Tag Archives: Windows Phone 7

Microsoft Apologizes for Windows Phone 7 Update Delays, Teases Us with Mango

On the second day of the MIX11 conference, Joe Belfiore, corporate VP of Microsoft, outlined what lies ahead for Windows Phone 7. One of the biggest hurdles for Microsoft has been to push out updates regularly and reliably. It infamously bricked Samsung phones through its February (NoDo) update. To make matters worse, although Microsoft had promised to deliver cut-paste feature in January, many WP7 users are yet to receive it due to careers and manufacturers taking their own sweet time.

Windows-Phone-7Going forward, Microsoft hopes to get these problems sorted out. To that effect, it has added both staff and infrastructure to the unit responsible for testing updates. If you are amongst the unfortunate WP7 owners who haven’t yet received the update, head over to the Where’s my phone update? page to check the status of the update for your handset. Microsoft has also launched a portal called Update Central, which includes a step by step guide for installing WP7 updates, and acts as a central repository for all update related information.
Microsoft expects every manufacturer to finish testing the current update by the end of April. Soon after, in May, it will release a beta version of new developer tools. The new developer tools will enable developers to create more powerful and versatile apps for Windows Phone 7.

The first major update for Windows Phone 7, codenamed Mango, is expected to be released this fall. It will rectify some of the most glaring shortcomings of Windows Phone 7. Mango will enable multitasking for third-party applications, introduce fast application switching, update the browser to Internet Explorer 9, and integrate Twitter. Mango will also introduce support for 16 additional languages, and expand the Marketplace to 35 countries (up from 16).

Microsoft has added as many as 1500 APIs to Windows Phone 7. Perhaps the most significant addition is the inclusion of APIs for raw access to camera and motion sensor libraries, which a lot of devs had been demanding. This will finally allow augmented reality apps like Layar, which was also demoed today, to arrive on WP7. Developers will also get access to Live Agents for creating Live Tiles, and accessing Push notifications. WPSauce has a fairly comprehensive summary of the new developer features.

All in all, Mango is looking to be a fantastic update. It will take care of some of the biggest shortcomings of Windows Phone 7; and hopefully, propel Windows Phone 7 into being a true challenger of Android and iOS.

Android to Capture 50% of Worldwide Smartphone Market by 2012?

Android has been seeing exponential growth in the past few months. It accounted for close to 22% of the worldwide smartphone market share in 2010. Thanks to the continued support of manufacturers like HTC, Samsung, Motorola, LG and Sony Ericsson, it is expected to be the number one smartphone platform by the end of 2011.

Today, Gartner released a research report which states that Android is expected to have a 38.5% market share by the end of 2011, and by the end of 2012, it will power almost 50% of all smartphones. It predicts that Symbian will be the biggest loser in the whole ordeal, and Android and Windows Phone 7 will be the biggest gainers. iOS marketshare will remain pretty stable through the years, and it might even see some gains.

Microsoft is expected to be the second largest mobile platform by 2015, with a 19.5% market share, thanks to Nokia’s support. Symbian will be almost extinct by then and RIM’s share will have dwindled down to 11%. iOS would apparently be at 17% while Android would rule the roost with a 49% share.

The predictions seem realistic, if we factor in what we know now, but it doesn’t account for anything unexpected. A lot has changed in the last 4 years with the launch of the iPhone and Android. There’s is no reason something similar couldn’t happen again.

Windows Phone 7 Marketplace Now has 12,000 Apps

The growth in the number of apps in the Windows Phone 7 Marketplace seems to have accelerated quite a bit in March. Almost 3000 new apps were added in March, bumping up the total app count to 12,000.

Compared to iOS and Android, the Windows Phone 7 Marketplace is still way behind, but the increased developer interest in the platform is quite encouraging. With Nokia now backing Windows Phone 7 too, it is very likely that Windows Phone 7 will be the third major player in the smartphone market very soon.

Microsoft has tried to incorporate the best aspects of both iOS and Android in Windows Phone 7. Like Android, it can be used by any manufacturer, and like iOS, it is a closed platform with a curated application store. Though the sales of Windows Phone 7 devices haven’t been particularly encouraging, they are likely to improve as the number of apps and games available for the platform increase.

Windows Phone 7 App Stats

Here are some other interesting stats:

There are now about 4500 approved developers for WP7. Windows Phone 7 has 36% free apps, 37% paid apps and 27% trial apps.

Games comprise about 21% of the apps – about 2555 of 12,000. Entertainment and Tools are the other two major categories with a 13% and 12% share in the total apps.

