New phones, new apps, and an app-iversary

New phones, new apps, and an app-iversary

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There’s a flurry of news to report today: a new Windows Phone on the way from AT&T, the first CDMA-compatible phone goes on sale at Sprint, our popular app-making tools turn one, and Microsoft shows off some hot new apps this week in Orlando.

Two new phones join the family

Yesterday, Sprint started selling the first Windows Phone handset, the HTC Arrive. If you haven’t seen this phone yet, definitely take a look. The $199 handset—the first on a CDMA network—features a cool metallic design and slide-out keyboard that’s already drawing kudos from reviewers.

Meanwhile AT&T today announced it will be adding a new model, the HTC HD7S, to its popular lineup of Windows Phone handsets.

The HD7S, expected to arrive in the coming weeks, is aimed especially at people who love movies and videos. The phone features an eye-popping 4.3-inch super LCD touchscreen and a built-in kickstand that basically turns any tabletop into a mini-movie theater.

It’s also ideal for making impromptu home movies. The phone’s 5-megapixel camera records pristine 720p high-definition video, and sports autofocus and a dual LED flash.

The HD7S—which comes preloaded with popular AT&T apps including U-Verse Mobile, Navigator, and Family Map—joins AT&T’s three other popular Windows Phones models: the Samsung Focus, HTC Surround, and LG Quantum.

The HTC HD7S, coming soon to AT&T, features a 4.3-inch super LCD touchscreen that's great for watching movies.The HTC HD7S, coming soon to AT&T, features a built-in kickstand designed for watching movies easier.


It’s official: 10,000 apps

As I mentioned last week in my column, there’s been a lot of buzz lately about the Windows Phone Marketplace passing the magic milestone of 10,000 apps, and doing it just 4-odd months after launch—an apparent record.

Everyone here who works on the phone is obviously thrilled. But the credit really goes to all the talented and enthusiastic Windows Phone developers out there—all 30,000 or so of you. Take a bow, everyone! Thanks to your dedication and creativity, phone owners already have some killer apps and games to choose from.

The Marketplace milestone arrived one year (to the week) after Microsoft first unveiled its Windows Phone Developer Tools, at last year’s MIX conference. New to app making? You’ll find the free tools, along with tips and tutorials, at App Hub, our one-stop resource for Windows Phone developers.

And if you’re attending the CTIA Wireless 2011 conference in Orlando this week, stop by the Windows Phone booth (#2410) and enter our new Windows Phone Fast Pitch contest. It’s simple: You get 10 minutes to convince our judges that your app is the next runaway hit. If they buy your story, you could win up to $30,000-worth of co-development and marketing help to create it.

Coming soon: AccuWeather, New York Times, and more

Meanwhile, great new apps continue to roll in.

At our CTIA booth this week, we’re also previewing hotly-anticipated apps from the New York Times and AccuWeather, as well as showing off new Marketplace arrivals like RunKeeper, a popular app for tracking and measuring workouts.

With Angry Birds, Doodle Jump, and other hit games on the way in the coming months, it’s shaping up to be a fun spring.

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  • Why isn't there a Google app that lets me choose the services I use (tasks, gmail, reader and calender) and swipe to the side to switch between my preselected Google services?  Is that impossible for a developer?  Does Google forbid it?  This would be perfect in the metro UI.

  • Badsey
    8 Posts

    new app's... why isnt there a official Windows Messenger app for the phone ?

  • dkb1898
    167 Posts

    @James Manes - Actually IE9 is really good! What some people call "bugs" on the web, are often actually the way things are supposed to work as defined by CSS2.1. MS actually passes far more tests by the Web Standards body for CSS2.1. The problem developers are having is that there CSS worked in other browsers because no one ever had such a strict implementation of CSS2.1. All the browsers implement things differently, IE9 is the closest though to the actual web standard tests for CSS2.1, which is notable because that's where everyone will be going forward. I'm a web developer, there are bugs across all browsers, but IE8 even was actually very good for CSS2.1. IE6 and somewhat IE7 are a headache though!

