Today at its Windows Phone Summit, Microsoft showed off its vision for the future of its mobile platform with a glimpse of IE 10, a shared core with Windows 8, NFC technologies, and more. Check here for everything you need to know on the new OS that's set to ship "this holiday."
Nov 12, 2012
Microsoft releases Skype Preview for Windows Phone 8Read Article >
It's not out for everyone yet and we're currently unable to find it in the Windows Store by searching (update: it's now available via search), but WPCentral says you should be able to download it by following this link for now. For more on the app's features and improvements, watch the video below.
Nov 9, 2012
Windows Phone 8 launches in the US with AT&T's HTC Windows Phone 8X, Nokia Lumia 920Read Article >
Today marks the arrival of Windows Phone 8 in the United States with AT&T's launch of the HTC Windows Phone 8X and Nokia's Lumia 920 and Lumia 820. The Lumia 920 is available in red, black, yellow, white, and cyan, and can be picked up for $99.99 with a two-year commitment or $449.99 off-contract. Those looking to get a HTC Windows Phone 8X in California Blue can do so for $199.99 on-contract for the 16GB version and $99.99 for 8GB — the latter of which is available in Limelight Yellow as well. For the more frugal shoppers, Nokia's Lumia 820 can also be picked up for just $49.99 with commitment or $399.99 without. If you're still on the fence about which device is the right one for you, make sure to check out our reviews of the Lumia 920 and Windows Phone 8X and see how they stack up against the latest from Apple and Android.
Nov 8, 2012
Verizon taking pre-orders for HTC 8X and Nokia Lumia 822, shipping November 13th (update)
Verizon Wireless will start accepting pre-orders for the HTC Windows Phone 8X and Nokia Lumia 822 tomorrow, November 9th at 1AM ET. Unfortunately the carrier isn't revealing specific release dates for either handset, maintaining the vague "by Thanksgiving" timeframe Steve Ballmer shared during Microsoft's Windows Phone 8 presser. As expected, the 16GB 8X will retail for $199 — it seems Verizon has no intention of carrying the 8GB model (which AT&T will offer for $99) in its lineup. Blue, red, and black are your color choices, with the latter two exclusive to Big Red. Meanwhile Nokia's Lumia 822 will come in at $99 on-contract and after mail-in rebate, available in black, white, and gray.Read Article >
Success on America's largest wireless network is absolutely critical if Microsoft hopes to make Windows Phone a viable third platform for smartphone shoppers. Thankfully Verizon seems keen on helping the company accomplish that feat, having said previously that it's important for a "third ecosystem" to exist and prevent iOS and Android from enjoying a duopoly in the market.
Nov 6, 2012
Lumia 920 and 820 priced on AT&T, pre-orders begin 7th November
AT&T has unveiled its final pricing and launch dates for its range of Windows Phone 8 devices. Nokia's Lumia 920 will be made available on AT&T for $99.99 on November 9th, with pre-orders starting on November 7th. Nokia's Lumia 820 will also launch on AT&T on November 9th for $49.99, with pre-orders on November 7th.Read Article >
AT&T also confirmed its HTC Windows Phone 8X pricing. The handset will launch at $199.99 for a 16GB version and $99.99 for an 8GB version, both will be available before thanksgiving. AT&T will stock exclusive Limelight Yellow and California Blue color variants of the 8X with 8GB of storage for $99.99. AT&T informs us that it will also include a free wireless charging plate with each purchase of Lumia 920, for a limited time.
Nov 2, 2012
Microsoft currently testing its own smartphone, says WSJRead Article >
Microsoft surprised the world earlier this year when it moved into producing its own computer hardware with the Surface, but the company's plans may not stop there. According to the Wall Street Journal's sources, Microsoft is currently testing a smartphone with Asian suppliers, although it's unclear whether or not the device will enter mass production. The phone reportedly has a screen size somewhere between four and five inches.
