The revolutionary device ITwitter hit the shelves early last week, following several weeks of beta-testing in New England. It requires a contract to the iTwitter service, which comes free for a year with purchase of a new iTwitter. The suggested retail price, if purchased without the service, is $2,829, and includes the portable version of the Microsoft Surface.
What makes the iTwitter unique is that reads tweets to you in real time while you work, play and shop with built-in voice processing software. While designed to enable micro bloggers easier access to their favorite authors, users will also be able to send and receive email, plus submit their own tweets via a tiny touchscreen keyboard that uses the Dvorak layout. Of course, the included ear buds will come in black, pink and the ever chic white.
The iTwitter comes with the next generation of mobile operating system named Windows7Up, all pre-loaded and preconfigured for immediate use. The fairly full featured OS with all the basic programs you’d expect from a Windows Mobile device, but it does not include any method of installing programs from CDs, so the user is expected to use the built-in 3G wireless to download any new software; Bit Torrent is pre-installed. The only notable drawback is that the iTwitter takes up to 18 minutes to boot up.
Almost immediately after the iTwitter was released lawsuits were filed by Twitter, Apple, Discovery Communications, Dr. Pepper/Seven Up, RIM, RIAA, NTP, PalTalk, TomTom, Dianne Kelly of Camano Island FL, the Federal Communications Commission and the European Union. Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer, playing in the company’s annual family picnic kickball game, reacted to the steady stream of process servers by throwing both second and third bases into shallow left field, missing shortstop Maria Elena Juarez by only a few feet.
Steven Kalwolindovich, the aide to the White House deputy assistant communications director for Internet affairs, said that President Barack Obama had no official comment, but added that he felt the lawsuits were making a “mountain out of a molehill.”
“Since Twitter has no business plan, doesn’t cost anything, and everyone uses it,” Kowalski noted, “it’s almost a fundamental right that Microsoft should be able to build this kind of device.” He went on to say, “Besides, everyone around here uses them to keep track of the kids. You never know what they might reveal to some foreign operative—and if everyone buys one, we won’t need another round of bailout funding.”
There was more bad news for the iTwitter, as Korean-made knock offs were on the shelf the Friday before, a several days before legitimate versions of the iTwitter made their debut. Many new users were unable to register their new devices and complete the sign up for iTwitter service because the Korean made knockoffs had legitimate registration key numbers. Even though the stickers on the devices contained several misspellings, the registration numbers on them were somehow valid.
One early adopter of iTwitter, Summer Ciera Jacoby, a 17-year-old high school junior from Smileyberg, KS, reported that her tweets with LaBron Pitt-McQueen, the alleged older brother of actor Brad Pitt and online friend of Summer’s, were “interrupted by an Aqua Screen Of Death”. Upon closer examination it was discovered that she had inadvertently purchased a knockoff when she noticed the error screen was labeled “Broo Scren from the Dead” near the bottom of the screen.
Another complication became evident when approximately 135 traders at Charles Schwab started laughing when simultaneously hearing the tweets being posted by people involved in the layoffs at Mzinga, a marketing company that has recently found difficulty securing more venture capital funding.
Plans to release the smaller tie clip sized iTwitter Yanoo are on hold for the moment.
Smells like an April Fool’s joke and not a bad one either.