At Microsoft’s Build developer summit today, future subsidiary Nokia has unveiled its new Windows Phone flagship device, the Lumia 930. Serving as true successor to the Lumia 920 (because the 925, 928, 1020 and 1520 just don’t cut it) which debuted in September 2012, the 930 is effectively Verizon’s recent Lumia Icon for a global market, with the relatively uninspired design being improved tremendously by the addition of chromatic rears, including black, white, green and, finally, orange. Continue reading →
It’s been a busy week in consumer technology and the world in general but also for our podcast squadron, who didn’t really have a chance to meet up and talk tech. Chris and Xavier found half an hour on Sunday night, though, so here is a show where we sound totally unprepared and blast through the headlines like there’s no tomorrow. WARNING: The creepy voice of Chris lives on, dear listener.
- Sony Xperia Z1 – Huffington Post
- Sony lens cameras
- Xavier on Samsung’s stuff
- Xavier’s Apple event preview
- Nintendo 2DS
- Microsoft’s Nokia acquisition
- Ylvis – The Fox
You may think that it’s been a slow news week, but our triad of podcasters can always spin an hour-long show out of any news, no matter how small. From golden flip phones and iPhones to LG’s latest tablet, coined Samsung Homeboy, Xavier, Henry and Chris take you on an excruciatingly musical journey past Steve Ballmer‘s potential replacements Chandrasekar Rathakrishnany and John Legere, Xavier’s review of Nokia’s Lumia 720 and olinguitos that play video games. It’s a fun ride, so join us for the trip.
Listen to certain sections of the media and you would be led to believe that Windows 8 has been a massive failure for Microsoft, on the levels of Vista. However, the figures Microsoft have just released tell quite a different story.
It took 183 days for Windows 7 to reach the 100 million licenses mark. Windows 8 has just hit the same milestone. How long did it take? 192 days. That’s just 9 days long than its predecessor, so it is selling at a very similar rate. This shows that consumers are willing to take plunge with Microsoft’s latest operating system, despite there being bigger changes to it than there have been since the last century, and despite certain outlets around the web suggesting that there are many issues still with it and that consumers are responding badly to new style.
Yes, Windows 8 needs some work to bring it up to the standards we expect from Microsoft, but it is a step in the right direction, and hopefully with the now confirmed Blue update we will see a much smoother and more coherent feel to the OS with both the familiar desktop and the brand new start screen.
Microsoft has also released some more figures relating to Windows 8:
- There are now 700 million Microsoft accounts
- There are 400 million active Outlook.com accounts
- There are 250 million active SkyDrive users
- There have been 250 million Windows Store downloads
Following on from our triumphant trip to The Gadget Show Live last week, Xavier and Chris leave Henry in the dark ages for the fifth episode of our podcast. Sticking mostly to topic for the first time ever, we talk about everything from Facebook’s attempt to take control of Android with Home and the HTC First, Nokia’s Verizon-bound Lumia 928, our experiences in the review period of the Microsoft Surface RT, the complimentary content that comes with Sony’s new $699 4K media player and, the biggest news of the year, Sergey Brin’s bright pink Batman Tesla. We also branch out into culture talk with our favourite new media and Chris gets philosophical…somewhere.
Last June, a mysterious event invite came out of Microsoft’s Washington HQ. Unlike pretty much every other tech launch in the last two years, we hadn’t seen any major leaks beforehand, although rumours of the launch being for a tablet with Windows 8 (or, according to Mat Honan, a #MSFTaaaaaablet). What the company ultimately unveiled was the Surface, its first piece of Windows-based hardware, in both RT and Pro flavours, the latter of which still hasn’t made it to the UK. In a brave experiment, I have spent the last couple of months using the RT model as my primary computer, and it’s definitely been turning heads. Has this been for good reasons, though? Read on to find out. Continue reading →
When Windows Phone 8 was released way back in October last year, much was made of the relationship prospective Windows Phone 8 purchasers would have between their mobile and their PCs. Since then, nothing much to that side of things has materialised, but yesterday that all changed.
