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Photos: Smartphones at CTIA 2008

It's a wrap! CTIA 2008 has come and gone and the show produced quite a number of smartphone announcements. Research in Motion unleashed a fleet of new BlackBerrys; Microsoft unveiled its latest mobile operating system; and we even saw a new entrant into the field. There was plenty more action, so take a look at all the new smartphones in this photo gallery.

Gates: Businesses need to embrace the poor

MIAMI--In two separate speeches on Friday, Microsoft Chairman Bill Gates made the case that businesses need to see serving the poor as part of their mission and that governments need to see private businesses as potential partners.

One of the big topics for both audiences was the notion of microfinance--improving the access to credit and banking to the poor.

"The idea of how they create loans for the poorest is part of it," he said at the Government Leaders Forum. But although today microfinance has focused on loans, there is more to it. "We need to get … Read more

Google unburdens Atom and AtomPub from patents

Good news for those who love Atom and AtomPub as Google announced that they are removing any patent implications to help further adoption.

We've always encouraged other developers to adopt Atom, the Atom Publishing Protocol, and the extensions that Google has created on top of those standards, but we realized the issue of patents may have held back some adopters. Well, those concerns end today as we are giving a no-charge, royalty-free license to any patents we have that you would need to implement Atom, AtomPub, or any of those extensions.

I'm a fan of the AtomPub API … Read more

Report: Tech deals tumble slightly in quarter

When it comes to technology-related mergers and acquisitions in the first quarter, think "still waters run deep."

According to a first quarter M&A spending report released Friday by The 451 Group, proposed technology deals totaled $92 billion in the three-month period for 778 deals, down a notch from $100 billion in the same period a year ago for 1,059 transactions.

But keep in mind, and rightly so, Microsoft's initial blockbuster $44.6 billion buyout bid for Yahoo, accounts for nearly half of the technology M&A deals proposed in the quarter.

"Although … Read more

Intel shuns Microsoft, taps Linux for mobile Net devices

At the Intel Developer Forum in Shanghai this week, the buzz was about the Atom processor, mobile Internet devices, and Linux. What wasn't buzzing? Microsoft.

Welcome to the brave new world of computing sans Redmond.

At IDF, there was little media focus on Intel's next-generation Nehalem chip and even less on the Centrino 2 processor--both of which will run Microsoft software.

The focus was on devices that won't necessarily or exclusively run Microsoft software: Handheld-size MIDs--shorthand for mobile Internet devices--and Netbooks. Netbooks will run both Microsoft Windows and the Linux operating systems, but the MID category … Read more

Report: Microsoft and Yahoo executives meet again

Microsoft and Yahoo executives took another run at trying to ignite formal merger talks this week, but failed to kick it into gear, according to a report in The Wall Street Journal.

Apparently, Microsoft says no dice to raising its buyout bid and Yahoo remains hesitant to open its books without a bump up in price, according to sources cited in the Journal.

Although it's unclear which executives are doing the merger dance, the meeting was held near Yahoo's headquarters, the report states.

The parties last talked four weeks ago, marking the end of what had been six … Read more

Borders of Computing: Miami

MIAMI--I'm not in Latin America yet, but I've certainly gotten greater exposure to the region in the last 24 hours than I had in the 33 years prior.

Since I arrived here last night, I have met with local leaders, a former government minister, top nongovernmental leaders, and students. I've had the opportunity to hear speeches from Microsoft officials, a Brazilian mayor, and an Argentinian senator. It's all part of a Microsoft conference of Latin American politicians and non-governmental agency executives known as the Government Leaders Forum.

Among the people I caught up with were these Brazilian techiesRead more

Microsoft to issue eight bulletins on Patch Tuesday

On Thursday, Microsoft announced it will release eight security bulletins next week. The news is intended as a heads-up for IT departments in advance of Patch Tuesday.

Of the eight patches, five are considered "critical," and three are considered "important" by the software giant.

Among the critical patches, one will affect Microsoft Office, two will affect Windows, and two will affect the Internet Explorer browser. Of the important patches, Microsoft says one will affect Microsoft Office and two will affect Windows. The potential vulnerabilities include spoofing and remote code execution.

Microsoft will extend life of Windows XP--again

MIAMI--As I predicted last week, Microsoft has decided to extend the life of Windows XP, although only for a limited class of machines.

Microsoft said on Thursday that it will continue to allow Windows XP Home edition to be sold for a class of computers it calls "ultra-low-cost PCs." It's a category that covers machines with slower processors, smaller screens, and in many cases flash memory for storage, rather than a traditional hard drive.

Microsoft will give PC makers the option of using Windows XP or Vista on ULCPC devices, said Michael Dix, general manager of Windows … Read more

Buzz Out Loud 695: Pass the caffeinated rabbit

It turns out that if you give a rabbit enough coffee, it won't get dementia. And neither will you! (Long story--we'll explain.) In other news, Apple is now the No. 1 retailer in the United States, and Comcast launches 50Mbps broadband in Minneapolis/St. Paul, which actually launches us into a big Comcast rant. Sorry, Comcast. Listen now: Download today's podcast EPISODE 695

Apple passes Wal-Mart, now No. 1 music retailer in U.S. http://arstechnica.com/news.ars/post/ 20080402-apple-passes-wal-mart-now-1-music-retailer-in-us.html

As expected, MySpace unveils new music service http://www.news.com/8301-10784_3-9910344-7.html http://www.nytimes.com/2008/04/03/ technology/03cnd-myspace.htmlRead more