Home » Posts tagged 'Windows Phone 8'

Tag Archives: Windows Phone 8

Microsoft’s integrated solution for streaming video and Live TV providers on all devices, plus the upcoming live-action and “shared experience” TV of its own on Xbox

This is my finding as an update to the one of a year ago in “Microsoft entertainment as an affordable premium offering to be built on the basis of the Xbox console and Xbox LIVE services [Feb 13, 2013] OR create interactive content as a premium offering together with partners using Kinect technology as a starter OR moving Microsoft Xbox 360 to ‘entertainment console’ OR leaving the good quality commodities to others and going for a premium brand with Xbox as well”.

One cannot understand the Microsoft solution without first looking at:

  1. Cable and satellite video market (U.S. only)
  2. Pay-TV market (cable and satellite, IPTV, terrestrial)
  3. The overall TV market (home video, on demand video, linear TV)
  4. IPTV—AT&T U-verse TV and Verizon FiOS video in particular
  5. OTT (Over-the-top content)

Then the Microsoft solution could be presented as follows:

6.   Microsoft’s live TV solution on Xbox
7.   Preliminary information on the upcoming products from Xbox Entertainment Studios
8.   Xbox Music and Xbox Video services for other devices

Before all that, however, we should also understand a key trend that the Installed Base of Internet-Connected Video Devices to Exceed Global Population in 2017 [iSuppli press release, Oct 8, 2013] which is also showing the immense difficulty for the Microsoft effort:

More than 8 billion Internet-connected video devices will be installed worldwide in 2017, exceeding the population of the planet, according to research from  the Broadband Technology Service at IHS Inc. (NYSE: IHS).

The installed base of video-enabled devices that are connected to the Internet—a category that includes diverse product such as tablets, smart TVs, games consoles, smartphones, connected set-top boxes, Blu-ray players, and PCs—will expand to 8.2 billion units in 2017. This will represent a nearly 90 percent increase from 4.3 billion in 2013, as presented in the attached figure.

With the world’s population amounting to 7.4 billion people in 2017, this means that there will be 1.1 Internet-connected video devices installed for each global citizen.

image

“On average every human being in the world will possess more than one Internet-connected video device by the year 2017—a major milestone for the electronics market,” said Merrick Kingston, senior analyst, Broadband Technology, at IHS. “In practice, ownership of Internet-connected hardware will be concentrated among users whose homes are equipped with broadband connections. We’re quickly approaching a world where the average broadband household contains 10 connected, video-enabled devices. This means that each TV set installed in a broadband-equipped home will be surrounded by three Internet-connected devices.”
Asia-Pacific gets connected
The number of connected devices in the mature North American and Western European regions will grow at a relatively modest compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 10 percent from 2013 to 2017.
In contrast, Asia-Pacific will expand at 20 percent during the same period. Driven largely by Chinese demand, Asia-Pacific will add 1.9 billion connected devices to the global installed base between 2013 and 2017.
On the other end of the regional spectrum, sub-Saharan Africa will contribute 145 million net additions to the total installed base during the next four years.

Challenges and opportunities

In order to cash in on this massive growth in Internet-connected devices, media companies across the operator, broadcast, consumer electronics manufacturing and over-the-top (OTT) businesses have embraced Internet protocol (IP) video distribution. Big names making a foray into IP video include HBO, Microsoft, DirecTV and Netflix.

However, all of these companies face a major challenge: how to wrap consumers into their ecosystems, given the proliferation of platforms, high switching costs and strong incentives for consumers to stay with their existing services.

Back in 2005, PCs comprised 93 percent of all connected devices. By the end of 2017, the base of connected devices will diversify dramatically, with PCs comprising only 23 percent of the connected installed base. Other devices will account for the rest of the market, including smart TVs at 5 percent, consoles  at 2 percent, and smartphones and tablets collectively representing 67 percent.
“Addressing the full breadth of the device landscape, and recuperating the development cost of doing so, will pose a major challenge for a number of media firms,” Kingston added.

1. Cable and satellite video market (U.S. only)

Let’s start with a list of cable and satellite video providers in the U.S.:

image
The chart is from Would a DirecTV-DISH Merger Still Make a New Pay-TV Media Monopoly?
[24/7 Wall St., Oct 10, 2013]. Note that Newco is the DirectTV-DISH merged company
just imagined by the article
. The actual Top 5 companies represented 75.4% of the U.S.
cable and satellite video subscribers: 35.6% satellite (newco) and 39.8% cable.
Relative to that Verizon FIOS video IPTV had 4.7M subscribers and
AT&T U-verse [IP]TV 4.5M by the end of Q4’12 (see below).

See also (in order to understand the challenges cable operators are facing everywhere):
TWC rebuffs Charter’s latest takeover bid [[IHS] Screen Digest commentary, Jan 14, 2014] with “The saga to create the nation’s second largest cable operation is moving into a new phase … With so many sharks circling TWC, IHS believes that it will be a matter of not if but when TWC accepts a bid.”
Time Warner Cable prepares for its business future [[IHS] Screen Digest commentary, Oct 8, 2013] with “TWC and other cable operators are in the unenviable position of seeing their primary product, pay TV video, declining. Coupled with encroachment from IPTV, and potential upstart OTT technologies, cable operators are pushing to grow other business lines. … Staying ahead of the technological curve is a problem for all pay TV operators, and cable more than IPTV, with Satellite experiencing the worst of it.
Netflix added to Virgin’s TiVo platform [[IHS] Screen Digest commentary, Sept 10, 2013] with “UK cable company Virgin Media has signed what is effectively an OTT carriage deal with Netflix to bring the streaming service onto the Virgin TiVo platform. Groundbreaking move is the first deal of its type and indicates a change in the positioning of Netflix and the competitive positioning of OTT against ‘traditional’ pay TV. … that more firmly positions Netflix as a content aggregator (read: channel) rather than a platform and opens the door for similar deals internationally. Move vindicates our long-held view that this was the correct way to position Netflix and other OTT content aggregators.

Cable takes the fight to OTT [[IHS] Screen Digest commentary, Oct 28, 2013]

After years of subscriber losses, Comcast announced on October 25, 2013, the first widespread test of a cable network lite bundle, the combination high-speed data (HSD) and broadcast basic video and premium channel. The trial is slated to run a minimum of one year, the operator plans to have stepped increases in the starter $49.99 per month price at 6 months ($60-$70) and again at one year ($70+).
This is not the first such offering however. In August of 2013 Time Warner Cable (TWC) initiated a similar promotion targeted at transitioning college students back toward video products, including HBO and HSD. TWC partnered with nine colleges in this limited trial, again the term is likely to run for a year or less. TWC is charging $79.99 per month for one year, but did not list a non-promotional price.
In the following analysis IHS makes two assumptions: 1) That cord-cutting and cord-never households will likely buy HSD from pay TV providers, and that it will skew toward higher speed tiers. 2) The price for bundled 25-30Mbit is ~$55 and unbundled ~$60.
Our take
The fact that the business of pay TV is  changing is no longer in doubt, but the business has insulated itself well and is preparing to weather the storm. Comcast and TWC are not the first to experiment with new offerings, Cox recently concluded its flareWatch trial, the first pay TV OTT trial. The difference between the Cox effort and Comcast and TWC is that the two latter companies have price efficiencies working  on their side.
That’s not to say that IHS believes that the Cox trial was ended because of price, more likely Cox received valuable customer feedback and experience. The Comcast and TWC deals are predicated on completely different foundations. Both offerings provide significant perceived value, and combined monetary value to subscribers.
Both deals compare to a HSD and Netflix and/or Hulu+ plan. The Netflix/Hulu+ plan will likely cost $68 to $76 depending upon HSD tier and number of OTT subscriptions, compared with Comcast’s year one monthly average of $60 and TWC’s $70. Another significant point of difference is the depth of offering.
Both pay TV providers share four common features, 25-30Mbit HSD, local broadcast channels, HBO, HBO GOComcast also includes StreamPix (Library title Subscription VOD). IHS believes that both Comcast and TWC are at a minimum matching Netflix on a like-for-like price content offering when considering HSD and HBO versus HSD and Netflix/Hulu+. The addition of broadcast local channels as well as SVOD in the case of Comcast, signal that cable is not going to give up the fight.

2. Pay-TV market (cable and satellite, IPTV, terrestrial)

Then, according to Worldwide pay-TV Subscribers to Exceed 1.1 Billion in 2019 with Increasing IPTV Market Share [ABI Research, Jan 22, 2014]

imageWorldwide pay-TV market reached 903.3 million subscribers in 2013, generating $249.8 billion in service revenue. IPTV operators enjoyed significant growth (18.5% YoY) in 2013 to 92 million subscribers with a total of $37.2 billion in service revenue.
“Increasing FTTH [Fiber To The Home] subscriber base and bundled subscriber base of telcos are boosting the IPTV market. ABI Research forecasts that the IPTV subscriber base will grow to 161 million subscribers in 2019 accounting for 15% of overall pay-TV market,” comments Jake Saunders, VP and practice director of core forecasting.
The global terrestrial TV market reached 9.5 million subscribers at the end of 2013. A declining pay DTT subscriber base in Italy and Spain had an impact on the overall Western European DTT market which dropped around 5% in 2013. Unlike Western Europe, the DTT market in Africa grew a remarkable 45% to 2.1 million subscribers in 2013. “As African countries start to switch over to digital, digital terrestrial TV has become an affordable alternative to satellite TV service in the region. ABI Research forecasts that Africa will have over 4.8 million DTT subscribers in 2019,” adds Khin Sandi Lynn, industry analyst.
DirecTV maintains its largest market share in terms of pay-TV service revenue. The company had around 20.2 million subscribers in the US with an ARPU above $102 by the end of 3Q-2013. Globally, the pay-TV market is expected to grow to 1.1 billion subscribers with $320.3 billion in service revenue in 2019.

3. The overall TV market (home video, on demand video, linear TV)

Or a broader view representing all other segments of the TV market as well:
Global TV market revenue to grow at a steady pace: up 23% by 2018
[DigiWorld by IDATE blog, Jan 30, 2014] by Florence Le Borgne
Head of the TV & Digital content Practice, IDATE.

At a time when video has become pervasive across all of our screens, most national TV markets are losing steam: shrinking viewership and pressure on advertising markets, especially in Europe. Although pay-TV seems to be holding its own, the fast-growing popularity of OTT offerings is shaking up the traditional pay-TV model, while the demise of physical media is virtually a foregone conclusion.
If the decline of physical media now seems inevitable, television still has a chance to reinvent itself in a way that takes into account changes in viewer behaviour and competition from new online vendors.
Accessing TV
According to IDATE, the number of TV households worldwide will reach 1.675 billion in 2018 (+9.6% in 5 years), with the number of digital TV households worldwide being 1.542 billion in 2018, which translates into 92% of TV households
  • Cable will the remain the chief access channel (592.3 million households in 2018) but will gradually lose ground to satellite and IPTV which will account for 32.9% and 10.9% of TV households, respectively, at the end of 2018.
  • Despite the development of hybrid TV solutions, terrestrial TV should continue its decline on the first TV set and drop down to number three spot by 2018, with roughly 21% share of the global market.
  • The development of hybrid solutions that combine live programming on broadcast networks (terrestrial and DTH) and OTT video services over the open Web is a key variable in the future development of the various TV access modes, and may well shake up current trends.
TV: top money-maker
Breakdown of audiovisual market revenue in 2013

image 

TV revenue
According to IDATE, the global TV industry’s revenue will come to €374.8 billion in 2013 and €459.2 billion in 2018.
  • Pay-TV revenue will grow by 21.3% between 2013 and 2018, or by an average 3.9% annually, to reach €220.2 billion in 2018.
  • Ad revenue will enjoy even stronger growth of 27.3% between 2013 and 2018, to reach €201.1 billion in 2018.
  • Public financing/licensing fees will continue to increase significantly (+7.7% in 5 years) to reach nearly €38 billion in 2018.
Video revenue
According to IDATE, physical media sales will total €16.3 billion in 2018, when video on demand (VoD) revenue will reach €35.4 billion in 2018, which is 90% more than in 2013.
  • This means that the global market will have shrunk to more than a quarter of what it was in 2013 (-27.2%).
  • Blu-ray will be the most common format and help temper plummeting physical media sales.
  • OTT video will continue to be the biggest earner, generating 51% of total revenue.
  • VoD will still be the dominant model on managed networks. It will generate €6.9 billion in 2018 versus €2.3 billion for subscription video on demand (S-VoD).
American OTT video providers’ footprint in Europe as of 31 December 2013
image
Source: IDATE, December 2013
American OTT vendors already have a solid foothold in Europe
Netflix is already present in seven European countries: Britain, Ireland, the Netherlands, Denmark, Norway, Finland and Sweden. The service had 1.6 million subscribers in the UK and Ireland at the end of 2013.
  • LoveFilm was reporting 1.9 million subscribers in the UK and Germany at the end of 2013.
  • At the end of 2013, iTunes’ VoD rental service was available in close to 110 countries, and permanent downloads in 14 countries, chiefly in North America and Europe.
More information on TV and new video services market report & database

UK Video Rental Market Plunges in 2013 as Half of Country’s Blockbuster Stores Close [IHS iSuppli press release, April 23, 2013]

The market for Blu-ray (BD) and DVD rental in the United Kingdom is expected to plunge by 22 percent in 2013, as half the country’s Blockbuster video stores shut down in a restructuring initiated by the company’s new management.
The U.K. market for physical-video rental will drop to £202 million in 2013, down £57 million, or 22 percent from £259 million in 2012, according to a newly updated forecast from IHS (NYSE: IHS) . While the market is generally on the decline, 2013 will bring the sharpest predicted annual decrease for the 11-year period from 2007 through 2017.

image

By the end of 2013, only 264 Blockbuster stores will be open in the country, down 50 percent from 530 in 2012. Blockbuster is the largest video rental chain in the country.
“The year 2013 is set to become a watershed for the U.K. video rental market as a result of the wholesale closure of Blockbuster UK stores,” said Tony Gunnarsson, senior video analyst at IHS. “The massive downturn in the store-based video rental market represents a significant loss to the video market and will result in a major decline and radical transformation of the U.K. video market overall. From 2013 on, the U.K. physical-video rental business increasingly will be dominated by online rent-by-mail subscription services.”
Both DVD and BD transactions are due to decrease across the store-based sector this year. DVD rentals will fall by a steep 53.2 percent to 15.4 million. BD is set to drop by an even larger 61.3 percent to 2.8 million respectively.
Blockbuster gets busted up
After filing for administration in January 2013, Blockbuster’s administrators Deloitte announced two separate rounds of store closures, including some 224 sites. In February 2013, supermarket chain Morrisons purchased 49 of these former Blockbuster stores in its drive to increase its store presence in southeast England.
Out of the remaining Blockbuster stores, Gordon Brothers acquired a total of 264 locations, including a number of Blockbuster outlets earmarked for closure that will now remain open.
Pay-TV killed the video store
In 2012, rental stores were responsible for 41.3 percent of the video rental market based on consumer spending. In the latest forecast for 2013, however, the store-based sector is now projected to generate just 24.7 percent of the overall market. This tilts the market toward the online sector, which will see its share of market increase massively from 58.7 percent in 2012 to 75.3 percent this year.
At the same time, the lost rental business won’t result in customers that used to rent at Blockbusters automatically signing up to become rent-by-mail customers with online providers, IHS believes. Rather, those customers are more likely to turn to a host of other video platforms, primarily pay-TV services.
Video rental market winds down
In the longer view, the U.K. rental market will return to a normal trend of decline after 2013, with spending on renting physical video shrinking at an annual rate of under 5 percent until 2017. By then, the retreat in spending is expected to be slightly more negative at 7 percent.

4. IPTV—AT&T U-verse TV and Verizon FiOS video in particular

As far as the U.S. is concerned AT&T U-verse TV and Verizon FiOS video are the leading IPTV services by far*, having 5.5 million and 5.3 million subscribers respectively, which is 11.7% of the above 92 million subscribers number by ABI Research:

image* The next service provider, CenturyLink “Ended the quarter with 149,000 CenturyLink® PrismTM TV subscribers, an increase of approximately 17,000 subscribers in third quarter 2013” according to its Q3 203 report [Nov 6, 2013]. CenturyLink only entered five U.S. markets after acquiring Embarq (2009) and Qwest (2010). In fact no other U.S. providers are in the Top 20 globally according to SNL Kagan Reports World’S 20 Largest IPTV Operators Served 83% of Global IPTV Households at End-2012 [June 6, 2013]. More:
– China’s leading telcos– China Telecom and China Unicom– serve an estimated 30% of the global IPTV subscriber base.
– Asian telcos accounted for 49.2% of the top 20’s IPTV subscribers in 2012, reflecting the region’s large market size and limited telco competition.
– France — the second-largest IPTV market by subscribers after China — is home to four operators ranked among the global top 20. [
Note that among Top 5 are Iliad and France Telecom. Iliad’s Freebox TV offering proposes a broad selection of TV channels (over 450, of which more than 200 are included in the basic package), as well as numerous audiovisual services, such as catch-up TV (with 45 channels available on Freebox Replay), and a wide video-on-demand offering. It was actually the largest IPTV deployment in the world with 2.4 million IPTV-enabled customers as of end 2007 (see here).]
– Nine operators out of 20 are located in Western Europe and seven in Asia
.

U-verse® Drives Wireline Consumer Growth and Broadband Gains

  • Wireline consumer revenue growth of 2.9 percent versus the year-earlier period
  • Total U-verse revenues, including business, up 27.9 percent year over year, now a $13 billion annualized revenue stream
  • 10.7 million total U-verse subscribers (TV and high speed Internet) in service:
    • 630,000 high speed Internet subscriber net adds; record annual net adds of 2.7 million
    • 194,000 U-verse TV subscribers added, lowest churn in product history
  • Continued U-verse broadband gains in the business customer segment, up 78,000, nearly doubling year-ago net adds
  • Strategic business services growth accelerates with revenues up 17.4 percent year over year, now more than 25 percent of wireline business revenues

Record-Low U-verse TV Churn. Total U-verse subscribers (TV and high speed Internet) reached 10.7 million in the fourth quarter. U-verse TV had the lowest-ever churn in its history. U-verse TV added 194,000 subscribers in the fourth quarter with an increase of 924,000 for the full year to reach 5.5 million in service. AT&T has more pay TV subscribers than any other telecommunications company.

U-verse TV penetration of customer locations continues to grow and was at 21 percent at the end of the fourth quarter.

image

Note that after AT&T Extends TV Watching to More Devices with Launch of U-verse TV on Xbox 360 [press release, Oct 11, 2010] and even after New U-verse Internet Customers Can Take Their Pick: A Free Xbox 360, SONOS PLAY:3, Kindle Fire or Nexus 7 Tablet [press release, March 18, 2013] that Xbox tie-up ended with AT&T U-verse TV To Drop Support For Xbox 360 on December 31 [Multichannel, Nov 26, 2013]:

“We’ve made this decision due to low customer demand,” an AT&T spokeswoman said via email on Tuesday. AT&T declined to say how many customers currently use the Xbox 360 as a set-top. … AT&T, the spokeswoman added, currently has no plans to support U-verse TV on the Xbox One. Verizon Communications FiOS TV is the first, and so far only, U.S. pay-TV provider to offer an authenticated app for the Xbox One during its initial launch phase.

In FiOS video we added 92,000 new subscribers in the quarter. Total FiOS videos customers reached 5.3 million, representing 35% penetration.

As far as the OnCue acquisition [from Intel, i.e. the Intel Media operation], look, the focus here is really to accelerate the availability of the next-generation IP video service which we will integrate into the FiOS video service. And really what we are trying to do is differentiate this even more so with fiber to the home versus others with the TV offerings and reducing the deployment costs. And this really accelerates us from if we were trying to build IP TV versus buying the IP TV technology.

From an FiOS customer perspective, we expect the benefits that they will have more elegant search and discovery activity and cost stream ease of use. But also keep in mind, with the acquisition of Verizon Wireless and becoming 100% ownership of that we also plan to take that platform and integrate it more deeply with our Verizon Wireless 4G LTE network. So that really was the strategy behind this.

As far as would we enable this platform to take us over the top, obviously we have our video digital media services that we have been working on for 2.5 years. We’ve just made two acquisitions related to that platform. So, look, we are positioning ourselves strategically to be in a position to competitively compete around the whole mobile first world and video, so I think that is where we are.

image

Pay-TV Operators Can Stave Off OTT Threat with Multiscreen and CDN Investments [iSuppli press release, April 17, 2013]

Despite the dire competitive threat posed by over-the-top (OTT) services, pay-TV operators can thrive by investing in additional service offerings that should include multiscreen services to more than make up for the erosion in their customer base, according to the IHS Screen Digest TV Intelligence Service from information and analytics provider IHS (NYSE: IHS).

Speaking here today at the IHS PEVE Entertainment 2013 Conference, Guy Bisson, research director for television at IHS, noted that although European cable operators have lost 1.4 million households, they have gained 17.8 more revenue-generating units (RGUs), during the five-year period from 2007 through 2012.

While cable operators in Europe and other regions are expected to lose more households in the coming years, RGUs will continue to increase, driving revenue growth for the industry. The below figure presents the IHS history and forecast of cable households and RGUs for the 27 countries of the European Union.

5. OTT (Over-the-top content)

OTT and IPTV Integration Increasingly Popular [Pyramid Points, Nov 27, 2012]

How do you plan to spend your evening most times when you order a pizza? You’re very likely to watch a video.
In the UK, Domino’s Pizza Group saw the value of over-the-top (OTT) online video to boost customer loyalty, and back in October launched the Domino’s Pizza Box Office video streaming offer. Customers order a pizza and get a download code to stream a movie at home. This is just another example of how OTT is revolutionizing the way video content is delivered to consumers: Today almost anyone can become a content provider.
Exhibit: Evolving video delivery environment and video platforms
image
Source: Pyramid Research

Many operators see the proliferation of OTT as a threat to their established IPTV business models. They fear that OTT will subvert their role in the pay-TV value chain and cannibalize revenue. We’ve found, however, that the opposite is just as likely to be true. In our new report, “OTT Growth Sparks Innovation Multiscreen Video Business Models,” we argue that OTT is serving as an innovation stimulus for the pay-TV market, pushing telcos to enhance their IPTV services with more screens. We also find that an increasing number of operators, alongside their managed IPTV services, are directly entering into non-managed OTT environments. This means that more operators are using the open Internet to offer video services to potentially any consumer with a broadband connectivity, being their existing customers or not.

OTT in emerging markets: Challenges and opportunities
Operators are warming up to the idea of launching their own OTT services, especially in emerging markets. While IPTV remains a premium service, which requires subscribers to purchase more expensive bundles, OTT is more flexible and only requires a good broadband connection. This means that in the more price-sensitive markets, where there is still strong demand for online video, OTT is becoming an attractive option for users. Besides, OTT services are typically delivered over a wide range of screens and at different price points, including smartphones, tablets and gaming consoles, making them more accessible to different consumer profiles.
In Colombia, for example, ETB has announced that it will shortly launch an OTT service to complement its upcoming IPTV deployment. In Mexico, the OTT service provided by fiber-to-the-home (FTTH) operator Totalplay, dubbed Totalmovie, has rapidly become the main competitor to Netflix. It offers video content in Mexico alongside the operators’ IPTV platform and across Latin America by using third-party operator infrastructure. As of October, it had 1.9m registered users and 5m unique monthly visitors.
We expect to see more Latin American operators launching OTT services. The second largest regional group, Telefonica, is considering positioning OTT commercial offers in several countries. The decision between managed (IPTV) or unmanaged video delivery (OTT) ultimately depends on each country’s infrastructure, competitive environment and operator position. Telefonica has, however, confirmed that there are already ongoing OTT initiatives outside Spain.
In Turkey, TTNET, the ISP of fixed-line incumbent Turk Telekom, has already been quite successful in combining its IPTV and OTT offerings. TTNET wants to add value to the bundles, which in turns helps increase customer loyalty and reduce churn. This is crucial in preventing the decline of Turk Telekom’s fixed-line base. While IPTV is positioned as a premium service, OTT is priced very competitively. As of August this year, TTNET had over 1.2m OTT and 150,000 IPTV subscriptions.
OTT can provide significant benefits to operators. In the case of TTNET, positioning OTT alongside IPTV is encouraging consumers to break through their broadband allowances, thus creating the need to migrate to higher-value packages. In the case of Totalplay in Mexico, OTT is contributing to the monetization of the operator’s superfast fiber-based network. For both operators, using third-party infrastructure breaks the link between content delivery and network management.

The outlook is positive

In the near future, we expect to see significant revenue-generating opportunities associated with VoD, catch-up TV, and targeted advertising, especially when telcos can integrate their OTT and IPTV offerings with interactive and social media functions.

Using the open Internet for content delivery, however, has its downsides. The main shortcoming with OTT is that the operator is not in control of quality of service (QoS). Especially in emerging markets, quality of service and network speeds vary wildly from country to country, making it challenging to ensure the same quality of experience (QoE) that can be guaranteed through a managed IPTV network. Another challenge for operators is securing in-demand content for OTT platforms. Without doubt content is king, but content is also costly. Unless they are backed by multimedia and broadcasting groups, operators tend to be the weak link in the content production and delivery value chain. But that is a challenge with IPTV too.

All in all, if telcos are serious about developing a pay-TV offering that can resonate with the demand for multiple viewing platforms at different price levels, they need to seriously consider the opportunity of complementing IPTV platforms with OTT.

— Daniele Tricarico, Analyst

More information from Pyramid Research:
Is the Arab World Ready for OTT Video? [Sept 13, 2013]
CDNs Offer New OTT Revenue Hope [Feb 20, 2013]
Chinese Regulator Opens Up to MVNOs [mobile virtual network operators] [March 15, 2013]

Finally here is a list of Top 10 Online Streaming Video Services [tom’sGUIDE, Jan 1, 2014] in the U.S. in order to understand the state-of-the-art of OTT video services:

Digital video options

Streaming video has just about displaced the DVD on the list of home entertainment options, and it may supersede cable and broadcast TV in the near future. Every modern computer has access to streaming video services, as do most game consoles and mobile devices, and even a growing proportion of televisions. Whether you’re looking to get your feet wet or expand your streaming horizons, check out 10 of the best services for watching movies, TV, music videos, Web shows and more.

image

Netflix

Netflix is the most popular video streaming service out there, and with good reason. The service is available on just about every platform, including computers, game consoles, set-top boxes and mobile devices, and it hosts movies and TV shows to accommodate every taste. From hit films like “The Avengers” to every “Star Trek” TV series to original programming like “Orange Is the New Black,” Netflix’s variety of content is unparalleled. You can even share an account among five different users to keep recommendations and viewing habits separate. Netflix costs $8 per month.

Inserts of mine:
Netflix added to Virgin’s TiVo platform [[IHS] Screen Digest commentary, Sept 10, 2013] with “UK cable company Virgin Media has signed what is effectively an OTT carriage deal with Netflix to bring the streaming service onto the Virgin TiVo platform. Groundbreaking move is the first deal of its type and indicates a change in the positioning of Netflix and the competitive positioning of OTT against ‘traditional’ pay TV. … that more firmly positions Netflix as a content aggregator (read: channel) rather than a platform and opens the door for similar deals internationally. Move vindicates our long-held view that this was the correct way to position Netflix and other OTT content aggregators.
Netflix passes 38m paying ‘streaming’ subscribers [[IHS] Screen Digest commentary, Oct 22, 2013] with:

Netflix’s total number of paid streaming subscribers increased by 2.4m over the quarter, to reach 29.9m subscribers in the United States and 8.1m subscribers internationally. The international streaming service saw a larger than expected increase of free trialists to 1.1m driven by Latin America and the September launch of the service in the Netherlands.
The third quarter of 2013 is a significant milestone for Netflix, as the quarter in which the Netflix US streaming subscriber count pulled even with the US subscriber count of pay TV giant HBO. The company ended the quarter just shy of 30 million streaming subscribers with estimates for HBO at roughly the same level.
The comparison with HBO is the most appropriate for companies such as Netflix, Amazon and Hulu‘s subscription service, rather than with the pay TV operators. Netflix, as well as Hulu Plus and Amazon, are acting as premium channels in investing in acquired and original content and following in HBO’s early-1990s footsteps. Despite the investment Netflix has made in its own original programming, the company has reported that a greater percentage of overall viewing on the platform is of previous-season TV episodes and catalogue movies. Netflix indicates that it plans to double its investment in original content in 2014, although this will still represent less than 10per cent of global content expenditure.
Netflix’s international business remained a loss-making venture as the company struggles to gain profitability without scale and without a legacy high margin physical business. Whereas in the US the company initially bundled its streaming proposition with disc rentals add value to the physical subscription Netflix has not had a preexisting business from which to launch a digital subscription internationally. At present, the international ventures are subsidized by domestic market return and with ongoing market expansions planned by Netflix; IHS does not expect this to change in the mid-term.