Galactic Reign was teased by Microsoft last October, but there was no mention of platforms, nor was there a release date, but yesterday the game quietly slipped into both the Windows 8 Store and the Windows Phone Store as an Xbox Live title. Microsoft used to always announce upcoming Windows Phone games well in advance, but they haven’t done so much of that recently, and it seems crazy that such a huge milestone for the OS was released with so little fanfare, but hey, at least it’s here now.
As you might have guessed from its name, the game is a sci-fi strategy number. You have to find the right balance between spaceships and weapons and hope your fleet is good enough to beat your opponents, and we won’t go into too much detail here, but there’s a single player mode with 60 challenges and a multiplayer side of things where you battle people online. There a bunch of Xbox achievements to aim for as well.
It’s great to finally see a game which bridges the Windows Phone 8/ Windows 8 divide. With the multiplayer game, you can play with different hardware to your opponent, i.e. it doesn’t matter whether you use a PC, Windows Phone or Surface. Galactic reign will cost $4.99 for Windows 8 or for Windows Phone 7 and 8. The best bit of all? You only need to purchase one version to have access to it on both platforms.
Source: Windows Phone Central
The Verge’s Tom Warren, a reliable writer with regard to Microsoft news, reported that Nokia will be releasing the first ‘true’ PureView Windows Phone handset late in 2013. The device, codenamed EOS, will feature a sensor closer to that which appeared on the Nokia 808 PureView which was released last year. As well as this, it is reported that the device will signal the start of a new design cycle for the Lumia range. The device will be made of aluminium and will have squared edges, contrasting with the rounded polycarbonate body found in the current Lumia range.
The device is believed to be in the pipeline for AT&T in the US, and is expected to be released alongside another device (codenamed Catwalk) which will also have an aluminium body. It is clear that Nokia is moving away from the polycarbonate which they have used in their previous Windows Phone handsets. This change means that they will be in a much better position to compete with phones such as the iPhone 5 when it comes to size and weight, something that they have been unable to do thus far with the Lumia range, however this is in no way Nokia’s first phone of aluminium construction. The Nokia N8, the precursor to the aforementioned 808 PureView, was constructed out of the lightweight metal and was indeed available in a number of colours. With MWC coming up in a few weeks, we can expect to see more information coming out of Finland with regard to these handsets and Nokia’s upcoming Windows RT tablet.
Source The Verge
The Surface Pro, the big brother to Microsoft’s Surface RT which was released in October last year, won’t go on sale in January as originally planned, but you will be able to have one in your hands by February 9th. On the bright side, Microsoft do seem to have admitted defeat with their Surface RT retail strategy, which was so bad that it was nominated for our biggest failure award – the Seattle-based company says that the Surface Pro will have wide retail availability beyond just Microsoft.com and Microsoft Stores.
We knew that Microsoft were targeting the high-end market with the Surface Pro, but even so the prices they’ve announced do seem extortionate. The minimum you’ll find yourself paying for one is $899, for the 64GB version with no covers included. The 128GB model will add $100 on to that price. The Surface RT 32GB tablet, the cheapest member of the Surface family you’ll find, would set you back $499, so there is obviously a significant difference between the RT and the Pro. Like with the its little brother, if you want to buy a keyboard cover for your Surface Pro it will cost $119 for the Touch Cover or $129 for the Type one. Microsoft will throw in a free pressure-sensitive pen in the box too.
On the same date as the Surface Pro is released, Microsoft have announced that a standalone 64GB will be made available for $599 – previously you could only buy it as a package with the black Touch Cover for $699.
It’s nice to finally get some genuine information on the Surface Pro, but we really feel that the large price tag will put a lot of potential consumers off buying one. Mind you, Microsoft do seem to be aiming here to make something which will completely replace your laptop or desktop PC, whereas previous tablets have only really been able to be used in conjunction with another device, to do all the ‘serious’ stuff on. The Surface Pro will certainly be an interesting one to watch, but personally we can’t see it taking off.