Posts tagged windows phone
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.
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.
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.”
HTC just unveiled two new handsets running Microsoft’s latest mobile OS, Windows Phone 7.5 (codenamed Mango)– the Titan, a 4.7″ monster that may spawn a whole range of 4.7″ phones from HTC (as the HD2 did for the 4.3″ form factor), and the Radar, an update to the 3.8″ HTC Trophy.
The Titan (codenamed Eternity) is truly a beast, featuring a 4.7″ SLCD screen (800×480 resolution), 8 MP rear camera, 1.3 MP front-facing camera (for Skype chats). Inside, the phone sports a 1.5 GHz Qualcomm MSM8255 single-core processor, 512 MB RAM, and 16 GB storage. It’s quite slim (9.9 mm) and has a black painted unibody metal construction (minus a plastic bit at the bottom for the antennas), though Microsoft’s claim that it’ll be “the most amazing thing you’ve ever held” might a little ambitious.
The Radar (codenamed Omega) targets a lower price point. Featuring the same dimensions and weight as HTC’s current Trophy, along with the phone’s 3.8″ LCD, 1GHz Qualcomm MSM8255 processor, 5 MP rear camera, 512 MB RAM, and 8 GB storage. The Radar improves on the Trophy’s camera, and adds a front-facing VGA camera for video chat. The phone will come in gray and white variants, and while it’s slightly thicker than the Titan (10.9 mm), it’s still a decent-looking unit. HTC plans to offer landscape docks to allow the Radar and Titan to act as alarm clocks as they charge.
Imaging seems to have been a focus for HTC– both the Titan and Radar sport 28mm wide-angle lenses, f2.2 maximum aperture, and back-illuminated sensors (like the iPhone 4 and HTC’s own EVO 4G) that should improve image quality, along with LED flash (single on the Radar, dual on Titan). In addition, the phones include far more imaging options than HTC’s current WP7 lineup (along with features like panorama auto-stitching and burst mode).
HTC plans to ship its new Mango handsets in early October and will begin upgrading current phones to Mango starting in mid-September.
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.
Observers have been wondering what Nokia’s next step will be following its CEO’s Burning Platform memo yesterday. The Wall Street Journal and Bloomberg BusinessWeek reported this morning that Nokia is in talks with Microsoft to license the latter’s Windows Phone 7 operating system for use in its devices and that a deal may be announced at an event in London tomorrow. The company has also been in talks for several months with Google about its Android OS, which seem not to have panned out. Google’s flamboyant VP of Engineering, Vic Gundotra, posted a tweet yesterday presumably bashing Nokia and Microsoft after the Android negotiations fizzled:
Microsoft just officially launched its new Windows Phone 7 operating system. CEO Steve Ballmer showcased 10 phones that will go on sale in 30 countries soon– October 21 in Europe and Asia and November 8 in the U.S.
HTC showed off its 7 Mozart (3.7″ slate), 7 Surround (3.8″ slide-out speaker), Pro 7 (3.6″ slider), 7 Trophy (3.8″ slate), and HD7 (4.3″ slate). LG has the Optimus 7 (3.8″ slate) and Quantum (3.5″ slider). Dell showed its Venue Pro (4.1″ AMOLED vertical slider), and Samsung trotted out the Focus (4″ Super AMOLED slate) and Omnia 7 (4″ Super AMOLED slate).
All are powered by Qualcomm’s (aging but still speedy) QSD8250 1 GHz Snapdragon CPU, with 8-16 GB of fixed memory and 5-8 MP cameras (with LED or Xenon flash). None appears to have HDMI output or a front-facing camera.
More info at Engadget.
A set of leaked photos depict T-Mobile USA’s version of HTC’s upcoming Windows Phone 7 handset, the HD7 (codenamed HTC Schubert). As we detailed earlier, this is basically a WP7 version of HTC’s earlier, Windows Mobile 6.5-powered HD2.
Like the HD2, the HD7 has a 4.3″ WVGA LCD screen, Qualcomm Snapdragon QSD8250 (1 GHz) processor, 576 MB of RAM, and a 5.0 MP camera with autofocus and dual LED flash. The HD7 adds a kickstand, camera button, and more powerful (stereo) speakers, and whereas the HD2 has 1 GB ROM + MicroSD slot (up to 32 GB cards), the T-Mobile HD7 has 512 MB ROM and fixed 16 GB flash. That’s double what the European HD7 is rumored to ship with (8 GB).
The (international) HD7′s dimensions/weight are 122 x 68 x 11.2 mm / 162g, so compared to the T-Mobile HD2 (122 x 67 x 11 mm / 157g), it’s roughly the same size. The T-Mobile HD7 may be slightly taller– no exact dimensions yet. Pricing will likely be the standard $199 (on 2 year contract)– we should get final confirmation at Microsoft’s Windows Phone 7 launch in just a few hours.