Posts Tagged ‘windows’

Sony Xperia Z, Nokia Lumia 925 Come to T-Mobile As Carrier Expands LTE Network

July 10, 2013  |  All Things Digital  |  No Comments

The iPhone and Samsung Galaxy smartphones may be best-sellers for T-Mobile, but that doesn’t mean the wireless carrier, which has been making bold moves in recent months with its “un-plans,” has forgotten about other device makers. The Xperia Z, Sony’s new, waterproof, Android-based smartphone will be available exclusively through T-Mobile starting July 17th. The phone will cost $100, with a 24-year payment commitment of $20 per month. It has a 5-inch, full HD display, a 13-megapixel camera with an HDR sensor made specifically for smartphone image-capturing, and a 1.5 Ghz quad-core Qualcomm processor. T-Mobile also said that the Nokia Lumia 925 will be available starting July 17, for $50 down plus the $20-dollar monthly installments. This one’s T-Mobile’s first 4G/LTE Windows Phone

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50 Billion Apple Apps Downloaded and All I Got Was This Poster

July 5, 2013  |  All Things Digital  |  No Comments

Apple is celebrating the fifth anniversary of the App Store. I know this because the company sent a poster, as it sometimes does on anniversaries. It’s a standard 24-by-36-inch poster, with glossy images. The background is Apple white, of course. Bullets on a timeline point to the highlights of the App Store since its launch in 2008. It’s like the beginning of most Apple presentations, during which the company rattles off its impressive numbers, but in poster form. From a distance, the whole thing looks like a strand of DNA. Apple has put out a lot of these kind of posters over time, such as the “Yum” original iMac poster and the “Hell froze over” iTunes launching on Windows poster from October 2003. Now this. At first, I didn’t know what to do with this new poster, as I don’t have a personal home office in which to hang it. I briefly imagined what it would look like next to the heartthrob or the death-metal posters of a teenager’s room, but it wouldn’t work there, either. It would not fit in next to posters of mountain streams and dusky hills with italicized inspirational quotes beneath them. Then, I decided to rewrite the poster as a journalist would, one who is not as adept as Apple’s fancy marketing team at imagining it. But, here are a handful of new bullet points for the poster anyway: Apple post version, July 2008: App Store launches in 62 countries with 500 apps available, including MLB.com At Bat, Super Monkey Ball, eBay, Travelocity, Facebook, Shazam and Yelp. Edited version: Later that year, in October 2008, Google also launched its Android Market , now called Google Play. Fast-forward five years: Google app downloads numbers are nearing and could surpass Apple’s . Apple still trounces Google in app revenues, however. Apple Poster, April 2009: App downloads top one billion worldwide.

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Discovery Developing Streaming Service

June 26, 2013  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

Discovery Communications is reportedly developing its own streaming service modeled after HBO Go. The company wants to charge cable subscribers an additional fee for on-demand access to programming like Here Comes Honey Boo Boo, Shark Week and Cake Boss. According to executive chairman and founder John Hendricks, Discovery's portfolio of channels has an abundance of content just sitting on the shelf. Netflix and Amazon license mostly older TV shows from seasons past, Hendricks said, leaving content between three and 18 months old unavailable online. The new service will charge basic cable subscribers $6-8 for access to these videos on demand. Hendricks told Reuters the service is in the early stages of development and could be ready in the next two to five years. Discovery also launched TV streaming apps today, extending to Windows Phone 8 users the Animal Planet, Discovery Channel and TLC releases that are already available on iOS.

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Update: As Microsoft Restructuring Nears, Top Execs Fret Over Their Fate