Nov 1, 2012
Microsoft admits it 'ran out of time' on Windows Phone 8 notification center
One of the interesting omissions from Microsoft's recently launched Windows Phone 8 operating system is the lack of a notification center. Android and iOS both include a system to collect the various alerts triggered by applications, but Microsoft is lacking that crucial element. During a session on notifications at Build today, Microsoft's Thomas Fennel strongly hinted that the company is considering a notification center for Windows Phone.Read Article >
"Because we ran out of time," admitted Fennel, after being questioned on the lack of notification center by an audience member. "It's very very important to me… we get tons of feedback from developers that they want something like that as well. I promise we're thinking very very hard on that one." The lack of notification center is evident when a notification is triggered and disappears, especially when a Live Tile is not enabled for that particular app. Other Microsoft representatives that The Verge has talked to at Build this week have pointed towards Live Tiles as a way to display notifications, but it's clear that Microsoft is considering a system to aggregate toast notifications for a quick overview.
Nov 1, 2012
Microsoft launches new Windows Phone 8 syncing app for Mac
Hot on the heels of the new Windows Phone companion app for Windows 8 and RT, Microsoft has overhauled its syncing app for Mac users. Version 3.0 has been renamed simply to "Windows Phone" with a new icon that reflects the Windows Phone 8 Start screen; unsurprisingly the headline feature is compatibility with Microsoft's latest mobile OS.Read Article >
The interface also now allows for drag-and-drop file transfer between your phone and the desktop, there's updated iPhoto and Aperture support, and the app has been enhanced for Macs with Retina displays. Windows Phone 8 users, meanwhile, will be able to see their battery charge state and have extra ringtone capabilities. The new Windows Phone app is available now in the Mac App Store.
Oct 30, 2012
Verizon's HTC 8X will include wireless charging support
Verizon may have missed out on Nokia's Lumia 920 handset to AT&T, but the carrier will offer wireless charging in HTC's Windows Phone 8X this fall. Sources with knowledge of Verizon's Windows Phone plans have revealed that the carrier will offer the support as a variant that will likely be exclusive in the US. We're told that the Verizon 8X will not be any thicker due to the wireless charging addition, and that it will be built straight into the handset.Read Article >
We understand that Verizon will announce the 8X wireless charging support in the very near future with two year contract plans. Verizon has previously committed to carrying the 8X and Nokia's Lumia 822. The carrier will also stock a Samsung Ativ Odyssey in December.
Oct 30, 2012
Gameloft bringing 12 Xbox-enabled titles to Windows Phone 8 including 'Modern Combat 4'
Gameloft, one of the biggest mobile game publishers for iOS and Android, has announced 12 titles for Windows Phone 8. The games are mostly available on other platforms already, but notably include Modern Combat 4: Zero Hour — the latest in Gameloft's series of Call of Duty-a-like first-person shooters, and likely its highest-profile title for the year. No details on price or release date were made available, however.Read Article >
The full list of titles is below:
Oct 29, 2012
Samsung Ativ S hands-on photos and video
Samsung's Ativ S may have been the first officially announced Windows Phone 8 device, but the company has remained tight-lipped about its latest handset since its debut back in August. With a 4.8-inch HD Super AMOLED display and a 1.5GHz dual-core processor, it's not lacking the specs necessary for Microsoft's new mobile operating system.Read Article >
We got a chance to take a closer look at the Ativ S during Microsoft's Windows Phone 8 event in San Francisco today. It's super light weight, but the plastic feel is noticeable. The large screen certainly makes Windows Phone's Live Tiles pop.
Oct 29, 2012
Windows Phone 8 review
“This is Windows Phone. No, for real this time.” That’s what I thought when I started hearing about Windows Phone 8 a few months ago. Just like Windows Phone 7, it represents yet another clean break for Microsoft’s mobile ambitions — but unlike 7, now it’s got the hardware to match.Read Article >
The truth is a little more complicated: this clean break isn’t as nearly as obvious as Windows Phone 7’s split from Windows Mobile was back in 2010. A quick glance at Windows Phone 8’s home screen, its apps, and its overall aesthetic lead you to believe that it’s only a mild evolution of Windows Phone 7.5 — and in many ways, that’s true. Much of Redmond’s grunt work instead went into overhauling what’s under the hood: these latest-generation phones now use what Microsoft calls the “NT kernel,” the same kernel that underpins Windows 8 and several generations of Windows for the desktop that came before it.
