Yes, the patent battle between Microsoft and Google’s Motorola is still going on. Microsoft already won in the court that Motorola’s Android devices are infringing Microsoft’s patents. Motorola was trying to persuade the Federal Circuit to reverse lower court’s finding. However, The United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit today ruled against Motorola’s appeal of an import ban Microsoft won from the United States ITC in May 2012.
From FOSS Patents,
The appeals court found that the ITC’s related determinations were based on substantial evidence. This is a rather difficult standard of review for appellants to overcome. It doesn’t necessarily mean that the appellate judges would have decided the case the same way with the same set of facts before them. It merely means that there were facts based on which one can’t blame the ITC for arriving at its conclusions, but the appeals court might have upheld the opposite decision as well.
Read more from the link below.
Source: FOSS Patents
Under the terms of Nokia’s deal with Microsoft Nokia is forbidden from producing any smartphones for the next 2 years, but given how time flies many Nokia fans have been holding out hope for a Nokia smartphone comeback in 2015.
Now Chinese site C-Technology reports that while Android devices, including a 7 inch tablet, had been in the works at Nokia’s CTO division, which will remain with Nokia post deal, plans for these have now been shelved in favour of next generation wearables.
Instead of creating just another Android smartphone or tablet in a very competitive market, the company is apparently looking to focus on emerging technologies like wireless power transmission, low power electromagnetic energy generation, flexible displays, graphene sensors and augmented reality.
Apparently the cancellation of the Android plans were without Microsoft’s intervention, and were the result of Nokia becoming de-skilled in the area due to the transfer of their handset division to Microsoft.
Personally we feel this is a good move, as it is likely Microsoft was planning to coast for quite a while on Nokia’s reputation, and it would have been very confusing for the market if Nokia returned with their own competing Android devices.
Do our readers agree? Let us know below.
The Verge has revealed some details about the Nokia Normandy, which the Verge has now confirmed is a low-end Android phone, which was to take a position between Nokia’s ASHA handsets and the Nokia Lumia 520.
The handset would run a forked version of Android, and would be able to run apps like Skype, and was meant to be launched in 2014.
According to the Verge the team is still working “full steam ahead” but I suspect this will be one project Microsoft will be cancelling as soon as they take over.
The news does confirm there exists a gap in Nokia’s Windows Phone line-up for a really cheap but fully capable smartphone, and we wonder if Microsoft will be releasing an even cheaper Windows Phone 8 handset or even go back to Windows Phone 7 to fill the gap.
The future of Nokia Music was in doubt when Microsoft announced their acquisition of Nokia Devices and Services division. Nokia VP once commented that the following on future of Nokia Music,
“All I would say is that if you look at what they’ve done(Microsoft with Xbox Music) and what we’ve done carefully, there are some very complementary activities going on, and very little overlap,”
Chinese site CTech today reported that Nokia is planning to release HTML5 versions of their Music app for iOS and Android platforms. They even posted some screenshots of the upcoming Nokia Music HTML5 app in action. Find it after the break. Just like how Nokia has decided to keep HERE Maps platform with themselves, there is a possibility that Nokia will try to retain Nokia Music service after the acquisition. I think Microsoft would agree with this deal since they are already moving forward with Xbox Music app with native apps on different platforms.
What do you think?
Blackberry has always prided itself on the security of their operating system, but this was not enough to ensure their survival in the cut-throat smartphone market, especially with the massive app gap between it and the leading smartphone operating systems.
In a last-ditch Hail Mary pass Blackberry has decided to throw their legacy out the window, and have unlocked their Android emulator and are allowing Blackberry 10 users to download and install Android APK’s directly to their smartphones.
Unfortunately this freedom did not come with access to the Google Play store, the result being Blackberry 10 users who are using the latest versions of the operating system are getting all their software from 3rd party app stores filled with pirated Android software and the malware that goes along with it.
While the Android apps still run in a different environment from the “business” side of Blackberry OS, it seems rather likely that the majority of 3rd party apps Blackberry 10 users will be using will be Android apps downloaded from dubious sources, carried inside the firewall of the few businesses who still support them.
In one fell swoop Blackberry has both solves the “app gap” for their smartphone users, and destroyed the reputation of the company for security and safety for users and the companies who purchase their handsets. We can only congratulate their genius…
Blackberry’s recently failed sales process has revealed that amongst many other bidders Google also expressed interest in purchasing all or part of the Canadian company.
