Google Nexus 7 and Nexus Q leak before I/O keynote

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Just minutes ahead of Google’s I/O keynote, images and videos of two oft-rumoured products have surfaced, leading to virtual confirmation that they will be announced later today at the Moscone Center in San Francisco.

As previously reported on, the Nexus 7 tablet is a 7″ Asus-built slate sporting a Tegra 3 chip from Nvidia, a 1280 x 800 IPS display with Gorilla Glass, 1GB of RAM and an attractively low price tag of just $199 for a 8GB model, while the internal storage can be doubled for another $50. Android Police dug this image up directly from the Google Play servers, so this is our first real look at the bezel tablet and Android 4.1 aka Jelly Bean. We will bring you more information when we get it tonight from Google’s keynote.

Additionally, Droid Life has some info about the Nexus Q, which seems to be a social streaming media player that various devices can connect to as long as they run Android 2.3 or later. It is set to cost $299 and, along with the Nexus 7, it is set to ship in 2 to 3 weeks in the US only.

Nexus 7 Addendum

The following paragraphs only apply if you purchase a Nexus 7.

The Nexus 7 has built-in Wi-Fi. You are solely responsible for obtaining internet connectivity through an internet service provider as the Nexus 7 does not support mobile connectivity.

In order to use the Nexus 7, you understand that you will need your own 802.11a/b/g/n access point Wi-Fi router.

The Nexus 7 is manufactured by ASUSTeK Computer Inc., whose principal place of business is at ASUSTeK Computer Inc., Nr. 15 Li-Te Road, Peitou, Taipei 112, Taiwan (“ASUS”).

ASUS provides a limited warranty for the Nexus 7. Please refer to the warranty card in the Nexus 7 package or ASUS for details on the ASUS limited warranty.

Nexus Q Addendum

The following paragraphs only apply if you purchase a Nexus Q.

You understand that the Nexus Q currently supports only Google Play Music; Google Play Movies and TV; and YouTube, and that your use of those services is subject to the Google Play Terms of Service.

The Nexus Q has built-in Wi-Fi and a built-in ethernet controller. You are solely responsible for obtaining internet connectivity through an internet service provider as the Nexus Q does not support mobile connectivity.

In order to use the Nexus Q, you understand that you will need your own: (i) phone or tablet running Android 2.3 (Gingerbread) or higher with access to Google Play; (ii) compatible speakers, AV system or HD TV; and (iii) 802.11a/b/g/n access point Wi-Fi router.

Google provides a limited warranty for the Nexus Q. Please visit this link for more information.

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Microsoft to buy enterprise social network Yammer for $1.2 billion

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Seemingly unwilling to let anyone else have any limelight, Microsoft today confirmed their oft-rumoured acquisition of self-proclaimed enterprise social network Yammer. Having announced a deal for $1.2 billion in cash for the company, Microsoft plans to combine the network, which launched in 2008 and has been presented with various collaboration awards, with its SharePoint collaboration tool to provide a market-leading enterprise experience, proving that it’s not all about the consumer to Ballmer and the folks in Redmond. To help illustrate their point, the company made up a handy infographic explaining why Yammer and Microsoft are a perfect fit for each other, along with the obligatory press release that can be found below.

REDMOND, Wash., and SAN FRANCISCO — June 25, 2012 — Microsoft Corp. and Yammer Inc. today announced that they have entered into a definitive agreement under which Microsoft will acquire Yammer, a leading provider of enterprise social networks, for $1.2 billion in cash. Yammer will join the Microsoft Office Division, led by division President Kurt DelBene, and the team will continue to report to current CEO David Sacks.

“The acquisition of Yammer underscores our commitment to deliver technology that businesses need and people love,” said Steve Ballmer, CEO, Microsoft. “Yammer adds a best-in-class enterprise social networking service to Microsoft’s growing portfolio of complementary cloud services.”

Launched in 2008, Yammer now has more than 5 million corporate users, including employees at 85 percent of the Fortune 500. The service allows employees to join a secure, private social network for free and then makes it easy for companies to convert a grassroots movement into companywide strategic initiative.

Yammer will continue to develop its standalone service and maintain its commitment to simplicity, innovation and cross-platform experiences. Moving forward, Microsoft plans to accelerate Yammer’s adoption alongside complementary offerings from Microsoft SharePoint, Office 365, Microsoft Dynamics and Skype.

“When we started Yammer four years ago, we set out to do something big,” Sacks said. “We had a vision for how social networking could change the way we work. Joining Microsoft will accelerate that vision and give us access to the technologies, expertise and resources we’ll need to scale and innovate.”

