Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT)’s mobile operating system was a failure at start and was lagging seriously compared to iOS and Android. However, Forbes depicted a recent doubling in demand for Windows Phone handsets in UK, while other regions over the Atlantic have registered more modest increases in sales of Lumia 520. The 620 and 720 also have nice figures, but their predecessor has a very attractive advantage of being priced at £99 or approximately $159 without any contract with carriers. The model comes free on the basis of a contract with telephonic services providers at just £7 or $11.2 per month for a 24 month agreement. We might see the phone get higher in the list of the most popular phones currently available on the market.
Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) has another advantage over Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOGL) in the same context. It did so well with Windows Phone that the operating system outperformed Android in terms of requirements. As a result, although the devices are less capable than the phones produced under the guidance of the Mountain View, California-based tech giant, they do not glitch or lag behind. The drawback with having a Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) handheld is in the fact that there’re very few Apps developed for the operating system on the devices. However, it turns out that consumers that are more price sensitive with respect to their phones care little beyond the need of being on a social platform. Consequently, the numerous Apps from Apple Store or Google Play are not missed that much.
There’s another demographic factor that could give some boost to Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT)’s revenues in UK. As of 2013, there are more than 93% of teens that have a smartphone and among the rest, about 81% plan to get one such device and the number might reach 96% in 2017. To draw a comparison, in US there are 50.9% of teenagers with smartphones. The big difference comes from the fact that across the ocean phones come free of charge if a contract of approximately $16 or £10 is signed. Many opt for some minutes, a free phone, and up to 500 MB of internet traffic at some monthly expenses.
It’s not sure if the low margins will allow Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) maintain an independent development team in the field, but it’s at least some good news.
Andy Rubin, co-founder and ‘father’ of Android, has left Google to set up a startup incubator for technology hardware.
Rubin sold his Android company to Google in 2005, heading up its development until March 2013 when he moved to take the lead in Google’s “moonshot” robotics projects.
“I want to wish Andy all the best with what’s next,” Google chief executive Larry Page said in a statement. “With Android he created something truly remarkable – with a billion-plus happy users. Thank you.”
Professor James Kuffner, a researcher at Google and Carnegie Mellon’s Robotics Institute, will replace Rubin in charge of Google’s robotics effort, which included a series of acquisitions of robotics companies including Boston Dynamics by Google in 2013. He spent five years working on Google’s self-driving car project and more than seven years at Carnegie Mellon.
Rubin’s new startup incubator will concentrate on new companies developing new technology hardware, rather than internet services.
Rubin left Apple in 1992 and went on to set up Danger, maker of the SideKick-branded smartphones later acquired by Microsoft, and Android in 2003. Google co-founders Page and Sergey Brin bought Android in 2005 without telling Eric Schmidt, then the chief executive of the search giant.
At Google as head of Android, Rubin was known for insulating the Android team from the rest of Google maintaining it like a separate company inside the search giant. The Android group had its own lunchroom within the Google campus, for instance.
His entrepreneurial spirit and love of robotics led him away from Android, and now to his new incubator, where he will help grow new technologies from a hardware perspective.
Back during the summer the newest legal battles involving Samsung started to arise, as Microsoft began the process to take Samsung to court over the issue of not paying royalty fees to the company due to licensing. Samsung proclaimed that they didn’t owe any money for licensing fees over those patents that Microsoft owned which Microsoft felt was not OK. The original filing of the lawsuit appeared in early 2014, as Microsoft was seeking a payment for the nearly $6.9 million in interest on those royalties that Samsung apparently still hadn’t paid, as they had allegedly stopped paying Microsoft for licensing fees since September of last year. The interest was part of a massive $1 Billion collaboration deal between Samsung and Microsoft as part of Samsung’s manufacturing Windows phones, and those court battles are starting to gain momentum as both Samsung and Microsoft have filed counterclaims to each others original filings on the lawsuit.
Today, Reuters reports that Samsung has recently filed a counterclaim basically asking the court for a declaration to terminate the agreement between them and Microsoft over licensing fees and the alleged interest amount that is still owed. Samsung’s argument is that once Microsoft had acquired Nokia’s hardware business and a large number of their patents, they became a direct competitor to Samsung in the hardware sector, something that wasn’t previously the case since Microsoft wasn’t actually manufacturing their own hardware. Because of the Nokia acquisition, Samsung claims that continuing to share sensitive information with Microsoft as part of the original agreement would have created issues with U.S. anti-trust laws and Samsung is weary of any continuity of the agreement for fear of being slapped with collusion charges.
Microsoft has also filed their own counterclaim with an amended complaint of the original suit filing, stating that regardless of their acquiring Nokia’s hardware division, Samsung should now be allowed to “unilaterally kill” the patent-licensing agreement between the two of them. Gaining the ability and rights from the courts decision to stop the agreement if they so chose could gain Samsung more authority in the matter between them and Microsoft and allow for them to renegotiate terms. Microsoft states however that despite Samsung’s arguments, they feel they have a really strong case.