But all this time the one Microsoft product that was missing was their Windows Phone.Though Steve Ballmer indicated earlier that Windows Phones are selling 4 times faster than last year’s fourth quarter,there wasn’t any number sharing for the same.
Now according to the recent Facebook’s Monthly Active Users data gathered by WMPU,indicates that this might very well be the record breaking quarter for Windows Phones.According to the stats,there are over 627,000 monthly active users after October 1,2012,which is coincidently 4 times greater than last years figure of around 150,000 MAU.
According to last years Gartner Survey,Actually sold devices(not including shipments) were around 2.759 Million for the Q4 2011.This data suggests that there are already over 7 Million Windows Phones being sold as of now and by the end of the quarter the figures may reach 10 million count.
If these numbers do translate into reality,then this would be a record breaking quarter for Windows Phones and a sign of things to come.
Windows Phone Marketplace has finally reached 100,000 mark,as announced yesterday at the developer summit where the upcoming Windows Phone 8′s first look was revealed.
Over the past few months Windows Phone Marketplace has been growing at an astounding rate,thanks to the growing developer interest in the platform.Though its comparatively way behind the leaders in the business like iOS and Google Play Store in terms of sheer number of apps,but if we consider the time it required to reach the landmark six figure mark its still 4 months quicker than android which took almost 2 years as compared to Microsoft’s Marketplace which achieved this feat in 20 months and more importantly over 50,o00 of those apps were added in the last 6 months.
Talking about the apps,Microsoft announced some big names yesterday which are planning to release their games on the Windows Phone platform,so we will see the popular titles like Draw Something,NOVA 3,Words With Friends,Asphalt 7 so the big developers like Gameloft,Big Fish,Havok and Zynga are eager to release their games to the Windows Phone Platform.
With yesterdays announcement we also saw the big change this time around with the common core coming into the picture with the Windows 8 and Windows Phone sharing the common core making it easy for developers to port their games and apps from PC to Windows Phone,SO we can expect a blitzkrieg of apps with that announcement.
Skype has just released the full version(earlier it was in beta) for Windows Phone over the Windows Phone Marketplace.The popular VoIP app is available for download for free over the marketplace.
Currently Microsoft has Tested and verified the following Window Phone Devices whch can perfectly run the Skype 1.0 app without any issue,here is the list of certified devices,
• Nokia Lumia 710
• Nokia Lumia 800
• Nokia Lumia 900
• HTC Titan
• HTC Radar
• Samsung Focus S
• Samsung Focus Flash
At the moment the low end Tango based devices which run on 256MB devices,as reported earlier on their blog post,that Skype would require atleast 512MB of memory to install and Run Skype on a Windows Phone devices.
As we know Microsoft updated their Hardware Specifications for the lower end Windows Phone Devices with minimum 256MB RAM,after which we saw the release of devices like the Nokia Lumia 610,ZTE Orbit with these new low end hardware specifications.So there are known issues wihlow end devices running the Skype app.
But according to Nokia that is not the case,in fact Nokia itself came forward and reported to Engadget,about the app which ran perfectly wellon Lumia 610,stating that there were some initial challenges running the app on it.Though they didn’t went into detailing what challenges they faced while making it run on the lower end windows phone.
At the moment there is no word on other low end devices being able to run the skype app,we can expect the upcoming version of the app to be compatible with the low end devices .
Microsoft is always upto something new in the Technology World combining the best technological products with new ideas.Latest addition to that is the “Project Detriot” which is nothing but a Ford Mustang powered by Windows 8 and Kinect Technology.
“Project Detroit,” will be formally unveiled on Discovery’s Velocity Network this Sunday, March 25 at 9pm PT/ET,though it won’t stop Channel 9 to reveal more details about the car which is power packed with as much as Microsoft Technology as possible.
The car packs in Kinect,Windows 8 as well as Windows Phone integration which allows to find, unlock, and start the car via a Viper-developed Smart Start app.Car also features 4G connectivity which allows to connect to Services Like Bing Maps, Viper’s Smart Start system, and a cloud-based data store in Windows Azure which allows tracking telemetry like GPS location, speed, engine RPMs, and fuel level.
The dashboard instrument cluster is a Touch Screen which allows to apply different dashboard skins for the Car,IT also features a built-in Xbox 360 and a Kinect, so you can set it to project movies or games onto the rear windshield.You can also play Xbox games on your windshield.
