Microsoft cancels the Courier tablet


It’s official folks; Microsoft has officially announced that the Courier project is now halted. Here’s what Microsoft’s Corporate VP of Communications Frank Shaw had to say:

“At any given time, we’re looking at new ideas, investigating, testing, incubating them. It’s in our DNA to develop new form factors and natural user interfaces to foster productivity and creativity. The Courier project is an example of this type of effort. It will be evaluated for use in future offerings, but we have no plans to build such a device at this time.”

According to Gizmodo the decision was taken Wednesday (yesterday) the same day HP announced its plan to buy Palm. Are both events connected or did something else triger Microsoft’s decision to cancel the project ? The only good thing that come out of this is the hope that Microsoft is going to concentrate harder on its core porjects (Windows & Windows Phone 7).

Source: Gizmodo

The HTC Droid Incredible is now available: Already out of stock?


As is was previously announced, the HTC Droid Incredible is now available to purchase in Verizon’s store or online. Some potential costumers are reporting that shipment of the online stor are only expected to arrive in on May 5.

BASKING RIDGE, N.J., and BELLEVUE, Wash., April 29 /PRNewswire/ — The highly anticipated DROID Incredible by HTC is available today in Verizon Wireless Communications Stores and online at www.verizonwireless.com for $199.99 after a $100 mail-in rebate with a new two-year customer agreement.

(Photo: http://www.newscom.com/cgi-bin/prnh/20100429/NY95575 )

Running on the nation’s largest and most reliable wireless voice and 3G network, DROID Incredible by HTC features a touch screen, 8.0 megapixel camera, wide selection of interactive widgets, and Friend Stream for streamlined updates from popular social networking sites. Visit http://news.vzw.com/news/2010/04/pr2010-04-15.html for a complete list of features.

Verizon Wireless customers will receive their DROID Incredible by HTC rebates in the form of a debit card; upon receipt, customers may use the card as cash anywhere debit cards are accepted. Customers will need to subscribe to a Verizon Wireless Nationwide Talk plan (beginning at $39.99 monthly access) and an Email and Web for Smartphone plan (beginning at $29.99 for unlimited monthly access).

Customers who purchase DROID Incredible by HTC before May 31, 2010, will receive a free 2 GB memory card. This includes customers who pre-ordered the device. Customers can receive only one memory card per DROID Incredible by HTC purchase.

Windows Phone Developer Tools CTP Refresh released: VS2010 RTM support, new Emulator

Microsoft has just made available a new and updated version of the Windows Phone 7 dev tools called: Windows Phone Developer Tools CTP Refresh. This new version includes the following updates:

•This release has been tested to work with the final release of Visual Studio 2010.
•An updated Windows Phone 7 OS image for the Windows Phone Emulator.
•A few APIs in the frameworks have been added and or changed. See this MSDN page for more details.
•The documentation has been updated with new and expanded topics. See this MSDN page for more details.
•We’ve provided limited support for launchers and choosers. In cases where the underlying built-in experience is not present launchers and choosers are still not available (i.e. the email chooser asks you to select a contact, but there are no contacts in the emulator and no way to add one).
•Pause/Resume events are now supported.
•If the tools are installed as the admin user, non-admin users are now able to deploy to the emulator.
•A problem with incremental deployment of projects has been fixed.
•A problem resulting in the error “Connection failed because of invalid command-line arguments” being displayed during project creation has been fixed.
•A problem where the Windows Phone node was not appearing in VS 2010 on non-system drives has been fixed.
•Design time skin refresh issues have been addressed.

Microsoft will continue to released updated version of the WP7 tools on a regular basis. Head over to http://developer.windowsphone.com/ to grab the latest bits. The release notes can be foud here.

Via: Windows Phone Dev Blog

Skyfire 2.0 Beta for Android available now

 

It didn’t take long to go from the Alpha to the Beta it seems. The Beta version Skyfire 2.0 for Android is now available for everyone to try it. Just head over here with you Android handset or just download it via the Android Market (looks like it isn’t up yet..). Similar to Opera Mini, Skyfire uses server-side rendering and compression to speed-up page load times. Skyfire’s unique features is its ability to support Flash video content directly in the browser by doing server-side conversion to HTML5.
Continue reading Skyfire 2.0 Beta for Android available now →

OEMs will have to pay Microsoft $20 to $40 per phone for using Android!

