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"

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Microsoft at CES 2009: Keynote Highlights

Posted by Darius Wey in "Digital Home Events" @ 03:45 AM

After a few minutes of beatboxing and a seemingly enthusiastic Gary Shapiro introducing Steve Ballmer on to the stage, Microsoft's keynote was under way. This was Ballmer's first keynote at CES since taking over from Bill Gates, who delivered it for the first time almost 15 years ago and has traditionally done so up until last year. The question on everyone's mind was whether this keynote would be as memorable as the last. In a time when the very word, "recession", strikes fear into both consumers and businesses, would Microsoft have enough up its sleeve to turn 2009 into a year of ambition, innovation, and prosperity?


Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Microsoft at CES: Keynote at 6:30 PM, PST

Posted by Darius Wey in "Digital Home Events" @ 10:55 AM

In a little under nine hours, Steve Ballmer and Robbie Bach will deliver the Microsoft keynote at CES. What's in store for Windows, Windows Mobile, Windows Live, Office, the Xbox 360, and Zune? You'll have to tune in at 6:30 PM (PST) to find out, or simply wait for our post-keynote report. Whatever tickles your fancy.

  • Los Angeles, San Francisco, Las Vegas, Seattle: Wednesday, 6:30 PM
  • Chicago, Houston: Wednesday, 8:30 PM
  • New York, Washington, D.C.: Wednesday, 9:30 PM
  • London: Thursday, 2:30 AM
  • Paris, Berlin: Thursday, 3:30 AM
  • Moscow: Thursday, 5:30 AM
  • Beijing, Shanghai, Hong Kong: Thursday, 10:30 AM
  • Perth, Tokyo: Thursday, 11:30 AM
  • Brisbane: Thursday, 12:30 PM
  • Sydney, Melbourne: Thursday, 1:30 PM
  • Auckland: Thursday, 3:30 PM

Live Webcast: 100k, 300k, 750k

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Microsoft Updates Windows Live Services for Mobile

Posted by Darius Wey in "Pocket PC Sites & Resources" @ 09:30 AM

"Great news! We are now live with our new and updated Windows Live services for mobile. Go to from your mobile phone's web browser and check it out. There are a lot of new features and services that weren't even available for our beta users. We're really excited about these new mobile experiences! The new and updated mobile web services include Windows Live Home, Photos, Profile, People, and Spaces. These complement our existing mobile services, like Hotmail and Messenger. (An update to Hotmail for mobile web is on its way in the coming months - check this blog for more mobile news as it becomes available). With this release, we are extending even more of Windows Live to mobile devices, but with a mobile twist. To get started, all you need is a phone with a browser and a data plan. Using these services doesn't require a download - all you do is go to the new Windows Live website at"

Microsoft's quest to roll out its new and improved Windows Live applications and services has extended to mobile devices. Windows Live Home, Photos, Profile, People, and Spaces have all been updated. Visit the Windows Live Team Blog for a detailed look, or check it out for yourself.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Blockbuster to Build Streaming Video Service on Live Mesh Platform

Posted by Rocco Augusto in "Smartphone Talk" @ 10:00 PM

"Blockbuster Inc. caught up to the competition last week by introducing a set-top box that brings rentals from the Internet to the television. Now, the Dallas-based company hopes to pass the pack by teaming with Microsoft Corp. on new mobile services that will let customers watch even more movies on more devices. 'Eventually, we'll give customers instant access to any movie on any device with an Internet connection and a screen,' said Keith Morrow, Blockbuster's chief information officer."

I really love Netflix and their Watch Now service but the truth is their selection is pretty slim pickings. Out of the 400 DVD's in my Netflix queue, only 9 of them are available as Watch Now titles. Out of all of those 9 movies, I cannot play any of them on my Windows Mobile devices or any other mobile device I own. It will be very interesting to see how Blockbuster is able to pull this off, especially since they mention the ability to stream any movie on any device. Now the real question is does any movie count as any movie they carry in their stores and online service or will this be like Netflix where it is any movie they will have in their handful of movies that are able to stream. Only time will tell. It is nice however to see big name companies already utilizing the new Live Mesh platform.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Could This Be Windows Mobile 6.5?

