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5 years ago

Windows Live (Search) to Get Better Branding, Features

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We've complained with more than a touch of bitterness that Windows Live Services are confusing. You've got your Live Search, your Windows Live, your Windows Live Search, and so on. Some of which may be used either over the web or as applications, both on desktop and mobile. We could also bring up that “MSN” still seems to be hanging about here and there as well. It's a mess of dot-Net-size proportions.

So seeing this story over at Ars Technica was nice. Microsoft apparently intends to fix up the branding for Windows Live fairly soon as well as add some mystery features later on this year (“wave 3”), which will be much more search-centric. Internally the code name for this action is “Rome.”

Of course, this is all up in the air pending what shakes out of Microsoft's proposed buyout of Yahoo. We said the merger would be good for mobile services and we meant it. Hopefully the first benefit will be clearer names for all the goodies that Microsoft offers us in the cloud.

Over at LiveSide.net, a blog about Windows Live, we get some more details about what MS is thinking:

Re-branding Live Search on its own, without the Yahoo! acquisition, would be a move ripe for derision by Microsoft's detractors, seen as another flailing attempt to make a move on Google. But a new brand combining Live Search with Yahoo!, when it comes on board, makes much more sense. The new brand, with new market share and the combined engineering talents of Microsoft and Yahoo!, would lead the way in restructuring Microsoft's live services to accomodate the inclusion of Yahoo!. And for those who dwell in the past at Microsoft's laughable naming conventions, consider Silverlight and Popfly and a new generation of Microsoft branding, and that Live Search has already been disassociated with the Windows Live brand, possibly in preparation for exactly this move. With the need to consolidate search products as the top priority once the Yahoo! acquisition is in place, a move now to establish a new brand, neither Live Search or Yahoo! but a new brand for a new generation of search, comes at the right time.

In other words, they're hearing us loud and clear. Bravo!

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5 years ago

Verizon Touch XV6900 Landing Within a Month

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Verizon Touch XV6900 Landing Within a Month

Engadget Mobile has caught word that the Verizon Touch XV6900 is set to land on the network very soon, late February or Early March. Get those credit cards ready, because the rumor that the on-board GPS will be enabled (unlike Sprint's version). Also true: it's white.

Unconfirmed but highly likely is that Verizon will be putting some of their own software on there. I'm hoping that they don't absolutely destroy TouchFLO by loading it up with crap apps. Following the voting on which device I'm reviewing next, I'm using a Sprint Touch now and TouchFLO is crippled in its current form, loaded with links to Sprint applications I do not want.

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5 years ago

PointUI Gets a major update....now comes in Black, has options to boot!

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Well check it out, our little free PointUI got itself a bit of a makeover (see previous review here)! Still free and still zippy (even more so now), the little Aussie program has all sorts of fixes and additions, including Smartphone (WM Standard) support. Yowza!

So what has changed, read on to check out a brief overview plus some thoughts and a couple of pics...

Just some of the fixes and additions are as follows:

  • voicemail count (where supported)
  • 6 customization options
  • no "takeover" of left Soft Key
  • better battery life
  • many bug fixes
  • memory leaks fixed

(For the whole list, looky here)

Not too shabby and I have to say it's running very smoothly on my 700wx (I'll try it out on the Moto Q later this week).

However, if you didn't like it the first time, there is probably not enough changes here to convince you otherwise. Then again, if you just had a couple of issues, maybe this will be the fix you desire.

Yet for the novice or even someone who needs the all the basics covered, we still recommend this sweet app. Plus, the black version just has to look great on the Sprint Touch ;-)

Download the Blue and Black versions here and check out some of the screen caps below...


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5 years ago

HTC Magnum: Joke of the Day

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HTC Magnum: Joke of the Day

Having your finger on the pulse of Windows Mobile news is a blessing... until it's a curse. Making the rounds this afternoon is the HTC Magnum, supposedly revealed in an exclusive hands-on given to PocketPT from the fine folks at HTC. Now, PocketPT hit us with some great Windows Mobile 6.1 screenshots last week, so it's not like these guys are just merry pranksters. On the other hand, the idea that such a gigantic device would actually see production is so far fetched that you'd have to give Lassie some steroids to retrieve it (get it? far-fetched... moving on).

In any case, the Magnum supposedly will sport an 11-inch OLED screen, 800MHz processor, an 80gig hard drive, WiFi, Bluetooth, and 30 hours of battery life. Our take: this has got to be some sort of demo unit for HTC to show off their customizations that they'll add to Windows Mobile 6, a demo unit they'll be using at the Mobile World Congress next week. We shall see.

Either that or it's a great snow job - take a look at the video after the break, proving that if nothing else there's a working copy of Windows Mobile 6 Pro with some HTC add-ons on this beast.

Update: Surur confirms in the comments that it's just a display that has been attached to the video-out of a standard WM device. Ah well, it was fun when it lasted.

[Read, via phonemag]

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5 years ago

Review: Seidio 3-in-1 Retractable Stylus for Mogul, XV6800

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5 years ago

Review: OnCourse Navigator 6 (OCN6)

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5 years ago

8525 Windows Mobile 6 Download Deadline Lifted

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5 years ago

Opera Mobile 9.5 Coming Soon(ish). It's Fast.

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Hot on the heels of the announcement of SkyFire, Opera comes out punching with a video demo of Opera Mobile 9.5. The new stuff is sweet. First up, wicked fast rendering, about 2.5 times faster than Pocket IE (Opera rubs it in just a little much in the video). Opera also gets that we usually want a decent, usable fullscreen mode by default. There's a little semi-transparent area you can tap to bring up your various buttons. It follows the iPhone's lead by rendering the entire page and letting you zoom in to what you're interested in. That rendering also looks awfully darn accurate, too. We could go on... Oh, let's go on: Better tab support. Double-tap to zoom in and out. Stored passwords. Auto-send images directly from the browser. Fast.

