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Nokia

Nokia: No plans to become a patent troll after deal with Microsoft

Microsoft’s acquisition of Nokia’s handset unit was given the green light by China earlier today. China’s Ministry of Commerce had approved the deal after being assured by Nokia that the acquisition wouldn’t result in patent abuse. Nokia has since reaffirmed their licensing commitments to...
Nokia Microsoft

Chinese Government gives green light on Microsoft's acquisition of Nokia

Concerns over Microsoft's purchase of Nokia have been highlighted in some regions, including China and Korea. The former country has since approved the deal with the Ministry of Commerce of the People's Republic of China giving the green light. While the deal itself has been subject to regulatory...
Xbox One

Microsoft still working on backwards compatibility with the Xbox 360

Xbox One being able to play Xbox 360 games is something a lot of folks want to see, and Microsoft is definitely looking into it. With Build having just taken place in California you can bet that the question came up in one of the sessions. It was put to Partner Development lead, Frank Savage, by...

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Developers leak Windows Phone 8.1 SDK, reveal new features

For our full coverage, head to Windows Phone 8.1 SDK leak - All you need to know! Windows Phone 8.1, codenamed 'Blue', is a forthcoming major update for Microsoft's mobile platform. While we're anticipating an announcement at the company’s Build 2014 conference in April, with new hardware...
Bing apps

Bing apps for Windows Phone lose the Bing...but only in the titles

Microsoft is pushing out a round of updates to its Bing apps for Windows Phone that takes away the Bing. But only from the titles. So Bing Weather becomes Weather, Bing News becomes News, Bing Sport becomes Sport. You get the idea. So, if you accepted an update and suddenly wondered why your 'B'...
Nokia

Nokia details terms and policy alterations with Microsoft acquisition

Nokia and Microsoft have sent out an email to customers today detailing alterations (namely, the transfer) made to data protection, privacy and service terms. This is all due to the sale of Nokia's devices and services division to Microsoft, which both parties expect to complete by the end of...
Office iPad

Microsoft announces Office for iPad, available later today in the App Store

At a private press event in San Francisco, Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella has just announced an Office suite for the Apple iPad. The event also marks the first major appearance for Nadella as CEO of Microsoft. Nadella took over the reins at the world’s largest software company in early February. As...
Nokia Android

Microsoft reportedly considering Android apps as a solution for Windows Phone

It's old news when we talk about Microsoft's problem with getting developers on-board with both Windows and Windows Phone. The company has had trouble having new content developed and released on its own operating systems alongside iOS and Android. It's no secret that Microsoft platforms are...
Terry Myerson

Terry Myerson talks about the future of One Windows with Mary Jo Foley

Mary Jo Foley recently talked with Terry Myerson about the future of Windows, transparency and more. Terry, as you know, is the executive vice president of Microsoft’s operating system group. This division is responsible for the all operating systems at Microsoft. She sat down with Terry a few...
Nokia Microsoft

Chinese Government gives green light on Microsoft's acquisition of Nokia

Concerns over Microsoft's purchase of Nokia have been highlighted in some regions, including China and Korea. The former country has since approved the deal with the Ministry of Commerce of the People's Republic of China giving the green light. While the deal itself has been subject to regulatory...
Nokia

Nokia: No plans to become a patent troll after deal with Microsoft

Microsoft’s acquisition of Nokia’s handset unit was given the green light by China earlier today. China’s Ministry of Commerce had approved the deal after being assured by Nokia that the acquisition wouldn’t result in patent abuse. Nokia has since reaffirmed their licensing commitments to...
Nokia

Microsoft could lose key Nokia manufacturing plant in India

Nokia, BMW, IBM, Vodafone, and Royal Dutch Shell are just a few of the multinational companies caught up in tax battles with the Indian government. A few days ago we learned that an Indian Supreme Court ruled that Nokia must deposit $571 million into an escrow account before it can transfer a key...
Xbox One

Microsoft still working on backwards compatibility with the Xbox 360

Xbox One being able to play Xbox 360 games is something a lot of folks want to see, and Microsoft is definitely looking into it. With Build having just taken place in California you can bet that the question came up in one of the sessions. It was put to Partner Development lead, Frank Savage, by...

