Microsoft unveils Windows Phone 8 OS

In a big week for Microsoft news, the company has shown off the next major update to its Windows Phone smartphone OS. The first Windows Phone handsets will be out later this year from Nokia, HTC, Samsung and Huawei, with the new OS supporting faster processors, sharper screens, NFC payments and a whizzier Start screen. In-app purchases will finally be available for Windows Phone apps, too. The downside for users of phones running the current Windows Phone 7.5 OS is that they won’t be able to upgrade – a decision that could be bad news for Nokia in particular, if it negatively affects sales of its current line of Lumia Windows Phones. 

App Annie reveals global app stats

Here’s some unshocking news: the US is the top country for mobile app downloads and revenues on iOS and Android. Analytics firm App Annie has quantified this though, saying that the US accounts for 28% of iOS downloads and 42% of iOS app revenues, as well as 35% of downloads and 45% of revenues from Google’s Android Play store. Overall, though, its study notes that iOS app revenues are more than double those of Google Play, although both stores are growing their sales at around the same rate.

ASA says celebrity tweet-ads must be clearly signposted

There’s a burgeoning market for sponsored tweets from celebrities: whether it’s companies paying the likes of Kim Kardashian and Paris Hilton to tweet about their products, or branded hashtags tweeted by footballers as part of their key sponsors’ campaigns. The latter has led to a rebuke for Nike by the UK’s Advertising Standards Authority though, after Wayne Rooney and Jack Wilshere both tweeted its #makeitcount hashtag and a link to Nike’s campaign website. The ASA says such tweets should carry clearer identification of being ads – for example a hashtag #ad. It’s something all celebrities, including music artists, should be aware of in the UK.

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