  • This makes me sad Microsoft :( I thought you guys were cool and stuff. Wanted to work for you one day. The way you have been doing business lately though scares me. This update seems to be a flop, and IE 9 is being trashed by developers everywhere because it is full of underlying bugs.!/ie9bugs :( I don't want an iPhone but I'm gonna switch back if this doesn't get fixed. NT/CE is so good and the underlying OS is amazing, but recently, I feel like I shouldn't have sold my macbook :( Sorry MS. Makes me feel bad to say that.

  • GeraldM
    10 Posts my point that your entire product management and product marketing team should be fired here we have your biggest fan describing your dealing of all of this as inexcusable and embarrassing.  You should all be ashamed of your inability to execute what your engineering team has built and to keep even the enthusiast crowd happy -

  • This will be my last Microsoft Smartphone. Well done team!

  • Too the guy that said this will be out in a week or two, you're either missing what's going on or delusional. At least two carriers have said it'll be a month before their users get an update. AT&T is saying they have no news on it and rumors are it'll be May or June. So far only unbranded devices in Europe have gotten updates and at this point not even all of them have and the best part is Microsoft has been completely silent on this whole thing. The customers aren't even respected enough to be kept in the loop and given actual information and not vague non-answers like "you'll get it at some point, be patient". From the release of an update until the finish it should not take more than a month. How many millions of computers are updated by Microsoft Update every month? This should be something they can do in their sleep.

  • How is it that we are still being left in the dark? This is the definition of insanity. Why do we continue to put up with this?

  • dkb1898
    167 Posts

    Chevron has help with fending but only for HTC phone...unfortunately I have a Focus

  • GBK
    38 Posts

    You are left to fend for yourself...  No updates are to be had until the carrier choose to release them to you..  for example - Telus CA said earliest March 29th then 4 weeks of staged rollouts.   ATT says nothing - speculation is Focus phones are so broken that nothing will go out until late April/May + 4 weeks of staged rollouts.

  • I'm still waiting for NoDo (or any update for that matter) on my HD7.  Tempted to go get the "unofficial" HD7 NoDo ROM from XDA.

  • I have an unlocked Mozart and I still haven't gotten my NoDo update. Is this a joke? When iOS realeases an update, everybody gets it right away. Why are you guys making this hard for us? Jeez man, this platform has become a joke. I hope you guys are monitoring the forums, the blogs and comments. A lot of people are really angry on how you're handling this. It's doubly frustrating for me 'cause I want WP7 to succeed. Apparently, you guys dont want it to.

    Why can't you get your act together?

  • cmwind
    71 Posts

    where is the blog explaining i will have to wait up until may to get my nodo update? four weeks for a rollout for less than 2 million owners using only 9 different handsets? Microsoft at this pace i will get 4 updates (and copy/paste hardly counts as much of an update) before it is time to renew my contract. If you refuse to step up to the carriers and act like the multibillion dollar company you are, if i have only received 4 updates by the time my 2 year contract expires, then i will move my loyalties else where. PS don't be surprised (no matter how many feautres you pack into your 4 updates) if your platform has not taken off by then. Android is relevant. Everyday there is a story about Android on Endgadget. Whether it is a new phone or new software. That type of update cycle and news coverage keeps it in peoples minds and reminds them that it is out there and a major player in the space. The blogs are not picking on you but when you only have one update to announce every 6 months (sorry but if ATT wont give me nodo till may then it will have been 6 months since the devices launched) then there just isnt any news to report about your platform.

  • ScubaDog
    141 Posts

    @Pcenginefx, you need to get a clue, my friend.  What the gents on the Windows podcast pass for "news' is nothing but banter over games, apps and a contest or two.  Even the information posted on this blog is barely more than that.  Show me where any SUBSTANTIVE information has been revealed about how this "phased rollout" works.  You can't.  And the word is that folks like those of us who are on AT&T will not see our "phase" for several weeks yet.  But not a single word from Microsoft or AT&T.  It is insane to me that the best advances and the most impressive work done on WP7 requires you to unlock your phone.  Apparently, HTC devices can bypass the carrier phased rollout by unlocking their phones and they can get the update now.  All I have to do is point to Apple to demonstrate how badly this process is broken in the WP7 arena.  And that's what angers me most.  Windows Phone 7 is such a superior platform yet it's become the laughing stock compared to how well-informed and how agile the update process is for iPhones.  Yeah, "chill out", right.

