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All posts tagged "apple"

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Microsoft Releases Windows Phone 7 Connector 2.0 for Mac

Posted by Darius Wey in "Windows Phone Software" @ 07:17 PM

"Windows Phone 7 Connector is a simple, easy-to-use application designed to sync your favorite media files from your Mac, with your Windows Phone 7 or Zune HD. You can also sync photos and videos you captured on your phone with your Mac, and when needed, update your Windows Phone 7 software."

Mac users, make your way to the App Store and grab today's update of Windows Phone 7 Connector. Microsoft has tagged it with a version number of 2.0, and with it, there's full sync and import support for Aperture, drag-and-drop support, ringtone transfer and Windows Phone Marketplace support if your phone is running Windows Phone 7.5, as well as a bunch of other goodies ranging from backup and restore improvements to additional languages. And all for the good ol' price of free.

Friday, December 31, 2010

What The Geeky Got for Gifts

Posted by Jason Dunn in "Digital Home News" @ 05:30 PM

"If you got an iPad as a gift during the holidays, you certainly weren't alone. In a recent poll of holiday gift recipients, iPads accounted for a full 22.7% of all gadget or hardware gifts, making iPads the single largest category in our gift poll, outstripping the nearest runner-up by nearly 14% of votes. That runner-up was Amazon's Kindle - not surprising considering that the Kindle is the best-selling product in Amazon's history."

It's a relatively small sampling size - less than 2400 votes, and only from people who read Mashable - but among the geek-set, there are a couple of stand-out points: the iPad was the #1 gift, more people got Macs (60%) than Windows machines (40%), Android phones let the way in the smartphone category with a hefty 50.3% figure (iPhones were 30%), but Windows Phone 7 devices at 10.3% just eeked out Blackberry devices (9.4%). Not bad for a brand new platform that most people still haven't heard about! Lastly, the Xbox/Kinect one-two punch clobbered the PS3 with a 54.3% figure versus only 11.9% for the PS3. The Kinect really is driving the Xbox 360 to new heights of popularity!

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

The Official Windows Phone Connector for OS X

Posted by Jason Dunn in "Windows Phone Software" @ 05:56 PM

"Windows Phone 7 Connector is coming, for all you Windows Phone 7 obsessives stashing media on your previously incompatible OS X machine. No, it's not Zune for Mac, but it does get the job done: we've been testing it out over the last few days, so read on for our impressions."

As I suspected, 99% of the headlines out there over the past week the were proclaiming that the "Zune desktop software is coming to OS X" are flat-out wrong. It's amazing how people twist and conflate pieces of information. Anyway, if you're an OS X user and you want a simple way to get music, photos, and videos onto your Windows Phone 7 - the reviewer doesn't say whether it also works with the Zune...I'd like to think it does given the platform similarities, but I can't say for sure. The beta comes out October 24th, at which point I'll take it for a spin myself and see what works and what doesn't. What I don't understand is why Microsoft is being so coy about this - it's a pretty significant move!

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Windows Mobile Lost a 'Whole Generation' Says Ballmer

Posted by Jason Dunn in "Windows Phone Talk" @ 05:00 PM

"Steve Ballmer has delivered a mea culpa to Microsoft's partners for its slip-ups against Apple and Google on tablets and smart phones. Ballmer told Microsoft's annual Worldwide Partner Conference that Windows Mobile missed a "whole generation of users" and promised Windows Phone 7 will set things right."

Dear Microsoft,

I generally feel a lot of love for you as a company, but it's sure frustrating watching you miss the boat again and again. Remember when you laughed at the iPhone? Yeah, exactly, no one is laughing now. The hype around the iPad had been building for years - didn't someone in your organization (other than the Courier team) realize that this whole slate computing thing wasn't going to just be empty hype? Read more...

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Do iPhone 4 Dropped Calls Represent an Opportunity for Microsoft and its Partners?

Posted by Brad Wasson in "Windows Phone Talk" @ 04:00 PM

Apple's legendary design prowess has taken a bit of a hit the last few days as more and more users experience dropped calls from purportedly "holding their phone in the wrong way". We don't know the extent of the issue yet, but it sure seems to be significant.

