Quietly brilliant. The pithy two-word slogan of Taiwan’s HTC could readily sum up the company’s recent performance.  

Tech news from around the web:

  • Warner Brothers is claiming to be the first film studio to offer movies for rent via Facebook, according to the Hollywood Reporter. Friends of Christopher Nolan’s Batman film Dark Knight can rent the film by going to the film’s Facebook page and clicking a “rent” icon. The cost per rental is 30 Facebook Credits, or $3, and viewers will have 48 hours from the purchase to watch the film.


So Stephen Elop has taken the plunge. The chief executive of Nokia has just announced a “broad strategic” tie-up with Microsoft on phones and said it would make Windows its main smartphone operating system.

It’s a bold move for the Canadian and investors haven’t greeted the news that well. Shares were down as much 12 per cent in early morning trade. 

A leaked memo supposedly written by Nokia’s chief executive has delivered a blunt assessment of the company’s predicament, likening it to a man standing on a “burning platform”, torn between burning alive and drowning in icy waters, and saying the mobile phone maker must embrace a “radical change in behaviour” if it is to survive. 

Tech news from around the web:

  • Microsoft says it is still considering whether to offer Office on Apple’s App store for its Mac computers, says AllThingsDigital.
  • Mashable reports that the Motion Picture Association of America, working with Dutch anti-piracy group BREIN, has cracked down on the file-sharing of pirated films and TV programmes by shutting down 12 “torrent” websites in the US and at least 39 sites abroad by filing copyright violation complaints with the sites’ hosting providers. 


Tech news from around the web:

  • Facebook has booked $1.86bn in worldwide advertising revenue for 2010 – an 86 per cent  increase over the estimated 2009 advertising revenue of $740m, according to Advertising Age. The majority of these bookings come from outside the US and from small and medium-sized companies.
  • Gizmodo claims it has a basic sketch of the next-generation iPad. New features include cameras on the front and back of the tablet, which points to a FaceTime facility; a high-resolution Retina display; and a slot for SD memory cards.


Chris Nuttall

Nokia’s N8 smartphone takes gorgeous panoramic pictures, but its Symbian ^3 interface is cramped, cluttered and hard to navigate.

In this week’s Personal Technology column in the FT’s Business Life section, I reviewed the flagship smartphone and assessed how it might fare against the latest Android and Windows Phone 7 rivals

Chris Nuttall

First impressions of Nokia’s new N8 handset are impressive build quality, best camera I’ve experienced on a smartphone and a big improvement in the operating system with the introduction of Symbian ^3.

I plan a full review in the Personal Technology column in the FT’s Business Life section shortly, but, in the meantime, more on the N8 in an interview after the jump with Tero Ojanperä, head of Nokia’s mobile services, who handed me an N8 review unit on its first day of shipping on Thursday. 

Chris Nuttall

Intel and Nokia have announced the University of Oulu in Finland, which has expertise in 3D interfaces, will be the home of their first joint research lab.

The news is an indication of progress on software in the partnership announced in June last year between the biggest chipmaker and handset maker, but there remains no evidence yet of the exciting new hardware that was promised. 

Tim Bradshaw

Nokia has been showing off its latest response to the iPhone, the N8, in London today.

It’s the first device running the new Symbian ^3 operating system, and although it isn’t out until the third quarter of this year, Nokia is clearly hoping that a preview of a few prototypes will make people think twice before locking themselves into a two-year contract with the iPhone 4.

On first impressions, the N8 is a sturdier competitor than its predecessor, the N97