Nokia: 3720 classic introduced  

Posted by Mohammad Talha in , , , ,

Espoo, Finland - Nokia today introduced the new Nokia 3720 classic, an IP-54 certified mobile phone designed to resist water, dust and shock. Following the footsteps of Nokia's highly popular 'rugged' devices of the past, the Nokia 3720 classic is encased in durable materials and is entirely sealed to protect the inner electronics. The Nokia 3720 is expected to retail for approximately EUR 125 before subsidies or taxes and is expected to begin shipping this summer.

"Whether using it at the beach or in a dusty construction site, the Nokia 3720 classic has been specifically engineered to withstand the splashes, bumps and drops that come with the terrain," said Markku Suomi, vice president, Connect devices. "While the Nokia 3720 classic is tough on the outside, it is equally functional on the inside - a perfect choice for people who want a long-lasting and reliable mobile phone for any environment."

The Nokia 3720 classic features a sealed, leak-proof design and durable materials in a range of colours. The battery cover, which protects both the battery and the internal circuitry of the device, is locked with a screw, making for worry-free usage in wet, dusty or muddy environments.

As to be expected, the Nokia 3720 classic also offers exceptional battery performance as well as an LED flashlight, to complement its rugged design. Additional add-ons include Nokia Maps, which comes pre-loaded on the 1 GB microSD memory card, and the large and bright 2.2" display is perfect for following the route even in unfamiliar terrain.

About Nokia

Nokia is a pioneer in mobile telecommunications and the world's leading maker of mobile devices. Today, we are connecting people in new and different ways - fusing advanced mobile technology with personalized services to enable people to stay close to what matters to them. We also provide comprehensive digital map information through NAVTEQ; and equipment, solutions and services for communications networks through Nokia Siemens Networks.

Handle without care: Nokia introduces the Nokia 3720 classic,

its most rugged mobile handset to date.

Microsoft's Next Patch Tuesday Could Be Big  

Posted by Mohammad Talha in , , ,

Next Tuesday, July 13, Microsoft will issue 6 security bulletins and updates to fix the vulnerabilities described in them. Among these will be a DirectShow vulnerability disclosed in May and, possibly, the zero-day vulnerability that hit the Internet this week.

Three of the bulletins affect Microsoft Windows and all are critical on Windows 2000 and Windows XP. The first, for now designated "Windows 1" is rated critical on every shipping Windows platform and must be a doozy. The second appears to be for the DirectX flaws mentioned above, and affects Windows 2000, Windows XP and Windows Server 2003. The last affects only Windows XP (critical) and Windows Server 2003 (Moderate).

The other 3 vulnerabilities have the less-urgent rating of Important: vulnerability in Publisher 2007, one in ISA (Internet Security and Acceleration) Server 2006, and one in several current versions of Virtual PC and Virtual server.

A Microsoft blog on the update advance notification indicates that they believe they will be able to get an update of sufficient quality for the zero-day DirectX attack in time for Tuesday, but they aren't making promises at this point. In the meantime they recommend using the kill-bit workaround, a link to which they include in their blog.

The usual monthly update will also be put out for the Malicious Software Removal Tool and the Windows Mail Junk Filter. There will be a non-security update to Vista that should fix intermittent failures experienced by users that have a Bluetooth radio connected to a USB 2.0 hub. (story Link)

Corel's Product Revenue Drops 27 Percent  

Posted by Mohammad Talha in ,

July 10 (Reuters) - Corel Corp, which makes graphics, digital media and office software, swung to a second-quarter net loss as product revenue sank 27 percent.

The Ottawa-based company said it lost $4.1 million, or 16 cents a share, in the period ended May 31. That compares with a net income of $930,000, or 4 cents per share, a year ago.

Revenue fell 25 percent to $50.4 million, dragged by product revenue that dropped to $44.3 million.

However, excluding items, Corel earned 22 cents per share.

In April, as it reported deeper losses and waning sales, Corel said it would cut 10 percent of its staff and institute unpaid days off under a cost-cutting plan.

The company said the measures would reduce expenses by about $2 million through the remainder of fiscal 2009.

Corel once fought a highly publicized, but ultimately doomed, battle with Microsoft Corp, trying to win the word processing market by pitting its WordPerfect software against Microsoft Word in 1997.