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Ben Rudolph and his Smoked By Windows phone movement is picking up speed. He successfully smoked the competition at the 2012 Consumer Electronics Show, traveled to California and we've even seen similar promotions in Hong Kong and pitting the Windows Phone against a zip line.  So far, Windows Phone has about a 95% winning percentage over a wide range of smartphones.

The Smoked By Windows Phone is even topping the charts on Microsoft's Windows Phone suggestion page requesting Smoked By Windows Phone become a featured ad campaign.  So who's Microsoft to ignore the voice of the people?

Starting today, Smoked By Windows Phone is the companies latest digital ad series. You'll see 15-30 second spots (such as the one above) scattered about the web of Windows Phones taking on the competition. You will also have a new tab on the Windows Phone Facebook page showing all the ads.

I wonder if Ben has his reservations for the 2012 Mobile World Congress?

Source: windowsteamblog; thanks to eveyone who tipped us on this!

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Microsoft's Cafe Mango is making its rounds around the Dallas/ Fort Worth area this week and I was able to meet up with it. I had just started eating my lunch when I saw the Tweet from @MangoToGo. They were set up and serving lunch about a mile from the project I am working on so I woofed down my sandwich and off I went. When I got to the AT&T store (2710 N Beltline Rd in Irving) they were all packed up and ready to leave. I went up to the truck and started telling my spiel. They agreed to meet me across the street in the Irving Mall parking lot to swap some Windows Phone stories and to give me a chance to get some pictures. They even offered to serve me some lunch. What a great group of people!

They were even nice enough to take a picture of me standing next to the truck (no comments about the bad hair day it was windy). We chatted for a bit and then when we all had to go they were nice enough to give me a couple of gifts.

 

I wonder if Windows Phone Water taste better than regular water? I bet it does. If you get a chance to catch up with Microsoft's Cafe Mango truck you wont be disappointed. It's a great place to meet some real Windows Phone lovers like us.

You can follow the Cafe Mango Team on Twitter (@CafeMangoToGo) to see where they're going next--stop by and show'em some love if they're near you and tell'em WPCentral sent you!

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Earlier today we got word that we could invite ten readers to Microsoft's Windows Phone Party that the company is holding at the 2012 Mobile World Congress. Readers who were interested in attending (and could find their way to Barcelona) only had to comment on the post to have a shot at winning one of the tickets to the party.

While we would have liked to have given everyone a ticket, we could only choose ten. Here are the winners, picked at random.

  • xdomingo
  • Pablo Alarcon
  • Existentialism
  • Gmotagi
  • briadupuis
  • Reinout_
  • preriz
  • juanyfante
  • NewWindowsPhoner
  • r womack

We are in the process of sending the winners an email (need to get the requested information back to us as soon as possible) and we will get all the details on the where/when for the party and were to claim your ticket.

Congrats to everyone and enjoy the party. If you see Joe Belfiore, say hey for me!

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Wanna go to a Windows Phone Party?

By chance will you be in Barcelona on the 27th of February? If so, do you want to go to a Windows Phone party at the 2012 Mobile World Congress?

We've snagged ten invites to the Windows Phone Party (big thanks to Microsoft) and are offering our readers an opportunity to mingle with the Windows Phone big wigs at Microsoft. You'll also be able to rub elbows with our own Dan Rubino!

Sound interesting? If so, leave a comment below by 8:00pm CST today (the 22nd) and we'll pick ten lucky winners. You'll need to be a registered WPCentral reader (so we can get your email address).

Keep in mind that this is for the tickets only. You'll have to find your way to Barcelona on your own.

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We've been covering the launch of Windows Phone in Indonesia via the Lumia 710 and 800 for a few weeks now. Officially being released over the weekend, the launch was proceeded by numerous events to spark interest and build momentum.

One of those events was a Nokia Developer Day day sponsored by Microsoft and it was attempting to break a record with at least 800 developers coding at once for new Windows Phone apps. Now, the Indonesian Record Museum (Museum Rekor Indonesia / MURI), which is similar to Guinness for world-record keeping, has officially certified the day as a record with more than 800 devs participating in the 24-hour event.

