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During today's Microsoft keynote at MIX11, a phone browser speed test was given and for once, Windows Phone (Mango + IE9) trounced the competition. The competition here was the iPhone 4 and Nexus S. 

Is it us or has Microsoft really thrown their weight behind browsers lately? IE9 on Windows Phone 7.5 looks pretty incredible and to put this persepctive, Android Central's Phil Nickinson says he doesn't know how that got the Nexus S to be that fast in the above video--which means MS wasn't playing trickery here. 

Of course we're interested in seeing more than one site load and the devil's in the details. But hey, we like what we see.

via: GeekWire

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PocketNow has published a video comparing the different implementations of copy & paste (including old skool WinMo) that takes us through the variations and shows how it's all extremely similar, yet indifferent. A great watch for all your copy & paste lovers. The devices used in this demonstration include the Blackberry Torch, Samsung Galaxy S (4G), iPod Touch and Nokia N8.

Which platform performs the function best for you, and what would you see improved for your choice of platform? Let us know below.

Source: PocketNow

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We love analysts and predictions, especially when they paint Windows Phone 7 in particularly good light, and Gartner (a leading worldwide technology research and advisory company) has done just that with their latest prediction.

Having a gander at the chart above, we can see the accumulative market total topping 1 billion by 2015 and Microsoft has been predicted to achieve 19.5% market share (compared to the 4.2 they currently hold) - Not bad for a platform that is continuously said to be "failing". Gartner revised its forecast of market share for WP7 taking into account the Nokia partnership, which is said to push the platform into mid-tier of its portfolio by the end of next year.

On a general note, "by 2015, 67 percent of all open OS devices will have an average selling price of $300 or below, proving that smartphones have been finally truly democratized," said Roberta Cozza, principal analyst at Gartner. We have already covered other predictions that WP7 will overtake RIM from Ovum, so what Gartner has posted seems in-line.

What do you think of these predictions, and what is forecasted for WP7?

Source: Gartner, via: WMPU

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We previously published an in-depth article of the experience in coming to Windows Phone 7 from Android, we now have a great insight to an Android fanatic trying out a WP7 device. Phil Turpin received the device from a friend at Tracey and Matt and wrote back some comments as to how he felt about the platform.

Having just played with a WP7 phone for the last few days it's my belief that it DOES stand a chance. A good chance.

I'm an Android fan, heck I'm writing this on my phone (so if you see any ridiculous typos, you know why), and I love my Android phone but WP7 has something. 

My initial reaction was "hey, this is crap compared to Android, I can't even customise it." But after using it for a while I see that I don't really need to. Android's great for customisation and granular control but the problem with almost all the people here (myself included) is that we're looking at this from a techie's point of view. As someone pointed out, most Android users wont even know what rooting is and likely wont even know what a task killer is. How many Android users know what Linux is let alone care that Android is Linux? 

Now look at how Apple have cornered the market? Simplicity. People don't have to think when using iOS. It just works (so I've been told). WP7 is trying to be like that (& it comes pretty damn close). It also looks and flows quite nicely. Now look at the kind of person who used to buy Nokia phones? Your mum, grandma etc. Do they want to root a phone? Can they be bothered with Task Killers? (Heck, do you even need one on WP7? I know I haven't. Yet). Also think about how many businesses/corporations had stock Nokia handsets in the 90's and 00's (yes, I'm aware that we've come along since then) and now think about how many businesses have an existing MS infrastructure? The Nokia/WP marriage is perfect for them. 

I don't think that WP7 will gain the majority spot in the market (but, sadly, I'm not infallible ;) but I think it'll be a lot more successful than most give credit for. I use Linux as my desktop & dev environment and Android for my phone and I dearly love them both however I am going to invest in a Windows Phone dev environment because I'd be stupid not to. 

A very nice take on first impressions when coming across from the Android platform, or just having a play with one of the WP7 devices. Notice how at the end of the quote, Phil mentions he would be stupid not to invest in the Windows Phone development environment? Pretty strong words echoing our thoughts as to where Microsoft could take the OS. 

Source: Tracey and Matt

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In the world of mobile phone technologies changing from one device to another usually brings excitement. Getting a new device with more memory, faster CPU/GPU, better cameras, newer and faster radios is so thrilling. Other times it can bring the same immense excitement mixed in with the feeling of wanting to throw up. If you fall into the latter camp, it’s probably because you are switching OS platforms and a devote technophile. That is where I am currently at … the week before a new device launch and I am planning to switch OS camps. This time around is the HTC Arrive for Sprint which is the first Windows Phone 7 device for CDMA networks; you might know the GSM variant, the HTC 7 Pro, with slide-out keyboard and all.

