Surface Pro Coming Feb. 9; Firefox OS Developer Phones; AT&T’s Alltel Deal
Topping tech headlines on Tuesday was Microsoft’s announcement that the Surface tablet with Windows 8 Pro, or Surface Pro, will be available in the U.S. and Canada on Feb. 9.
The 64GB version will cost $899, while the larger 128GB will be $999. Redmond also tipped a 64GB version of the Surface with Windows RT ($599) which doesn’t come with a Touch Cover, as well as new limited-edition Touch Covers ($129), and a Surface-specific version of the Microsoft Wedge Touch Mouse ($69.95).
In other news, Mozilla unveiled two new developer preview phones that feature the browser maker’s Firefox OS. Dubbed Keon and Peak, the phones are being developed by Spanish manufacturer GeeksPhone, in partnership with Telefonica. The devices, Mozilla said, will help make the mobile Web more accessible to more people. Mozilla’s Keon is a 3.5-inch touch screen smartphone, whereas the slightly larger Peak stands at 4.3 inches. The phones will be available in February, though no pricing information was released.
Meanwhile, AT&T bought the U.S. retail wireless operations of Atlantic Tele-Network Inc. (Alltel), including wireless properties, licenses, network assets, retail stores, and about 585,000 subscribers. Through the new deal, the service provider will nab spectrum in the 700 MHz, 850 MHz, and 1900 MHz bands — likely a big draw as the company continues to build out its 4G LTE network. If the deal is approved by the FCC and Justice Department, AT&T expects it to close in the second half of 2013.
Also making headlines Tuesday:
- Report: Samsung Confirms Galaxy Note 8 for MWC: Samsung’s mobile chief, JK Shin, has reportedly confirmed that the company will show off a Galaxy Note 8 tablet at next month’s Mobile World Congress.
- Dish to Close 300 More Blockbuster Stores: Dish plans to close 300 more Blockbuster stores in the coming weeks, leaving 3,000 employees without a job.
- Amazon Extends In-App Purchasing to Web, Mac, PC: Amazon announced plans to extend its in-app purchasing service to cover Mac, PC, and Web-based gaming platforms.
- Sign Up for Elder Scrolls Online Beta Test Now: The long-awaited The Elder Scrolls Online is finally opening the doors to Tamriel for beta testing.
- LTE Subscribers to Double in 2013, Top 100M: Global LTE subscribership is expected to more than double in 2013, surpassing the 100 million mark, according to new data from IHS iSuppli.
- ‘Mailbox’ Email App for iPhone Accepting Invite Requests: The upcoming email management app, dubbed Mailbox, has yet to be formally released, but its growing popularity has prompted the company to implement a download reservation system.
- Intel to Shutter Motherboard Business, Reallocate Resources: Intel announced that it will shutter its long-standing retail desktop motherboard business after the imminent rollout of fourth-gen Intel Core processors.
- Rumor: Microsoft Enters Dell Buyout Talks: Microsoft is “in talks” with Dell and a private equity firm to discuss investing $1 to $3 billion toward a leveraged buyout of the computer maker, CNBC reported.
- From Pong to Asteroids: Atari’s High Scores: With Atari apparently headed for bankruptcy, we look back on what made the company great.
By Stephanie Mlot, PCMag