Whether it was a controlled leak or not, the ad, which takes cues from one of Google’s own Chrome ads, has happened to make its way online right in the middle of Google I/O and it doesn’t appear that a take down notice is getting issued.
In a rather odd ad campaign spotted by GeekWire, Microsoft is running the kind of ad used by soap powder brands in the 1980s: showing owners of a competitor brand being converted to the wonders of the client’s product.
The datedness of the ad technique is not the only odd thing about the ad: it’s also pitching the Lumia 920 against the Samsung Galaxy S3, a handset just superseded by the S4. While the S4 is a relatively minor refresh, the high-profile nature of the launch means that those in the market for a new phone can hardly be unaware of it.
GeekWire also noted that while the ad is a relatively bold move by a company that has so far failed to make much of a splash with Windows Phones, Microsoft has stopped short of trying to take on the iPhone.
AndroidPolice just posted screenshots of a leaked version of Google Wallet, but the most notable tidbit does not concern the app at all: Google plans to launch a Google Wallet card.
The card acts and looks like a typical credit card, but it stores many credit cards into one, shiny piece of plastic. It also works practically everywhere. According to the screenshots, users order the Google Wallet card from their Google Wallet app for front-door delivery.
AndroidPolice noted the significance of a physical Google Wallet card:
The other important implication? The physical Wallet card could make carrier approval for Wallet a thing of the past unless you want to use tap payments. Google could publish a version of the Wallet app without NFC permissions that just allows you to switch between your cards, that could be installed on any phone (even iOS or Windows Phone, theoretically), and you just use the Wallet card for payments. That’s pretty cool. And could seriously reduce the chance of rival mobile payment systems of catching on. Google really does seem to have thrown a wrench in the works of the likes of ISIS and other competing systems.
As for the Google Wallet app, it will soon feature a “Wallet Balance” option for depositing or withdrawing money. Users will also have the ability to transfer money from person to person. Availability for these latest Google Wallet features only seem to hint at the Unites States, for now, but stay tuned for more.
Skatter Tech’sSahas Katta wrote a blog post yesterday about his Windows Phone challenge experience and explained how he beat the contest using a Galaxy Nexus, but Microsoft employees withheld his prize “just because.”
Katta claimed he beat a “Get Smoked” Windows Phone challenge at the Santa Clara Microsoft Store yesterday. The assigned quest was to “bring up the weather of two different cities” faster than a competing Windows Phone user. Katta cold booted his smartphone as instructed, accessed his unlocked screen, and quickly viewed two separate weather widgets for San Jose and Berkeley that were luckily running on the device’s home screen.
Despite executing the task first, Katta was immediately told the Windows Phone “smoked” him:
I excitedly thought I won out of pure luck. However, I was quickly told that I lost. I asked for a reason and was told Windows Phone won because “it displays the weather right there.” That was rather unclear. I showed her my device which also was showing off the same information with two side-by-side weather widgets on the center home screen. After pressing for a better reason, I was told that Windows Phone won “just because.”
After trying to push for a real answer since I clearly won the contest by their rules, another Microsoft Store employee (possibly a manager) came by after noticing me asking more questions. Thinking on his feet, he quickly gave a ridiculous out-of-thin-air reason that I need to display the weather of different cities in different states and that “my phone could not do that”.
“Find better results using Google from your Windows Phone. Search the web faster and easier with the latest features: Google Autocomplete, My Location, and Voice Search,” announced the app’s description.