Tag Archives: Microsoft

New SkyDrive: Don’t lose your 25 GB, act now!

A few minutes ago, a new SkyDrive has gone live!

If you are a current SkyDrive customer, all you need to know is in this picture. To see this offer, you have to log in twice!

SkyDrive 7 GB to 25 GB upgrade fr current customers - act now!

SkyDrive 7 GB to 25 GB upgrade fr current customers - act now!

But: It seems to work only for accounts where at least one file was uploaded before the change. 😦

You can also download a new SkyDrive application for Windows here.

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Český návod: Aktualizujte svůj Windows Phone na Mango ihned!

Note for English speaking readers: If you want to force your Windows Phone to Mango right now, you can! The English instructions are here.

Včera začal Microsoft distribuovat dlouho očekávanou zásadní aktualizaci Windows Phone – verzi 7.1/7.5 s kódovým jménem Mango. Update je však rozloženo do několika týdnů a jen asi 10% uživatelů bylo nabídnuto hned první den. Naštěstí existuje jednoduchý způsob, jak váš telefon k update přinutit.

Návod

  1. Protože je součástí update zálohování obsahu paměti telefonu, které může trvat desítky minut, doporučuji před aktualizací odstranit z mobilu hudbu a odinstalovat nepoužívané aplikace.
  2. Připojte telefon k počítači. Spustí se program Zune.
  3. Vyberte Telefon -> Nastavení -> Aktualizace. Pokud je zde k dispozici update, už na vás došla řada a prostě je potvrďte. Pokud vám Zune stále tvrdí, že je váš telefon aktuální, pokračujte dalším bodem.
  4. Zvolte z levého menu Zune jinou volbu, např. Bezdrátová synchronizace. V této chvíli musí být váš počítač připojen k internetu. Připravte se na jeho rychlé odpojení, například vytažením ethernetového kabelu nebo vypnutím WiFi hardwarovým tlačítkem.
  5. Klikněte opět na položku Aktualizace a asi sekundu poté odpojte počítač od internetu. Pokud budete mít štěstí, Zune vám nabídne aktualizaci.
  6. Počítač opět připojte k internetu a aktualizujte.
  7. Při neúspěchu bodu 5 opakujte body 4 až 5 stále dokola. Chce to trpělivost, mně se to podařilo až asi na dvacátý pokus, jiným napoprvé.
  8. Protože se před Mangem (build 7720) musí nainstalovat aktualizace 7392 a 7403, je možné, že budete muset celý proces několikrát opakovat, jak se to stalo některým lidem v zahraničí. Já jsem už měl nainstalován build 7392, nabídlo se mi update na 7403 a po něm se automaticky nainstalovalo Mango RTM 7720.

A užívejte si Mango, které je opravdu chutné! Všechno ve vašem telefonu bude najednou fungovat lépe a první dlouhý stisk tlačítka Zpět (multitasking) je opravdu zážitek.

Jediné zklamání, které mi update připravilo, bylo uzamčení mého zcela legálně, avšak nestandardně, odemčeného telefonu. Nové odemčení je pro mne poněkud komplikovanější, neboť ještě nejsem registrován jako český vývojář. Ale to jsem stejně v nejbližších dnech plánoval udělat.

Naopak velmi příjemným překvapením je česká klávesnice. Domníval jsem se, že bude k dispozici jen na nových telefonech, ale update ji přineslo i na ten můj.

Fotoreportáž

Váš build 7392 je OK, Mango není k dostání

Váš build 7392 je aktuální, Mango pro vás nemáme!

Wireless on

Jsem připojen k síti. Vyberu v menu aktualizaci a...

Wireless off

...rychle odpojit od sítě! Myslím, že jsem uspěl, když jsem to udělal asi po půl sekundě.

7403 je k dispozici

No vida, Mango leželo pod pultem. Tedy přesně řečeno je to přípravná aktualizace 7403. V této chvíli nezapomeňte znovu zapnout internet, já osel jsem to poprvé neudělal a vše bylo třeba opakovat. 🙂

7403 under construction

Aktualizujeme...

2nd update

Po nainstalování 7403 se automaticky začala instalovat aktualizace 7720, tedy vlastní Mango. Záloha telefonu znovu neproběhla.

Hotovo

Hotovo.

