Vendor News

Microsoft Reveals Devices on 6 October

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Microsoft sends out invites for a 6 October 2015 event involving "exciting news about Windows 10 devices"-- meaning the company will (probably) launch a new Surface tablet and a couple of Windows 10 Mobile devices.

Microsoft October eventsA number of news sources claim to know what Microsoft has in store for the event. For instance The Verge says the company will not only launch the Surface Pro 4, but also the Lumia 950/950 XL smartphones and even a Band wearable sequel.

Reportedly the Surface Pro 4 retains the same form factor and charging mechanism as the Pro 3, but might include features such as Windows Hello support and a higher display resolution. Other rumours suggest the possibility of a larger, 14-inch version of the device.

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The Next Apple Event: 9 September 2015

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Apple sends out media invites for the now traditional September launch event, this time around bearing the legend "hey Siri, give us a hint" together with the familiar company logo.

Apple event As per the slogan, one can actually ask Siri for hints on the event, if only to get snarky replies such as "I bet you were one of those kids who snuck downstairs to open presents early, weren't you?" and "you're cute when you'reĀ desperateĀ for information."

A lot of hearsay surrounds the event, although one can be certain of a few things-- such as the next generation of iPhone, one the grapevine suggests features body construction in stronger 7000 series aluminium, Force Touch capability, A9 processor, 2GB RAM and an improved camera.

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WSJ: Amazon (Partly) Gives Up on Hardware

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Following the failure of the Fire Phone Amazon gives up on mobile devices, the Wall Street Journal reports-- the online retailer turned hardware maker is reportedly killing projects and laying off staff from the secretive Lab126 hardware division.

Amazon BezosLab126 is the facility behind the Fire tablets, STB and phone, as well as the oddball Echo speaker/voice-activated assistant and the Dash product re-ordering button. According to the WSJ unsold Fire Phone inventory lead to a $170 million write down, meaning the creator has to not only scale down in size but also shelve some admittedly interesting-sounding projects.

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Microsoft Shutters Finland Phone Site

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Microsoft confirms the closure of the former Nokia handset product development unit in Salo, Finland. The company also plans to slash up to 2300 jobs in the Nordic country, with around 1000 in Salo.

Microsoft EspooThe company will retain Finnish mobile operations in two units, Espoo and Tampere. The Espoo unit will concentrate on high-end smartphone development while the Tampere unit is dedicated to the development of mid-range handsets and key technologies.

Salo housed one of the first Nokia factories, set up back in the 1970s. Until 2005 the factory employed 5000 people, and the closure leads to further resentment among Finns against the American company.

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Apple Merges Website, Online Store

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The Apple website gets a major redesign with the removal of the standalone "Store" tab and the "store.apple.com" domain, creating a streamlined main website combining product details with online retail.

Apple websiteAs a result each product page offers purchasing buttons, with no need to "jump" to the online store. The site also offers a unified shopping bag following users wherever they go on the site.

Also streamlined is the buying experience, as one press on the buy button summons all choices up to including extended warranties and cases. However, other than such changes the website and product pages remains more or less identical to their former selves.

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