Windows Phone Thoughts - Daily News, Views, Rants and Raves

Be sure to register in our forums! Share your opinions, help others, and enter our contests.

Digital Home Thoughts

Loading feed...

Laptop Thoughts

Loading feed...

Android Thoughts

Loading feed...

All posts tagged "microsoft"

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Windows Phone 7.1 Mango Webcast: The Crib Notes

Posted by Jason Dunn in "Windows Phone Events" @ 10:29 AM

I was eager to watch the Windows Phone 7.1 (Mango) Webcast, and I figured taking point-form notes would be a great way to share with all of you what Microsoft presented. Here we go:

  • Seven months ago, Windows Phone was launched
  • Everything is people centric on Windows Phone; Mango ups the ante
  • Twitter and LinkedIn now added into the mix
  • They added photo albums via a pivot on the person
  • Call History is sorted by person, including visual voicemails
  • Groups: you can mirror your real-life relationships on the phone. This feature looks killer! It filters all your social networks just for those people, including photos that are tagged with those people. Group email, group texts - Microsoft didn't want to take a proprietary approach like Blackberry Messenger; they used Windows Live and Facebook Chat instead.


Windows Phone 7.1: Mango Brings 500 New Features

Posted by Jason Dunn in "Windows Phone News" @ 09:29 AM

"REDMOND, Wash. - May 24, 2011 - Microsoft Corp. today previewed the next major release of Windows Phone, code-named "Mango," through a series of media events around the world. "Mango" will deliver more than 500 new features to push the boundaries of the smartphone experience around communications, apps and the Internet. The "Mango" release will be available for free to Windows Phone 7 customers and is scheduled to ship on new phones beginning this fall. More details on device update timing will be provided closer to availability. Windows Phone will also add support for additional languages, expand access to apps by launching Windows Phone Marketplace in new countries, and partner with new OEMs to enable expansion to new markets."

Windows Phone 7.1, better known by it's code-name Mango, is big. Really, really big. Seven months after the initial launch of Windows Phone 7, Microsoft is announcing the next big wave of features - and, frankly, dubbing it a .1 release is under-selling how big this really is. Read, watch, and sound off on what you think about what Microsoft is bringing to the table.

Check out the Webcast (I'm watching it now). The remainder of the press release is after the break. Read more...

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Mango Ripening On The Tree: Productivity Improvements

Posted by Nurhisham Hussein in "Windows Phone Software" @ 01:00 AM

"While there are a wide range of new features in Mango that you'll hear more about in the coming weeks and months, at TechEd we're highlighting a number of new capabilities designed to help you stay productive on the go...Mango is designed to make you even more productive right out-of-the-box - helping you quickly and easily stay connected with the people and information that are most important to you."

There are enough nice improvements that Mango does deserve the .5 release number. Including the email conversation view you see above, there's going to be integration with Office 365 and Windows Live Sky Drive, pinnable email folders, server search, Microsoft's new Lync service, and a bunch of under-the-hood improvements to make WP7 more amenable for corporate IT departments to manage.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Palm: The Rise and Fall of a Legend

Posted by Jason Dunn in "Windows Phone Articles & Resources" @ 09:00 AM,0

"I was there, when the Pilot landed. It was the summer of 1996, and the US Robotics Pilot 5000 had just arrived in the bootLab (‘boot Magazine' was the then-newly-launched precursor to Maximum PC). With unprecedented ferocity, we editors were fighting gladiator style for dibs on reviewing this tiny bit of pocket-sized plastic with its dingy monochrome screen. Not even the latest uber-PC or 3D graphics card generated such editorial lust."

Although it feels like ancient history now, it was only a few years ago that neither the iPhone, nor Android, existed and the smartphone wars were fought between the likes of Palm, Microsoft, and RIM. It's amazing how fast things change. This article, written by Chris Dunphy - a fellow I had a good natured rivalry with back in 2001 - covers the inception of Palm, the effective dissolution of Palm (some might say multiple times), and everything in between. It's an excellent read and gives some insight into what Palm did, and didn't do, right.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Microsoft & Skype: Fantasy History

Posted by Jason Dunn in "Digital Home Talk" @ 11:06 AM

Microsoft's purchase yesterday of Skype (barring any barriers that is) reminded me of a piece of Microsoft technology that I was keeping in storage - so I thought I'd do a quick photo-hack job and play a little "what if" game. Are there any readers of this site that owned this particular product? It was quite amazing for its time - I remember being upset when no drivers were created for Windows 2000, thus ending my use of the product (before Windows XP came out, Windows 2000 was *it* baby!). It had insanely cool functionality for the time - including voice command dialling, caller ID announcement, and it would link up with your contacts program on the desktop computer. Frankly, when I look at how "dumb" my landline phone is, I'd love to see something like this, updated with newest technology - like, say, Skype!

