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The Wrap is a digest of useful, interesting, and unapologetically random stuff you might have missed from the world of Windows Phone this week. Have a great weekend—and don’t forget to share your own favorite news of the week in comments.
AT&T now taking Nokia Lumia 900 preorders
Want to ensure you get your hands on Nokia’s gorgeous Lumia 900 when it launches in the U.S. on Easter Sunday? Head down to your local AT&T store, which today started to take preorders for the award-winning $99.99 phone. You can also order online. As I noted earlier this week, the phone initially comes in black and cyan. On April 22, AT&T plans to add a high-gloss white version (shown below) to the lineup. AT&T is currently offering a $100 discount to new customers on web orders, meaning you can essentially pick up Nokia's flagship phone for free. I can’t wait to get my hands on this thing. You?
PC Magazine readers once again voted Windows Phone their favorite mobile operating system for reliability and overall satisfaction. As the magazine reported this week, Windows Phone scored an 8.7 out of 10, easily beating Android and tying with Apple’s iOS for top honors. The editors wrote: “While Apple and Microsoft rated the same for overall satisfaction, Windows Phone actually received slightly higher satisfaction ratings than iOS in several key areas, including reliability, text messaging, Web browsing, and gaming.” Results by carrier were even more impressive. Samsung’s Windows Phones won a decisive victory on AT&T, while the HTC Trophy tied for top honors on Verizon. Read the full report on the magazine’s site. Last year Windows Phone won Honorable Mention just months after launch.
After a brief pause, Microsoft’s Laura Foy returned this week with a new installment of her video tip series, Windows Phone Minute. This time around she tackles the handy (and sometimes overlooked) Groups feature. Watch it below. I’ve added a link to the series (and her popular Windows Phone app review show, Hot Apps) on the blog’s favorites list. Laura’s vids are also headed to our official YouTube channel. Whether you’re new to the phone or have carried one for a while, Windows Phone Minute is 60 seconds well spent.
The Verge on Thursday took an in-depth look at a group you don’t often hear about: students making apps for Windows Phone. Read it here. Told mostly through the eyes of students themselves, Tom Warren’s piece focuses on emerging standouts like Quinn Damerell, 21-year old author of the popular Baconit app, and grad student Wilson To, who recently snagged a $75,000 Imagine Cup grant for his work on a Windows Phone app to detect malaria. My buddy Ben Lower, who recently covered our Big App on Campus contest, also makes a cameo.
Feeling creative? In case you’ve missed it, the wacky folks behind our official Facebook page have issued a call for Windows Phone fan art. To have your tribute featured, just post it to our Wall or tag us. Judging by the entries so far, it appears lots of people are hungry for Windows Phone.
Rogers (in Canada) has been taking pre-orders/reservations for the Nokia L900 for about a week now. No word on when they will be 'available', but I'm hoping it's pretty close to the April 8th date announced by AT&T.
oh TMobile .. where art thou with my Lumia 900 or Titan II equivalent! :)
I pre-ordered mine this morning. They confirmed that I will receive my new Lumia 900 on 6 April. The interesting thing about this is that you can only pre-order it via AT&T if you are doing a new contract or an upgrade/renewal. My wife and I are on the same plan, and she has an iPhone 4 (don't ask). Since the iPhone 4 came out several months before Windows Phone, her upgrade eligibility was already available, while mine won't be for some time yet. I went in fully prepared and willing to pay the full $449 for a cyan Lumia 900....only their system absolutely wouldn't let them process the order! Three reps and an hour later I finally had to use my wife's upgrade eligibility to pre-order at the $99 price. When it comes in next Friday I'll be able to activate against my phone #. They had a term for this (something like cross-upgrade), and she'll be able to take advantage of the fact that my number will reach upgrade eligibility later on. Ultimately, what they discovered was that if you wanted to buy it off-contract you had to wait until the launch date. Frustrating. I would rather have paid full price for the Lumia and saved my upgrade discount until later this year when the WP8 devices launch.
I got to play with a black Lumia 900 in the store and I have to say, this thing is SOLID. I'm more impressed than I was just seeing the reviews and watching the videos. And, much to my surprise, the salespeople were actually enthusiastic about this phone. One of them said, "I'm a long-time iPhone guy, and I just can't put the Lumia down. It is FAST." I just had to smile.
@Scuba - that last sentence is the perfect start to my weekend!! :)
Be careful with Cross upgrading, when I did that in reverse with my wife (she got her iphone on my upgrade because I was willing to wait a few months) they screwed up my voicemail big time. Apparently they have to upgrade in a stupid stupid fashion and since the Iphone basically runs on a different network for visual voicemail and such they had deactivated my voicemail to turn on my wife's. (BTW, she has a window phone now.)
Check both phones after the process to make sure all the features work.
Sidenote: When will AT&T let WP7 users have visual voicemail? WHEN!
Any news on Lumia 900 availability on AmazonWireless?
