Monday, February 15, 2010

Microsoft Unveils Windows Phone 7 Series

Earlier today, Microsoft's Steve Ballmer showed off the next generation of Microsoft's mobile operating system: Windows Phone 7 Series.

BARCELONA, Spain — Feb. 15, 2010 — Today at Mobile World Congress 2010, Microsoft Corp. CEO Steve Ballmer unveiled the next generation of Windows® Phones, Windows Phone 7 Series. With this new platform, Microsoft offers a fresh approach to phone software, distinguished by smart design and truly integrated experiences that bring to the surface the content people care about from the Web and applications. For the first time ever, Microsoft will bring together Xbox LIVE games and the Zune music and video experience on a mobile phone, exclusively on Windows Phone 7 Series. Partners have already started building phones; customers will be able to purchase the first phones in stores by holiday 2010.
“Today, I’m proud to introduce Windows Phone 7 Series, the next generation of Windows Phones,” said Steve Ballmer, chief executive officer at Microsoft. “In a crowded market filled with phones that look the same and do the same things, I challenged the team to deliver a different kind of mobile experience. Windows Phone 7 Series marks a turning point toward phones that truly reflect the speed of people’s lives and their need to connect to other people and all kinds of seamless experiences.”
Designed for Life in Motion

With Windows Phone 7 Series, Microsoft takes a fundamentally different approach to phone software. Smart design begins with a new, holistic design system that informs every aspect of the phone, from its visually appealing layout and motion to its function and hardware integration. On the Start screen, dynamically updated “live tiles” show users real-time content directly, breaking the mold of static icons that serve as an intermediate step on the way to an application. Create a tile of a friend, and the user gains a readable, up-to-date view of a friend’s latest pictures and posts, just by glancing at Start.

Every Windows Phone 7 Series phone will come with a dedicated hardware button for Bing, providing one-click access to search from anywhere on the phone, while a special implementation of Bing search provides intent-specific results, delivering the most relevant Web or local results, depending on the type of query.

Windows Phone 7 Series creates an unrivaled set of integrated experiences on a phone through Windows Phone hubs. Hubs bring together related content from the Web, applications and services into a single view to simplify common tasks. Windows Phone 7 Series includes six hubs built on specific themes reflecting activities that matter most to people:

  • People. This hub delivers an engaging social experience by bringing together relevant content based on the person, including his or her live feeds from social networks and photos. It also provides a central place from which to post updates to Facebook and Windows Live in one step.

  • Pictures. This hub makes it easy to share pictures and video to a social network in one step. Windows Phone 7 Series also brings together a user’s photos by integrating with the Web and PC, making the phone the ideal place to view a person’s entire picture and video collection.

  • Games. This hub delivers the first and only official Xbox LIVE experience on a phone, including Xbox LIVE games, Spotlight feed and the ability to see a gamer’s avatar, Achievements and gamer profile. With more than 23 million active members around the world, Xbox LIVE unlocks a world of friends, games and entertainment on Xbox 360, and now also on Windows Phone 7 Series.

  • Music + Video. This hub creates an incredible media experience that brings the best of Zune, including content from a user’s PC, online music services and even a built-in FM radio into one simple place that is all about music and video. Users can turn their media experience into a social one with Zune Social on a PC and share their media recommendations with like-minded music lovers. The playback experience is rich and easy to navigate, and immerses the listener in the content.

  • Marketplace. This hub allows the user to easily discover and load the phone with certified applications and games.

  • Office. This hub brings the familiar experience of the world’s leading productivity software to the Windows Phone. With access to Office, OneNote and SharePoint Workspace all in one place, users can easily read, edit and share documents. With the additional power of Outlook Mobile, users stay productive and up to date while on the go.
Availability

Partners from around the world have committed to include Windows Phone 7 Series in their portfolio plans. They include mobile operators AT&T, Deutsche Telekom AG, Orange, SFR, Sprint, Telecom Italia, Telefónica, Telstra, T-Mobile USA, Verizon Wireless and Vodafone, and manufacturers Dell, Garmin-Asus, HTC Corp., HP, LG, Samsung, Sony Ericsson, Toshiba and Qualcomm Inc. The first phones will be available by holiday 2010. Customers who would like to receive additional information about Windows Phone 7 Series and be notified when it is available can register at http://www.windowsphone7series.com.

