Microsoft's 2010 Rockstar Award winners received an unexpected surprise to go along with their trophy and prize check, a Windows Phone 7 developers device. The Rockstar Award is presented to a student team that developed the most compelling Windows Phone 7 application for the Imagine Cup 2010.
Team Beastware, Advanced Technologies Academy (a high school in Vegas) students Christian Hood and Eric Lo (ages 17 and 16 respectively), took the prize and are one of the first non-Microsoft developers to get Windows Phone 7 devices.
The winning app, Droid Assault, is a 2D XNA framework based game that uses the phone's accelerometer (simulated for the PC by using a Wii controller) for navigation and you fly through space shooting down enemy ships and dodging their bombs.
A total of 131 teams submitted apps for consideration and you can find a list of the runner's up here. Team Beastware plans on fine tuning Droid Assault and release in on the Windows Marketplace once Windows Phone 7 hits the market.
Oh and to make you even more jealous of the situation, we've heard that Microsoft is giving the Imagination Cup participants (about 400) complimentary Windows Phone 7 devices when they become available.
Follow the break to see a short interview of the winning team as well as a demo of the game.
File this under "old, but we missed it" and since s2gordon asked about them in comments yesterday, figured we'd answer...
We're going to leave this to you folks to determine if this list of officially supported audio and video codecs in Windows Phone 7 is a good thing/bad thing, since to be honest we're not aficionados in that area.
Our off-the-cuff first take? It's basic and expected. Nothing extraordinary.
First, Brandon Watson, Microsoft's Director of Developer Experience, fielded questions from various Windows Phone sites. And now Frank Prengel, Technical Evangelist for Windows Phone and Windows Embedded at Microsoft Germany, has opened up in a Q&A session hosted by TamsPPC- the Windows Phone Blog.
Prengel touched on how manufacturers can use the different chasis styles to differentiate their Windows Phone 7 devices from others and that Windows Phone 7 and Windows Mobile 6.5 will co-exist in the market for sometime.
Prengel also distinguishes the differences in WP7 and WinMo's priorities. He says, "Windows Mobile was traditionally designed primarily to replicate the desktop on a phone, putting the highest priority on manageability, flexibility and line of business applications. Windows Phone 7 actually follows a different approach. Here, the end user experience has absolute priority – usability, performance, stability are the most important design aspects."
As with Brandon Watson's Q&A, Prengel doesn't make any earth-shattering revelations about Windows Phone 7. He did close by saying that WP7 is bringing phones, desktop, web, and game consoles closer together connecting them through the various Microsoft cloud services--possibly referencing services like Skydrive, Xbox Live, Sharepoint, My Phone, Windows Live and who knows what else they haven't told us yet.
While the AT&T LG eXpo made an initial splash, mostly before it even came out, it sort of fizzled in the U.S. market, partially related to limited availability, partially limited to being overwhelmed by HTC's dominance.
Still, it's nice to know that LG hasn't forgotten about its small but dedicated user base, as they just released a new ROM update for the eXpo--v10G. While it does not deliver Windows Mobile 6.5.3 or any radical changes, it does offer some bug fixes, enhancements and other little bits noted by users:
Read/Receipt message delivery
Backup PIN usage when using the fingerprint scanner to secure the device
Removed MMS app; replaced w/ stock WM version
Better signal strength
Fingerprint scanner works better
People are reporting that overall it's a solid update, keeping the device running well on that 1GHz CPU. The LG Idles interface remains roughly the same and the OS doesn't seemed to have changed version numbers, but hey, at least it fixed a few things without creating any new problems, right?
T-Mobile's roadmap to the end of the year has leaked and it includes the HTC Schubert, a Windows Phone 7 device.
The slide (blurry as it may be) shows sixteen devices coming to T-Mobile by year's end including a bunch of Android devices and on November 17th, the HTC Schubert. Very little is known about the Schubert beyond it being identified as a WP7 device and rumors that it's headed to Telus (and now T-Mobile).
So, we've got rumors that the HTC Gold is headed to the U.K. in November, the Schubert headed to T-Mobile in November and the odd man out is AT&T who may receive a Windows Phone 7 device as early as late July. Throw in all the speculation of an October launch for WP7 and the next few months are shaping up to be very interesting.
If you're an AT&T customer and have experienced slower than normal data speeds, don't believe the rumors AT&T is about to cap data speeds. It's also not a result of customers excessively using the new iPhone 4. Instead, it's a software glitch.
