Microsoft to Roll Out Full Windows 10 Version for Smartphones

Microsoft will provide a full version of Windows 10, with desktop app support, to ARM chipsets with the expectation that ARM-based laptops will be the first adopters. Microsoft recently demonstrated Windows 10 on a Qualcomm Snapdragon 820 chip, with support for HD video playback, Adobe Photoshop and Microsoft Office. With emulation of x86 desktop apps, the consumer experience is unchanged. Although laptops will likely be the first, some believe it’s a harbinger of Microsoft turning a smartphone into a “real PC.” Continue reading Microsoft to Roll Out Full Windows 10 Version for Smartphones

Salesforce Passes on Twitter, SoftBank Could Be Next in Line

Salesforce has been rumored for some time to be contemplating the purchase of Twitter. But now, Salesforce — like Google and Disney before it — has decided not to buy the digital platform, leading to a 5 percent drop in the value of the company’s stock. With Salesforce no longer interested, some have reported Twitter’s “suitor pool has apparently winnowed to zero.” Now, some believe that Japan’s SoftBank — which has previously expressed interest — could be next in line to make an offer to the social media platform. Continue reading Salesforce Passes on Twitter, SoftBank Could Be Next in Line

SoftBank Signals Major Ambitions with $100 Billion Tech Fund

Japan’s SoftBank Group, led by chief exec Masayoshi Son, is partnering with a Saudi sovereign-wealth fund to establish a multibillion-dollar tech investment fund. SoftBank is an ambitious tech investor, as evidenced by its recent deals with China’s Alibaba Group, mobile carrier Sprint and chip designer ARM Holdings. Today, the company “plans to invest at least $25 billion over the next five years through a fund dubbed the SoftBank Vision Fund,” reports The Wall Street Journal. “Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund may contribute an additional $45 billion over the next five years as the fund’s lead partner.” SoftBank is in talks with additional global investors, who could “push the new fund up to $100 billion to become the world’s ‘biggest investor’ in technology over the next decade.” Continue reading SoftBank Signals Major Ambitions with $100 Billion Tech Fund

Qualcomm to Challenge Intel in Growing Server Chip Market

Qualcomm, which dominates the mobile phone chip market, is preparing to launch a new chip containing 24 processing cores, designed for server computers that run corporate networks and are the backbone of the Internet. Up until now, Intel has been the leader in that arena, but Qualcomm, slated to report its first annual decline since 2009, is eager to seek out new areas of growth and believes that providing an alternative chip to the operators of data centers could be worth $15 billion by 2020. Continue reading Qualcomm to Challenge Intel in Growing Server Chip Market

ARM’s New Chip for Smartphones Increases Processing Power

ARM Holdings has unveiled a new chip that is expected to drastically improve graphics, finally making smartphones fit for high-definition games and videos. The company says that its Cortex-A72 will boost memory performance by 30 percent and graphics speed by 80 percent. With a more powerful chip, ARM is hoping to continue fostering growth in the smartphone industry. The company is also working on technology for the Internet of Things, including smart home devices and smart street lights. Continue reading ARM’s New Chip for Smartphones Increases Processing Power

Tech Session: Developing MEMS and Sensors for a Smart IoT

A group of movers and shakers in the MEMS/sensors industry gathered during a day-long conference at the 2015 CES in Las Vegas yesterday to discuss how their technologies need to evolve in order to enable a smart Internet of Things. Panelists addressed the need for improved sensing technologies, smaller form factors and better integration. Companies represented during the early afternoon session included SunEdison Semiconductor, IBM, Evernote, ARM and virtual reality startup Virtuix. Continue reading Tech Session: Developing MEMS and Sensors for a Smart IoT

Intel Targets Tablets with its New 14-Nanometer Core M Chip

Intel released information about Intel Core M, a new chip production process based on the Broadwell design. These chips will be just 14-nanometers thin and will will target devices without a cooling fan (such as tablets) that are nine millimeters or less. Before the holiday selling season, Intel expects the first devices using the new chips will be available to the public. Intel Core M should combat struggles the company has had recently with placing their chips into tablets and smartphones. Continue reading Intel Targets Tablets with its New 14-Nanometer Core M Chip

