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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Tuesday, February 16, 2010

BUSINESS BRIEFS
Windows Phone 7 Series to debut next fall


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Hawaii news photo - The Honolulu Advertiser

Steve Ballmer

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LOS ANGELES After years of being overshadowed by smart-phone rivals, Microsoft Corp. said yesterday that it's ready to step into the limelight with its latest mobile technology.

At a mobile industry conference in Barcelona, Spain, the software giant unveiled a new touch-screen operating system for smart phones that will run on devices from major international wireless providers and manufacturers. The system's debut is aimed for the holiday season next fall.

Called Windows Phone 7 Series, the operating system is the software giant's renewed effort to fight technology rivals powerhouses Apple Inc. and Google Inc. in the increasingly competitive market for mobile communication devices.

"In a crowded market filled with phones that look the same and do the same things, I challenged the team to deliver a different kind of mobile experience," said Microsoft Chief Executive Steve Ballmer.

GOOGLE APOLOGIZES OVER PRIVACY ISSUES

SAN FRANCISCO This was not the kind of buzz Google Inc. wanted to generate.

The Internet giant took the unusual step of apologizing to users over the weekend for features in its new social networking service, Google Buzz, that some said violated their privacy.

The mea culpa did not pacify privacy watchdogs who contended that this is yet another example of online companies playing fast and loose with consumers' private information.

Last week, Google launched a new social networking service inside millions of Gmail accounts, its latest bid to break into social networking and counter the growing popularity of Facebook and Twitter. The launch caused an uproar as people got nervous that their private e-mail contacts or e-mail address would be exposed.

The Electronic Privacy Information Center said it would still file a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission today.

GREECE TOLD TO MAKE MORE CUTS

BRUSSELS European finance ministers bluntly told Greece to prepare tougher spending cuts and new taxes in an attempt to snuff out a government debt crisis that has shaken the entire eurozone.

The 16 countries that use the euro warned Greece yesterday it will need to take the extra measures if current cutbacks don't lower its deficit from a staggering 12.7 percent of economic output to a still-high 8.7 percent this year.

A progress report is due March 16. Greece was already under pressure for falsifying statistics and now faces scrutiny for using complex financial deals to hide debt going back to 2001.

Eurozone nations fear a Greek default could spark a wider European debt crisis, threatening governments' ability to borrow money.