The acquisition is subject to customary closing conditions, including regulatory approval.

About Yammer

Yammer (www.yammer.com) is a leading provider of enterprise social networks with over 5 million verified corporate users including employees of more than 85 percent of the Fortune 500. The basic version of Yammer is free, and customers can pay to upgrade their network to receive advanced administrative and security controls, integrations with enterprise applications, priority customer service and a designated customer success manager.

About Microsoft

Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq “MSFT”) is the worldwide leader in software, services and solutions that help people and businesses realize their full potential.

Note to editors: For more information, news and perspectives from Microsoft, please visit the Microsoft News Center at http://www.microsoft.com/news. Web links, telephone numbers and titles were correct at time of publication, but may have changed. For additional assistance, journalists and analysts may contact Microsoft’s Rapid Response Team or other appropriate contacts listed at http://www.microsoft.com/news/contactpr.mspx.

Forward-Looking Statements

This press release contains forward-looking statements, which are any predictions, projections or other statements about future events. Actual results may differ materially from these forward-looking statements because of a variety of risks and uncertainties about our business, which we describe in our filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission, including our Forms 10-K and 10-Q. We do not undertake any duty to update any forward-looking statement.

Windows Phone App of the Week: Ilomilo

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This week’s Windows Phone app of the week is Ilomilo by SouthEnd Interactive and Microsoft Game Studios.

In this game you play as two cute little creatures called Ilo and Milo. The story says that these two are best friends and as such they love to spend time together in the park, however they are always getting lost and as such they are constantly separated. It is your job to help them find their way back to each other. As you probably guessed, this is a puzzle game but, trying not to sound too clichéd, it is the most original puzzle game I have ever played. To get the two back together you have to use a combination of skill, teamwork and the help of very noisy box creatures to brave your way through the park and reunite probably the two cutest game characters I have ever had the pleasure to control. The game looks great, with simple yet good-looking graphics, that do nothing but add to the cuteness of Ilo and Milo. The gameplay itself is great, detailed, well thought out and incredibly simple to get the hang of, even if the controls can be a bit fiddly at times. Ilomilo is now my favourite game, not just on Windows Phone but across all mobile platforms, and although it is a pricey Xbox Live title, I thoroughly recommend it to all Windows Phone owners as it is £4 well spent.

Ilomilo, Windows Phone, £3.99
Download from the Marketplace or visit the website

Vizio’s first computers go on sale in the US starting at $898

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Since they were announced back at CES in January, people have been heavily anticipating the launch of Vizio’s first range of Windows PCs. Famed in the States for low priced TVs with unbeatable value, the company unveiled an all-in-one, a notebook and a pair of Ultrabooks thin-and-lights at the trade show, but remained coy on release dates, pricing or exact specifications until today. In a press release that can be found below, the company revealed a few more details, including that pricing for all 3 ranges would begin at just $898 (£578), and that all of their computers would run on Intel’s latest Ivy Bridge chips with a clean installation (i.e. zero bloatware) of Windows 7. The AIO will come in both the $898 24″ model and an $1100 27″ model, and both come with USB 3.0, Nvidia’s latest Kepler graphics architecture, up to a 1TB HDD paired with a 32GB SSD for boot and 1920 x 1080 displays. The thin-and-lights both come with integrated Intel graphics and a 7 hour battery life, with the $898 14″ model coming equipped with a 1600 x 900 panel, while an extra hundred dollars will get you a 15.6″ model with a 1080p display. The $898 notebook is internally identical to the larger thin-and-light, but in exchange for the added girth you get an as yet unspecified Nvidia Kepler GPU. Pre-orders for all models are live at a number of American retailers right now, but don’t get your hopes up for a UK release, as Vizio has yet to release any of their bargain bin products outside the US of A.

Design, Power and Entertainment Reign Supreme in VIZIO’s Incredibly Sleek and Sophisticated, Premium PC Line Unveiled Today

Irvine, CA – June 15, 2012 – VIZIO, America’s #1 LCD HDTV Company*, announced today the availability of its highly anticipated line of innovative personal computers designed to work hard and play hard. By combining its entertainment know-how with the unmatched power of the latest Intel® Core™ processors, VIZIO intends to set a new standard for the Windows® experience. The premium line, which consists of the VIZIO Thin + Light, Notebook and All-in-One PC, was created to break through the clutter present in the mainstream market and prove that power, design and entertainment can flawlessly co-exist in a PC.

