MediaFile

Nokia and Microsoft? Just maybe

Nokia CEO Stephen Elop (left) and Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer address the Senior Leadership Event before they announce plans for a broad strategic partnership to build a new global mobile ecosystem . Nokia and Microsoft plan to form a broad strategic partnership that would use their complementary strengths and expertise to create a new global mobile ecosystem.

Nokia CEO Stephen Elop (left) and Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer. Credit: HO

Before there were smartphones Nokia made smart phones. Sleek. Colorful. Attractive. Sporting a distinctive, trademarked ring that, because there are so many Nokia handsets in the world, may actually be heard 20,000 times a second.

Nokia’s phones never made a huge splash in the United States, but worldwide they are to this day the market leader with some 300 million in use. In Q4 of last year, Nokia’s flagship Symbian mobile phone operating system boasted more than a third of the world’s market share. At nearly 37 percent, that was 10 percent more than the range of devices running Google’s Android, and more than Apple’s iPhone and Rim’s Blackberry combined.

But Nokia is losing, by leaps and bounds. The handwriting is on the wall. Nokia CEO Stephen Elop, who joined the company only last September, minced no words last Wednesday when he said the company was standing on a “burning platform.”

So it really came as little surprise when two days later the company announced a massive strategic alliance with Microsoft that would mean the end of Symbian and the adoption of Windows Phone 7 by the finicky Finnish handset maker.

Nokia had nowhere to go. The paradigm shift in mobile phones began little more than three years ago with the first iPhone. That isn’t a lot of time to go through the five stages of grief, even if Nokia had immediately appreciated the seriousness of the iPhone challenge.

Google and Bing trade blows on ‘copying’ saga

The Internet search world was rocked by a rare spell of intrigue and acrimony on Tuesday, as Google, the world’s No. 1 search company accused rival Microsoft of copying its search results, leading to a public slap-fight between the two tech giants.

“This is the first time in my 20-year career that I am seeing such unethical behavior in another company,” Google Fellow Amit Singhal declared in an interview with Reuters on Tuesday, following an earlier blog post in which he accused Microsoft of providing “recycled search results.”

ISRAEL-HOLOCAUST/GOOGLE

Microsoft was quick to return fire, insisting it did not copy Google’s search results and describing Google as engaging in everything from “creative tactics” to click fraud. Microsoft PR honcho Frank Shaw unleashed a fusillade of Tweets throughout the day, stating in one of them that Google was seeking to change the subject because the company was under investigation in the U.S. and Europe for manipulating search results.

Closer look at Google’s Honeycomb

Google stole the show from Verizon at the opening keynote at CES, showing off its new Honeycomb software, the first version of the Android operating system specifically designed for tablets.

Android developer Mike Cleron wowed a packed hall with a quick spin around its features, including a new-look home screen, pixel buttons, multitasking, smooth video and an eye-catching 3-D mapping tool that lets you ’tilt’ the view to get a better idea of what you are looking at.

Google has posted a video of the new system in action on YouTube. YouTube Preview Image

Google’s not-so-subtle jab at Microsoft Exchange

When Gmail goes down, it doesn’t just make news, it makes people angry. Small businesses running their email on Google’s servers complain publicly. People even talk about suing Google.

Google’s response is usually along these lines: When companies manage email on their own servers, those servers routinely go down. People get upset, sure. But it doesn’t make news. And nobody starts looking for a class-action attorney.

Apparently, that attitude of Google’s isn’t just a defensive PR spin. It’s an actual strategy. Google is adding a feature to the cloud-security technology it obtained when it bought Postini in 2007. Google is calling it Message Continuity, and it’s designed to let companies have access to emails, even when a company’s servers go down.

Google to speed up searches with visual Web site ‘previews’

Google’s search engine has a new feature that may cause Web surfers to do less…Web surfing.

The company’s new Instant Previews announced on Tuesday provides visual snapshots of Web pages directly within the list of search results, making it easier and quicker to home in on the Web page you’re looking for.

Instant Previews, which will be rolled out during the next few days, puts a small icon of a magnifying glass next to most of Google’s search results. Click on the magnifying glass and Google serves up a screenshot of the Web page, highlighting the section of the page that’s relevant to your search query.GOOGInstantPreview

RockMelt’s secret social Web browser makes debut

The Web has evolved drastically during the past two decades. But the Web browser remains much as it has since it was first created.RockMeltScreen

That’s the premise behind RockMelt, a new browser that bills itself as having been built from the ground-up for the realities of today’s Web 2.0 world, in which interacting across social networks is as important as viewing Web pages.

The new browser has been under development in “stealth” mode for two years and has been the subject of much speculation, particularly since one of the company’s main investors is Marc Andreessen, the man credited with creating the first mass-market graphical Web browser.

E3: Dancing with Xbox Kinect on Day 1

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Day one of the 2010 E3 video game conference was dominated by news from Microsoft, who told us a little more about Xbox 360 with Kinect, the gesture/motion system that lets users do many things on screen without the need for a controller. The system, due in November, poses a threat to top dog console the Nintendo’s Wii, and Sony’s new add-on, called Move.

But I’ll tell you who should be worried: those Dance competition video game folks. Microsoft demonstrated a pad-less, controller-less dance game that looked like a lot more fun than stomping on a giant pad with arrows. Check out the video below…

Here is the unboxing of the new factor of the Xbox 360, which is smaller, and has built in Wi-Fi. (via giantbomb.com)

from Summit Notebook:

VMWare’s orator: Tod Nielsen

Tod Nielsen certainly has the gift of the gab. VMWare's chief operating officer, who was once videotaped by a reporter in the hope that he would turn out someday to be "famous" (and a royalty generator), waxed lyrical at the Reuters Global Technology Summit about everything from British CIOs and magic crystals to PCs .

Here's a sampling of his colorfully phrased -- though occasionally puzzling -- views.

On VMWare's Q1 performance:

"We should walk down Wall Street and get the tickertape parade."

On how the company has to keep up relationships with every hardware vendor out there:

Microsoft CFO: Likes iPad, loves Ballmer: apps? meh

Microsoft CFO Klein

Three things we learned from chatting with Microsoft CFO Peter Klein: for one, he’s a big fan of his boss, CEO Steve Ballmer, despite their contrasting interview styles (Klein is even tempered; Ballmer is famously energetic, which I’ve witnessed first hand).

Reuters: What’s it like working with Steve Ballmer?
Klein: It’s awesome. He’s incredibly passionate, he cares about nothing except the success of the company. He’s incredibly smart. He knows the industry backwards and forward.

Reuters: Does he jump around and make your life hell sometimes?
Klein: No, he makes my life exciting everyday. It has been fabulous. He cares so much about the company. I’m a big believer in you have to be passionate about what you are doing.

Actually, Yahoo is not spending another $85 million on ads

The news that Yahoo is spending $75 million to $85 million on an ad blitz has provoked a wave of disparagement in the blogosphere, with many critics slamming Yahoo for throwing more money away on an ineffective marketing strategy.

But much of the outcry appears to stem from a misunderstanding.

YahooBannerThe $75 million to $85 million in advertising is actually part of the $100 million campaign that Yahoo announced in September; It does not represent an additional $75 million to $85 million in ad spending.

A Yahoo spokesperson confirmed that Yahoo has only spent between $15 million and $25 million on the “It’s You” ad campaign since it was rolled out in September, with the remainder of the $100 million budgeted for the new ads, which represent phase two of the campaign.