Subject: General Tech | January 18, 2019 - 01:12 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: microsoft, windows phone, ios, Android, cortana, Alexa
It has been an interesting week to be Microsoft, as they have had to suggest to their user base that they might be better off moving to a competitor's product. Sebastian has already informed you about the fact that Cortana and Windows Search are going through a somewhat amicable divorce, but today we find Satya Nadella suggesting that Cortana will become an optional skill which you can choose for Alexa or Google Assistant; if you don't see any better perks for that level. Apparently they will also "be again completely consumer businesses" by offering consumers the same licensing scheme as they forced upon enterprise businesses, of which many have expressed strong feelings about since it was introduced.
What must really burn is their admit that Windows 10 Mobile is indeed as dead as the proverbial parrot, which has forced them to suggest that current users move to a different device as Microsoft will no longer even offer token support for that OS after the end of the year. People paying attention to this may remember that the last major update to the OS was pushed in 2017.
"Microsoft's guidance for customers is to "move to a supported Android or iOS device" and use the range of Microsoft applications on one of those platforms instead."
Here is some more Tech News from around the web:
- Pixelbook and 'Nami' Chromebooks the First To Get Linux GPU Acceleration in Project Crostini @ Slashdot
- DIY Clapper is 1980s Style With Raspberry Pi Twist @ Hackaday
- iPad Mini 5, new entry-level iPad set to arrive in early 2019 @ The Inquirer
- Google Play Malware Used Phones' Motion Sensors To Conceal Itself @ Slashdot
- Apexdesk Elite ZT Series Electric Standing Desk & Anti-Fatigue Mat @ TechPowerUp
- Twitter. Android. Private tweets. Pick two... Account bug unlocked padlocked accounts @ The Register
Subject: Mobile, Shows and Expos | March 31, 2016 - 01:52 PM | Scott Michaud
Tagged: BUILD, build 2016, microsoft, windows 10, windows phone
If you watched the opening keynote of Microsoft's Build conference, then you probably didn't see much Windows Phone (unless you were looking at your own). The Verge talked to Terry Myerson about this, and Microsoft confirmed that they are leading with non-Windows, 4-inch devices, and they want to “generate developer interest” on those platforms for this year.
PC World interpreted this conversation to say that Windows Phone is put on hold.
That might be a little hasty, though. Microsoft is still building Windows 10 for Mobile. In fact, since Microsoft updated “Windows OneCore” and jumped build to 14xxx-level build numbers with Windows 10 build 14251, Windows 10 Mobile and Windows 10 PC are kept in lockstep. As far as I know, that is still the plan, and Windows Insiders should continue to receive these on compatible devices.
That said, Microsoft has basically admitted that Windows Phone would just be a distraction for developers this year. At the very least, they don't believe that the platform will be ready for them until next year's Build conference, which means that consumers will probably be even further down than that because there would be no applications for them. Yes, Windows Phone could be slowly shimmying out of the spotlight, but it could also be delayed until they make a good impression, and have the PC, Xbox, Hololens, and other ecosystems secure to lift it up.
Subject: Mobile | February 26, 2016 - 12:04 PM | Sebastian Peak
Tagged: windows phone, Project Astoria, microsoft, developers, build 2015, Android
A smartphone is nothing without a large selection of quality apps these days, and to that end it seemed Microsoft was going to follow the BlackBerry OS 10 method (injecting life into a platform barren of software by borrowing Android apps) when they announced the "Windows Bridge for Android" last year.
(Image credit: Microsoft)
Blackberry accomplished this by adding the Amazon app store to OS 10, which gave BB users at least some of the apps an Android user has access to via Google Play. BlackBerry also provided devs tools to help them convert Android apps to run on the BB 10 OS platform, but the market share of BB OS 10 just isn’t high enough to justify many doing this.
Microsoft appeared to be headed in this direction when they introduced Project Astoria at last year’s Build conference, which was going to enable devs to bring Android apps over to the Windows mobile OS. Well, that’s over. In an update published yesterday by Kevin Gallo, Microsoft’s Director of Windows Developer Platform, this news was spun positively (of course).