Posted by Rocco Augusto in "Smartphone News" @ 10:00 PM

"While the arrival of Windows Mobile 6.5 for the year 2009 was announced here and there, then confirmed by Steve Balmer himself at the PDC 2008, Smartphone France is very pleased to present exclusive World 2 first screenshots of what should be Windows Mobile 6.5. If for the moment there is no real information on the new version of Windows Mobile, what is happening is that Microsoft has finally decided to redesign the interface of the aging systems to try to catch up with his lags behind its competitors."

While the above screenshots are fun to look at I highly doubt these are official screenshots from Windows Mobile 6.5. For starters a large majority of the icons look awfully jagged, as if someone did a horrible job cutting them up in Photoshop. Secondly, these so called screenshots barely resemble anything graphically relevant to what is currently released, or soon to be released, by Microsoft. Over the past few years we have seen Microsoft start to make graphical tweaks and changes throughout its product line to bring their products closer together in likeness - not... this. This looks like someone’s attempt at making a homescreen, or at least mocking one up in Photoshop.

The above images are nowhere near the quality of a product created by a company with billions of dollars at their disposal. Sure we can say the same about the previous versions of Windows Mobile, but the very reason we heard that Microsoft is releasing Windows Mobile 6.5 is because they understand as far as design goes they are nowhere up to par with the competition. Knowing that, I have faith that Microsoft will put together something that is pleasing to the eye and doesn't look like something thrown together by some kid in his bedroom over the weekend. Then again, I could be wrong. What do you guys think?

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Microsoft and LG Sign Mobile Collaboration Pact

Posted by Jon Westfall in "Pocket PC Talk" @ 04:09 AM

"Microsoft Corp. and South Korea's LG Electronics Inc on Monday said they had signed a preliminary agreement on strategic collaboration in mobile technology. "The agreement ensures continued strategic collaboration in R&D, marketing, applications, and services in the field of converged mobile devices," LG said in a statement."

flickr: Orin Optiglot

So Koo was like "Hey Steve, Lets Collaborate" and Steve was like "OK". Seriously, it's never bad to see agreements like this, as they hopefully mean more market saturation for Windows Mobile and, in turn, cooler devices for us. But really, when was the last time you saw something directly come of these agreements? Too bad the announcement is public but the results rarely traced back to it.

Tags: microsoft, lg

Monday, November 3, 2008

UK: Get Windows Mobile 7 Handset Free with Windows 7 Purchase!

Posted by Rocco Augusto in "Smartphone News" @ 10:49 AM

"Carphone Warehouse looks set to give away free smartphones running Windows Mobile 7 with copies of the upcoming Windows 7 PC operating system, Register Hardware has learned. A phone manufacturer source familiar with the phone retailer's plans told us that the Windows Mobile 7 phone and Windows 7 bundle boxes will be released on the same day that the new desktop OS is launched in the UK, which he said could come during September or October 2009."

Not only is this pretty cool as far as news goes, at least if you are a resident of the United Kingdom, if all goes according to plan we can expect to see Windows Mobile 7 ship before or at the same time as Windows 7. We all speculated this would be happening, but with Microsoft being very hush hush on the subject of anything with Windows and 7 in the title, it is nice to hear some news from a source that might actually be privileged to that information. There is still no word on the details of this promotion but we'll keep our ears to the ground for you guys/gals!

