Microsoft airs Cortana vs. Siri ad showing contextually-aware tasks

By Christian Zibreg on Jul 28, 2014

Microsoft on Monday shared a new television commercial which the company first showed off at its annual conference back in April to rally up developers who were concerned that the software giant was losing its mojo.

The 30-second video depicts a showdown between Cortana, Microsoft’s own digital personal assistant baked into Windows Phone 8.1, and Apple’s Siri.

Microsoft’s assistant is shown completing a number of contextually-aware tasks using a plethora of services and data sources… Read More

 

Microsoft mulls porting Cortana assistant to iOS

By Christian Zibreg on Jun 13, 2014

Microsoft has wont to arrive late to parties: following Siri’s introduction nearly three years ago, Redmond in April of this year has finally gotten around to unveiling a personal assistant of its own, Cortana, at the Build Developer Conference in San Francisco.

Originally conceived as a Windows Phone 8.1 exclusive, the Windows giant is now reportedly considering bringing the virtual assistant to rival platforms, namely to iOS and Android.

Let me get this straight. Beats updates Android appMicrosoft launches Office for iPad before even releasing a touch-optimized version for Windows 8 tablet. Apple reportedly mulling iTunes for Android

What a difference a few years make, eh? Read More

 

Beats Music apps to remain in Android, Windows Phone stores

By Cody Lee on May 28, 2014

Now that the long-rumored Beats deal has been confirmed by Apple, folks are wondering what’s to become of the Beats Music service. Although it just launched in January, it has already built up a [small] loyal following of subscribers.

The good news is, it sounds like Apple is going to allow Beats to operate as a separate company, which will include its streaming music service. And according to reports, it has no plans to pull the Android and Windows Phone clients… Read More

 

Microsoft’s Nokia Lumia 630 ad shows how to do a smartphone switch with a football

By Christian Zibreg on May 16, 2014

Microsoft-owned Nokia earlier this week announced its first Windows Phone 8.1 handset, the Lumia 630, with sales starting in Asia this week, followed by Europe and the United States.

In promoting the low-to-mid-range smartphone, Microsoft and Nokia put together a commercial sporting Finnish goalkeeper and Trick Shot master Lassi Hurskainen who shows how to do a smartphone switch with a football.

And some of the handsets flying out of people’s hands seemingly resemble a certain iconic smartphone from a certain California company. Have a look at the video included after the break and meet us in comments… Read More

 

Microsoft’s first Nokia ad positions Windows Phone as something different

By Christian Zibreg on Apr 28, 2014

Following Microsoft’s finalized acquisition of Nokia’s Devices and Services unit last week, 25,000 Nokia employees get to join the Windows giant today. To celebrate the merger, the Windows giant has just published its very first Nokia television commercial with Microsoft branding.

Windows Phone often gets relegated to the Others category in global smartphone surveys: currently, it’s a distant third, after Android and iOS. The new ad, entitled ‘Not Like Everybody Else,’ plays on Microsoft’s underdog status by promising a bunch of colorful smartphones and tablets that should draw attention and make heads turn… Read More

 

Windows Phone 8.1 update introduces native Passbook support

By Christian Zibreg on Apr 14, 2014

Microsoft today released a developer preview of its forthcoming upcoming Windows Phone 8.1 software update and one outlet has spotted an interesting new feature allowing folks to import Passbook items into the Microsoft Wallet app.

Announced at WWDC last summer, Passbook lets you store coupons, boarding passes, event tickets, store cards and more into the stock iOS Passbook app and sync these items across other iOS and Mac devices through iCloud.

Apple has envisioned Passbook as an iOS feature, but several Android apps now support the feature, like PassWallet. And now people on Microsoft’s mobile platform will soon be able to use Passbook on their Windows Phone devices as well… Read More

 

Microsoft finally unveils its Siri competitor ‘Cortana’

By Cody Lee on Apr 2, 2014

It’s been nearly three years since Apple unveiled Siri on its iPhone 4s, and Microsoft finally has its answer to the digital assistant: Cortana. Named after a virtual character in the company’s popular Halo gaming franchise, the feature is powered by Bing and offers a mix of Google Now-ish and Siri-like characteristics.