“We also announced the Windows Bridge for Android (project “Astoria”) at Build last year, and some of you have asked about its status. We received a lot of feedback that having two Bridge technologies to bring code from mobile operating systems to Windows was unnecessary, and the choice between them could be confusing. We have carefully considered this feedback and decided that we would focus our efforts on the Windows Bridge for iOS and make it the single Bridge option for bringing mobile code to all Windows 10 devices, including Xbox and PCs. For those developers who spent time investigating the Android Bridge, we strongly encourage you to take a look at the iOS Bridge and Xamarin as great solutions.”
To editoralize here a bit, I will add that I own a Lumia smartphone, and in my experience Windows Phone is an innovative and extremely efficient mobile OS. However, the lack of quality apps (and the non-existent updates for those that do exist) is too great a barrier to use a Windows Phone as my primary device. It’s telling that BlackBerry's latest smartphone, the Priv, runs Android, as BlackBerry has effectively given up trying to compete with their own OS.
BlackBerry Priv, which runs the Android 5 OS (image credit: BlackBerry)
Microsoft seems unwilling to do this, but they are a software company first and foremost and that's not surprising. But as a hardware company they have struggled with portable devices, as we saw with the ill-fated Kin smartphone, and of course the Zune music player. Android is the only realistic option if you want to compete with iOS on a smartphone, but Microsoft hasn't given up on the OS just yet. As much as I like the tiled interface, I think it's time to say goodbye to this iteration of Windows Mobile.
Subject: General Tech, Mobile | September 25, 2015 - 12:32 AM | Tim Verry
Tagged: windows phone, windows 10 mobile, Surface Pro, Skylake, microsoft band, microsoft, lumia, Intel
Earlier this month, Microsoft sent out invites to members of the press for an event to be held on October 6th at the Skylight at the Moynihan Station in New York City. Naturally, Microsoft was short on details on what exactly will be covered. The rumor mill on the Internet (surely the most reliable of sources!) is set on the idea that the event will be used to launch a slew of new hardware products and refresh its mobile and wearable product stacks.
The rumored products include at least two new Windows Phone 10 Lumia smartphones, a refreshed Microsoft Band 2, and new Surface Pro 4 tablet.
On the smartphone front, the Lumia 950 and Lumia 950 XL both have fairly generous specifications for Windows Phone devices (running Windows 10 Mobile). The 950 sports a 5.2-inch 2560 x 1440 display, a six core Qualcomm Snapdragon 808 SoC, 3GB of internal memory, 32GB of internal storage, and a 3,000 mAh battery pack.
Moving up to the 950XL allegedly gets you a larger 5.7-inch display (though it is still at the same 1440p resolution) and a faster Snapdragon 810 SoC (four Cortex A57 at up to 2GHz and four lower power A53 cores along with the Adreno 430 GPU). Oddly, the battery pack is rumored to be only slightly larger than the Lumia 950 at 3,300 mAh which may result in lower battery life thanks to the larger display and faster processor.
Both phones will also feature a 20 megapixel rear camera, a 5 megapixel front camera, an iris scanner for Windows Hello, Qi wireless charging support, and a USB Type-C port for data and charging purposes.
Further, Microsoft is reported to be launching the Microsoft Band 2, a new (and sleek looking) wearable. The band, powered by an ARM Cortex M4 SoC and two 100 mAh batteries will sport a curved display and improved ergonomic design that can be used to see notifications, track your fitness, and interact with your smartphone using the built in microphone. The Band 2 is said to be compatbile with Windows Phone, iOS, and Android operating systems and connects via Bluetooth 4.0.
Lastly, rumors are pointing towards a new Surface Pro tablet being launched at the event though there has yet to be a consensus on the (alleged) specifications. Some rumors point towards Skylake while others point at Core M (Broadwell) being the processor of choice. Personally, I am leaning towards Microsoft using one of the new mobile Skylake chips for this possible Surface Pro 4 tablet PC. Broadwell with Iris Pro graphics would be nice to see, however...