First Windows Phone 8 devices launching in Europe this weekend, HTC 8X and others arriving in US next month
Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer has just confirmed that the first round of Windows Phone 8 devices, including the Nokia Lumia 920 and Samsung Ativ S, will be available this weekend in Europe and will continue to rollout throughout the world in November. Of the company's domestic carrier partners, Verizon will be offering the HTC 8X for $199 and the Nokia Lumia 822 for $99 with a two-year service contract, with release planned by Thanksgiving. T-Mobile, on the other hand, will be offering the HTC 8X for $149 and the Lumia 810 for $99 on November 14th, while AT&T will be carrying the Nokia Lumia 820 and 920, as well as the HTC 8X sometime later next month.Read Article >
In addition to the first launch details for Windows Phone 8, Microsoft detailed new software features and apps, such as its new Data Sense utility. Microsoft also announced that Pandora would arrive on the platform sometime early next year, and that new and updated versions of Facebook, Twitter, and Skype were in the works.
Microsoft confirms Pandora for Windows Phone 8, giving users a year of ad-free serviceRead Article >
Along with new and updated Twitter, Facebook, and Skype apps, Microsoft announced that popular music streaming service Pandora would be available on Windows Phone 8. While the app will not be available at launch, Microsoft says it is expected to release in early 2013. When it finally hits the now 120,000 app-strong Windows Phone Store, however, Microsoft will be offering Windows Phone 8 users a complimentary one-year subscription of ad-free music.
Oct 29, 2012
Microsoft releases Windows Phone 8 syncing app for Windows 8 and RT
With less than 24 hours to go until Microsoft takes the covers off Windows Phone 8 once and for all, the company has released a companion app in the Windows Store that'll work in tandem with the new devices. The Windows Phone app works on both Windows 8 and RT devices like the recently-released Surface and replaces much of the functionality found in the Zune desktop client; it'll let you copy music, photos, and other media to and from each device, among other features.Read Article >
Details of the Windows Phone companion app were leaked to The Verge nearly two months ago. At that time, we heard that the app would automatically install to your computer upon connecting a Windows Phone 8 device, but we're unable to check this without having one of the new phones in hand. However, we can confirm that it doesn't work with handsets running Windows Phone 7. You won't be able to do very much with the app right now, then, but you can check it out anyway by downloading from the Windows Store.
Oct 26, 2012
Microsoft executive blames cybercrime for delayed mobile strategy
With over 100 million iPads sold, the one thing everyone can agree on about Surface is that Microsoft has a lot of ground to make up in the tablet and mobile market. That's not entirely the company's fault, however, argues one executive in an interview with the Spiegel. According to Craig Mundie, Microsoft's chief research and strategy officer, the company's huge volume in desktop computing made it "basically the only target" for hackers and cybercriminals, and the time spent fighting these off delayed an entry into the mobile space.Read Article >
While Mundie is correct to point out the success of Windows Mobile before the rise of the iPhone and Android, Microsoft's early touch-enabled versions of Windows never took off with consumers, and the company launched its Zune music player some five years after the first iPod.
Oct 21, 2012
Best Buy prices AT&T Lumia 920 at $149 and HTC 8X at $99, both available to pre-order (update)
Best Buy has started to accept pre-orders on Nokia's Lumia 920 and HTC's Windows Phone 8X today. We revealed earlier this month that the US retailer would start accepting pre-orders today, but the company has also unveiled pricing for both handsets. Nokia's Lumia 920 is priced at $149.99, with what appears to be an 8GB version of HTC's Windows Phone 8X set at $99.99.Read Article >
Both handsets are available to pre-order immediately for AT&T, with no sign of a Verizon offering. Best Buy doesn't reveal when each handset will be made available, simply saying "will ship when available." Microsoft is due to hold a special Windows Phone 8 press event on October 29th, where the software maker will unveil the final parts to its new operating system and expected launch dates.
