Archive for October, 2008

DARK CLOUDS AND LIGHT CLOUDS

October 27, 2008

NEW MICROSOFT OS IN CLOUD NINE

I am in Los Angeles at the Microsoft Professional Developers Conference (PDC) where Microsoft is announcing and showing new software and services that usually is for geeks. But this time there’s going be some exciting stuff for consumers and enterprise-end folks.

Worldwide media, including myself, were invited early for a preview of the, now official Windows 7. We were shown some cool new features in an immersive day-long session. I wish I could tell you what I saw, but attending media had to sign a non-disclosure agreement that lifts  this Wednesday 9 am EST.

Suffice to say, the Microsoft Windows 7 team, 1000-strong, have some cool new tricks up their sleeve for the next Windows OS, sort of being planned to be sort of ready by early 2010. Maybe.

Can’t tell you more, I wish I could, not to mention all this cloud stuff every Microsoft employee here is giddy about. So, check out the online news on Windows 7 and Microsoft’s version of cloud computing this Wednesday.

PRICE ADUSTMENT ON TECH GOODS IN CANADA COMING SOON

Just had a chat with Steve Boone from the Edmonton mymacdealer.com shop who is predicting some dark clouds about to hit Canada…not the Microsoft kind but a jolt of reality on how much more expensive it’s going to be to buy tech hardware here in November. With the huge drop of the Canadian dollar against the U.S. buck you can expect some harsh increases.

Currently, a new Apple MacBook Pro sells HP Pavilion dv7-1000 for $2,149 CDN off the Canadian Apple site. That’s $1,675 US compared to $1,949 US on the U.S. Apple site. So while Americans can get great deals up here with more than 15 per cent savings, we are stuck, again. If you are planning to buy a PC soon, or other pricey hardware, I would consider doing so before November.

BLACKBERRY HAS FEELINGS

October 11, 2008

The Storm senses physical orientation, automatically adjusting the screen to work best, as in the full QWERTY touch and tactile feel keyboard shown here.

The Storm senses physical orientation, automatically adjusting the screen to work best, as in the full QWERTY touch and tactile feel keyboard shown here.

This was an exciting week for BlackBerry lovers who secretly suffer from touch screen envy. The big surprise wasn’t that the new BlackBerry Storm (up to now, it was called Thunder) was out so soon, but that Canadian CDMA cellphone providers were carrying it.

 

This means that Telus and Bell have more clout than Rogers when it comes to getting the next hottest smart phone – even one from Waterloo-based Research in Motion – or that Rogers simply passed. What do you think?

The best news about the Storm to me was that it is a World phone with full GSM capabilities right up to 3G, so who cares who carries it? I know Rogers and Fido have a good thing going with being GSM, available even on the moon, but CDMA, for all its battery guzzling features, offer better quality voice. Did you know that the already impressive talk and standby time on the Storm is even longer when in GSM mode? You will actually get the best of both cellular worlds with the Storm.

Telus was first to announce the new Storm in Canada but it didn’t take long for Bell to play catch up with a “me too” release later in the afternoon last Wednesday. The two competing CDMA companies, who are also partners in implementing the 3G and future 4G infrastructures in Canada, got into a contest of sorts on who would be first to actually deliver the phone.

Like, who cares folks? They both will have it before Christmas, so what’s a week here or there?

The Storm will not have the two-finger pinch effect of the iPhone – that’s a killer patent feature for Apple – but it’s kind of funny that RIM is so going out of its way to make its touch screen Storm behave… like a real keyboard, with fewer touch mistakes. You will have to press a little harder once the letter highlights on the first touch to actually make that key work, accompanied by a tactile feedback sensation.

I hope the Storm gives a better HTML experience than previous BlackBerries that can’t play most of the online videos. Despite it being the newest gee-whiz RIM gadget, it should not sell for more than $200 (with a 3 year contract) if it wants to be embraced by everyday consumers. Don’t forget, it has a bigger screen but does not carry pricey items like a real keyboard, trackball or WiFi, the later being a let-down for me. Sure, I get a great deal with Rogers data plans, $25 for 500 MB, for my Bold (not long ago, Rogers would only give you 4 MB for the same money) but I find that in WiFi mode, the online experience is much faster than 3G cell mode.

Still, can’t wait to get my hands on it.

Google “BlackBerry Storm” for the online RIM, Telus and Bell sites.