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Microsoft Buys Skype: This is Good for Windows Phone 7 and Windows Tablets

Posted by Jason Dunn in "Windows Phone News" @ 09:13 AM

"Microsoft Corp. (Nasdaq: "MSFT") and Skype Global S.à r.l today announced that they have entered into a definitive agreement under which Microsoft will acquire Skype, the leading Internet communications company, for $8.5 billion in cash from the investor group led by Silver Lake. The agreement has been approved by the boards of directors of both Microsoft and Skype...With 170 million connected users and over 207 billion minutes of voice and video conversations in 2010, Skype has been a pioneer in creating rich, meaningful connections among friends, families and business colleagues globally...Skype will support Microsoft devices like Xbox and Kinect, Windows Phone and a wide array of Windows devices, and Microsoft will connect Skype users with Lync, Outlook, Xbox Live and other communities. Microsoft will continue to invest in and support Skype clients on non-Microsoft platforms."

I was initially a bit skeptical of the Skype purchase - and boy, I'm impressed that Microsoft and Skype were able to keep this a secret until just before the announcement - but upon further reflection (and reading the thoughts of others) I think this is a good move. Windows Live Messenger already has voice and video capabilities, but it never attained the mindshare and usage patterns of Skype. Skype has become a verb, and owning a verb in our world is a powerful thing. The biggest news for Windows Phone users is that you can bet powerful and deep integration into Windows Phone is now on the map. Skype's huge user base is nothing to scoff at, and if Windows Phone becomes the premiere Skype platform - especially as VOIP usage continues to soar - that can only mean good things for Windows Phone, and for the future tablet-optimized version of Windows 8.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Mango Goodies

Posted by Nurhisham Hussein in "Windows Phone News" @ 11:00 PM

"On the Windows Phone Developer Podcast, a plethora of new features were announced that will really bring Windows Phone up to par with the competition..."

I wouldn't consider things settled yet, but there's some real nice additional functionality that's coming our way with the Mango update. Along with real GPS navigation, we're going to get Bing Audio and Bing Vision, as well as Voice to Text SMS. How much of this will actually make it to all markets is still an open question, since Marketplace hasn't been fully rolled out either. But its encouraging to see the progress Microsoft is making towards a truly competitive mobile OS.

WP7 To Beat Android...Really?

Posted by Nurhisham Hussein in "Windows Phone Talk" @ 09:00 PM

"Pyramid Research's Senior Analyst and Practice Leader for Mobile Devices, Stela Bokun, has compiled the firm's latest Smartphone Forecast, which reveals some interesting predictions...Despite the fact that Android will be the mobile OS at the center of surge, Bokun reports that Windows Phone will actually continue to gain marketshare, until it finally replaces Android at the top in 2015."

That's a pretty optimistic forecast. Even assuming Apple and Google stand still, it's a tough call to make especially given WP7's current momentum. Speaking as someone with some experience of statistical forecasting, the error rate that far out will be pretty big. On the other hand, I really respect someone who has the guts to put their opinions out there, especially one that goes against the grain.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Microsoft-Nokia Finalize Agreement

Posted by Brad Wasson in "Windows Phone Talk" @ 04:00 PM

"Many of you may have already seen the news announced earlier this morning, Nokia and Microsoft signed the definitive agreement for a strategic partnership between the two companies."

Yesterday Microsoft and Nokia finally completed ten weeks of negotiations, culminating in the signing of a definitive agreement for their strategic partnership. Their goal: to build a unique, global, ecosystem for mobile devices and software that is differentiated from all others. The joint team members are already working toward a multi-year product roadmap and are on-schedule to deliver volume shipments in 2012, although the companies report that delivery in 2011 has not been ruled out. In their joint blog post they specifically reach out to developers, who are, of course, essential for any potential success the ecosystem will garner. They also make specific mention of consumer experiences in the app categories of mapping, search, gaming, social media, advertising and productivity, and emphasize their increased focus on mobile business and productivity scenarios that build on Microsoft's cloud services, new features for Symbian, and new capabilities for Windows Phone devices. The two companies mention that reaching this agreement occurred ahead of schedule. Hopefully that is a sign of things to come, because time is of the essence and other ecosystems are growing quickly.

