Rumor Mill: Windows Phone 8 devices to get a standard USB port location

Apple Universal Dock

iPhones on universal docks. Photo by Yutaka Tsutano. Microsoft could be planning to provide a universal docking feature on all Windows Phone devices.

One of the things that made iOS very successful is the multitude of accessories it has – from keyboards to speaker docks, etc. – and this is because they used Apple’s proprietary port (which is rumored to be undergoing a huge change, by the way).

Microsoft may be going the same route. Currently, manufacturers seem to have their own idea for the best place to put a USB port: HTC seems to like the side (it’s on the left side on my HTC 7 Mozart), Nokia seems to prefer the top (as evident on my Lumia 710), while Samsung and many others prefer placing the port at the bottom. This creates a host of incompatibilities between devices making it impossible to create universal accessories. But if we were to trust what was being suggested by the position of the USB port on the Samsung Ativ S (currently the only official Windows Phone 8 device revealed) and the leaks of Nokia and HTC devices, we could be in for a nice surprise! Why don’t you take a peek at the photos after the break and see them for yourself?

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Windows Phone 8’s unannounced features revealed

Microsoft Surface Phone concept by Jonas-Daehnert (DeviantArt)

I wish this Microsoft Surface Phone concept was real…

The Windows Phone 8 SDK rumored to be released in the coming weeks but there are already some who have gotten their hands on leaked versions. Fortunately, they have been kind enough to show us what Microsoft has yet to tell us about. I have scoured the web for the new features that have yet to be announced officially. You shall find them after the break.

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Mark your calendars – Windows 8 will get released in October 26!

Surface for Windows RTSteven Sinosfky announced at Microsoft’s annual sales meeting that Windows 8 would be released on  October 26. That’s only a few months from now. RTM is rumored to be around September or so. No word on when the Surface tablets would be released yet but we can guesstimate that we’ll see the RT version in stores shortly after release. Time to save some bucks!

 

Office 2013 Customer Preview is out for testing…

Office 15 installation

I’ve been waiting to get my hands on Office 2013 (codenamed Office 15) but now I don’t need to. The Customer Preview has been released and anyone can download it and install it five times using a Live account. I’ve just used the first, and office is installing smoothly on my Windows 7 PC here at work. I’ll be doing the same when I get home on my laptop with Windows 8 Consumer Preview. The new Metro looks is visually pleasing to my eyes yet the apps still seem to have the familiar layout us Office 2010 users already know.

Want to try it out yourself? Grab the installer from the official Microsoft Office Customer Preview page. Video introduction after the break.

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The Bing homepage has been Metrofied

Bing's new homepage

I use Bing as my default search engine but I rarely (well, almost never) go to the homepage as I have set Chrome to use Bing when I type search queries in the address bar. I ended up going into the homepage by accident though and this is what I found: Bing. Metrofied!

I like it. I actually think it’s beautiful. I don’t know when it has changed but I don’t really care about that now. With rumors of Hotmail going Metro, I can see each and every web service and product they have getting the Metro touch and I really look forward to that. It would make using Microsoft services a lot easier on tablets especially with Windows 8 on the horizon.

Microsoft details Windows Phone 8 Marketplace, in-app purchases

Windows Phone 7 Marketplace

According to  a Windows Phone Developer Blog post the Windows Phone 8 Marketplace will be open to developers from 180 countries at launch! Of course, consumers from those areas can take advantage of that as well by being able to browse and download apps from those markets. Finally the Philippines is supported by the App Hub! I can now sign up as a developer! I am really stoked by this! Yay!

Additionally, as mentioned in the Windows Phone Summit, besides advertising and app sales, devs can now take advantage of monetizing their investments through in-app purchases – a boon for game devs! Kaching!

For now we wait for the developer tools for Windows Phone 8 which is apparently the same for Windows 8.

More information on the link provided above. You may also see the full list of supported markets after the break (it’s quite long!):

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Windows Phone 8 is official, comes with good and bad news

Windows Phone 8 Start Screen I wanted to write about Windows Phone 8 since a few days ago but I ended up working on my new 155 gallon aquarium. So yeah, no more excuses. Let’s get to the main point: Windows Phone 8 that is.

Last Wednesday. June 20, 2012. Windows Phone Summit. I ended up late to the party because I had to rush from work. Fortunately, all I needed to do was go around my favorite tech news sites for information about Microsoft’s mobile platform. What greeted me was a whole bunch of things that would instantly boil my adrenaline. Let’s start with the good news all of which grant my wishes listed on a former post.

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