Microsoft

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.

RIM beds down with Microsoft for search

Microsoft seems to be on a roll at the moment, this week adding Canadian Blackberry maker Research In Motion to its lengthening list of partners. The deal announced this week makes Microsoft’s Bing the default search engine and mapping tool on Blackberry handsets, but the appearance of Steve Ballmer alongside RIM CEO Mike Lazaridis at the Blackberry World conference in Orlando, set tongues wagging.

Nortel sells IPv4 numbers to Microsoft

Squeezing the last drops of value out of its remaining assets, fading giant Nortel this week won approval to sell its block of IPv4 addresses to Microsoft for an estimated $7.5m.

Google offers $900m for Nortel patents portfolio

Nortel Networks is to continue its post-bankruptcy asset sell-off, announcing the sale of its remaining patent portfolio to Google. The search giant is said to have offered $900m in cash in a “stalking horse” arrangement that could yet see another bidder come in with a higher offer. The patents in question are said to include both granted and pending applications covering wireless, 4G/LTE, data networking, optical, voice, social networking and internet, among others

Telefonica joins with Microsoft to woo developers

European carrier Telefónica joined forces with Microsoft on Monday, in a bid to make developers feel more love from the carrier camp. José Valles, head of Telefónica’s BlueVia developer programme, openly admitted that operators had not had the best relationship with developers in the past before proclaiming that all that is about to change.

Nokia to stick with Symbian – for the time being

Despite its February announcement of a partnership deal with Microsoft, Nokia has reiterated its commitment to the Symbian platform. Many interpreted Nokia’s decision to adopt the Windows 7 mobile platform as the end of the road for Symbian; the once dominant platform has been struggling to keep up with Android in the market-share stakes and recently slipped behind it for the first time.

T-Mobile kills Danger

T-Mobile USA has said it will launch a new 4G Sidekick device that runs on Android “soon.” The move marks the end of the road for Danger, Microsoft’s client-server platform that features on the device; having continued to support the service following its withdrawal of the handset last year, T-Mobile announced yesterday that it would be switching off its Danger servers by the end of May 2011.

Nokia pledges smartphone future to Windows

Nokia has announced a partnership with Microsoft that will see the software firm’s Windows Phone platform adopted as the handset vendor’s primary smartphone platform. The news comes in a week when speculation over Nokia’s strategy was driven to fever pitch after a leaked memo from CEO and former Microsoft executive Stephen Elop revealed the depth of the crisis facing the Finnish firm.

Alleged Elop memo fuelling Nokia speculation

A frenzy of speculation has been unleashed ahead of a planned strategic briefing from Nokia on Friday 11th February, after a document reported to be an internal memo from CEO Stephen Elop has been published online. The document, which the BBC claimed on Wednesday to have verified as genuine, compares Nokia’s current position in the handset market to that of a man being forced to choose between the burning oil rig on which he stands and the dangerous, icy seas into which he must jump to avoid the flames.

Microsoft unveils Windows on a chip

Software giant Microsoft has made clear its aim to attack the mobile devices and consumer electronics market by demonstrating a forthcoming version of Windows that supports System on a Chip (SoC) architectures. Speaking in advance on the announcement, made at the CES show in Las Vegas on Wednesday, Steven Sinofsky, president of the Windows and Windows Live Division, made much mention of tablets as a major market for the operating system.

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