Computex 2012: Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 headed to Windows Phone 8 devices

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Jun 052012

QualcommGiven that Qualcomm’s processors are the only ones you will find in Windows Phone 7 and 7.5 devices, it should come as no surprise that they will also make their way into Windows Phone 8 devices. Confirmation came from Rob Chandhok, senior vice president at Qualcomm, during Computex. These Snapdragon S4 chips will come with integrated LTE.

The news gives credence to earlier rumours that Microsoft is testing the 1.5GHz dual-core Qualcomm MSM8960 chipset with Windows Phone 8 (Apollo).

Chandhok also confirmed that Snapdragon processors will be found on future Windows RT devices. The first Qualcomm processor in an RT device will likely be the 1.5GHz dual-core MSM8960 Snapdragon S4 paired with 2GB of RAM.

Qualcomm also announced new naming conventions for its S4 processors. Different categories, Prime, Pro, Plus, and Play, will address different market segments. For example, S4 Prime processors will target televisions and the S4 Pro will be geared to tablets and other “ultra-thin and sleek computing devices.” High-end smartphones will use the S4 Plus.

Read more: The Verge

Microsoft to offer future of Windows Phone “sneak peek” on June 20th

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Jun 052012

Microsoft announced its Windows Phone Developer Summit early last month but gave few details about what the developer event would focus on. New invitations suggest that Microsoft will offer a “sneak peek of the future of Windows Phone,” suggesting that Microsoft may shed some light on its upcoming Windows Phone Apollo release.

Microsoft Windows Phone Summit 2012

The Verge has learned that Microsoft will introduce developers to “new ways of creating apps for the new Windows 8-based kernel of Windows Phone 8.”

Past rumours have suggested that Windows Phone 8 will support a wider range of specifications including multi-core processors, four screen resolutions, removable microSD card support and NFC support. It will include more corporate functionality, such as native BitLocker encryption and additional Exchange ActiveSync policies, as well.

Microsoft has yet to announce a formal agenda for the event.

Read more: The Verge

Four upcoming Nokia Lumia devices revealed?

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May 252012

A number of screenshots captured on a Nokia Lumia 800 running wpbench, a benchmarking app for Windows Phone 7 devices, appears to have revealed the presence of four new Lumia devices. These, the Nokia PureLambda, Nokia Phi, Nokia Pure Phi and Nokia Alpha, are presumably codenames for upcoming Windows Phone-powered handsets.

Of these, the Nokia PureLambda is shown to be running OS 8.0.9842 (better known as Apollo). Conjecture adds that the PureLambda could also be a Windows Phone device sporting Nokia’s PureView 41MP technology (introduced on the Symbian-powered PureView 808). Nokia has confirmed plans to bring it to Windows Phone devices so this is not a stretch.

Rumoured Nokia PureLambda with Windows Phone 8

Rumoured Nokia Phi

No other details are given about any of these Nokia devices. Past rumours hinted at two new Nokia Windows 8 models for AT&T but it’s not clear if any of these codenames stand for these.

Read more: My Nokia Blog (Source: Electronista)

Rumour: Windows Phone 8 to RTM in July

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Apr 262012

Microsoft Windows PhoneA “reliable source” has apparently told Russian site that the next major version of Windows Phone (codenamed Apollo) will RTM (Release to Manufacturing) in July. This is the step where Microsoft hands the code to it manufacturing partners to allow them to finalize their new devices.

The report adds that partners could be provided with prototypes, current generation devices running Windows Phone 8. Adding fuel to an ongoing debate, it also suggests that most current Windows Phone 7.5 devices will be updated to Windows Phone 8.

New devices running Windows Phone 8 are expected to hit the market sometime in the fourth quarter.

Read more: (in Russian) [Google translation] (Source: WMPoweruser)

Verizon to launch Windows Phone 8 devices before holidays

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Apr 212012

Verizon WirelessVerizon Wireless is only selling one Windows Phone device currently and it’s an older device at that. It certainly does not suggest that the carrier is very supportive of the Windows Phone operating system. It skipped on Windows Phone 7.5, saying that it wanted to focus on LTE phones (Rival AT&T got the LTE-enabled Nokia Lumia 900 exclusive). That’s about to change.

