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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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Verizon Wireless iPhone Announcement Confirmed February Launch


Update: Verizon has announced the iPhone, and it will launch on February 10, 2011, with the company accepting pre-orders starting on February 3. The iPhone model is slightly tweaked with buttons on the left side of the phone being pushed slightly higher, likely to address the antenna issues with the early models. All other sides look  identical to the AT&T version. There are some differences between Verizon and AT&T plans: Verizon is not offering consumers early phone upgrades, no global roaming, and no ability to simultaneously use voice and data features, as AT&T customers could. The company is expected to offer unlimited data for about $30 per month. The Verizon iPhone also offers hotspot support for up to five devices at the same time to share an Internet connection. The AT&T version does not, but applications for jailbroken iPhone devices are already available with even fewer restrictions. The Verizon iPhone does not come preinstalled with any third party applications, only traditional apps from Apple. It also does not have any branding to indicate the phone is from Verizon, rather, only Apple logos are on the device, just like you’d normally expect from any Apple product. The Verizon iPhone is operating on iOS 4.2.5, likely an OS that includes some tweaks for the CDMA version, without really any other differences except under-the-hood technical additions. When Verizon president and chief operating officer, Lowell McAdam, was asked about users not being able to simultaneously use voice and data, he replied, “people place different emphasis on things…they will make those sorts of tradeoffs,” he went on to say he couldn’t be happier at being able to tell people the iPhone is simply now available on Verizon. Mr. Seidenberg also said the company isn’t going for the Long Term Evolution network for now, just to get the iPhone working on its network ASAP. When asked about possible attenuation issues, he said there was sufficient time to make changes, and he expected the phone to work great on its 3G network. Despite the announcement, the Verizon stock (NYSE:VZ) is trading down about 20 basis points in mid-day trading.

According to people familiar with the matter who leaked information to The Wall Street Journal, Verizon wireless, the largest telecom carrier by the number of subscribers, tomorrow will announce that the company would carry Apple’s popular iPhone smartphone.

According to sources who spoke to The Wall Street Journal, an iPhone compatible version with Verizon networks would launch by the end of this month.

Reports also speculate that Verizon is preparing to provide unlimited data plans to entice consumers.

A significant number of iPhone users have long complained of poor reception associated with the AT&T network.

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Google to Release Fixes for Android Smartphone SMS Issues


Google Android smartphone users previously reported technical bugs in the popular mobile operating related to the way SMS messages were being handled by Android.

The bugs caused the operating system to entirely mishandle text messages, some times even sending messages to unintended recipients without the sender knowing at all.

The now critically classified bug likely put many users at risk of sending possibly confidential information to other people in their address book, among other information.

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Microsoft Unveils Windows Mobile 6.5, LG-GM730, My Phone, Marketplace


Update: Check out a hands-on video of Windows Mobile 6.5 from Gizmodo!


Microsoft has just officially announced Windows Mobile 6.5 at the Mobile World Congress conference in Barcelona. The new OS is expected to arrived in the second half of 2009 boasting a new interface and a new version of Internet Explorer mobile that promises desktop-like browsing. Adobe also announced MWC the support for Flash for Windows Mobile 6.5. Read the full story

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Apple Developing Standardized Batteries for Devices


appleAccording to a new US Patent filing (20090035609), Apple is applying for a universal battery format that could see batteries recharged from various devices. The idea is to let various devices with non-conventional batteries be recharged easily from a mainstream source. There would be a primary Apple hub type device to recharge multiple batteries, or you can easily recharge your devices from say your keyboard as you would your phone. The batteries would also perform like your cell phone battery with the ability of your computer or the Apple recharger hub to display the current charge and energy levels. There is no word on whether Apple will actually ever release a product, but hey, its always worth applying for a patent.

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Microsoft files mobile-PC interface patent


microsoftMicrosoft has applied for a new patent for a “Smart Interface System for Mobile Communications Devices” The patent is aimed at allowing users to dock a mobile phone with a small device and is aimed at eliminating different barriers that prohibit ease of use and productivity on a small mobile phone. Once the mobile is connected to the cradle, the phone can easily be connected with various peripherals including a keyboard, mouse, and printer, among other hardware. Read the full story

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Verizon Sells 1M Blackberry Storms, Q4 Profits Up


Verizon has just released Q4 results. The Blackberry Storm contributed to higher profits, with an impressive 1 million Blackberry Storm units sold. Analysts were expecting about 500,000 units sold. Verizon also reported 1.4 million new subscribers added during Q4. Verizon CEO and Chairman Ivan Seidenberg said “Verizon has shown that it is able to compete effectively in this economic environment,” Verizon posted $24.65 billion in total revenue and $1.24 billion in net profit in 2008. The Blackberry definitely Read the full story

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Skydeck now Syncs Your Phone to the Internet


skydeckSkydeck has launched its new service that essentially syncs the logs of your cell phone to the internet. It syncs your call history, voicemails and SMS. One of the better features is that you can easily listen to your voicemail from the browser and even have it read out. The service costs $9.95 per month. I personally don’t see too much value here to warrant even almost $10 per month, unless you’re the ultra super busy businessperson. Skydeck launched in Jan 2007 and has raised $4 million in VC funding to date.

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Microsoft to Launch MobileMe/App Store Competitors: SkyBox, SkyMarket


windows-mobile-7Microsoft has already confirmed it is developing SkyMarket, which is essentially a direct competitor to the Apple App Store, where people can purchase third party software for their Windows Mobile powered devices. Microsoft is also expected to launch its SkyBox service, which is essentially a direct competitor to Apple’s MobileMe. SkyBox will essentially sync and allow you to access your contacts, e-mail, calendar, SMS, pictures, and your files from a centralized system. Importantly, it is believed Microsoft will not limit SkyBox to only Windows Mobile device, instead allowing almost any newer handset to take advantage of the service, including Symbian and iPhone handsets, which would be a big competitive edge over Apple’s MobileMe. Microsoft is also expected to launch an enterprise version of SkyBox called SkyLine. It is unclear how the two will differentiate. Microsoft should launch these products in February at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona. In related news, Blackberry maker, RIM, has just announced it is accepting submissions for its own Application Storefront for developers who want to sell their Blackberry made applications. Note: Windows Mobile 7 Pictured Above

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