30 January 2014

Google sells Motorola but keeps Project Ara, Advanced Technology group

Analysis: Sale of Motorola to Lenovo: a smart play by both Google and Lenovo. Lenovo gains market share and credibility as global smartphone maker, just as they did with computers in the 1990s when they bought IBM's computer division. Google unloads Motorola (with terms and conditions), retains patents and the advanced technology group. Moto X and Moto G are big success stories which Lenovo can leverage. Google can concentrate on Android and its Google services for smartphones. Expect the phase-out of Nexus devices and many more "Google Play" devices from multiple OEMs, each offering the pure Google Android experience. "Google Android" is the new "Microsoft Windows" of computing. Contrast the Google-Lenovo deal with the money losing strategy of Microsoft buying Nokia. Smartphones are being commoditized. Prices will continue to decline, which is good for the consumer, but expect pricing pressure to prove difficult for both Microsoft Nokia and Apple iPhone in the long-term. Without scale and ability to manufacture on thin margins, only a few companies (principally Asian) will emerge with the bulk of marketshare. Xioami and Lenovo both seem poised to expand globally. Within 3 years, Samsung, Lenovo, and Xioami look to be the dominant players.  Apple, Nokia and the others will be under severe pricing pressure from this point forward. In the meantime, Google will accelerate innovation of the Android operating system (which it gives away for free), and all Google services for smartphones.

Google to keep Motorola's Advanced Technology group, including Project Ara modular phone | The Verge: "The best part of Motorola is moving to the Android team - Google's blockbuster $2.9 billion sale of Motorola Mobility to Lenovo won't include the Advanced Technology and Projects group led by former DARPA director Regina Dugan. The news was confirmed today on a conference call with Lenovo, and sources familiar with the matter say the group will be integrated with Google's Android team, where Dugan will report to Sundar Pichai but maintain a more independent role. Dugan, who was named to The Verge 50 earlier this year, manages a team of just under 100 people, all of whom will be moving from their current offices in Sunnyvale to Google's Mountain View office..."

Google Keeps ‘Vast Majority’ Of Motorola Mobility Patents In Sale To Lenovo | TechCrunch: "Motorola Mobility is being sold to Lenovo, in a deal worth $2.91B. Google is divesting itself of the handset division it purchased for $12.5B in 2011, but it will keep some of the assets — including patents..."

Official Google Blog: Lenovo to acquire Motorola Mobility"... Lenovo has the expertise and track record to scale Motorola into a major player within the Android ecosystem. They have a lot of experience in hardware, and they have global reach. In addition, Lenovo intends to keep Motorola’s distinct brand identity—just as they did when they acquired ThinkPad from IBM in 2005. Google will retain the vast majority of Motorola’s patents, which we will continue to use to defend the entire Android ecosystem. The deal has yet to be approved in the U.S. or China, and this usually takes time. So until then, it’s business as usual. I’m phenomenally impressed with everything the Motorola team has achieved and confident that with Lenovo as a partner, Motorola will build more and more great products for people everywhere."

Microsoft's Open Compute Move: Just Good PR?
InformationWeek
Microsoft surprised the tech industry Tuesday when it joined the open-source hardware movement, announcing at the Open Compute Summit in San Jose that it would offer the Open Compute Project (OCP) specifications used in Microsoft datacenters as well ...

Amazon to Offer Kindle Checkout System to Physical Retailers
Wall Street Journal
To accelerate the project, Amazon last year bought certain technology and hired some engineers from GoPago Inc., a San Francisco startup that offered checkout systems linked to a smartphone app, the people said. GoPago is now a unit of DoubleBeam Inc.

Microsoft is about to take Windows XP off life support
CNN
After April 8, Windows XP computers will be more susceptible to malware and viruses beginning, since Microsoft will no longer address major holes in the software. Although antivirus software will continue to fend off some malicious attacks, Microsoft's ...

Exclusive: Google close to settling EU antitrust probe - sources
Reuters
EU regulators will not seek feedback from the 125 rivals, including Microsoft and third parties, who commented on Google's previous proposals as they have a clear idea of their thinking after the last two market tests, the official said. RIVALS READY ...

5 Apple Patents Hint At Surprises
InformationWeek
If such a device comes to market, a 2011 Apple patent that describes an iPad keyboard accessory is sure to generate attention. The patent describes a flexible Smart Cover that doubles as a keyboard, broadly like Microsoft's Type Cover for its Surface line.

“Honey Encryption” Could Trick Criminals with Spoof Data | MIT Technology Review: "...Juels and Ristenpart will present a paper on Honey Encryption at the Eurocryptcryptography conference later this year. Juels is also working on building a system based on it to protect the data stored by password manager services such as LastPass and Dashlane. These services store all of a person’s different passwords in an encrypted form, protected by a single master password, so that software can automatically enter them into websites...."

MEXICO CITY: Monarch butterflies drop, migration may disappear - Technology - MiamiHerald.com"The stunning and little-understood annual migration of millions of Monarch butterflies to spend the winter in Mexico is in danger of disappearing, experts said Wednesday, after numbers dropped to their lowest level since record-keeping began in 1993. Their report blamed the displacement of the milkweed the species feeds on by genetically modified crops and urban sprawl in the United States, extreme weather trends and the dramatic reduction of the butterflies' habitat in Mexico due to illegal logging of the trees they depend on for shelter."

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