Posts tagged Microsoft

Microsoft details the new Games Hub for Windows Phone Mango


Still not clear on what your gaming options will be like with Windows Phone Mango? Then Microsoft’s now got you covered with a fairly extensive overview of its new Games Hub, which has actually been tweaked a bit further from earlier previews it’s offered. One of the biggest changes is that the Hub now includes features previously relegated to the separate Xbox Live Extras app, including improved Xbox Live messaging, integrated achievements (complete with comparison views with your friends), and the ability to edit your Xbox Live profile — not to mention fully animated 3D avatars. The Hub also boasts a new Collection view that promises to let you more easily manage your installed Windows Phone games, and it’s literally been brightened up a bit across the board. Check out the gallery below for a closer look, and hit the source link for some more details.

Microsoft to demo new slate PCs, Windows 8 tablet functionality at CES?

The CES 2010 Ballmernote has become something of a black mark for Microsoft — the company’s delivered almost nothing in the year after Steve demoed the HP Slate and talked about future Windows 7 Slate PCs — but as one would assume, Redmond’s expected to pick up right where it left off in just a few weeks at CES 2011. According to the New York Times, Microsoft’s prepping to explain how it will target the iPad with the help of a number of partners, including Samsung and Dell. While the article is quite vague, it looks like the keynote will include a few new tablet demos, including one of a new Samsung device that sports a “slick” slide out keyboard — we’d put money on that being the 10.1-inch Gloria. The Times says the Samsung tablet (not to be confused with the Samsung Galaxy Tab) will run some sort of software layer when “the keyboard is hiding and the device is held in portrait mode,” but Microsoft’s is also reportedly eschewing a central app store for native tablet apps and instead encouraging software companies to build HTML5 -based web apps. That certainly sounds a lot Google’s Chrome strategy (and a strategy that could backfire since HTML5 apps will work on Chrome OS devices and iPad equally well), but the Times‘ source didn’t know if these “apps” would be ready for CES as they are “still in production.”

As far as we can tell, a lot of this is still built upon Windows 7, but it’s also rumored that the Redmond gang will tease Windows 8 on stage — something that sounds extremely plausible to us, since we’ve heard from numerous sources that Microsoft’s real tablet strategy will rely on Windows 8 and a new all-touch interface that the company has been working incredibly hard on. While Windows 8 isn’t due out until the later half of 2011, Ballmer would do well to use his CES time to tell us about Microsoft’s “riskiest” product bet and finally do something to address Microsoft’s notable absence from the modern tablet market. Of course, nothing’s for sure, except for the fact that we’ll be there, providing live coverage of the entire thing.

Microsoft’s Windows Phone 7 launch event is tomorrow at 9:30AM ET, and we’ll be there live!


As you may have heard, Microsoft is having a major event tomorrow in NYC to announce details surrounding Windows Phone 7 launch dates and devices… and Engadget is going to be there delivering the best live coverage in the universe. In case you don’t already know, Steve Ballmer and AT&T’s Ralph de la Vega will be on stage to delight your senses, and there will likely be lots of new hardware we’ll be getting our hands on.

You can see all of the news unfold in realtime right here at our liveblog post, and the whole thing starts tomorrow, October 11th, at the times listed below. Don’t miss it!

Microsoft celebrates Windows Phone 7 RTM with funeral parade for BlackBerry and iPhone (update: Thriller video!)


The iPhone’s dead, long live the Windows Phone. That must be the genius proclamation that incited Microsoft to celebrate Windows Phone 7 reaching RTM status with the incomprehensible procession you see above. An elaborate parade, replete with hearses and black capes, was organized last week to denote the passing of the BlackBerry and iPhone into the land of unwanted gadgets. We’d say this is done in poor taste, but we don’t enjoy stating the obvious. We will, however, enjoy the fallout from this poorly judged stunt. See our favorite image after the break and lots more at the source.

Update: Apparently the team also engaged in a Thriller dance. Words are failing us, so just hop on past the break and mash play.

Microsoft launching Windows Phone 7 on October 11th?


With a gold master OS, plenty of devices raring to show themselves, and a more or less obvious October launch window, it’s clear that Windows Phone 7 is right around the corner. Pocket-lint is reporting today that its sources, “senior figures within the industry,” are pegging October 11 as the special day, with a New York launch event to make it all official. The handsets will then be available later that month, according to one of those sources. It sounds like everybody is ready for Microsoft to start fighting back in the world of phones, the question is: are you?

