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Since CES we’ve been showing people how Windows Phone is simply faster at the everyday stuff that real people do on their smartphones. And we’re doing it again here at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona.
Rather than doing the same old trade show booth, we are taking on the competition on the show floor with our €100 challenge: #SmokedByWindowsPhone.
In the US so far, we’ve won the vast majority of these challenges against all the “top” smartphones, like the iPhone 4S, Samsung Galaxy Nexus, DROID Bionic, Motorola Razr, and more. Mobile World Congress is the world’s biggest smartphone conference, so we consider this to be the “pro challenge” and expect the experts to take us on.
One of the things we know people want to do on their phone is Skype. Today we’re sharing a beta of the much-anticipated Skype app for Windows Phone, bringing communication with Skype’s 200 million users to our platform (access the beta here). The Metro design in the new Skype app for Windows Phone makes Skype shine in a whole new way, delivering a clean and simple experience. Check out the video below.
We’ve also just announced that we’re bringing Windows Phone to new markets and affordable new phones by expanding hardware support and regional availability. Our engineering team did the work to optimize how Windows Phone runs on lower-cost hardware, bringing the high-end smartphone experience to more affordable devices, while still running nearly all of the applications available in the Windows Phone Marketplace. Windows Phone 7.5 now enables our partners to deliver phones using a lower cost processor (the Qualcomm 7x27a “system on a chip”) and reduced memory (256MB on-board memory)—while still delivering the buttery-smooth Windows Phone experience.
Not all platforms can make this claim about lower-cost models. People who have opted for other low-cost or “free” smartphones have found out the hard way that some of those smartphones won’t run all their apps or do everything they want. On Android, it’s not a given that your lower-cost phone can do what the phone in the commercial can. With Windows Phone, we’ve done the engineering so that nearly all of the current apps will just work on these new phones. Those apps that do need more power are flagged in the Marketplace so if you have one of these new phones with less memory you won’t unknowingly download an app that won’t run well.
Taking advantage of the expanded hardware support, the new Nokia Lumia 610 (above) is Nokia’s fourth and most affordable Lumia smartphone. ZTE has also unveiled their second Windows Phone, the ZTE Orbit (below), which will be available in the second quarter of 2012.
In terms of reaching new countries, we now have new language support for Malay and Indonesian, and technology to support network requirements in China. We recently brought Windows Phone Marketplace to five new countries: Argentina, Indonesia, Malaysia, Peru and Philippines. In the coming month we’ll be adding 23 more markets—more on that and things we’re doing to make it easier for developers to build and test apps for these new lower-cost phones from Joe on the developer blog.
You can see why we’re pumped about the momentum behind Windows Phone and the potential ahead of us as we bring Windows Phone to people in new markets around the world at a range of prices. We think 2012 is shaping up to be a great year for the whole Windows family, and Windows Phone in particular will show people they won’t have to settle for anything less than a phone that is simply faster.
Corporate Vice President, Windows Phone
I take it this Skype release is yet another "US" only release. You think you'd point this out, especially on a blog post talking so much about the wide range of markets you 'support'.
Why would you link to Zune rather than Windows Phone Marketplace for Skype? I have little use for the Zune client.
@samjudson Nope, just downloaded and installed it here in the UK on my HTC HD7. Maybe take a look before making assumptions and posting assumptions in the future. ;)
@StephenM strange - I'm in UK on HD7 too, and Zune just tells me it is not available in my location.
@StephenM, no, @samjudson is correct - I just tried clicking the link - Zune loads, and presents me with the message "sorry, the requested item isn't availabie in your location". I'm in the UK, my copy of Windows and Zune is absolutely configured for the right location. Also, why on earth would 'samjudson' have posted that he couldn't access it unless he'd already tried?
So, Microsoft - you do know there are other countries right?
