europe

The massive Microsoft layoffs announced yesterday are cutting deep across the company, with the latest word of hits coming at Xbox EMEA (Europe, Middle East, and Asia). While 2/3 of the cuts are hitting job redundancies with Microsoft Mobile division (formerly Nokia), substantial layoffs are expected across the organization. According to MCV, Xbox EMEA could see up to 75% of its staff cut, and the staff will have to duke it out for the remaining 25%.

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Should you be travelling through the Eurotunnel today, you'll be able to enjoy mobile connectivity depending on which mobile operator you're currently subscribed to. Vodafone and EE have infrastructure in place to take loads from today, while O2 UK will be going live soon. Utilizing a fibre optic retransmission system, operators have made it possible for passengers to enjoy stable connectivity.

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Free roaming within the European Union is a step closer today, after the European parliament voted in favor of laws that would abolish roaming fees between EU member states, as part of a package of telecom reforms. The package, originally proposed by EU lawmaker Neelie Kroes, moves Europe closer to a single market for mobile communication, especially with the recent arrival of 4G LTE roaming agreements between European carriers.

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Find yourself heading to Europe soon for a trip or business? Maybe you already live there, but do travel to different parts of the continent. Download euroTRIP for Windows Phone if any of the above describes you. It’s a beautiful and functional app for Windows Phone that gives you access to basic information for any given country. Let’s check it out.

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We've all been there. You arrive into a new country or find yourself in a city where you need a taxi (or cab) but can't seem to get hold of one or have some difficulty in getting to the necessary points and locate a free driver. This is where Euro Taxi for Windows Phone comes into play. Instead of faffing about with multiple cards and numbers, simply make a booking while on the go at standard rates. Easy.

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Nokia is slowly rolling out its Amber firmware bundled with Microsoft's GDR2 update, but it's no fun having to keep checking your phone every few hours, seeing whether or not you've got a notification to update. Nokia has decided to whip up a solution and has released a page for consumers residing in Europe to receive a hint as to when their Lumia Windows Phones will be bumped to the latest version.

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The Lumia 900 was a popular Windows Phone and still proves to be a thorn in the back Windows Phone 8 when we're looking at the usage margin between version 7.x and 8. The Nokia device has been taken on a backpacking tour around Europe. Windows Phone Central reader Matthew Cosentino is originally from Melbourne, Australia but has uprooted his life by quiting his job, selling his business and decided to move beyond the border. The past 8 months has seen the Windows Phone owner travel across Europe, focusing more on the Eastern side.

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We are seeing some indication that Microsoft's Surface tablet will be heading to Europe. If you look at Microsoft's product pages for FranceItaly , the United KingdomGermany and other European Countries, the Surface is now listed.

We know that the Surface will only be available through the Microsoft's Stores. Stores, at least the brick and mortar variety, that don't exist outside the U.S. which makes the listing a bit of a puzzle.

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Kantar Worldpanel has published its report based on latest smartphone sales data, which reveals Windows Phone seriously challenging RIM for third place in Europe with low-end devices such as the Lumia 610 driving sales in key markets.

Low-end Windows Phone growth rates representing multiple markets within Europe have been provided by Kantar. Italy tops the charts with an increase in market share of 6.6%, while France comes in second at 3.5% and Great Britan is third with 2.3%. What's more is Microsoft now sports 10.4% marketshare in Italy with Windows Phone.

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Nokia announces pricing for both new Lumias

Nokia has unveiled today availability and pricing for both of its new Windows Phones in a handful of markets. The Lumia 820, as well as the Lumia 920, will be heading to countries throughout Europe and beyond. We've long awaited confirmation on where the new hardware will be heading, not to mention how much it'll cost consumers to invest in.

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Another day, another exclusive app from Nokia available to all Lumia owners. Today, the Finnish company released Goal.com 2012 Finals. The app is a must have for those who watch soccer...errr...football as it will deliver "breaking news, exclusive interviews, video clips, team profiles, player profiles and 'Road to Euro 2012' which looks back at how each nation qualified for the tournament".

The app has multiple Live Tile support as you can pin your team to your Start screen with updates reflected on the tile (under Settings). It can even remind you when a match is about to start which seems extremely convenient to us.

Overall, the app is smooth and nicely laid out and while we not huge football fans here in the States we can see many of our European friends being thrilled with another great Nokia release.

Pick up Goal.com 2012 Finals for your Nokia Lumia device here in the Marketplace.