End od my inserts for Netflix

Hulu Plus

If you want to catch TV shows almost as soon as they air, Hulu Plus may be right for you. This streaming service hosts a plethora of TV shows and movies. Whether you want to watch “Leverage,” “Family Guy” or “Spongebob Squarepants,” Hulu generally posts new episodes within days of their airing on TV. Hulu Plus costs $8 per month (with some shows available only on computers for free), and provides past seasons of shows along with Hulu’s original programs. It is available on computers, game consoles, streaming boxes and mobiles.

Amazon Prime Instant Video

Amazon Prime Instant Video is a streaming service that comes with an Amazon Prime subscription. In addition to offering free shipping on Amazon orders and free Kindle books to borrow, Amazon Prime allows subscribers to access approximately 40,000 movies and TV shows. In addition to unlimited streaming offerings, users can rent and buy other TV shows and movies a la carte. This makes Amazon Instant Video a good choice for watching newer movies before they touch down on unlimited streaming services like Netflix. Amazon Prime costs $79 per year.

See also: Amazon may hike Prime cost as earnings disappoint and further challenges lay ahead of the company for which it needs to adjust its business model and expand its operations [‘Experiencing the Cloud’, Jan 31, 2014]

M-Go

If you’re not interested in paying a monthly fee for your streaming video content, M-Go might be up your alley. M-Go, which is the default streaming service on Roku boxes and also available on computers and mobile devices, allows you to rent and buy TV shows and movies. Prices range from $2 for individual TV episodes to $20 for HD movie purchases. M-Go excels in offering both HD and SD versions of content, making it an attractive choice if you want a one-off rental.

Blip

Watching big-budget movies and TV is all well and good, but for curated, original Web shows from charismatic creators, nothing fits the bill like Blip. Think of Blip as a more curated, creator-friendly version of YouTube. Individuals create and upload original series, ranging from comedy to reviews to funny pet videos, and Blip ensures that the content has professional production values and that new entries are added regularly. All content on Blip is free, and you can access it via your computer, mobile device or Xbox 360.

image

Vevo

MTV hasn’t played music videos since the ’90s, but the medium is not dead just yet. Vevo hosts the latest music videos from artists ranging from Katy Perry to Old Crow Medicine Show, but audiophiles would be wise to stick around for its scads of original content. Users can access biographies, retrospectives, behind-the-scenes footage and interviews about their favorite musicians, and curated playlists for both individual artists and entire genres. Vevo is free, and available on computers, mobile devices, Rokus, Apple TVs and Xbox 360s.

MLB.TV

If you’re a baseball fan, you’re in luck: Major League Baseball‘s streaming service is one of the best in professional sports. MLB.TV allows viewers to watch most games during the regular MLB season. (Postseason games are available through the Postseason.TV service at additional cost.) Fans can watch both home and away games from anywhere in the world. Stat junkies can examine each pitch as it happens and compare their fantasy teams in real time. MLB.TV costs $130 per year and is available on computers, mobile devices, set-top boxes, Xbox 360s and PS3s.

Crackle

If you crave pop cinema, Crackle could be the best thing to happen to your TV since afternoon basic cable. The Crackle service offers a rotating selection of a few hundred movies and TV shows, including “Ghostbusters,” “The Cable Guy” and “The Shield.” Crackle also creates and hosts original content, ranging from espionage thriller serials to “Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee” starring Jerry Seinfeld. Crackle is free (though you’ll have to watch some commercials) and available on computers, mobile devices, set-top boxes and game consoles.

Twitch

Watching other people play video games is, surprisingly, almost as much fun as playing yourself — sometimes more so, if you have a good host. Twitch is a platform for gamers to livestream their play sessions. You can find streams of everything from “League of Legends” to “Minecraft.” Whether you want to see tutorials, speed runs or popular Web personalities’ reviews, Twitch has you covered. The service is free, both to watch and to stream your own sessions. Twitch is available on computers, mobile devices, set-top boxes and PS4s.

YouTube

The biggest video streaming service online is just about unbeatable when it comes to variety of content. YouTube is the go-to site to upload short videos: cats, clips from your favorite TV programs, cats, original Web shows, cats, movie trailers, cats and more. The service will be one of the first to support content for the higher-resolution 4K TVs. If you’re looking to watch short-form videos, this is the place to start. YouTube is free and available on just about every device with a screen and an Internet connection.

Discovery to take majority control of Eurosport [[IHS] Screen Digest commentary, Jan 22, 2014]

Discovery Communications has agreed to take a controlling interest in Eurosport International, the pan-European sports channel, from its partner TF1 Group [of France]. … Discovery, which primarily operates a portfolio of factual channels in Europe, has branched out in recent years with the acquisitions of SBS Nordic in Scandinavia and Italy’s Switchover Media. It now has the option to acquire 100% of Eurosport International and could also increase its interest in Eurosport France, though TF1 expects to retain its 80% interest until at least 1 January 2015.
The US group‘s move to take control of Eurosport is, as the company noted yesterday, taking place a year sooner than originally planned. While sports is clearly a new playing field for Discovery, the male-skewing profile of Eurosport is a good fit with its factual channel brands, offering possibilities for combining advertising and network sales. To date, co-operation has focused on markets where Eurosport is not present, notably the US and China. In the US, Discovery has been showcasing Eurosport rally and superbike programming on its Velocity channel.
A further move into the US appears unlikely given the presence of ESPN and powerful rivals like Fox Sports, NBC Sports and CBS. Fox Sports in particular has recently made strong moves into the international market place. Outside the US, Eurosport successfully occupies a niche where it is not competing with premium pay operators like BSkyB, Canal Plus and Sky Italia for high cost events like league football, but instead focuses on lower profile events where rights are often shared with local free-to-air broadcasters.
The main uncertainty over Eurosport’s change of ownership surrounds its content supply from the European Broadcasting Union (EBU), which provides hundreds of hours of events like cycling, grand slam tennis, winter sports and athletics. TF1 is an EBU member, but with Discovery holding the reins, this arrangement will almost certainly have to be renegotiated, with possible implications for Eurosport’s cost base. Even now, there appears to be room for improvement: Discovery’s operating margin for its international operations was 44% in 2012, compared to a slender 14% for Eurosport International.

Sky sees future in OTT as upsell becomes focus [[IHS] Screen Digest commentary, July 26, 2013]

Sky [more precisely BSkyB] added more Now TV customers in the quarter to end June 2013 than new satellite customers and is increasingly pushing OTT access and connected devices as the core of its future growth strategy. In calendar second quarter (Sky’s fiscal Q4), the pay TV provider added 34,000 new TV customers to reach 10.442m and said the ‘bulk’ of TV growth came from OTT service Now TV. Organic growth for broadband stood at 119,000 (25 per cent more than BT added in the same quarter) with a further 400,000 added through the acquisition of O2’s UK broadband operations to reach 4.9m. Telephony grew 140,000 organically with 153,000 coming from O2 to reach 4.5m. The number of HD subscribers grew 117,000 to reach 4.789m or 46 per cent of the TV base, with 2.7m HD boxes connected to broadband. Annualised ARPU hit £577 up £29 in the year.
Sky said that its future strategy would focus on becoming the centre of the connected home across a range of content windows that would increasingly include DVD window for paid on-demand and movie retail as well as the traditional subscription window. The move comes on the back of impressive figures for on-demand and OTT content subscription with a three fold increase in Sky Store (on-demand) revenue and 166,000 customers paying £5 a month for the Sky Go Extra service that allows content download to mobile devices. Sky said that, on average, Sky homes have seven connected devices and that content access inside and outside the home was increasingly important to its offer. The operator said it had concluded four new studio deals with a wider range of rights to service this market and would prioritise getting its customer base connected. The new Sky HD box now comes with built in Wi-Fi and a new low-cost wireless connector is being made available. Sky also released a new Now TV box priced at £9.99 when a Now TV subscription is taken, the device also enables Smart TV functionality and is targeted at the 13m Freeview [a free-to-air digital terrestrial television service in UK, a joint venture between the BBC, ITV,Channel 4, BSkyB and transmitter operator Arqiva] homes who don’t currently subscribe to Sky services.
Our take
The latest move is interesting in that is represents a significant vote of confidence in both the incremental revenue that can be derived from OTT services and the potential to tap an entirely new customer base in the form of ‘dip-in’ Now TV users. While this goes hand in hand with an increased investment in original content and channels as well as sports rights to support the core service, it is clear that Sky sees the most upside in incremental revenue driven by OTT rather than strong additional growth in traditional satellite pay TV customers. With broadband and telephony being an increasingly important area of revenue growth, the connected device/OTT space becomes the next area for up-sell, meaning that the so-called ‘multi-product strategy’ becomes central. While none of the services require a tie-in to Sky’s own broadband, it is this very area that BT has chosen to attack with its bold move into sport. The free access to BT’s suite of new sports channels with a BT broadband 12 month contract means that not only could there be a subset of Sky TV customers who will migrate to BT broadband, but a further segment of existing BT customers who will not be available to Sky for triple-play up-sell. To date there has been no evidence that’s BT’s strategy is paying off (net TV additions for BT were roughly flat in the quarter to end June 2013). But BT says it believes this will change when the channels launch.
Sky’s strategy, then, is to fall back on its traditional strengths centred on content, but to do this in a way that embraces new forms of distribution and leverages the power of its existing customer relationships. Headroom for growth remains strong: despite triple-play penetration reaching 35 per cent among the Sky customer base, two-thirds of Sky customers have yet to take a broadband offer. With Sky out-performing the market in broadband net adds, this area is likely to ensure continued strong revenue and ARPU growth. But two areas of risk remain. If the majority of TV growth comes from Now TV, Sky will have to deal with an increasingly large segment of TV customers who are not tied into a contract and who are relatively low value in terms of ARPU. As this segment scales, clearly this could lead to large and seasonal fluctuations in churn and ARPU. The second area of risk is related: cannibalisation. While this is a risk that Sky is well aware of and keeping close tabs on, the renewed connected home push risks accelerating the transition to a more transient customer base.

UK TV viewing is about connection, says Ofcom report [[IHS] Screen Digest commentary, Aug 1, 2013]

The home entertainment experience is becoming increasingly connected with multi-tasking central to the enjoyment of TV content, according to the latest Communications Market Report from UK regulator Ofcom. According to the findings, there has been a huge increase in the devices that people take to the living room. On average, each UK household owns three different types on Internet-enabled device. The biggest growth over the last year in take-up of services and devices has been on the number of tablets and smart-phones. Thanks to the device mix, 22 per cent of people in the living room watching screens other than the main TV most of the time.
The main TV set remains important. Ninety-one per cent of UK population tune into the main TV set weekly up from 88 per cent in 2002, with viewers on average watching four hours a day in 2012 compared to 3.6 hours in 2006. Although the report finds that people gather around the TV in the living room, there has been a decline in the number of children with TVs in their bedroom; 52 per cent of UK children now have a TV set in their bedrooms which represents a 17 per cent decline over the last six years, mainly related to the increase number of tablets and Internet connected devices.
Average media household spend has increased in the last year to £113.51 a month after many years of decline. The biggest increase has been on mobile services (£46.73 a month) and fixed internet (£11.91 a month) and the biggest decrease has been on fixed voice (down £22.48 versus one year ago to £21.61 in 2012). TV spend has been stable over the last five years at between £28-£29 a month.
Our take

Ofcom figures reflect what IHS Screen Digest has long noted: live linear TV is not dead.

According to Ofcom, time-shifted viewing represents just 10 per cent of the total and hasn’t changed much over the last years despite the huge increase in DVR ownership. According to BARB figures DVR has grown from 18 per cent in 2007 to 55 per cent in 2010 and 67 per cent in 2012. Despite this, growth in time-shifted viewing has been only moderate up from six per cent four years ago. 
More than half of UK adults are regular media multi taskers, they ‘stack’ or ‘mesh’while watching TV weekly, with tablet owners more likely to multi-task than average. Almost one in four UK adults made direct communication with friends and family about the programs as they watching (media meshing) and half of UK adults conduct other activities while they are watching TV on a weekly basis (media staking).
The increase in tablet owners has also changed consumer viewing behaviour with VOD requests coming from tablets increasing from three per cent in 2011 to 12 per cent in 2012. More than 56 per cent of tablet owners used them to watch TV and 57 per cent of those watched linear TV on the tablet.

Ofcom also found that, when it comes to the much-hyped area of social TV, it is news, reality shows and sport events that are engaging viewers through social media, but the knock-on effect is that consumers want to watch these shows live in order to engage socially, providing another boost for linear TV.

TV Everywhere Spreads Among US Television and Cable Networks; NBCUniversal Leads [IHS iSuppli press release, Oct 18, 2013]

NBCUniversal leads the US TV Everywhere (TVE) effort in providing access to TV content on second screens like smartphones and tablets, while EPIX and HBO share the distinction of supporting TVE on more second-screen devices than any other premium or basic cable network, according to a new report from the TV Intelligence Service at IHS Inc. (NYSE: IHS).

From Wikipedia: TV Everywhere (also sometimes known as authenticated streaming)[1] refers to a model wherein television providers and broadcasters, particularly cable channels, allow their subscribers to access their respective content on digital platforms, including video on demand and live streaming of the channels themselves. TV Everywhere systems utilize user accounts provided by the television provider—which are used to verify whether the user is a subscriber to a particular channel, thus allowing or denying access to the content. The U.S. provider Time Warner Cable first introduced the concept in 2009; in 2010, many television providers and broadcasters began to roll out TV Everywhere services for their subscribers, including major networks such as ESPN, HBO,NBC (particularly for its Olympics coverage).
NBCUniversal provides TVE in 15 of its 18 channels, or 83 percent of the studio’s total stable of cable and broadcast networks to pay-TV subscribers willing to authenticate on second-screen devices. Meanwhile, EPIX and HBO have been at the forefront of the TVE experience, with both very willing to embrace new technologies and offering significant amounts of content on their apps and portals.
EPIX first kicked off the TVE phenomena in October 2009, formed by partners Paramount, MGM and Lionsgate after their failed renewal with Showtime HBO followed suit in February 2010 with the launch of its web portal and how has a vast TVE library online, even though it does not yet offer live linear streaming.

image

HBO, along with Cinemax and BTN2Go, are the only three networks to have TV Everywhere authentication agreements with all major US pay TV operators.
For its part, Showtime is the only premium network offering live linear streaming through TV Everywhere. The company is also allowing for authentication outside of the home, a feature likely to expand to other basic and premium cable networks as TVE continues to evolve.
The last premium channel group to the party is Liberty’s STARZ. STARZ and Encore launched TV Everywhere services in October of 2012, but are still missing authentication deals with both Comcast and DISH Network.
One entity so far remains the lone hold-out among the major channel groups not providing any TV Everywhere content—Discovery Communications. But that will change as Discovery is expected to finally jump into the fray in the near to midterm time frame. It will likely become critical to offer similar services, IHS believes, as TVE access becomes more central to the future of US pay TV video.
Solving the cord-cutting problem before it gathers steam
All major pay-TV operators to date have implemented some form of the TVE service, although sometimes in very limited form, via either live linear streaming or video on demand (VoD). But while the streaming of live linear network feeds is largely relegated to in-home use, video on demand (VoD) is a significant out-of-home TVE product.
VoD streaming channels, at 73 including cable, premium and broadcast, far outnumber the channels offering live streaming, at 31, as shown in the attached figure. NBCUniversal, the TVE leader, has 15 VoD channels and five live streaming channels, followed by Time Warner with nine VoD channels and three live streaming channels.
“TV Everywhere has been developed as a collective strategy by both pay-TV operators and TV content owners to enhance the traditional linear TV proposition, so that secondary screens like tablets and smartphones can be used to view TV content in addition to the primary screen,” said Erik Brannon, analyst for U.S. cable networks at IHS. “And in spite of the differences in strategy, all TVE products have one thing in common: They allow for current pay-TV video subscribers to authenticate and consume on secondary screens a significant amount of content that they purchase as part of their normal pay-TV video subscriptions.”
TVE is one approach that pay-TV operators and network owners are using to stem the tide of cord-cutting among cable subscribers before the number of defections become significant. In many cases, cable subscribers are finding themselves increasingly tempted to end their subscriptions—either because of high costs or because of other alternatives now available, such as over-the-top (OTT) alternatives like Netflix. In the second quarter of 2013 alone IHS estimates that the pay-TV business shed 352,000 subscribers, mostly to seasonality, but some elements of cord-cutting are likely to have been present as well. To be sure, the combined price of $28 (Netflix, Hulu Plus and Aereo) may be more appealing to consumers than the $80+ average revenue per user that IHS estimates pay-TV video customers will pony up for service in 2013.
Through TVE, both pay-TV operators and network owners hope to add new functionality and interactivity to the television viewing experience. And by partnering with pay-TV operators, content owners like the broadcast networks hope they can continue to solidify their hold on the distribution of premium television content.
Device compatibility extending beyond iOS and Android
TV Everywhere is also evolving beyond Apple iOS and Android, the two platforms on which TVE apps first appeared. Now, TVE apps from networks are becoming available and are being deployed across a wide range of connected devices, including smart TVs; video game consoles like Microsoft’s Xbox; Amazon’s Kindle Fire; Blu-ray players; and digital media products such as Roku and Apple TV.
Adoption of TVE initiatives by the major channels is a reaction to the changing landscape of TV viewers in the country, Brannon noted. And as it continues to grow in awareness and popularity, TV Everywhere will remain a central focus for pay-TV operators.

6. Microsoft’s live TV solution on Xbox

From Worldwide launch of Xbox One sparks global celebration for a new generation in games and entertainment [Microsoft press release, Nov 21, 2013]

Xbox One’s innovative architecture means you no longer have to choose between your games and entertainment. Get multiplayer alerts while you watch TV, and keep watching TV while you play. Snap your NFL fantasy football stats next to the game. Jump instantly from a game to TV, movies, fitness, music, sports, the Internet and Skype video chat with the sound of your voice. With Xbox One, you never have to stop playing to talk to a friend, surf the Web or watch live TV. You also have access to a new generation of TV experiences, and starting in the U.S. and coming to many markets soon, OneGuide will allow you to access your favorite shows, channels, apps or games with the Bing natural language voice search.

Xbox One Live TV, Xbox Fitness with Yusuf Mehdi [scarlettgarden YouTube channel, Oct 27, 2013]

Here’s an Xbox Wire interview with Yusuf Mehdi regarding live TV on the Xbox with instant switching and Xbox experiences tailored to the gamer profile

From Xbox One: Your Top Questions Answered [May, 2013]

Our goal is to enable live TV through Xbox One in every way that it is delivered throughout the world, whether that’s television service providers, over the air or over the Internet, or HDMI-in via a set top box (as is the case with many providers in the US). The delivery of TV is complex and we are working through the many technologies and policies around the world to make live TV available where Xbox One is available.

The TWC Case:

This deal, which will bring more live channels than any other experience on Xbox 360, will offer Time Warner Cable [TWC] subscribers with an Xbox Live Gold membership the ability to watch their favorite shows from right from their Xbox 360 — including favorites like AMC, BBC World News, Bravo, Cartoon Network, CNN, Comedy Central, Food Network, HGTV and more. And unlike any other platform, you’ll be able to control your entertainment using your voice via Kinect for Xbox 360.
I’m excited to announce, alongside our good friends at Time Warner Cable, that the TWC TV app has launched on Xbox 360 today, delivering up to 300 of the most popular TV channels to Xbox Live Gold members in the U.S. who are also TWC subscribers.
At Xbox, our vision has always been to provide all the entertainment people want in one place, putting the best in TV, movies, music and sports right next to your favorite games. Like Xbox 360, Xbox One will be the best place in your house for gaming, apps and TV and we can’t wait to show you more on that soon. Today, we’re thrilled to expand our growing entertainment app portfolio of more than 130 voice-controlled apps on Xbox 360 with the addition of TWC TV. TWC customers, thank you for your support and welcome to the Xbox family.
When we launched the TWC TV app on Xbox 360 in August, we promised we were hard at work with our partners at Time Warner Cable to bring you Video On Demand and just in time for the holidays, we’re delivering. Starting today, Xbox Live Gold members in the U.S. who are also Time Warner Cable subscribers can now get On Demand content right on their Xbox 360 in addition to the nearly 300 channels of live TV that the TWC TV on Xbox 360 app already offers. And don’t forget that with Kinect for Xbox 360, the app lets you control your favorite shows using voice and gestures so you can kick back, remote-free.
The update also includes an exclusive “share” feature that allows you to send messages to other Xbox Live members that are TWC TV customers while channel surfing. With the TWC TV app, you’ll have access to more than 5,000 On Demand choices and in-app messaging. Look for the update today or download the app now!

With an unexperienced person: Hands-on video: The Xbox One as a media device [gigaom YouTube channel, Nov 19, 2013]

The Xbox One promises to combine state-of-the-art video gaming with live TV and streaming apps. Check out or hands-on video for a closer look at the device’s entertainment offerings.

First Wave of TV & Entertainment Apps Coming to Xbox One Unveiled [Xbox Wire from Microsoft, Nov 8, 2013]

Offering more entertainment options has always been important to Xbox fans. For years, we’ve been working with leading entertainment brands and TV providers to offer our customers a wide variety of live and on-demand entertainment. Today we unveiled the complete Xbox One experience – showcasing how Xbox One delivers the best games and multiplayer features, along with your favorite movies, music, sports and live TV experiences – all in one place.

“We set out to make Xbox One the all-in-one games and entertainment hub for your home. The one system that offers the best games next to the best entertainment experiences and apps,” said Marc Whitten, Xbox Chief Product Officer. “Along with offering a stellar app portfolio from around the world, Xbox One takes the next step by offering them in a way that is seamless and easy to use.”

In addition to delivering live TV in every market where Xbox One will be sold, we are also bringing premium, voice and gesture controlled TV and entertainment apps specifically designed for your living room. These apps have been built from the ground up uniquely for Xbox One and are designed to harness the power of the all-in-one platform.  For example, Xbox One is empowering partners to bring media achievements and exclusive Snap experiences, as well as many other things to entertainment apps, offering everybody the opportunity to achieve badges or rewards for the media they consume in addition to gaming.

image

Something truly unique we’re doing with Xbox One is bringing together your favorite TV channels and entertainment app channels into one screen. Xbox One is also the only games and entertainment system that enables HDMI pass through. You can create your own personal Favorites in OneGuide – the Xbox One electronic program guide – so you can quickly and easily choose what you want to watch, whether it’s a TV channel like CBS, NBC or ESPN, or something inside an app like Xbox Video, Hulu Plus or the NFL on Xbox One. You can even add your personal photos and videos from the SkyDrive app to your OneGuide Favorites.

Additionally, a Bing search for TV, movies, games, or music scans across all apps to find exactly what you’re looking for, instead of having to hunt through each app individually. For the first time, you don’t have to juggle multiple screens across cable TV, video streaming services and other entertainment apps to quickly find the entertainment you’re looking for.

Today, we’re announcing the very first wave of some of the world’s biggest names in entertainment rolling out on Xbox One in the 13 launch markets between Nov. 22 at launch and spring 2014:

Australia

  • Crackle
  • Machinima
  • MUZU TV
  • Network Ten’s tenplay
  • Quickflix
  • SBS On Demand
  • TED
  • Twitch

Austria

  • Eurosport
  • Machinima
  • MUZU TV
  • TED
  • Twitch

Brazil

  • Crackle
  • Machinima
  • Muu
  • Netflix
  • Saraiva Player
  • Sky Online
  • SporTV
  • TED
  • Telecine
  • Twitch
  • Vivo Play

Canada

  • CinemaNow
  • Crackle
  • Machinima
  • MUZU TV
  • Netflix
  • Rogers Anyplace TV
  • Sportsnet
  • TED
  • The NFL on Xbox One
  • Twitch

France

  • 6Play
  • Canal+/CanalSat
  • France 2,3,4,5
  • La TV d’Orange
  • Machinima
  • MUZU TV
  • MyTF1
  • MYTF1VOD
  • SFR TV
  • TED
  • Twitch

Germany

  • Amazon\LOVEFiLM
  • Eurosport
  • Machinima
  • MUZU TV
  • TED
  • Twitch
  • Watchever
  • Zattoo

Ireland

  • Eurosport
  • Machinima
  • MUZU TV
  • Netflix
  • TED
  • Twitch

Italy

  • Eurosport
  • Machinima
  • MUZU TV
  • Premium Play
  • TED
  • Twitch

Mexico

  • Clarovideo
  • Crackle
  • Machinima
  • Netflix
  • TED
  • Televisa
  • The NFL on Xbox One
  • TV Azteca
  • Twitch
  • Veo

New Zealand

  • Machinima
  • MUZU TV
  • Quickflix
  • TED
  • Twitch

Spain

  • Eurosport
  • Gol Televisión
  • Machinima
  • MUZU TV
  • RTVE
  • TED
  • Twitch
  • Wuaki.tv
  • Zattoo

United Kingdom

  • 4oD
  • Amazon\LOVEFiLM
  • blinkbox
  • Crackle
  • Demand 5
  • Eurosport
  • Machinima
  • MUZU TV
  • Netflix
  • NOW TV
  • TED
  • Twitch
  • Wuaki.tv

United States

  • Amazon Instant Video
  • Crackle
  • The CW
  • ESPN
  • FOX NOW
  • FXNOW
  • HBO GO (coming soon)
  • Hulu Plus
  • Machinima
  • MUZU TV
  • Netflix
  • Redbox Instant by Verizon
  • Target Ticket
  • TED
  • The NFL on Xbox One
  • Twitch
  • Univision Deportes
  • Verizon FiOS TV
  • VUDU

The list above* is just the first wave of third-party apps that are coming to Xbox One over the course of the next few months.  We will continue to announce more apps coming to the platform and both the Xbox One and Xbox 360 entertainment app portfolios will continue to grow weekly.
*Xbox LIVE Gold membership required

In addition to the entertainment apps coming from partners, in every market Xbox One will also feature:

  • Internet Explorer
  • Skype
  • SkyDrive
  • Upload

With games, multiplayer gaming, live TV and the best entertainment apps, Xbox One is the most complete entertainment system.

Note that after AT&T Extends TV Watching to More Devices with Launch of U-verse TV on Xbox 360 [press release, Oct 11, 2010] and even after New U-verse Internet Customers Can Take Their Pick: A Free Xbox 360, SONOS PLAY:3, Kindle Fire or Nexus 7 Tablet [press release, March 18, 2013] that Xbox tie-up ended with AT&T U-verse TV To Drop Support For Xbox 360 on December 31 [Multichannel, Nov 26, 2013]:

“We’ve made this decision due to low customer demand,” an AT&T spokeswoman said via email on Tuesday. AT&T declined to say how many customers currently use the Xbox 360 as a set-top. … AT&T, the spokeswoman added, currently has no plans to support U-verse TV on the Xbox One. Verizon Communications FiOS TV is the first, and so far only, U.S. pay-TV provider to offer an authenticated app for the Xbox One during its initial launch phase.

With highly experienced users: Xbox One All-in-One Demo with Yusuf Mehdi and Marc Whitten [xbox YouTube channel, Nov 8, 2013]

Marc Whitten and Yusuf Mehdi walk through a comprehensive demo of Xbox One, including instant switching, biometric sign-in, Live TV, Skype, game DVR, OneGuide and more.

From Xbox One: The Complete All-in-One Games and Entertainment System [Xbox Wire from Microsoft, Nov 8, 2013]

As we head toward Nov. 22, we’re showcasing the all-in-one capabilities of Xbox One. This is the real Xbox One in action. Corporate Vice President of Marketing and Strategy, Yusuf Mehdi, and Chief Product Officer Marc Whitten show the best of Xbox One in this new video. And, you can see 10 of our favorite new features below.
#1 – Unleashing the Power of Your Voice
A simple voice command turns on your Xbox One, your TV, your set-top box and your AV system because Kinect for Xbox One is an Infra-Red blaster. And when you say “Xbox On,” your game is always ready to resume from wherever you left off. You can start playing your favorite game, find your favorite show, change channels, turn up the TV volume and more – with the sound of your voice, powered by Bing voice recognition technology.  Just say “Xbox, go to ESPN” and your TV will change directly to the ESPN channel. Or, “Xbox, go to Hulu Plus,” “Xbox, Volume Up,” “Xbox, Mute,” “Xbox, go to Music” – it’s simple. Kinect “talks to” your TV, set-top box and AV receiver, making it easier than ever to navigate entertainment in your living room.
#2 – Biometric Sign In
#3 – Instant Resume and Instant Switching
We’ve talked about instant switching before, but now you can see it for yourself in action. The video showcases how quickly you can jump from one experience to another and right back where you left off. You can literally jump from a game to live TV, music, movies, sports, Web sites and back again in seconds, just by using your voice.
#4 – Watch Live TV via Xbox One
Xbox One lets you watch live TV from your HDMI-compatible cable or satellite box, making it easy to switch from games to live TV – all with the sound of your voice, and without having to switch TV inputs. No more multiple remotes, missed multiplayer matches while you’re watching TV, or frustrating delays. Just connect your set top box to your Xbox One and you can watch live TV through your Xbox One.
#5 – Get a Multiplayer Invite, while you are Watching a movie or live TV
#6 – Game DVR and Upload Studio Let You Record and Share Your Greatest Moments
#7 – Do Two Things at Once
You can also choose to snap two experiences together – so you can play a game while you watch TV or listen to Xbox Music. Or, watch the big NFL game while you manage your fantasy football team. For gamers, snapping Machinima opens up a whole new world of opportunity. Just by saying “Xbox, Snap Machinima,” the Machinima app will be snapped next to “Dead Rising 3” or your favorite game, and walk-throughs, game reviews, help videos and more will appear.
#8 – Skype on the Big Screen, With Groups and Free Long Distance
Skype is amazing on Xbox One, offering the only big screen experience with Group Video Chat with up to four people. Kinect is the only camera in the world that will follow the caller and pan and zoom automatically as if you had your own camera man. You can talk with your friends while surfing the Web or checking the latest stats of a sports team. And have full 1080p video calls for one-to-one chats on your TV. 1
1 For 1080p video call, both users must have compatible HD displays, web cams, messaging clients, and broadband internet.

