Nokia 'Champagne,' Xbox dashboard preview and more Microsoft news of the week

Nokia 'Champagne,' Xbox dashboard preview and more Microsoft news of the week

Summary: Microsoft news round-up for this week includes a possible new Nokia Windows Phone, tidbits on the Xbox dashboard fall preview, new comScore search data and more.


It's time for an end-of-week Microsoft news round-up -- including info on a couple "new to me" codenames. (Yes, I know I am woefully behind in publishing another update to my Microsoft Code Tracker. I hopefully will post a mega-catch-up update some time soon.)

There's a little something for every Microsoft watcher in this one, whether you care about Windows Phones, enterprise products and/or Bing.

Another new Nokia Windows Phone in the works? reported this week that a Windows Phone handset known as the "Nokia Champagne" has shown up in the logs of the "I'm a WP7!" app. According to the site, whatever Champagne is, it appears to be running  Windows Phone OS 7.10.8711 -- something more recent than Windows Phone Mango. Could this be one of the first Windows Phone "Tango" handsets? Nokia is expected to bring a "portfolio" of phonese to the U.S. early next year. It's unclear if Champagne is one of these or if it's something targeted at developing/new Windows Phone markets.

HTC Radar 4G: This is what a Mango phone should look like. As I noted earlier this week, Microsoft has loaned me an HTC Radar 4G, one of the new crop of Windows Phone Mango devices that have launched recently. After a few days of use, I'm hooked. It's not just another black slab with a nice Metro interface. I really like the Radar's white/silver aluminum body. Battery life is good. There's a front-facing camera, tethering support, automatically customized ringtone volume (known as "Attentive Phone" functionality). Downside: It's T-Mobile only and I'm on Verizon due to their solid service here in New York City and elsewhere.

The private Xbox Live fall dashboard preview has gone to testers who signed non-disclosure agreements. More than a few folks have been living on the edge of their NDAs and have posted various tidbits about the update. The most interesting (to me) is what's in the expected new Xbox App marketplace. It's not just games, from what I'm hearing. Facebook, Twitter, Hulu and Netflix apps are in there, too. While on the topic of Xbox, it's worth noting that veteran Online Services exec Yusuf Mehdi is now the Chief Marketing Officer for Xbox, as Microsoft announced this week.

The System Center team is continuing its push to deliver the nine or ten new point products in the System Center 2012 family. This week, the team announced the near-final Release Candidate of System Center Operations Manager 2012, which allows public/private datacenter monitoring. In addition, tthe Softies also took the wraps off a codename I had been trying to crack for a month or so: "Andes." Andes is the System Center Cloud Service Process Pack from the Solution Accelerators team. It is out in beta form, as of this week. The pack is designed to offer "a self-service experience to facilitate private cloud capacity requests from your business unit IT application owners and end users, including the flexibility to request additional capacity as business demands increase." I learned another new Microsoft codename this week, too: The SQL Azure Labs "Data Explorer" tool that allows users to find, combine and publish daatasets? Its codename is "Montego" for all you other codename-curious folks out there.

New comScore search data is out, and unsurprisingly, MicroHoo isn't growing by leaps and bounds. Google's U.S. core search share grew slightly, to 65.6 percent in October. Yahoo lost share, and is now at 15.2 percent. Microsoft stayed mostly flat, with 14.8 percent share in October. Combined MicroHoo share in September was 30.2 percent in September, compared to 30 percent in October. While on the topic of search, I had something unusual happen this week when I was searching frantically for one of old my blog posts -- something I normally do in Google because I tend to get more accurate results. I searched using a whole bunch of different keywords for about 15 minutes for my post in Google to no avail. I tried Bing and got the correct match with my first search. Hmmm. Maybe Google's latest move to a new algorithm will be what it takes to get me to start "Binging it." Now if Bing could only shore up their not-so-current and accurate local search and directions results for New York City on Windows Phone...

Microsoft vs. Barnes & Noble (and Google): The accusations and legal filings fly. The Microsoft vs. Barnes & Noble Android patent dispute continues to wind its way along, with B&N continuing to beat the anticompetition drum (in the way B&N outlined earlier this year). FOSS Patents' Florian Mueller published Microsoft motion to compel Google to provide related information. (In case anyone's forgotten, Mueller, is doing a paid study for Microsoft around FRAND patents.) Mueller notes that "Microsoft's motion argues that 'Google is the leader of the Android Open Source Project' and "therefore can be expected to have evaluated whether, as Barnes & Noble claims, Microsoft's alleged conduct has had any business effect on Android distribution." Anyone going to Microsoft TechDays in Vancouver, British Columbia, next week? Microsoft Principal Program Manager and all-around-excellent Geekspeaker Scott Hanselman is keynoting on November 15, and I'm doing a Manager TechTalk Q&A on Microsoft futures the same day. I'm also going to be speaking at the Microsoft Vancouver Tech User Group on November 16 (registration here). Let me know if any of you "All About Microsoft" readers will be around!