Of course I strongly suspect due to anti-trust concerns Google would not be allowed to snap up the troubled company, but it seems Google has found another way to exert its influence on the smartphone market.
Recent leaks of the latest version of the Blackberry OS, version 10.2.1, includes a new version of the Blackberry Runtime for Android which removes much of the restrictions which have stopped Android apps from running reliably on Blackberry 10 handsets, mainly those surrounding the Google Service Framework. There are also rumours that the OS will ship with the Google Play Store, allowing Blackberry 10 phones to run all million Android apps.
In their quarterly Mobile Threat report F-Secure reports that Android has continued its commanding lead when it comes to exposing its using to mobile malware.
The operating system has seen a strong increase in the 3rd quarter of 2013, adding 251 new families or variants of malware, and is responsible for more than 97% of new threats, with the venerable Symbian being responsible for the balance.
The most worrying element of the Android malware threat is its increasing professionalism. An increasing number are profit-motivated, sending premium-rate text messages, and one in five mobile threats are now bots, which is a sign that complexity of Android malware is increasing, the report said.
New tools like Androrat APK binder now also make it increasingly easy to subvert legitimate applications by inserting malicious code.
Windows phone scored 0 for 0, with no new threats and none in the past either – the only platform with a completely clean record. It seems in the wild west of mobile malware, there remains at least one safe haven.
AllaboutWindowsPhone have posted some comparison shots of the Nokia Lumia 1020 vs Google’s latest greatest, the Nexus 5, which has an 8 megapixel camera with Optical Image Stabilization.
The above picture is a 100% crop from an outdoor autumnal scene, and shows the obvious superiority of the Nokia Lumia 1020 camera (top half of the picture) with great colour and a high level of detail, even though its 5 megapixel vs 8 megapixel.
Long time Microsoft-focussed analyst Rick Sherlund from Nomura financial is claiming that Microsoft is making 2bn every year in patent licensing for Android.
The revenue is said to have a 95% profit margin, making it nearly all free money.
Microsoft is long rumoured to be extracting between $5 and $15 from an increasingly large number of Android OEMs, including the biggest, Samsung, with nearly 1 billion Android handsets shipping each year.
According to Sherlund , who has a radical agenda, Microsoft is using this revenue to cover up steep losses in the Xbox division. Sherlund wants Microsoft to sell Bing and Xbox, noting that they were out of place in the company’s line-up and did not contribute to the sales of smartphones or tablets or the Windows operating system.
Sherlund’s agenda gives a look at the future of Microsoft if the bean counters are placed in charge. He wants the whole board replaced, and for Steve Ballmer to be bought out completely from the company to ensure he has no influence at all.
He further wants Microsoft to:
- Build out Azure, the cloud platform that rivals Amazon.
- Make sure its enterprise software works across platforms. Office needs to work on Android and iOS to compete with Google’s apps which are growing.
- Skype and Yammer are not being taking advantage of. Microsoft should do more with both.
Does this vision scare our readers as much as it does me? Let us know below.
The latest versions of Android has required more and more hardware to run effectively, with most devices now needing 2 GB of RAM.
This has meant that low-end Android phones tended to come with older versions of the OS, even as far back as 2.3, to allow the OS to run at all, let alone smoothly, on low-RAM handsets.
A bit like the early mammals in the age of the dinosaurs, Windows Phone has been able to grow in a niche, that of the low-end smartphone, were it was simply better adapted than the latest versions of Google’s Android.
The only two mobile operating systems which gained market share in Q3 2013 was Android and Windows Phone, and I suspect this has not gone unnoticed by Google.
The very latest version of their OS, Android 4.4 or Kitkat, is aimed at corrected this issue, aiming for “Android for all”.
Microsoft announced a record quarter yesterday, earning $5.24 billion on revenue of $18.53 billion.
Part of that success story, despite decreasing Windows revenue, there was growth in Windows Phone licensing, which grew by $102 million last quarter.
Microsoft unfortunately does not break out Windows Phone itself in the Devices and Consumer Licensing segment, so we do not know exactly how much Windows Phone is earning for them at present.
The $102 million increase also includes Android patent licensing, making it difficult to say it if represents growth for Android or Windows Phone.