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Microsoft Launches New-Look Windows Mobile Developer Portal

Posted by Darius Wey in "Pocket PC Sites & Resources" @ 05:02 AM

Microsoft has just launched a new developer portal for Windows Mobile to help advertise upcoming events, showcase applications, and introduce you to a number of team members and MVPs. And, of course, there's no shortage of guides showing you how to turn that idea in your head into a working Windows Mobile application.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Windows Mobile 7: 2010 and Counting

Posted by Rocco Augusto in "Smartphone Talk" @ 06:00 PM

"Recently it was revealed that the newest version of Microsoft's mobile operating system, Windows Mobile 7.0, would be delayed until as late as 2010. The updated version, which the company's partners had reportedly been hoping to have by early 2009, was aimed at giving Microsoft a bigger presence on the mobile stage. But delay or no delay, I don't think it would have been enough. With competition from a resurgent BlackBerry platform from Research in Motion, Apple's iPhone and most importantly, the Google Phone platform (I will analyze Nokia's Symbian platform in a separate post at a later date), Microsoft's mobile platform is facing its toughest environment yet."

Despite the title of this article I ran across on CNN today, Why Windows Mobile is in Trouble, it is not the usual doom and gloom scenario that appears to be popping up in the Internet consciousness as of late regarding Windows Mobile. Om Malik goes on to write a fantastic piece on how Microsoft is now more than ever fighting an uphill battle in the mobile handset world in a means to stay relevant in the consumers' eyes, especially with the release of Google's new Android platform which Malik describes as "Windows Mobile done right". This article also quoted VentureBeat in stating that we might not even see new Windows Mobile handsets until 2010! Read more...

Monday, September 29, 2008

Android and Windows Mobile Complement Each Other Claims HTC

Posted by Rocco Augusto in "Smartphone Talk" @ 10:30 AM

"T-Mobile G1 manufacturer HTC plans to develop more handsets based on Android. It maintain this will not affect its Windows Mobile business - the Google platform and Microsoft's are 'complementary', it claimed. According to a report by DigiTimes, John Wang, Chief Marketing Officer at HTC, said that both systems have their merits, and so handsets based on either platform will appeal to different users."

I'm sure we can all agree that the only way this newest HTC Android enabled device is 'complementary' to Windows Mobile is due to how ugly it is and the wonders it will do for pushing users to the new Touch family of devices! All kidding aside, I have to agree with HTC on this one. Google Android and Windows Mobile are not even in the same league. Both platforms target completely different groups of consumers and where the Windows Mobile camp has been screaming at the top of their lungs for years hoping Microsoft will release a more consumer friendly version of their flagship mobile operating system, nothing has come of it at all. Even being as ugly as the T-Mobile G1 is, it will still sell a lot of handsets. This device is target to the general consumer and doesn't focus on the business aspect and because of that I can't take three steps outside of my front door without hearing someone talking about the T-Mobile G1 or having them ask me about it.

HTC will now be able to create new super sleek consumer friendly devices and at the same time, continue to cater to the enterprise and enthusiast crowd. This is the best of both worlds for HTC. Hopefully this will be a good swift kick in the posterior to make Microsoft hustle to bring us something really cool in Windows Mobile 7.

Friday, September 26, 2008

Microsoft Confirms: No Plans To Build Handsets

Posted by Rocco Augusto in "Smartphone News" @ 10:00 AM

"Unlike Apple or RIM, which design both their phones and operating system, Microsoft (MSFT) has been taking a different approach for several years -- focusing on the OS and letting partners figure out what the gadget will do and where it'll sell. This is sort of what Google's doing with Android and its Open Handset Alliance. Despite having its own gadget design teams -- which make the Zune and Xbox -- Microsoft has 'no plans to build our own phone,' says Scott Rockfeld, group product manager for Windows Mobile. 'Right now we're happy to share the limelight,' he adds."

Well to be honest, this is pretty unsurprising news. I know in the past I have been a huge supporter of Microsoft building their own Windows Mobile device so they would not have to worry about their partners cutting corners and releasing unattractive and hard to use devices that can hurt their brand. Recently however with Steve Ballmer’s internal memo that was floating which stated that Microsoft would "work with hardware vendors to ensure that we can provide complete experiences with absolutely no compromises," I am more faithful that we will see more fun and stable devices in the future. Here’s hoping we hear something tangible about these new devices soon, I'm getting antsy.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Rumor: Windows Mobile 7 Delayed

