Earlier this week, a rumor came out on InsideMobileApps.com stating that Microsoft may be getting rid of its Microsoft Points system in favor of a more traditional transaction system like that of the Android App and Apple App stores.
Though Microsoft gave the expected “we do not comment on rumours or speculation” response, InsideMobileApp reports of mobile developers being told to plan upcoming DLC and In-App purchases in accordance with this change. Whether this will affect just the Windows Phone which uses the Microsoft Points system that started with the XBox 360 or carry across all Microsoft platforms at this point is all speculation.
The Microsoft Points system has come under fire since the initial Marketplace pricing structure on the XBox 360 was revealed. At its origin, downloadable titles on the XBox Marketplace were either 400 or 800 Microsoft points which translates to $5 and $10 respectively.
The problem however quickly presented itself that points were sold in 500 point increments. This resulted in leftover points. It would force customers to make further purchases in favor of having unused currency sitting on their account. This problem further compounded itself when DLC evolved and was priced at other irregular point values.
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With all the news and hype surrounding Apple’s iPhone and Google Android-powered smartphones we sometimes forget the Microsoft has smartphones powered by its Windows Phone OS too. In fact, Microsoft just had a big even yesterday to talk all about the coming update to their phone OS.
The next generation, dubbed Windows Phone 7.1 “Mango” has a host of new features and enhancements that I hate to say look pretty darn good. Mango goes a long way to bring the platform up to date, and Microsoft has named HTC, LG, Samsung, Dell, Acer, Fujitsu Limited, ZTE Corporation and of course Nokia as partners moving forward.
Mango will add more robust multitasking support, messaging threads, deeper social integration, a unified email inbox, voice-to-text and text-to-voice support, and about 500 other enhancements to the Windows Phone platform when it launches this fall.
Click through for the full press release from Microsoft as well as a video of some of the new features of Mango.
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I don’t think we’ll see the kind of lines normally associated with the launch of an iPhone, but if you’re a Microsoft and Windows 7 fan, today’s your day. Why? Well, in case you didn’t know, today is launch day for Microsoft’s new smartphone powered by Windows 7.
That’s right, Windows Phone 7 devices are now available for purchase in the U.S. The Redmond Giant (As we like to call them) already launched its new mobile OS last month in Europe and fans here in the US of A have had to wait patiently for the launch here. Now, the wait is over.
At the moment, you can get one of three smartphones powered by Windows 7 from two different carriers. The HTC Surround, Samsung Focus and HTC HD7 are good to go with the Dell Venue Pro is rumored to drop later today. The LG Quantum is also available for pre-order from AT&T starting today.
CDMA Windows Phone 7 devices on Sprint and Verizon are not expected until the first quarter of 2011. AT&T is investing heavily in the Windows Phone 7 launch, with touch screen displays providing information about the system and “experience tables” to showcase the Windows Phone 7 handsets. Also displayed are Xbox game console and a laptop with Windows 7 operating system.
Expect to pay $199.99 for any of these Windows Phones. Of course, you can probably find better deals elsewhere by doing a little searching.
So, anyone planning on lining up for a Windows Phone 7 today? If so, let us know how it goes.