#9 – OneGuide Delivers Personalized Guide to TV, Apps and More

Xbox One has its own TV listings guide that can be navigated with your voice. Say “Xbox, what’s on Discovery Channel?” and boom, there you have the list of shows.  Call out your favorite TV show by name and start watching it instantly.  And, Xbox One is the only system that brings together your favorite TV channels and entertainment app channels into one screen.  Create your own personal Favorites in OneGuide, so you can easily choose what you want to watch – whether it’s on Fox, CBS, NBC, ESPN, Hulu Plus or the NFL on Xbox One app. For the first time you don’t have to juggle multiple screens across cable TV, video streaming services and other entertainment apps to quickly find the entertainment you’re looking for.

#10 – Xbox SmartGlass Enhances Gaming in New Way

Microsoft Is Changing the Game for Sports Fans [Xbox Wire from Microsoft, Sept 3, 2013]

Whether it’s in the living room or on the playing field, Microsoft and products like Xbox, Surface, and Windows 8 are impacting the way we experience our favorite sports.
In May, Microsoft announced a multi-year, landmark partnership with the NFL. For the Xbox community, this means exclusive interactive NFL experiences for fans at home, found only on Xbox One starting this November. Today, we’re excited to share more details about this partnership and the game changing NFL experiences for Xbox One and Surface. We are also pleased to introduce NFL.com Fantasy Football on Xbox 360, Windows 8 and Windows Phone which are available for download today.
Also making headlines today is the confirmation and details around the all-new ESPN application for Xbox One. Leveraging the unique platform capabilities of Xbox One, sports fans will now have control of the live programming, highlights, stats and more across ESPN like never before. 
The NFL on Xbox One and Surface 
Tailored for you, the NFL on Xbox One will deliver the best of the NFL, in a way that will completely reimagine the way you experience football from the comfort of your home.  Only Xbox One can bring interactivity to live games, stats, scores, highlights and your NFL.com Fantasy Football team all together on the best screen in the house – your TV. Xbox One will personalize your NFL experience, for your team, with the best content the NFL has to offer including NFL.com, NFL Network, and NFL RedZone.  Whether you’re watching the game or not, Xbox One makes it easy to keep tabs on the league with Snap mode. You can watch live TV, play games, or watch movies, while simultaneously tracking your NFL.com Fantasy Football team, or checking in for the latest scores and stats. 
While you’re watching at home, Surface technology is in the stadium, on the sidelines to help protect your favorite players.  Teams and trainers will implement use of the X2 concussion testing application this season to quickly diagnose potential player concussions immediately after leaving the playing field with the help of Surface tablets, helping quickly determine if they can get back in the game or call it a day.
ESPN on Xbox One We are also excited to announce ESPN on Xbox One, which builds on our innovations with ESPN on Xbox 360, and provides you with the best of ESPN networks and web content personalized just for you.  Featuring deeper sports content personalization, ESPN on Xbox One gives you immediate access to the teams and sports you care about most.  With WatchESPN, ESPN.com, and ESPN3 video content, you get the best highlights, live events and on-demand sports in full screen mode.  Additionally, you will receive personalized scores and stats in Snap mode from the most popular sports.
NFL.com Fantasy Football on Xbox 360, Windows 8, and Windows Phone 
Beginning today, NFL.com Fantasy Football is now available on Xbox 360, offering a whole new way to track your team and leagues on the best screen in your house – your TV. This destination is tailored just for you and your NFL.com Fantasy Football team, and is easy to jump into and simple to use. The Xbox 360 app brings you an endless playlist of Fantasy Football highlights, Fantasy analysis, stats, scores and standings about your NFL.com Fantasy Football team and leagues, making sure you don’t miss a thing. Consumers can head to NFL.com today to sign up for a league and get in the game before kick off on September 5th.
And, with the new NFL.com Fantasy Football apps for Windows 8 and Windows Phone, you can keep tabs on your team and leagues on your tablet, PC, and mobile device as well.
Download NFL.com Fantasy Football for Xbox 360, Windows 8 and Windows Phone today, and stay tuned for game changing experiences on Xbox One this November.

7. Preliminary information on the upcoming products from Xbox Entertainment Studios

Best Advice: Nancy Tellem [Fortune Magazine YouTube channel, Oct 31, 2013]

Nancy Tellem is the entertainment and digital media president of Microsoft.

Faces to Watch in 2014: Digital media | Nancy Tellem, Mike Hopkins, Issa Rae [Los Angeles Times, Dec 27, 2013]

A big year is coming up for game designers Ryan and Amy Green and Ruben Farrus, plus Microsoft’s Nancy Tellem, Hulu’s Mike Hopkins and Web writer-actress Issa Rae.

The Times asked its reporters and critics to highlight figures in entertainment and the arts who will be making news in 2014. Here’s who they picked:

Nancy Tellem | Microsoft’s president of entertainment and digital media

The veteran CBS television executive had her work cut out when she joined Microsoft Corp. in 2012 to launch a Santa Monica studio to create original content.

Long fascinated with changes in consumer behavior, Tellem is now playing an important role in determining what appeals to younger consumers accustomed to getting their entertainment on multiple screens. She is trying to build on the momentum that Microsoft has achieved by encouraging millions of consumers to consider the Xbox more than just a video game console. Xbox users spend more than half of their time online listening to music and streaming movies, TV shows and exploring other entertainment options. Microsoft wants to build a trove of exclusive content to differentiate its game system from the rival Sony PlayStation.

Microsoft’s slate of new shows designed to appeal to the digitally connected generation is expected to launch in the first half of 2014. Microsoft also brought Tellem on board to make inroads with Hollywood’s creative community. One of the first projects she announced was a live-action TV series, produced by Steven Spielberg, based on the “Halo” game franchise for Xbox Live, a feature that enables gamers to play against online opponents.

Tellem was trained as a lawyer and worked her way up the ranks in business affairs at Lorimar, Warner Bros. and then CBS. At the broadcast network, Tellem was a key executive in the development of new shows, including the hit reality show “Survivor.” She was one of the TV industry’s first female entertainment presidents.

— Meg James

Mike Hopkins | Hulu chief executive

Issa Rae | Actress-writer-director
… 

Nancy Tellem at Wrap Power Women Breakfast: Microsoft Is Aiming for a “Game of Thrones”  [The Wrap YouTube channel, Oct 30, 2013]

TheWrap’s keynote speaker at its fourth annual Power Women Breakfast (Oct 30, 2013) says Microsoft’s new studio has the ambition and the means to create landmark programming

Nancy Tellem at Wrap Power Women Breakfast: Microsoft Is Aiming for a ‘Game of Thrones’ (Video) [TheWrap, Oct 30, 2013]

Nancy Tellem, Microsoft’s new president of entertainment and digital media, said on Wednesday she has the means and the ambition to make a “Game of Thrones”-like series for the new studio backed by the technology giant.

“I have the ambition” to make a show as grand as “Game of Thrones,” said the former president of CBS entertainment at TheWrap‘s Power Women Breakfast at the Montage in Beverly Hills.

That, to me, was greatest testament to how wonderful television can be and how engrossed people are and committed – and it was a social experience,” she said.

And, she said smiling, Microsoft’s budget was “enough for me to do my job, let’s just say.”

Not being bound by the constraints of a 22-episode season or even show length and with the technology to engage the viewer through the Xbox platform allows Tellem and her team to “focus on the content itself” and then way viewers canshare that experience.”

Tellem said she expects that Microsoft will begin rolling out its new shows — which will range from sports programs to scripted series — as soon as the spring. She says they have not decided whether to release the episodes over time or put them all out at once, like Netflix.

Asked about binge viewing, Tellem said she was not sure if Microsoft would release all its content at once, observing that interactivity was more the distinctive purview of Microsoft.

Xbox One Reveal: Halo TV and NFL [xbox YouTube channel, May 23, 2013]

Nancy Tellem’s Xbox Entertainment Studios announcements of Halo TV with 343 Industries and Steven Spielberg and NFL from Xbox One Reveal Press Briefing.

From Microsoft unveils Xbox One: the ultimate all-in-one home entertainment system [press release, May 21, 2013]

Blockbuster titles, Steven Spielberg-produced Halo TV series, and exclusive agreements with the NFL transform games, TV and entertainment for the 21st century living room.

“Halo” television series. Award-winning filmmaker, director and producer, Steven Spielberg will executive-produce an original “Halo” live-action television series with exclusive interactive Xbox One content, created in partnership with 343 Industries and Xbox Entertainment Studios.

RTS Cambridge Convention 2013: Xbox One – From Gaming to Content [Royal Television Society, Sept 12, 2013]

Created for gaming, the Xbox One is the latest challenger to old-fashioned telly, but, said Microsoft entertainment and digital media president Nancy Tellem, it is not the final nail in the TV industry’s coffin.

“It’s an augmentation,” she argued. “Right now, [TV] is in a renaissance period — what Xbox offers is a different TV experience.” 

Since joining Microsoft from CBS a year ago, Tellem has been spearheading the software giant’s move into TV, delivered via its Xbox One gaming console.

Interactivity among its current 76 million connected console users would be the key to Xbox One’s success. “It isn’t just delivering content. It really offers an immersive experience,” she said.

The session was chaired by Matt Frei from Channel 4 News, who said that he enjoyed being a “passive” consumer of TV. To laughter from the audience, Tellem replied: “Xbox addresses the next generation.”  

Tellem identified sport, live events and scripted entertainment as genres particularly suited to Xbox One. Mentioning Game of Thrones as the type of complex drama suited to the console, she claimed: “You can give a much richer understanding of the characters and their history.”

Tellem is in discussions with studios and talent about commissions, which she hopes to announce in a few weeks. Earlier this year, Microsoft revealed that a TV show based on the Halo game, with the involvement of Steven Spielberg, was in the pipeline.

She also countered a suggestion from the audience that Xbox One’s programming would be geared at 18-year-old boys. Tellum said that her ambition was to reach out beyond traditional gamers, adding that 40% of its platform users were female, with most of the audience between 18 and 40. 

My mission it to transform it into an entertainment service,” she said, which would include music, film and sport as well as games. “It’s a simple offering that can access all your entertainment needs.”

Before joining Microsoft, Tellem had worked at the US network CBS for a decade and a half, latterly as senior adviser to chief executive Leslie Moonves.

Xbox Entertainment Studios to Debut Documentary Series Exclusively on Xbox in 2014 [Xbox Wire from Microsoft, Dec 19, 2013]

First Documentary Explores the Fabled Atari Mystery

Today, Xbox Entertainment Studios announced an original documentary series that will debut exclusively on Xbox in 2014. Xbox will produce the series with two-time Academy Award-winning producer Simon Chinn (Searching for Sugar Man and Man on Wire) and Emmy-winning producer Jonathan Chinn (FX’s 30 Days and PBS’s American High) through their new multi-platform media company, Lightbox

“Our collaboration with Xbox offers an unparalleled opportunity to make a unique series of films around the extraordinary events and characters that have given rise to the digital age,” said Simon Chinn. “Our goal is to produce a series of compelling and entertaining docs which will deploy all the narrative techniques of Simon’s and my previous work. It’s particularly exciting to be partnering with filmmakers like Zak Penn who come to this process from other filmmaking disciplines and who will bring their own distinctive creative vision to this,” added Jonathan Chinn.

“Jonathan and Simon Chinn are the perfect team to spearhead this series for Xbox. They are consummate story tellers and they plan to match their creative sensibility with the best talent in the industry,” commented Xbox Entertainment Studios President Nancy Tellem. “These stories will expose how the digital revolution created a global democracy of information, entertainment and commerce, and how it impacts our lives every day.”

The first film in the groundbreaking series investigates the events surrounding the great video game burial of 1983. The Atari Corporation, faced with overwhelmingly negative response to the video game “E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial,” buried millions of unsold game cartridges in the middle of the night in the small town of Alamogordo, New Mexico.

Fuel Entertainment, an innovator in cross-platform content development, secured the exclusive rights to excavate the Atari landfill and approached Xbox. Lightbox will document the dig, which is planned for early next year.

Filmmaker and avid gamer Zak Penn (X-Men 2, Avengers, Incident at Loch Ness) will direct. This episode will not only document the excavation, it will also place the urban legend of the burial in the context of the precipitous rise and fall of Atari itself.

“When Simon and Jonathan Chinn approached me about this story, I knew it would be something important and fascinating,” said Penn. “I wasn’t expecting to be handed the opportunity to uncover one of the most controversial mysteries of gaming lore.”

Shooting begins in January. The series will air exclusively on Xbox One and Xbox 360 in 2014 and will be available globally in all markets where Xbox Live is supported.

8. Xbox Music and Xbox Video services for other devices

Xbox Music + Video apps for Windows Phone 8 [Windows Phone Central YouTube channel, Dec 18, 2013]

On December 18th, Microsoft released two new apps for Windows Phone 8: Xbox Music and Xbox Video. We give a tour of both apps and show off some of their features on a Lumia 1520. More info: http://www.wpcentral.com/xbox-music-and-video-app-tour

Xbox Video for Windows Phone 8 Walkthrough [Pocketnow YouTube channel, Dec 19, 2013]

Microsoft finally released the Xbox Video application for Windows Phone 8. We go hands-on with the new application in this walkthrough video, and discover all its features and missing functionality. See more at Pocketnow: http://pocketnow.com/2013/12/19/xbox-video-for-windows-phone

New Xbox Video and Xbox Music apps Available for Windows Phone 8 Customers [Xbox Wire from Microsoft, Dec 18, 2013]

It’s a big day for Windows Phone 8 customers. New apps for Xbox Video and Xbox Music are becoming available today in the Windows Phone store.

Xbox Video Comes to Windows Phone

Today, Xbox Video launches on Windows Phone 8, so now you can truly take your movies and TV shows with you wherever you go. Stream from the cloud or download your favorite movie or TV episodes to your phone to watch them offline. You can rent or buy the newest hit movies or search for classics from the massive catalog with the only app that lets you download movies and TV episodes right to your Windows Phone 8. You’ll even get Rotten Tomatoes ratings and Metacritic scores right on your phone.

Xbox Video on Windows Phone 8 also delivers countless TV shows. With a Season Pass, brand new episodes are automatically added to your collection so you don’t miss a beat from your favorite new shows. Or catch up with every episode from past seasons and relive the glory days of your favorite shows from years past.

With Xbox Video, your collection follows you from screen to screen in the cloud. For example, you can buy and start a movie or TV show from XboxVideo.com or Xbox Video on a Windows 8.1 tablet, and continue watching on your Xbox One, Xbox 360 or Windows Phone 8. And with Xbox SmartGlass, you get a richer viewing experience that isn’t found anywhere else. Xbox SmartGlass integrated with Xbox Video for Xbox One and Xbox 360 offers second-screen experiences with bonus content and exclusive extras, serves as a remote control, and gives you new ways to interact with whatever you’re watching.

Xbox Video is a free download in the Windows Phone Store today, and don’t forget to check out our new Web store at XboxVideo.com

A Peek at the New Xbox Music for Windows Phone

Also releasing today is a new Xbox Music preview app. This early-access app gives Xbox Music Pass users a look into the new music experience on Windows Phone 8.¹ Stream millions of songs from your phone or download the ones you want for offline listening. Create playlists that sync across your devices. Play songs from your personal music collection alongside your Xbox Music Pass content. It’s the best way to experience all the music you love on your Windows Phone.

The Xbox Music Preview is available in all 22 markets where Xbox Music is available today and can be found in the Windows Phone Store. The full release will roll out in 2014. Xbox Music is available today on Windows Phone, Xbox One, Xbox 360, Windows 8/8.1, online at Music.Xbox.com and iOS and Android devices.

¹ Xbox Music Pass required to use the app. Compatible devices and internet required. Data charges apply. See Xbox.com/music.

Xbox Music For Android Review [Mikey Capoccia YouTube channel, Sept 9, 2013]

In todays video I will be reviewing the Xbox Music application for Android

Microsoft launches Xbox Music across iOS and Android, adds free streaming on the Web [press release, Sept 8, 2013]

Enjoy your favorite music from a 30 million-song global catalog powered by the one service that integrates your music experiences across your tablet, PC, phone and TV. All the music you love, every way you want it.

Nearing its one-year anniversary, Microsoft Corp.’s all-in-one music service, Xbox Music, continues making strides to deliver all the music people want, wherever they want it played. Today, Microsoft announced its plans to bring Xbox Music to iOS and Android devices, as well as free streaming on Xbox Music via the Web.[1]

Accessing music across all the different devices people interact with has become complicated. People today use PCs, laptops, tablets, phones and TVs to access different music services that don’t connect with one another. Xbox Music is designed to solve this common problem by combining the best of all music offerings with free streaming on the Web and on Windows 8 PCs and tablets, Internet radio, subscription (called Xbox Music Pass), and download-to-own options.[2] With today’s news, access to Xbox Music grows to include iOS and Android devices, as well as a free Web-based interface on computers.

“Xbox Music now, more than ever, powers music experiences between Windows 8, Xbox, Windows Phone, and now iOS, Android and the Web,” said Jerry Johnson, general manager of Xbox Music. “We’re also excited to connect artists with their fans on the most anticipated consumer product of the year when Xbox One launches Nov. 22.”

Expanding the Xbox Music family of devices

Starting today, your Xbox Music Pass brings the catalog of music to iOS and Android devices. Get unlimited access to the songs and artists you want at any time with playback across your tablet, PC, phone and Xbox console for $9.99 per month or $99.99 per year. Add a song to your collection on your Xbox, and you’ll also have that song on your iOS, Android or Windows 8 device on the go or at the office. Xbox Music Pass also unlocks unlimited access to tens of thousands of music videos on your Xbox 360.

With the addition of free streaming on the Web, enjoy on-demand access to 30 million songs globally for free on the Xbox Music Web player at http://music.xbox.com or through the Xbox Music app on all Windows 8 tablets and PCs. Discovering and enjoying free music is as easy as typing an artist or song name and hitting “play.” Songs are instantly available to stream at no cost and for you to create an unlimited amount of playlists.[1]

Continued innovation

Xbox Music will continue to grow and evolve over the coming months. Microsoft will add Radio to the free Web player, a quick and dynamic way to personalize your collection, discover new favorites, and create ultimate playlists by launching instant mixes based on your favorite artists. With unlimited skips and a view of the full recommended music stream, Radio puts you in control of your Internet radio experience.[1]

Xbox Music will grow on Windows 8 when it adds the anticipated new Web Playlist tool this fall. The tool scans all the artists and music available on a given Web page and creates a custom playlist of all that music. Think about the Web page of your favorite radio station, or an upcoming music festival, and all the bands and songs included on that Web page. Web Playlist identifies all that music and creates an instant, custom playlist inside Xbox Music with the simple touch of a button. Web Playlist along with Windows 8.1 will be released Oct. 17.

In the coming months, additional updates for iOS and Android platforms will become available, including an offline mode that lets you save your music to your device for playback without an Internet or data connection.

About Xbox

Xbox is Microsoft’s premier entertainment brand for the TV, phone, PC and tablet. In living rooms or on the go, Xbox is home to the best and broadest games, as well as one of the world’s largest libraries of movies, TV, music and sports. Your favorite games, TV and entertainment come to life in new ways through the power of Kinect, Xbox SmartGlass and Xbox Live, the world’s premier social entertainment network. More information about Xbox can be found online at http://www.xbox.com.

[1] Free streaming available only on the Web and devices running Windows 8 or later. Limited hours of free streaming after six months; unlimited with paid subscription. Coming later this fall: artist-based Radio on Android, iOS and the Web.
[2] Xbox Music Pass is streaming only on Xbox consoles, Android, iOS and the Web. Applicable taxes extra. On Xbox consoles, Xbox Music requires an Xbox Music Pass and an Xbox Live Gold membership (both sold separately). Download music on up to four devices. Some Xbox Music content may not be available via Xbox Music Pass, and may vary over time and by region. Coming later this fall: Xbox music download-to-own on Android and iOS, and playlists and song sync on Windows Phone 8. See http://www.xbox.com/music.
For details, please visit http://news.xbox.com.
For assets, please visit http://news.xbox.com/media.
Advertisements

Eight-core MT6592 for superphones and big.LITTLE MT8135 for tablets implemented in 28nm HKMG are coming from MediaTek to further disrupt the operations of Qualcomm and Samsung

Updates

Update: The Power of 8: MediaTek True Octa-Core [mediateklab YouTube channel, July 29, 2013]

MediaTek is the first in the world to optimize and adopt True Octa-Core technology for the perfect balance of power and performance. Unlike existing octa-core solutions in the market, which can only activate half of their CPU cores at once, MediaTek True Octa-Core allows for all eight of its cores to run simultaneously, offering the ultimate combination of performance and power-efficiency. *Learn about MediaTek True Octa-Core Solution: http://www.mediatek.com/_en/Event/201307_TrueOctaCore/tureOcta.php

Update:  MT6592—The world’s first true octa-core SOC with scalable eight-core processing [product page, March 13, 2014]

Overview

MediaTek MT6592 is the world’s first heterogeneous computing SOC with scalable eight-core processing for superior multi-tasking, industry-leading multimedia features and excellent performance-per-watt. Based on 28nm HPM (High-Performance Mobile) process technology, MT6592 has eight CPU cores, each capable of clock speeds up to 2GHz.

Features

  • ARM® Cortex®-A7 processor (1.7GHz or 2GHz)
  • 28nm HPM process technology
  • MAGE 3D graphics engine
  • UMTS / HSPA+ R8 / TD-SCDMA / EDGE / LTE
  • 801.11a/b/g/n, Bluetooth, GPS, FM tuner
  • 16MP camera image signal processor
  • Full HD H.265 / VP9 and Ultra HD H.264 video playback
  • ARM Mali™ GPU (700MHz)
  • MediaTek ClearMotion™ video enhancement

Update: [€147.18] Cubot X6 OctaCore MT6592 Phone Ultimate Slim Design 5″ OGS HD Retina [arif rachman YouTube channel, March 1, 2014]

Cubot X6 OctaCore MT6592 Ultimate Slim Design
Please follow the link below to see the full specification
http://bit.ly/CubotX6
This is the latest phone from Cubot. Well.. the phone has the latest MT6592 1.7GHz processor. 28nm process, with quad core mali 450 GPU. Frequency is up to 700MHz. It supports full HD video with wide screen decoding format.
The true eight core processor can run simultaneously through advanced scheduling algorithm, dynamic temperature control and power management technology to optimize workload distribution to each core. When handling multiple tasks and heavy duty needs, achieve the peak performance of full eight core. At light load, you can turn off the core, the ultimate energy saving idle. It means substantial increase in cell phone battery life.
The Mali 450 graphics processor, overall performance is up to twice of the previous Mali 400. It supports full-HD 60fps. The triangles per second and render is 152M 2.8G pixels. Should be easy to run 3D games, smooth playback of 1080 HD videos. It also has a built in powerful MAGE 3D engine.
The front camera is 5 mega pixels while the back camera is 8 mega pixels. The camera is equipped with five pieces of high precision glass structure, which can effectively filter infrared blue glass. This is to achieve the level of professional SLR camera. Far better than ordinary lenses. The phone uses Sony sensor with latest 13Mega-Pixel CMOS Image Sensor.
In a week, the phone will be available at banggood for only $184.99 with free shipping worldwide! That’s an octa core phone below 200$ price tag! Not cheap enough?
Leave your email to get referred and get 10$ discount! Cheapest price out there!
Please follow the link below to see the full specification
http://bit.ly/CubotX6

IllusionMage [Wikipedia, excerpted on March 15, 2014]

IllusionMage is a paid for 3D modeling, animation, and rendering software packages comprising the core engine of Blender, an open-source, 3D software suite, and bundled with materials related to Blender.

Other names this bundle has gone under are IllusionMage3D, 3DMagix, and 3DMagixPro.[1]

All materials and software included are freely available from other sources. The marketing of this program includes images that were stolen from other sources, often created with competing 3D applications. The image of the alleged creator of the software, Seth Avery, is a random stock photo.[2]

Criticism

IllusionMage has come under fire by many prominent Blender news sites and figures, including Ton Roosendaal, the founder of the Blender Foundation[3][4]

Related

References

  1. “Illusion Mage & 3D Magix Pro (affiliate) domain names” Topic: Illusion Mage & 3D Magix Pro *is* a scam. KatsBits Forum. Retrieved 2 October 2011.
  2. “Handsome young man isolated over white”. Laflor Photography via iStockPhoto. Retrieved 8 May 2012.
  3. January 2011 Blender Foundation Press Release
  4. “3DMagix and IllusionMage, scam or open source leeches?”. BlenderNation. Retrieved 30 September 2011.