7720 nainstalováno

Mango je Windows Phone 7.1, Microsoft je nicméně marketuje jako 7.5. Nenechte se tím zmást.

Tublatanka, Dnes:

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Nokia / TabCo will release Windows 8 tablet tomorrow (just dreaming)

I guess you have already seen this page: http://www.whoistabco.com/

If not, it may be the right time to see some of their teaser videos. For example that first one, made during Apple WWDC 2011, with the help of skytypers

TabCo is (probably) a virtual company preparing a big media event for tomorrow – Monday, August 15 at 9 a.m. PDT (18:00 CET) – so less than 24 hours from now. They say they are going to launch a new tablet, that will be… er… different. They have said or shown very little so far, but let’s recap these scarce fragments.

  • Avaliable for order in USA in August, in some European countries in September
  • 400 – 500 USD
  • 16:9 screen aspect ratio
  • USB, Bluetooth, SD card slot, WiFi and 3G (no 4G)
  • Build quality comparable to Apple or Nokia
  • Innovative GUI is predictive and takes inspiration from spheres and Rubik cube
  • Will be distributed with a set of apps from the beginning
  • There probably aren’t heaps of native software yet, but Angry Birds and office apps are available
  • Development SDK will be available after the launch

Other observations:

  • They have mentioned Apple or iPad many times, almost always in positive light
  • They have mentioned Google or Android many times, almost always in negative light
  • Microsoft and Nokia were mentioned rarely, usually in positive context

What could TabCo be:

  • Amazon tablet
  • Some startup full of energy and borrowed money
  • ELSE Ltd.
  • Acer Iconia 2
  • Xoom 2, TouchPad 2, Playbook 2 or Galaxy Tab II
  • New Tabasco flavour
  • Well-funded joke
  • Huawei UFO Tablet with Android 2.x much improved by NonSense UI layer
  • Apple iPad HD
  • Nokia (or Intel) MeeGo / Maemo tablet
  • Nokia Windows 8 tablet

The last option is undoubtedly the most interesting one. Let’s dream about it from a developer’s perspective for a while… This would mean that there will be no big revelation at BUILD in September, exactly one month from now. On the contrary, SDK will be available tomorrow and everybody will download it immediately and will frantically play with it for the next few weeks. Many developers will take their own Windows 8 tablets to the BUILD in fact. Everything will be inside out this time…

Although so blatantly betrayed by Microsoft, most developers will be jumping for joy and consider their dreams fulfilled. This new attack of Metro UI will help Windows Phone sales too…

Why this won’t happen

  • We all know Windows 8 is scheduled for 2012. It’s in some unimportant Milestone phase now.
  • Microsoft always gives things to developers first and then – 6-12 months later – the best customers may get something too
  • There are leaked Windows 8 builds with no traces of a tablet interface and these other cool things
  • The Windows 8 UI revelation event showed no spherical interface elements
  • Interface hints in the above video are different – for example that circular context menu hasn’t been shown, video controls were different etc
  • The lack of software for the new platform. Even old Windows software will not work, because this tablet is almost for sure built on the ARM platform.
  • Mary Jo Foley and Paul Thurrott haven’t seen it coming
  • Microsoft is never so fast
  • Microsoft is never so cool (except for that XBox 360 R2D2 Star Wars edition, of course). While some other companies are habitually cool, Microsoft is habitually cold.

Top Secret Microsoft’s Corporate Exchange leak:

Steven Sinofsky: We should develop Windows 8 in a stealth mode and in just two years. That would surprise everybody and make the Wow effect we so desperately need. That would be cool!

Steve Ballmer: NO WAY! WE ARE MICROSOFT! WE NEVER! DO! COOL! THINGS!

XBox 360 Star Wars Limited Edition

XBox 360 Star Wars Limited Edition Kinect bundle is the coolest Microsoft product ever (for sure 😉 )

