Posts with tag windows phone 7
Things are getting pretty bad
Honestly, it’s not like things haven’t been bad for Microsoft on the mobile front since around the time Apple launched the iPhone in 2006, but frankly things are looking even worse than ever for the behemoth mobile software developer today. The IDC has reported on this quarter’s smartphone sales, revealing that sales of Windows Phone 8 devices (ie. Nokias) have seen a sharp decline from 11.9% to a measly 2.5% – a drop worse than even Microsoft might have imagined.
As if to prove just how bad things have gotten for the platform, OEM support for Windows Phone has thus far diminished to just about one – Nokia, which Microsoft acquired earlier this year in order to keep the Windows Phone devices coming. Prior to the acquisition, Nokia had been working on a line of new Android devices and was in talks to drop the Windows Phone options entirely, which would have all but diminished Windows Phone’s presence in the marketplace. Though Microsoft managed to stop that disaster from happening, Nokia did release their first line of Android devices before the acquisition was announced, Microsoft recently killed that line in favor of lower priced Windows Phone devices.
Microsoft is preparing to launch a new line of Lumia smartphones earlier September, with initial reports suggesting that there are two models incoming – a midrange Lumia “Selfie” phone with a 5 megapixel front facing camera, and a new Lumia device wrapped in an all aluminum body. The company has already sent out invitations for the event where these phones are rumored to launch.
All that said, it really is just a simple question at this point – have things been too bad for too long for the company? Or, in other terms, is it too late for Windows Phone? It’s nearly been 4 years since the Windows Phone platform launched at this point, replacing the archaic but long lasting Windows Mobile one which was almost instantly obsoleted by iOS and Android. Microsoft hasn’t really had much luck since that point, and there has to be a point where it would make more sense to just give in the towel – maybe this is it?
Unless, of course, you’re Microsoft, and you’ve got a selfie phone coming.
Still has a long way to go
Things have been pretty bad for BlackBerry for quite some time now, but today they just got a little worse – market firm IDC has just released their latest look on the mobile landscape and have discovered that, for the first time, Windows Phone has overtaken BlackBerry’s spot as the third most widely used mobile operating system platform in the world, behind Android at #1 and iOS at #2.
According to IDC’s numbers, Windows Phone made up 3.2% of all mobile handsets shipped this quarter, while BlackBerry only made up a mere 2.9%. Android devices meanwhile made up 75% while iOS dropped to 17.3%, a huge shift in the tides towards Android’s favor. That said, the iPhone 5 has been on sale for quite some time now while Android competitors such as Samsung and HTC continue to make constant improvements to their products.
Microsoft goes back to rolling out WP7.8
A couple weeks ago, we reported on a Windows Phone 7.8 bug that should have been a showstopper. Basically, the bug caused Live Tiles to stop updating – a rather major bug when you realize just how integral they are to the Windows Phone experience.
Today, we have confirmation that the bug has been fixed in Build 8860 of Windows Phone 7.8. Those of you with Windows Phone 7 devices can download the update through the Zune software. With the release of this patch, we can assume that the 7.8 update will continue its rollout.
Source: The Verge
Tiles known to freeze
When Microsoft launched Windows Phone 7.8 to legacy Windows Phone devices in late January and early February, people were understandably excited. Windows Phone 7 had largely been left by the wayside since Microsoft announced Windows Phone 8, with older devices running the operating system left without any significant updates or news as to when their final major update, Windows Phone 7.8, would finally be unleashed. However it appears that in Microsoft’s hurry to appease the appetite of owners of these devices with the Windows Phone 7.8 update, they overlooked one itty bitty thing – Live Tiles, one of the most impressive features of modern Windows platforms, which allows applications to send information to an application’s “Tile” on the home screen in real time, have a small glitch in them – they, well, tend to “freeze”.
Vodafone has recently stopped issuing the update to their devices since the bug was discovered, and many current Windows Phone 7.8 users have been left understandably bitter about the whole thing as Live Tiles are an integral part of the Windows Phone experience. Fear not, however – Windows Phone lead developer Joe Belfiore has just announced on his Twitter account that the Windows Phone team is indeed working on a fix. Hooray!
The question now becomes how is Microsoft planning on updating all the Windows Phone 7.8 devices on the world’s many different networks in a timely manner? Clearly this is a fairly show stopping bug that should be resolved ASAP, but Microsoft has a spotty record with convincing carriers and manufacturers to deliver updates to devices on time, or at all.
