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MetroPCS merging with T-MobileT-Mobile targets prepaid with MetroPCS deal, Microsoft may launch a streaming music service, and Logitech unveils the new Harmony Touch remote.
It's time for a shake up in prepaid phones and in home entertainment. I'm Bridget Carey, and this is your CNET Update. T-Mobile is merging with the prepaid regional cellphone carrier, MetroPCS. If the deal is approved, changes won't happen until the first half of 2013. The CEO of T-Mobile said that this merger will make the company a leader in no contract phones, and that makes life harder for Sprint, which has its prepaid business with Boost Mobile, Virgin Mobile and Assurance Wireless. And Microsoft seems to have a busy October on the same day that the new Windows Operating Systems coming out, that's October 26th, which is also the same day that the Surface Tablet is going on sale. Microsoft is also playing to launch a new streamy music service called Xbox Music. Now, this is according to the Verge. So Microsoft hasn't official said anything yet but this Xbos Music would likely be like Spotify, where you can stream music for free with ads or purchase a subscription. You will be able to get this on your Windows phones, tablets, computers and of course Xbox 360. It's Microsoft's way of taking on Sony's music unlimited service which starts at $5 a month. In other news we're watching, this week, Google will be adding street view images to the mobile web version of Google Maps. That's according to all things digital. Count that as another win for Google Maps. Redbox, the company with those red DVD rental kiosks, they're starting to sell event tickets out of those DVD machines. It's only testing it in Philadelphia for now but event tickets are being sold at or below face value, and there's only a $1 fee. Logitech has introduced its latest all-in-one remote, the Logitech Harmony Touch, and yes it has a touch screen. This clicker is Logitech's high-end model and it features the same controls in programming that has made Harmony remote popular. You just now get it all on a touchscreen and there are fewer buttons. You can program your favorite channels as icons on the screen and this model is also easier to make set up changes. You have to recharge it in a cradle every two or three days, and this doesn't come cheap, it's $250. Just think you can get a tablet for less but you may find it worth the cost, even makes your home theater easier to manage. Now, I have to return this back to the CNET labs. The editors are putting to a test now. So stay tuned for our full review. And that's your tech news update for today. But before we end, I need to correct an error on our previous show. I mistakenly said that Cricket Wireless is selling the iPhone 5 unlocked and that's not true. I should have said Cricket sells the iPhone 5 without a contract. Sorry if I caused confusion. I'm Bridget Carey, thanks for watching.