Changes to multitasking, signs of merge with Windows RT spotted
Microsoft has started to provide developers with an SDK for the upcoming Windows Phone 8.1 update, according to reports. At the same time, a developer has allegedly started to list the updates found in the SDK itself, with the update apparently including signs that Microsoft is working towards merging Windows Phone and Windows RT into a single platform.
Sanjiv runs through his current mobile gaming favorites
(This is the sixth in a series that showcases apps the staff at MacNN and Electronista use and recommend. The first installment, discussing media streaming and playback apps, is here. The second covered photo-editing apps, the third looked at music apps, while the fourth focused on board game conversions. The fifth and most recent focused on platform agnostic apps and can be found here.)
One of the great areas of innovation in app development for smartphones and tablets has been in mobile gaming. Trying to come up with a list of just five when there are plenty of great games out there is a challenging task to say the least. To pick my top five mobile games I've asked one simple question: If I was limited to taking only five mobile games, what would I choose to take with me on the road right now? I've also tried to include titles that I can take with me on one or more of the three mobile platforms that I use on a daily basis, which includes iOS, Android and Windows RT. Read on to find out what I've picked and why, although these are in no particular order.
Microsoft offering one month of NYT for Windows users
Microsoft is rolling out a new perk for users of devices running a number of its Windows builds. TechNet on Friday pointed out that the software giant is now offering a free 30-day trial subscription for The New York Times app. The offer is available to all Windows users that can download apps through either the Windows Store or the Windows Phone Store.
Nokia says Lumia 2520 is business up front, party in the rear
It's apparently "business up front, party in the back" for Nokia's new Lumia 2520, as a new commercial from the Finnish hardware maker compares the tablet to a mullet. The spot for the company's Windows RT-powered device spends more time focusing on haircuts and filthy fingernails than it does Nokia's actual tablet. The goal of the app may be to highlight the 2520's capabilities as both a productivity and entertainment device, but its reception in the tech media so far has been marked by puzzlement.
Microsoft may expand Surface line with Surface mini
Microsoft will reportedly roll out a new addition to its line of Surface devices, one with a form factor closer to that of Apple's iPad mini. This according to WPDang, which claims that the device may launch in the first half of next year. The move would be the latest in a series that has seen Microsoft attempting to combat the growth of iOS and Android in the mobile computing market, a segment that appears on track to replace traditional personal computers as the dominant computing paradigm.
Windows 8, RT users can take advantage of Slingbox
Slingbox announced in a post to its blog on Friday that its SlingPlayer app is now available for Windows 8.1 and RT devices. The new app pairs with a Slingbox in order to transmit video content from a user's home computer or other device directly to a user's mobile device. Users downloading the app will have access to a free test-drive period of 24 hours before it will require them to decide whether they wish to purchase it for $15.
Microsoft looking to grow Windows share in mobile
Microsoft is considering releasing both Windows Phone and Windows RT for free in future versions as a way of pushing back against the dominance of Google's Android platform in the mobile segment. This according to The Verge, which cites unnamed sources within the company saying that the move to push the two platforms on a license-free model could happen when the software giant pushes its next revision of the Windows platform, Windows Threshold. The move would mark a considerable change for Microsoft, which has for decades relied on the licensing of its Windows operating system for a large portion of its revenue.
Nokia's new Windows RT tablet still has bugs
Nokia's newly released Lumia 2520 tablet appears to suffer from a screen malfunction that causes it to become inoperable until reset. The issue emerged this week in a Nokia device support forum, with several commenters saying the displays on their just-bought devices will not wake from sleep mode. The issue, when it occurs, does not resolve itself until the device is reset.
Initial impressions of Nokia's first Lumia tablet
Even as its mobile division gets swallowed by Microsoft, Finnish manufacturer Nokia has released a new tablet, the Lumia 2520. The new device makes Nokia one of the few manufacturers still supporting Microsoft's struggling tablet platform, with the other being Microsoft itself. We've gotten our hands on Nokia's new tablet, and have formed a few initial impressions on the Lumia 2520.
