We have been hearing a lot of numbers these days,first we got the news about over 4 million licences for Windows 8 and then over a month of launch of Windows 8 we got the 40 million licenses sold update for Windows 8.
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 8 codenamed “Apollo” the next major update after Windows Phone Mango(7.5) is expected to be released in the later half of this year.Many of the assumptions have already started floating around about the code base of the next release,rumored to be based on Windows 8.Raising a question of compatibility of the existing Windows Phone apps with the next major update.
Eldar Murtazin well known for his predictions for upcoming smartphone technologies and their rumors tweeted about the incompatibility of Windows Phone 7 apps with the Windows Phone 8 apps,saying” WP8 os isnt compatible with wp7 on app level (u need to rewrite all apps). Thats another os core with metro ui”.To Clarify that this is not the case Director of Developer Experience Brandon Watson replied to Eldar’s tweet.
So when the Windows Phone 8 Apollo releases we will be able to play all the games and apps on the update seamlessly without any need for the developers to recode the application for the next version of Windows Phones.Though he has cleared the doubts about the compatibility issues for the upcoming platform,details on the Windows 8 based codebase Windows Phone 8 still remains under the wraps.Lets hope we will get more details about the same in near future.
It’s raining Windows Phones in India.Last week we saw the Lumia 800 pre orders,yesterday we reported about Lumia 710 coming to india in 7 days and now it seems like Samsung doesn’t want to miss the bus.
Flipkart one of the prime online seller in india has just posted a Samsung Omnia W page to add to their listing of mobile phones.Though the pricing details are not revealed at the moment.Though we already know the official price tag to be 19,900 INR announced earlier by Samsung India,we can expect a still lesser price point approximately between 17,000-18,000 INR for the stores across india.
Last we heard from Windows Phones India on their facebook page they hinted a release date similar to the Nokia Lumia i.e Mid December for both the devices,so we can expect the device to be launched within the next week or so.
Samsung Omnia W is the second generation Windows Phone from samsung,sports a 3.7″ Super AMOLED Screen,powered by 1.4Ghz processor,8 GB of Internal Memory and features a 5 Megapixel rear and 0.3 Megapixel front camera as well.The device is powered by the latest Windows Phone Mango update.This device will be up against the likes of Nokia 710 and HTC Radar in the similar price category,but it clearly stands out as a winner with price to performance ratio when compared with the HTC’s and Nokia’s Windows Phone counterparts.
Microsoft’s Chief Research & Strategy officer Craig Mundie spoke to the Forbes magazine recently and stated that Siri — Apple’s new voice activated digital assistant — is nothing new. Microsoft has been doing it for over a year now. Windows Phone 7 already has a feature called Tellme that allows you to dictate and send text messages to people. And there is Bing’s voice search engine as well. Mundie also added that Siri is only this popular because of Apple’s marketing and admitted that perhaps that only area where they (Microsoft) could learn from Apple is in the marketing.
Now that he has highlighted it, let’s look at Windows 8 and its allied resources that are going to start becoming available throughout next year. Microsoft’s official word on the Windows 8 phone situation says that it is not happening with the Windows 8 launch for PC’s. So let’s talk only about PC’s here.
As Mundie has already pointed out, Microsoft already has the necessary resources to pull off a proper voice recognition system. It can in fact do more than just voice — it can recognize colors and gestures too. Yes, I am talking about Kinect. Recently Kinect came in to news because Microsoft decided to star making a SDK for Kinect on Windows 8. And earlier this week, Microsoft announced that they are going to launch a beta hardware of Kinect for Windows in January 2012.
With the technology already in place, it is hard to think of reasons why Microsoft would not want to put it in there. Thus, it is entirely possible that once you buy a Windows 8 PC, all you have to do is hook it up with Kinect and start talking to it. Give it dictations, ask it set reminders, open an application or a website, etc. Bing voice search is already coming to Xbox and it is a Kinect dependent feature. Hence, Windows 8 is very likely to be completely voice aware just as the new iPhone 4S is with Siri.