  • Man you people need to chill out.  The update is out and everyone will get it pushed to their phones within the week or two.  If anyone says that Microsoft doesn't listen to their customers or the comments here then you are greatly mistaken (and you obviously don't listen to Windows Phone Radio).  There is a lot of other WP7 news than just the NoDo update, and this blog is what it is for.

  • Apple's phone commercials show it doing things to make the things people care about look easy. Microsoft needs to do that, too. And they also need to start calling it the "WinPhone" instead of the "Windows Phone". The slogan should be "Are You Winning?" and they should get Charlie Sheen to do a few commercials. See how that works instead of being sterile and standoffish? And I'm just a guy with an English degree making 10 bucks an hour at a callcenter.

  • graf702
    32 Posts

    Has anybody out there been lucky enough to get the update today?  If so what device and country?

  • jlj07g
    2 Posts

    This update is the worst crap ever. Yea, carriers have there standards for releasing the update, but don't release it until you have cleared carrier requirements so you don't have customer waiting up to a month longer than others. I haven't even received the update before the update, then I have to wait for 2 delays and find out it could be April before I get nodo. iOS just publishes to iTunes so all devices are on the same page. Just publish it through Zune on a given date once the carrier hurdle has been cleared.

  • amazing the update has stared to roll out but still no blog post, maybe they will wait to see which phone it screw's up this time.

  • ScubaDog
    141 Posts

    @Deeply_embedded, what you're describing can be done on a feature phone.  I use my desktop, my laptop and my smartphone somewhat interchangeably.  I embraced the cloud concept and am trying to make fully efficient use of that capacity.  Having certain features missing from a smartphone curtails that ability.  I need documents to flow easily, bidirectionally, from any given device to another.  If I need to update a spreadsheet on my desktop I want it to register those changes on my laptop or my smartphone.  I don't always have my laptop available when I get a call to do or fix something, so being able to pull it up on my smartphone, get it done and either share it on the SkyDrive or email it is important.  If someone sends me some information in an email that I need to incorporate in a Word document I currently cannot do that.  So, I'm not a casual user.  I relied very heavily on my Windows Mobile device....and even now there are features on that device that are better than on WP7.  It's just that I'm hopeful that within a year maybe all of that will be brought up to speed.

  • dkb1898
    167 Posts

    It's a start

  • "yes, well, allright... Where is our NoDo update. It was promised."


    Be aware the nodo update was trickle released an hour ago, starting with unbranded phones first, should reach others later in the week.  -neowin

  • @Robert Wade: "maybe you don't do anything substantial with your device, but some of us do..."

    You're right - I use my phone for phone calls, texts, listening to music, quick emails, photos, checking my calendar, making grocery lists, checking the weather. I'm in front of a computer most of the day, so I don't use my phone for editing substantial documents, mass communication, etc.  Even if my phone could copy/paste, it would still be considerably less convient than using a laptop for substantial creative tasks. I have no idea whether my usage pattern or yours is more prevalent.

  • Ironically, when I search Bing for "Windows Phone Blog" the first result is "Our first Windows Phone update—and how to get it" -- from February 21st.  Hehehe.  Of course, the reason I'm searching is to see if there is ANY news whatsoever about the update.  Of course there isn't any.  I really don't get the reasoning behind the continued silence.  All it does is lead to speculation which gets worse and worse with every passing day.

    However disappointed I am with Windows Phone, I thought I'd take a minute to say what an incredible job Microsoft does on the developer side of things.  The tools are best-in-class, the community is vibrant, and Brandon Watson even responded to criticism I left on his personal blog.  It was refreshing, even if I got no real information.

    I am a little disheartened to say that I have started devoting my time to other platforms.  Out of all of the current smartphone platforms I think Windows Phone shows the most potential.  I get the feeling that WP7 is merely a stop-gap for Windows 8 because while iOS, Android, Blackberry, and Palm continue to push their portable OSes to other devices, Microsoft seems to be fighting it tooth and nail.  I guess only time will tell.

    Good luck.  If you ever figure things out, I may come back.

  • AlexD77
    9 Posts

    yes, well, allright... Where is our NoDo update. It was promised.

