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Rich Miner, group manager for mobile platforms at Google, recently spoke at the eComm conference, showing both praise and disdain for the iPhone. According to Yahoo, Miner said that while Apple "did a number of things right first time, first device", the lack of a background environment for applications is a major limitation. He also cited that interpreted languages and multiprocessing apps are not supported, summarizing that "there's a lot of restrictions."
The successor to Windows Vista, simply known at the moment as "7," should be released in 2010, Microsoft has confirmed. Leaked information revealed recently that the operating system has already hit "Milestone 1," an internal marker of development progress. Microsoft has previously said that the Vista sequel would arrive approximately three years after the debut of Vista; since business clients received Vista early, however, it was unclear if this would mean late 2009 or sometime in 2010.
MySpace has officially entered the public beta for its Developer Platform, a framework that lets coders produce applications using Google's OpenSocial standard. Because of OpenSocial, some creations may eventually migrate to other social networking sites, such as Friendster. Both OpenSocial and the Developer Platform are seen as a challenge to Facebook, whose popularity has been attributed to web apps such as iLike and Scrabulous.
Confirming earlier reports about an Austrian iPhone, T-Mobile appears to have a website prepared for a launch tomorrow. According to the page, handsets will be priced at €399 for the 8GB version, and €499 for 16GB. T-Mobile is offering two different rates for monthly plans, one at €39, and one at €55. The lower priced plan includes 1000 minutes for all networks, and 25 Cents for text messages, while the upper plan includes 1000 SMS messages, 1000 minutes on T-Mobile networks, and 1000 minutes for others.
The final details of NVIDIA's GeForce 9800 GTX have escaped ahead of their public debut and promise a tangible though not dramatic boost to performance, says an anonymous poster with access to reportedly leaked presentation slides. The new single-chipset flagship card will clock at 675MHz for its core (versus 575MHz for the 8800 GTX) as well as a 1.1GHz memory speed (up from 900MHz). The internal shader engine for pixels and geometry will also jump from 1.35GHz to 1.69GHz, the leak indicates. However, the switch to a newer architecture will actually reduce the total video memory from 768MB to 512MB.
It has been confirmed on Wednesday that Microsoft will not integrate Sony's Blu-ray high-definition technology into its Xbox 360 game console. Aaron Greenberg, group product manager for Xbox 360, made the statement in an interview, pointing out owners can still view high-definition movies on the Xbox via Microsoft's Xbox Live online service that allows renting movies, and is the only game console to do so. With the recent fall of HD DVD, Microsoft stopped offering an HD DVD add-on player for its popular console.
Gateway on Thursday quietly updated two of its staple notebook lines with improved specs, including the addition of one model based on Intel's newer Penryn-era Core 2 Duo architecture. Both the M-151X and the M-151XL are now faster and hold more storage: at the top end, the M-151XL now brings a 2.4GHz Core 2 Duo with the larger 3MB Level 2 cache and better battery life that come with the Penryn upgrade. It also comes shipped with 3GB of memory as well as a 250GB hard drive. The 256MB Mobility Radeon HD 2400 XT, HDMI output, and 802.11n also come intact from the earlier M-150.
The new president of Cuba, Raul Castro, has formally lifted a ban on the sale of computers and other consumer electronics such as DVD players, say reports. "Based on the improved availability of electricity, the government at the highest level has approved the sale of some equipment which was prohibited," reads an internal government memo obtained by Reuters. Car alarms, microwaves, and rice and pressure cookers are among the other devices Cubans can now buy; TV sizes have expanded to include 19- and 24-inch models.
Nokia's promised WiMAX tablet could arrive as early as next month, says a tip sent to BGR. While uncorroborated, the information suggests the device will be a variant of the previously Wi-Fi only N810 rather than a significant remake; the wide-area, high-speed Internet access will be its primary hardware update. The change will nonetheless make more use of the existing hardware, such as its camera for video calls and its microphone for VoIP.
Microsoft is planning to launch a mobile Zune portal sometime in 2009, according to the French newspaper Les Echos. The site would extend the reach of the company's iTunes rival, the Zune Marketplace, and allow users to download games and music directly to various platforms, including computers, Windows Mobile devices and for the first time, Zune players themselves. While Zunes have always come equipped with a Wi-Fi module, they have never had Internet access, a prominent feature on Apple's competing iPod touch.
Toshiba will take a serious but far from fatal blow to its bottom line for its decision to discontinue HD DVD, according to a report by Japan's Nikkei Business Daily (account required). The electronics maker is predicted by the newspaper to be spending $986 million this quarter to ramp down its production of HD DVD players and discs at its factories as well as writing down the cost of unsold devices. The tally will significantly affect Toshiba's income but should still result in a significant profit, as official company estimates would have it generating $2.9 billion in the same period.
Apple may be aiming to eventually transform the Apple TV set-top into a full DVR, new filings with the US Patent and Trademark Office suggest. Submitted in October 2006 but only just made public, the filings depict a unique interface for the Apple TV, able to browse and record live TV programming, in addition to downloading movies and TV shows sold through iTunes. Such features would put the Apple TV into direct competition with TiVo, whose set-tops can not only record TV but buy movies through Amazon's Unbox service. Recently, the company announced that it would support YouTube content, much like the Apple TV.
AOL, Time Warner's Internet arm, announced Thursday it will buy social network Bebo for $850 million in cash, giving the 40-million member website newfound support to compete against MySpace and Facebook. Bebo trails the two in North America but is number one in Britain, Ireland and New Zealand. AOL has big plans for Bebo in 2008, launching it in five more countries as part of its plans to expand globally. In general, AOL is aiming to expand into more than 30 new countries this year.
The SanDisk Sansa Fuze is at our offices and already being prepared for a full test. In the meantime, we've already collected first impressions of the player and can already say that the current iPod nano (and Zune 4/8) may have some genuine competition. The Fuze is perhaps the most direct spin-off of the Apple design we've seen to date, but it improves on the formula: the 1.9-inch screen is only slightly smaller than the 2-inch iPod but translates to a considerably narrower design which is easy to hold. The scroll wheel is essentially the same as for the larger View and is more precise than the smaller iPod's, if not quite as efficient at scrolling quickly through a long track list.
Marking the addition of one of the few Wi-Fi equipped home smartphones in its lineup, AT&T today released the BlackBerry Pearl 8120. Based on the same updated Pearl shape as the 8130 on sale at Sprint and Verizon, the 8120 adds 802.11g Wi-Fi that supplies much faster Internet access than the phone's usual EDGE service whenever the phone is within range of a hotspot; unlike the Curve 8320 at T-Mobile, however, the new AT&T Pearl lacks support for automatically bridged VoIP calls.
Canon today made image stabilization a near-universal element of its camera line by introducing three PowerShot compacts that come with the feature out of the box. The SD770 IS, SD790 IS, and SD890 IS all shoot at 10 megapixels with an optical stabilization element to produce clear shots; for the first time, model differences are separated by design and lenses rather than megapixel count, Canon notes. The SD770 IS is considered the starter with a standard 3X lens but is also the thinnest-ever IS camera from the company. Despite this, optimizations to battery life help it produce up to 300 shots on a charge. It shoots at up to ISO 1600 sensitivity with a 2.5-inch LCD and optical viewfinder, and should be available by mid-April for $300.
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