There's a lot a stake here. Apple, through good design and product production, and excellent marketing, has built a formidable reputation for quality in its products. They have convinced many people that their products are "a notch above" the competition. If you consider, they seldom sell their products on superior functionality, focusing, rather, on the overall users' experience, including the seamless connection of many of their products. Without question, they are the gold standard for design excellence in the electronics industry. They are trend setters and pathway pioneers.


Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Gizmodo: "How a Silly Phone for Teens Reveals Microsoft's Plan for Us All"

Posted by Jason Dunn in "Windows Phone Talk" @ 07:00 AM

"Despite its mobile prowess, Apple sucks at the internet. But surprisingly it's Microsoft-not Google-that's best positioned for Our Future in the Cloud. Here's why..."

A well-written, well-researched piece by John Herrman - definitely worth the read. I agree with his general conclusions, and share his feeling that Microsoft is uniquely positioned to pull off some amazing integration...but I've been saying that same thing for several years in a row now. Microsoft seems really slow at pulling together all the pieces - it's a no brainer for Microsoft to leverage the Kin Studio for Windows Phone 7, but the question is, will they do it in time for launch? Or will it take them until Windows Phone 8 to make that happen? The mobile space is all about speed, and that's not something Microsoft excels at. Give the Gizmodo article a read and share your thoughts with me - do you agree that Microsoft has a compelling offering that no one else can match?

Monday, June 7, 2010

Ownership of Windows Phones Holding Steady

Posted by Jason Dunn in "Windows Phone News" @ 05:00 PM

WM Experts is reporting that, according to a Nielson survey, ownership of Windows Phone is holding steady. Blackberry is leading with 35% of the smartphone market, Apple is in second place at 28%, and Windows Phone ownership is at 19%. Android, the platform with all the thunder right now, only has 9% of the market - but I'd say it has about 60% of the mindshare. Given the number of Android devices shipping though, I expect that 9% to climb and climb over the rest of this year. The question is, who will bleed market share? I remember hearing a Microsoft person say that they expected market share numbers to get worse before they got better leading up to the Windows Phone 7 launch - I think he was prognosticating about this very scenario.

Windows Phone Marketplace: The New Policies

Posted by Jason Dunn in "Windows Phone Developer" @ 04:09 PM

"Today we're introducing the new set of Windows Phone Marketplace policies that will govern the application submission and certification process as Windows Phone 7 comes to market. We're taking the next step with Marketplace to attract a much wider range of developers, from large software companies down to students and hobbyists. We introduced our first Marketplace eight months ago and have already shown that there is demand for an app store that is both customer-centric AND developer friendly. Marketplace is evolving to give people a great selection of beautiful apps for Windows Phone 7 that we will take steps to ensure are high-quality and don't introduce security or reliability issues. At the same time, we're giving developers the respect they deserve in our use of transparent and uniform policies that still give developers the necessary information and flexibility to explore creative sales and marketing models. For Windows Phone 7, we're keeping the basic tenets of our existing Marketplace philosophy and making a few enhancements for developers."

I'm not a developer, so take my analysis of this with a grain of virtual salt, but I have to wonder if Microsoft is really feel desperate enough yet when it comes to wooing developers. Take the $99 annual registration fee; sure, now you can submit an unlimited number of apps, which is great, but why have the fee at all? Next to Palm Web OS, I'd say Microsoft has the least amount of developer momentum on a mobile platform - Microsoft needs to work harder to get developers on board.

I just loaded up Marketplace on my HD2, and with the filter set to United States - English, I counted 645 apps in total. That's a rounding error on Apple's App store...Microsoft, you really need to work harder to get developers on board. I'm certain that the high-end hardware on Windows Phone 7 devices will bring a lot of great developers to the table, but even with that, I think Microsoft should give away their dev tools and have 12 or even 24 months of all app submissions being free - they need to build momentum with developers, and making it "barrier free" to develop for Windows Phone is a good start.

Friday, May 28, 2010

Apple Ousts Microsoft as Technology Company with the Biggest Market Cap

Posted by Jason Dunn in "Windows Phone News" @ 04:30 PM

"In the less-than-three months since Apple first passed Wal-Mart to hold the third highest market capitalization among U.S. companies, Apple's stock price has continued to increase while second-place Microsoft has seen its shares drift downward. The combination of events has quickly closed the gap between the two companies, and today Apple finally surpassed Microsoft in market capitalization for the first time in 20 years, although second-by-second fluctuations currently see the two companies frequently swapping positions."

