Google has announced its entry into the games market via a job posting on its web site. The role of “Product Manager, Games”, will be based at Google’s Mountain View HQ and comes with a fairly broadly defined job description suggesting that the company’s strategy is very much in its infancy.
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.”
Taiwan’s Taipei City Government has accused Google of attempting “to hold Taiwan’s consumers hostage, in exchange for the privilege of refusing to follow Taiwanese law.” The accusation arises from a dispute between Google and Taiwanese regulators that has resulted in the suspension of all paid-for applications in the Android market in that country.
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.
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.
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 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.
We’ve had Moore’s Law and Metcalfe’s Law, now the technology world is doing its bit for re-jigging Newton’s third law of motion: for every legal action, there is an equal and opposite lawsuit.
Google’s move into the desktop operating system environment was completed Wednesday with the launch of its much anticipated Chromebook device, which is to be manufactured by Acer and Samsung. In a throwback to the days of the dumb terminal, the device is essentially a portal to cloud-based applications and services, all accessed through the Chrome browser.
There can have been little doubt in anyone’s mind that Nokia Siemens Networks’ decision to buy Motorola’s network assets was more about the customer base than the technology itself. Nonetheless, as the deal closed this week, NSN felt bound to remind us all of its motivations. And it showed precious little sensitivity towards any inadequacy that Motorola might be feeling at the passing of its once sizeable infrastructure business.
Business applications provider SAP has warned that Amazon’s recent EC2 cloud service crash will make it more difficult for the industry to convince business to move to the cloud.
US carrier AT&T is to launch an online coupon service to rival Groupon and Facebook’s offerings. The discount site, which will run on the telco’s yellowpages.com subsidiary, launches in June with initial services in Los Angeles, Atlanta and Dallas-Fort Worth. To entice users to sign up, AT&T is offering a $10 credit. More cities are expected to follow after the initial launch, as well as national deals, all of which will be available to mobile device users, according to AT&T.
Google’s bid to buy $900m worth of Nortel patents and patent applications was approved on Monday. The planned sale required the approval of courts overseeing Nortel’s bankruptcy proceedings in Canada and the US. Under the terms of the auction, other parties may submit bids until June 13th, with the auction taking place on June 20th. Nortel filed for bankruptcy protection in 2009.
Google looks to be filling its patents war chest further, if rumours of a bid for bankrupt Israeli device manufacturer Modu are accurate. With the Android platform under increasing threat from patent challenges, Google is reported to have offered $2m for the patent portfolio of the company, which was founded by USB-Flash drive inventor Dov Moran and which made what it claimed to be the world’s lightest modular mobile phone.
Web giant Google turned in a decent set of results for the first quarter of 2011, yet with the company still in growth mode and hiring staff at an incredible rate, there were some concerns over the company’s high spend. Net income for the quarter came in at $2.3bn, compared to $1.95bn last year, against revenues of $8.6bn, up from $6.7bn last year.