Early leaks incorrect peg release date
Just yesterday the Windows Phone community was abuzz with the news that Nokia’s own “NaviFirm” firmware tool was suggesting an imminent release of Windows Phone 7.8 to their Nokia Lumia 510, Lumia 710, Lumia 800, and Lumia 900 devices was near. Unfortunately, Nokia was quick to crush your hopes and dreams and has confirmed that Windows Phone 7.8 is not coming any time soon, restating its and Microsoft’s vague “early 2013” line.
To those who don’t remember what Windows Phone 7.8 is (and we don’t blame you – Microsoft’s been pretty quiet about it), it’s essentially Microsoft’s gimmick release to appease early-adopters of the Windows Phone platform by giving Windows Phone 7 devices some of the new features and goodies one would find in Windows Phone 7.8. The most major update by far is the redesigned Start Screen, which allows users to resize and organize tiles in an almost endless combination.
(Edit 12/18/12 @ 4:15 PM EST: Fixed the source link.)
Nokia is in dire straights. You need only look at their reports for the third fiscal quarter of this year to know that, in which they’ve just reported a huge €969 million loss. Clearly, something is wrong here.
If you were to place at least some of the blame on Microsoft and the way they’ve handled Windows Phone 8, I think you’d be right. Microsoft has made a point to say that all Windows Phone 7 devices – which consists of basically Nokia’s entire 2012 smartphone lineup – will be dead as of October 29th, when Windows Phone 8 is launched. Consumers are more than likely understandably hesitant to buy into a platform that’s going nowhere.
Microsoft is, to be fair, giving WP7 users a minor update with the new Windows Phone 7.8, but considering Microsoft is treating would-be owners of current Nokia phones as nigh beta testers (ironic considering Nokia’s commercial) by holding out the buffet and instead serving a bowl of cold soup. It’s insane to think that Microsoft would have made this decision without thinking of how it would impact their hardware partners. This is direct evidence that this bad decision has not only hurt the entire Windows Phone ecosystem, but it was nigh disastrous for at least Nokia.
Microsoft has one chance to make things right with their upcoming Windows Phone 8 platform, which Nokia is supporting with an entirely new lineup of phones going into the new year. The question is, however, will Windows Phone 8 and the new devices be the savior Nokia needs? Or is it time to try Plan C and jump ship for Android as a last resort?
So here it is – at long last, Microsoft detailed their new mobile platform, Windows Phone 8, yesterday. Although they have yet to detail the majority of new features that would be of any use to consumers, they did, however, let out a huge amount of new information including an updated Start Screen with a new UI, kernel updates, upgrade information, and more.
- First, and most importantly, Windows Phone 8 has been completely rewritten on top of the Windows NT codebase, the same kernel that is used in all recent desktop versions of Windows, as well as the upcoming Windows 8 and Windows RT. This means that Windows Phone 8 actually has more in common, from a tech standpoint, with desktop Windows than with Windows Phone 7, which was based on the inferior Windows CE.
- Compatibility for native applications, including applications written in C and C++ libraries, as well as with complete SQLite and Direct X support. Direct X, notably, is the same graphics engine that drives 99.9% of all PC games written for Windows. This should make game development significantly easier. Curiously, Windows Phone 8 does not support applications written in WinRT, the new language introduced in Windows 8 and Windows RT.
- Backwards compatibility with all Windows Phone 7 applications. Although Windows Phone 8 applications can now be written in these superior technologies, all applications written for Windows Phone 7 will continue to function as they did.
- Multicore processor support – up to 64-cores. While Windows Phone 7 was limited to single core processors (highly limiting the appeal of high end phones to enthusiasts, especially when compared to new Android phones which have been starting to appear with quad-core processors), Windows Phone 8 will support up to 64-cores.
- NFC (a digital payment method) support. Android had it, iOS is rumored to get it with the supposed iPhone 5, and now Windows Phone 8 has it too.
- Support for new display resolutions, including WVGA, WXGA, and 720p.
- SD card support for installing applications and putting media (such as music, and videos) onto.
- The new Start Screen, which will allow for customizable live tile sizes (which, if you ask me, looks more than a little unappealing).
- Integrated VoIP support. Get VoIP calls as if they were native phone calls through both wifi and carrier data.