On the front and back side of the car there are separate Kinect cameras which will allow skeletal tracking and live video feeds of surrounding areas and objects, in addition to that Windows Phone can be used to view those camera feeds remotely.
Checkout the Complete Features of the Mustang at Channel9.
Microsoft has been working hard to bring all their platforms closer with Windows Phone+Xbox 360 and even the Windows operating system together.Making attempts like bringing the Kinect hardware to Windows as well as the much awaited Windows Phone to Xbox 360 integration.
It looks like we are ready to get our hands on such type of integration for Windows Phones and Xbox 360 with the next version of Sonic Game Sonic the Hedgehog: Ep II.The game will allow a user who is playing that game on his/her Windows Phone to pause it on the phone and then later on he/she can continue playing the game(resume) on their Xbox 360 on the big screen.It will be the first Xbox Live game to support this feature.
As demonstrated earlier by Official Xbox Magazine for the game which is slated to be released this Spring on multiple platforms like Xbox 360, Playstation, iOS and Windows Phone. Talking about the unique feature of the game Ken Balough, Digital Grand Manager on Sonic Episode II, said,
“one of the cool things about it is that the Windows Mobile 7 (sic) and the Xbox are going to be able to work in tandem in ways that are completely new. So when you pick up the Windows Mobile 7 and you’ll be able to play Sonic Episode II, save it, stop, boot up your Xbox 360 and pick up right where you left off. And that’s a really cool thing Microsoft has going between the devices and I’m a huge fan of it”
With this release we can expect some more such games to bring this feature in their upcoming editions for Windows Phone and Xbox 360.
With the launch of Windows 8 Consumer Preview last week, Microsoft was able to satisfy many a people but not the developers of Windows Phone apps.The reason behind it being, the SDK for Windows Phone is currently not compatible with Windows 8. In a new post on the Windows Phone Developer blog site, Microsoft’s Larry Lieberman goes over the reasons why this is happening.
One issues deals with XNA Game Studio. Installing the Windows Phone SDK on Windows 8 will cause “the user receive error messages with regard to components of the XNA tool chain.” However, there is a workaround that has been made for this issue.
Another problem he mentions, is with the Windows Phone Emulator. Windows 8 cannot currently run the Windows Phone emulator, which will make it very difficult to debug your code. There are two issues in addition to the simple fact that the emulator does not run on Windows 8, having to do with specific emulator functionality.
Lieberman also talked about .NET 3.5 , “Capability.exe and slsvcutil.exe will not run on Win 8 unless you separately install .NET 3.5.”
However ,the good news is that Microsoft is working to fix all of these Windows 8 problems with the Windows Phone SDK. More information on the same will be published by the company in the coming week.
With the launch of Windows 8 nearing, it seems Microsoft is considering to supplement it with the rumored launch of a new Music Service. Well, this is the latest rumor doing the rounds which mentions the software giant’s new venture in the music stream. According to this new rumor which was initiated today by cnet.com ,the site claims, via unnamed sources, that Microsoft is in negotiations with a number of the major music companies about this new service. The speculated music service will be targeted for platforms like the Xbox 360 and an unnamed Windows Phone-based device.
While the negotiations are still in the preliminary stage, the site claims that Microsoft would like to launch this new music service later this year.Also, it is speculated that it would support both streaming music and music downloads. The Windows Phone device that would support the unnamed service could be made by Nokia or HTC.
While Microsoft already possesses its own music service, the Zune Music Pass, which can be used on Windows Phone 7-based devices as well as PCs and the Xbox 360. The subscription service offers access to millions of tunes for a $9.99 monthly fee. And with the service to be integrated with XBox, the record companies will welcome the chance to have a higher profile on the XBox, with its 40 million worldwide XBox Live subscribers, as well as on any new Windows phones.
As Microsoft already possesses music licenses, it’s still unclear whether Microsoft must acquire new licenses for its service .Also, it remains to be seen of what would happen to Zune Music Pass,will it replaced by this new service or if this new service would simply be an upgrade to the existing Zune Music Pass.
Over the past few months we have seen a lot of things happening in the Indian mobile market with the official launch of the Windows Phones and Windows Phone Marketplace in india a couple of months ago,along with some second generation Windows Phone devices like HTC Radar,Samsung Omnia W as well as the first Windows Phone from Nokia the Lumia 800 and 710 launch.
