Continuing with its blitzkrieg of all things Windows, Microsoft held an event for Windows Phone 8 in San Francisco today. Microsoft’s Joe Belfiore and Steve Ballmer – and, yes, Jessica Alba – announced new features and where people can get their hands on Windows Phone 8 devices this November.

Apps by the numbers:
  • Belfiore announced that the Windows Store now has over 120,000 apps, and that “hundreds” more are added each day.
  • Apps are available in 50 languages and 191 countries.

Live Apps:
  • Belfiore demoed new Live Apps, which are a cross between the company’s signature (resizable!) Live Tiles and full applications that can integrate with the Wallet, the company’s payments solution, and other “hubs” (groups of apps or people).

  • Using the Live Apps framework, developers are able to build versions of the app that can appear on the lock screen. The example given was a Facebook-equipped lock screen that shows different Facebook photos each time the phone is unlocked.

  • “Think about how many times you take your phone out of your pocket, you turn it on, and you see your lock screen, and you’re seeing that same old image that you put on there months ago. Kinda boring.”
  • “The new lock screen is going to make that phone feel so much more personal, because each time you take it out, it’s going to feel that much more relevant to you.”

New Apps:
  • Belfiore announced a slew of new apps, Angry Birds “Roost,” PayPal, Twitter, The Weather Channel, Photosynth, Chase, CNN, Angry Birds Star Wars, Where’s My Water, and more.
  • Microsoft has also worked with Facebook to bring a new, Live Apps-capable version of the social networking app to Windows Phone 8 devices.

  • “We think that, with the launch of these apps, we will be at a point where we have 46 of the top 50 most heavily-used apps on other platforms on Windows Phone.”

  • Pandora will be shipping with Windows Phone 8 “early in 2013.” Microsoft has partnered with the company to provide Windows Phone 8 users with one year of ad-free music.

  • The new Skype app is “always on,” meaning that it’s ready to receive a call or message at any time. Belfiore claims that the service is able to do this without draining the phone’s battery and constantly running in the background.

Data Sense:
  • With Data Sense, Microsoft has built a system in the cloud and on the phone client that compresses every Web page browsed. The process sounds similar to that used by Amazon’s Silk browser, which shipped with the Kindle Fire, and the Opera browser available on Mac, Windows, iOS, and Android.
  • The feature helps users find WiFi hotspots that they can use instead of relying on cellular data.
  • Belfiore says that Data Sense will automatically adjust the way that the device uses data when a user nears their monthly data limit.

  • Data Sense users, Belfiore says, were able to access 45 percent more Web pages with the same data limit as people that don’t have the feature.
  • Microsoft is working with carriers to deploy Data Sense, and the first company to support the feature is Verizon.

Kid’s Corner:
  • Kid’s Corner, in a nutshell, creates a separate “place” on your phone specifically for kids. Parents will be able to allow or block apps and games from appearing in Kid’s Corner, which is accessed via swiping to the left in the lock screen.

  • Belfiore brought Jessica Alba out to talk about how much she loves Kid’s Corner and Windows Phone 8 as a whole (and to plug The Honest Company’s upcoming app).

  • Rooms is a new feature that allows users to group and interact with certain people on their phone more easily. Windows Phone 8 will ship with a pre-installed “Family” room, but Belfiore says that users can create and define their own rooms as well.

  • Through Rooms, users can share notes and calendars with each other – Belfiore specifically cited a running grocery list that he and his wife use to stay on top of what they need to buy.
  • Rooms work across platforms; an iPhone user that is added to a Room can enjoy similar features to users on Windows Phone 8.

  • “This year, Windows, from the PC to the tablet and the phone and the Xbox, will not only look and feel the same way, but will also work together in concert in a lot of compelling ways.” 

  • With Windows Phone 8, you can move your documents, photos, and music across all your devices wherever you are, Belfiore says, and the “key player” to all of that is SkyDrive.

  • Belfiore took a dig at Apple’s iCloud, saying that its SkyDrive service “isn’t just for photos and video – it’s the first cloud service that fully integrates and syncs your Office documents.”

  • Next up came Lenses, Microsoft’s kinda-sorta Answer to Instagram. Share on Facebook, Twitter, on email, NFC. In the background, a full-resolution version of the photo is uploaded to SkyDrive.

  • SkyDrive gets you started with the most free storage of any service, with 7GB and “gives you complete control over your photo content,” Belfiore says. He compared this to iCloud and Photo Stream, which will only store up to 1,000 photos for 30 days or less.

On being late, and hardware:
  • Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer took the stage to explain why the company might be a bit late to the smartphone wars, saying: “We had a very different perspective on what a smartphone can be. We didn’t want to build just a single phone for all of us. We wanted to build a phone that could be unique for each of us.”

  • Windows Phone 8 devices will go on sale this weekend.
  • Verizon will sell the Windows Phone 8X and the Lumia 822 by Thanksgiving, and it will sell Samsung’s Ativ Odyssey exclusively some time in November.
  • T-Mobile will be selling Nokia’s Lumia 810 and the Windows Phone 8X.

