Posts tagged microsoft
Just hours after settling the FTC’s antitrust investigation of its business practices, Google has blocked all Windows Phones from accessing its Google Maps mobile site. The move represents the latest move in an escalating war between Google and Microsoft.
Navigating to maps.google.com on any Windows Phone 7 or 8 handset now redirects to Google’s homepage:
Google issued a response claiming that WP devices wouldn’t work because the Google Maps mobile site was only “optimized” for the WebKit browser engine used by Chrome and Safari, and not Internet Explorer [note: Gizmodo's assertion that the Google Maps mobile site has never worked on WP7/8 is incorrect]:
The mobile web version of Google Maps is optimized for WebKit browsers such as Chrome and Safari. However, since Internet Explorer is not a WebKit browser, Windows Phone devices are not able to access Google Maps for the mobile web.
This response is, however, problematic at best. Read on after the break to see why.
The Metro-style Mail app in Windows 8 / RT works well enough for Exchange accounts and email hosted on Outlook.com, Gmail, and the like. But the app has no support at all for POP3 accounts and a broken implementation of IMAP. POP is arguably an old, outdated tech (despite many ISPs still using it exclusively), but IMAP is still the primary email protocol for non-Exchange servers, so it’s a problem.
Read on after the break for a workaround for one of the app’s bugs.
Russian developer Cotulla has managed to port Windows Phone 8 to HTC’s HD2, adding yet another OS to the legendary smartphone’s collection – which already included Windows Mobile 6.5 (which it originally shipped with), all versions of Windows Phone 7.x (7, 7.5, 7.8), most versions of Android, Ubuntu, other Linux distributions, and Meego,
For now it’s actually just a proof of concept.
I honestly dunno how far it can goes forward; a lot of problems appear and not sure will be it’s possible to solve them.
And not only to solve them, but get an acceptable user experience :)
It was implied as “a crazy experiment” at the start up time
For now it’s implemented only few functionality like SD card, screen output, touch screen input.
All other things are not working. I won’t add “YET” it can be very hard to get some things to work.
and DFT didn’t yet decided about future developments in that direction.
Performance seems to be one of the biggest challenges. WP8 is based on Windows NT, which is much heavier than WP7.x’s WinCE roots, and possibly too much for the HD2′s three-year-old internals to handle smoothly.
But Cotulla’s results could answer a few questions: first, was Microsoft justified in not upgrading any WP7.x devices to WP8? Second, as Microsoft — particularly through Nokia — heads downmarket with WP7.x phones like the Lumia 510, will WP8 be a viable option for entry-level smartphone hardware anytime soon?
Microsoft just concluded the Windows Phone Summit, where it announced Windows Phone 8. The event highlighted only platform-level changes, not final end-user features, but there was still plenty to cover. Most significantly, Windows Phone is moving from the Windows CE kernel to the same Windows NT components underlying Windows 8. Windows Phone 8 features a revised Start screen with resizable live tiles, higher screen resolutions, support for removable memory cards, and more.
Like Windows 8, the new phone OS will feature background multitasking for apps like VoIP services (e.g. Skype) and turn-by-turn GPS navigation, along with native C/C++ code support and NFC.
However, all the changes mean that no current Windows Phone 7.x handsets will support the new OS. Microsoft will release a Windows Phone 7.8 update, though, to add the new Start screen to WP 7.5 phones.
Read on after the break for all the new platform features announced:
A YouTube video posted by the Dark Force Team (DFT), a well-known smartphone hacking group, shows Windows Mobile 6.1 running within WML — some sort of emulator — on an HTC Windows Phone 7.5 handset. The old OS shows up just like an app, so you can use Windows Phone 7′s task switcher to switch away from it and instantly resume later. The emulator features on-screen buttons that simulate hardware buttons for Windows Mobile.
Despite WML being at an early stage of development, with no technical details provided, Windows Mobile seems to perform quite well in it — even games and full-screen movie playback work seamlessly. If DFT can give the emulator full functionality (like networking support), it could become very useful for anyone who wants to use legacy Windows Mobile apps — or just wants a stroll down memory lane.
No word on when WML will be available to download, but DFT says a version that includes the more touch-friendly Windows Mobile 6.5 is in the works.
Video after the break.