@tsrblke: I'm wondering too! I felt jipped when AT&T decided against visual voicemail in Mango...
Why is it that this week feels like the official launch week of WindowsPhone? It feels like WP is completely new to the market, except this time it's got support. I guess that's a good thing. I wonder what the next couple months will bring... And I thought 2012 was going to be flop. I was wrong!
I think we can officially say that the 900 will be the first Windows phone to spark a bit more interest than the previous contenders.
The HTC Titan (1) really impressed me with the comfortable 4.7 in size + speed response, but I must say the colors & style of the Nokia brand is the secret in the sauce.
The 900 could possibly be the latest Windows phone to keep the buzz going; I'm happy I’ll get to enjoy my wife’s 900 a bit when it gets here next week.
- Stay Powered by Windows
Can someone explain why it's a new best thing to have all blogs play videos, podcasts etc. without a volume control in it? I always set my speakers vokume to 80% and control it via software
Also, you really need to fix the mess with carrier reps, it's the only reason why WP is failing, I don't know, replace them, with your own employees or what not, but this is not good
@ T Windows
Yo!! What's the "T" stand for??.... And yeah, I agree. The color choices if the Nokia devices definitely set WP apart from the competition.. Your wife's going to love that 900 to. I bet you can't wait to get that. It's funny because I sold my wife on WP before I got my own. She used to complain about me running her battery down. Lol! She was like "when are you gonna be eligible for renewal?" I think she was more excited when I got my phone than I was.... So, just dont leave her hanging like I did mine.. Haha!
My name is Toran – but everyone calls me “ T ” for short.
I have an overwhelming love and obsession for anything Microsoft Windows; I’ve branded all my clothes, the family car, my home, my office at work and the list just goes on…
So anyone that knows me or see’s me they always see the Windows brand or logo - So I go by TWindows.
@drtolson as it is it could may by the time its avaible if rogers has any say. if we remember how long after they announced the focus on rogers & it didnt come to most stores untill january. as it stands theres no lte micro sims or extensive lte coverage availble yet for rogers to make full use of this phone anyway
Where is the "$100 discount to new customers on web orders"? I don't see it on AT&T's website.
I'm sure when you complete the order process online it is deducted automatically for new accounts. You should call att, even today on Sunday, to make sure the deal is still on, and to get more info..
@dweiwei: Rodney's correct. When I checked, the discount was automatically deducted at checkout if you qualify for it.
@tsrblke, we don't have any use for visual voicemail, so I'm not concerned about that.
@DjiXas, that's not a problem with the reps, it's a problem with AT&T's process of communicating the rules to the reps. If you read my post, you'll see that only upgrades/new contracts using the discounted price can be processed as a pre-order. All other off-contract, full-price purchase must be made after launch day. A simple thing, but if you don't tell sales reps that's the situation, then what do you expect them to do? They end up trying all sorts of tricks, wasting their time AND the customers', in a futile attempt to order the Lumia off-contract.
Now, as for the idiot Android user, well.........cousins should never marry, is all I can say.
Okay, for those who did go in on the 30th and pre-order, do you now see your status online as "backordered"? That's what both I and a friend of mine who order right ahead of me see. We were told by all the sales reps that according to their system anyone who pre-ordered by a certain date would receive the devices 6 April. Hmm.
I think I'm going to pre-order mine today... :)
I am in college and I talked to my parents about the Lumia. They liked the price too and I think they are going to follow me with a family plan. I guess you got my business again MS. 3 Lumias for my family.
@ James Manes
Can I be in your Family???
@Rodney of course! lol. You may not like our location; Missouri.
@ James.. Cool, but I'm going to stay in Dallas.. Lol!
@ Anyone... Here is Nokia kicking off some US advertising. It's kind of weird, but the message and name of the campaign is ingenious! They are calling Androind, and iPhones "beta test phones" with the count down to the "real smartphone" being the release of the 900. I can dig it! .... www.smartphonebetatest.com
Anyone else having problems preordering the Lumia 900? Went into an ATT store today and they said it would be 2-3 weeks. Tried to order in to the internet, it told me to call a number. Called the number and they said that I couldn't preorder it. I'm eligible for an upgrade and would like the phone sometime soon...
Did you guys catch the htc Titan appearing in the video "Fun.: We Are Young ft. Janelle Monáe".
Its a hit song right now.watch the titan from the 28 seconds mark
Thanks for the tip... Thats MAJOR WP exposure! We need more of that. I'd actually like to shake the hands of the team members responsible for that. Great!
@Kenny, I guess I'll have to look that one up on YouTube. I don't listen to much in the way of contemporary secular music these days, so I missed that one.
Okaaaaaaaay......started to watch the "Fun: We Are Young" video and was reminded why I don't listen to much contemporary secular music....or watch the videos. I don't get the point of the song OR the video. Particularly the throwing of the HTC Titan across the bar and the poor girl getting her head bashed in with a bottle.