Similar to its entrance into the HDTV category nearly a decade ago, VIZIO took careful inventory of the needs and wants evident in the PC space. The result is a sophisticatedly handsome PC line that meets the productivity and power standards consumers expect, while delivering the entertainment and design differentiators they desire. Calling on its HDTV background, VIZIO developed the PCs with contrast, image quality and viewing angles top of mind, giving PC users an experience only HDTVs could previously deliver. Combined with an NVIDIA® Kepler™-Class GeForce GPU, the brilliant HD display of the VIZIO PCs makes watching movies, gaming and streaming TV shows more enjoyable than ever. Deep and resonate SRS Premium Sound HD™ serves as an ideal complement to stunning image quality but can also stand alone, allowing music junkies to immerse themselves in rich, custom-tuned audio.

Understanding the impact aesthetics have on experience, VIZIO also focused heavily on design. Manifested beyond a few sleek bevels, VIZIO’s purposeful design decisions and premium materials culminate in a line of PCs that rival the status-quo. From the die-cast aluminum neck with its hidden hinge, premium wireless keyboard and wireless touchpad of the All-in-One, to the anodized aluminum unibody construction with precision CNC detailing of the Thin + Light and Notebook, VIZIO took every detail into account, creating top-quality work and entertainment fixtures like no other.

“PCs haven’t always been made with design at the forefront. While customers want an elegant, multi-purpose device capable of executing tasks and flawlessly delivering entertainment, some PCs still look like mundane work machines,” said Matt McRae, Chief Technology Officer, VIZIO. “VIZIO is passionate about innovation, design and the user experience. We listened to consumers and created a line of PCs that deliver on productivity but are also uncompromisingly clean, stylish and sophisticated.”

Optimized to deliver power, mobility and familiar ease of use, VIZIO PCs ensure a fast and immersive best-in-class consumer experience. To that end, VIZIO and Microsoft® worked together to build an optimized system image that includes the Microsoft Signature experience for Windows 7 PCs to deliver a great experience for customers, from out of box to support. Every VIZIO PC also includes Microsoft Security Essentials to help guard against viruses and spyware with no renewal fees and 90 days of Microsoft technical support.

“We’re pleased to be working closely with VIZIO as it debuts in the PC category,” said Steven Guggenheimer, CVP OEM Division, Microsoft. “VIZIO has a strong reputation of providing consumer innovation and entertainment experiences, and it’s great to see the company using Windows to help deliver premium experiences on PCs.”

Designed to tackle any task a user needs to accomplish, VIZIO PCs are powered by 3rd generation Intel® Core™ processors. Providing an extra performance boost, the efficient Intel® Core™ processors are capable of handling a multitude of jobs, allowing users to multi-task with ease.

“We know how important it is for VIZIO to have its PCs deliver best in class performance,” said CJ Bruno, Intel VP, GM Americas. “VIZIO has repeatedly shown its ability to deliver leading technology to its customers and we are thrilled that 3rd generation Intel core processors will power VIZIO’s latest computing innovations. We think people will be amazed by the stunning visual experiences in these new systems, from the beautiful all-in-one to the slim, stylish and responsive Ultrabook™ device.”

VIZIO All-in-One: Starting at $898
Elegantly combining a powerful PC with features similar to a television, the VIZIO All-in-One PC offers an unparalleled entertainment experience**. With a stunning 24″ or 27″ Full HD 1080p display, included subwoofer for 2.1 surround sound audio with SRS Premium Sound HD™ and dual HDMI® inputs for connecting cable boxes and game consoles, the VIZIO All-in-One PC delivers serious entertainment.

The premium wireless keyboard, wireless touchpad with multi-touch gesture support, remote control and subwoofer with integrated power supply makes the VIZIO All-in-One PC easy on the eyes. Crafted from genuine, top-quality materials with design advancements, these machines challenge the very notion of what a PC can be, making it the ideal fixture in a bedroom, design studio, kitchen, dorm or swanky boutique.

For the ultimate in entertainment, consumers can use the display of their VIZIO All-in-One PC even when the computer is off, plugging in up to two HDMI® sources to enjoy cable or satellite programming, gaming and other HD offerings.

VIZIO Notebook: Starting at $898
The VIZIO Notebook delivers remarkable power in a beautifully portable profile. Stylish and light, the aluminum construction provides solid durability not possible when using cheaper plastics. With an impressive 15.6″ Full HD 1080p display, performance-tuned audio with SRS Premium Sound HD™ and a long-lasting battery, the VIZIO Notebook is an all-day, on-the-go, multimedia powerhouse.

