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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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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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Windows Phone 7 reaches 30,000 app milestone


It may have had some pretty major snags so far, but developers are still willing to rally behind Windows Phone 7.

No doubt Microsoft has been flexing its muscles with the countless developers it was worked with on Windows computer programs before, but nevertheless, the number of apps available for the company’s big push to the mobile market is impressive.

After just around eight months, there are now 30,000 apps in the Windows Phone marketplace, according to a post on the Windows Phone Developer Blog.

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That puts it in line with the rate of app growth on the iPhone, way back in the day, and it signifies a rate of two times what Android saw in its first eight months on the market.

Where Windows Phone has the strongest potential and arguably the most unique competitive advantage is in gaming. Because of its integration with Xbox Live, players are able to socialize and connect with their mobile games on Windows Phone in a way that just simply isn’t possible on the iPhone or Android.

Microsoft will soon be releasing the huge, sweeping “Mango” update headed to Windows Phone, saying it could revolutionize the way the world interacts with their smartphones.

Among the changes are shying away from the traditional “download a million apps and use them independently” mindset, and instead incorporate all of the most popular apps into the software of the phone itself. So, wanna check movie times? How about that train schedule? What’s in my Netflix queue? Microsoft wants all of these kinds of questions to be answered in the same, universal navigation of the device.

That update is coming later this year, which could be a reason for why consumers are shying away from buying a Windows Phone device today.

But it’s not exactly like everything was smooth sailing before the update was announced. In fact, Microsoft had a devil of a time rolling out a very minor update at the beginning of 2011. It took months of delays, apologies, and unmet rollout promises before Microsoft was finally able to deliver that.

Additionally, the company completely failed on its marketing message, hitting on features that were already commonplace on Android and the iPhone, making Microsoft seem way out of touch, instead of focusing on what actually made WP7 unique and special.

All that being said, however, there is one other huge thing in Microsoft’s favor – the newly minted alliance with Nokia. By next year, there will be numerous new handsets from Nokia, which has faltered lately because of its rigid software but has always been admired for its design and manufacturing of hardware, running on Windows Phone software.

In other words, there are a lot of huge changes coming to Windows Phone, but the question on everyone’s mind is whether or not Microsoft has already sealed its own fate with its poor handling of the operating system so far. Only time will tell.

Soure: http://www.tgdaily.com/mobility-brief/58068-windows-phone-7-reaches-30000-app-milestone

 
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Posted by on August 26, 2011 in Microsoft, Windows Phone 7, WP7, Xbox Live

 

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WebOS developers move to Windows Phone 7


Free development tools and phones to come over
Microsoft claims that more than 500 developers have Emailed Microsoft about taking them up on their offer to become a Windows Phone 7 developer. Apparently, if you are a WebOS published developer, you could Email Microsoft at: thephone@microsoft.comThis e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it and Microsoft is apparently excited about being able to gain developers.

The bottom line is that Microsoft claims that they are committed to developers and will provide them with development kits, phones, tools, and training to make them successful. Microsoft claims they want these developers to get on board with Windows Phone 7.

If accurate and Microsoft has received 500 Emails with developers ready to move to Windows Phone 7, this could be a big help to Microsoft as they try to boost the number of applications available for the Windows Phone 7 platform.

Source: http://www.fudzilla.com/home/item/23816-webos-developers-move-to-windows-phone-7

 
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Posted by on August 25, 2011 in Windows Phone 7, WP7

 

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