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Microsoft employees ‘sign off’ on Windows Phone 8 RTM

September 20th, 2012

Microsoft employees 'sign off' on Windows Phone 8 RTM

Windows Phone 8 may not have a firm release date, but reports are flooding in that it’s just been released to manufacturers (RTM) so they can work on their side of the equation: hardware production. According to LiveSino, pictures posted to Chinese social network Sina Weibo show members of the Windows Phone team signing a banner marking the milestone. In particular, Terry Myerson, Corporate Vice President of the Windows Phone Division, was caught penning his name alongside others. ZDNet’s own sources corroborate that Ballmer and Co. have deemed the operating system fit to ship. With manufacturers seemingly taken care of, developers will be able to get their mitts on the WP8 software development kit in roughly two weeks.

SOURCE via Live Sino

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HTC shows design work for Windows Phone 8X and 8S, strips them bare

September 20th, 2012

HTC shows design work for Windows Phone 8X and 8S, strips them bare

HTC and Microsoft have been cautious about what they’ll let us see of the software on the Windows Phone 8X and its 8S counterpart. Apparently, they don’t have any such compunction about leaving the phones’ naked components hanging in the breeze. Along with outlining the essentialist, Metro-inspired philosophy behind the Windows Phone 8 devices’ design, HTC’s new behind-the-scenes video (after the break) shows the internals without that extra-colorful shell getting in the way. The exposé is more about the sheer demand for customized hardware to match those distinctive enclosures than anything too scandalous — that tapered shape requires some finessing on the inside, we’re told. Whatever you think of HTC’s guided tour, the company has at least learned its lesson and decided against including any unexpected prototypes this time around.

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Windows Phone 8X by HTC: 4.3-inch 720p display, LTE, dual-core S4, available this November

September 20th, 2012

Windows Phone 8X by HTC: 4.3-inch 720p display, LTE, dual-core S4, available this November

Consider this Microsoft’s ultimate blessing, or merely a way to guarantee household name recognition. Whatever the case, the company’s next-gen Apollo OS is not only powering HTC’s newest mobile movement, it’s also the headliner. That’s right, as clunky as it may initially seem, Windows Phone 8X is the official moniker of the OEM’s brightly hued flagship series, an alphabetical denomination that puts it on premium standing with the One X line.

And thanks to the loosened spec restraints made possible by WP8, this modern-minded, unibodied beaut reps a 4.3-inch 1280 x 720 Super LCD 2 display with Gorilla Glass 2 coating, dual-core 1.5GHz Snapdragon S4 processor buffered by 1GB RAM, 16GB of internal storage, WiFi a/b/g/n, NFC and an integrated 1,800mAh Li-ion battery. There’s also quadband radio support for GSM/GPRS/EDGE, HSPA/WCDMA (850, 900, 1900, 2100MHz) and, of course, LTE for stateside carriers.

Though the 8X may share the same boldly colored, polycarbonate construction of its live-tiled Lumia frenemies, it also stands apart with the inclusion of two HTC-specific features: Beats Audio, replete with a built-in amplifier, and ImageChip for continuous shooting. And speaking of optics, this device’s dual camera setup packs the combined punch of a 2.1-megapixel front-facer with 88-degree ultra-wide-angle lens and an 8-megapixel rear module with an f/2.0 lens accompanied by a single LED flash — both capable of 1080p video capture.

While the veil of mystery surrounding this latest tech industry collaboration may have just lifted, you’ll still have to wait a bit before it heads to retail. After all, Microsoft’s planning its own WP8 coming out party for late October — a reveal that should finally give us a full look at the smartphone UI formerly known as Metro.

With a ship date set for some time this November, the 8X will be available in four distinct colors – California Blue, Graphite Black, Flame Red and Limelight Yellow — on over 150 carriers worldwide. No word on final pricing as of yet. So, until then, sate yourself with this first taste.