Microsoft says three Windows platforms not ideal long term
Microsoft is working to bring the number of Windows platforms on the market down to at most two in over the next few years. This according to Microsoft executive Julie Larson-Green, who spoke at the UBS Global Technology Summit recently, saying that the company definitely plans to winnow the number of platforms it has, but that that process will likely take some time. Larson-Green neglected to specify exactly how Microsoft will accomplish the task.
Nokia pokes fun at Apple's new iPad in new tablet ads
Nokia is pulling no punches in its first ad for the recently released Lumia 2520, taking direct aim at Apple's new iPad Air. The Finnish firm, which recently sold its hardware arm to Microsoft, pokes fun at Apple's thin and light tablet in a new video ad before touting the Lumia 2520's capabilities as a productivity device. The new Windows RT tablet, Nokia says, also bests the iPad Air in a number of other features, including battery life.
Smaller Nokia Windows RT tablet rumored for release early next year
Nokia could be planning to release a smaller Windows RT tablet in the coming months, one that would in theory compliment its current 10.1-inch Lumia 2520, according to a new rumor. The Lumia 2020, thought to be the eight-inch "Illusionist" tablet that surfaced earlier this month, could be heading to market in the first quarter of 2014.
New Lumia tablet comes to Verizon on no-contract price
Nokia's Lumia 2520 tablet will land on Verizon on November 21, according to a post from the United States' largest carrier. The Windows RT-powered tablet, Nokia's first entry in the segment, will be available to Verizon customers for $500, and the carrier will not require a wireless contract for that price. Verizon is also getting a special red edition of the device for customers buying it online. Customers buying it in stores will only have access to a black version.
Nokia doubles down on Windows RT tablets with Illusionist
Nokia may release a Windows RT-powered 8-inch tablet in the near future, doubling down on its investment in Microsoft's troubled mobile Windows platform. Serial tech secret leaker @evleaks tipped the existence of a device code-named Illusionist on Monday, though the tweet did not give a time frame for the Illusionist's launch. An 8-inch device would complement Nokia's existing Windows RT-powered Lumia 2520, which is a 10.1-inch slate.
Lumia tablet packs Snapdragon 800 processor, 32GB expandable storage
Nokia has launched its rumored "Sirius" tablet during its Nokia World event. The Nokia Lumia 2520 is a Windows RT slate that packs a 10.1-inch 1080p AH-IPS display, which is claimed to be bright enough to read outdoors and is protected by Gorilla Glass 2, as well as retaining most of the design language of the Lumia range despite the increase in size.
Surface 2 hits UK retail ahead of launch date
Microsoft's Windows RT-powered Surface 2 tablet hasn't hit its official release date, but that didn't stop at least one British retailer from selling the device. One reader in the UK told The Verge that he was able to purchase a 32GB Surface 2 model from his local Argos location. Following up, The Verge was also able to purchase its own unit at an Argos store.
Nokia World event set to introduce first phablet, tablet
Nokia has issued an unusual teaser for its forthcoming Nokia World event scheduled for October 22 in Abu Dhabi, UAE. Pictured appears to be to the previously leaked Nokia Lumia 2520 6-inch Windows Phone phablet and the similarly leaked Windows RT 8.1 tablet codenames known as the Sirius. Also pictured, intriguingly, is a notebook – it could be a literal representation of the ad copy, which reads ‘Watch the action on your screen of choice,’ or a reference to Nokia’s upcoming acquisition by Microsoft and an acknowledgement of the close integration of its devices and Microsoft’s Windows empire.
Microsoft Surface with smaller screen allegedly still being worked on
Microsoft is still working on a smaller version of its Surface tablet line, according to a new rumor. Specifications for the smaller Windows RT tablet are claimed to include a 7.5-inch display with a resolution of 1400x1050 and a 4:3 aspect ratio, something which matches details supplied in an earlier rumor from NPD DisplaySearch back in May.
Microsoft executive VP hints at Windows RT on more ARM devices
Microsoft may still be working on a way for Windows RT to still be useful, following its relative lack of success with the platform in the Surface RT. Executive vice president Terry Myerson, head of the operating system at Microsoft, hinted that Windows RT may find a useful place in phablets at some point in the future.
