Demos of Windows Phone 7 Features Showed At MWC 2011

We already told you about the upcoming software upgrades Microsoft plans this year for their WP7 platform. Among the key features expected are:

  • Copy/Paste in the first update expected in March
  • Multitasking
  • IE9 Mobile with HTMLS
  • Twitter integration to the People hub
  • Kinect integration

It was surprising of Microsoft to not implementing copy/paste in the first release and there have been a few explanations given but bowing to pressure, they decided to push copy/paste as part of the first update to Windows Phone 7. Here’s a demo of the copy/paste feature:

In many ways, Microsoft took two steps back with WP7 by not implementing copy/paste & multitasking which are both part of Windows Mobile but with time Microsoft plans to fill in these gaps. At MWC 2011, Microsoft demonstrated their multitasking implementation in WP7. Here’s a short demo (view around 2:50):

Similar to the cards in WebOS, press and hold action on the back button will launch the multitasking UI allowing you to browse through the apps running in the background. Audio applications will be able to continue playing in the background as part of multitasking.

With their desktop version of Internet Explorer finally being standard compliant to a large extent and fast to use, Microsoft will be bringing IE9 with HTML5 to Windows Phone 7 too. At MWC 2011, Microsoft showed a performance demo of IE9 Mobile:

Microsoft had earlier demonstrated the ability to continue playing a games across the PC, Xbox and WP7. At MWC 2011, Microsoft showed Kinect, Xbox LIVE and WP7 integration adding a new dimension to multiplayer gaming. The video demo shows two users throwing balls using their WP7 devices while the third player is defending himself using the Kinect & Xbox. Video:

The People hub that allows you to integrate your contacts with their Windows Live and Facebook profiles to fetch updates and contact details will add twitter as well. Microsoft posted a screenshot showing twitter updates of an individual along with Facebook and Windows Live updates:

wp7-twitter

If Microsoft is able to push out these updates by year end, Microsoft should have a mobile platform with all features one would expect in a modern OS.

Nokia Finally Adopts Windows Phone As Its Primary Smartphone OS

nokia microsoft ceo

Nokia finally announced its strategic partnership with Microsoft, that would use their strengths and expertise to create a new global mobile ecosystem. Nokia also shocked everyone by announcing that, Windows Phone would be their “primary software platform”. It does not mean that Symbian and Meego are dead, since Nokia is expecting to sell more than 150 million Symbian devices in the coming years. Nokia also confirmed that the Meego based smartphone would be launched, later this year. Nokia is also planning to manufacture Windows and Meego based tablets. According to the deal,

  • Nokia would adopt Windows Phone as its principal smartphone strategy, innovating on top of the platform in areas such as imaging, where Nokia is a market leader.
  • Nokia would help drive the future of Windows Phone. Nokia would contribute its expertise on hardware design, language support, and help bring Windows Phone to a larger range of price points, market segments and geographies.
  • Nokia and Microsoft would closely collaborate on joint marketing initiatives and a shared development roadmap to align on the future evolution of mobile products.
  • Bing would power Nokia’s search services across Nokia devices and services, giving customers access to Bing’s next generation search capabilities. Microsoft adCenter would provide search advertising services on Nokia’s line of devices and services.
  • Nokia Maps would be a core part of Microsoft’s mapping services. For example, Maps would be integrated with Microsoft’s Bing search engine and adCenter advertising platform to form a unique local search and advertising experience
  • Microsoft development tools would be used to create applications to run on Nokia Windows Phones, allowing developers to easily leverage the ecosystem’s global reach.
  • Nokia’s content and application store would be integrated with Microsoft Marketplace for a more compelling consumer experience.

“Today, developers, operators and consumers want compelling mobile products, which include not only the device, but the software, services, applications and customer support that make a great experience,” Stephen Elop, Nokia President and CEO, said at a joint news conference in London. “Nokia and Microsoft will combine our strengths to deliver an ecosystem with unrivalled global reach and scale. It’s now a three-horse race.”

“I am excited about this partnership with Nokia,” said Steven A. Ballmer, Microsoft CEO. “Ecosystems thrive when fueled by speed, innovation and scale. The partnership announced today provides incredible scale, vast expertise in hardware and software innovation and a proven ability to execute.”

Nokia also announced the extensive operator billing agreements, which will allow the consumers to easily purchase the Nokia Windows Phone services in countries where credit-card use is low. The Nokia-Microsoft ecosystem targets to deliver differentiated and innovative product to the consumers.

Nokia is expected to launch the Meego based Nokia N9 smartphone at the end of this year. According to the rumors, Nokia N9 would be the first and the last Meego powered smartphone to be manufactured by Nokia. Windows Phone 7 was launched back in October and the sales are not as per the expectations. Do you think Nokia made the right move by joining hands with Microsoft? Or Nokia should have selected Android as its primary operating system? Let us know your interesting views in the comments below.

[ Image Credit ]

Rumor: Nokia To Ditch MeeGo Powered N9?