Along with the new devices in the market we also saw the launch of some local newspaper apps like Times Of India app or the eSakal app (First Marathi News Paper app),so it was only a matter of time for the indian local news channels to join in with the Print media apps to the Windows Phone Marketplace.
The latest Entrant in the list of local Windows Phone apps is the IBN LIVE app for Windows Phone published by Network 18.CNN-IBN is a highly popular TV News Channel in india with a high percentage of viewership in india.
IBN Live App Features:
- Discover and read the latest and top news
- Read the story, watch the video and view the photos – all on the same screen
- Save news stories to read at your convenience
- View the latest news clips on video
- Watch all the shows, including Face The Nation, Devil’s Advocate, The Week That Wasn’t and more
- View photogalleries
- Get live cricket scores
- Post links on your Facebook wall or mail them to your Facebook friends
- Tweet links to your followers' timelines
So you can now have the latest news from India and other worldwide news on your Windows Phone along with the features like Video,saving story,getting live cricket updates on the go or post the news link on your social networking profiles like Twitter and Facebook.
Though there are some glitches browsing the app with the Panorama mode interface,we can expect fixes with the future update.With this app launch we can also expect the other TV News channels to join in with the new platform soon.The app is available for Free over the Windows Phone Marketplace.
Are you a disgruntled Android phone user? Do you fee like raging and shouting about it? Well, now it is time to benefit form that urge and win a Windows phone in the process. In its latest marketing stunt, Microsoft has decided that a free Windows Phone giveaway is not good enough. Why give them away to good people for praising your product when you can give them away to people who can malign the competition.
After holding other giveaways, the Windows Phone maker now wants you to talk about all your bad experiences with Android on Twitter for a chance to win an Windows Phone. Started by Microsoft’s Windows Phone evangelist Ben Rudolph, this contest urges you to share your malware stories using the hashtag #droidrage for a chance to win a brand new #windowsphone. As to which Windows Phone you actually stand to win, Ben has not been clear on that although many are hoping that it is a brand new Nokia Lumia 800. This phone is arguably the flagship model across the entire line of Windows Phones and clearly the most coveted one.
Microsoft's Ben Rudolph Tweet About The Givaway And Various Reactions
If you look at the screenshot above, you will see that this contest has generated a mixed response from the crowd. Taken at the time of writing, this offer from Ben has gotten some android problem stories across whilst quite a few people are calling it a cheap publicity stunt by Microsoft to gain more exposure. However, depending on the responses it might just turn out to be a brilliant marketing ploy also. So long as it works in favor of the company, it is a success. The average consumer does not think about all this. All they see is an opportunity to grumble about a problem and stand a chance to win a shiny new gadget in return. When you distill it down to that level, it is a pretty effective strategy to turn your competitor’s consumers against them and win the same consumers to your side. And this is also a good time to do it so that people have some retention of the brand when Windows 8 is launched by mid next year. Hopefully, Windows Phone 8 will not be far behind either.
Interesting problems so far include an LG2X phone resetting it self and a rebooting during a call to a service number to fix a rebooting problem! Another tweet says the users phone short circuited the SD card. That is probably a hardware problem but that’s the advantage of mudslinging — it will all get blamed on Android. So this campaign might pay off for Microsoft after all because after Android, the only place left to go right now is Windows Phone and sure looks good and most importantly — affordable.
This offer is presumably only open to US residents. However, since Ben has not mentioned that in his tweets, he might be able to offer some to residents of other countries as well. After all, if he wants to make an impact, ignoring the Asian market would not be wise. So if you want your #droidrage to be heard, tweet it to @benthepcguy.
Last week we saw the Lumia 800 pre orders starting off in india with the device being priced at 29,999INR with the device being launched by the mid of this month.
Today Nokia officially announced the second Windows Phone the Lumia 710 rollout with multiple countries around Asia including India,other countries include Singapore, Hong Kong and Russia while the global rollout is also expected in weeks to come.
The Lumia 710 which is targeted at the entry/mid range market have features similar to the Lumia 800,with a 1.4ghz processor,3.7″ LCD Display,8 GB of Internal memory,interchangable back panels with 5 different colors and a 5 Megapixel camera with LED flash,powered by windows phone Mango update.So Lumia 710 will eventually be released along with the Lumia 800 in India which is also releasing in the same week.Some of the unique features about the Nokia Windows Phones are the Nokia Drive and Music app.
As far as the pricing is concerned,what we can confirm from our sources the lumia 710 will be priced at 19,999 INR.