At a recent design day event in Norway, Windows Phone design studio general manager Albert Shum and Todd Simmons, creative director at Wolff Olins, held a talk about “re-imagining” Microsoft. After switching its Windows, Office, and Microsoft brand logos last year, it appears the company has some additional plans for Bing, Skype, Yammer, and Xbox. Simmons revealed a concept video from two years ago of how Microsoft looked to rebrand its key products. Part of the video includes a new Bing logo that looks very similar to a paper airplane.
At first it seems the clip is simply an old concept, like similar ones Microsoft has experimented with previously, but later in the presentation Simmons reveals design work for the same Bing logo and…
During HP’s quarterly earnings call yesterday, CEO Meg Whitman refuted persistent rumors that her company may be split up into separate businesses. “We have no plans to break up the company,” she told investors. “I feel quite strongly that we are better and stronger together.” The possibility of a breakup again came to the forefront last month when Quartz reported that HP’s board was mulling the idea. AllThingsD quickly rebuffed the rumor, however, and Whitman’s comments seem to back up that dismissal. At least for now, HP seems confident that keeping everyone under one roof is sustainable. Whitman also reiterated HP’s dedication to the PC market, though admitted the company will continue to face struggles ahead. “It’s going to take us…
Google is bringing the Nexus 4 to another carrier in the UK, expanding availability to Three after debuting the device with O2 as its initial partner in that country. The Android 4.2-powered smartphone will be available starting December 13 on Three, either on a £35 per month contract with an upfront cost of just £29 on the One Plan (unlimited data and high on-network text and talk limits, but with a two-year contract), or pre-paid for £399.99.
The added carrier partner comes just one month after the Nexus 4′s official launch, which saw quick sell-outs in the UK and the rest of the world. Google’s latest smartphone seems to be experiencing either very high demand, very short supply, or a combination of both (although new reports claim shipping times have improved), so it’s interesting to see Google expand availability so quickly.
The Nexus 4 should offer fairly good speeds on Three’s DS-HSDPA network, but the hack revealed this morning that allows users to manually enable LTE on the device will do Three customers no good. Even when Three’s planned 1800MHz LTE network begins to roll out, it won’t be compatible with the Nexus 4′s AWS LTE band support. Of course, that feature’s still not technically even official, and the phone is still among the best options for Android devices out there. The interesting thing will be to see how many people opt to buy through carriers, versus getting cheaper outright prices direct through Google and bringing it to the network of their choice.Related Posts:
Have you wanted as direct a look as possible at Apple’s latest plans for its spaceship-like campus? You’ve got it — although you may not be in love with the reason why. Details posted by the city of Cupertino reflect a potential delay in an environmental impact study that might not wrap up until June 2013. If the analysis takes that long, Apple may have to push back the halo-shaped office’s opening until 2016, roughly a year later than expected. It’s hard to be sympathetic when most of those who’ll see the campus first-hand will have to wear an employee badge; even so, it’s slightly disappointing to realize that the renderings and schematics at the source link may be our only only glimpse at the company’s solar-powered donut for quite awhile.
Source: Cupertino.orgRelated Posts:
Most larger North American cellular carriers still base their plans around voice minutes — how quaintly 2006 of them. We’re in an era of smartphones now, and Canada’s Rogers is revamping its plans to reflect a data-first reality while possibly wringing out a few dollars more. A quartet of newly active Unlimited Talk and Text rates hand out the now-trivial messaging and voice time like candy: apart from a $ 55 entry plan that includes a still-healthy 1,000 minutes of talk, they all offer unlimited local or Canada-wide calling as well as unlimited MMS and SMS. The gotcha, as you’d anticipate, is getting enough data. Anyone but the most casual among us will want to skip the anemic 200MB from the $ 55 plan in favor of the $ 65 (1GB), $ 75 (3GB) or $ 95 (5GB) tiers that let smartphones flex their muscles. Rogers’ strategy is no doubt meant to draw a few data-heavy Galaxy Note II and Lumia 920 buyers into more lucrative service echelons, but it’s a refreshing break from pricing that still treats the basics as scarce resources.
