google

In a recent interview Google stated they will not devote any resources to making apps for either Windows 8 or Windows Phone 8. They have also now ceased consumer support for ActiveSync.  Some are calling it ‘war’ while others passionately question if Windows Phone can survive without Google products and services.

The relationship between Google and Microsoft has always been somewhat hostile. In many ways the battle they engage in now can be seen as a kind of echo from a distant technological past. Google have dug in their heels and to some degree shown their true colours by declaring zero support for Microsoft’s newest operating systems, Windows Phone and Windows 8.

But does it matter and has anything really changed?

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As if you needed another reason why the Windows Phone Central forums are the best around. You can head there to find all sorts of information and perks. Sometimes developers will recruit users to test drive an upcoming app for them. You can also find the latest and greatest apps that nobody knows about or just kick it with like-minded smartphone users. Then there are times like today where you get awesome tutorials like this one to completely switch from Gmail to Outlook.

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Starting February 1st 2013, Windows Phone users won't be able to create full Gmail accounts on Windows Phone. Does Microsoft have a plan?

This afternoon Google has announced the discontinuation of their support of Exchange ActiveSync (EAS aka the standard for many who use email) after January 30th 2013. The question you may be wondering is, how does it affect Windows Phone?

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Nearly three weeks ago we gave you a sneak peek at the upcoming version 3.0 update for MetroTalk--the dedicated Google Voice app. That update is now live and joins all the other new Windows Phone 8 optimized apps to hit the Store.

The new version has brought with it numerous fixes and various new features, many of which are optimized for Windows Phone 8 users. Over the last few weeks, we’ve had no issues with the app and it’s been running like a champ on our Lumia 920. In short, if you use Google Voice and you're on Windows Phone, you need this.

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If you're holding your breath for some more official apps from Google for Windows Phone or Windows 8, you stop trying now. A Google product manager has gone on record saying the Mountain View company has no plans to develop its application for Microsoft's competing operating system. The reason may surprise you.

So Google isn't actively developing for Windows Phone or Windows 8 because it just doesn't see the market for it yet. Speaking with tech site V3, Clay Bavor went on record saying:

"We have no plans to build out Windows apps. We are very careful about where we invest and will go where the users are but they are not on Windows Phone or Windows 8. If that changes, we would invest there, of course."

While there aren't any current plans to bring popular services like YouTube or Google Talk to Windows Phone or Windows 8, there could be hope for both platforms as they gain market share.

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Microsoft is getting feisty again with their Bing service as they’re taking the fight to Google with quite a snarky holiday ad released on YouTube.

With its "A Visit from St. Nicholas" style narration, the ad takes on Google’s practice of listing shopping results not so much based on lowest price or other reasonable metrics but rather who paid the most. As it turns out, some of the top results in Google are there because a company paid to have them there, as opposed to being what is best for the shopper. Or so that is what Microsoft alleges.

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For those of us stuck with multiple phone numbers or who like free SMS messaging, Google Voice is a pretty great service (we do wish Microsoft had their own version though). Google of course can’t be bothered with making a Windows Phone client so instead we have to rely on our cadre of great third party app developers.

MetroTalk is one of those apps for Google Voice and we managed to spend some time with the upcoming Windows Phone 8 version. Windows Phone 8 messaging apps will benefit the most from the new APIs offered to developers and consumers will get a much better experience—faster apps, better notifications and many more options.

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Last we checked there are 31 days in the month of October, which means 31 opportunities to schedule press events. And if you were feeling randy, we hear that November has 30 more occasions.

So we can’t help but cast astonishment at Google’s insistence on having a big reveal on the very same day that Microsoft is holding its Windows Phone 8 announcement. With Microsoft on the West coast (San Francisco), Google has opted for New York City giving tech blogs a headache for travel plans.

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Suppliers in Asia have apparently spilled the beans on Microsoft's production line plans for its coming Surface devices.

If the information is to be believed, MS have put in component orders to ensure they are able to produce 3 to 5 million of the devices for the fourth quarter. With such an order Microsoft looks set to go into mass production rather than just produce a limited run as some speculated on.

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Look at the shiny shiny...

According to latest data released by comScore, Microsoft remains comfortable in fourth position (behind RIM) with only a .4% reduction in US marketshare. This was expected with the upcoming launch of Windows Phone 8, especially with new hardware unveiled for consumers to hold out on making a purchase.

