New Barnes & Noble Nook; Kindle 3G with ads; Windows Phone 'Mango' preview

Posted:
in General Discussion edited January 2014
Both Barnes & Noble and Amazon announced new versions of their e-readers on Tuesday: a touchscreen e-ink Nook and a Kindle 3G with "special offers," in an ongoing price war, while Microsoft previewed the "Mango" update to its Windows Phone 7 operating system.



Barnes & Noble



Bookseller Barnes & Noble unveiled the all-new "Nook, The Simple Touch Reader" on Tuesday. Priced at $139, the Wi-Fi-only Nook features a touch-enabled e-ink Pearl display that measures 6 inches. The device begins shipping "on or about" June 10, with pre-orders starting today.



In an oblique reference to rival Amazon's Kindle, Barnes & Noble asserted in a press release that the Nook gets twice the battery life as "the other leading eReader available." The display on the second-generation Nook also boasts 50 percent more contrast than the Nook 1st Edition and 80 percent less flashing when turning pages or scrolling.



Barnes & Noble has decided to do away with the 3.5-inch color touchscreen LCD display from the Nook 1st Edition. The new Nook instead follows Amazon's lead with a full e-ink display, though Barnes & Noble has added touch capability.



?We set out to design the easiest-to-use, most optimized, dedicated reading device ever created and accomplished it with the All-New NOOK,? said CEO William Lynch. ?Touch makes it simple to use, and the beautifully compact design makes it the most portable eReader in its class. Add to that an unmatched battery life, the most advanced paper-like touch display on the market and wireless access to the world?s largest digital bookstore, and we believe that for readers of all ages, the All-New NOOK is the best eReader on the market, and a great value at $139.?







According to the company's press release announcing the device, Barnes & Noble has captured more than 25 percent of the digital book market just 18 months after launching the first-generation Nook.



An SEC filing earlier this month revealed the bookseller's plans to announce a "new eReader device" on May 24, though some had speculated that the company would announce a more feature-rich tablet rather than a dedicated e-reader.



The new Nook represents a move by Barnes & Noble toward "full touchscreen" technology, while simultaneously pushing the price of standalone e-readers away from tablets like Apple's iPad. The Nook Color, which recently received a software update adding specialized apps such as email, Adobe Flash and games, competes more directly with the iPad, though it still remains on the low end of the market at $249.







Amazon



Not to be outdone by Barnes & Noble, Amazon unveiled the Kindle 3G with Special Offers on Tuesday. Offering the same $25 discount as with the Wi-Fi-only Kindle with Special Offers announced last month, the new ad-supported Kindle 3G ships today for a price of $164, which Amazon touts as the "lowest price for any 3G e-reader."



"Kindle is the bestselling e-reader in the world. It's been just six weeks since we introduced the new $114 Kindle with Special Offers, and already customers have made it the bestselling member of the Kindle family," said Jay Marine, Director, Amazon Kindle. "In response to customer requests, we're now making these money-saving special offers available for Kindle 3G."







Upcoming special offers on the Kindle include $10 for a $20 Amazon.com Gift Card, discounts on HDTVs, bargain Kindle books and spend $10 on Kindle books and get a free $10 Amazon Gift Card.



Recent reports have suggested that Amazon plans to introduce an LCD tablet to directly compete with the iPad. In March, several iOS developers revealed that Amazon had invited them to port their apps to the Kindle.



Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos said in an interview this month that customers should "stay tuned" for the possibility of a multipurpose tablet. Bezos also hinted that an LCD tablet would supplement rather than replace the Kindle.



?We will always be very mindful that we will want a dedicated reading device,? he said. ?In terms of any other product introductions, I shouldn?t answer.?



Microsoft



The Redmond, Wash., Windows developer unveiled Tuesday the next major release of Windows Phone, code-named "Mango." The update will contain "more than 500 new features" when it arrives this fall. The release will be a free update to Windows Phone 7 customers.



?Seven months ago we started our mission to make smartphones smarter and easier for people to do more,? said Andy Lees, president of the Mobile Communications Business at Microsoft. ?With ?Mango,? Windows Phone takes a major step forward in redefining how people communicate and use apps and the Internet, giving you better results with less effort.?



