Monday, 14 October 2013


  Sonos is like the Apple of the distributed audio scene. Its products “just work” thanks to intuitive design, and they strike an aesthetic that is simultaneously simple and classy. Unfortunately for many, the similarities between Sonos and Apple also extend into pricing. The fantastic Sonos:Playbar, for instance, is one of the best sounding options in the sound bar category, but it runs a spendy $700, and that’s without a subwoofer. But the latest speaker from Sonos, the $200 Play:1, is a deliberate effort to attract a new fan base to the company’s walled sound garden, and it looks mighty enticing.
  The Play:1 is smaller in both stature and price than the larger, $400 Play:5 or the $300 Play:3, but that doesn’t mean it will sound smaller. Sonos has a way of coaxing big sound out of its small packages, and we expect this speaker will be no exception.
  The Play:1 isn’t a Bluetooth speaker, and it doesn’t work off of Apple’s AirPlay wireless protocol. Instead, it works off a dedicated wireless “mesh network” that you set up in your home using a Sonos:Bridge. The Bridge simply hooks up to your home’s network and sets up a peer-to-peer network exclusively for any Sonos products in the home. You control the speaker with your phone or tablet, and can stream just about anything – from Spotify to Pandora to your personal music library – to any number of Sonos speakers.
  The Play:1 is a mono speaker, but if you use two of them, they can be paired to offer stereo sound. And, since the Play:1 is part of the Sonos family, a pair could also be used as surround speakers in conjunction with a Playbar and/or Sonos:Sub.
  Through the holidays, the Sonos:Bridge is free with purchase of a Play:1, but when the deal runs out it will cost you $50. The Play:1 comes in white and black and is available now. Check out Sonos’ video below to see the Play:1 in action.

Microsoft includes a issue with partners

  The optimist would say that Windows Phone's prospects have by no means been brighter. The pessimist would disagree.
  Around the vibrant side, Microsoft just announced Windows Telephone eight Update three, which includes new support for quad-core CPUs and phablets that assists keep its spec lists seeking fresh. Additionally, the buyout of Nokia's smartphone arm will bring Redmond's biggest hardware ally entirely into the fold, all whilst BlackBerry's apparent demise topples the competitors for third-largest ecosystem. All this provides the application giant a opportunity  windows 7 professional retail version  to no less than double Windows Telephone development by 2017.
  On the other hand, Windows Phone adoption has been slow, together with the OS fighting for significantly less than ten percent of mobile's global market share, even though Android and iOS gobble up the overwhelming majority.
  Moreover, Microsoft includes a issue with partners. At the moment it is trying to woo back HTC to after once more expand the Windows Telephone ecosystem. If that fails, Microsoft may very well be the only outfit generating Windows phones. That single-source technique may well perform for Apple, but even the iPhone is possessing a difficult time standing as much as Android's diverse and seemingly inexhaustible players.
  Back in 2010, and once more in 2011, Microsoft pleaded for patience in receiving its Windows Telephone off the ground. But this year, the newest update's most visible enhancements are a modified interface for extra-large phones as well as the capability to close apps in multitasking mode. You also can customize text tones by make contact with.
  This is hardly hearty fare, but Microsoft points out that they are the most-wanted additions requested by fans.
  Nonetheless, Windows Phone shoppers also clamor for a notification center, a file manager, a personal assistant, superior storage assistance for microSD cards, and indicator lights that signal missed calls and alerts. Several of these have been requested because the OS debuted and have lengthy existed on Android and iOS.
  Then there is Skype, the other business that Microsoft bought in 2011 (and for 1.three billion greater than Nokia), but the enterprise has however to integrate it into Windows smartphones by default to counter Apple's FaceTime and even Google Plus Hangouts. Yes, Windows Phone 8 Skype customers can place calls from the Individuals hub, after 1st downloading the app. What I'm speaking about is producing this an out-of-the-box function.
  We do know, at the least, that Microsoft is challenging at work on a private assistant of its own known as Cortana, which understands natural language and can replace the legacy TellMe voice input at present in use.
  Microsoft's next update need to be a major one particular that includes this individual assistant, notification center, and Skype integration at the incredibly least. Just after the Nokia acquisition is complete (assuming it gets shareholder and regulatory approval), Windows Phone should quickly incorporate Nokia-designed application tools, like its camera add-ons, in to the native OS expertise.
  From exactly where I sit, Microsoft's biggest asset -- and challenge -- is usually to take the major risks that make a organization stand out as a player worth paying interest to. After the transition, the Windows Telephone group need to not just use, but push Nokia's venerable style philosophy into edgier territory.
  Microsoft ought to waste no time funding projects that discover and apply new finishes and components (like continuing its work on graphene), publish a few wacky proofs of notion (like this 1 from 2011, also under), and probably make a high-end luxury phone of its own.
  Why? Microsoft's Windows Telephone project has spent its lifetime getting reactionary, trying to catch as much as Apple and Google devoid of truly managing to maintain pace. This isn't the time for you to be conservative with cookie-cutter style and characteristics which might be just good sufficient.