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Tackling the Android tide

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Remarks by Larry Page on the quarterly earning calls [July 14, 2011, see also Larry Page to boost Google even more as becoming CEO again [April 2, 2011]]

We have tremendous new businesses being viewed as “crazy” Android We actually have a new metric to report of 550,000 Android Devices activated a day!

[See the full post by Larry Page later]

Follow-up:
Nokia Lumia (Windows Phone 7) value proposition [Oct 26, 2011]
Note: the “affordable” Nokia Lumia 710 for 270 EUR [US$ 376] is the one produced by Compal (the 800 is by Nokia itself)

Updates:
Supercharging Android: Google to Acquire Motorola Mobility [Larry Page, Aug 15, 2011]

We recently explained (http://googleblog.blogspot.com/2011/08/when-patents-attack-android.html) how companies including Microsoft and Apple are banding together in anti-competitive patent attacks on Android. The U.S. Department of Justice had to intervene in the results of one recent patent auction to “protect competition and innovation in the open source software community” (http://www.justice.gov/opa/pr/2011/April/11-at-491.html) and it is currently looking into (http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424053111903635604576476430510833852.html) the results of the Nortel auction.  Our acquisition of Motorola will increase competition by strengthening Google’s patent portfolio, which will enable us to better protect Android from anti-competitive threats from Microsoft, Apple and other companies.

Is Google buying Motorola for its 24,000 patents? [April 15, 2011]

Motorola Mobility Holdings’ CEO Discusses Q2 2011 Results – Earnings Call
Transcript
  [July 28, 2011]

… we own one of the strongest and most respected patent portfolios in the industry. We have over 17,000 patents granted and over 7,000 patents pending with particular strength in 2G and 3G essential, non-essential patents important to the delivery of competitive products in the marketplace, video particularly compression, decompression and security technologies and finally, a leading position in 4G LTE essential.

With new entrants to the mobile space resulting from the convergence of mobility, media, computing and the internet, our patent portfolio is increasingly important. …

@parmy Parmy Olson [Forbes’ London bureau chief]
Microsoft buying Nokia doesn’t seem like such a wild idea anymore. #Google #Motorola
2 hours ago via TweetDeck

Google’s Motorola Deal Could Give Windows An Opening [Forbes guest post, Aug 15, 2011]

Nokia says Google-Motorola deal may help Windows Phone [Aug 15, 2011]

This further reinforces our belief that opportunities for the growth of Nokia’s smartphone business will be greatest with Windows Phone. This could prove to be a massive catalyst for the Windows Phone ecosystem. Additionally, with our respective intellectual property portfolios, Nokia and Microsoft are working together to build and nurture an innovative ecosystem that benefits consumers, operators, developers and other device manufacturers.

Quotes from Android partners [Larry Page, Aug 15, 2011]

“We welcome today’s news, which demonstrates Google’s deep commitment to defending Android, its partners, and the ecosystem.”

– J.K. Shin

President, Samsung, Mobile Communications Division

“I welcome Google‘s commitment to defending Android and its partners.”

– Bert Nordberg

President & CEO, Sony Ericsson

“We welcome the news of today‘s acquisition, which demonstrates that Google is deeply committed to defending Android, its partners, and the entire ecosystem.”

– Peter Chou

CEO, HTC Corp.

“We welcome Google‘s commitment to defending Android and its partners.”

– Jong-Seok Park, Ph.D

President & CEO, LG Electronics Mobile Communications Company

Google acquisition of Motorola likely to benefit Taiwan production partners, but potential uncertain [Aug 17, 2011]

Share prices of Taiwan-based companies known to have strong business relations with Motorola staged a rally on August 16, one day after Google announced its plans to acquire Motorola Mobility as investors expect the deal will bring more orders for those companies. However, some industry watchers commented that Google may eventually release Motorola’s hardware business, forcing Taiwan handset ODMs, and parts and components suppliers to face more uncertainties.

The deal should help improve the financial structure as well as
business of Motorola, which will then release more orders to its production partners in Taiwan, said the sources, indicating the potential beneficiaries include Arima Telecommunications, Compal Communications, Merry Electronic, Ichia Technologies and Chi Cheng Enterprise.

Arima is currently a major ODM of feature phones for Motorola, while Compal and Foxconn International Holdings (FIH) are smartphone ODMs for the vendor. Motorola’s focus on Android phones after being merged with Google will benefit all three ODMs, said the sources.

Motorola is expected to outsource a total of 11-13 million handsets to Taiwan ODMs in 2011, with more than 90% being feature phones, said the sources, indicating that shipments of smartphones to Motorola have more growth potential.

However, the sources pointed out initial orders from Motorola after being merged with Google are unlikely to increase substantially as Google has said it will run Motorola as a separate business and will treat all Android partners equally. This means that Motorola will be able to increase its orders to production partners if doing so remains competitive.

Motorola, operating as an independent handset vendor under Google, still also posts a potential threat to HTC and other Android phone vendors. Google is likely to compete directly with HTC or Samsung Electronics unless it sells or terminates Motorola’s hardware business eventually, according to a Chinese-language Commercial Times report.

Taiwan handset PCB and chipset vendors hail Google acquisition of Motorola [Aug 17, 2011]

Taiwan-based handset PCB and chipsets makers have applauded Google’s announcement of acquiring Motorola Mobility, expecting that a growing Android mobile device market will help boost their sales.

Unimicron Technology and Compeq Manufacturing are currently two Taiwan-based PCB suppliers for Motorola, but supply volumes take only a small portion of their total shipments, according to industry sources.

Taiwan-based handset chipset vendors MediaTek and MStar  Semiconductor have been developing handset solutions for Android models because Apple has a preference of buying handset chips from players outside Taiwan.

MediaTek has also been cooperating with Motorola for some time and so the integration between Google and Motorola is certainly good news for MediaTek as well as MStar from a long-term point of view, the sources asserted.

IHS iSuppli News Flash: Fast Facts on Google’s Purchase of Motorola Mobility [Aug 15, 2011]

 The Motorola Mobility acquisition puts Google Inc. in a stronger position in any potential patent dispute with Apple Inc. “From an intellectual property (IP) standpoint, the acquisition bolsters Google’s negotiating position with Apple, in the event that Apple goes after Android-based products the same way it did with Samsung in Europe,” said Francis Sideco, principal analyst, wireless communications, for IHS. “If nothing else, Google will be able to assert Motorola’s IP for the 3GPP and 3GPP2 cellphone specifications, which are used in both the iPhone and iPad.”

Motorola’s product development capabilities also may have made it an attractive acquisition target for Google. “Motorola has been closely following Google Android’s operating system release schedule,” said Tina Teng, senior analyst, wireless communications, for IHS. “Whenever Google releases a new version of Android, Motorola almost immediately has a device ready with the latest revision of the software, reflecting the company’s prodigious product development capabilities.”Google previously has used new HTC and Samsung products to demonstrate the latest capabilities of the Android operating system. For example, the HTC MyTouch and Samsung Nexus S served to show off the operating systems’ capabilities so other OEMs could follow the example. Now, Motorola is the company that will set the example.

Motorola can serve as Google’s product R&D department as Android spreads into new markets,”Teng added. “Motorola has engineering expertise in a wide range of products where Android will be used, including set-top boxes and televisions. The addition of Motorola’s engineering and intellectual property will accelerate Android’s time-to-market in these areas and potentially revitalize the Google TV business, which so far has met with little success.”

The acquisition could prompt some Android licenses to increase their focus on alternative operating systems, such as Windows Phone.“ Although Google has said Motorola will continue to operate as a separate company, this development has to raise questions among the other Android licensees as to the level of support they will get from Google in the future. Even before this announcement, Motorola already had gotten preferential treatment, receiving first access to Honeycomb on the tablet side. While it’s unlikely that the other licensees will abandon Android, they could shift their priorities and focus more R&D toward Windows Phone from Microsoft.”

Motorola ranked sixth in the global smartphone business in the second quarter. The company held a 4 percent share of global unit shipments. Company shipments amounted to 4.4 million, up 7.3 percent from 4.1 million in the first quarter, as shown in the table below.

Since hitting bottom in the first quarter of 2009, Motorola has been experiencing nearly uninterrupted quarterly growth in smartphone shipments. Quarterly company shipments have expanded sequentially for the past nine consecutive quarters, with the exception of the first quarter of 2011, as shown in the figure below.

Motorola once was the world’s No. 2 cellphone maker. As recently as the first quarter of 2007, Motorola was the world’s second-largest cellphone shipper after Nokia on the strength of its stylish RAZR product line. However, because of its difficulties in offering compelling new models following the success of the RAZR, Motorola’s share of global cellphone shipments went into decline. Following a precipitous and sustained drop in shipments and market share, the company made a strategic decision to shift its focus away from low-margin, mass-market cellphones and toward higher-profit smartphones based on the Android operating system, like the Droid and Backflip.

Motorola Inc.’s XOOM media tablet introduced early this year represented the first legitimate match for Apple Inc.’s iPad 3G, in terms of features and pricing. The IHS iSuppli Teardown Analysis service’s dissection of the device determined the Motorola XOOM carries a bill of materials (BOM) of $359.92, based on pricing in March 2011, compared to approximately $320 for a 3G iPad with 32GB of NAND flash memory, based on pricing from April 2010.

Learn More > Low-End Smartphones Boost Market Growth

Has Google wasted $12bn on a dud patent poker-chip? [The Register, Aug 15, 2011]

Larry Page’s Moto bluff fails to convince

Analysis It’s all about patents, says Google co-founder and CEO Larry Page. Google insists that it bought Motorola to shore up its Android platform, which is caught in a litigious pincer movement from old buddies Steve Jobs and Larry Ellison. Microsoft is merely egging them on the sidelines as the manbags fly, shouting: “Fight!”

But analysts I’ve spoken to are already wondering how much due diligence Google performed before the announcement, or whether the Motorola acquisition will turn out to rival Terra’s legendary, rushed purchase of EMI. Here’s why.

Android is a copycat platform. The APIs copy Java, and the UI copies Apple’s iPhone. Oracle believes Google has violated Java IP, which it acquired with Sun Microsystems. Google says the language, and a third of Android’s API’s are “derivative” of Java. On the other warpath, Apple has launched three dozen lawsuits relating to usability and UI. Apple is hurling these lawsuits at Android licensees, rather than at Google itself. Google has refused to indemnify its partners, causing much nervousness.

But Motorola’s IP war chest does not help Google here. It is poor where it needs to be rich. It is no help at all in the Oracle battle, which (alas) as many people have forgotten today, is largely about copyrights not patents. The Motorola patent war chest could only help Google against Apple by opening up a new front, with retaliatory litigation which threatens every rival handset manufacturer. But have a look where Motorola patents’ strengths are: radio engineering and design. The most vital radio patents are already covered by existing patent pools.

Bear in mind, too, that Nokia has a patent portfolio that is as strong as – or stronger than – Motorola’s. Nokia executives believed it was so strong it would derail the Cupertino upstart. But when Nokia and Apple settled last month, Nokia barely came out ahead, with a one-off payment of €430m.

These radio and design patents of legacy manufacturers such as Motorola or Nokia really aren’t worth quite as much as their owners think they are.

Google has paid $12.5bn for a negotiating chip that appears to be almost impossible to redeem. In this light, the acquisition looks like panic, rather than a calm and carefully deliberated strategy. Google didn’t take IP seriously, bidding silly numbers (such as pi billion dollars [1]) for the Nortel patents. Then it realised it might be in trouble, and so went out and bought some IBM patents. Now it has splurged $12.5bn, truly believing the IP is going to be useful.

Hats off again to Motorola’s leadership, though. The company has been trying to sell its phone division for over three-and-a-half years [3] – and nobody wanted to know. “Who would buy a
loss-making mobile maker?” we asked in 2008.

Moto merely had to whisper to Google: “We can solve your patent woes,” and its shareholders were rewarded beyond their wildest hopes. Google’s offer price has a huge premium over the market’s valuation of what Motorola is worth.

With the right timing and the right sales seduction, it is amazing what the right mug punter can be prepared to pay.

End of Updates

Regarding the Apple vs. Android situation in the tablet space see:
Acer & Asus: Compensating lower PC sales by tablet PC push [March 29, 2011 with comprehensive update on Aug 2, 2011] which is showing Apple’s dominant position as well as serious technical and market problems with the original version of Honeycomb up to now
Update: Apple hikes 2H11 iPhone orders to over 56 million units [Aug 15, 2011]

Apple has upward adjusted the total order volume for iPhones,
consisting of iPhone 3GS, iPhone 4, iPhone 4 CDMA and iPhone 5, for the second half of 2011 by 12-13%, from 50 million units originally estimated at the end of the second quarter of 2011 to more than 56 million units. iPhone 5 will account for 25.5-26 million units, according to Taiwan-based supply chain makers.

iPhone 5 orders for the third quarter of 2011 have been lowered from seven million units to 5.5-6 million units, while fourth-quarter orders have been raised from 14 million units to more than 20 million units, the sources pointed out. Total orders for iPhone 3GS, iPhone 4 and iPhone 4 CDMA for the third quarter exceed 20 million units, and fourth-quarter orders have been
reduced to eight million units, the sources indicated.

Total shipments iPhones in 2011 will reach 95 million units, the sources noted. While Taiwan-based supply chain makers will benefit from increased component orders, they are expected to see pressure for price cuts from Apple, especially touch panel makers which account for the largest proportion of total production costs, the sources said.

What about Windows Phone 7 chances to compete with that?

The chances are suddenly becoming quite good as:

1. The Next Release of Windows Phone, codenamed Mango, is coming

Designed to be the best Windows Phone yet. Check out how the next Windows Phone release, codenamed Mango, will deliver smarter and easier mobile apps, web, and communication. Coming Fall 2011 to a Windows Phone mobile smartphone near you. Tons of new features and everything you love about Windows Phone 7.

More: Meet the next release of Windows Phone: Smarter and easier communications, apps, and web

Update: Mango phones to compete with new iPhone in September [July 29, 2011]

Branded handset vendors including HTC, Samsung Electronics, and LG Electronics all plan to launch Microsoft’s Mango-based smartphones in September, competing neck and neck with the forthcoming iPhone which is also slated for the same month, according to industry sources.

