The UpStream

Nokia Announces Partnership with Microsoft for Windows Phone 7 Handsets

posted Saturday Feb 12, 2011 by Scott Ertz

Nokia Announces Partnership with Microsoft for Windows Phone 7 Handsets

Nokia CEO Stephen Elop has certainly made a lot of news since he left Microsoft and took over the company in September of last year. Little to none of it has been received well by the industry, or at the very least the market. This week, his latest announcement once again shook the tech world when he and Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer announced that they had formed a partnership that would see Microsoft's Windows Phone 7 take over as Nokia's chief operating system on future handsets.

Up until now, Nokia has used primarily their own OS, Symbian, on their phones. They have also been working on MeeGo, a partnership with Intel, which is a supposed to be the most user-friendly operating system ever. We knew something might be a little fishy when we learned a few weeks back from PhoneArena that Nokia might have scrapped the N9, which was to be the first device running MeeGo. Now, it appears, Nokia has changed their tune and plans to invest their time and money into WinPho7.

To find out why everyone is in an uproar about this, hit the break.

Guitars Are No Longer the Hero Activision Needs

posted Friday Feb 11, 2011 by Scott Ertz

Guitars Are No Longer the Hero Activision Needs

It wasn't long ago that rhythm games were the talk of the town. The leader of the craze was Guitar Hero, a silly game where people stood in front of their televisions and pushed primary colored buttons on a fake plastic guitar. It seemed like no one should have cared, but almost everyone did. You couldn't go to a friend's house without seeing one of those guitars next to the TV. As Jon announced earlier, however, the franchise has now been disbanded.

Unfortunately, 9 mixes of the game in, Guitar Hero: Warriors of Rock sold as little as 89,000 copies total. This compared to the 1.4 million copies of Guitar Hero III that were sold opening week and it's no wonder Activision has cut the franchise loose. But, what happened? Dance Dance Revolution has had many more than 9 mixes, and somehow that franchise has survived well over a decade, whereas Guitar Hero is dead in just 6 years.

Hit the break for some ideas on what went wrong.

Pirates Come At Sony's Kevin Butler And Sink His Battleship

posted Thursday Feb 10, 2011 by Jon Wurm

Pirates Come At Sony's Kevin Butler And Sink His Battleship

Kevin Butler is the fictional Sony employee that is the spokesperson for the PS3's "It can do everything" marketing campaign. There's a good chance you've seen some of his work but if you think the PS3, Sony and/or Kevin Butler are figments of my imagination then check here to see him in action. Unfortunately for Sony and Butler the fake employee made a very real and funny mistake.

Hit the break to find out who, why, and how.

Guitar Hero Disbanded

posted Thursday Feb 10, 2011 by Jon Wurm

<i>Guitar Hero</i> Disbanded

I have what will be widely regarded as good news for those of you haven't put a second mortgage on your house to keep up with the 7 major versions of Guitar Hero and the 4 expansion packs for game consoles, not to mention the 20+ different guitars Activision Blizzard has spewed out since 2005. The game franchise is officially axed after losing Activision Blizzard hundreds of millions since 2009. The most recent losses suffered in Q4 2010 were 233 million, which is down from a 286 million loss in Q4 2009. With losses like that it is no surprise they decided to cut the franchise before the planned release of another game later this year. This also means that we managed to dodge a bullet and that Activision Blizzard is only about 2 years behind everyone else.

Hit the break to watch a YouTube video that pays homage to the fallen franchise.

Alien Dalvik Expands The Android Platform To Other Platforms

posted Wednesday Feb 9, 2011 by Jon Wurm

Alien Dalvik Expands The Android Platform To Other Platforms

Early this week Google unveiled the web-based Android Market, which allowed Android users a more comprehensive app marketplace experience and helped bridge the gap between the web and mobile applications. The web isn't the only other platform Android has its eye on either. Having just dethroned Symbian as the leading mobile OS worldwide that might not be so surprising, but something very surprising is that Google isn't behind the expansion this time.

To find out who is and what they have planned for Android, hit the break.

HP Introduces 2 webOS Phones, 1 Tablet and No Palm

posted Wednesday Feb 9, 2011 by Scott Ertz

HP Introduces 2 webOS Phones, 1 Tablet and No Palm

HP decided that their big webOS unveiling should not take place at the International Consumer Electronics Show 2011, but instead at a separate event a month later. That event just ended in an old military building at Fort Mason in California and it was everything we had hoped for and more.

We'll start with the bad news - Palm is dead. In a giant room full of brightly colored posters and screens, nothing was marked with the Palm logo. In all of the announcements, only the HP logo was to be seen. Now, while this is not a surprise, it is a disappointment. Palm is the company that started handheld computing and the loss of the brand is a loss for the industry.

Moving on to the positive, we were pleased to see 3 great new devices. The first and simplest is the HP Veer. This handset is designed to be the replacement for the Palm Pixi without and of the design flaws of its sister phone. Measuring at only 3.25 inches tall and weighing in at 3.63 ounces, this will be the perfect smartphone for people who do not want a full smartphone.

While the Veer is small, it is still mighty. With an 800Mhz Qualcomm processor, 8GM of storage, integrated Touchstone capability and 5MP camera, there is little the device won't be able to do, except weigh you down, of course. And it is all packed into a miniature version of the Palm Pre Plus form.

For details on the other 2 new devices, hit the break.

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