Why this may happen after all

  • What we have learned about Windows 8 in June was a total surprise to everybody. So Microsoft is able to hide things if it wants (and Sinofsky is in charge). It’s quite probable it wasn’t the final version of UI.
  • That infamous Microsoft silence about the Windows 8 development platform is just insane. It simply makes no sense to hide things just from developers! On the contrary, it sometimes makes sense to hide things from the general public. But a developer conference is not the ideal place for revealing things to the general public! The conclusion? Some revelation is planned before the BUILD.
  • There were hints about Windows development taking just two years, about Windows 8 tablets coming this fall, about Win division defeating Dev division, about Microsoft selecting just a few hardware partners for the first W8 tablets, about Nokia working on a well-thought tablet etc.
  • Nokia – Microsoft pact makes much more sense from a Nokia viewpoint if this is in cards.
  • Software is important. But Microsoft may provide Office, old Windows software written in .NET may work even on ARM, and Windows Phone emulator may provide some not so optimized, but working software. This plan worked for Apple after all.
  • Mary Jo Foley and Paul Thurrott haven’t seen it coming 😉
  • This may just work

🙂

Nokia Sea Ray possible virtual buttons

Windows 8 tablet with the Windows Phone emulator. Oh wait!

The Kinks, You really got me:

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Will Mango support 16:9 screen for video playback? (update: Nope)

How many steps it takes to create a nice speculation? Three are more than enough! 🙂

1. Nokia N9’s 854 x 480 screen

Less than a week ago (really?) Nokia announced its beautiful N9 MeeGo prototype. N9 has 16:9 ratio 854 x 480 pixels AMOLED screen.

Nokia N9

Nokia N9

2. Nokia Sea Ray with no hardware buttons

Just a few days later Nokia’s CEO Stephen Elop demonstrated in some internal company meeting their first Windows Phone device, codenamed Sea Ray. The video and photos have leaked to the web (almost surely intentionally). No leaked photo showed the lower part of the phone…

Nokia Sea Ray - photo from the Elop's presentation

Nokia Sea Ray - photo from the Elop's presentation

…but it was clear from the video that there are no hardware buttons and that the device has the same display and screen ratio as N9, and even the same bottom-right front-facing camera.

Nokia Sea Ray front-facing camera (image wmpoweruser.com)

Nokia Sea Ray front-facing camera (image wmpoweruser.com)

So you need virtual buttons, which is no problem. These are quite ugly and hopefully fake, but you get the idea – just make their background black and they won’t differ too much from the capacitive buttons on the current HTC devices.

Nokia Sea Ray possible virtual buttons

Nokia Sea Ray possible virtual buttons

3. High time for some revealing tweet

I personaly don’t value Eldar Murtazin too high as a source, but sometimes he just has the point. And the right timing.

Eldar Murtazin:

WP7 Mango Update – according to design guideline there no need to put hardware buttons on front. Samsung, Lg, HTC will have such phones

Conclusion

Mango hardware specification optionally allows 854 x 480 pixels screen, operating in two modes:

  1. Standard 800 x 480 Windows Phone 7 screen with three buttons occupying the remaining 54 vertical pixels.
  2. 854 x 480 16:9 fullscreen for video playback and hopefully for games and other apps too.
That’s it. No guarantees. 🙂
And one more thing… Will these new button-less 16:9 devices be upgradeable to Windows 8 when it’s ready?

Update: Nope

This leaked video seems to confirm Sea Ray has hardware capacitive buttons.

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Wow! An update is available for my Omnia 7 :-)

After a long, long long time, finally…

NoDo and May update

Let’s go, darling…

10 – 9 – 8 – 7 – 6 – 5 – 4 – 3 – 2 – 1 …

NoDo and May update - SUCCESS

YES!

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NoDo update is not available to me anymore

Microsoft has been offering me a NoDo update for a couple of weeks. Until yesterday. Today, something has changed:

NoDo unavailable again

No, I have not installed NoDo yet. 🙂 Is this a new chapter in the WP7 update soap opera?

Let’s try to be positive: Perhaps a new – post-NoDo – update is prepared for the MIX time?

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Sony Vaio S (with Sandy Bridge) stress test – Part 1: Yes or No?

Wow! A new laptop has arrived.

 

Should I conduct the test and thorough review of this notebook? Help me decide!

 

(No, I don’t promise to blindly respect the outcome of this poll. 🙂 )

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NoDo update is available – so let’s wait for a while

My Zune welcomed me by this wonderful screen today:

Zune: NoDo Available

Yes, this is the famous NoDo update! In fact, it’s available for all unbranded phones since yesterday. But I’m going to wait for a while – for two reasons:

  1. My unpleasant experience with the Pre-NoDo update. I guess it would be better not to hurry up and let others to be early adopters.
  2. NoDo blocks ChevronWP7 phone unlocker, which I use for my spare time development, as I live outside of the official developer countries walled garden. After NoDo, I will go to Yalla Apps as they are able to officially unlock phones in the outside world. It will cost something (no problem) and probably take a while (which is a small problem).