Other vendors to unveil Mango phones at the recently concluded Microsoft’s 2011 WPC (Worldwide Partner Conference) included Acer, ZTE and Fujitsu Toshiba, the sources indicated.

In cooperation with Fujitsu Toshiba, Japan-based mobile carrier KDDI has unveiled its first Mango phone, the IS12T, which features a Qualcomm MSM 8655 processor, 3.7-inch touch screen and 13.2-megapixel camera.

HTC is expected to roll out a number of Mango phones, powered by Qualcomm 1.5GHz single-core CPUs with display sizes ranging from 3.8- to 4.7-inch, the sources noted.

Nokia is expected to unveil its first batch of Mango phones at Nokia World 2011 to be held in October, at a time when fellow vendors have already heated up the market for Mango phones, which will probably be a good strategy for the handset vendor, commented the sources.

But the very latest legal problems with Android could become an even more decisive factor:

2. Android legal losses reportedly prompt exodus to Windows Phone and MeeGo [July 19, 2011]:

HTC’s recent legal loss in the ITC Apple patent case, along with Microsoft’s aggressive patent push amid Android OEMs, has reportedly left manufacturers increasingly wary of Google’s open-source OS. According to the 21st Century Business Herald, growing Chinese brands like ZTE and Huawei are looking to adopt Windows Phone Mango either as a placatory measure toward Microsoft or the first step in a transition from over-reliance on Android. However, the platform spat could also have an unlikely beneficiary: MeeGo.

Chinese analysts have pointed to the relatively closeness of MeeGo’s system kernel and that of Android, suggesting that both hardware and apps could be reasonably straightforward to migrate. MeeGo’s under-the-radar legal situation, and backer Intel’s extreme willingness to find new partners – now that Nokia has all but abandoned MeeGo in favor of Windows Phone – could make the platform a safer bet for spooked Android OEMs. Interestingly, rumors have already surfaced earlier in the year regarding the possibility of a ZTE handset powered by Intel processors.

However, just as Nokia has left the N9 to helm its fledgling MeeGo effort, more manufacturers are expected to look to Windows Phone. Although Microsoft charges a roughly $15-per-device licensing fee for Windows Phone 7, versus Google’s free distribution of Android, there are suggestions that should Apple, Oracle and others win their patent cases then $15-20 royalty fees may become commonplace for Android phones and tablets. HTC is already believed to pay Microsoft roughly $5 per Android device in licensing, while Samsung is supposedly being chased for up to $15 per Android device.

Of course, whether Apple would agree to licensing its technologies remains a sleeping-dragon issue. HTC has already announced that it has “alternate solutions” to the systems Apple alleges are infringed, perhaps in unspoken admission of the fact that the Cupertino company is likely more interested in squashing and hamstringing its rivals than it is in clawing license fees from them. Forcing Google back to the drawing board to identify and replace elements of Android found to overstep into iOS IP would certainly sap some of the platform’s current momentum.

DETAILED INFORMATION

Some key Microsoft sites to watch:

Joe Belfiore shows off Windows Phone Mango [May 23, 2011]

  1. A Web experience that goes beyond the browser [00:40 or separate excerpt]
    Windows Phone Mango has the power of Internet Explorer 9 built-in and the ability to localize the Web based on where you are. Corporate VP of Windows Phone, Joe Belfiore, demonstrates how Windows Phone Mango takes mobile internet to the next level.
    Bing serves you better than a hotel concierge. Use Local Scout to find cool restaurants, sights, and shops—then buy tickets or make reservations on the spot.
  2. A smarter approach to apps  [04:45 or separate excerpt]
    Smart app integration is built into Windows Phone Mango, so mobile apps show up when and where you need them. Corporate VP of Windows Phone, Joe Belfiore, demonstrates how to get the most from your mobile apps on Windows Phone Mango.
    Thousands of apps and counting. Rather listen to music? Create playlists, download podcasts, or track down that tune you can’t place with Music search. Live Tiles are more dynamic and informative in the next release of Windows Phone, codenamed Mango.
  3. Easier to connect and share [07:10 or separate excerpt]
    Windows Phone Mango communications features are organized around the person or group you want to interact with, not the app you have to use. Corporate VP of Windows Phone, Joe Belfiore, shows how access to mobile Facebook and Twitter has never been easier with Windows Phone Mango.
    Texting, Facebook chat, and Windows Live Messenger—now in one seamless experience. Create Groups to send your messages, videos, and pics to friends or family at warp speed. Groups and Threads coming to Windows Phone this fall, make it easier to stay connected with friends and family.

Remarks by Larry Page on the quarterly earning calls [July 14, 2011, see also Larry Page to boost Google even more as becoming CEO again [April 2, 2011]]

We have tremendous new businesses being viewed as “crazy”

Android
We actually have a new metric to report of 550,000 Android Devices activated a day!
That’s a HUGE number even by Google’s standards

Chrome
It’s the fastest growing browser
With over 160 million users

People rightly ask how we will monetize these businesses?

And of course I understand the need to balance the short term with the longer term needs because our revenues and growth serve as the engine that funds our innovation

But our emerging high usage products can generate huge new businesses for Google in the long run, just like search And we have tons of experience monetizing successful products over time

Well run technology businesses with tremendous consumer usage make a lot of money over the long term

I think about our products in three separate categories

First, there is search and our ads products, the core driver of revenue for the company. Nikesh and Susan are going to talk more about ads later in the call

Next, we have products that are enjoying high consumer success–YouTube, Android and Chrome. We are investing in these in order to optimize their long-term success

Then we have our new products–Google+ and Commerce and Local. We are are investing in them to drive innovation and adoption

Overall, we are focused on long term absolute profit and growth, as we have always been–and I will continue the tight financial management we have had in the last two years, even as we are making significant investments in our future

Exclusive: AT&T’s Ralph De La Vega on Which Smartphones Are Winning [June 4, 2011 — Excerpt 1 ]

AllThingsD: You guys have always offered the broadest range of smartphones. What are the trends?

De la Vega: They definitely are buying a lot less feature phones than they used to. We’ve seen a dramatic shift from feature phones and quick messaging devices, which were texting devices only, into smartphones. We love that.

Android is becoming more popular. Our Android business is doing very, very well. I think what’s happening is people have latched on to smartphones. I think over time there will be fewer and fewer feature phones.

There are a million Android devices. Do you want to see more customization? I know at Mobile World Congress you said that you would carry the HTC device that is very Facebook-centric. Do you want to see more devices like that, that are a little more specialized?

De la Vega: I think you are going to see more people put a different UI on top of Android, like HTC has very successfully done. I love what they have done with their UI. It’s very simple, but it is still Android. I hope others will step up to the plate and Android itself will get better.

What have been the positive surprises? We talked about how BlackBerry has had a rough time and with Windows Phone, even though you like the product, the volume hasn’t been maybe what you hoped for.

De la Vega: iPhone and Android. I’ve been very pleased with HTC. HTC has come out with the HTC Inspire and it is selling extremely well in our stores. I think HTC has done a great job with the user interface. You go in and it is distinctive and I think other players are going to have to step up to that. So, Android and Apple are really the hot products right now.

Microsoft’s Android Plan: Evil Genius Or Just Evil? [July 13, 2011]

Buried in all the intrigue surrounding the Nortel patent auction was an interesting tidbit: Microsoft did not have to bid on the patents, but they did anyway. Why? As far as I can tell, it’s one of two reasons. One is evil. The other is evil genius. Either Microsoft really wants to kill Android. Or, if Android continues to thrive, Microsoft wants to be the ones that make billions of dollars off of its success.

… they’d prefer that Android (which killed Windows Mobile) would die and Windows Phone would take it’s place. But the next best option is to catch a free ride on the Android train. Patent licensing deals already in place with HTC, General Dynamics, and others could mean revenues of over $1 billion by next year, as Forbes reports. And if they’re able to convince Samsung to sign one as well (which could effectively force every Android partner to sign one), we could be talking multiple billions of dollars of revenue each year.

Microsoft’s intent here is pure evil genius. “It’s not like Android’s free. Android has a patent fee. You do have to license patents,” Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer said last year. What he didn’t explicitly say is that you’d have to pay Microsoftand not Google for those patents. Think about this for a second: it’s entirely possible that Microsoft is going to end up making more money — perhaps significantly more — from Android than Google will. A year ago, such a statement would have seemed like a joke. But now it’s becoming reality. And it must be the ultimate nightmare for Google.

By being a part of the winning team, and not allowing Google to get Nortel’s patents, Microsoft put themselves in a win-win situation. If their continued threats to Google’s Android partners force those partners to reconsider their Android commitments, well there’s Windows Phone waiting with opened arms. If the threats lead to licensing agreements and the continued rise of Android, well there’s a huge pile of money from each participating OEM.

So no, Microsoft did not have to bid on the Nortel patents. But doing so may prove to be one of the best moves Microsoft has never made. And strangely enough, they have Apple to thank. Of course, they’re likely playing their own little game in this situation. Keep your enemies closer. Or keep them fighting.

Behind Microsoft’s $15 Samsung Android royalty claim [July 6, 2011]

Samsung is reported to be trying to lower the payment to $10.

The source for this report is the South Korean Maeil Business Newspaper, which quoted unnamed industry officials.

The Samsung story follows a week in which Microsoft named three OEMs as having agreed to license its patents for devices they make and sell running Android.

A fourth manufacturer was named on Tuesday this week, only this time Google’s Chromewas added to the Android mix. Microsoft said it had signed a deal with Wistron on tablets, mobile phones, e-readers and other consumer devices that use Chrome in addition to Android.

Microsoft is giving manufacturers two choices: pay up over the long term or incur years of high legal fees. You decide which your board or your investors like best.

That’s a tough choice given patent and IP cases can drag on for years and can cost billions of dollars. It’s a hard course of action to take when, given the fashion-driven nature of consumer devices, the product you’re battling over stops selling or gets canned. It’s an even tougher decision to fight cash-rich Microsoft alone while the maker of the thing you’re fighting over, Android, doesn’t want to step in to back you up.

Microsoft is putting other Android OEMs on notice that it’s coming after them for some easy patent money. That’s the first “win”.

The second? Microsoft will be hoping it can influence the courts in the Barnes & Nobel and Motorola cases – and in any future cases – by saying: if you don’t believe us on Android violating our patents, just look at all those who accepted we were right and agreed to pay up.

Nortel Announces the Winning Bidder of its Patent Portfolio for a Purchase Price of US$4.5 Billion [June 30, 2011]

Nortel Networks Corporation [OTC: NRTLQ] announced that it, its subsidiary Nortel Networks Limited (NNL), and certain of its other subsidiaries, including Nortel Networks Inc. and Nortel Networks UK Limited (in administration), have concluded a successful auction of all of Nortel’s remaining patents and patent applications. After a multi-day auction, a consortium emerged as the winning bidder with a cash purchase price of US$4.5 billion. The consortium consists of Apple, EMC, Ericsson [USD 340 million], Microsoft, Research In Motion and Sony.

The sale includes more than 6,000 patents and patent applications spanning wireless, wireless 4G, data networking, optical, voice, internet, service provider, semiconductors and other patents. The extensive patent portfolio touches nearly every aspect of telecommunications and additional markets as well, including Internet search and social networking.

“Following a very robust auction, we are pleased at the outcome of the auction of this extensive patent portfolio”, said George Riedel, Chief Strategy Officer and President of Business Units, Nortel. “The size and dollar value for this transaction is unprecedented, as was the significant interest in the portfolio among major companies around the world.”

The sale is subject to applicable Canadian and U.S. Court approvals which will be sought at a joint hearing expected to be held on July 11, 2011. Nortel will work diligently with the consortium to close the sale in the third quarter of 2011.

As previously announced, Nortel does not expect that the Company’s common shareholders or the NNL preferred shareholders will receive any value from Nortel’s creditor protection proceedings and expects that the proceedings will result in the cancellation of these equity interests.

On the very latest legal problems with Android:

ITC says HTC violating two of Apple’s patents [July 15, 2011]

The ITC administrative law judge’s initial determination was that HTC infringed on two of the 10 patents Apple had filed a complaint over in March 2010, according to an HTC statement. The ITC still needs to make a final ruling on the complaint. A loss carries the threat that HTC’s products would be banned from coming into the U.S., and Apple only needs to get a favorable decision on one of the patents.

The latest development is also a major blow to HTC, which has made strides in building market share and a brand with its line of Android-powered smartphones, many of which feature the company’s own Sense user interface. HTC was the first Android supporter that Apple went after, signalling the growing threat of Google’s software to iOS and the iPhone franchise.

On Monday, Apple had filed a second complaint with the ITC, claiming that five additional patents were being illegally used, including one used for scrolling operations, another for programmable tactile touch-screen displays, and one for a double-sided touch-sensitive panel, all of which are used in another complaint against Samsung.

The other relates to the ability to scroll, zoom, and rotate content on a screen, while the last references “portable computers.”

The five additional patents weren’t a part of this ruling.

HTC is considered the most vulnerable legally of the Android partners because it lacks a robust portfolio of patents that act as a potential shield. Earlier this month, HTC purchased S3 Graphics, largely because of a collection of patents that the ITC administrative law judge recently determined were used illegally by Apple.

Apple, meanwhile, is still in the middle of a similar patent fight against Samsung Electronics.

Apple Notches Patent Win Against HTC [July 18, 2011]

Apple Inc. netted a victory in its legal dispute with HTC Corp., as a U.S. International Trade Commission judge ruled the Taiwanese cellphone maker infringed two patents that Apple had cited in a March 2010 complaint to the agency.

The patents relate to multimedia processing technology and data detection technology that lets users dial a phone number that appears in their email. Apple originally alleged that ten of its patents were used in smartphones from HTC, which uses Google Inc.’s Android mobile operating system. The ITC ruling Friday only applied to four patents.

Apple, which helped reshape the mobile phone market with its hit iPhone, has been grappling with the rise of competing smartphones that run Android.

The ruling comes as a blow to HTC, and could have implications for other Android phones that offer similar functionality. Apple has squared off in other patent cases against smartphone makers such as Motorola Inc. and Samsung Electronics Co.

In a statement, a spokeswoman for HTC said it plans to appeal the decision. “We are confident we have a strong case for the ITC appeals process and are fully prepared to defend ourselves using all means possible,” she said, adding that “this is only one step of many in these legal proceedings.”