Statements made during the analyst call that followed its latest earnings statement suggest that Verizon is getting ready to throw quite a bit of weight behind Windows Phone. Just don’t expect any Windows Phone 7.5 devices. Fran Shammo, Verizon’s Chief Financial Officer said, “We’re really looking at the Windows Phone 8 platform, because that’s a differentiator. We’re working with Microsoft on it.”

Shammo added that he expects Verizon to offer Windows Phone 8 devices in time for the 2012 holiday shopping season. While Microsoft has said little about Windows Phone 8 (codenamed Apollo), most rumours point to an October launch. Shammo hinted that Verizon would also heavily promote the new Windows Phone 8 devices, drawing a parallel to Verizon’s efforts for the Motorola DROID.

Verizon’s seeming new commitment to Windows Phone is widely seen as an effort to ensure that the smartphone space is not completely dominated by only two brands, namely Apple and Google.

Read more: Reuters

Microsoft confirms Windows Phone 7.5 apps will run on Windows Phone 8

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Apr 112012

Windows PhoneThis may not exactly be the news that current Windows Phone 7.5 device owners are looking for but it does answer a related question: Will current Windows Phone 7.x applications run on Windows Phone 8? In a recent blog entry, Microsoft confirmed that they would (their emphasis):

With regard to existing applications: today’s Windows Phone applications and games will run on the next major version of Windows Phone. Driving application compatibility is a function of Microsoft’s commitment to its developers. Regardless of what we release in terms of new developer features and functionality, we have made a large investment in protecting your existing investments.

Right out of the gate, Windows Phone 8 devices will have access to some 80,000 apps (and likely more by then).

As for whether existing Windows Phone devices will be upgradeable to Windows Phone 8, hopefully past rumours are untrue.

Read more: Windows Phone Developer Blog

Microsoft urged to give more design leeway in Windows Phone 8

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Mar 292012

Microsoft Windows PhoneCiting its usual “industry sources,” Digitimes is reporting that handset manufacturers are urging Microsoft to loosen its design rules for the upcoming Windows Phone 8 release. They are looking for more flexibility in modifying applications and the user interface to create greater differentiation between devices. This lack of differentiation has apparently made it more difficult to market devices.

The report suggests that Windows Phone 7.5 sales are hampered by the current hardware specifications and prices as well as its smaller app ecosystem (with about 70,000 available apps) than those of Android (400,000 apps) and iOS (500,000 apps).

The launch of Windows Phone Tango has already widened the breadth of hardware options (by supporting more entry-level devices). Recent rumours also indicate that more hardware options will be supported in Windows Phone 8. Whether Microsoft opens up the user interface more remains to be seen.

Read more: Digitimes

Nokia preparing two Windows Phone 8 smartphones for AT&T?

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Mar 062012

NokiaThe Verge has learned that Nokia is working on at least two new Windows Phone 8 smartphones specifically for AT&T. The Nokia Prodigy is expected to a high-end “superphone” while the AC/DC should be a mid-range device. There are no additional details about either device at this point.

The rumour follows earlier ones of Microsoft testing a 1.5GHz dual-core Windows Phone smartphone for Sprint. HTC is also rumoured to be working on Windows Phone 8 devices. Details on Windows Phone 8 itself also leaked out last month.

Could we see the Nokia Prodigy and AC/DC in September at Nokia World 2012?

Read more: The Verge

Microsoft Windows Phone Tango to be for entry-level smartphones?

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Aug 092011

There have been hints in the past about an upcoming Windows Phone release called Tango. New details emerged today to confirm that such a release does exist and will precede the release of Windows Phone 8 (codenamed Apollo) which is apparently scheduled for a late 2012 release.

Windows Phone Tango will follow the upcoming Windows Phone 7.5 (Mango) and is reportedly “all about Nokia”. ZDNet’s Mary Jo Foley indicates that the update will be aimed at Windows Phone devices with lower selling prices than Mango handsets.

Foley adds that Tango could actually be more than one release and will likely be a minor update (or updates). It could also be focused mainly or even exclusively on the Asian market.

As you may have noticed, Microsoft is also codenaming its Windows Phone releases with terms that end in the letter “O” (NoDo, Mango, Tango, Apollo).

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