MWC day one: the Empire strikes back

We know, there was an absolute flood of news from Mobile World Congress today, but day one in Spain has finally come to a close, and it looks like Microsoft is flexing all its muscle to try and lock up partners and rejoin the fight for mobile dominance. Seriously, this is Redmond’s show: we haven’t seen a new, non-prototype Android handset powered up yet, and that’s frankly astonishing and somewhat disappointing. What else did we learn?

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MWC day one: the Empire strikes back originally appeared on Engadget on Mon, 16 Feb 2009 19:30:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Eyes-on with the well-camouflaged LG GD900

There’s not a whole lot to look at with the GD900 slider, but in this case, that’s exactly the effect LG was shooting for. The high-design phone was being carefully guarded by plastic and metal not its own at MWC this week, making a true hands-on impossible — but the good news is that we were able to get a good look at the phone’s headline feature. That nearly transparent keypad has a glow applied around its edges to illuminate etched numbers, but with tactile feedback hovering near zero, this is a situation where you’ve really got to value form over function (and in this case, we just might). Interestingly, documentation by the GD900 says it’ll start launching in May, though LG’s press documentation claims we won’t see it until the second half of the year — so it’s unclear when you’ll be able to get one imported. Question is, do you really want people to see your cheek while you’re on the horn?

[Via Engadget Spanish]

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Eyes-on with the well-camouflaged LG GD900 originally appeared on Engadget on Mon, 16 Feb 2009 18:57:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Switched On: Walls for a "Life Without Walls"

Ross Rubin contributes Switched On, a column about consumer technology.


In October of 2006, I wrote a Switched On column entitled “Rebooting Retail in Redmond” in which I noted how much Microsoft’s consumer business had changed since the days of the original microsoftSF store in Sony’s Metreon. This was a world before Windows XP, before Zune, before rich touch interfaces on Windows Mobile devices, before Media Center, and before the original Xbox. I concluded that column by noting:

Microsoft’s consumer lineup today is far more compelling, sophisticated, media-rich and, with a growing group of hardware products, tactile than it was back in the 20th Century. The marketing strategy of Windows Vista — with its various usage scenarios — presents a nearly perfect foundation from which to structure showcase environments. The entertainment products that Microsoft wants to bring into the consumer’s home would benefit from a home of their own.

That argument will be even more relevant in 2010 as Windows 7 begins to roll out and Microsoft takes its “Life Without Walls” campaign to the next level by highlighting the integration of the desktop, the mobile phone and the Web. We are already seeing a sneak peek at this via the the MyPhone service that Microsoft is rolling out for Windows Mobile.

Microsoft stores will be in a unique position versus nearly every other physical direct technology channel. For while Microsoft certainly has its own consumer products such as Zune, Xbox 360, keyboards, mice and boxed copies of Windows and other software, a key charge of these establishments will be to highlight the promise of the digital lifestyle as powered by Microsoft in products produced by its partners or developers..

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Switched On: Walls for a “Life Without Walls” originally appeared on Engadget on Mon, 16 Feb 2009 18:33:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Samsung Beat Disc hands-on

Having already taken Samsung’s Beat DJ for a spin, the mixers at Engadget Spanish tried out its not-quite-finished younger brother, the Beat Disc. The two handsets are pretty similar, with the most notable differences being a slide-out keyboard and the Bang & Olufsen speakers placed closer together at the bottom of the device. All in all, it comes off as a cheaper version of the DJ, so take that as you will. Check out the moving pictures version of the hands-on after the break.

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Samsung Beat Disc hands-on originally appeared on Engadget on Mon, 16 Feb 2009 18:04:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Motion detecting SIMSense SIM card opens new world of possibilities

File this one away in the “man, I should’ve thought of that” category. Here at Mobile World Congress, Oberthur Technologies is making a name for itself by introducing the planet’s first motion detecting and handset-independent SIM card. SIMSense, as it’s so eloquently named, could open up a whole new world of interaction with phones that don’t come with any sort of accelerometer built in. For instance, a user could simply shake their cellphone upon receiving a second call in order to send out a pre-written SMS that explains the situation. Or they could navigate phone menus by simply moving or tapping. Or, better still, they could program their handset to dial an emergency contact if it detected a sudden fall while close to the person’s body. There’s been no indication of anyone grabbing this thing and running with it, but we can’t imagine this not making it out to the commercial realm.

