Wolverton: Microsoft's Surface Pro tablet is a pricey disappointment - SiliconValley.com: "For those eager to embrace the tablet era but who need to keep a foot in the PC past, Microsoft's new Surface Windows 8 Pro would seem to be the perfect device. It's a tablet that runs a full version of the latest Microsoft Windows operating system. It has a touch screen that takes advantage of Windows' new tile-based interface and can run the new touch-centric Windows apps. And it also has a version of the traditional Windows desktop interface and can run all your old Windows programs. But instead of being the ideal computer for the post-PC era, the Surface Pro is a pricey, unsatisfactory gadget that's not well suited for any of its potential uses."
Has Apple redefined the tablet as an 8-inch device? | ZDNet: " . . . If the iPad Mini is selling really well, it may have redefined the "natural" size of a domestic-use tablet as being a smaller device. Apple might have validated the previous decisions by Google to make the Nexus 7 small, and Amazon in making the Kindle Fire tablets small, even though I suspect those previous decisions had more to with the bill of materials than any sense as to the desires of the customer. Microsoft may have a problem here. The smallest Windows 8 or Windows RT tablet that you can buy is "big tablet"-sized and no one is making a small Windows 8 tablet. The problem with Microsoft's positioning of Windows in a post-PC world is its (understandable) obsession with Office and with keyboards. This makes life really difficult for an OEM trying to make a small tablet, as you'd need to make a very small keyboard to go with it. You're then looking at something more like the now relatively-ancient Toshiba Libretto, which might be a tough sell as today, that looks an awful lot like a netbook. Unless one of the OEMs does something amazingly bold, Windows tablets look like they're stuck in a 10-inch or greater world. That would mean that Microsoft has managed to accidentally entirely miss what seems like an obvious and logically-defensible market shift to smaller tablets in the domestic-use space. Fingers crossed for a "Surface Mini.". . . "
Millions Improperly Claimed U.S. Phone Subsidies - WSJ.com: " . . . The Lifeline program—begun in 1984 to ensure that poor people aren't cut off from jobs, families and emergency services—is funded by charges that appear on the monthly bills of every landline and wireless-phone customer. Payouts under the program have shot up from $819 million in 2008, as more wireless carriers have persuaded regulators to let them offer the service. Suspecting that many of the new subscribers were ineligible, the Federal Communications Commission tightened the rules last year and required carriers to verify that existing subscribers were eligible. The agency estimated 15% of users would be weeded out, but far more were dropped. A review of five top recipients of Lifeline support conducted by the FCC for the Journal showed that 41% of their more than six million subscribers either couldn't demonstrate their eligibility or didn't respond to requests for certification. . . . "
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