This isn’t my first (or last) switch from phone OS’s. I’ve gone from PalmOS to Windows Mobile (2003 all the way to 6.5) to Blackberry, to webOS, to Android and, to iOS. All of these in no particular order and on several occasions more than once. This time feels different to me than previous changes. When I wanted to switch from Palm to Windows Mobile, it was because of the lack of multitasking and Wi-Fi support. From Windows Mobile to webOS, it was the lack of pretty and notifications. From webOS to Android, it was… well it was a lot (credit goes to Palm/HP for making round two three more interesting). So, why am I making the switch now and why the sudden urge to expunge my Jolt Cola and beef jerky?

The rest after the break...

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We previously covered the famed hacker GeoHot possibly moving over to Windows Phone 7, and it seems that this is now possibly happening with Pwn2Own 2011 hacking contest listing GeoHot as a registrant on the Dell Venue, which is being held next week.

Update: We're now told Geohot had to back out due to the ongoing Sony lawsuit with him needing to devote time to that instead. Thanks, @aaronportnoy.

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With all the latest innovations and releases on the iOS, Android and Windows Phone 7 platforms, I felt as though we should take a minute to sit back, relax, and watch fanboys go berserk over the above images. The funny part? It's all mostly true in a majority of POVs. To use the table you simply look from above as "How [SYSTEM] is seen by [SYSTEM OWNERS]", there are three biased presentations and six humorous interpretations to ease us all into the start of the weekend. 

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As if the iPhone-WP7 launcher wasn't enough, someone has gone and created a pretty thorough Metro launcher for Android called 'Launcher7'.

Featuring tiles, customization and the normal shoddy icons, the app is actually pretty good for Android (so far, they've had less than stellar WP7 "clones"). Anyways, watch the video above from our sister-site Android Central to get an idea. Hey, imitation is flattery and lets be honest, Android never looked so good.

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Yesterday, the Android market had 21 applications pulled by Google and force-removed from users' devices due to them containing an exploit called 'rageagainstthecage'. And while Google successfully and quickly pulled the software from the market and from devices ("kill switch"), those 21 apps were downloaded over 50,000 times (bigger market, bigger target).

It was bound to happen. We've been bombarded for years about the threat of computer viruses, exploits, Trojans, etc. and if there was ever a viable target today, Android would be it. It has an open market (no approval processes), huge market share and one heck of a hacker community. How serious is the exploit? Our sister site Android Central says:

rageagainstthecage...opens the door for the app to do anything with your data -- like send it to a remote server. Of course with root it can do much worse as well.

If you installed any of these applications, they should have been pulled off your phone, but that's not enough. You need to do a full system wipe and reset your phone completely, the data wipe and reset from settings may not be enough. This means ODIN, RUU's, .sbf files or a trip to your carrier store if this is beyond your capabilities.

Mind you, all 21 apps were uploaded by one person. Going further, Android Police, who originally broke the story says

...it steals nearly everything it can: product ID, model, partner (provider?), language, country, and userID. But that’s all child’s play; the true pièce de résistance is that it has the ability to download more code. In other words, there’s no way to know what the app does after it’s installed, and the possibilities are nearly endless.

Egads. While we hope nothing too nefarious has happened, it goes to show that having a regulated Marketplace, like Windows Phone, where the code is checked for such things can be quite valuable when compared to what Android users are now facing. Will this become a regular occurrence? What will Google do to address the problem? It will be interesting to see in the next couple of days the fallout from this breach.

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While Microsoft and their platform are slowly expanding grounds, Nokia is continuing to travel down a negative path with sales plummeting and revenue decreasing. Compared to the glory days when the company’s brand was used to describe mobile phones as much as the term mobile, at present a radical change is required for them to continue within this competitive market. Analysts know this, consumers know this, and more importantly so does Nokia.

Along with countless reports and articles covering a potential join of the hands between Nokia and Microsoft, an investment analyst, who has sent a memo to the CEO of both companies urging them to work together and create Windows Phone 7 handsets, has provided a huge push in a positive direction.

The analyst, Adnaan Ahmad of Berenberg Bank, doesn’t hold back in his note with covering WP7’s (and – to an extent - Nokia’s) competitors and pointing out that he knows both Steve Ballmer and Stephen Elop must be “both sick and tired of hearing how great and innovative Apple and Android (Google) ecosystems are”. Moving onto say that “they have hundreds of thousands of applications, growing revenue at 50%+ per annum and gaining market share globally,” and he is absolutely correct in his referencing – but Microsoft already know this, they are in it for the long haul.