  • AT&T has the exclusive on the new Lumia 920 and Lumia 820 devices from Nokia, and will also be selling HTC’s Windows Phone 8X.
  • Microsoft will be selling every Windows Phone 8 device in its 65 Microsoft Stores across the country.

Battle of TABLETS

Google announced on Monday its brand new 10-inch Nexus 10 tablet, which is being touted as “the world’s highest resolution tablet display.” Although it may beat competitors such as the Surface, iPad 4and Kindle Fire HD in terms of screen resolution, you may be wondering how it stacks up in other areas.

For starters, it runs on Android 4.2 (still called Jelly Bean), so it one-ups the Kindle Fire HD and its Android 4.0 operating system in terms of software. It’s reasonably priced too — its 16GB model is $100 less than the iPad, but it’s still about $100 more than the Kindle Fire HD.
One major drawback to the Nexus 10 is that it will only be available online — at least for now — so consumers looking to give the tablet a test drive in a store before purchasing will be out of luck.

To make your purchasing decision easier based on what specs you’re looking for, we pitted the Nexus 10 against Microsoft’s Surface, the iPad 4 and Kindle Fire HD in a nicely-packaged chart below.
Which do you think is the best investment? Let us know in the comments below.

The Battle of the Tablets

Microsoft Surface RTApple iPad 4Amazon Kindle Fire HD 8.9Nexus 10
Screen Size10.6 inches9.7 inches8.9 inches10 inches
Resolution1,366 x 7682,048 x 1,5361,920 x 1,2002,560 x 1,600
Pixel Density148 ppi264 ppi254 ppi300 ppi
Weight1.5 pounds1.44 or 1.46 pounds1.25 pounds1.33 pounds
Dimensions (WxHxD)6.7 x 10.8 x 0.37 inches7.3 x 9.5 x 0.37 inches6.4 x 9.4 x 0.35 inches263.9 x 177.6 x 8.9 mm
CPUQuad-core Nvidia Tegra 3Dual-core 1.3GHz A6XDual-core 1.5GHz TI OMAP4470Dual-core A15
Storage32GB or 64GB16GB, 32GB or 64GB16GB or 32GB16GB or 32GB
ConnectorsUSB 2.0, microHDMIApple 9-pin dock Lightning connectormicroUSB, microHDMImicroUSB, microHDMI
Operating SystemWindows RTiOS 6Android 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich)Android 4.2 Jelly Bean
Battery Life8 hours of mixed activity10 hours of video playback9 hours9 hours
CameraTwo 720p HD cameras, front- and rear-facing5MP rear camera, VGA front cameraHD front camera5 MP, main; 1.9 MP front
NetworkingWi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.0Wi-Fi or Wi-Fi and 2G, 3G, 4G LTE; Bluetooth 4.0Dual-band Wi-Fi or dual-band Wi-Fi and 2G, 3G, 4G LTE; BluetoothWi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.0
Price$499 for 32GB, $599 for 32GB and Touch Cover, $699 for 64GB and Touch Cover$499 for 16GB, $599 for 32GB, $699 for 64GB (Wi-Fi); $629 for 16GB, $729 for 32GB, $829 for 64GB (Wi-Fi + LTE)$299 for 16GB, $369 for 32GB (Wi-Fi); $499 for 32GB, $599 for 64GB (Wi-Fi + cellular)$399 for 16GB, $499 for 32GB


SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Coming on the heels of its launch of Windows 8 and the Surface tablet, Microsoft has scheduled an event in San Francisco to kick off its new software for mobile phones.
On Friday, Microsoft started selling the Windows 8 operating system for desktops, laptops and tablet computers. Machines with Windows 8 started going on sale as well.

That operating system borrowed its look from Windows Phone, meaning Microsoft now has a unified look across PCs and phones — at least if people take to Windows 8. The company has also made it easy for developers to create software that runs on both systems with minor modifications.

Monday's event, at an arena in San Francisco, is devoted to Windows Phone 8.

The first phones from Nokia, Samsung and HTC are expected to hit store shelves next month, though many details on prices, carriers and exact dates aren't available yet. Microsoft may announce some of that Monday. CEO Steve Ballmer hinted at Monday's event when he spoke at a Windows 8 kick-off event Thursday.

"I can't wait to show you how we've really reinvented the smartphone around you," Ballmer said.
Windows Phone 8 will face heavy competition from the iPhone and devices running Google's Android software. People who already have Windows phones won't be able to upgrade to the new version.

Apple Software,reatil chiefs in overhaul

SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - Apple Inc CEO Tim Cook on Monday replaced the heads of its software and retail units in the company's biggest executive shake-up in a decade following embarrassing problems with its new mapping program and unpopular store-related decisions.
Software chief Scott Forstall, who oversaw the launch of the flawed mapping software and much criticized Siri voice-enabled assistant, will leave Apple next year.

Forstall, seen as a polarizing figure inside Apple, had been billed as one of the future candidates to take the top job at Apple. He was the executive behind the panned Apple Maps app that the company announced with much fanfare in summer.

