Quashing circulating rumors, Yahoo's CEO said that while there is still interest between the online portal and software giant Microsoft to form some sort of partnership, Microsoft is no longer interested in a full merger. According to Reuters, Yahoo Chief Executive Jerry Yang claims that Microsoft walked away from a deal with "tremendous amount of power," after it upped the ante on Microsoft's $47.5 billion buyout offer. Yahoo President Susan Decker said issues such as regulatory approval had not been discussed, because pricing had held up all other discussions, Yang's public comments signaled that the companies remain open to a potential deal, but indicated that Microsoft had ruled out a merger for now, contradicting a BusinessWeek report from Thursday morning that claimed the companies were working on a buyout of all of Yahoo assets, rather than the just search portion of the business.
T-Mobile on Wednesday unveiled three new HTC phones at an international press conference: the MDA Compact IV, MDA Vario IV, and the Ameo 16GB. The MDA Compact IV - what appears to be a variant of the HTC Touch Diamond - offers users a 3D interface shown on a high-resolution 640 by 480 screen, and is the second device to use Windows Mobile 6.1. The device is HSDPA-enabled, supporting 7.2 Mbit/s downstream, and 1.4Mbit up, and boasts a 3.2 Megapixel camera with 4GB of internal flash storage.
Dell CEO Michael Dell recently offered a glimpse of his company's highly-rumored ultra-portable at the All Things Digital executive conference in California. Dell was carrying a sleeved laptop, opening the cover to reveal a bright candy-apple red shell crowning a miniature portable akin to the Asus Eee PC and HP Mini-Note. He was sparing with details, but images reveal three USB ports, a card reader, VGA output, and Ethernet connections, with the system running an unknown version of Windows.
Hitachi on Wednesday unveiled a pair of new hard drives to add to its CinemaStar line, with the C5K320 and the 5K500. The former is a 2.5-inch hard drive with up to 320 GB capacity, while the latter is built around a 500GB, 3.5-inch hard drive. All of Hitachi's CinemaStar hard disk drives are designed to extend the recording capacity of DVRs in home theater setups, but can also work with media center PCs.
Dell today announced it will soon be updating its Vostro 400 desktop PCs with the 410 model, adding to its line of PCs made for small businesses. The PC's tower has also been enlarged to allow it to hold twice as many drives as in the Vostro 400, as well as more expansion slots and bays. Newly introduced is a Gigabit Ethernet card for faster network access. Due to customer feedback from its site, Dell claims it brought out the new PC six months earlier than originally planned and with different specs that include a choice of Intel Core 2 Quad processors, 512MB graphics cards and 800MHz memory.
Palm chief Ed Colligan today told APC in an interview about some of the first details of the next-generation Palm OS. Internally codenamed Nova, the Linux-based platform will focus on "Internet and Web-based applications" much more than the existing software and is also targeted at a different class of user. Future phones using Nova will be released under a new, unnamed "prosumer" brand that should slot in between the entry-level Centro and business-oriented smartphones such as the Treo line.
Veteran storage manufacturers Imation today announced details of their new line of portable USB flash drives, the Nano Flashes. The drives are available in storage capacities of 1, 2, 4 and 8GB; the design is an evolution of previous USB drives offered by the company, but is only 1.7 inches long, 0.6 inches wide, and 0.4 inches deep. It also focuses on an integrated 360-degree swivel cap, which protects the connector when the drive is not in use, and allows for attachment to keychains, lanyards and even mobile phones.
Google's Android operating system has been demonstrated with new changes and on what appears to be a prototype of the HTC Dream, according to news from Android Community and others attending the company's I/O Conference. The latest version of the mobile operating system shows subtle but iPhone-like interface touches that haven't previously been seen in earlier builds, including multiple home screens and a tray of permanently visible icons for commonly used apps. A built-in mail client (primarily intended for Gmail) also shares cosmetic similarities to Apple's own application.
Blockbuster will soon launch a pilot program of in-store movie downloads, says the company's CEO. James Keyes revealed the information at an annual shareholder meeting Wednesday, noting that a trial will take place sometime within the next month, and involve store visitors inserting a form portable device into a kiosk, and copying movies in a process that should take approximately two minutes. At present the major issue is said to be studio support, as Blockbuster is still negotiating for available content.
