According to the research firm Strategy Analytics, Microsoft will double its share of the Western European smartphone market during 2012 to 12.3 percent, thanks largely to the new partnership with Nokia. This, however, pales in comparison to the market share Nokia's Symbian platform previously enjoyed, which was 41 percent in Western Europe as recently as last year.
The latest firmware update (PR1.1) for Nokia N950 has brought many improvements, but perhaps one of the best ones is the inclusion of Swype. I've tried Swype before in other devices, but I never was really convinced. That is until I tried it on my N950. After playing with it for about 15 minutes, I simply was blown away with it!
The games Galaxy on Fire 2 and Need for Speed Shift have been added to the latest firmware for the Nokia N950. However, they do not come in the OTA update. To install those games, this is what needs to be done using the Terminal app:
apt-get install gof2
apt-get install nfsshift
The games are fairly large (100+ MB), so using WLAN is recommended.
The latest firmware update for Nokia N950 is finally available! I'm currently doing an OTA (Over-the-air) update on my N950. According to tweets, the latest version is 2.2011.39-5. To receive the update you need to go to Settings > Applications > Manage Applications > Updates. With about 278 MB, it's fairly large, so WLAN connection is recommended. I'm getting lot of memory low warnings, but the update seems to continue to install just fine.
Steve Ballmer, CEO of Microsoft, told that Nokia "will have a chance at their Nokia World show next week to show a bunch of new devices running Windows Phone" at the Web 2.0 Summit. "It should be pretty good", according to Ballmer. This is not such a big surprise, as there have been several code names and specifications for Nokia's Windows Phones have popped up in multiple web sites. One of the latest rumours point out to a list of upcoming devices for TIM in Italy, in which Nokia "Windows Phone" is shown to come out in November.
Ballmer also used the opportunity to make fun of Android. "You don't need to be a computer scientist to use a Windows Phone", he said "I think you do to use an Android phone!" Whatever you think about the validity of this statement, he is, at least pretty funny. There is a YouTube video about it, where he also points out that "it is very hard to be excited, for me, about the Android phones." If you want to see the entire interview, check out this YouTube video where he talks about many other things too, like the recent acquisition of Skype.
Here is an interesting bit of news for Qt developers. RIM announced the Native Open Source Components Initiative. The idea is that commonly used Open Source Libraries will be used in conjunction with the BlackBerry Native SDK for Tablet OS. When looking at the General Libraries, Qt is mentioned first in the list. Further information about Qt reveals that Qt Quick is included in the initial port. So, at least in theory, is should be fairly easy to port existing Qt apps from, for example, Symbian, MeeGo or Maemo to BlackBerry PlayBook.
Source: BlackBerry github
People who have just bought or are thinking of buying the new Nokia N9, will be happy to know that there are some improvements on the way in future firmware updates. In fact, around 3,500 fixes or features according to Konttori's blog. Apparently, many teams started working already in spring on the first update release. Hopefully these updates will come to the Nokia N950 too. Anyway, hit the source to read more. In it Konttori talks about others things too. It's an interesting read.
The official word from Nokia Developer site is that a new firmware is coming out soon for the Nokia N950. This should bring it more into align with the Nokia N9. Finally! Before this update can be applied, the N950 should be updated to Beta2 (or 34-2) firmware, otherwise the SSU will fail. Hopefully the cellular reception issues I've had with the Beta2 will be fixed and Skype will work out of the box without any clever hack.
Source: Nokia Developer
Microsoft has received approval from EU and US to proceed with its Skype acquisition. Skype Division of Microsoft will be headed by Skype CEO Tony Bates. Given the amount of money involved, $8.5 billion, it is clear that Microsoft has big plans for Skype. Time will tell what they are and how they will succeed.
As for now, no immediate changes into Skype are expected, but Microsoft has been clear that it's planning to integrate it in variety of products. Besides the Microsoft's unified communications platform Lync, it seems logical to expect also a deep integration of Skype in future versions of Windows Phone and the upcoming Windows 8.
For someone who uses Skype daily, I'm interested to see how well the integration of it to Windows Phone and Windows 8 will work. The Skype integration, in my opinion, has been one of the best features in the Maemo based Nokia N900 and the current MeeGo based Nokia N9 (and N950). One of the strengths of Skype is the fact that it's multiplatform and according to Microsoft, they want to keep it this way. So no matter whether you are using a Windows, Mac or Linux computer or whatever mobile platform, chances are you can use Skype on it. Hopefully Microsoft will keep their promise and this will not change.
The first day of sales in Finland of the new Nokia N9 is strong, reports the Finnish Tietokone magazine. "I believe that the Nokia N9 will rise high in our most sold devices list", Juha Koivuniemi of Sonera predicts. In verkkokauppa.com the 64 GB version has already run out, while they still have left the 16 GB version in black and magenta. Apparently there have been difficulties to get enough of the 64 GB version from Nokia. Nokia is unwilling to give any clear numbers of devices sold. "We have been satisfied and the interest has been high, but we are not giving any figures", said Tapani Kaskinen, the Communications Manager of Nokia.
"Some have been very interested of the OS, but also the sleek design of the Nokia N9 has received much positive attention. The UI is completely unique", describes Jan Virkki, Elisa's senior vice president of consumer mobile devices. Asked how the sales will affect to the future of N9, Tapani Kaskinen of Nokia simply commented that "we will see". Although MeeGo doesn't seem to have any future in Nokia, it doesn't seem to affect sales. "This is no surprise, since the device as a whole is really functional", according to Juha Orava, the product manager of verkkokauppa.com.