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Facebook® acquires 750 patents from IBM®

To counteract the patent infringement lawsuit filed against it by Yahoo!, Facebook has purchased hundreds of patents from International Business Machines Corp. (IBM). This will help the social networking company to bolster its intellectual property portfolio.

It is not clear how much Facebook paid for the IBM patents, but tech companies seeking to build their portfolios have pushed intellectual property prices higher. According to analysts, the 750 patents acquired from IBM will include a broad range of technology that ranges from search, software, networking to semi-conductors.

As Facebook is the latest entrant in the tech arena, it does not have as robust a patent portfolio as other big successful tech companies. Prior to this purchase, Facebook owned just 56 secured patents. Facebook was sued earlier this month by Yahoo! allegedly for infringing 10 patents, most of them covering online advertising technology. Facebook, the world’s largest online social networking platform, is preparing for an initial public offering that could value the company at up to US $100 billion.

All the three companies involved i.e. Facebook, IBM and Yahoo! refused to comment on this.

IBM® and ARM Team Up On Tablet Chips

IBM and ARM signed an agreement to produce revolutionary technology that would help ARM to move ahead with renewed vigor and IBM to take its first steps at getting a share of the tablet PC market. Under an agreement signed in January, IBM will support ARM in its endeavor to scale its Cortex manufacturing process down to 14 nanometers. This would arm ARM with the thinnest silicon chips in the market and hence make it one of the best processor providers for tablets. ARM’s system on a chip platform had revolutionized the tablet processors with enhanced battery life and powerful computing experience with reduced size.

Michael Cadigan, general manager for IBM’s Microelectronics unit, said that ARM’s Cortex processors are now the processors of choice for leading smartphone manufacturers and tablet PC companies. He said that IBM plans to work closely with ARM and other customers to give a boost to the present ARM technology for a varied range of computing and communication devices and products.

IBM is now a party to the biggest technological boom of this year and wants to expand its horizons into processors and chips too. ARM officials feel that this transfer of manufacturing process over to IBM will allow their company to focus on design and development of next generation innovation in the form of chips powering mobile technology. Simon Segars, executive vice president and GM over ARM’s Physical IP unit, said that IBM already has a reputation of excelling in research and development.

ARM had become the leading provider of the SOC platform to OEMs (Original Equipment Manufacturers) like Samsung and Dell. Also Microsoft who till now was a supporter of Intel has dissolved that relationship and jumped on the ARM band wagon and planned the next generation of Windows, Windows 8 to be powered by ARM’s processor chips. IBM saw a jump in its shares with this announcement, with them going up by 3.05% as soon as the announcement was made, ARM shares however came down by a 2.5% following the increase of 3% the previous day when Goldman Sachs had recognized its growing role in the computing market claiming that tablets will soon replace one in three PC sales this year.

Microsoft® WebMatrix released; utility for users unclear

Microsoft is the largest software developer and recently it has started a new service call WebMatrix. It is a very useful tool for web developers. As per Microsoft reports, it will make using these tools easier by simplifying the integration of various services, coding and databases.

Now the question is why developers need these services. Apporv Durga, an analyst with Real Story Group told us that this service offers key benefits for Microsoft. It can be used as a support for SharePoint which had some problems with public facing websites. There are also other issues like Microsoft also wanted to gain some good will in the open source community and they also wanted to target an important SMB agent. There are also other comments like consultant Rob Rose asserted same thoughts like Durga. He told that this new initiative from Microsoft has a great utility from the market development perspective. He also added that what the Microsoft is doing is same as others and to meet the market demands of open source tools.

But some of them also was not so much impressed. As Tony White, principle and founder at Ars Logica, a content management consultancy, sees a different perspective. According to him Microsoft is just replicating what IBM has done in the past with open source tools, but at the same time he also thinks that they are doing it not that well. Explaining the issue he added that Microsoft also wanted same kind of success that IBM has had with similar open source efforts. But the main difference between Microsoft and IBM is the less flexible approach by Microsoft to integrating with open source CMS projects. IBM is better as it always wraps these integrations with a distinctive, proprietary, value-added layer. Therefore, what customers see is the value of IBM on the outside, along with a quality assurance that IBM has taken good care of the underlying technology.

He thinks that they will not get the same value. For Microsoft’s product he explains that they are inflexible at the integration layer  and are also forcing open source projects to get their standards. With this step, open source benefits disappear at the first level. He is also adding the less proprietary value-added layer on the outside. Because of this, customers will not get the type of offer from Microsoft open source as they do get from IBM open source.

Apoorv Durga also warns that this product is still in its early days and users can opt for other products as this is an untested and unsupported product. Microsoft shows an interesting approach through WebMatrix, but it will be interesting to see whether this product clicks with the developers and open source users.

Google™ Adds Set-up Wizard for Apps

Google in a big step to build up its app store and market it to enterprises, be it small or large, has launched programs aimed at small enterprises with limited IT resources. So now, with a simplified installation process for administrators using a new and simplified set-up wizard, Google App store is again catching eyeballs. So now when you reach the sign up page you will encounter the set-up wizard in the administrative ‘Control Panel’. The easy and simplified interactive guide will lead you through all the frills and add on services like the entire key configuration options ranging from creating your user account to setting up e-mail accounts transferring your existing data to a one stop shop under Google Apps and finally configuring mobile devices. It will also help you chalk out the roll out plan for the apps by allowing you to chose whether you want a pilot run first or immediately deploy it, hence helping you decide whatever suits your requirements. You also have the option to run the set-up in pieces using the inbuilt progress indicators so that you can come back after intervals of time and complete the set-up.