June 23, 2013  |  All Things Digital  |  No Comments

According to sources close to the situation, Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer is likely unveil his plans to restructure the tech giant to a larger group of senior execs by July 1. That prospect has many top managers at the company worried, since Ballmer has been making these significant plans with limited consultation with the wider leadership group at the software giant. Instead, he has been working with only a small group of his direct reports and also some Microsoft board members, numerous sources said. That has meant that most senior execs have largely been left out of the decision-making process related to Ballmer’s goal of solidifying Microsoft into the “devices and services company,” that he wrote about in his annual shareholder letter last October. The impending changes — and the lack of information about them — has made for some level of discomfort inside Microsoft, where many high-ranking managers have been at the company for a very long time. “It feels like it is going to be titanic — that Steve is doing this change for his legacy,” said one person close to the situation. “And it’s the first time in a long time that it feels like that there will be some major shifts, including some departures.” That has certainly happened under Ballmer, such as when Windows chief Steven Sinofsky left the company late last year. There was also a major reorg in 2008. Other top execs who have departed over the last several years include: Kevin Johnson , who became CEO of Juniper Networks, after 16 years at Microsoft; Jeff Raikes , who arrived at Microsoft in 1981 and is now CEO of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation; and the twin departures of Robbie Bach — who was at the company for 22 years, until his retirement in 2010 — and 15-year veteran J Allard, although he remains an advisor to Ballmer. But those were largely one-offs, and Microsoft has not seen a change like what is expected to come since some similarly dramatic rejiggerings were done by former CEO and co-founder Bill Gates during his tenure. That’s why another source said that the level of worry has grown, since there have been rampant internal rumors about what will happen, but no real change as yet. “It would be funny if Ballmer did nothing in the end,” said the source. “But no one thinks that’s possible now.” A Microsoft spokesman declined to comment. As I had previously reported , according to several people close to the situation, the new configuration could include larger roles for several execs, with business units being moved around into new divisions. But, sources noted, there could also be some significant departures. Focus internally is especially strong on Satya Nadella, president of Microsoft’s Servers and Tools division; Tony Bates, president of its Skype communications unit; and Don Mattrick, president of its Interactive Entertainment division. In addition, many are wondering how the job of Qi Lu, president of Microsoft’s Online Services unit, will shift, as well as that of Terry Myerson , who runs the company’s Windows Phone division. But it’s unclear how their new and perhaps expanded roles, and those of others in top management, will shake out. That is, until Ballmer weighs in. Many expect him to soon begin unveiling his plans internally, just ahead of the end of Microsoft’s fiscal year.

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Thomas Penfield Jackson, Judge In Microsoft Antitrust Case, Dead at 76

June 16, 2013  |  All Things Digital  |  No Comments

Thomas Penfield Jackson, the federal judge who in 2000 branded software giant Microsoft a predatory monopolist that should be split in two, only to see his ruling reversed on appeal, has died of cancer complications at the age of 76, according to an obituary in The New York Times . An appeals court set aside his ruling in part because of interviews he gave to journalists in which he explained his views. Microsoft later settled the case and the government decided not to seek the company’s breakup.

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It’s Good for Microsoft, but Are New Windows Stores a Smart Bet for Best Buy?

June 15, 2013  |  All Things Digital  |  No Comments

When Microsoft and Best Buy this week announced the forthcoming launch of 600 Windows Stores within its retail locations, much of the initial analysis centered around what this means for Microsoft’s retail strategy. As fellow AllThingsD editor John Paczkowski explained , the partnership for Microsoft “is a savvy move — an easy way to dramatically increase its retail footprint via an established big-box player.” But what about Best Buy, the retail giant looking hard for a turnaround, as it tries to fend off Amazon and other online-only electronics sellers? First, from a financial point of view, it seems to be a no-brainer. “If you offer a retailer some money, they typically will take it,” Stephen Baker, vice president of industry analysis at The NPD Group, said in an interview. The two companies did not release any financial details of the deal, but it’s a safe bet that Microsoft is spending handsomely to help redesign Best Buy’s PC departments into Windows Stores and train 1,200 Best Buy employees to man the new outlets. Second, the appearance of the new stores appears to be fresher, a bit of an upgrade from the current Best Buy experience. The devices sold within them might be the same, but new wrapping won’t hurt

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Microsoft’s Andy Lees Exits VP of Corp Dev Role

June 14, 2013  |  All Things Digital  |  No Comments

Andy Lees, Microsoft’s vice president of corporate strategy and development, will be stepping down from the position he has held for the past seven months . Lees plans to go on sabbatical to return to his family in the United Kingdom, and will announce his new position at Microsoft later in the summer. Previous to his corp dev role, Lees lead the Windows Phone team, and has held positions in worldwide sales and marketing, and the server and tools divisions. Managing director Marc Brown will lead corp dev, while Charlie Songhurst will remain head of strategy; both will report to Amy Hood.

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Is the Cameraphone Poised for a Comeback?