NoDo Fixes Exchange 2003 GAL Lookup

Posted by Nurhisham Hussein in "Windows Phone Software" @ 11:00 AM

GAL lookup has been available in WP7 since the beginning, but only if you were connecting to Exchange Server 2007 or 2010. Exchange 2003 users were out of luck...that is until NoDo. There might be a couple of hoops to go through though - you'll need to delete your exchange account on your phone first, reboot, then set up your account again. Hey, but at least the option's there if you need it.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Purchase an HTC HD7 In Australia, Get a Return Flight and Xbox 360 Goodies

Posted by Darius Wey in "Windows Phone Events" @ 11:00 AM

Aussies, if you've been putting off that HTC HD7 purchase, there's no better time to pick one up than now. Why? Because there are freebies to be had. No, we're not talking a mediocre case or headset. Instead, how does a return flight to one of thirty-three destinations in Australia sound? And on top of that, two Xbox 360 games (Halo Reach and Kinect Joy Ride) or 3000 Microsoft Points. Just make that purchase before the end of May and redeem those offers before early June and they're yours. We're not sure what's induced this huge act of generosity from the folks at Microsoft Australia, but whatever the cause, we give it nothing but two thumbs-up.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

NoDo For AT&T Unique Features

Posted by Nurhisham Hussein in "Windows Phone Software" @ 11:00 PM

"We're learning a little more on the upcoming AT&T NoDo Update for the Samsung Focus and LG Quantum. As we mentioned the other day with the expected release on April 19th, the NoDo update will contain additional features unique to AT&T."

It's not the most exciting stuff, but probably (ok...maybe) useful to AT&T WP7 users. AT&T's version of NoDo will include automatic switching between the onboard data-line and AT&T WiFi hotspots if any are in range, and the ability to sync with AT&T's own online Address Book. Nice value-added stuff - assuming it doesn't cause bloat.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

The Mango Update Detailed

Posted by Nurhisham Hussein in "Windows Phone News" @ 10:00 PM

"The position I take on Mango is this: everyone knows there are features missing from the current version of WP7. Features like multitasking, camera streams, sockets, and more. It would be crazy for Microsoft to not add these high-demand features to WP7 as quickly as possible. This morning we can see that they are certainly adding these features, they've thought them through very carefully, and they are further along with implementation than many people predicted."

It's still a ways off, but some details of the forthcoming major update for Windows Phone 7, codenamed "Mango", were released during the MIX conference. While the slant of the released details is towards developers, I'm sure end users would be just as interested - multitaskiong, custom ringtones, multiple live tiles per app, and of course IE9. All good stuff, and hopefully with a more trouble free update process than NoDo has proved to be.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Get Ready to Skype From Your Windows Phone This Year

Posted by Nelson Ocampo in "Windows Phone Software" @ 11:00 PM

"You heard right -- Skype just went from 'nowhere near' Windows Phone 7, to 'on the roadmap,' to 'definitely coming this fall.'"

Microsoft's Joe Belifore confirmed at the Mix11 conference that Skype is coming to Windows Phone 7 in a few months. It wasn't too long ago that Skype seemed disinterested in developing an app for Windows Phone. But I guess a lot could change in a few months. Especially knowing that Microsoft is opening up key access to ports that Skype would likely be using.

Belifore mentioned that Microsoft has been working closely with Skype, and had a lot of praise to give them. That gives an indication that there is likely more involved than Skype simply deciding to create an app on their own.

It's clear that people at Microsoft do see what customers are asking for, and that they are actively pursuing ways to turn those wants into reality.

Nokia and Microsoft: Clock's Ticking

Posted by Nurhisham Hussein in "Windows Phone Talk" @ 10:00 AM

"The latest numbers from research firm comScore show that Microsoft's [...] Windows Phone launch late last year in the U.S. market was largely a non-event. This raises the obvious question: Does Nokia [...] know about this? And is the company concerned?"