The sleek, seamless surface of the VIZIO Notebook boasts beveled edges and a slip-free, soft-touch underside. The machine’s slim profile is made possible by an anodized aluminum unibody construction that lends itself to strength and durability. Smart innovations include a concealed passive heat venting that pulls in cool air to reduce the need for bulky, noisy and unnecessary grills and fans.

VIZIO Thin + Light: Starting at $898
Part of a new class of Ultrabook™ devices inspired by Intel, the VIZIO Thin + Light is an ultra-responsive, ultra-sleek and long-lasting portable PC. This powerful machine boots up in seconds and packs enough battery to stay up and running all day.

With a 14″ HD+ or 15.6″ Full HD display and a razor-thin design made possible by a durable, anodized aluminum unibody construction, the VIZIO Thin + Light is sleek enough to take anywhere and easily outperforms notebooks twice its size.

Entertainment enthusiasts will appreciate the HD resolution, stellar picture quality with wider viewing angles and SRS Premium Sound HD™ of the Thin + Light, allowing users to enjoy their content on-the-go or tap into the full-size HDMI® outputs to put entertainment on the big screen.

For more information on VIZIO PCs visit VIZIO.com. Consumers can also find the new PC line at key retailers such as Walmart, Amazon.com, Sam’s Club, Costco, Target and Microsoft Store.

Apple ousts Google Maps with a home-grown system for iOS 6

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Apple has announced that it will be removing Google Maps from its native application in iOS and will be replacing it with its own mapping system with the upcoming launch of iOS 6 this autumn for iPhone 3GS onwards, iPad 2, iPad (3rd generation) and iPod Touch (4th generation). It will include its own high quality 3D mode, and by all accounts it does pretty much exactly what Google Maps did, only in an interface that Apple think is far superior.

In the mean time, Google has been developing their own software on Android and both companies have been reported to have used fleets of planes that have ruffled the feathers of some privacy campaigners who complained having noticed an increase in airspace activity while tracking the movements of several large companies. Apple are set to create yet anouther easy to use and beautful app that will undoubtedly do its job very well. It is another example of Apple showing that making their products integratable with existing platforms is not the only field they are improving, but also the Apple universe that will one day probably be able to exist independently to every other system of computing there is. My concern is that Google has such a solid base, and with a single account you can connect all of Google’s existing services such as Gmail, Drive, YouTube and +, making them easier to use and more efficient for the user. That said Apple have added mapping support to Siri, the “eyes free” system which Apple is rumoured to have been working on with car manufacturers to develop add buttons for in new cars, allowing for a hands free, voice activated GPS and phone.

I think that Apple’s new mapping system will be good because things that come out of Apple are generally well received and the response by Google will probably improve on what they have now, which can only be a good thing for map users. If users wish to return to using Google Maps or use a different platform entirely, they should have the option to do it through the App Store, as there are a number of map apps available for the platform. Apple’s eyes free integration, however, is very promising, and it is very probable that it means Google Maps is on its way out for many Apple users. Apple’s initiative has yet again shown the company’s ability to remake everything in the image of their own minds.

App of the Week: Monsters Ate My Condo

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This week’s app of the week is Monsters Ate My Condo, a game from Adult Swim for iOS and Android. The game is simple – various monsters want feeding, and you do that by feeding them apartments. If you make a chain of 3 or more condos of the same colour, you get a shiny bronze combo condo, and then you gradually get all the way up to diamonds. Feeding shiny condos to the monsters activates special powers, and the game ends when a monster is neglected and goes on a rampage or your tower block falls over. Add in some seizure-inducing colours, wacky animation, a blue unicorn that vomits rainbows and a fat lady that sings when the game is over, and you have yourself a ridiculously addictive game.

Monsters Ate My Condo, iOS and Android, 69p
Download from the App Store or Google Play

WWDC in 5 word sentences

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That screen sounds absolutely incredible.
You can talk to iPads.
USB 3.0 is now infiltrating.
Nobody likes massively oversized laptops.
Siri likes fridges, mocks Samsung.
Open Monsters Ate My Condo.
The Mac Pro isn’t dead!
Why did you expect iPhones?
Maps are the way forward.
Apple will survive without Steve.
FaceTime over cellular is pointless.
Want Ivy Bridge with that?
Sharing from notifications is egotistical.
Facebook is still a thing.
At least Ping is dead.