Games for Windows Marketplace is now Xbox.com

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Microsoft has announced that Games for Windows Marketplace will be fully transitioning to Xbox.com. The announcement was done on the Games for Windows Marketplace website and via the Games for Windows newsletter.

Games for Windows Marketplace is moving to Xbox.com

Games for Windows Marketplace is coming to Xbox.com!

Games for Windows Marketplace will fully transition over to Xbox.com. Now you can get all of your gaming needs in one place. It’s convenient, it’s concentrated, and it’s a whole lot of great games.

Games for Windows Marketplace gave access to the free online gaming service: Games for Windows LIVE, that let users connect and play with friends and millions of Xbox LIVE members. You could shop for your favorite games and also receive automatic game updates and patch downloads for the installed games. However, Games for Windows LIVE brand isn’t as popular as Xbox brand for gaming and consumer entertainment. Microsoft even did a huge overhaul of the Games for Windows website to make it more accessible and attractive for the PC gamers.

Eurogamer has confirmation from a Microsoft spokesperson that the merge will happen on 11th July.

All of the same content from GamesForWindows.com will be available on Xbox.com so members of communities across Xbox 360 and Games for Windows can purchase and get details on their favorite games, all in one place.

All account information will remain the same and community members can still take advantage of their Xbox Live profile in their Windows games and stay connected to friends who are playing on the PC.

This move would be the first step to bring Xbox LIVE on the third screen, PC, after TV and phone. There have been clear indications that Xbox LIVE would be integrated in Windows 8 to provide entertainment and gaming features. Also, Xbox LIVE is already integrated into Windows Phone 7. During previews of the upcoming release of Windows Phone, codenamed Mango, Microsoft announced that the Windows Phone 7 Marketplace for apps and games would also be available on the web. Xbox.com could well be that consolidated gaming and entertainment portal.

Nokia’s Windows Phone – Sea Ray, Leaked On Video

Just about 48 hours ago Nokia unveiled Nokia N9 the first and only Meego powered device to hit the market. Surprisingly, Nokia N9 generated enough positive reviews that Nokia might have felt the heat about their February 11 decision.

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Nokia CEO, Stephen Elop, showcased a fully baked Nokia Windows Phone handset at a keynote. Elop asked the crowd to put away their camera as he was about to unveil super confidentialhandset codenamed Sea Rayand he did not want the handset to appear on the Blogosphere. Of course, people present at the keynote recorded the entire keynote and guys at technet.hu managed to upload the video on YouTube for us.

The device is identical to Nokia N9 but comes with an additional Hardware button on the sides probably for shutter release. Besides that, the different LED placement also indicates it’s not the same device as the Nokia N9.

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The device has no three hardware buttons (Home, Search and Back) only three buttons on the side.

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Nokia Sea Ray will run on Microsoft’s newly released Windows Phone version Mango. This, of course, is not a leak but Stephen Elop just wanted to push out the news that Nokia is almost ready with their first Windows Phone handset.

Check out the video where Stephen Elop unveils Nokia Sea Ray:

EverNote Launches a Slick Windows Phone 7 App

While Evernote always had great apps across all mobile platforms, including Windows Mobile, Windows Phone 7 users had to satiate the need with the mobile site or alternative third-party apps like Fasternote. Finally, Evernote has launched their Windows Phone 7 app.

Evernote for Windows Phone 7

Continue reading EverNote Launches a Slick Windows Phone 7 App

Windows Phone ‘Mango’ Update Announced; Coming This Fall

The Microsoft Windows Phone Mango’ event has just come to an end, and here is the change-log of Windows Phone Mango update. The next version of Windows Phone Mango’ is a People centricrelease, with the main focus on communication, applications and Internet.

First and foremost, Microsoft has gone ahead and integrated Twitter, Facebook Chat, Windows Live Messenger and other popular social networking sites right into the OS. The new Threads’ feature will bring in all your messages from IMs, Facebook, SMS’s right in one Inbox. Microsoft has also introduced Unified Inbox’, which will allow users to read emails from multiple email ids right in one place.

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The Live Tiles in WP7 have also been livelier. Individual contacts can be pinned to the home screen, and they will provide the user with real time updates from all the social networks for that particular contact. Multi-tasking on WP7 has also been improved, and now allows users to switch between multiple apps now.

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All popular Hubs in WP7 have also been enhanced as well. The Pictures Hub automatically tags people to their Facebook profile, when a user uploads a picture on a social networking site. The Xbox hub has been completely redesigned and has been tightly integrated with the Xbox Live service from Microsoft. It now even features your own 3D Avatar. The Office Hub has also been update and now features the SkyDrive and Office 365 features.

