More and more business users are shunning a traditional desktop or laptop for tablets and smartphones. While tablets are great for consuming information, with the help of keyboard attachments, they are sufficient at creation too. However, tablets and smartphones are very personal devices; they are not optimized to handle a conference call for multiple users. Today, Logitech announces a product designed to solve this dilemma -- the Mobile Speakerphone P710e.
The company says, "with the Mobile Speakerphone, you can be more productive with hands-free access to your mobile device of choice and an integrated experience for video conferencing and conference calls. Whether you’re hosting your noon conference call using your mobile device in a hotel room or joining a call from a conference room in your local office with your PC, the Logitech Mobile Speakerphone is the ideal travel companion for the mobile employee or small business owner".
With Android handsets and iPhones taking the lion's share of the smartphone market, Windows Phone is quite often overlooked by most consumers in their purchasing decisions. The popularity, or lack thereof, of devices running Microsoft's mobile OS likely plays an important part but it also detracts folks from getting the smartphone that may be right for them. Ask yourselves how many of your acquaintances have been in this position.
Many do not even take Windows Phone into consideration and the ones that do easily find a couple of reasons to dismiss the platform and jump on the Android or iPhone bandwagon. Yes, Windows Phone may not be the right answer for everyone but it might be for more people than naysayers think. And I have got 10 good reasons why consumers should give Windows Phone a chance.
The name "Maxthon" likely evokes some memories for long-term Windows users. The browser, that was once known as MyIE 2, is among the oldest of its kind, having launched on Microsoft's OS more than a decade ago. It has never risen to the popularity of Chrome, Firefox or Internet Explorer, but it has been a perennial alternative ever since. To keep up with the changing computing landscape, the company behind Maxthon has also launched the browser on Android and iOS.
And, now, Maxthon arrives on Windows Phone 8 as well where, once again, its biggest rival is Microsoft's Internet Explorer, which the former has long struggled to surpass in market share. But, this time around, the balance can tip in Maxthon's favor as smartphone users are not as enamored with (or, better said, glued to) Internet Explorer as Windows PC users used to be. But there is one barrier to overcome: Maxthon has to clearly best Internet Explorer. And that may prove to be, once again, a difficult task.
Combined shipments of devices -- PCs, tablets and mobile phones -- are set to reach 2.32 billion units in 2013 according to technology research specialists Gartner. This represents a 4.5 percent increase over last year, but much of the growth is driven by a shift to lower priced devices.
Traditional PCs are forecast to show an 11.2 percent decline, which drops to 8.4 percent when ultramobiles are included. Mobile phone shipments are forecast to grow 3.7 percent to around 1.8 billion units. It's tablets that are still the darling of the consumer though, shipments are expected to be up a whopping 42.7 percent this year reaching 184 million units.
This was another week in which Microsoft managed to steal the show, this time with the public release of Windows 8.1. Here at BetaNews we were fully prepared for the upgrade and showed off what's new. While we're generally impressed with the update, there's still a little room for improvement. Of course the Start menu (or lack thereof) is still a sticking point, but you can get this back. The operating system update was preceded by a raft of updates to Window's built in apps.
Windows 8.1 may be where it's at right now, but there are still plenty of people running Windows XP. Google announced that Chrome users on XP would be supported for a year after the OS is retired.
With winter coming here in the northern hemisphere, our mindset begins to change. Trips to the beach are replaced by ones to the slopes. The "boys of summer" are replaced by the guys on the gridiron, the court and the ice rink. It's the perfect time for skiers, snowboarders and sports fans.
Now, the Bing Weather app is adding ski reports to its list of features -- "you’ll find the app now supplies current snow and weather conditions at ski resorts around the world, plus weather history and additional metrics like the UV index", reports Microsoft's Michael Stroh.
We're fairly certain that Windows Phone 8.1 is not too far off, but in the meantime we're left to content ourselves with the updates that trickle out for the OS from time to time. Update 3, previously known as GDR 3, has been released, and my colleague Mihaita has taken a look at how to get it installed and what you can expect to find when you do.
It was known in advance that this was going to be a relatively minor update, but I'm the kind of person who greets an update to any operating system with an almost childlike excitement. The moment I was able to do so, the download was under way and my Nokia Lumia 928 was receiving the update treatment. Here follows my reaction to Windows Phone 8 Update 3. To avoid any possible confusion, this is absolutely my opinion; this is about my experience, my feelings, my reaction. As writers are wont to say, "your mileage may vary".