This happened two days ago, but the results are still basically the same: Apple is now worth more than Microsoft. Looking back a decade or so, I doubt anyone could have predicted this - Apple was on the verge of going bankrupt, and Microsoft had more money than they knew what to do with. Microsoft is still worth a great deal in terms of market cap, but so is Apple. Personally, the stock market puzzles me - it's irrational and often ignorant. Microsoft posted some stunning results last quarter, earning a huge bump in profit, and their stock barely blipped. Not a great time to be a Microsoft shareholder (which I am, in a small way).

Friday, May 21, 2010

The Cost of Our Shiny Gadgets

Posted by Jason Dunn in "Digital Home Talk" @ 01:00 PM

"It's obvious, by now -- or it should be -- that something's going on at Foxconn -- the owners of massive factories in China which most famously assembles Apple products (though it's also responsible for many, many others). There have been several suicide attempts this year -- at least a few of them successful (though it's been pointed out that the number is pretty much on par with the rest of China) -- and over the past few days we've seen what can only be called a shocking expose by a worker who went undercover there."

Engadget's Laura June shares her thoughts on the real cost of the gadgets we know and love - because this Foxconn issue isn't just about Apple; they make products for HP and other big OEMs. I share June's thoughts that I'm not an economist; I know enough about wages to know that they need to be appropriate for the country the workers are can't just take a North American minimum wage figure and use that. On the other hand, I support the concept of a "living wage" no matter what country we're talking about - if someone can't make a reasonable living working 40 hours a week, then they're not getting paid enough (and that applies to my own country as well).

I'd be a hypocrite if I said that the plight of the workers making my gadgets was at the forefront of my mind when I opened the package on a new device, but it's definitely something I've been thinking about more lately. Do I like cheap gadgets? Yes. But would I be willing to pay 10% more, knowing that money would make its way back to the workers in the form of better pay (which would be hard to do, but possible)? Yes, I absolutely would. Would you?

Thursday, May 13, 2010

HTC Fires Back, Suing Apple for Patent Infringement

Posted by Jason Dunn in "Windows Phone News" @ 01:30 PM

"HTC Corporation today took legal action against Apple Inc., filing a complaint with the United States International Trade Commission (ITC) to halt the importation and sale of the iPhone, iPad and iPod in the United States. "As the innovator of the original Windows Mobile PocketPC Phone Edition in 2002 and the first Android smartphone in 2008, HTC believes the industry should be driven by healthy competition and innovation that offer consumers the best, most accessible mobile experiences possible," said Jason Mackenzie, vice president of North America, HTC Corporation. "We are taking this action against Apple to protect our intellectual property, our industry partners, and most importantly our customers that use HTC phones." "

There are no specifics in this press release about exactly which patents HTC is claiming Apple infringed upon, but HTC has been in the mobile phone game for a lot longer than Apple has, so they may very well have some solid ground to stand upon. I'm guessing here that HTC is a proxy for both Google and Microsoft fighting Apple, just as Apple was using HTC as a proxy to attack Google. In the end, only the lawyers will get rich off this one...

Thursday, March 18, 2010


Posted by Jason Dunn in "Windows Phone News" @ 05:30 PM

"HTC Corporation today outlined its disagreement with Apple's legal actions and reiterated its commitment to creating a portfolio of innovative smartphones that gives consumers a variety of choices. Founded in 1997 with a passion for innovation and a vision for how smartphones would change people's lives, HTC has continually driven this vision by consistently introducing award-winning smartphones with U.S. mobile operators."

That has to be the most polite way to respond to a lawsuit I've ever read - who wrote this, a Canadian? Anyway, the press release outlines some of the interesting firsts that HTC has made in the market. I didn't realize they created the hardware for the first Windows PDA back in 1998. That would have been an HPC if memory serves - Palm-sized PCs weren't out yet, were they? I wonder which HPC HTC was an OEM for? Compaq? Philips? HP? NEC?

