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Today's Tech: The HTC One X+, Amazon lists the HTC Windows Phone 8X for pre-order and a very sorry Tim Cook

It's never a dull end to the week here at ITProPortal, as today's moving and shaking proves. Forthcoming smartphones make up some of our more interesting points of coverage this Friday, and news that Amazon has officially listed the HTC Windows Phone 8X for pre-order (opens in new tab) was among the headlines. After the Nokia Lumia 920, the 8X is arguably the most eagerly anticipated mobile yet to be released, and the online retail giant has now all-but-confirm its early-November availability. More specifically, HTC's first Windows 8 device should ship on 8 November, provided you're able to meet the £400 price tag, of course.

As a tidy little follow on, we also got wind that HTC's other key autumn handset, the One X+, has been outed (opens in new tab) – this time by way of the latest edition of the O2 catalogue. Potentially, the X+ is an even more impressive sounding specimen than the 8X, packing a dual-core Snapdragon processor that boasts a positively beastly 1.7GHz clock speed. What's more, it arrives pre-loaded with Android 4.1 Jelly Bean, so they'll be none of this "Will they, won't they?" upgrade malarkey heading into 2013. Surely it's set to be the must-have smartphone for fandroid's this Christmas – and if it's not, then we hope you'll tell us what is, and why we're wrong.

Now, with back-to-school season upon us and the release of Windows 8 on the horizon, the time is ripe for retailers to offer cracking discounts on Intel Ultrabooks. Though the machines use spinning hard drives and slightly slower processors than their notebook counterparts, the slimmed down laptops are an undeniably attractive option for many consumers. Our very own Desire Athow has tracked down the UK's five best value Ultrabooks, retailing for as little as £388.39 (opens in new tab). Follow the link for the complete list and more details about deals on devices from the likes of Lenovo, Samsung, and Acer.

(opens in new tab) (opens in new tab)Cloud computing can save the economy (opens in new tab). That's what Neelie Kroes, European Commissioner for Digital Agenda, thinks anyway. According to Kroes, the cloud can provide a cheaper, more convenient and flexible service, which in turn could lead to the creation of millions of jobs and boost the European economy by €160 million. She admitted that many still consider the cloud to be risky and complex but recognised that work has to be done in order for the service to gain consumers' trust (and subsequently provide significant rewards).

Finally, after a week of public griping about the disastrous iOS 6 Maps app, Apple CEO Tim Cook has addressed the critics, offering an unexpectedly outright apology for the software's failures (opens in new tab). In an open letter addressed to customers, Cook said he was "extremely sorry" for the app's shortcomings, which run the gamut from misplaced cities to inaccurately labelled landmarks. Perhaps more surprising than the apology itself, though, was Cook's suggestion that customers use rival apps from competitors like Google and Nokia. Meanwhile, we at ITProPortal have all our fingers, toes, and appendages crossed for the eventual release of an iOS Google Maps app.

Aatif is a freelance copywriter and journalist based in the UK. He’s written about technology, science and politics for publications including Gizmodo, The Independent, Trusted Reviews, Newsweek, and ITProPortal.