Hot topics in the tech blogs for the week ending February 19: Microsoft announces Windows Phone 7 Series, Google still in trouble over its new social networking service Buzz, Verizon approves VoIP calls via a mobile version of Skype, Adobe unveils AIR for Android and Flash 10.1 adding fuel to the Flash vs HTML 5 debate, and US and EU government watchdogs give the nod for a Microsoft and Yahoo! alliance.

Windows Phone 7 Series
After years of complaining about Microsoft's mobile OS offerings, bloggers finally proclaimed "Everything Is Different Now" with the unveiling of Microsoft's (albeit awkwardly titled) Windows Phone 7 Series. As Gizmodo's Matt Buchanan wrote, Windows Phone 7 Series is, "the most groundbreaking phone since the iPhone. It's the phone Microsoft should've made three years ago." And while most bloggers are raving about Microsoft's 'ambitious project,' ZDNet's Barry Dignan voiced a question that was on many people's lips: "Microsoft's Windows Phone 7 Series: Too little too late?"

Google Buzz privacy
Bloggers continued to write about Google's new social networking service Buzz and the implications of its ongoing "privacy blunders" this week. The LA Times and The San Francisco Chronicle highlighted escalating consumer complaints and impending legal action against Google in their articles "Local class action complaint filed over Google Buzz" and "Privacy watchdog files complaint with FTC over Google Buzz." Blogs like Zengestrom and Read Write Web were more pro-active and made suggestions about how Google could improve Buzz - which was followed up by Google's own "5 Buzz tips" blogpost that highlighted the improvements Google had made over the weekend. The Business Insider's Nicholas Carlson applauded Google for its rapid implementation of the much needed improvements in his post "How Google Went Into "Code Red" And Saved Google Buzz."

Verizon and Skype
"Skype on Verizon: A Big Deal or Not?" That was the question that echoed around the tech blogs this week when Verizon and Skype announced they were forming a partnership that would enable Verizon Wireless customers (with selected models of BlackBerry and Android-powered smartphones and a 3G data plan) to make unlimited VoIP Skype-to-Skype calls. "[T]he implications of this kind of partnership are potentially huge," wrote Mashable's Christina Warren.

Adobe Flash Player and AIR for Android
Despite the rumored claims that Apple CEO Steve Job called Adobe's Flash a "CPU hog" and "old technology" (and his refusal to allow Flash on both the iPhone and iPad platforms), Adobe revealed it has collaborated with almost 70 ecosystem partners and is eager to see Flash used on up-and-coming smartphone platforms like Google's Android OS. The announcement of Adobe AIR and Flash 10.1 has added fuel to the Flash Vs HTML 5 debate that is taking place on the technology blogs.

Microsoft and Yahoo! alliance
A search deal between Microsoft and Yahoo! received the go-ahead from both the US Department of Justice and the European Commission this week paving the way for Microsoft to roll out their search algorithms on Yahoo! sites and for Yahoo! to become the exclusive sales force for premium search advertisers for both companies. The Next Web writes that "the EU and US approvals essentially concede that Google is so far ahead in the search race that even a theoretically anti-competitive merger like this actually increases competition in the market." Microsoft-watch.com conceded that "Microsoft and Yahoo both face an uphill battle against Google for U.S. search engine market share."

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