responsive but a fingerprint magnet.

It's difficult to properly gauge this Windows Phone without having it in hand but based on the videos, the KIN's OS seems a little cramped.  Items seem to blend together with little separation.  Maybe it's the smaller screen or that I'm used to the larger Windows Mobile environment.  If we can get our hands on a review unit, we'll have a full review up to give you all the highs and lows of this new phone from Microsoft.

Following the break, you can see the initial set-up for the KIN. It has a comprehensive set-up that will import contacts, emails, and appointments from your Windows Live account or help you setup a Windows Live account.

[via: wmpoweruser.com and intomobile.com]

 

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4 years ago

KIN Pricing Announced

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KIN Pricing Announced

We've heard rumors that the new Microsoft Windows Phone, the KIN, would be available for pre-order on May 6, 2010 and in stores on May 13, 2010 through Verizon Wireless. Microsoft has now confirmed these dates and released pricing information on the two KINs.

The KIN One (bottom sliding keyboard) will be available for $49.99 after a $100 mail-in rebate and contractual discounts. The KIN Two (side sliding keyboard) will be available for $99.99 after the $100 mail-in rebate and contractual discounts.

The pricing is a little bit of a surprise in that the Touch Pro 2 from Verizon is running $79.99 (with discounts/rebates). Granted the KIN is focused for a slightly younger audience, one would think the pricing would be more competitive. You can find the full press release from Microsoft here.

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4 years ago

Windows Phone 7 reportedly running Windows CE 7

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The reports of Windows CE being dead are apparently highly exaggerated. Or so say's Olivier Bloch, Microsoft Embedded technical evangelist.

Bloch not only reports on his blog site that Microsoft will offer CE support for at least ten more years but also that Windows Phone 7 is based on Windows Embedded Compact 7 core (something many have already suspected). Beyond that, Bloch doesn't get into too much detail but promises, "Lots of good things are coming. Stay tuned."

It is anticipated that the Windows CE 7 will provide support for such features as dual core support, WiFi locating systems, and Bluetooth 2.1.  With this news, one has to wonder how closely related Windows Phone 7 will actually be to Windows Mobile.  It also may be an indication on what the future of Windows Mobile might be.

[via wmpoweruser]

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4 years ago

The HTC HD2: A dead end phone?

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The HTC HD2: A dead end phone?

We ran across an interesting review (with accompanying video) on the T-Mobile HD2 over at the Wall Street Journal's Personal Technology site. The review refers to the HD2 as a dead end phone because it runs Windows Mobile 6.5 (as opposed to the upcoming Windows Phone 7).

Agree or disagree with the review points, it does present an interesting question. Is the HD2 a dead end phone? Microsoft has repeatedly stated that Windows Mobile would continue to be developed but are you buying a phone with a severely limited life-span? Does Windows Mobile become obsolete when Windows Phone 7 hits the market?

My guess is that Windows Phones running Windows Mobile 6.5.xx will continue to have a strong following.  We just need to find a way to get the HD2 on a few other networks.

What's your thoughts?

[read: ptech.allthingsd.com]

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4 years ago

Short Take: SPE Mini-USB Car Charger w/USB Port

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4 years ago

Review: SPE Protective Case for Tilt 2 / Touch Pro 2

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Review: SPE Protective Case for Tilt 2 / Touch Pro 2

Hard shell cases have their advantages but when you carry a Windows Phone with a slide-out keyboard, such as the Touch Pro 2 or Tilt 2, the choices can be slim to none. Smartphone Experts offers their Protective Case that might just do the trick if you're a fan of hard shell cases.

The cases are offered in pink, smoke or clear. The sleek cases aren't for everyone and to see if the Protective Case is for you, follow the break.

Pros: 
Doesn't interfere with the phone's functions. Slim fit.
Cons: 
Snap tabs can be tricky.
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4 years ago

Review: Wizi

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Review: Wizi

Have you ever needed to send someone directions only to get them lost? Wizi SMS makes it easy to send friends, family and associates your location, a meeting place through tiny URL links that can be emailed or used via SMS.

To see more on Wizi, ease on past the break.

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