Microsoft plans to start fresh with a new smartphone software. The company unveiled the Windows Phone 7 series operating system on Monday. It is completely redesigned from previous versions, which have been criticized as being too clunky. This new version is much sleeker and features just a handful of large colorful icons for important tasks like phone calls, e-mail and photos. All the new Windows Phones will have built-in music players and will be connected to Microsoft's Xbox live gaming service. All the major carriers will offer phones based on this new software towards the end of the year.
T-Mobile is unveiling a phone today packed with entertainment features. The HTC HD2 has a Barnes & Noble e-reader application with access to books, newspapers and magazines. It also comes loaded with both Transformer movies as well as Blockbuster's first video download application on a smartphone. The phone will also have access to live and on-demand TV. The phone will be available this spring.
The growth of smartphone's will eventually push phone ownership to a major milestone this year. New figures from a UN agency show the number of people with Cell Phones worldwide is expected to top five billion this year. The growth has also been driven by poor nations, where phones are popular for mobile banking and health services.
The Chinese New Year began on Sunday and it's the year of the Tiger. 2K Play has released a game for the DS to teach kids about the holiday, called "Ni Hao Kai-lan: New Year's Celebration." Parenting.com's Rachel Fishman says it's a safe game for little kids to play. "It introduces a new cultural experience for them in a way that they'll understand, so through food and through crafts and through games," she says. Fishman suggests the game is for smaller children and says "It speaks to them on their level and helps them understand maybe something they didn't know about." The game sells for about $20.