release

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Windows Phone Mango update imminent

We just received a tip from an anonymous reader (he wishes to remain protected - we've sent WPCentral bouncers round as we speak) who reports that he's received an email notification from both Microsoft and a manufacturer (specifically not Samsung or HTC) to downgrade Mango-powered devices and revert back to a previous test version.

"Hello today we got an email notification from both MS and our Vendor for whom we test it's unreleased (TBR) device (not Sammy or HTC) to DOWNGRADE our Mango units to previous TEST Windows Phone Version as to check MS Servers for smooth Mango deployment/update and if all the Servers are prepped..."

It will then be the case to test the Mango deployment and ensure that Microsoft and the WP team get everything prepped and ready for end-users. Looks like this is fitting in with rumours and speculation that Mango is pretty ripe and ready to burst - it's the 15th tomorrow. Have we all got our kitchen knives at the ready? This fruit is going to be so sweet sliced.

Thanks to our anonymous tipster for the heads up!

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Brace yourselves...

Remember that PocketLint story from yesterday that had "multiple trusted sources" confirming that Mango would be rolled out on September 1?  Well, according to Joe Belfiore, the guy who "runs the team doing Windows Phone 7 product definition & design," it's "just a rumor." 

In a tweet this morning, he said so himself.  Now, this could very well just be some marketing misdirection on Belfiore's part, but it's more likely that we all just got some inaccurate information.  We knew not to get too excited about the prospect of a September 1 release, but with everything we've seen of Mango, and a glimmer of hope, we can't help but be a tiny bit disappointed that it won't be coming that soon.  But it's just one more reminder of how these things go.

Source: Joe Belfiore

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As expected, the press conference with KDDI/AU, Microsoft Japan and Toshiba-Fujitsu just wrapped up. The big news of course those is the revealing of the IS12T, one of the first official "Mango" phones to be made available in the coming weeks.

Here are the device specs, given during the presentation:

  • 32GB memory
  • 3 colors: Yellow, Pink, Black
  • Waterproof
  • MSM8655
  • 3.7" TF LCD screen
  • 13.2 MP camera (!)
  • 59x118x10.6mm
  • 113g

Release date appears to be on track for September or after, a bit later than previously reported. We have to admit, with a 13MP camera, waterproof, 32GB of memory and those fun colors, this could be a big seller in Japan.

(Additional info via NanaPho; photo via Engadget)

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We recently reported that Windows Phone "Mango" had been released to manufacturers (RTM) and we could be heading for a potential early release of the next major update. Unfortunately, this turned out to be just slightly off. Today, Terry Myerson, over at the Windows Phone Team blog has published an article announcing the signing of the RTM build.

Manufacturers and carriers will now begin tweaking/optimizing, testing and preparing for the roll out, which will hopefully run without problem and/or delay. At least this gives AT&T a few months in advanced to get everything in place on their end before their WP7 customers begin to revolt.

So, I put forward the question again, what do you make of this announcement and do you believe "Mango" will be sent out within a reasonable time frame?

Update: Looks like build 7720 is the final, RTM one according to Microsoft's Matthijs Hoekstra. Pretty close to our reported 7710 from one week ago.

Source: Windows Phone Team Blog and thanks to everyone who tipped us on this!

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In the recent Windows Phone Developer Podcast episode, we have some new information detailing the status of the next update for Microsoft's mobile platform - "Mango". This shouldn't come with shock to readers since we've been following the wind with the Fujitsu IS12T handset (as well as Nokia's "Sea Ray"). According to the podcast; "Mango" has been RTM (released to manufacturers) and is also with carriers for testing.

While we've had the next update on devices for some time now, this was of course only a developer preview build (7661). Our Daniel Rubino previously caught on the build number for the release of "Mango" when we covered the breaking news of the Nokia device being shown off in a factory. In fact, we didn't only have the build number, which will be 7710, but we also stated that we received word on "Mango" already being RTM.

Good news all around? We think so, what do you guys make of this somewhat re-assuring news? Do you believe these are signs of an early release?

Update: And the news has jumped the gun again. Bill Cox, Sr. Director of Communications at Microsoft for the Windows Phone Division, just tweeted:

"For those following the rumor mill, @windowsphone Mango has not yet hit RTM. We’re excited about the progress... stay tuned."

For what it's worth, we have heard that 7710 is or near final RTM though and clearly from the Sea Ray video this week, you can see the "OEM" logo as the OS boots. Still, looks like we're not quite there yet.