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The browser in Windows Phone has also been updated to IE9. The browser is hardware accelerated, and supports HTML5 as well. The browser also features Quick Card’, which will automatically show movie data without opening a new application or a new webpage. Microsoft also demoed a comparison of HTML5 rendering speed of a Windows Phone running Mango, Android, iPhone and a BlackBerry handset. The Windows Phone running Mango obviously won by a pretty good margin.

Users can also search by just clicking pictures of an object. Applications can now also share data between themselves, allowing users to seamlessly switch between apps.   The Bing Search has also been enhanced, and now allows users to search for apps and/or the web right from the search bar. Voice-to-text and Text-to-voice feature has also been integrated into the OS now.

The Windows Phone Mango update will be available beginning this fall. The Windows Phone Mango SDK is already available for developers for download.

Watch Windows Phone 7 Launch, Keynotes & Event Online

Microsoft will be unveiling the Windows Phone 7 tomorrow at their New York office. October has been a big month for Microsoft in the past with them launching the popular two years back, so will this date bring them luck with Windows Phone 7 too?

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Microsoft is set to launch at-least 3-4 new phones on the AT&T network with Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer and AT&T Mobility CEO and President Ralph de la Vega set to address keynotes.

The event will kick off at 9:30AM EDT/6:30AM PST (Check your local timing here) with several new Windows Phone 7 devices being unveiled along with Microsoft showcasing new software for the Windows Phone 7.

The Windows Phone 7 launch will be webcast live at Microsoft’s website. If you are interested in catching up on the event, you can do so by visiting http://www.microsoft.com/presspass/presskits/windowsphone/.

We’ll keep you’ll up with the news from the launch event, so make sure to subscribe to our mobile RSS feeds to keep yourself updated.

Windows Phone 7 Launching On October 11

Microsoft loves October, literally. They have been several significant launches from Microsoft in October in the past few years including . And it looks like Windows Phone 7 will also be launched on October 11, 2010.

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According to Pocket Lint, who have some inside scoop from sources, Windows Phone 7 will officially be launched on October 11, 2010. This rumor might definitely turn out to be true considering that Microsoft always planned to launch Windows Phone 7 during holiday season of 2010.

Also, of late, there have been several leaked Windows Phone 7 devices doing the rounds of the Internet, including LG E900, LG GW910, New Samsung Phone, HTC Schubert and Sony Ericsson Julie among others.

Hopefully, Windows Phone 7 will be a competition to and and not just another wannabe out there in the highly competitive Smartphone market.

Sony Ericsson Aspen Released In India

After a long time a new Windows Phone is launched, this time it is Sony Ericsson with their new Aspen. Sony Ericsson Aspen was announced a long time ago but it is finally available in the Indian market.

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Sony Ericsson Aspen is a Windows Phone and runs Microsoft Windows Mobile 6.5.3 Professional. It has a 2.4 inch resistive touchscreen of QVGA resolution with 65k color support. It also has a QWERTY keyboard. A 3.5mm audio slot is also present. The Xperia panels, just like in X1 and X2 is also present.

The internal memory in Aspen is of 100MB and the external microSD is expandable up to 16GB. It also has 256MB RAM and 256MB ROM. Both 2G and 3G connectivity is supported. Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g is also present. Bluetooth 2.1 with A2DP support is also available.

The camera is of 3.15MP resolution but lacks flash. Video is recorded in VGA resolution at 15fps. It has no secondary camera. Stereo FM Radio with RDS support is also present. GPS with aGPS support is available.

Sony Ericsson Aspen will be available in Iconic Black and White Silver colors. Sony Ericsson Aspen is available in Indian market (Kolkata confirmed) and it will cost Rs.15500 (approx).

MIX 10 Day 1: Windows Phone 7 Applications And How To

Microsoft kicked of MIX10 with Joe Belfiore talking about Windows Phone 7 Series and giving a quick run through of the phone. Today’s keynote was all about applications for the Windows Phone 7 Series and how to develop them. Microsoft demonstrated a few applications showcasing what the developers can do and announced tools that the developers would require to code the same. Microsoft has pulled off a genius move by allowing developers to use their existing knowledge about common technologies like .net and popular technologies like XNA and Silverlight to code applications for Windows Phone 7 Series devices, which I’ve written about in a previous post. Microsoft had recently showed how you can start a game on the desktop continue it on your phone and then finish it on the Xbox 360, the demo went to show that a lot of code for the game on the different platforms overlapped.

