To the average Amazon consumer, this may be an odd pairing at first glance. However, as broadband penetration becomes more widespread throughout the US, digital movie download services will slowly drive a nail through physical disk media rental services. Both Amazon and Netflix offer movie streaming services right now. Many users of the Netflix service have complained about the lack of newer content being available. Amazon however, offers new movies for rent and download. Together, though, you have one hell of an offering.
A Netflix acquisition for Amazon would mean up airing of these two services, which in the eyes of many a digital downloader would be perfection.
Of course this is all rumor, and we won’t know for sure until something official comes out of either camp. However, looking at the stock surge, there certainly seems to be something up at Netflix. Do note, however, a similar rumor cropped up about two years ago, and nothing ever came of it.
Read More | Bloomberg
Look like the reasoning behind Google announcing their new Chrome OS yesterday was to take some of the steam away from a Microsoft announcement due this Monday. Word on the street is that Microsoft is set to announce a web-based Microsoft Office product at this Monday’s Worldwide Partner Conference, taking place in New Orleans.
So, what are the clues that a new Office in the cloud is on its way? Well, for starters, my pal Robert Scoble has been giving hints about a Microsoft product that he has seen, but can’t talk about, hinting at what Microsoft will be dropping on Monday. He did specifically state that is isn’t the new Microsoft non-IE browser, and that the product does run in a browser, including non-IE browsers.
Also, check out Office.com. Looks like the current owners of that domain are getting ready to move off of it, so that someone new can step in. Yup.
Remember, Google also removed the beta tag from their suite of products just the other day as well, to appease business users and maybe lure them into using Google’s online office suite. It seems that all signs point to Microsoft announcing a web-based Microsoft Office suite, which would run completely in the browser. Think about it - Microsoft Office is huge, some consider it a resource hog, and that is the allure of Google Docs and the rest of the Google offering. If Microsoft put it online, without all the bloat, that makes it a lot tougher for Google to defeat.
Read More | Robert Scoble's FriendFeed
Sorry to all you hopefuls out there, but Nokia won’t be releasing an Android-based smartphone later this year. Where would such a thought come from, you ask? Well, earlier this morning, The Guardian said it would happen, and that a Nokia Android phone would be announced in September. Seemed odd, since Nokia is the full owner of the Symbian OS, but stranger things have happened. However, soon after the article was posted, Nokia show it down anywhere they could, including on Twitter:
“re: Nokia’s rumored Android phone and you can quote me on this: We (Nokia) are NOT making an Android smartphone. Symbian is our platform…”
While we take most denials with a grain of salt, we believe them. At ease, Symbian fanatics.
Zune is no stranger to rumors and leaks from the Microsoft camp. The latest from the rumor mill is of course regarding the newly announced Zune—Zune HD. According to the tipsters, the Zune HD will be available in 16GB and 32GB and to be priced anywhere from $249 to $279. It is also said that Microsoft is considering a 64GB model later in the year. (Editor’s Note: We are also hearing about a 64GB iPod touch.) The source claims that movies will finally be coming to the Zune Marketplace—a believable statement, as Zune will offer HD videos on the Xbox 360 starting this fall.
Read More | Slash Gear
We’ve waited for ages for Microsoft to give some answers on when they expect Windows 7 to launch, and they are finally talking. While they didn’t get too specific, they have officially confirmed that Windows 7 will be available for purchase by December 2009. Hey, at least it’s something, right?
So, you know that Zune HD we brought up the other day? Looks like it is definitely the real deal. In fact, Neowin just published a list of specs that they were able to confirm through Microsoft. We should make note that this isn’t a full list of specs either, but rather what Microsoft was willing to let out for the moment. Take a look:
- 3.6 inchish OLED full touch screen
- NVIDIA Tegra powered
- 4GB, 8GB, 16GB, 32GB, and 120GB versions
- HDMI Connection to stream straight to your TV
- HD Radio
- Web Browser
- WiFi compatible, with wireless marketplace
- Released early fall
- International release of the Zune device itself
- Home AV packs, Car packs, Charge packs
We are working on getting independent confirmation of what we see above, and we will let you know when that happens.
Read More | Neowin
If what you see above is truly the Zune HD, the next iteration of Microsoft’s flagship PMP, then color us both curious and impressed. Impressed by the seemingly high definition screen, curious at the lack of the Zune hardware’s calling card, the Zune pad. Could we be looking at the first touch screen Zune, sporting an HD display? If so, we’d like one immediately. Time to make some phone calls.
Read More | Engadget
We’ve been hearing that video recording would be coming to the iPhone for a while, but now we’ve got the evidence to back it up. Our friends over at MacRumors got ahold of a leaked screenshot showing a toggle within the Camera app that lets you choose between snapping a photo and recording a video. In order to enable the feature, plist config files in the current iPhone 3.0 firmware need to be edited so as to make it appear that a video camera is present. Other hidden features include a compass, camera auto-focus, and voice control, which we assume is for voice dialing.
One would imagine that new features like these would require some sort of newly updated iPhone to take advantage of them. Coincidentally, the iPhone 3.0 software will be made available in June—just in time for the next iPhone to launch. We are officially excited.
Read More | MacRumors
Rumor has it that Google may be buying Twitter. Michael Arrington of TechCrunch reports that he has two unnamed sources who say that they are in the late stages of negotiations. Twitter already turned down an offer from Facebook, although that deal involved overvalued stock. Google plans on paying cash and/or public stock. We guess that this is a win-win for both. Twitter founders Evan Williams and Biz Stone have already sold Blogger to Google and considering that tweeting is more popular all the time, this will involve big profits down the line.
Read More | TechCrunch
OnStar users, look out—Twitter is about to become a part of your experience. How so? Well, being an owner of a couple of Cadillacs with OnStar built-in, we sometimes receive surveys or phone calls asking us how we are liking things. Nothing out of the ordinary. However, in today’s survey, I found a portion that was particularly interesting:
“While in your vehicle, you can use OnStar to submit and retrieve tweets (messages) via your Twitter account. Using OnStar’s Voice-Activated Hands-Free Calling system, and having your voice converted into text, you can provide updates which would appear in the “What are you doing?” section of your Twitter homepage. It is also possible to listen to a tweet that was sent to you by someone else after it has been converted into voice. You can send and receive tweets without having to type or read anything.”
Did you get that? Voice to text conversion using your in-car hands-free system so that you can both post to Twitter, and hear what is going on with your friends. Kind of crazy when you first think about it, but after a few minutes, you can start to imagine some cool uses. You can voice-tweet something like “I’m headed to downtown Seattle, where can I find the best slice of pizza?” You can then listen for responses, and when you hear one, have OnStar direct you to that location. Or you can just, you know, mess around on Twitter while driving without trying to juggle your iPhone and the steering wheel.
No word on when exactly the service will go live. Oh, and you can follow Gear Live on Twitter.