Nokia tablet to weigh 1.3 pounds, measure 0.35 inches thick
More details for Nokia's rumored 10.1-inch "Sirius" tablet have surfaced, including a much clearer image of the supposed device, as well as its clean design lines. The full-size Windows RT slate, still yet to be confirmed by Nokia itself, has already reportedly been shown in leaks, and is said to be heading for launch on September 26th in an event in New York.
Tablet pricing expected to match iPad
A fresh leak surrounding Nokia's rumored Windows RT tablet has surfaced, detailing launch plans and likely pricing. Unnamed sources have told The Verge the 10.1-inch tablet is being developed under the monicker "Sirius" and is scheduled to be revealed at a launch event in New York on September 26. The company is allegedly planning to mimic Apple's iPad pricing as the device first arrives on the market.
Windows RT 8.1, plus Snapdragon 800 will make a potent combination
Firm rumors have emerged over the past week that Nokia is close to unveiling its first tablet. If the rumored specifications are correct, the Nokia tablet will have plenty of power as it said to be running a Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 quad-core CPU clocked at 2.2GHz, which also features a fast Adreno 330 integrated GPU. It will also center on a 1080p 10.1-inch display, while leaked photos show what appears to be a very thin device. However, it will be running the as yet unloved Windows RT operating system, designed for ARM-based devices. Has Nokia completely lost the plot, or does the impending arrival of the updated Windows RT 8.1 hold hope for the troubled platform?
Nokia tablets leaks out with Verizon 4G LTE branding, thin design
Following yesterday's specification leaks, Nokia's Windows RT 8.1 tablet has made an appearance in photos on Chinese site Digiwo. The red colored tablet carries Nokia branding, the Windows RT logo, along with Verizon's network logo with support for its 4G LTE network also apparent. The design looks exceptionally thin from the side angle, although no information about its exact dimensions have been uncovered at this time.
Nokia tablet to feature Snapdragon 800, be powered by Windows RT 8.1
Nokia’s upcoming tablet has had more of its specifications leaked, suggesting a high-end device is inbound. Nokia has previously been awarded patents on a tablet design, one that made an appearance in March last year, and another, more contemporary design that appeared in April this year. A former Nokia product manager has previously told Electronista that the first design patent was originally for a tablet meant as a companion to the Nokia N9, also taking design cues from that device and running its ill-fated MeeGo operating system. A Tegra 3-powered prototype for a Nokia tablet has also previously been spotted running Microsoft's embattled Windows RT OS.
Firm suing has history of capitalizing on market failures
Microsoft is being sued over "materially false and misleading statements" about the Surface RT tablet's success, or lack thereof, in the marketplace. The lawsuit claims that Microsoft made intentionally fallacious statements in its financial results for the quarter ending March 31, with the failure of the tablet highlighted by the $900 million Surface RT tablet write-down in the last quarter's earnings report.
Taiwanese computer maker to drop struggling platform
Asus has told The Wall Street Journal that it will no longer make tablets to run Microsoft's Windows RT operating system. The announcement came on Friday, but it has been expected for some time, since Windows RT and the devices that run the operating system have been sorely underperforming since Microsoft rolled out the platform last October. In revealing the policy change, Asus CEO Jerry Shen said that the company had taken a writedown on its Windows RT tablets, though he did not say how large of a writedown.
Charge for Windows RT to offset unexpectedly low demand, idle inventory
Microsoft today announced quarterly revenue of $19.90 billion for the quarter that ended June 30. Operating income, net income, and earnings per share for the quarter were $6.07 billion, $4.97 billion, and $0.59 per share respectively. These financial results include a $900 million charge, or a $0.07 per share impact, related to Surface RT inventory adjustments as a result of unexpectedly poor sales. This was offset in part by $782 million of previously-deferred revenue related to the Microsoft Office upgrade offer from earlier in the year.
Microsoft facing uphill battle with Windows RT
The list of vendors opting out of Windows RT has added one more major manufacturer with news that Lenovo has dropped its IdeaPad Yoga 11. Windows RT has been plagued by a poor user reception with manufacturers either scrapping plans for Windows RT devices, slashing prices on models , or even cutting devices from their lineup altogether. Although Microsoft includes Office apps including Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and OneNote for free on Window RT devices, its inability to run legacy applications in desktop model, the conspicuous absence of Outlook and lack of Windows 8 ‘modern’ apps has dampened sales.