Update: 联发科平板四核心MT8135 官方成绩曝光 (MediaTek MT8135 quad-core tablet exposure Official Results) [ 驱动之家 (MyDrivers.com), July 29, 2013]

image

Update: MediaTek’s Quad-core Tablet SoC MT8135 : Performance Benchmark [mediateklab YouTube channel, July 19, 2013]

MediaTek introduces industry leading tablet SoC -MT8135, which integrates ARM’s big.LITTLE™ processing subsystem and a PowerVR™ Series6 GPU from Imagination Technologies. MediaTek MT8135 fulfills the most demanding CPU and GPU usage scenarios, whether it is heavy web downloading, hardcore gaming, high-quality premium video viewing or rigorous multitasking, while maintaining the utmost power efficiency. In this video, you’ll see how MediaTek MT8135 outperforms today’s tablet solutions.
Update: MediaTek Introduces Industry Leading Tablet SoC, MT8135 [press release, July 29, 2013]
TAIWAN, Hsinchu – July 29, 2013 – MediaTek Inc., (2454: TT), a leading fabless semiconductor company for wireless communications and digital multimedia solutions, today announced its breakthrough MT8135 system-on-chip (SoC) for high-end tablets. The quad-core solution incorporates two high-performance ARM Cortex™-A15 and two ultra-efficient ARM Cortex™-A7 processors, and the latest GPU from Imagination Technologies, the PowerVR™ Series6. Complemented by a highly optimized ARM® big.LITTLE™ processing subsystem that allows for heterogeneous multi-processing, the resulting solution is primed to deliver premium user experiences. This includes the ability to seamlessly engage in a range of processor-intensive applications, including heavy web-downloading, hardcore gaming, high-quality video viewing and rigorous multitasking – all while maintaining the utmost power efficiency.
In line with its reputation for creating innovative, market-leading platform solutions, MediaTek has deployed an advanced scheduler algorithm, combined with adaptive thermal and interactive power management to maximize the performance and energy efficiency benefits of the ARM big.LITTLE™ architecture. This technology enables application software to access all of the processors in the big.LITTLE cluster simultaneously for a true heterogeneous experience. As the first company to enable heterogeneous multi-processing on a mobile SoC, MediaTek has uniquely positioned the MT8135 to support the next generation of tablet and mobile device designs.
“ARM big.LITTLE™ technology reduces processor energy consumption by up to 70 percent on common workloads, which is critical in the drive towards all-day battery life for mobile platforms,” said Noel Hurley, vice president, Strategy and Marketing, Processor Division, ARM. “We are pleased to see MediaTek’s MT8135 seizing on the opportunity offered by the big.LITTLE architecture to enable new services on a heterogeneous processing platform.”
“The move towards multi-tasking devices requires increased performance while creating greater power efficiency that can only be achieved through an optimized multi-core system approach. This means that multi-core processing capability is fast becoming a vital feature of mobile SoC solutions. The MT8135 is the first implementation of ARM’s big.LITTLE architecture to offer simultaneous heterogeneous multi-processing.  As such, MediaTek is taking the lead to improve battery life in next-generation tablet and mobile device designs by providing more flexibility to match tasks with the right-size core for better computational, graphical and multimedia performance,” said Mike Demler, Senior Analyst with The Linley Group.
The MT8135 features a MediaTek-developed four-in-one connectivity combination that includes Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.0, GPS and FM, designed to bring highly integrated wireless technologies and expanded functionality to market-leading multimedia tablets. The MT8135 also supports Wi-Fi certified Miracast™ which makes multimedia content sharing between devices remarkably easier.
In addition, the tablet SoC boasts unprecedented graphics performance enabled by its PowerVR™ Series6 GPU from Imagination Technologies. “We are proud to have partnered with MediaTek on their latest generation of tablet SoCs” says Tony King-Smith, EVP of marketing, Imagination. “PowerVR™ Series6 GPUs build on Imagination’s success in mobile and embedded markets to deliver the industry’s highest performance and efficient solutions for graphics-and-compute GPUs. MediaTek is a key lead partner for Imagination and its PowerVR™ Series6 GPU cores, so we expect the MT8135 to set an important benchmark for high-end gaming, smooth UIs and advanced browser-based graphics-rich applications in smartphones, tablets and other mobile devices. Thanks to our PowerVR™ Series6 GPU, we believe the MT8135 will deliver five-times or more the GPU-compute-performance of the previous generation of tablet processors.”
“At MediaTek, our goal is to enable each user to take maximum advantage of his or her mobile device.  The implementation and availability of the MT8135 brings an enjoyable multitasking experience to life without requiring users to sacrifice on quality or energy. As the leader in multi-core processing solutions, we are constantly optimizing these capabilities to bring them into the mainstream, so as to make them accessible to every user around the world,” said Joe Chen, GM of the Home Entertainment Business Unit at MediaTek.
The MT8135 is the latest SoC in MediaTek’s highly successful line of quad-core processors, which since its launch last December has given rise to more than 350 projects and over 150 mobile device models across the world. This latest solution, along with its comprehensive accompanying Reference Design, will like their predecessors fast become industry standards, particularly in the high-end tablet space.
Update: Optimized big. LITTLE – MediaTek [MediaTek, July 29, 2013]
Multi-core system-on-chip (SoC) design has brought tremendous benefits to mobile device users by offering seamless engagement in rigorous multitasking. To overcome the issue with high energy consumption and thermal readings, MediaTek is deploying an advanced scheduler algorithm, combined with adaptive thermal and interactive power management to maximize the performance and energy efficiency benefits of the ARM big.LITTLE™ architecture. The technology will allow applications software to simultaneously access all the processors in the big.LITTLE™ cluster for a true heterogeneous experience, activating both of its CPU clusters concurrently for extreme performance.
Optimized big. LITTLE™
ARM big.LITTLE™ processing is designed to address the energy and thermal issues associated with multi-core system-on-chip (SoC) solutions. It allows for the creation of dual-cluster SoCs, with one more powerful (big) cluster for processing intensive tasks and a less powerful (LITTLE) cluster for executing routine functions. MediaTek is among the first SoC designers to have adopted this ground-breaking technology. Unlike its counterparts, however, the company has done so in a manner that affords device users the utmost energy and thermal efficiency rates.
Enabling Heterogeneous Multi-Processing
imageOf the three big.LITTLE™ software models that can be integrated, for example, MediaTek chose the Heterogeneous Multi-Processing [developed and named by ARM as Global Task Scheduling (GTS), also known earlier as big.LITTLE MP, see in the last section of this post in detail] approach, which unlike the other two methods – Cluster- [as was implemented in Galaxy S4 by Samsung with Exynos 5 SoC having 4xA7+4xA15 configuration] and CPU-Migration [IKS (In Kernel Switcher) developed by Linaro, see in the last section of this post in detail] – allows for individual cores to be activated as and when needed for maximum efficiency.
However, use of the most versatile model isn’t MediaTek’s only advantage. In line with its reputation for creating innovative, market-leading platform solutions, MediaTek has deployed an advanced scheduler algorithm, combined with adaptive thermal and interactive power management to maximize the performance and energy efficiency benefits of the ARM big.LITTLE™ architecture.
The technology will allow applications software to simultaneously access all the processors in the big.LITTLE™ cluster for a true heterogeneous experience, activating both of its CPU clusters concurrently for extreme performance.
imageIn comparison, the current octa-core SoC solution, utilizes one of the more inferior big.LITTLE™ software models. As a result, the processor is not as efficient as it otherwise might be.
As the first company to enable Heterogeneous Multi-Processing on a mobile SoC in the form of its MT8135 Reference Design, MediaTek is uniquely positioned to support the next wave of tablet and mobile devices.
Update: Optimized ARM big.LITTLETM – MediaTek Enables ARM big.LITTLETM Heterogeneous Multi-Processing Technology in Mobile SoCs [MediaTek Position Paper in PDF, July 29, 2013]

MediaTek MT8135 brings PowerVR Series6 GPUs to a mobile device near you [With Imagination Blog, July 29, 2013]

Over the years, our close partnership with MediaTek has resulted in the release of some very innovative platforms that have set important benchmarks for high-end gaming, smooth UIs and advanced browser-based graphics-rich applications in smartphones, tablets and other mobile devices. Two recent examples include:

MediaTek has been steadily establishing itself as an important global player for consumer products like smartphones, tablets and smart TVs, with a strong foothold in Latin America and Asia, and a rapidly growing presence in Europe and North America. Earlier this year, MediaTek introduced MT8125, one of their most successful tablet chipsets for high-end multimedia capabilities.

image

While MT8125 has been extremely popular with OEMs including Asus, Acer or Lenovo, MT8135 has the potential to consolidate Mediatek’s existing customer base and open up exciting new opportunities thanks to the advanced feature set provided by Imagination’s PowerVR ‘Rogue’ architecture.

MT8135 is a quad-core SoC that aims for the middle- to high-end tier of the tablet OEM market. It supports a 4-in-1 connectivity package that includes Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.0, GPS and FM radio, all developed in-house by MediaTek. Miracast is another important addition to the multimedia package, enabling devices using MT8135 to stream high-resolution content more easily to compatible displays, over wireless networks.

image

MT8135 incorporates a PowerVR G6200 GPU [from the block diagram corresponds to the PowerVR G6230] from Imagination that enables advanced mobile graphics and compute applications for the mainstream consumer market, including fast gaming, 3D navigation and location-based services, camera vision, image processing, augmented reality applications, and smooth, high-resolution user interfaces.

image

As MT8135-powered mobile devices start appearing in the market, developers will have access to new technologies and features introduced by our PowerVR Series6 family such as:

  • our latest-generation tile based deferred rendering (TBDR) architecture implemented on universal scalable clusters (USC)
  • high-efficiency compression technologies that reduce memory bandwidth requirements, including lossless geometry compression and PVRTC/PVRTC2 texture compression
  • scalar processing to guarantee highest ALU utilization and easy programming

Thanks to the PowerVR G6200 GPU inside the MT8135 application processor, MediaTek brings high-quality, low-power graphics to unprecedented levels by delivering up to four times more ALU horsepower compared to MT8125, its PowerVR Series5XT-based predecessor. PowerVR G6200 fully supports a wide range of graphics APIs including OpenGL ES 1.1, 2.0 and 3.0, OpenGL 3.x, 4.x and DirectX 10_1, along with compute programming interfaces such as OpenCL 1.x, Renderscript and Filterscript.

image

By partnering up with Imagination, MediaTek has access to our industry-leading PowerVR graphics, worldwide technical support, and a strong ecosystem of Android developers capable of making the most of our technology. We look forward to shortly seeing our brand-new PowerVR Series6 GPUs in the hands of millions of consumers, and see MediaTek as one of our strategic partners for our latest generation PowerVR GPUs moving forward.

End of Updates

This report consists of the following parts:

  • The latest MediaTek roadmap, high-end and OS strategy
  • News reports about MT6592 and its first application

  • Update: MediaTek True Octa [MediaTek, July 23, 2013] imageEfficient video playback:
    When on decoding mode, the battery used for decoding HEVC (H.265) FHD video
    can be reduced by up to 18 percent compared to current quad-core solutions
    (from MediaTek True Octa-Core Position Paper [MediaTek, July 23, 2013])
  • What is new vs. my earlier The state of big.LITTLE processing [‘Experiencing the Cloud’, April 7, 2013] report
For the preceding smartphone SoC in the current roadmap see MediaTek MT6589 quad-core Cortex-A7 SoC with HSPA+ and TD-SCDMA is available for Android smartphones and tablets of Q1 delivery [‘Experiencing the cloud’, Dec 12, 2012]. For smartphone SoCs before that  see Boosting the MediaTek MT6575 success story with the MT6577 announcement  – UPDATED with MT6588/83 coming early 2013 in Q42012 and 8-core MT6599 in 2013 [‘Experiencing the cloud’, June 27, July 27, Sept 11-13, Sept 26, Oct 2, 2012]. Note that MT6588 was renamed MT6589 when was launched, as MT6599 would be renamed MT6592 now.


The latest MediaTek roadmap, high-end and OS strategy

Maybank Kim Eng just published in its MediaTek Closing In Fast [July 17, 2013] report the following two SoC roadmaps:

image

GPU for MT6592 smartphone SoCs (and presumably for MT6588 as well) will be Mali according to Zhu Shangzu (朱尚祖), MediaTek Global Smartphone General Manager in the [Part 2] MediaTek to push 8 small cores, the mystery [ESM 国际电子商情 (International Electronic Business), July 18, 2013] exclusive interview.
According to 28nm Technology [TSMC, June 21, 2011] description: The 28nm technology node of the TSMC foundry (which is used for manufacturing by MediaTek) has a high performance (HP) process as the first option to use high-k metal gate (HKMG) process technology. The 28nm low power with high-k metal gates (HPL) technology, as the second option, adopts the same gate stack as HP technology while meeting more stringent low leakage requirements with a trade of performance speed. Explanation: From about 10 µm (1971) to below 0.1 µm (100 nm) conventional silicon oxynitride as the gate insulator with polysilicon gate, so called poly/SiON gate stack, was used for CMOS technology. It was typically possible to scale down to 45 nm (2008), only TSMC was able to scale it down further to 28 nm in which most of the current 28nm SoCs from TSMC are produced. imageWhile Intel (and IBM) had to introduce high-K dielectric as the gate insulator with metal gate, so called High-k / Metal Gate stack,  for the performance of their 45 nm products in 2008 (in order to continue with the Moore’s law in their realm) as you could see on the right (taken from Life With “Penryn” [DailyTech, Jan 27, 2007] interview with Mark Bohr, Intel Senior Fellow, and Steve Smith, Intel Vice President DEG Group Operations), TMSC could introduce that only on the 28nm node as described above. The HKMG based 28nm SoCs are much higher performance (or higher performance still with low power by HPL) as you could see from the 2GHz clockrate of the MT6592 (above) or MT8315 (below) vs. that of the convential poly/SiON counterparts, MT6589 and MT8389 with 1.2GHz.

image

Complementary post reminder: H2CY13: Upcoming next-gen Nexus 7, the ASUS MeMO Pad HD 7 “re-incarnation” at reduced by $50 price, dual/quad-core mid-range tablets from white-box vendors starting from $65 [‘Experiencing the Cloud’, July 5, 2013] in which there is plenty of information regarding the non high-end tablet SoCs, from MediaTek (MediaTek MT8125, MediaTek MT8377 and MediaTek MT8389) as well as competition from Allwinner and Rockchip. The pre-eminent ASUS MeMO Pad™ HD 7 described in detail there is using the MT8125 SoC, while the new Nexus 7 (to be announced before the ending of July) the  Qualcomm Snapdragon 600 Quad Core SoC. In that sense we got with that post not only a complete H2 competitive tablet market picture for mid-range but some information regarding the new Qualcomm high-end as well.
For the upcoming MT8135 tablet SoC it is known from the part 3 of the Zhu Shangzu interview that the quad-core configuration will be 2xA15+2xA7, which means a big.LITTLE architecture and quite probably the already mature ‘In Kernel Switcher’ (IKS) scheduler initially GTS with MediaTek’s “advanced scheduler algorithm, combined with adaptive thermal and interactive power management” and called Heterogeneous Multi-Processing (HMP) by MediaTek (see in the updates in front of the original post). But as As ARM already decided on the architecture of the other, more general ‘Global Task Scheduling’ (GTS) solution (see much below) I would assume that the proper hardware underpinnings for GTS will already be built in (unlike in the Samsung’s Exynos 5 SoC released before), so when the scheduler software will be mature enough it will run well on MT8135. The inclusion of just two cores of each (unlike in Exynos 5) is a very strong proof-point of that. As far as the GPU is concerned we know from Zhu Shangzu interview that an Imagination GPU will be used, therefore I will leave the next-generation SGX6XX (PowerVR Series6 or ‘Rogue’) indication in the above table. Update: It is the PowerVR G6200 GPU [from the block diagram corresponds to the PowerVR G6230] as you could see from Imagination block post published on the MT8135 announcement (July 29), and included here in front of the original post.

with the following commentary:

Strong fundamentals intact. Having exceeded its 2Q13 guidance so significantly, we believe MTK will continue to ride the strong momentum in 3Q13, perhaps growing its revenue by low-to-mid-teens QoQ or 30% YoY to chalk up another record high of TWD36-38b [US$1.2-1.27B]. Importantly, a better product mix and cost structure would help lift its profitability to ±44%. We expect MTK to ship 70-72m units of smart devices, up 25-30% QoQ, with quad-core APs and tablets making up nearly 50% of total shipment. The benefits of operating leverage should drive OPM past 20%, the highest since 3Q10. MTK is set to report its 2Q13 results in late July or early August and we forecast net profit of TWD6.8b [US$227M] (EPS: TWD5.02; Street: TWD6.3b), up over 80% QoQ and 100% YoY. GM is also likely to meet the high end of its guidance, ie, 43.5%, on richer mix and improved cost structure. Reported revenue of TWD33.3b, up almost 40% QoQ and 42%YoY, is already well ahead of guidance (TWD30-32b). However, we cut our FY13/14 earnings forecasts by 3% each to factor in the delay in merger with MStar and potential inventory correction in 4Q13/1Q14. MTK remains a key BUY in our tech space.

Closing in fast on QCOM. MTK has spared no efforts to enhance its smart device portfolio since 2H12 and further signs of acceleration are evident. It is introducing two high-end APs in 4Q13MT6588 and MT6592 – using 28nm HKMG and advanced graphic features. While the former is a quad-core AP operating at 1.7GHz, the latter is capable of running at 2GHz (when all eight core engines are turned on). In the absence of full details, we estimate MT6592 may perform closer to Qualcomm Snapdragon 600 AP (used in Galaxy S4 and HTC One), while MT6588 should outshine Snapdragon 400. MTK has won several international OEMs with MT6589 and with MT6588/6592, its chances of penetrating tier-1 OEMs have increased significantly. In addition, it will sample its high-end 4G/LTE/LTE-TDSCDMA modem chipset in anticipation of the launch of 4G network in China later this year. As for tablets, MTK’s latest APs MT8125/8389 were well-received and it is set to deliver the high-end MT8135 (big.Little design) in 3Q13. We expect its smartphone/tablet shipments to reach 200-225m/25m units in 2013.

In the same part of the interview Zhu Shangzu explained MediaTek’s high-end strategy as follows (as translated by Google and Bing with manual edits):

image

… I think the future of high-end smartphones innovation will focus on the expansion of big screen multimedia applications, and this is our direction. …

Judging from the current situation, customers of high-end flagship phones are still using the products of the competitors, but there is flagship in our quad-core case as well, and OPPO, Vivo and GiONEE and other quad-core phones are also very popular. Our next goal is to get the customers of flagship machines using our platform via helping customers to achieve stronger performance on the big screen multimedia.

Therefore, the 8-core MT6592 can be regarded as our first bugle call for moving towards the high-end market. Our mission is that one day customers can also recognize MediaTek as doing high-end flagship products. MT6592 is the first step, strictly speaking, it is not the most high-end platform, next we will move step by step towards the higher end.

Q: Why will MediaTek use eight small A7 cores as a generation of high-end platform, but did not choose to use four large A15 cores or four big and four small ones as a way to achieve the goal? This is also a question for the industry as there are many controversial issues with this.  

For power, or performance per watt, we did a lot of investigation. Eight A7 cores is currently the best solution, and as through a process we designed to boost peak frequency of the A7 to 1.9-2Ghz, performance is also very strong.

Currently we chose a small core, because under the existing process, the larger the chip die size, the larger is the standby leakage, resulting in higher standby power consumption. For example, the A15 is the strongest core currently, but not in run-time power cosumption. Even if its frequency is pushed down to very low levels, there is still a larger leakage. Therefore, the larger is the area of a ​​single-core, the larger is the overhead energy efficiency, and as long as the poweris on, there will be a greater leakage.

In addition, the 8-core CPU is just one aspect of improving the mobile multimedia experience. In fact, as we have been doing MediaTek digital TV for a long time, we will extend that digital TV competency here – some strong move for the smartphones. This is what other platform vendors can not do. In the 6592, for example, the latest HEVC codec will be integrated. [HEVC is a video compression standard, a successor to H.264/MPEG-4 AVC]

Although our MT6592 GPU is also using a ‘Deluxe Mali quad-core GPU, but in order for content developers to achieve better compatibility, our HEVC is a software solution via the 8-core CPU, it is not using a GPU- based software solution. Because there are some strong content developers who will use their own HEVC decode. Currently the ‘Deluxe’ quad-core GPU on 6592 is mainly used to perform large-scale games and to do some advanced UI.

[Part 3] How to plan the future in the tablet market?

Q: I do note that the MT6592 is now using a quad-core Mali GPU, while before the MediaTek mainstream used Imagination GPU. How would you rate these two companies’ products?

The Imagination company has been doing GPUs long time in its history, the architecture design is beautiful, more artistic. The initial architecture of Mali [from ARM] would be more rough, and therefore area and power consumption will be worse. But after nearly three years of time, Mali has made a lot of progress, both are learning from each other, and by now the levels of these two are equal. The future perspective is that ARM’s overall resources are somewhat more fully available.

Q: This year we have seen MediaTek  to attack the tablet market, what is the plan for the future in the tablet market?

A: Our current strategy is to carry out a mobile phone product line extension.

At the end of July the launch of a tablet chip is expected: the MT8135, with 2xA15 +2xA7, still using an Imagination GPU [Update: It is the PowerVR G6200 GPU (from the block diagram corresponds to the PowerVR G6230) as you could see from Imagination block post published on the MT8135 announcement (July 29), and included here in front of the original post], and mainly targeting the high-end tablet market. A small reminder, our MT6572 is not suitable for tablet computers as the original definition did not take into account the application of flat-screen.

[Part 6] If Google Android OS will be converged how MediaTek will respond?

Q: There is also a very large concern, as the industry is worried that after doing their own hardware next year (e.g. Xphone, watches, glasses, etc.) whether Google will close the Android OS, i.e. to do a Pure Android later on, and don’t let OEMs to change it? MTK will also have a very big impact, what do you think? What is the MTK attitude on other free OS’s?

A: If Google OS will be closed and converged that will have a huge impact on us. But from what we observe and communicate with Google, they will not close the OS or converge it. Google’s profitability does not depend on OS, he is relying on the service for profit. By doing hardware Google also aims to promote his services, he is very happy to use someone else’s machine on their home services.

Of course, we will also be prepared, as we comprehesively examine and take into account the prevailing factors. We will use Windows as a second priority, while using Firefox [OS] and HTML5 as a secondary backup, by keeping track of them. Because we judge that the [Android] OS convergence from Google profitability point of view is very low, therefore our vote for these two emerging open OS’s is in the ‘not so urgent’ category, in addition to and outside of Android. The other focus is again on Windows Phone 8For the moment, however, WP8 hardware configuration requirements are still higher (mainly memory), power consumption – after optimizing the gap with Android – is not too large.


News reports about MT6592 and its first application
Update: MediaTek True Octa [MediaTek, July 23, 2013]

Efficient video playback:
When on decoding mode, the battery used for decoding HEVC (H.265) FHD video
can be reduced by up to 18 percent compared to current quad-core solutions
(from MediaTek True Octa-Core Position Paper [MediaTek, July 23, 2013])

July 18 this information appeared on the English http://en.v5zn.com/ website of the related smartphone vendor as well: MediaTek MT6592’s first eight-core mobile phone exposure makes you believe [July 15, 2013] as translated by Google and Bing with manual edits

MediaTek so-called true eight-core processor MT6592 was announced not long ago, it is expected the first models equipped with processors to surface. It broke the news, that the domestic mobile phone manufacturer brand named after the 19th-century French writer Jules Verne [凡尔纳] has been determined to launch a flagship model “V8” quipped with the MT6592 processor.

Verne’s current main product is the “V5” model, equipped with a quad-core MediaTek MT6589, and a 5-inch 720p OGS full lamination screen, 1GB of RAM, 4GB storage, 8-megapixel back-illuminated camera, 2400 mAh Battery, with a list price of 999 yuan [$166].

V8 has not yet announced the exact configuration bit it is estimated to have about 5.5 inch 1080p screen, 2GB RAM, 32GB storage, 13 million pixels Sony stacked camera, higher capacity battery, etc., without these natural shot himself embarrassed flagship.

It looks like that cooperation between MediaTek and the domestic Shanzhai vendors remains close. As MT6589 has rocked the Main Street, MT6592 will soon become a standard, and “an eight-core” promotion will be overwhelming.

Incidentally recap: MT6592 uses eight Cortex-A7 architecture cores, clocked at up to 2.0GHz, with TSMC 28nm manufacturing, Antutu run is known as close to 30,000, but the graphics core has not been confirmed, PowerVR SGX 544MP4/554MP4 are likely [it will be Mali, as communicated by MediaTek, see above].

The marketing of the processor has begun to customers, but mass production will be in November, so if recent high profile publicity is to be fulfilled, certainly we will have a large sale early next year.

Company introduction [Jules Verne mobile phone, January 16, 2013] as translated by Google and Bing with manual edits

Shenzhen MINDRAY Platinum Communication Technology Ltd. is is specialized in products development, production, sales and service of intelligent mobile terminals of high-tech companies. Under the “Jules Verne VOWNEY” brand the company is to create a mobile intelligent terminal brand.
MINDRAY Platinum company with “intelligent life” as the brand mission, is to “enhance the user experience, to help people grasp the development opportunities” as the goal, trying to make Jules Verne a trustworthy, continuous innovation and smart moves life guide. Every effort, just as long as you!
Jules Verne mobile phone network direct sales, stripping agents layers, increases direct benefits to consumers. We are committed to allow more consumers to have a better quality of life with an intelligent terminal.
The “Jules Verne VOWNEY ” brand aspires to be able to improve the quality of life for mobile users intelligent terminal INITIATIVE persons.
is to become quality of life can improve the user moves Smart The Terminal Guide. Lead you into “Slide 5.0”.
“Verne VOWNEY “brand aspires to be able to improve the quality of life for mobile users intelligent terminal INITIATIVE persons. I lead you into the “Slide 5.0″era.
Brand interpretation
Jules Verne: a derivative of intelligent life???
English explanation : VOWNEY
V : value— Value
O : opportunity— Opportunity
W : worth— It is worth
N : new— New
E : e— Mobile Internet
Y : you— You
Jules Verne is to ” create a new life guided smart” as the goal, and strive to become a trusted, sustainable and innovative mobile phone brand, all efforts, just because of you!

Mediatek MT6592 8 core processors coming by the end of July! [Gizchina.com]

Reports out of Taiwan state that Mediatek will launch the MT6592 8-core processor by the end of July.

There was word that Mediatek were working on an 8 core chipset late last year, but like many we believed it had been placed on the back burner while they prepared their LTE chip. This seems to be wrong though as sources in Taiwan claim that Mediatek’s 8-core processor will arrive before the end of this month!

The MT6592 chip will be made up of 8 Cortex-A7, 28nm processor clocked at a frequency of up to 2Ghz! Early tests have the 8 core MT6592 scoring up to 30,000 points in Antutu which is more than Samsung’s 8 core Exynos 5410 processor.

The first batch of these new processors will be ready for manufacturers to begin development by the end of July, while Mediatek are preparing full-scale manufacture for November!

If everything goes to plan we can expect powerful 8 core phones from Tier 1 Chinese phone manufacturers by December!

MediaTek to launch true 8-core, 2GHz MT6592 chipset in November? [Engadget, July 2, 2013]

Samsung may already have its 8-core Exynos 5 Octa offering, but the original “big.LITTLE” implementation means only up to four cores work together at any time — either the Cortex-A15 quartet or its lesser Cortex-A7 counterpart. In other words, we’d rather rename the chipset range to something like “Exynos 5 Quad Dual.” But according to recent intel coming from Taipei and Shenzhen, it looks like Taiwan’s MediaTek is well on its way to ship a true 8-core mobile chipset in Q4 this year.

The first mention of this 2GHz, Cortex-A7 MT6592 chip came from UDN earlier today. The Taiwanese publication claims MediaTek started introducing its first octa-core product to clients last week, and it’s expected to enter mass production using TSMC’s 28nm process in November. The first mobile devices to carry this hot piece of silicon may hit the market in early 2014 — hopefully just in time for the Chinese New Year shopping rush.

UDN adds that the MT6592 scored close to 30,000 on AnTuTu, which is pretty high but still some distance behind Qualcomm’s 2.2GHz quad-core Snapdragon 800. Of course, chances are MediaTek’s offering will be much cheaper, as evidenced by all the affordable MediaTek-powered devices in China these days.

In a separate article from last week, UDN pointed out that judging by over a hundred job openings released by MediaTek last month, the company is clearly putting an emphasis on 4G LTE technology, alongside GPU and Android development. The publication also quoted chairman Tsai Ming-kai saying he will launch an LTE solution in Q4 this year, by which point MediaTek will only be one or two years behind its competitors.

The second piece of info came from HQ Research analyst Pan Jiutang, who posted an alleged spy shot of MediaTek’s upcoming roadmap (pictured left). There the octa-core MT6592 is listed with a clock speed of 1.7GHz to 2GHz, along with 1080p 30fps video decoding support. There’s also a quad-core 1.7GHz MT6588 accompanying its octa-core sibling in the same period on the timeline, though it appears to be just a faster version of the current 1.2GHz MT6589.

For the sake of phone manufacturers, both new chipsets will apparently be pin-to-pin compatible with the quad-core 1.3GHz MT6582 due Q3 this year, thus lowering R&D costs. Better yet, the roadmap also states that the MT6290 LTE modem — as teased by Tsai above — will be compatible with these three chipsets.

With MediaTek quickly catching up ahead of China’s eventual TD-LTE launch, Qualcomm will need to tread carefully to keep its Chinese QRD partners happy.

[Thanks, Ryan!]

Update: It’s worth noting that ARM’s eventual “big.LITTLE MP” implementation will allow all eight cores to run simultaneously, but the Exynos 5 Octa currently doesn’t support this. Thanks, UncleAlbert!

SOURCE: Sina Weibo (login required), UDN (1), (2)


What is new vs. my earlier
The state of big.LITTLE processing [‘Experiencing the Cloud’, April 7, 2013] report

Power scheduler design proposal [by Morten Rasmussen from ARM on Linux kernel mailing list, July 9, 2013]

This patch set is an initial prototype aiming at the overall power-aware scheduler design proposal that I previously described <http://permalink.gmane.org/gmane.linux.kernel/1508480>.

The patch set introduces a cpu capacity managing ‘power scheduler’ which lives by the side of the existing (process) scheduler. Its role is to monitor the system load and decide which cpus that should be available to the process scheduler. Long term the power scheduler is intended to replace the currently distributed uncoordinated power management policies and will interface a unified platform specific power driver obtain power topology information and handle idle and P-states. The power driver interface should be made flexible enough to support multiple platforms including Intel and ARM.

This prototype supports very simple task packing and adds cpufreq wrapper governor that allows the power scheduler to drive P-state selection. The prototype policy is absolutely untuned, but this will be addressed in the future. Scalability improvements, such as avoid iterating over all cpus, will also be addressed in the future.

Thanks,
Morten

From <http://permalink.gmane.org/gmane.linux.kernel/1508480>

                        +-----------------+
                         |                 |     +----------+
         current load    | Power scheduler |<----+ cpufreq  |
              +--------->| sched/power.c   +---->| driver   |
              |          |                 |     +----------+
              |          +-------+---------+
              |             ^    |
        +-----+---------+   |    |
        |               |   |    | available capacity
        | Scheduler     |<--+----+ (e.g. cpu_power)
        | sched/fair.c  |   |
        |               +--+|
        +---------------+  ||
           ^               ||
           |               v|
 +---------+--------+  +----------+
 | task load metric |  | cpuidle  |
 | arch/*           |  | driver   |
 +------------------+  +----------+

Linux Kernel News – June 2013 [by Shuah Khan in Linux Journal , July 9, 2013]

As always the Linux kernel community has been busy moving the Linux mainline to another finish line and the stable and extended releases to the next bump in their revisions to fix security and bug fixes. It is a steady and methodical evolution process which is intriguing to follow. Here is my take on the happenings in the Linux kernel world during June 2013.
Mainline Release (Linus’s tree) News
Linus Torvalds released Linux 3.10. You can read what Linus Torvalds had to say about this release in his release announcement athttp://lkml.indiana.edu/hypermail/linux/kernel/1306.3/04336.html
Two notable features in this release are improved SSD caching and better Radeon graphics driver Power Management.