Oh, and widgets, because everybody needs widgets. Remember the original wireless Palm pilot and its quasi-apps that were really just light portals to web information? Yeah, it's like that.

Opera Mobile 9.5

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5 years ago

Vito Threaded SMS: Now Available

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Vito Threaded SMS: Now Available

Well, looky here. With the first screen shots of WM 6.1 and the subsequent Mogul ROM, lots of WM users are finally gearing up for native-based threaded SMS, long the hallmark of PalmOS and the Treo 750.

And who has come to steal their thunder? Maybe Vito Technology and their http://iwindowsmobile.com/ suite. Read on for a first look at Vito's new SMS-Chat app for WM Professional!

A couple months back, Vito launched their iwindowsmobile website, dedicated to their growing selection of (cough) iPhone-inspired software. One app that has been curiously under the "coming soon" banner for too long was "SMS-Chat" and now it's finally available.

Nate Adcock over at PPC Mag got his hands on a few promo screen-shots of Vito's long awaited chat-style app. Our verdict? Looks mighty tasty, in fact just from the visual aspect, it seems to smoke Redmond's conspicuously, yet not unappreciated attempt.

Features Include:

  • Threaded messaging
  • Send multiple SMS
  • Forward, resend or delete messages
  • Quick contacts look-up

Eh, whatever your choice at least you'll have more of them in a couple of months.

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5 years ago

Microsoft + Yahoo: Good for Windows Mobile, Bad for Microsoft.

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Now that we've had some time to mull over the Microsoft offer near-hostile take over attempt on Yahoo, we're fast becoming skeptical. Don't get us wrong, we agree with Segan, Zeman, Woyke, and many others that the merger creates stupendous new opportunities in the mobile space. If were were only looking at Windows Mobile and online services for Windows Mobile, we're talking a no-brainer here.

But there's more to it. Yahoo doesn't exactly use Microsoft code for anything and Microsoft doesn't use anybody else's code. The reasoning that's getting offered up is long on buzzwords like synergy and short on real, immediate benefits to either Microsoft or the end user. Google doesn't like it and while that's no surprise, they're not wrong to point out that MS has a history of stifling competition. Microsoft's response to Google claims that if they don't acquire Yahoo, then Google will end up stifling competition. Also, both companies claim that their dad can beat up your dad. Nyah.

Typically a merger/acquisition like this is a way to quickly ramp up some product or service that's been stalled internally -- that you don't want to take the time to learn and build yourself. You could make the case that Yahoo is a good fit in that regard. However, it seems like the work of integrating Yahoo's code and culture into Microsoft is much greater than the work of just filling out MSN to really compete with Google. The integration just won't work, as Mike Mace points out:

Q. What do you get when you combine Yahoo and Microsoft?
A. Microsoft.

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5 years ago

Motorola Drama

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5 years ago

Improve your WM sound: SRS WOW Plugin

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Improve your WM sound: SRS WOW Plugin

We all have been underwhelmed by our WM device speakers at one time or another. Sure, some devices are actually quite usable and pleasant (e.g. Motorola Q + Q9 series have fantastic stereo speakers) but a lot of devices are quite "...eh".

One trick to improve that sound (and the one via your headphones) is via an audio plugin that artificially enhances the sound--much like the "loud" button on your fancy-schmancy car stereo. Well now you can do the same for your PPC and even WM Smartphone device.

We won't get into the details as Werner "Menneisyys" Ruotsalainen over at PPC-Mag (who makes me look like an amateur any day) has gone above and beyond in explaining how it all works and how to get it on your device. And although Werner shows that this does increase your CPU usage, it ain't too bad at all and well worth the trade-off for better sound.

Read: Great sound enhancer SRS WOW HD released for all Windows Mobile devices!

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5 years ago

Windows Mobile Beta ROM w/ 6.1 Features Leaked for the Mogul!

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The Presses: Stop them! stroths in the forums alerts us to the fact that if you're into hacking the Mogul, you should take a flyer on the previously leaked ROM and check out this one: Windows Mobile 6.1. It was put together by no2chem at the PPCGeeks forums. You'll get your threaded text on, but it looks like it might not be the full Windows Mobile 6.1.

If you're brave, let us know how it works for ya! If you're not so brave, well, at least take heart that all this Mogul news is surely a sign that the official release is just around the corner.

(Thanks for the tip, stroths, sorry for the typo in the original post!)

no2chem built a beta WM 6.1 ROM that works with the Mogul and I am currently running it on mine. One of the nice features is integrated threaded sms. This is good news for those of you who had issues with the palm threaded sms.
- WM 6.1 Beta ROM Available for Mogul - GPS Enabled - WM Experts

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5 years ago

More Windows Mobile 6.1 Screenshot Surface

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5 years ago

A Brief Thought on the Microsoft Proposal to buy Yahoo

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We are reading through the various punditry now, and from a Windows Mobile fan's perspective, this could potentially be really great. The merger of MSN and Yahoo's services -- both online and desktop -- would become best of breed right quick. The implications are wide reaching, too. For example, Microsoft would then own Flickr and have a vested interest in making that work better with Windows Mobile. Microsoft knows that online services are where it's going to be (heck, it's where it's at now), so this would also help them against Google.

So we'll see how it goes down. Here's the thing, though: does anybody else feel like this is AOL/Time Warner all over again?

Microsoft Proposes Acquisition of Yahoo! for $31 per Share
Transaction valued at approximately $44.6 billion in cash and stock; provides 62 percent premium to current trading price for Yahoo! shareholders; combined entity to create a more competitive company, providing superior value to shareholders, better choice and innovation for customers and partners - Press Release

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