ZTE has announced it’ll be bringing its budget Windows Phone 7 device, known as Tania, to the UK…
ZTE has announced it’ll be bringing its budget Windows Phone 7 device, known as Tania, to the UK…
Stephen Elop has quashed rumours suggesting that Samsung is in talks to buy Nokia.The news comes a week after Microsoft was said to be lining up a bid for the company…
Microsoft is working on a Windows 8 tablet according to reports. The company is looking for inspiration from its success with the Xbox 360 to create an iPad 2-worthy competitor.
Nokia will not solely use the Qualcomm chip in their planned Windows Phone 7 handsets according to reports. Business news outlet Forbes say that at least some of the new Nokia phones will ship using a chip from ST-Ericsson, a joint venture between Ericsson and STMicroelectronics.
What makes this interesting is that the use of Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 1GHz processor has been standard across existing Windows Phone 7 handsets, and a part of Microsoft’s guidelines for the platform. While Qualcomm’s name has never explicitly been mentioned, they command more than 40% market share, and are used in the majority of devices from HTC, Samsung and LG.
The chip rumoured to be used in the forthcoming Nokia phone is the NovaThor u8500 system-on-a-chip. The dual-core processor is the first to offer 1080 progressive scan video recording and supports cameras up to 20 megapixels, which should certainly appeal to Nokia’s love of high-end camera phones. Additionally, it has Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and GPS, plus built-in USB 2.0 and HDMI-out capabilities. The u8500 is built around the ARM Cortex A9 and has a 3D graphics accelerator.
It’s going to be fascinating to see how the u8500 performs in comparison to its Snapdragon and Tegra peers, and according to ST-Ericsson, they’re in talks with seven of the nine top smartphone manufacturers; so we could be seeing the NovaThor in other devices soon too.
Ahead of Nokia’s Strategic and Financial Briefing scheduled to take place later this morning, the mobile phone manufacturer has announced a partnership with Microsoft to create Windows Phone 7 devices. This represents a huge change in direction for the Finnish company, who have previously only produced hardware running their own Symbian and Maemo/MeeGo platforms.
Nokia published an open letter on their Conversations blog, and the key changes are as follows. Windows Phone 7 will become Nokia’s primary smartphone platform and future devices will be the product of close collaboration between the two companies, up to and including the marketing. Bing will become the standard search engine on all Nokia phones, and Microsoft’s adCenter will serve them with advertisements, plus Nokia Maps will become a part of Bing Search too. Finally, Nokia’s content and app store will be integrated with Windows Marketplace.
If anyone is unsure as to how the two giants see this all working out, take a look at the open letter’s closing statement:
“There are other mobile ecosystems. We will disrupt them.
There will be challenges. We will overcome them.
Success requires speed. We will be swift.
Together, we see the opportunity, and we have the will, the resources and the drive to succeed.”
We think that sends a clear message!
Nokia will also be changing the company’s structure by creating two separate units, Smart Devices and Mobile Phones. Smart Devices will concentrate on the Windows Phone 7 initiative along with Symbian and MeeGo devices, while Mobile Phones will deal with the lower range phones and S40.
These changes confirm that neither Symbian nor MeeGo are going anywhere despite the adoption of Windows Phone 7, and Nokia say they still have plans to release a product running MeeGo later on this year.
As Steve Ballmer and Stephen Elop have pointed out, this moment sees a lot of very big brand names come together, Nokia, Microsoft, Bing, Xbox Live, Zune, Nokia Maps and so on. Inevitably, there will be individuals who will refuse to see the potential in this alliance, but here, we can’t wait to see the first Nokia Windows Phone 7 handset!
PR companies, pay attention! If you want to get the Internet talking about your latest product, hold a fake funeral for its direct competitors. If said competitor attracts hordes of over-excitable fans, consider it a huge bonus, as Microsoft’s latest stunt shows just how worked up people can get.
The story is this, Microsoft either organised or just took part in — it’s not really clear which — a parade around Redmond, where employees dressed as pallbearers carrying over-sized iPhones and BlackBerry’s behind a hearse, symbolising their death at the hands of Windows Phone 7. They were followed by people holding Windows Phone 7 signs, banners with the slogan ‘Windows Phone 7 OS Platform Buries the Competition’, cars emblazoned with Windows Phone 7 branding and a group of dancers re-enacting Michael Jackson’s Thriller video.