To watch the full replay of Steve Ballmer’s press conference at Mobile World Congress, and to experience Windows Phone 7 Series through an online product demo, readers can visit http://www.microsoft.com/news/windowsphone.

Today's Microsoft press release was posted on the Microsoft website.

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Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Google's Nexus One Goes Live

Google's Nexus One smartphone has gone live and the details of the new phone have been posted on the Google website. Some of the key features include:
  • 3.7-inch 800x400 pixel WVGA touchscreen
  • 5MP digital camera with auto-focus and LED flash
  • UMTS/HSDPA/HSUPA/GSM/EDGE cellular radio
  • 802.11b/g/n Wi-Fi and Bluetooth 2.1 + EDR
  • 1400mAh removable battery
  • Android 2.1 Eclair mobile operating system
  • 512MB of RAM and Flash memory
  • 4GB microSD card included, support for upto 32GB microSD cards
  • Assisted GPS receiver and digital compass
Pricing and Availability

The new Google Nexus One is available now as an unlocked phone directly from Google for $529.00. You can also purchase the phone from T-Mobile for as low as $179.00 when you subscribe to a qualifying voice and data plan. Google is also reporting that the Nexus One will be coming to Verizon Wireless and Vodafone during the spring of 2010. No specific dates or pricing has been announced for Verizon or Vodafone at this time.

For more pricing and availability, visit the Google online store.

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Monday, October 12, 2009

Microsoft/Danger Data Loss: The Plot Thickens

Following up on the weekend's revelation that Microsoft/Danger had lost T-Mobile SideKick user's data, new sources have surfaced ready to talk and the good folks at AppleInsider where all to willing to listen.
"Additional insiders have stepped forward to shed more light into Microsoft's troubled acquisition of Danger, its beleaguered Pink Project, and what has become one of the most high profile Information Technology disasters in recent memory.

The sources point to longstanding management issues, a culture of "dogfooding" (to eradicate any vestiges of competitor's technologies after an acquisition), and evidence that could suggest the failure was the result of a deliberate act of sabotage."

What is the real reason for the server outage and data loss? We may never really know. Regardless of how you slice it, this situation is a PR nightmare for both T-Mobile and Microsoft. If you enjoy reading a good drug store paperback murder/mystery novel, you will want to read the this article. Who knows, maybe this will be turned into a movie some day.

Read the full AppleInsider article...

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Sunday, October 11, 2009

T-Mobile, Microsoft, Lose Customer Data

T-Mobile and Microsoft are in some hot water with their customers. It seems that during a "service disruption" last week, Microsoft's Danger unit, in partnership with US cellular partner, T-Mobile, have lost customer's data. I'm willing to bet that someone inside Microsoft is in a lot of trouble.
"Dear valued T-Mobile Sidekick customers:

T-Mobile and the Sidekick data services provider, Danger, a subsidiary of Microsoft, are reaching out to express our apologies regarding the recent Sidekick data service disruption.

We appreciate your patience as Microsoft/Danger continues to work on maintaining platform stability, and restoring all services for our Sidekick customers.

Regrettably, based on Microsoft/Danger's latest recovery assessment of their systems, we must now inform you that personal information stored on your device - such as contacts, calendar entries, to-do lists or photos - that is no longer on your Sidekick almost certainly has been lost as a result of a server failure at Microsoft/Danger. That said, our teams continue to work around-the-clock in hopes of discovering some way to recover this information. However, the likelihood of a successful outcome is extremely low. As such, we wanted to share this news with you and offer some tips and suggestions to help you rebuild your personal content. You can find these tips in our Sidekick Contacts FAQ. We encourage you to visit the Forums on a regular basis to access the latest updates as well as FAQs regarding this service disruption."

"With yesterday's news of T-Mobile letting Sidekick customers know that all of their data has been lost due to a server failure on Microsoft's/Danger's servers (Microsoft bought Danger, makers of the Sidekick back in February of 2008 for $500 million ). T-Mobile has suspended sales of all Sidekicks listing every model as "temporarily out of stock"."

[Via GadgetsOnTheGo.net...]

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Thursday, September 24, 2009

RoadSync, Documents To Go Coming Bundled with "Pulse"

Earlier today, DataViz announced that they will be bundling RoadSync and Documents To Go on the European T-Mobile Pulse in October.

