Week in review: Smartphone disconnect
Microsoft hangs up on Kin, while T-Mobile kicks out some Sidekicks. Also: Apple antenna woes.
It was a tough week for smartphones.
Amid anemic sales,less than two months after the product hit the market. The social media-oriented phone will not make its planned European debut, and Microsoft is shifting the entire Kin team to work on Windows Phone 7, the Microsoft smartphone operating system due out later this year.
The Kin, which made its debut just two months ago at an event in San Francisco, was the result of several years of work by Microsoft and stemmed from its 2008 acquisition of Sidekick maker Danger. However, despite a few innovative features including streaming music and a Web-based companion site, the Kin phones were criticized for missing key features, such as a calendar, as well as because the monthly fees for the phone were as high as more capable smartphones, such as the iPhone and Android-based devices.
Some of the Kin's kin are also getting the ax. T-Mobile confirmed to CNET that it. T-Mobile declined to elaborate on the future Sidekick plans, but the company has been rumored for months to be prepping Android-based Sidekicks.
Meanwhile, iPhone 4 users continue to grapple with signal loss issues:
Saying it was "stunned" by its mistake, the company will issue a software update to fix how it calculates signal strength on its iPhones. So does that settle things, really?
Internet users inside China are unable to use Google's suggested searches feature after Chinese Internet regulators imposed a block.
The $700 million deal gives Google a widely used source of information about the travel industry and will likely prompt howls of outrage from Google's competitors.
Facial recognition and improved boot times are on tap, according to what a Microsoft enthusiast site says are internal documents on the still hush-hush operating system.
After years of dwindling usage, Microsoft's browser has, at least for now, stemmed losses. And the gain comes at Firefox's expense.
The monthly fee, which has long been anticipated, means Hulu Plus subscribers will get access to full seasons of TV shows. But the fee may not sit well with some Hulu fans.
Inside a sweeping education statute are requirements for universities to police their networks and educate students on copyright law.
Retail giant Amazon is acquiring the "one deal, one day" retailer Woot.com. According to Woot, the company will remain its own retailer, and not a part of Amazon's own site.
President Obama signs a memorandum to make it a priority to get another 500MHz of wireless spectrum into the market within the next decade.
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