Entered as record number 5308 in the MURI archives, the award was accepted by Narenda Wicaksono, Development Operations Manager Nokia Indonesia and Microsoft's Risman Adnan, Developer Director of Microsoft Indonesia (image above).

Nokia Developer Day was held on February 4 through the 5th at Graha Mandala Siliwangi, Bandung and seems to have been a resounding success in both gaining attention and hopefully a trove new applications for the Indonesian Marketplace. One of those apps evidently is a Reuters Kompass TV video streaming program, making it one of the first on-demand news apps for Windows Phone and it should be available to all users in the next few months.

Source: Tekno Kompass 1, 2; Nokia Developer Day image via Aca S. (@superaca); Thanks, Hermawan S., for the tip!

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Gartner has released Q4 2011 data for worldwide smartphone sales to consumers, which shows some interesting signs for the Windows Phone platform. The dip in both number of units sold and marketshare is more-than-likely due to the drop of Windows Mobile. The push by Nokia has had some positive effect regarding the brand of both the manufacturer and the mobile platform, but numbers are still yet to reflect any solid progress.

As of Q4 2011 Microsoft was sat behind Samsung's Bada and the pesky 2%. With Nokia and Windows Phone "Tango" to target the emerging markets as a Symbian replacement, and upcoming "Apollo" to introduce a massive OS overhaul, by the end of 2012 Gartner predicts the platform to hit 8.6% marketshare. The analyst firm also believes these numbers to reflect Windows Phone sales only.

We may be in the second year of its life, but Microsoft's platform is still relatively young. The promotion and brand awareness campaigns that Nokia are running may require more time to take affect. The good news is the outlook for 2012 with the two OS updates (as well as new handsets). Bring on MWC.

Source: Gartner, Economic Times, via: WMPUthanks, Steve, for the tip!

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If you've been watching the world of Windows Phone and Microsoft you'll know that last year Microsoft bought Skype in what was it's single biggest acquisition to date (and all for a quaint $8.5 billion).

Well despite being approved by the FTC and EU courts at this point, Cisco has decided it will start legal proceedings challenging the deal on the basis that it may in fact be damaging to the competition.

Now before we all cry "foul" and question why Cisco have only just decided to make it's voice heard it's important for me to stress that Cisco are not opposed to the deal itself. Instead they are calling for the EU commission to impose standards on Microsoft to ensure that there is inter-operability between all video conferencing services.

It's hard to argue with Cisco here and when you consider that Skype now has over 650 million worldwide users, it's easy to see that Cisco realises Microsoft stands to control the video conferencing market. What is instead being suggested is that such VOIP and Video calling systems should be the same kind of experience as one would get when making any normal voice phone call.

So with Skype due to be integrated into future Windows Phone versions in a big way (and an app on the way sometime soon we're assured), do you believe that a standards compliant Skype would provide a better experience to all consumers worldwide? Or do you see such standards de-valuing Skype in such a way that Microsoft's acquisition would suddenly seem all too expensive? Let us know in the comments below.

Source: BBC News, Reuters

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We made mention of the Nokia Lumia 800 becoming available at Microsoft Retail Stores starting February 14th a while back. We are now hearing the phone is indeed on store shelves and available in black and magenta.  The Lumia 800 is being sold optimized for the AT&T network.

For the time being the Lumia 800 is being bundled with the Nokia Play 360 Bluetooth Speaker, Nokia Purity HD headphones and a Luna Bluetooth headset. Out the door price is $899 (plus local taxes).  While the price may seem high, you do get a lot in the bundle.

In talking to a retail associate from the Atlanta Store, there is no telling if the Lumia 800 will be offered outside the bundle or not.  Unfortunately the Lumia is only available in store. Head on over to Microsoft's store listing page to see if there's a retail store within driving distance.

Thanks, Jesse, for tipping us on this!

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We previously assumed the Windows Phone Marketplace submission review team had a ritual to get unbelievably intoxicated every Friday night, return back to the offices and let through whatever humorous apps they saw, regardless of functionality. We've now had to revise our assumption, as it would appear that the team is simply having some giggles behind the scene throughout the week.