Power efficient scheduling design
Ingo Molnar (Red Hat, x86 maintainer), Morten Rasmussen (ARM, power mgmt.), Priti Murthy (IBM, scheduler), Rafael Wysocki (Intel, Linux PM, and Linux ACPI maintainer) and Arjan van de Ven discussed the proposed power-aware or power-efficient scheduler design and what’s the best way to integrate it into the kernel.
Power management and the ability to balance performance and power efficiency is important and complex. It is not just about scheduler or cpus. It spans I/O devices that transition into lower-power states and how costly it is to bring them back to fully active state when needed. There is latency involved in these transitions. As always, Linux developers reach consensus to solve complex problems such as these and come up with path to get to the goal taking small steps towards that goal. Here is another example of that process at work.

Power-efficient scheduler work has been active for a few months now. Several RFC patches have been floated and discussed. This work is being pursued very actively in x86 space by IBM and in ARM space by ARM. The premise is that, if scheduler could pack tasks on a few cores and keep these cores fully utilized and, transition other cores to low power states, when the scheduling goal is power savings over performance. In other words, instead of keeping all the cores active, scheduler could consolidate tasks on a few cores and transition other cores to low-power states for better power efficiency.

It is easier said than done. Scheduler is at a higher level and would not be the best judge of making decisions on transitioning CPUs to idle states and deciding on the ideal frequency they should be running at. These decisions are better left to platform drivers that have the specific knowledge of the platform and architecture as they are complex and very hardware specific. In other words, power aware scheduler tuned to run well on x86 platforms will not work as well or could fail miserably on ARM platforms.
Scheduler has to accomplish load balancing as well as power balancing in a way to meet performance and power goals and do it well on all platforms. A generic scheduler doesn’t have to control and drive low-power state decisions on a platform. However, the goal of power-efficient scheduler is to set higher level abstracted policies that would work on all platforms. After a long and productive discussion, there is a consensus and here is the summary:
  • A new kernel configuration option CONFIG_SCHED_POWER to enable/disable the power scheduler feature. Power scheduler is totally inactive, when CONFIG_SCHED_POWER is disabled, and fully active when CONFIG_SCHED_POWER is enabled. The important goal is evolving the power scheduler feature without disrupting and destabilizing the current scheduler.
  • Work on a generic power scheduler with hardware and platform abstractions that will work well on big little ARM, x86, and other platforms. Avoid platform specific power policies that could lead to duplication of functionality in platform specific power drivers.

Please check the Linux Foundation site for presentations made at the Linux Collaboration Summit back in April 2013 on this topic. Here is the link to Jonathan Corbet’s blog on this topic.
http://www.linux.com/news/featured-blogs/200-libby-clark/715486-boosting…

From: big.LITTLE Software Update [by George Grey on Linaro Blog, July 10, 2013]

There are also two software models now available, that ARM and Linaro have developed to enable control of workloads, performance, and power management on big.LITTLE SoCs.

The first is the IKS [In Kernel Switcher, also known as CPU Migration]software, developed by Linaro, that treats each pair of Cortex-A7 and Cortex-A15 cores as a single ‘virtual’ core. On a multicore SoC each pair is treated as 1 of n virtual symmetric cores by the Linux kernel.

Core Software Configuration for IKS (4+4)

image

Using existing mechanisms in the Linux kernel for each pair the cpufreq driver controls whether the Cortex-A7 is active (for low power) or the Cortex-A15 is active (for maximum performance). Overall maximum performance and throughput on a 4+4 core SoC is from 4 Cortex-A15s. The key attribute of IKS is that it relies on existing well-understood mechanisms in the Linux kernel and it is easy to implement, test and characterize in a production environment.

The second is the Global Task Scheduling (GTS) [also known as big.LITTLE MP or Heterogeneous Multi-Processing (HMP)] software developed (and now named) by ARM. This is known in Linaro as big.LITTLE MP. Using GTS all of the big and LITTLE cores are available to the Linux kernel for scheduling tasks. We are very proud that Linaro has contributed to ARM’s development of the GTS software, and that it is now publicly available in Linaro builds. ARM and Linaro recommend GTS for new products, and Linaro members are actively planning product deployments using this solution.

Core Software Configuration for GTS (4+4)

image

The big.LITTLE MP patch set creates a list of Cortex-A15 and Cortex-A7 cores that is used to pick the target core for a particular task. Then, using runnable load average statistics, the Linux scheduler is modified to track the average load of each task, and to migrate tasks to the best core. High intensity tasks are migrated to the Cortex-A15 core(s) and are also marked as high intensity tasks for more efficient future allocations. Low intensity tasks remain resident on the Cortex-A7 core(s).

IKS and GTS are now publicly available in Linaro monthly engineering releases for the ARM TC2 Versatile Express hardware, and in Linaro’s interim Long Term Supported Kernel (LSK) build. Both will also be incorporated into the first full Linaro LSK, which will be based on the next Linux Foundation, Greg Kroah-Hartman designated, Long Term Supported (LTS) kernel.

Until GTS functionality is fully upstream, ARM is supporting the big.LITTLE MP patch set for its licensees, leveraging Linaro’s public monthly and Linaro LSK builds, so that it is available to all ARM licensees for product integration and deployment. Linaro also expect to provide a topic branch for the latest work available on the upstream GTS implementation for interested developers.

ARM and Linaro now recommend product development and deployment to be based on the GTS solution. However, there are some cases where hardware limitations or a requirement for the traditional Linux scheduler (for example in some embedded applications) may lead to IKS still being required.

Future Work

Power management software in Linaro is worked on by the Power Management Working Group. Other activities within the Group will enable additional power savings on ARM multi-core devices. One current project worth highlighting is the work being done by Vincent Guittot on small-task packing. Normally the Linux kernel will spread running tasks over all the available CPU cores. On a handset in standby, or even when being used with low activity, there may be a number of housekeeping and other small tasks that run in the background or relatively infrequently and therefore keep cores active unnecessarily. If “small” tasks can be migrated to one core, then the other cores could be made idle or even turned off completely, potentially resulting in significant power savings. This feature is expected to offer improved power management to systems based on symmetric multi-core SoCs (for example dual or quad-core Cortex-A7 or Cortex-A15 parts), as well as big.LITTLE SoCs.

While the current big.LITTLE efforts are focused on Cortex-A15 and Cortex-A7, the techniques being implemented today for 32-bit systems are already being run on 64-bit models. We therefore expect to see the GTS software running on 64-bit Cortex-A57 and Cortex-A53 based big.LITTLE SoCs as soon as they become available.

Real Life Results

ARM has published further information on big.LITTLE configurations and performance in a blog entry here [Ten Things to Know About big.LITTLE [Brian Jeff on SoC Design blog of ARM, June 18, 2013]].

The first commercial products based on big.LITTLE are certain international versions of the latest Galaxy S4 phone from Linaro member, Samsung. Samsung-LSI provide an ‘Octa-core’ 4+4 big.LITTLE chip for this phone. As has been publicly noted, the current generation of hardware cannot yet take full advantage of the IKS or the GTS designs because the hardware power-saving core switching feature is implemented on a cluster basis rather than on a per-core or a per-pair basis. Even so, the first big.LITTLE implementation produces performance and power consumption on a par with the latest Qualcomm multi-core Snapdragon processor according to reviews from Engadget, PocketNow and others. Often first implementations of new technology never see the light of day – it is a tribute to Samsung’s engineers that the Exynos 5 is already seeing the Cortex-A15 level of performance with the power saving of the Cortex-A7s in a mass market handset in the very first big.LITTLE iteration.

We look forward to seeing what improvements full use of GTS will bring when used on future production devices from Samsung and others.

More information: Power Management with big.LITTLE: A technical overview [by Steven Willis in SoC blog of ARM, June 20, 2013]

Why all this sudden attention on the Linux Scheduler? [LCE13, Linaro Connect Europe]

12:00 PM – 13:00 PM on Monday, Jul 8, 2013 (IST)

Description

The Linux scheduler is getting a lot of attention in the ARM ecosystem these days. Come to this discussion to find out why.

Several people working on the scheduler or interested in changes to the scheduler will be invited to talk about their requirements, what is the state of their work, who will benefit from it, etc.

Video record of the Why all this sudden attention on the Linux Scheduler? dscussion

Minutes of the above discussion

Determinism: problems
———————
* Preemption: interrupts, locking
* Latency
* Scheduling overhead
* Realtime processing
Most of the requirements are coming from LEG/LNG.
Solutions:
    – PREEMPT_RT
    – Adaptive NO_HZ (merged in 3.10)
        Came out of high-performance computing. When there is just one
        task, the scheduler is switched off for that CPU. Results in
        zero scheduler overhead. When the only task finishes – the CPU
        will get into scheduling/idle again.
        There is still once-per-second tick for scheduling. There
        is a patch removing that last remaining bit to make it fully
        tickless.
        We’re not sure yet if all the possible limitations are found –
        there still might be some scheduler overhead left.
        If interrupt handling is offloaded to other cores, caching
        related issues will still affect performance (e.g. serving IO
        interrupts for the task on a different core will require the
        dedicated core to cache the date once again).
    – Deadline
Physical process isolation: none addresses
    – Needed for KVM.
Temporal isolation: all three (with some limitations)
No scheduling overhead: ADAPTIVE NO_HZ only.
Firm/Hard Real-time PREEMPT_RT only
Complexity:
    high for PREEMPT_RT
    low for the rest
Requirements:
all of the above
Power efficiency: history
————————-
* sched-mc (got removed)
* big.LITTLE MP patches implementing GTS (ARM)
* Packing Small Tasks (Linaro/ARM)
    Pack all small background tasks on as little number of small cores
    as possible to conserve power.
    Intel approach does not care about which core is selected as the
    best one (Turbo Mode is effectively converting the core into a BIG
    core, while all the other cores are becoming little ones). Task
    migration is expensive – this approach helps avoiding it.
* Power aware scheduling (Intel)
    Discussions were lasting for a while and then Ingo Molnar requested
    an integral solution (not a set of independent bits).
    He made a good point. What we have an SMP legacy implementation.
    Are we starting from scratch because of that?
    It is going to be a significal change. We need to re-think as it’s
    not SMP case anymore. b.L is not a new architecture – Intel already
    does that but differently.
    The task is to find the most efficient way of performing the work
    needed. The best place to make those decisions is the scheduler.
    Power officiency – proposal (from ARM)
    ————————————–
    Separate process and power scheduler (ARM). This is the first step
    to get to the fully integral scheduler in the future. Helps fighting
    with the complexity at hand. In this case there are certain
    limitations – one of the schedulers will be leading while the second
    one will be limited.
    That doesn’t work well for Intel CPUs (no pre-configured small/BIG
    cores).
    Issues:
    – Topology
        Missing:
        – Frequency domains, which CPUs are affected. That would be
          useful for the scheduler.
    – Idle + DVFS
        Missing:
        – information about the cost of using a certain core at certain
          DVFS operation point to perform a certain amount of work.
    – Thermal
        The idea is to keep an eye on the temperature trend to avoid
        cases when whole cores are needed to be temporarily shut down to
        cool them down.
        GPU contribution into the thermal budget should also be
        considered
.
    Trying to control DVFS from the scheduler. Patches are expected very
    soon
.
Q: How much of the improvements are we looking for (power wise)?
A: Something that will get upstream. 😀

Linux 3.10 [by Linus Torvalds on Linux kernel mailing list, June 30, 2013]
Linux kernel 3.10 arrives with ARM big.LITTLE support [Engadget, July 1, 2013]

Thanks to Linus Torvalds’ figurative stroke of the pen, the Linux kernel 3.10 is now final — paving the way for its inclusion in a bevy of Linux distributions, and even offshoots such as Android and Chrome OS. The fresh kernel brings a good number of changes, such as timerless multitasking, a new caching implementation and support for the ARM big.LITTLE architecture. In simplistic terms, the new multitasking method should help improve performance and latency by firing the system timer only once per second — rather than 1,000 times — when tasks are running. Meanwhile, users with both traditional hard drives and SSDs will find performance benefits from bcache, which brings writeback caching and a filesystem agnostic approach to leveraging the SSD for caching operations. Also of significance, Linux kernel 3.10 enhances ARM supportby including the big.LITTLE architecture, which combines multiple cores of different types — commonly the Cortex-A7 and Cortex-A15 — that focus on either power savings or performance. The full list of improvements is rather lengthy, but if you feel like nerding out with the changelog, just grab a caffeinated beverage and get to it.

Linaro 13.06 Released! [by Amber Graner on Linaro Blog, June 27, 2013]

The Linaro 13.06 release is now available for download!

It’s been a very active cycle for the Builds and Baselines team, reporting that the Continuous Integration (CI) loop for the Linaro Stable Kernel (LSK) Android proof of concept which is based on 3.9.6 kernel version was set up and includes the big.LITTLE IKS and MP patches (also called beta patchset). Support for Kernel CI loop with Android filesystem was added to android-build and CI loop was set up to track the ARM Landing Team (LT) integration tree. The HiSilicon member build with complete CI loop was set up and now tracks the LT kernel tree.

Nokia Lumia 1020: an excellent case of Nokia’s contribution to Microsoft as a key innovation partner

Update: An excellent infographic from  All you need to know about the world’s coolest Nokia Lumia 1020 infographic [Nokia Conversations, July 26, 2013]
óriásméretben: http://cdn.conversations.nokia.com.s3.amazonaws.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/07/Lumia-1020-Infographic1.png

image

From the video presentations these two are worth to embed here:

Nokia’s Lumia 1020 event recap in 5 minutes [TheVerge YouTube channel, July 11, 2013]

Need to catch up on Nokia’s Lumia 1020 event? We’ve got you covered with this 5-minute recap!

Interview with Nokia’s Stephen Elop: the Lumia 1020 will take customers ‘over the goal line’ [TheVerge YouTube channel, July 11, 2013]

Nilay Patel sits down with Nokia CEO Stephen Elop to talk about the company’s future and the newly announced Lumia 1020.

Note that Elop is emphasizing here the experience what is delivered as much via software as hardware. In the Q&A: How Nokia and Microsoft collaborated to create the groundbreaking new Lumia 1020 with Windows Phone 8 [Windows Phone Blog, July 11, 2013] there is even a talk about the whole set ofcamera / imaging / navigation / personal experiences”. By reading my Microsoft reorg for delivering/supporting high-value experiences/activities [‘Experiencing the Cloud’, July 11, 2013] post you will understand even more this whole experiences stuff, both for Nokia and Microsoft, also as an excellent case of key innovation partnership.

From the first 24 hours media reports only the ones given below (only four) are worth to be excerpted here, as all others are emphasizing the 41MP camera:

Nokia Lumia 1020 Hands On: This Actually Might Be Amazing [Gizmodo, July 11, 2013], indeed. You should read this article to understand why I agree wholeheartedly with that.

Nokia’s strategy for selling the Lumia 1020 makes zero sense [BGR, July 11, 2013], what?

… Nokia’s obvious pride in its work on the Lumia 1020 is undermined by the company’s bizarre strategy for selling the device … what really baffles me about Nokia’s strategy for selling the Lumia 1020 is its decision to make the device an AT&T exclusive. … When a Forbes reporter pointedly asked Nokia CEO Stephen Elop on Thursday why he was sticking with his strategy of promoting carrier exclusivity despite the fact that AT&T has allegedly been a “dreadful” partner, he drew loud cheers from the crowd. Whether AT&T has been good or bad when it comes to promoting Nokia devices is really beside the point, however. What has become clear is that keeping your best devices exclusively on one carrier is a self-defeating strategy.

For Nokia, 41MP Hype Of Lumia 1020 Is Both Blessing And A Curse [Forbes, July 12, 2013], why?

… the problem with emphasizing the Lumia 1020′s  pixel count is that no consumer wakes up thinking, “What I really need is larger images from my phone.” … when was the last time you walked into a retail cellular provider’s store and got information from sales staff beyond the bullet points on the display signage? … They have a product that is stylish, delivers great-looking photos and, all things considered, is reasonably priced. But none of that will mean much if the Lumia 1020 becomes defined as the “41MP phone” sitting in the back of your local AT&T retail shop, with a salesperson who can only tell you it takes big pictures.

Lumia 1020: A flash point for Nokia? [CNET, July 11, 2013], is it?

… “The device is about re-establishing Nokia as an innovator in the devices market,” said Gartner analyst Carolina Milanesi. … Unlike most phone launches, which often delve into specifications such processor speeds, [Nokia CEO Stephen] Elop kept the presentation focused on all the tricks and features enabled by the monster camera. “We’re all looking forward to bringing people the next chapter in smartphone imaging,” he said. … “You can see how much software innovation is going on inside this product — that also positions Nokia in a better place than many of its competitors who still do technology for the sake of it, but are unable to package it in a way that improves the users experience,” Milanesi said. “At a time when macro-level innovation has seemed to be lacking in smartphones, Nokia’s Lumia 1020 demonstrates that there is still considerable scope to drive forward the user experience in core smartphone capabilities,” said Ovum analyst Tony Cripps.
While the 41-megapixel camera may wow shutterbugs and tech enthusiasts, the Windows Phone operating system gives some consumers pause when considering the Lumia 1020. The operating system, which employs live tiles, is wholly different from the standard grid of icons found on Apple’s iPhone or Android devices. Some critics have called it a fresh take on a smartphone, but consumers have been slow to embrace it. “It’s a Windows Phone challenge,” Elop conceded when asked about less-than-stellar sales. “There’s tremendous responsiblity to help everyone understand what that third alternative stands for.”
One of the challenges that Nokia faces is getting the phone in people’s hands to try out. Elop said he is working to get more carrier sales representatives trained and using a Lumia device, which he said will help convince consumers to give the operating system a shot. Elop touted the Lumia line’s higher net promoter score, or a measure of how willing a person is to recommend a product. He believes the score will help Nokia build its momentum. …

Finally, the related Nokia communications:

Background
Best of both worlds: Sharpness and low light
– Sharpness is more than just megapixels
—Why 5MP?
—Oversampling results in 5MP photos with amazing detail
—High resolution zoom
—Getting rid of hand-shake
– Photos in the dark
—Back side illuminated sensor
—Exposure time
—Flash
– Real life sharpness measurement
Nokia Pro Camera
– Zoom reinvented and reframing
– Photography tools and creative control
—Manual controls: EV, shutter speed, ISO, focus, WB
Nokia Pro Camera Video
Nokia Rich Recording
Photo examples
Key technologies and specs
Credits
Discover the new Lumia http://nokia.ly/Lumia1020 Nokia Rich Recording lets you capture distortion-free, stereo sound — so you can relive the moment as if you were there again. Soundtrack: Karin Park — Explosions
The Nokia Imaging SDK gives you access to a powerful library of exciting image manipulation tools, which will make creating the next generation of imaging apps for Windows Phone 8 devices quicker and easier. Designed from the ground up with performance and a low memory footprint in mind, the library’s functions don’t put a strain on the user’s device, which makes editing high-resolution images swift and engaging. In fact, the technology behind the Nokia Imaging SDK is well proven, as Nokia uses it to create its own imaging apps, such as Creative Studio, Photo Beamer, and Smart Camera. Hear from David Fredh, Lead Program Manager, Capture and Relive, and Daniel Larsson, Project Manager, Nokia Imaging SDK, the developers of the Nokia Imaging SDK and other great imaging apps from Nokia. David and Daniel provide an introduction to the features and capabilities of the SDK. For more information and a download of the Nokia Imaging SDK, visit http://www.developer.nokia.com/imaging

 

Espoo, Finland and New York, NY – Today, Nokia established a new benchmark in smartphone imaging with the arrival of the Nokia Lumia 1020, boasting a second generation 41 megapixel sensor. Unlike any smartphone in the market today the Nokia Lumia 1020 reinvents zoom, enabling people to discover more detail than the eye can see. With Nokia’s innovative PureView technology, including optical image stabilization, the device is able to produce some of the sharpest images possible by any digital camera.
This is made possible by leading hardware technology combined with a new application called Nokia Pro Camera, which makes it easy for anyone to take professional quality images. Either before a picture is taken or after it has been shot, the zoom capability enables people to discover and then rediscover the personal stories each image can tell. With a beautiful interface that visually demonstrates how settings will affect the final photo or video, Nokia Pro Camera makes it easier than ever to capture, edit and share photos and videos with unrivaled clarity.
imageUsing a new feature called dual capture, the Nokia Lumia 1020 simultaneously takes a high resolution 38 megapixel image for endless editing opportunities, and creates a 5 megapixel picture that is easy to share to social networks with Windows Phone 8.

The Nokia Lumia 1020’s 41 megapixel sensor features leading ZEISS optics with six physical lenses, plus optical image stabilization, delivering crystal clear pictures even in low light conditions. It also captures blur free videos with stereo sound even at the loudest concerts thanks to Nokia Rich Recording, which handles sound pressure levels six times louder than conventional smartphone microphones.

“We want to take people on a journey from capturing pictures to recording and sharing their lives,” said Stephen Elop, President and CEO, Nokia. “The Nokia Lumia 1020 will bring new meaning to pictures and continues to strengthen Nokia’s leadership in imaging.”
Nokia also released a new imaging software development kit (SDK) that provides key image editing features of the Nokia Lumia 1020 to developers. The SDK is available today at developer.nokia.com with a number of developers including Vyclone, Yelp and CNN integrating these features into future releases.
Hipstamatic showcased Oggl PRO, an exclusive application for the Nokia Lumia 1020 offering the most advanced smartphone camera controls for their creative community. It was also announced that popular applications Vine, Path and Flipboard will soon be available on Windows Phone.
Adding further professional capabilities and additional battery life, Nokia announced the new Nokia Camera Grip. This is an accessory that complements device features usually reserved for stand-alone cameras, like the Nokia Lumia 1020’s built-in xenon flash and mechanical shutter. The Nokia Camera Grip also has a tripod mount, and is expected to be available this month for an estimated retail price of USD 79.
The personal nature of Windows Phone makes it the perfect platform for the Nokia Lumia 1020, showcasing live images on the Start screen with the Photos tile, quick sharing to social networks, and easy access to files across a number of devices with SkyDrive. With the dedicated camera button, Windows Phone is designed with imaging in mind.
To help people see what’s around them and discover new places to take photos, the latest developments in LiveSight will available in HERE Maps soon. The Nokia Lumia 1020 also comes with ad and subscription free Nokia Music streaming.
The Nokia Lumia 1020 will arrive first on U.S. shores exclusively with AT&T, with sales expected to start on July 26 at a price of USD 299.99 on a two-year contract.
The Nokia Lumia 1020 is then expected to arrive in China and key European markets this quarter. Nokia plans to ship an exclusive variant of the device with Telefonica to select European and Latin American markets. The Nokia Lumia 1020 will be available in yellow, white and black.

Nokia Lumia 1020

 

Operating system

Windows Phone 8

HERE location services

Free global HERE Maps and HERE Drive+; Free HERE Transit available in the Store

Display

4.5″ AMOLED WXGA (1280×768), 2.5 D sculpted Corning Gorilla Glass 3, PureMotion HD+, ClearBlack, high brightness mode, sunlight readability, super sensitive touch, Nokia Glance Screen

Battery

2000 mAh battery, wireless charging supported via cover

Processor

1.5 GHz dual-core Snapdragon S4

Main camera

PureView 41 MP with optical image stabilization, Resolution: 7712 x 5360. Includes Nokia Pro Camera. Xenon flash for still images, LED flash for video

Front facing camera

HD 1.2 MP wide angle

Memory

2 GB RAM, 32 GB internal memory; 7 GB free SkyDrive cloud storage

Read more about the Lumia 1020 on our product pages and at Nokia Conversations.

Nokia’s non-Windows crossroad

Update: 3” display with 240 x 320 pixels, not AMOLED screen, 3.2 MP camera. More information:
New Asha platform and ecosystem to deliver a breakthrough category of affordable smartphone from Nokia [‘Experiencing the Cloud’, May 9, 2013] my composite post of the all relevant launch information
New Nokia Asha platform for developers [‘Experiencing the Cloud’, May 9, 2013] my composite post of the all relevant development platform information End of update

There was a question why I was so affirmative with the headline of Temporary Nokia setback in India [‘Experiencing the Cloud’, April 28, 2013]. The quite remarkable cross-platform development story for Nokia Asha current and future devices is the major part of my affirmative approach. Take a look and convince yourself as well!

Nokia’s cross-platform strategy is aimed at the following value proposition to developers (see in the “Nokia’s own Asha cross-platform efforts for developers (so far)” section):

Consider Co-Development, instead of classic “porting”

As the Category:Silverlight [Nokia Developer Wiki, April 22, 2013] is stating:

Deprecated Category. Please move any articles across to Category:XAML.

the below rumor about the upcoming on May 9th Asha 501, that its design will be like the Nokia Lumias, would mean that programatically the same XAML interface would be delivered by Nokia for a further enhanced Nokia Asha Touch S40 operating system. It is even more likely as the J2ME platform of the Nokia Asha Touch S40 operating system was a few days ago enhanced by the Lightweight User Interface Toolkit (LWUIT) in Nokia SDK 2.0 for Java™, and this is supported by the full cross-platform Codename One development kit from the same name 3d party company, who is also preparing a XAML based 1.1 version of this toolkit for Windows Phone 8/7 (and presumably for Windows 8 as well), thus allowing the same standard Java programming by providing (see in the “Codename One cross-platform offerings for Java developers” section):

1 Java API which is the same for J2ME, Android, iOS, RIM and Win8.

It could also be quite probable that Nokia’s own Asha cross-platform offerings will extended by C#/XAML oriented cross-platform toolkit[s] on May 9th. Then we will have a complete cross-platform story for Nokia’s non-Windows offerings. We’ll see.

Nokia launching Asha 501 on 9th May? [mobile indian, May 1, 2013]

Nokia has sent out press invites for an event on May 9, which could possibly be about Asha 501 launch, and we have strong reasons to believe so.

Nokia may probably launch new phone(s) in the Asha series lineup on May 9th, on which day Nokia has organized an event and has sent out invites to various media organisations. And while the invitation does not specify the subject of the launch, we are pretty sure about it being an Asha series phone as it has been sent by a team that looks after Asha lineup.

Probably, Nokia would launch the Asha 501 which has been in the news off late.

According to rumors, Nokia Asha 501 is to come with design like the Nokia Lumia phones.

Further the Asha 501 is said to come with a 5 megapixel camera with LED flash, and a slightly larger display than Asha 311 which has a 3 inch touchscreen. Most likely this handset will have at least a 1 GHz processor.

image

Nokia is reemphasizing on its Asha series of phones to strengthen its market hold. Recently Stephen Elop, Nokia’s chief executive officer, had also emphasized that saying, “We have to make sure the product portfolio is as competitive as possible. We are due for a significant refresh.”

#Breaking “Nokia 501” & “Nokia 210” Passed Testing Process by Directorate Post & Telecommunication Indonesia [nokianesia blog, April 9, 2013]

Today, April 09, 2013 Directorate Post & Telecommunication Indonesia publish 2 New Nokia devices which are already passed the testing process to get certification.
There are Nokia 501 RM-902 that should be (Maybe) The next generation of Nokia Asha and Nokia 210 RM 924 that Should be Nokia Asha 210.

Right know, we still don’t have any information about specification and information. We will post if there are any information about Nokia 501 and Nokia Asha 210.

imageimage

Source postel.go.id

Compare Nokia Asha 501 vs Micromax A51 Bolt [91mobiles, March 16, 2013]

Nokia Asha 501
– 3.5”, AMOLED capacitive touchscreen
– 320 x 480 pixels
– 1 GHz Processor
– 512 MB RAM
– 5MP rear camera with LED Flash
– front camera
– video recording
– video playback
– GPRS, EDGE, HSDPA/HSUPA, WiFi 802.11 b/g/n, Bluetooth, USB
– Nokia Asha Touch OS
Micromax A51 Bolt [$79+]
– 3.5” , TFT LCD capacitive Touchscreen, 262K Colors
– 320 x 480 pixels
– 832 MHz, BCM21552 [ARM11]
– 512 MB ROM, 256 MB RAM
– 2MP rear camera with Flash
– 0.2MP front camera
– video recording: VGA @30fps
– video playback: 720×486
– 3G/Bluetooth/Wi-Fi/USB

– Android V2.3.7 (Gingerbread)

Sections of this post:
– Codename One cross-platform offerings for Java developers
– Nokia’s own Asha cross-platform efforts for developers (so far)


Codename One cross-platform offerings for Java developers

Developers Guide [Version 1.0.1, Jan 24, 2013]

Introduction

Codename One is a set of tools for mobile application development that derive a great deal of its architecture from Java. It stands both as the name of the startup that created the set of tools and as a prefix to the distinct tools that make up the Codename One product.

The goal of the Codename One project is to take the complex and fragmented task of mobile device programming and unify it under a single set of tools, APIs and services to create a more manageable approach to mobile application development without sacrificing development power/control.

History
Codename One was started by Chen Fishbein & Shai Almog who authored the Open Source LWUIT project at Sun Microsystems starting at 2007. The LWUIT project aimed at solving the fragmentation within J2ME/Blackberry devices by targeting a higher standard of user interface than the common baseline at the time. LWUIT received critical acclaim and traction within multiple industries but was limited by the declining feature phone market. image

In 2012 the Codename One project has taken many of the basic concepts developed within the LWUIT project and adapted them to the smartphone world which is experiencing similar issues to the device fragmentation of the old J2ME phones.

