upgrades

While T-Mobile customers are surely excited about the news on the Lumia 925's price and release date, T-Mobile has made it a little easier to upgrade your Windows Phones with their JUMP! program.

The JUMP! program is also designed to provide customers with total protection for Windows Phone. The program offers the ability to upgrade to a new device more affordably and protects against malfunction, damage, loss or theft. The cost? $10 per month, per phone (plus taxes and fees).

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In a motivating “introductory” session today at Build, led by Principal Group Program Manager, Sam George, some details came out about where new Windows Phone users are coming from. With the choices ranging from other smartphones (BlackBerry, iOS and Android) to just feature phones, it’s an interesting question for those who follow smartphone trends.

According to Microsoft, their numbers reveal that 42% of users who come from Windows Phone are giving up their feature phone. That backs the hypothesis that the Windows Phone OS, with its seemingly approachable UI design and the lack of complexity, is a great step forward for those who are looking to upgrade to the smartphone world (but don’t want an iPhone and find Android too difficult).

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Microsoft is set to fire up its updating engine for Windows Phone in Q1 next year, according to a tweet published by renowned Twitter account @Football4PDA. The account was the named source for the leaked images of the HTC Accord (HTC 8X), as well as a number of other headlines that have been published along the way to Windows Phone 8

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Along with all the pre-order offers we are seeing on Windows 8 hardware, we are now seeing the software upgrade join the pre-order party. Starting today, you can pre-order your copy of the Windows 8 Pro upgrade for discounted price of $69.99 USD. Pre-orders can be made through retailers such as Amazon.com, Best Buy, Staples and the Microsoft Store.

For those wanting to wait a bit, on October 26th you can upgrade to Windows 8 using the online upgrade assistant for $39.99 USD. The online option is supported for 140 countries worldwide with 37 languages and 23 currencies supported.

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Santa's here - free gifts for everyone

Microsoft has announced at an internal event held in Seattle that employees at the company will be receiving a hardware package which includes a PC refresh, Surface tablet and Windows Phone. GeekWire reports the company is looking to accelerate the refresh cycle for Employee workstations to take full advantage of Windows 8. 

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Microsoft will begin upgrading the App Hub's infrastructure this Friday. Upgrades that will add more server capacity to better handle the load increases and streamlining the processes in an effort to speed up the rate in which apps can be submitted, certified and published.

Developers planning on submitting new apps or updates should do so no later than tomorrow. The maintenance work may cause delays in app certification and publication.

The maintenance will also require the App Hub to go offline on Monday, August 6th for about 24 hours (or less). When all is said and done, the maintenance should improve the effectiveness and efficiency of the Marketplace submission and certification process.

We'll be keeping our fingers crossed that all goes well. 

Source: Windowsteamblog

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Not great news today from the Windows Phone camp. It would appear that CNET have been chatting with Greg Sullivan from Microsoft and what he has said isn't what Windows Phone users wanted to hear.

It seems that Microsoft has know for a long time that Windows Phone 7 would be replaced by Windows Phone 8.

"It was right after Windows Phone 7," Sullivan said, speaking in an interview with CNET UK. The team that developed the 7.5 release actually was working in parallel with the core team that was already beginning [Windows Phone 8]. In fact some of that work was already initiated before Windows Phone 7 was even available -- so this goes back a little bit."

"It is true that this is a generational shift -- that is a rare occurrence, but it's something we don't expect to have happen again in the foreseeable future because of the headspace that the new architecture gives us."

While I would imagine that the majority of blogs that write about this will just complain about Microsoft keeping us in the dark, I on the other hand am looking at this realistically. How many operating systems are there that get a big software upgrade that will then work on all older hardware? As far as I can see there is only one that seems to have nailed it and that is iOS. While Android tries to update as many devices from the past 18 months or so they are quite often at the mercy of the carriers and manufacturers. At least Apple seem to have a good track record of keeping older hardware up to date. RIM has been guilty of the same. Many OS 5.0 handsets were not upgradable to BlackBerry 6 and none of those were ever going to see BlackBerry 7.

What I am getting at here is that this is just the way the mobile industry works. Sure, if you have bought a Windows Phone in the last 6 months or so it may have been nice to know an update was coming and the hardware would not be compatible. But that is never going to happen as manufactures need to sell phones.

At least it is encouraging to know that we shouldn't see this scenario again for some time with Windows Phone.

The whole thing isn't ideal but ideal but that's how the business seems to work.

Source: CNET

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Over at the site Reddit, tipster MS_Nerd did an AMA (Ask me anything) where he took questions from fellow Redditors. Specifically, he was talking about Windows Phone news and what's coming down the line.

We should point out that MS_Nerd has a spotty record on these things. First, he claimed that "Tango" would come with a 480x320 resolution which obviously it is not. He also noted that there was a "Tango 2" release that would come at MIX12, where also "Apollo" would be announced. Two things wrong with that one: there's no Tango 2 and MIX12 was canceled, so it'd be odd for the Windows Phone team to make a huge announcement there. Finally there was the "Zune Pass will slowly be merged with Xbox Live Gold" from May 2011, which surely hasn't happened yet either.