As if the “Burning Platform” internal memo from Nokia wasn’t enough, we have another interesting rumor doing the rounds on the internet. Reuters is reporting that Nokia may be ready to drop the Nokia N9, its first MeeGo powered smartphone.

Apparently, sources close to the company have claimed that Nokia plans to ditch further development of the Nokia N9, which has already been delayed a lot. With Symbian already being considered an outdated OS, Nokia’s hopes rested on the MeeGo OS, on which it partnered with Intel. But according to the leaked memo, even Stephen Elop, Nokia CEO, doesn’t seem to have much faith in it.

“We thought MeeGo would be a platform for winning high-end smartphones. However, at this rate, by the end of 2011, we might have only one MeeGo product in the market.”

Nokia may be planning to adopt another mobile OS, likely Windows Phone 7, as many recent rumors have pointed to. We should know more about it on February 11, at the Capital Market Day event.

However, I don’t think that moving over to Windows Phone 7 would be a very good move. Even the existing phones by Samsung, HTC and LG haven’t been able to differentiate themselves from the rest. Android seems to be a much more sensible choice, considering its popularity.

Maybe it’s just me, but if Nokia could create dual booting smartphones which run both Android and MeeGo, that would be really awesome, at least for the gadget geek community.

Dell Venue Pro Launched In India For Rs.34,990

Dell recently launched the Windows Phone 7 powered Dell Venue Pro in India. This handset is the Dell’s first smartphone powered by the new Windows Phone 7 operating system. Dell Venue Pro allows you to access more than 8,000 apps. This handset competes with other Windows Phone 7 devices such as the HTC HD7 and HTC Mozart in India. It comes with a 4.1 inch AMOLED display and a vertical QWERTY keypad. Check out the complete specs below.

Commenting on the launch, Swapnil Shinde, fashion designer said, As a fashion designer, I believe that being able to merge design with function is the key element to a successful collection, something that Dell has managed to do with its latest smartphones. People are looking for designs that can be taken from the workplace to any social setting and the sleek lines and unique elliptical shapes on these phones are innovative and visually appealing. I look forward to featuring these phones in my new collection at Bangalore Fashion Week.

Gurdeep Singh, COO, Aircel, said, Aircel is delighted to enter into a Preferred Partnership with Dell wherein Dell customers will enjoy exclusive data plans, PocketApps store and a rich bouquet of content and value added services. This alliance reinforces our drive to grow Smart Device penetration on our Smart Network.

Dell Venue Pro features a 4.1 inch WVGA AMOLED capacitive, multi-touch display with Gorilla Glass, 1GHz processor, Windows Phone 7 operating system, 5 megapixel camera with auto-focus and LED flash, Internet Explorer Mobile, Bing Search, A-GPS with Bing Maps, Wi-Fi 802.11b/g/n, Bluetooth 2.1 + EDR, USB 2.0, G-sensor, e-compass, proximity sensor, ambient light sensor, FM radio, micro USB and a 1400 mAh battery.

Currently, Dell Venue Pro is the costliest Windows Phone 7 powered handset in India. This handset comes with a price-tag of Rs.34,990. You can easily purchase this handset from authorized Dell mobile resellers across India. Aircel customers will get 1 GB of free data for 12 months, 2190 minutes of talk time and 7300 free SMS, with the purchase of this handset.

[ Image Credit ]

Images and Video of WP7 Powered Asus E600 Leaked

The Asus E600, the only Asus smartphone powered by Windows Phone 7, was leaked more than a month back. It had passed FCC testing back then and was to be launched soon. Today, more images and a video of the Asus E600 have leaked out.

It seems to have a stylish design and looks great. It will have a 4.0 inch capacitive touchscreen display with a WVGA resolution. It will run the Windows Phone 7 OS and will be powered by a 1 GHz processor with 512 MB RAM. It will have a 5 MP camera with LED flash and 720p video recording. No other details are out yet. It will likely be launched at the Mobile World Congress in February.

While the Asus E600 is a great device, it offers nothing that Samsung, HTC or LG offer in its Windows Phone 7 devices already. I wonder why Asus is even bothering to launch it now, it will hardly see any sales. Seriously, would you rather buy a Samsung or HTC smartphone or an Asus smartphone which is already late to launch and offers nothing more than the devices which are already available in the market.

Check out the Asus E600 images and video below:

Asus E600

via tinhte

Microsoft Developer Blogger Shows Easy Sniffing Of WP7 Traffic

Do you fancy investigating any traffic being sent in and out of your Windows Phone 7 device? Aside from the more involved method of using a packet sniffer on your phone or capturing the data over a wireless connection and decrypting it, a member of the Microsoft Developer Network (MSDN) has gone ahead and given some extremely straight forward steps on how to set up a man-in-the-middle proxy to capture and store all HTTP and HTTPS traffic. How it works is very simple – Fiddler, a web debugging proxy, is run on a Windows PC and acts as an intermediary gateway to the outside world, once you configure your device to pass information through it, Fiddler will capture, display and allow you to modify the passing traffic.