Shares of Corel closed at C$2.50 Thursday on the Toronto Stock Exchange. ($1=1.163 Canadian Dollar) (Reporting by Susan Taylor and Isheeta Sanghi; Editing by Himani Sarkar) (story Link)

Schmidt: Chrome OS News in Late 2009  

Posted by Mohammad Talha in , , , , , ,

SUN VALLEY, Idaho (Reuters) - Google Inc Chief Executive Eric Schmidt said there may be announcements later this year about netbook PCs running its new Chrome operating system, as the Internet giant makes its deepest push into Microsoft Corp's business.

Schmidt also said on Thursday that while the worst of the economic downturn has passed, there aren't any strong signs of an immediate recovery.

"I think the new normal is now," Schmidt said at a one-hour briefing with reporters, along with Google co-founder Larry Page, at the Allen & Co media and technology conference in Sun Valley, Idaho.

Earlier this week, Google announced it was developing a PC operating system based on its Chrome Web browser, expected in the second half of 2010. The company said computer makers like Hewlett-Packard Co and Acer are working with Google on Chrome devices.

"Everybody we've talked to under nondisclosure is excited about the plan. So hopefully later this year we'll see some announcements," Schmidt said on Thursday.

Schmidt and Page repeatedly steered the conversation away from the rivalry with Microsoft, describing the Chrome OS as a product that would be "additive" to the PC market.

"I don't want to talk about Microsoft," Schmidt said, noting later that Google did not have any particular goals for Chrome to take market share in the PC business.

"We actually don't look at market share at all," said Schmidt.  (story Link)

The 5 Most Interesting Mobile Failures of the Past 5 Years  

Posted by Mohammad Talha in , , , , ,

In five years as's phone analyst, I've reviewed more than 500 products. Some have been excellent. Some have been awful. And some have been really interesting failures, the kinds of things that were just a twist or turn away from success. (Read my previous column for a list of true successes.)

Interesting failures are just as fun to review as fabulous successes, because they show ways the world didn't go. Maybe somewhere out there is an alternate reality where no parent would dare send her six-year-old to first grade without a phone to call Mom, or one where small startup companies can bring cool phones to the U.S. market, or one where geeks get a wireless carrier that fulfills all of their high-tech dreams.

None of those worlds are our world, though. That said, I found five products over the past five years that are peeking through from those alternate realities. Do you remember other fascinating failures? Tell me in Talkbacks below.

My top five failures:

Helio Kickflip. Helio was probably the biggest letdown of my five years in mobile. At first, it was supposed to be a new wireless carrier that brought super-powered Asian phones to geeks—hooray! Then they scrapped that whole idea in favor of bringing midrange Asian phones to some demographic they couldn't quite identify. Uh, yay. Its first phone, the Kickflip, didn't actually work. The Helio Ocean worked brilliantly, but by that point, the whole edifice was crumbling. To this day, no carrier has taken up the mantle of offering super-powered phones to geeks in the USA.

Curitel Identity. The first mass-market Linux phone, with fabulous personality-shifting technology and removable covers that actually contained software, the Identity was a perfect example getting slapped down by the way our market works. First, it took the inventors years to find a manufacturer that would build it. Then, when they sealed a deal with Korean manufacturer Curitel, the big wireless carriers wouldn't even look at their product. The Identity vanished, and nothing has ever been quite like it.

Sony Mylo (both the first and second versions). Sony's insane internal structure sometimes results in insane products. For instance: I assume Sony isn't allowed to make cell phones, because only Sony Ericsson can make cell phones. So Sony made the Mylo, which makes calls with Skype over Wi-Fi networks. The Mylo's complete failure shows that if you're selling a communications tool nowadays, it better connect everywhere—and that means having a cellular radio on board. (The iPod touch gets away with being Wi-Fi only, in my mind, by being an iPod and gaming device first.)

Motorola ROKR E1. The first iTunes phone was a hideous disaster and a warning to the rest of the industry that Apple doesn't play well with others. The ROKR started out late, with the launch so poorly managed that a bunch of press were shipped to Miami to see a phone that was yanked from the podium days before it was supposed to appear. When Apple actually launched the ROKR, it took away its thunder within minutes by introducing the iPod nano on its heels. The E1 itself was an uninspiring paste-job, slapping a crippled version of iTunes onto an existing midrange Motorola phone. It almost looked like Apple wanted this phone (and the whole idea of non-Apple products running iTunes) to fail.