Microsoft’s upcoming Windows 8 operating system is shaping up to be one of the most significant updates in the company’s history, featuring a new Windows Phone-inspired Metro tile interface, support for ARM processors (so the same OS will run everything from a tablet or netbook to a workstation), and much more. Now the winds of change have reached the Windows logo as well. A new post on the Windows team blog explains that Microsoft turned for advice to design agency Pentagram, which asked a simple but pointed question: ”your name is Windows. Why are you a flag?”
The design process resulted in a four-paned window that looks a bit more in line with the Metro design language. That said, both Metro and “Swiss design,” which the post cites as inspiration, are about flat, 2D surfaces, and this logo has a tilt. Windows Phone tiles do rotate when loading, but the 3D effect is only during animation– it’s all flat once loaded. In any case, Microsoft says the new logo will change colors to match the user’s desktop.
See the Windows team blog post for the full design story.
Nokia is set to launch its new Windows Phones at Nokia World next week, but some renders have leaked of the 800, formerly code named Sea Ray. The phone sports the Meego-based N9′s industrial design language, paired with a 3.7″ screen and Windows Phone 7.5 (Mango). It should be available in black, blue, and pink.
Some other findings from these images: Nokia has replaced Windows Phone’s default Segoe WP font with its own font, Pure, and the phone shows Nokia Music, so where will Microsoft’s Zune Marketplace go?
Rumored specs include: 3.7″ ClearBlack AMOLED screen, 1.4 GHz Qualcomm CPU, 16GB storage, 8 MP camera with Carl Zeiss lens, 1540 mAh battery.
As long suspected, Microsoft is discontinuing its dedicated Zune music players, instead focusing on the Zune music service that runs on Windows, Windows Phone, and Xbox. Microsoft will continue to honor warranties on the Zune HD and other models. An update on the Zune site says, ”Windows Phone will be the focus of our mobile music and video strategy…we will no longer be producing Zune players.”
Announcing the largest deal in its 36 year history, Microsoft said earlier today that it would acquire internet telephony firm Skype for $8.5 billion, all-cash. The Redmond software giant will integrate Skype into Xbox, Kinect, and Windows Phone, along with its Outlook/Lync/Exchange enterprise platform. The company is investing heavily in mobile technology, and integrating the world’s most popular VoIP voice/video chat service should give that effort a shot in the arm, while also further extending the company’s enterprise leadership. Microsoft says Skype users who don’t run Windows or Windows Phone shouldn’t worry, as it will continue to “to invest in and support Skype clients on non-Microsoft platforms.”
Skype’s current CEO, Tony Bates, will head the new Microsoft Skype Division, reporting directly to Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer. Skype boasts 663 million users worldwide, and its users made 207 billion minutes of voice and video calls last year. Most of these calls, however, were free, which has made it difficult for the company to make money since it was founded in 2003.
Rumors swirled over the last few weeks that Google was looking to buy Skype, but an IPO was the most likely option, so Microsoft’s offer had to be high enough to convice Skype shareholders that life in the Microsoft fold would be better– hence the hefty price premium. Microsoft is an investor in Facebook, which may now be able to tap into Skype’s network via Microsoft. Apple appears to be building massive server capacity to make a big telecommunications play (perhaps by extending its current FaceTime video chat service), and Google of course has its Google Voice service, so we’re likely to see a three-way internet telecom battle between the Microsoft-Skype-Facebook combine, Apple, and Google.
eBay first bought Skype in 2005 for $2.5 billion, but having found little potential for synergies, it sold off most of the company to an investment group led by Silver Lake in 2009 at a valuation of $2.75 billion. Microsoft’s purchase price today is over three times that. With this deal, Skype will gain a permanent home and likely a central role in Microsoft’s bid to gain prominence in Internet services and the mobile arena. Microsoft has an estimated $48 billion in cash reserves, and the Skype deal would be its largest deal in 36 years. The operating system giant’s last big-ticket acquisition was its $6 billion purchase of online ad firm aQuantive in 2007. The Skype deal has been approved by both companies’ boards of directors and is expected to close by the end of the year.
Press release after the break.
Engadget has come across the first concept rendering from Nokia of what a future Windows Phone 7 handset from Espoo might look like. In classic Nokia fashion, the phone is shown in three different colors (black, pink, and cyan). The rendering combines Nokia’s design language with the simplicity of WP7′s three-button interface for a sleek-looking package overall.
Combine it with solid internals and Nokia’s traditional strength in phone camera optics, and we’re sold. Just hurry up and get this on the market, Nokia.