Showing posts with label Microsoft. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Microsoft. Show all posts

Saturday, December 31, 2011

Android’s Chinese Manufacturers Form Alliance To Defend From Apple and Microsoft Patent Lawsuits

Digitimes is reporting that Chinese OEM’s could be quietly banding together to fight off the ever looming threat of patent lawsuits from Android arch nemeses like Apple, Microsoft and Nokia. The Chinese coalition would be formed by ZTE, Lenovo, TCL, Coolpad and Konka who, it’s assumed, would pool their patent resources and share information on how to work around alleged patent infringements and keep from paying the dreaded “licensing fee.”
As the Chinese smartphone market grows — currently the largest in the world — OEM’s are sure to draw attention from Apple and Microsoft who spend much of their time attacking Android manufacturers.
[Digitimes via Electronista]

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Microsoft Lync 2010 Now Available for Android

Microsoft has released Microsoft Lync 2010 for Android. The free application enables users to communicate with their job’s Lync server on the go, giving users access to instant messaging, remote secure conference calling and more that their IT department enables them to do. And for those of you guys in the IT department, remote device management tools are at your service. Be sure to contact your IT department to apply the necessary updates to Lync and to enable mobile device support if you’re having trouble with the application. Download the free app here. [Thanks Kevin!]

Monday, December 5, 2011

Microsoft to show off Windows 8 app store tomorrow

Microsoft will be making the app store a part of the Windows 8 experience, but until now we don’t really know much about it except that it will be the exclusive way for developers to distribute new-style Windows 8 apps. The store will support free and paid apps, trial versions as well as in-app payments, and it won’t sell older-style (classic) Windows apps that work on Windows 8 and older versions of Windows.
Other than the aforementioned details, we don’t really know much about the Windows Store, but I guess we’re about to find out more. Microsoft will be holding an event tomorrow (December 6th) in San Francisco – titled the Windows Store Preview, where it will show off for the first time what the store is about. Stay tuned for more details and we’ll keep you posted.

Friday, December 2, 2011

Windows 8 coming your way February 2012

Windows 8 is set to arrive in public beta form in February next year, allowing early access to to the new OS from the start of next year.?
A post by The Next Web points to the February release date, citing sources close to Microsoft. It clears up a lot of the speculation over exactly when Windows 8 was set to arrive in beta form. Many expect a 2012 release for the final build of the OS, with the February beta adding further weight to this rumour. No exact date has been given for shipping of Windows 8.
The new operating system sees a major departure from Microsoft's traditional UI, incorporating a home page which draws heavily from Windows Phone 7. The Metro UI of the OS uses similar live tiles to that of Microsoft's phone OS.?
Windows 8 is also expected to be a cross platform piece of software, designed for both tablets and computers. No details as to what will be released in the beta currently exist, so we cant be sure whether it will arrive with the email function currently exempt from the developer preview.?
Given the beta date it is entirely possible that we see Windows 8 appearing on hardware Christmas next year. Exciting stuff from Microsoft then, just shame the beta isn't earlier.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Microsoft Brings Windows Phone 7 to Android Users

We know the thought of switching mobile operating systems from Android has never crossed the mind of our dear readers, but if you are a bit curious about Windows Phone 7 and too lazy to head to a local smartphone retailer to check it out for yourself you can get the experience on your device now. Simply point your Android browser (or iPhone browser, for that matter) to Microsoft’s demo site and a mock version of WP7 will load, complete with swipe input and navigation via the trademark tile layout. It’s far from perfect, but it is an interesting marketing tool for would-be smartphone buyers.
[via MonWindowsPhone]

Friday, November 18, 2011

Android gets more IT developer interest than iOS and Windows Phone 7

Even the most ardent of iOS evangelists can’t argue with Android’s worldwide success, to the tune of a full 50% sales market share as of last quarter. It looks like developers, specifically in the IT area, are taking notice. When IBM gave a survey to IT pros on which platform they were more interested in, Android won by a landslide, beating out both Apple and Microsoft in their relevant areas.