A spokesman for Apple reiterated its previous statement that “competitors should create their own original technology and not steal ours.”

Taiwan’s HTC rejects fresh Apple patent claim [July 11, 2011]

Taiwan’s leading smartphone maker HTC on Tuesday dismissed fresh patent infringement claims by US giant Apple as the legal battle between the rivals escalated.

Apple Monday filed a complaint against HTC with the US International Trade Commission (ITC) — which is already reviewing three other disputes between the two — over five cases linked to technology used in the iPad and iPhone.

It has also lodged a suit in a US District Court in Delaware.

“HTC is disappointed at Apple’s constant attempts at litigations instead of competing fairly in the market,” said HTC general counsel Grace Lei in a statement.

“HTC strongly denies all infringement claims raised by Apple in the past and present and reiterates our determination and commitment to protect our intellectual property rights,” she said.

Shares in HTC closed limit-down seven percent at Tw$915.0 ($31.5) in the Taipei bourse.

“Sentiment was hit by Apple’s fresh legal action as well as heavy losses in the international and regional markets,” said Alex Huang, an analyst at Mega International Investment Services.

HTC touts its own brand of smartphones and also makes handsets for a number of leading US companies, including the Nexus One unveiled by Apple rival Google.

Apple in March 2010 called on the ITC to investigate the Taiwan company over iPhone patents. That was followed months later by HTC filing for a probe into possible software patent abuse by the California-based firm.

Patent lawsuits are a regular occurrence among technology giants and Apple is currently being sued by Nokia for patent infringement. Apple has fired back a countersuit against the Finnish mobile phone giant.

And last week Apple hit back at an infringement claim by Samsung by calling for the South Korean company to be investigated.

— Dow Jones Newswires contributed to this story —

ITC judgment of HTC infringement of Apple patents arouses concern in China handset industry [AFP from Taipei, July 19, 2011]

The US International Trade Commission (ITC) has made an initial ruling that Taiwan-based smartphone vendor HTC has infringed two of Apple’s 10 patents related to iPhone, and this has caused concern among China-based vendors and white-box vendors of smartphones mainly because almost all of these smartphones are based on free and open-source Android, according to China-based 21st Century Business Herald.

Some of these vendors worry about the risk of becoming embroiled in patent infringement due to adoption of Android, and have drawn up three strategies to cope with potential impact. The three strategies are enhancement of support to Microsoft Mango operating system, promotion of smartphone customization by mobile telecom carriers for protection through binding common interest (especially carriers partnering with Apple and Microsoft), self-development of own operating systems, the source pointed out. China-based smartphone vendors Huawei Device and ZTE have planned to adopt Mango, the source indicated.

However, other vendors hold the opinion that China-based vendors are not so competitive and important in the global smartphone market as to become targets of Apple’s or Microsoft’s patent infringement lawsuits, the source indicated. They also think the ITC ruling will push up cost of adopting Android and this will benefit white-box vendors because it is impossible for them to pay royalty fees to Apple or Microsoft, the source noted.

Worldwide Partner Conference 2011 Information:

Steve Ballmer: Worldwide Partner Conference 2011 [speech transcript, July 11, 2011]

… Phones, we’ve gone from very small to very small, but it’s been a heck of a year. (Laughter.) And you’re going to see a lot of progress in that market competitively as we move forward.

… A year ago, Microsoft had no Windows Phone. In the last year, we’ve sold millions of phones. When we survey our users, nine out of ten of the people who bought a Windows Phone absolutely would recommend it to a friend. It’s certainly a very busy, active, competitive market. We’ve got a lot of work to do to break through. And yet, the people in the phone business believe us. We’ve already had over 20,000 applications built for Windows Phone in eight months. That’s a faster ramp than either Android or iPhone had. Nokia, who had a choice this year to bet on themselves, to bet on Android, or to bet on Windows Phone said for their bet the company strategy, they’re going with Windows Phone. They saw our roadmaps. They saw what we’ve done. They saw what we’re planning on doing. They’re pushing us. They’re pushing us to go broader geographically with Windows Phone. They’re pushing us to hit new price points with Windows Phone. But, they believe.

Others believe, too. Gartner and IDC both did predictions this year that said Windows Phone would be the No. 2 phone in the market by 2015. We’ve already shipped two major updates since we launched Windows Phone less than a year ago. The update that we just made available, “Mango,” which will be on phones this fall, has over 500, 500 new features. We know we’ve got a lot to do, but like the cloud, like NT many years back, we’re all in when it comes to mobile devices. And whether it’s phones or slates, or PCs, or console devices, we’re certainly pushing extremely far, and extremely fast.

Windows Phone 7 ‘Mango’ video demo YouTube [July 13, 2011]

The 3 main things about ‘Mango’:

  1. Connecting and sharing more easily with people
  2. Making apps smarter
  3. Taking the web beyond just the browser

Andrew Lees: Worldwide Partner Conference 2011 [speech transcript, July 12, 2011]

… there are some key trends that are fundamentally changing the world of devices. Now, they’re going to have a huge impact in the technology that we provide, and the solutions that you build. And it starts right at the core of the devices themselves, the core technologies.

we’re at an inflection point in Moore’s Law, where you can put all of the key things required to run a computer into a single chip, a system-on-a-chip. That means that you can have full PC compute power available in whichever form factor that you like. And that’s part of the reason why we’re seeing all of these different form factors.

… Another advantage of moving everything onto a single chip is that the price comes down dramatically. And, in fact, if you look even at the price of smartphones, a year ago all smartphones cost over $400 when they left their hardware manufacturer. Today, they’re down to about $200, and next year, a smartphone that can run something like Windows Phone 7 will actually be down to $100 to $150. So, you’re seeing a dramatic price reduction. …

… a lot of people have asked me, are we going to produce a phone that is a tablet? You know, are we going to use Windows Phone 7 to produce tablets? Well, that is in conflict with this strategy. We view a tablet as a sort of PC. We want people to be able to do the sorts of things that they expect on a PC on a tablet, things like networking to be able to connect to networks, and utilize networking tools, to get USB drives and plot them into the tablet. To be able to do things like printing, all of the things using Office, using all of the things you would expect from a PC and provide a hybrid about how you can do that with the tablet, as well.

And so at the Build Conference in September we will talk about how we can provide the bet of the PC and the tablet. And our strategy is not just limited to that. We are aiming to provide coherence and consistency across the PC, the phone, and the TV, particularly with Xbox. That’s through providing new types of scenarios, things like the way in which we make the user experience more common, as you saw yesterday in the demonstration of the user experience that you have on Windows 8, Windows Phone, and also on Xbox. But, also sharing key pieces of technology.

You see if you looked at the update that we’re providing to Windows Phone this year, we include a new browser. It’s Internet Explorer 9. It’s the same technology that we have on the PC. It’s not similar. It’s the same. So, we can take the advantages that we provide on the PC and immediately leapfrog and provide those across different types of devices.

This is very important to you, because it protects the investments that you have made with ustogether, and your customers have made in key elements of the technology, not only the device, but the infrastructure, the productivity, and the solutions that are used to feed those devices to enable those business and consumer scenarios.

So, for a phone the strategy here is not to provide a business phone, or a consumer phone, but to have them all be the same thing. There’s only one thing. And so there’s a few key things that we’re delivering with our phone strategy:

The first one is that we need to provide what end users desire and what they require. These personal scenarios like music and games, and communications, personal communications, social networking, build them into the phone, but also enabling a line of business solutions, business productivity, getting access to information inside of your company. And we may need to make sure that it works with the existing infrastructure and we provide the same tools for you to provide solutions to customers.

… what is “Mango” all about? Well, it’s about three main things. The first thing is communication, the second thing is about applications, and the third thing is the Internet.

You see, the phone has always been a communications device, but people today are communicating in lots of different ways. Communications, email, instant messaging, sharing pictures and laugh-out-louds, and social networking; even checking in is a type of communication. Rather than doing all of that in individual applications we build those core capabilities into the phone. It is the easiest and simplest way to communicate across a variety of different services, and to go from phone to phone, phone to PC, or phone to Xbox.

The second area is applications. The problem with applications is they all run in silos. So, with “Mango” we let applications break out of their box. It means that information from the application is available throughout the phone, and also, the application participates in the total experience.

Then finally with the Internet, the challenge here has always been to provide a desktop-type experience on the phone. And we deliver that by including things like Internet Explorer 9, in with “Mango.” But, we go one step further, and we say imagine if you could take the power of the Internet and deliver that beyond the browser, in a way that enables you scrape the Web so that you can quickly find answers and get things done, find information to be more productive. …

IDC recently did a study; first of all, they’re predicting that Windows Phone will be the number two smartphone in 2014. More about that in just a second. But what they’ve also done is looked at the revenue attach opportunities that there are for partners when they go through to provide infrastructure that feeds the phone, through things like management, security, and enabling these types of scenarios. The second thing is productivity through delivering things like Office 365, Office itself, et cetera, to make employees more productive, SharePoint, and then solutions, line-of-business solutions, that you develop. And the opportunity here is just mind-blowing. …

So, the message here is make sure that the phone is a key element of your strategy for how you’re providing productivity, infrastructure, and solutions for your customers.

The second area is with operators. And here what we want to do is provide the largest geo-footprint that we can. We’re going to more than double the size of the market that we have in “Mango.” We significantly increased the number of countries, and we will lower the price of the phones by half, increasing the total addressable market very, very dramatically.

And, of course, we’re doing that in partnership with the handset makers. There will be a whole new range of phones that are available this fall around “Mango” at different price points, with different features, particularly from the partners that we have already been working with, Samsung, HTC, and LG. But I’m also very excited about the partnership that we announced in February with Nokia, and this is where they’re going to move to exclusively rely on Windows Phone as their platform.

Microsoft Reveals New Windows Phone 7 Mango Handsets From Samsung, Acer, And More.flv [July 12, 2011]

Steve Guggenheimer: Worldwide Partner Conference 2011 [July 12, 2011]

[see the above video excerpt]
Andy talked about Acer, Fujitsu, and ZTE as new phone providers. I’m happy for the first time ever to have one of each of the phones up here and running. All of these are running live “Mango” builds. Acer brings one of the large OEM brands into the phone space on Windows 7. I think this Fujitsu brings a little bit of lightheartedness and life along with a waterproof design. Great capability in terms of the camera. And the ZTE brings one of the largest manufacturers in the phone space into the Windows Phone 7 world. So, as we see the technology move forward in Derek’s great demo, we’re going to have devices that take advantage of it.

Last, but not least, I’m very happy to show, this is the first time, this is the new Samsung that’s coming. It’s very thin, and light, and that’s the theme you’re going to see as the processors get thinner and better battery life, as the screens get better, we’re going to see phenomenal screen resolutions, great battery life, lightweight devices across the phone.

Fujitsu to launch first Windows Phone Mango handset in… August? [July 16, 2011]

Say it ain’t so — not only is a phone not delayed, it’s actually planning to come out earlier than its quoted launch window? This particular miracle is the exception much more than the rule, but Microsoft’s latest Windows Phone OS (nicknamed “Mango,”) might come out prior to the anticipated fall release. According to Nikkei, Fujitsu will offer the very first Mango device, a waterproof phone called the IS12T, on KDDI “as early as late next month.” The phone is to be sold for 30,000 – 40,000 yen ($378 – 505), a reasonable amount of coin for what will likely be a higher-end device. And — if it’s the same handset showcased at this week’s Worldwide Partner Conference — a pink version will be on sale. So, what’s more enticing: a Hello Kitty-flavored Windows Phone, or a Samsung Galaxy S II lookalike running Mango? It’s a tough call.

Microsoft slips Windows Phone Mango ready by September

Microsoft spoils WP7 Mango launch timing

Microsoft’s Imagine Cup account on Twitter inadvertently gave away timing for the first Windows Phone 7 Mango devices through a Twitter post(since deleted). The company promised that the finalists in the student competition would all get “Windows Phone 7.5 Mango.” Every winning student would get a phone with the new OS “by September.”

The statement doesn’t directly equate to a full, public launch of Mango in September, but it does hint that the OS will at least be ready by the same time. Microsoft is holding its Build developer event the same month and will probably want a complete OS, if not production hardware, to show.

Outside of the new misstep, Microsoft has only ever committed to fall for the new WP7 update. Its timing may depend on new hardware. This year, the hardware partners are expanding significantly and include very regional companies like Fujitsu and ZTE along with returning veterans like HTC, LG, and Samsung. [via Mobility Digest]

Microsoft President Announces New Partner Benefits and Underscores Opportunity With Windows Phone ‘Mango’ [feature story, July 12, 2011]

During a keynote address at WPC, Lees also emphasized that now is the time for partners to join and benefit from the expanding Windows Phone ecosystem.

Lees highlighted a number of new featurescoming to the next version of Windows Phone, code-named “Mango,” that build upon the unique design of Windows Phone and deliver integrated experiences with the company’s massive business user base of more than 750 million Microsoft Office users, 150 million Exchange users and 100 million licensed SharePoint users.

As the only phone to offer Microsoft Office Mobile and Outlook Mobile built-in, the next version of Windows Phone, available later this year, will enable greater productivity by allowing businesses to extend their IT infrastructure and utilize Microsoft cloud-based services such as Office 365while increasing opportunities for partners around the globe, Lees said.

At WPC, Lees unveiled a range of new benefits and opportunities for members of the Microsoft Partner Network (MPN).

Lees announced an exclusive discount program that makes it easier for MPN members worldwide to obtain and experience Windows Phone. The new discount program, which begins immediately, is available to all MPN memberswith at least one Microsoft competency.

Lees also unveiled a new MPN app for all Mobility Competency partners that enables them to easily access exclusive technical and sales contentfor Windows Phone while on the go.

“When people try Windows Phone, they love it,” Lees says. “But it’s more than selling phones. Our goal is to equip partners with what they need to be successful, giving them the guidance and tools they need to bring compelling experiences to their customers.”

As a specific benefit to Mobility Competency partners, Lees announced a special MPN logo, available today, that partners may use to distinguish their apps from others in the Windows Phone Marketplace and App Hub.

Lees also announced that the next round of MPN updates in the fall will include a new way for partners that build mobile apps to attain the Mobility Competency certification by developing an app that meets specific business criteria.