Check out the complete Windows Phone 7 Marketplace stats at WP7Applist.

Microsoft Shares NoDo & Pre-NoDo Update Status For US & International Phones

Microsoft has so far released two updates for Windows Phone 7, one being pre-NoDo that updates the updating mechanism for the phones (or something like that) and the second that brings copy/paste along with performance tweaks. Unfortunately, not all customers have these updates. Most consumers with unlocked phones seem to have the update while those with carrier contracts don’t. I have a Samsung Focus with AT&T and no NoDo. Microsoft has now posted a status report on the updates. For the US, both NoDo and pre-NoDo are under testing for Samsung Focus, HTC Surround and LG Quantum whereas Dell Venue Pro and HTC HD7 are being pushed the update. The schedule table:

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For international users, here’s the page.

As disappointed I am about the not getting the updates, at least Microsoft made it official that they are not ready with the update for me. Based on the page, it looks like AT&T is not ready for the update. Damn you carriers, damn you.

Windows Phone 7 ‘NoDo’ Update Is Ready

The long awaited update for Windows Phone 7 is finally ready and will slowly be trickling out to handsets during the week. NoDo’ is the internal name (supposedly in jest of Google’s Donutmoniker) for the update and it brings along the much anticipated copy and paste feature, improved Marketplace searching and better Facebook contact integration. Although this update was first estimated to be available early February, Microsoft delayed to ensure compatibility and functionality for all handsets. Recent updates for Windows Phone 7 handsets were met with some troubles for Samsung devices and again were subsequently held off from public accessibility.

Microsoft has updated their Windows Phone 7 update history page to include the updates slated for March. The version numbering is bumped from 7.0.7008.0 to 7.0.7390.0 and a consumer-friendly changelog is present. In addition to core usability updates many other changes have been made, such as

    • Faster apps and games. Nobody likes to wait. That’s why we’ve whittled down the time it takes for apps and games to start up and resume. It’s all part of our focus on getting you to the things you love, easier and faster.

    • Other Marketplace improvements. We’ve improved the stability of Marketplace while you download apps.

    • Wi-Fi improvements. We now display your phone’s Media Access Control (MAC) address in Settings. (You might need this info if you try to connect to a Wi-Fi network that uses MAC address filtering.

    • Outlook improvements. We’ve improved the experience of viewing iPhone photo attachments you receive from a non-Exchange-based email account (such as a Google Mail, Hotmail, or Yahoo! Mail account), using the Global Address List (GAL) when connecting to Exchange Server 2003 using Exchange ActiveSync, and working with email display names that contain brackets (for example, "David Alexander [Contoso]").

    • Messaging improvements. We’ve improved the experience of receiving Multimedia Messaging Service (MMS) messages if your phone uses a PIN-locked SIM.

    • Camera improvements. We’ve improved the stability of switching between camera and video modes.

    • Audio improvements. We’ve improved the experience of using a Bluetooth headset to make calls when you’re playing music or videos.

    • Other performance improvements. This month’s update also includes software from several phone manufacturers that improves the performance of specific models. Naturally, if you don’t have one of the affected models, we won’t install this portion of the update on your phone.

Since Windows Phone 7 lacks the integrated carrier customizations that many other platforms allow, Microsoft should have an easy time rolling out updates to all handsets in a timely fashion. Hopefully the days of market and localization-based update pushing are over and this can usher in a fast, seamless and user-friendly method of updating smartphones. Unfortunately, it does appear that you will need to connect your device to a computer in order to update through the Zune suite no OTA at this time.

AT&T Announces The Windows Phone 7 Powered HTC HD7S

htc hd7s HTC recently announced the HTC HD7S smartphone. This handset runs on the Windows Phone 7 operating system and it will be exclusively available on the airwaves of AT&T in the US. This handset is the AT&T’s version of the highly popular HTC HD7 smartphone. It comes with a large 4.3 inch Super LCD display, 5 megapixel camera, 16 GB internal memory and so on. HTC HD7S is the second Windows Phone 7 powered smartphone to be available on the airwaves of AT&T, after the HTC Inspire 4G. Check out the complete specs below.

“Combining Windows Phone 7’s integrated entertainment services, including Xbox LIVE and Zune, with the largest screen available on a Windows Phone 7 device as well as outstanding Dolby Mobile and SRS WOW audio, the HTC HD7S is the ultimate mobile entertainment device,” said Jason Mackenzie, president, HTC Americas. “As an increasingly important part of people’s lives, HTC believes in delivering unparalleled choice to the smartphone market. With the announcement of the HTC HD7S, HTC continues to successfully deliver on this promise.”

