Business journalists who heard Bill Gates speak at the Society of American Business Editors and Writers conference last week in Seattle...

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Business journalists who heard Bill Gates speak at the Society of American Business Editors and Writers conference last week in Seattle didn’t get the full story.

The Microsoft chairman pitched the Tablet PC during his speech and mentioned that Detroit Free Press tech columnist Mike Wendland used one during an interview the previous week. “He’d switched from an Apple,” Gates said.

Not exactly. Wendland said his Motion 1400 Tablet is a great tool for a reporter and he did bring it to his Gates interview. But Wendland remains a diehard Mac user.

“I’d never leave Macs,” Wendland said via e-mail, after the speech. “The Tablet is my portable notepad. Macs are my main squeeze.”

Wendland described the Tablet as the “closest thing to Mac ‘cool’ I have ever seen in a PC.” Yet it’s not cool enough to replace the three Macs he runs at home — a G5, a 20-inch iMac and a 15-inch PowerBook.

“Just as I wouldn’t drive my wife’s Honda to an interview with Bill Ford at the Ford Motor Co. (I drove my F150 pickup), I brought the Tablet to Gates,” he wrote.


In Jamdat Mobile‘s first-quarter earnings report last week, the Los Angeles-based company predicted that its second quarter would exceed previous revenue expectations by $1.4 million, to $19 million.

The Street rewarded Jamdat, which publishes entertainment content for mobile phones, by boosting the stock almost 40 percent Friday, or $6.82, to close at $24.33.

That must have been felt all the way in Bellevue, where InfoSpace, which handles mobile content and Internet search development, reported first-quarter results last week. Its stock sank $11.94, or 26.5 percent, to $33.05 after it said it expected second-quarter revenue to dip below its first-quarter levels, to between $83 million and $85 million.

InfoSpace said the reason for the dip is that the second quarter is seasonally slow. Perhaps Jamdat experiences different seasons.

A semi-starry night

Microsoft is keeping tight wraps on the 30-minute program unveiling its next-generation Xbox console this week on cable music channel MTV.

The program was taped last week in Los Angeles with host Elijah Wood, and very few details of the segment have leaked out online. Xbox promises it will be a star-studded event, but so far the only celebrities who appear to have been involved are Tony Hawk, Alyssa Milano, Chris Kattan and “the dude from Road Rules.”

The program will likely be a scripted and tightly edited unveiling of the next-generation console, widely thought to be called Xbox 360.

A mad Apple

Apple vs. Apple is going to trial. In Apple Computer‘s latest quarterly report, filed with federal regulators Wednesday, the company said the trial hearing a lawsuit filed by Apple Corps — the copyright-management company formed by the Beatles — is set for the week of March 27, 2006.

Apple and Apple have duked it out in court for years, and each round usually has ended with Apple Computer paying money to settle claims.

In its latest lawsuit, filed in 2003 in London’s High Court of Justice, Apple Corps alleged that Apple Computer’s iTunes online music store breaches previous agreements between the two companies.

Download, a column of news bits, observations and miscellany, is gathered by The Seattle Times technology staff. We can be reached at 206-464-2265 or