Microsoft made a splash in cyberspace this morning when it temporarily revealed pre-order pricing for its Surface RT tablet line, only to inexplicably pull the listing offline. Well, once you let the cat out of the bag on the Internet, there's no putting it back in, so either Microsoft caved, or it was planning to go live with the pre-order site all along. Either way, the pre-order page is now back online, presumably for good.
One of the main reasons we're such big fans of the PC (as in, Windows- and Linux-based boxes) is because they're so easy to service and upgrade. That isn't necessarily true for many mobile devices, and it's certainly a concession you have to make with most Apple products, including the new iPod Nano. Our friends at iFixIt carved into a 7th generation iPod Nano like a Halloween pumpkin and found both tricks and treats inside.
Microsoft may have inadvertently confirmed the price points of its Surface RT tablets prematurely. For a brief time this morning, Surface RT tablets were up for pre-order on Microsoft's website, and since there are no take-backs or do-overs on the Internet, we now know what Microsoft's pricing strategy looks like. The cost of entry starts at $499 for the 32GB version without a Touch Cover.
Unless you're willing to rely on the cloud, the amount of built-in storage is paramount when picking out tablets like the Nexus 7 and Kindle Fire HD, both of which neglect the user any easy way of adding expandable storage space. If you're a fan of the Nexus 7, you'll be happy to know that Google is rumored to be launching a 32GB model in time for the holidays. Currently the Nexus 7 is available in 8GB and 16GB flavors.
HTC continues to struggle to find a way to flip the kind of profits it did during the company's heyday, back when it was moving handsets like gangbusters and practically had a license to print money. But the times, they are a-changin' and the HTC of old is having trouble competing in this new landscape dominated by Apple and Samsung, the latter of which has picked up the Android torch that HTC helped ignite. Ginormous profit dips are the norm for HTC these days, which today posted a record 79 percent drop in quarterly profit.
You probably never considered the chemical composition of your smartphone, but it's a topic HealthyStuff.org decided to breach, the results of which were posted on iFixIt. iFixIt, best known for tearing down electronic gadgets and rating them with a "Repairability Score" on a scale of 1-10 (the higher the score, the easier it is to service a product), explains why the chemical analysis of 36 mobile phones, including the iPhone 5 and Galaxy S III, should be of concern to consumers.
Microsoft has to be pleased as punch to see so many hardware partners unveil Windows 8-based products leading up to the next generation operating system's launch later this month. Today that entails Acer lifting the curtain from its Iconia W700 tablet PC. Or, as the company is pitching it, a high-performance mobile PC in a tablet PC form factor. The $800 price tag certainly matches that description, but what about the rest of the device?
A survey by Wakefield Research reveals that most American consumers are still in the dark about LEDs, so Ikea has made it the company's mission to enlighten them by selling lighting products that are LED-only. The bold initiative is being rolled out over time. Ikea's goal is to switch its full lighting range to 100 percent LEDs by 2016, which means the furniture store will sell only LED bulbs and LED lamps.
Want to know why hardware and software makers are putting so much emphasis into the mobile market? It's because the mobile market is a ginormous freight train that keeps picking up passengers along the way. According to a recent survey by Pew Research Center's Project for Excellence in Journalism (PEJ) and The Economist Group, 22 percent of all adults living in the U.S. own a tablet, 44 percent own a smartphone, and half of them own either one.
The Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, and Wii might not be the best of friends, but together, the trio own the living room when it comes to gaming. The question is, for how long? Devices like Ouya, a $99 Android console, threaten to whittle away at the big three's userbase, though perhaps the biggest threat will come from cable companies. AT&T, Verizon, and Time Warner Cable are all reportedly getting ready to roll out cloud-based gaming service.