How Does It Work

Codename One has 4 major parts: API, Designer, Simulator, Build/Cloud server.
    • API – abstracts platform specific functionality
    • Designer – allows developers/designers to design the GUI/theme and package various resources required by the application
    • Simulator – allows previewing and debugging applications within the IDE
    • Build/Cloud server – the server performs the build of the native application, removing the need to install additional software stacks.
    Limitations & Capabilities
    J2ME & RIM are very limited platforms to achieve partial Java 5 compatibility Codename One automatically strips the Java 5 language requirements from bytecode and injects its own implementation of Java 5 classes. Not everything is supported so consult the Codename One JavaDoc when you get a compiler error to see what is available.
    Due to the implementation of the NetBeans IDE it is very difficult to properly replace and annotate the supported Java API’s so the completion and error marking might not represent correctly what is actually working and implemented on the devices. However, the compilation phase will not succeed if you used classes that are unsupported.
    Lightweight UI
    The biggest differentiation for Codename One is the lightweight architecture which allows for a great deal of the capabilities within Codename One. A Lightweight component is a component which is written entirely in Java, it draws its own interface and handles its own events/states.
    This has huge portability advantages since the same code executes on all platforms, but it carries many additional advantages.
    The components are infinitely customizable just by using standard inheritance and overriding paint/event handling. Theming and the GUI builder allow for live preview and accurate reproduction across platforms since the same code executes everywhere.

    Codename One Benchmarked With Amazing Results [Codename One – Reinventing the Mobile Development blog, Dec 7, 2012]

    imageSteve Hannah who ported Codename One to Avian has just completed a set of benchmarks on Codename One’s iOS performance putting Codename One’s at 33% slower performance than native C and faster performance than Objective-C!

    I won’t spoil his research results so please read his full post here.
    A small disclaimer is that the Objective-C benchmark is a bit heavy on the method/message calls which biases the benchmark in our favor. Method invocations in Codename One are naturally much faster than the equivalent Objective-C code due to the semantics of that language.

    With 100,000 SDK Downloads, Mobile Development Platform Codename One Comes Out of Beta With 1.0 Launch [Codename One – Reinventing the Mobile Development blog, Jan 29, 2013]

    Tel Aviv, Israel – Mobile development platform Codename One is announcing the launch of its 1.0 version on Tuesday, January 29. After releasing in beta last June, Codename One – the first software development kit that allows Java developers to create true high performance native mobile applications across multiple mobile operating systems using a single code base – has garnered over 100,000 downloads and emerged as one of the fastest toolkits of its kind, on par with native OS toolkits.
    The platform to date has been used to build over 1,000 native mobile applications and has been touted by mobile developers and enthusiasts as the best write-once-run-everywhere solution for building native mobile apps.
    “I have been developing with Codename One for a couple of months now. When you line up all of the other options for development, whether native SDKs, Appcelerator, ADF or others, Codename One wins on almost every front,” said software developer Steve Hannah.
    Codename One has received widespread, viral acclaim in technology and business media including InfoWorld, Slashdot, Hacker News, VentureBeat, Business Insider, The Next Web, Dr. Dobbs and Forbes, which named the company one of the 10 greatest industry disrupting startups of 2012.
    “We have been thrilled with the success of our beta launch and are very excited to release the much-awaited 1.0 version,” said co-founder and CEO Shai Almog.
    Almog, along with co-founder Chen Fishbein, decided to launch the venture after noticing a growing inefficiency within mobile application development. By enabling developers to significantly cut time and costs in developing native applications for iOS, Android, Blackberry, Windows 7 Phone and other devices, Almog and Fishbein hope to make mobile application development increasingly feasible.
    The Java-based platform is open-source and utilizes lightweight technology, allowing it to produce unique native interfaces highly differentiated from competitive cross-platform mobile development toolkits, which typically use HTML5 or heavyweight technology.
    By drawing all components from scratch rather than utilizing native widgets, Codename One enables developers to avoid fragmentation – a major hindrance found in the majority of competitors – and additionally allows accurate desktop simulation of mobile apps.
    The startup’s founders are recognized for engineering Sun Microsystems’s famous Lightweight User Interface Toolkit, a mobile platform used by leading mobile carriers and industry leaders to this date.
    Codename One is available for download free of charge.
    About Codename One
    Codename One, named by Forbes as “one of the 10 greatest industry disrupting startups of 2012,” is an Israel-based technology company that has created a powerful cross-platform software development kit for mobile applications. The technology enables developers to create native applications across multiple operating systems using a single code base. Codename One was founded by renowned software engineers Shai Almog and Chen Fishbein in 2012.

    Windows Phone 8 And The State Of 7 [Codename One – Reinventing the Mobile Development blog, April 2, 2013]

    Codename One’s windows phone port is close to a public release.

    A preliminary Windows Phone 8 build has been available on our servers for the past couple of days. We differentiate between a Windows Phone 7 and 8 version by a build argument that indicates the version (win.ver=8) this will be exposed by the GUI in the next update of the plugin. But now I would like to discuss the architecture and logic behind this port which will help you understand how to optimize the port and maybe even help us with the actual port.

    The Windows Phone 7 and 8 ports are both based on the XMLVM translation to C# code, we picked this approach because all other automated approaches proved to be duds. iKVM which seems like the most promising option, isn’t supported on mobile so that only left the XMLVM option.

    The Windows Phone 7 port was based on XNA (3d C# based API) which has its share of problems but was more appropriate to our needs in Codename One. Unfortunately Microsoft chose to kill off XNA for Windows Phone 8 which put us in a bit of a bind when trying to build the Windows Phone 8 port.

    While externally Windows Phone 8 and 7 look very similar, their underlying architecture is completely different and very incompatible. You cannot compile a universal binary that will work on all of Microsoft’s platforms, so just to make order within this mess:

    • Windows Phone 7 – based on the old Windows CE kernel. Allows only managed runtimes (e.g. C# not C++), graphics can be done using XAML or XNA (more on that later.
    • Windows Phone 8 – based on an ARM port of Windows 8 kernel. Allows unmanaged apps (C# or C++) graphics can be done in XAML or Direct3D when using C++ (but not silverlight).
    • Windows RT/Desktop – the full windows 8 kernel either for ARM or for PC. They are partially compatible to one another so I’m putting them together. This is actually pretty similar to the Windows Phone 8 port, but incompatible so a different build is needed and slightly different API usage.

    As you understand we can’t use XNA since it isn’t supported by the new platforms, we toyed a bit with the idea of using Direct3D but integrating it with text input, fonts etc. seemed like a nightmare. Furthermore, doing another C++ port would mean a HUGE amount of work!

    So Codename One is based on the XAML API. Most people would think of XAML as an XML based API, but you can use it from C# and just ignore most of the XML aspects of it which is what we need since our UI is constructed dynamically. However, this is more complicated than it seems.

    To understand the complexity you need to understand the idea of a Scene Graph. If you used Codename One you are using a more immediate mode graphics API, where the paint method is invoked and just paints the component whenever its needed. This is the simplest most portable way of doing graphics and is pretty common, its used natively by Android, OpenGL, Direct3D etc. and is very familiar to developers.

    In recent years many Scene Graph API’s sprung up, XAML is one of them and so is JavaFX, Flash, SVG and many others. In a Scene Graph world you construct a graphics hierarchy and then let it be rendered, the whole paint() sequence is hidden from the developer. The best way to explain it is that our components in Codename One are really a scene graph, only at a higher abstraction level. Windows/Flash placed the scene graph on the graphics as well, so to draw a rectangle you would just add it to the tree (and remove it when you no longer need it).

    This is actually pretty powerful, you can do animations just by changing component values in trees and performance can be pretty spectacular since the paint loop can be GPU optimized.

    However, the reality of this is that most developers find these API’s harder to work with (since they need to keep track of a rather complex unintuitive tree), the API’s aren’t portable at all since the hierarchies are so different. Performance is also very hard to tune since so much is hidden by the underlying hidden paint logic.

    For Codename One this is a huge problem, we need our API to act as if its painting in immediate mode while constructing/updating a scene! When we initially built this the performance was indeed as bad as you might imagine. While we are not in the clear yet, the performance is much improved…

    How did we solve this?

    There are several different issues involved, the first is the number of elements on the screen. We noticed that if we have more than 200 elements on the screen performance quickly degraded. This was a HUGE problem since we have thousands of paint operations happening just in the process of transitioning into a new form. To solve this we associate every graphics component with a component and when the component is repainted we remove all operations related to it, we also try to reuse graphics resources such as images from the previous paint operation.

    When painting a component in Codename One we normally traverse up the component tree and paint the first opaque component forward (known as painters algorithm) however, since the scene already has the parent component painting it again would result in many copies of the image being within the scene graph. E.g. I have a background image on a form, when painting a translucent label I have to paint the background image within a clipping region matching the label…. In the Windows Phone port we have a special hook that just disables this functionality, this hook alone pushed us over the top to reasonable graphics performance!

    We are working on getting additional performance oriented features into place and fixing some issues related to this approach, its not a simple task since the API wasn’t designed with this in mind but it is doable. We would appreciate you taking the time to review the port

    Build Java Application for Mobile Devices [Shai Almog YouTube channel, Jan 10, 2013]

    Build native applications using Java and Netbeans for all mobile devices.

    Codename One Executive Overview [Shai Almog YouTube channel, Jan 6, 2013]

    Introduction to the ideas behind Codename One without getting too technical. For more information on Codename One check outhttp://www.codenameone.com/

    Developer Introduction To Codename One [Shai Almog YouTube channel, Jan 6, 2013]

    An introduction to Codename One to developers who don’t necessarily have prior experience in Swing or Android.

    Series 40 Webinar: LWUIT for Nokia Asha app development [nokiadevforum YouTube channel, April 16, 2013]

    his webinar introduces the Lightweight User Interface Toolkit (LWUIT) as optimised for Nokia SDK 2.0 for Java™, which is designed for Series 40 app development. LWUIT makes it very easy to create compelling UIs for Series 40 phones, using a programming paradigm similar to Swing. If you don’t know what Swing means, don’t worry; it’s cover in the presentation. Java expert Michael Samarin from Futurice walks you through LWUIT features such as transitions, animations, comprehensive UI components, layout management, and support for Series 40 themes. In coding sessions, he demonstrates the LWUIT Resource Editor and show you the development tasks associated with making LWUIT-based Java ME applications. You can download the slides from this session at:http://www.slideshare.net/nokia-devel&#8230; More information about LWUIT for Series 40 can be found in the following resources: * LWUIT for Series 40 Project Home: https://projects.developer.nokia.com/LWUIT_for_Series_40 * LWUIT Developer Library and UX Guide: http://www.developer.nokia.com/Resources/Library/LWUIT/#!index.html * Short demonstration video: http://youtu.be/xu0UNJJPdYU

    More information:
    Swing into Mobile – Use the Lightweight UI Toolkit on Nokia Series 40 phones [pp. 81–84 of Java Magazine, January/February 2013]
    LWUIT for Series 40 out of beta [Nokia Developer News, Feb 26, 2013]

    Great news for those of you wanting to deliver superior UIs in your Series 40 apps— Lightweight UI Toolkit (LWUIT) for Series 40 has graduated from beta to a full initial release.
    LWUIT is an open source Java ME toolkit that supports a comprehensive range of visual UI components, and other user interface elements such as theming, transitions, and animation among others. It helps you create applications with appealing UIs that closely follow the native Series 40 UIs. It also helps speed up development by significantly reducing the need to create custom UI components, which might be needed when creating an app’s UI using LCDUI. LWUIT for Series 40 can be used in combination with selected Nokia UI APIs and all the JSR APIs available on the platform.
    Since the last LWUIT for Series 40 release made available in the Nokia SDK 2.0 for Java, development of the toolkit has been continuing at a rapid pace. A number of new APIs have been introduced, including PopUpChoiceGroup, ContextMenu, NokiaListCellRenderer, theme selection, and full-screen mode. There have also been significant improvements in performance, particularly in lists, themes loading, and HTMLComponent. Compatibility with the native full-touch UI has been fine-tuned and many bugs fixed, particularly in command handling and text input.
    The toolkit also includes all the new examples created since the last release. These include code examples that provide demonstrations of the Category bar, gestures, and lists. There are also new application examples for birthdays, showing use of the calendar component and PIM API; a slide puzzle; tourist attractions, showing the use of HERE maps and in-app purchasing APIs; and a Reddit client showing the use of a custom theme and JSON. In addition, updated version of two of the original LWUIT examples applications, LWUITDemo and LWUITBrowser, are also included.
    The final component in the full release of LWUIT for Series 40 is the inclusion of comprehensive documentation in the toolkit. This is based on the LWUIT Developer’s Library, a library consisting of:
    • Developer’s Guide, which is based on the original LWUIT Developer Guide and provides technical information about using the LWUIT components
    • LWUIT UX overview, which is a new section providing a guide to designing app UIs with LWUIT for Series 40 components
    If you have the Nokia SDK 2.0 for Java installed, you will receive an automatic notification of the availability of LWUIT for Series 40 1.0. You can then simply follow the instructions to install the update. If you are using LWUIT with the Nokia SDK 1.1 for Java, you can download the update from LWUIT for Series 40 project.

    J2ME, Feature Phones & Nokia Devices [Codename One – Reinventing the Mobile Development blog, April 24, 2013]

    imageIs J2ME dead or dying?

    How many times have we heard this for the past 3 years or so? Sadly the answer is: Yes!

    Unfortunately there is no active owner for the J2ME standard and thus no new innovation around J2ME for quite some time (MIDP 2.0 came out in 2004, 3.0 never really materialized). Android is/was the biggest innovation since and became the unofficial successor to J2ME.

    Well, if J2ME is dead what about Feature Phones? Should we care about them?

    The answer is: Yes! very much so!
    Features Phones are still selling in millions and still beats Android sales in the developing world. Recently Nokia shipped the Asha series devices which are quite powerful and capable pieces of hardware, they are very impressive. Nokia’s revenue is driven mainly by the Feature Phone market.
    There is a real battle in the developing countries between Feature Phones and Android devices, Feature Phones are still cheaper and more efficient where Android has more/better content (apps & games).
    How long will it take Android to catch up? we will see…
    In the meantime there is money on the table and a real opportunity for developers to make some money (and gain loyal users who will migrate to Android or other platform at some point)
    image
    To win over the competition or at least to maintain its dominate player position Nokia must bring new quality content to the devices, it’s not enough to ship cool new feature phones, the new phone needs to connect to facebook, twitter, gmail, whatsapp and have all the new cool games/apps Android has and more.
    So how should you write your apps for the cool new Nokia Feature Phone if J2ME is dead? Luckily there is an option Codename One ;-).

    In Codename One You have 1 Java API which is the same for J2ME, Android, iOS, RIM and Win8.

    Below are some of the J2ME highlights:
      1. Facebook Connect – did you noticed there aren’t many social apps on OVI?
        There is a reason Facebook uses oauth2 which is a huge pain without a browser API, this is solved and working in Codename One.
      2. Java 5 features – You can use generics and other Java 5 features in your app and it will work on your J2ME/RIM devices. You don’t have to limit yourself to CLDC.
      3. Rich UI – If you know or knew LWUIT (Swing like API), well Codename One UI is effectively LWUIT 2.0.

      4. Built in Asha skins and themes

        The most important thing is the fact that your skills are not wasted on an old/dying J2ME API, by joining our growing community and writing the next amazing app your skills can target the emerging platforms of the present/future.

        Codename One JavaOne Session Screencast [Shai Almog YouTube channel, Oct 25, 2012]

        Screen capture of the Codename One Java One session. Codename One is an open source platform allowing Java developers to write applications that work on all mobile devices (iPhone/iPad, Android, Blackberry, Windows Phone etc.)


        Nokia’s own Asha cross-platform efforts for developers (so far)

        Series 40 Webinar: How to develop cool apps for Nokia Asha smartphones [nokiadevforum YouTube channel, April 5, 2013]

        This webinar takes you through the features of the Series 40 platform for Asha smartphones, which enable the coolest apps to be developed. To start, the features of the UI based on either LCDUI or LWUIT for Java are reviewed. Then there is a discussion on how you port apps from Android — looking at the key issues you need to consider. The presentation then concludes by reviewing the options for 2D and 3D graphics, in particular how they help develop outstanding games. Numerous demonstrations are included, along with links (see the slides) to the source code and installation files, so you can try the apps yourself and use the code in your own apps. You can download the slides from this session at: http://www.slideshare.net/nokia-developer/developing-cool-asha-apps

        [25:01] Porting Resources at Nokia Developer
        – Porting and Guide for Android Developers:
        >>> http://www.developer.nokia.com/Develop/Porting/ [27:46]

        Related to the porting vis-à-vis Android & cross-platform slides:
        [27:46 > 28:50 > 29:40 > 30:20 > 30:50 > 31:15 > 31:40 > 32:25 > 33:20 Demo: Android porting Frozen Bubble: see https://projects.developer.nokia.com/frozenbubble and the video coming below > 34:24]

        image

        image image

        image

        image

        image

        image image

        Tantalum Mobile [January 1, 2013] Summary

        Tantalum is mobile Java tools for high performance and development speed on Android and J2ME. The focus is on practical use cases which can be included in a project to solve frequent needs in an elegant manner.


        Life is many asynchronous tasks chained together and running concurrently on background threads with UI callbacks. The result may look like black magic or star wars, but as you become one with the source, the patterns emerge as ecstatic moments of clarity.
        Tantalum Cross Platform Library
        Tantalum 5 is nearing beta release
        As the Tantalum team works hard on the new Tantalum 5 release and increasing support to the Android community, you can track that and possibly help at ​https://github.com/TantalumMobile/ More on that and the great support Nokia is giving to this open source effort as we release- happy changes and momentum.
        * NEW 4.0 RELEASE January 1, 2013 *
        New release 4.0 including cross-platform Android and J2ME app development support, simple fork-join concurrency, simple 3 layer caching and Android AsyncTask and more is now available!
        Quick Start Guide and JAVADOC: ​Tanalum4_doc.zip
        Source code and examples: ​Tantalum4.zip
        Cross platform Series40-Android example using Tantalum4: ​Picasa_Viewer
        JavaOne San Francisco talk and demos of Tantalum4: ​JavaOne_Extreme_Mobile_Java_Performance.mp4
        Tantalum is a light-weight metal used used to keep mobile phone electronics compact and powerful. Tantalum4 is the 4th major release of a very light and elegant back end utility library for mobile java. With mobile applications, less is more.
        This is _not_ a framework. It is a clean and light tool set which at 8-40kB it will _not_ bloat your application. Obfuscation of your release build automatically removes those features you do not use. We do just a few things really well:
          • The exact same JAR library runs on J2ME and Android– save time and money by reusing your code and add a native UI for each platform
          • Clean, fast utility model threading with Java7 fork-join-cancel and Android Java5 AsyncTask patterns
          • Unique async task chaining to feed the output of one Task to the input of the next is easier than overriding existing classes
          • WeakReference heap and persistent flash memory caching to easily make online-offlne apps which start fast and run reliably in real world mobile networks
          • Async HTTP GET and POST with automatic retry
          • Simplified async XML parsing directly into model objects
          • Simplified async JSON parsing directly into model objects
          • Logging convenience classes including J2ME USB debug and app profile from phone
            The above capabilities work cleanly together to simplify your development. There is no UI assumption in Tantalum4– pick what works best for you on each platform. The bundled example applications are an RSS reader for
              • Forms
              • Nokia Series40 Asha touch devices
              • LWUIT 1.5
                Download the sample apps and give a try. We hope you are amazed at the results and speed with which you can achieve them.
                Apache 2 license. Please return your fixes and suggestions to the community here.
                * NEW 3.0 RELEASE June 18, 2012 *
                WHAT IS NEW
                  • Many, many stability improvements, especially to caching and flash memory usage
                  • Shutdown work tasks and low-priority work tasks are now supported
                  • Support for Nokia LWUIT in the example applications
                  • Support for Nokia full touch phones in the example applications.
                  • Speed. Tantalum3 is wired and optimized even more than before to run well also on slower devices.
                  • You can find a series of nice, short training videos covering Tantalum3 at​https://projects.developer.nokia.com/videotraining
                    CONTENTS OF THE ARCHIVE (Download link on right side of this page)
                    /prebuilt_examples
                    Pre-built example applications, run to test on various devices. Testing is mostly on Nokia SDK 1.1 and 2.0 with profiling of the S40 example tested in Oracle SDK.
                    /lib
                    Pre-built libraries you can include in your application if you don’t want to mess with the source code. There are three flavors: debug including unit tests and verbose errors, usb-debug, and release optimized. To use the usb-debug variant, connect your phone by USB and open a terminal emulator such as puttytel to the serial port you find in Window Device Manager. Use max baud rate and hardware flow control RTS/CTS.
                    /src
                    Everything you need to build the libraries and examples yourself
                    /doc
                    Javadoc for Tantalum3 library
                    /json_doc
                    Javadoc for the optional JSON suppliment
                    * NEW 2.2 RELEASE February 7 2012 *
                    Example updates with minor bug fix, reorganization of the source into 3 projects make release builds easier, added unit tests.
                    * NEW 2.1 RELEASE January 24 2012 *

                    Latest announcements

                    Related videos:
                    Series 40 Webinar: Porting Android apps to the Series 40 platform [nokiadevforum YouTube channel, Dec 17, 2012]

                    This webinar offers an overview to the process of porting various types of Android applications to the Series 40 platform. Michael Samarin of Futurice walks you through the basic porting tasks involved and shows you how to map Android APIs to corresponding Series 40 APIs. He also pays special attention to UI portability and creating a consistent user experience on Series 40 phones. You can download the slides from this session at: http://www.slideshare.net/nokia-developer/porting-android-applications-to-nokia-series-40 Find out more about porting apps to Series 40 at:http://www.developer.nokia.com/porting Find out more about developing for Series 40 at:http://www.developer.nokia.com/Series40 Discover more Nokia Developer webinars at:http://www.developer.nokia.com/webinars

                    Porting Android and Blackberry apps to Series 40 [Nokia Developer News, Nov 30, 2012]

                    If you’ve got an application for Android or BlackBerry (up to BlackBerry OS 7.1), your existing Java code puts you in a great position to take advantage of the growing demand for apps from Series 40 phone owners.
                    To help you take advantage of this opportunity, we’ve started to gather a collection of resources to guide you through the porting process in the Porting to Series 40 library section.
                    If you are starting with an Android app, the wiki provides basic information on the tools and technology needed, platform comparisons, porting considerations, code snippets, and example porting cases along with the all-important guidelines you need for an efficient port.
                    For your future apps, you can even consider creating a Series 40 and Android version at the same time, our Picasa Viewer example application will show you how.
                    If a little hands-on guidance could help even more, why not check out the Android porting webinar sessions we have on 4 December at 8 a.m. San Francisco; 10 a.m. Mexico City; 4 p.m. London and 13 December, 8 a.m. London; 1:30 p.m. New Delhi; 4 p.m. Singapore.
                    Life could be even easier if you have a BlackBerry app. Most generic Java ME MIDlets can be deployed to both BlackBerry and Series 40 with little more than platform-specific repackaging. However, you might want to adapt the user interface and the look & feel of the app to fit to Series 40 screen-size and UI style. Again, the wiki gives you a pointer to the porting article with code samples that will be enhanced for the later updates of the library.
                    You can also get practical guidance from an expert, check out our BlackBerry porting webinar on 18 December, 8 a.m. London; 1:30 p.m. New Delhi; 4 p.m. Singapore or view a recording of one of the earlier sessions on our webinars page.
                    Using our latest Nokia SDK 2.0 for Java, and its integrated Nokia IDE for Java ME, combined with the guidance of the updated porting library, we think you’ll find porting your app easier than you ever imagined.
                    We’re looking forward to welcoming you to the family of developers who have found success on the Series 40 platform.

                    Designing & Optimising Graphics for your Series 40 app [nokiadevforum YouTube channel, Nov 8, 2012] https://projects.developer.nokia.com/frozenbubble

                    Are you wondering what to consider when designing and optimising graphics for your Series 40 application? Mikko Kaipio, Senior UX Designer, provides you with tips and best practices for handling graphics in your Series 40 applications. He also explains the key items to take into account when porting your Android application graphics to the successful Nokia Asha family of Series 40 phones. More information about Series 40 UX resources can be found here:http://bit.ly/Qx757l Explore the app examples used in this video: FrozenBubble:https://projects.developer.nokia.com/frozenbubble WeatherApp:https://projects.developer.nokia.com/JMEWeatherApp aMaze:https://projects.developer.nokia.com/amaze Explonoid:https://projects.developer.nokia.com/JMEExplonoid SudokuMaster:https://projects.developer.nokia.com/JMESudokumaster

                    UI Clinic – Series 40 full touch, April 2013 [nokiadevforum YouTube channel, April 24, 2013]

                    Our UI expert Jan Krebber reviews two apps submitted by Nokia Developer members: Know your phone by Mustafa Mansour Hassanien and Package Tracker by Shai Ifrach of Futuresoft. Jan shares the app reviews and provides details on how the UX of these applications might be improved, as well as providing general guidance that will help with the design of any app. In addition, Jan takes a quick look into where to place ads in an app, based on a request from last month’s UI Clinic. You can download the slides from this session at: http://www.slideshare.net/nokia-developer/ui-clinic-series-40-full-touch-april-2013

                    Introduction to the Nokia Premium Developer Program for Asha [nokiadevforum YouTube channel, April 19, 2013]

                    The Nokia Premium Developer Program for Asha helps developers succeed with Nokia Asha phones, Nokia’s most affordable smartphones. The programme provides developers who qualify with high-value support and tools that optimise and enhance their development efforts and that improve the discoverability of their quality apps. In this webinar, we show you what benefits the Nokia Premium Developer Program for Asha delivers beyond those that come with standard Nokia Developer registration. We describe the productivity tools that come with programme membership, including a free Nokia Asha 310 phone, expanded remote device access when you’re ready to test, and free tech support tickets when you need help. We also explain the app-promotion opportunities, including promotion in Nokia Store or $500 in Nokia Ad Exchange (NAX) credits. Best of all, membership is absolutely free. You can download the slides from this session at: http://www.slideshare.net/nokia-developer/introduction-to-the-nokia-premium-developer-program-for-asha Find out more about the Premium Developer Program for Asha at: http://www.developer.nokia.com/Developer_Programs/Asha_developer_program.xhtml

                    Asha Premium Developer Program introduced [Nokia Developer News, March 26, 2013]

                    We’ve been having a lot of fun lately—we launched the Nokia Premium Developer Program for Lumia back in October, and it proved to be our most successful developer program ever. Our rewards program, DVLUP, has also proven extremely popular with developers, and we recently expanded it to include developers in the UK.
                    So we decided it was time to bring some “Premium goodness” to Asha development. Today we are excited to introduce the Nokia Premium Developer Program for Asha.
                    The Asha Opportunity
                    The Asha ecosystem has a growing installed base of superior but affordable smartphones (such as the Nokia Asha 308, 310, and 311), and with these great devices comes an increased demand for apps. The Asha Premium Developer Program is designed to provide you with tools and services to make developing for Asha faster and easier, increase the discoverability of your apps, and bring you closer to the millions of Nokia Asha users around the world.
                    By providing you with high-value support and tools beyond what’s provided by your standard registration with Nokia Developer, the Asha Premium Developer Program will help you fast-track your success.

                    image

                    The Nokia Premium Developer Program for Asha comprises two levels: enhanced productivity tools and app promotion opportunities. We know that it’s easier not only to be inspired but also to develop and test when you have a great device in hand, so the productivity tools start with a free Nokia Asha 310 smartphone. To help you with testing, we’re also offering expanded Remote Device Access with more Nokia Asha devices available to you. Finally, you’ll get two free tech tickets for Asha development support, a value of $198 (USD).
                    Program members who submit a new, high quality full touch Asha app to Nokia Store can apply for app promotional opportunities: greater visibility on Nokia Store, or a $500 (USD) credit to run paid ad campaigns on Nokia Ad Exchange.
                    Best of all membership in the Nokia Premium Developer Program for Asha is free, although you’ll need to meet certain criteria.
                    Explore the Nokia Premium Developer Program for Asha, and apply for membership today.

                    The first Windows Phone 4Afrika from Huawei for $150 = Huawei Ascend W1 for $240 (in China) and more elsewhere

                    It is no surprise as two years ago we had a Huawei’s IDEOS U8150 smartphone for US$86 in Kenya: 350,000 units sold in 8 months [this same ‘Experiencing the Cloud’ blog, Aug 17-23, 2011]. In that device we had the Qualcomm MSM7225 SoC (announced in Feb’07 and first delivered in 3G phones in June’07), with a single 528 MHz ARM1136EJ-S core CPU, Adreno 200 GPU, embedded QDSP5 DSP @ 320 MHz and UMTS (HSPA, GSM/GPRS/EDGE), among others.