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Samsung only recently announced the Omnia M budget phone for Europe last week, and now we've got hold of a price tag for the smartphone. Italian store ePrice has listed the Omnia M for €294.99, and is targeting the Lumia 610 but Nokia has been able to bring down the prices of their lower-end Windows Phones substantially.

The Omnia M, to refresh the early waking cogs on this Monday morning, sports a 1GHz  CPU with a 4" Super AMOLED screen and 4GB of storage on board. It features HSPA at 7.2MBps. Still no word on availability as-of-yet, but we're sure more details will come to light soon. The device is slated for a European release.

Source:  ePrice.it, via: Plaffo

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The Scandinavian Bank Nordea has released their banking app, Mobile Bank, over at the Windows Phone Marketplace. It offers customers an easy way to take care of tier everyday banking needs such as check account balances, transfer funds and pay bills.

Additional key features include:

  • Currency converter
  • Mortgage calculator
  • Rate exchange information
  • Stock Quotes
  • News from Nordea's newsroom

The Nordea Mobile Bank is a free application and you can find it here in the Windows Phone Marketplace.

source: Nordea; Thanks, parcp67, for the tip!

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We've been hearing rumblings of a Nokia Lumia 910 recently--basically a Lumia 900 but with a 12.1MP camera instead of the 8MP on the AT&T version. That's not too shabby if true, especially for our European friends who are rumored to be getting the updated version by mid year.

Now we have the Lumia 910 showing up on a Typhone.NL a Dutch retail site for smartphones. The phone is clearly marked as the 910 and low and behold even has a matching 12MP camera to match those rumored specs. Could be coincidence, could be a retail site drumming up some hits or it could very well be the first solid evidence that this bad boy is coming sooner than later. Everything else is there too: 16GB of storage, front facing camera, HSDPA (21 Mb/s) and that 4.3" screen, of course.

In fact, dare we we say we're expecting Nokia to show of the Lumia 910 next month in Barcelona? They're not going to just re-hash a 900 release are they? We think not...

Source: Typhone.NL; via WPSauce

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Nokia has announced on Facebook that the Lumia 800 will be available on Vodafone in Ireland on February 1st, which we touched on last week. What's more is that according to users who visited the Facebook page, they noticed the manufacturer stating that the Lumia 900 (the recently announced U.S. LTE Windows Phone) will be coming to Europe in Q2 2012. See the below quote:

"The Nokia Lumia 900 will launch across Europe including Ireland in Q.2 of 2012. We cannot confirm whether Vodafone will stock it or not at this point. Hope that answers your questions guys?!"

So that will at least give us hope of the high end handset coming to Europe.

Source: Nokia Ireland Facebook Page, thanks Mike for the tip!

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We previously touched on ZTE handsets heading for Europe (and being the white label Windows Phone in France), and now it seems as though the ZTE Tania is ready for pre-order at Clove UK. The low-range handset is a fairly cheap option for those who don't require top specifications. The Tania will run a smooth experience as any other Windows Phone sporting a 1Ghz processor, but comes with limiting 4GB worth of storage. Then again, with a Zune subscription, storage wouldn't be a huge issue.

Other information on the device includes a 4.3" screen, 512MB RAM, 5MP camera (no FFC). You can pre-order your own at Clove UK for £249.99 (including VAT) unlocked.

Source: Clove UK

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We've covered Turn-By-Turn before and recently reviewed their off-line mapping solution for the United States. The (relatively) more affordable navigation app was the first to offer regional and local downloading of offline data, which makes the app a bit faster, saves on precious battery life and uses no-data saving some money.

The catalog of offerings has expand greatly to many other countries and regions, as can be seen below. And now one of the more difficult areas has finally received its own custom maps: Australia. We've heard about folks in this region having a difficult time finding a GPS navigation app for Windows Phone, so they should be pretty excited. However, it comes at a cost: $40.99 for the app and maps.

That's certainly on the high end, though we imagine the cost is largely dictated the licensing fees that developer GPS Tuner needs to pay NAVTEQ to have access. But hey, at least you have an option now.

Likewise, in case you're a big Europe traveler, you can now just buy access to all of Europe's maps instead of country by country. That too will set you back some cash, about $50.99 to be exact, but at least you'll have everything you ever need right there on your phone.

Pick up Turn-By-Turn Australia & New Zealand here and the comprehensive Europe version here in the Marketplace.

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