Source: Windows Phone Dev Podcast;  via: WMPU

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I'm sure no one believed Nokia would be able to move to Windows Phone 7 and be selling handsets left, right and center with little marketing or investment (except perhaps for China for the time being). The handset manufacturer is reported to be looking at spending around £80 million (about $127 million US) on repairing the once-superior brand in the current competitive UK market (where RIM is currently also a threat as well as iOS and Android).

What's interesting to note is the October mentioning in the article over at Marketing Magazine. An October start to the campaign would surely merit a device release at that time too? We've previously looked at reports of Nokia not bringing any devices until 2012, but only volume will ship in 2012, Nokia is still looking to get a device out into the wild by Christmas at least.

Nokia works with Wieden & Kennedy, Fallon and R/GA, among others in the UK for promotion and marketing. The handset manufacturer recently unveiled a campaign for their QWERTY range of devices; the C3, E5, and E6. You can watch the advert (made by Wieden & Kennedy) for these below:

Unfortunately for Nokia, with some potential customers out there, the only way they'll buy the WP7 marketing campaign is if the company uses the dog and girl photo on this article in a "you don't need Android or iOS" context. What do you guys make of this report?

Source: Marketing Magazine, via: GoMo News

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Recently at the Imagine Cup 2011, happening right here in New York City, Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer gave his usual keynote speech.

Towards the middle, he finally gave a nod to Windows Phone and even dropped some info regarding the 2nd generation "Mango" phones that we're all expecting late this year, including Nokia's entry:

"Windows Phone. You know, a year ago we didn't have a phone in the market. Now, we're charging forward with Nokia. We have the second generation of our phones coming out this Christmas, and people are starting to do things they had never imagined before. I love the applications that I saw for the Windows Phone from the people in this room, and the way you're pushing that device, and using that device. It was really exciting for me."

Some folks are interpreting his remarks as a sign of slippage on "Mango's" release, noting how Christmas is a few days post-Fall.

We're a bit more hesitant to make such a claim as it raises the question: Are new WP7 hardware releases tied to the software update? We're betting on "no". New hardware has a much more flexible release schedule and we see no inclination that Microsoft will hold off on the "Mango" software updates for current devices until new hardware comes out. Sure, it could happen, but we're not betting on it. Instead, we'll probably see a rolling out of new hardware over a few months ending 2011 into 2012. In other words, not much of a story here.

Source: Microsoft

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We're all hyped and excited about the upcoming Microkia partnership taking full swing and seeing Nokia CEO Steve Elop pleading with the audience at a preview demonstration of 'Sea Ray' to not release material to the media (we still haven't posted anything about it, Steve - we promise), it got our taste buds tingling at the sight of a Nokia WP7 handset.

However, it seems there's some slight confusion with Nokia and their release dates. To cut a long story short, Nokia have never led us to believe they would begin shipping numbers this year. 2012 was always the given date. The fall of 2011 (when Mango is being rolled out) was only ever a possibility for us to see a single Nokia handset available, which Steve explained in a video a few months back. So today, when they tweeted

"The first volume shipments for Nokia phone with Windows Phone OS are expected that start early next year."

...well, that's the same story they've been telling, no news there. Nokia's WP7 portfolio is to be in full swing next year, but as Steve mentions in the video linked above, the pressure is on not only the company, but also himself to push a device out this year at least. In an interview with Forbes, Jo Harlow, head of Smart Devices at Nokia, mentioned that they were indeed ahead of scheduele but no promise was evidentially made.

Who are we kidding anyway? This is only July, early July at that. We've just entered the summer holidays and have a good number of months to go until Mango along with the fall of 2011. Let's just see what Nokia has to say closer to the date for more accurate detail.

Could their first device come this year? Possibly, but don't be disappointed if it arrives early 2012. It's still going to be one incredible ride and Nokia know they need to hit the nail on the head to survive.

We hope that clears up a few things as we wouldn't want you all to get the wrong idea about anything, would we?

Source: GeekSailor, Twitter (Nokia)

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Update: Now the 16gb version is available for $149.99 on contract with free 2nd Day Shipping if ordered by December 2nd. (Thanks breadbooze and Jose P for the tip!)

Update: Well looky here, if you follow THIS LINK, you can order the 8GB version for $99 on contract right now. Not bad. (Thanks, Sam S., for the info!)

