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Monthly Archives: September 2011

Android Already As Profitable for Microsoft as Windows Phone 7


Microsoft makes almost as much money licensing patents to HTC, Samsung and other companies as it does selling Windows Phone 7 devices.

Yes, you read that right, Microsoft makes almost as much from Android sales as they do through sales of their own Windows Phone devices. That’s more than Google makes from the Android, which the company gives away to manufacturers. It is worth noting that Android users generate ad revenue for Google, which could add up to $1.3 billion in 2012.

Goldman Sachs estimates Microsoft will make $444 million annually from Android patent settlements for the current fiscal year. This is just slightly less than the estimated $600 million that Microsoft makes annually from the Windows Phone business.

Goldman Sachs pegs Microsoft’s earnings per Android sold at $3 to $6 per device. For comparison, Microsoft is estimated to take in about $15 per Windows Phone 7 device sold by HTC. This comes from settlements with Samsung and from a settlement with HTC made earlier this year, and match up with those from a Citi analyst earlier this year. Estimates suggest that over this same period, Google will earn about $10 per Android users in the form of ad revenue.

As Business Insider points out, this $444 million is a drop in the bucket, when you compare it to the estimated $75 billion in revenue for the same fiscal year. Unfortunately for Microsoft, patent settlements aren’t adding to the bottom line, and they aren’t slowing down Android either.

Nielsen’s analysis of smartphone purchases in the last 3 months showed that Android took 56% of the purchases, iPhone had 28% and RIM had 9%. Microsoft’s Windows Phone 7 didn’t even make the list, aside from being lumped into 6% of other smartphone purchases.

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Despite dire beginnings, Windows Phone 7 has a chance at coming back in 2012. Windows Phone 7.5, better known as Windows Phone Mango, has been released and will being many improvements to the Windows Phone devices. If we can get a helping of high end Windows Phone 7 devices with 4G LTE in early 2012, Microsoft might be able to get out of this slump.

Source: http://www.gottabemobile.com/2011/09/29/android-already-as-profitable-for-microsoft-as-windows-phone-7/

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Posted by on September 30, 2011 in Android, Google, IDC, Microsoft, Samsung, Windows Phone

 

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IE9 features in Windows Phone 7 Mango update detailed


As owners of smartphones with Windows Phone 7 installed await the long awaited “Mango” update, Microsoft continues to offer info about what users can expect in terms of new features. In a recent update on the official Windows Phone 7 blog site, Microsoft’s Amin Lakhani reveals more about how the Mango update will improve Windows Phone 7’s version of the Internet Explorer 9 web browser.

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One major change is that Windows Phone 7’s version of IE9 can actually use all of the hardware of a user’s smartphone. Lakhani states, ” … it can now tap into your phone’s built-in graphics processor to make web-based video and animation run faster and smoother.” It also allows for full HTML5 support which means that if you surf to YouTube’s web site it will show and play videos with no need to access an extra application.

Using anonymous usage data information sent by some Windows Phone 7 users, Microsoft discovered that the address bar was the most frequently used feature in the earlier version of the web browser. At the same time the favorites and tabs buttons on the bottom of the earlier web browser were used far less. Lakhani says, “Since our primary goal in Mango was to put the focus on websites, we decided to move the address bar down into the app bar, and turn the favorites and tabs buttons into menu options.” The new IE9 version also puts the browser’s refresh button next to the address bar for easier access by user.

The Windows Phone 7 Mango update, complete with IE9, is due out sometime in the coming weeks, with US phone carrier AT&T distributing the update to select handsets on September 27.

Source: http://www.neowin.net/news/ie9-features-in-windows-phone-7-mango-update-detailed

 
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Posted by on September 30, 2011 in IE9, Mango, Microsoft, Windows Phone 7

 

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Windows 8 And Windows Phone 7 Justify At $28


Microsoft is focusing on improving its entertainment and devices business, which includes PC gaming device Xbox, the Zune portable media player, as well as its Windows mobile operating system.  These businesses together account for just under 10% of Microsoft’s stock value by our estimates.

While Windows phone 7 hasn’t generated as much revenue as expected since its launch last year, management is confident that Windows 8 will be able to provide the much needed boost to help challenge Google’s Android and Apple’s iOS. Meanwhile, Microsoft will also earn hefty income from the licensing deals signed with around 7 smartphone vendors.

