Daily Archives: August 3, 2011

Windows Phone 7 featuring Google Plus+ spotted online

Probably Google+ is coming to Windows Phone 7, as per the recent image leak – but how authentic is it?

It seems like Google+ is set to make its way for Windows Phone 7, if believe on the leaked image.

The snap we spotted over Internet looks like a Google+ application – the main clue is Google+ lettering over the phone’s screen, it is ensuring that the HTC 7 Trophy Windows Phone 7 handset is running the Google’s latest social networking application.

Kevin Marshall, the one who posted the snap, also used the hashtag #wp7 (the abbreviation for Windows Phone 7) when he tweeted the picture, as our sister concern has mentioned in a report.

However, we will still say that it’s not tough task to insert an image into a gadget to give it real look. For this you just need to work a little bit on Photoshop with any image, so there are chances for image to be a fake.

If we look at Marshall’s blog, he’s sticked to the Windows Phone 7 platform and has been posting related to that topic for an year now.

Besides, it is not a concrete evidence to assure that we will certainly see a Google+ app on Windows Phone 7. Till the time it will be nonsense chopping off parts of the mobile market.

If you are not yet aware of Google+ then we might tell you that it is Google’s latest social networking site. It has features quite like Facebook and Twitter that makes social networking easy and interesting both.

Althogh, it comes with a unique fearture known as Circles, which let the users to split up their feed into groups so, you can filter out mundane tweets or have a group for work.

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Posted by on August 3, 2011 in Google Plus, HTC


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Windows Phone Tips & Tricks: Internet Explorer

Continuing our look at all of the cool, easy-to-find-but-overlooked functions in Windows Phone 7, we turn our attention this time around to using the web browser.

A hybrid version of Internet Explorer is included in Windows Phone 7, and this is Microsoft’s most accomplished mobile browser yet (something they are expected to improve upon in the Mango release). Offering tabbed browsing, pinch and tap to zoom and a fast page render, the browser is ideal for catching up with the latest news and reviews, checking out galleries and basically anything that doesn’t require Flash Player!

The following shortcuts, tips and tricks will help you enjoy the best web browsing experience on Windows Phone 7.
Activate Tabbed Browsing

Just as you might find tabbed browsing in Internet Explorer 7 and later, Windows Phone 7’s browser gives you up to six tabs that you can use to view different web pages. To leave one web page open on a tab while you open another, tap the Tabs button at the bottom of the browser (the one resembling two pieces of paper) and then type into the address bar the URL of the page that you want to open.
Sharing Web Pages

There are various avenues for sharing web pages in Windows Phone 7, something that you can do by expanding the menu at the foot of the screen (this is best done by “long tapping” the three ellipses) and selecting Share Page.

You will then be given a selection of your available email accounts to send an email from which includes the link; you can also use the SMS Messaging option.
Searching Within a Web Page

While Windows Phone 7 has great integration with Bing, searching within a web page is slightly different. If you are looking for a specific word that might appear in the web page you are viewing, use the Find on page menu item in the browser menu. This will open a text field for you to search for the phrase you want to use, and when you tap enter the word will be displayed; arrows on the menu bar will enable you to search for further examples of the searched for word or phrase.
Deleting Your Search History

If by any chance you have been a bit bold with your mobile browsing and visited a website that you perhaps shouldn’t have, you can cover your tracks using the delete history option.

This is found in Settings > Applications > Internet Explorer – you can’t miss the prominent Delete history button! Meanwhile your entire history of every search undertaken via your phone’s search button can be discarded via Settings > Applications > Search > Delete history.
Bookmarking and Pinning Web Pages

There are two ways to “favorite” a web page in Internet Explorer Mobile on Windows Phone. The first is via the browser menu bar, where you will spot the Add button. The Favorites button displays any pages that you have added, while swiping left will also display your history of visited web sites.

Another way to favorite a websites is to add it to the Start screen. This will result in the web page appearing as a tile, and you will be able to use this to quickly load up the page rather than first opening the browser. To do this, navigate to the page you want, open the browser menu bar and select Pin to start – the item will now appear each time you go to the Start screen!


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Posted by on August 3, 2011 in Windows Phone 7, WP7


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Angry Birds on Windows Phone 7 gets 90 more levels

Compared to the iPhone version, which has 270 levels, the number of levels of the game on Windows Phone 7 are still lower. Angry Birds for Windows Phone 7 is priced at $2.99 (Rs 131).