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HTC announces Windows Phone 8S: a mid-range Microsoft handset for the fashion conscious

September 20th, 2012

HTC announces Windows Phone 8S: a mid-range Microsoft handset for the fashion conscious

The Windows Phone 8 era is swinging into full effect. Nokia’s big launch event was only a few short weeks ago, now HTC is enjoying its time in the spotlight with two handsets of its own. The Windows Phone 8S makes no mystery of its platform choice and, like the One S, indicates its midrange status with a simple alphabetic suffix. This four-inch phone will be shipping with HSPA on board. Unfortunately there’s no word on an LTE edition of this rather handsome device. Spec-wise, the WVGA screen leaves us a little wanting, but we appreciate the combination of Super LCD and Gorilla Glass, which should make for a contrast-y and scratch resistant panel. Under the hood is a dual-core S4 clocked at 1GHz, which is hardly a speed demon by today’s standards, but should be enough to keep Microsoft’s streamlined OS humming along nicely. The CPU is augmented by 512MB of RAM, which isn’t any beefier than most Mango phones prepping for retirement.

A paltry 4GB of storage is baked in, but thankfully HTC saw fit to include a microSD slot for expansion. Those rather modest internals should help the handset make the most of the 1,700 mAh battery at least. Sadly, the Taiwanese manufacturer decided to skip a front-facing cam on its entry level device and the sensor around back is only 5MP and limited to 720p video capture. At 10.28mm thick the 8S isn’t the sleekest handset, but the tapered edges make look quite a bit thinner than that measurement would indicate. There’s no denying the appeal of the two-tone polycarbonate bodies, regardless of comparative girth, which feature soft touch finishes in veritable rainbow of options. Pricing has yet to be announced, but you can expect the 8S to hit shelves in early November on a number of carriers.

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Microsoft announces Windows Phone 8 SDK preview program, Windows Phone Store replaces Marketplace

September 14th, 2012

Microsoft announces Windows Phone 8 SDK preview program, Windows Phone Store replaces Marketplace

Naturally, there’s a good amount of anticipation surrounding the release of Windows Phone 8 handsets, but before that day arrives, developers will need proper software to code apps. Microsoft stopped short of releasing the requisite tools, but today, the company announced the Windows Phone 8 SDK preview program — essentially a way for developers to get in line for when the software becomes available. As is, all developers must submit an application to the Microsoft Connect website by Monday, September 17th, at which point, they’ll be provided instructions “the following week” of how and where to download the SDK. As for why the company has stopped short of an immediate release, Microsoft blames it on the fact that not all Windows Phone 8 features have been announced — which gives us reason to hope we’ll see a full disclosure in the near term.

In related news, the Redmond giant has also revealed that the Marketplace will be renamed the Windows Phone Store, which is intended to harmonize the naming scheme with the Windows Store. It’ll first rear its head in both Australia and New Zealand, but the company promises to roll out the new storefront to other countries in the weeks ahead. As for what you can expect, a cleaner design and new menu options are said to be in the mix, along with news and reviews from various technology blogs and journalists. Other improvements will include new search functionality to account for typos, along with suggestions for similar apps, regardless of what’s in the title. Finally, Microsoft will also introduce new categories such as Best Rated, Top Free and Top Paid. We’ll initially see these designations in the online store only, but the company promises to mirror the functionality on its phones later this year.

SOURCE via Microsoft

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Microsoft reveals new features in Windows Phone 8: screenshots, updated camera app

September 10th, 2012

Microsoft reveals new features in Windows Phone 8: screenshots, updated camera app

Microsoft provided us with a good look at Windows Phone 8 earlier this year, but today the company is showing off some new features coming to the platform during Nokia’s big Lumia 920 announcement. One of the new features is the ability to capture screenshots, something us device reviewers have been wanting in the Windows Phone platform for some time. It had been rumored earlier this year that screenshot capabilities were coming with Windows Phone 8, but this is the first official mention of the feature by Microsoft.