While we anticipate Microsoft’s revenues from PC games, Windows Mobile and other consumer software will increase from $2.9 billion in 2012 to $3.9 billion by the end of our forecast period, Trefis members expect an increase from $3.2 billion to $4.7 billion during the same period.

We currently have a Trefis price estimate of $28 for Microsoft’s stock, about 15% above the current market price..

Windows 7 Phone Sales Slow, Management Optimistic

Windows 7 Phone saw strong sales for the initial few months after launch in October 2010 [1] but since then the sales have slowed down with market research firm AC Nielsen estimating that Windows Phone 7 accounts for just 1% of the mobile market versus 38% for Google’s Android, 27% for Apple’s iOS and 21% for RIM as of June 2011. [2]

However, Microsoft recently showed developers a preview of Windows 8 and it is quite optimistic that the new OS, with its radically different look and feel and a touch-centric user interface, will boost Windows phone 7 sales. It is also planning to launch an app store, in a nod to the success of Apple’s powerful ecosystem of products and distribution platform for apps and updates. Moreover, with Google acquiring Motorola, Microsoft remains the only pure smartphone software provider which should make it a better alternative over Android and iOS and thereby attract more smartphone vendors.

Income from Patent Licensing Deals

Microsoft has a total of 7 Android patent licensing deals with the last two coming from Acer and ViewSonic. (See Microsoft Signs with Acer and ViewSonic for License Fee from Android Sales) Under these agreements, the companies will have to pay Microsoft a fixed licensing fee for each Android device that they ship. It also has deals with manufacturers like HTC, General Dynamics, Wistron and Onkyo from whom it nets around $5-$15 for each Android device sold. In this way, it can also encourage these manufacturers in using Windows Phone 7 over Android.

Source: http://www.forbes.com/sites/greatspeculations/2011/09/27/windows-8-and-windows-phone-7-justify-microsoft-at-28/

 
 

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Verizon Chief: There’s Only Room For 3 Mobile OSes


One of the tech industry’s favorite parlor games is speculating about what company will have the third-largest smartphone OS in the coming years behind Android and iOS.

Hairs tend to split between RIM’s BlackBerry, the ailing, but third-largest platform, and Microsoft’s Windows Phone 7, the minuscule new player with almost nowhere to go but up. In August, comScore reported that Windows Phone had 5.7 percent of the U.S. smartphone market, compared to 41.8 percent on Android, 27 percent on iOS, and 21.7 percent on RIM. However, RIM’s market share has been on a continuous decline for months, while Windows Phone has grown at a snail-like pace.

Cell phone operators aren’t taking sides, but clearly see only three major operating systems in the future. According to InformationWeek, Verizon Communications CEO Lowell McAdam thinks a tri-partate could form within a year.

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“The carriers are beginning to coalesce around the need for a third ecosystem,” McAdam said during a talk at the Goldman Sachs Communacopia conference. “Over the next 12 months I think it will coalesce and you will start to see one emerge as a legitimate third ecosystem.”

RIM’s disheartening third quarter earnings report sparked RIM obituaries and sent its stock plunging, but is the platform really doomed to go the way of Palm? Not necessarily; PCMag’s Sascha Segan offers the Canadian company Five Steps Back to BlackBerry Success.

Earlier this month Verizon, Sprint, AT&T, and U.S. Cellular released the first slew of smartphones based on BlackBerry 7 OS, the latest revision of BlackBerry’s operating system before the company migrates fully to a ground-up OS called QNX.

But RIM users also aren’t as loyal as before, especially as companies begin allowing employees to use more than just BlackBerrys at work (a concept known as Bring Your Own Device, aka BYOD). On Friday, UBS Research, via GigaOm, reported that retention for RIM devices dropped from 62 percent to 33 percent in the last 18 months.

Earlier, NPD also said Windows Phone was the platform to beat.

Furthermore RIM hasn’t announced any other major new smartphones or OS revamps for the rest of 2011; Microsoft is gearing up to launch its first major OS revamp, Windows Phone 7.5 Mango, and a slew of supported smartphones on AT&T.

Updated on Sept. 27, 4pm ET: The updated version of this story omits a part of Verizon CEO Lowell McAdam’s quote, originally reported by Information Week. McAdam did not identify which platform he believed would take third place behind Android and iOS.

