- - Monday, October 11, 2010


Politics and Prose co-owner dies

Carla Cohen, co-owner of a bookstore that became a city institution and a key stop for writers ranging from Bill Clinton to J.K. Rowling, has died.

Miss Cohen died Monday of cancer of the bile ducts, the Politics and Prose bookstore announced on its website. She was 74 and died at her home in Washington.

A former city planner and congressional aide, Miss Cohen founded the store in 1984 and had run it with co-owner Barbara Meade.

During an era when superstore chains, the Internet and the economy led to the closing of thousands of independent stores, Politics and Prose expanded from a crowded storefront with less than 2,000 square feet to a two-story haven with more than 10,000 square feet, including a downstairs cafe.

In the past quarter century, Politics and Prose has become a key stop for political and literary figures promoting books, from Mr. Clinton and Jimmy Carter to Mrs. Rowling and John Updike. Nobel laureate V.S. Naipaul and former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice are among those expected to stop there this fall.


Microsoft to debut phone software

NEW YORK | Microsoft Corp., after years of declining sales of phones based on Microsoft’s Windows Mobile software, is introducing new handsets that will go up against Apple Inc.’s highly popular iPhone and the expanding number of phones running on Google Inc.’s Android operating system.

The first phone with Windows Phone 7 will be the Samsung Focus, which reaches AT&T Inc. stores Nov. 8 for $200 with a two-year contract requirement, Microsoft said Monday. It will be closely followed by two more phones for AT&T, made by LG Electronics Inc. and HTC Corp., and one for T-Mobile USA, also made by HTC.

In May, Microsoft launched another new phone software package, Kin, only to yank it about two months later in the face of dismal sales. Windows Phone 7 is a different beast, and Microsoft is putting its full weight behind it.

To stand out from the competition, Microsoft has given the software a different look. It is partly based on the aesthetic from the company’s Zune media players. It is centered on “tiles” on the front screen that are supposed to tell the user at a glance about important new information, such as e-mail and Facebook status update.

“We want you to get in, get out and back to your life,” Microsoft CEO Steven Ballmer said.


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