Talks reportedly initiated by Minecraft creator Markus Persson
Microsoft’s rumored acquisition of Sweden-based Minecraft developer Mojang could be worth as much as $2.5 billion, according to a Reuters report published Friday. This is considerably higher than the $2 billion figure reported by the Wall Street Journal, which was the first news outlet to claim that such a deal was in the works when it published a report, citing “a person with knowledge of the matter,” on Tuesday.
HTC One M8 for Windows will land at T-Mobile this fall
It came as a bit of a surprise when Microsoft and HTC announced a cloned version of the One M8 handset running Windows Phone 8.1 software. After all, it's HTC's flagship Android smartphone, and by porting it over to Windows Phone 8.1, HTC claims it marks the first time that an iconic flagship device has been offered on multiple operating systems. But what about multiple carriers? Well, you can add T-Mobile to the list of wireless carriers getting the One M8 for Windows.
Sometimes the Windows Phone platform gets forgotten or otherwise overlooked by developers. Such has been the case with Spotify, which has been serving up free tunes to Android and iOS users for some time now, but hadn't extended the same courtesy to Windows Phone. Well, that changes today -- Spotify has finally brought the free mobile music experience to Windows Phone users around the globe.
You can run Microsoft Office on multiple platforms, and the same goes for some of the other products and services the Redmond outfit offers, such as OneDrive and Skype. With that kind of attention being paid to cross-compatibility, might we expect Microsoft to release its Internet Explorer browser on other OSes as well? Not in the near future. As it stands, Microsoft isn't planning to port IE over to Android or iOS in the mobile space.
In case you haven't been paying attention, the Windows Phone Store is growing and expanding into a legitimate contender right before our very eyes. By Microsoft's count, the Windows Phone Store now boasts over 300,000 apps and games, with over 2 billion app downloads to date. Sure, that's only a fraction of the available apps on Android and iOS, but it's a big fraction.
Little by little, the Windows Phone platform is being fleshed out with a bigger and wider variety of apps. For you photography fans, Adobe Photoshop Express is now available for Windows Phone 8 and Windows Phone 8.1 devices as a free download. For casual edits, this means you no longer have to export your photos to your PC for Photoshop-style touchups and the like -- just use your Lumia device instead.
iPhone thefts are down as a result of kill switch technology in iOS 7
One of the debates in the mobile phone industry is whether or not so-called kill switches can actually reduce smartphone theft. Well, early indications suggest that they do. Authorities in New York and San Francisco -- two locations where smartphone theft is a growing epidemic -- say they've seen a drop in iPhone robberies since Apple implemented its Activation Lock feature in iOS 7.
How a Windows Phone saved a police officer's ass (literally)
Hollywood's already envisioned various objects saving a potential victim's hide by absorbing a bullet, but apparently it doesn't only happen in the movies. Reading like an action movie script, an overseas report tells the story of an off duty police officer in Brazil who was fired upon by two men attempting to rob his parents' house. The officer turned around in time for the bullet to deflect off his Nokia Lumia 520 handset in his back pocket.
Microsoft is giving away a limited number of Windows Phones this weekend
Statistically speaking, if you own a smartphone, there's a high probability that it's running Android or iOS. Microsoft is taking steps to change that, and if you're intrigued by what the company is doing with its Windows Phone platform, you may want to stop by a Microsoft Store this weekend, provided it's not too far out of your way. Those who do will have a chance to win a free Windows Phone.
Child protection laws prevent Cortana from interacting with kids under 13 years old
Here's something interesting -- if you're planning to purchase a Windows Phone device for your child who's not yet 13-years-old, be aware that the Cortana voice assistant software will give him or her the silent treatment. The revelation came in a Microsoft forum post in which a father asked why Cortana was telling his daughter she needs to be older to use that feature.