Earlier today, while speaking to a group of students and journalists at the London School of Economics, Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer revealed that there will indeed be iPad-competing slate products running Windows by Christmas. The catch? Steve didn’t clarify whether these products would be shipping, or just announced, nor who would manufacture them. With HP most likely changing course to offer a webOS-based tablet as opposed to a Windows 7 slate, we’ve got to wonder who will end up being first in this category… More →
If you want to know more about Windows Phone 7, you might want to mark October 11 down on your calendar. Microsoft has been sending out invitations to media outlets for an October 11th event, in London, that should give us a better idea of what the company’s European, Windows Phone 7 roll-out plans look like. The event starts at 9:00AM ET and will last three and a half hours. Perhaps some hands-on time with official hardware? We think so. Only fifteen days until the event… let the countdown begin.
Nokia World isn’t the only thing going on in London today. Conveniently, HTC has scheduled a press conference in the very same city at the very same time. HTC used this London-based press conference to announce two new Android handsets, the Desire HD and the Desire Z.
The Desire HD will have a similar 4.3-inch form factor, run Android 2.2, and will be powered by the 1 GHz 8255 Snapdragon processor. You can think of the Desire HD as the EVO for the rest of the GSM loving HTC masses. The new handset will have HTC’s now standard 8-megapixel camera with dual-LED flash and 720p video recording, Wi-Fi b/g/n, HSAP+ radio, and will be loaded with a new, enhanced version of HTC’s Sense UI (which will leverage services from the newly launched htcsense.com).
The Desire Z will, more or less, be the G2 — with the same 800MHz Qualcomm MSM7230 processor, 3.7-inch display, and full-QWERTY keyboard — and like the HD will boast an 8-megapixel camera with dual-LED flash and 720p video recording, Wi-Fi b/g/n, HSAP+ radio, and the new Sense UI.
Both devices will begin to hit store shelves in October… let’s just hope they are not exclusive to our friends over the pond.
UPDATE: HTC’s website htcsense.com is not yet live; it will launch next month with the new devices.
HTC is circulating the above invite to members of the press taunting them to visit London on September 15th to see exactly what they’ve “dreamt up.” We’re secretly hoping that this will be the unveiling of the company’s first Windows Phone 7 handheld, but we have a feeling that it may be a little early for WP7 just yet; in that case this probably is a new Android device (hopefully not just for those folks who live across the pond). Rumored HTC devices on the table thus far are the Vanguard/Vision, Desire HD, Glacier, Schubert, and Mozart. Any guesses and/or preferences as to what HTC might have in store for us?
Google has been slowly extending its Maps Navigation feature throughout its Android platform starting with Android 2.0 devices, then Android 1.6 devices, and most recently to Android-powered handsets in the UK. As part of its UK announcement in London, Google re-confirmed its intention to bring this free navigation to other platforms including the Apple iPhone. No timeframe for release was mentioned for any of the alternative platforms, but with Google and Apple’s relationship a bit strained, hell may have to thaw a bit before this comes to fruition on the iPhone. More →
AT&T is apparently not alone in struggling to cope with the demand that data hungry devices like the iPhone have placed on its network. Ronan Dunne, CEO of O2 UK, has publicly apologized to Londoners for the poor performance of its network over the past 6 months, blaming the explosion of demand for data by smartphones such an Apple’s iPhone for its woes. Londoners on O2 have struggled with intermittent data outages and occasional periods where they could not make or receive phone calls, a scenario all too familiar for AT&T customers in the US. To cope with this surge in usage, O2 UK has dumped 30 million pounds ($48 million USD) into its network and has added 200 mobile base stations. O2 is also working closely with Nokia Siemens to help better equip its network infrastructure and is in talks with both RIM and Apple to help identify data-intensive applications, a strategy which sounds a bit troubling. With a bit of good news, Mr. Dunne claims O2’s London network has shown improvement in the month of December and that any “short-term blip” in their network reputation will be ameliorated by these efforts. More →