LG Migo. For a brief moment in 2005, a bunch of manufacturers were selling cell phones to six year olds. This may sound crazy, but I think there are safety-related reasons for giving little kids simple devices with which they can call Mom or Dad. Apparently, I am the only person who thinks so, because the whole product category has basically vanished. Hysterical news reports from the UK about how cell phones will boil a small child's brain didn't help, even though these kiddy phones were meant to be used for only a few minutes at a time.  (story Link)

Google’s not-so-surprising announcement that it would launch an operating system, the Google Chrome OS, in 2010 was full of heady promises, but painfully lacking in detail. Naturally, I have some questions for Google.

1. Why Do We Need This?
Consumers like variety, but stress levels tend to rise when there are too many technology options. I think this is mostly because each platform has its own metaphors. And while some may tell users that this operating system is better than that one, most users are too scared to switch because they don't know if they can learn to use a new OS. Google, however, is applying the same thinking it used when the search giant launched the Chrome Web browser: We can do it better. They did build a super-fast Web interface, but Chrome still lacks many of the basic features we've come to expect from a good browser. Will a Chrome OS have similar gaping holes?

2. Hardware Support?
Google's blog post on the new Chrome OS seems to gloss over hardware support. "[Users] don't want to spend hours configuring their computers to work with every new piece of hardware." In other words, the Chrome OS should work seamlessly with all of the peripherals you currently use. But why is that? The OS is being built on a Linux kernel, which means that while driver support is decent, it's not foolproof. Will Google work with OEMs to have a rich set of drivers available within the OS? Will you have to download all the drivers you need for your existing hardware? How will they ease the process of installation?

3. Linux? Really?
I know I've said this before, but why do people keep going back to Linux as the best alternative to Windows? There are excellent Linux distros out there, such as Ubuntu, but none of them are quite as easy to use as Windows or the Mac OS. More importantly, two years of Vista did not create a new user bonanza for the Linux platform. It didn't even do all that much for the Mac OS. Instead, Windows users suffered but stayed put. Now many feel like they're about to be rewarded for their patience with Windows 7. Look at it this way: When gas prices soared to record highs, people did drive less and they even traded in their Hummers for Hyundais. What they didn't do is rush to hybrid vehicles. I know there are more of them on the road than ever before, but they are far outnumbered by traditional gas-guzzlers. Face it, the tried and trusted (Windows) seems to stick around even when better alternatives are available.

4. What About Android?
Android is a decent little mobile operating system, and it may even do a good job of powering a new generation of netbooks—I'm still waiting to see the first one—but it hasn't exactly taken its primary market by storm. In fact, it's taken almost a year for the second Android-based phone to arrive. I don't know what caused the holdup. Perhaps it's the same problem that Linux has: consumers have found the mobile platforms they really prefer and aren't interviewing any others.

5. Which OEMs?
Most major PC manufacturers have offered Linux boxes at one time or another, but they don't push them. There are no ad campaigns out there, and they're typically not featured on, say, Dell's homepage. Google certainly has the clout to get into the offices of Acer, Dell, and HP, but how receptive are these companies to Google's platform overtures? Like the rest of us, they've suffered through a bad 2008 and a dismal 2009. Would they really want to risk precious marketing dollars on an untested platform? All are gearing up for Microsoft's Windows 7 push (which kicks off in earnest on October 22). It's the closest thing these manufacturers have to a sure thing. The Chrome OS has risk written all over it.

6. Can We Trust Open Source?
The open source community is brilliant at building out new OS features, but it also tends to fracture. Does anyone know how many different Linux distributions exist? Can Google depend on the open source community to put the interests of the lowest common denominator first?

7. Will the OS Be in Beta?
Okay, I'm asking this one somewhat facetiously. Google officially grew up this week when it pulled most of its major apps and services out of Beta. I'd say it's no coincidence that it did this right before the Google Chrome OS announcement. The ever-present "beta" tag on many of the company's products made it seem somewhat less than serious about software. The company can't afford that perception now.

8. Is Chrome Chrome?
One thing that isn't clear is whether the Chrome OS desktop is actually going to be a brand new interface, with new code, or if the whole thing is simply a rejiggering of the Chrome Web browser with a Linux kernel underneath. Google's blog post makes it sound more like the latter. That could be kind of cool; you get things like tear off tabs and an incredibly lean, speedy interface. On the other hand, how does it handle tasks and applications, navigation, file storage, networking? Does that all get passed off to the Linux platform?

9th and 10the will continue on full post Link - Blog Search