For another view of the partner news shared about Windows Phone during WPC 2011, view the Windows Phone Mobility Partners video of Microsoft Partners discussing the opportunities for building Windows Phone applications and solutions.

Mango Provides Sweet Opportunities for Windows Phone Partners [July 12, 2011]

[​Author: Paul Bryan – Sr. Director, Product Management, Business Experience on the Windows Phone team.]

I’m at Worldwide Partner Conference (WPC) in Los Angeles today, which this year is hosting almost 15,000 Microsoft Partners from around the world. Today, Windows Phone Division President Andy Lees addressed attendees on the opportunities for partners with Windows Phone. It’s an exciting time for the Windows Phone business and we’re thrilled to see the great things people are saying about our next major update – code-named Mango. Take the great new product capabilities coming in Mango, combined with new partner benefits just announced and there’s never been a better time to join the rapidly growing Windows Phone ecosystem.

Expanding Windows Phone Partner Ecosystem

We launched Windows Phone 7 last fall with the help of our partners and have seen the ecosystem momentum build rapidly ever since. We’ve received great customer feedback about their experiences across the range of devices being offered by our hardware and mobile operator partners. More than 42,000 developers worldwide have registered with the Windows Phones Marketplace. To date, these developers have added more than 22,000 apps to the Windows Phone Marketplace, greatly expanding the range of experiences for Windows Phone customers. From hot consumer apps like Angry Birds, ESPN Scorecenter and Netflix, to business-focused apps like CWR Mobile CRM 2011, and PushBI, the Marketplace is growing stronger each day with the help of our partners.

Additionally, with our agreement with Nokia finalized, work is well underway to deliver Nokia phones on the Windows Phone platform before the end of the year.

Sweet, Sweet Mango

There’s a lot of buzz around our upcoming Mango update, which will add hundreds of new features and capabilities that build upon the unique design and integrated experiences of Windows Phone. If you’re a partner building solutions with Exchange and SharePoint, Mango adds a number of new Outlook and Office Mobile productivity features bringing even more value to your solutions on Windows Phone. Mango will also add built-in support for Office 365 and a free Lync Mobile app, making communication and collaboration a snap for companies whose infrastructure is on premises or in the cloud. Mango will also offer added functionality for organizations to make the most efficient use of resources, allowing IT departments to use existing infrastructure to manage phones or distribute their own applications using Targeted App Distribution in Marketplace.

For developers, Mango adds a range of new capabilities for delivering richer more compelling apps. In addition to support for SQL Linq, sockets, and background processing, Mango brings new ways for app developers to make the user experience more engaging and seamless through Live Tiles and integration with Bing search services.

Not only do these new features in Mango extend the premier productivity smartphone experience, but they’ll help partners to grow their business. In fact, a new study by IDC study suggests that by 2012 Windows Phone has the potential to generate annual attached software and service revenue of nearly $300 per Windows Phone device for partners. In other words, Windows Phone for the long-term is a huge opportunity for partners to attract new customers and grow their business.

windowsphone1.PNGFor app and solution developers, a familiar platform and enhanced development tools in Mango will enable partners to create and distribute new solutions and applications. Partners will continue to leverage familiar tools such as Silverlight, the XNA Framework, Visual Studio 2010 and Expression Blend, to bring new apps to market quickly. Some good examples of this are Yellowbook and REALTOR.com. Additionally, Yammer announced today they will be bringing their enterprise social networking app to the Windows Phone Marketplace later this year.

We also recently released the Windows Phone Mango Beta 2 Developer Tools so developers could try out the new capabilities and get a jump on building and testing new apps for Mango.

Revamped Mobility Competency and Added Discounts for Microsoft Partners

As part of WPC, we are happy to announce several new benefits designed to help partners experience Windows Phone and promote their Windows Phone expertise to customers.

First, we’re making it even easier for partners to obtain and experience Windows Phones with a new Windows Phone Discount Program. Partners with at least one Microsoft Competency can take advantage of exclusive discounts from mobile operators and hardware vendors for all of their employees worldwide.

We’re also making it easier for partners to stay informed through a new MPN app for Windows Phone, which provides access to exclusive technical and sales content.

windowsphone2.jpg

In addition, we’re revamping the Mobility Competency certification. Partners can earn the Microsoft Mobility Competency for their organizations through newly revised Windows Phone training. And for the first time, beginning with the next round of MPN updates this fall, partners will be able to obtain the Microsoft Mobility Competency certification for their company by developing an app that meets specific criteria as a business application. Through the Mobility Competency, partners can become and stay proficient in Windows Phone app development and solution deployment. They will also be able to utilize a special MPN logo, available immediately, to distinguish their apps in the Windows Phone Marketplace and App Hub.

Exciting times indeed! With new partners, new products, new platform capabilities, new partner benefits and more great apps and solutions being delivered every day, it is a great time to be part of the Windows Phone ecosystem and take advantage of the tremendous opportunity ahead.

For information about the opportunities with Windows Phone Mango or the Marketplace, visit our Partner site. To view sessions from Worldwide Partner Conference, visit here. For more information, we encourage you to check out this feature on Microsoft News Center.

To learn more about the Windows Phone partner news shared today, we encourage you to check out this video that features Microsoft Partners discussing the opportunities for building applications and solutions for Windows Phone.

The Weekly Wrap: Marketplace tops 25,000, Windows Phone goes Hollywood, Garmin’s new app [Windows Phone Blog, July 8, 2011]

Marketplace tops 25,000 While estimates differ, unofficial Marketplace counters now peg our app inventory at somewhere north of 25,000, as multiple bloggers noted last week. Regardless of whose numbers you trust, the bottom line is that Marketplace is going gangbusters. But buzz about the overall app count overshadowed what I think was the week’s most exciting news: the boatload of brand-name apps that poured in. WPCentral counts at least 52 marquee titles in the last two weeks. Liveside.net, meanwhile, compiled its own handy list (complete with download links) of standouts. Check it out

Devices’ information:

WP7 Mango: HTC Eternity Windows Phone 7 Specs and Release Date [Jul 13, 2011]

The images leaked online provides glimpses of new HTC Windows Phone 7, currently being called ‘Eternity’. HTC Eternity will land as one of the first most smart phones running Microsoft Windows Phone 7 Mango (WP7) operating system.

HTC reconfirmed its commitment to Windows Phone 7 based smartphones in a statement at Global Technology Summit in Paris by HTC Head European Nations, Florian Seiche to to Reuters that they will keep developing Windows Phone 7 smart phones like HTC Eternity and HTC Omega, despite of Microsoft Nokia deal:

It will not change our commitment to Microsoft. With a new player entering, it should actually help to elevate the relevance of that platform. We actually feel that we should be able to benefit. The long-term opportunity with Nokia entering will definitely bring Windows back to critical mass.

There were few news leaks back in May 2011, which failed to attract much attention, but this time there are enough details to be given weight. The new HTC Eternity appears to have a big 4.7 inches WVGA Super LCD display screen, bigger than on the Samsung Infuse 4G. So if a large screen is what you wish for, the HTC Eternity might be the phone you want to wait on. Other than that, HTC Eternity seems to have a typical spec sheet for a mid-to-high level device, beside running Windows Phone 7 (WP7 Mango).

HTC Eternity is said to have a single core 1.5GHz processor, 4.7 inch screen with WVGA resolution, 8P autofocus camera with dual-LED 720p video recording capabilities, 1.3 MP front camera and 16GB internal memory. There was also a DLNA, Bluetooth, WiFi, GPS, 1650mAh battery. Here under is the HTC Eternity Windows Phone 7 complete specs:

WP7 Mango: HTC Eternity Windows Phone 7 Specs
Microprocessor Chipset CPU:Clock: 1500 MHz
CPU: Qualcomm Snapdragon MSM8255
Memory,_Storage+capacity RAM+capacity: 512 MiB
ROM:capacity: 14.9 GiB
Display Display Type: Super LCD , 16777216 scales Display:Diagonal: 4.7 ”
Display:Resolution: 480 x 800
Sound Microphone(s): stereo
Loudspeaker(s): Supported
Audio-Output: 3.5mm
Cellular Phone Cellular_Networks: GSM850, GSM900, GSM1800, GSM1900, UMTS900, UMTS2100 Cellular-Data-Links: CSD, GPRS, EDGE, UMTS, HSDPA, HSUPA, HSPA+
Call Alert: 64 -chord melody
Vibrating+Alert: Supported
Speakerphone-: Supported
Control+Peripherals Positioning:Device: Multi-touch screen Primary Keyboard: Not supported Directional+Pad: Not supported
Scroll-Wheel: Not supported
Interfaces Expansion:Slots: Not supported USB: USB 2.0 client, 480Mbit/s
micro-USB Bluetooth: Bluetooth 2.1 + EDR Wireless LAN: 802.11b, 802.11g, 802.11n Infrared:Gate: Not supported
Multimedia+Telecommunication Analog Radio Receiver: FM radio (87.5-108MHz) with RDS Digital+Media-Broadcast_Tuner: Not supported
Satellite Navigation Built-in-GPS module: Supported Complementary GPS-Services: Assisted GPS
Built-in-Digital-Camera Main-Camera: 8 MP Autofocus-(AF): Supported Optical+Zoom: 1 x Macro_Mode: Supported Built-in Flash: mobile light (LED) Secondary-Camera: 1.3 MP
Additional Details Built-in-accelerometer: Supported Battery: removable Battery Capacity: 1650 mAh

WP7 Mango: HTC Eternity Windows Phone 7 Release Date

Release Date and Price of the new Windows Mobile 7 based HTC Eternity are yet officially disclosed by the HTC, but reportedly HTC Eternity will be released in fall 2011.

HTC to tap tablet boom with many models [Reuters from Paris, May 17, 2011]

Smartphone maker HTC plans to roll out a range of different tablet computers to gain a foothold in the fast-growing market, a company executive said on Tuesday.

The global market for tablets, started only last year with Apple’s iPad, will likely grow to 108 million devices next year, compared with just 17.6 million in 2010, according to research firm Gartner.

“I really believe that the tablet market is really going to be a big market in the future and this is just the start,” HTC Europe head Florian Seiche told the Reuters Global Technology Summit.

“In five years’ time, schools will have tablets probably instead of physical notebooks. I think that’s going to be such a massive wave of additional penetration in society… I think we can’t even guess the potential.”

Seiche said HTC’s first tablet, the Flyer, had made a good start in terms of sales.

“It’s early days but we feel very good about it,” he said.

NOKIA BOOST

HTC should benefit from Nokia’s deal to start using Microsoft’s software in its smartphones as this will boost Windows’ share of the smartphone market, Seiche said.

“It will not change our commitment to Microsoft,” he said. “With a new player entering, it should actually help to elevate the relevance of that platform … we actually feel that we should be able to benefit.”

Microsoft’s mobile platform has rapidly lost appeal among consumers who have instead picked iPhones, BlackBerrys and phones running on Google’s Android platform, which became market leader in the last quarter. It now controls only around 3 percent of the smartphone market.

The long-term opportunity with Nokia entering will definitely bring Windows back to critical mass,” Seiche said at the summit at the Reuters office in Paris.

HTC uses Microsoft software, although its growth has mostly come from smartphones using Google’s Android platform.

“Android has had tremendous growth and we believe that this trend is going to continue, definitely,” Seiche said. “Android’s growth … is going to expand further to Asia and the emerging markets.”

Seiche added that he expects HTC to roll out its first mobile phone using near-field communications (NFC) technology for mobile payments within the next 12 months.

NFC is a short-range way to swap data wirelessly, meaning mobile phones can become a way to pay for goods, store e-tickets or swap photos and business cards.

Samsung GT-i8350 with Windows Phone Emerges [July 11, 2011]

South Korean mobile phone maker Samsung Electronics is reportedly gearing up for the launch of a new Windows Phone handset, one that would become the direct successor of the company’s Omnia 7 handset.

Samsung was named among the launch partners for Microsoft’s Windows Phone Mango OS, and we knew that the vendor was preparing the release of new devices based on the platform, but no specific info on the handset was available until now.

However, a user agent profile (UAProf) of the Samsung GT-i8350 shows that the company might have this device included among the first series of Mango-powered handsets.

What the said agent string shows is that this mobile phone will arrive on the market with the IE9 browser on board, which leaves little room for speculation when it comes to the operating system it would be based on.

Windows Phone Mango was unveiled previously this year with the new Internet Explorer Mobile 9 on board, and this is the platform the Samsung’s GT-i8350 will land on shelves with.

Moreover, the said UAProf (found by nanapho) unveils that the new device will arrive on the market with a screen capable of boasting a 800 x 480 pixel resolution, and that it would sport Bluetooth 2.1 and HSPA+ connectivity capabilities as well.

As UnwiredView notes in a recent article, the new mobile phone was already added to the handset vendor’s website, though its page does not offer any info at the moment.

Last year, Samsung came to the market with more than just one Windows Phone device, and chances are that it would launch more than one such device this year as well.

This means that Samsung GT-i8350 will soon be accompanied by more new Windows Phone devices on the company’s website, most probably targeted at various segments of the market.

However, it remains to be seen what hardware Samsung would pack inside these mobile phone since nothing was confirmed on it for the time being.

Samsung GT-i8350 may be the WP7 Mango-running successor to the Omnia 7 [July 11, 2011]

Steve Ballmer has said that a new wave of Windows Phones is due out for release before the end of this year, and as we’re approaching that deadline, the leaks are starting to come in. Today we have what is probably going to be one of Samsung’s new WP7 handsets, one to run the Mango update (which will likely be called either WP 7.1 or 7.5) from day one.

Japanese site Nanapho has uncovered a user agent profile (UAProf) of the Samsung GT-i8350, and apparently its Web browser will be IE9. Now, those following Microsoft stuff closely know that Mango is the first version of WP7 to come with what the company is branding IE9, so that can only mean that this new device will run just that.

The GT-i8350 will have an 800×480 resolution screen (which is the standard resolution for WP7), and will come with support for Bluetooth 2.1, and HSPA+.

The i8350 has also received its very own (blank, for now) page in Samsung’s UK support database, pretty much confirming that it’s real. You can see a screengrab of that above.

