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“We came to market with Windows Phone about a year later than I wish we had. Shame on us.”
— Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer (Los Angeles Times)
* At a developers’ conference in Japan earlier this week, Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer announced that Windows 8 for PCs and tablets will ship some time next year. He also referenced a Windows Phone 7 update, due out later this year in Japan that will introduce over 500 new features. (Los Angeles Times)
* Twitter’s $40 million-plus acquisition of TweetDeck was reportedly finalized yesterday. (CNNMoney)
* Jack Dorsey’s mobile payments startup Square made several announcements, chief among them: the shipment of 500,000 Square card readers and processing of $3 million in mobile payments a day, and more interestingly, an iPad app that replaces cash registers and lets user pay for products with their Android or iOS devices. (TechCrunch and CNNMoney)
* Has Sony CEO Howard Stringer’s company makeover failed? (Reuters)
, a real-time itinerary builder for people who want a night out but don’t want to go through the fuss of researching bars, restaurants, and events. To that end, the service offers a 3-step process: pick the type of outing you want (ie. Business, Dating, Family, Solo), the mood, and then hit “Generate.” Weotta bases its on customizable factors like time, date, preferred geographic radius, current events, as well as Facebook Likes and your all-important social graph. Sign up for the beta here. (Weotta and TechCrunch)
* Another startup
, which also launched yesterday at TechCrunch Disrupt and aims to change the way smartphone users make search queries, raised $7 million from Draper Fisher Jurvetson. The company presents search queries and results differently from say, Google or Bing, by offering up query suggestions broken up by categories like “@ music” and “@ celebs” and presenting results pulled from sources like Netflix, LastFM and Quora in a slideshow format. Check out the free iPhone app here. (GigaOm and TechCrunch Disrupt)
* How streaming services like Netflix signal a broader shift in the way we consume TV. (The Guardian)
* Engadget writer Sean Hollister reviewed Dell’s latest laptop, the XPS 15z. “For hundreds upon hundreds of dollars less than the Mac competition, Dell’s unleashed an attractive, powerful and definitely desirable Windows PC. … When Dell tells you that the XPS 15z has no compromises, that’s not quite the case — it’s a solid choice at this price point, but corners were cut to get here.” (Engadget)
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