Tag Archives: Newsworthy

Nokia and Microsoft Announces Mobile Partnership

In a move only few predicted, Nokia and Microsoft just announced that they are teaming up to bring the Windows Phone 7 operating system to Nokia devices. The two companies feel that each brings incredible assets to the proverbial table, hopefully allowing them to deliver “significant benefits for consumers, developers, mobile operators and businesses around the world.”

While specific details have not all been fleshed out, many of them are highlighted in this morning’s press release. Nokia will adopt Windows Phone as their primary smartphone operating system and bring their own flair in areas such as imaging into the mix. They will help define the future of Windows Phone by contributing expertise on everything from language support to hardware design. This will allow the two companies to bring you devices with a larger range of pricing points, along with more of the features you want to see. Both teams will work together on future development and joint marketing.

In the statement – released by Stephen Elop and Steve Ballmer – they two powerhouses make some very broad predictions:

Today, the battle is moving from one of mobile devices to one of mobile ecosystems, and our strengths here are complementary.

There are other mobile ecosystems. We will disrupt them.

There will be challenges. We will overcome them.

Success requires speed. We will be swift.

We can all speculate that the two men are referring directly to Apple’s iOS and Google’s Android. What remains to be seen is whether or not this marriage of mobile entities will be strong enough to pull off the lofty goals they have set before them. I know that many naysayers will be busy writing stories throughout the day today, discussing how this move will never work… how it will fall far short of expectations.

I think it’s entirely possible that Microsoft and Nokia may surprise us all. They definitely have a very long road ahead of them, but I feel it would be a shame to count them out before they even hit the floor running.

What are your thoughts? Do you think this strategic partnership between the two companies could turn into something far better than we could imagine at this point in time?

Facebook Releasing Public Commenting System

According to CNET, Facebook is set to unleash a new public commenting system in just a few weeks. This system is said to be set to roll out on some “major blogs and sites” as soon as it is officially ready. The same system is already being used on Facebook’s own blog, and it looks mighty nice.

Looking at the actual comment system on their blog, you can see how elegant it looks. You can post as yourself, or as a Page. If you hover over a person’s name, you will see how many comments they’ve left and what their “Like” percentage is. It’s unclear right now if these Like percentages are made up only of actual Likes, or if it’s a combination of Likes and how many times someone pushed the big red X in the comment.

An official (yet short) announcement out of the Facebook camp has very little to say:

Based on feedback from developers about ways to improve our existing comments plugin, we’re testing an updated plugin that leverages authenticity and social relevancy to increase distribution. We’re testing the plugin on our Facebook Blog and Developer Blog but have no further details to share at this time.

Note the words “authenticity” and “social relevancy.” For public sites and blogs who implement this commenting system, people are held more accountable. You will be leaving your pithy little messages under your actual name – the one you registered with on Facebook. No more hiding behind the handles “anonymous poster” or “concerned citizen” when leaving a trolling missive.

I see this as a fantastic step in a good direction. Other comment systems – such as Disqus – are likely not as optimistic, though.

Speak to Tweet for Egyptians

Just like all of us, the folks at Google spent the weekend watching the events in Egypt unfold. They were flabbergasted, feeling helpless as they watched the people there who are desperate to be heard. The engineers knew that if anyone could help give them a voice, it would be them. They put their collective brains together and came up with a service they are calling “Speak to Tweet,” which gives anyone the ability to Tweet using just a voice connection.

The hope is that this project will help the people of Egypt to stay connected during such a horrific time in their lives.

We worked with a small team of engineers from Twitter, Google and SayNow, a company we acquired last week, to make this idea a reality. It’s already live and anyone can tweet by simply leaving a voicemail on one of these international phone numbers (+16504194196 or +390662207294 or +97316199855) and the service will instantly tweet the message using the hashtag #egypt. No Internet connection is required. People can listen to the messages by dialing the same phone numbers or going to the official Twitter account.

According to reports, the only remaining ISP holdout over in Egypt was taken offline earlier today, leaving the entire country paralyzed with no Internet connection. I cannot begin to imagine the horror of what these people are already living through. People from all over the world have been working together to try and find ways to reconnect the Egyptians with the outside world. It’s fantastic to see that the team from Google, Twitter and SayNow have come up with what appears to be a perfect solution.

Android Takes Over as Leading Smartphone Platform

According to new research by Canalys, Google’s Android platform has taken over the top smartphone platform spot from Symbian in the last quarter of 2010. Global sales of Android phones during this time period was 33.3 million. This is in comparison to Symbian’s 31 million. Apple came in at third place with 16.2 million iOS smartphones shipped, followed by RIM with 14.6 million and Microsoft with 3.1 million.

Android is being used by manufacturers such as LG, Samsung, Acer and HTC. All of these companies has seen excellent sales results with devices based on this platform. Is it fair, though, to compare something like Android to iOS? Apple’s operating system only appears on one smartphone, whereas Android shows up in more devices than we can count. In light of that, I’d say that the iOS numbers are nothing to sneeze at.

The change at the top doesn’t come as much of a shock. Nokia reported not long ago that they are having weak sales. The company claims this is a result of their struggles to transform the Symbian platform into something that can truly compete with iOS and Android.

Which smartphone platform are you using? What do you love about it?