Buzz

Here's how you know Nokia has created a lot of buzz with their latest phone: when the co-founder of Apple and all around geeky-gadget guy Steve Wozniak is intrigued enough to get a Lumia 900.

In a simple Tweet today, 'the Woz' noted that he was wasting some time at Denny's waiting for the local AT&T store to open. Reason? He wants to see if the Nokia Lumia 900 is available for purchase. Of course whether or not he can get one is a separate issue as stores are running low on supply of the flagship Nokia phone, especially in that popular Cyan color. (An alternate reading would be he just wants to see if the Lumia 900 is selling well, but our bet is he just would have called to find that out).

It will be very interesting to see if Steve likes the 900 enough to go through with the purchase. He's well known for enjoying his Apple products, going so far as to wait in line every year for the new iPad (a nice nod to the average folks who often have to do the same) but he's also respected for being a fair and even-handed gent.

The biggest factor in determining whether most folks like the 900 seems dependent upon if their favorite apps have a counterpart on the Windows Phone platform. For that, we'll be real curious to get his thoughts on the experience should he buy the phone.

Source: @SteveWoz; Thanks, HD7guy, for the tip!

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For a second day in a row, we have someone influential in mobile technology heaping some praise on Windows Phone (see yesterday's write-up). In an interesting post on CNet, Harry McCracken discuses what it will take to make Windows Phone not just the de-facto "third-way" but one with solid traction. Most of the reasons will be familiar to our readers: more stand-out hardware (not just a recycled Galaxy SII), more high profile apps (e.g. Hulu, Pandora), more carrier support, including greater handset choices and finally buzz--people talking about it in a positive light.

All of those suggestions we agree with and in fact have been championing for awhile around these parts. But what makes McCracken's piece a good read is his thoughts on the OS itself:

"Recently, I popped the SIM card out of my iPhone 4S, put it in a Lumia 800 handset loaned to me by Nokia, and lived with Windows Phone 7.5 for over a week. I not only lived to tell the tale, but enjoyed doing so. In most respects that matter, Microsoft's mobile software is terrific..."

Later on, he contends that Microsoft stands a good chance of being successful--Microsoft can afford to hang on and yet they can't afford to just give up either--leaving little choice in the matter. And if Microsoft can't succeed, there's little chance for a RIM or webOS comeback. He ends with this:

"More important, Windows Phone 7.5 is a fine operating system that deserves to be successful. Sooner or later, good products usually do okay."

Returning to the notion of positive buzz and Windows Phone needing it, we think McCracken just contributed to that trend.

Source: CNet; Thanks, Gaurav G., for the tip!

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The other day we posted about Klout, the online rating system for individuals, and how they were giving away five-hundred Windows Phones as part of a promotion. The first 100 were for folks who resided in New York City, had a Klout score of 55 or higher (which is pretty high) and were leading in the topic of Technology.

Obviously the idea is to get a Windows Phone in the hands of technology "influencers", those that command a large following on Twitter, Facebook, Google Plus and other social networks. They get a phone, perhaps they'll talk about it and bam, you generate buzz. A not too dissimilar approach to getting it into celeb hands, like what Brandon Watson was doing awhile back.

Anyways, the first phones shipped and what everyone was wondering is which device would folks get? Basically Gen 1 or brand-spanking Gen 2 Windows Phones? Turns out, it was Gen 1 and specifically the Samsung Focus, which seems to be Microsoft's work-horse phone for media and contests (not a bad choice). But hey, if you feel bad about not qualifying, perhaps this will lessen the sting a bit. Look for the other 400 to be given out for other cities soon.

Video unboxing after the break. Thanks, Mark G., for the link!

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While we've had Google Buzz available to us for quite some time via the mobile Google Maps application, the website was never fully optimized for mobile use (it was for the iPhone and Android).

Now if you browse over to buzz.google.com, you can login and see all your updates that way, sort of like a web-Twitter feed.

There's still no dedicated feed program for Google Buzz on Windows Mobile (that we know of), but then again since we're sort of creeped out by the whole thing and prefer Twitter, that's okay.

Read more here: Google Mobile Blog

 

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AT&T launches Buzz.com

AT&T has launched a social network/search engine website called Buzz. Not to be mistaken with Google Buzz, AT&T Buzz seems to be a cross between social network and a search engine. It is as if you added a yellow page search engine to Facebook.

Speaking of Facebook, AT&T Buzz is integrated with Facebook in that you can access it through your Facebook Account and Buzz posts can be mirrored to Facebook. If you don't have a Facebook Account, you can sign up for a stand alone Buzz Account.

Features of Buzz include:

  • A location based search engine (type in what you're looking for and the city).  Searches can be done base on a business name or service/product.
  • A comments section for businesses plus the ability to make a business your favorite.  This feature is described as a social bookmark for your part of the world, and
  • An "Ask and Answer" feature where you can ask for recommendations on Buzz to get suggestions from your friends (e.g. where's a good plumber?).

Buzz can be accessed via your desktop/laptop computer at www.buzz.com as well as your Windows Phone by pointing your mobile browser to m.buzz.com. AT&T is also looking into developing a standalone Buzz application (similar to Bing Mobile, Facebook Mobile, etc.) for certain mobile OS's.

After spending a short period exploring the Buzz.com website, it looks like an interesting way to find local businesses and get local feedback on who's the best and who to avoid.  Keep in mind that Buzz is still in the Beta stages so glitches and bugs may still be present.

[via: AT&T]

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Today, Google announced its new service called Google Buzz. Think of combining Twitter, Google Latitude and Gmail and you have Buzz.

Actually, if you've been using FourSquare...it's exactly like that. We're not saying it's not nice, just it's not really new. It is certainly an interesting move on Google's part though not unexpected. In fact, Larry Dignan at ZDNet thinks Google's real target here is Microsoft's Sharepoint.

What hath Microsoft to say?

“Busy people don’t want another social network, what they want is the convenience of aggregation. We’ve done that. Hotmail customers have benefitted from Microsoft working with Flickr, Facebook, Twitter and 75 other partners since 2008.”

We're not sure pushing Hotmail (isn't it Live Mail now guys?) is the way to go, but at least they're adamant about it.  We guess.

Regardless, Windows Mobile users are the first to get this with Google Maps 4.0 which was just released this afternoon. Rejoice!

As seen from the screenshots, you can add Buzz as a Layer to your maps. It ties in nicely with Latitude for your location by bringing up popular businesses and locations of interest near you.  You can then simply select the location, write a few comments and even add a picture for others to see.  Still confused? Check out Google's own video tutorial for more info.

Overall, it's quite nice, even if it apes FourSquare and since people would rather not sign up for yet-another-service, we'll place out bets with Google.

And yes, My Location/Latitude appears to be now fixed with CDMA.

Read more on Google Buzz here.  

Download the new Google Maps for Windows Mobile at m.google.com from your Mobile Internet Explorer.

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