Point being, take this with a grain of salt as his accuracy is mixed at best. We'd hardly call him "reliable" as some sites have.

What MS_Nerd did reveal was that supposedly all Windows Phones will be eligible for Windows Phone 8 aka "Apollo" but that the carriers, as usual, will be the biggest roadblock. He also emphasized Nokia's role in hardware development:

"Yes, all current Windows Phones will receive a subset of Apollo. The carriers are the primary obstacle in the US. I hear Microsoft is pushing hard for a Mango-like delivery schedule, as are Nokia & HTC. Some Apollo features will be exclusive to the 3rd-gen devices expected to be released this fall on the MSM8960 platform."

"Nokia's role is in defining chipset support (beyond Qualcomm), designing the camera-to-software interaction model, antenna & battery design, languages & regional services, etc."

In response, we'll just say even Microsoft has dodged this issue lately, leading us to believe that this is not so cut and dry. In fact, Microsoft's Myerson was purposefully guileful on this very topic. Second, we have it from our own internal sources that no, not every phone will get Apollo, in fact it's the opposite: only new hardware will have it on board. Fact is, if this was a simple as MS_Nerd has us believe, we'd imagine Microsoft would just come out and say it.

Conclusion? This is far from set in stone as evidenced by the posting of contradictory rumors by many Windows Phone sites (who seem to revel in these rumors without acknowledging how contradictory they are). While we want to believe that all our phones will get upgraded, there is nothing, absolutely nothing solid here folks. So our advice: sit back and wait for Microsoft to say something on the record or wait for some real proof, otherwise we'll be going back and forth on this topic for quite some time.

Source: Reddit; via PhonaArena, WMPU; WP8 concept image: Jozef Kocúr; Thanks, Vernon S., for the tip

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The big news of the day (on an evidently slow one) is that Microsoft may allow OEMs to upgrade devices to Windows Phone 7 Series software.

Shocking, we know. You can sit back down now.

Considering we've heard a lot about a certain HTC HD2 aiming for an upgrade (from  HTC no less), it sure doesn't seem like a stretch to see this happen for certain "qualifying" devices.  Now what exactly constitutes qualification, is not too clear. Devices like the LG eXpo were slated to release with WP7, but since it lacks a capacitive screen ...?

Basically, Tracy and Matt asked Microsoft's Alex Reeve (Director of the company's UK Mobile Business Group) on Twitter about the upgrade possibility and he tweeted back with 

It's early days yet, and that's really for our hardware partners to think about.

So there you go, 100% definitive proof that OEMs can think about doing something with certain devices. Whether it actually happens? That's a whole 'nother ball of wax. Try not too loose any sleep over it tonight. [Updated to fix source]

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OK. We admit it. We've done our share of dog-cussing Sprint. Some of that abuse has been deserved. Some of it maybe has just been piling on. But you've gotta admit, Sprint's been trying real hard of late. The Centro was a bit hit. The "Simply Everything" plans, well, simpilified things, and they're not a terrible deal. The HTC Touch Diamond, Touch Pro, Treo 800w and (soon) the Treo Pro have made a mighty fine CDMA lineup. (And we won't forget about the Samsung Ace and Motorola Q9c.)

Now Sprint unleashes "Sprint Premier." As they say, "unique perks you won't find anywhere else." Here's what you need to be automatically enrolled:

  • For three consecutive months, consumer customers must be on an individual wireless plan of at least $69.99 per month or spend at least $99.99 per month on a plan that shares minutes.

Or

  • Must have been a Sprint wireless customer for at least 10 years.

That's so easy, a caveman could do it. Here's what you get once you're in the club:

  • Early Upgrades: After only one year customers can receive our new customer price on a new handset. That's almost a year sooner than other customers. For accounts sharing minutes, the early upgrade applies to the primary line. A new two-year agreement is required.
  • “Just Because” Perks: Spontaneous special offers for trips, tickets to shows and sporting events -- just to say thanks.
  • Anniversary Rewards: Customers celebrate their annual Sprint anniversary with a special gift such as free ring tones or free minutes.
  • First to Know/First to Buy: Longstanding customers get an exclusive first peek at new products and services such as the upcoming Palm Pre™, and then are among the first with opportunities to purchase when they become available.
  • Accessory Discounts: A once-a-year discount on accessories at participating Sprint stores.
  • Courtesy Plan Check: For customers who haven’t changed their plan in six months, Sprint will notify them for a “Plan Check” to make sure they are getting the most value out of their device.

Find out more at sprint.com/premiercustomer. Oh, and we couldn't help but notice the handy "If you don't qualify, you can start by changing (read: upgrading) your plan today (to something more expensive) button at the bottom. Sorry. Couldn't help ourselves.

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