With Netflix’s 21.5 million streaming subscribers set to lose access to Starz’s content in February 2012, everyone has been left wondering what comes next. The company’s content catalog currently includes hundreds of movies from Sony and Walt Disney, including several original programs such as “Spartacus” and “Boss”. Will the company retreat back to the safety of established cable networks? According to Starz President Chris Albrecht they still have a bright future ahead of them online, but will soon be going direct to customers with an HBO Go-like application for phones, tablets, and other popular streaming platforms.
The age of unlimited mobile data on Sprint has come to a close with the introduction of new tiered mobile broadband plans. Sprint announced plans to call off the all-you-can-eat data party late last month, but at least the plans now available are better deals that those offered by the competition. Users on tablet and Wi-Fi hotspot plans will have their pick of a few different options.
Remember our quick blurb about how Android’s Ice Cream Sandwich was going to turn mobile devices into portable gaming machines thanks to its gamepad and HDMI support? At the time, we thought playing Game Dev Story on a big screen would be cool. Our excitement factor just increased ten-fold on the heels of ARM’s announcement of the eight-core Mali-T658 mobile GPU, which ARM claims can pump out Playstation 3-quality graphics on mobile devices and smart TVs. There’s a catch, though.
Over the last year, Microsoft has embarked on a crusade to secure license fees from device makers that use the Android operating system. While Google provides the Android source code for free, Microsoft claims to own patents infringed by Android. most OEMs have capitulated and payed up, but Barnes and Noble, which sells the Nook line of e-readers, has gone to court. Today, the bookseller turned tablet-pusher has asked the feds to get involved. B&N claims that regulators should investigate Microsoft for attempting to drive competition out of business.
As we told you earlier, HP is rumored to be preparing to sell off the corpse of webOS to the highest bidder. New in the rumor mill is that HP is preparing for a last-minute all-hands meeting tonight after the markets close. This sort of maneuver usually means bad news, and sources are saying that the company will finally detail what’s going to happen with webOS.
According to Engadget, Barnes and Noble will indeed be announcing a Nook Color successor at its event on November 16th. The leaked documents obtained by Engadget refer to the device as the Nook Tablet, but that could be a placeholder. The specs of the Nook Tablet are strikingly similar to those of the soon to be released Kindle Fire, but just a bit better in some ways. The new Tablet is expected to look very similar to the original Nook Color, and is expected to sell for $250 at launch.
It’s been a busy month for three of our favorite mobile platforms. Microsoft launched “Mango” in late September, Apple released iOS 5 on October 12, and Google announced the long-awaited Ice Cream Sandwich on October 19 (the evening of the 18th in the US). Each update offers significant improvements in features and/or UI, but keeping track of all those new goodies can be an arduous task. We’ll give you a look at what’s new on these platforms, as well as some idea of how or if you can get them on your device.
"Now it's no longer just about the desktop but really a broader vision.” This remark was part of Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer’s CES 2009 keynote address, in which he talked about the impending transformation of Windows into “an experience that spans the PC, the phone, the TV and the cloud." Fast forward to the present and Canonical is ready with a similar strategy for Ubuntu.
As we reported earlier today, Asus is said to have dramatically cut down its ultrabook sales target for 2011 due to lackluster initial sales. If true, this doesn’t augur too well for Intel and its costly ultrabook initiative, which has been conceived as an answer to both the MacBook Air and iPad (and other tablets). As for Asus, it’s pretty simple: if you can't beat them, join them. To this end, Asus is said to be readying a strong lineup of tablets.
We do our best to report the truth here at Maximum PC, but sometimes companies just don’t make it easy. First Microsoft tells us the Zune is dead, then alive, then dead. Then HP tells us WebOS is dead, then alive, but just between us, we still think its dead. We fully admit that on Friday we wrote a piece informing everyone that WebOS development at HP was not long for this world, along with dozens of other mainstream news outlets, however HP’s Vice President Todd Bradley has gone on the record to label this an “unfounded rumor”.