DataViz, Inc., a leading provider of mobile office compatibility solutions today announced that their Microsoft Exchange ActiveSync client, RoadSync, and award-winning mobile Office suite, Documents To Go are included on the new T-Mobile Pulse (Huawei U8220.) The free full functioning license of RoadSync is optimized for Android-based devices and provides customers with built-in secure, wireless and direct push synchronization with Microsoft Exchange Server. Documents To Go further enhances the productivity value by adding support for viewing Microsoft Word, Excel, PowerPoint and Adobe PDF files and attachments.
“As the Android OS continues to gain momentum in the smartphone market, we are excited to partner with Huawei and T-Mobile in an effort to help business professionals mobilize their Office life,” said Dick Fontana, President and CEO of DataViz, Inc. “The combination of top-notch devices, a reliable network and a comprehensive suite of enterprise-grade applications enables customers from around the world to get real work done when on the go.”
Availability
The preinstalled versions of RoadSync and Documents To Go will be available in English, French, German, Italian, Spanish, Brazilian Portuguese, traditional and simplified Chinese when the T-Mobile Pulse (Huawei U8220) ships in October. Additional languages will be available in the coming weeks. For more information: www.dataviz.com/GetAndroid

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Friday, September 11, 2009

Impressions of the Motorola Cliq

I wanted to get a better understanding of just what the new Motorola Cliq was all about. We know that is an Android phone, but there is a growing number of Android phones out there. What would make the Cliq unique in the rapidly expanding smartphone universe? To find out, I started reading what the newspapers had to say.

In a Washington Post article about the Cliq, Motorola's co-CEO and head of mobile devices,Sanjay Jha, said:
"I see this as a first step in a long journey where we develop the kind of products which are really relevant for consumers." "I think for Motorola to retain its tech edge and reputation for engineering, it really has to hit a home run - not necessary with this particular phone, but with its phones in the coming year, including this one."

A noble goal to be sure, and one that provides Google Android fans with another major device manufacturer in the mobile phone market. But what does it really do; besides making phone calls that is? How will the Cliq be different from T-Mobile's other Android phone, the HTC Dream known as the G1? For the answer to that question, I turned to an article in the New York Times.
"[The Cliq] is meant for young people obsessed with social networks. Instead of the traditional menu of features, the Cliq’s home screen is an ever-changing mosaic of e-mail, Twitter tweets and status updates, superimposed over photos of the people sending those messages."

The key to all the magic of this phone is Motorola's Motoblur (video). Motoblur is essentially a technology that pulls data into your phone from multiple online sources such as your personal and corporate email account, Facebook, MySpace, Twitter, and more. It is Motorola's answer to Palm's Synergy technology that first appeared earlier this year in the Palm Pre's webOS operating system.

So now it makes sense. The Cliq is Motorola's and T-Mobile's social networking smartphone for teens and 20-somethings. While T-Mobile hasn't announced the price of the Cliq with a new subscription yet, the feeling from around the web is that the Cliq will run about $100. There is also talk of a more expensive version of the Cliq that is headed to Verizon Wireless later this year that will include additional features. That phone is expected to be available "for the holiday season."

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Thursday, September 10, 2009

Motorola CLIQ for T-Mobile Announced

Not wanting to be left out of the "new product announcement party", Motorola joins Apple and Palm this week with the unveiling of T-Mobile's next Google Android powered smartphone.

T-Mobile USA, Inc. today announced the upcoming availability of the Motorola CLIQ™ with MOTOBLUR™, the first Android-powered device from Motorola, Inc. (NYSE: MOT) and the first device to feature the innovative MOTOBLUR solution. The CLIQ will be available exclusively in the U.S. from T-Mobile later this fall.

Developed by Motorola, MOTOBLUR is an innovative solution that manages and integrates communications – from work e-mail to social networking activity – on your CLIQ. Updates to contacts, posts, messages, photos and more are streamed together and synced from sources including Facebook®, Twitter™, MySpace®, Gmail™, and work and personal e-mail. MOTOBLUR automatically delivers these updates to the home screen in easy-to-view streams so there is no need to open and close different mobile applications to keep up with the latest content. A 3G-capable smartphone featuring a slide-out QWERTY keyboard and a full touch-screen display, the CLIQ is designed to keep the conversation moving, enabling fast messaging on the fly and easy navigation through MOTOBLUR’s streams and widgets.

