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Microsoft ends data reimbursement for non-WinMo phones

Microsoft is continuing to work on lowering costs amid the recession, and now as a new cost cutting move, the company has stopped paying for employee mobile data on personal non-Microsoft Windows Mobile powered devices.

Until now, Microsoft would reimburse the monthly data costs for the iPhone, and BlackBerry devices. Microsoft will now only reimburse employees who have a Windows Mobile handset. However, not all Microsoft divisions are affected. We can confirm that Razorfish (a Microsoft advertising agency) will not be affected and those employees will continue to be reimbursed for any mobile phone they choose to use, including the new iPhone 3G S and the Palm Pre.

It is not surprising that Microsoft has decided to stop reimbursing employees who use competitive handsets. Very few companies even reimburse employees for use of a personal phone to begin with.

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Microsoft Pink=iPhone Killer? iPhone headed to Verizon? iPhone Mini?

According to a WSJ report, Microsoft is developing a new Microsoft branded phone dubbed “Pink”, that will likely be powered by Windows Mobile 7, coupled with Zune, Marketplace, and My Phone services, among other services developed by the MS Danger team.

The device will exclusively support the features above; the features will not be available for licensing for other vendors who power their devices with Windows Mobile.

The report also indicates Microsoft is in talks with Verizon to launch the device exclusively in the U.S.

There is currently no other information relating to a possible release, pricing, features, or even what the device will look like.

Read the full story

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Cydia App Store Launches on iPhone

Jay Freeman has just launched his new Cydia Store for the iPhone, effectively letting users buy jailbroken iPhone apps from the service. The Cydia Store is completely separate from the Apple App Store and requires a jailbroken iPhone. It is possible the service could spike in usage, even posing a marginal threat to the real app store assuming wide adoption and users can get some of the same cracked apps. Read the full story

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Apple iPhone Holds 66% Mobile Browser Market Share February 2009

Net Applications has released figures relating to mobile browser market share for February 2009. Apple’s iPhone, which accounts for about 0.5% of all cell phones, holds 66.61% mobile browser market share according to the findings, with its closest competitor Java ME (such as Blackberry handsets) at only 9.06% The actual results will likely begin to change as Microsoft rolls out its highly upgraded Internet Explorer browser and as Palm rolls out its Palm Pre with a revamped browser. Mozilla is also preparing to launch its own mobile internet browser dubbed Fennec. Interestingly, the Mac OS in February 2009 held 9.71% of the total computer operating system market share, down from 9.93% a month earlier in January 2009. The iPhone also generates 51% of all current U.S. mobile internet browsing traffic.

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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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Google Sync Now Supports iPhone, Windows Mobile

Google has just released a beta version of its new Google Sync service. Google sync will let you automatically keep your Google Calendar, email and contacts synced between your iPhone and Windows Mobile phone automatically. This sync capability was already available on the Blackberry and Symbian S60 powered phones, though now support has been added for the iPhone, Windows Mobile, and other SyncML supported cell phones. Google Sync offers two-way synchronization, so if you make a change on your mobile phone or your PC, the changes will be immediately synched with the server. Thankfully, you don’t have to send SMS messages to “GVENT” to update your calendar from now on.

Google has also partnered with TrueSwitch to make it easier for you to migrate data from other email services including Hotmail, AOL, Yahoo, among other services. You will be able to easily copy over contacts, old emails and other information to gmail. The new settings for you to start doing this are already available under Accounts and Import in the settings page in gmail. Just remember these services are beta and things can still go wrong.

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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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