Microsoft confirms Windows Phone 7 manufacturers: ASUS, Dell, HTC, LG, and Samsung all on board


Microsoft is no stranger to having partners galore in the phone business, but its lineup of manufacturers for the upcoming, surprisingly promising Windows Phone 7 launch is no less impressive. After plenty of rumoring, Microsoft has confirmed that Dell and HTC will be making Windows Phone 7 phones, in addition to ASUS, LG, and Samsung who had already been confirmed. All of these companies should have their stamp on hardware by the end of the year, with the launch of the OS still vaguely slated for the “holidays.” We have no doubt that all five manufacturers can build some compelling, sexy hardware, but we’re particularly enthused to see Dell really getting into the game after the impressive Streak and that drool-worthy leak a little while back. It’s a good time to be alive if you’re a person who buys or uses phones.

What killed the Kin?


While the news today that Microsoft has killed its troubled Kin line didn’t come as the craziest of surprises, it’s definitely left a lot of lingering questions about just what happened. Now we may have a little insight into what went wrong — and what might be in store down the road — thanks to a reliable source of ours who’s shared some news on Redmond’s inner turmoil.

Apparently, the troubles started long before the swirling Pink phone rumors (and way before the name Kin was ringing in our ears). According to our source, the birth of these devices began with a decision at Microsoft to create a platform agnostic, cloud-centric featurephone. A featurephone that could be had at a relatively low cost, and sold to a burgeoning market of teens and young adults who had little need for a BlackBerry-level device (or pricing). The first step in the project was acquiring Danger to leverage the work it had done with the Sidekick platform, and aligning with Verizon as a launch partner who could offer attractive pricing plans for the devices to a big pool… and here’s where the trouble begins.

Microsoft Kin One and Kin Two first hands-on!


54diggsdigg We’ve just spent some time handling Microsoft’s just-announced Kin One and Kin Two, and we’re not sure what to think; the keyboards have surprisingly good feel, particularly the One (think Palm Pre levels of usability on the One, for example — we wouldn’t be surprised if it was their benchmark) and the phones generally feel pretty solid. In fact, we’d go so far to say that this is a marked improvement in hardware quality for Sharp than any of its Sidekicks ever offered. Problem is, we just can’t get over the fact that the software is extremely limited in its scope — yes, we understand that it’s by design, but does this so-called “upload generation” of socially-connected teens and twentysomethings really want a phone that they can’t download games to? That’s the million-dollar question that Verizon will be answering over the next few months, it seems.


Microsoft demos push notifications on Windows Phone 7 Series


Microsoft’s flavor of push notifications for Windows Phone 7 Series — the so-called Microsoft Notification Service — was just demoed using an MLS (Major League Soccer) app, and it fits in really well with the “Metro” UI motif. Notifications come in via an unobtrusive bar across the top of the display — better than iPhone, and not unlike webOS — and tapping them takes you into the app where you’re presumably taken to a fuller view of the relevant information. The notifications are available regardless of whether the app is open, a model that mirrors Apple’s and likely a heavy dose of foreshadowing that multitasking — at least, multitasking as we know it — won’t be available. Check of pic of the notification bar after the break.

Microsoft bringing XNA Game Studio 4.0 to GDC this week, does 3D gaming for Windows Phone


We’ve all had a feeling that Microsoft is holding back some pretty big surprises (or at least completely reasonable revelations) when it comes to Windows Phone 7 Series and gaming, and here at GDC this week it sounds like we’re going to get a little glimpse into that. Microsoft is unveiling its new XNA Game Studio 4.0, which lets developers work on games for Windows Phone 7 Series, Xbox 360 and Windows PC. The integration with Visual Studio 2010 that we saw the other day allows developers to build a single project and then make slight modifications to let it run on each platform respectively. Most importantly, Microsoft specifically mentions that 4.0 will include hardware accelerated 3D APIs for Windows Phone 7 Series — not stunning, giving the fact that Zune can do 3D games (and is supported by XNA), but relieving just the same. Other phone-related tidbits are also telling: there will be fairly deep Xbox LIVE integration, including unlocking achievements from phone-based games and push notifications for asynchronous turn based gaming. Hopefully we can get some real live multiplayer gaming going as well, but there’s no mention of that just yet. Microsoft promises “much, much more” will be revealed at MIX 2010, but for now we’re gonna dig for all we can here at GDC.

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