HTC HD7S features a 4.3 inch super LCD display with 800 x 480 pixels resolution, 1 GHz Snapdragon processor, Windows Phone 7 OS, 5 megapixel camera with auto-focus and dual-LED flash, HD (720p) video recording, 3.5mm headset jack, 16GB of internal memory, 576 MB RAM, 512 MB ROM, 1230 mAh battery and more.

HTC HD7S comes with the Windows Phone Hubs, which brings together a related set of applications, services and content into a single view to simplify common tasks. This handset will be available for purchase in the coming weeks. The price of this handset has not been announced yet.

HTC Arrive Up For Pre-Order At Amazon For $149.99

Sprint recently announced the Windows Phone 7 powered HTC Arrive smartphone. This handset offers well-known Microsoft services like Microsoft Mobile Office, Zune and Xbox LIVE. HTC Arrive is also the first CDMA Windows Phone 7 smartphone. This handset features a 3.6 inch WVGA touchscreen display, 1GHz Snapdragon Processor, 5 mega pixel camera, Wi-Fi connectivity and more. HTC Arrive is currently up for pre-order at Amazon. If you are planning to buy this smartphone, then don’t forget to check out the complete specs below.

htc arrive

HTC Arrive comes with a 3.6 inch WVGA capacitive touchscreen display with 800 x 480 pixels resolution, Windows Phone 7 OS, 1GHz Snapdragon Processor, Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n, Stereo Bluetooth 2.1 + EDR, 5 mega pixel camera with flash and autofocus, HD (720p) video recording and playback, SRS WOW HD surround sound, 3.5 mm headset jack, full HTML Web browser with Bing search, 16GB internal memory, Office Hub, up to 6 hours talktime and a 1500 mAh Lithium-ion battery. This handset measures 117.6 mm x 58.9 mm x 15.5 mm and weighs 184 grams.

HTC Arrive is currently up for pre-order at Amazon. This handset originally comes with a price tag of $199.99 on contract, but you can pre-order this smartphone from Amazon for just $149.99. This handset will be shipped from March 20th. If you are planning to purchase this smartphone, then just head over to this page at Amazon.

Nokia Already Begins Work On First Windows Phone 7 Device

Last month, Nokia shocked everyone by announcing its strategic partnership with Microsoft. Nokia went ahead and confirmed that, Windows Phone 7 would be their primary software platform, instead of the burning “Symbian” platform. Earlier, Nokia’s CEO Stephen Elop said that the company will launch its first Windows Phone 7 powered device in the Q1 of 2012, but recently in an interview, Stephen Elop told Reuters that, the company have already begun to work on its first Windows Phone 7 device and it might be unveiled before the end of this year, instead of early 2012.

“We’re right now, today, having people work on the first Windows Phone devices from Nokia. That work is already under way. If this was an acquisition scenario, that wouldn’t be possible,” Elop said. “So there’s a team in place. It’s now a new team of my new leadership, newly minted in terms of their new roles. Now they have to perform.”

nokia windows phone

The agreement between Microsoft and Nokia has not been finalized yet. According to Elop, the agreement is expected to be finalized in the next few months. Moreover, Microsoft will also pay one billion US dollars to Nokia, as a part of their strategic partnership. Stephen Elop further confirmed that, Microsoft is not trying to buy Nokia and he sees no reason for Microsoft to buy Nokia.

“I’m not aware of a strategic interest that Microsoft would have in the rest of the business,” Elop said. “To the extent that a partnership has been formed around what they’re really interested in, then what would an acquisition bring other than a good year of anti-trust investigation, huge turmoil, delays?”

Before the Nokia-Microsoft deal, the company has also considered partnering with Google, to use their Android operating system on Nokia smartphones, but they later decided that, it would be too difficult to differentiate its smartphones from other Android smartphones manufacturers such as HTC, Samsung and LG. Are you planning to buy the Nokia’s first Windows Phone 7 powered device? Will it be a hi-end device or a budget phone? Let us know your views in the comments section below.

Samsung To Bring Next Gen WP7 Handset

samsung-focus

 

Microsoft and Samsung are working together to bring in the next generation Windows Phone 7 device in the market. For a while Microsoft was looking for self-starter who can lead a virtual team and drive the portfolio planning of the next generation of mobile devices running on Microsoft’ Windows Phone 7 with a leading handset manufacturer (Samsung). The next generation Windows Phone 7 handset is due later this year.