Cole Brodman, chief technology and innovation officer with T-Mobile USA, jointly unveiled CLIQ with MOTOBLUR today with Sanjay Jha, co-CEO of Motorola and CEO of Motorola Mobile Devices, at GigaOM’s Mobilize 09 conference. 

“T-Mobile’s highly social and always-connected customers have a natural affinity for mobile social networking, and we’re excited to feature the Motorola CLIQ with MOTOBLUR prominently in what’s shaping up to be our most innovative holiday product lineup ever,” Brodman said. “The CLIQ lives up to Motorola’s tradition of great design and quality, and to our history of working together to create products that enhance the lives and the relationships of our customers.”

Availability

Motorola CLIQ with MOTOBLUR will be available exclusively to T-Mobile customers later this fall in two colors — Titanium and Winter White. Pricing will be announced at a later date. Customers can visit http://www.t-mobile.com/cliq for more information.

You can read today's full press release on the Motorola website.

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Wednesday, September 2, 2009

T-Mobile Raising Overage Rates

BoyGeniusReport.com has a new post indicating that T-Mobile is raising their rates when you go over your monthly allotments of voice minutes.

BGR writes:
"As of [9/1/09], T-Mobile is raising its overage rates to 45¢ per minute on individual plans under $59.99 and family plans under $89.99, and 40¢ per minute for plans above those price points. Since this rate increase is carrier-invoked and it constitutes a “materially adverse change of contract,” subscribers will be able to flee without the need to pay a hefty Early Termination Fee."

The good news is that you will be able to get out of your contract without having to deal with that annoying early contract termination fee. The bad news is that you're going to have to work hard to get out of your contract.

Read the full article on BoyGeniusReport.com...

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Friday, August 14, 2009

Documents To Go for Android Updated

DataViz, Inc., a Microsoft® Gold Certified Partner and leading provider of Microsoft Office compatibility solutions is now shipping Documents To Go® 2.0 for Android™. The new version of the popular office suite leverages DataViz’s experience developing mobile solutions and brings a feature rich, enterprise-grade productivity tool to devices based on the Android platform.

The 2.0 update enhancements include:

Microsoft PowerPoint® File Support

The new Slideshow To Go® component allows viewing, editing and creating of PowerPoint presentations. With support for the latest file formats, including Microsoft Office 2007, business travelers can effortlessly “flick” through slides, review notes, rehearse timing and make any last minute modifications when on the go.

Adobe® PDF File Support

The PDF To Go® component provides high-fidelity viewing of Adobe PDF files with options for page view, word wrap, multiple zoom levels, auto-rotate, bookmarks, search, select and copy text, and support for password-protected files. With PDF To Go, knowledge workers can keep all important reference materials at their fingertips.

Enhancements for Microsoft Word & Excel® File Support

Documents To Go 1.0 offered robust viewing and editing of Microsoft Word (.doc, .docx) and Microsoft Excel (.xls, xlsx) files. Version 2.0 extends the feature set by adding find and replace, word count, number formatting, sheet formatting, contextual menus, improved selection modes and scrolling, optimizations for touch, and a ‘Live Folder’ for instant access to recently used documents.

FREE Version for All Android-based Devices

A non-expiring, free version of Documents To Go 2.0 that provides all Android-based device users with the ability to view Microsoft Word and Excel files and attachments is now available. Customers using this free version can unlock the complete feature set described above by purchasing a ‘Full Version Key.’

“By introducing a free viewer edition as well as a full version with premium capabilities, we are able to make Documents To Go accessible to all Android device users around the world,” said Ilya Eliashevsky, Product Manager, DataViz, Inc. “With added support for PowerPoint and PDF files, Document To Go is now the most comprehensive Office suite available in the Android Market.”

Pricing and Availability

Documents To Go 2.0 is available exclusively through the Android Market for FREE in English, French, German, Italian and Spanish. The ‘Full Version Key’ which unlocks the premium features is also available through the Android Market for $29.99. Customers who previously purchased Documents To Go version 1.0 will receive the ‘Full Version Key’ at no charge. Supported devices include the T-mobile G1, HTC Dream, HTC Magic, T-mobile myTouch 3G, HTC Hero, Google Ion, Samsung Galaxy, Samsung i7500 and other devices running Android OS. For more information on Documents To Go and RoadSync for Android: www.dataviz.com/GetAndroid.