Today, Microsoft has released all necessary tools to begin development for Windows Phone 7 Series applications and the cool part is, all the tools are free. The package includes:

  • CTP of Visual Studio 2010 Express
  • Windows Phone 7 Series Emulator
  • Silverlight
  • XNA Game Studio

It’s a 290 MB download through a 3.2 MB installer – Download

Microsoft showcased some 3rd party developer apps as well that included:

Seesmic and Foursquare:

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Trust me, this is the best Foursquare client you’ve seen yet. The iPhone app doesn’t even compare.

Associated Press client:

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Subtle backgrounds for the type of news you’re reading.

3D Game Harvest:

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Other applications showed included a Comic Book reader app and the Netflix app amongst others. In one of the sessions after the keynote, Microsoft showed a LG and Samsung Windows Phone 7 Series device to the attendees. The basic specs (via Neowin) for a Windows Phone 7 Series device are:

  • 3 hardware buttons – Start, Search, and Back
  • Capacitive touch screen with 4 or more contact points
  • Only two possible screen resolutions – 800×480 and 480×320
  • A-GPS, Accelerometer, Compass, Light, Proximity
  • 5 MP camera with flash and dedicated camera button
  • Codec acceleration for multimedia
  • 256MB RAM with 8GB flash for storage
  • DirectX 9 accelerated GPU
  • ARMv7 Cortex/Scorpion CPU

Video showing the LG and Samsung Windows Phone 7 Series devices:

According to information on twitter:

  • A developer will get 70% of the cost of the app.
  • The applications will have to be passed by Microsoft.

In a blog post on the team blog, Microsoft has put up details about the Windows Phone marketplace. The blog post loosely defines Microsoft’s guidelines for developers who want their applications to be featured in the marketplace:

  • Always work well and reliably
  • Do no harm
  • Are legal and of generally good taste

Details On Windows Phone: Windows Phone Starter, No WP7S Upgrade For HD2, WP7S LG Prototype

Even before Microsoft announced Windows Phone 7 Series there were reports of HTC HD2 aka HTC Leo would be the only Windows Mobile 6.5 phone that would qualify for an upgrade to Windows Phone 7. After the announcement of Windows Phone 7, there was an alleged leaked image of the HTC HD2 running Windows Phone 7, the image was declared a fake. A Microsoft official while talking on the Engadget Show said that some Windows Mobile 6.5 phones can support Windows Phone 7 and it is upto the OEMs (manufacturers) to decide. With all those mixed signals, Microsoft’s Natasha Kwan, General Manager for Microsoft’s Mobile Communications Business in the Asia-Pacific region in an interview to APC magazine categorically stated that the HTC HD2 will not qualify for an upgrade to Microsoft’s latest mobile phone OS since it doesn’t have the three buttons.

Continue reading Details On Windows Phone: Windows Phone Starter, No WP7S Upgrade For HD2, WP7S LG Prototype

SmartRSS Now Supports Windows Phone With TouchScreen

BeetzStream SmartRss WM is an online/offline RSS reader and podcast manager for Windows Mobile devices.   With BeetzStream SmartRss 4.0, you can enjoy your favorite RSS news and video/audio podcasts on your device without a desktop computer. Feature list:

  • Easy navigation, One-hand operation support.
  • RSS 2.0, 0.9x and RDF formats are supported.
  • Customized player can be used for audio and video podcasts playback.
  • Subscriptions size can be limited globally or individually.
  • Feeds can be categorized.
  • Application startup and content downloading can be scheduled.
  • Today Screen plug-in support for Professional/Classic version.

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The interesting feature of the   SmartRSS is that it also supports podcasts. You just need fill in the RSS location and it will automagically download the mp3 files.

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Unlike other Windows Mobile applications, this app is very user-friendly because of its huge onscreen buttons. The app is available for $9.89 USD, though its just a simple RSS app. Some basic apps on the Apple’s App store are available for as low as $0.99. But the touch friendly UI makes SmartRSS   worth it.

You can also try out the trial version, which allows you to add up to 5 channels – everything else is functional. To use this app on your Windows phone you will require:

.Net Compact Framework 3.5 Sp1
Microsoft SQL Server Compact Edition 3.5 Sp1 for Windows Mobile

Techie-buzz Ratings: 2.5/5

What we like: The touch friendly UI

What we do not like: The at price at which it is available.

Download/Buy SmartRSS