We first got a glimpse of Cortana earlier this year courtesy of a developer leak, but Microsoft officially unveiled her this morning at its Build Developer Conference in San Francisco. The assistant will ship alongside several other new features in the Windows Phone 8.1 update, expected to launch in the next few months… Read More

 

Meet Cortana, Microsoft’s answer to Siri

By Christian Zibreg on Mar 3, 2014

The Windows giant Microsoft will be introducing its upcoming Windows Phone 8.1 update at the Build conference next month.

With it comes Cortana, a Microsoft-branded personal digital assistant that includes functionality provided by Apple’s Siri and Google’s Google Now voice-activated assistants.

It also has a few nice features not provided by Apple so perhaps competition from Microsoft (and Google) will prompt the iPhone maker to roll out new Siri features sooner than later. The Verge has an exclusive look at Cortana’s interface and some of its features, here are the highlights… Read More

 

Microsoft officially launches its $200 iPhone trade-in bait

By Christian Zibreg on Sep 27, 2013

Forbes on Wednesday reported that Microsoft will be extending its existing $200 iPad trade-in offer to Apple’s iPhone as well. Sure enough, today the promotion has gone live. It’s part of Microsoft’s running #timetoswitch Windows Phone and Windows 8 campaign that encompasses television, print, online and social media channels.

Similar to the iPad promotion, the Windows giant has partnered with recycle firm CExchange to lure would-be switchers into bringing in their existing iPhone handset in good working condition for up to $200 credit, redeemable against Microsoft Store purchases… Read More

 

Microsoft to trade-in your iPhone if you switch

By Christian Zibreg on Sep 25, 2013

Microsoft has been running its #timetoswitch campaign for some time, to mixed results. The multi-pronged effort spans television, print, online and social media channels as Microsoft positions Windows Phone as the next big thing.

Part of that effort is a recent iPad trade-in campaign seeking to steal sales from Apple by inviting iPad users to trade-in their tablet for up to $200 in Microsoft Store credits. That’s just the tip of the iceberg: Forbes writes today that Redmond is prepping to add the iPhone to the promotion… Read More

 

New Microsoft ad touts Lumia 1020 camera, mocks iPhone users

By Cody Lee on Aug 22, 2013

My how the tables have turned. Five years ago Apple was running its ‘I’m a Mac’ ads, attacking the perceived weaknesses of PCs running Microsoft’s Windows software. And now we have Microsoft making ads that attack Apple products.

The Redmond company’s latest in a series of Cupertino-bashing commercials pits the 41MP camera of Nokia’s Lumia 1020 against that on the iPhone 5. And as you can imagine, the spot paints iPhone users in a not-so-favorable light… Read More

 

In the aftermath of the Apple deal, HopStop for Windows Phone gets discontinued

By Christian Zibreg on Jul 22, 2013

Last Friday, Apple confirmed it had snapped up HopStop, the brains behind a transit-navigation app which provides detailed subway, bus, train, taxi, walking and biking directions. The move should complement Apple’s troubled mapping solution as the company works toward folding HopStop’s high-quality public transit data into its in-house Maps app.

Though an important capability, Apple initially felt content with third-parties tackling the transit navigation puzzle. Be that as it may, it’s now come to our attention that the Windows Phone app has rather unceremoniously been pulled following the HopStop acquisition.

File this one under the ‘business as usual’ drawer: Apple similarly pulled Chomp for Android after acquiring the app discovery engine back in February 2012Read More

 

Here’s why Apple dropped the ball in Russia

By Ed Sutherland on Jul 16, 2013

Russia is one of the BRIC countries mentioned alongside Brazil, India and China as areas where demand for smartphones is increasing rapidly. Yet, recently, the last of Russia’s big-three carriers stopped selling the iPhone, leaving it up to resellers and Apple’s new online store to meet demand.

Why are Russian carriers saying no to the iconic handset – and adopting competitors, such as Samsung and Microsoft? The answer could be as simple as 1-2-3… Read More

 

Microsoft reorganizes as Nokia unveils new 41MP phone

By Cody Lee on Jul 11, 2013

Seemingly taking a page from Apple’s playbook, Microsoft announced a major reorganization this morning. It’s calling the move ‘One Microsoft,’ as it looks to rally behind a single strategy as one company, instead of a collection of separate divisional strategies.

