Budget Minded Lumia 630 ($159/$169) and 635 ($189, w/LTE) Announced

From DailyTech: As anticipated, the Lumia 630/635 were announced at Microsoft Corp.'s (MSFT) BUILD conference by Nokia Oyj.'s (HEX:NOK1V) Nokia Devices.

Nokia's strongest traction has been on the budget end. That success hasn't exactly been an accident. While lower-end hardware at lower cost is largely an inescapable reality on all smartphone platforms, Nokia has been offering Windows Phones for under $200 without subsidy (!) that feature premium designs.

The Windows Phone 8.1 equipped Lumia 630 and 635 continue this trend.

SanDisk Optimizes SSDs for Enterprise Workloads

From EETimes: SanDisk has expanded its CloudSpeed Serial ATA (SATA) product family with four new solid state drives (SSDs) to meet demands of enterprise workloads. The new SSDs leverage software to address endurance challenges, particularly those created by write-intensive application workloads.

Unveiled at this week’s Interop and Cloud Connect IT Conference and Expo, the CloudSpeed Eco, Ascend, Ultra, and Extreme SSDs are all aimed for use in enterprise data centers and cloud computing environments.

Intel to bring exclusive content to devices powered by its mobile chips

From PC World: After falling behind ARM in the mobile processor market, Intel plans to go on the offensive by creating exclusive content for devices built around its chips.

More details about the exclusives will be shared on Thursday during the Intel Developer Forum in Shenzhen, China. But Intel’s software chief Doug Fisher said the U.S. chipmaker wants to work “hand in hand” with vendors to develop unique content within a game or product.

The partnerships could even result in building entire software products exclusive to Intel chips, he added.

BlackBerry will not renew tie-up with T-Mobile

From PC World: BlackBerry will not renew the license of T-Mobile US to sell its products when it expires later this month, the smartphone maker said.

The announcement by the Canadian company comes after a dispute in February with the fourth-largest carrier in the U.S. for promoting Apple’s iPhone 5s at a discount to its BlackBerry customers.

Samsung Unveils Galaxy Tab4 Tablet Series with 10.1, 8 and 7-inch Models

From DailyTech: Samsung has announced a new series of tablets that come in three different sizes. The tablets all fall into the Galaxy Tab4 series and include versions with 10.1-inch, 8-inch, and 7-inch screens.

Unfortunately, all of the tablets feature the same 1280x800 resolution display, which is rather disappointing given today’s prevalence of high-resolution displays in the tablet field. Other common features include a 1.2GHz quad-core processor with 1.5GB of RAM, microSD slot, Wi-Fi direct, Bluetooth 4.0, GPS, and 3MP/1.3MP rear/front cameras.

HP pays $57 million to finally put WebOS behind it

From InfoWorld: Hewlett-Packard has come to an agreement to pay for the sins of Leo Apotheker.

HP on Monday settled a class-action lawsuit that will see the company deposit $57 million into an interest-bearing escrow account within the next three weeks. Upon deposit, US District Court judge Andrew Guilford will approve the settlement.

Reuters earlier reported on the settlement.

Microsoft slashes Azure prices, introduces new basic tier

From PC World: Microsoft said Monday it was cutting prices of its Azure cloud services to match the prices of competitor Amazon Web Services in the latest in a price war in cloud services.

Besides introducing a new tier of general-purpose services, Microsoft also announced a move to region-specific pricing to help customers save money, as some workloads may not be dependent on location.

The company is cutting prices on compute by up to 35 percent while the prices of its storage service will be down by up to 65 percent.

Intel plays defense against ARM with Cloudera stake

From PC World: Intel’s $740 million investment in software company Cloudera will help sell more x86 chips in Hadoop installations, but it could also be a defensive move to maintain its server lead from the emerging threat posed by 64-bit ARM servers.

Surprise! EA's digital-distribution service Origin ditches discs

From CNET News.com: Electronic Arts' Origin, a digital game-distribution platform aimed at taking on Valve's Steam service, has decided to nix physical discs.

Starting April 4, Origin users trying to buy physical game discs through the game-delivery platform will need to go digital, EA announced recently. The move reflects current consumer demand, EA notes. The company says that 99 percent of its current Origin users only purchase digital content.

S3 Preps DAC Product With a Twist

From EETimes: S3 Group Ltd., of Dublin, Ireland, best known as a supplier of design services and intellectual property to the semiconductor, TV, and telehealth sectors, is preparing to sell complete ICs -- but not under its own name.

The development is what Darren Hobbs, director of product marketing for the silicon business unit at S3, calls private labeling. The first such product is likely to be a high-speed digital-to-analog converter (DAC) that S3 has offered as an IP core.


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