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Monday, April 13, 2009

Briefly Noted: iPhone Apps, Smartphone OCD

This is just a quick note to talk about what is on my mind right now.

iPhone and iPod touch Software
I just downloaded three interesting applications form the Apple iTunes App Store: SplashNotes Outliner (link), WootWatch (link), and Cellfire Mobile Coupons (link). I'll let you know which ones stay on my iPod touch and which ones get the bit bucket after I've had some time to play with them.

More Smartphones
Many of my readers know I suffer from smartphone OCD. It has been about five months since I purchased my BlackBerry Curve. I'm starting to get that itch to smartphone again. This time I'm looking at the Palm Treo Pro (Sprint edition) or the T-Mobile G1. I like the looks of the Treo Pro body design, 320x320 display, and built in Wi-Fi. But...I haven't had a chance to play with the G1 yet. And let's not forget that DataViz Documents To Go is now available for Android phones, whcih includes the G1.

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Friday, October 24, 2008

G1 and Removable Storage

I was just reading an article by Brighthand's Editor-in-Chief, Ed Hardy, that says the new T-Mobile G1 handset powered by Google's Android operating system can only use a memory card for additional storage.

Mr. Hardy writes:
"The first Android-based smartphone debuted this week, and users have discovered what many will consider a significant flaw: all applications have to be stored in internal memory.

This means that all third-party software has to fit in the 70 MB of internal storage that the T-Mobile G1 has set aside for this. The device comes with a 1 GB removable memory card, and it supports at least 16 GB ones, but none of that storage capacity can be used for holding applications.

The storage card is used only for holding files, like music and video."

Personally, I welcome the Android users into to the proverbial swimming pool. Palm OS users also have to wrestle with this issue. I do hope that Palm OS customers get some relieve in 2009 when Palm is scheduled to release the successor to Palm OS 5, Palm OS II/Nova. I would also like to see Google roll out an update to Android that adds the ability to run apps of a card in the near future.

Read the full Brighthand article...

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Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Gizmodo: T-Mobile G1 Software Update Hits Tomorrow

GadgetsOnTheGo has a link to an article on Gizmodo that T-Mobile and Google are rolling out the first update for the G1 tomorrow. Man that was fast!

"Gizmodo is reporting that T-Mobile will be releasing the first software update for the T-Mobile G1 tomorrow. It will be sent to all G1 devices over the air. The update is expected to be minor, addressing some bug fixes and light "enhancements"."

Get all the details on the G1 goodness here...

Via GadgetsOnTheGo.net...

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T-Mobile G1 Specs

















Hardware
  • Size: 4.6 x 2.2 x 0.6 inches
  • Weight: 5.6 ounces
  • Included battery: 1150 mAh Lion
  • Talk time: up to 5 hours
  • Standby time: up to 5 days
  • Band (frequency): 850 MHz;900 MHz;1800 MHz;1900 MHz
Fun
  • Easy access to Google applications
  • IM/Text/Email*
  • 3MP Camera
  • Video playback
Communication
  • Touch Screen
  • QWERTY keyboard
  • Bluetooth® wireless technology
Information
  • One-click Google Search
  • Real web browsing capabilities
  • 3G Network and Wi-Fi access

The full list of features can be found here.

The G1 will go for $179 with a new two-year service agreement.

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T-Mobile's G1 Goes Live Today
















The first Google Android smartphone, the T-Mobile G1, goes live today.

I'd post some more details about the G1, but T-Mobile's site appears to be getting hammered as I can't load the Buy Now page.

More details will follow as the day goes on.

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Friday, October 10, 2008

T-Mobile G1 Hands On "Review"












I saw this over on EngadgetMobile this morning and I wanted to share it with all the G1 fans.
"Oh sure, you've already read over our (and Ryan Block's) brief one-day impressions of T-Mobile's G1, but one lucky (lucky!) user over at AndroidCommunity has been able to handle one for more than just a few hours. As a precious gift to the world, he's penned a nice list of pros and cons along with a Q&A, and it seems that the "review" is actually growing with time. Right from the top, he notes that the G1 is lke a "SideKick on massive steriods," albeit one with a minty fresh OS"
Via EngadgetMobile...

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