Windows Phone “Tango” coming to China, possible in the Philippines?

Joe Belfiore drinking Tango (courtesy of ZDNet)

WPDang reported last week that Windows Phone “Tango” will be coming in to mainland China this March. During the past weeks a lot of information about “Tango” begun leaking from different sources. It was said that Windows Phone “Tango” was just an minor upgrade from Windows Phone 7.5 Mango. Reports said that Tango will be optimized for devices with lower RAM and will support low-end Windows Phone handsets that has 256 MB of RAM. With this, apps running on Mango may not be compatible with Tango. The coming of Windows Phone to China is not a surprise after all since Microsoft has recently reported that they will launch Windows Phone Marketplace in 6 new regions including China and the Philippines.

At the Mobile World Congress (MWC) in Barcelona, Spain at the end of this month we will be expecting confirmation from Microsoft and Nokia regarding the Windows Phone “Tango”. It was also reported that Nokia will unveil not just one but six new Nokia phones in MWC, two of which running Windows Phone OS, one Symbian and three S40 feature phones. For the two Windows Phone, we’re expecting a global release of Lumia 900 and the low-end/ budget-phone Lumia 610 which was reportedly equipped with Windows Phone Tango.

Photo courtesy of WPDang.com

The rumored Nokia Lumia 610

 

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Windows 8 Metro-Style UI for visually impaired users (Video)

Windows 8 is designed with a touch first UI to provide users with fast and fluid PC experience. The Windows 8 team has recently posted on their blog how the metro-style apps perfectly catered both normal and visually impaired users.

Some accessibility features we know today in Windows were present since Windows 98 and it kept on evolving everytime a new Operating System is launch. In Windows 8, these accessibility features or assistive technologies (AT) were improved and was designed to enrich AT experience. According to Microsoft, these are the things that they improved in Windows 8 AT:

  • We redesigned Narrator to improve its performance so that it quickly reads out what you have selected.
  • We added morel languages and voices to Narrator to support additional countries and preferences.
  • We updated components and features within Windows to leverage UI Automation that allows them to be read by Narrator.
  • We updated UI Automation (UIA) with more text patterns and document content so that Narrator can use it to read the outputs from applications.

These, according to Microsoft, are just some of the cool new examples of AT’s that they will be shipping out in Windows 8. There are a lot of improvements across all Windows 8 AT’s that they will discuss in the future.

A First look at Windows 8 Metro-style Communication apps

In the recent Windows 8 blog, Microsoft shows how Windows 8 runs on Advanced RISC Machine architecture or the ARM processor. Running Windows 8 on these devices has the same experience running on x86/64 machines. In the video provided by Microsoft, we can see a lot of improvements on the next version of Windows in terms of user experience, design and functionality. The company, for the first time, gave us a glimpse of the Office 15 running on ARM which has been optimized for both touch and keyboard. Microsoft has also unveiled its core communication apps like the Mail, Photos, and Calendar.

These apps, according to Microsoft, running on ARM will be the same as the apps running on x86/64 machines. Although music and video apps were not mentioned in the blog, these apps will still be part of Windows 8 core apps.

Windows Store preinstalled apps for Windows 8 Consumer Preview

Looking back on our previous post regarding the first Windows Store games for Consumer Preview, we have noticed that no preinstalled applications were mentioned aside from, of course, the games. Today, from the Verge, sources closed to Microsoft unveiled some of the Metro-style applications that will come along with Windows 8 Consumer Preview:

  • Camera
  • Messaging
  • Mail
  • Calendar
  • SkyDrive
  • People
  • Photos
  • Video
  • Music
These are just some of the applications that we might have to see in the Consumer Preview which will be release at the end of this month.  According to the source, Mail, Calendar, People and Messaging are not part of Windows Live but instead designed as a core communication apps of Windows 8. Microsoft is also currently working on the Messaging app to have SMS support enable. It was also mentioned that Music and Video apps are currently branded with Zune but it is being built by the Xbox Team. With this scenario, the two apps maybe bundled together with Games on Xbox Live for Windows when the next generation operating system hits the shelves later this year.

 

 

Windows 8 Consumer Preview due on February 29 at MWC

The long wait is over. Mark your calendar because it is official! Microsoft is hosting a Windows 8 Consumer Preview on February 29, 2012 for the World Mobile Congress at Barcelona, Spain. It is a two hour event that will kick off at 3PM (CET).

A tweet from Microsoft informing the public of the Windows 8 Consumer Preview event at Barcelona, Spain

Microsoft is planning to deliver a Developer Preview (already released to public last fall), a Consumer Preview (or the Beta), a Release Candidate and a Release to Manufacturing of Windows 8.

