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Microsoft Preps Big Win Phone 7 Push Heading into Holidays


Brace yourself for the upcoming Windows Phone 7 onslaught. In the coming months Microsoft will make a big holiday push that will extend into early 2012 in an attempt to win over converts to its new mobile operating system. Andrew Lees, president of Microsoft’s Windows Phone Division, has been busy recently spreading the gospel of Phone 7 and dishing on Microsoft’s mobile plans, according to a number of reports.

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In several recent interviews the Phone 7 chief has addressed several shortcomings the company’s mobile platform has been criticized for including a lack of dual-core handsets and LTE connectivity – two features Android handset makers jumped on many months ago. Apple’s new iPhone 4S also has a dual-core processor.

Lees’ publicity push for Phone 7 follows Microsoft’s recent roll out of Windows Phone 7.5 Mango in late September. The software update featured over 500 new features such as multitasking, an improved Web browser and a Wi-Fi hotspot mode. Critics largely welcomed the upgrade since it gives Microsoft’s mobile platform some degree of parity with its main competitors Apple’s iOS-powered iPhone and Google’s Android mobile OS.

Phone 7 Home For The Holidays

More Windows Phone 7 devices are apparently coming out in time for the holiday season including budget-priced $100 handsets, and higher-priced devices featuring big screens and dual-LED flash, according to the Seattle Times. Lees didn’t say which companies were launching the new devices or when these announcements would start. PCWorld will have the latest news from this week’s CTIA Enterprise & Applications event in San Diego.

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At least one Mango deice is expected to be from Nokia, which is expected to release its first Phone 7 device before the end of the year. Nokia announced in February that it would concentrate on producing Microsoft phones.

LTE and Dual Core

Lees also said the first LTE Phone 7 device will become available in 2012, but didn’t provide other specifics. The Phone 7 chief told AllThingsD that handsets sporting dual-core chips are also coming. But it’s not clear when a dual-core Phone 7 device might show up. Lees told AllThingsD that Microsoft wants to make sure Phone 7 software is optimized to take advantage of multiple processor cores before working with manufacturers on producing dual-core devices.

While that sounds sensible, Microsoft would be better off figuring out dual-core optimization sooner rather than later or it might find Phone 7 is left behind once again. Apple recently announced its first dual-core phone, the iPhone 4S, and handsets powered by Nvidia’s Kal-El quad-core chip for mobile devices are expected in the coming months.

Source: http://www.pcworld.com/article/241573/microsoft_preps_big_win_phone_7_push_heading_into_holidays.html

 
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Posted by on October 13, 2011 in Android, Apple, Google, iPhone, Mango

 

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Windows Phone 7, Day 30: WP7 ‘Mango’ Is Ready for Prime Time


30 Days With Windows Phone 7: Day 30

Another 30 Days journey comes to an end. For me, the 30 Days With Windows Phone 7 has been the most enjoyable and enlightening of them all so far.

The first time I experimented with Windows Phone 7 there were some things I liked about it, but overall I found it disappointing. It took Microsoft another year and two major updates, but with “Mango” I can honestly say that I think Microsoft has a solid mobile OS worthy of competing against iOS and Android.

My son recently drowned his iPhone 3GS and chose to replace it with a Motorola Atrix 4G. It is fine and he likes it. Both the Motorola hardware and the Android OS seem capable enough. The couple times I have played with it, though, I have felt like it is a cheap knock-off of the real thing–like having a Pepsi instead of Coca Cola, or eating at Burger King instead of McDonald’s. It’s OK, but I already have the “real thing” in my iPhone 4.

Windows Phone 7.5 “Mango” is a whole different story. It is a unique mobile OS that delivers a different experience that doesn’t simply try to imitate iOS–more like having a Red Bull instead of a Coca Cola, or eating at KFC instead of McDonald’s. It’s not that I like it better than iOS per se. I like it about the same but for different reasons.

When Microsoft first launched Windows Phone 7 and ran the marketing campaign about how it’s time for a phone to save us from our phones, and how Windows Phone 7 is designed to get you in, and out, and back to life, I thought they were a little silly. I mean, even with Windows Phone people will still be surfing the Web, checking email, texting people, etc.–so how exactly is that different?

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The fact of the matter is that it’s not–at least not at its core. I do still use Windows Phone to accomplish the same things, but there is actually something more to the Windows Phone ads than just marketing hype. The way Microsoft has integrated functionality into the Hubs, and seamlessly merged different features and services together makes it more streamlined and really does enable me to accomplish what I need to do and get back to life…if that is my goal.

I won’t bother recapping all of the things I like or don’t like about Windows Phone 7. You can feel free to peruse the whole 30 Days series and get those details. I will sum up by saying I was more than pleasantly surprised by “Mango”. Frankly, I was shocked at how awesome it is, and how much I really like it.