June 13, 2013  |  All Things Digital  |  No Comments

It’s very clear that the phone has become the primary camera. Samsung’s new Galaxy S4 Zoom One need only look at the rise of Instagram and the prevalence of iPhone and Android pics on photo sharing sites like Flickr. Smartphone cameras have added flash and lots and lots of megapixels. But it’s really ben a triumph of software over hardware. Modern smartphones still tend to have tiny lenses and tiny image sensors (albeit ones packed with a lot of pixels). That’s starting to change, though, with hardware makers beginning to dabble in devices that put the camera front and center. Phones like the just introduced Galaxy S4 Zoom and Nokia’s 808 PureView knowingly add bulk and cost to build in large lenses, big image sensors and the kind of zooming capabilities that people expect from a true camera. These new devices have all the benefits of a smartphone married to the kind of hardware that creates an image worth framing, not just sharing. In reality, though, these devices actually represent Cameraphone 2.0. That’s because before the dawn of the modern smartphone, a number of companies tried products that merged a phone with camera-like designs. Though not all of them made it to the U.S., Samsung had devices like the SCH-B6000 , Sony Ericsson had models such as the K850i and Nokia had the N93 , among others. Cameraphone 1.0: Samsung’s SCH-B6000 There were a couple of problems the last time around. First of all, once you had the pictures, there was little you could do with them, as phones lacked the kind of sophisticated image editing abilities found on today’s Android or Windows Phone. Second, the networks were quite pokey, to put it mildly, meaning it was slow and expensive to send the decent images these phones could capture. Given all that, it will be interesting to see whether this new crop of cameraphones finds a willing market. For all their image capturing abilities, they are by definition pricier and bulkier than a garden-variety smartphone. A second category of device, also nascent, is the connected camera that contains the brains of a smartphone, but as part of a device not intended to be a primary phone. Samsung’s Galaxy Camera is the best example of this genre. Its future, too, is an open question

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It’s Ba-a-ck — Deals Site Offers the Microsoft Kin One for $25

June 12, 2013  |  All Things Digital  |  No Comments

If you didn’t get a chance to buy Microsoft’s ill-fated Kin phone during the month or so it was on sale back in 2010, you have another chance. Deal site Daily Steals is offering the Verizon phone for $25 . However, buyer beware. You are mostly paying to own a piece of tech history. The Kin, which was being developed alongside Windows Phone 7, was designed to target the youth market, with much of its power coming from cloud-synced services to make text messages and photos accessible to the Web. But with no access to apps and competing against more capable phones, it was scrapped after little more than a month on the market. Microsoft shut down most of the Kin services shortly thereafter it discontinued the phone . So basically, buyers are getting a feature phone. P.S. The Daily Steals ad says “powered by Windows Phone 7″ but don’t believe what you read. Windows Phone 7 apps won’t run on the device.

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A Windows Laptop With an Apple Price, but Less Juice

June 12, 2013  |  All Things Digital  |  No Comments

[ See post to watch video ] Laptop sales have been tanking as tablets surge. The new Windows 8 is off to a slow start with users. And the hybrid machines that claim to work as both tablets and laptops are still niche products. So what’s a laptop maker to do? Well, most Windows laptop companies are promising to spend this year driving prices down, while continuing to experiment with better hybrid designs. But not Toshiba. The venerable Japanese firm has decided to go upscale, introducing an all-new brand of conventional 13-inch laptops that are positioned as premium products, with prices starting at $1,600. That over-$1,000 market has long been the territory of Apple. But Toshiba figures it can offer buyers with deep pockets the Windows equivalent of Apple’s popular and much-praised MacBook Air, with premium materials, strong specs and a good warranty. It’s called the Kirabook, part of a new Toshiba brand called Kira. I’ve been testing a Kirabook for the past five days and I found it to be a good computer whose strongest feature is a brilliant, high-resolution screen. It’s a speedy and reliable machine that’s thin and light without feeling cheap. The Kirabook’s strongest feature is its high-resolution screen. It’s speedy, thin and light without feeling cheap. But I consider it overpriced for what it offers. It actually costs more than a MacBook Air, but with much worse battery life, an older processor and a design that looks like a lot of other grayish, metallic laptops. There are three models. The top one, which costs $2,000, is distinguished mainly by its use of a very fast processor that average consumers won’t need. The other two models are identical, except the entry-level offering, at $1,600, has a standard, non-touchscreen

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