windows

'The map comes alive': Nokia Here boss dreams of drones, self-driving cars

BARCELONA, Spain -- "Mapping 1.0 is done," says the head of Nokia Here. He envisions a world of constantly-updating, infinitesimally precise maps guiding us on through the world on our smartwatches and smartphones, as self-driving cars zoom past and delivery drones soar overhead.

"First we had paper maps with lots of colourful lines," says Christof Hellmis, head of map platforms at Nokia Here, "but now the world is moving to the next generation of maps, which will be 3D, and will include Augmented Reality, like our CityLens app."

I met with Hellmis at … Read more

Free utility finds unwanted programs uninstallers miss

Software happens...sometimes more often than we intend.

Distributors of free apps are adept at getting us downloaders to agree to including special offers along with the programs we mean to install. Often the option to add the extra software is preselected, so we have to uncheck a box to prevent the unsolicited programs from hitching a ride.

Potentially unwanted programs (PUPs) can be a challenge to uninstall. I recently found myself with some PUPs that eluded the Windows 8.1 uninstaller as well as two popular utilities: Piriform's CCleaner and Revo Uninstaller. Fortunately, the system inventory created by … Read more

BBM to land on Windows Phone this summer

BlackBerry Messenger will expand its reach in the coming months.

In a blog posted Monday, BBM product and marketing chief Jeff Gadway revealed that the Messenger app will debut for Windows Phone users sometime this summer. The app will also travel to the newly-announced Android-powered Nokia X platform, though Gadway didn't reveal an ETA for that rollout.

BBM already supports BlackBerry OS, iOS, and Android. Users had been asking BlackBerry to extend BBM to other mobile systems, such as Windows Phone, Gadway added.

"BBM continues to grow in popularity as millions of people use our mobile platform for … Read more

Nokia's Elop on selling an Android phone that's not an Android phone

BARCELONA, Spain -- Nokia will have to walk a fine line when it comes to selling its recently unveiled Nokia X family of smartphones.

While Nokia X and its brethren will run on Android, they are far from Android phones. That could lead to customer confusion as the company has largely focused on Microsoft's Windows Phone operating for its primary line of smartphones, and its older Symbian operating system for its Asha line of starter smartphones.

"We're going to have to be deliberate," said Stephen Elop, head of devices for Nokia, in an interview with CNET … Read more

Why the Android-powered Nokia X is great for Microsoft

BARCELONA, Spain -- You would think that Nokia's first Android smartphone would make for the start of a tense relationship with soon-to-be parent Microsoft.

Well, you'd be wrong.

The Nokia X, alongside its brothers the Nokia X+ and the larger Nokia XL, may turn out to be a boon to both companies. The Android phones can be held up as a symbol of Microsoft's continued neutrality, even in the face of the pending acquisition of Nokia's devices business. Nokia, meanwhile, gets an even more competitive budget phone that it can serve up to emerging markets, an … Read more

First of 64-bit Windows 8.1 tablets arrives, this one from HP

Hewlett-Packard is one of the first to offer 64-bit compatibility on Windows 8.1 with a tablet using Intel's latest mobile processor. But others will follow.

On Sunday, Hewlett-Packard announced the HP ElitePad 1000 (PDF), which it describes as the "redesigned and upgraded 64-bit HP ElitePad." That tablet, starting at $739, will be available in March.

The ElitePad sports a quad-core Bay Trail processor, Qualcomm Gobi 4G LTE, 64GB or 128GB of storage, and a 10.1-inch 1,900x1,200-megapixel display.

And Dell will roll out updated Venue tablets with 64-bit mode turned on, Dell told CNETRead more

Next Windows Phone update will allow for more low-cost devices

Microsoft wants Windows Phone to go global in an even bigger way.

The company spilled a few of the details from its upcoming update to Windows Phone, which will be released later this year. With the update, Microsoft is loosening the restrictions for devices, allowing manufacturers to create more affordable products for the emerging markets.

Microsoft also announced a number of new partners who will be supporting Windows Phone, including high-profile names such as LG, Lenovo, and Foxconn.

The update underscores Microsoft's attempt to go after the emerging market, the fastest growing area in the industry. Even as the … Read more

Microsoft: Pretty please make Windows Phones based on our design

BARCELONA, Spain--Microsoft wants to make it a lot easier for companies to develop Windows Phones.

The software giant on Sunday unveiled plans to release a reference design based on its mobile operating system and using Qualcomm hardware. Basically, that means anyone -- from established handset vendors like HTC to PC makers like Hewlett-Packard -- can build phones relatively quickly and cheaply. If the companies want, they can essentially slap their own branding on the device from Microsoft.

"We're open for business on Windows Phone to anyone who wants to build a Windows Phone," said Nick Parker, the … Read more

Facebook Messenger to arrive on Windows Phone 'soon'

BARCELONA, Spain -- Windows Phone users will finally be able to use Facebook Messenger.

Microsoft's Joe Belfiore said the app will come to Windows Phone in the next few weeks.

"Facebook Messenger is probably one of the most requested individual apps we have our customers asking for," Belfiore said during a press conference at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona.

Windows Phone has received praise from reviewers, but that hasn't equated to blockbuster sales. Last year, handset vendors shipped 33.4 million Windows Phone devices globally, giving the operating system a market share of 3.3 percent, … Read more

Windows 8.1 update coming in spring, to improve controls, allow lower end hardware

BARCELONA, Spain--Microsoft plans to provide an update to Windows 8.1 that it hopes will address the concerns that early adopters have expressed with the operating system.

The update will improve the non-touch user interface controls, expand the options for hardware makers to create more affordable devices, and include compatibility for use in schools and large business.

The update will come in spring, according to Joe Belfiore, vice president of operating systems for Microsoft.

Windows 8 originally focused on pushing touch screen as a primary method of control. But people used to the typical mouse and keyboard control were frustrated … Read more