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High-tech hot topics: Skype outage, net neutrality, Windows for tablets

Hot topics in the tech blogs for the week ending December 24 include VoIP phone service Skype suffers major outage, US introduces net neutrality regulations (and everyone complains), rumors suggest Microsoft is working on new version of its Windows software for low-power devices, Microsoft sells 1.5 million Windows Phone 7 handsets - to retailers, and new tablet rumors.

Global Skype Outage
VoIP phone service Skype suffered their first major outage this week disrupting calls around the globe. Bloggers commended Skype on its social media crisis management skills while others questioned "what did we do before Skype?" and "How much will outage hurt skype?"

Net neutrality regulations
Sentiments about America's newly introduced net neutrality regulations (rules that state that network and ISP providers should treat all internet traffic equally and not charge consumers more for faster internet access) were clear in the blogs; "everyone hates new net neutrality rules-even NN supporters."

Microsoft working on new version of windows
The Wall Street Journal reported that Microsoft is getting ready to demonstrate a new version of its Windows software that will be specifically tailored for low-power devices (like tablets and netbooks). The software will go on show at CES in January says the Wall Street Journal, however, it wont be available for another two years.

Windows Phone 7 sales
Microsoft announced that it has sold 1.5 million Windows Phone 7 handsets in the six weeks since launch however, journalists pointed out that the sales were made to carriers and retailers, not to customers. "Real Windows Phone 7 Numbers Still A Question Mark," "Shame that Microsoft and Tech Press doesn't know what a "sale" is" and "Windows Phone 7 Sales: Who Said Numbers Never Lie?" read headlines in the blogs.

Next generation iPad, PalmPad in the works
Tablet rumours flared up again this week. Reports detailed some of the changes Apple might make to the next version of its iPad and news leaked that Palm is putting the final touches on three "PalmPad" tablets. If rumors are to be believed, the next generation iPad will have an iPod touch-like back, thinner bezel and a bigger speaker while the PalmPad will run on WebOS, have a mini HDMI port and front and rear facing cameras.