In any event, I suppose that we will just have to wait and see what comes of this event in two weeks time. I do not have much to say on the smartphone or Surface Pro fronts (except that the tablet will be expensive no matter what the hardware ends up being, heh), but I’m liking the new Microsoft Band -- if they could somehow hit a lower price point I’m sold!
What are your thoughts on the rumors--what new hardware are you expecting to be announced next month?
Subject: Chipsets | September 3, 2013 - 03:08 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: microsoft, nokia, windows phone, purchase, billions
At a mere $7.2 billion, Microsoft just picked up all of Nokia's devices and some of their software in an attempt to streamline production and win market share from Apple and Android devices. Nokia tends to be the manufacturer that people think of when they think of Windows phones, with HTC a close second. The current market share of Windows phones is minuscule and for that matter so is Nokia's; what might not be clear from some of the stories you have been reading is that Nokia has a large share of the phones currently being manufactured. As you can see from the Reuters graph below they are actually second only to Samsung in terms of manufacturing, this existing infrastructure may help Microsoft greatly as they structured as a software company ... Surface being the exception that proves the rule.
The Inquirer believes this could mean a resurgence of competing mobile OS designs, with Google owning Motorola it seems likely that Samsung and HTC are going to want to diversify their lineup of phones even though Google has suggested they will not provide preferential treatment to Motorola. Microsoft may still provide licenses to HTC but with this major change you can expect the rumours of HTC developing a mobile OS to become verified as well as a lot more news on Tizen, Samsung's home grown OS. Blackberry could be doomed at this point, with nothing unique to offer in the way of secure connectivity now that they have moved to ActiveSync and dated hardware they are reduced to a niche market consisting solely of those who want a physical keyboard on their phone. This purchase is as painful to Finland as the death of BlackBerry will be for Canada.
The other interesting part to this story is the return of Stephen Elop to Microsoft as he only left them in 2010, previously he headed their business software division. You can follow the odds on his likelihood of taking the reins from Ballmer by following the link from this article; Stephen has tossed hardware across a room so he is certainly qualified. If he did take over Microsoft it would signal a 'mobile first' mentality which might help sales of Win8 on mobile devices but would not bode well for the desktop users. If he is not placed in charge of the entire company it would likely mean that we will see him head a mobile division while someone else handles a desktop OS. That has not worked well for Microsoft historically, we shall see in the coming months which direction the company chooses. Hopefully they will remember they sell a server OS.
"MICROSOFT SURPRISED NO ONE on Tuesday when it announced that it picked up Nokia's devices unit and licensed some of its software for a cool £4.6bn in cash. While many see the deal as two struggling companies merging for a final shot at success, we think the deal should have Apple and Google worried."
Here is some more Tech News from around the web:
- Intel to introduce Ivy Bridge-E processors at IDF 2013 @ DigiTimes
- ARM buys advanced display technology from Cadence @ The Inquirer
- Intel NUC Spotted At PAX Prime w/ Haswell CPU Inside @ Legit Reviews
- Intel Shows PAX Attendees SSD Overclocking @ Legit Reviews
- King of the ARMverse: Can anyone snap the dragon? @ VR-Zone
- Simple Secure Erase and MPCIe Added To Asus Maximus VI Motherboard Family @ SSD Review
- Facebook strips away a bit more of your privacy – but won't say why @ The Register
- Escort PASSPORT Max Radar Detector Review @ TechwareLabs
- Cubieboard: ARM A8 CPU with SATA for Under $50 @ Linux.com
- AlienVibes Global Joint Giveaway @ NikKTech
Subject: Mobile | February 26, 2012 - 06:08 PM | Tim Verry
Tagged: WP7, windows phone, smartphone, nokia, mobile, microsoft, marketshare
Last year Nokia and Microsoft announced a partner ship that would combine Nokia's hardware with Microsoft's Windows Phone 7 mobile operating system. Back then, the move by Nokia to abandon Maemo, MeeGo, and Symbian was not a popular one; however, it does seem to have worked out well for the company (despite some burned bridges).
