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5 years ago

Microsoft apparently serious about ditching the Windows Mobile name

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We've discussed as far back as February that Microsoft was likely sending the "Windows Mobile" moniker the way of the dinosaur and instead going with "Windows Phone." Looks like they haven't forgot.

According to The Inquirer (.net, not the tabloid) [via Giz], the change indeed is coming with Windows Mobile 6.5 — er, the next release of Windows Mobile — er, the next release of Microsoft's operating system for mobile phones. And as much as we loathe the idea of trying to discuss various versions of an OS without the handy numeral suffixes (never mind that our little site here is called WMExperts), we'll (hardly) be the first to say that things are in need of a reboot. Badly.

Says The Inquirer:

The name change also "reflects the upcoming desktop operating system release where people away from their PC can have the same experience everywhere," says Microsoft.

The My Phone service certainly seems to have begun that transition to a more seamless desktop-mobile experience.

But what say you, dear reader?

Is changing "Windows Mobile Version X" to "Windows phone" a good move?(answers)
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5 years ago

iHacker Charlie says WinMo at risk, too

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iHacker Charlie says WinMo at risk, too

So a well known Mac hacker earlier this month claimed to have found an SMS exploit that would let an attacker take over iPhones with a series a text messages. Details of the flaw will be released Thursday at the Blackhat security convention in Las Vegas.

And not content to panic just the cool kids' table, Windows Mobile is now thrown into the loop. [via neowin]

Miller also claims he has found a bug in Microsoft's Windows Mobile devices that that allows complete remote control of the device. Miller discovered the bug last Monday and it's currently un-patched by Microsoft. It's not clear whether Miller plans to unveil full details of the Windows Mobile bug tomorrow or limited details until Microsoft has been made aware.

So there you have it. We're at FUD Level Orange on this one. Certainly a serious security flaw on an iPhone could be patched relatively quickly, but patching a Windows Mobile device, well, it's not like there's some automagical button that'll suck down updates from the mothership. On the other hand, we're not going to panic before panic's due. Stay tuned.

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5 years ago

Billions and Billions and Billions of Apps

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Juniper Research has released mobile application market projects that puts the number of mobile application downloads to approach 20 billion (that's with a B) per year by 2014.

Like it or not, Apples' App Store, which passed a billion downloads earlier this year, has led others to develop and research the mobile app store potential. Microsoft is slated to launch its Marketplace later this year and others have (Palm Pre, Nokia, Blackberry) or are developing (Verizon, Handmark) app stores.  Even with such an increase in the mobile app stores on the market, 20 billion per year may still be a tall order to fill.

The report can be purchased from Juniper (for a modest cost of 1750 pounds or $2,897 U.S. Dollars (cough, cough)).  While the details of the survey weren't available, one might assume Juniper is taking into consideration any phone that is capable of a mobile download in this survey. That would include Nokia, Blackberry, Palm, the iPhone, Windows Mobile, Android, proprietary OS, and others in this study.

Under those circumstances, 20 billion may be very well be possible. If everyone downloads a dozen apps a year, to reach 20 billion downloads you would need approximately 1.6 billion phones. World wide, those number might not be too far fetched making the 20 billion target more realistic.

Juniper Research Press Release

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5 years ago

Marketplace sets content standards; sex and drugs are out, rock 'n' roll is OK

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When we saw the first draft of technical guidelines for apps in the Windows Marketplace for Mobile, we noticed the distinct lack of content guidelines. We never for a minute figured that it'd be an "anything goes" Marketplace, and sure enough Microsoft has released content guidelines [pdf link, via]. Here's the rundown:

  • Any content that is illegal under applicable local law, obscene, or indecent.
  • Any content that contemplates harm against a person or animal.
  • Any content that is defamatory, libelous, slanderous, or threatening.
  • No hate speech or discriminatory content. No threats.
  • Any content that facilitates or promotes, whether directly or indirectly, the illegal (under applicable local law) or excessive sale or use of alcohol or tobacco products, drugs, or weapons is not allowed on any section/site, regardless of targeting.
  • Any content with prolonged and/or excessive use of firearms or weapons or other content that facilitates the use of firearms or weapons
  • No sex and nudity.
  • Violence is out.
  • So's excessive profanity.

That's it in a nutshell. What we like to call the Apple Paradox presumably is still in effect: Ban all the dirty stuff, you want, but users can indulge in as many deadly sins as they want via the Web browser.

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5 years ago

Microsoft, Yahoo finally reach search deal

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So after months and months of wheelin' and dealin', Microsoft and Yahoo have finally come to terms on a partnership that will take them both closer to Google in terms of market share. As CEO Steve Ballmer puts it, "a stronger No. 2." (Ahem.)