It is very unusual for Microsoft to release an Operating System on a mobile conference. Are they positioning Windows 8 as an operating system for mobile gadgets? Or this is just in time for the Windows 8/Windows phone marriage announcement when the “Apollo” features leaked  couple of weeks ago?

 

Nokia Lumia Coffee Tab Windows 8 Tablet

Nokia Lumia Coffee Tab Concept

Meet the next generation in personal computing. Presenting Nokia N9’s big (brother?), Nokia Lumia Coffee Tab. Before you ask me where you can purchase this product or if it is available in your place, I will tell you now, this is just a concept from a designer named Tristan as one of the entries at Mynokiablog.

Nokia Lumia Coffee Tab on Windows 8

The Nokia Lumia Coffee Tab is equipped with a 1.4GHz processor , 512 MB RAM, 16/32/64 GB of internal memory and a 9.7 inch AMOLED Clearblack display with a 1280 x 800 pixel resolution. The device is also equipped with 8 megapixel back camera that might support HD video recording and a 2 megapixel front camera for video calling. One thing that we have noticed is that the back camera was placed in unusual location which is at the top left corner of the device unlike with the the common centered camera of the others.

The device also include WiFi and 3G connectivity plus GPS and Bluetooth were also on board. A set of Nokia Purity in-earphones will be included as an accessory. And this device will run on Windows 8.

Lets see if Nokia will take this design and bring it to life.

Windows Store games for Windows 8 Consumer Preview

Windows Store

Microsoft is gearing up for the beta launching of its Windows Store together with Consumer Preview of Windows 8 later this month. According to the Verge, a source close to Microsoft has detailed a list of games available when Windows opens its Store to public. Here is the list of the games that will ship with Windows Store:

  • Hydro Thunder
  • Toy Soldiers
  • Reckless Racing
  • Angry Birds
  • Ilomilo
  • Rocket Riot
  • Full House Poker
  • Tentacles
  • Crash Course
  • Ms Splosion Man
According to the source, Pinball and solitaire will come pre-installed on Consumer Preview and the list mentioned above as an optional downloads from Windows Store.  Looking again on the list, it seems that they have not included Cut the Rope (they forgot to mention? or maybe because its a paid app ?) which is one of my favorite games. They didn’t mentioned if Windows Live apps and immersive video, music and photo apps will be included.
For now we will just have to stay here and wait until Microsoft opens its door for Windows Store and Consumer Preview.

Windows Store

Windows 8 Consumer Preview detailed installation and improvements

With our previous post on some improvements that we might have to see in the beta build of Windows next generation Operating System, a large number of screenshots leaked a week after, showing an x64 architecture of Windows 8 Consumer Preview . Today, Winunleaked.tk has listed down some of the improvements on build 8220 of Windows 8 Consumer Preview which was compiled last January 27, 2012, same day as build 8194 which both came from winmain branch.

setup.exe

Windows 8 Consumer Preview setup

The New Start Screen Background color and images

User can now choose on different parallax images and different set of colors from the list of default images and backgrounds.

Selecting a tile

Start Page Help

Start Page Selection Bottom Bar

New template for Apps Menu

With the new menu template for Apps, searching for Apps is very easy since it is alphabetically and categorically arranged.

Apps Menu view

New Icon Sets for both Immersive and Personalization

A new set of icons will be launch on Beta although what we have only seen so far were for the My Computer and Network icons. In the screenshot below we can notice also that no confidential watermarks and hash tags were present in both desktop and winver.

Winver and New Icon for Personalization

Snap feature

The New Touch keyboard

Splitted touch keyboard

Improved Immersive Internet Explorer 10

Immersive IE with new About dialog box

No more Start Button

After several years, the start button has finally removed from Windows 8 and replaced by the start thumbnail.

Start Thumbnail

 Improved Charm Bar

The new transparent Charm Bar can be accessed by putting your finger or mouse pointer on the right side of the screen and by hovering on icons it became dark.

Transparent Charm Bar

Dark Charm Bar during hovering

Desktop Settings

More Organized Ribbon in Explorer

More organized Ribbon

Closed Windows Store (will be opening soon)

Windows Store

Aside from visual improvements, a lot of bug fixes has been made to make this build more stable and  much faster than Windows 7 SP1. The build was also running smoothly on both touch and traditional non-touch devices.

Download Windows 8 Nature Themepack

Screenshots of the Beta Candidate build of  Windows 8 are now leaking in the wild. A lot of improvements has been confirmed by the build testers. One of the items that catch the viewers’ attention is the beautiful HD wallpapers used in the screenshots. Here are some of the examples:

The themepack has been extracted directly from Windows 8 Consumer Preview build 8220 and it has 4 HD and 2 Widescreen wallpapers. If you are using Windows Developer Preview, you can download this and give it a try.

This has not been tested on Windows 7. If its working or not, feel free to comment.

Download the themepack from here