The company says that moving forward, it will continue to release new devices and services. And this new approach will allow it to innovate with greater speed, efficiency and capability in a “fast-changing world,” while helping them execute better than ever… Read More

 

IDC: Apple, Android own 92% smartphone volume, Windows Phone beats BlackBerry

By Ed Sutherland on May 16, 2013

Just days after rival research firm Gartner released quarterly sales for iOS and Android, rival IDC today announced similar numbers for shipments of smartphones. Combined, iOS and Android maintained their stranglehold on the smartphone market, accounting for more than an astounding 92 percent of shipments during the first quarter of 2013.

In a surprising move, shipments of the Windows Phone smartphone operating system surpassed the BlackBerry OS, putting Microsoft in third place behind Android and iOS. I bet you didn’t see that one coming… Read More

 

Windows Phone ad sees iPhone and Android owners trading insults at wedding

By Christian Zibreg on Apr 29, 2013

Despite the massive marketing blitz, Microsoft’s Windows Phone platform has managed to regain but a fraction of market share lost to iOS and Android in years past. Figuring it could take a page from Samsung’s marketing handbook, Microsoft on Monday published on its YouTube channel a new Windows Phone commercial which takes a mandatory jab at Apple’s iPhone and its Siri digital personal assistant while also poking fun of Gorilla-sized Android devices from Samsung. The funny ad is aimed at boosting Microsoft’s and Nokia’s stagnant sales of Lumia handsets in the United States… Read More

 

Apple claimed $3 out of each $4 top app stores made in Q1

By Ed Sutherland on Apr 9, 2013

In the latest sign of the importance apps play in smartphone adoption, more than thirteen billion downloads were recorded during the first three months of 2013, according to a Monday report.

The survey of the four leading app stores also found Apple, Google and others earned $2.2 billion from apps, an eleven percent increase over the final quarter of 2012.

Whereas Apple leads in terms of revenue – and by a large margin, too – Google’s Play Store, thanks to a large installed base of Android devices, has the upper hand in terms of download count. Specifically, the App Store collected 74 percent of the revenue of top app stores, while Google Play led registered 51 percent of apps obtained… Read More

 

Chart: how US mobile landscape changed in 7 years

By Christian Zibreg on Mar 21, 2013

Research firm comScore today released a comprehensive report on mobile landscape in the United States and elsewhere and one particular chart stands out as another example of how the smartphone market is a duopoly between iOS and Android, with Apple and Samsung increasingly taking industry’s profits at the expense of – well, pretty much every other handset maker out there.

Spanning 2005-2012, the chart paints an accurate picture of platform dynamics when it comes to the competitive market for connected mobile devices… Read More

 

Vevo wants to become the next MTV, launches always-on broadcast channel

By Christian Zibreg on Mar 12, 2013

Today at SXSW, Vevo announced a 24/7 channel coming to your traditional television via the Roku set-top box and the Xbox gaming console, but also to the Vevo web site and mobile platforms like Apple’s iOS, Google’s Android, Microsoft’s Windows Phone. As you know, Vevo streams official music videos licensed from record labels, both through its web site and via a dedicated YouTube channel, where most of its 52 million monthly uniques come from.

Vevo’s mobile apps will be updated with an around-the-clock curated experience of original programming, including live concerts and television shows. The experience is being described as multicast, meaning everyone gets to watch the same programming at the exact same time, regardless of the platform they’re accessing it from. Vevo TV will even feature a 24-hour schedule of static programming blocks, just like your regular dumb-ified tube… Read More

 

This year, smartphones should outship feature phones for the first time

By Ed Sutherland on Mar 4, 2013

It has already happened in the United States and now comes word 2013 will mark the date when smartphones outsell simpler so-called feature phones globally. More than 918 million smartphones such as Apple’s iPhone will ship this year, for the first time outnumbering feature phones.

According to research firm IDC, a nice 50.1 percent of mobile phones shipped this year will be smartphones, most destined for China. However, that small lead should widen greatly by 2017 as more emerging nations increase adoption of the powerful mobile devices… Read More

 
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