You can read interesting Rafael Rivera’s notes about the update proces.

George Harrison: Got my mind set on you:

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WP7 NoDo Update Full Feature List

Update: Microsoft has published the complete feature list of the NoDo update

March 2011

OS version: 7.0.7390.0

  • Copy & paste. You asked for it—now it’s here. Just tap a word and drag the arrows to copy and paste it on your phone. You can copy text from emails, text messages, web pages, and Office Mobile documents, and paste it anywhere you can type. To learn more, see Copy & paste.
  • Faster apps and games. Nobody likes to wait. That’s why we’ve whittled down the time it takes for apps and games to start up and resume. It’s all part of our focus on getting you to the things you love, easier and faster.
  • Better Marketplace search. We’ve streamlined Marketplace search to make it easier to find specific apps, games, or music. Press the Search button in the Apps or Games section of Marketplace and you’ll see only apps or games in the results. Press Search in the Music section of Marketplace to search just the music catalog.
  • Other Marketplace improvements. We’ve improved the stability of Marketplace while you download apps. We’ve also improved the experience of downloading apps larger than 20 megabytes, upgrading from trial apps to paid apps, using a credit card with an address outside the United States, sharing links to apps via email, sorting Xbox LIVE games by release date, and creating an Xbox LIVE account from within the Games Hub.
  • Wi-Fi improvements. We now display your phone’s Media Access Control (MAC) address in Settings. (You might need this info if you try to connect to a Wi-Fi network that uses MAC address filtering. To learn more, see Connect to a Wi-Fi network.) We’ve also removed the limit on the number of Wi-Fi profiles that you can store and reduced the time it takes to start your phone if you’ve stored lots of Wi-Fi profiles.
  • Outlook improvements. We’ve improved the experience of viewing iPhone photo attachments you receive from a non-Exchange-based email account (such as a Google Mail, Hotmail, or Yahoo! Mail account), using the Global Address List (GAL) when connecting to Exchange Server 2003 using Exchange ActiveSync, and working with email display names that contain brackets (for example, “David Alexander [Contoso]”).
  • Messaging improvements. We’ve improved the experience of receiving Multimedia Messaging Service (MMS) messages if your phone uses a PIN-locked SIM.
  • Facebook integration. We’ve improved the experience of syncing Facebook accounts.
  • Camera improvements. We’ve improved the stability of switching between camera and video modes.
  • Audio improvements. We’ve improved the experience of using a Bluetooth headset to make calls when you’re playing music or videos.
  • Other performance improvements. This month’s update also includes software from several phone manufacturers that improves the performance of specific models. Naturally, if you don’t have one of the affected models, we won’t install this portion of the update on your phone.

My original article

As the XDA developers have published the NoDo-updated ROM for the HTC Trophy, some new bits of information about the NoDo update are starting to appear on the Net. The NoDo update should be available for everybody in a matter of days.

Confirmed features:

  • Copy and Paste (limited) functionality
  • Faster Marketplace Application
  • You can search in the Marketplace by cathegory. Until now, the search always returned a mess of apps, songs, albums, artists etc. and was very hard to use because of this.
  • During app downloading and installing, the progress bar is shown in the Marketplace UI.
  • Faster loading of heavy games.
  • Improved Bluetooth support (not specified).
  • Many more ringtones (but still no support for custom ringtones).
  • You can see the MAC address and SIM ID in the About page.
  • ChevronWP7 unlocking is blocked

The Beatles, Here Comes The Sun:

Sources:

My Coding Adventures
Monsmartphone.net

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How I survived the DoNo Windows Phone update

“An update is available.” Great! It’s my turn, finally.

This is the so-called pre-NoDo update, or update 0.9, which improves the update process itself, but brings no new features. I nickname it DoNo (do nothing) update. This is the 2nd corrected version of this corrective pre-update, which should work with Samsung phones too. Microsoft nevertheless noted that some 100 people experienced some issues with this 0.9.1 version too and even offered an advice to them. You should basically free as many memory as possible on your phone, so let’s go.