The timing also matches with Microsoft’s plan to roll out the huge Mangoupdate later this year. The Mango update will bring Internet Explorer 9 mobile and limited Multitasking. Last year when Microsoft introduced Windows Phone 7 to the market, it partnered with Samsung, HTC, LG, etc., to manufacture the hardware. Microsoft also has strict restrictions on the minimum hardware requirement. Microsoft also partnered with Nokia last month to bring out more Windows Phone 7 handsets by the end of this year. Although it is said that Nokia is waiting for Microsoft to release Windows Phone 7.5 update or Mango before starting with WP7 handset production.

The Microsoft-Nokia is an exclusive deal where Nokia benefits from features only available on Nokia manufactured Windows Phone 7 handset. With Nokia making the shift, unsurprisingly Microsoft didn’t want to burden them with partnering as OEM for next generation WP7 handsets. In either way, previous bunch of WP7 handset had rather impressive hardware and design and hopefully Samsung and Microsoft together raise the bar even further.

[winrumors]

Android Dolls? Microsoft Has WP7 Foam Figurines

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At the annual South by Southwest (SxSW) conference Microsoft has been trying to push Windows Phone 7 out to technology enthusiasts. Developer evangelist Charlie Kindel has been giving away WP7 devices (Dell Venue Pro or Samsung Focus) to those who show him Windows Phone 7 application idea that they are working on. Engineers have also been demonstrating the IE9 on the Windows Phone 7 which expected to be part of the Mango update. Mango is expected some time in 2011. At the GDGT party, Microsoft is giving away Windows Phone 7 foam figures aka Windows Foam 7. As a viral campaign, Microsoft is giving away these Windows Foam 7 figures and is sharing placements of the figure next to gadgets at the party. The images shared on twitter so far:

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Microsoft has similar foam versions of Channel 9, we’ve seen Android dolls being sold online and I’d love to get my hands on one of these! Carriers should bundle these with each phone they sell!

PS: These images have been taken by a Samsung Focus and I should point out that the auto settings of the phone aren’t that great.

Sony Ericsson Windows Phone 7 Prototype Images Leaked

When Windows Phone 7 was first announced by Microsoft, Sony Ericsson was named as a Windows Phone 7 partner by Microsoft, along with Samsung, HTC, LG and Dell. While each of the other manufacturers have launched their Windows Phone 7 devices, Sony Ericsson still hasn’t made any move in the WP7 market.

It has been quite loyal to Android so far, ditching even Symbian in the process. Today, images have leaked out which have captured a Sony Ericsson prototype slider phone running Windows Phone 7.

The prototype is labelled “Not for Sale” and has a nice sleek design with a sliding keyboard. It seems to be running a very old build of Windows Phone 7. This is rumored to be the Sony Ericsson Julie, a phone similar to the Xperia X10 with a QWERTY keyboard, a 4 inch display and a 1 GHz processor which was scrapped after Microsoft and Sony Ericsson failed to reach an agreement about Xbox Live.

We don’t know if Sony Ericsson plans to continue to work on the prototype and launch it though, considering that it would run Xbox Live and compete with the Playstation phone – the Xperia Play. Stay tuned for more updates.

Check out these leaked images of the Sony Ericsson Windows Phone 7 phone.

Sony Ericsson Windows Phone 7

Sony Ericsson Windows Phone 7

via WMPowerUser

Microsoft to Resume Pre-NoDo Update on Samsung Phones

Samsung

Couple of days ago, when Microsoft sent out a Pre-NoDo update for its Windows Phone 7 handsets, Samsung devices faced a lot of problems  including  inability to backup, devices crashed & burned during  the update process and few were even un-bootable. Microsoft ultimately had to halt the update process on Samsung devices.

Today, Microsoft will resume the update process on Samsung devices and hopefully this time Microsoft and Samsung have got it right. In an update from WindowsTeamBlog says -:

Starting today, we plan to resume rolling out the February update to Samsung phones. Meanwhile, we’re continuing to dispatch the update to other Windows Phone models. As has been the case, the software patch is being sent out on a rolling schedule. You’ll see a message on your phone when it’s available.

During the past week the engineering team has pinpointed and fixed problems that were preventing a small percentage of Windows Phones from installing the February software patch.   We apologize again for the delay and continue looking for ways to improve the update process.

The update process remains the same, although it is now expected to have plenty of disk space on your PC before the update. The Pre-NoDo update didn’t affect any other Windows Phone 7 Smartphones besides that of Samsung and with today’s update hopefully we won’t face any further issues and give a way to the much exciting NoDo update.

