February 2014

Compact, rugged Trimble Juno T41 R Series adds UHF RFID
Trimble's smartphone-inspired rugged Windows Embedded Handheld 6.5 or Android 4.1 mobile computer with 4.3-inch projected capacitive multi-touch gets Ultra-High Frequency RFID versions in a remarkably compact form factor. Available with either IP65 or IP68 sealing, the EPCglobal Gen 2 compatible T41 R is location aware for use in different regions across the globe, and is available with full voice/data phone capability as well as enhanced high-accuracy GPS. [See description, analysis and specs of the Trimble Juno T41 RFID] -- Posted Thursday, February 27, 2014 by chb

US Dept. of Transportation to use Mi-Co forms with handwriting recognition for vehicle crash investigations
Mi-Co, which specializes in data capture software forms that include handwriting recognition, announced it was awarded the contract to provide the US Department of Transportation (DoT) with a functional field data collection system with its Mi-Forms mobile forms software. Field staff will conduct multiple interviews on a weekly basis with motor vehicle crash participants. During these interviews, field data collectors will use natural handwriting within the mobile forms to capture data presented in an aural manner in a rapid fashion. [See Mi-Co press release] -- Posted Wednesday, February 26, 2014 by chb

Samsung Galaxy S5: impressive tech and now even waterproof
At the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Samsung revealed the Galaxy S5, its new flagship smartphone. While after all those years of ever-smaller and handier phones the wisdom of giant phones is debatable, the specs and capabilities of the new Galaxy S5 are most impressive. Android "KitKat" 4.4.2, 2.5GHz quad-core Snapdragon 800 CPU, 5.1-inch 1920 x 1080 Super AMOLED screen, dual cameras (16mp camera, 2mp, 4K video), USB 3.0, 802.11a/b/g/n/ac, BT 4.0, NFC, 2GB RAM, 16/32GB storage, 10-12 hours battery life, fingerprint scanner, pulse sensor, 5.6 x 2.9 x 0.32 inches, 5.1 ounces. And it is IP67-sealed. -- Posted Tuesday, February 25, 2014 by chb

SOTI MobiControl Android+ technology enables more than 35 OEMs to overcome Android in the enterprise hurdle
SOTI, the major provider of Enterprise Mobility Management (EMM) and Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) policy management, announced that it has significantly expanded its Android OEM partnerships to encompass more than 35 of the leading Android device manufacturers globally. [See SOTI press release] -- Posted Monday, February 24, 2014 by chb

N-trig's DuoSense multi-touch & active pen solution selected by Intel for its Education Tablet
As most pen enthusiasts know, Wacom has historically been considered the leading active pen technology vendor, but now N-trig claims that the latest build of their pen actually surpasses Wacom in terms of accuracy, pressure sensitivity, continuity, linearity and overall user experience. We haven't checked N-trig's solutions lately, but they did just claim a big win when Intel implemented the N-trig DuoSense controller chipset into its Intel Education Tablet. [See N-trig press release] -- Posted Wednesday, February 19, 2014 by chb

Handheld Group introduces Nautiz X4 rugged mobile computer
Handheld Group introduced the rugged Nautiz X4, a multi-purpose data collection mobile computer with integrated keypad and industrial-grade scanner options. The IP65-sealed Nautiz X4 has a 3.5-inch 640 x 480 pixel resistive touch screen, runs Windows Embedded Handheld 6.5 for easy integration into existing enterprise infrastructures, weighs under 12 ounces, and includes GPS, WWAN, camera and a microSD card slot. [See description, analysis, and specs of the Handheld Group Nautiz X4] -- Posted Tuesday, February 18, 2014 by chb

ZDNet contributor has had it with Windows Phone
On ZDNet, Matthew Miller presented five reasons why he was done with Windows Phone, after having used it (increasingly less) over the past 3.5 years. Miller's reasons coincide with the shortcomings we have long lamented on Windows Phone and on the Metro interface on Windows tablets: it's just not nearly as useful as it should be. [See Five reasons I am done with Windows Phone after 3.5 years] -- Posted Monday, February 17, 2014 by chb

Will Windows Phone 8 make it after all?
Microsoft has all but vanished from the mobile space, and Windows Phone is almost a non-factor behind Android and the iOS. Or is it? PC Mag just published an absolutely glowing review of the new Nokia Lumina Icon with its 5-inch 1080p OLED screen, 20-megapixel camera, 2.26GHz quad-core Snapdragon 800 processor, and sleek brushed metal/polycarbonate design. [See PC Mag's Editor's Choice review of the Nokia Lumina Icon] -- Posted Thursday, February 13, 2014 by chb

Not mincing words -- Paul Thurrott on Windows 8
In a blog entry entitled "What the Heck is Happening to Windows?" Paul Thurrott does not mince words. "Windows 8 is a disaster in every sense of the word. This is not open to debate, is not part of some cute imaginary world where everyone's opinion is equally valid or whatever. Windows 8 is a disaster. Period." Thurrott, one of the most highly esteemed technology bloggers, blames Microsoft's fatal tendency of trying to be all things to all people, a tendency Pen Computing Magazine lamented every time Microsoft tried to somehow shoehorn pen and touch support into Windows proper... [See Paul Thurotte blog] -- Posted Monday, February 10, 2014 by chb

Sony sells VAIO PC business, concentrates on smartphones and tablets
Sony is leaving the PC and laptop business in order to concentrate its mobile product lineup on smartphones and tablets. The VAIO PC business is transferred to a new company established by Japan Industrial Partners Inc. Sony's decision came upon analysis of factors, including the drastic changes in the global PC industry, Sony's overall business strategy, the need for support of Sony's VAIO customers, and some job preservation for VAIO personnel. [See Sony release] -- Posted Thursday, February 6, 2014 by chb

Satya Nadella new Microsoft CEO, John Thompson new Chairman
The media won't have Steve Ballmer to kick around anymore. Microsoft announced that its Board of Directors has appointed Satya Nadella (in picture) as Chief Executive Officer and member of the Board of Directors effective immediately. Nadella, who joined Microsoft in 1992, previously was Executive VP of Microsoftís Cloud and Enterprise group. Microsoft also announced that John Thompson will be Chairman of the Board, and that prior Chairman Bill Gates will remain on the Board as Founder and Technology Advisor. [See Microsoft press release] -- Posted Tuesday, February 4, 2014 by chb

HP offers touch for just a buck extra
In the past, one giant obstacle for pen computing, and especially for notebooks, was always the extra cost of the pen and digitizer. Hewlett Packard apparently remembers that, and advertises that (albeit just for a limited time) touch for its HP ENVY 15t Quad is available for just $1 more. Honestly, even without touch US800 for a sleek, 15-inch, Haswell Core i7-powered would be a great bargain. The extra buck for touch is just icing on the cake. [See HP ENVY TouchSmart 15t] -- Posted Monday, February 3, 2014 by chb