On the other hand having Android patent revenue assigned to Windows Phone means Samsung, HTC and LG are all paying for the development and marketing of Windows Phone, which is somewhat ironic in the end, given the level of support they give the OS in general.
See the relevant results at Microsoft here.
One would think one would get used to it, but every time Microsoft releases a desired software application first on iOS and Android instead of Windows Phone it makes me feel stupid for choosing to use a Windows Phone.
After all, if I used iOS, I would be getting the advantage of not just a million software titles, but also all of Microsoft’s software well before Windows Phone gets it.
The latest insult is Microsoft announcing that they will be releasing a Remote Desktop app for iOS and Android, with no mention of Windows Phone at all.
The last time we saw this store we waited a year after iOS to get Photosynth on Windows Phone.
Now a Remote Desktop app is not Instagram, and is only really useful for a small group of enterprise users, but for those people who already have it installed on their servers, it seems choosing an iPhone will be a better choice than a Windows Phone, which we suggest is not be the best message for Microsoft to send.
Thanks Troy for the tip.
Bloomberg recently revealed that Microsoft is discussing allowing HTC to offer dual-boot Android handsets which can also run Windows Phone, and now Russian rumour-monger Eldar Murtazin claims this is not an isolated incident, but that Microsoft is offering the same deal to Windows Phone OEMS Samsung and Huawei also, and are also offering the same deal for Windows RT.
In fact, according to Eldar Microsoft is even offering to pay for the adaptation costs to get the OS to run well on the Android tablets, and are offering the OS for free.
An example of such as device is the Samsung Galaxy Tab 2014 Edition with Android and Windows RT on board.
If true the move is reflective is Microsoft’s weak position in mobile, and we wonder if such a system will really grow Windows and Windows Phone adoption.
Another Eldar titbit is also that Windows 9 will be a major departure from Windows 8, and will break app compatibility, unfortunately not an unknown issue with Microsoft.
If true, do our readers believe this would be a good move? Let us know below.
Blackberry’s train crash in slow motion, exemplified by their $1 billion write off on Friday, has given me pause for though – Is it worth the time, money and effort to try and build a 3rd ecosystem?
While few think the smartphone world can support 4 ecosystems, many also think three is too much, and even if Microsoft could become second, few think Android can currently be displaced from its dominant position.
While many would point to the cyclical nature of the smartphone market, where in 5 year’s time today’s leader will be tomorrow’s loser as a reason for hope, Microsoft’s Windows dominance is itself a counter example – once the network effect kicks in the rankings can become very stable.
So Microsoft could spend countless of billions and several years slowly gaining market share, to top out at 15% – 20% in 5 years, or they could do something dramatically different.
There were reports few days back that Nokia was working on a Lumia device running Android. When most of us thought it could be some sort of experiment as part of Plan B if Nokia had any, today another report leaked some more info on it. Chinese site and Weibo account CTechnology revealed that Nokia already has thousands of prototype which will be a cheap Nokia Android device.
The device, based on Qualcomm Snapdragon 200 8225Q chip, was being developed and tested by Nokia’s Beijing based R&D team, and was already at somewhat advanced prototype stage. In fact, before the announcement of sale, Foxconn has already manufactured and delivered a batch of more than 10 000 prototype Mountain View units.
The most interesting part of the report is that Nokia’s Beijing based R&D teams are still working on it, and will cancel the project only after the Nokia-Microsoft deal gets finalized in November.
According to the New York Times and the usual people who declined to be identified, a team within Nokia had Android up and running on the Nokia’s Lumia handsets well before Microsoft and Nokia began negotiating Microsoft’s $7.2 billion acquisition of Nokia’s mobile phone and services business.
Apparently it was not difficult to get the OS up and running on the hardware, and the effort may well have been of the “Plan B” type. Microsoft was aware of the work, but another person familiar with the news said the idea of Nokia using Android wasn’t a part of Microsoft’s discussions with the company about an acquisition, even though that was widely recognized as a possibility.
The news cast some new light on the motivation behind Microsoft making the first move in securing the purchase of Nokia’s handset division, particularly with the deal coming up for renewal in 2014.
Whatever the truth of the matter is, what is clear now is that the current Nokia creative team will not be releasing any Android phones in the next few years at least, which is of course a gain for Windows Phone and a loss to Android.