If you do not install Pre-NoDo update on your device right away, it will be installed coupled with NoDo update which will be adding major features like ability to Copy-Paste etc.. If you plan to update your Samsung Windows Phone 7 device today, do let us know if the process was smooth as promised.

Sprint Announces The Windows Phone 7 Powered HTC Arrive

htc arriveSprint recently announced its first Windows Phone 7 powered smartphone, the HTC Arrive. This handset comes with a tilt-up display and a slide-out QWERTY keyboard. HTC Arrive is also the first CDMA Windows Phone 7 smartphone. It offers well-known Microsoft services like Microsoft Mobile Office, Zune and Xbox LIVE.

HTC Arrive features a 3.6 inch WVGA capacitive touchscreen display with 800 x 480 pixels resolution, 1GHz Snapdragon Processor, Windows Phone 7 OS, 5 mega pixel camera with flash and autofocus, HD (720p) video recording and playback, SRS WOW HD surround sound, Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n and more.

Other features include a 3.5 mm headset jack, full HTML Web browser with Bing search, Stereo Bluetooth 2.1 + EDR, 16GB internal memory, Microsoft Exchange ActiveSync, Office Hub, Sprint Zone, Sprint TV, up to 6 hours talktime and a 1500 mAh Lithium-ion battery.

HTC Arrive allows you to access latest apps, games, music and premium Xbox LIVE games from the Windows Phone Market. This handset measures 117.6 mm x 58.9 mm x 15.5 mm and weighs 184 grams. HTC Arrive comes with a price tag of $199.99 with a new two-year service agreement and a $100 mail-in rebate. This handset will be available from March 20th. You can pre-order this handset from any Sprint Store with the purchase of a $50 Sprint gift card.

Nokia Giving Away Free E7 and WP7 Phones to Developers

Nokia’s decision to switch from Symbian to Windows Phone 7 as its primary OS has sparked a lot of active discussion in the blogosphere. The reactions have ranged from approval to enragement to disgust. We have also seen a few conspiracy theories floating around which claim that Elop, a former Microsoft executive was planted at Nokia for this very reason.

Many have also argued that it would make more sense for Nokia to go with Android, which has a much bigger developer following and a much larger library of apps than Windows Phone 7. It seems that Nokia has definitely taken that into account before making the decision to go with Microsoft.

Today, it sent out an email which is meant to appease developers for Symbian and MeeGo, as well as WP7. All the developers enrolled in Launchpad, a mobile developer program by Nokia will receive a free Nokia E7 as well as a free Windows Phone 7 device by Nokia, so that they can start developing apps for them soon.

Nokia has also thrown in a few more freebies like free access to the Nokia World Summit, free tech support for 3 months (limited to 10 support tickets) and a free User Experience evaluation of apps. It is also providing Business Development support and will help developers in getting their apps published on the Ovi Store.

Check out the email at Slashgear.

Dell Smartphone Roadmap Leaked; Android Ice Cream And WP7 Smartphones Coming Soon

dell smartphone roadmap

Dell is already planning to launch smartphones based on the next Android version codenamed as “Ice Cream”. The guys at WP Central recently shared a leaked slide of the Dell’s 2011 smartphone roadmap. According to the leaked roadmap, Dell will launch some powerful smartphones based on Windows Phone 7 and Android Ice Cream, later this year. These smartphones are currently codenamed as Wrigley, Hancock and Millennium.

Wrigley is a Windows Phone 7 based handset, which features a large 4 inch WVGA display with slide-out QWERTY keyboard. This handset looks quite similar to the Dell’s not-so-popular Venue Pro smartphone. It also features a 1 GHz processor, 8 megapixel camera with HD (720p) video recording and playback and so on. This handset is expected to release in the Q3 of 2011.

Hancock is the Dell’s first smartphone powered by the Android Ice Cream operating system. It will come with a 4 inch qHD display, dual-core processor, slide-out QWERTY keyboard, 8 megapixel camera with full HD (1080p) video recording and playback, 1.3 megapixel front facing camera for video chat and more. Hancock is expected to be released in September 2011.

The last handset on the leaked roadmap is “Millennium”. It has almost the same features of Hancock except the 4.3 inch qHD diaplay and DLNA support. This handset also runs on the Android Ice Cream operating system and features a dual-core processor, 8 megapixel camera with full HD (1080p) video recording and playback, VGA front facing camera for video chat, etc. This handset is expected to be released in Q4 of 2011.

The Windows Phone 7 based Dell Venue Pro is also expected to get some additional features and enhancements in mid-April. Stay tuned for more updates.