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New Mango phones get BIG launch in Big Apple

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November 8, 2011

Microsoft constructed a six storey Windows phone in New York's busy Herald Square to launc...

Microsoft constructed a six storey Windows phone in New York's busy Herald Square to launch new Windows Phone 7.5 smartphones from HTC and Samsung

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Microsoft built a six-story Windows Phone in New York's Herald Square to launch a batch of new HTC and Samsung phones running on the Windows Phone 7.5 (Mango) operating system. The Big Windows Phone structure featured two stage areas in between the huge screens - one to demonstrate the Music+ Video Hub with a live performance from electro hip hop group Far East Movement and the other to represent the Xbox LIVE gaming experience with a game of Plants vs Zombies using real people as the characters. As for the phones themselves - HTC's Radar 4G is available now on T-Mobile, while HTC's TITAN and Samsung's Focus S and Focus Flash head for AT&T.

Microsoft says that its new Windows Phone operating system is all about connecting people and as if to prove the point, the Big Windows Phone - about 150 times bigger than the real thing - kick started the launch day by playing host to a cutesy wedding proposal from New Yorker Yuriy Rud to his suitably stunned girlfriend (she accepted, by the way). In addition to live music and an epic battle between the undead and some overly protective flowers, the huge screens in front of the stage areas in the super-sized smartphone also slid back to reveal a live game of Fruit Ninja, complete with real fruit and a sword-wielding martial artist.

A game of Plants vs Zombies taking place while Far East Movement entertain the crowd

Of course, the event was staged to showcase the new Mango phones - all of which feature front- and rear-facing cameras, powerful processors, bright, colorful screens with a resolution of 480 x 800 pixels, and are capable of 4G speeds.

Leading the charge is Samsung's 8.55 mm thin Focus S, which has a 4.3-inch Super AMOLED Plus display boasting a 16 million color palette, a 1.4GHz processor and an 8 megapixel autofocus camera with LED flash and 4x zoom on its rear, and a 1.3 megapixel at the front. The smartphone is said to be good for up to 250 hours of battery life on stand-by and 6.5 hours of continuous talk time, and is available on the AT&T network for US$199.99.

Also on AT&T, the Samsung Focus Flash is available for just US$49.99 and features a 3.7-inch Super AMOLED screen, a 1.4GHz processor, a 5 megapixel autofocus camera with LED flash and 4x zoom, and is capable of 720p video capture and playback.

Taking a quick diversion to T-Mobile, HTC's Radar 4G has been constructed from a single piece of polished aluminum, and features a 3.8-inch screen, a 1GHz Qualcomm processor, a rear-facing 5 megapixel camera with LED flash and low-light-friendly BSI sensor and a VGA-quality camera at the front. This one is priced at US$99.99 (after a US$50 mail in rebate).

HTC's impressive 9.9 mm thin TITAN smartphone will be added to AT&T's portfolio shortly. It has a 4.7-inch screen, a 1.5GHz processor, is capable of recording 720p video, has an 8 megapixel camera with dual LED flash and F2.2 lens, and also features a BSI sensor. There's also a 1.3 megapixel camera at the front and SRS Audio enhancement.

Highlights of Windows Phone 7.5 include Internet Explorer Mobile with a new Local Scout function that offers restaurant, shopping and event recommendations, the grouping of communication portals together in one place - such as email, SMS, social media, chats, and Windows Live instant messages - and a catalog of over 35,000 apps and games from Windows Phone Marketplace, including the new Spotify on-demand music service app.

Take a quick look at the following time-lapse video of that crowd-stopping Big Windows Phone being constructed:

About the Author
Paul Ridden While Paul is loath to reveal his age, he will admit to cutting his IT teeth on a TRS-80 (although he won't say which version). An obsessive fascination with computer technology blossomed from hobby into career before the desire for sunnier climes saw him wave a fond farewell to his native Blighty in favor of Bordeaux, France. He's now a dedicated newshound pursuing the latest bleeding edge tech for Gizmag.   All articles by Paul Ridden
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1 Comment

I really would like to purchase and use a New Windows phone...really I would..but because Microsoft, in their infinite wisdom, has decided to abandon the enterprise and technical user, there is no way I can use this device.

Why?

Well, where's the VPN? If you guessed it's not there, then you are correct. Microsoft failed to realize that corporate security policies dictate that data is not to be transferred across unsecured wireless channels...and no...WPA WiFi isn't good enough...anybody else on that same WiFi access point can sniff your packets and grab your data with no problem...VPN is the only solution for this.

And to make this even worse, There aren't any hooks into the network stack for third parties to write a VPN...not even something as universal as a PPTP VPN! There is currently a petition on Microsoft's site with over 3,000 entries asking them to implement VPN...Let's hope they do this sooner than later....But the sheer fact that they neglected to include such a basic and necessary component into their OS tells me that the OS is half baked and not ready for prime-time yet..

Take, for instance, the fact that there is no local syncing...What? You can only sync over the cloud? And then, only using Zune? So, If I want something that is sitting on my desktop and I want to move or copy it over to my WP7.x phone, I can't just simply connect via Bluetooth and copy the data over? Nope..I have to fire up Zune on my desktop, move the file to a cloud storage location (no idea about the security of this cloud storage, but there is no other option) Then access the cloud storage with my zune enabled phone and download the file to my phone using the zune app...yeah...*THAT'S* convenient! NOT!

I could go on and on about the things missing from the WP7.x OS, but I hope you get the point...if you want to get messages about how an acquaintance you haven't seen in a dozen years is now the mayor of the corner coffee shop in a city you've never visited, then yeah...this phone will do that...but if you want to remote desktop into your Exchange back-end server to restart the Exchange Store service, then no...this phone will not do that....at least I hope it won't, because if it can, this means your backend servers are accessible to the internet...and that is just wrong!

Ed
9th November, 2011 @ 02:35 pm PST
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