Updated Microsoft Advertising SDK for Windows Phone 7 released

Microsoft has just released an updated version of the Microsoft Advertising SDK for Windows Phone 7. Unfortunately PubCenter is still only available to US residents. Contrary to what I thought earlier this month it is not yet open to developers worldwide but only to advertiser which can now sell ads via Adcenter. Anyway, here’s what new in the June SDK:

- Streamlined Ad Control APIs make common tasks simpler. For example, the Ad Control will now automatically collapse itself when no ad is available; this previously this required custom code.
- Added support for ads that link to Windows Phone Marketplace. Stay tuned for news on how you’ll soon be able to promote your app by advertising in other Windows Phone apps.
- The Ad Control is now automatically available in the Visual Studio 2010 toolbox.
- Ad requests over SSL for better end-user privacy.
- Numerous bugs fixes and stability improvements.

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Microsoft Advertising for Windows Phone 7 now available worldwide

Finally! Microsoft has announced today prior to the opening of the Cannes Lion festival that Microsoft Advertising Exchange for Mobile is now available globally (it was restricted to the US Only). This means that Windows Phone 7 developers from around the world can now used Microsoft’s in-app adverts to monetize their applications. Microsoft is also opening its Microsoft Advertising Exchange RTB in the UK and Netherlands with Canada, France and Germany in the coming months. Check out the full press release after the break:

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Microsoft My Phone backup service to be discounted in October 2011


You all must have already gotten the email but if you didn’t here’s what Microsoft just announced:

On August 7, 2011, the My Phone service will stop saving content from phones to the My Phone service. If you rely on the My Phone service to back-up the content on your Windows Mobile 6.x phone, you will be affected.

Starting August 7 2011 all the My Phone content will be transferred to the user’s Skydrive and will be only accessible via the Skydrive web site. Finally on October 6 2011 the http://www.microsoft.com/myphone website will be shot down and users will no longer be able to log into the My Phone service and restore their saved content on their Windows Mobile 6.X device but Microsoft will still continue to store content until October 5 2012 (the company will ship physical copies of the content if requested by the user).

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Only 1.6 Million Windows Phone 7 devices sold in Q1 2011. Outsold by Windows Mobile 6.X

Ready for non-scientific sales numbers? According to Gartner’s latest mobile sales report, only 1.6 Million Windows Phone 7 devices have been sold in Q1 2011 out of the 3.6 Million Windows Phone handsets sold in the same period. This essentially means that 2 Million Windows Mobile 6.X were have already been sold this year even though this OS is “dead”. Not a good sign right? I’ve heard a few days ago from a carrier here that WP7 sales were alarming so this new report isn’t surprising me at all. The windows Phone marketshare went from 6.8% in Q1 2010 to 3.6% today.

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Google releases official AdMob SDK for Windows Phone 7

Google has just saved the day and announced the availability to the Beta SDK of Admob for Windows Phone 7. As you probably already know,Microsoft’s own Adcenter is only available to US residents, leaving every body else in the cold and forced to use third-party and un-officialy Ad controls instead. So it’s definitely nice to see Google stepping up and releasing an official Admob control for Windows Phone7 (it’s also fairly obvious that it was done because it helps them generate money … but that business as usual and for once also helps us developers).

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Sony Ericsson Julie Windows Phone 7 prototype phone live pictures

Remember the Sony Ericsson Julie Windows Phone 7 handset that SE was said to be working on back in June ? Well, here’s apparently how it looks like in the flesh. The device will probably never seen the light of the day but we now at least know how it looked like. I personally wouldn’t count on any Sony Ericsson Windows Phone 7 handset hitting retail anytime soon after what I heard the company reps say during Mobile World Congress when the subject was brought up (one kept on trashing MS and WP7 every time somebody asked him about it..). Android and the PlayStation Certified platform is what they are betting on (remember that the Sony NGP / PSP2 can also run Android..)
More pictures after the break:

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Support for 14 new languages coming to Windows Phone 7 with Mango update later this year

As I have previously reported back in July, Microsoft is scheduled to add more native language support to Windows Phone 7 in the coming months. The company has now officially stated that 14 new languages will be added later this year as part of the Mango update. As of right now only English, French, Italian, German and Spanish are natively supported (even though you can select any location for the browser and search services). Obviously Finnish support is a going to be one of the 14 given that Nokia is supposedly aiming to ship its first Windows Phone 7 device at the end of the year.

