2.据彭博社报道，诺基亚与微软的结盟有可能促使前者裁减38%的研发人员。据称在过去20多年中，诺基亚已斥资40亿欧元以开发新型的硬件设备和推动Symbian平台的发展，但苹果iOS和谷歌Android等竞争对手却能以相对较少的投入占据领先优势（游戏邦注：诺基亚在2010年的研发预算是43亿美元，是苹果的2倍以上）。为将重心转移到微软WP7平台，诺基亚推行缩小其研发团队的举措似乎也在所难免。芬兰工会预测，此举或造成该公司6000名人员失业。FIM Bank分析师Michael Schroeder认为，诺基亚的这项裁员计划，可能会在今后12个月中逐渐推行，预计在这个过渡时期之后，诺基业在研发团队上的投入将比2010年减少三分之一，总共达10亿欧元。
3.手机游戏公司Glu Mobile宣布其最新硬核iOS游戏《Contract Killer》发布三周后下载量已超500万次（游戏邦注：该游戏于3月24日发布）。在这一时期，该游戏最高峰时曾位居美国免费应用榜单的第三名，用户所完成的游戏任务超过了1400万次。
4.微软在日前的MIX 11开发者大开上介绍了的Windows Phone 7在今年秋季将推出的更新版的新功能，这个更新版代号为“Mango”，将添加多任务处理功能，扩大开发者访问WP7及其设备的权限。除此之外，WP7还将通过IE9提供更快速的浏览体验，iE9将支持HTML5和硬件加速功能。
多任务处理功能将支持WP7手机在同一时间运行多个应用程序，并在各个应用界面之间快速切换。在这个更新版本中，开发者可让自己的应用进一步绑定WP7平台的Live Tiles和背景信息推送等功能。开发者还可以通过Montion Sensor Library访问WP7手机的摄像头和其他感应器（包括陀螺仪和罗盘）。
5.谷歌Android Market宣布向用户推出Sprint计费服务系统，这是继T-Mobile和AT&T之后，该应用商店在美国采用的第三种运营商计费服务。从现在开始，Android手机的Sprint用户，将看到自己的Android Market支付页面上会出现“通过我的Sprint帐号付费”的选项，他们无需输入繁琐的支付信息，即可实现一键式的付费操作，其购买应用程序的费用，将通过每月的Sprint话费扣除。
除了美国运营商计费系统，谷歌最近还在日本引进了软银、KDDI和NTT DOCOMO等运营商的计费服务。因为Google Checkout的用户相对较少，所以运营商计费系统可以说是对谷歌自身服务不周的一种补充。但细心者还会发现，谷歌在美国仍有一条漏网之鱼——威瑞森计费系统至今仍未进入Android Market，但谷歌并未表示今后是否将与该运营商进行合作。
7.为推广《糖果小怪物》的更新版本，英国发行商Chillingo近期在美国展开了为期三周的户外宣传活动。有些App Store开发商在推出更新版本时，习惯通过媒体报道进行推广，有些则选择社交网络进行口碑传播。但Chillingo这次却不走寻常路，在美国洛杉矶的Hollywod & Highland Center、亚特兰大哈兹菲尔德－杰克逊国际机场这两个著名的地段，设置了巨大的多点触摸屏，让往来的观光游客体验这个添加了Magic Box关卡的游戏内容。
8.应用分析公司Bango宣布其手机支付平台引进加拿大运营商计费系统后，其北美用户达到2亿人。Bango Payment平台已向世界120多个国家开放服务，其客户包括Sky和Fox Mobile等公司，支持它们向用户提供一键式的付费服务。黑莓、Android、诺基亚手机用户均可通过Bango的跨平台服务系统，以手机话费结算下载应用的消费金额。除了运营商计费系统，Bango还提供了PayPal和信用卡这两种可替换的支付选项。Bango市场营销高级副总裁Ani Malhotra表示，公司在2011年还将进军拉美地区和主要的亚洲市场，并预计今年底其服务网络将覆盖10亿的付费用户。（本文为游戏邦/gamerboom.com编译，转载请注明来源：游戏邦）
1.GetJar gives up on the white-label operator portal business
‘We don’t promote the opportunity any more’, says CEO Laurs. ‘Essentially their customers are ignoring them.’
GetJar has effectively given up on its white-label portals business for mobile operators, with CEO Ilja Laurs strongly criticising the carriers for having missed the boat on apps.
“Essentially their customers are ignoring them,” Laurs tells Connected Planet, before going on to explain that the white-label side of GetJar’s business has been de-emphasised.
“Once we realised this wasn’t a fast way to scale, we gave up on it. We still have those deals in place, but we don’t promote the opportunity at all anymore,” he says. “We learned that it would take 1,000 carrier deals to double our profits. The return on investment is way less than our direct-to-consumer effort.
