Windows Phone 7 users are required to signin to their smartphones using a Windows Live ID, just like Google’s Android uses a Gmail account. Once signed with a Windows Live ID, users will have access to Zune, Xbox LIVE, as well as Windows Phone Marketplace services.

Even though Windows Phone 7 is still in its infancy, its marketplace already features around 3,000 applications. However, the need for more third-party apps that cannot be found in the marketplace is rising.

Unfortunately, Microsoft doesn’t officially allow users to install third party apps on WM7 devices unless they’ve been approved by the company and posted in the Windows Phone Marketplace.

Until last week, the easiest way to install third party apps was to download them directly from the Windows Phone Marketplace, or, if you don’t care about money, you could pay $99 per year for a developer marketplace registration account. More »

Microsoft Fix it got a boost this week with the introduction of an update designed to make it easier for users to find fixes to their issues with Microsoft software.

Fix it is the Redmond company’s online hub offering a comprehensive collection of automated solutions for problems impacting products such as Windows, Internet Explorer, Windows Media Player, Xbox and Zune, Office, Windows Server etc.

Microsoft Fix it has been steadily growing both in terms of usage (the fixes were used an impressive over 156 million times) and as far as the number of fixes is concerned (in excess of 500), an aspect indicative of the initiative’s success.

The software giant has also put in effort to tailor the Fix it Solution Center to users in no less than 35 countries worldwide, providing help in their native language. More »

First all, if you own a Zune and you listen to a lot of podcasts, you probably won’t want to miss this desktop software update for the Zune. It purportedly has a lot of podcasting related fixes. (I know that occasionally I’ll get certain podcasts registered twice in the desktop Zune software.

Personally, I use my Zune primarily to listen to podcasts, and podcasts alone. (I’ve only recently really started to load up more than a gigabyte of music on my 8GB flash-based device.) In fact, I should probably do an entry highlighting the IT related podcasts I listen to as some point. More »

Is your Zune acting up? Then, Microsoft has the right solution and, in this regard, is offering the Zune Device Diagnostic Tool for download. According to the Redmond company, the tool is designed to isolate and identify USB and wireless synchronization connection problems, associated with the digital media player device. However, the Zune Device Diagnostic Tool will not also resolve potential issues that it manages to come across with. It will only compile the information in order to provide the data to the Product Support Services. The tool is offered as an executable ZuneDevices.exe (250 KB), available as a free download. Microsoft provides additional instructions. More »

CrunchGear has info that the Microsoft Execs are masterminding the Zune Phone as you read this news. According to CrunchGear it will be a smartphone that works homogeneously with the Zune marketplace. It will most likely not, however, run Windows Mobile. Rather it will make use of an interface similar to the current Zune, an interface considered among the best available on audio players.

Connectivity is the major concern of the device. It is said that it will be able to sync with the Xbox 360 and stream video from the system to the phone via a wireless data connection. This would be pivotal in Microsoft is proliferation of its media ambitions. Not only does it already have millions of 360s in homes capable of downloading movies, itd be able to distribute those videos directly to its phones. Speculation perhaps, but probably a much faster route to a larger GSM market than the Apple unit.

We have just received a sound tip that Microsoft is working on its very own phone to be branded under the Zune moniker. Our tipsters inform us that Microsoft execs are in meetings today hammering out details of the device and developing strategies and timescales for its release.
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