WMPU speculates that this may be the successor to the Omnia 7, Samsung’s first WP7 device released last year, which has the model number GT-i8700. However, that may not be the case. The i8350 may just be a lower-end device to accompany that successor onto the market. This is also pure speculation, but let’s keep in mind that Samsung likes to increment model numbers for sequels (successor devices). So, for example, the Galaxy S II is GT-i9100 whereas the original Galaxy S was GT-i9000. If Samsung hasn’t just changed that strategy, logically it means that the i8350 should be part of the WP7 lineup, yes, but not a successor to the Omnia 7. Perhaps the Omnia 7 will get a higher-specced successor that will be called i8750, or i8800. That would make sense.

Then again, these are all just (almost) random numbers anyway, so Samsung may have just chosen to do things differently this time. We’ll let you know as soon as we find out for sure.

New images of ZTE’s Mango device destined for China [July 16, 2011]

During WPC11, we saw the first glimpse of ZTE’s entry into the Windows Phone field. Now a few more images have come forth, posted by ZTE’s Dr. Luo Zhongsheng, who evidently is their head of smartphone development.

The phone can be seen sporting some art on the start screen as well as localized Chinese language support. In addition, it looks to have Weibo built in instead of Twitter, which is blocked in China. Weibo is described as “a Chinese microblogging site akin to a hybrid of Twitter and Facebook…”. The device itself looks like a prototype as opposed to the more polished version demonstrated at WPC, though as NanaPho suggests perhaps different color schemes will be offered. No other device specs are currently known.

This coincides nicely with the leak about the Toshiba-Fujitsu phone release in August, suggesting that indeed these phones are coming earlier than expected an the Asian market is gearing up for release.

Update: Evidently it’s not Weibos that’s built, but rather a standalone app running the service.

Fujitsu IS12T with Windows Phone 7 Mango coming next month [July 18, 2011]

At Microsoft’s 2011 Partner Conference , the company had a handful of unreleased smartphones on display running the Windows Phone 7 Mango update. The quartet included models from Samsung, Acer, ZTE, and Fujitsu, and it was thought that the phones would launch sometime in September when Mango is due to be released. The Fujitsu IS12T, however, appears to be ahead of schedule and could be the first to market — launching in August on Japanese carrier KDDI.

Details on the new smartphones remain scant so far, though the Samsung SGHi937 looks an awful lot like a Galaxy S II — one of the most popular non-iPhones in the world right now — running Windows Phone 7 instead of Android. If the internals remain unchanged, then we know exactly what kind of hardware the SGHi937 will pack.

When it comes to the Fujitsu IS12T, there’s not quite as much information. The IS12T won’t sport a massive display like the Samsung’s 4.5″ — instead, it’s a more modest 3.7″ screen that’s expected. There’s also a very good chance the IS12T will feature a 12 megapixel camera, based on its model number, Fujitsu’s past 12MP offerings, and the company’s statement that the phone will feature “great capabilities in terms  of the camera.” In addition to a stellar camera, the IS12T is going to be waterproof.

While snapping high-quality digital pics in the rain is cool, it’s even more amazing to think that a manufacturer may actually be releasing a smartphone ahead of schedule for once — instead of repeatedly delaying its launch. Pricing has yet to be revealed for the IS12T, but it’s safe to say this won’t be one of those $100 Windows Phone 7 devices Microsoft talked about.

More at WM Power User and Nikkei

Acer reveals its first Windows Phone Mango device [May 31, 2011]

Acer W4Windows Phone
Acer has revealed its first Windows Phone Mango device at Computex this week.

The device, expected later this year, will be named the Acer W4. Acer’s Windows Phone includes a 5PM camera, 8GB storage and DLNA support. Chinese blog zol.com.cn published images of the device on Tuesday after discovering it on display at Computex this week. Microsoft previously revealed that Acer was a new hardware parter for Windows Phone Mango devices during a VIP event last week.

Acer’s W4 specifications:

  • 3.6-inch WVGA
  • Screen Resolution: 480×800
  • 5mp Camera with auto-focus
  • HSPA 850/1900 or 900/2100 /GSM quad band 850/900/ 1800/ 1900 MHz Support
  • Qualcomm MSM8255 running at 1GHz
  • Wifi, Bluetooth 2.1
  • DLNA Support (DMC)
  • Windows Phone Mango
  • 8GB Storage

Acer W4 Windows Phone Mango device

Image credits: zol.com.cn

What a difference from the current offering!

From Buy your phone [US] site and HTC’s past press release:

Vendor and model:

Date:

Highlights:

Display:

Processor:

Carrier(s) and store(s):

HTC HD7

Friday, December 03, 2010 4:51 PM

•Seamlessly brings together work, play and family.

•Features the largest screen on a Windows Phone.

•Enjoy Netflix, T-Mobile TV, and Slacker Radio.

480×800

(4.3”)

1 GHz Qualcomm QSD8250

US: T-Mobile, Microsoft Store, Amazon.com, Best Buy, Radio Shack, Walmart

Singapore [Oct 12, 2010], Malaysia [Oct 13, 2010], Hong Kong [Nov 11, 2010], Australia: Telstra [March 29, 2011]

HTC Arrive™
[= HTC 7 Pro]

Friday, March 18, 2011 9:58 AM

•Sliding full QWERTY keyboard

•Tilt-up display

•5MP camera and 720p HD camcorder

[access to Zune, Xbox LIVE and Netflix]

480×800

(3.6”)

1 GHz Qualcomm QSD8250

US: Sprint, Microsoft Store, Amazon.com, Best Buy, Walmart

Samsung Focus™

Sunday, August 01, 2010 5:50 PM

•Thinnest, lightest Windows Phone.

•Brilliant 4″ Super AMOLED WVGA screen.

•Audience Noise Reduction for crystal clear calls.

480×800

(4.0”)

1 GHz Qualcomm QSD8250

US: AT&T, Amazon.com, Best Buy, Costco, Walmart

LG Quantum™

Friday, October 08, 2010 3:52 PM

•Full QWERTY keyboard for faster, easier texting.

•16 GB internal memory.

•Play To (or DLNA) software that lets you easily transfer photos & videos to your home entertainment system.

480×800

(3.5”)

1 GHz

Snapdragon  [Qualcomm QSD8250]

US: AT&T, Amazon.com, Costco, Walmart

HTC Surround™

Monday, October 04, 2010 2:51 PM

•Slide-out speakers with SRS Dolby Mobile surround sound.

•Surround yourself with entertainment, wherever you go.

•Kickstand for hands-free viewing.

16 GB internal memory.

480×800

(3.8”)

1 GHz Qualcomm QSD8250

US: AT&T, Amazon.com, Best Buy, Radio Shack, Walmart

Dell Venue Pro

Sunday, September 26, 2010 3:58 PM

•Vertical QWERTY keyboard provides quick access.

•Scratch and shatter resistant screen.

•Available on the T-Mobile network, exclusively from Dell.

480×800

(4.1”)

1 GHz Qualcomm QSD8250

US: Dell

HTC HD7S [largely = HD7 but with a Super LCD screen, it is exclusive to AT&T in the USA ]

Tuesday, May 17, 2011 10:13 AM

•High resolution 4.3” WVGA Super LCD Screen

•Slim, premium design with kickstand

•5 MP camera with auto focus and dual LED flash (records 720p HD video)

•Voice-activated, location-aware Bing search engine

480×800

(4.3”)

1 GHz Qualcomm QSD8250

US: AT&T, Amazon.com, Best Buy, Walmart

HTC Trophy™

Thursday, May 19, 2011 1:09 PM

•3.8” touchscreen for optimal gaming [harnesses the power of Xbox LIVE® for epic gaming]

•HD video

•5 MP camera with autofocus and flash

480×800

(3.5”)

1 GHz

Qualcomm QSD8250

US: Verizon, Microsoft Store, Amazon.com, Best Buy

Singapore [Oct 12, 2010]

wikipedia HTC HD7: The HD7 shares nearly all its specifications with its older Windows Mobile 6.5-running brother, the HD2, including the screen resolution and size (4.3 inches diagonal and WVGA 800×400 resolution).

HTC GOES BIG WITH MICROSOFT; LAUNCHING FIVE NEW WINDOWS PHONE 7 SMARTPHONES [Oct 11, 2010]: … HTC 7 Surround, HTC 7 Mozart, HTC 7 Trophy, HTC 7 Pro and HTC HD7 …

HTC 7 Mozart („a phone powered by high-fidelity audio”): Singapore [Oct 12, 2010], Malaysia [Oct 13, 2010], Hong Kong [Nov 11, 2010]

From List of Windows Phone devices (wikipedia):

Product
Release Date
System on Chip
Memory (RAM)
Display
Weight (g)
Carrier
Notes
Dell Venue Pro
November 8, 2010
QSD8250
512MB
4.1″, WVGA 800×480 AMOLED
165
AT&T, T-Mobile USA, Rogers (Pending)
Has vertical slide-out keyboard
HTC 7 Pro
January 17, 2011
QSD8250
576MB
3.6″, WVGA
185
Sprint, US Cellular, Cellular South
CDMA: HTC Arrive
Has slide-out keyboard
HTC 7 Surround
October 21, 2010
QSD8250
448MB
3.8″, WVGA
165
AT&T, TELUS
Has slide-out speaker
HTC 7 Trophy
October 21, 2010
QSD8650
576MB
3.8″, WVGA
140
Vodafone UK, Vodafone Australia, Vodafone NZ, Verizon
LCD, 8GB, Yellow back on International version.
SLCD, 16GB, Red back on Verizon.
HTC 7 Mozart
October 21, 2010
QSD8250
576MB
3.7″, WVGA
130
Orange U.K., Telstra
Camera: 8 megapixels + Xenon flash
HTC HD7
October 21, 2010
QSD8250
576MB
4.3″, WVGA
162
T-Mobile USA, O2 UK, Bell
Largest screen on a WP7 device
LG Optimus 7
October 21, 2010
QSD8250
512MB
3.8″, WVGA
157
TELUS, Vodafone UK, Optus
DLNA
LG Quantum
October 21, 2010
QSD8250
512MB
3.5″, WVGA
178
AT&T, Bell
Has slide-out keyboard
Samsung Focus
October 21, 2010
QSD8250
512MB
4.0″, WVGA Super AMOLED
115
AT&T, Rogers
Storage may be expanded with a compatible microSD card
Samsung Omnia 7
October 21, 2010
QSD8250
512MB
4.0″, WVGA Super AMOLED
138
Orange UK, 3 UK, Optus

Developers’ information:

Developer News: Beta Mango Tools Available Today [Windows Phone Developer Blog, July 8, 2011]

Today Microsoft is showing off many of the new features coming in the next version of Windows Phone, code named Mango. We highlighted a few features like hardware accelerated IE9 with HTML5, increased multitasking capabilities and the addition of Twitter to the People hub at Mobile World Congress in February. During April’s MIX11 event, we gave developers a deep dive into new Mango capabilities and opportunities and promised new tools in May.

I’m pleased to announce that the beta release of the Windows Phone Developer Tools that support Mango will be available for download today, in just a few hours! We also have some exciting news to share about Windows Phone Marketplace.

First the tools. Developers can use this beta release to get ready for the upcoming Windows Phone OS release. The new application platform capabilities coming in Mango deliver the top features you have asked for:

– Background processing- New profiler and emulator for testing- Use of Silverlight + XNA together- Silverlight 4- IE9 web browser control- Live Tile enhancements: use of back of tiles and ability to update Live Tiles locally – Deep linking into apps from notifications and Live Tiles- Additional sensors; direct camera access, compass & gyro- Fast application switching- Networking / sockets for communications- Local SQL database for structured storage- Access to calendar and contacts for apps

You also asked us for new ways to keep customers engaged with your apps, so we’ve taken steps in Mango that will help keep great apps front and center. The Mango release allows you to create a new wave of apps and games that appeal to consumers by further extending the popular Windows Phone design system. Mango also helps apps remain engaged with the customer and contextually relevant through integration with the Bing Search, Pictures and Music & Video experiences, as well as added functionality for the Live Tiles that live on the Start screen. For example, with Bing Search, when searching for products, movies, events or places, the customer will see among the results a link to a “Quick Card” for that specific search. That card contains an “apps” panel (formerly known as the “extras” panel).  This panel will display both installed and non-installed apps associated with that search query term. This is just one example of how the app experience is different on a Windows Phone in ways that give you a unique opportunity.

With Mango we are not only improving the way we merchandise your apps within our Marketplace, we are also exposing your apps as a part of our customers’ everyday experiences. You want more ways for consumers to find your apps; and consumers have been raving about the Windows Phone design. In short, we are listening and investing accordingly. You should expect us to continue to deliver technology and services unlike anyone else.

Below is simple graphic to help show how new tools and resources are unlocking additional developer capabilities: image

Another way we’re growing the Windows Phone ecosystem is by expanding geographically. With Mango, Windows Phone Marketplace will expand from 16 to 35 countries where both app submission and app purchase are supported locally.

Today Adding with Mango
Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Ireland, Italy, Mexico, New Zealand, Singapore, Spain, Switzerland, UK, USA Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, Greece, Hungary, India, Japan, Korea (South), Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Russia, South Africa, Sweden, Taiwan

In addition, Windows Phone Marketplace now supports app submission in China, Israel and Luxembourg. For those countries that are not yet locally supported by Marketplace, we continue to expand the Global Publisher Program we announced in early March. Today, developers in 69 Middle Eastern and African countries can submit applications via Yalla Apps. App Port supports 13 countries in East Asia. APPA Market is available to developers in 19 central European countries. And both Device7 and MTel service China.

To better reach customers worldwide, I’m also pleased to announce today that Mango will offer a new web version of Windows Phone Marketplace. This will enable customers to shop, share and buy/download apps and games from any PC and send them directly to their phones. You get more visibility for your apps with no extra work. The Mango Marketplace will bring several new features and capabilities that Todd Brix will be expanding upon here a little later.

We’re extremely grateful for all that the Windows Phone developer community has accomplished in a few short months and we’re excited to see what you can do with Mango. Today we offer more than 17,000 apps, and with 42,000 registered developers and counting, plenty more are on the way. We recognize that the strength of our developer community and the Windows Phone ecosystem is a big reason why analysts are so optimistic about the Windows Phone ecosystem in predicting sales of hundreds of millions of units by 2015. With the release of beta tools for Mango, we hope we’ve taking another big step toward giving you exactly what you want from a platform so that you are inspired to create the next generation of amazing Windows Phone apps and games. In the coming weeks we will announce the date when App Hub will begin accepting Mango apps for certification.