Posted by Rocco Augusto in "Smartphone News" @ 09:30 AM

"Good thing nobody's working on anything right now in the smartphone space, or this could be really bad news for Microsoft, whose current version of Windows Mobile lost the technology and usability edge a while ago, and is being bandaged up by the likes of HTC to keep the OS relevant to consumers. According to CNET, some of Microsoft's partners in the space are claiming that the upcoming Windows Mobile 7 has been pushed back to the second half of 2009, instead of the "early next year" they'd been expecting. Microsoft has yet to make a formal announcement about the release date of the OS or the specific feature set, so we can't exactly point our fingers and laugh, but we'd say crying big, mobile OS tears into our morning cereal is certainly appropriate."

At the moment I wouldn't consider this anything more than an Internet rumor since we never had a set date from Microsoft to begin with, but to be completely honest I really didn't expect to see Windows Mobile 7 hit the mainstream the latter half of 2009. When you look at the time it took between the release of every previous version of Windows Mobile and the amount of time it took device manufactures to update existing devices or even release new handsets with the latest and greatest operating system, it has been pretty close to laughable. Even if they announced something today, we wouldn’t see widespread saturation of new handsets until close to summer of next year. Seeing as how Microsoft is continuing to be incredibly tight lipped on the subject it is only logical to assume Windows Mobile 7 is still nowhere ready for the limelight.

The good news is that since Microsoft is taking so long to announce anything and it has been so many years since we have had a real update to the operating system - homescreen plugins don’t count - there is a good chance that Windows Mobile 7 will be the mythical merging of platforms that we have heard about in the past. Hopefully we won't have to wait too long to find out.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

The Adventures of Jerry and Bill: Normal People

Posted by Rocco Augusto in "Smartphone Talk" @ 11:30 PM

"Remember that first Seinfeld-and-Gates adventure into Shoe Circus, which alluded to something about Windows being 'soft and chewy and delicious?' Well, the new Laural and Hardy of ambiguous advertising have a new spot out and it's... making fun of your average scalloped potato-eating, leather giraffe from Cabo-buying, grumpy Grandma-having Suburban family. The incredibly rich duo try to connect on a 'normal people' level and kind of fail utterly. Like Windows Vista. I think."

If you hated the first commercial, chances are you're most likely going to hate this one as well... mostly because it's over four minutes long! After watching it a couple times I noticed Bill looking a little less awkward then he did in the first one and he totally breaks out in the robot! Whether you love the new commercials or hate them one thing is perfectly clear. By the time this campaign has run its course a lot of people are not even going to remember, or care about, the Apple advertisements that brought life to the weirdest odd couple since Larry and Balki. On top of all of this wacky goodness, the Conquistador makes yet another appearance! You have to wonder if the Conquistador is an ongoing joke or maybe the codename to this new delicious product they have hinted at. I guess we'll find out soon when the third commercial hits!

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Microsoft's WinMobile Team: Big on futures, slow on deliverables

Posted by Rocco Augusto in "Smartphone Talk" @ 04:00 PM

"With Google’s Chrome browser announcement and revelation of plans by Microsoft to roll out an iPhone app store competitor, all eyes should be on Windows Mobile... Google had no plans to develop its own browser, Eric Schmidt and Co. are doing just that... From a July 2008 speech at the Microsoft partner conference by Andy Lees 'Well, of course, consumers want to use the devices to be able to do things like to access the Internet. That’s why we’re putting Internet Explorer 6.0 on Windows Mobile where we’ll complete that in the next six months, and that’s so that you get the full PC experience on a mobile device. That’s not a cut-down browser; it’s the full IE 6.'... SkyMarket, SkyLine and SkyBox are all in their early/startup phases. Windows Mobile 7 is expected to be released to carriers in late 2008/early 2009, which means the first WinMo 7 phones — with an IE 6 browser and maybe a new app marketplace — should hit later on in 2009. Is Microsoft falling too far behind to stay competitive in the mobile space, clearing the way for Google’s Chrome to come in and clean Redmond’s clock?"