Rovio Mobile, the makers of Angry Birds, has announced a new version of the game for the Windows Phone 7 platform, which brings 90 new levels to the gameplay. With this, WP7 now has 225 levels compared to the earlier 135.

For the users, it effectively means the Episodes 10 and 11, which were earlier locked with the caption ‘coming soon’ on them, are open for the users. The users would hope the updates would keep coming to keep their interest in the game.

Compared to the iPhone version, which has 270 levels, the number of levels of the game on Windows Phone 7, are still lower. Angry Birds for Windows Phone 7 is priced at $2.99 (Rs 131).

The style of gameplay itself is not new, but Rovio has added some fun to it. The only problem is for those users who want to see the slingshot and target in one view because they will need to zoom out every time to do so. The game does not take too long to load, and has a smooth frame rate as well.


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Posted by on August 3, 2011 in iPhone, Windows Phone 7, WP7


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Windows Phone 7 Has No Soul

I decided to visit both an AT&T store and a T-Mobile store to check out the Windows Phone 7 devices. I did this because nobody I know has one I can play with, and Microsoft doesn’t seem too keen on showing off the devices.

I noticed immediate differences between the AT&T and T-Mobile stores. The AT&T greeters and floor sales folks are extremely aggressive and helpful, and the store was nice and lively. The T-Mobile store was more laid back. Nobody even said hello. It’s as if the T-Mobile folks know that they are doomed and will gobbled up by AT&T at any minute.

Both stores have Windows Phone 7 well displayed. One $49 Samsung phone with an AMOLED screen at the AT&T store was a real gem.

I played with a couple of the devices to get a feel for the OS and upon some serious reflection I came to an interesting conclusion. The Windows Phone 7 OS and devices have no soul. It’s almost inexplicable, but saying this is the easiest way to describe it.

I now believe it’s because the folks at Microsoft have no understanding of the principles of Wabi-Sabi, a Japanese concept based on the premise that nothing lasts, nothing is finished, and nothing is perfect. This is why many great artists from Eastern disciplines often damage or create flaws in what might otherwise be a perfect work.

Here is a description of Wabi-Sabi taken from the Wikipedia:

“Wabi-sabi is the most conspicuous and characteristic feature of traditional Japanese beauty and it occupies roughly the same position in the Japanese pantheon of aesthetic values as do the Greek ideals of beauty and perfection in the West.” “if an object or expression can bring about, within us, a sense of serene melancholy and a spiritual longing, then that object could be said to be wabi-sabi.” “[Wabi-sabi] nurtures all that is authentic by acknowledging three simple realities: nothing lasts, nothing is finished, and nothing is perfect.”

I only bring this up to try and understand why Windows Phone 7 has no soul.

Let me begin by saying that Windows Phone 7 is incredibly slick. In fact, it’s impressive in every way. But there’s slick and then there’s contrived. This is both, which contribute to the lack of soul.

It’s like one of those over-produced annual company reports, with all of the same peculiarly lit photos of executives taken from some oblique angle. It’s as if Microsoft went way out of its way to make it perfect and modern. The problem is that there is nothing endearing or cute or personable. It’s just hyper-slick. The fonts are perfect. The colors are perfect. It’s like that perfect girl everyone knew in high school who had no personality.

I know I’m going to get blasted by someone for making these claims, but, really, why isn’t this OS and its devices—especially that $49.95 one—setting the world on fire?

In a recent column, I mentioned that it is apparent that too much of the Microsoft decision making seems to based on focus groups and audience reaction. This phone has to epitomize that process because it has amazing characteristics that only a committee would actually implement.

For example, go to the contact list. Details slide around in ways that are just too precious. When you play with the device, you are constantly reminded that windows are not just opening, they are debuting with fanfare. All that is missing is a trumpet bleep and a haughty voice to announce the scene.” Ladies and gentlemen, the contact page for Miss Jennifer Anthony. All rise!”

I dunno, maybe I’m making too much out of it, but I feel kind of bad for Windows Phone. To go through this much trouble to create what may be a masterpiece and get zero attention has got to be depressing for the developers. Apparently, perfection is not that attractive or fun. I hate to pile on, but there doesn’t seem to be much of a fun or playful element to the devices either.

So we perfection combined with no fun, no personality, and no soul.

How can you even manage accomplishing that? Windows Phone 7 devices have all of the charm of a dentist’s office. But for $49 on a decent plan, I’d get one. I’d have a conversation piece, at least.