Once Windows 8 makes it way to phones, it should be able to deliver the exact experience that Siri delivers but probably with some Microsoft twists in it. You can already to a lot with Tellme, so it would interesting to see that technology developed further and ported over to Windows 8 so that it can eventually work without any Kinect support. Right now however, even if Microsoft does not include a voice recognizing digital assistant in to Windows 8, third party solutions surely will have it ready soon with the Kinect SDK for Windows 8. At which point we should be seeing a sharp rise the adoption of Windows 8.
Microsoft launched its new Skype website today.The new site mentions what all new things are going to be introduced,and how Microsoft will take it to another level.
Microsoft announced that Skype is an entirely new business division within Microsoft. Steve Ballmer said that “Skype is a phenomenal product and brand that is loved by hundreds of millions of people around the world” and that Microsoft “look forward to working with the Skype team to create new ways for people to stay connected to family, friends, clients and colleagues — anytime, anywhere.”
Skype CEO Tony Bates will assume the title of president of the Skype Division of Microsoft immediately, reporting directly to Ballmer. The Skype division will continue to offer its current products to millions of users globally. Longer term, Skype will also be integrated across an array of Microsoft products to broaden Skype’s reach and accelerate its growth as a fundamental way people communicate online. Skype employees will continue to be located around the world in offices including Estonia, the Czech Republic, Russia, Sweden, the United Kingdom, Luxembourg, Japan, Singapore, Hong Kong, and the United States.“By bringing together the best of Microsoft and the best of Skype, we are committed to empowering consumers and businesses around the globe to connect in new ways,” Bates said. “Together, we will be able to accelerate Skype’s goal to reach 1 billion users daily,” Bates said.
Microsoft had already promised on making Skype available for its Windows Phone 7 users Mango update and it seems that they will eventually fulfill their promise.However, Microsoft has wasted no time adding Skype to its wide range of products although, if you want to download Skype you will realize that it still directs you to old Skype page.
Checkout the Microsoft Skype Site
According to recent reports on Istartedsomthing.com a Nokia Maps app placeholder listing, with screenshots, has been discovered. With this app Nokia has once again reaffirmed its intent to release state of the art apps for its Windows Phone 7 based devices.
The screenshots of the Nokia Maps app show everything that you might expect if you have used similar smartphone mapping applications. So basically there is nothing in this app that you have not seen if you are already having a smartphone app of similar sort. The maps provides us with the options for traveling via public transport, cars or by walking to your planned destination. There is also support for reviews of locations like restaurants on the maps along with user-submitted pictures.
However,there is no such indication in the screenshots that the Nokia Maps app supports any kind of voice-controlled navigation.
Although there has been a lot of news regarding Nokia’s plans for WP7-based phones over the past few days, including some leaked hardware information about possible models, and also rumors that Nokia is ready to pay up developers in advance to make app’s for its Windows Phone 7 based devices. However,Any further advancements regarding these rumors will resolve soon enough later this month when Nokia holds its Nokia World developers conference in London.
In its press release a couple of days back,T-Mobile officially announced that the HTC Radar 4G will be the first Windows Phone to take advantage of T-Mobile’s 4G HSPA+ network.T-Mobile claims that the network has download speeds of 10 Mpbs on average with peak speeds of 27 Mpbs.
The HTC Radar 4G is elegantly crafted with an aluminum unibody design for a sleek and stylish appearance. Sporting a large 3.8-inch LCD touch screen display with a virtual QWERTY keyboard and powered by a 1GHz Snapdragon™ processor, the HTC Radar 4G delivers an efficient mobile communications experience at 4G speeds. The smartphone provides a comprehensive productivity experience with fully integrated Microsoft® Exchange and calendar as well as Microsoft Office Hub and Internet Explorer® 9 for a fast, beautiful Web experience. Additionally, the new smartphone is equipped with dedicated camera button for easy access to the 5-megapixel camera with LED flash so you never miss a photo opportunity, even if the phone is locked.