Phone: Samsung Omnia 7, not locked to any carrier, 8 GB memory, not dev or Chevron unlocked, no modified firmware or any homebrew app installed.

PC: Windows 7 Home Premium 64bit, SP1, Core i5, 4 GB RAM, 355 GB free on disk C, 126 GB on disk D.

Attempt 1

I deleted majority of media and some apps before the update, so I had 4,01 GB free. The update took some 10 minutes. One unexpected thing occured during the process – a new Samsung driver was automatically installed in Windows 7. The outcome:

UPDATE ERROR

There was an error while trying to update your device with the latest software.Please try again.

The timer ran out on what we were trying to do.

To see if there’s more information about this error, click Web Help.

ERROR CODE
800705B4

WP7 pre NoDo update Fail

Attempt 2

Content syncing set to manual, all multimedia content erased, phone restarted. 4.38 GB free. After some 9 minutes…

ERROR CODE 800705B4

Attempt 3

I have uninstalled almost everything and lowered the reserved space (Zune Phone -> Settings -> Reserved Space) to 2 %. Now I have 5,19 GB free.

ERROR CODE 800705B4

Attempt 4

Somebody has suggested that Samsung native apps could do some harm to the update process, so I removed the Samsung Network Profile app. 5,20 GB free.

ERROR CODE 800705B4

Attempt 5

Reserved space 0 %, all the apps uninstalled. 5,35 GB free.

ERROR CODE 800705B4

Attempt 6

All five accounts removed, except for the primary Live account (Outlook/Exchange, Gmail, secondary Hotmail, Facebook, Centrum.cz). 5,39 GB free.

ERROR CODE 800705B4

Attempt 7

Let’s try it without the SIM card. After 8 minutes…

ERROR CODE 800705B4

Attempt 8

Reset to the factory settings.

WOW!

Windows Phone pre NoDo update - success

6.11 GB free.

So the update process is updated now. And both phone and its user are still (somewhat) alive. I should especially commend the backup part of the process – indeed, I was forced to backup everything very, very well! A pen and paper were particularly useful for writing down all the paswords etc.

Good work, dear Microsoft and Samsung!

Queen, We Are The Champions, live:

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Microsoft Omnipresent User Interface Vision

Nice Microsoft UI concept video from September 2009:

You can easily see the wide use of elements of Metro interface concept in it.

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Windows Phone Unofficial Timeline 2011

Just a brief summary of the today’s MWC revelations… 🙂

Windows Phone Unofficial Timeline 2011

Windows Phone Unofficial Timeline 2011

Suggestions?

HTML 5 performance demo on Windows Phone IE 9 prototype vs. iPhone 4 – Joe Belfiore at MWC 2011:

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Nokia makes both Windows Phone and Steve Ballmer relevant again

Note: This is my first blog post in English ever. Please help me with corrections and suggestions in the discussion below!

If you were in Antarctica in the last three days, you may have missed the announcement of the year. This video says it all…

Nokia and Microsoft announced the strategic partnership on Friday. Nokia will abandon Symbian, stiffle MeeGo, and adopt Windows Phone as its primary smartphone operating system. This transition will take place in the next two years. During the “black friday” Nokia shares fell horrible 14 % and Nokia employees walked away on a silent protest march.

About 1000 Nokia employees on a silent protest against Symbian discontinuation. (picture by Engadget)

About 1000 Nokia employees on a silent protest against the Symbian discontinuation. (picture by Engadget)

Web abounds with comments, as expected, but I feel that some things weren’t said yet. So let me offer some thoughts.

Nokia

Times were ripe for the change. Nokia’s flagship operating system Symbian is flawed and irreparable. Nokia tried hard to adapt it for the touch screen, but to no end. Symbian is too attached to individual phone models, they have practically different version of the system for every device, which is unmanageable in the long run. Nokia counts losses on all fronts, but its weakest spot is low margins and diminishing market share in smartphones. MeeGo, a promised open source savior, developed in cooperation with Intel, is still not ready and would mean just another lost year with no clear outcome.

Nokia was effectivelly forced by the situation to the humble decision to license an alien operating system. They had only two options – Google Android or Microsoft Windows Phone. Why they chose Microsoft? Because Google was just too evil for them.