Amazon is about to launch an on-demand video service, the company's chief Jeff Bezos said today at the Wall Street Journal's D Conference. Expanding on the company's existing Unbox download feature, the retailer will launch a paid streaming service "in the next few weeks," according to the executive. No details beyond this early news are available, though the move would directly compete with a similar option from Netflix, whose Watch Instantly feature is largely web-based and requires a regular Netflix subscription of $9 or more.
Sony has agreed to settle in a recent lawsuit involving Blu-ray players, according to an announcement. The company had been sued by a Columbia University emeritus professor, Gertrude Rothschild, who argued that Sony's technology violated a US patent of hers relating to band-gap semiconductors -- specifically, those that allow LEDs to emit the short wavelengths found in blue lasers. Rothschild has also directed suits at other companies for the same reason, such as LG, Sanyo, Samsung, Pioneer and Sharp.
Much of ASUS' notebooks running both Intel's Centrino 2 platform and the corresponding AMD Puma foundation have been revealed in advance, according to several leaks from Notebook Italia. The M-series will still serve as ASUS' media-oriented flagships, but will now trade power savings for performance: the stock M51VR will use Intel's new low-power 2.53GHz Core 2 Duo that uses only 3MB of Level 2 cache but also consumes just 25W of average power, while both the M51VA and the 17-inch M70VM will use a 35W chip that doubles the cache size to 6MB.
DVR provider TiVo on Wednesday announced it will offer videos on demand from the Walt Disney Studios library, with some of the content made available in high-definition. The service will be available for all subscribers with Internet-ready Series2 and Series3 terminals via CinemaNow. TiVo made it clear movies in standard definition will be available for a 24-hour period, although how many HD movies will be available and if the timeframe for watching them will differ from the SD offerings was not specified.
Intel today confirmed the existence of a significant delay for its Centrino 2 notebook platform. While not providing the originally scheduled release date, company representative Bill Kircos now says that the mainboard chipsets and their matching processors will now be ready by the week of July 14th, or between two and three weeks after a widely reported late June introduction. The spokesman also confirms the twofold nature of the delay, which centers around both a technical flaw and legal obligations.
Sony today announced it would translate one of its concept speaker designs into a production device. The Sountina promises a radical approach to sound by outputting the same sound at 360 degrees from the speaker itself: an upward-facing driver vibrates a glass tube that in turn pushes sound outwards in all directions rather than in a cone, as with traditional speakers. The change both leads to a new look as well as reducing the horizontal footprint of the Sountina.
Yahoo is finally nearing a deal that may involve either Microsoft, Google, or both, according to sources' reports at BusinessWeek. The magazine claims that Microsoft's assertions of wanting only a partial transaction with Yahoo aren't entirely true and that the company is entirely willing to buy out the whole of Yahoo rather than just a portion of the company, which is rumored to be either just the search advertising division or else the complete search business.
Samsung hoped to draw extra attention on Wednesday by unveiling the L870, its latest slider phone. The handset is said to not only use a full HTML web browser but allegedly uses the mobile version of Apple's Safari web browser. The company doesn't mention receiving permission from Apple for the product and also fails to explain how the software would be used on the device: aside from the need to port from OS X iPhone to the Symbian Series 60 OS used by the phone as well as changing controls to use a conventional directional pad as the interface instead of the iPhone's multi-touch display.
ASUS is bumping up the launch of the 10-inch Eee PC in an attempt to head off rivals, PC builder insiders claim. The company is reportedly concerned about the launch of the same-size MSI Wind and now plans to introduce its largest Eee PC at the Computex show next week alongside the Atom-based Eee PC 901 in an attempt to garner more publicity for its own system.
Microsoft Chairman Bill Gates and CEO Steve Ballmer on Tuesday unveiled a small preview of the company's next operating system - tentatively referred to as Windows 7 - at the All Things Digital executive conference. The preview demonstrated the integration of multi-touch directly into all application layers, allowing users to use multiple fingers in Paint, resize and rotate photographs, and performing many actions similar to that of the iPhone.