Interview

Our CES interview with Microsoft's Greg Sullivan

CES is turning out to be an interesting event for 4K HD TVs, various connected technologies and smart cars. Smartphones are mostly relegated to display status, with companies preferring their own off-site venues for announcements. Microsoft though is here, taking private meetings with vendors and the press.

Yesterday, we sat down with Greg Sullivan, Director on Windows Phone at Microsoft. The news was positive and while no new announcements were revealed, Microsoft did have some thoughts on the coming company reorganization, acquisition of Nokia in the coming year and the sleeper-hit Lumia 520.

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Our CES interview with Nokia on developer goals this year

2013 will go down as a watershed year for Windows Phone. High profile devices like the Lumia 1020 garnered massive press attention while the super affordable Lumia 520 actually drove Windows Phone adoption. Starting in the last quarter, a new push for must-have apps was launched through the efforts of Microsoft and Nokia. Apps like Instagram and even a renewed WhatsApp became staples of the platform.

Here at CES, Windows Phone has a lighter presence this time around. No new phones are being announced and Microsoft is holding back news until Build later this spring. But that doesn’t mean Microsoft and Nokia aren’t present and we’re sitting down with both of them today.

First up is Bryan Biniak, Global Vice President & General Manager at Nokia. We spoke with him this morning about developer challenges with Windows Phone heading into 2014.

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We sit down with Nokia’s Stephen Elop

Nokia World is still going strong in Abu Dhabi and we have plenty of coverage yet to bring you today, but one of those is of high priority: Executive Vice President, Devices & Services, Stephen Elop. Of course many of you know him as the former President and CEO of Nokia (until Microsoft agreed to buy the hardware division of Nokia in early September). That change will eventually result in Elop becoming Executive Vice President at Microsoft once the deal is finalized in early 2014.

In a roundtable discussion with a select few in the media, we were able to ask Elop about today’s announcements, which included the Lumia 1320, Lumia 1520 and Lumia 2520 and new Asha devices.

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Our interview with Microsoft Behavioral Scientist Matt Wallaert to set the record straight on the Bing versus Google controversy

Yesterday, we published an editorial questioning whether or not Microsoft’s “Bing It On” campaign and its claims are a sham or fair play.

Yale law professor, Ian Ayres, conducted a study with a collection of 1,000 people who were asked to take the “Bing It On” challenge and report their results. The outcome of Ayres’ experiment was nowhere near Microsoft’s claim that people prefer Bing 2 to 1 causing a media storm of accusations and negative press.

We spoke with Bing Behavioral Scientist, Matt Wallaert, to help clear up the situation.

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Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer took 15 minutes to sit down with ZDNet's Mary Jo Foley to talk about his announced departure, biggest regrets at the company and what the future holds. We covered news from this morning that the popular figure at Microsoft will be stepping down as CEO to begin to enjoy retirement. So, the most pressing question is: what was Ballmer's biggest regret?

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Yesterday we brought you the news from Casual Connect that Puzzle Retreat would be coming to Windows Phone 8 this year. Now let’s follow up by discussing a Windows 8-specific game. This one comes from Game House, who we didn’t expect to have a mobile Windows presence at the show.

Imagine my surprise when I stopped by their booth and saw the Windows 8 version of Delicious: Emily’s Wonder Wedding running on a big and beautiful touch-screen monitor right at the front of their booth. Ruby Urlings, the game's producer was even on-hand to demonstrate its story and gameplay for us on video. Give it a watch (and read the history of Delicious on mobile Windows platforms) after the break!

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With Nokia’s announcement today of the new Lumia 925, many questions have been asked by you regarding design choices, hardware specifications and the future of Nokia’s Lumia efforts.

During the day, we spoke with Kevin Shields (Management Overhead, Nokia) and Stefan Pannenbecker (SVP Product Design, at Nokia) who were kind enough to take some of inquiries about today’s product reveal.

Want some answers to your most asked questions? Then head past the break...

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We're still on the floor here at Nokia's event in London and we're preparing for an imminent interview with SVP Product Design, Stefan Pannenbecker. While we have some questions we'll put forward, we'd like to know what you guys want to have answered. What continues to influence design? How will Nokia innovate on what's currently available? We'd like to hear all your queries.

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First impressions are everything and Windows Phone has that covered. It’s by far one of the most unique and beautiful operating systems at first glance. Its beauty is also more than skin deep, spend a few minutes playing around and you’ll know something is different about it. Albert Shum recently sat down with Jay Greene at CNET to talk Windows Phone and design.

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Stephen Elop was on a Finnish television show this week for an interview with Harry Harkimo, discussing Lumia Windows Phones. The Nokia CEO refused to answer questions about the upcoming Lumia 928, but did manage to get hold of the iPhone Harkimo had with him and immediately discarded the mobile phone. While it was never returned in the published clip, we can't imagine the device survived. It's no Lumia.

