Nokia and Samsung have announced the hardware, but Where oh where is Windows Phone 8?
Apparently aware that time is running out, Microsoft has at long last spoken. Next week, the company will release a beta SDK… to a few people. Calling it a limited “Preview” release, some number of developers with existing, published Windows Phone 7 applications will be able to use the new SDK. This is in addition to an existing private beta program already running, that’s giving OEMs and special software partners access to the software.
A full SDK will come, but not until the company properly unveils the operating system—which is currently rumored to happen on October 29th. Presuming Windows Phone 8 devices ship this year—and Microsoft is certainly talking as if they will—that leaves developers little time to update their applications and get ready for the new platform.
Needless to say, developers are unhappy. They had months of SDK access prior to Windows Phone’s initial release. The same was true of the major Mango update; Microsoft gave developers beta firmware, so that they could test it on real devices, and an updated SDK months before the software was actually delivered. iPhone developers similarly have ample access to new SDKs and firmwares; the iOS 6 SDK was first made available on June 11th. With iPhone 5 likely to materialize next week, that will be three months of SDK access to prepare for the new platform. This compares to a handful of weeks for Windows Phone 8 developers.
Back in March, Microsoft submitted a novel device to the FCC which would utilize the unused “white spaces” in the US TV spectrum (which vary from city to city) for portable personal digital communications. Last week, the FCC’s assessment came in and it wasn’t a pretty sight because the prototype failed to correctly detect when frequencies were in use and would thereby cause interference. This week, more details came out it and it was revealed that Microsoft’s prototype was defective:
In recent months Microsoft has signed cross-license agreements with a number of large hardware electronics firms like Samsung and Seiko-Epson and today announced another with LG Electronics, the Korean electronics giant. This is standard practice for larger corporations, but there is a novel aspect in today’s agreement in view of Microsoft’s recent grumblings about Linux patent infringement:
LGE will be making ongoing payments to Microsoft for the value of Microsoft patents as they relate to Linux-based embedded devices that LGE produces.
That’s not exactly new since the Samsung announcement said:
Samsung will also obtain coverage from Microsoft for its customers’ use of certain Linux-based products.
It’s hard to tell what is really going on here from press releases and the companies won’t reveal the actual financial and technical details, but the whole point of cross-licensing agreements is mutual insurance. It wouldn’t surprise me if any of these firms using Linux took out a little Microsoft Linux insurance as part of the deal.
Some Microsoft news items from this week that did not find posts of their own:
State by state, Microsoft responds to creeping threat of OpenDocument Format:
Ed Homan, an orthopedic surgeon representing a central Florida district in the state legislature, thought an amendment touting open-source document formats he tucked into a 38-page bill wouldn’t draw much attention.
But within an hour of the proposed bill’s reading in late March, Homan said, he was greeted in his office by three lobbyists representing Microsoft Corp.
“They were here lickety-split,” Homan said. “I had no idea it was going to get that kind of reaction.”
Office 2003 SP3 will be a security upgrade featuring technologies from Office 2007. No date.
China Telecom gives Google Web advertising rights. Microsoft had earlier done a search deal with China Telecom, but doesn’t seem to be in any position to provide Chinese ads, since they have farmed their own out to Baidu.
No demand for Microsoft Office in the cloud according to Microsoft execs. No surprise there.
Microsoft angst fodder:
Finally one from last week – Microsoft and Samsung signed a broad patent cross-licensing agreement.