That’s very interesting, given that it’s also undeniable that there’s more money to be made in direct sales on iOS (at the moment, at least). Android is beating out iOS by a solid 20%, though responders were able to answer for more than one platform in the survey. 70% of responders said they were interested in developing for Android, while 49% were interested in iOS. Just 35% were interested in Windows Phone 7, though to be honest, even that’s a little surprising given its market share at the moment.
IBM is an interesting one to make the conclusions it does in the survey, namely that “Developers looking to increase their mobile skills would be smart to look to Android.” Remember that IBM is no longer producing consumer-level hardware – Lenovo now owns the ThinkPad brand, and they’ve produced several Android tablets under their IdeaPad brand. The IBM study just serves to highlight what you, dear reader, already know: Android is crushing it in the app world as well as hardware.
[via BGR]

Monday, November 14, 2011

Barnes & Noble reveals Microsoft’s Android patents in detail

Last week Barnes & Noble lobbied United States regulators to investigate Microsoft, on the basis that its lawsuits and licensing agreements with Android OEMs constituted monopolistic behavior. The first fruit of this effort is a detailed look at the patents that Microsoft has been using to pressure manufacturers into licensing deals worth hundreds of millions of dollars. Barnes & Noble seems determined to keep from paying Microsoft for its Nook line of e-readers and tablets.

Barnes & Noble contends that the patents are frivolous and trivial, most of them containing considerable prior art that existed long before the patents were awarded. There’s nothing to say that the six patents outlined in the case against Barnes & Noble are the same ones that have been used on the likes of Samsung and HTC, but it’s a fair bet that some or all of them are the crux of Microsoft’s arguments across the Android spectrum. In a letter to the Department of Justice, B&N said that the patents “cover only arbitrary, outmoded and non-essential design features,” but that Microsoft is charging extremely high licensing fees, essentially bumping up the price of “free” Android and giving Microsoft the power to stop individual features from being implemented.
Here’s all the patents Microsoft is using, and Barnes & Noble’s rebuttal:
I. ’372 Patent (Web Browser Background Image Loading)
The ’372 patent was filed April 18, 1996. Very generally, the patent relates to an outmoded system for retrieving an electronic document like a webpage that includes an embedded background image, which may have a bearing on very old web browsers connected to the Internet via slow, dial-up connections, but has little application in the context of improved, modern Internet connections….
II. ’522 Patent (Operating System Provided Tabs)
The ’522 patents was filed December 13, 1994. The patent relates to a single, simple tool provided by an operating system (such as Windows) that allows applications running on that operating system to have a common look and feel. Since operating systems provide many such tools, the patent amounts to nothing more than a trivial design choice. In particular, and despite the fact that this concept is in the prior art, the ’522 patent’s method allows for the creation of tabs. The tabs are analogous to dividers like those found in a notebook or to labels found in a file cabinet, and allow the user of an application to navigate between multiple pages of information in the same window by clicking on the tabs….
III. ’551 Patent (Electronic Selection with “Handles”)
On its face, the ’551 patent purports to claim priority back to a November 10, 2000 filing date. Generally, the ’551 patent relates to another simple and trivial feature that is not only disclosed by numerous prior art references, but is certainly not central to an operating system like Android — selecting or highlighting text or graphics within an electronic document. The patent provides that a user selects a word or phrase, for example, by tapping on a touch screen display or clicking with a mouse. Such a selection may be shown by highlighting the selected word or phrase. The user is presented with “selection handles” on one or both ends of the selected areas. These “selection handles” can be moved by the user to highlight more or less text or graphics….
IV. ’233 Patent (Annotation of Electronic Documents)
The ’233 patent was filed December 7, 1999. Like the other Microsoft patents, the ’233 patent relates only to one small feature that has long been present in the prior art and is not central to Android or any other operating system. More specifically, the patent generally relates to a method for capturing annotations made in an electronic document (like an electronic book), without changing the electronic document itself….
V. ’780 Patent (Web Browser Loading Status Icons)
The ’780 patent was not filed until May 6, 1997, long after the first web browser came to market. In addition to being late to the game, the patent is directed to a very simple and obvious feature — a temporary graphic element or status icon that is displayed to indicate that a hypermedia browser (such as a web browser) is loading content. When a browser is intended for use with a portable computer system with a limited display size, the ’780 patent notes that it is desirable to maximize the browser’s content display area (the portion of the browser that actually displays a website, not the menus, toolbars, or buttons). Thus, the patent makes a trivial design choice and provides that the graphic element or loading status icon is to be temporarily displayed in the content display area of the browser as opposed to a separate space such as the browser’s menu bar, tool bar, or a separate status bar….
Barnes & Noble also outlined several other patents and points. For a full look at all the legalese (which is far beyond the analytical powers of this humble Android blogger) check out Groklaw’s post on the subject.
Barnes & Noble seems completely committed to breaking the cycle of Microsoft’s patent trolling legal action and licensing. I’d wager that Google couldn’t be happier, since none of the various companies going after Android OEMs have directly threatened the parent company with legal action. If Barnes & Noble succeeds in fighting off Microsoft’s suit and securing and investigation, it might (and this is a long shot here) means that the licensing deals already in place elsewhere are renegotiated or dropped.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Barnes & Noble fires back at Microsoft, calls for investigation