Additionally, Microsoft showed off a revamped camera app with new pinch-to-zoom features, “lens applications” for instant effects, and a built-in panoramic setting using Microsoft’s PhotoSynth technology. The camera app also features a burst mode that will lt users choose the best picture from a series of snaps. We can be sure that Nokia will take full advantage of these new camera features in the Lumia 920 and its PureView camera technology.

Microsoft demonstrated several different lens applications — many from third parties — but one of the most impressive was Smart Shoot, which can analyze moving objects and allow you to tap and remove them. Think of taking a photo of a famous monument with tourists swarming around — you can just tap to remove everything other than the monument. The second lens that got lots of attention is called Cinemagraph, which allows you to create partial animated images just like Cinemagram.

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PayPal arrives on Windows Phone devices running version 7.5 or higher

September 10th, 2012

PayPal arrives on Windows Phone devices running version 7.5 or higher

eBay’s money-exchanging service has brought its payments platform to Windows Phone 7.5 handsets. PayPal’s new app lets you send and request cash and check your account details (hopefully while laughing maniacally at your own affluence). A “local” feature will also direct you toward vendors who accept the standard, just remember that NFC supporting handsets don’t get here for another few weeks.

SOURCE via Windows Phone

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Windows Phone companion surfaces for Windows 8, could take over syncing duties

September 4th, 2012

Windows Phone companion surfaces for Windows 8, could take over syncing duties

It’s tough to ignore that the Zune era at Microsoft is quickly winding to a close. That doesn’t mean you’ll necessarily be out of options for syncing a Windows Phone’s contents by the time the Zune desktop app fades away, however. A tip to The Verge has shown a companion app for Windows 8 users that will reportedly load the first time a Windows Phone 8 device syncs up, giving a fully Metro-friendly place to transfer any media. Windows 7 would get its own parallel, just in case some of us aren’t willing or able to upgrade our PCs in concert. The replacement desktop apps could be available at about the same time as the Windows Phone 8 launch, if the claims are at all accurate — which might leave less than two months before one more vestige of Microsoft’s MP3 player days goes away.

SOURCE via The Verge

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Samsung announces ATIV S, a 4.8-inch Windows Phone 8 device

September 3rd, 2012

Samsung announces ATIV S, a 4.8-inch Windows Phone 8 device

Samsung took to the stage in Berlin to showcase its new product lineup last week, and one of the featured devices is the first confirmed Windows Phone 8 device. Dubbed the ATIV S, the new Microsoft-sanctioned smartphone offers a 4.8-inch screen with an HD Super AMOLED display, a 1.5GHz dual-core Qualcomm CPU, 8MP rear camera and 1.9MP front-facing cam. Additionally, it’s got a beefy 2,300mAh battery, 1GB RAM, Gorilla Glass 2 and will come in both 16 and 32GB flavors. At 8.7mm, it’s also reasonably thin. Its body is made of brushed aluminum and comes with a WP8-friendly MicroSD slot.

Samsung announces ATIV S, a 4.8-inch Windows Phone 8 device

SOURCE via Microsoft

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Purported HTC Accord Windows Phone schema leaked on Twitter

September 3rd, 2012

Purported HTC Accord Windows Phone schema leaked on Twitter

While certain other manufacturers claim a lot of the Windows Phone column inches, there are other players in the game. An image that recently popped up on Twitter reminds us that HTC is also a supporter of Microsoft’s mobile OS. The picture above claims to be a possible schema for a forthcoming handset, which the poster believes to be the HTC Accord. The account belongs to a prolific XDA-Developer user with a history of Windows Phone ROMS, so it’s entirely possible this was found somewhere along the way. Likewise, though, we’ll have to take this with the requisite amount of salt. There’s not much in the way of specification to be gleaned here, either, but at the least we can get a sense of what the design style might be like going forward. We just need to wait now for the official product launch event to join the ever-growing list.

SOURCE via Football4PDA (Twitter)

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