EA Mobile, a division of Electronic Arts, is raring to go on the Windows Phone 7 platform and has announced the first batch of EA games to ship on WP7 devices this fall. EA's titles will be Xbox LIVE enabled, allowing users to track and share scores with leaderboards, unlock Achievements, add to their Gamerscore, and communicate with other Xbox Live users across the Xbox 360, PC, and WP7.
"Our collaboration with Microsoft brings EA’s world-class catalog of global game franchises to Windows Phone 7, offering a unique set of gaming features perfectly suited to the deep, innovative experiences we value at EA," said Travis Boatman, vice president of Worldwide Studios for EA Mobile. "We see consumers deeply integrating devices into their lives and entertainment in new ways every day. Challenging your Xbox Live friends to an EA game from the phone in your pocket keeps you connected and having fun no matter where you are."
The first wave of games will include Need for Speed: Undercover, Tetris, The Sims 3, and Monopoly. EA won't be the only publisher to support gaming on the WP7 platform, however. According to Microsoft, EA will be joined by a handful of studios, including Micrsosoft Game Studios, Gameloft, Konami, Namco Bandai, PopCap, and THQ. Microsoft says you can expect new titles each week.
It seems like we've waited forever for Microsoft's Windows Phone 7 platform to launch, and now that it has, the big question is whether or not it can cut into the smartphone market and compete with the likes of Android and iOS. The answer? Probably not, according to some skeptical smartphone makers in Taiwan.
Those whose business it is to make and sell smartphones aren't expecting Windows Phone 7 to be a bust. After all, Microsoft has lined up an impressive collection of companies willing to support the platform, including AT&T, T-Mobile, Vodafone, Orange, O2, Telefonica, Dell, HTC, Samsung, and LG, to name a handful. But they just don't expect Windows Mobile to be a dominant force. Instead, Taiwan-based smartphone makers predict Windows Mobile will increase its market share from 5 percent in 2010 to 10 percent in 2011, and then level off.
One of the roadblocks, they say, is the high hardware requirements for WP7 devices, which will limit the platform to enthusiast smartphone models.
Do you agree with their assessment, or do you think Windows Phone 7 will finally get Microsoft's mobile business back on track?
Just like Apple's iPhone doubles as a glorified iPod touch, Microsoft's Windows Phone 7 devices include tight integration with Redmond's Zune platform. Every WP7 handset will come with Zune built directly into the Music+Video hub and will serve as the Windows-based PC sync client so users can transfer songs back and forth with ease.
In anticipated of the spate of WP7 devices coming out, Microsoft has begun rolling out an updated version of Zune, v4.7. New enhancements include:
First Connect: WP7 devices will auto update the Zune software upon first boot
HD Streaming Video
Photo Sync between WP7 handsets and PCs
Sync Media: lets users purchase music and videos through WP7 devices and sync content to their PC
Parental Controls & Rating on Videos
Get more info and the latest version of the Zune software here.
The big day has finally arrived. We're of course talking about the anticipated launch of Microsoft's Windows Phone 7 platform, which was joined by partners revealing no less than nine new devices on tap for this holiday shopping season.
"We have a beautiful lineup in this first wave of Windows Phone 7 handsets," said Steve Ballmer, CEO of Microsoft. "Microsoft and its partners are delivering a different kind of mobile phone and experience -- one that makes everyday tasks faster by getting more done in fewer steps and providing timely information in a 'glance and go' format."
Now the pressure is on Microsoft to carve out a sizable slice of the smartphone pie that Apple and Google have been feasting on. Should Windows Phone 7 go down as another Kin-like flop (and it shouldn't), it won't be from lack of third-party support. Consumers will have a variety of devices and form factors to choose from with Dell, LG, Samsung, and HTC all getting in the game.
Out of the gate in North America, Windows Phone 7 will be available through AT&T (HTC Surround, Samsung Focus, and LG Quantum) and T-Mobile (HTC HD7 and Dell Venue Pro).
It seems Microsoft has managed to inadvertently ruffle a few feathers over at Rovio Mobile, the company responsible for the popular Angry Birds game. Microsoft's sin was posting a website indicating the game was one of those destined for the Windows Phone 7 platform.
