Welcome to your weekly supply of WPD Bits. For the uninitiated, this is our weekly piece featuring the leftover bits from this week's news cycle.
This week in particular was dominated by Windows Phone 8 news, so there's a colorful array of Bits to get through today. When we say "colorful array", we're being partially literal too thanks to a pair of hot new Nokia accessories for music lovers. There was also a big milestone for Skype, a new total app count for the Windows Store, and the perfect definition of corporate trolling from Nokia at the expense of Samsung.
Keep reading for all of this week's Bits!
Skype turns 9 years old, connects 250 million people in June
Skype turned 9-years old this past week on its birthday, August 29th. For nine years Skype has been connecting people online to call one another, and in the month of June it welcomed more than 250 million users. We highly recommend you check out the source link for a neat infographic showing off Skype's rich history. For example, did you know eBay used to own Skype? Of course that was in the past, and we all know who owns it now. [ Source: Skype - The Big Blog ]
Nokia announces PlayUP portable wireless speaker by JBL and Purity Pro wireless headset by Monster
Nokia has already begun to upgrade its range of accessories ahead of its next-gen Lumia devices' release, and this week saw the reveal of two must-have music accessories. First announced was the PlayUP portable wireless speaker, which was built in partnership with JBL and shares a lot of its DNA with the Nokia Play 360 speaker. The speakers tout 10-hour battery life, a bass port that acts as a woofer, a maximum output of 89dB, and will be available in Black, Cyan, White and Yellow. It will launch this year for €149.
Then there was the Purity Pro wireless headset, the sequel to last year's Purity HD headset by Monster (the same company behind Beats by Dr. Dre). The biggest upgrade to the range of headsets is the new wireless capabilities, which inputs audio from any Bluetooth-enabled music player. It will launch this year for €299. Both the Purity Pro and the PlayUP will feature NFC for one-touch connectivity, which Nokia teases is perfect for their upcoming range of Windows Phone 8 devices. [ Source: Nokia Conversations 1, 2 ]
Nokia crashed Samsung booth at IFA to build hype for New York press event this Wednesday
We love it when big companies take subtle jabs at each other, and this week there was a very amusing skirmish between two of Windows Phone's biggest players. Samsung may have stole the limelight by announcing the Ativ S, but Nokia got revenge by sending in the troops. Several people with bright colored signs were walking around Samsung's booth at IFA 2012, teasing the Korean manufacturer with the following message: "Samsung: Nokia Welcomes you back to Windows Phone...look for Lumia in NYC next week." Plus Nokia already has a webcast page setup so that everyone can tune in to see the big reveal next week. [ Source: The Nokia Blog ]
Windows Store reaches 820 apps in total for Windows 8 devices
In 54 days, Microsoft will officially release Windows 8 to the world. That means a lot of people are going to be buying the OS or new devices, and there's going to be a big demand for apps on the new platform. Thus it's important to keep track of just how many apps are in the Windows Store, and we have the latest total count: 820. The last time we talked about the Windows Store app count, the total was 400 — and that was only about a month ago. At this rate there will definitely be more than 1,000 apps by the time Windows 8 launches in the Fall. [ Via: Neowin / Source: McAkins Online ]
Microsoft announces 40 Xbox-enabled launch titles for Windows 8
This week Microsoft announced a big launch lineup of Xbox games for Windows 8, and it definitely gets us excited for the new platform. A total of 40 games will be included in "wave one" of the Xbox Windows portfolio, and there's a lot of recognizable names in the list. Just like in Windows Phone, the games will include functionality such as, "leaderboards, multiplayer modes, connecting with friends" as well as Achievements. Plus the games will not require an Xbox Live subscription in order to play or for access to these online features.
Here's a taste of the selection of games that will be available at launch: Angry Birds, Angry Birds Space, Cut the Rope, Fruit Ninja, Ilomilo, and Wordament. For the remaining 34 titles, check out either source link. [ Source: Windows Experience Blog, Xbox.com ]