Introducing the app-that-shalln't-be-named (see above photo), no it's not an app dedicated to Lord Voldemort. This is possibly the most interesting submission due to the obscene graphic as the logo (we've actually censored it to keep WPCentral safe for work), which makes us wonder how on earth something this explicit can worm its way through, especially since Microsoft believes Xbox LIVE Avatar toy guns (that don't actually fire rounds or laz0rz) are offensive to the youngsters.

It's perfectly fine to decapitate heads on Skyrim, shoot aliens in Halo, check out some naked women on the Windows Phone Marketplace, but a toy gun on your Avatar is deemed 'unacceptable'.

"Hours of fun await your fingers"

Unfortunately, should you be looking forward to checking this app out via this article, you'll be slightly disappointed. While hours of fun for our fingers is certainly intriguing to say the least, the reviews of this 'crap app' provide an insight into the app's usefulness:

  • "While quite deceiving, the actual use for this app changed my life! Now I drink champaign and flirt with movie stars all day every day!"
  • "This is by far the *** app I have ever. Downloaded even worse is the fact they use a *** chick to try to reel you in. Watching grass grow is more entertaining than this"

What's with this post, and why are we providing attention without firing out the Marketplace link left, right and centre? It's frustration. Pure and simple frustration. We have apps such as this making their way through while solid submissions such as the Carbon Twitter client and even our own WPCentral app had difficulties for various reasons. Not to mention Ffffound experiencing issues due to adult content policies. It makes one consider if all apps should have naked women as app logos to ensure a 100% chance of approval?

We've certainly been here before, and Microsoft has even responded to our cries out for tighter control with revisions being made to the limit of apps being submitted within 24 hours, but this is starting to get slightly silly now. Either the automated system needs working on, or we need some more human verification. 

Thanks goes out to everyone who tipped us on this!

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Microsoft Store India has come under attack by hackers raiding under the banner of 'Evil Shadow Team', WPSauce has reported. The website was defaced yesterday with the above image replacing access, which was achieved by redirecting visitors to a file the team uploaded -- evil.html. The message is clear from the attack: "Unsafe system will be baptized."

For now the website is offline, presumably while Microsoft investigates what exactly went wrong and suggesting the software giant has regained control.

"The Microsoft Store India is currently unavailable. Microsoft is working to restore access as quickly as possible. We apologise for any inconvenience this may have caused."

Customers of the online store have been strongly urged to change their passwords once the site comes back online as Quasar Media, the online marketing agency that maintains the website, decided it would be a great idea to store user credentials and personal information in plain text - an obvious insecure practice.

While one could argue that it's in the interest of the customers to know that their details are not being stored securely, another could counter with stating that the attack, which has no known motive, was not required. 

Source: WPSauce, Hackteach, thanks for all the tips that were sent in!

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Nokia has teamed up with Microsoft to offer more support for local developers in both Australia and New Zealand with a series of Training Workshops that will provide an insight to those who are interested in building apps for the platform. The event is free of charge and prizes (Lumia handsets) will be available in an App Challenge.

The event schedule:

Be sure to get in there quickly and register should you wish to attend.

Source: Nokia Developer Events, via: WPDownUnder

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Gizmodo has posted a nice interview with Sam Moreau, Director of User Experience for Windows, Windows Live and Internet Explorer (LinkedIn) at Microsoft. He's basically the guy tasked with the Windows 8 UI redesign which obviously has taken its cues from Windows Phone (which took its cues from Zune and goes back to Windows Media Center). The interview is quite fascinating as it entails discussions on challenges the team faced, decisions made and what they are expecting.

One interesting area that came up was Windows Phone, where Gizmodo asked about Microsoft's new found "strong sense of vision". Moreau responds and summarizes Android nicely:

"Yeah, because that was the thing that we get blamed for a lot. Or, I would say the thing that annoys me about Android is I don't think it has a point of view. I think it's trying to be this weird sci-fi version of an Apple design language, poorly executed. Some of it is starting to get there, you know, they got Matias (Duarte) there, and some things are starting to get a little better. They're starting to get that—some sense of soul, but I do think that a lot of their soul is derived from some other place."