Nokia has ended one of the more significant chapters in its tumultuous history: the Finnish phone giant has finished divesting Vertu to private equity firm EQT VI, shedding direct control of the definitive luxury phone brand. The formal switch lets Nokia keep a 10 percent stake and move 1,000 staffers to the newly independent company. Where Vertu goes next may be more intriguing, however. There’s no official word on any change of direction, but that hasn’t stopped tipsters from claiming to TechCrunch that there’s a big shakeup ahead. Supposedly, former Nokia VP Anssi Vanjoki will finally get the phone maker CEO position he’s been looking for through a Vertu spot, and he won’t simply follow in his former employer’s footsteps — upcoming Vertu phones may use Android, not Windows Phone. While it’s a very unconfirmed rumor, a switch-up wouldn’t be completely surprising when Vertu is still an all-Symbian house that needs more than just a few extra jewels to stay relevant.
Like Amazon, Best Buy and Barnes & Noble before it, Toys R Us is following the path of being a retailer distributing its own branded hardware (Tabeo, Nabi) with an accompanying app store, and then supplementing those offerings with a digital media service. ToysrusMovies.com is a Rovi-powered digital storefront currently available to PCs, Macs and other Flash compatible devices, with an app planned for the Tabeo soon, as well as Blu-ray players, HDTVs and other mobile devices including iOS and Android. The content consists of “more than 4,000″ titles from big names like Disney, Fox, NBCUniversal and more, available for 24-hour rental starting at $ 2.99, and $ 5.99 for download or streaming. Right out of the gate its scored an early release of Madagascar 3 two weeks before the disc release, currently a $ 16 purchase with “unlimited” streaming to activated devices, with downloads to up to 5 devices. Now of course, all it needs is some compatible devices, but building an ecosystem is a process, and may be key to separating Toys R Us’ offerings from the competition. Check out more details in the press release after the break or at the site.
Iranians have been having trouble accessing YouTube, Gmail and other Google services for some time now, but their digital world may be growing even smaller — Iran announced today that it plans to shuffle citizens onto its own domestic version of the web. Reuters reports that officials plan to connect citizens to the national information network that’s currently in use at government agencies. Iran hopes to complete the transition by March of next year, and is already taking steps to isolate its population from certain international services. “Google and Gmail will be filtered throughout the country until further notice,” an Iranian official added, noting that the ban would commence in “a few hours.”
Some locals, such as the Iranian Students’ News Agency, are attributing the ban to recent protests sparked by a trailer for an anti-Islamic film on YouTube called Innocence of Muslims, but the government has made no official comment on the reason behind the ban. The state isn’t clear on the fate of the global internet in Iran, either — although it has talked about creating an isolated national network before. Here’s hoping the new network will be a compliment to the Persian web, and not a substitute.
[Image credit: yeowatzup, Flickr]
Filed under: Internet
Twitter has ruffled a few feathers recently, so when CEO Dick Costolo took the stage at the Online News Association conference in San Francisco, he took the opportunity to put some minds at rest. First he dismissed the idea that the service would become a media company by forcing users to the site or official app for content, before reasserting his belief in syndication. Costolo then went on to imply that the reason behind the tighter (and unpopular) API controls was ensuring quality — stating that Twitter would reach its full potential now there’s more control over how tweets are delivered. With boots strapped, we can look forward to some new features, such as the option to curate messages that are published (such as during live events) plus tweets with interactive features like polls during live sports games. The famous 140 character limit is to remain, but will also serve as a “caption for additional functionality.” Perhaps of most interest to disenfranchised developers, however, was the mention of application functionality in tweets, where short messages could contain small interactive apps. Something for devs to get potentially get back on board with? We hope so. But until further details unfold, we’re still left considering our options.
Filed under: Internet
T-Mobile confirmed rumors of true unlimited data plans almost as soon as they emerged, which left a surprisingly long gap between the announcement and real availability. Consider that gap closed — as promised, the Unlimited Nationwide 4G Data plans are ready for action. Those who don’t need hotspot support on a smartphone can add $ 20 to a Value voice plan or $ 30 on a Classic plan to get throttle-free, uncapped data. For real. While we’d ideally see a best-of-both-worlds scenario with hotspots and unfettered speeds together in one plan, it’s hard to object to a second major US carrier defending unlimited data in an era where we’re regularly getting less for the money. Can we have a few more providers onboard, please?