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Final word on the Asus E600 Windows Phone 7 development handset

I just wanted to point out something and hopefully lay this subject to rest: the Asus E600 is just a Windows Phone 7 development handset never meant to hit retail. I’ve been telling you this since last October but nobody seems to have noticed (or cared) and we still saw baseless rumors popping up left and right about the device. Anyway, Raphael.R and the ChevronWP7 crew got handed out E600s last week and confirmed that these are only dev handsets similar to the LG GW910 and Samsung Taylor.

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Zombies!!! and Brain Challenge released on Windows Phone 7

Microsoft has just released two new Xbox Live enabled Windows Phone 7 games today: Gameloft’s Brain Challenge and Babaroga’s Zombies!!!. Both games are available right now for $4.99 but be sure to check out the trial versions before making your decision. One thing I would like to point out is that contrary to what the game title made suggest, Zombies!!! it’s an action shooter but a turn-based game(you know with dices etc..). Anyway, just head over to the marketplace to try them out.

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Ilomilo now available in the Windows Phone 7 Marketplace: Hands-on video Review

All non-AT&T user rejoice! Ilomilo is now finally available to everybody in the Windows Phone 7 Marketplace. The full game will set you bak $4.99 but you can also download the trial version to check it out. Don’t forget to also read my interview with developers Southend Interactive here. Check out my hands-on video after the break:

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Microsoft is looking to improve Windows Phone 7 cloud services, applications analytics, 3D graphics and public relations

This week’s going to be relatively slow with regards to technology news so I decided to take a quick look at Microsoft’s career website to see if there was anything of interest related to Windows Phone 7. Thankfully for us there are some interesting nuggets in there right now:

The Windows Phone Services team is apparently seeking to improve WP7′s cloud infrastrucutre by building new services using Windows Azure ans SQL Azure:

The Windows Phone Services (WPS) organization is responsible for building highly scalable and innovative cloud services that support the Windows Phone. The Platform and Core Services (PCS) team within WPS is responsible for the core infrastructure and services that build a framework for all WPS teams to layer upon. PCS will be taking advantage of Windows Azure and other internal services and tools to bring a platform that allows quick time to market, and flexible scale.

The PCS Engineering Tools and Services team is looking for a Senior Program Manager to drive the management of services and related engineering tools that will be part of a common framework for WPS. These services and tools are related to areas such as Live ID, and certificate management for the devices, and the developer pipeline for services. These services must run under the new PCS Azure framework and must be enhanced for the next Windows Phone OS. This role will require strong technical skills, and ability to communicate and collaborate with our partner teams within WPS and the Windows Phone team.

Come join an organization that knows how to build compelling and cost effective cloud services for mobile devices!

Do you want to play a critical role in a team that will enable Senior Leadership to make business decisions that’ll shape the future of Windows Phone? Are you passionate about working with raw data and transforming it into intelligent information? Are you interested in building a V1 infrastructure on top of Windows and SQL Azure? Come work with the Platform and Core services (PCS) team in the Windows Phone Services (WPS) division.

PCS team is charted to deliver a Data Warehouse and Business Intelligence platform for all of Windows Phone Services. This platform will drive all Data-warehousing and Business Intelligence needs of current & future services under WPS including Location, Notification, and Windows Live phone services.

Microsoft is also looking to improve the recently launched marketplace analytics tools for third-party developers:

We need a strong developer who develop the services to work with developers to advance our analysis of applications published to AppHub http://create.msdn.com/>. You will design and implement high performance tools and services that can process variety of Windows Phone applications. You will apply latest managed code and security scanning algorithms as well as advanced machine learning techniques to reduce the latency for application certifications.

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ShopSavvy for Windows Phone 7 released but without live scanning

After initially being developed for Windows Mobile 6.5 and never seeing the light of the day the guys at Big in Japan decided to jump into the Windows Phone 7 bandwagon and port their application over to the new OS. It is now finally out in the Marketplace but unfortunately an important feature had to be cut out: Live Scanning. Here’s how it went down according to the developers:

After much wrangling and negotiating with Microsoft they have decided to release our app WITHOUT live scanning for the time being. They have their own ‘tag’ app that uses live scanning and I think they want to give it a headstart before allowing ShopSavvy to go full-on live. Anyway, the app looks pretty cool (full on metro styling) and will give you the same results that the iPhone and Android versions provide. It is definitely a 1.0 version – i.e. not 4.0 (like iPhone and soon Android), but it is a good start. You can download it now from the Marketplace.

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Microsoft working on Windows Phone 7 tethering with OEMs ?

I just came across an interesting sentence at the bottom of the Windows Phone 7 and Exchange Server_FINAL_122010.pdf in relation to the Exchange ActiveSync BlockInternetSharing policy (pictured above):

** Press articles may have indicated that Internet sharing can be enabled on some Windows Phone 7 phones
by activating diagnostics tools included by the manufacturer of the device. This policy does not have control
over the device firmware and Microsoft is working with original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) to correct
any inconsistencies.