Whether you’re a new or existing Windows Phone developer, now is the perfect time to take the next step and be what’s next in mobile. The checklist is simple:

Thank you, Matt Bencke General Manager, Windows Phone Developer and Marketplace Experiences

More information:
Windows Phone SDK 7.1 Beta2[June 29, 2011]

The new Windows Phone SDK 7.1 Beta2 (renamed from WPDT) can be used to develop Applications for both 7.0 and 7.1 version of Windows Phone OS releases.

The Windows Phone SDK includes the following

  • Windows Phone SDK 7.1 (Beta2)
  • Windows Phone Emulator (Beta2)
  • Windows Phone SDK 7.1 Assemblies (Beta2)
  • Silverlight 4 SDK and DRT
  • Windows Phone SDK 7.1 Extensions for XNA Game Studio 4.0
  • Microsoft Expression Blend SDK Preview for Windows Phone 7.1
  • WCF Data Services Client for Window Phone 7.1
  • Microsoft Advertising SDK for Windows Phone 7

SketchFlow Template for Windows Phone [June 9, 2011]

The SketchFlow Template for Windows Phone 7 adds a new SketchFlow template for Expression Blend* users that makes creating a prototype of a Windows Phone app quick and easy. * Please note: To use the SketchFlow Template for Windows Phone 7 you need to be using Blend 4 with SketchFlow enabled (this is the version of Blend that comes with both Expression Studio 4 Ultimate and Visual Studio 2010 Ultimate) you also need to have the Mango developer tools  Windows Phone SDK 7.1 Beta2 for Windows Phone installed. 2011-06-09 09h43_52   2011-06-09 09h44_47   2011-06-09 09h47_25   2011-06-09 09h47_52 2011-06-09 10h01_27

Developers Get Goody Basket Full of Mangos [Windows Phone Developer Blog, June 29, 2011]

Over the course of the past six months, the Windows Phone team has been working very hard to ensure that there is a great experience for all of our customers with the upcoming Mango release of the Windows Phone OS. That means educating consumers, empowering developers, and working closely with our hardware and carrier partners to bring it all together with great devices.

Just last week, the first reviews of Mango started landing in press and blogs and the early sentiment is very encouraging. People get that Mango is a big step that dramatically enhances the core experiences that we all rely on our phones for every day; messaging and communication, use of any of our more than 20,000 great apps and games, and great use of the Web. AllThingsD wrote that the OS “is a mix of elegance and whimsy that’s a treat to use.” Gizmodo went so far as to say that Mango feels “complete.” However, it was The Daily that offered some bigger picture perspective in noting that, “it took Android nearly two years before hitting critical mass and three years to begin carving out a significant chunk of the smartphone market.” We’ve got a great product in Windows Phone and we feel we’re right on track, in fact we’ve already seen reports showing that in only a few months we’ve surpassed the more established RIM marketplace in the number of real apps available to customers.

Since beginning this journey with the new Windows Phone developer platform, we have aspired to be transparent, easy to build for, and easy to partner with.

We know that one of the most impactful things we can do for developers is to help them get their hands on the actual product. For Mango, that starts today with an early access program for developers. We’re still working out some final kinks in the distribution and support infrastructure for delivering Mango to all of our registered developers around the world, but are inviting the most eager developers to come get Mango today, for their retail devices, as part of our early access program! We expect the full distribution infrastructure to be fully operational in the next couple of weeks. For now, consider yourself a beta tester for the distribution process. Registered developers will get invites to the Microsoft Connect site, which will give them access to Mango. This build of Mango should also be viewed as beta quality, so there are still consumer features missing, but you can now start building apps and testing them against retail devices. Here’s what you need to do:

  • Download the Windows Phone Developer Tools Beta 2 – You will need to update your developer tools to update your phone and to deploy your apps, so run…get them now.
  • Read the instructions before updating – These are very important steps which you need to follow to the letter. We’re committed to supporting our developer community with such an early access program, so if you have questions, start with the forums, which we are monitoring.

This is especially well timed for the tens of thousands of student developers who have registered through DreamSpark or related programs. Just as our Spring Cleaning program encouraged developers to finish up their projects over the past few months, delivering thousands of new apps, summer break is the perfect time for student developers to relax and have some fun with Mango. With the free Windows Phone Developer Tools Beta 2 and free access to Mango, now is the perfect time to see what you can do with Windows Phone. To make it even more interesting for students looking for a great summer project, we’ve set aside 50 Mango phones for those students who are building the next big thing on Windows Phone. Want one? Here’s what to do:

  1. Make sure you’re registered for DreamSpark
  2. Download and install Expression Studio Ultimate and the new Mango Windows Phone Developer Tools (available free as a member of DreamSpark)
  3. Get the free Sketchflow Template for Windows Phone and create a Sketchflow mock-up of your app
  4. Post the Sketchflow mock-up somewhere online and tweet out the link using the hash tag #WPAppItUp
  5. We will review all prototypes and will contact the developers who submit the best ones and send them a special Mango developer device

There’s lots to like in Beta2 of the developer tools, and some new goodies as well. You can find the release notes here, but I also wanted to talk about the new Advertising SDK June 2011 Update that was released for Windows Phone 7 earlier this week. The June update makes it even easier for developers to earn money and build ad-enabled mobile apps with streamlined Ad Control APIs and other new features.

Lastly, we got a lot of questions in email and on twitter as to why reviewers got Mango first. In short, it was to allow us to get you Mango today. Bringing a product to market requires a healthy balance between marketing features and empowering the ecosystem. Striking that balance is all about sequence. Microsoft believes in developers like no other company, but not even we want developer tear downs serving as the foundation for how consumers ultimately understand Mango. To get Mango to you today, we had to first set some context so that the market would have a good understanding of the product and not define us only by those features that developers uncovered. Think of it this way: if you could choose which path to go down, would you rather have a tightly selected group of influential people write your first reviews of your amazing app, or leave it to the customers with the fastest fingers?

So what now? First, go get the tools. Second, update your retail phones to Mango. Third, go rub it in your friends’ faces that you have Mango and they don’t. Fourth, start building your Mango apps using some of the cool new functionality like fast app resume, updated Live Tiles, Motion Sensor, Live Agents, sockets, background audio or raw camera access. There will be a tools update in the coming months which will have the go-live license you need to publish Mango apps to the Marketplace, but don’t wait. With the tools and the ability to test on Mango enabled phones, you should all be in really good shape when Mango is released later this year.

For the early access program, here are the countries which are explicitly supported – meaning that should your device become unusable as a result of updating, we will be able to process it for fixing once the full distribution infrastructure is fully operational in the next couple of weeks:

Australia, Austria, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Great Britain, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, Mexico, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, United States

Windows Phone around the world: Language support in Mango [Windows Phone Blog, July 6, 2011]

At launch last year we supported 5 display languages: English (US and UK), French, German, Italian, and Spanish.

In Mango, we’re adding 17 more: Brazilian Portuguese, Chinese (simplified and traditional), Czech, Danish, Dutch, Finnish, Greek, Hungarian, Japanese, Korean, Norwegian (Bokmål), Polish, Portuguese, Russian, and Swedish.

The Zune software will be available for the same set of languages.

Displaying some of these new languages required new phone fonts. Specifically, we’ve added 4 beautiful new fonts for the East Asian languages:

… The 20 new keyboard options are: Brazilian Portuguese, Czech, Danish, Dutch, Finnish, Greek, Hungarian, Indonesian, Japanese, Korean, Malaysian, Norwegian, Polish, Portuguese, Russian, Simplified Chinese, Swedish, Traditional Chinese, Turkish, and Ukrainian.

The keyboard languages shown in italics regular [here] also support text prediction, which makes typing on your phone faster and easier. Even better, all these input languages are available on any Windows Phone, regardless of which display languages come with it.

The new East Asian keyboards—which were developed in Asia by the same team that creates them for Windows and Office—are especially neat. We’ll explore them in more detail in a future post.

This fall you’ll see a significant increase in the number of new countries where the Xbox LIVE service for Windows Phone is available. The Zune Marketplace for music, video, and podcasts is also expanding to more markets. We’re not quite ready to announce specifics just yet—expect to hear more later this summer.

Finally, we get many questions about specific phone features—especially ones related to searching and mapping— and where they’ll be available. Here’s a list of ones we hear about most:

  • Bing search (accessed from the phone’s hardware Search button) is available in 33 countries: Argentina, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Korea, Malaysia, Mexico, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Philippines, Portugal, Russia, Singapore, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Taiwan, United Kingdom, and the United States. (Elsewhere, handset and mobile operators can configure the hardware search button to a locally-relevant search site).
  • Local search results show up in 6 countries: Australia, Canada, France, Germany, United Kingdom, and the United States.
  • Maps is supported in 19 countries: Australia, Austria, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Italy, Netherlands, New Zealand, Portugal, Singapore, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, United Kingdom, and the United States.
  • Voice-to-text and Voice-to-dial is available in 6 countries: France, Germany, Italy, Spain, United Kingdom, and the Unites States.
  • Voice search is supported in 4 countries: France, Germany, United Kingdom, and the United States.

Extending services such as Marketplace or Xbox LIVE to more markets, on the other hand, is a very different type of challenge—as much legal and organizational as it is technical. But we’re working hard to scale up our engineering effort from a couple dozen countries to the entire world.

Application Certification Requirements for Windows Phone

Windows Phone

June 24, 2011

This section provides the policies and technical requirements that a Windows Phone application or game must meet to pass certification and to be eligible for listing in Windows Phone Marketplace.

1.0 Program Overview


A core principle that is applied in designing the certification process is that each individual policy or requirement is clear, objective, and testable. This transparency is designed to help developers easily design and test applications to meet these requirements.

The following list shows the pillars of the certification program:

  1. Applications are reliable.
  2. Applications make efficient use of resources.
  3. Applications do not interfere with the phone functionality.
  4. Applications are free of malicious software.

1.1 What You Need to Know About the Submission and Certification Process

When your application is ready for publication, it must go through the certification process before it is eligible for listing in Windows Phone Marketplace. Your application does not have to be signed before submission.

The certification process involves static validation and automated testing of your application to verify that it meets all the policies and requirements. The following list shows the five major categories of policies and requirements:

The following is a simplified illustration of the submission and certification process.

CertificationDiagram

1.1.1 Process Outline

The following is a brief outline of the submission and certification process:

  1. Sign in to your account in App Hub.
  2. Create a new application submission.
  3. Upload the application XAP file.
  4. Enter the metadata for the application, such as title, description, category, and iconography.
  5. Select the distribution countries/regions and pricing.
  6. The XAP file is validated while you are entering metadata.
  7. If the XAP file validation succeeds, the submission process continues to Step 8; otherwise, the process terminates and you get a notification. Select the option to publish immediately after passing the certification process or to wait until you decide to publish.
  8. The XAP file is repackaged as described in Section 4.1.2.
  9. The repackaged XAP file is deployed to a phone for the certification testing. Certification involves the automated and manual verification of the meeting of the requirements that are described in Sections 2, 3, 4, 5, and 6.
  10. If the application meets all the requirements, the repackaged XAP and assembly files are signed, and the application is eligible for publication according to the option selected in Step 8.
  11. If the application fails one or more of the requirements, you get a failure report and the application is not published.
Important noteImportant Note:
When you submit an application update for certification, it goes through the same process as the original application.

1.1.2 Code Signing

Code signing occurs automatically once the application has successfully passed the certification testing without any failure. The application and repackaged XAP files are signed with the Authenticode® certificate assigned to you when you registered for App Hub membership. Any signatures in a submitted application or XAP files will be replaced and are not retained.

Important noteImportant Note:
All applications must be signed with the Microsoft issued Authenticode certificate before they can be installed and run on commercially available Windows Phone devices.

Zune to Expand Multiscreen Entertainment Services Into International Markets [Sept 10, 2010, as Zune Marketplace was originally only available in the United States]

Microsoft Corp. today announced the further international expansion of Zune, its digital entertainment service. This fall, Zune will expand its music and video footprint and bring the free Zune software, Zune Marketplace online store, Zune Pass1 music subscription service and enhanced features on Zune.net to new markets, providing a comprehensive entertainment experience on Windows-based PCs, on the go with Windows Phone 7 and in your living room through Xbox LIVE.2

“The integration between Zune, Windows Phone 7 and Xbox LIVE is an exciting expansion in our entertainment offerings,” said Craig Eisler, corporate vice president, Interactive Entertainment Business Group at Microsoft. “Zune enables users to access the entertainment they want, wherever they want it — and now, more people than ever will be able to enjoy the freedom and flexibility that the Zune service offers.”

Zune software has been upgraded with new features and functionality and will serve as the Windows Phone 7 synchronization client. The new software (version 4.7) will be available to download for free in more than 20 countries, including the U.K., France, Italy, Germany and Spain, to easily manage your personal collection of movies, music, podcasts and pictures. Zune software continues to set the standard for entertainment software, providing best-in-class experiences to organize, discover and enjoy digital media with a variety of exclusive features. For example, the Quickplay menu enables immediate access to recently played content and personal favorites, and Smart DJ 3 automatically creates playlists from your personal music collection and takes the extra step of mixing in suggested music from the Zune Marketplace. The updated Zune software will also enable instant streaming of high-definition movies, allowing you to watch some Zune Marketplace movies in HD, with no download time, directly on a Windows PC.

Zune Marketplace online store is accessible from within the Zune software and offers the ability to purchase millions of individual songs or albums from its catalog, all in MP3 format. Here, consumers can also subscribe to Zune Pass,4 which provides unlimited downloads and music streaming capabilities from the Zune music library, including content from major music labels such as Universal Music Group, Sony Music Entertainment, EMI Music and Warner Music Group, as well as thousands of independent labels. Zune Marketplace also has a large library of videos from major studios such as Paramount Pictures and Warner Bros. Digital Distribution for purchase or rental. Video purchases will be accessible through Xbox LIVE and Windows-based PCs, and can also be added to a Windows Phone 7. Simply buy your favorite video from Zune Marketplace and watch it on the screen of your choice.9

Zune.net is the perfect resource for consumers as it allows them to download the software and set up a Zune account with a new or existing Windows Live ID.5 Zune.net will also provide Web access to Zune Marketplace so you can purchase music or use a Zune Pass to stream music directly through an Internet browser,6 as well as purchase video content.7

Zune Expansion to New Markets

As Zune expands internationally, its music and video service will be tailored for each market. Genre experts will custom program Zune Marketplace and feature the top songs, videos, movies and unique promotions for each country.