You would think with all of the security flaws that surround Internet Explorer 6 that they would just trash the source code by now. Even if all the security flaws weren't an issue the simple fact that Web Developers have to jump through hoops to get their code to function correctly on IE6 would be enough to make them make a more standards compliant browser for their mobile offerings. You would think that after finding out about this in July I would have time to have calmed down and not be so disgusted by the information, but no, I'm still horribly upset about it.

We are now reaching the point with the release of the Beta of Internet Explorer 8 where web developers, like myself, were starting to jump for joy at the chance to drop Internet Explorer 6 support. Internet Explorer 6 is nothing less than a nightmare. Hopefully Microsoft realizes their folly before the release of Windows Mobile 7 because including a browser that is over 5 years old on your devices when the competition are using top of the line WebKit browsers is a definite shot in the foot for Microsoft.

Friday, September 5, 2008

The Adventures of Jerry and Bill: Shoe Circus

Posted by Rocco Augusto in "Smartphone Talk" @ 02:31 PM

"During the NFL season opener on September 4, Microsoft aired the first of the ads that it paid agency Crispin Porter + Bogusky $300 million-plus to create to help make over the company’s image. No mentions or even thinly veiled references to Apple. And there is only an indirect reference to Windows."

I was a huge fan of the Adventures of Seinfeld & Superman. If you haven't seen those hilarious Jerry Seinfeld commercials, they were a little 2-5 minute webisodes that were used to promote American Express. One of the best marketing campaigns on the planet, at least in my opinion, because it actually had me going out and searching high and low for these commercials. Once again Jerry has managed to make lightning strike twice with the first of hopefully many Jerry and Bill dynamic duo commercials. If you have seen some of Bill Gates classic spoof videos of the past, such as Bill Gates' Last Day of Work, you will be happy to know that this new campaign has the same feel. Whether you love Microsoft or hate Microsoft I think it is safe to assume that everyone will love on camera Bill Gates - he is hilarious.

One thing I am grateful for is that these advertisements make a point to not mention Apple and the series of smear advertisements Apple has put out in the past few years. When I first heard about Microsoft's new campaign to combat the Apple advertisements, I just envisioned Microsoft's version of "I'm a Mac," which made me cringe a little inside. I've always felt Microsoft's products were better than that and now releasing something that will make people laugh instead of thinking they eat babies for breakfast will do wonders for their public image while at the same time making Apple look petty and negative for their series of commercials... which when you stop and think about it, if you have to mention your competitors products in your advertisements and bad mouth them the whole time only to sell a tiny fraction of the amount of products they sell, how good is your product, really?

Friday, August 29, 2008

FOX Business Showcases Windows Mobile Devices

Posted by Rocco Augusto in "Smartphone Talk" @ 08:30 PM

"Microsoft Mobile Communications Group Manager Scott Rockfeld was on Fox Business chatting up quite a lot of Windows Mobile devices. The context of the discussion is basically 'competitors to the iPhone,' which is a little aggravating because, let's face it, the iPhone and Windows Mobile aren't always going for the same demographic. Some of the smartphones shown off: HTC Diamond, HTC Touch Pro, and the BlackJack II."

I've watched this video several times, mostly because the Touch Diamond looked so swanky in it, but also because I thought Scott Rockfeld, Microsoft Mobile Communications Group Manager, handled himself brilliantly. Scott came out swinging showing off some of the more popular Windows Mobile 6.1 devices on the market, including the HTC touch Diamond, and was really hammering home that the Windows Mobile platform is all about choice. This seems to tie in exactly with all of the recent talk on the Internet of Microsoft’s new "Windows Not Walls" campaign. On top of that you throw in the fact that every device featured in this segment has sold over a million or more devices it starts to make a lot of the recent Apple sales hype start to look a little sad.

