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Mobile World Congress 2012 Wrap-up

Mobile World Congress 2012 Wrap-up

At what must be one of the most beautiful venues on earth to have a conference such as this, we've got Mobile World Congress 2012, a yearly event which takes the whole world's mobile device market and gathers it up into one big week-long masterpiece. Of course it's not as perfectly simple as that, and if you've never been to the event or have never tried to follow along with the news that spills forth from it before, you may very well have a hard time fitting all the pieces together. That's why we've got this easy to read, easy to decipher guide for you to work your way through all of the devices and services announced, displayed, and teased during the events - have a look!

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Skype for Windows Phone hits beta

Skype for Windows Phone hits beta

Skype has announced that the beta version of the Skype for Windows Phone app is now available for download. The app was officially announced today at Mobile World Congress, and Skype said the gold version will be available in April. The new app supports some of the most important features that users of Skype expect with a clean interface.

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Social messaging apps cost mobile companies $14 billion

Social messaging apps cost mobile companies $14 billion

If you used Google Talk, Facebook Chat, imo, or any other data-based social messaging platform on your phone, congratulations. You helps reduce the pockets of mobile providers by nearly $14 billion. That's the number that analytics group Ovum came up with, saying the rise of instant messaging apps is killing what is one of the highest margin line items on any cell phone bill. And it isn't just text messaging. New apps that allow users to place calls without using any plan minutes are also on the rise.

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Cisco blasts EC over Microsoft Skype openness

Cisco blasts EC over Microsoft Skype openness

Cisco has taken time out from axing unpopular and overpriced teleconferencing systems to complain about Microsoft's acquisition of Skype, challenging the EC with demands for greater priority for open video standards. Although Cisco doesn't oppose the acquisition, video conferencing chief Marthin De Beer wrote on the company's official blog, it does believe the European Commission shirked on insisting Microsoft must adopt open standards that won't prevent rival services from intercommunicating.

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Google+ Hangouts presents bold threat to Skype

Google+ Hangouts presents bold threat to Skype

The social network known as Google+ has once again shown another tiny improvement set to make big waves, and it's got us all thinking that Skype may be on its way out alongside all over enterprise conferencing systems. Google+ Hangouts (the On Air version) now has a Full Screen button, this allowing you to turn your entire monitor into your conferencing station. While Skype and other conferencing systems have had similar functionality to this for a while now, Hangouts ability to use virtual whiteboards and screen sharing have the potential to put the competition out of business.

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Windows Phone Skype app tipped for late-Feb launch

Windows Phone Skype app tipped for late-Feb launch

Microsoft is dogfooding its Windows Phone Skype app, it's suggested, with employees supposedly able to download a test version of the VoIP software to their smartphones ahead of a potential MWC 2012 debut. The much-anticipated app has been brought up to speed with Windows Phone's Metro UI, insiders tell The Verge, with a dual-column contacts grid, though no integration with the platform's People hub.

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Skype for Windows hits version 5.8 with new features

Skype for Windows hits version 5.8 with new features

If you use Skype a lot for business or play, Skype has announced that it has updated the Windows version of the software to 5.8. The new version has some interesting features, including a new group screen sharing feature. That screen sharing feature may be perfect for businesses that have employees scattered around the country or for geeks need to show parents how to work something on the computer.

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Windows Phone 8: Win8 Kernel and deep-hook Skype confirmed

Windows Phone 8: Win8 Kernel and deep-hook Skype confirmed

Spilled details on Windows Phone 8 "Apollo" have opened the floodgates on Microsoft's next significant update to its smartphone software, with more tidbits on the Windows 8 kernel based platform slipping out. Paul Thurrott confirms the shared kernel, along with the  multi-core processor support, sensor fusion, security model, network, and video and graphics technologies from Windows 8, though says Skype will remain a separate app rather than baked in at the OS level.

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FBI spyware not Skype responsible for spilling MegaUpload secrets

FBI spyware not Skype responsible for spilling MegaUpload secrets

FBI investigators may have infected MegaUpload's computers with spyware so as to monitor Skype and email messaging, it's been suggested, with sources within the Microsoft-owned VoIP company claiming it was not asked to turn over conversation logs. Multiple chat records were included by the FBI within its case against MegaUpload founder Kim Dotcom and other employees at the file-sharing site, dating back as much as five years, though exactly how the US government acquired them is unclear. Sources within Skype tell CNET that no approach was made to them to release private logs.

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Chrome browser gets WebRTC baked in for Skype challenge

Chrome browser gets WebRTC baked in for Skype challenge

Google has released a dev-version of Chrome supporting WebRTC, the integrated real-time audio and video communications system that could see VoIP, video conferencing and even streaming gaming baked into the browser. "Instead of relying on custom, OS specific, proprietary plug-ins," the Chromium blog says of developers, "they can now easily build and maintain their apps using a few simple JavaScript APIs and have the browser do the heavy lifting."

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