At least one manufacturer isn’t kowtowing to Microsoft’s Android licensing push: Barnes & Noble is actively fighting Microsoft’s patent litigation in court. As an added bonus, the bookseller has urged US regulators to investigate Microsoft’s patents and the claims therein. B&N asserts that Microsoft is trying to drive up the price of the Android devices it competes with, thereby making its own Windows Phone 7 more attractive to manufacturers and consumers.

The claims seem valid enough. 53% of Android devices sold already pay some sort of royalty or kickback to Microsoft, the result of some extremely aggressive court battles and the resultant licensing deals. HTC and Samsung are among the biggest players affected, and tellingly, they also make Windows Phone 7 devices – one can’t help but wonder what kind of tit-for-tat is going on behind closed doors. One of the primary compaints of Microsoft’s detractors, including Google, is that in most cases it doesn’t actually articulate which of its patents are being violated or how.
Barnes & Noble has a lot riding on Android, and having to pay Microsoft for every device sold won’t do anything good for its bottom line. Every Nook e-reader, from the lowly Nook SimpleTouch to the upcoming Nook Tablet, runs a modified version of Android designed to highlight Barnes & Noble’s digital library. As it continues to trade punches with Amazon in the marketplace, it has to go toe to toe with Microsoft in the courts, something that an official US investigation could only help. B&N hopes it can convince regulators to investigate Microsoft before the February court date.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Google lawyer says Microsoft sues because Windows Phone 7 is failing

The war of words between Google and Microsoft has reached into the media once again, as SFGate has interviewed Google’s patent lawyer Tim Porter. Refuting the claims made by his Redmond counterpart in an earlier interview, Porter said that Microsoft is attacking Android because they feel their own product (Windows Phone 7) is marginalized and threatened. He said that while the meteoric rise of Android hasn’t been halted by Microsoft’s tactics, companies that have to worry about patent litigation can’t focus on innovation.