App Store since its inception was devised as a self help service this new addition further simplifies it. According to Google as stated by Heather Folsom, a Google product manager, in a blog post, the interactive guide helps users walk through a variety of key configuration options ranging from setting up user accounts to establishing communication through registering e-mails. According to analysts, Google needs working on its app store to help it compete against the best, not only does it need administrative tools it also needs a clear cut roadmap, product and training documentation and better connectivity between client and developer in the form of developing more enterprise class communication packages for Google Apps.

The various services and solutions offered by the app store include hosted e-mail, calendar, IM, a website builder and office productivity applications and connectivity solutions. Its basic version comes at no cost and also its academic version comes free of cost, however the one being marketed to businesses and enterprises namely Apps for Businesses costs US$50 per end user for every year.

Google Apps faces strict competition from a variety of app stores and communication suites and other solution providers like Microsoft, IBM, Zoho, Novell and Cisco so it is natural for Google to make strides to actually be able to stand up against the competition and sell its products to various businesses and enterprises and carve out a niche for itself in this market.

Lenovo® ThinkPad has USB 3.0 and good battery life

Lenovo is a multinational computer manufacturing firm based in China and is known to market desktops, laptops, software related services, storage drives etc. The market share of Lenovo is increasing every year. It is the largest seller of personal computers in China. Lenovo was the fourth largest seller of its products in the world. Its market increased from 8.6% to 10.4 % in a year’s time. The principle operation centre and the research centers are located in many cites of countries like China, Japan, United States and many more. With the growing market, the company is also coming up in various other cities as well. IBM’s personal computer company division is now acquired by Lenovo and is now marketing the ThinkPad line of personal computers. IBM marketed this product in the year 2005 for $1.75 billion. Originally an IBM product, it was known for its boxy black design.

ThinkPad is known for durability, quality and performance. It’s very popular among students and business professionals. Lenovo’s ThinkPad has been used in space also and it has been certified for its use in the international space station. This is the only computer to be certified for its use in space. Lenovo has recently launched a new ThinkPad series, named it as ThinkPad X series. It has some unique features like 3.0 USB port, 12.5 inch uniquely sized screen and a very long battery life. These laptops are ultraportable. ThinkPad X220 of the new series is known to be a slight modification of the previously launched IdeaPad. The common features of both include 3 pound weight and both offer a 1366×768 resolution with a 12.5-inch screen. Some significant difference can also be seen in the two computers.

The major one being the USB port 3.0, unlike the IdeaPad which had USB port 2.0. The USB port 3.0 can have a download speed which is 10 times that of USB port 2.0. Apart from this the dual core processors are different from the previously launched IdeaPad computers. Some other differences include a built in 3G in the later one with long battery life. It has also provisions for solid state drives of 80 GB and 160 GB. The normal battery life with a 9 cell battery is great as it gives 15 hours battery backup. This increases to 24 hours by adding an external battery. The price range will be around $899 and will be available from the month of April 2011.

Hybrid Laptop from Lenovo®

After its successful strategic decision almost six years ago, of acquiring IBM’s PC business, Lenovo has emerged as the world’s 4th largest PC vendor and the largest PC vendor in China. Recent reviews show Lenovo positioning itself as the 5th largest PC vendor in India and proving themselves as a brand to stand with. In India alone, Lenovo claims to have grown 60% year on year. With the evolution of All–in-Ones, the monitor integrated with the CPU concept, and, the smartphone as well as tablet markets emerging in a phenomenal way worldwide, Lenovo’s strategic hybrid smartphone and docking station, using two different operating systems, not only is an interesting innovation but, also a perspective changing product line.

With the battle of the iOS, Android and Windows Phone 7 raging, Lenovo has interestingly combined their hybrid product with the Android OS on the tablet and Windows OS on the docking station, making a very interesting combination. In India, the Mac market has been sluggish compared to the Windows platform on PCs, notebooks, netbooks and even servers. As far as India is concerned at least, the hybrid LePad and IdeaPad, with the benefit of both worlds, the Android world and the Windows arena, seem to be a winning strategy for Lenovo.

The U1 IdeaPad has been defined to be a Windows laptop with a detachable touch screen that functions as an Android tablet, independently called the LePad. The wonderful 8 hour battery life proposed and Intel i5-540UM Intel processor in the IdeaPad base, with a 1.3 GHz Snapdragon processor in the LePad, will definitely be an experience to remember. The 10.1 inch touch screen tablet, only half an inch thick, has a front facing camera for video chat. The wireless integration supporting WCDMA and EVDO connectivity is also an interesting introduction. The display resolution of 1280 x 800 HD with a 16 or 32 GB internal memory on the LePad, is also said to be an advantage. The IdeaPad with its Intel Core 1.2 GHz processor, 2 GB memory and 320 GB hard disk with Wi-Fi and Bluetooth running a Windows 7 OS, is formidable.

This product range is expected to hit the Indian market anytime in the second quarter of 2011, after its launch in China in March 2011. Interestingly after its massive success with desktops, laptops and notebooks and netbooks, Lenovo’s foray into the tablet market, with a new business group, focused exclusively on developing the facility, for creating unique mobile devices, is innovative.

Call Now: +1 315-226-4249
Call Now: +1 315-226-4249
Call Now: +1 315-226-4249