Oct 9, 2012
Nokia 'Atlas' leaked, appears to be a Lumia 820 variant for Verizon
Verizon appears to be readying a Windows Phone 8 announcement of its own. A leaked image from the Evleaks Twitter account shows off a Nokia Lumia phone for Verizon, described as the "Atlas." The image appears to match a leaked 4.3-inch display from earlier this year, with curved corners and a space for a front-facing camera and earpiece. We understand that Verizon is preparing to carry a Lumia 820 variant codenamed Atlas, and that an announcement could be made within days.Read Article >
T-Mobile recently announced its own Lumia 820 variant, the Lumia 810, which will be available in the coming weeks. According to our own sources, Verizon's Lumia 820 variant will arrive in November alongside the Windows Phone 8X. Previously leaked Verizon information revealed a Lumia 822 device which may provide a hint at the naming of Nokia's Atlas phone for Verizon.
Oct 8, 2012
Windows Phone 8 pre-orders to begin on October 21st
Microsoft's first Windows Phone 8 devices will be available for pre-order in the US on October 21st. Sources familiar with AT&T and Microsoft's plans have revealed to The Verge that the carrier will start taking pre-orders for its range of Windows Phone 8 handsets on October 21st — including the HTC 8X and Nokia's Lumia 920.Read Article >
Pre-orders for Samsung's Ativ Smart PC and the Asus Vivo Tab RT will also commence on October 21st in preparation for a launch on October 26th. We understand that the Windows Phone 8 devices will be made available in early November, following the pre-orders on October 21st. A Microsoft spokesperson refused to comment on the pre-order date directly, stating that "Windows Phone 8 phones will be available to customers later this year."
Oct 4, 2012
Windows Phone 8 launch event to be held in San Francisco on October 29th
Update: Be sure to follow along with our liveblog of the event, starting at 10AM PT / 1PM ET!Read Article >
Microsoft has started sending invites to members of the press for a Windows Phone 8 event in San Francisco on October 29th. The event was previously rumored, but Microsoft is making it official now by promising some additional details for Windows Phone 8 on the day. We already know HTC and Nokia both plan to introduce Windows Phone 8 devices in early November, but Microsoft's event appears to be the official unveiling for availability and could mark the beginning of pre-orders for handsets in the US. We'll be live from Microsoft's Windows Phone 8 launch event to bring you the very latest on the software secrecy and any additional hardware announcements.
Oct 1, 2012
Windows Phone 8: what's the big secret?
Even though Windows Phone 8 is lined up for a launch event at the end of this month, many members of Microsoft’s developer community still don't have access to vital tools needed to bring their apps up to speed with the latest features and capabilities. A Software Development Kit (SDK) for the new platform has been released to a limited number of developers under a non-disclosure agreement, but the software giant is taking a secretive approach to Windows Phone 8 in general. What's the big secret?Read Article >
Microsoft first started its Windows Phone 8 public disclosures at a special Windows Phone Summit back in June, but a leaked video starring Joe Belfiore detailed a number of features in the OS beforehand. The video revealed a Data Smart (now Data Sense) option for tracking data usage, Skype integration, and the plans to scrap Zune in favor of a companion app for Windows Phone 8. Microsoft confirmed some of the leaked details, but revealed to The Verge that it was taking a secretive approach. "Our hope is that we'll be able to keep some of the stuff secret until closer to launch," said Microsoft's Greg Sullivan at the time. "We are not talking about any other UI changes... the rest you’ll be hearing about later."
