I do not know if this is sensationalist, but that is exactly what Microsoft is reported to have claimed about the ChevronWP7 jailbreak/unlocker application that we wrote about yesterday. To tell you about the application, it is a Windows-based application that can enable users to sideload non-Marketplace apps on to their WP7 phones thereby bypassing the App Hub.
According to a statement from Microsoft, the unlocking could “void the warranty, disable phone functionality, interrupt access to Windows Phone 7 services or render the phone permanently unusable. We anticipated that people would attempt to unlock the phones and explore the underlying operating system. We encourage people to use their Windows Phone as supplied by the manufacturer to ensure the best possible user experience”
However, the developers of the WP7 jailbreak app have claimed that these allegations are false and that ChevronWP7 makes use of the same procedure that is used by the official phone registration tool.
We really do not know who to believe, so we leave that part of interpretation to you.
The Windows Phone marketplace may not really be as fussy a place as the iPhone App Store when it comes to accepting new applications. But again, not all the apps you may need are on the app marketplace yet. If you are looking for more freedom in this aspect, it is now possible to jailbreak your Windows Phone 7 handset with one simple application.
Called ChevronWP7 unlocker, this is a software that you should install on a Windows computer running XP SP2 and above. All it takes is for you to connect your WP7 phone to the computer and a couple of clicks on the application. Doing this will let you access any of the several experimental apps that may not be available on the App marketplace because they use private or native APIs.
Go ahead and check out the software and instructions in the ChevronWP7 website.
Media Create, a Japanese video game research firm has published a new report that shows that the new motion controller from Microsoft may not have had the best of starts in the oriental market. According to figures released by the firm, Microsoft sold 26,000 units of Kinect during the opening weekend of November 20 & 21. This number includes stand alone units as well as those bundled with an XBox.
The figure looks all the more sober when you consider that this is just half of the number of Sony PlayStation Move units sold during the debut weekend in October this year. However, a deeper look reveals why. PlayStation Move is available at a price of 5100 Yen (approx. $60.89) a unit. On the other hand, Kinect is being sold at a price of 14,800 Yen (approx. $176.70). Kinect is nearly triple the price of Move and this could be the primary reason why Microsoft has failed to attract the crowds. This has also consequently meant that none of the Kinect games have risen to the top 20 rankings in the past week.
We wonder if Microsoft would wisen up and announce a price drop soon.
Microsoft and AT&T have teamed up to announce a nice deal for the holiday shopping season in the United States. Starting today, customers can walk into any of the AT&T stores and order one of the Windows Phone 7 handsets to get one another phone for free. The phones that are available in this deal include LG Quantum, HTC Surround and Samsung Focus. This is for a limited time and it is not clear when this offer will end. So get one quick.
That’s not all. AT&T is also independently offering a free entertainment pack to new WP7 customers. The entertainment pack will include ilomilo, a new 3D puzzle app, unlimited music streaming with Zune Pass for 30 days (including 10 free downloads) and a free video service to watch and download TV shows for 30 days. The total value of this offer is $29.97 so that is quite a lot.
Microsoft is without doubt the leader when it comes to enterprise productivity tools with Microsoft Office being the most popular application suite. Quite logically, Microsoft has tried to transform this success into their edge in their recent smartphone foray with Windows Phone 7.
As you may already know, the latest 2010 version of Microsoft Office lets users broadcast Powerpoint presentations. The presenter may set up their computer as the host and choose to broadcast their presentations. This will create a temporary session on the Microsoft server that is then available to be viewed on a shareable link on other computers in remote locations.
Apparently, this link is also viewable on Windows Phone 7 handsets with no set up required. Users clicking on the broadcast link are seamlessly taken to the Powerpoint show being broadcast – a great way to attend conference calls and meetings while you are away from the computer.
This is a slightly extrapolated speculation. A new job posting on the Microsoft website has called upon applications for a position that will be “responsible for delivering features for Silverlight on the XBOX as part of the next wave“. Microsoft has since then removed all references to the console. But the posting itself has caused quite a bit of speculation about what the “next wave” could mean here.
It is definitely not just another buzz term used to lure potential employees. One speculation is that Silverlight could be the platform Microsoft could be banking upon to let developers build one app that can be used across platforms – on XBox 360 as well as Windows Phone 7. Another speculation is that Microsoft may be hiring developers who will build more applications for the XBox dashboard.
While we do have XBox integrated with services like Facebook, Twitter, ESPN and Netflix,there are still no apps for browsing the internet and watching YouTube. Do we have an Internet Explorer app and YouTube app coming soon?
Windows Phone 7 devices have got some encouraging reviews since their release in the United States a few weeks back. However, none of the WP7 handsets are available on CDMA networks yet. That could change soon if a recently posted tweet from the official Windows Phone 7 Twitter account is anything to go by. In a response to a user who asked for WP7 to “get on some CDMA networks already“, the Microsoft representative wrote,
“WP7 devices will be rolling into Verizon stores this holiday season and more will arrive in early 2011”
The representative has quite clearly jumped the gun since the tweet has been pulled since then. But this revelation should be quite a consolation for folks on Verizon networks who are eagerly looking forward to laying their hands on a Windows Phone 7 handset.
The Microsoft Kin One and Two phones were expected to make waves among the teenagers. But the phones disappeared without a ripple and according to some analysts, the sale numbers hardly crossed four digits. The ridiculous data pricing was blamed by many as the reason why these phones never took off among the target group.
But these phones are back with an extra ‘m‘. The new Kin ONEm and TWOm are basically the same as the earlier models except that they come with more reasonable pricing plans. Kin ONEm will cost you $19.99 while Kin TWOm will be priced at $49.99. As you read in the title, Kin TWOm buyers also win a free LG Ally handset with that purchase. Speaking about the monthly plans, voice begins at $39.99 per month while data starts at $9.99 (with 25MB data cap). And yes, there is also an activation fee of $35.
While this is still not too cheap, at least Verizon should be able to sell a bit more than they did last time. At least, that’s the hope.
Microsoft Kinect has been a terrific success in the American market so far with more than 1 million units being sold in the ten days since launch. However, not many hardcore gamers have taken to the new controller given that a majority of Kinect-supported games at the moment are casual. However, we hear that this could soon change with the launch of a new Kinect supported version of Gears of War.
According to these rumors, Microsoft is looking at the upcoming Spike TV Video Games Awards to make an announcement on this new game. However, it is not clear if this is going to be an all-new version of the game or if the existing version of Gears of War shall be retro-fitted with these Kinect controls. But if the words of Epic Games’ lead designer Cliff Bleszinski are anything to go by, it may just be the latter. He has noted that the Kinect supported version is not going to be Gears of War 3. So there you go.
Microsoft has announced the launch of a new social gaming portal called the Microsoft Game Hub that primarily integrates three of the company’s offerings – Bing Games, MSN Games and Windows Live Messenger. The company had to rebuild the MSN Games section while updating the Live Messenger to integrate the offering. Bing Games has been extended to more countries namely, UK, Australia, New Zealand and Canada.
The new Microsoft Game Hub will let users search and play any of the games from these older portals while connecting with their friends over the Live Messenger. This is basically casual gaming gone social. Explaining the move, Michael Wolf, the senior marketing manager for XBox Product Marketing said,
“With today’s announcements, we’ve made it easier to find and play the games you love while connecting to the people who matter most to you. We’re driving that experience across multiple platforms so millions of players can share their experiences with their social circles.”
As the company has put it on the media statement, Solitaire does not have to be solitary any more!