Harkening back to Microsoft’s previous patent litigation against Linux, Porter accused Microsoft of gaining revenue from other company’s successful products by means of the courts. That’s certainly true: estimates put Microsoft’s Android earnings at more than 400 million dollars a year, and with more than half of all Android devices made paying Microsoft in some way, that’s not likely to end soon. Porter notes that Microsoft didn’t earn a single software patent until the late 80s, after both DOS and Word were already smash hits.
Here’s the full quote:
[Aggressively chasing licensing] is a tactic that Microsoft has used in the past, with Linux, for example. When their products stop succeeding in the marketplace, when they get marginalized, as is happening now with Android, they use the large patent portfolio they’ve built up to get revenue from the success of other companies’ products
Porter stopped short of saying that software shouldn’t be patentable, a view that many are taking in response to current patent wars, but did say that the current system is broken and needs serious attention. In speaking on Microsoft’s assertion that Google doesn’t stand behind its OEM partners and left them vulnerable to IP attack (yeesh, Microsoft, ever heard of a self-fulfilling prophecy?) Porter repeated the company line that they stand behind their partners. Unfortunately, it looks like the multi-sided pantent battle between Google, Microsoft, Apple and dozens of others isn’t going to end any time soon.
[via SlashGear]

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Microsoft provides justification for lawsuit against Android

According to statements released by a senior attorney being employed by Microsoft, the large number of patent related lawsuits between companies in the mobile industry is very understandable as it is caused by the nature of related laws in the United States. He suggested that the software giant will be expected to go on with its litigations against the Android mobile platform from Google. Microsoft’s deputy general counsel, Horacio Gutierrez, has told the media that the protection of patents is very necessary in the business. He stated that Microsoft already holds the patents for many features which add to the efficiency of smartphones, for using which Android should pay royalties to Microsoft.

The strong stance of Microsoft comes at a time when it is also signing agreements for licensing with Samsung and HTC, and in turn generating much more income from these deals than it does from its Windows Phone mobile OS. Very often, the legal battles related with patents are with the aim of striking such agreements, as most manufacturers would prefer to agree to licensing than shutting down the production of their devices altogether after injunctions and bans.

However, the instances of such legal recourses have increased many times during the last couple of years, which has prompted arguments over how the patent system affects the innovation and reforms in the market. Gutierrez categorically denied that Microsoft is waging a war against the Android platform, stating that the patent disputes take place when the involved technologies are extremely disruptive. He said that these cases are unique to the current time and situation and that the patent system in the US doesn’t need to be redone.

One of the possible solutions which have been proposed, the America Invents Act, is an attempt to cleanse the patent related regulations as it grants the rights of intellectual property on the basis of earliest filing rather than the first invention. This new Act in the federal jurisdiction might prevent some of the lawsuits from proceeding as the patent applications are speeded up by the law; however it is unlikely that it will keep the likes of Microsoft from pursuing lucrative rewards from patent litigations. Microsoft, being one of the biggest technology companies of the world, has a huge patent portfolio, thus manufacturers like HTC and Samsung agree to pay Microsoft settlements instead.

Android’s US Market Share Nearing 50 percent in Latest Nielsen Report

Android continues to lead US smartphone market share, and the gap is growing according to the latest figures from Nielsen. For the third quarter of 2011 Android’s share reached 43 percent, up from 39 percent, compared to Apple’s 28 percent, which saw no change. Android saw its gains at the expense of RIM and Microsoft, whose dropping share combined for 25 percent of the smartphone market. Symbian and webOS featured such a small showing that Nielsen dumped them into the “other” category with 4 perent total share.
Nielsen reports 43 percent of all mobile phone users own a smartphone, with Apple ranking as the top vendor despite conflicting reports from other analytics firms.
[via Nielsen]

Monday, October 31, 2011

Microsoft’s lawyer says “Android stands on our shoulders”

Microsoft has a keen interested in Android despite selling its own mobile operating system – an interest that’s vetted to the tune of more than $400 million a year in kickbacks from 53% of Android devices sold. Now Microsoft’s deputy patent troll intellectual property counsel says that Google has built its OS on the back of technology developed (and owned) by the Redmond software giant. Microsoft is only one of many companies gunning for Android manufacturers, but tellingly, not targeting Google itself.

