Is Mobility a good buy? Maybe. They do have the plant, equipment and personnel make Google a tier one device mfr. But I would point out that Apple is enjoying tier one results without the tier one expenditures in capital. So the M&A mgr might not look at that as the best deal in town. On that basis alone. So what might be worth the money spent? My guess — patents. Google needs a patent pool to defend Android. This is their way to do it. The manufacturing was a side benefit.
Could Google have done better? I think they could. Remember Google was a bidder in the FCC 700mhz `C` auction. Verizon who was the winner placed a winning bid of $4.7Bn. So lets say Google had won with $5Bn. Would they need patent protection for Android? Sure. But they would have had the network rights to trade with the right partners. One needs to think like Cprl. Klinger to understand that with the network in hand, Google could have traded access both with IP partners, manufacturing and design. Network is one of the few IT resources that are fungible unlike other IT tech.
Bottom line Google could have achieved the same aims at a lower price had they won the 700mhz auction.
According to Florian Mueller of Foss Patents, the ITC decision today was an “initial determination” that would still require review by a six-member Commission. The original complaint involved ten patents but has been whittled down to four, with now two found as being infringed.
Although specific infringing devices were called out, mainly HTC models released prior to the new roster announced at February’s MWC 2011 conference, the patents involved appear to be at the core of Android making it highly likely to be infringed by all Android devices.
The two patents are No. 5,946,647, a “system and method for performing an action on a structure in computer-generated data,” and No. 6,343,263, a “real-time signal processing system for serially transmitted data.” Both are rather broad and fundamental to the core of Android and are also linked to Apple’s claims against Motorola.
Its up to the full 6 member review panel for final determination. HTC says they can work around it, but we shall see. Even if they do have a solution it crimps their current income stream of imports into the country if the ruling goes against them.
Owners of Android smartphones are being warned to avoid public WiFi networks after researchers found a security flaw that could affect the vast majority of devices based on Google’s software.
A trio of researchers at Ulm University in Germany found that it was “quite easy” for hackers to intercept data from Google’s photo-sharing, calendar and contacts applications, as well as potentially other Google services such as Gmail, using a flaw that affects 99 per cent of all Android devices.
The revelation will again put the spotlight on Google’s approach to security with its mobile operating system, which is the most popular software for smartphones in the world. The security flaw has been fixed in Android’s 2.3.4 version of its operating softwares and beyond.
Well I guess we should not expect any more than this. Google is after all just an advertising firm. The cure is available with an upgrade to the latest Android OS if you can do so on your device.
The real irony? T-Mobile now makes WiFi calls free.
Intel had a rather lengthy presentation which seems to have turned into a defensive strategy session with the institutional brokers in the crowd. –
Renée James, SVP and GM of Intel’s software and services group spent some time on Intel’s well publicised relationship with Microsoft, saying that there will be several Windows 7 tablets running on Intel hardware tipping up by year’s end. James also mentioned that Intel has been working hand-in-hand with Microsoft to develop Windows 8 for system-on-chip (SoC) and standard PCs.
However Jones spent a lot longer promoting Linux-based alternatives and went further by saying that Intel got into the Linux game early, and he noted that the firm is a “key definer of Linux evolution”. James also mentioned that Intel is the second biggest contributor to Linux kernel development. Remember, this is Linux, the software that was likened to cancer by Microsoft’s CEO Steve Ballmer.
So while a few analysts seem to be worried about Intel’s health following Microsoft’s launch of Windows 8 with ARM architecture support, Intel’s own forecasts show that Microsoft’s operating system market share will be on the slide. Jones displayed projections for the server market that show Linux adoption slowly eating into Microsoft’s market share and he made even bolder statements, claiming that most datacenters run Linux, that open source software leads the high performance computing market and that most embedded devices, such as smartphones, run Linux.