Notable communication features in the upgrade include combined threads from SMS, Facebook and Windows Live Messenger, grouped contacts into personalized Live Tiles, a linked inbox an hands-free messaging. Apps on Windows Phone 7 will also see an overhaul, with searches now including app results, improved live tiles and multitasking.







Mango will also add a browser based on Internet Explorer 9, with support for HTML 5 and full hardware acceleration. "Local Scout" will provide "hyperlocal search results" such as restaurants, shopping and activities, while Bing will gain more search features, including Bing vision, Music Search and Voice.



Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer admitted on Monday during a developer conference in Japan that Windows Phone 7 had arrived "about a year later" than he had wished. "Shame on us," he said, "But, we're moving forward very actively."



Windows Phone 7 "Mango" will likely find itself up against Apple's iOS 5 this fall. The iPhone maker plans to offer up a preview of "the future of iOS" at the Worldwide Developers Conference, which runs from June 6 through June 10 in San Francisco.







According to one analyst, iOS 5 will be the "main selling point" of the next-generation iPhone. If recent rumors are to be believed, Apple plans to add "deeply integrated" voice control features to the next version of iOS.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 36
    solipsismsolipsism Posts: 25,726member
    1) The new Nook is great looking and at a great price. Anyone know the specs? Same as the Nook Color?



    2) I can’t see how selling my eyeballs for a $25 discount is worthwhile for 1st-hand consumers.



    3) WP7 still sounds promising to me. They apparently have the iE9 browser engine included, which could be a big win assuming it’s efficient enough to be run on the ARM architecture.
  • Reply 2 of 36
    As an owner of a iOS, Android, and WP7 device, I must say WP7 continues to impress. I can't wait for the WP7 update, it'll be interesting to see what areas Apple tops it with iOS5. I'll be getting rid of my Android phone, as the most used features of it (news feeds on homescreen, voice control, turn by turn gps) will now be on WP7. Google is really going to have to step their game up, when low end WP7 devices hit it's going to be a tough sell for android. Kudos to MS, you guys did something well this time, and I am no MS fan.



    Edit: Another thing I want to add is that both iOS and Android are highly polished versions of what both companies set out to do. There's only so much you can add and edit before everything feels bolted on or unfamiliar to the end user. While WP7 may be 3 years late being released, and 4 years late catching up to the game, the fact their OS was designed with so many modern ideas, and dare I say innovative, they have a chance of being top dog in the cell market.
  • Reply 3 of 36
    maccherrymaccherry Posts: 924member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Masterz1337 View Post


    As an owner of a iOS, Android, and WP7 device, I must say WP7 continues to impress. I can't wait for the WP7 update, it'll be interesting to see what areas Apple tops it with iOS5. I'll be getting rid of my Android phone, as the most used features of it (news feeds on homescreen, voice control, turn by turn gps) will now be on WP7. Google is really going to have to step their game up, when low end WP7 devices hit it's going to be a tough sell for android. Kudos to MS, you guys did something well this time, and I am no MS fan.



    Edit: Another thing I want to add is that both iOS and Android are highly polished versions of what both companies set out to do. There's only so much you can add and edit before everything feels bolted on or unfamiliar to the end user. While WP7 may be 3 years late being released, and 4 years late catching up to the game, the fact their OS was designed with so many modern ideas, and dare I say innovative, they have a chance of being top dog in the cell market.



    Step up their game to what?WP7 does a little dance and then all of a sudden people need to switch. Child please.

    WP7 isn't even a phone but a mobile OS. Thank you!
  • Reply 4 of 36
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by maccherry View Post


    Step up their game to what?WP7 does a little dance and then all of a sudden people need to switch. Child please.

    WP7 isn't even a phone but a mobile OS. Thank you!