Horacio Gutiérrez, deputy general counsel for Microsoft’s intellectual property group, told the San Francisco Chronicle the following in an interview:
These devices have moved from having a rudimentary phone system to being a full-fledged computer, with a sophisticated, modern operating system. In doing that, they have really stood on the shoulder of companies like Microsoft who made all these billions of dollars in investments.
He went on to talk about Microsoft innovations that are “really critical features that make smart phones what they are today.” Without going into detail, Gutiérrez mentioned synchronizing data with servers and back-end hardware and software innovations that he believes belong to Microsoft. According to Gutiérrez, these patents aren’t contingent upon the final outcome of a software process – say, making a web browser close when the desired action is completed – but on the way in which the outcome is achieved. Different methods of doing the same thing are covered by different patents.
A surprising number of Android manufacturers would seem to agree, or at least, they don’t want to fight out the finer details in court. Samsung, HTC, ODM company Compal and many others pay royalties to Microsoft for every Android device sold. In fact, the number of Android devices that contribute directly to Microsoft’s pockets far exceeds the number of Windows Phone 7 devices sold, even if the latter is more directly beneficial to the company. Google asserts that Microsoft is manipulating the IP and court system to extort its hardware partners.

Monday, October 24, 2011

More than half of Android phones under license from Microsoft

It was recently suggested that Microsoft makes more money from HTC than it does from its WP7 licenses. The Taiwanese manufacturer effectively pays Microsoft $5 for every Android handset sold, while Windows Phone licenses go for $15, however there’s something like 10 times as many HTC Android phones as there are Window Phone 7 handsets.

Now Brad Smith and Horacio Gutierrez – Microsoft’s Executive Vice President and General Counsel, and Corporate Vice President and Deputy General Counsel respectively (phew) – have been boasting that they’re siphoning bucks from over half of Android phones.

That’s largely thanks to HTC and Samsung, which account for 29% and 23% of the Android market respectively. Throw in a handful of smaller manufacturers such as Acer, and you’re looking at 53% of all Android handsets.

“For those who continue to protest that the smartphone patent thicket is too difficult to navigate, it's past time to wake up,” warn Smith and Gutierrez. “As Microsoft has entered new markets from the enterprise to the Xbox, we’ve put together comprehensive licensing programs that address not only our own needs but the needs of our customers and partners as well.

“As our recent agreements clearly show, Android handset manufacturers are now doing the same thing. Ultimately, that's a good path for everyone.”

via: TechNet

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Ballmer says you need to be a computer scientist to use Android

Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer is at it again with wild comments about the competitors of Windows Phone reports Ballmer was blasting Android at the Web 2.0 summit in San Francisco recently claiming that the OS was difficult to use. Ballmer went so far as to say that you needed to be a computer scientist just to use Android.

Ballmer said, “You don’t need to be a computer scientist to use a Windows phone and you do to use and Android phone…It is hard for me to be excited about the Android phones.”
While Ballmer blasts Android for usability, he is more forgiving on the iPhone and Apple in general calling the company “a good competitor” and especially praising the new Siri assistant feature on the iPhone 4S. Despite heaping a bit of praise on Apple, Ballmer still maintains that the Windows Phones are better than both Android and iPhone offerings.
He claims that Windows Phone is much better than the competition at putting the user’s information front and center. According to Ballmer with Windows Phone, you don’t have to go through icons and pages to find the information users want.
“Both [an iPhone and a Windows phone] are going to feel very good in your hand and both going to look very beautiful physically…. but when you grab a Windows phone and use it… your information is front and centre… and you don’t have to scroll through seas of icons and blah blah blah.”
“A Windows phone gets things done.”
[via SlashGear]

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Microsoft signs more Android patent agreements, this time with Quanta

Microsoft is at it again, wasting no time signing deals covering royalties and patent agreements from everyone involved in the Android OEM business as of late. The latest to fall victim this time around is Quanta Computers. The name might not be widely known but Quanta is a huge manufacturer of electronic devices. They built the BlackBerry Playbook, the Kindle Fire, and have contracts with companies such as HP, Apple, Dell, Gateway, Lenovo, Sony and many others. Today have signed patent royalty agreements with Microsoft over any Android or Chrome products they intent to build now, and in the future.

