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4 years ago

Microsoft apparently never saw 'Family Guy'

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We're really starting to get the feeling our grandparents are the ones running Microsoft's marketing arm. First there was the whole Windows 7 launch party thing. (You'll notice we couldn't even bring ourselves to post about that one.) We gave the fuzzy kitten commercial a pass -- some of us have kids now and have learned to appreciate fuzziness. And kittens.

Now, according to Variety [via], Microsoft apparently has changed its deal regarding the Nov. 8 "Family Guy Presents: Seth and Alex's Almost Live Comedy Show." Turns out there were some crude jokes and unseemly humor. You know, the bread and butter of that show since it debuted. Windows 7 will still appear throughout the show, but Microsoft won't be doing heavy advertising during commercial breaks.

"We initially chose to participate in the Seth and Alex variety show based on the audience composition and creative humor of 'Family Guy,' but after reviewing an early version of the variety show it became clear that the content was not a fit with the Windows brand," said a Microsoft spokesperson. "We continue to have a good partnership with Fox, Seth MacFarlane and Alex Borstein and are working with them in other areas.  We continue to believe in the value of brand integrations and partnerships between brands, media companies and talent."

So what began as an all-out pandering marketing push will now in all likelihood appear to be cheap and forced. If you're going to pull a stunt like this, go all out. bombard people for an hour. Otherwise, it's wasted.

Expecting "Family Guy" to do something other than its usual schtick is like asking Jack Bauer not to scream "Damn it!" every other line. Or like expecting a well-rounded person to appear on one of those "Real Housewives of ..." shows. Or like Brett Favre to retire gracefully. (Need we go on?)

Seriously, what did Microsoft think was going to happen?

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4 years ago

HTC HD2 on UK O2 site (OK!)

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4 years ago

HTC makes it all about you (and you, and you)

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Who'd have thunk it, huh? HTC, which for years worked patiently behind the scenes making some of the best Windows phones out there, is running its own commercial. OK, sure, that's the Sprint Hero it's pimping, too (has the whole world gone Sprint?!?!), but let's face it: The TouchFLO 3D/Sense UI is one of the more recognizable UIs out there that doesn't include a boring grid of icons (zing!). We'll gladly rule the world alongside Android. The geek shall inherit the Earth.

Full presser on the push after the break.

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4 years ago

TellMe ripped from Sprint Intrepid, runs OK on other Windows phones

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Most of us running Windows Mobile 6.5 have been more than a bit disappointed that Microsoft'S TellMe service has been omitted from the OS, unless you're using a Sprint Samsung Intrepid.

Of course, it only was a matter of time before TellMe was stripped from the Intrepid ROM by pixelwix at PPCGeeks and set free for all to enjoy. That said, things are a bit buggy, as this is far from an official release. Touchscreen functions are missing. Some users say they can't even get it to load. So ymmv. And it looks like you need to have .netCF 3.5 installed first.

So if you're in the impatient type, hit up the link below and give it a go.

PPCGeeks via pocketnow

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4 years ago

Review: Samsung WEP870

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Review: Samsung WEP870

With all of the choices that technology gives us, sometimes the differences between one device and another get blurred. This statement is especially true with the proliferation of Bluetooth headsets. Most headsets follow a similar shape and offer similar features, so it can be difficult to discern the pros and cons of a particular product.

The flip side of this argument is that when a manufacturer releases a headset that breaks the mold and brings a new form factor and/or groundbreaking features, it comes as a breath of fresh air to those of us who follow the market closely. I would like to welcome to the world: Samsung’s WEP870. What is it about this headset that sets it apart from a world full of pretenders and lookalikes? Hit the jump to find out.

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4 years ago

Windows Mobile 7 vs. WM6.5: Calendars & Settings (updated)

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Here's something interesting that dropped in our mailbox. What you see here the top row  is normal, vanilla Windows Mobile 6.5, but the bottom row was supposed to be WM6.5.1.

Of course for those of you who have played with WM6.5.1, you might have surmised those design elements are not part of that build and in fact, you would be correct.

From what we've been told, the bottom row is now, roughly speaking, what WM7 will look like. This was an internal mockup used for design planning.

Sure, not mind blowing but the comparison is nice to see and those little improvements to dialog boxes and menus go a long way in the end.

Update: Looks like the mad tipster's on the loose again. Pocketnow's been slipped some more shots from this same batch, it appears.

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4 years ago

Touch Pro 2: Head to Head to Head to Head

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Touch Pro 2: Head to Head to Head to Head

The HTC Touch Pro 2 has now landed at all four major U.S. carriers; AT&T, Sprint, Verizon and T-Mobile. For the most part, the choice of which Touch Pro 2 to go with is tied into your carrier service contract.

We've looked at all four Touch Pro 2's on the market and found each to be an impressive Windows phone. But, does one stand out above the other? Or has HTC produced a phone so impressive it doesn't matter what carrier offers it? Follow the break for a completely non-scientific comparison of the Touch Pro 2 versions.

Note: For the purposes of this article, any general reference to the Touch Pro 2 should be taken to include the AT&T Tilt 2.

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4 years ago

CDMA Touch Pro 2: ROM & GSM Unlocker Coming Soon; Watch out AT&T?

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Not to stir up too much attention, but the unlocker (Hard SPL) for the CDMA Touch Pro 2 is expected to drop sometime this coming week.

Like the GSM version, this will allow users to flash the much coveted custom ROMs onto their phones.  The 'CDMA Rhodium Elite Team' has been hard at work cracking this latest HTC device and evidently it hasn't been an easy job, so give them some thanks when it drops.

