Archive for the ‘Microsoft Phones’ Category

Windows 8 on ARM

Wednesday, April 13th, 2011

For those not familiar with the architecture that most mobile devices use these days, this might sound like Spanish, but bear with us we will explain. Apple’s iPhone, Android smartphones, Symbian and BlackBerry smartphones all have one thing in common: they run on ARM powered chips. These low powered chips are also being used to power tablets such as the Motorola Xoom, Apple iPad and Samsung Galaxy Tab as well as others.

Microsoft has yet to make a formal announcement concerning its position concerning mobile devices except for phones and laptops. But rumor has it that a variant of Windows 8 will be built for tablets. The key to this working is for Windows to run on the same architecture that most other manufactures and OEM’s use to power their devices.

At the company’s annual MIX event, Microsoft showed the next version of their operating system running on ARM. What does this mean? An iPad, XOOM and Galaxy Tab challenger from Microsoft, unfortunately we did not have a preview of the UI, but at least the underlining software code works, now for a tablet friendly skin and thousands of Windows apps will be in the palm of your hand on your next Windows tablet.

Microkia: The partnership of two giants

Monday, February 14th, 2011

It was a clear message that Nokia’s new CEO Stephen Elop sent to his company. The world is changing and we are not changing fast enough. Elop is not one to beat around the bush and skew facts; he made it clear that if Nokia did not change their direction, they would be eclipsed forever by Google, Apple and the reemerging RIM.

Yes the company has had MeeGo on the table for quite some time now as the answer to Android and iOS but as Elop said in his press conference today, MeeGo is not moving at a pace suitable for deployment in the near future and R&D is taking a lot longer than the company officially thought. Although he company will not abandon MeeGo completely, Nokia has said that from now on Windows Phone 7 will be the major OS for their devices from here on out.

The partnership between the companies solidifies years of collaboration between the software giant and he cellphone manufacturer giant. Nokia will be allowed to customize Windows Phone 7 as much as they like, something Microsoft has forbidden other OEM’s from doing, though Nokia is quick to say that they will only do minor modifications to keep themselves different from the rest. Speaking of different, Nokia revealed that they had been in talks with Google to bring Android to their ecosystem, but thanks to the lack of customizability and the tight lock Google has on Android, they dropped the idea of running Android on their phones.

Bing Maps will be ported to Nokia phones and Nokia’s Ovi Maps will see some of its features integrated with Bing Maps. Their Ovi App Store will also see integration with Windows Phone 7 Marketplace and yes, Xbox gaming will be making its way to all Nokia phones running Windows Phone 7.

Although both companies did not specify a timetable when customers will be able to get their hands on devices from the joint partnership, they have said it will be before the end of 2011 as well as Nokia has said that a MeeGo device (N9?) will be coming before years end as well.

Source: Nokia

Today’s Top Mobile Headlines

Monday, December 20th, 2010

Nokia is suing Apple for 24 counts of patent infringement. The case has been filed in several countries counting the UK, Netherlands and also in Germany as well. As expected, Apple has responded to the lawsuit by filing a counter lawsuit against the Finnish phone maker. With this being their fourth legal battle against each other, the process is starting to look familiar, hopefully, this case gets resolved as soon as possible.

RIM has announced that they have shipped a massive 14.2 million units, and the company has also reported a massive growth of 40% in profits. While the BlackBerry brand still remains a niche name, many are hoping that the new QNX powered BlackBerry Playbook might change the reputation of the company name.

Microsoft has confirmed that the Windows Phone 7 mobile platform will be receiving a massive update. According to reports, the new update will be coming in the summer of 2011 (around August and September), and by massive, we mean large enough to warrant getting a name. Aside from adding HTML5 and better Silverlight compatibility the update is expected to bring many more features to the OS. The new update has also been nicknamed as the Mango.

Speaking of the Windows Phone 7, Microsoft is not planning a new version of the OS until much later; which means that the currently announced 7.5 update will be all that users can look forward to next year. It is believed that the new version, Windows Phone 8 will be launching on 2012.

Google’s Android Honeycomb has been designed specifically for touch screen tablets. So far, there is no confirmation yet on when the OS version will be released (especially with 2.3 Gingerbread being just released just a while ago). At this point, many believe that the Honeycomb OS will be designated with version 2.4.

Microsoft to Update WP7, Google’s Nexus S is Coming

Wednesday, December 8th, 2010

With all the exciting talk about the Android 2.3 Gingerbread operating system going on, it is almost easy to forget the fact that the platform will not be launching alone. Google is placing it aboard the Nexus S touch screen smart phone as well.

The dual launch will showcase not only the best software technology that Google has for commercial users, but also the latest in hardware innovation as well. There is plenty of focus for the Nexus S to be able to deliver great graphics, media and of course, the best Android experience for the end user. The device itself is unique, sporting a slight curve to the front of the device allowing it to ‘cup’ the side of the face more effectively especially when making a call or a voice command.