- Built-in redesigned Maps application based on Nokia’s maps app, including offline support and “Nokia Drive”.
Now for the big downside – in an absolutely shocking move, Microsoft has announced that Windows Phone 8 will not run on old Windows Phone 7 devices, including the just-released Nokia Lumia 900. Instead, these devices will be getting a sort of stop-gap, halfway of a release called Windows Phone 7.8, which will include some unannounced user-end features of Windows Phone 8, including that new Start Screen.
Microsoft reiterated today that the Windows Phone Marketplace will be soon closing for users who have yet to upgrade their devices to the new Windows Phone 7.5 operating system. Microsoft has yet to put an exact date on when the switch will occur, however it warns that users will not be able to purchase or upgrade their applications once that date passes.
Windows Phone 7.5 is available for all released Windows Phone devices, however many may be weary of upgrading due to the widespread “disappearing keyboard bug”. Some handsets have yet to receive a fix for this particular issue.
In the continuing tale of Windows Phone 7’s (and therefor Nokia’s) woes, it would seem that Skype coming to the Windows Phone 7 platform may be one of the biggest roadblocks the platform has yet seen in it’s quest for carrier acceptance.
More specifically, carriers have now been reportedly more skittish than ever to put Windows Phone 7 devices in their lineups due to the concern that VoIP software Skype will result in money lost for the carriers on traditional phone plans. This has hit Nokia especially hard with certain carriers refusing to take in the company’s Lumia phones.
In a statement to the press, Nokia CEO Stephen Elop attempted to quell concerns by saying that “Some operators are looking at bundling Lumia, Skype and their own services with higher-bandwidth allotments to actually charge the consumer more and generate more revenue for them”, though he does admit that this is a problem.
Check out Stephen Elop’s full comments after the break.
As stated in the blog post, the team will begin focusing on applications with possible trademark infringement in all aspects of your app, including “name, logo, description, screenshots” .
The second change they’ll be making is assuring that all applications are submitted to just one category “that best reflects the content and function of your app”, and that all applications must have unique icons that don’t get overwhelmed with branding.
Next, they’ll be making sure that all applications re limited to just five keywords, and no more. Any applications that have over five keywords by tomorrow will see all of their keywords dropped.
Finally, they’ll be focusing on making sure that applications adhere to other standard guidelines, with extra emphasis given on apps that have “sexually suggestive or provocative” content, as these apps are not allowed on the Marketplace.
Source: Windows Phone Developer Blog
Another day, another issue with all of these mobile phones we carry around in our pockets. While the Apple iPhone has in the past been afflicted with yellow-tinted screen issues, battery problems, camera failures, and a totally-but-not-really minor antenna glitch, the Nokia Lumia 900 seems to have an issue of its’ own – a purple tinted screen.
That is to say, some Nokia Lumia 900 users are complaining that their screens emit a slight “purple tint” while put in low brightness. There’s already a growing thread of people complaining about the problem over in XDA-Developers, with Windows enthusiast Rafael Rivera noticing the same on his white Lumia 900 over on Twitter this morning. One user, “tewmgd” posted a rather startling comparison photo of a Lumia 900 againsta Lumia 800 showing the 900 rocking a seriously purple tint.
All in all, this is unlikely to harm Nokia or the Lumia 900 on it’s conquest for mobile world domination, as the company has already been reporting strong sales and claims that it is having difficulty producing the units fast enough to meet demand.
Source: XDA-Developers, @WithinWindows
Popular tech blog Ars Technica decided to do a little experiment: employee Casey Johnston walked into three different AT&T stores on a mission to discover how well trained and favorable AT&T salesmen were towards the Nokia Lumia 900.
The results? It would seem slightly better than expected, I’m happy to report. Each time Casey walked into the store with a different situation in mind. First, she walked into the store claiming to be buying a phone for her mother with a “Droid” phone. The employee then went on to suggest another Android phone or a newer” alternative”, the Nokia Lumia 900. In general, the employee was helpful and knowledgable, although he did claim to be unsure whether or not the phone had a single-core or a dual-core processor.
Test 2 and test 3 went off with similar results, only slightly varying on the details. Some employees were slightly more knowledgable than others, while some seemed more genuinely enthusiastic about the product than others.
Check out the full details at Ars Technica in the source link.
Source: Ars Technica