In a nutshell: If you go to the Yahoo search page, you'll see the Yahoo search page. But Microsoft's Bing will be doing the heavy lifting. Same goes at all Yahoo owned and operated sites. Data sharing between the two companies will be "the minimum necessary to operate and improve the combined search platform." And 88 percent of the search revenue on Yahoo-branded sites stays with Yahoo for the first 5 years of the 10-year agreement. Bottom line is Yahoo's anticipating somewhere in the neighborhood of $275 million a year once things are approved and up and running.

At this point, it's tough to say what, if anything, this may mean for Windows Mobile, other than changing up search options. But you can read the entire press release here. After the break, the key terms of the deal as put forth by Microsoft, and video from Ballmer and Yahoo CEO Carol Bartz (both of whom will be on a conference call later today). And for the truly hard-core, the two companies have set up a joint Web site here.

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5 years ago

Microsoft Yahoo Talks Get Interesting (just like we told you they would)

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Last week we reported that it was likely that crazy-like-a-fox Carl Icahn was setting his sights on forcing Yahoo to accept a merger offer from Microsoft -- never mind that said offer had been taken off the table and definitely never mind that Microsoft had been making googly-eyes (pun intended) at AOL. So that happened: Icahn has his seats on the board and is pushing for a deal.

Pushing around Microsoft ain't like pushing around Motorola, though. For one thing, unlike Motorola, their executives use email. Witness this one from platforms and services president Kevin Johnson, who write essentially puts the kaibosh on the idea that they're in talks now -- but he doesn't rule them out in the future. It will have to wait until after Wednesday's “big announcement,” purported to relate to Live Search getting better (yet again). (Hey -- at least he admitted the branding sucks.)

The amount of noise Microsoft has been making lately regarding online services is reaching jet-engine-proportions, more on that in a future post.

Meanwhile, the latest Microsoft plan is apparently to just partner with Yahoo or just buy their search marketing division. This plan is starting to get Icahn angry. You don't want to see Icahn when he's angry.

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5 years ago

T-Mobile announces Touch Pro 2 for Aug. 12

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As we might have previously mentioned, oh, five or six times, the HTC Touch Pro 2 is destined for T-Mobile, and now it's official. Come Aug. 12 (again, we might have mentioned that before), T-Mo customers can pick up the "mocha finish" for an as yet unannounced sum.

Specs are in line with what we've previously reported, including WiFi b/g, a 3.2MP camera, Windows Mobile 6.1, GPS, AWS 3G, and so on and so forth. From the picture, you'll notice that there's no 3.5mm headset jack. Sorry, folks. On the other hand, you'll probably be the first kid on your block with the TP2, if that's any consolation.

Full presser and a couple more official pics fter the break.

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5 years ago

Short Take: MToolbox

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Short Take: MToolbox

Ever wonder if that picture is hanging straight on the wall? Wife or girlfriend says it's not but you know it is? MToolbox might be a handy application to have in these situations where you need to see if something's level.

But wait, there's more. MToolbox also has a angle/ruler to measure length and angles, a light meter that measure luminosity, and shock sensor to measure movements.

Follow the break for some more screen shots and our impressions on MToolbox for Windows Mobile.

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5 years ago

HTC Leo = HTC Thoth = HTC Athena 2, Got It?

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So all these rumors abuzz about the HTC Leo specs and a "clamshell phone" are a bit on the money and a bit off.

First, while technically a phone, it's more a long the lines of a Mobile Internet Device (MID) then smartphone.

Second, it's not replacing HTC Universal but rather the HTC Athena, which garnered a lot of attention but seemed more experimental than anything.

In short, the HTC Leo is the very same  HTC Thoth that was mentioned in the leaked HTC 2009 Roadmap. Making sense yet?

So what are the specs? What we know so far is

  • Manilla 2.5
  • WVGA/16:9 Screen/4.3"
  • Snapdragon/1GHz
  • 8MP Camera--NEW (up from 5MP?)
  • WM6.5
  • 320mb/512mb RAM/ROM

Look for it by the end of the year and judging by the numerous ROMs floating around, don't be surprised if a few carriers pick it up this time.

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5 years ago

More on the Race to Market Challenge

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5 years ago

Sprint/Verizon Touch Pro 2 ROMs finalized; get closer to launch

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We're getting word that both Verizon and Sprint's upcoming Touch Pro 2 — aka "Rhodium" — are getting closer to launch.

How do we know? Evidently the ROM has been finalized and is ready to ship:

  • RUU_Rhodium_W_VERIZON_WWE_1.16.605.1_RS_1.71WV_NV_VZW_1.38_0505_PRL58002_Ship_PPST
  • RUU_Rhodium_W_Sprint_WWE_1.21.651.3_RS_1.96WF_NV_S PCS_1.42_0430_PRL60652_Ship.exe

With the ROMs locked down, it seems more about dotting their i's and crossing their t's now, specifically time-to-market, FCC, packaging, production, etc. One thing looks certain: Verizon and Sprint are both racing to get this out at the same time.