    Maybe not iPhone users, but I can see lots of Blackberry and Android users switching. It's got a built in messenger like BBM though Windows Live Messenger, it's got multiple hardware configurations which is one of the big draws to Android, and it has the security and walled garden of iOS. Being late to the game may have been the best thing for them, they've seen what people want to do and what they want from their phones and they're building their OS around that.
  • Reply 5 of 36
    solipsismsolipsism Posts: 25,726member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by maccherry View Post


    Step up their game to what?WP7 does a little dance and then all of a sudden people need to switch. Child please.

    WP7 isn't even a phone but a mobile OS. Thank you!



    1) iOS and Android are also mobile OSes, not phones? I don?t understand your point. MS? controlling how vendors use the OS is a good thing for consumers in many ways.



    2) If you?ve used it you?d see that MS has done some impressive things with WP7 that is atypical of the way MS usually works. I can?t say that they will be successful coming into the game this late with two major players sucking all the oxygen out of the room but their mobile OS is good.



    3) I don?t get your switching comment as Masterz1337 made no such mention. You seem to be assuming that WP7 users will come from current Android-based smartphone and iPhone users. this market segment is growing fast and Nokia is still the largest seller of handsets throughout the world. I think the MS/Nokia partnership was a brilliant move to make for both companies.
  • Reply 6 of 36
    apple89apple89 Posts: 1member
    ok, microsoft is kind of late into the mobile multi-tasking game, within the upcoming moths apple, motorola and google would be releasing software updates that will make MANGO a rotten one.



    i did my speed test with wi-fi and 3g connectivity and the speeds were much faster then what microsoft showed... i will cut that mango and feed it to my birds.....



    nooks, who cares....



    cant wait till apple releases next toys and software
  • Reply 7 of 36
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by apple89 View Post


    ok, microsoft is kind of late into the mobile multi-tasking game, within the upcoming moths apple, motorola and google would be releasing software updates that will make MANGO a rotten one.



    i did my speed test with wi-fi and 3g connectivity and the speeds were much faster then what microsoft showed... i will cut that mango and feed it to my birds.....



    nooks, who cares....



    cant wait till apple releases next toys and software



    Moto while developing their own mobile OS isn't even a player yet, and we've seen how hard it is for people to enter this market already (WP7, WebOS). If google were to release a new OS tomorrow, it would take 6 months for it to even start appearing on non-nexus handsets, if you go by how long it's taken 2.3 to start appearing on regular handsets(it was announced in december, we're almost in June now and the handsets running it are just starting to come out, most on Verizon).



    Edit: Nook Color is the most popular android tablet out there, and the new one announced runs android too.
  • Reply 8 of 36
    Huh. That's almost a good as an Apple promotional video. But only Apple VPs could say something like "we start with a 100% pure slab of aluminum (or aloo-MIN-yum, as Jony Ive would say) and through precise machining and magical technology, we make dreams come true" with a straight face and pull it off.
  • Reply 9 of 36
    povilaspovilas Posts: 473member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Suddenly Newton View Post


    Huh. That's almost a good as an Apple promotional video. But only Apple VPs could say something like "we start with a 100% pure slab of aluminum (or aloo-MIN-yum, as Jony Ive would say) and through precise machining and magical technology, we make dreams come true" with a straight face and pull it off.



    But they do that, don't they?
  • Reply 10 of 36
    ash471ash471 Posts: 705member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Masterz1337 View Post


    Maybe not iPhone users, but I can see lots of Blackberry and Android users switching. It's got a built in messenger like BBM though Windows Live Messenger, it's got multiple hardware configurations which is one of the big draws to Android, and it has the security and walled garden of iOS. Being late to the game may have been the best thing for them, they've seen what people want to do and what they want from their phones and they're building their OS around that.



    Whether anyone switches will depend on whether the OS actually works as advertised on real hardware. The Mango OS looks pretty sweet, but so did Vista when it was announced. Microsoft has such a spotty past, I wouldn't dare predict how good this OS will be until we have the chance to use it in the real world. The question is, will Mango be a "Vista" or a "Windows 7"?



