Microsoft Corp launched two new phones aimed at young people on Monday, marking a fresh assault on the low end of the growing smartphone market, where BlackBerry maker Research in Motion Ltd and Apple Inc now dominate.
The software company’s first foray into designing its own phones comes six months before it rolls out its new Windows software for phones made by handset makers HTC Corp, Samsung Electronics Co Ltd and others, which should be a more direct challenge to Apple’s iPhone and Google Inc’s Android phones.
The new phones launched on Monday, called Kin One and Kin Two, are made by Japan’s Sharp Corp and will be sold by Verizon Wireless, a joint venture between Verizon Communications Inc and Vodafone Group PLC.
Both phones have a touch screen, slide-out keyboard and camera. Kin One is smaller, while Kin Two has a larger screen and keyboard, more memory and can record high-definition video.
The devices — available in the US next month and Europe in the fall — automatically bring together feeds from Facebook, MySpace and Twitter onto the homescreen and allow users to set up networks of friends to share photos, Web links and so on.
Microsoft’s Zune digital music player and FM radio is built into the phones. Almost everything on the phone is stored in the “cloud,” accessible from any Web browser.
The Kin service automatically backs up text messages, call history, photos, videos and contacts, in an attempt to soothe fears of data loss. In October, users of Microsoft’s Sidekick phones temporarily lost data because of a server failure.
Microsoft did not say how much the phones would sell for.
EFFICIENCY: The rules for Philippine arrivals were revised after 17.6% of arrivals with symptoms tested positive, compared with 0.7% of those with no symptoms Starting today, Chinese spouses who hold a reunion permit can apply to enter Taiwan and travelers without symptoms from the Philippines do not need to be tested for COVID-19 upon arrival, but are to be tested after a 14-day quarantine, the Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) said yesterday. Minister of Health and Welfare Chen Shih-chung (陳時中), who heads the center, said that from today, Chinese who are married to a Taiwanese citizen and hold a reunion permit can apply to the National Immigration Agency for entry into Taiwan. Chinese who are married to a foreign national and hold an accompanied reunion permit
CONSOLIDATION? Taiwan Thinktank deputy executive-general Doong Sy-chi said Beijing’s intimidation tactics are further alienating those who identify as Chinese Only 2 percent of respondents to a poll on constitutional amendments and national identity identified as Chinese, while 62.6 percent identified as Taiwanese, the Taiwan Thinktank said yesterday. Legislators have proposed amendments to the Additional Articles of the Constitution (憲法增修條文), which would change the definition of the nation’s territory, remove the Taiwan Provincial Government as an entity, prioritize the use of “Taiwan” for national groups at international events, and remove restrictions on defining the national emblem, national flag and national anthem. The poll showed that 80.5 percent of respondents agreed that the nation should participate as “Taiwan” at events organized by world
MISTAKE: The Global Covenant of Mayors for Climate and Energy is not a UN body, and the government is committed to protecting the nation’s name, Joseph Wu said The Ministry of Foreign Affairs yesterday condemned the Global Covenant of Mayors for Climate and Energy for listing Taiwanese cities as belonging to China on its Web site, and asked that it correct the error. The organization was inaugurated in Brussels in 2016 as a global coalition of mayors committed to reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Six Taiwanese cities at the time joined the coalition as cities in “Taiwan,” the ministry said. However, officials from the Kaohsiung City Government — one of the organization’s members — last week noticed that the city was now listed on the organization’s Web site as a
BALANCED DEVELOPMENT: TSMC chairman Mark Liu said the firm is committed to local investment: a third in the north, a third in the center, a third in the south Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co (TSMC, 台積電), the world’s biggest contract chipmaker, yesterday said that, based on its strategy of balancing capacity, it plans to make northern Taiwan its manufacturing hub for advanced technologies that go beyond 2 nanometers. “As the company is committed to investing in Taiwan, we try to deploy one-third [of our total production capacity] in the north and have one-third each in the center and south” of the nation, TSMC chairman Mark Liu (劉德音) told reporters on the sidelines of Semicon Taiwan’s Master Forum in Taipei. TSMC last year reached its goal of deploying capacity equally across those parts