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Motion detecting SIMSense SIM card opens new world of possibilities originally appeared on Engadget on Mon, 16 Feb 2009 17:24:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Nokia also joins Adobe initiative, Flash 10 for (almost) all

We’re not quite sure if you’re seeing what’s happening here, but Apple and RIM are working themselves right into the time-out corner. We already heard earlier today that Palm would be joining Adobe’s Open Screen Project — which, by the way, guarantees Flash 10 support on the Pre — and now we’re told that Nokia is following suit. What it all boils down to is this: Google, Microsoft, Palm, and Nokia are all expected to release platforms or handsets in the coming year or two which will support Flash 10, all while Apple’s iPhone attempts to limp by with… YouTube support. Granted, we have heard that the suits at Cupertino are in talks to make it happen, but we’ve yet to hear as much at MWC. Also of note, it seems that a similar deal including RIM is also pretty far off, so BlackBerry users should probably order their daily dose of patience as well.

[Via Macworld]

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Nokia also joins Adobe initiative, Flash 10 for (almost) all originally appeared on Engadget on Mon, 16 Feb 2009 16:54:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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AT&T pays out $8.2 million settlement over school E-Rate program

“Settlement” and “needy schools” aren’t two things that most companies would like to see in a press release, but that’s exactly what AT&T is dealing with at the moment after it has payed out $8.2 million to settle a dispute involving the E-Rate program, which uses funds collected from phone customers to pay for hardware and connectivity service fees for schools and libraries. According to the Department of Justice, AT&T (or, more specifically, AT&T Technical Services Corp.) allegedly not only engaged in non-competitive bidding practices for E-Rate contracts, but claimed and received E-rate funds for goods and services that weren’t eligible for the program, and over-billed the E-Rate program for some of the services it provided. This resolution is also apparently specifically a result of a federal investigation into fraud and anti-competitive conduct in the E-Rate program in Indiana which, it seems, is still ongoing.

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AT&T pays out $8.2 million settlement over school E-Rate program originally appeared on Engadget on Mon, 16 Feb 2009 16:29:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Archos announces new Moorestown-based netbook, 9-inch tablet

We saw the rough’n'ready Archos 10 get reviewed mere days ago, and now the company’s back with the Atom-powered Archos 10s, a new 20mm thin netbook with 3.5G functionality, 1GB memory, Windows XP Home and up to 160GB storage. Additionaly, the company has designs on a 17mm-thin, 9-inch tablet based on Intel’s Moorestown MID platform, to see the light of day sometime this year. This guy will include the Intel System Controller Hub chipset, up to 160GB storage, VOD and hi-def video playback, and digital TV reception. The Archos 10s should be available sometime in April, at a price to be announced.

[Via UMPC Portal]

Read - “ARCHOS announces new generation innovative MiniPCs based on Intel Atom Processor” (Warning: PDF)

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Archos announces new Moorestown-based netbook, 9-inch tablet originally appeared on Engadget on Mon, 16 Feb 2009 16:08:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Cyber Sport Orbita Mouse review: It’s pretty weird

Cyber Sport’s Orbita Mouse doesn’t want to be just another regular, boring mouse — and its newness goes way beyond looks. We don’t review too many mice around these parts, but this one seemed to call for some special attention, so we’ve spent the last few days trying to give it our exclusive overload treatment. This is not a mouse you can just unwrap and use, in more ways than one. Read on for our full impressions, and some glorious photos of this little dude in action.

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Cyber Sport Orbita Mouse review: It’s pretty weird originally appeared on Engadget on Mon, 16 Feb 2009 15:46:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Sony Ericsson Idou hands-on and video walkthrough

Sony Ericsson launched its 12.1 megapixel Idou at Mobile World Congress yesterday evening, and while not a finished device, we checked it out anyway. The Idou will eventually roll with the Symbian Foundation’s OS, but the version we’re seeing here is somewhere in between. The resistive touchscreen (essentially the same as found on the XpressMusic 5800) is immense, glossy, and already brilliant. The transitions and sweeping gestures (check them in the vid) are really responsive and quick, with no real lag. We checked it against its nearest neighbor in the C905 and it is slim in comparison. Top notch stuff, we are anxiously waiting for more. Video and gallery follow.

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Sony Ericsson Idou hands-on and video walkthrough originally appeared on Engadget on Mon, 16 Feb 2009 15:24:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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