What is even better news is the expectation that a separate SIM unlocker will be released at or near the same time as the Hard SPL.  The will allow the CDMA Touch Pro 2 to reportedly work on any U.S. GSM network (e.g. AT&T and T-Mobile) as well as for flashing of different radio firmwares.

The Sprint Touch Pro 2 is already SIM unlocked for oversea GSM carriers (unlike the Verizon and Telus versions), but all CDMA devices are barred from U.S. GSM networks, making this accomplishment, if accurate, truly astonishing.

The Hard SPL (for custom ROMs) will of course be free but the SIM unlocker is reportedly going to cost a license of €14 (~$21), which we suppose is fair for such a bonus feature.

We'll keep you posted as soon as either are released!

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4 years ago

AT&T Third Quarter Report: Business is Good

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AT&T has posted it's Q3 2009 earnings reports which reflects a wireless subscriber increase of 2 million (highest third quarter gain in company history) to reach 81.6 million subscribers. In dollars the Q3 consolidated (wireless and wired) revenues totaled $30.9 billion (that's with a "B") with net income attributable to AT&T being $3.2 billion (again, with a "B").

Wireless data represented $3.6 billion (33.6% jump) of this revenue while wireless service generated $12.4 billion (10% jump). Wireless text messaging exceeded 120 billion during the quarter, nearly double from last year.

It will be interesting to see how these numbers change with AT&T increasing it's Windows phone presence and the uncertain fate of the exclusive rights to the iPhone.

[Read: AT&T Press Release]

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4 years ago

Review: Sprint Samsung Intrepid (sph-i350)

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Review: Sprint Samsung Intrepid (sph-i350)

Sprint’s first official Windows Mobile 6.5 Professional phone is the Samsung Intrepid, a front-qwerty CDMA/GSM world phone with WiFi. It was released on Oct. 11 and fetches for $149 with a 2-year contract. (See our earlier hands-on).

We’ve played with the device for the last 10 days and have reached our conclusion: it ain’t terrible, but it’s not the best. Samsung basically nailed some aspects but goofed on others and the device feels quite underwhelming.

On the other hand, for the price, perhaps that’s the point.

After the break, read our full review with lots of pics and even a video mini-review for those tight on time.

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4 years ago

Microsoft releases Q1 2009 earnings

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Microsoft released its first-quarter earnings (yeah, they're on their own timetable) today. Here's the deal:

  • Revenue of $12.92 billion, down 14 percent from the first quarter (the three months ending Sept. 30) of 2008.
  • Operating income was down 25 percent over Q1 2008, to $4.48 billion.
  • Net income was $3.57 billion, down 18 percent from Q1 2008.
  • Diluted earnings per share were 40 cents, down 17 percent.
  • Some $1.47 billion of revenue was deferred because of the Windows 7 upgrade Option program. If you add that back into the tally, revenue would have totaled $14.39 billion, a 4 percent drop from Q1 2008.

Peep the full presser after the break.

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4 years ago

App update: Twikini hits v1.6

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Twikini, one of our more favorite Windows Mobile Twitter applications, just hit Version 1.6. First, the change log:

  • Bug fix: Fixes connectivity issue many T-Mobile users were experiencing when downloading timelines.
  • Bug fix: After a re-tweet, the highlighted tweet would be lost, and the newest tweet would be highlighted. Fixed this.
  • Improved: Tapping on a user's picture in the profile or tweet window will show a large picture of the user.
  • Improved: The profile window will show the date on which a user joined Twitter (this can be useful when deciding whether to follow someone).
  • Improved: Added "My Profile" (under the Tools menu) to quickly check your own profile.
  • Improved: URL shortening will use http://j.mp instead of Bit.ly, which will give you 2 extra characters. (Note: j.mp is part of Bit.ly).

Now, the real interesting part: If you've previously purchased Twikini from the Trinket Software Web site, you can head on over there (or use the in-app version check feature) and get the upgrade.

But Twikini also is available in the Windows Marketplace for Mobile. And while it's not the first app in the Marketplace to be updated (Facebook is another one that comes to mind; there may be others), we've gotten a feel for how long it took the update to be pushed out. From Twikini's Twitter feed:

Twikini 1.6 now available in the @wmdev Marketplace. Wow...that certification was FAST! less than 24 hours.

That certainly passed muster faster than anything in Apple's app store. Of course, that's hardly a fair comparison, as Apple's seeing 8,500 submissions a week, and there's no way the Marketplace is at that pace yet. But it does give us an early baseline, and it will be interesting to see how Microsoft keeps up with submission demand.

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4 years ago

Windows Mobile 6.5 takes a beating and keeps on tickin'

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The dust has quickly settled from Microsoft's launch of Windows Mobile 6.5 and the introduction of the Windows phone.  The launch drew mixed reactions ranging from the positive to the down right hostile.  Having seen cooked versions of Windows Mobile 6.5 as well as the numerous screen shots and reports the actually release of WM 6.5 wasn't earth shattering.

Did Microsoft accomplish what they set out to do with Windows Mobile 6.5?  One article described the Windows Mobile 6.5 launch week as "Microsoft Mobile's worst week ever".  Ease on past the break to see why I think most of these naysayers may be missing the boat.

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4 years ago

Welcome to the Microsoft Store

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Welcome to the Microsoft Store

Hey, so what if Microsoft borrowed an idea or two from other successful retailers. These things happen. It's good to see them getting the brand out there. And a Microsoft store is just the way to do it. Commercials are good, but you have to get products in customers' hands. And judging by the reaction the video above, it opening day either was a rousing success, or they were pumping in some good stuff.

Any of you guys and gals out there hit up a store yet? Let us know in the comments.

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