Other features of the Nexus S include the 1GHz Hummingbird CPU, an 8 mega pixel camera, the super AMOLED touch screen display and sadly, the lack of micro SD card support. While mostly impressive, not supporting external storage is certain to get some solid criticisms for this device. According to Samsung, the Nexus S will be launching within the next couple of weeks.

Microsoft is also launching an update to the Windows Phone 7 mobile platform. While there are plenty of new features that are coming, it has been stated that copy and paste are going to be primary additions to the mobile platform. For those not familiar with the WP7 OS, it was originally announced that copy and pasting would be limited in application to only contact information –meaning that only phone numbers and email addresses can be copied and pasted.

This update provides a better version of copy and pasting: one that actually allows users to select which content to copy and where they will be allowed to paste it. The controls are simple and anyone who has seen a similar copy and paste system in other platforms will not take one learning to make use of the feature.

Coming Soon: Newer Tech for Mobiles

Thursday, December 2nd, 2010

When Windows Phone 7 was first announced in this year’s Mobile World Congress, Steve Ballmer left out the fact that there would be no copy and paste. The issue was not brought up until several months later and much to the dismay of expectant fans, it came true when the mobile platform finally came out last October.

But now, it seems that the WP7 OS really needs cut and paste technology. It is a simple function that has left many wondering why it was never put in the platform to begin with. In any case, Microsoft has already seen the light and that is why they are adding in the feature for an upcoming OS update due to come out early next year.

Of course, copy-pasting is not going to be the only new feature implemented in the update. According to reports, the new OS will be getting an update so massive that we might as well call it the Windows Phone 8. So far, no other exact details regarding the upcoming changes have been revealed, but we are certainly excited about it.

Speaking of OS updates, the Apple iOS will be getting its own overhaul. This time, as opposed to bringing new phone features, the OS update will be streamlining the system’s overall power consumption settings: in short, it will make your iPhone/iPad/iPod Touch battery last longer. This has been made possible with a new technology that manages bandwidth by allowing it to “sleep” from 3G communications when not needed.

Apple also has another surprise for the tech industry as they have revealed the manufacturer of the camera for the iPad 2. While the actual information about Largan Precision is not all that impressive, the real news here is that Apple is more or less confirming the iPad 2 and more importantly, they have also confirmed that the tablet will finally have a built in camera.

Mobile Headlines: Android and WP7 in Focus

Wednesday, November 17th, 2010

Microsoft’s Windows Phone 7 was launched just recently and as such, there are issues and problems that need to be addressed –which is always the case with most new operating systems that launch.

However, as much as we would like to say that problems are normal, the current issue for most WP7 owners is jarring: the microSD card used in the device cannot be easily replaced without risking the loss of important data. While some might say that simply taking out the card and making a backup is a good idea; that is where the second problem lies: the card will be formatted in a unique way that renders it directly unreadable –even by the Microsoft run Windows desktop OS.

In short, those who are used to hot swapping SD cards will now be stuck with just one –so better be sure to insert a high capacity card the first time you use it.

In better WP7 news, it has been confirmed that sat nav assistance will now be provided to users via the device’s own maps feature. So far, no specific date on the GPS launch has been given.

HTC has confirmed two things just this week. First off, the Legend will indeed be getting an update and Vodafone users get first dibs over all other Legend users under other operators. According to the latest reports, the update is already online and ready to download.

HTC has also confirmed that it will be venturing to the business market with possibly a new device. While the Taiwan based manufacturer has previously concentrated on devices for the general public, a new wave of phones has been made to cater specifically to the messaging based and high security world of the business market.

Lastly, retailer Dixons has announced that the Android tablet, Toshiba Folio, will no longer be available unless an issue with the device has been fixed.

WP7: Needs More Developer Support

Monday, October 25th, 2010

It is a pretty well-known fact that months prior to the launch of the Windows Phone 7, app developers have already been given SDK’s for the upcoming mobile platform. Considering how important apps can be to a smart phone, this is very crucial part of the WP7’s change to take the lead in the industry.

In terms of game applications, Microsoft has little to worry about as the Xbox Live Games service instantly lets people choose, invite and even refer to new titles. The big addition of in game achievements that are reflected on the device’s XBL Account page where details on the owner’s personal profile can be found is a major highlight –providing bragging rights for many players and their peers.

As for other applications, Microsoft needs to bring in the market of phone owners that actually purchase content online if they want to beat the Apple iTunes in terms of application sales. The Zune Marketplace has a long way to go, but with so many new devices and the WP7 having just come out, it would be much too early for major profits to start coming in.

In the meanwhile, Steve Ballmer and his crew are pretty excited as the first WP7 devices are now available through pre-order and various methods on several UK based network operators. It is expected that the volume of WP7 devices that are shipped out by 2011 is already at 30 million units.