For those unfamiliar with the situation, Microsoft has a wide array of patents regarding all sorts of mobile and computational devices, and software. All Android and Chrome based devices are susceptible to infringe on these patents and to cover their bases OEM’s have been forced into signing agreements with Microsoft. There is much more to this story but that is gist of it. This is nothing new and Microsoft has been banking around $5 USD from every HTC Android device sold, that deal alone and net them more profit than Windows Phone 7 as a whole lately. Velocity Micro, Onyko and many others have signed similar deals including another big name, Samsung.

Friday, September 30, 2011

Microsoft’s Android patents could be worth $444 million a year

Microsoft has been collecting licensing agreements from Android manufacturers like Samsung and HTC for months now. According to ZDNet, this adds up to some serious dinero, to the tune of $444 million every year. With Android continuing to dominate in markets around the world, that number can only grow.

In today’s litigious IP environment, it’s often wiser for a company to pony up to patent holders rather than fight an extended court battle, even if they’re not entirely sure they’re in the wrong. Microsoft has banked on that, and a Goldman Sachs analyst estimated that every Android phone sold with a licensed manufacturer nets the technology giant between $3 and $5.
Of course, not everyone’s thrilled with the arrangement. Google objected to Microsoft “extorting” Android original equipment manufacturers, saying that they hindered the progress of innovation. Microsoft executive succinctly replied on Twitter with a single word: “Waaah!”
I’m sure that the manufacturers themselves aren’t thrilled with the arrangements, and neither are consumers or carriers, who will share the burden of a more expensive product. And to be perfectly honest, Microsoft would probably trade the relatively small amount of kickback money they’re getting for a phone platform that wasn’t stuck in the “other” section of the market share pie charts. To sum up, nobody’s very happy with the state of licensing fees — Microsoft’s just unhappy all the way to the bank.
[via ZDnet]

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Microsoft signs Android licensing deal with Samsung

Microsoft has announced that it has landed a patent agreement with Samsung that will allow Samsung access to the patent portfolio that has to do with Android smartphones. The announcement means that the two largest Android smartphone firms in the US are now licensing patents for Android from Microsoft. The agreement will see Microsoft paid royalties from Samsung for tablets and smartphones on the Android platform.

Microsoft also notes that it and Samsung will be working together on Windows Mobile Phones. As TechNet points out, this is the seventh licensing agreement that Microsoft has landed in the last few months. Right now Acer, General Dynamics Itronix, Onkyo, Velocity Micro, ViewSonic, Wistron, and HTC are all signed up.
That leaves one of the few Android holdouts being Motorola Mobility, which Google has purchased. Microsoft has already filed suit against Motorola for infringement. It appears that Google will soon face the prospect of licensing patents from Microsoft to use its own OS. Microsoft hails the deals as a way to prevent patent litigation. Google complains that this sort of deal limits software innovation.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Who needs Android or Windows? HTC may just go it alone

So, you have a massive Android and WP7 presence. You've transformed yourself from the manufacturer of handsets for networks to one of the biggest players in the market on your own merits. Where do you go next if you're HTC?
Just buy your own OS! Simples!

