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Microsoft launches 'Cortana' smartphone assistant

Microsoft on Wednesday took on Apple's Siri and Google Now with a smartphone personal assistant dubbed "Cortana." Windows Phone vice president Joe Belfiore introduced Cortana onstage at the technology titan's annual developers conference. "Cortana is the first truly personal digital assistant who learns about me, and the things that matter to me most, and knows about the whole Internet," Belfiore said in a presentation.

LG's smartphone sales projected at all-time high in Q2: analysts

SEOUL, April 3 (Yonhap) -- LG Electronics Inc.'s quarterly smartphone sales are likely to reach an all-time high in the April-June period, analysts said Thursday, due mainly to improved sales of its low-end lineup. The South Korea's No. 2 smartphone maker is expected to sell 15 million units in the second quarter, the data released by Mirae Asset Securities Co. showed.

Samsung marketing machine snags Obama with Ortiz selfie; White House unaware of connection

NEW YORK, N.Y. - The latest pitchman in Samsung's marketing machine: an unwitting President Barack Obama. Boston Red Sox baseball player David Ortiz snapped a selfie with the president at a White House event using a Samsung phone and tweeted it to his followers Tuesday. It was resent by tens of thousands of Twitter users, and Samsung retweeted the photo as an ad. The company also said in a tweet that the photo was taken with a Samsung phone.

Virtual assistant, notification hub part of Microsoft's Windows Phone update

NEW YORK, N.Y. - Microsoft unveiled a new virtual assistant for Windows Phone devices Wednesday as it seeks to gain traction in a highly competitive and lucrative market for smartphones. The assistant, Cortana, is named after an artificial-intelligence character in the company's "Halo" video games. Cortana tries to be chatty like Apple's Siri, while anticipating information you might want, like Google Now.

Microsoft to offer Windows for free on phones, tablets

By Bill Rigby SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - Microsoft Corp said on Wednesday it will give away its Windows operating system to makers of smartphones and small tablets as it seeks to grab a toehold in those fast-growing markets. Microsoft's move, announced at its annual developers conference in San Francisco, is an attempt to broaden the small user base of mobile versions of Windows, in the hope that more customers will end up using Microsoft's cloud-based services such as Skype and Office.

Microsoft unveils voice assistant Cortana to rival Apple's Siri

SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - Microsoft Corp on Wednesday formally announced it has developed a voice activated phone assistant feature called Cortana, a direct rival to Apple Inc's Siri. The feature has been rumored for some months and a test version was demonstrated by Joe Belfiore, a Windows Phone executive, at Microsoft's annual developer conference in San Francisco.

BlackBerry ending US licensing deal with T-Mobile; says strategies no longer complementary

NEW YORK, N.Y. - BlackBerry is ending its U.S. licensing deal with T-Mobile, saying the companies no longer have complementary strategies. The disconnect appears to be related to a T-Mobile promotion that BlackBerry took issue with last month.

T-Mobile to stop selling BlackBerrys in US

Struggling Canadian smartphone maker BlackBerry said it will not renew an accord allowing T-Mobile to sell its phones in the United States. When the current license expires April 25, T-Mobile, a unit of Deutsche Telekom, will no longer offer BlackBerry phones on its US network. The two companies' strategies are no longer complementary, although BlackBerry hopes to work again with T-Mobile once their commercial strategies are back in sync, said CEO John Chen. The end of the contract will have no effect on current users of BlackBerrys on the T-Mobile network.

BlackBerry ends licensing deal with T-Mobile

(Reuters) - BlackBerry Ltd said on Tuesday it will not renew its license with T-Mobile U.S. Inc to sell BlackBerry products after the current contract expires on April 25. The Canadian company said it will continue to provide service and support to existing customers on T-Mobile's network or those who will buy products from the carrier's inventory.

Apple, Samsung trade barbs as $2 bln patent trial opens

Lawyers for Apple and Samsung exchanged barbs as a major new patent trial opened Tuesday, debating the role of a company not even part of the case -- Google. Apple's legal team vowed to prove that Samsung flagrantly copied iPhone features and should pay more than $2 billion in damages, as the two smartphone giants squared off anew in a California courtroom. Apple attorney Harold McElhinny opened his presentation with a video showing legendary Apple co-founder Steve Jobs introducing the first iPhone in 2007.
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