Microsoft’s competitors are not slouches either. The Android OS is growing to a vast range, and Apple already has an established user base. Growth can be expected with the BlackBerry OS, Samsung’s Bada and the upcoming MeeGo OS.

In other WP7 related news, it has been announced that the system will be getting updates for Adobe Flash player support in order for the WP7 browser to easily see web content.

OS Wars: A Situation Report

Thursday, October 21st, 2010

There is no doubt that a mobile platform can make or break a phone, while this is true there are also times when a platform is not considered –such as the case of the Samsung Wave which was a resounding success, not only for the phone itself but also for the Bada operating system.

Right now, the big players are still preparing for the big sales this coming holiday season. Google is still fixing up its mobile handsets by getting everyone updated to version 2.1 Éclair or 2.2 Froyo as soon as possible. But even with such diverse fragmentation, many believe that the platform would eventually surpass all other OS in terms of distributions.

Apple’s iOS has been on the quiet side of the news (though Steve Jobs has not). With no new innovations and hardly any ground breaking achievements, the Apple made OS is certainly taking it sweet time. Still, it is hard to argue that anything needs to be done about the platform right at this instant. The Apple iTunes store is still selling plenty of apps and the next iPhone 4 version seems to have fixed the antenna issue.

The big variable factor right now is Microsoft’s upcoming Windows Phone 7 OS. From what we have seen so far, Steve Ballmer has delivered on his promise to change the way we use mobile phones. But as to whether WP7 will be the unstoppable winds of change or that one door of progress we are all loathe to cross still remains to be seen. Either way, WP7 is looking all set to change today’s mobile phone standards.

RIM’s BlackBerry OS is not to be left behind either. With the success of the OS 6 which focuses more on media, the use of the new QNX OS for the Playbook tablet seems to be opening up plenty of new possibilities for the Canadian phone maker.

Windows, Android and iOS: Tablet Wars

Wednesday, October 6th, 2010

Apple has already taken the big lead in the tablet industry by being the first to launch a touch screen tablet device. The Apple iPad was a pretty big success for its time and despite the fact that our society does not exactly have a space or specific use for tablet technology, the presence of the touch screen device has been much appreciated supported.

This is why it was not surprising to know that some of Apple’s largest competitors in the industry quickly jumped into the tablet scene –after all, many were already developing tablet devices even before the iPad was being planned. Of course, it was pretty impressive to see that among the first new tablets to be made available is none other than Android devices.

Samsung’s Galaxy Tab certainly set a new bar for the tablet devices thanks to its smaller, ergonomic size and by having a wider range of user friendly features.

Not, it seems that even Microsoft is planning to finally push through with their plans. It may be recalled that MS has already been working with HP earlier on to develop tablet technology. Steve Ballmer, current CEO of Microsoft, has stated that “We as a company will need to cover all form factors. We have done work around the tablet as a productivity device and a consumption device… You’ll see slates with Windows on them, you’ll see them this Christmas, you’ll see them continue to change and evolve… Right now we have got to get back seriously into the game of phones.”

With the new Windows Phone 7 operating system seemingly ready to replace the Windows Mobile platform as the new OS of choice for the Silicon Valley giant, it is not surprising that Ballmer is still holding off further tablet plans until later this coming December.

One big advantage that the Windows Phone 7 OS is that it was likely developed to be made compatible with both mobile phones and tablet devices –something that the Google Android operating system or even the Apple iOS is not.

Quick Bits: Bada Wave II and the Microsoft VS Motorola Case

Tuesday, October 5th, 2010

It seems that a new fire is brewing in the mobile phone industry and surprisingly, it is a lawsuit that does not involve Apple at all! Joking aside, it appears that Microsoft has filed a patent infringement lawsuit against mobile phone manufacturer Motorola.

What is unique about this lawsuit is not how the issue is based on Motorola’s actual software or technology, but on the use of the Android operating system. Should Microsoft gain substantial progress on this lawsuit, it could very well spell a series of successful lawsuits against other phone makers that support the Android operating system.

On a side note, it is interesting how Motorola was among the companies that were announced as supporters of the upcoming Windows Phone 7 mobile platform when it was demonstrated last February and yet until now, no Motorola made WP7 device has been shown. With Motorola’s long history with Microsoft, this lawsuit could very well be the start of a major falling out between the two companies.

In other news, Samsung has just announced the Bada OS running Wave II smart phone. Now this handset is not to be mistaken for the older Wave 2 smart phone that was announced just a few weeks back.

The II and 2 are actually two separate devices. While the Wave 2 focuses more on Samsung’s vision of developing phones for all market ranges, the Wave II aims to continue the high end part of the OS –bringing to us a truly upgraded version of the original Wave.

With manufacturing for the super AMOLED touch screen becoming a less viable option, Samsung has also adopted the solution of using super LCD technology instead. According to reports, the S-LCD is still as visually impressive as super AMOLED technology.

Samsung also hinted that the new high end Bada handset will be available by this coming November.