The fall 2010 international expansion of the Zune music and video service includes the following:

Zune Marketplace will extend services to several markets in Europe and beyond.

Zune Pass (U.K., France, Italy and Spain). The monthly music subscription service will be available for 9.99 euros /8.99 pounds per month for unlimited download and streaming access to the Zune music catalog and will be accessible on Windows-based PCs, Windows Phone 7 and Xbox LIVE. The offer in the U.S. will remain at $14.99 per month for unlimited downloads and streaming access, with the ability to keep 10 MP3s per month.8
Music purchase (U.K., France, Italy, Spain and Germany). Expansion to these markets will enable consumers to purchase MP3s and listen on their Windows-based PC, Windows Phone 7 or any other device that supports MP3 format. Users will also be able to purchase music videos to enjoy on Windows-based PC, Windows Phone 7 and Zune on Xbox LIVE.
Video purchase (U.K., France, Germany, Canada, Australia and New Zealand). Consumers will now be able to purchase movies to download and watch anywhere — on the big screen in the living room with Xbox LIVE or their Windows-based PC as well as sync it to their Windows Phone 7 to enjoy on the go.9
Movie rental (U.K., France, Italy, Spain, Germany, Austria, Belgium, Ireland, Netherlands, Switzerland, Mexico, Canada, Australia and New Zealand). In addition to Zune video on Xbox LIVE, consumers in these countries will now be able to rent movies for viewing on their Windows-based PC or choose to sync the rental to their Windows Phone 7.

The global expansion of the service is the latest step in a series of milestones for Zune, including powering Bing music search results, the added ability to purchase music and video on Zune.net, and the forthcoming integration with Xbox LIVE and Kinect for Xbox 360. By continuing to integrate Zune across the most important screens to consumers, Zune provides an all-in-one music and video service for users to discover, enjoy and experience their entertainment wherever they want.About Zune

Zune is Microsoft’s music and video entertainment service that provides an integrated digital experience across Zune devices, Windows-based PCs, Xbox LIVE and Windows Phone 7. The Zune platform includes a line of portable digital media players, elegant software, the Zune Marketplace and Zune.net online stores, the Zune Social online music community created to help people discover music, and the ZuneOriginals.net online media player customization store. More information can be found online at http://www.zune.net/en-us/press.

About Microsoft

Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq “MSFT”) is the worldwide leader in software, services and solutions that help people and businesses realize their full potential.

1 Zune Pass available in U.K., France, Italy and Spain.

2 Zune Pass on Xbox 360 requires an Xbox LIVE Gold membership and a Zune Pass subscription.

3 Only available with Zune Pass.

4 Zune Pass is a music subscription; some Zune Marketplace songs and content are not available via Zune Pass. Available content may vary over time.

5 For cross-screen functionality, the same Windows Live ID needs to be used on the Zune software, Windows Phone 7 and Xbox LIVE accounts.

6 Internet browser support for Silverlight required.

7 Service features may vary based on market availability.

8 Keep 10 MP3s per month feature available to U.S. Zune Pass subscribers only, on their PC or Windows Phone 7.

9 Content available for download on multiple devices may vary over time. Availability of content and video resolution will vary by device.

On Windows Phone 7 history:

Thoughts on Windows Phone 7 Series (BTW: Photon is Dead)[Feb 17, 2010]

The real Windows Mobile 7, that is, Photon as it once was called, is dead. Windows Mobile 7 was supposed to be an evolution of Windows Mobile 5 and 6. It was supposed to be built on the paradigm that previous generations of Windows Mobile had been created from: a Start-menu centric application experience, two soft keys on bottom, and applications that acted as they would on the desktop (often with a close button). Well Photon was scrapped, probably around 2008 when the Mobile division of Microsoft saw a big reorganization. With that, Microsoft started from scratch to build the next generation of Windows Mobile, or Windows Phone as they began calling it in 2009. Also at that time, they decided to extend the life of Windows Mobile 6 to buy some time, and a year later we saw 6.5. And despite rampant criticism, 6.5 shipped on a lot of really awesome devices like the HTC Touch Pro2 and HD2, Acer neoTouch, and Samsung Omnia II.

Back in 2007, as you may or may not recall, I wrote about Windows Mobile 7 after having seen it at a Microsoft event. If you want to go back and see the text, it’s still available at MobilityToday. I contended that what Microsoft had in store for the next version of Windows Mobile was awesome, and that it could succeed. But I also warned that if they didn’t bring the product to market before the target late 2009 launch, it would fail. It would fail because by that time, two years later, iOS, Android, and other mobile platforms would be wildly evolved, and that Photon would seem like more of the same, instead of a breakthrough new operating system that the market would so desire.

I also saw Photon two years prior to 2007. Back then, it was pretty much the same as we know Photon to be today. It’s very possible that work began on Photon as early as 2004, which begs the question: how could a company with such vast resources and fantastic human talent take nearly half a decade to roll out a product? The answer could come down to mismanagement or lack of investment. My guess is that Microsoft didn’t truly understand how big the mobile category would grow, and how fast it would happen.

Behind the scenes: Windows Phone 7 [June 17, 2010]

… The launch of the new phones is critical for Microsoft, which is trying to play catch-up with Apple and Google. Despite having been in the phone business far longer than either of those two rivals, complacency, lack of focus, and bad bets have left Microsoft an afterthought in the cell phone business. It now has just a single-digit percentage market share among smartphone operating systems, trailing Symbian, RIM’s BlackBerry, Apple’s iPhone, and Google’s Android, according to Gartner. Windows Phone 7 is the big bet to reverse years of decline, assuming it’s not too late.

Leading that effort is vice president Terry Myerson, the 37-year-old former head of the Exchange Server development team. Myerson is the rare Microsoft exec who knows what it’s like to be an underdog. He came to Microsoft in 1997 through the acquisition of his own Web analysis company [Interse’ see Terry Myerson [Duke Pratt School of Engineering, Oct 16, 1998]] and went to work on Exchange back when it was badly behind IBM’s Lotus Notes software.

… Myerson, who agreed to take on this job in October 2008, has picked up the pieces on a next-generation mobile operating system that Microsoft has been developing in fits and starts for several years now, switching leadership and approaches several times along the way.

Despite its long and winding road to fruition, Windows Phone 7 has a chance, Myerson says with a quiet conviction that sounds more like an engineer sure of his work than a salesman looking to close the deal. Myerson is convinced that Microsoft can get back in the game if Windows Phone 7 really nails the set of things that it does tackle–merging personal and work contacts, integrating Xbox Live games and Zune music and video, including mobile versions of Office and aiming to bring together photos from various social networks.

What they’ve already done hasn’t been easy. Although it retains Windows CE at its core, Windows Phone 7 has a completely new look and interface. The overhaul was so significant, that when it was first outlined in early 2009, the project’s leaders handed out a bottle of Pepto Bismol to the several hundred people on the development team. “The entire user experience of Windows Phone 6 was built on a certain graphics framework,” Myerson said. “We decided to change that to a different one. We sort of decided that top down and teams just had to digest that, so it was sort of a joke that people were given that.”

“I think we are going to have something very high-quality and different this holiday,” Myerson said. “We won’t be better on every dimension and we won’t be better on a feature point on all of the dimensions we wish we could… I think about this really as a first release, a first release for this team.”

A blunt assessment

Catching up with the market leaders, Myerson figures, is a multiyear project, something he warned both executives and colleagues when he took over the project. “We’re going to reset, but it is going to take us five years to build a product we all want to have,” he said.

Myerson’s less-than-rosy assessment scared off more than a few people. “There were people that looked in the mirror a year ago and said, well, if we aren’t going to win next year, I am out of here,” he said. “There were people that looked in the mirror and said what a great fun project to spend the next three to five years of my life on and kind of buckled down for it…Those are the people you want because that’s how long it is really going to take. The company has that level of commitment.”

If anything, Myerson hopes that is what he is bringing to the team–clarity, along with enough resources to get the job done.

“If you invest in people as craftsman and give them great tools, I think they will build great products.” Myerson said. “Probably the most important thing we can give these guys is a clear plan. If the plan changes every three months, it’s hard to do great engineering.”

With that in mind, the company decided more than a year ago to start over yet again, with a new approach and a firm target–holiday 2010–to have the all-new Windows Phone on the market. “I think when we look back on the release five years from now, this was a foundational release, not the release that broke through,” Myerson said. “We’ve got some tough competition.”

In particular, Microsoft will need to make a good impression with carriers–the companies like AT&T, Verizon, Sprint and T-Mobile–who decide which phones will get the prime shelf space and the big ad campaign, and which will not make the cut at all.

“They take all the burden of support calls and all the burden of selling it,” he said. Given that “they want it months ahead of time so they can learn how to sell, learn how to support it.”

Having to coordinate among chipmakers and Microsoft and hardware makers and carriers is a lot of work, Myerson acknowledges. It requires a lot more companies working together than is the case with Apple, which now even designs the iPhone’s main processor.

“The OEM partnership model we have is more complicated,” Myerson said. “We aspire to have the same level of end-user finish as Apple, but getting that level of user finish requires a level of partnership.”

The idea of partnering with phone makers like Samsung and HTC is to get the benefit of their ideas as well as have more models than Microsoft could if it built the hardware itself. But add that to a business model that also includes 180 different carriers across the country as well as other components and it’s a lot to juggle.

“Between Qualcomm and Broadcom and Samsung and LG and HTC, AT&T and T-Mobile, it’s just very partnership-complex, it just is,” Myerson said. “I don’t know any other way to describe it.”

Microsoft has considered but rejected the idea that it should go it alone in the phone business, building its own hardware to better take on Apple. Among other reasons, it’s just how the company prefers to do business. Although it makes the Xbox and Zune, the company prefers to build software that is used a wide range of hardware makers.

“We’ve made it work many times in the past and as you know, there’s times in the past where it hasn’t worked out so well,” Myerson said. “We’re aspiring to do it well, which unfortunately does take more time.”

But time is running out for Microsoft, which needs to get the first devices to carriers soon if it wants the devices to be on sale by the holidays. Hence, the conference rooms inside Microsoft this day are filled, not just with folks from Microsoft, but also from its many partners.

As the work day draws to a close, the hours-long meeting between Qualcomm and Microsoft engineers beaks up. Myerson meets in his office with Torrey Harmon, a Qualcomm senior vice president. The conversation is informal–a mix of some subtle salesmanship and small talk and venting about some of the project’s more challenging aspects and people.

Between trading jabs at various partners and competitors, the two turn their attention to their own companies’ partnership, discussing how they might further reduce the amount of friction between the teams working on the chips at Qualcomm and those working on the software at Microsoft.

“We want you to see us as an extension of your team and we’re trying hard to figure out how to do that,” Harmon said. Qualcomm recently hired one of the members of the Windows 95/98 development team to help the company in that effort. “We’ve made a lot of progress and still we’ve got a ways to go. We’d like just to look like another one of your technology groups, that’s our goal.

As the conversation continued, they talked about the battery life issues on a particular prototype. “Usually it runs out by about 2 o’clock,” Harmon said, although, that’s better than before a recent software build. “It was running out at about 11 o’clock when I first got it. It’s better already than it was.”

As it often does, Myerson’s mood this day shifted quickly between optimism and pessimism. “I just want to survive this launch,” Myerson told Harmon. “If I can get out there and get some respect, for lack of a better word, from consumers, everything will get easier. Right now things are hard.”

Windows Phone 7: A Fresh Start for the Smartphone[Microsoft feature story for the press, Oct 11, 2010]

The goal for Microsoft’s latest smartphone is an ambitious one: to deliver a phone that truly integrates the things people really want to do, puts those things right in front of them, and either lets them get finished quickly or immerses them in the experience they were seeking.

“When you first get the phone, the stuff that’s more obvious makes you smile,” says Andy Lees, Microsoft’s Mobile Communications Business president. On the phone’s Start screen, “live tiles” show users real-time content, such as social media updates and contacts. “The features sort of scream out at you,” says Lees. “But the other thing that is even deeper for me is the elegance of the experience, which you only appreciate if you’ve used the phone for some time.”

Learn more about Windows Phone 7 The result is Windows Phone 7, which will make its debut in some European markets on Oct. 21 and in the U.S. Nov. 8. The phone uses an elegant operating system that is very different from the current trend toward app-focused phones. Instead it provides active and configurable interface elements called tiles that update on the fly with real information, allowing users to place the tiles that interest them most where they want on their Start screen. Facebook photos, music and contacts are pulled into the phone and distributed appropriately across Hubs. It also brings together many of Microsoft’s popular offerings from other platforms, including Xbox, Zune, Office and Bing.

The new phone is an important step for Microsoft in three ways. To begin, it is a completely fresh start for Microsoft in smartphones. Second, it represents a new approach from Microsoft toward integrating products and services from across the company into the phone to create a richer experience and greater productivity. Hence the presence of Office, Zune and Xbox LIVE and their integration within the Hub model. And finally, the new phone approach is critical to Microsoft’s efforts to make new gains in the huge smartphone market, which despite the success of the iPhone and Android is still relatively untapped globally.

As people use their phones, they’ll discover lots of thoughtfully designed features and perks. Holding down the camera shutter button, for example, lets the user take a picture even if the phone is locked – as Lees says, “unlocking your phone can sometimes mean the difference between missing the moment or not.”

The phone’s interface features Hubs for categories such as People, Music and video, Photos, Games and Office. These Hubs are never more than a few screens away, no matter how deep the user navigates within the phone. The People Hub, for example, pulls in Facebook status updates from friends as well as providing the more obvious contact information and phone numbers. Users can take actions like responding to updates or sending a text message right from the People Hub rather than having to find and launch a particular app. The Hubs also update live, pulling in pictures and information so that in many cases a glance and a couple of clicks will be all that users need to bring themselves up to date with phone messages, e-mail and what is happening with friends and colleagues.

