The Wrap: 4 September

The Wrap: 4 September

Microsoft + Nokia = ?

With Microsoft's announcement Kiwi time yesterday that it's inked to nab Nokia's devices and services business early next year, here's what we do know. The software giant wants to get bigger market share and profits in mobile off the back of Nokia's Lumia brand.

It's not just getting the existing devices, it's getting the capability to develop new ones with the addition of Nokia's design team and production facilities. 32,000 staff will be tranferring to Microsoft, according to its website. So what's Nokia getting?

The option of 1.5 billion Euros in financing from Microsoft and investment in a datacentre to support customers in Finland - and perhaps a big boost to its share price. Nokia will now focus on it network and infrastructure business, its HERE mapping technology and development and licensing unit Advanced Technologies.

But here's what we don't know. Will this be a successful hardware play for Microsoft? Will, as some commentators predict, Nokia CEO Stephen Elop take over from outgoing Microsoft boss Steve Ballmer? And will the newlyweds, that have been in a relationship since 2011, be worthy challengers to Apple and Google in the smartphone arena?

Smartwatch smackdown
A bunch of new timepiece-plus tech is tipped to come to wrists in the not too distant future - in fact two contestants are set to step into the arena this week.

Sony is said to be releasing its near field communication-powered Smartwatch 2 for Android on September 9; and Samsung is poised to unleash the Galaxy Gear about now. Omate's Kickstarter campaign  to find a hundred grand for its TrueSmart watch was well oversubscribed ahead of the scheduled close on September 20 (the company says it's the only one that cuts the smartphone apron strings), and in typical Apple product release fashion, rumours are flying about the iWatch. Most say it will be out next year. And we now know Google acquired smartwatch maker WIMM One last year.

Wearable tech is the hottest thing since, well, tech you can't wear. The Pebble and a few others have already made it to the smartwatch market. These things look cool, they can do stuff your smartphone can do and more besides. But there's a spy movie novelty that with this many choices could wear off.

No laughing matter

Do you love Comic Sans? Neither do we. But typographic engineer Vincent Connare has leapt to the defence of his much maligned font on HuffPo. Turns out he was trying to save us from Times New Roman. Debating for the negative team are graphic designers Dave and Holly Combs, who fell in love over their combined hatred of the typeface and formed the Ban Comic Sans campaign.

Video: Herald Sun

The thin blue line

You'll have seen those blue lines between tweets: Twitter's conversation tracker is its attempt to make conversations easier to follow. Not everyone's been in favour of this new feature, judging by this small sample of the backlash.

Idealog has been covering the most interesting people, businesses and issues from the fields of innovation, design, technology and urban development for over 12 years. And we're asking for your support so we can keep telling those stories, inspire more entrepreneurs to start their own businesses and keep pushing New Zealand forward. Give over $5 a month and you will not only be supporting New Zealand innovation, but you’ll also receive a print subscription and a copy of the new book by David Downs and Dr. Michelle Dickinson, No. 8 Recharged (while stocks last).