Over the past few days AT&T customers have voiced concerns over plummeting data upload speeds and AT&T is reassuring customers this is not an attempt to place a cap on data speeds or any other conspiracy theories to undermine data usage. AT&T is even using Facebook and Twitter to help get the message out.
According to AT&T the problem is a software issue which AT&T and it's network partner, Alcatel-Lucent, has identified. The slowdown apparently is only effecting those with Laptop Connect or smartphone customers using 3G HSUPA-capable phones under certain conditions. The problem is only affecting about 2% of AT&T's wireless customers and is limited to markets with Alcatel-Lucent equipment.
AT&T is implementing a short-term fix that will provide normal 3G speeds to these areas while Alcatel-Lucent works on a long-term fix.
What is expected to be one of HTC's first Windows Phone 7 devices, the HTC Gold, has made an appearance on a leaked roadmap for the U.K. Market. Omio.com is reporting that the HTC Gold is due to hit the U.K. markets sometime in November of 2010.
The leaked U.K. roadmap is in line with previous reports from HTC that they will launch a Windows Phone 7 device by the end of 2010. Oddly, the Gold is the only Windows Phone 7 device on the leaked list.
The Gold joins the Monderian as HTC's leading candidates for the Windows Phone 7 market. We've seen signs that the Gold may be headed to Sprint while the Monderian may be headed to AT&T. Could their U.S. release coincide with the U.K. release? Or will the States get these phones first?
Actually, jokes on us as Microsoft hasn't updated that list since March 4th. C'mon guys...seriously?
Anyways, the real news here is that the Samsung Epix has finally received a proper WM6.5 ROM upgrade. So what if AT&T stopped selling the device months ago, all of those current owners will be pleased to get the update. But we do have to shame AT&T and Samsung here a bit: nine months post-WM6.5 is just a wee bit too little, too late, fellas. Start the Samsung super-complicated WM6.5. update here.
[Thanks, badcat160, for the tip & Wireless_Guru for the pic!]
While we're pretty excited to see Bing and Zune get front and center on Windows Phone 7, we're still hoping that Microsoft hasn't forgotten WM6.x and will update their Bing software soon, you know for the rest of us. If and when it comes, you can bet the above feature set should be included.
When Microsoft pulled back the curtain on Windows Phone 7 earlier this year at the 2010 Mobile World Congress, expectations called for a Holiday Season 2010 release date. Not too long ago, that projected release date was pulled back to October and now we're seeing signs that it may be pulled back to the end of July 2010.
An AT&T retail signage outline has been discovered identifying two Windows Phone 7 plaques to be set on or about July 24th. We don't expect phones to be on the shelf come July 24th but it's a good indication we might see WP7 phones sooner than expected.
It's not uncommon for retail stores to begin advertising new phones weeks, if not months, before the actual phones hit the shelves. So, the October launch may still ring true if not a September launch. Confidence is high that Microsoft will meet the Holiday Season 2010 deadline, it's now a question of how ahead of schedule Windows Phone 7 will be.
HTC has released self-assessed financial results for the second quarter of 2010 and things are looking really good for the Taiwanese company.
HTC is reporting a revenue growth of 58% and net profit increase of 33%. This well surpassed the April forecast of a 50% revenue growth. Total revenues reached NT$60,532 million (about $1.88 billion US dollars) during the second quarter. For the month of June alone, the company experienced a 66% revenue growth from June of 2009.
With HTC's commitment to Windows Phone 7 and their continued commitment to Android Phones, the remainder of 2010 should be just as profitable.
We haven't been covering too much the ongoing attempts to get Google's Android OS to run on Windows Mobile hardware--it's a moving target with varying results depending on your device--but mtllc555 has gone ahead and shown what a fully-functional Android looks like on a Diamond 2.
The OS is relatively fast for basic functions (a little sluggish on graphics) and overall seems to be working for every function (call, web, market, etc.).
Unfortunately, to get Android to run on your phone will depend on your hardware and radios (GSM vs CDMA) as each phone requires its own 'team'--some are more ahead than others. For instance on the CDMA Touch Pro 2, sound doesn't work and battery life is not that spectacular.
A good place to get started if you're interested (and have some time) is XDAndroid, which has info on the raphael/fuze, diamond, blackstone, topaz and rhodium. The process is not too difficult, can do no permanent damage and is a great way to kill a few hours.
Full video of Android 2.1 ('Eclair') on the Diamond 2 after the break.