  • For starters, I’ve been with Sprint for over 10 years and don’t intend to switch carriers at this point of my life.  But I can’t help to feel so disappointed about how Sprint has advertised their first WP7 phone (and overall first CDMA phone in the country) and the only single one model available for purchase.  I am shocked that Sprint didn’t include (I ask, does MS have anything to say on this?), not even a short note or banner on their homepage about the so expected release of this phone –I finally saw something on the 20th.  But the worse is, comparing to what AT&T and T-Mobile released on day 1, this HTC Arrive looks cheap and modest.  At $199.00 + 2-year extension, I would have expected a better looking phone, with at least 4.0” screen size, 4G, 8 Megapixel camera, better built, and support for microSD cards.  But to make things worse, MS is telling us now that AT&T will be releasing in the next few weeks, a way nicer looking phone.  And I bet this unit will be loaded with all the fixes and updates.  I was so looking forward to replacing my old Moto Q 9C –loaded with WM6, but I guess I will have to wait until something better comes around.

  • If you don't like the wp7 get another phone I like what MS are doing so should you lot

  • ScubaDog
    141 Posts

    @Deeply_embedded, maybe you don't do anything substantial with your device, but some of us do.  I cannot begin to list how many times I've needed copy & paste to do both things I NEED to do for my work or that I simply WANT to do for social communication.  Some of us would rather NOT have to re-type everything.  I use mobile Office quite extensively.  Maybe you don't, and that's fine.  I have no use for Messenger since there are so many other avenues to communicate, but regardless of whether we're using SMS, FB, Messenger, Twitter, moving bits of information across apps is challenging at best and impossible at worst right now.  Oh, and the app speed improvements alone would be worth the update for many of us.  But as has been said before, this is not just about the content of the update.  If the update was so miniscule, what on earth could be the excuse for it not being released for four months?  And why not simply be brutally honest about the reason.  Simple, honest communication.  That's what is missing here most of all.

  • GBK
    38 Posts

    @deeply_embedded  I didn't say that we'll 'Never' get the updates, just that the carriers have zero incentive to offer them to users.. it doesn't add anything to their bottom line - they sell contracts once that happens you're stuck unless you want to pay the termination fee.. They don't give a crap about the consumers as long as more idiots sign up then leave the carrier they're perfectly happy..

    The delays/blocking/"testing" whatever you want to call it is obviously BS strictly on the carriers not allowing the updates to go out. I'm mad at MS for allowing to be a pawn in the carrier game and the fact that the initially annoying bugs that could/should have been fixed months ago have grown into 'we are aware but don't care' level.. I know that's not true but that how it feels.  Lack of communication on this whole debacle calls into question the commitment to the users and platform.

    They are treating their most vocal proponents like a bunch of idiots by feeding them PR bs instead of real information.  I don't care the update got delayed because of problems in March, it happens.. I'm mad because the update should have been out in January and we're all being promised bunch of new features that based on what's happening now with these delays nobody will get this year at all.

  • Look guys if you don't like the wp7 go and get another phone, I'm happy with MS and the work there doing why can't any of you be

  • cmwind
    71 Posts

    anybody else notice that we got "punished" this week and didn't get a new Windows Phone Radio. I guess there response to our comments about wanting more communication is to give us even less communication. I guess at the end of the day though it doesn't matter since Windows Phone Radio wasn't telling us anything useful anyways (its cool to joke around on the air and talk about nonsense when there is no real news... but when there are serious customer concerns y'all should really use the podcast as a way to interact with us) I just don't understand why you don't care as much as we do Microsoft.

  • @ GBK:  Paranoid much?  I doubt that MS is willing to let AT&T wreck the customer experience by indefinitely blocking updates (and MS has said as much).  I think what we're seeing is lackluster planning, communication, and execution, rather than a nefarious plot to force you to buy a new phone :)

    I am a little surprised by the low volume of communication from MS on this issue.  Hopefully, they're just taking a little breather to figure things out and will provide some information soon.  

    I do agree that there are more bugs than there ought to be, though none of the bugs have caused me any serious grief.  The first release was good enough for a first release, but they ought to have issued a bug fixing update back in December/January.

  • GBK
    38 Posts

    @ deeply_embedded  This has nothing to do with copy and paste.  The current version is riddled with bugs (marketplace, bluetooth, etc) I want the OS fixed to resolve the issues it has. How exactly does ATT etc. has any say in bug fix releases is beyond comprehension.  