At least, that's the implication we've been getting from the Taiwanese manufacturer, which feels that there are possibly too many Android and WP7 handsets doing the rounds.
Boss, Cher Wang apparently told the Economic Observer of China: "We have given it thought and we have discussed it internally, but we will not do it on impulse."
"We can use any OS we want. We are able to make things different from our rivals on the second or third layer of a platform. Our strength lies in understanding an OS, but it does not mean that we have to produce an OS."
HTC has been one of the big success stories of the Android revolution. It was the first manufacturer to launch a handset on the platform in the T-Mobile G1 and since then has gained a prominent place in the market with its customisable and highly distinctive Sense interface which, ironically, launched on the Windows Mobile OS.
The strategy is simple - add your own look to the vanilla build and then make it your own, which is what Sense does so well.
And if HTC wants to buy its own OS, there'll be at least three potential targets in theory, with both MeeGo and Symbian potentially looking for love thanks to Nokia's decision to buddy up with Microsoft. Then there's webOS, which HP paid big money for when it bought Palm, but is effectively now on the shelf now that HP is ditching its mobile division.
Of course, in practice any deal for HTC to get involved with any of those three will be way more complicated than just flashing some cash, but the point is there are potentially options out there.
But, it'll face stiff competition from Android co-developer and mobile rival Samsung which, as we reported yesterday, is continuing to throw cash at its own protege, Bada.
It'll be interesting could very well be linked to the ongoing row with Apple over patent infringements but either way, more choice for the consumer can only be a good thing.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Samsung Windows 8 tablet leaked

If the rumour mongers speaketh the truth then Microsoft's Build conference, which kicks off at 5pm UK time, will be heavily tablet based with reports suggesting that the software giant will give away a preview version of Windows 8 and thousands of Samsung tablets to developers at the expo.
And the tablet in question looks to already have been spotted, with blog Microsoft News publishing a picture of a some tablets in Samsung labelled boxes with the words "the build" displayed in the same font that Microsoft is using for the event.

The New York Times cites "two industry consultants who have been told about the plans" as its source for the Windows 8 tablet giveaway info.

Back in July Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer said: "Windows 8 really does represent a true re-imagining of Windows PCs and the dawning of Windows slates."
In May he said: "As we progress through the year, you ought to expect to hear a lot about Windows 8. Windows 8 slates, tablets, PCs, a variety of different form factors."
From the glimpses we've seen of Windows 8 so far, it's fairly obvious it has been built with mobile devices in mind. Compared to previous Windows iterations it boasts an extensively redesigned UI that tips its cap firmly in the direction of Windows Phone 7.
We'll be reporting all the news from the Build event, so be sure to check back later for all the updates.
Via: Via:

Microsoft Windows 8: 10 Reasons It Threatens iOS, Android

It’s not often that industry observers will look at the mobile market and think that iOS and Android have anything to worry about. Both platforms are finding that a growing number of people want to use them, and the companies behind them--Apple and Google--have enough cash on hand to solidify their positions in the marketplace for an inordinately long time. Simply put, Apple and Google are currently making the barriers to entry in the mobile space even higher.

But with Windows 8, Microsoft might just have what it takes to at least threaten iOS and Android. Microsoft’s operating system, which is slated to launch sometime next year, won’t hurt Android or iOS in the smartphone space. The software giant still hopes its Windows Phone 7 makes a dent there. However, Microsoft does have its sights set firmly on the tablet market with Windows 8. And by the look of things, vendors hoping to score some quick revenue off the tablet craze are willing to follow Microsoft into that space.
Realizing that, a Windows 8 tablets might just be bigger threat to iOS and Android than Apple and Google want to admit.
Here are 10 reasons why Windows 8 is in a good spot to challenge these other tablet operating systems:
1. It’s Windows, after all
Like it or not, Windows is a huge force in the operating system market. The OS has been installed on billions of computers around the globe, and there are still millions that would rather use a Windows PC than any other device. When Windows 8--which reportedly will work quite well with tablets--comes to that form factor, it’s quite possible that many of those folks will want a device running the OS. Windows cannot be discounted.
2. The enterprise might bite
Looking around the tablet space, there aren’t many solid options for enterprise users. The Research In Motion BlackBerry PlayBook is a sub-par corporate option, and the Cisco Cius, which launched over the summer, hasn’t gained much traction, due to its Android installation. But tablets running Windows 8 could be a different story for enterprise decision-makers. Not only will it support the applications companies use, but it’ll also limit productivity issues, since employees will be familiar with it. The corporate world could very well drive the growth of Windows 8 tablets.
3. It’s not too late
Some say that Microsoft’s decision to jump into the tablet space now is a mistake. They say that Windows 7 should have been more tablet-friendly, and thus would have given Microsoft more time to try and limit Android’s success. But such an opinion is short-sighted. The tablet market is poised for huge growth in the coming years. And Microsoft might just be coming in at the right time with Windows 8.

