A HIGH-TECH WEEK

HOW TIME FLIES

Check out my comparison of three new touch phones available in Canada at www.edmontonjournal/technology The iPhone 3G from Rogers, the Samsung Instinct from Bell and the HTC Touch Diamond from Telus. Is there a clear winner? Not exactly. And guess which smartphone can’t handle Canadian winters!

I was chatting it up with Greg Milligan from the Microsoft Canada Windows Mobile group for this feature. Although he was all excited about Windows Mobile 6.1 which many  smartphones today are running on, we reminisced on the good old days when Microsoft’s first Pocket PC came out…February 2003. Seems like a long time ago, but I remember when Microsoft employees wouldn’t even think of parting with their tiny BlackBerry devices that first introduced mass wireless instant email. Now they are two competing camps with some co-operative crossovers.

It’s interesting to note that the some 22,000 applications available for Windows Mobile devices, similarly-priced to the Apples App Store for the iPhone, work on a very different business model. While Apple collects a percentage of online sales, Microsoft makes most of its third party mobile softawre sales from the initial licensing sales of it Mobile OS. Milligan said that according to IDC stats, Microsoft, this fiscal year showed double the overall market growth rate (up 32 per cent) selling more than 18 million Mobile licenses in FY08.

But Apple is catching up. In the short time their online App Store opened up, since the launch of the iPhone 3G, there were more than 10 million applications downloaded in three days. Currently there are more than 2,000 iPhone applications online.

Two different business models…Microsoft’s third-party developers who have to go through old school (but still a money maker) investing time and money to become Microsoft developers and Apple’s “just bring your applications in and we take 30 per cent from the sale.” Let’s see where things stand a year from now, OK?

CUTTING THE CORD

Intel had lot’s of technology to show at their Developers Form in San Francisco last Thursday. The coolest technology was the wireless lighting of a 60 watt lamp using Intel’s “wireless resonant energy link,” similar to glass breaking ability of some singers. Although this was big news, credit is due for the early MIT work, announced in 2006, done on a similar project shown last year, where folks walked, unscathed, between an electrical energy transmitter and a similarly lighted bulb.

Can you imagine the possibilities? Justin Rattner, Intel’s CTO, saw a future where laptops would not need a battery. They would simply receive electrical energy wirelessly. So…think of a world with no electrical cords, just a whole pile of magnetic fields charging everything wirelessly. Hold that thought.

Check the chip maker’s other announcements, including its quest to keep Moore’s chip doubling Law alive, as the industry nears the physical limits on how small chip transistors can get. 

  • Intel’s first-ever mobile-focused quad-core laptop workstation – the Intel Core 2 Extreme processor which contains four cores and uses only 45 watts of power
  • Development of the interactive classrooms and whiteboards using Nintendo Wii technology, the Wii remote, which creates a low-cost interactive whiteboard
  • Identification technology that uses mobile devices with a built-in camera and special software that reads the bar code on health ID cards to prevent identity-related medical errors
  • A partnership between Intel and Yahoo to create a Widget Channel
  • Announcement of Intel’s Media Processor CE 3100 using system on chips (SoCs) technology to fuse the Internet and TV experience
  • Core i7 processor using turbo an energy efficient, high-performance server featuring Intel Hyper-Threading Technology
  • Intel Corporation Chairman Craig Barrett announced Intel will award four $100,000 prizes to the most innovative ideas for unmet needs in education, health care, economic development, and the environment

MICROSOFT CHOKES

Microsoft Live Labs opened up an online site, http://livelabs.com/photosynth/ that stitches hundreds of uploaded related pictures, for free, into a larger photo you can zoom or pan across. This cool technology proved to be overwhelming for the Microsoft photosynth web site which had to temporarily close down from a massive influx of photos. Talk about causing your very own Denial of Service Attack with one smart photo idea!

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