This week it’s CTIA Wireless in Las Vegas. The event is a chance for tech companies to show off their latest stuff and already Microsoft has announced strong industry support for their next generation of Windows Phones running Windows Mobile 6.5.
MySpace, EA Mobile, Facebook, Handmark, Jeyo, Kinoma, Namco Networks, Netflix, Pandora, Resco, ShoZu, Sling Media, SBSH Mobile Software, Spb Software and many more have already signed up to offer their apps through Windows Marketplace for Mobile. Marketplace has already been announced and will be arriving later this year. It’s an on-the-phone store allowing direct purchase and downloads to your device. Customers can purchase applications on Windows Marketplace for Mobile with a credit card or have charges appear directly on their phone bill. Mobile operators that partner with Microsoft on Windows Marketplace will also have their own branded section within the catalogue.
However, there’s also fantastic news for developers. Following our earlier story, Microsoft has decided that developers will be able to deliver updates to their applications for free throughout the application lifecycle. No charging for updates. Hurrah!!!
In other news Microsoft is to launch a set of designer themes for new Windows Mobile phones, plus there’ll be a blast from the past – Theme Generator is back and will be available from http://www.windowsmobile.com/ later in the year. It’ll let people use pictures from your PC as background image and you can adjust colours and scroll bars. Hopefully this will be a lot more advanced than the original Theme Generator :)
Microsoft have also recognised the rise and rise of social networking and, from April, you’ll be able to get a new Facebook application which allows video and picture upload. This, we presume, is the one that leaked earlier. MySpace is on the way and, after many years of not having an official download, Windows Live with Messenger will finally be available to download direct from wl.windowsmobile.com. This will be available for free download from April 2nd. It includes mobile versions of Windows Live Hotmail, Windows Live Messenger, Windows Live Contacts, Windows Live Spaces, Microsoft Live Search and enhanced photo upload capabilities.
In addition there’s a new beta version of Windows Live Hotmail which you can get straight through your mobile browser. Go to m.mail.live.com to try it out – there’s now full HTML pages in emails, a new search function and more.
The full keynote will be available to watch live on windowsmobile.com/ctia2009 on April 2nd.
Update – Read on for the press release plus stacks of pictures showing Facebook, Windows Marketplace and Windows Mobile 6.5 in action or head to microsoft.com
Link – Microsoft.com Press Release
Microsoft Gains Support for Next Generation of Windows® Phones
EA Mobile, MySpace and Isaac Mizrahi are among early supporters of Windows® phones; new Windows® phone applications are now available.
LAS VEGAS — March 30, 2009 — Furthering its vision to connect the PC, Web and phone, Microsoft Corp. today announced strong industry support for Windows Mobile 6.5 and Windows Marketplace for Mobile as well as new applications for Windows® phones.
Joining a long list of mobile developers, EA Mobile and MySpace announced plans to deliver Windows® phone applications through Windows Marketplace for Mobile. In his keynote address at International CTIA WIRELESS 2009, Robbie Bach, president of the Entertainment and Devices Division at Microsoft, will introduce an alliance with two prominent design houses through which fashion designer Isaac Mizrahi will demonstrate ways people can customize their Windows® phone to fit their personal style.
“We know it’s the experiences that mobile phones can offer to people that really matter,” Bach said. “The continued support from the world’s top mobile operators, manufacturers and developers means you can choose the Windows® phone, applications and experiences that are right for you. We’re excited about what we can offer on Windows® phones combined with our new mobile services.”