                    The difference is immense as in the Windows Phone 4Afrika we have the Qualcomm MSM8230 SoC (announced in Nov’11 and first delivered in the similar Huawei Ascend W1 in Jan’13), with a 1.2 GHz Krait dual core CPU, Adreno 305 GPU, embedded Hexagon QDSP6 DSP @ 500 MHz and UMTS (DC-HSPA+, TD-SCDMA), among others. This is bringing a huge performance difference on the SoC level:
                    – CPU: 7920 (2 x 3.3 x 1200) vs. 623 (1.18 x 528) DMIPS of raw CPU performance
                    – GPU: Adreno 305 GPU vs. software rendered 2D support only
                    Even within the Adreno GPUs the Adreno 305 has quite a high performance, see the below benchmark from Mali-T604 vs 400MP vs SGX 554MP4 vs 543MP4 vs 543MP3 vs 543MP2 vs 540 vs 535 vs Adreno 320 vs 225 vs 220 vs 305 vs 203 vs 205 vs Mali 400 vs Intel XOLO [Techivian, July 26, 2012]:

                    image

                    Note that the North-Amerian (SGH-T999, SGH-I747, SCH-R530, SCH-I535 and SPH-L710) and Japanese (SGH-N064) versions of Samsung Galaxy S III smartphones are using the Qualcomm Adreno 225 GPU (within the MSM8960 SoC of the phone) which has just 8% higher performance (closely corresponding to the above chart) than the Adreno 305 GPU. The SGH-I747 (Galaxy S III AT and T) has 30.4 FPS for the above banchmark, while the SPH-L710 (Galaxy S3 Sprint) 30.2 FPS.
                    The International (GT-I9300, GT-I9305), South Korean (SHV-E210K/L/S) and Chinese (GT-I9308, SCH-I939) versions meanwhile using the ARM Mali-400 MP4 GPU (within Samsung Exynos 4 Quad –Exynos 4412 – SoC of the phone). The GT-I9300 has 66.4 FPS for the above banchmark, while the GT-I9305 58.6 FPS.
                    See Model variants and GLbenchmark Results.

                    – resolution: QHD (960×540 of which only 800×480 is used) vs. HVGA (480×320 of which only 320×240 is used) display support
                    – mobile Internet: 42 Mbps downlink and 11.5 Mbps uplink and TD-SCDMA
                    vs. 7.2 Mbps dowlink and 5.76 Mbps uplink
                    etc.

                    To sum it up:

                    • The MSM8230 SoC first delivered in smartphones in Jan’13 is representing a more than five years of technology advance over the MSM7225 SoC first delivered in phones in June’07.

                    • Functionally the Android 2.2 on the IDEOS U8150 two years ago vs. the Windows Phone 8 on Windows Phone 4Afrika (= Huawei Ascend W1) now is as big a difference. Windows Phone 8 is even better than the latest Android 4.1 and 4.2.

                    • The target audience in Africa for $150, and in other countries for $240-300 (see below), is getting a state-of-the-art mid-range device which will not be outdated for the next two years at least.

                    Ascend W1 [HuaweiMx YouTube channel, Jan 29, 2013]

                    Huawei Ascend W1 [engadget YouTube channel, Jan 8, 2013]

                    If you were following Huawei’s presser from earlier today, you may have thought the company’s CES 2013 story was “All About Android.” Turns out, it’s not. On the showfloor here at Pepcom, the company was able to give us a first look at the Ascend W1: it’s first entry for the Windows Phone 8 space. Admittedly, the W1 doesn’t share any of the lust-worthy, high-end specs that adorn the Ascend Mate and D2, but that’s not its angle. As one Huawei rep put it, this is a value proposition, outfitted with a 4-inch display (we couldn’t verify resolution) and 1.2GHz dual-core Snapdragon S4 paried with 512MB RAM. Software-wise, this is about as stock WP8 as it gets, so don’t expect to see any applications come pre-loaded onto the hardware. Continue reading here: http://goo.gl/VmkhH.

                    Huawei launches the first Windows Phone 4Afrika [Huawei Device press release, Feb 5, 2013]

                    image

                    Shenzhen, China, February 5, 2013: Huawei, a leading global information and communications technology (ICT) solutions provider, today launched the first Windows Phone 4Afrika. Exclusively selected to help boost mobile accessibility and adoption within the fast-growing African continent, the Huawei 4Afrika will be available from Huawei, in Egypt, Nigeria, Kenya, Ivory Coast, Angola, Morocco and South Africa towards the later part of the 1st Quarter 2013.

                    “We are thrilled to be partnering with Microsoft to ensure that more people have access to leading technology, communications and information services,” said Mr Peter Hu, Managing Director of Huawei Device, Eastern & Southern Africa. “By launching the Huawei 4Afrika we will be bringing leading technology within reach for more people in Africa, thereby giving them access to a world of new opportunities. ”

                    The Huawei 4Afrika is a customized version of the HUAWEI Ascend W1, launched earlier this year at the 2013 Consumer Electronics Show. The smartphone is 10.15 mm thin and features a 4-inch IPS LCD 480 x 800 touchscreen with Zero-Gap Touch technology. With a 1730 mAh Li-Polymer battery and unique power saving technology, the Huawei 4Afrika phone provides up to 420 Hours of standby time and up to 560 minutes of talk time on 3G. The higher efficiency hardware design ensures power-saving up to 20%. It is powered by the high-end Qualcomm Snapdragon ™ S4 MSM8230 dual-core 1.2 GHz processor and Adreno 305 GPU. Additionally, the phone includes a 5 MP Auto-Focus Camera and VGA Front Camera, and comes in an array of bold colors including blue, black and white initially and red to follow in the next couple of months.

                    Available exclusively for the African market, the Huawei 4Afrika phone features a customized Store in Store with a variety of applications and exclusive content including those built and designed by Africans for Africans. The Windows Phone 8 start screen allows users to customize the Windows OS Live Tiles with topics of personal interest, providing real-time updates unique to their needs. Assisting with all business requests on-the-go, the Huawei 4Afrika phone features Microsoft Office and Skydrive for easy access to files. The Huawei 4Afrika phone marries great technology with a fashionable design, at a price that is right for its customers.

                    “The Huawei 4Afrika phone is a fantastic addition to our Windows Phone product line, and we’re particularly proud to be introducing it as an exclusive offer for the African Continent today as part of the launch of the Microsoft 4Afrika Initiative,” said Ali Faramawy , corporate vice president for Microsoft Middle East and Africa. “We believe strongly that improved access to affordable and high quality smartphones in Africa can have a strong impact on the continent’s overall economic development and competitiveness, and we are confident the Huawei 4Afrika phone will help deliver on this. ”

                    Since its entry into the African market in 1999, Huawei has created solutions that enable customers to reduce power consumption, carbon emissions and costs, thus contributing to the development of the society, economy, and the environment across Africa. To date, Huawei has worked with more than 18 African governments build E-Government networks in countries, such as Nigeria, Kenya, Uganda, Senegal, Angola, Guinea, and Djibouti, enabling 250 million Africans in rural areas to enjoy affordable communication services.

                    As per the 2012 Qualcomm Snapdragon classification presented below the MSM8230 is a dual Krait UMTS (DC-HSPA+, TD-SCDMA) SoC:

                    Microsoft and Huawei of China to Unite to Sell Low-Cost Windows Smartphones in Africa [The New York Times, Feb 4, 2013]

                    BERLIN — Microsoft, taking aim at the world’s fastest-growing smartphone market, said on Monday that it would team up with Huawei of China to sell a low-cost Windows smartphone in Africa.

                    The phone, called the Huawei 4Afrika Windows Phone, will cost $150 and initially be sold in seven countries. Microsoft’s Windows Phone software is fourth among smartphone operating systems, with just 2 percent of the worldwide market in September, according to Canalys, a research firm in Reading, England.

                    Fernando de Sousa, the general manager for Microsoft Africa, said that in the next few months, Microsoft and Nokia planned to introduce two new Windows phones for the African market.

                    Microsoft plans to introduce the Huawei 4Afrika phone on Tuesday at events in Lagos, Cairo, Nairobi, Johannesburg and Abidjan, Ivory Coast. It will also be sold in Morocco and Angola.

                    Prioritising Africa – Introducing Microsoft 4Afrika [TechNet Blogs > Microsoft on the Issues Africa, Feb 4, 2013]

                    Posted by Ali Faramawy
                    Corporate Vice President, Microsoft Middle East & Africa

                    There is an African proverb that reads, “The best time to plant a tree is 20 years ago. The second best time is now.” We couldn’t agree more. Microsoft has been operating in Africa for 20 years, and today we have offices in 14 countries. As we look forward to our next 20 years, we wanted to explore new ways to link the growth of our business with initiatives that spur economic development for the continent. The world has recognized the promise of Africa, and Microsoft wants to invest in that promise.

                    This is why today, we are introducing the Microsoft 4Afrika Initiative, which is designed to help improve Africa’s global competitiveness. Our goal is to empower African youth, entrepreneurs, developers, and business and civic leaders to turn great ideas into a reality that can help their community, their country, the continent, and beyond.

                    By 2016, the Microsoft 4Afrika Initiative intends to:

                    – help place tens of millions of smart devices in the hands of African youth,

                    – bring 1 million African small and medium enterprises (SMEs) online, and

                    – help 200 000 Africans develop skills for entrepreneurship and employability. This will include up-skilling 100,000 members of the existing workforce, as well as training 100,000 recent graduates, 75 percent of whom we intend to help place in jobs.

                    A smart, affordable device

                    In Africa today, smartphones account for only about 10 percent of total phones in the market. As a first step toward driving the adoption of smart devices, Microsoft and Huawei today introduced the Huawei 4Afrika phone, a full-functionality Windows Phone 8 preloaded with select applications designed for Africa, by Africans. The Huawei 4Afrika phone, which is the first in what will be a series of “4Afrika” smart devices, will be targeted toward university students, developers and first-time smart phone users to ensure they have affordable access to best-in-class technology, so they can access the information and tools they need to be active global citizens. (See related blog.)

                    HUAWEI ASCEND W1 В РОССИИ: СРОКИ ПОЯВЛЕНИЯ И СТОИМОСТЬ [Hi-Tech Mail.Ru, Jan 24, 2013]

                    Как стало известно Hi-Tech Mail.Ru, первый Windows Phone 8 смартфон Huawei — модель Ascend W1 — появится в России в феврале. Стоимость аппарата — 8 990 рублей.

                    As hi-tech mail.ru, the first Windows Phone 8 Smartphone Huawei Ascend model W1-will appear in Russia in February.
                    Unit cost is RUB 8990 [$300].

                    As the standard value added tax rate in Russia is 18% the net price will be $254.

                    Huawei Ascend W1 from Conrad Electronics (Germany) as of Feb 5, 2013:

                    € 199,95* [$270]

                    lieferbar ab  20.03.2013      available from 20.03.2013
                    * Alle Preisangaben sind inkl. MwSt. und zzgl. Versandkosten. Wir berechnen eine Versandkostenpauschale in Höhe von € 5,95 (inkl. MwSt.) Bei Nachnahme beträgt die Versandkostenpauschale 8,95 € (inkl. MwSt.). Ab einem Bestellwert von € 300.- trägt Conrad Electronic die Versandkostenpauschale für Sie.
                    Bei sperrigen Artikeln (sind im einzelnen entsprechend ausgewiesen) berechnen wir den am Produkt ausgewiesenen Sperrgutzuschlag. Dieser Betrag enthält das für Sie verauslagte Transportentgeld und die Verpackungskosten.
                    * All prices are incl. VAT and excl. shipping costs. We charge a delivery fee in the amount of € 5.95 (incl. VAT) For cash on delivery, the shipping fee is €8.95 (incl. VAT). From an order value of € 300.-, Conrad Electronic bears the shipping costs for you.
                    For bulky items (are similarly designated in particular) we calculate the bulky contract assigned to the product. This amount includes the transport fee incurred for you and the packaging costs.
                    As the standard value added tax rate in Germany is 19% the net price will be $227.

                    Huawei Ascend W1 on Taobao (China) as of Feb 5, 2013:

                     ¥ 1499.00 [$240.5]

                    As the standard value added tax rate in China is 17% the net price will be $206.

                    Huawei Showcases its First Windows Phone 8 Smartphone [Huawei Device press release, Jan 8, 2013]

                    Las Vegas, USA, January 8, 2012: Huawei, a leading global information and communications technology (ICT) solutions provider, unveiled its first Windows Phone 8 smartphone, HUAWEI Ascend W1, at the 2013 Consumer Electronics Show (CES) today. The Ascend W1 is 10.15 mm thin and features a 4-inch IPS LCD 480 x 800 touchscreen with OGS Technology, powered by the high-end Qualcomm Snapdragon ™ S4 MSM8230 dual-core 1.2 GHz processor and Adreno 305 GPU. With a 1950 mAh battery, the Ascend W1 has 470 hours of standby time, the longest among all smartphones in its class. It features a visually iconic design inspired by a tropical island and comes in an array of bold colors including blue, red, black and white. The Ascend W1 is a smart and stylish alternative for consumers looking for great technology at a price that is right.

                    image

                    The HUAWEI Ascend W1 has a low reflective IPS LCD display with full lamination technology, which provides brilliant visibility under any lighting condition. The Windows Phone 8 Start screen lets you customize and pin Live Tiles with topics of personal interest, providing real-time updates that are uniquely yours. Additionally, a dynamic lock screen allows you to select the photos or updates most important to you and have them ready at a glance, even when the phone is locked.

                    “Inspired and powered by people, the Ascend W1 is a combination of Huawei’s user-centric design philosophy and Windows Phone 8 software, bringing consumers a truly compelling alternative.” Said Richard Yu, CEO, Huawei Consumer Business Group. “The addition of the Ascend W1 to our smartphone portfolio gives consumers access to an even wider range of Huawei smartphones. At a price that makes sense to consumers, Ascend W1 underscores our commitment to put smartphones within reach of every consumer, no matter who you are or what you want from your phone. “

                    “We are excited to be working with Huawei to further expand our device portfolio to new locations and price points, allowing more people to experience Windows Phone 8 while enjoying the Ascend W1’s unique features,” said Terry Myerson, Corporate Vice President of the Windows Phone Division.

                    The HUAWEI Ascend W1 will be available in China and Russia from January 2013, with Western Europe, Middle East, USA and other selected countries to follow.

                    More information: Ascend W1 [Huawei Device microsite]

                    Lumia 920 vs. iPhone 5 (and vs. Android, Galaxy S3, HTC One X+)

                    András Velvárt suggested to me an excellent customer review available on Amazon of Lumia 920 vs. iPhone 5. It is really amazing that Lumia 920 is winning against iPhone 5 in so many respects. I checked on the web and there is nothing surprising about that as according to a widely watched/read technical media source iPhone 5 vs HTC One X+ vs Lumia 920 (Gadget Show) [thegadgetshow YouTube channel, Dec 3, 2012]:

                    Giving out verdicts on three of this Christmas’ hottest smartphones:

                    – iPhone 5: image

                    [4:31] The iPhone 5 gets just 3 Gs. No innovation. The battery life is terrible. It is still expensive and the build quality is poor. [4:40]

                    – HTC One X+: image nearly 5
                    Read also: HTC One X+ [review] [the Gadget Show, Nov 9, 2012]

                    [4:40] The HTC wins 4 Gs, nearly 5. Its processor is super powerful, and the only thing that holds it back it’s ugly and it is not 4G ready. [4:50]

                    – Nokia Lumia 920: image nearly 5

                    [4:51] The Nokia also snaps 4 Gs, nearly 5. The user experience and the wireless charger are ace, but it lacks apps and too heavy [5:01]

                    But, according to the reviewer on Amazon, Lumia 920 loses in the most heavy way in terms of “Current Fashion Index”with ‘0’ against ‘11’. This is even more amazing considering the fact that design is one of the core competencies of Nokia and the man in charge of that, Marko Ahtisaari, is a globally recognised leader in that, and he is as well an executive member of the Nokia Leadership Team. You can assess his talent and expertise in that from my yesterday’s blog titled Marko Ahtisaari from Nokia and Steven Guggenheimer from Microsoft on the Internet of Things day of LeWeb Paris’12 [Nov 6, 2012].

                    Here I would add, before the otherwise excellent customer review (reformatted for a better appearance), his very recent video interview:
                    Nokia Lumia 920 – Marko Ahtisaari, Nokia Design Team [nokia YouTube channel, Nov 22, 2012]

                    Marko Ahtisaari, Head of Nokia Design, talks about the design approach behind Nokia’s latest flagship phone.

                    Customer Review on Amazon [Nov 14, 2012] 5.0 out of 5 stars

                    By b. Weiss This review is from: Nokia Lumia 920 4G Windows Phone, Black (AT&T) (Wireless Phone)
                    Having used the phone for a while now, I’d like to provide a more objective assessment. I give ratings below first, followed by detailed explanations. The rating numbers are on a scale of 10. A score of “10” means it is not only the best but also has no apparent need to improve, and a score less than “10” just means there is room to improve but does not necessarily mean another product is better.
                    # comment
                    RATINGS Lumia 920
                    vs. iPhone 5
                    1.
                    Call Quality
                    10
                    8
                    Uncompromising call quality from Nokia, a true phone company
                     
                    Instant Messaging
                    10
                    10
                    Big improvement over WP7; group messaging and MMS
                    2.
                    E-Mail
                    9
                    7
                    WP8 has the best enterprise-ready e-mail client
                    3.
                    Skype and VoIP calls
                    9
                    7
                    International VoIP calls a reality with on WP8
                    4.
                    Contact Management
                    9
                    5
                    WP8’s multi-contact aggregator and integrator the best
                     
                    Entertainment
                    10
                    10
                    Too much already, what more could you want
                     
                    Social Networking
                    9
                    8
                    Facebook integration is an edge
                     
                    Web browsing
                    9
                    8
                    IE10 is outstanding
                     
                    Shopping
                    7
                    9
                    Comes from Apple’s apps edge
                    5.
                    Productivity
                    6
                    3
                    Not there yet, but at least WP8 can do some work
                    6.
                    Navigation
                    9
                    6
                    Apple’s first Maps is actually impressive, but see discussions
                    7.
                    Screen
                    10
                    8
                    Lumia 920 has the best looking screen consumers have ever seen
                    8.
                    Camera
                    9
                    7
                    In its own league
                    9.
                    Build quality
                    10
                    8
                    You might have trouble to say goodbye to Lumia 920 two years later
                    10.
                    Thermal performance
                    8
                    8
                    Competitive
                    10.
                    Battery life
                    5
                    5
                    All need improvement badly in this area
                    11.
                    OS apps ecosystem
                    6
                    9.5
                    iOS rules for now
                     
                    OS reliability
                    9.9
                    9.5
                    WP8 never even freezes, much less crashes
                    12.
                    OS fluency
                    9.5
                    9
                    Ice-skating with WP8, and floor dancing with iOS, I much prefer the former
                    13.
                    OS flexibility/customization
                    8
                    8
                    Android is the king
                    14.
                    OS refinement
                    7.5
                    9.5
                    Microsoft is still no Apple on refined details
                     