According to Rob Enderle, principal analyst for the Enderle Group in San Jose who spoke to BusinessWeek today, HTC and other OEMs (who agree to sign a licensing deal with MS) will have to pay Microsoft between $20 and $40 for each Android phone they build.

Rob Enderle, principal analyst for the Enderle Group in San Jose, California, estimates that HTC and most other handset manufacturers would have to pay Microsoft $20 to $40 per phone to license the intellectual property required for Android.

Unless Google somehow figures out how to ax this cost, “Android is going to fall off as an expensive and risky platform,” he said. “Nobody wants to deal with Microsoft.”

This sound a bit high in my opinion espcecialy when you compared to what a Windows Mobile license cost (around more-or-less $15/phone). If this turns out to be true then Microsoft really did slap Google in the face with this licensing agreeement yesterday. For now only HTC agreed to sign but Microsoft has already announced that they are currently in talks with other Android OEMs…

Source: BusinessWeek

HTC expected to expland its smartphone sales thanks to Android

According to HTC‘s chief financial officer, Cheng Hui-ming, the company is planinng to increase shipment by 50% from 3.3m handsets in the first quarter to 4.5m in the second quarter thanks to the growing popularity of Google’s Android platform.  Theyare alsos forecasting second-quarter revenues to be as high as T$50bn (US$1.6Bn). HTC has also confirmed that they are going too ship Windows Phone 7 handset this year (yes only one). Android has been a double edged sword for HTC; on one hand it help the company to diversify and establish itself as a brand and gave it the ability to financially survive during the long and painfull Windows Mobile 6.X to Windows Phone 7 transition but the other side of the coin brought Apple’s lawsuit and now Microsoft’s licensensing agreement for the use of Android. Will HTC’s Android endeavor be worth it in the long run ?

Source: FT

HP to Acquire Palm for $1.2 Billion

 

Today seems to be full of surprises, first Microsoft’s announced a patent licensing deal with HTC over their Android handsets (and its plan to have other Android OEMs to pay them royalties too) now it’s HP‘s turn to announce that they have agreed to acquire Palm for $1.2 Billion:

HP and Palm, Inc. (NASDAQ: PALM) today announced that they have entered into a definitive agreement under which HP will purchase Palm, a provider of smartphones powered by the Palm webOS mobile operating system, at a price of $5.70 per share of Palm common stock in cash or an enterprise value of approximately $1.2 billion. The transaction has been approved by the HP and Palm boards of directors.

The combination of HP’s global scale and financial strength with Palm’s unparalleled webOS platform will enhance HP’s ability to participate more aggressively in the fast-growing, highly profitable smartphone and connected mobile device markets. Palm’s unique webOS will allow HP to take advantage of features such as true multitasking and always up-to-date information sharing across applications.

“Palm’s innovative operating system provides an ideal platform to expand HP’s mobility strategy and create a unique HP experience spanning multiple mobile connected devices,” said Todd Bradley, executive vice president, Personal Systems Group, HP. “And, Palm possesses significant IP assets and has a highly skilled team. The smartphone market is large, profitable and rapidly growing, and companies that can provide an integrated device and experience command a higher share. Advances in mobility are offering significant opportunities, and HP intends to be a leader in this market.”

“We’re thrilled by HP’s vote of confidence in Palm’s technological leadership, which delivered Palm webOS and iconic products such as the Palm Pre. HP’s longstanding culture of innovation, scale and global operating resources make it the perfect partner to rapidly accelerate the growth of webOS,” said Jon Rubinstein, chairman and chief executive officer, Palm. ”We look forward to working with HP to continue to deliver industry-leading mobile experiences to our customers and business partners.”

Under the terms of the merger agreement, Palm stockholders will receive $5.70 in cash for each share of Palm common stock that they hold at the closing of the merger. The merger consideration takes into account the updated guidance and other financial information being released by Palm this afternoon. The acquisition is subject to customary closing conditions, including the receipt of domestic and foreign regulatory approvals and the approval of Palm’s stockholders. The transaction is expected to close during HP’s third fiscal quarter ending July 31, 2010.

Palm’s current chairman and CEO, Jon Rubinstein, is expected to remain with the company.

This is a move that will surely not go well with the boys in blue in Redmond especially given that HP was listed as a Windows Phone 7 partner and also pushing hard behind Microsoft’s Windows 7 Tablet initiative with the HP Slate. On the other hand I hope that this move by HP will give Microsoft the envy/courage to accelerate the development the mysterious Courier Tablet and ship it as soon as possible.

Source: HP