Apple said in a statement that retail chief John Browett "is leaving," without elaborating; that a search for his replacement is underway; and the retail team would report directly to Cook. Browett had riled up the retail store staff when he reduced the number of employees in his unit.
The departures come a little more than a year into Cook's tenure as chief executive. Cook replaced the late Apple founder Steve Jobs, considered one of the best executives of all times by many analysts and investors.

"These changes show that Tim Cook is stamping his authority on the business," Ben Wood, analyst with CCS Insight, said. "Perhaps disappointed with the Maps issues, Forstall became the scapegoat."
Apple upended the tech industry with the release of its iPhone smartphone in 2007. But the company is facing increasing competition from search giant Google, whose Android has become the world's most popular mobile software, as well as from Inc, Microsoft and Samsung.
"Competition is moving much faster to be more Apple-like," said Tim Bajarin, president of technology research and consulting firm Creative Strategies. "They're finding they need to streamline the management team in order to get things going faster."

Apple's launch of its own mapping service in September, when it began selling the iPhone 5 and rolled out its updated iOS 6 software, led to widespread user complaints, particularly since it replaced the popular Google Inc Maps.

Apple's Siri personal assistant software also came under a lot of criticism, including for not providing information on business location, when it was launched last year.
Both the services were introduced with much fanfare by Forstall, who had supervised their development as senior vice president of iOS software.

The executive changes hand over substantially more responsibility to Eddy Cue, the head of Internet Software and Services who helped create the iTunes music store and App Store. The 23-year Apple veteran already is in charge of Cloud services and will take on Apple Maps and Siri. Craig Federighi will oversee Apple's mobile iOS software as well as its OS X Mac software, Apple said.

Putting the mobile and personal computer software teams under the same manager could improve operations within the company, particularly as the capabilities and features of smartphones and PCs increasingly converge, said analysts.

"If you have two different heads, you have two different fiefdoms," said BGC Partners analyst Colin Gillis.

Another executive who will get extra responsibility under the shake-up is Jonathan Ive, Apple's head of industrial design, who has played a key role in Apple's success by imbuing its gadgets with a distinct look and feel.

That magic touch could help reinvigorate the look of Apple's software, which has been criticized by some technology observers, Gillis said.


Shares of Apple, the world's largest publicly traded company by market value, have declined 14 percent in the past month since reaching a 52-week high of $705.07 in September.
Browett, former CEO of British electronics retailer Dixons, took over as senior vice president of Apple's retail stores earlier this year, replacing Ron Johnson, who went on to become the CEO of JCPenney.
"I think ultimately they probably discovered that his experience with Dixons didn't translate that well to the Apple stores and he just probably wasn't the right fit," Bajarin of Creative Strategies said.
Apple, which described Monday's moves as a way to increase "collaboration" across its hardware, software and services business, said Forstall will serve as an advisor to Cook until his departure.
Last week Apple delivered a second straight quarter of disappointing financial results, and iPad sales fell short of Wall Street's targets, marring its record of consistently blowing past investors' expectations.
(Reporting by Alexei Oreskovic; Editing by Richard Chang)

Get Instant Cash from Your Smart Phones Apps

The growing technology has bought marvellous changes in several fields. Communication is one among them. The latest advancement in gadgets has bought tremendous changes and advancements which have made life easy. With the advancement of time, the value of time has increased. Now-a-days people hardly have time to waste in fact even at the end of the day they are left with work to do. Understanding this situation new generation mobile versions have been designed with advanced apps by which you can earn extra income.

Here are few of the best applications which help you to get instant cash from your Smartphones:

1)Gigwalk: This is free of cost iPhone app. When gigs are present in an area it will send notifications for its users. The common question that will strike you is how can you earn by using gigs? The answer to your question is the concept of gigs. It is nothing but a snap taken through your phone. All you need to do is click a snap and upload it to the app. The snap can be anything such as a product in a store, menu in a restaurant or the latest version of a product released. So since you are helping in marketing you get paid for each gig you upload. Hence you can earn while you walk.

2)Field Agent: This is the previous version of the above application. It is known as the first app that pays. This is more challenging compared to its advanced version as the user has to complete the tasks within 2 hours from the time he accepted it. The pay will depend on the efficiency and performance of completing the target effectively.

3)Payday Loans: This is the best app to obtain a loan instantly. When you are in need to raise your funds you have just have to login and fill your details in the form. Approval is instant it might take less than a few hours and cash will be deposited to your account within 24hours from the time your loan is approved. The repayment options are flexible. The major advantage that made bad debt loan popular is that they are instant approval loans and do not involve complicated procedures.

4)CheckPoints: These are reward points you obtain on purchase of goods. The places include the ones which are often visited by you. On every purchase in a store you will earn certain points. When you reach a target score you can redeem your points to cash and reduce that amount on your next purchase. This app is present in your Android Smartphone and helps you to save as well as earn money. It also has other prizes depending on the offer.

Author Bio:
My name is Alicia. I am a tech writer from UK. I am into Finance. Catch me  @financeport