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Whilst at MWC, Windows Phone Central had the chance to sit down with Marco Argenti, Senior Vice President of the Developer and Marketplace division at Nokia. We had just been checking out the new partner apps being shown off in Nokia’s sizeable booth and were keen to hear more about the relationships Nokia are continuing to build with developers both commercial and indie, especially following the news of Nokia’s new imaging and HERE API features.

You can find the full write up of that discussion after the break.

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Although Nokia was not announcing any new Lumia Windows Phones here at CES 2013 in Las Vegas, they were still present here making sure people know that they mean business.

Luckily for us their photo guru, Juha Alakarhu, was there to take our questions regarding cameras and the future of mobile camerawork. Being in charge of Nokia’s imaging for their Lumia line gives him special insight into the field and since we’re photo enthusiasts ourselves, we had a lot to discuss.

Most of our conversation concentrated on chatting about their current cream of the crop, the Nokia Lumia 920 but who could also ignore that 808 Pureview with its 41MP image sensor? Not us. So both imaging technologies were discussed in tandem as well as what Nokia is thinking about what’s coming next. Join us after the break for some interesting tidbits behind Nokia’s photographic magic.

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Nokia has published a video on its YouTube channel. It's an interview with Marko Ahtisaari, Head of the Nokia Design Team, who talks about the Lumia 920. Revealing how the team pays close attention to minute details (hardware buttons, glass, etc.), he goes into explaining how the team wanted to ensure the build quality of the Windows Phone is at such a level so when consumers take the device out the pocket while outside, they're not concerned about its protection and cover it in bulky cases.

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It’s always nice to hear chairman and former Microsoft CEO Bill Gates share his thoughts on the company’s new strategy. And although he has left day-to-day operations of the company to Ballmer, there’s little doubt that he still has regular input on strategy, design and direction.

The video interview, conducted by Steve Clayton, shows Gates talking about how Windows 8 changes things for the company (he even calls it “Windows 8 Phone”, so yes, it’s a common mistake).

Nothing shocking is revealed but it’s still fun to watch the man talk about Microsoft and this bold, new direction in which they are heading.

Source: YouTube

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Image from the WSJ Live interview with Nokia CEO Stephen Elop

In an online video interview just posted to WSJ Live, Nokia CEO Stephen Elop discusses Nokia’s strategy going forward with Windows Phone, their regular phone business and what to expect tomorrow.

While no specifics were revealed, it has been confirmed that Nokia will be showing off a fully-functional Windows Phone 8 OS on their new devices—rubbing the point home that Samsung was unable to do this just a week ago. From the interview..

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Unity as a company has one mission: help games developers be more successful. Unity is one of the top game development platforms, routinely seen powering the biggest games on a multitude of platforms such as Castle Warriors, Battle Bears, Max & the Magic Marker, CSR Racing, Temple Run and Shadowgun and now its the turn of Windows Phone to get in on the Unity action.

We recently sat down with CEO of Unity Technologies, David Helgason--freshly back from Unite 12--to hear why they are betting on Windows Phone 8 and why it is good news for developers and gamers alike. 

David tells us right off that they want to bring Unity to the platforms that matter most. Surprisingly their decision to bring Unity to Windows Phone was driven by an upwelling of requests from developers...

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Me pondering what we look for from developers

If you’re a Windows Phone developer and want a peek behind the current on Windows Phone Central and our process on app reviews, you’ll want to head to the AdDuplex blog. AdDuplex as many of you know powers the developer promotion network behind many Windows Phone apps (and now Windows 8) and the service’s creator, Alan Mendelevich, was curious as to what we look for when developers contacts us.

Ah yes, the table has turned as we’re the ones being interviewed!

The conversation was with myself and Alan asks some really great questions, such as how many app-review requests we get, what we look for in those emails, are dedicated app-websites beneficial and more. Basically if you’re a developer it’s a roadmap on how best to get your app noticed by us for a potential review. (The first step though is the app or game better be good).

You can read that full interview here at the AdDuplex blog. And if you’re more curious about Alan and his role in Windows Phone, you can read our interview with him from February.

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Windows Phone Central was at the recent WPDD event in Bournemouth on the Saturday just gone where a number of developers presented their apps and projects or gave advice to inspire attendees and showcase what they've been up to. Among the presenting developers were Ahmed Zaman and Henry Hoffman from Angry Mango, the team who brought us the Xbox LIVE for Windows Phone title Mush.

If you're not familiar with Mush, it's a charming puzzle game that is focused on alternating between moods, which can be drawn on-screen. The cute little character reflects whichever mood you decide, and each mood will bring unique abilities (for example: draw a smile and he'll float through being so elated). Mush is much like ilomilo in the sense the player can't die so the game focuses more on the gameplay and puzzle aspects.

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