Get Ready to Test Some Windows Phone Apps

Windows Phone Developers SummitSure, you probably spend most of your testing time with Android and iOS apps, but if Microsoft has its way that will be changing soon. A month from today Microsoft will be hosting a developer summit – just another way the company hopes to encourage mobile app developers to pick up the WP OS. Here’s some details from CNET:

Microsoft is serious about closing the gap separating its Windows Phone application Marketplace from Android’s Google Play and iPhone’s App Store. The San Francisco location couldn’t be a better spot to tap into Silicon Valley’s software-development mojo.

It isn’t that the Redmond giant hasn’t tended its app garden, which it had to restart from scratch after plowing under its previous Windows Mobile platform. In fact, Microsoft has been actively seeking top app shops and independent coders before ever announcing its first Windows phone.

The Windows Phone Marketplace has been seeing steady growth and some big milestones over the past few months. At last count it had 80,000 apps (compared to 30,000 a year ago). And according to CNET, this is likely just the tip of the iceberg.

Read more…

Windows 7 Launch Round Up

In case you missed the news, Microsoft launched their much-anticipated Windows Phone 7 this morning. The folks at Microsoft (not to mention their shareholders) are expecting big things from this launch, as evidenced by the company’s mock funeral for the iPhone just a few weeks ago.

But keeping track of all the latest news and reviews can be a bit overwhelming, so here’s a brief round up of the notable coverage thus far. Much, much more to follow.

Report: Samsung, LG to Launch Windows Phone 7 Next Week (PC World):

Samsung Electronics and LG Electronics will launch their first cell phones running the Windows Phone 7 operating system next week, South Korea’s Yonhap news agency said Monday.

The Omnia 7 will go on sale in France on Oct. 21 and LG will put its Optimus 7 on sale in Europe and Asia on the same day, the report said, quoting the companies.

The Samsung handset will launch in other markets in the coming months including the U.S., where AT&T will sell it as the Samsung Focus, Yonhap said. It has a 4-inch screen.

A humbled Microsoft prepares to boot up Windows Phone 7 (Wired):

Joe Belfiore, Microsoft’s man in charge of mobile, has a favorite word when he talks about Windows Phone 7: “holistic.” The company’s mobile infrastructure underwent a sea change to make an operating system based on what users want, which required retooling its entire phone manufacturing and design strategy.

It even involved building robots to make sure handsets work like you expect them to.

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Microsoft Lures Mobile Developers – Testers Next?

Loyalty doesn’t have to be something you earn. Sometimes, it’s easier just to pay for it. The Miami Heat proved this last week (with LeBron James) and now Microsoft hopes to do the same (with mobile developers). In today’s article from PCWorld, we learn that Microsoft is offering cash incentives to developers who build apps for its upcoming Windows Phone 7 mobile operating system.

The question for us then becomes: If they are successful in luring developers with cash and perks, how will this affect their need for mobile application testers? I think you know the answer to that.

Of course, testing will be one of many concerns for Microsoft as they play “catch-up” with Apple, Google and others. Daniel Ionescu explains:

Read more…

Beta Alert: Microsoft Windows Phone Developer Tools

From the one and only Engadget.com:

“Early versions of the tools Windows Phone 7 developers will use to craft their wares have been floating around since Microsoft’s MIX event in March, but it looks like things have finally gotten robust and feature-complete enough this week to bless the kit with a beta label.

In fact, Microsoft is coming out and saying that this release “represents the near final version,” which we take to mean you can develop with some confidence that your world won’t be turned upside down when the time comes to prep your apps for shipping devices and firmwares.

The actual API has been tweaked and Expression Blend is now fully integrated with the tools, though there are apparently still a few controls that aren’t ready for primetime and will be added over the coming weeks. Oh, and if no emulator is enough to satisfy your intense cravings, you might be excited to learn that more developer devices are slated to ship next week — so keep an eye on your mailbox and your porch if you signed up to get one.

Read the entire article.

Is Apple Taking Over The Mobile World? The Numbers Tell A Different Story

If media coverage equaled market share, then I’d be writing this post from my iPhone (I’m not) and every single one of you would be reading it from your shiny new iPad (you’re not). In case you haven’t been near a TV… or a computer… or a radio… or people… you’re aware that Apple launched a new product last week called the iPad.

And with the apparent ubiquity of the iPhone, one can only assume that Apple’s mobile market share hovers somewhere between 97% and 109%. Unless, of course, you look at those pesky “statistics”, which is exactly what the fine folks at Comscore do each month. As Jason Kincaid (@jasonkincaid) covered recently, the latest mobile market share might surprise you:

  • RIM and their family of Blackberry devices continue to hold the pole position. In fact, their actually gaining ground, picking up 1.3% since Q4 of 2009 to its current position of 42.1% of the market.
  • Android continue to gain market share rapidly jumping from 3.8% of the market in Q4 to 9.0% in Q1. Android still has a lot of ground to make up to catch up with Apple and RIM, but a few more quarters like this and they’d catch (and pass) the leaders.
  • Despite the high-profile product launches, Apple’s share of the market was actually flat (down .1%)
  • Microsoft and Palm continue to shed market share (down 4.0% and 1.8%, respectively)

For those of you who have switched phones in the past few months, I’m curious to know if these stats are in line with the recent purchasing decisions you and your friends/co-workers are making. What say you? What smartphone are you packin’ these days?

This post originally appeared on the uTest blog.