What legitimate use case could this have? Well it’s useful for developers who are writing apps, however it’s especially useful for enterprising hackers, do-it-yourselfers and anybody else who is concerned about the information that apps are uploading. Microsoft does have very stringent rules for allowing applications into the Marketplace, but as we’ve seen before with the Apple AppStore and the Android Market, sometimes things either slip through the cracks or are obfuscated enough that the QA team is fooled which allows the malicious code to go live. With Fiddler, you can see full HTTP streams and if you do choose to install the SSL certificate – all HTTPS encrypted traffic can be re-signed using the cert and then decrypted at will.

While most developers will be using the emulator to do the majority of their development work, when it comes to real deployment and users who want to get started in monitoring their device traffic, they should visit the post on the MSDN Blog by Eric Lawrence and follow the provided instructions.

LG Says WP7 Not Doing As Expected

The news doing round today are the comments from LG representative who said Microsoft failed in the Windows Phone 7 launch and that the operating system isn’t doing as well as they hoped.

With Microsoft not divulging a lot on numbers, the comments from LG get a lot of attention. What one doesn’t point out is that the WP7 handsets from LG are no good. There is no reason to buy a LG WP7 handset compared to HTC or Samsung.

Two of HTC’s main handsets have unique selling points. The HTC HD7 has the HD2 legacy, a thin form factor and the really massive screen while the HTC Surround has powerful speakers. Samsung Focus has the thin form factor, the gorgeous Super AMOLED screen and a really loud speaker. The LG Quantum has two features which don’t exactly make for a compelling purchase. The LG’s DLNA technology doesn’t exactly enhance your mobile experience when you are not near a DLNA compatible television and the slide out QWERTY keyboard is old school.

James Choi, Marketing strategy and planning director for LG  told Pokcet-lint that, From an industry perspective we had a high expectation, but from a consumer point of view the visibility is less than we expected.

LG’s solution to this is coming out with cheaper handsets, yes, that will definitely help maintain quality standards. Maybe LG should look into doing better handsets than complain about Microsoft’s handling of the launch and Windows Phone 7? With that said, LG says that they will continue to support WP7 as they do not want to rely on Android as the only OS they have handsets with.

HTC HD2 First WP7 Based ROM Released

Rejoice all HTC HD2 owners! A few days ago the HD2 got its first NAND based Android 2.2 ROM and today, the first WP7 based ROM for the handset has been released. The DFT (Dark Forces Team) has released the first WP7 ROM for the HD2 for public consumption. HD2 owners can install this WP7 ROM on their handset and play around with WP7 to get a feel of it.

Nearly all the hardware of the phone is working smoothly on this ROM including Wi-Fi, GPS, Bluetooth and multi-touch gestures like pinch-to-zoom. Users can also sync the handset with the Zune software bundled with WP7 devices.

HD2_WP7

The performance of the ROM is also very snappy with the first boot taking only around 20 seconds. There is a twist in the tale though. HD2 owners won’t be able to access the Windows Live services which can be a huge disappointment for many.

HD2 owners can download the WP7 ROM and read the steps on how to flash it on their handset here.

Update: HD2 owners can now get Live services working under this WP7 ROM. Click here to know more.

Video Calling Coming to Windows Phone

Windows Phone 7 is a fantastic operating system, one that has real potential. However, there is still a lot of work to be done, and Microsoft knows it.

In a comment to Neowin, a Microsoft employee divulged that Microsoft is currently working on a Facetime like application for Windows Phone 7.

Windows-Phone-7-Facetime

Although details are scarce, a snippet of code from Microsoft.Phone.Media.Extended.dll confirms that Microsoft is indeed working towards supporting front-facing cameras. It’s unclear if the video calling app will be added to Windows Phone 7 itself, or if it is destined for Windows Phone 8. Rumors suggest that a front-facing camera might be added as a mandatory hardware requirement for Windows Phone 8.

It’s not surprising that Microsoft is working on a voice calling app for Windows Phone 7. After all, Facetime was one of the major selling points for the iPhone 4. It was one of the features that appealed to the common man.

Windows Phone 7 To Get Update In January?

WP7 Update Copy and Paste

It’s no surprise that Windows Phone 7 was let out the gate with a few essential smartphone features missing, most notably being copy and paste. Well, during a CES keynote, Steve Ballmer indicated that an update would be available soon, but anybody who digs a little deeper would see that Microsoft has a “Windows Phone 7 Updates” page that shows January right in ASP document file name plain as day – http://www.microsoft.com/windowsphone/en-us/features/january-update.aspx

In addition to bringing copy and paste, the next update will include better filtering and searching for apps and games in the Marketplace as well as speed optimisations to continue “getting you to the things you love, easier and faster.”. Thanks to the built-in update mechanism in Windows Phone 7, your device will automatically notify you of an update when it becomes available.