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Apple's Spat With Google Getting Ugly

Posted by Jason Dunn in "Windows Phone Competition" @ 11:30 AM

"In the last six months, Apple and Google have jousted over acquisitions, patents, directors, advisers and iPhone applications. Mr. Jobs and Mr. Schmidt have taken shots at each other's companies in the media and in private exchanges with employees."

The New York Times has a very interesting article on the head-butting going on between Apple and Google right now. Frankly, I think the whole thing is a bit silly and is too ego-driven, but on the other hand, the inevitable distraction this will cause both companies gives Microsoft an opportunity to launch a brand new OS that will need some time to grow.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

How Will Apple's Lawsuit Impact HTC?

Posted by Jason Dunn in "Windows Phone News" @ 11:00 AM

"Apple's patent lawsuit against HTC will not cause major problems for the Taiwan technology company in the short term, analysts said Wednesday. But it could strain its relations with partners in the crucial U.S. market and test its leadership, adding to its challenges in the increasingly competitive smartphone field."

The article points out that, short term, there's not likely to be any impact on HTC as these types of lawsuits tend to take three to four years to come to bear. It will, however, be a distraction for HTC and a drain on their resources. Engadget asks if Google will come to the aid of HTC since Andriod is part of what Apple is targeting. I still find the whole thing pretty ridiculous; Apple is doing quite well in the smartphone space and I fail to see why they think this will improve their position there.

Tags: apple, lawsuit, htc

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Apple Suing HTC for Alleged 20 iPhone Patent Infringements

Posted by Jason Dunn in "Windows Phone News" @ 11:00 AM

"Looks like Apple's going on the warpath, kids. Just a few months after Cupertino got into it with Nokia over phone patents, Apple's filed suit against HTC, alleging that the company is infringing 20 patents "related to the iPhone's user interface, underlying architecture, and hardware.""

Jobs is ticked off that the world isn't worshiping his iPad and in a fit of childish rage, he commanded his minions to sue HTC so he'd feel better about himself. ;-) Seriously though, "Conserving Power By Reducing Voltage Supplied To An Instruction-Processing Portion Of A Processor" - it's patentable to reduce voltage to a chip? That's common sense I'd think...that's what bugs me about patents; most are not about inventing anything, they're about a concept, like left-right-left of your feet being walking. I think this is going to blow up in Apple's face; it makes them look weak and foolish, like they can't figure out what to do with the iPhone next, so they'll sue HTC to slow them down and get them off track. Personally, I think Microsoft should partner up with HTC and even Google, all three should dig into their patent chest, and blast back at Apple. Might as well make this a real throw-down. I'm all for companies defending their innovations, but this doesn't seem like that's what Apple is doing.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Windows Phone 7 VS iPhone: FIGHT!

Posted by Nurhisham Hussein in "Windows Phone Software" @ 07:30 PM

"In the past, the industry has been hard-pressed to find a real competitor to the iPhone. Several "iPhone killers" have come along, including the Palm Pre and BlackBerry Storm, but both devices have failed to live up to Apple's product on any level. Even Android-based devices like the Nexus One have come close but can't quite attract the kind of attention the iPhone does...But there is a strong possibility that Microsoft's newly announced Windows Phone 7 Series will change that."

eWeek weighs in on the merits of the upcoming Windows Phone 7 Series, specifically comparing it against the iPhone. Some of the points are a little weak in my view (a sense of urgency? really?), but there's always room for debate. I think it's premature to start discussing this seriously until we know more on what restrictions developers have to work under - I'm not very happy with what I've heard so far - but then speculation is half the fun. What do you guys think? Is eWeek making sense to you, or are they somewhere off in la-la land?

Friday, December 18, 2009

Windows Mobile Losing Market Share

Posted by Nurhisham Hussein in "Windows Phone News" @ 01:00 PM

"If our kindergarten skills haven't failed us, then this data shows iPhone usage surpassing the once mighty Windows Mobile OS for the very first time. Unfortunately for Microsoft, Google's Android OS is set to accelerate significantly by the time the February 2010 data rolls in as is WebOS just as soon as Palm can bring its fledgling OS to Verizon's subscriber base."