Laurs also claims that only five operators actually created an app store after signing a partnership with GetJar, with most choosing to merely link to the company’s own store from their decks.
“Even though a carrier might have 50 million users, they might be able to get only 1% to their deck,” he says. “That’s of very little use to us.”（source: mobile-ent）
2.Nokia’s Microsoft deal could result in loss of 6,000 R&D jobs
A fundamental part of Nokia’s decision to back Windows Phone 7 was motivated by a desire to be more efficient in terms of operating expenses.
Over the course of the last two decades, its R&D investment has swelled to over €4 billion annually as the company looked to manage both sides of its business – the development of fresh hardware, and the continued progression of the Symbian platform.
However, the rise of competitors such as Apple’s iOS and Google’s Android platform from relatively small levels of investments makes you wonder what all those workers have been doing.
It stands to reason that Nokia’s commitment to R&D is to be scaled back as Microsoft’s OS becomes its focus. Finnish unions believe this could result in the loss of up to 6,000 jobs in the coming years.
Tightening its belt
Nokia CEO Stephen Elop has previously commented only to confirm that there will be “substantial reductions in employment” following the firm’s strategic partnership with Microsoft.
It’s a stance that Pro – Finland’s largest private sector office workers union – claims will translate to a 38 percent reduction in Nokia’s R&D workforce.
That’s a headline grabbing figure, though when you consider Nokia’s R&D budget for 2010 came in at $4.3 billion – more than twice that of Apple – serious changes were always on the cards.
Nokia’s support for WP7 will allow the firm to draw back from such costly commitments in the coming years – a factor Elop has claimed is crucial to the Nokia’s continued role as a major player in the smartphone market.
It’s likely any cull will be staggered, however, rather than implemented in one fell swoop.
“The reductions are likely to come gradually, over the next 12 months because they have some further development in the pipeline for Symbian,” FIM Bank analyst Michael Schroeder told Bloomberg.
“The expectation is that after the transition period they would have cut a third of their device R&D spending compared to what it was in 2010, so that would mean €1 billion in total.”（source:pocketgamer）
3.Glu Mobile’s sharp iOS shooter Contract Killer does 5 million downloads in 3 weeks
Glu Mobile has long trailed its switch to freemium games, but it’s a switch that seems to be working.
Following on from the success of Gun Bros. (officially 7 million downloads last time we heard), its next hardcore freemium title was Contract Killer.
Glu’s announced it’s been downloaded over five million times since it was released on March 24; three weeks ago.
Hold your breath and squeeze
During that time, it’s peaked at the #3 position on the US Top Free App Store chart, and players have completed more than 14 million missions, executing over 14 million kills; after all, the game is all about being a contract killer.
“We had high expectations for Contract Killer and are thrilled with the breakout success of the title,” said Giancarlo Mori, Glu’s Chief Creative Officer.
“Throughout the development of the game, we were meticulous with every detail, making sure the visuals, 3D graphics and gameplay were outstanding. We could not be more pleased with the positive response to the game.”
We’ll know more about the commercial success of Glu’s new slate of hardcore freemium games when it releases its next quarterly figures in mid-May. （source:pocketgamer）
4.Next for Windows Phone 7: Multitasking, IE9, deeper access for devs
Microsoft today detailed what’s coming in its long-awaited fall update for Windows Phone 7, code-named Mango, and it includes some major new features like multitasking, as well as expanded access to the OS and devices for developers.
The company also said that Windows Phone 7 will get a faster browsing experience in the fall update with Internet Explorer 9, which will come with HTML 5 support and hardware acceleration.
Microsoft has a lot to prove with its Mango update: foremost, that it can deliver a major update as smoothly as Apple; but also that it can finally bring Windows Phone 7 to feature parity with the iPhone and Android.
The announcement, made at Microsoft’s MIX 11 developer conference, comes after the company famously botched its first WP7 update in February — a publicity disaster that left some phones completely nonfunctional, or “bricked.” Microsoft VP Joe Belfiore apologized to the MIX11 audience for the past update troubles and went on to say, “We expect we are going to get these problems licked.”
Multitasking, or the ability to run multiple applications at once, will allow WP7 phones to run certain programs in the background, switch between apps quickly, and also allow for audio and background file transfers. As part of the update, developers will be able to let their apps integrate more deeply with the OS, including taking advantage of Live Tiles (found on WP7’s home screen) and background push notifications. Developers will also get access to the camera and other sensors (including gyroscopic and compass) of WP7 devices with the Motion Sensor Library.
Microsoft also showed off new apps coming to Windows Phone 7, including Skype (yes it’s officially coming this fall), Spotify, and Kik Messenger.