@StephanM - you must be lucky - I'm in UK and got the not available in your location message! :-(
Managed to get it downloaded via the marketplace: www.windowsphone.com/.../c3f8e570-68b3-4d6a-bdbb-c0a3f4360a51
Browse to this page on the phone, click the link in the fourth paragraph, install, sign in, have a great day. :D Perhaps as it's beta its not in the marketplace yet or because it was only released a few hours ago but it is definately available. I am using it right now in London
Thanks @samjudson - managed to get it that way also! :-)
Oh its ALWAYS NICE to find its NOT available in MY LOCATION....
I tried to delete my last coment, but clicked on one of the links in the comment section and downloading it now :)
Downloaded it in Ireland using www.windowsphone.com/.../c3f8e570-68b3-4d6a-bdbb-c0a3f4360a51
Slight change to @samjudson url. You'll need to change the 'en-IE' in the url to match your home locale.
go to wpcetral and use bing on phone to downdload with QR code worked for me in the Uk
Won't it be great if the Windows Live ID (or now, the Microsoft Account) is used to sign in to Skype instead of separate Skype name? We should get an option to merge existing Skype account into Windows Live account. That would give more unified and streamlined experience.
As of App, feedback button didn't seem to work for me.
Is Skype integrated with the people hub?
If you're having issues, this QR code worked for me in downing Skype... blogs.skype.com/.../qr%20code_WP%20blog%20post-thumb-485x485-21421.png
Skype works great on my Samsung Focus. Can't wait to pick up my Lumia 900 in a few weeks!
It's not integrated yet into the OS (Apollo can't come soon enough) but works great either way. Great job!
I am in the UK, with an unlocked HTC Titan, and I could download skype few hours ago. It did not appear in a search in the marketplace, but I could see it following the link on the skype blog. It downloaded and installed seamlessly, like a standard marketplace app.
@deiruch: No integration as far I can see so far, it's just a stand-alone app.
this is f***ing great news, even if Croatia does not end up in those 23.
Issues so far:
- Opened chat, it took ~3 minutes for previous conversations to load and it did this by default. It should just load few recent texts, not a few months of history
- Send feedback button does not work
- Laggy from time to time
- Can't change status to away
- Don't know if I will be able to run Skype when screen is locked or will I sign out?
- Can't disable sounds
JOE BELFIORE.... THe awesomest VP in Microsoft!!!!
@Mouni Reddy I also like that guy. He's just likable.
Finally! ... Marketplace is coming to Estonia (you know ... that small country with a good PR). Nice one, MS. Thumbs up!
What about getting new, or adding devices on Sprint, Verizon, US cellular, and Metro PCS? That's what I was hoping would be announced at MWC.. Did I miss something?
Thanks for the Skype app but I wish this was integrated into the core OS itself. Having a spearate dialer and separate txt UI just for Skype is really confusing. Besides, the "answer" and "ignore" buttons are too WinMo and Android looking -- they don't seem to follow the Metro spec.
@Rodney E. Jones, my wife just fired Sprint because of their horrible phone selection. She switched to T-Mobile. The coverage is not as good as Sprint, but the phones are better and her monthly bill is 20% less.
This is somewhat unrelated, but does this mean that Xbox Live will finally be available in those new markets too? Can somebody from Microsoft comment on this?
Im in Mexico and just went to the websitw, not even in zune and I sent de the link to my email and that was it!
@jgbatboy This happened to me for the first time that an application was installed directly from the WindowsPhone.com web site from my desktop computer without sending an email with link to my phone. I was just waiting for the email for some time and I thought there is something wrong. I know the web site sent an email with link previously. But I didn't receive any mail with link and then I checked the applications and it was already installed.
But, don't you agree that these carriers need a good selection of devices, besides our personal preferences?
Love the new phones that are coming out however so far not one has been able to fulfill my needs. Need a world phone with sprint.
I'm fully satisfied with the Skype beta app and I'm not even looking forward to the final release because this beta is just what I needed. GOOD JOB MICROSOFT
Now I'm waiting for an app for this blog and some Canadian banks' apps particularly rbc,to make my app collection on windows phone complete.