    As for the "cool new features" I doubt they will be a compelling reason to buy a Mango powered phone. Take for instance the app that identifies a book from a camera. I'm sure some techno geek thought this was the coolest feature ever, but in the real world, this is not likely to work very well, if at all. The problem is it requires a database of known objects to match to the object being photographed. Realistically this database will have to be generated from user requests. However, before MS will have time to generate a usable database, the general public will have figured out that it works properly 1 in 20 times. It will be a bad experience for most and no one will use it.



    Microsoft has never had a shortage of "good ideas". What they lack is the ability to make products that people want to use. I have no idea whether Mango will be a good product. However, if it is a good product, I'm pretty sure it it won't be because of an app that identifies products in a photo.



    I'm not saying that an app that identifies products in a photo wouldn't be cool. It would. I just don't think it will work right out of the box. Therefore, the correct business approach would be to make it available as a separate app. That way people that are into that kind of thing would use it and help develop the database. After the database is built then deploy it to the masses.



    Just because the masses think they would want something doesn't mean you should give it to them. If it doesn't work, they won't like it. I think Motorola with its Xoom proved that cool stuff that doesn't work doesn't sell.
  • Reply 11 of 36
    sciwizsciwiz Posts: 77member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by ash471 View Post


    Whether anyone switches will depend on whether the OS actually works as advertised on real hardware. The Mango OS looks pretty sweet, but so did Vista when it was announced. Microsoft has such a spotty past, I wouldn't dare predict how good this OS will be until we have the chance to use it in the real world. The question is, will Mango be a "Vista" or a "Windows 7"?



    As for the "cool new features" I doubt they will be a compelling reason to buy a Mango powered phone. Take for instance the app that identifies a book from a camera. I'm sure some techno geek thought this was the coolest feature ever, but in the real world, this is not likely to work very well, if at all. The problem is it requires a database of known objects to match to the object being photographed. Realistically this database will have to be generated from user requests. However, before MS will have time to generate a usable database, the general public will have figured out that it works properly 1 in 20 times. It will be a bad experience for most and no one will use it.



    Microsoft has never had a shortage of "good ideas". What they lack is the ability to make products that people want to use. I have no idea whether Mango will be a good product. However, if it is a good product, I'm pretty sure it it won't be because of an app that identifies products in a photo.



    I'm not saying that an app that identifies products in a photo wouldn't be cool. It would. I just don't think it will work right out of the box. Therefore, the correct business approach would be to make it available as a separate app. That way people that are into that kind of thing would use it and help develop the database. After the database is built then deploy it to the masses.



    Just because the masses think they would want something doesn't mean you should give it to them. If it doesn't work, they won't like it. I think Motorola with its Xoom proved that cool stuff that doesn't work doesn't sell.



    The "coolness" of that feature is not that it would be able to identify things. It's the idea that it can then pass on that information to other services/apps which are relevent to the intent of the user in the first place when that person was capturing that object with the camera.
  • Reply 12 of 36
    addaboxaddabox Posts: 12,660member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by sciwiz View Post


    The "coolness" of that feature is not that it would be able to identify things. It's the idea that it can then pass on that information to other services/apps which are relevent to the intent of the user in the first place when that person was capturing that object with the camera.



    In other words Microsoft's version of Google Goggles.
  • Reply 13 of 36
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by ash471 View Post


    Whether anyone switches will depend on whether the OS actually works as advertised on real hardware. The Mango OS looks pretty sweet, but so did Vista when it was announced. Microsoft has such a spotty past, I wouldn't dare predict how good this OS will be until we have the chance to use it in the real world. The question is, will Mango be a "Vista" or a "Windows 7"?



    As for the "cool new features" I doubt they will be a compelling reason to buy a Mango powered phone. Take for instance the app that identifies a book from a camera. I'm sure some techno geek thought this was the coolest feature ever, but in the real world, this is not likely to work very well, if at all. The problem is it requires a database of known objects to match to the object being photographed. Realistically this database will have to be generated from user requests. However, before MS will have time to generate a usable database, the general public will have figured out that it works properly 1 in 20 times. It will be a bad experience for most and no one will use it.



