Siri – It’s not you, it’s Cortana

“Our UI will be deeply personalized, based on the advanced, almost magical, intelligence in our cloud that learns more and more over time about people and the world,” Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer said in a memo about the company’s in-development voice AI. “Our shell will natively support all of our essential services, and will be great at responding seamlessly to what people ask for, and even anticipating what they need before they ask for it.”

Windows Phone certainly needs all the help it can get — despite showing healthy growth in 2013, the smartphone market still looks an awful lot like a two-horse race between the populist Android and the more elite iOS.

Cortana, if implement across all Windows platforms, could provide some of the connective tissue that Microsoft seems eager to showcase. I’m skeptical of how magical it will actually be, though — Siri was hailed as a Google killer before she was revealed to be mostly a little program that would inaccurately Google things for you. Mildly amusing, sure. Magical, not quite.

Dave Thier – Contributor, Forbes


Finally. “Cortana” if executed correctly could become a good reason for people to look into getting a Windows Phone, especially if they make the service useful across all of the Windows 8 and Windows 9 devices.

Nokia Welcomes Increasing Windows Phone OEM Competition

An interview with Nokia’s Viral Oza in The Economic Times published today details the company’s mobile strategy in India and the world at large.

Oza isn’t concerned about the potential for increased competition, telling the Times that “The entry of more players in the Windows Phone market will help the ecosystem to grow further.” Nokia’s Lumia line of Windows Phone smartphones has become the de facto brand of handsets, but there has been rumor of Sony jumping into the ring this year.

He then appears to tie the entrance of new hardware players to a more healthy application market: “Also, more developers will come on board, strengthening the ecosystem even more. In that sense, it only encourages the consumers to buy Windows Phone and broadening the ecosystem.”

~ (@alex)


With Sony jumping to the Windows Phone platform, the increasing number of developers building Windows Phone apps and the increasing number of app downloads, 2014 might just be the year for Microsoft’s Windows Phone. I am looking forward to learn what’s unveiled at BUILD this year.

Apple Debuts new iPad Air Ad during NFL game while Microsoft’s Surface is used in half time

During Sunday’ NFL game between San Francisco 49ers and North Carolina Panthers Apple aired some TV ads showing the iPad Air as some sort of poetic, artist’s tool that can do everything from taking professional video of the Niagara Falls and working under the ocean to helping tornado chasers track a thunderstorm. Here is the video:

It is not a secret that most media outlets react to everything Apple does, and while this ad played during the NFL game there were also ads showing Microsoft’s Surface and Windows 8 on other laptops and tablets – but not many people seem to be interested about it. Then I noticed the following, all the Fox Sports NFL commentators where using Microsoft surfaces during the game’s half-time analysis – instead of iPads. This is very cool, I wonder if all the hype about Apple products is about to follow the same luck that some of their first products did when they were very popular and had awesome ads but eventually lost to Microsoft and PC manufacturers.



Android in a Microsoft Phone

Microsoft is in the process of a huge push into the cloud. Almost every Windows Phone user will sign up and use some of the features. If Microsoft was to release Nokia’s still to be substantiated Android handset, I would assume that it would be tied as tightly to their online services as the Nexus handsets are tied to Google’s. That’s a win right there for Microsoft.

Windows Phone is established as the third player in the smartphone market. With some smart marketing, decision-making, and focus during 2014, Microsoft can consolidate that position and reach a 10% share in the US and world market. Windows Phone may carry on steady growth over the next few years, but most analysts are pegging the potential share in the 15%-20% range over the next four years. Without some disruption, ‘comfortably third’ is going to be Microsoft’s final destination in the market.

~ Ewan Spence contributor


Why not.

iPhone 6 Rumors

On Thursday, The China Post (via MacRumors) cited an analyst from Nomura Securities who asserted the iPhone 6 will continue to use an 8-megapixel sensor. Despite several minor upgrades the camera will likely receive, he believed it will not gain a higher-resolution sensor.

Also on Thursday, rumors made the rounds that Apple will be increasing its reliance on Pegatron for the next-generation iPhone production. Taiwan’s Liberty Times said Pegatron might land a contract to assemble half of the iPhone 6 supplies.

This would be a substantial upgrade for the manufacturer. Pegatron is currently responsible for the assembly of Apple’s iPad mini and iPhone 5c, while Foxconn assembles the iPhone 5s.

~ Daniel Sparks


Daniel Sparks also writes in The Motley Fool article that investors would be wise to listen to Tim Cook’s advice on reading into supply-chain rumors – really? Where there’s smoke, there’s fire.