Tech Notes – Nokia plays catch-up with new partnership

Published in (North East) business newspaper The Journal on 24th February 2011

It’s been another interesting few weeks in the tech world.

Two days after the allegedly leaked memo from Nokia Chief Executive Stephen Elop described his company as ‘standing on a burning platform’ for its failure to develop a smartphone to compete with Apple and Google – they announced an exciting new partnership with Microsoft in which Windows 7 Phone will be adopted as the OS for future Nokia phones.

I say exciting because despite falling behind in the smartphone market, Nokia are still the biggest handset manufacturer in the world, and having just taken delivery of a lovely new Samsung Omnia Windows 7 Phone I can tell you that the Microsoft platform is a joy to use. Intuitive, user-friendly and with great features like the ‘Live Tiles’ which make everything just a single tap away, I’d highly recommend it to anyone looking to upgrade their phone or renew their contract.

Which leads me on to Amazon’s Kindle. Like many people, I was a complete sceptic of e-readers until I had a play of my brother-in-law’s Kindle over Christmas. Although there’s nothing like curling up with a good book on the sofa or in bed, I can totally see the benefit of digital versions of certain types of books, particularly tech and business-related titles where the ideas contained within are more important than the format in which they arrive. I’ve since downloaded the excellent free Kindle app for my phone (also available for iPhone, iPad and Android phones) which has enabled me to download a whole load of classic novels for free in a matter of seconds.

I’ve also ordered my very first eBook, ‘Poke The Box’ by business and marketing guru Seth Godin, which is part of an exciting new initiative called The Domino Project. Ever the innovator, Seth has partnered up with Amazon to try and change the face of publishing with initiatives like reducing the price of the eBook by $1 dollar for every 5,000 people that subscribe to his e-bulletin and order it before a specific date.

In my role for Shell LiveWIRE, I’m constantly amazed by how many creative and innovative new business ideas are being started up by young entrepreneurs in the UK, including Slotzz – a Newcastle-based company producing customised, handmade iPhone and iPad cases. Definitely one to watch for the future!

Follow me on Twitter @lordlancaster if you’d like to know more about any of the above.

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