We can also confirm the radio frequencies available for this CDMA/GSM world phone on both carriers:

  • GSM; GPRS; EDGE; CDMA;UMTS-HSUPA 2Mbps; CDMA2000-1xRTT; CDMA2000-1xEVDO; CDMA2000-1xEVDOrA RL-1.8M,FL-3.1M

Looking pretty sweet.  Verizon, along with its HTC "WhiteStone" device, is poised to make one heck of a WM splash in the next few months.

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5 years ago

AT&T dissin' Verizon and gets sued

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AT&T dissin' Verizon and gets sued

Verizon has filed suit against AT&T asking a U.S. District Court in Manhattan to rule that Verizon's claims to be "America's Most Reliable 3G Network", "America's Best 3G Network" and "America's Most Reliable Wireless Network" are truthful.  As if our Court System doesn't have enough to sort out.

Verizon took offense when AT&T called the claim "misleading", "false" and could not be supported. According to Verizon, "AT&T's challenge relies on the premise that speed is an essential element of the standard for measuring network reliability."  As if we don't need speed on out networks?

Mark Siegel, an AT&T spokesman stated that "Verizon's claim that speed is not a relevant factor to a reliable 3G network is preposterous. Data network speed is an essential factor to consumers when it comes to data transmission on their wireless devices. The 3G reliability claims made in ads by Verizon Wireless are false and misleading."

As silly as it sounds, if Verizon should win this suit, they will have Court affirmation that they have "America's Most Reliable 3G Network".  I wonder what Sprint will have to say about that?

This reminds us of Apple's latest battle with Microsoft over the "Laptop Hunter" ads Microsoft is currently running.  The original ad named Apple specifically with statements such as "This Mac is $2000 and that's before adding anything.".  After complaints from Apple, Microsoft voluntarily changed the wording to "It seems your paying a lot for the brand."  All this makes you wonder how other competitors have survived the "ad war" without suing one another.

For those sitting on the edge of their seats on this one, the case cite is Verizon Wireless v. AT&T Mobility LLC filed in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York, case number 2009-6656.  Personally, I think this might be better suited for Judge Joe Brown instead.

[Read: Reuters.com]

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5 years ago

Sprint purchases Virgin Mobile USA

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Sprint purchases Virgin Mobile USA

Sprint this morning announced it was gobbling up Virgin Mobile USA in a deal worth $483 million. That includes the 13.1 percent of Virgin Mobile USA that Sprint already owned. The deal is expected to bolster Sprint's end of the prepaid market, which already includes Boost Mobile.

Said Sprint CEO Dan Hesse:

“The acquisition of Virgin Mobile USA positions Sprint for even greater success in the prepaid wireless segment. Prepaid is growing at an unprecedented rate with consumers keenly focused on value. Virgin Mobile is an iconic brand in the marketplace that will complement our Boost Mobile brand.”

Full presser after the break.

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5 years ago

Reminder: Forum Software Giveaway

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Reminder: Forum Software Giveaway

Just a reminder that you still have time to put your name in the drawing for one of ten copies of Vito Technologies Communications Suite.  Just head on over to this discussion going on in our forums and tell us where you think the future holds for Windows Mobile. 

Posts made before 5:00 p.m. EST on Wednesday, July 29, 2009 will be eligible for the drawing.  Winners will be notified as soon as possible by e-mail and a braggin' rights post.

You do have to be registered to post in the forums, which is an painless process that starts here.  Thanks to Vito Technologies for sponsoring this software giveaway.

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5 years ago

Price war on the HTC Snap!

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Price war on the HTC Snap!

Uh oh. Looks like there's a bit of a price war brewing around the HTC Snap, and that's good news for you, the consumer. See, first Sprint released its version for $149.99. Then came Verizon with the Ozone at $49.99. Tough to beat that (and Malatesta's been raving about it for days now.)

Now it looks like Microsoft and T-Mobile have teamed up to lower the Dash 3G — which remains true to the Snap we originally saw — to $49.99 as well on the WMDeals Web site. That's a huge drop from the $169.99 on the T-Mobile site. So if you're looking for a front-facing QWERTY on the cheap, well, that's half of the four major U.S. carriers offering it for $50. Hey, Sprint. Care to join?

Oh, and if you're holding out for a T-Mobile Touch Pro 2 (on or about Aug. 12), look for it on the site soon. (The Shadow 2009 also is going for $49.99.) This lower price on the Dash 3G apparently isn't available is stores, so call 866-464-8662, press option 3 for new service, and mention promo code "Windows Mobile" when ordering.

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