That sense of soul is something Apple clearly has and now something Microsoft has too. Android and RIM? Not so much. Certainly design-philosophy or as Moreau calls it, redesigning a religion, is no small task and in a lot of ways it's remarkable that Microsoft is leading in this core area. Part of that is due to Microsoft's "low-self esteem" in terms of design and with the combo of strong leadership and strong competition i.e. Apple, Microsoft has turned themselves around.

The Metro design language is just starting to hit the mainstream and Windows Phone, for all intents and purposes, was the first. It should be very exciting to see in late 2012 how the masses react to the "sudden" alignment of Microsoft's three screens of phone, TV and gaming.

Source: Gizmodo; Image credit: Annie Marie Musselman/Fast Company

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In an exclusive report this morning, The Verge is trumpeting that the elusive Skype for Windows Phone application is "currently [in] testing" and that "at least one source indicated that it could launch at Mobile World Congress later this month." (Emphasis ours.) Wait, didn't we already know all this? Answer: Yes.

Here's a compressed timeline:

We understand everyone is chomping at the bit for Skype. We'll let you know when we learn more and roll out a full review when it hits the Marketplace. Stay tuned.

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While Microsoft already has a feedback website dedicated to Windows Phone owners providing suggestions on features in the OS, what was missing was an official location to allow users to voice their apparent frustration when it comes to marketing and promoting the mobile platform. We've all had issues with the lack of 'umph!', until Nokia came on board and blew everyone away with tripling marketing expenditure when their family of Windows Phones were announced at Nokia World 2011 in London.

We've now come across a UserVoice page set up by the Windows Phone team that allows users to submit suggestions on how the software giant could improve marketing, and vote on other submissions.

"Just like with your suggestions on features to add to future versions of the product, we'd like your suggestions on how we can spread the word about Windows Phone itself via advertising campaigns, community or social media involvement and other types of promotions. Creativity highly encouraged, let us know what your ideas are!"

Be sure to head on over to UserVoice and input your ideas (or ensure that your favourite suggestions get bumped up by voting). We know a good number of our readers have some thoughts on how Microsoft can improve in this area.

Source: UserVoice

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For those of you near China/Hong Kong (or like ourselves, in New York City) Chinese New Year is a pretty big deal and tends to be a lot of fun. So it's very cool to see Microsoft getting into the mix by distributing traditional Chinese "Red Envelopes" to the media as a New Year's gift. In case you're unfamiliar with the ritual, here you go from MIC Gadget:

"Traditionally, the married Chinese will give a red envelope with certain amount of money inside as a monetary gift to children and unmarried adults during the Lunar New Year. The red color of the envelope symbolizes good luck and the money was known as “ya sui qian”, meaning “money warding off evil spirits”. It was believed to protect the elderly from sickness and death too. In modern day, the envelopes are not just in red color, some will used gold color. Gold represents good luck and wealthy, that is another favorite color for the Chinese. "

As noted though, there was sadly no money in those envelopes meaning the press had to find other means for cash. We're not going to lie though, we'd like to get our hands on one of these for a souvenir!

Source: ePrice (HK); via MIC Gadget; Thanks, Norman M., for the tip!

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Team Lifelens, United States. Team members (not in order): Tristan Gibeau, Cy Khormaee, Wilson To, Jason Wakizaka and Helena Xu.

We've mentioned Team LifeLens before way back in April 2011. The student group won the Microsoft Imagine Cup back in July for Windows Phone with their app for detecting Malaria. The app itself is part of a package that includes the software, hardware lens and computer vision analysis tools and can literally be used for live-Malaria testing on individuals. The data can then be sent "to the cloud" for data banking and further statistical analysis--great for tracking epidemics and the like.

Now, Microsoft is going further with the Imagine Cup project by committing $3 million dollars to the newly created "...three-year...competitive grant program for student technology and social entrepreneurs". Each of the winning teams were given $75 thousand dollars to help get their project to market in addition to

" ...software, cloud computing services, solution provider support, premium Microsoft BizSpark account benefits and access to local resources such as the Microsoft Innovation Centers. Microsoft will also connect grant recipients with its network of investors, nongovernmental organization partners and business partners.

