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Apple Slices iPhone Price Tag, Unveils New iPods

Apple takes the spotlight today, with not one, but two breaking stories. Early adopters are likely to be peeved at the first, which is a $200 price slash on the 8GB iPhone , now selling for $399 instead of $599. That's $100 less than the smaller 4GB model originally sold for, which will no longer be offered. Apple also introduced their new iPod today, the the iPod Touch, ending months of speculation. Sporting a touch screen, the iPod Touch is essentially an iPhone without the phone and camera cabilities, in 8GB and 16GB trim. Also unveiled were refreshes to two existing iPod models : The original iPod is now an iPod Classic outfitted with a metal case, and the Nano upgrades from a 2" to a 2.5" screen, now with video playback capability. The new 4GB and 8GB Nanos will sell for $149 and $199 respectively.

Microsoft to Support Linux?

Well, kind of. Microsoft unveiled Silverlight 1.0 , a cross-browser and cross-platform plug-in for .NET based content and other applications, with support for AJAX, VB, C#, Python, and Ruby. You can think of it as an Adoble Flash alternative. But the real kicker is that Microsoft is working on Silverlight Media Codecs for Linux, and have parterned up with Novell, who's concurrently working on a Linux compatible Silverlight runtime dubbed Moonlight. For Microsoft, supporting Linux gives them a fighting chance at competing with Flash.

zPhone Could be on the Horizon

Among the hipster crowd, Apple's iPhone is doing for cell phones what, well, their iPods have done for MP3 players, and everyone's taking notice. There's already been rumblings of a gPhone from Google , and now Micrsoft jumps into the rumor mill . Mindy Mount, Microsoft's chief financial officer for their entertainment and devices devision, classified the merger of mobile phone technologies with their Zune player as " not unreasonable ." This contradicts Stever Ballmer's earlier remarks that a Zune phone is not and would never be in the works, which also contradicts an even earlier statement by Chris Stephenson , Zune's general manager of global maketing, that phone integration is planned for sometime in the future. How's that for a marketing roller coaster?

If you can't Beat 'em, Join 'em

And beating Google remains no small feat. So how do you compete with a search engine that's now officially recognized as a verb ? Maybe you don't, and consider partenering up instead. That's the question currently facing Yahoo, who could end up outsourcing searches to Google . One estimate by Bear Stearns analyst Robert Peck has Yahoo receiving a revenue share of 90 to 99 percent, tough numbers for investors to ignore.

NBC Boots iTunes, Snuggles to Amazon Instead

NBC and Apple weren't able to come to terms over pricing that would continue to have TV shows sold on iTunes, making NBC the first major content provider to take their ball elsewhere. And elsewhere they've gone, announcing on Tuesday that Amazon will sell TV show downloads through its Unbox digital video download service . Pricing will remain the same at $1.99 per episode, with discounts offered for full season purchases.

Another AMD Exec Resigns

We all expected Intel's Core 2 architecture to shake things up in the CPU performance sector, but who could have predicted the ensuing exodus among some of AMD's top suits? Hot on the heels of Henri Richard's resignation (AMD's executive vice president and cheif sales and marketing officer), Rick Hegberg, vice president of worldwide sales announces his departure too . And this all follows David Orton's recent farewell , the former ATI CEO. Equally shocking about the voluntary downsizing is how close all of these resignations fall to Barcelona's release, the architecture AMD hopes will put them back in the fray. Do all these fleeting execs know something we don't? We'll find out soon enough...

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