According to a new report by Strategy Analytics, not only have Nokia Windows Phone 7 devices proved a popular choice, but the company has managed to propel itself to 33.1% marketshare; a number that makes Nokia the world's largest Windows Phone smartphone vendor in Q4 2011. Further, the company shipped just under 1 million units in Q4 2011 while the market as a whole saw 2.7 million units shipped. That is a significant jump from the previous quarter where Nokia did not ship any units and the market as a whole shipped only 2 million.
|Vendor Shipments (Millions) Q3'11||Vendor Shipments (Millions) Q4'11||Vendor Marketshare (%) Q3'11||Vendor Marketshare (%) Q4'11|
|Total||2 Million Units||2.7 Million Units||100%||100%|
While Nokia does not yet have majority share of the Windows Phone smartphone market all to themselves, they do have the most marketshare of any single vendor. The increased presence of Nokia helped the Windows Phone market as a whole see a total quarter over quarter growth of 36%, according to the report. Further, Director of Strategy Analytics Tom Kang noted that Nokia managed to snag most of it's marketshare from HTC who is also losing ground in the Android market to rival Samsung.
Neil Mawston, the Executive Director of Strategy Analytics determined that the Nokia Lumia WP7 smartphone series, and increased marketing and retail presence in Asian and European countries significantly helped Nokia grow it's marketshare.
Needless to say, Nokia management and shareholders are likely pleased by this turn of events. It will be interesting to see where Nokia is marketshare wise at the end of this year as their new Lumia series smarphones proliferate across the world. The full report is available here to Strategy Analytics clients.
Subject: Mobile | January 5, 2012 - 11:49 PM | Tim Verry
Tagged: windows phone, nokia, microsoft, CES
Leaks on products that are set to be released at CES are popping up all over the web, and it seems Microsoft's plans for Windows Phone 7 aren't immune. Paul Thurrott claims to be "in the know," in laying out the company's plans for the CES unveil. He says the information he has managed to acquire details the company's plans "for the US market only" and are to be officially revealed at CES 2012.
Microsoft will allegedly be releasing three LTE based Windows Phone 7 smart phones and one Verizon phone throughout the first half of the year. While not LTE powered, Verizon will be getting the Nokia Lumia 710, and will be available beginning April 2012.
Also, the three LTE powered Windows Phone 7 smart phones include the Nokia ACE (a larger version of the Nokia Lumia 800), HTC Radiant, and Samsung Mendel. These three phones will all ship on AT&T before Q2 2012 is over. The Nokia ACE will ship on March 18th, 2012.
Have you played around with any Windows Phone 7 devices? Stay tuned to PC Perspective for more CES news!
PC Perspective's CES 2012 coverage is sponsored by MSI Computer.
Follow all of our coverage of the show at http://pcper.com/ces!
Subject: General Tech | December 1, 2011 - 02:23 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: Lenovo, lephone, Android, windows phone
Lenovo is moving into BlackBerry's territory with several new mobile products, two phones and a tablet that can act as as phone. The first phone will be running an older version of Android and bears the unfortunate name of Lephone K2. The Inquirer reports that the other will be running Windows Phone OS though it would not be at all surprising if it ends up based on Win8. This may really hurt RIM as they are currently the choice of smartphone for enterprise users; these same users are likely using a Lenovo as their PC. With the already established place that Lenovo bears in the office, if they can create a decent phone that interacts with their Lenovo laptop or desktop, they could push RIM right out of the office.
"CHINESE HARDWARE VENDOR Lenovo has unveiled not one but two smartphones, the Lephone K2 and an unnamed Windows Phone 7.5 Mango device.
The Lephone K2 is the Android device and will come with Android 2.3.5 Gingerbread, not Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich. Details are very light on Windows alternative, apart from that it will run Microsoft's Windows Phone operating system and tip up in the second half of next year, according to PC Mag."
Here is some more Tech News from around the web:
- Toshiba to close several fabs @ SemiAccurate
- Win a new XFX Pro Black Edition 1250W PSU & HD6950 DD @ Kitguru
- We wish you a merry XPS'mass! Win a Dell XPS with OC3D
- We're giving away a couple of MSI graphics cards and motherboards @ The Tech Report