Lastly I now know the Lumia 900 is my next windows phone though not soo happy on the design,the exclusive Nokia softwares are just Amazing and its the only big screen generation 2 windows phone coming to Canada
Can't wait for April
1) Would be nice if this Blog accepted my Live ID, oops Microsoft Account, as a login. No reason I should have to create yet another account on a MS system.
2) Yes it would be nice to get this integrated, but sheesh, it was released today as a preview/beta. Would you really want your whole OS flashed to install this at this point?
3) Loaded on my Focus and HD7. Impressive, even over 3G video was nice. Had a fun tech moment, accessing the web market link from the phone and directing the install from there. So I accessed the web to initiate an OTA install. Pretty cool.
4) Anyone played with a video Skype? On my Focus at least, there is the big screen and the little inset window. The view of me (actually what my back camera sees) shows up in the big window, and the distant end shows up in the little inset. That's backwards, and I couldn't find a way to switch the windows. Any one find a way? Is it just me? If you have a front camera, does it seem right. You should see the distant end, the other guys view, in the whole window, and see what the other person should see, your camera view, in the little inset.
Otherwise, cool first release.
Downloaded!! Im in Mexico and didnt have any trouble.
I would appreciate hi end looking like Lumia 610 and in this size. I want excellent phone but dont want to carry it in a backpack.
@Rodney E. Jones, agree 100%. That's why she fired Sprint because of their poor poor phone selection. T-mobile has the HTC Radar and a Nokia phone -- that's a decent start to a quality phone selection.
Hey everybody. Thanks for the comments. The folks at Skype have posted some more details about the new beta release and its features (and availability) over on their blog. Worth checking out:
Hey everybody!! Just wanted to make a important point..
Somebody over on WPcentral made a good point about high-end devices,,, We tend to think of a high end devices as one with plenty of storage, innovative features, a huge screen, competitive performance, and whatever our expectations are. But, his point was that with most phones the higher the spec , the larger the screen. This particular user wants a smaller screen, 3.5 inches, like the iPhone, but in a premium package.
It's no big deal, but it did wake me up, and made me realize that I'm guilty of this kind of thinking. Now that this point has been brought to my conscious mind I do think we need a "Super Phone" but with a 3.5 inch screen. Do we want the public to think that in order to get a high end WP you have to carry a 4.7 inch screen? Some men, as well as women, still like smaller screens, but want everything WP has to offer.
And,, market it that way to catch that audiences attention!
Worked for me in Australia on my HTC Mozart. Just clicked the link (access the beta here) in this article whilst browsing from the phone. Straight to the MarketPlace install. No problem. :-)
I'm guessing VOIP is coming at least by Apollo??
What is the point of opening the system to new markets if you won't let existing accounts to be set to their correct Countries?
Why did you said the Market was open to Argentina, Indonesia, Malaysia, Peru and Philippines, if new users can't set those Countries even with new accounts? http://i.imgur.com/fgABC.png
The system needs to get fixed!!!!
I really hope there will be more text input methods for Traditional Chinese, especially for the "T9 Stroke Input" which is very famous on Nokia devices in the old days. I'm in Hong Kong and it's really nice to see there are more and more people know WP7 now, my HTC HD7 is a really great device since I bought it in Oct 2010!
Fantastic post and wonderful blog, I really like this type of interesting articles keep it up
To samjudson - I'm in Canada and it worked just fine. Click on the "(access the beta here)" link above and the installer can be sent to you via e-mail.
@KennyRawlins, while it's not a dedicated app for this blog, I sometimes use the I'm A WP7! app to hit this blog, since it has that capability (amongst many other capabilities) in that app. Just a thought......
Nokia should make a phone the quality of the Lumia 900 but with a screen the size of the HTC Titan on T-Mobile US!
Woohoo!!!!! Skype is finally here :) and works on my both phone HTC Titan and HD7 in Pakistan. but not full features available hopefully in production version
Can developer get the api to invoke skype like calling application from an application.