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Gadget Watch: MWC Preview

Microsoft Corp. (Nasdaq: MSFT), Android, and Long Term Evolution (LTE) are all expected to make waves in the device world next week at the Mobile World Congress as we run down what to watch for in Barcelona:

  • There's no word from Redmond on what Microsoft is working on, but the software giant is expected to make a big smartphone-related announcement on Monday. A Zune phone has been rumored for a while, but the smart money is on Microsoft unveiling Windows Mobile 7 or at least a revamped mobile operating system. Certainly Microsoft needs to ramp up its presence in the wireless sector again as competition from Google (Nasdaq: GOOG)'s Android OS heats up.

  • On that note, Huawei Technologies Co. Ltd. and Motorola Inc. (NYSE: MOT) are likely to show off Android updates at MWC. Huawei will have two new Android devices on hand, while Moto will update its Android software. High Tech Computer Corp. (HTC) (Taiwan: 2498), meanwhile, is rumored to be working on its fastest Android yet, the Scorpion. CCS Insight says there are likely to be over 50 Android devices shown off at the show in total.

  • Unstrung has already hipped you lucky readers to the NEC Corp. (Tokyo: 6701) LTE thin-client that will be shown off at MWC 2010. LG Electronics Inc. (London: LGLD; Korea: 6657.KS) also has modems it could show off in Barcelona. It will likely pay, however, to look beyond devices and search out LTE chipsets in order to get a sense of how the market is evolving and what silicon devices will actually use to get connected to the pre-4G technology.

  • Alvarion Technologies Ltd. (Nasdaq: ALVR), meanwhile, says it will have more than 20 new WiMax devices at MWC. These will include laptops, netbooks, USB dongles, mobile data devices, and tiny "personal hot spots." The company says it has been working with a variety of hardware vendors through its "OPEN WiMAX" program.

  • Oh, by the way, if you want a camera in your iPad, you might have to wait for the next generation of devices. It appears that Apple Inc. (Nasdaq: AAPL) wants to hire someone to design a camera into future models of its tablet computer.

    Want more? Just click on, gentle reader:

    — Dan Jones, Site Editor, Unstrung

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