Many argue that Google would be a better choice. It is clearly possible, nobody knows the future. But the effect on Nokia employees and Symbian developers would be the same and the effect on smartphone customers would be worse in my opinion. Now we have the race of three strong horses or rather three chariots – Apple, Google and Microsoft + Nokia. HP with its WebOS and RIM with BlackBerries are the main losers. They will face hard time to attract and retain developers. And developers matters.

Nokia has a clear strategy and must deliver upon it now. Nokia presented some concept designs already. It is critically important for them to launch their first WP handsets in the Holiday season 2011 in my opinion, otherwise the strategy will be in doubt.

Nokia rendered concept phones with Windows Phone OS. Rather not the real thing as there is no volume cradle on the left side. (picture by Engadget)

Nokia rendered concept phones with Windows Phone OS. Rather not the real thing. (picture by Engadget)

Another concepts from the Mobile World Congress presentation. These look little bit cheaper. (picture by wpcentral.com)

Another concepts from the Mobile World Congress presentation. These look little bit cheaper. (picture by wpcentral.com)

Of course, we should expect the Mango (7,5?) version of Windows Phone OS in these handsets.

Microsoft

Windows Phone 7 is not selling. Sure, MS has shipped two million pieces to operators, but it’s too little and we don’t know how many was actually sold to the end users. There are bad signs all around: At first, there are no new devices rumored to be announced at Mobile World Congress 2011 in Barcelona. HTC already said they have nothing to show there. I personally expect something from Asus and perhaps ZTE or other low-profile (phone) manufacturers, but the booths of Samsung, HTC, LG and Dell are going to be quite boring for WP7 fans.

Second: developers and software producers are not making money. Of course, there always are exceptions like Elbert Perez (I reccommend his free game Scribble Defense by the way), who makes $380 daily from his free, ad-supported games. But the number of such happy devs is very, very small.

And customers are not paying attention, because the phones are mediocre. Make no mistake, all the OEM partners have Android as their primary platform and save the best designs for Google. Windows Phone needs the dedicated, fully commited hardware partner and sorely lacks it.

Steve Ballmer’s genius gave a new lease of life to Bing by the contract with Yahoo in 2009. And he used the same pattern for saving of Windows Phone now. Steve is not an engineer, no doubt about it. He is not a technology visionaire. But he is a strategic thinker and probably would be a good military general. I guess that this briliant maneuver will save his own position in Microsoft too.

On the other hand: The accusations of Stephen Elop being a trojan horse of Microsoft in Nokia are ridiculous. Such monumental changes must be approved by the board of directors. During Nokia press conference at MWC today someone yelled at Elop “Are you a trojan horse?” And he replied directly:

I’ll take that question. The obvious answer is no. We made sure that the entire management team was involved in the process, and of course the board of directors of Nokia are the only ones that can make this significant of a decision about Nokia. They made that final decision on Thursday night.

In fact, the talks with Microsoft (and Google) started immediately when Elop took his position in Nokia on September 21, 2010. It’s pretty clear he had a mandate for this agenda. I even think that they deliberately chose a foreigner for the dirty work.

I should keep it short, but let me briefly discuss one last thing…

Developers and the WP platform future

Nokia clearly wants to extend the Windows Phone to the lower market segments and even hints a possibility of another hardware platform. This brings big risks: Platform fragmentation, lower hardware specs and possibly worse customer experience.

But do not forget that Windows Phone is designed from the ground up for the different hardware platforms. In fact, it supports two completely different platforms now: x86/x64 for development (in the emulator) and ARM (Qualcomm Snapdragon) in devices. For example, if Nokia wants to use Intel Medfield SoC, which is basically an ultra low consumption Atom with some radio-specific features added, Microsoft may just change the licensing terms. I exaggerate, but you get the picture.

The other side of the equation is simple: Market expansion from millions to hundreds of million customers.

Plus wider language and marketplace support and better maps in Europe (Bing is horrible here).

The picture is somewhat darker for Symbian developers. But even they knew for sure that the unavoidable transition to the other OS – MeeGo – was awaiting them. My advice is simple: Go there now, download the free Windows Phone developer tools and begin to study them. You will be pleasantly surprised.

Elvis Presley, Love me tender:

Do not miss Steve Ballmer’s keynote at MWC 2011, (Monday, Feb. 14 at 7 a.m. PST/10 a.m. EST/4 p.m. CET).

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