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Showing posts from October 17, 2010

Really? Not So Much

Microsoft's advert for the Windows Phone 7 was inspired, coming at the whole smartphone thing from a different angle. Shame then that in crossing the Atlantic to become Orange's spot on UK screens the tagline has changed to 'Please use responsibly'.

So now instead of being an advert suggesting that WP7 is a new way of using your mobile, it suggests that WP7 users will be texting in the urinals...

Not a message that's going to go down a storm here frankly...

F1: Yeongam Pit Entry Causing Concerns

Whilst there's been general approval of South Korea's new track there are clear concerns over the final sector of the circuit, especially around the pit lane entry.

This is a particular worry because it is on the exit of a blind, flat out corner with walls on either side of the track. It's not inconceivable that a driver who is racing would come across an opponent entering the pits, on the racing line, going 70-80mph slower.

Anyone who remembers Riccardo Patrese cartwheeling down the pit straight in his Williams after running into the back of Gerhard Berger in similar circumstances will be very concerned over the risks.

A good result this weekend may not be a win for your favourite driver, just getting everyone home in one piece...

Windows Phone 7 - Launch Day Disaster

Interesting visiting mobile phone shops today to see how the WP7 launch is progressing. Not as well as it could be frankly.

O2 seems to be the only network with any sort of commitment to selling the device. The Orange shop I visited refused to demo a Mozart as it would mean they had one less to sell, T-Mobile had no devices in stock and didn't know when they would be in. They did suggest that they were expecting to get the HD7 though. Three had no idea and Vodafone no stock. Carphone Warehouse will not be stocking WP7 at this time either. So much for the big launch day then...

For anyone trying to compare the various handsets supposedly launching today it would have been a hugely frustrating day. The attitude of the Orange Shop was most disappointing. Its a new operating system that's trading on its new way of working, if you don't provide demo devices you won't sell any anyway.

Seems that Microsoft and partners need to work on their relationship a but more, I can't r…

Windows Phone 7 Pricing Looks Ambitious

It's almost launch day for Windows Phone 7 - in fact on the International Date Line side of the world the first users are already taking their new phones home.

Over here there's probably not going to be a huge rush to take up the new platform for several reasons. Firstly iPhone users are pretty locked in to the Apple ecosystem, secondly Androd has been mopping up users who decided they wanted to switch after the end of their Apple/O2 contracts and three those lengthy new contracts that people have bought into don't make it easy for users to switch or break out for a new device.

There's no real availability of pricing information on SIM-free models. The pricing for WP7 contract handsets looks pretty ferocious too. The HD7 will be free on a £40/month two year contract - that's a whopping £960 over the contract term. Orange/T-Mobile look similarly optimistic at £35/month on a slightly lower spec HTC Mozart.

That's a hefty commitment for people to make on a platfor…

Oh Look, Apple Released A Netbook

Yes sir, after all that moaning about netbooks giving users a less than excellent experience there's an Apple Macbook Air that is nothing more or less than a netbook.

A top end model, in terms of spec and price, but a netbook nonetheless. Which seems strange considering Apple spent so long telling us no-one wanted them. Perhaps the 90 million sales last year changed his mind...

Last time out I loved the look of the original Macbook Air but was disappointed by the specifications, now things have reversed and whilst the specs look much better, the thing itself is far too pointy for my liking... I'm not at all convinced that the thin end of the wedge will be a pleasant place to be typing from.

X10 To Get 2.1 Upgrade On Monday?

My sources tell me that Sony-Ericsson will begin shipping the X10's Android 2.1 update on Monday - presumably for unbranded devices initially. In addition to 720p video recording, extended home screens and improved camera performance we should also see an update to Timescape which will add some features and allegedly solve the lag problems which have plagued earlier iterations of the software.

Its likely that this will be as far as the X10 goes down the road to Froyo, which seems a shame given the quality of its hardware, never mind that it breaks some promises made around the time of the X10's launch.

The update will be delivered via SE's PC update application.

HTC HD7 And Windows Phone 7 Make A Stunning Combination

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Tomorrow is launch day for Windows Phone 7 but I've had some hands on time with O2's exclusive HTC HD7 this afternoon what a stunning handset this turns out to be be. Microsoft have done a truly spectacular job on the interface and, by comparison, Android starts to look cluttered and iOS positively archaic. The UI is smooth and speedy and everything looks so much more grown up and designed as a piece of work. The concept of the Windows Mobile Today Screen remains, but its a very different animal wrapped up like this.

I can't say whether the functionality or capabilities of the new OS are better or worse than anything out there (other than the missing functions we already know about) but its clear that Microsoft have taken a giant leap forward in look and feel.

Initial exposure would certainly suggest that Microsoft have a potential winner on their hands. Let's see how the consumer market takes to it...

Steve Jobs Has Another Pop At Google - Is He Running Scared

Funny how Steve Jobs has so much to say about Android and Google. Like on today's Apple quarterly earnings financial call, where he was almost plaintive in his claims that open systems don't always win.

First of all why even discuss Google - unless its an admission that Google's efforts are starting to impact on the Apple business model? Its certainly not considered good form in the UK to be seen to be trash talking the competition, perhaps things work differently in corporate America? Secondly if open systems don't "always" win, then you're suggesting that they usually do. Way to defeat the point of your own argument...

For the record, the markets didn't like the sound of what Apple had to say in its financial statement, with the company's value dropping 7% in aftermarket trading. Seems to suggest that a few fewer people are drinking the Kool-aid today...

What Is A Computer Anyway?

If you add iPad sales to traditional Mac sales it means that Apple is America's biggest PC manufacturer. Which has had some people crying foul play - the iPad isn't a computer, or so they assert.

Whilst pretty much everything from your TV to your watch now packs some serious computing power where on earth do we draw the line between device and computer? Its a tough call and I'm sure one that will have different interpretations depending on who is making that call.

To me the deciding factors have to be: can the device run and install software? Can it be used without ever having to tether it to another more powerful computer? If it meets these criteria I'm happy to call it a computer. If it is able to connect to the internet then it makes the decision even easier.

Does the iPad meet these criteria? No, unfortunately not - but I can definitely see why some people would hold a contrary view. After all, tethered to a keyboard and a mouse and mounted in an appropriate dock it s…

Don't Let The Truth Spoil A Good Story

The Daily Mail has published excerpts from an autobiography of James Hunt, playing up to the image of the playboy superstar. Not withstanding his dubious lifestyle and raucous image the truth of the matter is that Hunt was a coward and a liar and guilty of a deeply unpleasant hate campaign that he carried on until his death.

Claims that he slept with more than 5,000 women are impossible to verify and rather than something to glorify - as the excerpts suggest the book does - merely expose the emotional and intellectual immaturity that defined the man.

The legacy of James Hunt will always be that of his actions at and after the Italian Grand Prix of 1978. The brand of cowardice he displayed exposed an enormous yellow streak that riddled the man who played up to the seventies F1 gladiator image.

On that fateful day a startline accident caused Sweden's Ronnie Petersen to receive injuries that would prove fatal. Hunt instigated a witch-hunt against young Italian driver Riccardo Patrese, …