More than 30 Windows Mobile 6.5 handsets launching in Q4 2009

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According to Benjamin Tan, senior director, GCR Mobile Team Unit at Microsoft China , over 30 Windows Mobile 6.5 handsets are supposed to launch before the end of the year.

More than 30 smartphones running on Microsoft Windows Mobile 6.5 from a total of over 15 handset vendors are to be launched before the end of 2009, according to Benjamin Tan, senior director, GCR Mobile Team Unit at Microsoft China.

Tan revealed the numbers as he met a group of reporters in China recently.

Handset vendors which have expressed their support for Microsoft’s new mobile OS include HTC (High Tech Computer), Acer, Samsung Electronics, LG Electronics (LGE), Sony Ericsson, Toshiba, and Hewlett-Packard (HP), according to market sources in Taiwan.

There’s one thing you have to remember though. Nearly half of those handsets are already released and are just getting an upgrade to WM6.5 (HTC’s Diamond2, TouchPro2, Samsung Omnia Line etc..)

Source: Digitimes

Rumor: Microsoft in talks to buy EA

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This could be huge. Reuters is reporting rumors of an Eletronics Arts purchase buy Microsoft:

NEW YORK, Sept 23 (Reuters) – Shares of Electronic Arts Inc (ERTS.O) jumped more than 4 percent to $19.36 on Wednesday on unsubstantiated talk that Microsoft Corp (MSFT.O) might be interested in buying the video game publisher, traders said.
“There’s talk that Microsoft might be interested in acquiring Electronic Arts. It’s unsubstantiated chatter, but it’s out there,” said Frederic Ruffy, options strategist at WhatsTrading.com in New York.

A London-based trader also cited similar talk as making rounds in Europe. Microsoft shares were up 0.9 percent at $26 on Nasdaq

Update:

But Trip Chowdhry, an analyst at Global Equities Research, said Electronic Arts was not on Microsoft’s “radar screen” based on his industry contacts.

“Our contacts just don’t see Microsoft buying Electronic Arts, no synergies whatsoever, and also not Microsoft’s corporate primary focus right now,” Chowdhry wrote in an e-mailed note.

Source: Reuters

Layar augmented reality Android app goes 3D

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Layar is anouncing today that they are going to launch a new version of their Augmented Reality Android browser in November with full 3D support.

We are proud to announce today, on the 22nd of September, we will move our platform to a full 3D Augmented Reality experience. We consider AR to be an experience medium and 3D objects are the language of this new medium. A 3D grid with 3D objects, including sound, gives users true immersive experiences that change the perception of reality. We will enable the 500+ Layar developers with tools to create these rich experiences. We hope you will be able to create some exciting and creative new experiences with this capability.

Let’s hope that Layar gets ported to other platforms like Windows Mobile (the Samsung Omnia II and HTC HD2/Leo have digital compasses) and iPhone 3GS in the near futur.

Here’s a short video demonstrating the new feature:

Source Layar via Engadget

Windows CE 6 R3 is RTM, Silverlight on board

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Yesterday at the Embedded Systems Conference (ESC) in Boston, Microsoft announced that Windows CE 6 R3 (code name Cashmere) has finally hit RTM. Silverlight for Windows Embedded user interface (UI) framework is now part of this new release.

Silverlight for Windows Embedded is an out-of-browser, native code implementation of Microsoft Silverlight technology used to create rich, immersive UIs on Windows Embedded CE 6.0 R3-based devices. OEMs are now able to separate the design of the user experience on the device and the development of core functionality, which provides efficiency in the go-to-market process by helping to reduce application development time, allowing for simplified UI customization, and empowering designers and developers to focus on their core competencies.

As I talked about a couples weeks ago, Silverlight is an important part of Windows Mobile 7 so it’s nice to see that Redmond officialy launching SL for embeded devices. What’s not official yet, is which version of Windows CE is going to be the core of WM7. A leaked document hinted at Windows CE 7 but you can never be sure.

Source: Microsoft

Silvermoon Windows Mobile OpenGL ES Compact Framework UI makes Microsoft’s devteam look like amateurs

Here’s what Windows Mobile (and the much hated MSM7200 SOC) can do when coded right:

Here’s what Silvermoon is:

Project Description
.NET Compact Framework 2.0/3.5 Control library
that uses OpenGL for rendering.
This is the first beta release of Silvermoon, a collection of windows mobile compact framework 2.0 controls to build modern user interfaces with transitions, alphablending and other effects.
Silvermoon requires hardware support for open gl and expects the libGLES_CM.dll to be available. However, in the source code is a software rendering replacement available, but this is really not recommended, unless you want to deal with 0.3fps instead of 25fps!
The beta version works with a resolution of 192dpi, which is the standard for actual mobile phones. (192dpi are used with resolutions of 480×800, 480×640 or similar, while 96dpi is used for resolutions of 240×400).
However, it also works with 96dpi but it is not yet optimized and needs alternative images to fit for smaller resolutions.

Silvermoon was developed (and being in progess to be in development) on a Sony Ericsson X1 phone.

Startup

For more info and to download the files head over here

Source: Slivermoon/Codeplex via WMPoweruser

BlackBerry 9700 reviewed and loved

BlackBerry Tour vs BlackBerry 9700

BlackBerry Tour vs BlackBerry 9700


The BGR boys just slapped up a review of RIM’s upcoming BlackBerry 9700. I must say that I’m surprised to see how small it is compared to the Tour. It really looks small but also solid. Here’s what they say about the hardware:

The 9700 makes the Tour look like a bloated 8-month pregnant single mother. Shave about 24% of the surface area off the Tour, bevel the edges, round the corners, and you’ll have something close to the BlackBerry 9700. It’s the most gorgeous BlackBerry on the planet. And no, that’s not up for debate or discussion. Early units had the straight RIM color theme on the keyboards (white letters with red accents/symbols) but the unit we have which is most likely what AT&T will receive is all white. This looks great meshed with the titanium chrome finish on the bezel and the high gloss black finish on the front of the device.

RIM has another winner I guess. Can’t wait to see a review of the Storm2.

Source: BGR

Microsoft’s Courier Tablet details!

courier8 (Small)

What the…Gizmodo just posted a whole bunch of info (and video) of Microsoft’s internal Tablet prototype named Courier. It’s said to have dual folding 7inch capacitive touch-screens that can be operated by fingers or stylus for handwriting recognition and a 3mpx camera with flah on the back. It still remains to be seen if this device is ever going to hit retail but it looks mighty impressive so far. It looks like part of the UI uses Microsoft’s Research Inkseine. I wonder which OS is this device going to run. Is it a version of Windows CE 7? Windows Mobile 7? J. Allard Chief Experience Officer is working on it. The PMX division is also working on Pink and WM7

Here’s a little memory refresher: Microsoft Codex dual screen prototype Looks similar ? Yes, it even uses InkSeine as the main UI.

[flv:http://blip.tv/file/get/IMav-MicrosoftTabletPrototype258.flv 480 360]

codex-book-posture

500x_courier1_01 Source: Gizmodo