FTC, DOJ Investigating Complaints About Google Android, Reports Say

Today's topics include Google under scrutiny from the FTC, BlackBerry confirms rumors of an Android smartphone, Microsoft is pairing up with Adafruit on the Windows IoT Core Starter Kit, and Adobe's Analysis Workspace provides data workers with more creativity.

The U.S. Federal Trade Commission and the U.S. Department of Justice are said to be investigating complaints that Google is unfairly preventing rivals from installing their software on Google's Android mobile operating system.

Business Insider reported Sept. 25 that FTC officials have begun meeting with representatives from multiple companies who say Google's practice of requiring Android smartphone vendors to install Google's software on their phones is unfair and anti-competitive. According to the companies, Google's bundling requirement makes it all but impossible for others to get their software preinstalled on Android smartphones.

Finally confirming rumors about its pending Android smartphone, BlackBerry announced on Sept. 24 that it will be selling a new privacy-targeted Android-equipped smartphone in the coming months as it works to reclaim some of its lost hardware market share.

The new phone, called the Priv, is "named after BlackBerry's heritage and core mission of protecting our customers' privacy," CEO and Executive Chairman John Chen said during the company's second-quarter 2016 earnings call. "Priv combines the best of BlackBerry security and productivity with the expansive mobile application ecosystem available on the Android platform."

Microsoft and Adafruit, an online community, e-commerce shop and resource site for makers, have teamed up to offer the Windows IoT Core Starter Kit. Based on the popular Raspberry Pi 2 computing board, the bundle is intended to help developers and hardware hackers interested in building Internet of things solutions get a jump-start on their projects.

Available at the Adafruit store for $114.95, the kit includes a compatible set of sensors, electronic parts, wires, and cables that have been verified to work with Windows 10 IoT Core.

Adobe announced Analysis Workspace, a new way for companies to analyze, share and use marketing data through Adobe Analytics. With Adobe's Analysis Workplace, analysts can manipulate views of data to create polished analyses that they can then curate out to those who need actionable data to make business decisions. Analysis Workspace helps users deliver insight and drive action; they can express their "analytics creativity" as they examine data.

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