    Microsoft has never had a shortage of "good ideas". What they lack is the ability to make products that people want to use. I have no idea whether Mango will be a good product. However, if it is a good product, I'm pretty sure it it won't be because of an app that identifies products in a photo.



    I'm not saying that an app that identifies products in a photo wouldn't be cool. It would. I just don't think it will work right out of the box. Therefore, the correct business approach would be to make it available as a separate app. That way people that are into that kind of thing would use it and help develop the database. After the database is built then deploy it to the masses.



    Just because the masses think they would want something doesn't mean you should give it to them. If it doesn't work, they won't like it. I think Motorola with its Xoom proved that cool stuff that doesn't work doesn't sell.



    You make a good point about the "google goggles" aspect of WP7 Mango, but there's a lot more than just that being added into the OS. I happen to agree about that being a gimmick, but things like the messenger chats is something I can see being a big draw, as well as the way it now handles social groups in the people's hub. Turn by turn GPS is one of the reasons I have an android phone, and it's one of the big selling points of Android. Any of those 3 features are good enough to make someone take a good look at WP7 when deciding to make a purchase, especially with younger generations who are hooked into social networking.
  • Reply 14 of 36
    firefly7475firefly7475 Posts: 1,502member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Masterz1337 View Post


    As an owner of a iOS, Android, and WP7 device, I must say WP7 continues to impress. I can't wait for the WP7 update, it'll be interesting to see what areas Apple tops it with iOS5. I'll be getting rid of my Android phone, as the most used features of it (news feeds on homescreen, voice control, turn by turn gps) will now be on WP7. Google is really going to have to step their game up, when low end WP7 devices hit it's going to be a tough sell for android. Kudos to MS, you guys did something well this time, and I am no MS fan.



    I'll try not to ramble too much!



    I'm impressed with the update as well. It seems that with Mango Microsoft will be playing feature leapfrog instead of feature catch-up.



    Of particular note:
    • Integrated & group messaging. I assume Skype will eventually find its way into this as well.

    • IE9 with hardware acceleration. I think hardware acceleration is a basic requirement of any HTML5 browser.

    • Bing/Local Scout. The search features highlighted one of the very few holes in Apple's armour. I'll be interested to see how Apple approaches this.

    • Zune Pass/Smart DJ. With the addition of private/public cloud integration it would be the perfect next-gen music solution.



    The problem I have is that Microsoft still hasn?t revealed their full cloud platform. WPx doesn't go anywhere near far enough.



    As consumers shift their digital lives from being PC-centric to cloud-centric the way in which devices interact with each other and the cloud will be more important than each individual device.



    So the way I see it, even if Microsoft manage to make WPx the "best" phone, if it doesn't tie into Microsoft's cloud platform along with a bunch of other different devices (elephant in the room is the iPad) they will always struggle with market share.





    To be fair no one else has this working correctly yet either.
    • The perfect music solution is a hybrid between Zune Pass/Smart DJ, Live Mesh and Google Music.

    • The seamless way WPx pulls photos from various services together is a great blueprint for how photos/videos should work in the cloud but they are missing the PC/tablet sync and private cloud.

    • The WPx Office Hub is a nice start on public/private cloud integration for document management; however they are missing tight PC/tablet sync.

    • HP/Palm has shown some nice tight integration between phone and tablet. Apple's "Read It Later" clone in Safari is another good example. This needs to be expanded and cloud sync'd.

    • As far as the TV goes Apple seem to be the only one that has created a consumer friendly option that integrates nicely with their devices.

    Of course... all this is expected to come in Windows 8, however that is still 18 months away. With the potential of an iOS cloud-integration bombshell soon and a couple of versions of Android coming before then... let's just say it's going to be rough going for Microsoft.







    EDIT: OK... so I rambled
  • Reply 15 of 36
    magicjmagicj Posts: 406member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Firefly7475 View Post
    • The perfect music solution is a hybrid between Zune Pass/Smart DJ, Live Mesh and Google Music.




    Just wondering why iTunes isn't on that list when it's by far the most popular music service. They must have done something right.
  • Reply 16 of 36
    firefly7475firefly7475 Posts: 1,502member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by ash471 View Post


    Therefore, the correct business approach would be to make it available as a separate app.