    At the same time it is clear MS have sold out the consumers to the carriers. Carriers are starting to sell phone with the update/fixes in place but everyone that already has a phone is screwed waiting for any information or software update.. It is clear the carriers have ZERO intention of allowing these updates to be available to the customers in a timely manner in fact forcing them to buy phones in order to lock them into long term contracts.. MS knows this and continues to lie about it thru these blog posts about the updatability of the platform.

  • To all of u bitching about not haveing the nodo update, if you developed and gave something back to the comunity I'm sure you would have had the update by now, I know for a fact I've had it :D

  • graf702
    32 Posts

    Microsoft's WP7 update strategy finally disclosed.  

    Short and simple!  Buy a new phone...with a new contract of course(don't want at&t to miss out).  

    I'm glad I ran out and purchaed my Focus on day 1.  

    Thank you to MS  for keeping your first adopters and loyal uses in the loop!

  • I was 1st in line at my AT&T store to buy my Samsung Focus.  I am a long time developer, and user of Microsoft products, and truly want Windows Phone to succeed.  I am glad that the new Sprint phone has NODO, but what about us guys that have been Win Phone owners since day one, where is MINE?  Someone please address AT&T and specifically the Samsung Focu and the status of the NODO update!  PLEASE!!

  • agion1
    14 Posts

    With all due or undue respect, very few of us who are dropping by to read the blog care about any of this.  We are here to see if you have anything new to say about the update and your disregard for those who stepped forward to buy your product based on your promises and what, at first glance, is a nice OS.  My main beef with the OS is that it is riddled with bugs.  I want them fixed.  Along with this, I want a unified place to which to come and submit bugs and see those that have been acknowledged and are being worked on.  My main issue with MS is the lack of transparency and commitment to their customers.  By the way, how is the microSD issue going?

  • Le sigh... I'm giving you guys 'til the last week of March. If the NoDo update doesn't come I'm selling my Mozart. The phone and  OS is really nice. But the constant delay of the NoDo update is making me lose my trust on the platform. If a super minor update took almost half a year to come out, I'm pretty sure a major one (Mango update) won't come until next year. The updates from Android and iOS -- the market leaders, are frequent and fast. While a platform playing catch-upsooooo slooowww in giving out updates... You guys are not even transparent. No definite date, no definite timeline, no nothing.

    I'm going back to iOS. I recently switched from my iPhone 3GS to Mozart and I think I'm switching back. You guys could've made a badass platform here. But it seems like you'd fail. Anyways, congrats with the 10k apps. I don't know why you're celebrating. If you have 10k apps and no users, what good would that be?

  • There seem to be a lot of people rabidly awaiting the firmware updates, even though they're not very substantial (copy/paste...yawn).  I think it's less about the actual firmware updates, and more about anxiety regarding what we can expect from Microsoft in the future.  Windows Phone 7 made a strong debut, but Microsoft is at a disadvantage in the market, and they can't afford missteps.  Will they make a series of great, on-time releases that put them ahead of the pack in performance, features, and design, or will they lose steam, bungle the process, etc.?  We want to believe, but the drama surrounding "no-do" (that name is priceless) is making it hard.

    I think it's safe to say that we would all like to see Microsoft orchestrate the firmware release process and communicate solid release dates. But most of us don't care about internal milestones such as Microsoft providing firmware to the carriers for testing, carriers performing testing, etc. -- we just want to know when it's going to be done. For everyone.

  • How can you have the time to write this blog post when the update STILL isnt out!!!

  • so the "nodo" update what's up?...

  • ScubaDog
    141 Posts

    Perception is reality, I'm afraid.  Sadly, both Microsoft and AT&T have done zero to change the perception.  Because that partnership has now been seen to be a disaster, both are desperately trying to use extremely lame tactics to draw attention away from the grossly negative situation.  I blame most of the actual delays on AT&T.   However, I blame Microsoft squarely for the stupidly persistent choice to remain silent.  Tell the truth.  All of it, regardless of how it paints Microsoft, AT&T or any of the other partners.  This behavior goes against any sane business sense.  It doesn't help that Apple just announced ANOTHER update just a couple of weeks after a major update.  No excuse for Microsoft or AT&T.  None.  Period.