Directing at Nokia, Adnaan continues, “I remember the days when Nokia (with Jorma Olilla at the helm) ruled the roost, European market share was above 50% and US market share was in the 35% range.” While quoting what Stephen said in his recent Q4 earnings release, “Nokia faces some significant challenges in our competitiveness and our execution. In short, the industry changed, and now it’s time for Nokia to change faster,” he agrees that now is the right time for Nokia to change (perhaps from Symbian altogether?) and with WP7 readily available in it’s infant stage, now could prove to be the only time for action.

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Netgear CEO Patrick Lo has shared his opinion on Apple and their closed development environment, as well as taking a dig at Microsoft's mobile platform. Our friends at TiPb have covered the criticism directed at Steve Jobs and his iCompany, so we shall cross over the bridge and highlight the Windows Phone 7 remark.

“Microsoft is over - game over - from my point of view” Patrick goes onto say, suggesting that Microsoft is both late to the monopoly game board and hasn’t got the platform to compete with the likes of Android and iOS.

Voicing a rational blow against WP7 is either a display of short sightedness into the smartphone market, or a sign that companies outside of the mobile industry have their own opinion of WP7 – albeit slightly negative.   It’s interesting to compare the remarks made by LG about how the launch and first few months of life for WP7 has been somewhat disappointing, to the failed-to-elaborate tantrum of a loud-mouthed CEO.

Although Patrick is not representative of the majority views on Windows Phone 7, nor does his opinion really matter, it’s a crushing look at an external view from a respectable company.  Especially since Netgear is behind the networking of companies and online properties (I’ve even used them in a datacentre rack), and a good number of server technicians I know use Android.

One should not listen to Mr Lo however. I mean, how is he to know anything about the mobile platform when all he can comprehensively understand is how to open up ports on his malfunctioning Netgear router. What do you think of his comment about WP7?

Source: Neowin

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Can't decide between WP7 and Android?  Thanks to some of the minds at XDA, now you don't have, if you have an HTC HD2.  Due to limitations in both operating systems, WP7 will reside in NAND memory and Android will be booted from an SD card. 

Here's what you will need for the recommended method:

Once you've gathered your materials, go here to get started, or you can find another method here.  Good luck!  Try not to hose your HD2.

Source: Ali Waqas (Thanks for the tip!); via: XDA

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Back in December, Andy Rubin, who helped create Google's Android platform was asked about Microsoft's Windows Phone 7 at All Things-D. In turn he gave a response that came off a bit...well...glib and it made the 'rounds of the interwebs fairly quickly. Specifically, Rubin said this about WP7:

You just have this package of stuff that was invented before the Internet. When the architects built that product [Windows CE and Windows Mobile], they didn't have the Internet in mind.

So the implication being that since WinCE has code from 20 years ago ergo Windows Phone 7 must not be as good as Android. We're not sure what one has to do with the other as s Joe Belfiore pointed out Android --> Linux --> Unix, so there may be some old code there too.

But while Windows Phone may have some underlying "old" code in its kernel at least, as far as we know, Microsoft hasn't stolen any of it.  In a well known lawsuit, Oracle is suing Google over their use of Java in Android, claiming patent infringement. Today, FOSSpatents blog has found evidence of 43 source files directly copied from Oracle's Java code. Or as Engadget put it: "Google copied Oracle's Java code, pasted in a new license, and shipped it."

It will be interesting to see how the courts rule on this case and hey, perhaps some of this actually falls under the GPLv2. Either way, we'll take old code over the legally-disputed, potentially patent-copying type any day. Own it Google.

Update: Our pals at Android Central point us to a ZDNet story this afternoon that changes things a bit. Apparently the code that was "copied" and pointed out in the FOSSpatents blog actually isn't part of Android. That doesn't change the fact that there's still a lawsuit going on between Oracle and Google or that we're pleased with our old code.

Update 2: Engadget has rebuttal against the "it doesn't count" viewpoint, pointing out that legally speaking it may not matter. May be worth a read.

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Google is considered the top search engine in the world, and has held this title for some time since early development. When Microsoft had MSN (later as; Live) deployed as a competitor to Google (and Yahoo! at the time) no one really adapted to the giant’s offering – understandable since the results provided by the index were either slightly off, or just blatently ridiculous.

Requiring a new product (much like Windows Phone 7), Microsoft developed a search engine to create a stronger hold on the search share across the globe. Bing was born. Featuring a new User Interface and supposedly “better related” results, this was the secret weapon to attack Google’s fort.

With continued growth through the redirection of MSN/Live searchers to the new home of Microsoft search, and the acquisition of Yahoo! has had Bing in the spotlight for not only the Search Engine Optimisation world, but for those technologically banded. Not all could remain well for the two competitors however...