Nokia tablet said to have 1.3GHz Tegra 3, Windows RT
A tablet claimed to be Nokia's allegedly-shelved Windows RT device has been shown off in a set of recently-uploaded photographs. The images show the prototype slate, complete with Nokia branding on the rear and a 10.1-inch display, and suggests that Nokia has done a significant amount of work on the device before effectively ceasing its tablet efforts.
Sub ten-inch Windows 8 tablets to gain Office Home and Student 2013
Microsoft has confirmed it will be releasing a version of Outlook for Windows RT tablets later this year, during its Computex Keynote address. At the same time, Microsoft advised that the new wave of tablets with screens measuring under 10 inches will be shipping with Office Home and Student 2013 preinstalled.
7-inch model allegedly still in the works
HTC has reportedly cancelled plans to release a 12-inch Windows RT tablet, based on weak market demand for the operating system, according to people familiar with the matter. The steep cost of development of the device is also named as a reason for the cessation, apart from low Windows RT consumer demand.
Discounted Dell tablet likely due to low Windows RT hardware sales
Dell has lowered the price of its Windows RT tablet from $449 to $299. The drop in price of the XPS 10 slate, possibly due to the underwhelming sales of Windows RT-based tablets across the industry, is accompanied by discounted additions to the tablet, including the keyboard dock and doubling the internal storage.
Windows 8.1 public preview set for June 26th release
Microsoft has revealed more details for its upcoming Windows Blue update for Windows 8. Given the official title of Windows 8.1, the software pack will be made available as a free update to users of Windows 8 via the Windows Store, with a public preview of Windows 8.1 for Windows 8 and Windows RT also due next month.
Windows 8 passes 100 million licenses, Windows Blue due by holidays
Microsoft Chief Marketing Officer and Chief Financial Officer Tami Reller has revealed that Windows 8 licenses sold has now passed the 100 million mark, six months after its launch. This is said to include installations on new PCs and tablets, as well as upgrades to Windows 8. Reller didn’t reveal the breakdown of Windows 8 licenses, which includes Windows RT sales, but did say that there are now 2,400 devices certified to run its controversial new operating system.
Also lays out timetable for Mac, Windows, Windows RT Office releases
Promised iOS and Android versions of Office won't launch until the fall of 2014, according to a leaked roadmap obtained by CNet. The document describes a project called "Gemini," said to be Microsoft's plan to incorporate the Metro user interface into Office. The first "wave" in Gemini is expected to be an October 2013 update of the core apps -- Word, Excel, PowerPoint and OneNote -- that will run on mobile versions of Windows 8 and Windows RT. The software will allegedly supplement the desktop Windows suite, instead of replacing it.
Windows Phone service in Windows 8 requires Nokia Music+ subscription
Nokia has released its first Windows 8 and Windows RT app, one that originally launched on the manufacturer's Windows Phone line of devices. Nokia Music brings the same streaming radio subscription service as its phone-based counterpart, but in an app scaled up to work on a full-sized desktop computer screen, or Windows RT tablet.
Microsoft Outlook for Windows RT in development, may not see release
Microsoft is testing a native Outlook email client for Windows RT, reports CNET. Currently, Windows RT devices like Microsoft’s own Surface RT ship with a free version of Office that includes Word, PowerPoint, Excel and OneNote. However, Microsoft opted to launch the Surface RT without a functional email client in the desktop UI, reserving it for the Start screen UI only.
Does the Surface RT warrant your consideration
The Microsoft Surface with Windows RT has been on sale for around three months. Although it landed with considerable fanfare, recent estimates suggest that Microsoft may have only sold around 1 million since the device went on sale. When we reviewed the Surface RT we felt it has some quirks, but overall felt that it was effectively a new class of device with potential and awarded it four stars. Many potential buyers could be holding off for the imminent arrival the Surface with Windows 8 Pro, but the Surface RT still has the same strengths going for it.
NVIDIA TegraZone gives Windows RT a gaming boost
NVIDIA TegraZone has finally made its way to Windows RT, adding a gaming boost to Tegra 3 devices running Windows RT. The most prominent Tegra 3 powered Windows RT device to hit the market is the Microsoft Surface, with both NVIDIA and Microsoft hoping its arrival on the platform makes a splash. Games available through the TegraZone portal have been optimized to take full advantage of the Tegra 3’s graphics performance.
