Microsoft

Nokia smartphones “too expensive” says Telefónica handset chief

Nokia’s high end smartphones are “too expensive” according to the European general manager for devices at international carrier Telefónica. Simon Lee-Smith told Telecoms.com that Nokia’s premium devices are “not yet at the right price point,” adding: “If Nokia wants to sell in volume, they need to bring out devices which are cost-competitive.”

Windows 8 winning support from mobile chipset designers

US chipset manufacturer Qualcomm has confirmed full support for Microsoft Windows 8 PCs and smartphones based on its next generation Snapdragon family of processors. The move is of interest as it marks the arrival of an OS designed to span both the PC and mobile device form factors and Qualcomm’s foray into the same area.

HTC responds to tracking claims

HTC has become the latest mobile player to become embroiled in controversy over tracking users’ locations. The Taiwanese vendor faces allegations that two of its handsets, the Sensation and Evo 3D, track users’ locations without permission.

HTC spreads bets with WP7 Mango handsets

Taiwanese handset vendor HTC has previewed two Windows Phone 7 smartphones to consumers across Europe, ahead of the products’ commercial release in October. The Titan and Radar handsets are the first from HTC to run the latest version of WP7, dubbed Mango.

Skype picks up GroupMe

Internet telephony player Skype, recently acquired by Microsoft, is doing some shopping of its own, entering into an agreement to acquire mobile group messaging provider GroupMe. Founded in 2010 in New York, GroupMe allows users to group text, conference call, and share pictures and location data.

First Windows Phone 7 Mango handset to hit KDDI in September

The next version of Microsoft’s Windows Phone platform will finally bear fruit in September when a phone featuring the Mango update will hit Japanese shelves. The software giant has company has now officially signed off on the RTM version off the OS and in a blog post, Terry Myerson, corporate vice president of phone engineering said that this, “marks the point in the development process where we hand code to our handset and mobile that operator partners to optimize Mango for their specific phone and network configurations.”

Canadian government to review Nortel patent sale

The Nortel patents auction saga took another twist Wednesday when Canadian Industry Minister Christian Paradis said that his government will hold an investigation into the sale to establish whether it complies with the terms of the Investment Canada Act.

Facebook and Skype announce video sharing partnership

Social networking giant Facebook and video chat leader Skype have announced a video sharing partnership enabling Facebook users to place Skype directly to any of their Facebook ‘Friends’ without having to leave the website.

Industry giants gang up on Google to win Nortel patents

The bunfight for Nortel’s patent chest concluded yesterday, with Chief Strategy Officer George Riedel’s announcement that “following a very robust auction”, the winning bid came from a buyer too big for even Google to take on. Following months of speculation and a $900m kick-off bid from Mountain View, the booty has gone to a consortium that reads like a Who’s Who of the tech industry: Apple, EMC, Ericsson, Microsoft, RIM and Sony. Even with names like that in the mix, the $4.5bn price paid is still pretty eye-watering or, as Nortel’s Riedel preferred to put it, “unprecedented.”

Microsoft leads consortium on using TV ‘white spaces’ for Wi-Fi

A consortium of companies led by Microsoft and including Nokia, the BBC, BSkyB and Samsung, has begun a test program in Cambridge, England to discover if un-required TV spectrum could be reused to create so called “super Wi-Fi hotspots.” These would provide internet coverage to provide offload for areas where there is too much data traffic, or for those where there is no broadband at all.

Microsoft’s Skype deal gets the go-ahead

Microsoft’s bid for Skype has received the go-ahead from American anti-trust regulators, following an “early termination” of a review into the proposed sale. Under America’s Hart-Scott-Rodinho (HSR) Act, certain types of large mergers and acquisitions deals must be submitted for review by the government.

Telstra to pump £500m+ into cloud services

Telstra has announced a £500m+ (AU$800m) investment in cloud computing over the next five years to support what it says is a growing demand from Australian organisations for cloud services. The telco is rumoured to have invested AU$200m in cloud to date and this latest announcement will kick-off the construction of a new data centre, the modernisation of existing facilities, increased automation of utility computing services and the expansion of the telco’s range of enterprise applications, among other things. Construction of a new data centre in Melbourne is already underway.

Microsoft opposes Google bid for Nortel patents

Microsoft has joined HP, Motorola Mobility and Nokia in a growing line of tech companies opposed to Google’s proposed $900m purchase of Nortel’s patent assets. According to Redmond, a 2006 deal means that Microsoft has a “worldwide, perpetual, royalty-free licence to all of Nortel’s patents” and that this agreement is binding regardless of who buys the intellectual property.

US DoJ reportedly concerned about Nortel patent bids

As interest in defunct kit maker Nortel’s patent portfolio heightens, the US Department of Justice (DoJ) is reported to be taking a close interest in the bidders. Apple is the latest company reported to be interested in making a purchase after Google opened bidding with a $900m offer in April. Now the DoJ is said to be concerned that the patents will be used to stymie competition in the telecoms sector.

Google wants real-time comms in the browser

Google has announced the open sourcing of its WebRTC framework for real time browser-based video and audio communications. The technology, which Google acquired when it bought Global IP Solutions last year, has been released under a royalty-free BSD license.

Microsoft to take on patent trolls

As tit-for-tat patent infringement litigation steps up a few notches in the telecoms world, people with a sense of irony will no doubt appreciate the news that Microsoft has signed up as the first member of a new organisation challenging specious software patents. The company that has threatened the likes of Salesforce and TomTom over their use of Linux (which Redmond claims infringes on Microsoft IP – an assertion that has yet to be tested in court) has signed up for Litigation Avoidance, a crowdsourcing service “designed to help companies analyse and act on patents of questionable quality.”

Nokia warns of poor performance, withdraws financial targets

Troubled Finnish handset vendor Nokia has said that it will not hit its sales or margin targets for the second quarter of 2011 due to a range of factors impacting negatively on its business. The firm said its difficulties are such that it was “no longer appropriate to provide annual targets for 2011.”

Peeling back the skin on Microsoft Mango

The latest version of Microsoft’s mobile operating system, Windows Phone, ripened this week. Mango, as it is known, adds more than 500 new features, including threads which switch between text, Facebook and Windows Live Messenger within the same conversation; the ability to group contacts into personalized Live Tiles; as well as deeper social network integration.

Microsoft confirms Skype puchase for $8.5bn

Software giant Microsoft is set to announce the acquisition of VoIP company Skype in an all cash deal said to be worth $8.5bn. Such a move would give Microsoft a greater presence with internet telephony and video calling capabilities.

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