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Posted by on August 3, 2011 in AT&T, Microsoft, T-Mobile, WP7


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Microsoft’s Windows Phone revenue: $613 million, at the very most

Buried deep within Microsoft’s annual report Thursday to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission is this little gem: In the company’s 2011 fiscal year, revenue for the Xbox 360 platform was $8.103 billion.

That’s not what’s noteworthy. What’s noteworthy is if you subtract that number from overall revenue to the Entertainment and Devices Division – $8.716 billion – you get a rough figure for Windows Phone 7 and Windows Mobile.

That number – which also includes revenue from Zune, Mediaroom, Surface and hardware – was a mere $613 million last year.

(Note: These figures were not calculated using generally accepted accounting principles, or GAAP. Instead, they use Microsoft accounting principles, or MAP. They are an apples-to-apples comparison.)

Microsoft released its new smartphone operating system, Windows Phone 7, overseas in October 2010 and in North America in November. For nearly half of the fiscal year, which started July 1, 2010, phone-related revenue to the Entertainment and Devices Division came from the old Windows Mobile platform.

Microsoft continues to remain mum about Windows Phone 7 license sales; the software giant declined to provide mobile revenue or sales numbers after reporting solid earnings Thursday. The last official Windows Phone figures to come out of Redmond were in December 2010, when Microsoft said 1.5 million devices running Windows Phone 7 had been shipped — not necessarily sold — to retailers.

In May, an analyst called Windows Phone 7 sales “catastrophic.” In June, ratings firm Nielsen said Windows Phone had a 1 percent sliver of the U.S. market share between March and May. And last week, Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer said Windows Phone’s market share has “gone from very small to very small.”

That’s despite good overall consumer satisfaction with the product. On Monday, analysis firm ChangeWave Research said 57 percent of Windows Phone 7 users are “very satisfied” with their phones. Android got a rating of 50 percent while the iPhone, often seen as the best smartphone, had a rating of 70 percent.

In January, at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, Ballmer said most people he talked to liked Windows Phone 7 – once they played around with it. A lack of visibility at wireless-provider stores could be contributing to lackluster sales.

“People need to see it,” Ballmer said then. “We think people need to see the phone, then they fall in love with it.”

In February, Microsoft and Nokia announced a pact to make Windows Phone 7 the primary operating system on future Nokia smartphones. The fruits of that partnership are expected to hit shelves this fall, and will run the updated “Mango” version of Windows Phone that was released to manufacturers this week.

Many analysts expect the deal to jump-start Windows Phone sales. In June, analysis firm IDC said “the smartphone floodgates are open wide,” especially for Windows Phone 7. “Assuming that Nokia’s transition to Windows Phone goes smoothly, the OS is expected to defend a No. 2 rank and more than 20 percent share in 2015,” IDC said.

But Nokia’s disastrous earnings last week raised some eyebrows.

“In a fast changing market, Nokia is losing ground very rapidly,” Bernstein analyst Pierre Ferragu said, as reported by All Things Digital. “The company lost significant market share again in the second quarter, 7pts in smartphones and 6pts in basic phones. The collaboration with Microsoft now appears to us unlikely to be successful, as Nokia’s brand is losing ground too fast.

“(Google) Android has been clearly identified by management as being the major driver behind the current negative trend of Nokia, especially in Europe. The operating system grabbed 36 percent market share last quarter vs. 11 percent a year ago and we are concerned that against such momentum, no third ecosystem will have a chance to emerge.”

It is difficult to compare Microsoft’s Windows Phone revenue to that of its main competitors, Apple and Google.

Apple reported iPhone revenue of $13.3 billion in the most recent quarter alone. However, unlike Microsoft, Apple sells its own hardware – and includes revenue from wireless carrier agreements and iPhone accessories.

Google doesn’t break out Android revenue. The mobile OS is free for phone manufacturers to adopt, and Google gets most of its Android revenue through advertising. In Google’s most recent quarterly earnings report, the word “Android” appears just three times.

Nevertheless, the most revenue Microsoft could have possibly gotten from its mobile operating systems was $613 million in fiscal 2011. Abysmal.

Remove revenue from Zune sales, Zune subscriptions, Mediaroom licenses, Surface sales and hardware (mice, keyboards, etc.), and the number is even worse. And considering that for just under half of fiscal 2011, when Microsoft was still selling only Windows Mobile licenses, revenue to Windows Phone 7 was even worse than that.

Microsoft declined to comment for this report.


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Posted by on August 3, 2011 in Microsoft, Windows Phone, WP7


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