Monday, 07 December 2015 13:27

Microsoft’s new Lumias - 950 and 950 XL - now on sale in OZ


The new Windows 10 powered Lumia phones are finally on sale throughout Australia, giving Windows fans the best Windows phones that have yet ever been made.

Now that Microsoft has made Windows 10 for smartphones official by launching phones which actually run Windows 10 for smartphones, Microsoft’s fans finally get a decent version of Office Mobile and can hope to see many more apps for Windows 10 Mobile - and for Windows 10 too, thanks to Microsoft's Universal apps initiative.

Microsoft has been neglecting its Windows Phone platform of late, focusing on where most users are - in the worlds of iOS and Android - to the detriment of truly loyal Windows Phone owners seeing even Microsoft dedicate resources for its best apps to appear on rival platforms.

Well, now that official Windows 10 phones are here, perhaps Microsoft, a company with tens of billions in the bank, can maybe assign a few more internal programmers to the Windows 10 universal app side of the fence, so some of those iOS and Android apps can be ported to Windows 10, too.

Microsoft, which doesn’t have an equivalent to the amazing Garageband app, and which had thought that something like ‘Bing Health and Fitness’ from the Windows Phone 8.1 era was more important than something like a Garageband, no longer has any excuses.

It has a first party phone platform that is more equal to the latest iOS and Android versions than ever before, so it’s time for Microsoft to step up and start churning out as many TOP QUALITY apps as it possibly can, whether through its own studios or those of its partners.

It’s also time for Microsoft to step up the iOS app porting regime, especially now that the Android runtime that was Project Astoria appears to have been unceremoniously cancelled, reportedly to the relief of some developers afraid of Android app piracy and even lower interest in native Windows 10 Universal app development than before.

It’s not as if Microsoft doesn’t have great canvases for Windows 10 Universal apps. From its Surface devices through to 84-inch giant Windows TVs though to a huge array of laptops, tablets, 2-in-1, ultrabooks, convertibles and more, right down to Microsoft’s newest 950 and 950 XL Lumias - as well as plenty of Lumias that will soon be upgradeable to Windows 10 Mobile, there are hundreds of millions of Windows 10 powered screens these apps could run on.

Indeed, Microsoft has made sure to pack the features into the new Lumia 950s - even if a News Corp journo wasn’t as impressed as he could have been.

New features include Windows Hello, which takes a photo of your iris to identify you (instead of scanning your fingerprint), and the Continuum feature that lets you plug your chosen 950 model into the optional Display Dock accessory, which when plugged into a TV, keyboard and mouse transforms your Lumia 950 smartphone into a Windows 10 computer - albeit one that can only run Windows 10 Universal apps, and not the full array of desktop apps traditional Windows can run.

Microsoft also boasts stunning QuadHD displays with 564ppi and sunlight readability for its new Lumias, new PureView cameras with 20 megapixel sensors and triple LED natural flash that shoot 4K video, as well as Qualcomm Snapdragon processors.

Australians can now buy the Lumia 950 and Lumia 950 XL starting at AU$999 at, Microsoft’s new flagship Store in Sydney’s Pitt St Mall, as well as JB Hi-Fi, Harvey Norman and Optus.

Brett Murray, Director, Mobile Device Sales, Australia & NZ said: “We designed Lumia 950 and Lumia 950 XL for people who want the most productive smartphones running the most productive operating system.

“People like mobile professionals who want a premium phone that can work like a PC now have the perfect partner for their Windows 10 devices in Lumia 950 and Lumia 950 XL. With full Windows 10 and features like Continuum for phone, it’s easy to do more than ever from your phone whether you’re in the office, at home or on the road.”

More below, please read on!

There’s also Microsoft’s answer to Siri and Google Now, Cortana, which is your personalised assistant, now working across the entire Windows 10 device family, ready to ‘give news updates, calendar reminders, messages, appointments or even flight information.’

Full specs for the Lumia 950 here and the Lumia 950 XL here.

iTWire’s Windows expert, Ray Shaw, previously gave his thoughts on both new Lumias late last month which you can read about here.–-australian-release-7-december

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Now’s the Time for 400G Migration

The optical fibre community is anxiously awaiting the benefits that 400G capacity per wavelength will bring to existing and future fibre optic networks.

Nearly every business wants to leverage the latest in digital offerings to remain competitive in their respective markets and to provide support for fast and ever-increasing demands for data capacity. 400G is the answer.

Initial challenges are associated with supporting such project and upgrades to fulfil the promise of higher-capacity transport.

The foundation of optical networking infrastructure includes coherent optical transceivers and digital signal processing (DSP), mux/demux, ROADM, and optical amplifiers, all of which must be able to support 400G capacity.

With today’s proprietary power-hungry and high cost transceivers and DSP, how is migration to 400G networks going to be a viable option?

PacketLight's next-generation standardised solutions may be the answer. Click below to read the full article.


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Alex Zaharov-Reutt

One of Australia’s best-known technology journalists and consumer tech experts, Alex has appeared in his capacity as technology expert on all of Australia’s free-to-air and pay TV networks on all the major news and current affairs programs, on commercial and public radio, and technology, lifestyle and reality TV shows. Visit Alex at Twitter here.

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