KEEPING UP WITH SMARTPHONES

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Back in the old days – say, six months ago – buying a smartphone meant signing up with AT&T for an iPhone (and sighing at AT&T’s shortcomings), or settling for something less capable from another carrier. Things are changing fast – here are a few random highlights.

Google’s Nexus One phone is only available online, sight unseen, for the unsubsidized price of $529, or a subsidized price of $179 through T-Mobile. […] continued

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Hands-On With The Dell Vostro V13

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dellvostrov13-4Once my wife saw my Dell Vostro V13, it didn’t take long before we had two Vostro V13s.

The Vostro V13 is an ultrathin notebook with a 13” 1366×768 nonglare screen and a full-size keyboard. It’s two-thirds of an inch tall with the lid closed and weighs just 3.5 pounds. […] continued

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WINDOWS PHONE 7 SERIES

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If you read gadget sites like Engadget or Gizmodo, then you already know that the world changed today when Microsoft unveiled the “Windows Phone 7 Series,” the next generation of its software for cell phones and a serious attempt to break up the iPhone monopoly on cool handheld devices. Readers of those sites found out that western civilization has finally reached its fruition and mankind is likely to evolve into a higher form of life. […] continued

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MICROSOFT FLOUNDERS

microsoftfloundersWindows 7 is a staggering achievement. Microsoft delivered exactly the right product at the right time and will completely dominate desktop computing for the foreseeable future.

Microsoft shows no signs of being able to do anything similar in any of the other areas that will be important to consumers and small businesses in the next ten years. […] continued

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Kindles For Boomers

kindle1 If you haven’t had a chance to see a Kindle yet, you really owe it to yourself to ask someone to show you theirs. You’ll see their eyes light up with the same look that iPhone owners get when they have a chance to show off their toys. I’m a book lover from way back, an old school type with a deep love for the feel and the look and the smell of books, but I can understand completely why my wife loves her Kindle. […] continued

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NOT YET FOR NETBOOKS

hp_mini_311_nbDon’t buy a netbook yet.

It’s taking longer than I expected for the next generation of netbooks to become available. There’s no shortage of the very small devices with 10” screens on the market but almost all of them are still slow and underpowered. AT&T just announced two new models that you’ll be able to buy at a discounted price along with a two-year data plan (the Samsung Go and Acer Aspire One); they’re perfectly nice but next year’s models may be even better choices. […] continued

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MICROSOFT ONLINE SERVICES LOWERS PRICES

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Microsoft Online Services has unexpectedly become more affordable and a more compelling choice for small businesses. I want all law firms and businesses with five or more employees to consider moving their mail to hosted Exchange mailboxes.

Effective immediately, the price of a hosted mailbox has been cut in half to $5/month per mailbox. […] continued

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PHONE EXPLOSION

htchd2 This week it’s all phones, all the time.

On Tuesday, Microsoft formally presented Windows Mobile 6.5 to the world. It’s a lightly modified version of the Windows Mobile software that’s been usable but uninteresting for years.

It’s still fairly uninteresting. Oh, the screens are more attractive, it’s more responsive, and there’s an apps store that Microsoft promises will be full of fascinating programs, any day now, but the new version of Windows Mobile by itself is not a big step forward. […] continued

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SMARTPHONE FOLLOWUP

Little did I know that Google would add a new syncing feature right after my article about smartphones on Monday.

Google is now using its implementation of ActiveSync to sync Gmail, Gmail Contacts, and Google Calendar over the air to some smartphones. Here’s the official Google blog entry about the new feature. […] continued

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SMARTPHONE RECAP

Lots of people are buying cell phones to read and respond to email on the road. It makes a difference what kind of email account you have! Some phones are better than others for particular situations. I’ve written about this before but it bears repeating.

If you work in a small business and your mail is run by Exchange Server, you should only consider a phone running Windows Mobile software, or an iPhone. […] continued

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URBAN & RURAL AT&T

Two articles about AT&T that tell you everything you need to know about cell phone carriers and  their concern for those of us outside the big cities.

Coverage just keeps getting better in heavily populated urban areas! AT&T completed a major upgrade of the network in New York City and is working on a similar upgrade in San Francisco, according to this article. […] continued

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HARDWARE CHANGES AHEAD

When Windows 7 arrives in a few months, it will be accompanied by new hardware that is just now coming into focus. You might find yourself buying more computers than you expect in the next 6-12 months.

Desktop computers will be the least changed. Intel has already released a powerful new generation of processors, the Core i7 series, which will increasingly make its way into mainstream business and home computers. […] continued

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iPHONES AND CARRIERS

iphone_att I ran across an interesting article about the effect Apple is having on the wireless business. The conventional wisdom has been that AT&T and Verizon are abusing their market power when they enter into exclusive arrangements with handset manufacturers. A letter from four senators got the FCC looking into the exclusive handset deals, and the Department of Justice has started an “initial review” that potentially could lead to antitrust action.  Realistically, it’s only AT&T’s exclusive right to sell the iPhone that causes concern, although there are similarly restrictive deals for the Palm Pre (Sprint) and devices built on Google Android (currently T-Mobile). […] continued

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PORTABLE WIRELESS

Cell phone carriers absolutely adore monthly data plans. Want email on your new phone? Buy a monthly data plan for $40-60/month, to go along with the other charges for phone service and text messages. Want an easy Internet connection on your laptop so you don’t have to hunt for an 802.11 wireless network? […] continued

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Shopping Plans

If you need a new computer, buy a new computer. Maybe your business is expanding (there are signs of life in our economy), maybe your old Windows XP computer has collapsed or is just too slow – whatever the reason, if you need hardware, buy hardware.

But if your next computer purchase is optional, there are some good reasons to wait until the fall or Xmas shopping season. […] continued

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