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A while back we took a look at an iOS developer having a run on Microsoft’s new mobile platform, which was surprising since the majority of Apple users don’t particularly provide Microsoft with much leniency or praise. Frode "Nilzor" Nilsen, a post-Windows Mobile 6.5 developer, has written up a spectacular case study (seriously – it’s an epic read) of his short-lived experience on the Windows Phone 7 IDE, and making the important decision on which platform is a more worthwhile investment for projects to be developed. Android or WP7?

At the beginning Frode goes into detail about what one looks for when developing on any available platform, revenue. Of course, every developer needs to cover expenses (time, investment etc.) and to ensure that a steady flow of funds is received to continue with updates and further development. To accomplish this goal, you would need to publish your product (an app in this case) to the largest possible audience with as little competition as possible. However many forget, that as a developer, the tools available and the process in creating (and updating) your app needs to be both fun and logical, and be smooth to ensure little time is wasted and productivity is high.

Frode decided to perform a small experiment and build an app for both Android and WP7, recording how long each stage of the process took, how many sells he received and how the IDEs (Integrated Development Environment) performed against each other. Using Eclipse for Android and Visual Studio 2010 for WP7, he created a simple flag & country quiz. Posting his results in complete depth, I shall summarise below his findings for each platform without going into much detail through explanation.

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Angry Birds is coming, just not yet

Angry Birds, the massively popular game that has found its glory on both the iOS and Android platforms, but has failed yet to flood the Windows Phone 7 MarketPlace, and another tweet has confirmed a further wait. A continuous stream of ETA updates from Rovio have had numerous news sites and blogs fall over each other in reporting duplicate stories of “Angry Birds app on the way!”. But are we all really that excited about its arrival?

I pose that question as a person who has not yet had the pleasure in playing Angry Birds myself, but have witnessed it in action many times and I must admit it does look like a fun little game that can absorb a few hours of your spare time. This would be why it is such a popular title on the iPhone and Android due to the majority of games these platforms have are all from small developers.

The almighty Windows Phone, on the other hand, boasts Xbox Live integration for big titles like Sims 3, Need For Speed: Undercover, Assassins Creed and many more. Considering how Microsoft could continue to develop the Xbox Live “to go” and make the mobile gaming experience all that more special, is pretty exciting. For me, I don’t really share the same enthusiasm as many Angry Birds fans (I guess I have taken the bench with many other WP7 owners), sure I would buy the game and it would more than likely entertain me for more than five minutes but I won’t go out of my way to hype myself about a title that (lets be honest) isn’t comparable to games that are readily available.

All in all, I would actually like to see some progress and possibly a release, rather than have everyone reposting the same old news about a game that is destined to arrive but seems to be taking a slight detour. Through outa-space.

Via: SlashGear

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Justin Williams, owner and developer at Second Gear LLC, is an experienced OS X and iOS developer who has ventured over to Android for a week to see how he rated day-to-day usage in comparison to the iPhone. Justin has now had a good look at Windows Phone 7, and has made his opinions known to the world.

Although reviewing the software, the Samsung Focus was also a main point when creating the opinionated review and wasn’t positive when covering the hardware.

“The rest of the hardware? It’s pretty cheap. Apple hit a home run in the ‘feel’ aspect of the iPhone 4. When you hold it in your hand, it feels hefty (but not too hefty), solid and substantial. The Focus, on the other hand, feels light, cheap and full of air.”

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Analyst Charles Wolf of Needham and Co., is calling the launch of Windows Phone 7 a success. Wolf bases his analysis not on current numbers, but on Microsoft’s commitment to marketing Windows Phone 7. The report further states that if Microsoft continues to grow market share, Google’s Android platform could be the big loser. Much of Android’s success is due to Verizon’s Droid line of phones, which in turn can be attributed to the lack of a Verizon iPhone. A potential iPhone launch on Verizon, coupled with Microsoft’s commitment to CDMA support, could leave Google the odd man out.

Source: Needham and Co.; via: Computer World, Apple Insider

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In an interesting competition recently held at the Budapest New tech Meetup, developers from three platforms--iOS, Android and WP7--had a "live coding event" (hey, nerds have to have their fun too).

The goal was simple: they had 1.5 hours to write "...an app that allows users to rate presentations at a meetup". The coders had no knowledge in advance of the project and it had to "display the names of the presenters, the title of the presentations, some summary and of course, find a way to actually do the rating."

The gist of the competition is that the Windows Phone 7 trounced everyone. Whereas the iOS and Android groups had created one page of the app, the WP7 team created "...a mostly working application with most features implemented". In addition, the Androiders had problems with Compiz (a Linux window manager), which kept crashing.

Overall an interesting story and although real-world developers don't have these constraints, the fact that the WP7 group was able to write a full app so quickly, without even writing any code (they used Expression Blend’s Sample Data feature i.e. mostly drag and drop) is pretty impressive. See previous "coding war" coverage here and here.

Source: DotNeteers

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