Sat at 3.6%, Microsoft continues to witness the downfall of RIM which was hit by a sizeable 3.1% drop in US shares as the company continues to battle through the tough period until it releases Blackberry 10. Falling to just 8.3% of the market, unless RIM can slow down the descent of the platform's fall, Microsoft may well find itself in third position - dependant on the imminent Windows Phone 8 launch.

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Windows Phone App Short Take: MetroG

For those who prefer Google over Bing, MetroG is a Windows Phone app may be an app worth giving a try. MetroG is a search app for your Windows Phone that reaches out through Google to search the web for all your keywords.

MetroG is a nice looking app with a conservative appearance. The main page has your keyword search field up top and three button search options (news, web and images) down below. On paper, MetroG isn't a bad search application but its performance seemed to fall a little short.

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Google is getting bold, telling OEMs 'no' on other OSs

Update: Google's Andy Rubin finally responds. See after the break...

A bit of a controversy is slowly erupting over Acer’s widely publicized plan to use the Aliyun OS in a new line of low-cost smartphones, mostly destined for the Chinese market. Aliyun OS is a Linux-based system developed by the Chinese company Alibaba Group and offered a way for OEMs like Acer to diversify.

Acer has now abruptly canceled plans after Google “expressed concerns” over the announcement.  Though Acer still wants to use the Aliyun OS, the move by Google is being interpreted as a hostile action to block competition. Reportedly Google threatened to cancel Acer’s license to make Android devices, which many consider playing hardball.

The question is, how far is Google willing to go to maintain dominance?

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BYOSE - 'Bing' Your Own Search Engine

Microsoft has kick-started the ‘Bing it on’ challenge, which puts Bing against Google to see which search engine can provide more relevant results. Google has been regarded as the most accurate search engine with Bing still claiming grounds and improving algorithms to catch up to the #1. Has Microsoft really achieved wonders with Bing?

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Nokia hoping to dine on jellybeans today

As we all sit here on tenterhooks awaiting the coming announcement from Nokia and Microsoft, Nokia’s twitter account just posted something strange. In what appears to be a little knock directed at Google’s Android OS, Nokia say “Today we dine on Jellybeans”.

Nokia appears to be stepping up their PR antics in the run up to the announcement with placards at Samsung’s recent event and of course the teaser trailers. Considering how well regarded Jellybean is, Nokia must be feeling confident they have the goods on this fine day.

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We're already aware of the result for the Apple versus Samsung US patent battle, which left Samsung with a $1 billion bill. It really couldn't have gone worse for the smartphone manufacturer who has interest in both Android and Windows Phone (the penalty phase returns on September 20th though). Google remained fairly quiet on the front, but has released a statement that details an expected stance on the court results.

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Sync, damn you, sync!

Syncing multiple calendars is never fun. It’s even less fun across various services, like Gmail to Outlook.com for instance, which is the focus of this tutorial.

We recently had to solve this problem for ourselves because although like you we primarily use our Hotmail/Live Mail/Outlook.com calendar for all events, we sometimes need to have our external Google calendar sync to our phone too.

There are a few ways to go about this but we’re going to show you the more unified approach that we prefer. It’s a bit tricky and nearly caused us to punch our wall a few times to figure it out. But for you, it will be dead simple and should literally take you no more than 5 minutes.

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With the re-launch of Hotmail as Outlook.com Microsoft has garnered a lot of adoration from the media and the public, especially when Google just announced the indefinite delay of their Nexus Q orb. As far as PR this week: Microsoft 1, Google 0.

One of the main features that Microsoft is touting with Outlook.com is that they won’t scan your email to deliver personalized ads—a clear shot at Google’s Gmail ad-machine. They have even set up a simple ‘how to’ on switching from Gmail to Outlook.

But with no personalized ads based on the contents of your email, how is Microsoft making money?

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SoundGecko is coming to Windows Phone soon

With today's busy world, sometimes finding time to read you favorite article or keep up with the news can be difficult. Luckily, there may be a solution for some of you on the horizon. 

SoundGecko is a new, amazing service where you find any article, email it to them, and they will send you back an MP3 file of that article. The service can connect up with your SkyDrive or DropBox service to automatically deposit audio files of new articles, allowing to you to pull them down on-the-go. The smartphone app is simply a method to flag articles for the service for conversion.

Currently, the app is only available on the iPhone and Chrome browser (via an extension) but fear not, a Windows Phone version is in the works and we'll have some information on that coming soon...

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