Microsoft has officially taken the wraps off Windows Phone 8 Update 3. The latest version of the tiled smartphone OS introduces a number of noteworthy changes, including support for Qualcomm's quad-core Snapdragon 800 processor, larger displays with 1080p resolution, extra rows and columns of live tiles on phablets, auto-rotation screen lock and the option to close apps from the multitasking menu.
Aside from the aforementioned good news, Microsoft also revealed that Windows Phone 8 Update 3 is available in preview form to developers and early adopters, ahead of the public roll-out, through the Dev Center and App Studio programs. And here's how you can install it on your Windows Phone 8 handset.
Following the news that Windows Phone 8 Update 3 is available to developers, I updated my Nokia Lumia 920 to the latest version through my App Studio account. My colleague Alan Buckingham went through the changes this release introduces in one of his past stories. As you may known, the latest goodies will make their way to all compatible handsets once the upgrade rolls out to the public over the next couple of months.
Since I could not help myself, I decided to share the most relevant screenshots of Windows Phone 8 Update 3, as it works on my Lumia 920. This release does not include manufacturer-specific enhancements, as it is only an operating system upgrade and not a complete firmware upgrade. For this reason, it probably does not make much sense for most of you to go through the trouble of installing the preview, unless you are an early adopter.
While there are some Windows Phone 8 customers out there who have only just received the GDR 2 update for their handsets, Microsoft is looking towards the future already, preparing the next iteration of its mobile operating system.
Today the company takes the first step towards pushing it out, announcing features and developer availability.
In another busy week, Microsoft continued to promote Internet Explorer 11 by showing off some of the new features that will be available to Windows 8 users. At the same time, the company released a tool that lets Windows 7 users block the update. Microsoft also announced that it would speed up the approval process for apps submitted to the Windows Store, so initial certification can be complete within five days.
Moving away from the desktop, champagne corks were popping as it was revealed that Raspberry Pi has sold 1.75 million units. After the launch of Mavericks, Mihaita was taken with his MacBook Air, and I was quite impressed with the Tesco Hudl -- although it's not going to be replacing my Nexus 7 any time soon.
It is three years ago today that Windows Phone first saw the light of day. Microsoft's mobile operating system has now been with us for a full 36 months, when Windows Phone 7 took the baton from Windows Mobile. There isn’t much in the way of celebration from Microsoft, and the anniversary was quietly ushered in by the company's Joe Belfiore in a tweet:
Happy Bday, "MetroUI"! 3 yrs ago today WP7 launched. In just a few countries on just one chip with only a handful of apps...
Windows Phone customers sometimes feel left behind when it comes to apps and games. Many eventually make it to the platform, but are frequently behind Android and iPhone counterparts. In the case of some apps, such as YouTube, customers are left with nothing but a second-hand mess.
Rovio, for its part, is trying to make up for the shortcomings of others, even releasing its brand new Star Wars 2 game to Windows Phone ahead of the Android release, albeit only by hours. Now the Finnish game maker is rolling out major updates to three more games from its popular bird-slinging empire.
Google is doing it with Android. Apple is doing it with iOS. So why shouldn't Microsoft allow its smartphone operating system to run on tablets? Obviously, the name would have to change, likely from Windows Phone to Windows Tablet. But would such a product be the right thing for Microsoft? One rumor points in the slate direction.
As with any Microsoft consumer operating system there is no easy answer. The best parts, that together would make the best OS, are scattered across a couple of products. And, Microsoft already has Windows RT which, even though it is not selling as well as the company had hoped it would (hence the $0.9 billion write-off for Surface RT), is quite competent in today's mobile landscape from a feature standpoint. Once we move past the silly one-sided preferences, it really makes little sense at first glance for Microsoft to drop its current tablet OS in favor of its smartphone OS. Windows RT is, dare I say, better. Yes, I have my flame suit on. But does that mean Windows Phone could not offer any value as a tablet OS?
When Windows 8 advertisements first started airing on TV, Fresh Paint was often shown as a way to highlight the touch capabilities. Not only is the app a good demo, it is also fun and functional. From amateurs to professionals, anyone can easily use the app to create art and use their imaginations. However, Microsoft is not resting on its laurels and announces a new version is coming this month.
"Today I'm excited to announce that the new Fresh Paint will launch in tandem with Windows 8.1 on October 18 and that we'll also have new features coming to the Windows Phone version on October 14. Best of all, Fresh Paint will continue to be free, and everyone who updates to Windows 8.1 will get the improved experience", says Brandon LeBlanc of Microsoft.