    They did. It's in the iPhone Bing app.



    I never considered the reason to release the Bing app on iPhone was to gather information for Bing features baked into WPx. It makes sense though.









    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Masterz1337 View Post


    but things like the messenger chats is something I can see being a big draw...



    Facebook chat is in there too. I've got to assume they'll bring in Skype as well. I'm not sure if it will make Mango though.



    If they sync this back to the cloud and hook Messenger into it then it will be a blueprint for how a phone should handle messaging.



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Masterz1337 View Post


    Turn by turn GPS



    A notable exception from the Mango announcement. Apparently Microsoft and Nokia are still working out what to do with Bing Maps/Navteq.
  • Reply 17 of 36
    mdriftmeyermdriftmeyer Posts: 7,200member
    Safari Mobile soon-to-be released has hardware GPU acceleration utilizing both OpenGL and OpenCL.



    It will also be WebKit 2.0.



    Microsoft has a habit they just can't quit doing--talking about the future before the future is now, and underwhelming when they deliver.



    Apple under talks their future and when it's now they over deliver.
  • Reply 18 of 36
    masterz1337masterz1337 Posts: 128member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Firefly7475 View Post


    They did. It's in the iPhone Bing app.



    I never considered the reason to release the Bing app on iPhone was to gather information for Bing features baked into WPx. It makes sense though.











    Facebook chat is in there too. I've got to assume they'll bring in Skype as well. I'm not sure if it will make Mango though.



    If they sync this back to the cloud and hook Messenger into it then it will be a blueprint for how a phone should handle messaging.



    A notable exception from the Mango announcement. Apparently Microsoft and Nokia are still working out what to do with Bing Maps/Navteq.



    Apparently it shows up in the emulator though, theres a few articles on wmpoweruser.com that refer to it, I'm sure they'll have another press conference to talk about the collaboration with Nokia.
  • Reply 19 of 36
    firefly7475firefly7475 Posts: 1,502member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by magicj View Post


    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Firefly7475 View Post


    The perfect music solution is a hybrid between Zune Pass/Smart DJ, Live Mesh and Google Music.



    Just wondering why iTunes isn't on that list when it's by far the most popular music service. They must have done something right.



    When iTunes was released it was a game changer. Apple basically created the market for legitimate digital music single handedly.



    iTunes also sync'd to what is pretty much universally seen as the best portable music player for the better part of a decade.



    So iTunes was around first (by a long long long way) and is part of the Apple eco-system... but I can't think of something from iTunes I would include in the "perfect music solution". Can you?



    I actually think there is a chance, based on the sign-off Apple is getting from the music labels that they will be creating something like Zune Pass/Smart DJ/Google Music though.



    Here is how I would like it to work...
    • iDevices are sync'd over-the-air

    • Songs purchased via iTunes are "backed up" to the cloud

    • iTunes "Home Sharing" is extended to the Internet (the "private cloud")

    • iPhone/iPod does intelligent sync and song caching

    • If you pay for a "premium" Mobile Me (or "iCloud") subscription you get some extra features
      1. Tracks purchased outside of iTunes are also sync'd to the cloud

      2. You get stream/sync access to every song on iTunes

      3. iTunes DJ/Genius works across all songs on iTunes, not just my purchases

      4. I get to select 10 tracks each month to permanently own

      5. iTunes gets a basic web version


    • Finally, regardless of the location of the song (local, cached, private cloud or public cloud) they should all be presented in the one combined user interface.



    EDIT: I'd also love to see an iHub/iCenter/iHome/iCentral/iMesh to facilitate the creation of a private cloud as well... but I'm just dreaming now
  • Reply 20 of 36
    firefly7475firefly7475 Posts: 1,502member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Masterz1337 View Post


    Apparently it shows up in the emulator though, theres a few articles on wmpoweruser.com that refer to it, I'm sure they'll have another press conference to talk about the collaboration with Nokia.



    Wow... lots of stuff there that I didn't see on the official blog.
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