Thread Group Formed to Promote IP-Based Networking Protocol

Google-owned Nest, maker of smart thermostats and smoke alarms, was one of seven companies that announced a new consortium yesterday called the Thread Group, which plans to promote the online connection of devices through a new IP-based, wireless networking protocol called Thread. Chris Boross, president of the consortium and head of technical marketing at Nest, said the group is looking at “250 products per home network” in order to “provide ample room for growth in the future.” Continue reading Thread Group Formed to Promote IP-Based Networking Protocol

Drone Debate Continues as Hollywood Seeks Production Options

Hollywood continues to consider drones for media production since they have the potential to save money, offer creative options and create a safer set. Drone-makers, rigging manufacturers and aerial production companies have joined forces to offer camera-equipped drones and services. However, federal law prohibits the commercial use of unmanned aircrafts. The FAA is currently reviewing a request by the MPAA to allow drones for use by the film and television industry. Continue reading Drone Debate Continues as Hollywood Seeks Production Options

Intel Enters the Mobile App Business with Avatar Messages

Last week, chipmaker Intel introduced its own mobile app called “Pocket Avatars.” Unlike most of Intel’s functional software, Pocket Avatars is purely recreational. The app uses a smartphone’s camera and microphone to record the user’s voice and facial movements. Then the app translates those signals into a talking, animated avatar message that users can send to their friends. The free app is available for iPhones and Android smartphones. Continue reading Intel Enters the Mobile App Business with Avatar Messages

Amazon Hires Engineering Team to Design Its Own Server Chips

Retail and cloud giant Amazon has joined Google and Facebook in investing in development its own server chips. The company recently brought together a team of CPU architects and hardware development engineers, four of whom come from Calxeda, the defunct ARM-based server startup in Austin, Texas. Despite the high initial costs of custom server chips, these specialized products would allow Amazon to optimize costs and improve performance. Continue reading Amazon Hires Engineering Team to Design Its Own Server Chips

Dolby Wants to Bring Atmos Surround Sound to Mobile Devices

Dolby plans to introduce a surround sound experience for tablets and smartphones. During last month’s Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, the company detailed how algorithms running on an audio processor chip or ARM processor core could simulate Atmos-like surround sound by essentially tricking the user’s brain into thinking the audio is 3D. While it is not clear when the tech might become available to consumers, Dolby says the first iteration will be ready for hardware partners by the end of this year. Continue reading Dolby Wants to Bring Atmos Surround Sound to Mobile Devices

Microsoft Working on Free Version of Windows 8.1 with Bing

Microsoft is said to be experimenting with a free version of its Windows 8.1 operating system in hopes of increasing the number of users. Sources familiar with the plans say “Windows 8.1 with Bing” will bundle key Microsoft apps and services. The company aims to introduce Windows 8.1 with Bing as a free or low-cost upgrade for Windows 7 users. The new Bing-powered software may also be offered to computer manufacturers as part of recent license cuts for sub-$250 devices.

Continue reading Microsoft Working on Free Version of Windows 8.1 with Bing

Vacuum Sealed Protection for Smartphones That Also Floats

A new version of the DryCASE for smartphones and larger sizes for tablets was introduced at CES by Dry Corp. If you grew up by the sand and water you’ll appreciate how this crystal clear vacuum bag can both protect your phone from the elements and save it from a watery grave. Learning the hard way that anything in a pocket seems destined to end up 100 feet below the surface, this case and it’s armband supply both protection and flotation. So even if it’s not stowed on your arm it will bob to the surface. Continue reading Vacuum Sealed Protection for Smartphones That Also Floats

Will Wearable Tech Have a Future in Entertainment Media?

Even a cursory look at the news coming out of CES makes it clear that wearables have garnered a lot of the buzz. Smartwatches, augmented reality headsets, digital health solutions and fitness tracking monitors are all the rage here. What’s not clear is if wearables will ever intersect with the entertainment industry. Although the question itself may seem risible, it’s worth remembering that most people dismissed the mobile phone as an entertainment device only a few years ago. Continue reading Will Wearable Tech Have a Future in Entertainment Media?

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