Well, it was on the cards and had to happen sooner or later - Windows Mobile is now third in terms of actual handsets in consumer hands in the US, with just 7.1 million units compared to Apple's 8.9 million and RIM's 14.9 million. I'll forbear to comment on the obvious implications for Microsoft. Read the original FierceDeveloper scoop here and the press release from comScore here (incidentally, comScore's actual tagline focused more on Android's gains rather than Apple's). The real kickers are some of the supplementary survey questions that were published in the press release - out of the thirteen specifically mentioned handsets most users were planning to purchase, only one was a Windows Mobile device (AT&T Tilt), at just 2% of respondents. The media consumption results are also pretty damning. Where, oh where, is WM7?

Friday, August 21, 2009

Microsoft Thinks Apps Worth More Than 99¢

Posted by Ed Hansberry in "Pocket PC News" @ 04:00 AM

"For many (if not most) iPhone developers, the App Store's overheated competition and bloated inventory have led to scorched-earth pricing that makes it virtually impossible to parlay mobile development into a valid for-profit business model without turning to subscriptions or in-app advertising.... "I know, 99 cents is interesting -- yes, consumers like to pay 99 cents for applications," admits Microsoft's Loke Uei, "but 99 cents, come on, I think your app is worth more than that."

The Apple iPhone App store has been one of the things that has radically changed the mobile phone market, but as it grew to 50,000 apps or so, it was pretty obvious that there is just some crap in there. Sometimes less is more and a well maintained library is better and more useful than one that just has everything you can possibly throw in it. Microsoft apparently feels the same way and is going to try and keep the menu respectable and manageable.

Do you think 99 cents is ok for the majority of apps, or should Microsoft encourage more reasonable price structures that would allow developers to make some money and make it worth their time to spend more energy on improving their apps.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Apple Bullying Google on the Playground?

Posted by Rocco Augusto in "Smartphone News" @ 02:33 PM

"It's hard to imagine anyone being able to bully Google into submission, but according to Venture Beat, that's exactly what Apple did. The report claims Apple encouraged Google not to use multi-touch technology in the Android-based G1 mobile phone, and Google agreed, Venture Beat says citing an un-named Android team member as the source."

I was really hoping to avoid this story but it seems no matter where I turn everyone appears to be talking about it! Whether or not there is any merit to this story, which appears to be up in the air at the moment, I just do not see the big deal over Google not including multi-touch at Apple's request. Apple after all has filed for a patent involving multi-touch technology, something I am sure Google was aware of. As for the other ridiculous claims that Apple requested HTC to not include a 3.5mm port on the handset... well the only thing I can add to that is that these rumors were probably started by someone that hasn't used too many HTC handsets. I cannot think of any HTC handset, minus the Touch HD, that has ever come with its own 3.5mm stereo headphone jack. Honestly to me this entire story just screams "slow news day," but I would love to hear what everyone who visits our site thinks of this recent FUD. Is it really a big deal that Google might have axed features at Apple's request?

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Do we Really Need a Zune Phone?

Posted by Rocco Augusto in "Smartphone Talk" @ 02:22 PM

[What do you think? Is this what we really need? (Artist Concept)]

There is a bit speculation going around the Interweb as of late that Microsoft is hard at work on a Zune based phone, or ZunePhone if you want to call it what all the cool kids are calling it. In a recent memo making the rounds at Microsoft, Steve Ballmer is quoted as saying the following:

"In the competition between PCs and Macs, we outsell Apple 30-to-1. But there is no doubt that Apple is thriving. Why? Because they are good at providing an experience that is narrow but complete, while our commitment to choice often comes with some compromises to the end-to-end experience. Today, we’re changing the way we work with hardware vendors to ensure that we can provide complete experiences with absolutely no compromises. We’ll do the same with phones—providing choice as we work to create great end-to-end experiences."

After reading this memo I did what any fan of technology would do - I ran to my nearest window to get a glimpse of the pigs flying because Microsoft is finally starting to take an Apple-like approach to things by taking more control with hardware vendors to provide a "complete experiences with absolutely no compromises" for their end user. While I applaud Microsoft for taking that first step in hopefully stopping the hardware vendors from providing us with sub-par systems cluttered with excessive junk that we will never need or use on both the Desktop and mobile arena, you have to stop and ask yourself two questions:

  1. Why the heck has it taken so long for Microsoft to step in to ensure a better user experience?
  2. How angry are all the hardware vendors going to be over this news?


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