4. Vendors are lining up
The interesting difference between Windows 7 tablets and Windows 8 tablets is that, unlike the former, several vendors are lining up to support the latter. As of this writing, several companies, including Dell and Samsung, are expected to bring Windows 8 tablets to the market. Realizing that, Microsoft should have the kind of support it needs to take on Android and iOS. Will that guarantee success? Of course not. But as more vendors jump on Windows 8 tablets, Android and iOS could face increased pressure.

5. Consider the Motorola Mobility acquisition
Following that, it’s important to look at some of the factors that might hurt Android. The most notable issue could be Google’s recent decision to acquire Motorola Mobility. If the deal is approved by regulators, Google will have an Android hardware vendor to itself. And other Android vendors, like HTC and Samsung, could balk at that. If that happens, they might turn to Microsoft and Windows 8.
6. Microsoft will spend the cash
Microsoft understands the importance of the tablet space. If the company can’t solidify its position in that market, it could very well find itself on the outside looking in at the most lucrative space in the industry. So, in order to limit the chances of that, expect Microsoft to invest every last dime on Windows 8 tablets. If that means acquiring companies, it’ll do it. If that means investing in research and development, Microsoft will write the checks. Tablets mean quite a bit to Microsoft right now, and it will stop at nothing to get to where it wants to go.

7. It looks to be solid
Although details are somewhat slim on Windows 8 right now, the operating system, which is being shown off at the BUILD Conference this week, looks to be a fine option for consumers and enterprise users alike. The operating system has a revamped design, complete with live tiles, as well as support for a host of multitouch gestures that should only make it more appealing to tablet users. On paper, Windows 8 appears to be a fine competitor to iOS and Android.

8. Microsoft isn’t betting on Windows Phone 7
Too often, people make the mistake of believing that simply because Microsoft hasn’t been successful in the smartphone market with Windows Phone 7, the company won’t have a chance of succeeding with tablets and Windows 8. The reality is Microsoft’s troubles in the smartphone market have nothing to do with its chances in the tablet space. What’s more, Windows 8 is a much stronger platform than Windows Phone 7.
9. Microsoft might play the hardware game
As discussed, Google is breaking into the hardware space with its acquisition of Motorola Mobility. And that could very well hurt Android’s adoption if other vendors get concerned of Motorola’s ties with Google. But if they don’t become concerned and Android continues to be the top choice among vendors, Microsoft might just try to acquire a hardware vendor of its own. After all, it has the cash to do it, and the move could help bolster its own operating system’s market share in the tablet space. Simply put, if Microsoft enters the tablet-development market, it could make Windows 8 an even greater threat to Android and IOS.

10. The OS market is becoming consolidated
Last month, Hewlett-Packard announced that it was leaving the tablet space, and all but turning its back on the operating system running on its TouchPad, webOS. With that decision, HP left RIM’s BlackBerry OS alone to compete against iOS and Android. When Windows 8 comes into the market, there will be just four competitors. That’s not a lot of competition. Whether RIM will be able to sustain itself in the tablet space remains to be seen. As the tablet OS market continues to consolidate, Android and iOS might only need to worry about Windows 8. And at that point, the race will be on to find out which of the three will be able to cement itself as the long-term leader.