Windows Phone 7 Stories November 29, 2011

Curious to see how Windows Phone feels, but don’t have a device around to do so? Us neither. But Microsoft has just released a new HTML 5 website that allows iPhone and Android users to get a taste of the Windows Phone 7 (Mango 7.5) operating system. The trial requires no downloads or registration, and you can try it out by just going to the webpage http://aka.ms/wpdemo on your Android device.

While it doesn’t use any of the data on your phone like your contacts, the demo does give you a pretty comprehensive look at all of Windows Phone’s features. Microsoft uses a blue dot to guide you around the operating system, and obviously some features like voice recognition just don’t work in the browser. Drat, that’s something we really wanted to try.

Will this draw users over to the Windows Phone platform? Probably not, but it’s always cool to see what the competition is up to.

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Windows Phone 7 Stories September 29, 2011

HTC is doubling down on Windows Phone. Pictured above: The HTC Titan, powered by Windows Phone 7.5 ‘Mango’ and arriving to AT&T this Fall.

HTC, the embattled handset maker from Taiwan and the second-largest smartphone vendor in the United States, is doubling down on Microsoft’s mobile platform, seemingly to reduce its reliance on Google’s Android software which has been under heavy fire lately from Apple, Microsoft and Oracle over patents. According to ZDNet Asia, a HTC manager for Singapore said during the Windows Phone 7.5 Mango launch event:

We believe that Windows Phone 7 will eventually be better than other platforms and will give Android a run for its money.

Melvin Chua, the manager, also noted that the Windows Phone platform already accounts for nearly one-third (30 percent) of HTC’s overall sales. This subtle hint points to a possible 180-degree turn for the company that made fortunes by making and selling Android phones. It’s not terribly surprising, though. Their chairwoman Cher Wang recently went on record, saying the company discussed internally a mobile operating system purchase. “We can use any OS we want”, she was quoted as saying.

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Deal: Get Pixelbook at 25% off: $750!

Windows Phone 7 Stories June 24, 2011

What if Microsoft didn’t decide to dump a boatload of cash on top of Nokia to take their OS and Nokia went Android?  It appears that there might have been a skunkworks project in place to get the Android OS on Nokia’s devices if the images from Engadget and Weibo are any indication.

Either that, or some cheeky Nokia employee decided to put Android on their N9.  Whichever reality you believe, it wold have been nice to have an N9 Android device, even if it looks like an oversized iPod nano.

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Windows Phone 7 Stories June 1, 2011

It is pretty desperate times over at Nokia which has lost significant amounts of its market cap Since new CEO Stephen Elop announced plummeting numbers for most of its Symbian Smartphones and dumbphone handsets earlier this week.  What does one expect when the CEO publicly executes its flagship Symbian product with nothing to replace it for almost a year?

The company is now worth $25B and Microsoft is said to be trying to by the mobile phone division for somewhere around $19B.  Nokia-Siemens and its other businesses would likely remain independent.

For Microsoft and Nokia, it seems like a pretty cozy deal.  Microsoft goes from building OSes to building experiences end to end, like Apple, RIM and HP.  Just like PlaysforSure->Zune

But what about Microsoft’s other partners in Windows Phone 7?  Samsung, who has created arguably the best WP7 device in the Focus, HTC who has a broad range of Windows Phone 7 devices, Acer and other players would be left out in the cold.  They won’t use WP7 when Microsoft is making hardware through its Nokia subsidy (again, just like Zune).  You can’t compete against the company that makes your software.

They’d all probably double down on Android at that point.  In fact, just reading the tea leaves now might have executives at those companies scaling back their Windows Phone 7 R&D.

A floundering Nokia tied up with Microsoft could be the best thing to happen to Android yet.

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