For more from Sara, follow her on Twitter @sarapyin.

Source: http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,2393475,00.asp

 
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Posted by on September 30, 2011 in Android, Blackberry, iOS, Microsoft, Windows Phone 7

 

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Windows Phone 7 Mango Update Next Week?


Windows Phone 7.5 adds long-awaited features like multitasking and native 4G support to Microsoft’s mobile platform.

A Microsoft official said the company may begin distributing the widely-anticipated Mango update for Windows Phone 7 as early as next week.

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“For months, we and dozens of partner companies have been laying the groundwork for the Windows Phone 7.5 update–and making solid progress. As a result, we now expect to start rolling it out in the next week or two,” said Eric Hautala, general manager for Customer Experience Engineering in Microsoft’s Windows Phone group.

Mango is officially known as Windows Phone 7.5. It adds more than 500 new features to the Windows Phone platform, including multitasking and 4G support. For those who can’t wait to get their hands on the official update, Hautala cautioned against downloading and installing pre-release versions that have been circulating on the Web.

“During the official Windows Phone 7.5 update process, every Windows Phone will also receive software from the handset manufacturer,” Hautala said, in a blog post. “This matched and paired firmware has been painstakingly tuned so your phone–and apps–work with all the new features of Windows Phone 7.5. Since your phone requires the proper firmware to function as designed my advice is simple: steer clear of bootleg updates and homebrew tools.”

Users of the current version of Windows Phone 7 will need to update their devices through their personal computers. Windows PC users will need to install the latest version of the Zune software for PCs, while Mac users, if there are any that use Windows Phone, will need Windows Phone 7 Connector for Mac. Windows Phone devices are available from HTC, Dell, Samsung, and LG. Nokia will join the group later this year as Microsoft’s go-to partner for Windows Phone under a strategic alliance.

Mango adds numerous improvements to Windows Phone, from new end-user features to transparent back-end services, according to Microsoft.

A feature called Threads lets users glide between text, Windows Live Messenger, and Facebook chat within the same “conversation.” Groups lets users receive and send messages from predefined social or business circles directly to and from the Smart Tiles home screen. Contact Cards have been enhanced to include feeds from Twitter and LinkedIn, as well as previously supported networks.

Local Scout, which is integrated with Bing, yields hyper-local search results for dining, shopping, and entertainment. Mango also adds long-awaited multitasking capability, which lets users move freely between applications and pick up and resume where they left off. 4G wireless support is embedded.

For security-conscious enterprise customers, Mango adds support for various rights management technologies. For example, it lets authorized users open emails tagged with restrictions such as “do not forward” or “do not copy.” Additionally, it beefs up integration with authoring and collaboration tools like Lync and Office 365.

In the U.S., Windows Phone is available on the AT&T, Sprint, Verizon, and T-Mobile networks.

Source: http://www.informationweek.com/news/windows/microsoft_news/231601976

 
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Posted by on September 30, 2011 in AT&T, Dell, HTC, Mango, Microsoft, Samsung, Windows Phone 7

 

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Implode! Now Available for Windows Phone 7


This week’s Xbox LIVE enabled Windows Phone 7 release is Implode!, a new title from Iugo Entertainment. Available to download from the Zune Marketplace now, Implode! is a game that encourages tactically explosive action.

Though from the screenshots you might assume that this latest Windows Phone 7 release is yet another Angry Birds copy cat release, the truth is that Implode! is far from it.

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Given a crudely drawn structure,the player is challenged with reducing it to rubble. Or more specifically, bringing it’s height below the preset requirement with a limited amount of explosives.

Featuring more than fifty stages and the chance to design your own explosive puzzles, Implode! is available now for just £2.29. Electronic Theatre will keep you updated with all the latest Xbox LIVE enabled releases for Windows Phone 7.

Source: http://electronictheatre.co.uk/mobile/mobile-phone-game-news/10784/implode-windows-phone-7

 
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Posted by on September 30, 2011 in Windows Phone 7, Xbox Live

 

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Mango is a sweet upgrade for Windows Phone 7


A year or so after Microsoft gave the boot to its creaky Windows Mobile software in favor of Windows Phone 7, the revamped operating system for smartphones still seems radically fresh.

Windows Phone 7 software is punctuated by a bold interface called Metro that is built around rectangular live customizable “at a glance” tiles. Tap a tile to jump to pictures, your calendar, the Internet Explorer browser, Xbox Live, a Music + Videos hub, and more.

