Week that was

PG.biz week that was: Windows 8 wows the web, Apple talks up tablets, The Heist hits 500,000 and Lodsys gets legal (again)

PG.biz week that was: Windows 8 wows the web, Apple talks up tablets, The Heist hits 500,000 and Lodsys gets legal (again)
Duty free fuelled trips away to Uplinq in San Diego included, it has been a typically busy week in the world of PocketGamer.biz; the world of app stores, smartphone platforms, developments in mobile game making and assorted technology.

For starters, this was the week that Microsoft finally unveiled its tablet plans, and judging by the chorus of dropped jaws that made its way across Twitter – at least in smilie form – the Redmond giant made quite an impression.

Windows 8 will come with what is effectively a Windows Phone 7-esque skin, making it perfect for touch based devices such as tablets. It'll also be designed to take HTML5 apps, meaning developers could and should have a handle on how to develop for the OS long before it hits in 2012.

Not that Windows Phone 7 didn't make waves of its own this week. Particularly popular on PG.biz was the leak of HTC's Mango powered device, Mazaa.

Said leak came from notorious Russian tech blogger Eldar Murtazin, who later went on to suggest that Microsoft had purchased Nokia's phone business for a cool $19 billion – a rumour Nokia CEO Stephen Elop naturally went on to describe as 'baseless'.

Nokia itself, however, had something of a mixed week. While Elop's open nature continues to impress – a trait he demonstrated skillfully at Uplinq in San Diego – his company revised its Q2 2011 device & services sales forecast down to €6.1 billion.

On the upside, Nokia claims things should turn around when the money from the Windows Phone 7 deal begins rolling in when the first handsets hit the shelves.

Doing the Jobs

Though Microsoft and its assorted allies might have led the line this week, it'll be Apple that dominates when WWDC 2011 kicks off in San Francisco next week.

PocketGamer.biz will, of course, be there, as will Apple CEO Steve Jobs. The company confirmed that, despite being on leave due to ill health, Jobs will take charge of WWDC 2011's press conference, where both iOS 5 and iCloud will also make an appearance.

Jobs will, no doubt, display his trademark level of bravado when he takes to his stage, though his colleagues have been doing their best to out do him this week.

COO Tim Cook has reportedly stated he expects tablets – led by iPad – to outsell desktop PCs for "several years", with Goldman Sachs analyst Bill Shope projecting iPad sales of 8.1 million in the current quarter.

That's a figure HP will look to chase down when TouchPad rolls out this summer, complete with in-app purchases from the word go.

TouchPad will, of course, come fitted with a Qualcomm Snapdragon dual-core CPU when it makes its debut, and the company behind said tech took time out this week to talk up the chances of virtually ever other platform other than iOS.

Android appears to remain Qualcomm's focus, however, with Thursday playing host to the launch of a new Game Pack initiative that will result in more than 100 games specifically designed to take advantage of the firm's Adreno GPUs hitting Android Market.

Heist in the hurry

Google's marketplace was subject to a few headlines of its own when it was revealed the firm had pulled a number of console emulators from the store and banned the account of the developer responsible, Yong Zhang.

Other developers enjoyed more luck. Tap Tap Tap's iPhone smash The Heist went from more than 100,000 downloads on Tuesday to a seven day total of 500,000 on Thursday.

Gameloft also had caused for celebration, when the firm's first subscription based MMORPG on iPhone Order & Chaos Online hits revenues of $1 million. Not to be outdone, developer Backflip Studios revealed that downloads of its ad-funded and freemium releases had surpassed 100 million.

Rather than just past successes, however, this week also saw the launch of new ventures. Sega announced a partnership with OpenFeint that will see support for the game network integrated into Sonic & Sega All-Star Racing on iOS this summer.

Meanwhile, Angry Birds creator Rovio also acquired animation studio Kombo, while Ideaworks Studio announced the launch of a new offshoot designed to focus on the development of original IP, Secret Sauce.

Living with Lodsys

Some of the bigger boys also had a new trick or two up their sleeves.

Towards the end of the week, EA unveiled Origin – the new name for its games distribution service EA Store. This time, however, it will come equipped with social features that will also be built into its smartphone line-up. Who needs Game Center and Xbox Live, eh?

Certainly not Lodsys, which finally began legal proceedings against seven developers – including those working on Android and Mac, as well as iOS – over an alleged infringement of two of its IAP related patents.

Tapjoy also had little love for Apple this week, with the firm claiming Apple's incentivised download ban is threatening the freemium model and destroying the user experience on iOS.

Should the platform live to fight another day, however, Apple may have to let Samsung in on a secret or two, with the Korean firm requesting to see finalised designs of both iPhone 5 and iPad 3 so it can avoid copying them with its own phones and tablets – an allegation Apple is in the process of trying to prove in court.

Somehow, everything in the mobile industry ends up being brought before a judge, doesn't it?

Until next week...

With a fine eye for detail, Keith Andrew is fuelled by strong coffee, Kylie Minogue and the shapely curve of a san serif font.


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