  • More "Great news" but still no real news. When most people post a blog they come back and read how the audience responds and most/many post answers and add input. Not here though, it all here is some more new stuff you dont care about while carefully ignoring the elehant in the corner.

    I guess we have to wait another week then - hey I've been waiting since January who's cares if I wait some more - not MS.

    And for those who dont get why we are angry. It's not about the update it about the late of info and the way MS completely ignores its customers.

    I can not recommend this phone - even if I wanted to I would have to say only buy if you like it as it is. Never mind cut n paste what about fixing bugs? No chance and when we find a major security flaw then what?

    Very disapponted - every week another part of my soul dies

  • More apps are always good, but come on.. how about some update news here.

  • It's great to see the App ecosystem growing and to see the platform getting pushed to other US domestic carriers, however, even though I personally do not agree with some of the hyperbole about the NoDo update "delay" you cannot ignore that there are some upset people out here and that is the message that's being heard.  When NoDo has been branded "NoGo" in the media and blogs, etc. that's not a good message to have out there.  Of course it's better to get something out the door that works, but I think it's fair to say that there are a lot of eyeballs on this that are using this first update as a baseline for future updates.  Unfair?  Sure, but when is the "perception" market really ever fair?

    Even though I'm fond of saying that you can draw an infinite number trend lines through a single data point I'm hoping that there will be some nice surprises to NoDo that haven't been talked about to recapture that perception for some that not all is well in WP7 universe at Microsoft.  I imagine that the pressure inside the WP7 team is rather intense these days.

  • This update this has become way more than just an update. This has become a test to see how Microsoft will handle all future updates and even more importantly, how they will share information. So far they are failing miserably. I assume there are people on this team that are competant & really want to see WP7 succeed; but you would never know it from these clowns

  • Well these late adopters better enjoy their early featuers that the early adoptors don't have. :( No updates for my Samsung Focus. Gah...

  • I am begging you. Bring the HD7S to Sprint!! Please!!

  • jgcaap
    2 Posts

    IF microsoft fails us i'll sell the WP7 . Althought i'm very happy with the OS

  • I don't understand why some people are getting so angry over the update delay. It's just an update. It'll come (latter half of March - it's still March.) Relax.

    Hopefully they'll get it right this time, and that will lead into more confidence with updating more often in the future and hopefully that will start to include regular bug fixes... Here's to hope and patience!

  • I am normally a very patient person who rarely has a bad thing to say about anyone, but I have 2 agree with the angry/frustrated posts above, as well as all previous posts on this topic. I am also getting very frustrated with Microsoft's constant, "talking out of both sides of their mouth", approach, toward this issue, and I am pretty much @ the point of going 2 the competitors.

    I have been a Microsoft supporter since close 2 the beginning, but this blatant disregard, from Microsoft, toward the concerns, and needs of their customers is really destroying any trust, or confidence that existed between themselves, and their customer base. I also believe that if Microsoft does not wake up and correct this very serious issue, their customer base will dwindle until it completely evaporates.

  • leifage
    13 Posts

    @eric something; "Who doesn’t love presents? Luckily, my new job at Microsoft is to deliver them to you." Delivering my ass. Only thing you guys at Microsoft deliver is a whole lot of crap about bullshit apps. I'm starting to get so pissed on this delay. Give us the update and cut the damn bs about apps nobody really seems to care of.

  • Is that...what I think it is? Yup, it's called FRAGMENTATION. A NoDo equipped phone on the market and us AT&T users still don't have the pre-nodo update.

    Great job team. I've never seen a crew so self-congratulatory while ignoring comments and postings everywhere from Engadget to here calling for action from this team. It's a pity.

  • @WinPhonePhan

    Oh that's the kicker.  That Sprint phone HAS NoDo on it because that software is needed to get WinPhone working on CDMA!

  • dkb1898
    167 Posts

    This phone is like dating a model, sooner or later you figure out there are no brains behind the operation!

  • Speaking of waiting....where's NoDo????

  • But still no global roaming device for Sprint.  I am overseas frequently and need a Windows Phone that works on Sprint and works around the globe.  How much longer will professional users be kept waiting?