In response to user demand, Microsoft has released a preview version of Skype for Windows Phone 8. Compared to the Windows Phone 7.5 version, the app is more deeply integrated in to the phone, with hooks into the People hub, notification system, lock screen, and calling experience. Most importantly, it is now "always on" allowing Skype messages and calls to be received, even if the app is not running in the foreground.
Recent News - Page 23
The Windows Phone SDK 8.0 is now available for download. It is a full-featured development environment, sitting on top of Visual Studio 2012, which can be used to create apps and games for Windows Phone 7.5 and Window Phone 8.0 devices. In addition the Dev Center has been refreshed, and is now open for Windows Phone 8 app submissions. As an added incentive to encourage developers to submit apps for publication Microsoft is reducing the registration fee for Dev Center to $8, after a $91 rebate, for the next 8 days.
Microsoft today, at an event in San Francisco, announced the formal launch of Windows Phone 8. Detailing a slew of new and updated software and service features, complemented by a strong line-up of hardware from Nokia, HTC, and Samsung, described, by Steve Ballmer, as "killer hardware".
Key features include closer integration with desktop Windows (services, cloud storage, common core), updated People hub (rooms), added parental controls (Kid's Corner), live lock screen with customisable notifications and automatic background images, additional voice command support (dictation in select apps, supported in third party apps) and deep VoIP integration (including Skype).
Microsoft is set to formally launch Windows Phone 8 at a number of launch events around the world, and a live stream of the presentation via the Windows Newsroom. Windows Phone 8 represents Microsoft's latest approach to the smartphone world. Coupled with the recent launch of Windows 8 and Surface, it brings together many parts of the Windows world into a single ecosystem.
Nokia and US operator Verizon today announced the upcoming availability of the Nokia Lumia 822, which will cost $99 with a two year contract, and will be exclusive to Verizon. The Lumia 822 is an operator-specific variant of the recently announced, Windows Phone 8 powered, Nokia Lumia 820.
The Nokia Lumia 822 has support for Verizon's LTE 700 (Band XIII) and CDMA (800 and 1900 MHz) bands, as well as GSM and WCDMA bands (for use when romaing internationally). Verizon announced the Lumia 822 as part of its fall portfolio, and the handset should be in stores shortly.
All About Windows Phone is pleased to announce a new channel through which we can deliver the Windows Phone news you need to know. You may recall that we released an official Windows Phone application earlier this year (plus two subsequent updates). To accompany this, we can now officially unveil our Windows 8 and Windows RT application. It is already available in the Windows Store, and is free of charge – just like out Windows Phone app. Furthermore, this application has been written by the same developer who created our Windows Phone application, Geoff Webber-Cross.
More than 125,000 apps have now been published in the Windows Phone Marketplace and new content is currently being added at the rate of 215 apps per day. At the time of writing, 126,530 apps have been published, of which 113,170 are available for download (live). Of these, 15,822 were added in the last three months and 5,673 were added in the last month. These apps come from just over 30,000 different publishers.
Nokia today announced a new Windows Phone, the Lumia 510, with an estimated launch price point of $199 (£125 / €150) before taxes and subsidies, making it the lowest cost Windows Phone device to date.
The device, which runs on Windows Phone 7.5, has a 800 MHz Snapdragon S1 processor with 256 MB of RAM, a 4 inch TFT capacitive touch screen (480 x 800 resolution), 5 megapixel camera, and 4GB of internal storage. The Lumia 510 is expected to become available in November, and will launch in India and China, followed closely by other Asia-Pacific and South American countries.
Nokia has released its Q3 2012 results, reporting an operating loss of €576 million, with net sales of €7.239 billion (down 19% YoY). Nokia's Devices and Services division's losses were €683 million. The margin in Devices and Services was -19.2% (down from 3.1% in Q3 2011 and down from -11.8% in Q2 2012). Total smartphone device sales were 6.3 million (2.9 million Lumia), compared with 16.8 million units in Q3 2011 (down 63% YoY) and 10.2 million units in Q2 2012 (down 38%, QoQ).
Microsoft has announced the launch of Xbox Music, its new all-in-one music service, which offers integrated services across PC, phone and TV. Drawing on a global catalogue of more than 30 million tracks, it offers download-to-own, subscription (Xbox Music Pass), and streaming music options. The service will be available on Windows 8, Windows Phone 8 and Xbox, replacing Microsoft's current Zune music service experience.