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Showing posts from June 17, 2012

Microsoft Surface and Windows Phone 8

Microsoft have had a pretty good couple of weeks, launched two new products and gained plenty of column inches and a small measure of restores credibility.

First out of the blocks was Microsoft's third attempt at a tablet, a recurring theme in the early part of each decade since the nineties and largely unsuccessful - until now, perhaps.

The Surface takes the game to the Apple iPad, offering similar usage profiles with added advantages for those prepared to take the plunge.

Integrating a keyboard and trackpad into its own version of the iPad's Smart Cover is a stroke of genius; the use of Windows RT on the lower end tablet should keep the price competitive whilst the high end Windows 8 Pro version will probably compete with current Ultrabook designs.

Then, earlier this week Microsoft launched Windows Phone 8 and promised a very impressive smartphone experience that, if delivered on, will make this very difficult for the iPhone 5 this autumn.

On the downside, current handsets will o…

Android Jelly Bean On Its Way

Looks like Android 4.1, aka Jelly Bean is getting closer to shipping. A Google page for the Galaxy Nexus clearly states that phone buyers will be getting the latest version of the OS when their phone ships. Putting a likely date for launch somewhere in the next couple of weeks.

The 4.1 designation suggests Jelly Bean is a minor upgrade to Ice Cream Sandwich. A good thing too, given that the latter has only just breached 7% penetration on currently live handsets.

Mind you, with Google surely not far away from announcing a million handsets a day being sold to customers that Android landscape can change all too quickly - especially for the competition!

Apart from the Galaxy Nexus - which is a Google Experience handset - there's no information on which phones will see the upgrades, but its likely that HTC and Samsung will be all over this, for their later models at least...

Microsoft Planning Something Big... I Mean Small

There's quite a bit of speculation about what Microsoft's big announcement is this evening.

We've seen claims that a collaboration with Barnes &  Noble on a new Nook raised and denied; a Microsoft branded tablet or even a Microsoft produced tablet; and finally an Xbox tablet.

I'm not sure how long it is since Microsoft grabbed this much buzz (possibly Courier) but let's hope this doesn't turn out to be a damp squib of announcement.

We'll know soon enough when Steve Balmer takes the stage...

Sent from my Windows Phone

iOS 6 Announcement Disappoints

Apple unveiled its next iteration of iOS at the WWDC last week and there was little to excite in this preview.

Apple's main piece of work was to remove Google Maps and replace it with their own, TomTom sourced application. Its a strange decision which actually makes the iPhone less usable than before. The loss of functionality is striking.

Updates to Siri mainly focus on US functionality and other minor feature updates, like Facebook integration, do little to excite.

With iOS falling further and further behind the competition in its UI and UX Apple needed to do something better than this.

Either it wasn't able to break out of the shackles it has made itself and iOS will become as stagnant and outdated as Mac OS in its final 8 and 9 versions prior to the arrival of OS X, or the iPhone 5 is such a leap forward in design that it doesn't matter what Apple offers on it software wise.

Either way an iPhone is a bad thing to be buying just at the moment. As the 4S is bested on all side…