The Venue Pro may make it for Christmas after all. We have to leave this as a question mark because Dell took down the offending page with the goods on it, but before they did Pocketnow managed to get a screen grab. The pricing is $149.99 with contract or $499.99 without and will not work on AT&T's 3G--so T-Mobile only this shall remain.

December 14th seems like a good date, as it leaves time to order just before the holiday. Now the bigger questions are will that date remain, can they make it and can they do it without any more glitches?

Source: Dell (not working); via Pocketnow, GoWindowsGo

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Over at Windows Phone Secrets, Paul Thurrott tells us that the launch date for Windows Phone 7 is November 8th and notes that although Microsoft will have an event on October 11th in New York City, that's not the launch date for our new OS.

First some clarification is in order: we've never been under the impression (and we doubt you have been as well) that on October 11th, you would be able to actually buy one of the three Windows Phones from AT&T. We've always assumed that Microsoft and partners (OEM and carriers) will show off their wares on that day and then weeks later after an aggressive advertising campaign, actually make them available. With less than 2 weeks to go, we certainly would have seen some shipments of phones move by now (and more leaks) if otherwise.

Basically we're looking, as we've said numerous times before, for a repeat of last year's timeline with the Windows Mobile 6.5 launch, which was:

  1. Show off/announce phones from carriers and OEMs in NYC
  2. Talk release dates and ROM upgrades for a future dates
  3. Spend the news few weeks advertising & promoting 

Sure, the Microsoft Open House event on October 11th is not all Windows Phone 7, in fact we expect Xbox, Windows 7, Ford Sync, etc. all to be demoed as well--like last year. But we're quite confident (and have to disagree with Thurrott here) that the NYC event is "...unrelated to Windows Phone".  We're betting that there will be some Windows Phone 7 devices on  hand and we have a feeling we'll be hearing from AT&T (and maybe T-Mobile) about that November 8th date at that time.

Discuss.

 

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Title says it all: the final version of the Windows Phone 7 Developer Tools is slated for a September 16th release, giving, we imagine, a good 4-6 weeks before the finalized hardware goes on sale.

Needless to say, for developers and the Microsoft team, this is a huge milestone. Seeing as there have been no delays so far, Microsoft's execution of WP7 seems to be almost unprecedented.

Also worth noting is that the beta developer tools have been downloaded 300,000 times. Not too shabby.

Check out Brandon Watson giving the details on Microsoft's Channel 9.

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In the Bluetooth SIG documents on the LG C900, they have listed as around September 28th as the release date for said device. If you remember, LG said the same thing back in July too.

Since today is a slow news day on Windows Phone 7, many sites are posting this story from Phone Arena, which while interesting, really doesn't say anything new. But we have a feeling that regular folk are construing this to mean somewhere an LG C900 will be available at the end of September to actually purchase.

So far we know

The launch of Windows Phone 7 will be a coordinated effort and we can't see AT&T or LG jumping the gun on Microsoft. However, there is no reason to doubt that the LG C900 will be ready to launch at the end of September, nor do we doubt HTC and Samsung will also have their hardware near finalized at that time either.  All of this should be obvious as we are at the tale-end of the WP7 pre-launch.

In other words, Bluetooth SIG + LG ≠ internal-carrier release plans. So some perspective: First week of October = Microsoft unveiling Windows Phone 7, with devices becoming available soon after; November release dates for the U.S.

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We keep hearing various time-frames for the release of Windows Phone 7. Usually "holiday season" is tossed around, which here in the States stretches from mid-October (if you count Halloween) through January 2nd.

Some of us have been hearing October as the big month, but we're not even sure if that's just announcing products or actual release date. For instance, we can see Microsoft back here in NYC at their "Open House" event kicking off WP7 with a bunch of OEMs and developers, but not releasing till...well later.

Ballmer today is India, once again doing what he does best, giving speeches and pep talks, much like an impromptu Chris Farley. In response to a question about WP7, Ballmer reportedly had this to say:

We have to deliver devices with our partners this Christmas...We have got our work cut out on Windows Phone 7, but we are good competitors.

We suppose this isn't really news if they do "deliver" by Christmas, after all that is still the Holiday season.  But we can't help but wish it was more October-ish? And to throw in a zinger, he also reportedly said this

One of our competitors seems a little confused, has come out with two operating systems that I cannot tell the difference between.

Ahem, not sure if he should be throwing stones on such a day as this one, but okay.

[via @nimishdubey@cellpassion]

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