Mobile Application Leaders Sign Up to Develop for Windows Marketplace for Mobile
Companies representing the top-selling categories of mobile applications today signed on to be among the first to offer applications through Windows Marketplace for Mobile. They include AccuWeather.com., The Associated Press, CNBC, Developer One Mobile Software, EA Mobile, Facebook, Gameloft, Glu Mobile, Handmark, Ilium Software Inc., Jeyo Inc., Kinoma, LiteScape, Magmic Games, Melodis Corp., MySpace, Namco Networks, Netflix, Pandora, PhatWare Corp., Resco s.r.o., ShoZu Inc., Sling Media Inc., SBSH Mobile Software, Spb Software, Web Information Solutions Inc. and Zagat Survey. Resulting applications will provide new and unique gaming, social networking, media, utility and personal productivity experiences for the next generation of Windows® phones. Windows Marketplace for Mobile, available later this year, provides another venue for people to get the applications they want the way they want, right on their phone. Current Windows® phone users already have access to more than 20,000 applications through multiple distribution partners.
“EA Mobile develops some of the world’s most fun and advanced mobile gaming applications, and we understand the importance of product quality and consumer discovery as keys to success,” said Adam Sussman, vice president of Worldwide Publishing, EA Mobile. “With Windows Marketplace for Mobile, we are excited to continue our close relationship with one of our most valued partners to offer great EA games to millions of Windows® phone users worldwide.”
Customers will have the option to purchase applications on Windows Marketplace for Mobile with a credit card or have charges appear directly on their phone bill. In addition, people will be able to return an application after purchase within 24 hours for a full refund. Microsoft also announced today that developers will now be able to deliver updates to their applications for free* throughout the application lifecycle.
Mobile operators that partner with Microsoft on Windows Marketplace for Mobile also will gain access to a branded section of the catalog, where they will be able to market their own applications and services to their customer base.
Windows® Phones Take Individual Expression to a New Level
Through new partnerships with the Design Museum London and Council of Fashion Designers of America, Microsoft will offer a variety of free* designer themes to help people express their personal style on Windows® phones. Microsoft today announced Mizrahi as the first in a series of designers to create exclusive themes, including color palettes and wallpaper. Other designers will be announced in the coming months.
“Phones are just as much a fashion statement as the clothes you wear,” said Mizrahi, fashion designer and TV personality. “As a designer, I’m excited to team up with Microsoft to bring forth fresh and funky new ways for people to make their Windows® phones a part of their personality. Cast aside your old black phone, and make this year about color and fun.”
In addition, the new Theme Generator will provide people with yet another way to personalize their Windows® phone. The Theme Generator, available at http://www.windowsmobile.com later this year, will enable Windows® phone users to select pictures from their PC to set as background images, as well as choose colors to personalize their navigation bar, scroll bar and highlighted text. Once finished, their personal theme will be sent to their phone.
Windows® Phones Making Available New Ways to Connect to Friends and Family
Social networking has emerged as a popular form of expression, communication and sharing for mobile phone users. Windows Mobile users will be able to engage and experience some of the most popular global social networks right from their Windows® phone, including Facebook, MySpace and Windows Live. Microsoft has created a new Facebook application, available for Windows® phones for free* in April, that makes it easy for people to capture video on their phone and upload it to Facebook. A new MySpace application, available for free* this summer, gives Windows® phone customers real-time access to their global MySpace network. LG Electronics Inc. will preload the MySpace application on its Windows® phones.
Microsoft also announced that Windows Live for Mobile will be available for free download this week for customers in 25 languages. Windows Live for Mobile is the company’s mobile suite of Internet services designed specifically to take advantage of the Windows Mobile platform. It includes mobile versions of Windows Live Hotmail, Windows Live Messenger, Windows Live Contacts, Windows Live Spaces, Microsoft Live Search and enhanced photo upload capabilities. Customers who have Windows Mobile 6.x phones can visit http://wl.windowsmobile.com on April 2 to download the suite.
The company also will launch a new beta version of Windows Live Hotmail available through a mobile Web browser. The release includes a new and improved user interface, navigation enhancements for touch-screen devices, the ability to see full HTML pages within
e-mail messages and a new search feature that enables people to find important e-mail messages more easily. The beta version is available at http://m.mail.live.com.
Microsoft Entertainment & Devices President Robbie Bach’s keynote at International CTIA WIRELESS 2009 will be streamed live on April 2, 2009, beginning at 9 a.m. PDT at http://www.windowsmobile.com/ctia2009.