Posted by Mark J. Miller on October 15, 2012 11:14 AM
Microsoft’s Zune is no more, but that doesn’t mean the computer giant is shunning the music-buying public. It announced Monday that it is getting back into the music business by providing 30 million free tunes through its upcoming Windows 8 as well as on Xbox consoles starting Tuesday. (Apple’s iTunes “only” has about 26 million tunes, the BBC notes.)
The pitch for Xbox Music: "Enjoy your favorite music from a 30 million-song global catalog powered by the one service that integrates your music experiences across your tablet, PC, phone and TV. All the music you love, every way you want it."
“The service is part of a broad set of bets Microsoft is making this fall to help regain ground it has lost to competitors, especially Apple and Google,” the New York Times reports. Along with Windows 8, Microsoft is about to release a new Windows Phone operating system for mobiles as well as a tablet, the Surface. The bean counters in Redmond, Washington, are clearly hoping for a big fourth quarter holiday season, including ramping up maketing efforts and opening holiday pop-ups in key markets.Continue reading...
Posted by Shirley Brady on September 6, 2012 08:34 AM
Amazon teases new Kindle Fire devices during NFL kick-off while Kobo unveils new range of "e-readers for everyone."
Albertsons scales back retail operation with store closures.
Andy Roddick retires after U.S. Open loss, as Roger Federer is knocked out and loses world #1 title.
Ben & Jerry's sues over x-rated Ben & Cherry's.
Bentley moves US management team to VW HQ.
Bill Clinton helps seal Barack Obama nomination at DNC convention.
Billabong attracts $700 million bid from Bain Capital.
BP unveils new technology to boost oil production.Continue reading...
Posted by Mark J. Miller on September 5, 2012 02:14 PM
Nokia once ruled the handset market but, in handset years, it’s been eons since those days and Nokia has fallen well behind Apple’s iPhone and Google’s Android software. Last week, the Finnish company took another step backward, sliding behind Samsung.
That wasn’t good news for CEO Stephen Elop, who is coming up on his two-year anniversary in the post, a time frame that has found Nokia’s shares dropping down to sell at 70% less than the price it was at when Elop took over, the Wall Street Journal reports. Elop’s future with the company may hang on today’s announcement of the Nokia's Windows 8 Lumia Smartphone, which the company has been teasing for days in an attempt to steal even just a little of Apple's iPhone 5 thunder.
The new Lumia 820 and Lumia 920 range boasts "the best pictures and video ever seen on a smartphone," a touchscreen said to work with gloves and fingernails, wireless charging (also coming to Virgin Atlantic business lounges and the Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf), NFC and Nokia Maps integration and “access to more than 150 playlists that span all major genres as part of an all-you-can-eat pro bono offering,” Engadget reports.
And, of course, consumers can create their own playlists, while US customers are getting a free streaming music service as an added sweetener. Along with all that, Bloomberg notes, consumers will also be able to browse an expanded app library incuding content from, yes, Bloomberg, plus Michelin, Angry Birds and other digital brands.Continue reading...
brand vs. brand
Posted by Shirley Brady on September 4, 2012 01:18 PM
One example of Apple rivals jostling for the spotlight ahead of the now-confirmed iPhone 5 announcement foreshadowed on Sept. 12th: Nokia has been teasing its Sept. 5th mobile announcement in London with a series of videos on the brand's YouTube channel.
Nokia's new smartphone teaser campaign started with a flirtatious blonde bicyclist in "Things are about to change" on Aug. 29th, shifting gears to a blonde-cropped Jean Seberg lookalike in three teasers today — "Stay tuned!" "Nearly there!" and "One. More. Day."
The narrative hints at (a) augmented reality, as she goes shoe-shopping (and winds up with a pair of red canvas TOMS slip-ons) and (b) wireless charging and syncing for the new Lumia Windows 8 smartphones, as our heroine confronts the tangle of cables in her apartment:Continue reading...
Posted by Shirley Brady on July 5, 2012 12:31 PM
Nokia is going all out to cross-promote the July 20th Batman reboot — Christopher Nolan's highly anticipated The Dark Knight Rises. It launched a Limited Edition Nokia Lumia 900 in the UK on June 1st that's subtly branded with the Batman logo on the back, and is offering a free app for the Windows Phone-powered Nokia smartphones that ties into the movie's release with exclusive content. Next up: the first 3D mapping of the franchise's iconic Gotham City, powered by Nokia Maps.Continue reading...
Posted by Shirley Brady on June 20, 2012 06:28 PM
Microsoft offered its first look at Windows Phone 8 today, and as ZDNet noted, there's good news and bad news. The good: The new operating system (codenamed Apollo) features include the ability for users to personalize their start screens with "live tiles"; NFC/Wallet support for in-app purchases, double the number of languages supported (to 50), over-the-air updates, better screen resolutions. Chase and PayPal apps are "on the way" to the Windows Phone Marketplace pushes past 100,000 apps. The bad: it's coming to new Windows Phone devices, although a partial update will be available to current users. Find out more in the official blog post, and take a closer look in Microsoft's videos below.Continue reading...
Posted by Shirley Brady on April 19, 2012 10:03 AM
As the Windows team blog puts it, "Nothing takes the fun out of a foreign vacation faster than an afternoon spent deciphering street signs or pointing randomly at menus." That's why Microsoft has released a new version of Bing's free Translator app for Windows Phone, one that you just point at the foreign-language text on (say) a menu or sign, scan the text and get a translation overlaid on the image in your preferred language, all thanks to augmented reality.
The pitch: "Now you can point your phone camera at printed text—street sign, dinner menu, train schedule, newspaper headline—and the app will translate it. If (you) wanted to ask a stranger for directions to the Eiffel Tower, (you)could also just speak into the phone in English—and wait a moment for the French." It's like “automatic subtitles for everyday life,” as Bing puts it. So should Siri worry?Continue reading...
Posted by Dale Buss on March 8, 2012 09:03 AM
Airbus parent accuses China of blocking jet sales over emissions scheme.
American Airlines parent retreats on pension-plan termination.
Apple lifts lid on new iPad and faces U.S. warning, along with other publishers, about collusion on e-book pricing.
BMW reports profits surge amid global luxury-car boom.
Continental appeals "absurd" verdict in Concorde crash.
Cracker Barrel uses country-music roots to build Twitter.
Dairy Queen expands in China.
Delta launches in-flight shopping with Amazon.
Facebook beefs up roster of IPO underwriters.Continue reading...