Archive for October, 2010

Have you heard? Suing a company for using Android is the new black; everyone is doing it. Microsoft has announced today that they are suing Motorola for patent infringement in their Android phones. Specifically, the software giant is claiming that Android, as implemented by Motorola, violates patents for, “including synchronizing email, calendars and contacts, scheduling meetings, and notifying applications of changes in signal strength and battery power.”

Both Apple and Oracle are suing over patent infringement on Android, and Microsoft cited these cases as justification for this action. Motorola is concentrating on Android, and passing on Windows Phone 7, which could be part of the motivation here. Microsoft is always touting the relationship they will have with licensees of WP7. Anyone that uses WinPho7 will be indemnified by Redmond. It’s rather like Microsoft is nudging Moto and saying, “See what you get?”

It’s unclear if Microsoft is just looking to ruffle some feathers and snag a cross licensing deal, or if this is going to be dragged out in court for years. What’s your take?

andscales

The latest browser market share statistics are out from Web analytics firm Net Applications, and of all the browsers, only Google’s Chrome made any kind of notable gain.

Chrome bumped up its position from 7.52 percent in August to nearly 8 percent in September, which is more than twice the market share it held one year ago.

Microsoft’s Internet Explorer continued to slip, dropping from 60.40 percent to 59.65 percent in that same time frame. Both Firefox and Opera held steady by increasing their share a nominal 0.03 and 0.02 percent, respectively, while Apple’s Safari browser continued its slow but steady climb, rising from 5.16 percent to 5.27 percent.

Released in the middle of September, Microsoft’s IE9 Beta accounted for 0.25 percent of browser usage in the last two weeks of the month.

Image Credit: jhonlara.com

Don’t know what to do with your old smartphone now that you’ve upgraded to a slick device sporting a Snapdragon processor? You could toss it in the garbage, though that won’t earn you any brownie points with Mother Nature. Or you could take advantage of Verizon Wireless’ new Trade-In Program.

“By using the Verizon Wireless Trade-In Program, you are disposing of your device in a simple, safe, and easy way! Look no further to trade in your used device…we accept all devices, regardless of wireless carrier or model,” Verizon says.

Verizon Wireless set up a site where you can appraise your device, and if it has any value, you’ll receive a gift card by mail. If it isn’t worth anything, you can still send it to the company for recycling.

More info and free appraisals here.

Image Credit: Verizon

Citing “people familiar with the launch plans,” The Wall Street Journal reports Microsoft will officially unveil a handful of Windows Phone 7 devices on October 11, 2010, with AT&T offering them for up sale four weeks later (November 8, 2010).

AT&T will initially be the exclusive carrier of Microsoft’s Windows Phone 7 series and will help Microsoft market the devices in return. At launch, AT&T will offer three handsets provided by Samsung, LG, and HTC.

It isn’t a big shock that AT&T scored an exclusivity deal with Microsoft, giving that the Redmond outfit named the carrier its premier Windows Phone 7 partner in the U.S. back in February. But it’s at least interesting considering AT&T also carries Apple’s iPhone.

Microsoft Chief Executive Officer Steve Ballmer will have to make do with only a $670,000 cash bonus for the fiscal year ended June 30, which is half of the maximum bonus payout and equal to his annual salary, according to an SEC filing.

In a discussion of Ballmer’s pay, the filing brought up the “unsuccessful launch of the Kin phone, loss of market share in the company’s mobile phone business, and the need for the company to pursue innovations to take advantage of new form factors.”

Microsoft’s ill-fated Kin phone lasted only three months on the market before it was axed and can be considered one of the company’s bigger flops. Microsoft has also been scrutinized for not competing with Apple’s iPad, whether it be their own device (like the Courier) or via a third-party’s slate.

Despite all this, Ballmer still managed to help increase sales 7 percent to a record $62.5 billion. Ballmer was also lauded for reducing costs, launching the latest versions of Windows and Office, and promoting cloud computing and gaming.

Ballmer’s total pay package comes to $1.34 million for fiscal 2010.

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