“We think people want to get updates from their social networks, they want to get contact information, they want to get e-mails from a variety of different places, they want to share music — but they want control over it,” says Lees.

Plus, says Lees, “They want one thing that they can access their work e-mail on and then put in their bag and go to the party, and they want it to be easy to use. That’s exactly what we’re delivering.”

Applications will be available for the phone as well via a Hub called the Marketplace. But, unlike other smartphones, they won’t be required for the majority of everyday tasks.

Smartphones are increasingly a part of our lives. It is incredibly seductive to be constantly connected, to be able to communicate with and interact with friends and associates at any time. Or to be able to dive into the sea of information on the Internet at any time. But the current smartphone designs aren’t helping. People either take too long to find what they need on their phones or they get distracted and drawn in to unproductive activities simply because they have to click in and open apps to see things.

To highlight the problem, the company is launching a provocative advertising and marketing campaign, showing how Microsoft’s new phone is different. The new Windows Phone 7 is designed to help users connect with the people and information they care about most, then let them return to the real world as fast as possible.

Terry Myerson, corporate vice president of Windows Phone engineering at Microsoft, led the development group for the new phone. “We had this list of things we knew we wantede-mail, a browser, games, a music player,” says Myerson. The team knew that they wanted the phone to be versatile and deliver exactly what the customer wanted out of a phone. But its greatest asset is something less tangible than a single feature or access to a program. “Using this phone is truly a delightful experience,” says Myerson.

Creating this ease of use was one of the design team’s primary goals. “We talked a lot about smart design when we talked about this phone,” says Joe Belfiore, corporate vice president of Windows Phone program management. Belfiore joined the project shortly after Myerson and oversaw, among other things, user experience. “We wanted this phone to be able to anticipate what you want and give it to you before you ask for it.”

New phones in a variety of hardware designs will be available from Samsung, HTC, LG and Dell.

Microsoft is so committed to the new phone that it has arranged for every full-time employee worldwide to be able to switch to the new phone as soon as it launches in their market. And while executives say they are thrilled with the final product, they also acknowledge there is a lot more to be done. When the phone is released, they plan to enjoy the moment – but not for long. “There’s so much more of Microsoft we’ve got to bring out in the phone,” says Myerson. “We’ve got a lot of work to do.”

Exclusive: AT&T’s Ralph De La Vega on Which Smartphones Are Winning [June 4, 2011 — Excerpt 2]

Nokia has made this huge bet on Windows Phone. One of the reasons, they have said, is to have a bigger presence then they have had in many years in North America. How interested are you in adding them to your lineup?

De la Vega: We already have Windows Phone 7 in our lineup. We actually like that software very, very much. It hasn’t sold as well as Microsoft or we would want it to, but I think having the Nokia hardware capability with the Microsoft software capability is a really good combination. They have to prove it by bringing some great devices to market. But I would love to have a great Nokia device with Microsoft Windows Phone 7.

Windows Phone 7, is it a hard sell, or are their features that are missing?

De la Vega: Keep in mind this is the first product that Microsoft has come out with since Microsoft redid their OS. I think for the first thing out of the chute it is pretty good. I think they just need to make it better. If you listen to what Steve Ballmer is saying (Mango, the next version), is going to add about 500 features. I think they are going to make it a lot better. Giving customers more application choices, having a bigger app store with more functionality on the phone, I think that is all that it needs.

Actually, I loved Windows 8. That looks a lot like a Windows Phone screen, with the tiles. I think that’s a huge win for Microsoft. Now they have their same look and feel on their PCs and tablets as they have on their smartphones.

Building the Next Great Mobile Software Developer Opportunity [by Terry Myerson, Feb 14, 2011]

On Friday Feb 11th our two companies announceda partnership that we believe will shake up the mobile phone market. Together Nokia and Microsoft are bringing to bear significant and complementary strengths in global smartphone and mobile phone market reach, hardware, software and services. Based on these strengths, we will build a new, global ecosystem that creates a wealth of new opportunities and innovative experiences.

However, we can’t do it alone. We need you: our developers. Over the years, you, our developer communities, have created great experiences for your customers. You’ve also given us feedback that you want new opportunities, accelerated innovation, and access to more consumers. We are going to realize this future based on a shared set of principles about what developers want and deserve:

  • Opportunity: a large number of customers with unparalleled global reach
  • Feedback: so that you can improve your applications and games
  • Ovi Store and Windows Phone Marketplace: a great shopping experience, where your creativity can be discovered
  • Flexibility: in how you are compensated for your work– in dollars or notoriety
  • Amazing tools: to take creativity from idea to sale
  • Structure: a prescriptive roadmap that balances opportunity and diversity while maintaining the stability of the platform
  • Innovation: combining services assets to drive innovation including putting Nokia’s Ovi Maps at the heart of key Microsoft assets like Bing and AdCenter

We appreciate that applications and games are many peoples’ livelihoods, and that developers deserve respect and transparency. We further understand that choosing a mobile platform is a serious commitment of time and energy that we must earn. This new conversation is just starting and we would like it to be an open and continuing dialogue.

To that end, we want to make clear that our alliance represents a long-term commitment to developers. Nokia developers working with Qt or Java will continue to do so and enjoy healthy demand for those. Nokia has an installed base of 225 million Symbian devices, and plans to sell 150 million more, and Series 40 has an addressable market of 600 million devices today. Nokia continue to enhance and innovate on those platforms and in Qt tools. Nokia, and now Microsoft, are committed to making sure that your contributions to and investments in the Nokia ecosystem will be worthwhile. In the coming weeks we will provide more information about programs that will help you access the Symbian and Qt opportunities more effectively.

Nokia’s Windows Phone portfolio will support the existing, free Windows Phone Developer Tools. Nokia and Microsoft will support Symbian developers wishing to port their application to Windows Phone. Both Nokia and Microsoft manage rich application and game commerce platforms in Ovi Store and the Windows Phone Marketplace. We believe that both platforms bring distinct strengths to the alliance, and we are planning to combine these strengths into a single great commerce experience for developers and consumers alike.

We still have much work to do and we will provide you, our developers, with more details in the weeks and months to come. We will ensure that developers can count on timely and prescriptive guidance on the implications and opportunities of this new alliance. For now, we hope that you are as excited about the long-term potential of this alliance as we are, and that you are already thinking of new application and games that you’ll bring to market to take advantage of the significant volumes of Nokia Windows Phones, as well as the existing and future Symbian and Series 40 devices from Nokia.

If you’re interested in learning more about developing for Windows Phone, please visit http://create.msdn.com. For the latest guidance to Nokia developers, visit http://forum.nokia.com. Sincerely Tero Ojanpera, Executive Vice President, Services, Nokia Terry Myerson, Corporate Vice President, Windows Phone Engineering, Microsoft

Reindeer Antlers and Reykjavik: How Microsoft and Nokia Are Getting Down to Business Together[July 11, 2011]

“We’ve spent the last couple months working really closely together to get first products really materializing,” Nokia’s Jo Harlow, who is in charge of Smart Devices at the phone giant, said in an interview. “We all feel confident about where we are.”

… Nokia CEO Stephen Elop has been boasting for a while that he is carrying something along those lines, and a recently leaked video shows him with an early version of the hardware.

Harlow declined to comment on that leak, but says she is increasingly confident in the first product that will arrive this year, and that the company may yet have multiple devices for sale before the end of the year. The first Nokia phones are expected to arrive this fall alongside Mango, the first major update to Windows Phone 7.

“I’m committed to one model this year,” Harlow said. “More would be great.” For next year, though, Harlow said there will be a steady stream of releases — something that Microsoft badly needs as it tries to keep up with rivals, particularly Android devices, which are released on a constant basis.

If Microsoft was close to the latest hardware when it released the first Windows Phones last fall, it is fair to say that its models now look dated when stacked up against the latest Android models, some of which boast 3-D screens, dual-core processors, high-definition video recording and other features. “I’m hoping that won’t be an issue next year,” Myerson said. Harlow said her goal is that Nokia will have more frequent hardware updates, keeping the company, and by extension Windows Phone, front of mind with phone shoppers.

… For its part, Microsoft said it has shifted its priorities to make sure that Nokia’s needs are being met first. The company has increased its focus on going global more quickly, as Nokia counts on Windows Phone to quickly fill a gap created by the rapid decline in its existing Symbian phone business. “We had been focused on North America and Western Europe,” Myerson said of the company’s early efforts. That, he said, has now changed.

Although Microsoft is also working with its other partners, Myerson isn’t shy about saying that he is pouring more energy into his partners in Finland. After all, while HTC and Samsung build Windows Phones, they also make phones running Google’s Android software. Nokia, meanwhile, has pledged to make Windows Phone the core of its smartphone strategy. “We are prioritizing work proportionate to Nokia’s commitment to Windows Phone, which is unlike anything we have had before,” Myerson said.

On Andy/Andrew Lees’ promotions:

Microsoft Announces New, Expanded Roles for Key Executives[Feb 14, 2008]

Microsoft Corp. today announced a series of executive promotions — seven new senior vice presidents and seven new corporate vice presidents — reflective of the company’s commitment to build and maintain a strong and dynamic management team across its unique portfolio of businesses.

… “Along with attracting world-class talent from outside the company, one of my top priorities is growing Microsoft’s existing leadership team,” said Steve Ballmer, chief executive officer of Microsoft. “Each of these executives will play a critical role in leading Microsoft into the future. Today’s promotions are a result of their ability to think strategically on a global scale, the respect they’ve earned from their peers, customers and partners, and their significant contributions to the company.”

Andy Lees, senior vice president, Mobile Communications Business. Previously corporate vice president of the Server & Tools Marketing and Solutions Group, Lees will oversee the development, marketing and sales of software and services that power mobile devices for business and consumer customers worldwide. Lees will fill the role previously held by Pieter Knook, who made the decision to leave Microsoft to pursue new opportunities.

Steve Guggenheimer, corporate vice president, Original Equipment Manufacturer Division. Previously general manager, Application Platform Marketing, Guggenheimer will move to a new role leading the group that manages Microsoft’s relationships with the makers of personal computers and other devices.

Scott Guthrie, corporate vice president, .NET Developer Platform. Previously general manager, Guthrie will continue to oversee several development teams responsible for delivering Microsoft Visual Studio developer tools and Microsoft .NET Framework technologies for building client and Web applications.

Microsoft Announces Retirement and Transition Plan for Robbie Bach [May 25, 2010]

Underscoring the strength of the leadership teams in place for the entertainment and mobile businesses, the company announced that Senior Vice President Don Mattrick will continue to lead the Interactive Entertainment Business and Senior Vice President Andy Lees will continue to lead the Mobile Communications Business. Each will report directly to CEO Steve Ballmer effective July 1.

… Bach will remain with Microsoft through the fall, working with Ballmer and his leadership team to ensure a smooth transition. …

… Lees has led the Mobile Communications Business since February 2008 and has been instrumental in reinvigorating Microsoft’s mobility efforts, bringing in new business and development talent and overseeing the creation of both KIN and Windows Phone 7. A 20-year Microsoft veteran, he previously served as corporate vice president for Server & Tools marketing and sales, led a variety of worldwide sales and marketing functions, and began his career in Microsoft’s U.K. subsidiary. “One measure of a leader is the team he assembles around him, and Robbie built an incredible team.

Don and Andy are exactly the right leaders to carry our entertainment and mobility efforts forward,” Ballmer said.

Microsoft also announced that J Allard, senior vice president of Design and Development for E&D, will be leaving Microsoft after 19 years, and will take an official role as an advisor in a strategic role for Ballmer and his leadership team. “J has brought a game-changing creative magic to Microsoft for years, from Windows to Xbox, from Zune to KIN,” Ballmer said. “He was one of the key drivers in our early work on the Web, and we’re absolutely delighted that J’s role with the company will evolve in a way that lets all of Microsoft benefit from his business insight, technical depth and keen eye for consumer experience.”

Microsoft Announces New Leadership Promotions[Oct 1, 2010]

Microsoft Corp. today promoted Kurt DelBene to president of the Microsoft Office Division, Andy Lees to president of the Mobile Communications Business, and Don Mattrick to president of the Interactive Entertainment Business. … As President of the Mobile Communications Business, Lees, 45, will continue to oversee the overall marketing and product development for Microsoft’s mobility efforts. Lees, a 20-year Microsoft veteran, has led the Mobile Communications Business since February 2008 and was at the center of the company’s efforts to rebuild the mobile business, including the development of the upcoming Windows Phone 7 to be released this holiday season. Windows Phone 7 is designed to make every-day tasks faster by doing more in fewer steps and providing timely information in a “glance and go” format.

Microsoft Mobile Communications Business is now the Windows Phone Division[June 16, 2011]

Microsoft’s Mobile Communications Business (MCB) is no more. The group itself still exists, but is known officially, as of this week, as the “Windows Phone Division.” I noticed the change on the bio page for the division President Andy Lees. (Until yesterday, Lees was listed as President of MCB. He’s now President of the Windows Phone Division.) A Microsoft spokesperson said that only the name of the unit has changed and that there’s no change in the unit’s responsibilities or charter.

Say it ain’t so — not only is a phone not delayed, it’s actually planning to come out earlier than its quoted launch window? This particular miracle is the exception much more than the rule, but Microsoft’s latest Windows Phone OS (nicknamed “Mango,”) might come out prior to the anticipated fall release. According to Nikkei, Fujitsu will offer the very first Mango device, a waterproof phone called the IS12T, on KDDI “as early as late next month.” The phone is to be sold for 30,000 – 40,000 yen ($378 – 505), a reasonable amount of coin for what will likely be a higher-end device. And — if it’s the same handset showcased at this week’s Worldwide Partner Conference — a pink version will be on sale. So, what’s more enticing: a Hello Kitty-flavored Windows Phone, or a Samsung Galaxy S II lookalike running Mango? It’s a tough call.

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6 Comments

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  2. Windows Phone/Mobile Maintain 9% Marketshare…

    http://blog.nielsen.com/nielsenwire/?p=28516By now many of our readers may have had the chance to read about the latest market share numbers put out by Nielsen. In that report, Nielsen attributed 9% of the market to Windows Phone/Windows Mobile. The ex…

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