"We have NOT comitted to doing a Windows Phone 7 version. Microsoft put the Angry Birds icon on their site without our permission," Rovio Mobile announced in a Twitter post (where else?).
Microsoft chalked the incident up to a simple mistake, saying that the website wasn't supposed to go live and that the Angry Birds icon shouldn't have been included.
Despite repeated tweets on the subject, Rovio Mobile appears to have calmed down and hasn't ruled out the Windows Phone 7 platform entirely.
"We didn't get mad, just wanted to set the record straight. And we haven't said we wouldn't do WP7," Rovio Mobile said in response to a user question.
You'd normally expect two companies freshly locked in a legal battle to exchange barbs aplenty, but Microsoft and Motorola are only interested in trading friendly overtures at this stage. If you don't know already, MS recently sued Motorola for patent infringement related to the latter's Android phones.
This, however, did not deter Motorola co-Chief Executive Sanjay Jha from telling the Wall Street Journal that he was still open to collaboration between the two companies, even though he regretted the lawsuit.
Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer on Wednesday repaid the warmth in kind at a press conference organised by German industry association BitKOM. On being queried about the possibility of the two companies collaborating on phones running Windows Phone 7, Ballmer: “We are always exited to collaborate with anybody who wants to collaborate with us."
We've heard rumors, but now it's for real. Windows Phone 7 will be launching on October 11 with a big event in New York. Of note here, is that T-Mobile, not AT&T will be front and center at the launch. We've previously heard that AT&T would be a big name in Windows Phone 7 devices, but T-Mobile's participation seems to indicate they will have some top tier phones as well.
Windows Phone 7 is Microsoft's attempt to get back into the mobile game after years of faltering with Windows Mobile. WinPho7 will use the new Metro UI emphasizing its live home screen tiles. Microsoft is also aggressively pursuing developers to fill out the app catalog. The new OS may be missing some features of its competitors at launch, many are impressed with what's there in the beta builds.
The launch event will be happening at 3:30PM EST on the 11th, and will consist of showing off some new Windows Phone 7 devices. Excited?
Citing "people familiar with the launch plans," The Wall Street Journal reports Microsoft will officially unveil a handful of Windows Phone 7 devices on October 11, 2010, with AT&T offering them for up sale four weeks later (November 8, 2010).
AT&T will initially be the exclusive carrier of Microsoft's Windows Phone 7 series and will help Microsoft market the devices in return. At launch, AT&T will offer three handsets provided by Samsung, LG, and HTC.
It isn't a big shock that AT&T scored an exclusivity deal with Microsoft, giving that the Redmond outfit named the carrier its premier Windows Phone 7 partner in the U.S. back in February. But it's at least interesting considering AT&T also carries Apple's iPhone.
It's no secret that Hewlett-Packard plans to vindicate its decision to buy Palm by using the concomitant IP, especially webOS, to plot its success in a range of web-connected device segments, including tablets, smartphones and printers. It has now further reinforced its commitment to webOS by suggesting that it no longer has room for other OSes.
According to former Palm CEO Jon Rubinstein, who currently spearheads HP's gadgets business, the world's leading PC maker has scrapped plans of developing an Android tablet. Also, the company will not let Windows Phone 7 infiltrate its smartphone portfolio, despite the fact that the platform belongs to its key ally Microsoft.
Microsoft still isn't talking specific release dates for its Windows Phone 7, but plenty of others are. Citing "sources familiar with the software giant's plans," Neowin reports Microsoft will hold several launch events worldwide on October 21 to introduce Redmond's anticipated handset in the U.K., France, Germany, Italy, and Spain.
Great for Europe, but when will the Windows Phone 7 device land on U.S. shores? According to Windows-centric blogger Paul Thurrott, expect a U.S. launch a couple of weeks later on November 8, or so he's "been told by a very reliable source."
Previous reports suggested that Microsoft was getting ready to launch its handset during a press event on October 11, but now it appears it will be largely unrelated to the Windows Phone, Thurrott says.