Developers will be able to prepare for the new Windows Phone 7 features with Microsoft’s latest mobile developer platform this May, which includes GPS simulation to better troubleshoot location features over emulation, as well as access to over 1,500 new APIs.（source:venturebeat）
5.Android Adds Sprint To Its Carrier Billing Arsenal To Help The Paid Market Grow
One of the big holdups in terms of paid applications on Android has been the lack of great billing options. In the beginning, there was Google Checkout, but relatively few people use that.
So Google came up with a better idea: tying payments into carrier bills. They were quickly able to get both T-Mobile and AT&T on board with that. And today a third big U.S. carrier comes on board: Sprint.
Google says that a phased roll-out of the new option is underway right now and should reach all customers in a few days. When it’s done, Android users on Sprint will see an option to “bill my Sprint account” in the Android Market payment area. Such a payment won’t require the user to enter any other payment information, and the charge will show up on your monthly Sprint bill.
As Google notes on their Android Developers blog today:
We believe that Direct Carrier Billing is a key payment option because it lets users purchase and pay for apps more easily. It’s also important because it offers a convenient way to buy in regions where credit cards are less common.
Along with the U.S. carriers, Google recently launched carrier billing in Japan with SoftBank, KDDI, and NTT DOCOMO.
Of course, they’re still missing the big fish in the U.S.: Verizon. Google would not comment on when or if that final deal might happen. You can be sure they’re working on it though.（source:techcrunch）
6.Angry Birds To Get Game Syncing Across All Platforms
Angry Birds parent company Rovio announced via Twitter today that they are in the works to make the hugely popular game sync-able across all platforms. This is awesome news for all you Angry Birds addicts out there because this means you no longer have to start the game from scratch if you switch devices.
Rovio Mobile tweeted today that the plan is to sync across all platforms which is indeed a pretty big project, but they auspiciously added that they are getting close.
So normally, when you switch devices, say you’re upgrading your current iPhone to a new Android phone like the HTC Sensation, you would lose the levels you’ve beat and start the game all over. Rovio is trying to eliminate this problem.
It’s a move that other game makers should take note of as well. It’s not certain when they plan to unleash this new feature or how they plan to implement it except that it will likely launch before Summer. （source:slashgear）
7.Cut the Rope Showcased On Giant Screens
It’s Friday, so why not – ahem – cut loose and rope in some fun, eh? Eh!!
When App Store devs release an update to their prized possession, many opt to tell the world about it via a press statement.
Others prefer to shout from the social networking rooftops.
Cut the Rope’s publishers Chillingo (in conjunction with Monster Media), however, have chosen a slightly different tack altogether to promote their recently launched Magic Box level pack.
To showcase / show off their BAFTA Award-winning and AppSpy 5* physics-based puzzler, they’ve set up two humongous interactive displays in strategic locations across the US.
Well, two locations, to be precise.
If you’re in the vicinity of LA’s Hollywod & Highland Center or Hartsfield Jackson Atlanta International Airport over the next three weeks, pop along for some massive multi-touch mayhem.（source: appspy) http://www.appspy.com/cut-rope-showcased-giant-screens-news
8.Bango expands mobile payment platform to Canada, reach hits 200 million in North America
App analytics firm Bango has announced that its mobile payment platform has expanded its reach in North America to 200 million subscribers by adding carrier billing in Canada.
Bango Payment already operates in 120 countries worldwide, providing merchants – such as Sky and Fox Mobile – with a straightforward means of monetising payments from mobile websites or apps.
Mobile customers themselves benefit from a seamless one-click payment experience through Bango’s cross-platform system, which adds purchases made on a BlackBerry, Android, or Nokia handset directly onto the consumer’s phone bill.
In cases where operator billing isn’t available, Bango supplies alternative payment methods in the form of PayPal and credit card.
Mass migration to mobile
“Outside Apple’s walled garden, direct carrier billing for apps and mobile web content has replaced premium SMS as the payment standard for mobile commerce,” Anil Malhotra, SVP Marketing at Bango, said.
“Driven by the greater flexibility and reliability of direct carrier charging, the growth opportunity for m-commerce is enormous as usage of internet services migrates on mass from PCs to billions of mobile devices.”
Bango’s ambitions don’t end with expansion in Canada. The company also openly targets two further strategic markets in 2011.
“This year we are opening-up mobile billing in Latin America and key Asian territories, and forecast coverage of 1 billion paying customers by year end – greater reach than any e-commerce system,” Malhotra added.
“Bango self-optimises on-line payment from both smartphones and feature phones, meaning one connection to Bango delivers mobile payment worldwide.”（source:pocketgamer）