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Saturday, August 15, 2009

Microsoft - Google Battle Over University E-Mail Management

Google and Microsoft are giving away hosted e-mail services to universities and colleges around the globe in the hope to hook students when they graduate. For the schools involved it's a can't lose proposition, cutting costs of both hardware and human resources and offering a bigger and better service to the students.

Jeff Keltner, head of Google's Apps for Education team says that administrators appreciate the cost savings and security benefits. "They walk away saying my data is probably safer in Google's data center than anywhere I would house it myself," he says. "And they appreciate the advantages to having data in the cloud, rather than residing on phones or laptops, which are devices that tend to get lost."

A 2008 national Campus Computing Project (CCP) survey indicates that 57% of schools who had outsourced said that they had opted for Google, while 38% had partnered with Microsoft.


Friday, August 14, 2009

Businesses Spawned From MIT Classrooms Explore Innovative Cellphone Uses In Developing World

Projects developed, by MIT students and former students, both in the classroom and independently are proving the worth of cellphones as useful devices, beyond the obvious, and particularly in developing nations. Software developed as entries to MIT's IDEAS or $100K business competitions, or as part of the MIT Media Lab's NextLab program are being used to help residents of underdeveloped countries to increase their incomes, learn to read, navigate to where they're going and diagnose their ailments. The fact that cellphones are small, relatively cheap in comparison to computers, and increasingly more powerful and connected, makes them ideal for these countries that have little in the way of infrastructure. The MIT News provides details of some of the projects here.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Canadian Company Wins Patent Infringement Suit Against Microsoft

A U.S. judge has given Microsoft 60 days to comply with an injunction verdict, brought down by an earlier court, that said that the company had willfully infringed on a patent belonging to i4i LP of Toronto, the judge has awarded i4i about $290-million (U.S.) in damages. The injunction also bans Microsoft from selling, in the U.S., copies of Word 2003, Word 2007 and future versions of the office software that use i4i's technology without a licence.

“We feel vindicated with this result,” said Michel Vulpe, founder of privately held i4i and an inventor of the disputed patent. “We did not go into business to litigate, we build products that serve our customers' needs.”

Microsoft says it will appeal the decision.

Source: Globe and Mail

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Microsoft And Nokia Hooking Up - Office On Smartphones

Microsoft and Nokia are rumored to be announcing a deal today that will bring Microsoft Office to Nokia handsets. The move is a preemptive strike at the emerging competitive threat from free Web-based word processing, spreadsheet and other office related software, from Google primarily. Both companies are feeling the heat in their perspective market places, Nokia is losing smartphone market share to Apple's iPhone line, Research in Motion's BlackBerry devices and Google Android powered devices. Microsoft on the other hand is fighting to keep it's cash cow Office line relevant.

Source: New York Times

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Epic Fail


Motorola's Android Offerings A Challenge To iPhone?

Motorola has been long rumoured to be releasing a couple of android powered smartphones for the last quarter of '09. Now an android fan site, Android and Me, is reporting specifications on two devices that they say were obtained from a trusted insider. The phones codenamed Morrison and Sholes, if they indeed come as speculated here, will be serious iPhone challengers.

Unconfirmed Morrison Specs:

CPU: Qualcomm MSM7201A 528 MHz

Memory: 256MB RAM

Flash Rom: 512 MB

Memory Card Type: microSDHC, Class 6, 32 GB supported (max)

Display: 320×480 (HVGA)

Accelerometer: 3-axis, Four-way screen rotation

Magnetometer; Proximity Sensor; Ambient Light Sensor

Voice Bands: GSM 850/900/1800/1900, W-CDMA 900/(1700 or 1900)/2100

Wireless: 802.11 b/g, WEP, WPA, 802.11i (WPA2)

Bluetooth Version: 2.0 + EDR

Bluetooth Profiles: A2DP, AVRCP, GAP, HFP 1.5, HSP, SDAP, SPP

USB: USB 2.0 High Speed, Micro USB connector

Headset Jack: 3.5mm, Stereo out, Mic

Camera Resolution: 5 megapixels

Image Capture Resolution (max): 2560×1920

Camera Features: Autofocus, White Balance, Geotagging, Color Effects

Camera Digital Zoom (max): 5.4x

Video Recording Resolution: 320×240 (QVGA)

Video Recording Frame Rate: 25 fps

Location Services: Standalone GPS w/ internal antenna, Assisted GPS, E-Compass

Unconfirmed Sholes Specs:

CPU: OMAP3430 - 600 MHz ARM Cortex A8 + PowerVR SGX 530 GPU + 430MHz C64x+ DSP + ISP (Image Signal Processor)

Dimensions: 60.00 x 115.80 x 13.70 mm

Weight: 169 g

Battery: Li-ion 1400 mAh.

Standby 450 hours, talk time 420 minutes

3.7-inch touch-sensitive display with a resolution of 854×480 pixels, 16 million color depth. Physical screen size is 45.72 mm by 81.34 mm.


microSD / microSDHC expansion slot

Camera: 5.0 megapixel with autofocus and video recorder

Connectivity: USB2.0, 3.5mm audio jack, Bluetooth 2.0 + EDR, Wi-Fi

Supported audio formats: AMR-NB/WB, MP3, PCM / WAV, AAC, AAC +, eAAC +, WMA

Supported video formats: MPEG-4, H.263, H.264, WMV

GPS navigation

Monday, August 10, 2009

Who Cares About Breakfast, Do I Have Any E-mail?

After my morning shower I walk straight through the kitchen (no breakfast), down the stairs and hang a right to my office... and it appears that I am not alone. The New York Times has an article that discusses this trend, which I'd not really thought much about until I read this.

“Things that I thought were unacceptable a few years ago are now commonplace in my house,” said Dorsey Gude of East Lansing, Mich., “like all four of us starting the day on four computers in four separate rooms.”

“It used to be you woke up, went to the bathroom, maybe brushed your teeth and picked up the newspaper,” said Naomi S. Baron, a professor of linguistics at American University, who has written about technology’s push into everyday life. “But what we do first now has changed dramatically. I’ll be the first to admit: the first thing I do is check my e-mail.”

Don't know about you, but I think it's time to take a step back and rethink this practice!

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Top 10 Smartphones in US for Q2

IDC Research has released its' list of the top ten smartphones in the U.S. for the second quarter of '09. The list includess 4 BlackBerry devices and 2 iPhones:

  1. BlackBerry Curve (83xx series and 8900)
  2. Apple iPhone 3GS (both 16GB and 32GB versions)
  3. BlackBerry Pearl (81xx series not including the Pearl Flip)
  4. Apple iPhone 3G (8GB and 16GB versions)
  5. BlackBerry Bold
  6. BlackBerry Storm
  7. T-Mobile G1
  8. Palm Pre
  9. HTC Touch Pro
  10. HTC Touch Diamond

The top ten list broken down by smartphone platform:

  1. BlackBerry- 4
  2. Windows Mobile- 2
  3. iPhone- 2
  4. WebOS (Pre)- 1
  5. Android- 1
I expect the Androids to come on strong for Q4 with dozens of new phones promised.