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Over 1.5 million Windows Phone 7 handsets sold in six weeks

Microsoft has finally  decided to communicate the first Windows Phone 7 unit sales today. According to Achim Berg, corporate vice president, Mobile Communications Business and Marketing Group, OEMs have already sold 1.5 million Windows Phone 7 devices to retailers and carriers (not end-user..) in six weeks. This definitely far from bad  (but not super amazing and reaching the 30 million units predicted earlier this year is going to be hard) and really promising for the future of the platform but Microsoft still doesn’t want to communicate the number of units sold to end-users . Also keep in mind that Microsoft is making money off off every WP7 licenses sold to OEMs. Check out the full interview after the break:

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Windows Phone 7 Facebook application gets finally updated. Now includes Places and Photo Tagging

Clarity Consulting has just released an updated version of the official Facebook application for Windows Phone 7 today which brings two new features to the table: Photo Tagging and Facebook Places support. The overall performance of the application also seems to have been slightly improved (the application can now also run underlock screen).

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Windows Phone 7 Exchange ActiveSync client features support compared to all other mobile platforms

Microsoft MVP Henrik Walther has produced a fairly extensive table comparing the Current Exchange Active Sync features supported in Windows Phone 7 compared to all the other major mobile platforms. Namely: Android 2.2, Apple iPhone and iPad iOS 4, Nokia’s MFE, Palm WebOS and a few others. As of today Windows Phone 7′s Exchange ActiveSync client supports fewer features than Apple iOS 4 and is still far behind Windows Mobile 6.1 and 6.5. Microsoft has already stated that the initial version of the OS was principally aimed at the consumer market and that future updates should bring more enterprise oriented features to the table. Check out the whole table after the break:

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The latest Windows Phone 7 and MWC rumors

I thought that I would comment on the latest Windows Phone 7 and Mobile World Congress rumor making the rounds today. Digitimes is now claiming (based on their “own” sources) that Microsoft is going to unveil a new batch of Windows Phone 7 devices during MWC in February and that the Asus E600 is going to be one of them. First off I would like to point out (did it earlier on Twitter) that when Digitimes doesn’t name its “sources” they are nearly always wrong (I highly suggest to take a look at the sites past claims about the iPad and other tech préductions if you want to have a good laugh…). Secondly, AFAIK the Asus E600 is never going to hit retailand is only used as a developer device by Microsoft (similar to the LG GW910 and Samsung Taylor, and the first WP7 prototype wy saw which was the Asus Galaxy 6). But don’t take my word here,just think for a second. Would Asus / Microsoft “unveil” a device that has already been officially shown publicly by Microsoft employees all over the world (you can see it being used many of the PDC10 keynotes) ?

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Microsoft allows developers to include advertising in their Windows Phone 7 XNA games

Just a few hours ago I was wondering on Twitter when Microsoft will allow non US residents to use the PubCenter ad control in their Windows Phone 7 applications (just like regular PubCenter for websites, the service is only availalbe to US Residents). Unforturnitely there’s still nothing new on this front but Microsoft has just announced an update to the Windows Phone 7 Advertising SDK that allows US develepers to included text based or image ads in their XNA applications / Games:

Today, Microsoft Advertising is excited to release an update to the Microsoft Advertising SDK for Windows Phone 7 that allows ad-enabled mobile gaming applications. The announcement makes it easy for mobile gaming developers to integrate banner or text ads into their Windows Phone 7 gaming apps via the XNA Framework while leveraging game-specific features like 3D graphics support, multiple graphic blend modes, built-in game loop and much more.

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Microsoft triggers the kill-Switch and remotely re-locks ChevronWP7 unlocked devices OTA ?

Oh man, I guess that some folks better apologize to me (especially those who sent me hate mails insulting me) because they didn’t agree with me when I said that Microsoft could possibly remotely pull the plug on the ChevronWP7 unlocker certificate… because this is what just apparently happened according to several reports on XDA. The  Windows Phone 7 phones that have been unlocked using ChevronWP7 have now been remotely re-locked by MS:

yeah, the sane thing happened to me.

When i clicked the program on my phone. I got a message from MS asking me to uninstall, because the program has been revoked.

[...]
same here, tried to start TA maps and MS forced me to uninstall it.

Connected the phone and ran ChevronWP: it’s locked again!

maybe MS pulled the kill switch an re-locked the phones?
[...]
yup , I got the same to ,you can unlock it again and then it is working again

Continue reading Microsoft triggers the kill-Switch and remotely re-locks ChevronWP7 unlocked devices OTA ? →