Windows Phone 7, despite its early promise, had glaring omissions when it initially showed up, lacking copy-and-paste, visual voice mail and custom ring tones, to mention a few of the missing features found on rival Android and iPhone devices. Copy-and-paste came with a subsequent update, and visual voice mail and custom ring tones arrive as part of this week’s release of Windows Phone 7.5.

Microsoft says the software update, known by its former code name, Mango, has “hundreds of new features and improvements,” some more obvious than others. You can rapidly switch back and forth among apps running at the same time. For example, you can pause an Xbox Live game to read an incoming text, then return to the game where you left off.

I’ve been testing Mango on an AT&T Samsung Focus loaner phone and have come away generally impressed, though not everything went smoothly. Microsoft began rolling out the over-the-air upgrade across most carriers and handsets on Tuesday, but says it could be weeks before everyone gets the new software. Windows Phone 7 will also be preinstalled on new devices coming before the holidays.

I’m often asked whether Microsoft’s smartphones can still be a contender, given iPhone and Android dominance. But a recent report by NPD Group’s Connected Intelligence service indicated that 44% of smartphone owners, and those who intend to buy one, are considering a Windows Phone 7 device.

To my mind, Windows Phone 7 is worth considering. Highlights:

•Social networking. Windows Phone 7 already supported feeds from Facebook and Microsoft’s own Windows Live service. The Mango update adds Twitter and LinkedIn to its integrated People Hub. “People first” is Microsoft’s mantra with this software. Contact cards consolidate all the ways you can get in touch with someone. You can see recent social-networking activity. You can now also group contacts. A premade group is set up for family members. You might add groups for your work colleagues, book club and so on for easily sharing photos, texts and instant messages.

•Apps. By sheer numbers, with about 30,000 apps available for Windows Phone 7 vs. 425,000 for the iPhone and 250,000 for Android, it’s no contest. Microsoft loses. But Microsoft claims its app growth rate is second only to Apple and says it has 90% of the most popular apps and games folks want anyway. To its credit, Microsoft helps you discover and get the most out of apps. You can pin apps or even content within apps as Metro tiles to the phone’s Start screen. Such tiles are dynamic; they reveal snippets of information and in some cases even flip over. When I pinned a listing for the movie Moneyball from within the Flixster movie app to the Start screen, the tile flipped over to reveal the movie’s rating on Rotten Tomatoes.

A new Web marketplace lets you buy apps on a PC and have them automatically downloaded to your phone and installed later.

•Browsing and search. Microsoft has made search a rich experience, with its own Bing search engine at the forefront. Tapping the search button summons Bing and four icons at the bottom of the screen: Tapping the first brings up a helpful feature called Local Scout, which shows nearby shops, attractions and restaurants. Tapping the second brings up an app called Bing Music that can identify recorded music playing, similar to Shazam on the iPhone. If a song is properly identified, you can download it from the Windows Phone marketplace.

A third icon for Bing Vision leads to a bar code, QR code and Microsoft Tags scanner that you can use to identify books, CDs and DVDs. My results weren’t perfect, but you can see the potential. Tapping the last icon lets you search by voice through Microsoft’s Tellme service.

The version of Internet Explorer on Mango supports the latest HTML5 Web standards, but not Adobe Flash.

•Microsoft tie-in. Windows Phones are tied closely to the Zune MP3 player and Xbox Live. Your games, avatar and so on appear on the device. They’re also integrated with mobile versions of Office and Office 365.

Mango represents a mostly sweet upgrade. But it needs more apps.

E-mail: ebaig@usatoday.com. Follow @edbaig on Twitter.

The bottom line

Windows Phone 7.5

(code-name Mango) upgrade

http://www.microsoft.com/

windowsphones

•Pro. Slick Metro interface and Live Tiles improved. More social-networking options. Rich search. Showcases apps in search results. Adds custom ring tones, multitasking, groups and more. Tight integration with Zune, Office, Xbox Live.

•Con. Still trails in apps sweepstakes. Not available for all handsets at the outset.

Source: http://www.usatoday.com/tech/columnist/edwardbaig/story/2011-09-28/ed-baig-windows-mango-review/50592482/1

 
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Posted by on September 29, 2011 in Mango, Windows Phone 7

 

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