You can watch the video to get an idea of how the app works. It does truly seem useful and it's great to see students (and Microsoft) working towards such a worthy cause using Windows Phones. Check out the other team winners announced yesterday at the World Economic Forum (WEF) in Davos, Switzerland with Bill Gates at the Imagine Cup site.

A big congratulations to Team LifeLens and all the Imagine Cup Grant winners!

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We last mentioned Microsoft's Cafe Mango back in November. Back then, the truck was here on the East coast in New York and New Jersey to tie in with the big Mango push on AT&T and T-Mobile.

Now we got word that the promotional truck, filled with Mango treats and sandwiches, was out in Aliso Viejo, California in front of an AT&T store. By giving away some free food and some hands on with Windows Phones, Microsoft hopes to get some converts. It's certainly an interesting approach and we've heard nothing but good things from those who've managed to get the Mango-experience.

You can follow the Cafe Mango Team on Twitter (@CafeMangoToGo) to see where they're going next--stop by and show'em some love if they're near you, tell'em WPCentral sent you!

Thanks, Rudy R., for the pics

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Nokia has released its fourth quarter financial report for 2011. While the good news is that the company is reporting the shipment of over 1 million Windows Phones, the bad news is that Nokia has experienced the third straight quarterly loss.

Nokia's revenue dropped 21% from last year and profit dropped from €884 million (about $1.1 billion U.S) to €954 (about $1.25 billion U.S.) loss. While Nokia is pleased as punch about shipping over a million Windows Phones, overall smartphone revenue dropped 38% and overall smartphone shipments dropped 8%.

On the positive, Nokia reported an infusion of €180 million ($250 million U.S.) from Microsoft in the form of platform support payments. The strategic agreement with Microsoft covers both platform support from Microsoft and minimum software royalty payments from Nokia to Microsoft. The life of this strategic agreement is expected to measure in billions of US Dollars.

Overall, Nokia's CEO Stephen Elop was pleased with the performance of their mobile phones business citing the release of the Windows Phone Lumia series (Lumia 710 and 800), introducing the series to consumers in Europe, Hong Kong, India, Russia, Singapore, South Korea and Taiwan.

With the third straight quarterly loss, Nokia's hopes are likely riding on the company's re-entry into the North American Market (with the T-Mobile Lumia 710 and AT&T Lumia 900) and the success of the Windows Phone line world wide. Additional expansion will see the Lumia Windows Phones to China and Latin American markets during the first half of 2012. Hopefully, the global distribution will stop the downhill slide and give Nokia a positive first quarter report in 2012.

You can find all the numbers and stats from Nokia's fourth quarter report of 2011 here at Nokia.com.

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Starting January 31, Microsoft's Windows Phone 30 to Launch challenge will see developers building creative and beautiful apps in just 30 days. Four winners of the competition will receive an awesome entertainment package prize sporting a 3D HDTV and Kinect.

Unfortunately, before you get all excited and prepare your best app ideas, this competition is open for U.S. residents only. The challenge will begin on January 31st when the official rules will be published. Head on over to the 30 to Launch website to sign up and be sure to check out app development events.

Source: 30 to Launch

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Microsoft nixes MIX 2012

Microsoft has announced that there will not be a MIX Developer conference this year. Instead, Microsoft will merge the spring conference for web developers and designers into the company's next major developer's conference that will come about in the coming year.

A combination of factors led to this decision. Microsoft believes that the notion that the web community of developers is separate and distinct from the community of developers no longer exists. Instead, web discussion should be a part of any development discussion. There was also feedback from the developers voicing confusion over which event to attend.

Posting on the Microsoft Blog Tim O'Brien, Microsoft's General Manager - Developer and Platform Evangelism, states:

"As we look ahead to 2012 and beyond, the goal is to ensure that global Microsoft developer events are of the caliber that many of you experienced at BUILD last September, in addition to the thousands of online and local developer events we host around the world to support communities and connect directly with developers."

There were no specifics on the when and where of Microsoft's new developer event. While MIX began as a web oriented developer conference, it did seem to expand into other areas.  MIX 11 was heavily concentrated with Windows Phone development issues.  All of which leaves us with the question, is cancelling MIX and creating a larger more inclusive developer event a good thing or bad?

source: Microsoft Blog

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