There a few notes floating around the ‘Net that Google is testing bits and pieces of Google Voice internally. Even rumors that a possible upgrade to GMail may include a Google Voice client popup –
The new feature will allow users to make voice calls over the Internet and it’s likely that it won’t be limited to Gmail. In April, TechCrunch reported that Google “built a Google Voice desktop application to make and receive calls” and that the application is tested internally. Google used technology from Gizmo5, a VoIP service acquired by Google last year.
For now, Google Voice’s integration with Gmail is not publicly available.
A Google Voice VoIP service with land line tie in? The consequences are rather formidable –
As a technology this is not earth shaking, its just VoIP. But if Google follows their usual — free basic, paid premium scenarios — it is a massive realignment of the VoIP space as a business. It would also portend a serious challenge to the big three wireless carriers. A smart upstart could offer a unlimited data plan coupled with Android/GMail/Voice/SMS and blow their competitors voice/data plan pairings out of the water. (Hear me out there T-Mobile??)
This is a dark swan for telecom.
You must appreciate the remorse I have when I read this –
When Google acquired Gizmo5, a Skype competitor, in November Google Voice users rejoiced – presumably they’d be getting a much needed soft phone on the desktop for users to make and receive calls through Google Voice.
We confirmed that the application had been rewritten and was being tested internally at Google in April. Some Google employees continue to use the app, we’ve confirmed.
But don’t expect it to launch publicly any time soon, we’ve heard from multiple sources. Why? an internal religious debate about desktop software.
Google founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin don’t want Google to be in the business of creating software outside of the browser, say our sources. And that’s consistent with Google’s product launches over the last several years.
Of course it ignores the efforts that Google is putting into developing their own Chrome browser, Chrome operating system and Android operating system, as well as a variety of mobile apps – all are software that installs on computers or mobile devices.
But there may be a hard line when it comes to pure desktop apps like Google Voice. So the team has been sent back to the drawing board to try to make a workable soft phone that will work entirely within the browser using HTML 5.
So the upshot is, it ain’t gonna happen this year or next. Damn! Apparently part of a religious war internally. Personally I think this is a bad move on Google’s part. There is only so much you can do with Search. But with telephony, when you can do it big, there are all sorts of avenues where not only is search manifest in telephony use but it provides yet another source of revenue apart from search. Smart companies diversify income streams.
I need a scotch…..
Update II :
Ok, so my scorecard was only half right! The upshot is, Google Voice is out of the Labs and into the wild! Wow. Integrated with Google Mail? Nope. I want that, but the fact that I can freely sign up for Google Voice without the invite is a good start.
Will be a busy weekend. Have a few clients that want this integrated into their websites. Loving it. The current release of GV won’t however put Google in the MaBell business however. It depends on an existing phone line to operate. But merely as a call director it has many uses for lots of people.
Much of the wireless industry has been resisting pretty strongly the idea of giving up the voice channel as a revenue stream. Fact what they are resisting is the concept that voice is just another piece of data. For example, almost a year ago Apple disapproved a Google app that permitted VoIP on the iPhone at the insistence of their AT&T transport partner.
Ok, but then what can you do about this? –
More time laughing with friends.
Less time in front of a computer.
Take free, unlimited Skype-to-Skype calls and IM on the go with your BlackBerry® or Android™ 3G smartphone from Verizon Wireless.
Yeah, its a shill quote right off the Skype site. But that is not what matters here. What is, is the fact that Skype/Verizon are putting a shot across the bow of every other vendor out there as it relates to voice minute charges.
Now of course there is a down side. That Skype call is now a data rated call. Which if you look at Verizon’s data rate plans is not a bargain in comparison. So for the consumer it is not a block buster cost saver. But this opens the door that voice is just another chunk of data. I would be inclined to look at T-Moble’s unlimited data plan for this Skype service. Get one of their Android phones and see what happens….
But the door is opening. Might take a year or two for folks to catch on but eventually there will be a data rate war in the wireless arena as voice channel services are dropped by consumers.