Topics: Nokia, Hardware, Microsoft, Mobility, Operating Systems, Software, Telcos, Windows


Mary Jo has covered the tech industry for 30 years for a variety of publications and Web sites, and is a frequent guest on radio, TV and podcasts, speaking about all things Microsoft-related. She is the author of Microsoft 2.0: How Microsoft plans to stay relevant in the post-Gates era (John Wiley & Sons, 2008).

Kick off your day with ZDNet's daily email newsletter. It's the freshest tech news and opinion, served hot. Get it.


Log in or register to join the discussion
  • RE: Nokia 'Champagne,' Xbox dashboard preview and more Microsoft news of the week

    FYI - All of the apps in the Xbox Live Marketplace have already been around. The only news worthy thing about it is the fact that there IS an App Marketplace now.
    • app marketplace

      Hi. Do you think MS will use this as its sole app marketplace going forward? For Xbox, Win 8, WP? Just curious what you think. Thanks. MJ
      Mary Jo Foley
      • RE: Nokia 'Champagne,' Xbox dashboard preview and more Microsoft news of the week

        @Mary Jo Foley
        I'm not sure what you mean. As in calling all their marketplaces Xbox Live? I don't think so. For Apple, iTunes as a platform already existed before the iPhone and before apps. While Microsoft is great at platforms, and they're trying to bring them together more and more, I don't think that would quite work.

        Xbox carries slightly different denotation than iTunes. Say for example there ends up being an XBL marketplace in Windows 8. Even though I'm a power user, I'm also a college student with a few dozen Xbox 360 games. I would assume that said marketplace would be only game stuff.

        I believe the most MS can get away with for the Xbox name, is rebranding Zune as Xbox (as has been mention on WW many times).
  • HTC Radar 4G

    Good looking phone - almost good enough to be an Apple product. Will it come free with mango when you sign up for a contract?

    Alas, the financial services company for which I work (and which I am on the mobile apps team for) has no plans for Windows Phones, although we're near releasing our new app for iPhone, Android and Blackberry. I've asked what it would take for WP7 to make the cut, no answer yet.
    • HTC Radar 4G


      All Windows Phones can get Mango for free. If you have the 1st generation it is a download from Zune and for all 2nd Generation devices (HTC Radar included) Mango comes pre-loaded.
    • Build it in HTML 5

      @HollywoodDog If you built it in HTML 5, your app would have been just one code-base and would already work on WP.
      A Gray
  • Where does Windows Phone 7 start on the chart?

    When was it released?
    • Windows Phoen Release

      @HollywoodDog <br><br>Fall of 2010 and the newest update, which changed it to Windows Phone 7.5 a.k.a. "Mango" cam out in September of this year.
  • RE: Nokia 'Champagne,' Xbox dashboard preview and more Microsoft news of the week

    "tthe Softies"
    Too many "t"
  • Search

    For non academic searches, Bing has dramatically outperformed Google for almost two years now.

    For hard-core stuff, Google still seems to have a healthy edge (there is no "scholar" equivalent on Bing).
    x I'm tc
    • RE: Nokia 'Champagne,' Xbox dashboard preview and more Microsoft news of the week

      @jdakula <br>People who buy Windows computers (90%+ of people) get bing as the default search engine of the default browser yet they are apparently increasingly choosing to go to a dramatically underperformed search engine for two years now. Ok, sure.<br><br>Personally, I think if Google was default on 90%+ of computers and didn't spend so much less than Bing on marketing then Bing would the linux of search engines. It already is despite having all these advantages in some parts of the world.

      Just look at the similarities. Small minority of cheerleaders always telling the rest of us how much better it is and how ignorant we are for not seeing it. Also, complaining about how unfair it is that its so inaccessible (actually that argument only is true for linux.)
  • RE: Nokia 'Champagne,' Xbox dashboard preview and more Microsoft news of the week

    I`m ready to TANGO with MANGO.
    Pretty HTC phone is on my RADAR.
  • RE: Nokia 'Champagne,' Xbox dashboard preview and more Microsoft news of the week

    Hi Mary Jo,
    I'll be speaking at TechDays Vancouver as well. I'm doing the what's new in SCCM 2012 session.

    Say hi if you can.

    Colin Smith
    The Colin Smith
  • RE: Telefonica loses $600 million in Q3, first loss in 9 years
  • RE: Nokia 'Champagne,' Xbox dashboard preview and more Microsoft news of the week

    'HTC Radar 4G: This is what a Mango phone should look like' - yes, except for the fact that once again it has only 8GB of memory. Have these people still not learned from Apple?
    TV John
  • WP7 and VZW

    Like you, I'm a VZW customer. Like you, I also wonder why VZW has only one WP7 phone. I'm up for a new phone in February, and really want a WP7 phone. However, if VZW doesn't offer some additional choices, I may have to look at Android or iPhone.

    Although you concentrate on Microsoft, perhpas investgating why after a year VZW has only one choice for WP7 may be a good thread. I've seen no one questioning that yet.
  • hdrphwo 21 osq

    vmczuv,ndgcacbs61, ldlil.