Sep 19, 2012
HTC, Nokia, and the Live Tiles that bind
HTC made a bit of a splash today when it and Microsoft announced the new Windows Phone 8X and Windows Phone 8S smartphones. The 8X and 8S represent a new focus on Windows Phone for HTC — at least for today — and rekindle the relationship Microsoft and HTC have had for the better part of 15 years.Read Article >
In fact, Microsoft's influence on these new devices is so strong, it literally named them for HTC. Putting "Windows Phone" right in the name of the smartphones sends a clear message to consumers: if you want a Microsoft smartphone, this is where you go. Microsoft has committed to a heavy promotion of HTC's new devices, and it's even gone so far as to call them the "Signature of the Windows Phone 8 brand."
Nokia slams HTC's Windows Phone 8 announcement, calls it a 'tactical re-branding'
HTC has just unveiled two new Windows Phone 8 devices today (the 8X and 8S), making them the signature phones for Microsoft. We asked Nokia about today's announcements and the company's head of marketing, Chris Weber, has responded to HTC's move by claiming the announcement is "good news for the Windows Phone ecosystem." However, Weber says that "while others may choose to tactically re-brand their products," Nokia is building its Lumia franchise exclusively around Windows Phone.Read Article >
Nokia isn't mincing its words, but it's clear the company remains committed to Windows Phone 8 with its Lumia 920 and 820 devices expected to arrive in early November. We have reproduced Weber's statement in full below.
HTC rekindles its old Microsoft romance and bets on Windows Phone 8
High Tech Computer (HTC) has grown up with Microsoft, from the old HTC-built iPAQ's running on Microsoft's Pocket PC operating system, to the Orange SPV — Microsoft's first Windows smartphone. The Taiwanese company has always been a loyal aid to the software giant, but lately that close relationship has started to feel a little dated. HTC's investment in Android and its Sense user interface has taken precedent over its initial work with Windows Mobile, and the company's Windows Phone flagships have been impressive, but overshadowed by Nokia's colorful Lumia range and partnership with Microsoft. That all appears to be changing though.Read Article >
The result is two Windows Phone 8 smartphones — the 8X and 8S — that are designed to mimic the Live Tiles of the Windows Phone 8 operating system, with the 8X the flagship design. "We started with a clean sheet of paper and the designers actually took inspiration from the Start screen and actually Live Tiles," says Wheeler. "So they thought about a Live Tile and how that would look if it was actually…something you hold." The 8X doesn't look like a Live Tile per se, but it's clear from holding the device that HTC is serious about Windows Phone 8. With a 4.3-inch super LCD 2 display, Beats Audio, and a front facing camera that will capture 1080p video — HTC has created a beautiful and lightweight Windows Phone 8 device that will rival Nokia's own Lumia devices.
Windows Phone 8S by HTC announced with 4-inch display for November release
Like the 8X, HTC has opted to include Beats Audio on its Windows Phone 8S — however, the 8S does not include additional amplifiers to take advantage of the Beats integration. HTC has a Beats Audio application installed on the 8S which provides notifications after headphones are plugged in, with the option to switch the Beats settings on.Read Article >
Windows Phone 8X by HTC has a 4.3-inch display and Beats, launches early November
HTC is unveiling its flagship Windows Phone 8 handset today, the Windows Phone 8X. The branding might sound Microsoft-like, but there's a good reason for that — the two companies have joined forces on a marketing campaign that will make HTC the face of Windows Phone 8. HTC's 8X device is a fresh approach to a Windows Phone device from the company, one that was designed from scratch according to HTC's Graham Wheeler. "The designers actually took inspiration from the Start Screen and actually a live tile, they thought about a live tile and how that would look if that was actually a physical something you hold."Read Article >
The 8X will ship in a choice of four colors in early November, ones that represent the bold colors of Windows Phone 8. California Blue, Graphite Black, Flame Red and Limelight Yellow will all be available — with accent colors in the Windows Phone 8 interface to match the hardware color. European operators will only stock blue, black, and yellow versions — and while HTC refused to reveal which operators will stock each color, it insisted that it is not restricting colors to certain carriers at this time. The 8X takes advantage of a 4.3-inch 720p HD super LCD 2 display with a 1.5GHz dual-core processor, 1GB of RAM, 16GB of storage, and NFC support.