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Today Instagram and Waze came to the Windows Phone platform, bringing two applications to Microsoft’s smartphone venture that it has long lacked.

Microsoft, through expense and struggle, has managed to build a mobile platform that has achieved something close to exit velocity. It wasn’t long ago that that wasn’t true, and that Windows Phone was more the butt of jokes than something for developers to begin to get to know.

The Windows Phone story remains mixed, but I think it’s trending positive.

Alex Wilhelm (@alex) – TechCrunch

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Microsoft Endlessly Disappoints With ‘New’ Windows Phone Apps

Windows Phone 8 is a stunning operating system. It has matured in functionality since Windows Phone 7, and it is very easy to use. Microsoft has quality hardware partners, too. Nokia’s Lumia 920 is powerful, with a stunning camera, and HTC’s 8X is one of the sleekest, prettiest phones available. As hardware, both can compete with the latest from Apple and Samsung.

The available third-party software is another story, and Microsoft’s core problem: Windows Phone 8 has an app ecosystem weaker than convenience store coffee. Today’s game announcement shows just how far behind it is. Microsoft is repeating the fiasco of its Windows Phone launch announcement, when everybody wanted (and expected) Instagram and got Pandora instead. Now, when everybody is expecting Temple Run: Oz or Candy Crush Saga, we’re getting a handful of old or mediocre (or old and mediocre) games. It’s a repeat of when Microsoft announced that Draw Something had come to the Windows Phone Store, long after the Draw Something craze had passed. The crowds are gone. All that’s left is a lonely app.

The Windows Phone Store is only beginning to look like what the App Store did two years ago. That’s a problem. Windows Phone is going down a beaten path, one iOS and Android have long forgotten. Instead of sprinting ahead, the company looks more and more like a poorly stocked used bookstore. Worse, Microsoft is trying to bill its app releases as something “new.” It wants you to think these refurbished-for-Windows Phone games and apps mean its store is on par with the App Store or Google Play, and its phones compare to the best iOS and Android handsets.

- Alexandra Chang | Microsoft Endlessly Disappoints With ‘New’ Windows Phone Apps

Screenshots: Windows Phone 8 and 7.8

However, owing to hardware limitations, or what Microsoft calls “a generation shift in technology”, Windows Phone 7 devices won’t be able to run the full WP8 OS. Instead they will get Windows Phone 7.8, a version that includes some, but not all, of WP8’s enhancements.

My father has a 7.5 device … I’m just curious to see if he will be able to upgrade and what he’ll earn doing so!

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ChevronWP7 closing

… and that’s a wrap!

As mentioned in our April announcement, ChevronWP7 Labs has been discontinued. We are now wrapping things up on our end and will be delivering, to Microsoft, a list of folks eligible for the free App Hub upgrade.We will also be decommissioning the service website and removing all phone registrations from our internal database and App Hub.

This means ChevronWP7 Labs unlocked devices will re-lock when next connected to the PC.

via ChevronWP7 – … and that’s a wrap!.

Wunderlist for Windows Phone 7

WUNDERLIST IS MULTI-PLATFORM AND COMPLETELY FREE, INCLUDING CLOUD SYNC

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Download Wunderlist, our free cloud-sync task manager, and complete your daily tasks in style.

Wunderlist for Windows Phone will boost your productivity. Organize your to-do lists on the go and synchronize them with your free Wunderlist account. View and modify your tasks on Windows, Mac, Linux, iPhone, iPad, Android, Blackberry and the Web. Hundreds of thousands of people worldwide use Wunderlist everyday. Wunderlist – your tasks anywhere, anytime.

Key Features:

  • Free – Wunderlist is completely free for every device
  • Cloud sync – Your tasks are synced with your free Wunderlist account
  • Email reminders – Ensure your tasks never slip your mind
  • Mail2Task – Send tasks to Wunderlist from your email inbox
  • Organize – Sort your tasks into lists
  • Due Dates – Assign deadlines to your tasks 
  • Focus – View a breakdown of your tasks with our filter views
  • Notes – Give your tasks further detail
  • Prioritize – Star important tasks
  • Personalize – Make Wunderlist your own with our included background wallpapers

To download Wunderlist for other platforms please go to:  www.6wunderkinder.com/wunderlist