I don't think there's any question that doubts over the long term success of Windows Phone 7 are building. Even with Nokia on board, Microsoft has made its share of missteps over WP7 and there's a risk they'll lose so much momentum that it will be impossible to raise the platform's profile no matter how much money they throw at it. For the record, I like WP7 - but the glacial pace of updates and the non-existent roll-out of Marketplace beyond the initial launch countries is getting me down. Will the global reach of Nokia help? Maybe if they move fast enough, but that's a big maybe. This is too much like a marriage of desperation between the two, and both risk slipping into irrelevancy in the smartphone space.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Microsoft Hopes To Woo Developers At MIX11

Posted by Richard Chao in "Windows Phone News" @ 10:15 PM

"At Mix 2011, a Web and Windows Phone app development conference in Las Vegas, Microsoft plans to hold workshops on building apps for Windows Phone 7. Boot-camp sessions begin Monday, and Joe Belfiore, corporate vice president with Microsoft's mobile business, is expected to give a keynote speech on Wednesday."

MIX11 is set to begin tomorrow and Microsoft is expected to make a major push to get potential developers to begin publishing apps for their Windows Phone 7 platform.

In their statement last month, Microsoft stated 1.5 million copies of developer tools were downloaded and 36,000 people paid to become an official developer. This has resulted in over 11,500 apps with more being added everyday. While this is a good start, Microsoft would definitely like to see more developers producing apps.

Watch the keynote live at

Tags: microsoft, 2011, wp7, mix11

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Microsoft Releases Support Tool For NoDo Update Errors

Posted by Richard Chao in "Windows Phone News" @ 10:30 PM

"If you do have the above mentioned errors, head to Microsoft support to grab the special tool and get 'er fixed already."

It seems the official NoDo update currently being pushed out is progressing pretty smoothly. However, if you do run into problems and happen to receive either error code 800705B4 or 80180080, you may want to head over to Microsoft's website and download their newly released Windows Phone Support Tool.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Australia's Telstra Opens Up On Its Windows Phone 7 Update Schedule

Posted by Darius Wey in "Windows Phone Mobile Operators" @ 06:35 PM

By now, you've probably perused the "Where's my phone update?" page from top to bottom. It summarizes the update schedule of most major Windows Phone 7-toting carriers and OEMs. Unfortunately, Australians on the nation's largest carrier, Telstra, are still waiting, not just for this month's copy-and-paste update, but also last month's pre-update update. Thankfully, after being bombarded with questions from its customers and the press, the carrier has finally opened up on where things are at update-wise.

As far as the February update is concerned, you won't have long to wait. The carrier has certified it and Microsoft should deliver it to Telstra-branded HTC 7 Mozart and LG Optimus 7Q devices within the next week. Sometime next month, you can expect the March update to hit said devices. As for the HTC HD7 which hits stores today, it already includes both updates, meaning you can copy-and-paste and load those apps in shorter time from the get-go.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Carriers Point Fingers At Microsoft For NoDo Delay

Posted by Jon Westfall in "Windows Phone News" @ 03:00 PM

"Two European Windows Phone 7 carriers have confirmed to WinRumors that Microsoft is the source of some NoDo delays. UK operator Vodafone went on record on Thursday to claim that updates for the Vodafone HTC 7 Trophy and LG Optimus 7 have “been approved by Vodafone and will be distributed by Microsoft in due course.” Vodafone were not able to provide an exact date for the push but confirmed “as soon as we know this is available to our customers, we will post the info on our eForum.”

While European carriers seem to be generally more responsive on ROM updates historically (at least in my experience), I don't wonder if this is just reflexive finger pointing in the wake of MS actually doing something in consumer's best interest - posting update status. Who knows when Vodaphone actually finished testing - it could have been 2 days ago - and in that case, MS is well within their ten day scheduling window. Let the petty bickering start, I suppose.

Microsoft Gives Us An Update Schedule

Posted by Jon Westfall in "Windows Phone News" @ 05:33 AM

"This table provides update status for Windows Phone customers in the U.S. Find your phone model, then check to see what stage your update is in."

In the list of Smart Ideas I Never Thought I'd See Microsoft Implement, this schedule above surely ranks near the top. For years all I've wanted (and I suspect others have too) is just to know that an update is in the works, and maybe approximately where it is. With carriers given iron curtain-like secrecy about their timing, it almost seemed as if Microsoft was complacent in their partner's delays. This sends a clear signal: Carrier partners - Get your acts together, because now everyone knows that it isn't Microsoft that's holding up the update for X phone, it's the carrier who apparently doesn't care if you get the functionality soon or not so soon. Congratulations Microsoft, you've taken your case to the people.

Reviews & Articles

Loading feed...


Loading feed...

Reviews & Articles

Loading feed...


Loading feed...

Reviews & Articles

Loading feed...


Loading feed...

Reviews & Articles

Loading feed...


Loading feed...

Reviews & Articles

Loading feed...


Loading feed...