Microsoft is weeks away from launching its own smartwatch

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Having previously taken a crack at the smartwatch market with its now-discontinued SPOT technology, Microsoft is looking to get back into the wearables space according to a report from Forbes, citing anonymous sources.

The watch will apparently be launched in the next few weeks and will work across a variety of platforms, which makes perfect sense since Windows Phone is a distant third compared to Android and iPhone handsets.

Its timing is an effort to capture the potentially-lucrative holiday market.

Not even Cortana wants to use Windows Phone

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Cortana may be working for Microsoft, but apparently her free time belongs to Apple. (Picture: @supertino)

Microsoft may enjoy bragging about the perceived superiority of its Windows Phone virtual assistant Cortana over Apple’s Siri, but the actress who voices Cortana apparently isn’t so convinced.

In a recent tweet, actress Jen Taylor (@jentaylortown) tweeted the message “Oh my geez Seattle is beautiful” via iOS, suggesting that while Microsoft may be helping bring in the paychecks, that money is going on Apple products.

Microsoft wants to lock down its app store, iOS-style

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Microsoft wants to apply some Apple-style stringency to clean up its App Store.

While it certainly has its fair share of clones and discoverability issues, Apple’s mega profitable App Store is still the toast of the App Store world.

With that in mind, Microsoft is using it as its (unofficial) model for rethinking its own Windows app store which, to put it bluntly, is downright broken.

Apple snaps up Nokia PureView camera engineer

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Nokia’s incredible PureView camera technology is one of the reasons why so many Android users were desperate to see the Finnish firm ditch Windows Phone and bring Google’s platform to its flagship smartphones instead — and you could soon see the same technology in future iPhones.

Apple has used Microsoft’s recent acquisition of Nokia’s handset business as an opportunity to poach executives who are seeking new challenges, and the Cupertino company has just hired Lumia engineer and PureView camera expert Ari Partinen.

Every Other Smartphone Maker Would Kill To Have A “Flop” Like The iPhone 5c

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Photo: Apple

We’ll admit we’ve called the iPhone 5c a flop more than a few times. But it’s important to remember that what is a flop for Apple would be a huge success by the standards of any other company, which is why the iPhone 5c outsold every Blackberry, Windows Phone and Android flagship in Q4.

That’s not to say that the iPhone 5c’s sales are what Apple wants it to be. In the most recent quarterly earnings conference call, Tim Cook himself admitted that iPhone 5c demand “turned out to be different than we thought.” Even though the iPhone 5c is selling well according to the standards of the rest of the smartphone industry, you have to wonder if even for $100 less, people would really prever a colorful plastic iPhone 5c than a premium-feeling iPhone 5. Even people opting for year old miles are buying an iPhone to get a high-end product, and the major failing of the iPhone 5c seems to be the plastic just doesn’t satisfy that requirement. What do you think?

Microsoft’s New Voice Assistant Could Be Siri’s Sister

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Cortana was named after a character from Halo 4
Cortana from Halo 4 will also be in Windows Phone 8.1

To aid in its uphill battle against Apple and Android, Microsoft is adding a voice assistant of its own to Windows Phone 8.1 and according to the latest details she could pass as Siri’s sister.

Inspired by AI character from the Halo series, Cortana will replace Bing-search in the update and act as a mix between Siri and Google Now, according to the Verge, but the UI and personality will be pretty similar to Siri:

Apple Experiments With Solar Power & Wireless Charging For Upcoming iWatch

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There have been many wearables and quantified-health applications over the past few years, but most have steered clear of proclaiming themselves medical devices. Some of the rumors about the iWatch (such as the fact that it will be able to listen to the sound blood makes as it flows through arteries, and use this to predict heart attacks) may sound a bit too good to be true. But the number of biosensor and biomedical engineers Apple has snapped up recently makes us think the iWatch could be a device that crosses over firmly into the "medical monitoring" category.

According to one recent report, a reason for the long delay before launch is that Apple is awaiting certification from the Food and Drug Administration to get the iWatch approved as medical equipment. Given Apple's recent announcement of the Health app for iOS 8 to collect and show data on calorie consumption, sleep activity, blood oxygen levels and more, plus the conspicuous absence of a health-tracking fitness band in Apple's last iPhone 5s ad, the idea that the iWatch will be geared toward health seems as close to a foregone conclusion as you get for a device that hasn't even been officially announced yet.


Apple’s much-anticipated iWatch could use solar power and wireless charging technology to prolong battery life and make juicing up as painless as possible, according to sources familiar with the company’s plans who have been speaking to The New York Times.

One of the biggest challenges Apple faces in perfecting its smartwatch is ensuring it offers enough power to get us through the day. Its goal, according to earlier reports, is to provide at least four to five days of use before a charge is needed, but that’s no easy feat for a device that must be small enough to wear on your wrist.