Microsoft builds fantastic products but unfortunately they're not the best when it comes to feeding the publicity machine. One of the biggest hurdles for Windows Mobile has always been lack of visibility in the public’s eye. All of us as Smartphone and Pocket PC fans have heard the pitch that Scott gave in this video dozens of times over but I think Microsoft is finally understanding that we are not the ones that need to be told this over and over again but instead the general populous needs to know. I just hope Microsoft does more of these segments on other news networks. So what did you guys think of the video?

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

The Android Wars: The Battle for Smartphone Users Begins!

Posted by Rocco Augusto in "Smartphone Talk" @ 02:00 AM

As I am sure all of you have heard the release of Google's open source operating system is right around the corner. As Jon posted yesterday, T-Mobile is having some weird special event pre-sale to kick off the release of the first Android device, the HTC Dream, and T-Mobile subscribers can expect to pick up this new handset for a mere $150USD. This is an amazing price for a touch screen smartphone.

As some of you have probably heard me say before, as of the last Android SDK release, the operating system felt more like a collection of stuff rather than a useable mobile platform. With the recent release of the Android SDK we can see a lot of that "hobbyist" feel that usually accompanies most things open source start to peel away from the device as Google shapes Android up to a viable iPhone killer. Read more...

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Microsoft's spent $500 Million on Danger

Posted by Rocco Augusto in "Smartphone Talk" @ 04:00 PM

"We had heard that Microsoft threw down a cool half billion to acquire Danger earlier this year, but quite honestly, we found it a bit tough to believe. After all, analysts are saying that even Motorola is barely worth that much. Regardless of all that, the outfit's latest quarterly report filed with the US Securities and Exchange Commission affirms that it did indeed spend $500 million on Danger. That's a lot of jack, son."

['Danger' is my middle name]

Not only did Microsoft pick up one super snazzy smartphone maker but when they spent a half billion dollars on purchasing a company with a name as awesome as this but I feel Microsoft bought the right to say that 'Danger' is your middle name. In fact, you can even say Microsoft eats Danger for breakfast... too much? Alright I’ll stop now.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Do we Really Need a Zune Phone?

Posted by Rocco Augusto in "Smartphone Talk" @ 02:22 PM

[What do you think? Is this what we really need? (Artist Concept)]

There is a bit speculation going around the Interweb as of late that Microsoft is hard at work on a Zune based phone, or ZunePhone if you want to call it what all the cool kids are calling it. In a recent memo making the rounds at Microsoft, Steve Ballmer is quoted as saying the following:

"In the competition between PCs and Macs, we outsell Apple 30-to-1. But there is no doubt that Apple is thriving. Why? Because they are good at providing an experience that is narrow but complete, while our commitment to choice often comes with some compromises to the end-to-end experience. Today, we’re changing the way we work with hardware vendors to ensure that we can provide complete experiences with absolutely no compromises. We’ll do the same with phones—providing choice as we work to create great end-to-end experiences."

After reading this memo I did what any fan of technology would do - I ran to my nearest window to get a glimpse of the pigs flying because Microsoft is finally starting to take an Apple-like approach to things by taking more control with hardware vendors to provide a "complete experiences with absolutely no compromises" for their end user. While I applaud Microsoft for taking that first step in hopefully stopping the hardware vendors from providing us with sub-par systems cluttered with excessive junk that we will never need or use on both the Desktop and mobile arena, you have to stop and ask yourself two questions:

  1. Why the heck has it taken so long for Microsoft to step in to ensure a better user experience?
  2. How angry are all the hardware vendors going to be over this news?


Thursday, July 24, 2008

Microsoft Releases Windows Mobile Executive Guide for Technical Decision Makers

Posted by Darius Wey in "Pocket PC Sites & Resources" @ 10:20 AM

"Deploying mobile technology is a serious decision with great implications for business strategy, competitiveness, finances, and security, and it is a decision that few businesses can ignore any longer. Microsoft recognizes the need for converged, manageable, powerful mobile computing in the enterprise and is committed to helping companies like yours meet the challenges of mobile device deployment and use, and enhance your return on investment in mobile technology."

Microsoft has just released a 20-page executive guide outlining why Windows Mobile is great for business. Click to read.

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...