As I wrap up the 30 Days With Windows Phone 7 series, I can honestly say I found myself torn between Windows Phone and iOS, and seriously considering moving from my iPhone 4 to the HTC Titan when it becomes available from AT&T. In the end, though, I ended up sticking with iOS and pre-ordering the iPhone 4S.

It was a tough call. I use a Windows PC, and I rely on Microsoft Office, so a “Mango” smartphone would be a natural fit to some extent. But, the changes coming next week with iOS 5 and iCloud, and the seamless syncing between my iPhone, my iPad, and my Windows PC–combined with my existing investment in iOS apps–make a compelling case for iOS…at least for me.

I can’t stress enough, though, that you should take a look at Windows Phone if you’re in the market for a new smartphone. It is a very capable mobile OS and I am confident that you will not be disappointed. You owe it to yourself to at least check it out and seriously weigh the pros and cons before making a decision.

Source: http://www.pcworld.com/businesscenter/article/241544/windows_phone_7_day_30_wp7_mango_is_ready_for_prime_time.html

 
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Posted by on October 11, 2011 in Android, iOS, Mango, Windows Phone 7, WP7

 

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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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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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12 Awesome Server Admin Apps for Windows Phone 7


Previously, we looked we looked at server admin apps for the iOS and Android mobile operating systems. Now, we’ll look at some server and administration apps for the Windows Phone 7 platform. These apps are designed for monitoring, remote desktop management, database administration and a variety of other server-related tasks.

1. Pingdom Pulse

Pingdom Pulse (Free) provides access to your free or paid Pingdom account, a hosted third-party server monitoring service. You can view a summary of all your Pingdom checks, including current status and response time. You can also see a summary of the past 30 days performance for each check. Additionally, you can run manual checks on any http server.

2. Mobile Server Stats

Mobile Server Stats ($1.99 after trial) provides remote real-time monitoring stats of a Windows Server or PC when its free server component is installed on the computer. Get standard statistics (e.g., on system, CPU, drives, processors, services, running processes, users and groups) and add custom WMI queries. It also includes simple HTTP server monitoring. You can view real-time statistics or cached polls stored on the computer.

3. Network Tools

Network Tools (Free ad-based or $2.99) uses a remote server to run pings, TCP port connection tests and HTTP/HTTPS connection tests. It also provides a graphical display of their ping, port 80 and HTTP response statuses. Remember, a remote server is used, so it can’t reach local resources; they must be accessible via the Internet.

4. Wake My PC

Wake My PC (Free) lets you remotely boot up computers via the Wake-On-LAN (WOL) protocol. This is especially useful if you must remotely access files or connect via remote desktop. You must configure your compatible computer (in the BIOS) and network to use WOL. Then, simply enter in the computer’s MAC address and Internet IP info.

5. Mobile DDNS

Mobile DDNS ($0.99) is a DDNS client for your phone to update DDNS providers: DynDNS, NameCheap and ZoneEdit. This is great if you must connect to your phone via the Internet. You don’t have to find and track your public IP. Just use the host name from a DDNS provider, and it will always point to your phone.

6. Cool Remote

Cool Remote (Free) is used to remotely connect to and control a Windows (XP/2003/Vista/2008) machine running its free server application from your phone or any other computer via the web browser. It features full PC keyboard support (including ctrl, alt, shift, tab, esc, win, fn, home and end) and multi-monitor support. You can input connection details or scan the local network to find the PC.

Source: http://www.serverwatch.com/server-reviews/12-awesome-server-and-admin-apps-for-windows-phone-7.html

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

 

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Steve Ballmer still disappointed by Windows Phone 7 sales


We’ve been reporting for quite some time now that Microsoft’s Windows Phone 7 has been quite the disappointment in the smartphone industry. In an era where the iPhone is conquering the world with its unparalleled retina display, camera and usability, it’s hard for another company to even compare to the Apple giant.

Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer spoke at the company’s financial analyst meeting on Wednesday and expressed disappointment of the Windows Phone 7 sales. “We haven’t sold quite as many as I would have liked in the first year. … I’m not saying I Love where we are, but I am very optimistic on where we can be,” he said during the meeting.

The Windows Phone 7 made quite the name for itself when it came to marketing and advertising ploys but lacked the fan following that Google and Apple are often accustomed to. Interestingly enough, Samsung and HTC embraced the WP7 platform and plan to launch devices using the next version of WP7. Mashable says that these mobile enterprises have the majority of their chips invested in Google’s Android, which makes for most of their smartphone sales. Nokia is the only dedicated hardware partner for Windows Phones and who really uses Nokia phones these days anyways?

We’re crossing our fingers that Nokia will be able to show some sort of result for the slow-rising WP7, but we won’t be holding our breath. I’m sure I’m not the only one that can’t get enough of the iPhone, or even Droid phones for that matter.

Source: http://www.businessreviewusa.com/technology/software/Steve%20Ballmer%20still%20disappointed%20by%20Windows%20Phone%207%20sales

 
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Posted by on September 22, 2011 in Google, iPad, iPhone, Windows Phone 7, WP7

 

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