T-Mobile has yet to give a specific release date for the HTC Radar 4G other than it will be out “in time for the holidays”. Pricing for the smartphone has not yet been announced. HTC has also previously announced another Windows Phone 7.5 device, the HTC Titan, that has a much bigger 4.7 inch display and a faster 1.5 Ghz processor.
The Windows Phone platform is steadily but surely growing its market presence, with HTC Singapore manager Melvin Chua stating today at the Singapore Mango launch that 30% of their unit sales are made up from their Windows Phones.
He further goes on to mention that “we believe that Windows Phone 7 will eventually be better than other platforms and will give Android a run for its money” – worth noting though is the current market share of windows phone platform is very low as compared to Android. He also mentions that Windows Phone has one of the fastest growing mobile app marketplaces, and that the “growth momentum of marketplace will be stronger with the launch of Windows Phone 7.5.”
HTC is soon planning to launch two brand new Windows Phone 7.5 “Mango” handsets into the wild: the HTC Titan and HTC Radar. These new smartphones will add to HTC’s growing list of Windows Phone devices, which already seen five devices being sold worldwide. Windows Phone will also grow as a platform later in the year as Nokia comes closer to releasing their first of many WP7-powered devices as we all know that the first device is still pretty much on the cards for the Q4 2011 launch with more devices to follow in the first half of 2012.
Also, a reminder to my friends who use HTC Windows Phone, the WP7.5 Mango update would be available right now for all devices world-over, so check your phone for an update if you have not done so already and enjoy the experience.
Microsoft has been all over the news this week,firstly due to the release of Mango and then they did something that Google were not able to achieve.Now if that was not enough,Dell has agreed to launch more Windows Phones in India and thus make some ground in Windows Phone market in India.
This piece of information comes from Economic Times and quotes Dell India Director and GM(consumer and SMB)Mahesh Bhalla saying, “The mobile phone business is doing really well and we have received tremendous response to the devices.Though the category is still in nascent stage,we are confident of it growing significantly”.
The importance of including Windows Phone means that Dell has not forgotten about the platform after releasing the first generation of Windows Phone products. This is certainly good news for Microsoft as Dell will continue to support the Windows Phone product platform in India, an important and fast growing marketplace.
With this news we can surely say that with the manufacturers like Nokia and Dell taking interest in the asian and specifically the indian markets,it’s a win win for Microsoft as well as the consumers because we can expect to see more affordable Windows Phones (Courtesy the new updated Chassis specifications for the Windows Phones) in india giving kickass competition to the Android marketshare which is growing in indian markets these days with cheap android phones being released every now and then,
Microsoft has already begun the massive Mango distribution to its array of different products around the World. Generally, the reaction has been positive to Mango and to the update process itself and it has been well received all over.Mango was rolled out all over the world a couple of days ago and by far the response to the latest update is quite good with many of the popular tech sites appreciating the Mango Goodness running on their Windows Phones.
Image credit: Dell
With the release of Mango update for Windows Phone 7 anticipated any moment, a renowned free news app “Pulse” will join the bandwagon of apps for the mobile operating system. Alphonso Labs has announced that its Pulse app will be released for WP7 sometime later this week.
The Pulse app turns content from a user’s favorite web sites and makes them look like a tile-based mosaic on the screen. The Windows Phone 7 version will allow users to scroll up and down the mosaic via the touch screen to view different news sources. You can also scroll from left to right to view different news stories from the same source. Touching one of the mosaic tiles brings up the main story from the web site. You can also share that story from within the Pulse application via Twitter, Facebook or an email.
With live tiles you can follow your favorite source outside the app from the home screen. The app’s home view incorporates colorful panning story bars and fills them with the content from your favorite sources. Scroll up and down to explore a new source of content and scroll from left to right to browse stories within a source.
The app allows the user to customize to their needs which news sources it gets stories from and also allows the user to group those sources in different categories. You can check out the Windows Phone 7 app in action in the video below. Alphonso Labs claims this will just be the first version released for WP7; it plans to add more features to the app in the coming months.