Tech wrap: Microsoft carts out Mango phone OS

May 24, 2011

Microsoft announced an update of its Windows phone software, code-named Mango, hoping a host of new features will help it close the gap on smartphone leaders Google and Apple. The update involves 500 new features, including IE 9 as the mobile browser, integrated Twitter and LinkedIn feeds, automated Facebook check-ins, and access to more than 17,000 downloadable applications.

The updated software will appear on new Windows phones beginning this fall, and be available for existing Windows phone users before that, although Microsoft has not set a timetable for making the update available.

Nokia said in statement that their first Windows Phone devices will be powered by the Mango OS.

Barnes & Noble unveiled a new e-reader that features a touchscreen, weighs less than a paperback book and has a battery life of two months. The latest Nook will sell for $139, the same price as Amazon’s e-reader, the Kindle, and will start shipping on June 10. The touchscreen device weighs 7.5 ounces, has a 6-inch display, and allows a user to look up words, highlight passages and adjust the font size.

While the black and white Nook introduced on Tuesday is more than $100 cheaper than its color counterpart, the price would likely drop by the holiday season, Forrester research analyst James McQuivey said. He added the new Nook should put some distance between it and Amazon, which doesn’t have color or touchscreen features in its e-reader.

Sony’s shares bounced back from two-month lows after the electronics giant said this year’s operating profit would match last year’s, easing worries about the impact of the March earthquake. Separately, Sony said websites in four countries were hacked in the latest of a series of security breaches.

French President Nicolas Sarkozy softened his usually tough stance on Internet regulation at a forum that brought together tech leaders in Paris, but stark divisions remained on everything from privacy to copyright. A draft communique reviewed by Reuters, which is being finalized for release at the conclusion of the forum Wednesday, suggested that the gathering will paper over the deepest divisions and shy away from making concrete policy proposals.

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