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Microsoft Unveils New Windows Phone Features, Includes Fast App Switching, New APIs, More

The world’s largest software vendor, Microsoft Corp. (NASDAQ:MSFT), today showcased various new web technologies at the MIX11 tech conference in Las Vegas, but most notably, the company announced the newest forthcoming features of Windows Phone.

Microsoft largely focused on the developer side by showcasing a comprehensive look at the newest development platform codenamed Mango of Windows Phone. The upcoming version will include many new features, including both under-the-hood enhancements and improvements to the user interface of the platform.

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Nokia releases open-source WordPress blogging app for Symbian

With millions of bloggers and publishers using what is probably the most advanced blogging platform, WordPress, these users definitely want the option of being able to manage their web properties on the go through their smartphone.

Automattic Inc., the company behind WordPress, has already made available official mobile clients for BlackBerry, Google Android, and Apple iOS devices like iPhone, allowing those users to manage their blogs from those devices.

Nokia users previously did not have an extensive client, until now, when the company announced the availability of an open-source mobile WordPress blogging application for its Symbian powered smartphones.

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Nokia optimistic as second quarter profits down 31-percent

The top mobile phone maker by volume in the world, Nokia, today released earnings for the second quarter of 2010.

The company reported a massive operating loss of EUR 295-million, marking a significant 31-percent increase in operating losses compared to the same period last year.

Nokia is still shipping the most volume when it comes to mobile phones in the world, posting net sales of EUR 10-billion (shipping 111.1-million units in the period), up 1-percent YoY, but the company is suffering from slumping profits because it is selling fewer smartphones that normally carry higher margins.

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RIM, Nokia fire back at Apple’s device antenna claims

During Apple’s held press conference yesterday that explained the antenna issues with the latest iPhone 4, the company alleged other smartphones also have similar connectivity issues if the devices are held in certain ways.

Apple specifically made these claims against Research In Motion (RIM), the company behind the BlackBerry, including other top phone makers like Nokia, Samsung, and High Tech Computer Corporation (HTC).

Today, both Nokia and RIM published statements debunking Apple’s claims against their products.

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Nokia sells modem business unit to Renesas for $200mn

One of the top five semiconductor makers in the world, Japan-based Renesas Electronics Corp., has entered into a definitive agreement with the Finnish phone maker, Nokia, to acquire part of the firms mobile operations.

The deal worth $200-million, will give Renesas exclusive ownership over previously held Nokia assets, including various GSM patents, and will see the acquisition of Nokia’s modem business unit.

Additionally as part of the deal, the company will also acquire a part of Nokia’s research and development division, which will consist of about 1,100 Nokia professionals who work mainly in Finland and India.

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Nokia Mobile exec says no plans to launch Google Android powered product

symbian-logoTraditional phone-makers such as Nokia have seen slumping sales and losses in market share as competition in the mobile space has greatly intensified over the last few years, namely with the introduction of the iPhone from Apple and now more recently, Android from Google.

Google specifically has made its Android operating system open source, allowing device makers to use its advanced operating system to power their devices without licensing fees.

Today, Anassi Vanjoki, the top man at Nokia’s Mobile Solutions, confirmed via a blog post that the company has no plans to release any devices powered by Google Android, instead, opting for its now open-source Symbian platform.

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Mobile market grows 56% in Q1, Apple challenges RIM’s second top spot

The market research firm IDC published a report today on global smartphone sales, indicating the market grew 56.7-percent in Q1 2010 with 54.7-million units shipped, compared to 34.9-million units shipped in the same period last year.

The smartphone market also grew by a record 38-percent in the final quarter of 2009 year-over-year.

Most notably, Apple was able to double its iPhone sales over the same period last year, as the company introduced the iPhone in emerging high-growth markets such as China.

According to the report, Apple sold 8.8-million iPhone devices, putting the company in the third top spot of global mobile vendors.

Apple is expected to unveil its latest iPhone model sometime this June, with the more redefined OS 4 that will bring many new features including multi-tasking, enhanced e-mail and personal information management, among other key enhancements.

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Nokia unveils Booklet 3G netbook computer

Nokia is working on a new netbook dubbed the “Booklet 3G” that will be powered by Microsoft Windows Vista (according to the video below but it is more likely the netbook will in fact run Windows 7).

The device weighs in at only 2.75 lbs, has AGPS, WiFi, will include the Nokia OVI store, and a long 12-hour battery life. The device will come in blue, black or silver colors.

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Nortel to liquidate, Nokia buys Nortel wireless-research division

Update: Nortel is working on removing its shares from stock exchanges

The largest telecom equipment maker Nortel Networks Corp. has just announced the company will actually now liquidate, after entering chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in January 2009.

Nortel confirmed Nokia Siemens would buy its most lucrative carrier-networks division, CDMA assets, and its wireless-research division for $650 million.

The deal is expected to close, pending regulatory approval (July 30 in Canada, July 28 in the United States), in Q3 2009.

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Nokia answers Apple’s App Store with Ovi Store

Nokia firstly announced the Nokia Ovi Store merely a few months ago at the 2009 Mobile World Congress in Barcelona. The Nokia Ovi store is simply an online store where people can purchase applications, themes, ringtones, among other content, for their Symbian-powered handset. Free applications can also be found, such as the Bloomberg news app.

The Ovi Store has just launched in Singapore, Australia, with more countries to be added over the next day.

Right now, S40 and S60 Symbian powered devices are supported, with support for additional Nokia phones to be added.

The Ovi Store icon will come standard on newer Nokia phones such as the much-anticipated N97 that will be released June 2009.

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