HTC working on 7-inch and 12-inch Win RT devices
HTC is prepping two new Windows RT tablets, reports Bloomberg. One is said to be a 7-inch tablet that may also be able to make phone calls, while the other will be a larger 12-inch model. The two ARM-based devices are expected to debut sometime in 2013, with an unveiling of prototypes a possibility for CES 2013.
Project delayed by Microsoft Surface release
Another rumor relating to previous potential Nokia device reports has surfaced, claiming the troubled phone maker will be unveiling a 10-inch tablet in early 2013. It is also suggested that Nokia stayed away from unveiling their own Windows RT-based tablet this year because of Microsoft's own efforts with its Surface.
Windows seen as too important not to use in RT name
A Dell executive urged Microsoft to not use Windows branding for its ARM-based operating system, according to reports. Jeffrey Clarke of Dell apparently told Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer that it should have been called something else other than Windows RT, but Ballmer deemed the Windows brand to be too important to not be used in the new devices.
Microsoft reported to have cut Surface RT orders in half
Upstream supply chain sources have revealed that Microsoft has reduced its orders for the Surface with Windows RT by half. If true, it dovetails with comments made by Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer who revealed that the Surface RT had achieved ‘modest’ sales’ on launch. Although there were signs of sell-outs on launch, it is possible that users are taking a ‘wait and see’ approach, particularly as the launch of the Surface with Windows Pro is looming.
MS makes good on promise to deliver Office 2013 RT free of charge
Microsoft has issued a 348MB update for its Surface with Windows RT. The update (KB2748583) takes Office for Home and Student 2013 RT Preview to the final release version. One of the key advantages of the Surface RT is that it ships with a version of Office preloaded on the device; the new update makes good on Microsoft’s promise to take users to the final release version at no cost.
Microsoft Surface RT gets performance boosting patch
Microsoft has issued the first system firmware update for the Surface with Windows RT. Although unspecified, the firmware update brings with it performance improvements that have been reported to speed up the launching of applications. The update also brings with it several security patches and other minor fixes.
Scratching beneath the Surface
The Microsoft Surface with Windows RT arrives a full two years after Apple reinvented the tablet market. Microsoft and its partners had struggled along valiantly with convertible notebooks that could work in a tablet mode, but they were just too heavy and impractical. Within the first several months of the iPad launching, it quickly outsold the sum total of all Windows tablet PCs ever sold, even though they had been on the market for years. So the question is, has Microsoft managed to bring something new to the table? Read our full review of the Surface RT to find out.
On-demand streams of keynotes, sessions available
Microsoft has now put all of the session videos online from Build 2012. The conference, which took place at the Microsoft campus, was attended by Windows developers that were looking to build apps for the recently-released Windows 8, Windows RT, and Windows Phone 8 operating systems.
Acer previously put off by Surface announcement
Acer has announced a delay in the launch of tablets running Microsoft's Windows RT operating system, giving the Taiwanese space to assess the impact of Microsoft's Surface RT tablet. Acer has previously expressed dissatisfaction with Microsoft's entering the hardware sector, and now the company will delay its Windows RT devices until at least the second quarter of 2013 to see how the new Microsoft tablet fares. Acer executives specifically cited Surface as a reason for the company's delay of what had been a "very aggressive plan" to roll out Windows RT devices.
Apple exec labels Surface tablet a ''confusing product''
During a conference call following Apple's fiscal Q4 financial disclosures, CEO Tim Cook did not hold back his thoughts regarding Microsoft's Surface tablet and PCs in general. Answering a question about the potential threat from competing products, the executive labeled the Surface tablet a "compromised, confusing product" and likened it to a car that might be able to fly and float, but would not be able to "do all of those things very well."
Tablet-based control for Windows 8, RT from 26th, iOS to come
Microsoft has confirmed that its Xbox SmartGlass app will launch at the same time as Windows 8. Built within the Games part of Windows 8 and Windows RT, the app will allow users to navigate through the console, as well as act like a second support screen for certain games and applications.