                    Current Fashion Index
                    0
                    11
                     
                    The numbers in the parentheses are for iPhone 5 as a reference.
                    1. CALL QUALITY [10 (8)]
                    It is a phone after all. The call quality of Lumia 920 is absolutely top-notch. The voice is so clear it puts my landline cordless phone to shame. Nokia knows how to make phones. They are the true phone company. The HAAC microphones (Rich Recording Mic) are not your ordinary microphones on cell phones. A different league. The speakerphone is pretty good too, quite loud and clear. In fact I once had a conference call using the speakerphone with several people on my side, and it worked out fine.
                    2. E-MAIL [9 (7)]
                    Overall, WP8 has the best mobile e-mail. Windows Phone has an inherent advantage in e-mail, especially work e-mails. Apple does not own a popular e-mail service, and can only support third-party e-mails. Android enjoys the excellent Gmail, but Gmail does not have a strong foothold in the workplace.
                    WP8 has deep integration of Exchange, Office 365’s Outlook e-mail, Hotmail and Live Mail on Windows Phone. WP8 further has excellent integration with the popular Gmail and Yahoo Mail. All this results in an e-mail client that is more capable and efficient than other platforms. To name a few, contact management, contact synchronization, message management, message synchronization, file management, attachment management, folder management, conversation thread management, and e-mail search, are significantly better on Windows Phone e-mail. The difference is far deeper than appearance. If you handle e-mails with some degree of sophistication, you will appreciate the difference.
                    I travel with both my iPad and Windows Phone. Unless I am using my computer, I usually reach out for the Windows Phone for e-mails instead of the iPad, despite the fact that the e-mails on iPad have so much better readability. To just read a recent e-mail, the iPad is an obvious choice. But you don’t just read a recent e-mail. Work e-mails have history and threads, and they need to be searchable, and fully synchronized with your computer, and that’s where the Windows Phone shines.
                    For example, if you just read or deleted an e-mail on you phone, you want the read status or deletion to synchronize with the server and other devices. This is important because otherwise you end up paying attention to the same e-mail too many times and having to delete the same e-mail multiple times, and often even get confused because you thought you have deleted it already but the same e-mail still appears on other devices. WP8 performs this flawlessly. On iOS, this type of backward synchronization is spotty. It seems to work with Gmail, but not with Outlook mail, Hotmail and Live Mail.
                    For another example, if you need to search to find an older e-mail which is not stored on your phone (due to memory conservation, mobile devices do not download and keep a copy of every e-mail in the past), you want your mobile e-mail to give you an opportunity to search e-mails on the server. WP8 does this perfectly.
                    I also like the fact that Windows Phone has a separate live tile with a customized icon for each e-mail account. I don’t like the idea of mixing my work e-mail and personal e-mail in the same box, or even under the same icon. I need a clean definition of territories. Of course, if you intend to combine e-mails, you can do that as well. Flexibility.
                    3. SKYPE AND NON-CELLULAR SERVICE DEPENDENT PHONE CALLS [9 (7)]
                    Skype, owned by Microsoft now, is an important function on WP. If you use Skype Pro and/or Skype Out, you can actually make phone calls anywhere in the world as long as you have Wi-Fi or cellular data connection. I’m not talking about Skype-to-Skype online calls. I’m talking about calling real phone numbers. (This works only with Skype Pro; the free Skype account can only make online Skype calls). No cellular phone connection is required with Skype Pro on Windows Phone. Microsoft also makes a Skype app for iOS though. But the app is still not as nearly good as the integrated Skype on the Windows Phone.
                    Take an international trip you will understand what I’m saying. Being able to call home and work at international airports *without* a SIM card for the local service is a major convenience. Even if you already have got a local SIM card, using Skype Pro on Windows Phone to make calls on the 3G/4G data service is still a great convenience because it costs only two cents a minute, less than 1/20 of the cost for international calls made on a regular cell phone. It also works other way around. You can make international calls from the US using Skype Pro on your Windows Phone for two cents a minute.
                    Cheap international calls anywhere on your cell phone (and enjoying the integrated phone contacts) – I hope this concept registers with you.
                    4. CONTACT MANAGEMENT [8 (5)]
                    The People Hub on the Windows Phone deserves a separate mentioning. This is by and large the best contact management on a cell phone (WebOS users might have an issue with the statement). It automatically integrates all the contacts from different sources (e-mails, Skype and Facebook) and provides the best accessibility and connectivity on a mobile device.
                    This significantly betters iOS, which has a pretty address book and good editing capabilities, but very little beyond that. When it comes to multi-source contacts integration, accessibility and connectivity, the People Hub on WP is much superior to iOS’s contact management.
                    For example, iOS address book has links to internal phone numbers (the ones that you entered directly into the iPhone) and e-mail addresses, but basically that’s it. It does not have active links to external phone numbers (contacts pulled from e-mail accounts), Skype contacts, and Facebook friends, etc.. In the People Hub, all these have active links, meaning that they provide a single click connection. In addition, People Hub pulls contacts from Skype, which iOS does not do at all. If you use Skype, especially Skype Pro (which you should if you use Windows Phone), you will suffer a disconnection on iOS.
                    5. PRODUCTIVITY [6 (3)]
                    Nokia with Windows Phone 8 wins this important area hands down, not because it is so good, but because others are so bad. One major thing is that Microsoft’s Office 365 and SkyDrive integrate with Microsoft Phone perfectly. If you or your company subscribe to Office 365 and use the cloud versions of the OneNote, Office, Outlook, TeamSite and SharePoint, the Windows phone can do the most essential things you can do using a laptop, with obvious limitations on a small user interface of course. The iPhone and Android simply cannot provide that kind of productivity. Even if you don’t use Office 365, getting the Windows Live and Skydrive (which is very much underrated) would already be an excellent productive user experience because of the integration with the Web version of Office.
                    Overall, if documents and e-mails are just different ways of casual “instant messaging” to you, the iPhone is fine. But if documents and e-mails are a work tool to you, Windows Phone is the way to go.
                    On the other hand, one should realize that these mobile devices are still quite limited in productivity. Potentially, a lot more work could be done using these devices despite the tiny screens, so there is still a large room to improve. It just happens that WP8 is way better than others in this respect.
                    6. NAVIGATION [9 (6)]
                    First of all, for those who miss Bing Maps, your Windows Phone still has it. It’s only two taps away: tap the Bing search button (every Windows Phone has a Bing search button on the right side at the bottom), and then tap the “Local Scout” button (on the left side of the three).
                    But I honestly don’t miss it. Nokia Maps, Nokia Drive, Nokia Transit, and Nokia City Lens, together offer excellent navigation, much better than Bing Maps alone, and also better than what iOS has to offer.
                    I’m actually very impressed by Apple’s first map. It has some very good features. But as Google has said, doing maps is hard. Currently, Apple maps does have a problem. The reports of Apple’s terrible map performance seems to be related to map data inaccuracy. Those Apple fans who repute such reports by claiming that they haven’t experienced any problems are missing the point. Unlike other software in which a test is usually universal, your map test results only have to do with the location you tried, and only proves that the map is OK in at least one location. When there is a problem at a certain location, there is a problem. And Apple has a lot of such problems reported. The company acknowledges it. They’re not fools. I don’t know how fast Apple can improve on that. Data is far more than just doing some programming.
                    Regardless, I don’t think Apple can match the level of usability of Nokia’s navigation set even after it has fixed the data inaccuracy problems. In addition to data, the feature integration and map search are also important and Apple currently lacks on that. These are also very hard things to do, and it takes experience and time, plus very hard work on algorithms. Apple is apparently not taking any sleep on this. I’m curious of its upcoming updates.
                    Compared to the excellent Google Maps, Nokia’s navigation solution is mixed. It’s better in some ways, but worse in other ways. Google Maps is excellent. Google shines on map data, especially in the North America segment, there’s no question about it. Google’s supremacy in search is also reflected in its maps. But I think Nokia has comparable map data (although arguably slightly inferior North America segment data), but better user interface with Drive, Public transit Transport [Transit], shopping and city places guide [i.e. Nokia City Lens].
                    Although Nokia’s navigation solution comes with several separate apps (in comparison, Google puts everything under Google Maps), I feel Nokia paradoxically has better user interface in actual use. If you use Nokia Drive, you have Nokia Maps automatically integrated with it; if you start with Nokia City Lens, you have both Nokia Drive and Nokia Maps automatically integrated with it. This all make sense, because if you want a pure traditional GPS, you just use Nokia Drive; if you just want to search for specific address on a map, you use Nokia Maps; but if you simply have no idea of what address it is but instead want to explore the city, you start with Nokia City Lens (and have the power of Nokia Maps and Nokia Drive come along with it automatically, integrated).
                    Potentially, Nokia’s approach could directly put you at the best leveraging angle depending on your actual situation, and uses a specific app with the most suited user interface to maximize the user experience. Unfortunately, the current level of integration is still lacking and has not reached its full potential. But Nokia takes navigation seriously on their mobile phones. Considering that they jumped on the WP ship only recently, I’m confident that they will make this whole thing even better in a quite fast pace.
                    An often overlooked but significant feature Nokia offers is downloadable maps segmented according to regions. Once downloaded to your phone’s local storage, the maps are fully functional off-line even when you don’t have any cellular network or WiFi access. That could be a matter of getting or not getting to the destination timely sometimes. If you don’t think this is important, I don’t know what is. Even when cellular network is present, the off-line GPS map means big savings on your data usage.
                    With the downloaded maps, the navigation on Lumia 920 may have come to a point to replace standalone GPS units. It has vastly better user interface for one thing. Its address search, although not as good as Google Maps’, is vastly better than that of standalone GPS (address search is probably the most frustrating thing on standalone GPS units). It probably lacks a few features, but the overall user experience is superior. Of course, if you need a dedicated GPS unit to be mounted at a fixed position in the car for convenience, you will find that irreplaceable. But personally, I don’t think I’ll buy another GPS.
                    If you happen to be at a place without a car (hello, Americans, have you traveled to other places in the world? People don’t always drive), you can use Nokia Transit. Nokia Transit provides detailed guide for public transportation of cities around the world, including lines and schedules. Nokia Transit is relatively new, and I don’t think it is as good as the Google’s counterpart yet. But it is certainly better than iPhone, because with the iOS 6, this is entirely lacking on the iPhone. Do you need it? Well, Americans don’t seem to think this is a big deal, but this is of great importance in Europe and many other Asian cities. Those who travel to Europe and Asia should not ignore the importance of this function.
                    7. THE SCREEN [10 (8)]
                    Both Lumia 920 and iPhone 5 have gorgeous screens, but the Lumia is still better. The viewability under direct sunlight is noticeably better on Lumia 920. Both are extremely clear for text and webpage rendering, but Lumia 920 works much better in the portrait mode because of its greater viewing dimension.
                    And Lumia 920 has touchscreen capability when you wear gloves. This may come handy in very cold winter outdoors. But for me, the usefulness is more than during the winter. I like to wear one glove on my right hand while I’m doing air traveling to protect my hand, or I would have painful skin and split fingernails. Lumia 920 is the only phone that I can use wearing a glove. It is not a gimmick at all.
                    8. THE CAMERA [9 (7)]
                    Lumia 920 has the best cell phone camera on the market, leading by a significant margin, except for Nokia’s own PureView 808 which is a different type of device. I say this very objectively. Those who don’t see the difference either didn’t test it under right conditions, or simply can’t tell the differences in photo quality. Lumia 920 is the only smart phone camera that can take decent concert (or party) photos and videos. Its lowlight performance is at least two ISO stops (that’s 4 times) better than the iPhone 5. This is primarily due to Nokia’s unique pixel binning technology further combined with image stabilization. Neither Nokia nor Apple makes the camera sensors (Sony does), but the photo quality is not only about the sensor itself. Nokia has a tremendous advantage in this area, and they have a strong patent portfolio protecting that position.
                    By the way, stop comparing which camera has more megapixels. This is one of the saddest things in digital camera industry in which companies advertise the number of megapixels as if that was the hallmark of the camera quality. They do so to take advantage of the mass consumers’ lack of understanding of digital sensor image forming. If they had focused on real performances on 2-4MP sensors that are of a sensor size as large as possible for smartphones, we would have now had much more useful cameras on these gadgets. This is because for any given chip technology and a given sensor size, an increase of the number of pixels comes at the expense of lowlight performance. (Please, I hear you sneering. I actually know what I’m talking about. I’m not saying that a smaller pixel number is always a good thing in itself. On the contrary, I’m just saying that for a given sensor size and a given chip technology, pixel number is the best sacrifice to make if the goal is to take better pictures. With an improved sensor chip technology or an increase in the sensor size, they usually have the options of either increasing the lowlight performance and dynamic range by keeping the same MP count, or increasing the MP count by withholding the real performance, but unfortunately they usually choose the latter because the MP count is a much more marketable gimmick.)
                    On cell phones in particular, because of the very small sensor sizes, low light performance is a far bigger problem than resolution (MP count). Generally, photos taken by smart phones are only used for screen viewing instead of making large prints. For that reason, even 2MP would be plenty. For web posting, a high-quality 1MP photo is far better than a lousy 10MP photo. But instead, we now have the madness of smartphones reaching and going beyond 10MP with little meaningful result but unnecessarily bad lowlight performance, poor dynamic range, and a big waste of storage, data usage and processing time.
                    So in this regard, Nokia is doing great in spite of (not because of) joining the megapixel race, again thanks to its pixel binning technology and image stabilization.
                    9. BUILD QUALITY [10 (8)]
                    Nokia 920 is a marvelous piece of engineering and manufacturing. Both Nokia 920 and iPhone 5 have a premium appearance, only very different flavors. But the Nokia is without question tougher. I say this not because Nokia is heavier. They use different materials. In choosing materials, these two companies have very different philosophies. Apple always goes after materials that enable extremely slim and light products, while Nokia has always been concerned of durability.
                    Well, if you are already conditioned to update your phone every year, you are an ideal Apple-kind person already any way. But still, hold your iPhone dearly and don’t drop it. I have an iPad 3 that was accidentally dropped from a sofa sidetable to a hard floor head-down. I was completely shocked by the amount of damage it caused. I was expecting a dent on the edge or at worst a crack on the screen, but the whole thing was smashed like glass (that’s when I discovered that the iPod 3 uses a glasslike material even for the frame, which looks great, but, well, just don’t drop it).
                    Many use a case for their iPhones. I never understood the utility of that until I dropped my iPad, which is made of very similar materials. So you might actually need a case for your iPhone. Not so for Lumia 920. It does not need a case for protection. In addition, I can’t imagine a case for Lumia 920 without ruining its gorgeous appearance.
                    10. THERMAL BEHAVIOR [8 (8)] AND BATTERY LIFE [5 (5)]
                    The Nokia 920 does not run hot, thankfully. This is one thing I was particularly worried, after the bad experience with the Dell Venue Pro which had disastrous thermal performance and power management.
                    Battery life is good, although not excellent, comparable to other top performers such as iPhone 5. Lumia 920 will last a busy day of frequent use, but daily recharging is recommended if not necessary. Again, this is comparable to other smart phones.
                    If there would be an improvement that could persuade me to change my phone again, it would be a new phone that could last at least a couple of busy days without recharging. I am not a heavy mobile user, but I’m out on a trip quite often. The battery life of my cell phone is among the biggest mental burdens while traveling. Unfortunately, it looks like battery life is not what these companies are focusing on at this time.
                    11. APPS [6 (9.5)]
                    iPhone wins by a large margin in terms of app number. Vast majority of apps are junk on both systems. It is hard to understand why people would waste their time downloading those apps, much less developing them. Some people argue that Windows Phone 8 has better quality apps even though they are fewer in number, but I don’t know how they measure that.
                    Nevertheless, both systems do have some great apps; iOS just has more due to its sheer larger base. So it seems clear that most people will need to sacrifice a few apps by choosing Windows Phone platform for now. I’m missing quite a few useful apps on the Nokia 920, and make up the deficiency by using the iPad.
                    The most important app I miss on the Windows Phone is a decent PDF reader. Microsoft rushed out its own PDF reader, which works for basic reading but has some serious limitations. I hope Adobe release a better PDF reader on WP8. And help from the third party developers is also needed. This is a big pain point.
                    Windows Phone has some very good apps that are missing on iOS too (in addition to Nokia apps and Microsoft apps), although not as critical as something like PDF reader.
                    However, none of these missing apps has the kind of importance that even remotely approaches that of navigation and productivity. To me, the choice is clear. I think it’s misleading to do “bean counting” to compare just the number of advantages of each system. You’ve got to have priority. If you have one feature that has a dominating priority, then one million less useful “apps” would simply no longer matter.
                    Also, Windows Phone 8 has got a much better foundation in the program architecture than WP7, despite the relative minor changes in appearance. With the Windows NT kernel and 90% source code compatibility with Windows RT, the app future looks good.
                    12. FLUENCY AND EFFICIENCY OF THE OPERATING SYSTEM [9.5 (9)]
                    Windows Phone 8 on Lumia 920 actually beats iOS on iPhone 5 in terms of fluency and efficiency. WP has a hardware “Back” button in addition to the Home button, while iPhone has just a Home button. This has a significant impact on the flow of operation. I know this is rather subjective, but one thing that particularly bothers me on the iOS is that its flow is designed to require the user to always go back to the home button. You can’t directly go back to another place you have just visited. You always have to go back home and start from there again. I remember Steve Jobs proudly making a big point out of it. Theoretically, going back home and then to the last app takes only two steps, but problem is that when you have multiple pages of apps, it causes a bit of hesitation to locate the last app.
                    When you come to think of it, that is probably one of the reasons why the iOS is so intuitive for beginners, but less efficient for more experienced users. On user interfaces, these two things often conflict. I can see why many like the flow design of iOS, but I prefer WP8’s flow much better.
                    Another thing that impacts the efficiency is the management of installed apps. The iOS manages installed apps in a simplistic way with much emphasis on the appearance not the functionality. Windows Phone has a much more sophisticated way. The installed apps are directly searchable (there is a dedicated search button for installed apps, in addition to the general search and the app marketplace search), and are also automatically organized under alphabetical categories that can be quickly accessed through a single page grid (which is accessible by a single swipe). If you have less than 20 installed apps, you will see no difference. If you have about 20-50, the difference would start to show. With 50-100, it becomes apparent, and beyond 100, the difference would be huge. The more apps you install, the greater the difference would be. So again, power users will find this an advantage for Windows Phone.
                    13. CUSTOMIZATION [8 (8)]
                    It almost sounds silly that one of the biggest improvements WP8 has over WP7 is adding some smaller sized tiles. Hardly innovative, but it makes a big difference, largely speaking against the old design. I don’t like those big sized tiles. I simply don’t think any app deserves that much attention, especially in such a uniquely precious small room. I customized my start page to have all tiles in quarter size except for the phone button. Thank you, Microsoft, for allowing such basic freedom. My start space is now much more efficiently used and no longer a victim of the almost tyrant “less is more” so-called clean design philosophy.
                    The level of customization further down is mostly on par with the iOS, but Android would still have an edge over both. I think this is got to a very reasonable level already, except for one big complaint I have against Windows Phone:
                    With WP8, you still can’t turn off that stupid screen auto-rotation. You simply can’t so far. No user settings has that. No app that does that. Even unlocked phone can’t do that. Forgive me to call auto-rotation feature stupid. But it is one of those tech-things that made no sense on a mobile phone, precisely because a mobile phone is just so, mobile. The problem is that these device designers fail to understand that the proper (or desired) orientation of the screen simply cannot be determined by an orientation sensor. The sensor determines the orientation using gravity and the earth as the reference, not your body. As a result, the sensor can only detect the phone’s orientation itself, not its relative orientation to the user’s body posture, which is what actually matters. So it works properly only when you are standing straight, not when you are inclined or lie down. In fact, it always turns to the wrong orientation when you are inclined or lie down, so you have to fight it.
                    In practice, the non-switchable autorotation causes much more annoyance than any utility. It is OK if they just want to use it as a gimmick to attract shallow feature counters, but it is not OK to have it permanently implemented and cannot be turned off. It’s simply stupid.
                    I think the best solution is iPad 3’s combination of autorotation plus a hardware-based button for a mechanical lock. It combines the best of both worlds. The iPhone has autorotation plus user manual options in the settings and apps, which is not as good as the iPad, but still much better than Windows Phone’s autorotation only, whenever and wherever.
                    The reason why I make this auto-rotation issue such a big deal is just to make a point, NOT because the thing itself is so life-threatening. I can live with the annoyance. But the failure or overlook of such issues after all these years is very telling of the level of ergonomics Microsoft understands or is willing to make an effort to.
                    14. REFINEMENT OF THE OPERATING SYSTEM [7.5 (9.5)]
                    When it comes to very fine details, Apple wins. WP8 has improved over WP7, but I think it is still a far cry from the iOS in its refinement of details. Company wise, and culture wise, Microsoft simply has not learned this art yet. Let me name a few:
                    (1) You can’t quickly do a “select all” to copy and paste a text. It requires a painful maneuver to do so, many times more difficult than doing the same on iOS which gives you a selection in an automatically pop-up menu. Oh please, they struggled with this copy and paste thing from the very beginning and received a disproportionately great amount of criticisms, so you would think that they would have jumped all over it to not only improve it, but in fact over-improve it. Not at all. It’s still a half cooked solution, compared to what Apple has. The team that is responsible for this feature needs to be examined.
                    (2) The network status indicators on the top of the screen don’t stay. They show up shortly and then disappear to leave a blank and unused space for you to stare at and be uncertain about. You have to touch the screen in a particular manner to bring them back. And there is no way to change that in the settings. (No, I’m not talk about the common automatic screen lockout, which is necessary for battery conservation.) What’s the utility of making these essential indicators disappear transiently? I see none. The network status indicators don’t occupy extra space at all when they are displayed, and in most situations their disappearance does not result in any benefit but just makes the whole system unnecessarily busy and less certain. My basic assertion is that when you are away from home, your cell phone’s network status is a constant concern, and being able to glance at these essential indicators any time to quickly learn about the network status gives you peace of mind, and is a good part of the harmonious “handset environment”. Having to always struggle for such a simple thing is nonsense especially when the sacrifice is made for no purpose.
                    I think what happened at Microsoft was like this: One day, someone from Microsoft management shouted in a meeting: “Less is more! Less is more! Look at Apple, we need to learn from them!” And shortly after that, a Microsoft engineer came up with this idea of hiding the network status indicators…
                    Those are just several among many small details. Microsoft has done the hard part of building a very promising mobile OS, why is it so difficult for them to do these very basic and simple things right? It is obviously not an engineering issue. It is a product management issue. It is a company culture issue. Microsoft’s level of paying attention to user experience details still has a long way to go to match that of Apple. Why didn’t Nokia fix those deficiencies? They probably don’t have a license from Microsoft to do so.
                    Anyway, despite some wanting, I am in love with my Lumia. I hesitated when Lumia 800 came out, knowing that it would be incompatible with WP8. Now Lumia 920 is such an attractive package. I don’t think I’ll change my phone anytime soon, although I do hope that there would be some nice updates from both Microsoft and Nokia to make this phone even better.

                    As even Android is coming up in the above customer review first see a brief:
                    iPhone 5 vs Galaxy S3 vs Lumia 920 [cnetuk YouTube channel, Sept 13, 2012]

                    We compare the Apple iPhone 5, Samsung Galaxy S3 and Nokia Lumia 920 in this 4G phone fight video.

                    Then individually from a widely watched/read technical media source:
                    The Gadget Show – iPhone 5 Review [thegadgetshow YouTube channel, Sept 21, 2012]

                    Read also: Apple iPhone 5 review [the Gadget Show, Sept 24, 2012] Rating: image

                    Samsung Galaxy S3:
                    Samsung Galaxy S3 review [the Gadget Show, June 11, 2012] Rating: image
                    Samsung Galaxy S3 4G [the Gadget Show, Nov 8, 2012] Rating: image

                    The Gadget Show – Windows Phone 8 Handsets [thegadgetshow YouTube channel, Nov 20, 2012]: Windows Phone 8 – Nokia Lumia 920 – HTC Windows Phone 8X – Samsung ATIV S

                    Nokia Lumia 920, HTC Windows Phone 8X and Samsung ATIV S

                    Read also:
                    Nokia Lumia 920 [review] [the Gadget Show, Nov 21, 2012] Rating: image
                    Windows Phone 8X by HTC [the Gadget Show, Oct 29, 2012] Rating: image

                    And when the same widely watched/read technical media source compared iPhone 5 vs Lumia 920 and HTC One X+ (instead of Galaxy S3 because One X+ is a quad-core unit):
                    iPhone 5 vs HTC One X+ vs Lumia 920 (Gadget Show) [thegadgetshow YouTube channel, Dec 3, 2012]

                    Giving out verdicts on three of this Christmas’ hottest smartphones:

                    The Gadget Show looks at what flagship smartphone you should hope to find in your stocking on Christmas morning; an iPhone 5, an HTC One X+, or a Nokia Lumia 920?

                    Ratings:
                    – iPhone 5: image

                    [4:31] The iPhone 5 gets just 3 Gs. No innovation. The battery life is terrible. It is still expensive and the build quality is poor. [4:40]

                    – HTC One X+: image nearly 5
                    Read also: HTC One X+ [review] [the Gadget Show, Nov 9, 2012]

                    [4:40] The HTC wins 4 Gs, nearly 5. Its processor is super powerful, and the only thing that holds it back it’s ugly and it is not 4G ready. [4:50]

                    – Nokia Lumia 920: image nearly 5

                    [4:51] The Nokia also snaps 4 Gs, nearly 5. The user experience and the wireless charger are ace, but it lacks apps and too heavy [5:01]

                    Then let’s see a couple of Lumia 920 specific advantages mentioned in the large customer review from Amazon that could be read in the beginning:

                    Nokia Lumia 920 Drop Test [PhoneBuff YouTube channel, Nov 11, 2012]

                    Lumia 920 Hammer & Knife Scratch Test:http://youtu.be/yDEahsoa_N4 Lumia 920 Destruction: http://youtu.be/E3c8il_Q6SU

                    Work on the go with the Nokia Lumia 920 and Microsoft Office [nokia YouTube channel, Nov 26, 2012]

                    Nokia Maps for Windows Phone 8 [nokia YouTube channel, Nov 6, 2012]

                    Download the latest Nokia Maps from Windows Phone Marketplace for your Lumia Windows Phone 8: http://bit.ly/PPFNLx

                    Nokia City Lens for Nokia Lumia: Augmented Reality Browser [nokia YouTube channel, Sept 10, 2012]

                    Nokia City Lens http://nokia.ly/QeAOiK instantly connects you to all of the places you’re looking for—and even more importantly—gets you there exactly when and how you want to. Now available on Windows Phone Marketplace. Just landed in town and looking for a good restaurant? Interested in checking out the local museum or theater? Time to hit the nearest transit station to catch a ride uptown? No longer is finding your chosen destination a hassle—whether you’re in a new city or your hometown. Now you can simply launch Nokia City Lens on your phone to easily find all the places you want to go. Nokia City Lens instantly reveals what you’re looking for on your phone’s camera display, no matter if it’s down the street or just around the corner. You simply tap your chosen destination on your screen to conveniently access walking directions, make a reservation, or learn more detailed information about the locale.

                    As Nokia rebranded all of its location based services under a new HERE brand as so called “location cloud” you can find all the details that in:
                    Nokia HERE by Michael Halbherr [JB Su YouTube channel, Nov 15, 2012]

                    Nokia Lumia 920 vs iPhone 5, Camera video image stabilization [NewsTechChannel YouTube channel, Sept 26, 2012]

                    And now two reviews for each from a highly visited tech source on the web:

                    Nokia Lumia 920 Review – Engadget [engadget, Nov 2, 2012]

                    Check out our video review of the Nokia Lumia 920. It’s been almost a year to the day since we reviewed Nokia’s first Windows Phone and now we’re staring at its second-generation flagship, the Lumia 920. We’ll be frank: Nokia has crafted one substantial smartphone. After experiencing the curves and lightness of HTC’s Windows Phone 8X (4.5 ounces), the Lumia 920 makes the scales tremble at 6.5 ounces. Read our full review here: http://goo.gl/DKRfi and subscribe to Engadget: http://goo.gl/FZmRo. Engadget provides the web’s best consumer electronics & gadgets coverage. Launched in 2004 by former Gizmodo editor and co-founder Peter Rojas, Engadget now covers the latest mobile devices, computers, and every gadget under the sun. Engadget’s video property is a part of the AOL On Network, which includes great video from Autoblog (http://goo.gl/A8FXw), AOL Autos (http://goo.gl/bYgCz), Moviefone (http://goo.gl/3ou9d), Techcrunch (http://goo.gl/g63nk), The Huffington Post (http://goo.gl/1iQE0), AOL On Entertainment (http://goo.gl/W1fG3), AOL On Food (http://goo.gl/EjE3g), and many other video properties. At Aol, we’re in the business of making the internet better by producing high quality content that connects you with the best journalists, artists, and musicians. Leave a comment on any Aol video with your thoughts, feedback, and perspective! Get more Engadget: Read: http://www.engadget.com/ Like: http://www.facebook.com/Engadget Follow: https://twitter.com/engadget

                    iPhone 5 Hands On Review – Engadget [engadget, Sept 18, 2012]

                    This is it. Check out our video review of Apple’s iPhone 5! Thinner. Lighter. Faster. Simpler. The moment the iPhone 5 was unveiled we knew that it was checking off all the right boxes, folding in all the improvements and refinements people have been demanding over the past year — yet plenty of folks still went to their respective social networks to type out their bitter disappointment. Read the our full review here http://goo.gl/3VD1s and subscribe to Engadget:http://goo.gl/FZmRo. Engadget provides the web’s best consumer electronics & gadgets coverage. Launched in 2004 by former Gizmodo editor and co-founder Peter Rojas, Engadget now covers the latest mobile devices, computers, and every gadget under the sun. Engadget’s video property is a part of the AOL On Network, which includes great video from Autoblog (http://goo.gl/A8FXw), AOL Autos (http://goo.gl/bYgCz), Moviefone (http://goo.gl/3ou9d), Techcrunch (http://goo.gl/g63nk), The Huffington Post (http://goo.gl/1iQE0), AOL On Entertainment (http://goo.gl/W1fG3), AOL On Food (http://goo.gl/EjE3g), and many other video properties. At Aol, we’re in the business of making the internet better by producing high quality content that connects you with the best journalists, artists, and musicians. Leave a comment on any Aol video with your thoughts, feedback, and perspective! Get more Engadget: Read: http://www.engadget.com/ Like: http://www.facebook.com/Engadget Follow: https://twitter.com/engadget

                    Windows Phone 8 vs. Android 4.1 and 4.2

                    While Windows Phone 8 should be understood as it is coming from Marko Ahtisaari from Nokia and Steven Guggenheimer from Microsoft on the Internet of Things day of LeWeb Paris’12 [Nov 6, 2012] in this post I will collect some simplistic comparisons by the smartphone related technical media of everyday. Please suggest additional ones on the comment line (I’ve got already some via facebook which were so good that I produced a separate Lumia 920 vs. iPhone 5 (and vs. Android, Galaxy S3, HTC One X+) post):

                    1. pocketnowvideo YouTube channel on Nov 1, 2012:

                    Windows Phone 8 and Android 4.1 are very different operating systems, but in many cases they have similar functions that may be implemented in different ways. In this video we look at a few of the major differences between Windows Phone 8 and Android 4.1 as well as a few of the similarities. You’ll see that Windows Phone 8 certainly does some things better than Android 4.1, while Android definitely does other things better than Windows Phone 8. Overall, we think it’s getting to be pretty well balanced, but of course that depends on which features are really important to you.

                    2. In terms of current flagship devices:
                    LG Nexus 4 vs. Nokia Lumia 920 [TechPeak YouTube channel, Nov 11, 2012]

                    image
                    Winner: Lumia 920

                    image
                    Winner: Nexus 4

                    image
                    Winner: Equal

                    image
                    Winner: Lumia 920

                    image
                    Winner: Nexus 4

                    Overall winner: LG Nexus 4

                    And in terms of individual detailed reviews from another source:

                    Google Nexus 4 Review [MobileTechReview YouTube channel, Nov 20, 2012]

                    Lisa Gade reviews the Google Nexus 4 Android smartphone running Jelly Bean 4.2. The Nexus 4 is made by LG and it’s sold as an unlocked GSM phone with pentaband 3G HSPA+, so it will work anywhere in the world GSM service is available and you’ll get HSPA+ on AT&T and T-Mobile in the US. This is a 1.5GHz quad core Snapdragon S4 Pro phone with 2 gigs of RAM and 8 or 16 gigs of storage. The phone has a 4.7″, 1280 x 768 IPS Gorilla Glass 2 display. It has an 8MP rear camera, front 1.3MP camera, WiFi, Bluetooth, GPS and NFC. It’s very affordably priced at $299 and $349 without contract.

                    Nokia Lumia 920 Review [MobileTechReview YouTube channel, Nov 11, 2012] rating starrating starrating starrating star

                    Lisa Gade reviews the Nokia Lumia 920 Windows Phone 8 Smartphone on AT&T. The Lumia 920 sells for $99 on contract and $449 off contract. It’s available in 5 colors and it has an excellent 4.5″, 1280 x 768 display. The smartphone runs on a 1.5GHz Qualcomm S4 dual core Krait CPU with a gig of RAM and 32 gigs of storage. It has LTE 4G, dual band WiFi, Bluetooth 3.0, NFC, a GPS with Nokia Maps and a 2,000 mAh battery. The Lumia has a front camera and a rear 8.7MP camera that can shoot 1080p video. It has a Gorilla Glass display running at 332ppi (slightly higher than the iPhone 5 at 326ppi!). Read our in-depth written Lumia 920 review here:http://www.mobiletechreview.com/phones/Nokia-Lumia-920.htm .

                    Nokia Lumia 920 [MobileTechReview, Nov 17, 2012] rating starrating starrating starrating star

                    Conclusion

                    The Nokia Lumia 920 is undeniably the hero phone for Windows Phone 8’s launch. It has an elegant and memorable design that feels great in hand and looks classy. The superb 4.5″ IPS display has rich colors, excellent contrast and it works with gloves. Though text doesn’t look quite as painted on as it does on the HTC One X, HTC Droid DNA and iPhone 5 the display’s extremely high pixel density and sharpness make for an excellent experience. The phone is very fast and stable, and it has plenty of internal storage. I’ve been using it for a week as my main phone and have put my Samsung Galaxy S III in the drawer: surprisingly, I haven’t missed my S III all that much, even though I’ve been a heavy Android user for years (with trysts with various Windows Phones and iPhones thrown in over the years). My only caveats? The phone is quite heavy for its size and the app selection is healthy with many of the big players present, but it still can’t match the iPhone and Android (yet). The only thing holding the Lumia 920 back from our Editor’s Choice award is app selection. Hopefully in another year we’ll see a bloom of Windows Phone apps, that will no longer be an issue.

                    Price: $99 with contract and $449 without contract

                    Websites: www.nokiausa.com, wireless.att.com

                    3. From this widely watched/read technical media source we have significantly better reviews:

                    The Gadget Show – Windows Phone 8 Handsets [thegadgetshow YouTube channel, Nov 20, 2012]: Windows Phone 8 – Nokia Lumia 920 – HTC Windows Phone 8X – Samsung ATIV S

                    Nokia Lumia 920, HTC Windows Phone 8X and Samsung ATIV S

                    Read also:
                    Windows Phone 8 [review] [the Gadget Show, Nov 1, 2012]
                    Nokia Lumia 920 [review] [the Gadget Show, Nov 21, 2012] Rating: image_thumb[3]
                    Windows Phone 8X by HTC [the Gadget Show, Oct 29, 2012] Rating: image_thumb[4]

                    The Gadget Show – Samsung Galaxy Note 2 First Look [thegadgetshow YouTube channel, Nov 5, 2012]: as this is the only recent one available on YouTube, so I can embed here

                    We take a look at the Samsung Galaxy Note 2 and find out what new features its bursting with from its predecessor. For more info and videos like this, check out http://bit.ly/SNAwkC

                    Read also Samsung Galaxy S3:
                    Samsung Galaxy S3 review [the Gadget Show, June 11, 2012] Rating: image_thumb[6]
                    Samsung Galaxy S3 4G [the Gadget Show, Nov 8, 2012] Rating: image_thumb[7]
                    Samsung Galaxy S3: Android 4.2 bumper update on the way! [the Gadget Show, Nov 5, 2012]

                    Read also: Android Jelly Bean [4.1 review] [the Gadget Show, Aug 7, 2012]

                    Read also about Android 4.2:
                    Google Nexus 4 [review] [the Gadget Show, Dec 3, 2012] Rating: image_thumb[6]
                    The new Google Nexus line and Android 4.2 revealed! All the details [the Gadget Show, Oct 29, 2012]

                    Android 4.2

                    All three new Google Nexus devices run a new version of Android, 4.2. It’s not a huge update, so it doesn’t get a new dessert flavoured codename, and is still technically Jelly Bean. But it packs some new features you’ll be able to make use of still.

                    First up is support for Miracast, the wireless streaming standard we told you about a few weeks ago. It works much like AirPlay, letting you send audio and video all around the shop, though you’ll need other Miracast devices to get it all working properly.

                    The stock keyboard on Android 4.2 now supports swiping gesture for typing, much like the Swype and SwiftKey Android keyboard alternatives do, while you can zoom in on emails in Gmail and text will realign to fit the screen. You can also look at widgets on your device’s lock screen – handy for keeping an eye on train times, says – and Google Now can make predictions based on Gmail too.

                    Lastly, Google Music is finally coming to the UK on 13 November. You’ll be able to upload all your music to the cloud and streaming it from wherever, without the subscription costs of Spotify or Rdio.

                    You can check out all the new goodies in the video below. In the meantime, let us know your thoughts in the comments. Is Android 4.2 what you’ve been hoping for?

                    The Best of Google, now in 3 sizes. Introducing Nexus 4, Nexus 7 and Nexus 10. The new smartphone and tablets from Google. Shop now at play.google.com/nexus

                    And when the same widely watched/read technical media source compared iPhone 5 vs Lumia 920 and HTC One X+ (instead of Galaxy S3 because One X+ is a quad-core unit):
                    iPhone 5 vs HTC One X+ vs Lumia 920 (Gadget Show) [thegadgetshow YouTube channel, Dec 3, 2012]

                    Giving out verdicts on three of this Christmas’ hottest smartphones:

                    The Gadget Show looks at what flagship smartphone you should hope to find in your stocking on Christmas morning; an iPhone 5, an HTC One X+, or a Nokia Lumia 920?

                    Ratings:
                    – iPhone 5: image_thumb8

                    [4:31] The iPhone 5 gets just 3 Gs. No innovation. The battery life is terrible. It is still expensive and the build quality is poor. [4:40]

                    – HTC One X+: image_thumb9 nearly 5
                    Read also: HTC One X+ [review] [the Gadget Show, Nov 9, 2012]

                    [4:40] The HTC wins 4 Gs, nearly 5. Its processor is super powerful, and the only thing that holds it back it’s ugly and it is not 4G ready. [4:50]

                    – Nokia Lumia 920: image_thumb10 nearly 5

                    [4:51] The Nokia also snaps 4 Gs, nearly 5. The user experience and the wireless charger are ace, but it lacks apps and too heavy [5:01]