Ask an expert what the mobile phone industry of the future looks like and you’ll get what seems to be a dystopian vision straight from the dark imagination of sci-fi.
With the power to buy, sell and make decisions on our behalf, phones will come to dominate our lives, invading our privacy and, via under-skin implants, our bodies.
It isn’t all bad. As they become more sophisticated, phones will completely unshackle us from our desktops, will use up less time and money — and could even save our lives.
Microsoft may be a relative newcomer to in-store retailing, but it’s getting the hang of this Black Friday thing.
The computing giant, with 14 retail stores across the U.S., is diving into the post-Thanksgiving shopping madness with a slew of substantial new discounts on laptops, phones, software, games and its Kinect gaming system for the Xbox 360 console.
The sale begins online Friday at 12:01 a.m. PT, when most Microsoft stores will open, and lasts through Monday. Some of the deals are just available in stores, while others are offered only at Microsoft’s online store.
– Sony S137GX notebook: $599, normally $999 (online only)
– Samsung RC512 laptop running Windows 7: $499, normally $799
– Acer Iconia Dual-Screen Touchbook: $599, normally $999
– Xbox Ultimate Gaming Bundle, which includes accessories, a game and a 90-day Xbox Live membership: up to $200 off
– Kinect Sensor Holiday Bundle, which includes three games: $100, normally $150 (not available online)
– A free Windows Phone with a two-year service agreement (the site doesn’t specify the carrier)
– Office Home and Student suite of software: $120, normally $150
Microsoft also is cutting prices — in many cases by half — on such recent popular Xbox games as “Assassin’s Creed Revelations,” “Battlefield 3″ and “Madden 2012.” See its Facebook page for an entire list.
These discounts are much deeper than those announced Wednesday by rival Apple, which is trimming prices on iPads, iPods and Macs by less than 10%.