We’re willing to bet that all the Microsoft folk involved had a great time, and we think this falls into the ‘employee-pleasing bit of fun’ category. However, we could be in the minority here, as other blogs who have picked up the story alternate between taking it all much too seriously and horror that they dare suggest the death of another, popular device. We’re willing to concede that it may not be the most tasteful gag, but we don’t think they were serious when they did it!
It’s interesting to note they haven’t predicted the death of Android — green robots beat Thriller-style zombies obviously — they best hope the first few months of the new OS go well; otherwise this could all backfire spectacularly!
Photo courtsey of Trioculus (Flickr)
We were a bit surprised to find LG’s prototype Windows Phone 7 device for developers, soon to be unveiled officially as the Optimus 7 when released in its production form, hanging out in the wilds of IFA. Nevertheless, there it was, streaming DLNA content to a WiFi enabled TV. LG worked with Microsoft to develop a custom DLNA media sharing capability for its GW910 handset. Just one of the ways hardware partners are able to differentiate themselves on the otherwise locked down Windows Phone 7 platform. It certainly makes sense that LG would play to its strengths in the television industry as it moves to market with the device as early as next month according to our sources. Watch the trick flip-to-TV photo sharing interface in action after the break.
Microsoft worked with Vodafone late last year to deploy Surfaces to a few dozen stores in several European countries (much as AT&T has done in the US), and one of those units happens to be set up at the carrier’s IFA booth this week. The basic idea here is that each available model appears as a card that can be twirled, resized, and flung around the screen. When the software first starts, the cards start in a deck from which you can “deal” onto the table — but when we first approached it, the Surface had obviously already been played with because the cards were in complete disarray. Not too helpful when you’re a befuddled buyer trying to browse models and make a choice from a dizzying selection of handsets, but that doesn’t mean it’s not cool — if nothing else, parents, it’s something to babysit the kiddies for a few minutes while you go about your business in the store. Follow the break for video of the Surface in action.
Samsung may be one of the big players that Microsoft is pinning its hopes on for Windows Phone 7, but you wouldn’t know that from listening to the company at IFA. Speaking to Reuters at the show, Samsung’s head of marketing for its mobile division, YH Lee, said flatly that “we are prioritizing our Android platform,” adding that, “Android is very open and flexible, and there is a consumer demand for it.” Lee further went on to note that the company will continue to focus on its own Bada platform (at least outside of North America), but seemingly downplayed Windows Phone 7 when asked about it, saying only that “there is still some professional, specialized demand there.” Ouch. Oh, and in case you’re wondering, Samsung also says it’s “not seeing visible demand for Symbian.”
If you’ve been holding yourself back during these early rounds of the smartphone wars in anticipation of Windows Phone 7, your wait just got a tiny bit shorter. Today Microsoft is announcing that its fancy new mobile operating system has been released to manufacturing, making the idea of you holding an actual WP7 device in your hands that much closer to reality. The finished product is now rolling out to partners around the world where it will be getting carrier and manufacturer tweaks and additions, and going through the kind of pre-launch testing you would expect for a release of this scale. If you had any doubt that the Windows Phone 7 onslaught was close at hand, feel free to abandon them now.
Furthermore, the folks on the 7 team have managed to cram a few last minute goodies into the OS, one of which we’re particularly excited about. As you probably know from our in-depth preview of an early version of the software, we had a lot of issues with overflowing Facebook contacts in our phone. Microsoft has now solved that problem by enabling a contact filter system which looks for pre-existing matches to your Facebook contacts. If it doesn’t find a match, it doesn’t pull that contact into your address book (kind of like how Android filters Facebook friends). It’s a welcome addition and should make the Facebook / Windows Phone 7 combo a lot more palatable to a lot of people. Furthermore, Microsoft has added functionality into the People Hub which will allow you to “like” someone’s posts, and you’ll be able to comment directly onto someone’s Wall right in the hub. The company has also made tweaks and fixes focusing on feature discoverability (another issue we pointed out in the early look), along with the expected set of polishing and finish you’d expect from a product that’s gone gold master.