Microsoft's week centered on its escalating battle with Motorola Mobility and Google, rumors of Office for iPad, and some new software releases.
week revolved around Motorola Mobility and Office.
On Feb. 22,
Microsoft decided to escalate its long-running battle against Motorola (and
Google, its new owner) by filing a formal complaint with the European
Commission, which acts as an antitrust watchdog for the European Union.
issues with Motorola extend back to late 2010, when the two companies began
firing patent-infringement lawsuits at each other. Now, however, that conflict
enters a potentially much more complicated phase.
We have taken
this step because Motorola is attempting to block sales of Windows PCs, our
Xbox game console and other products, Dave Heiner, vice president and deputy
general counsel of Microsofts Corporate Standards & Antitrust Group, wrote
in a Feb. 22 posting on the Microsoft on the Issues
blog. Their offense?
These products enable people to view videos on the Web and to connect
wirelessly to the Internet using industry standards.
telling, Motorola and other companies agreed to common technical standards for
video and WiFi, the better for building compatible products. In exchange,
patents governing those standards would be made available to participants on
fair and reasonable terms.
added, Motorola is demanding that Microsoft take its products off the market,
or else remove their standards-based ability to play video and connect
wirelessly. Moreover, the manufacturer is apparently demanding a hefty
royalty for its patents.
conflict, of course, is just one front in the larger battle between Microsoft
and Google. Redmond has managed to persuade a sizable number of manufacturers
to pay royalties for each Android device that rolls off their production line
(Motorola, of course, being a notable holdout). However, Heiner argued that
Microsofts quest to lock up Android manufacturers into these royalty
agreements is wildly different than Motorolas maneuvering with
There are big
differences between Googles approach and Microsofts, he wrote in the blog
posting. Microsoft is not seeking to block Android manufacturers from shopping
products on the basis of standard essential patents. Rather, Microsoft is
focused on infringement of patents that it has not contributed to any industry
with Motorola serves to highlight Microsofts increased focus on mobility.
However, Redmond is also perfectly capable of collaborating with erstwhile
rivals, as demonstrated by this weeks rumor that its prepping a version of
Office for iPad.
claimed in a Feb. 21 report that a working prototype of the software indeed
exists, and that Microsoft has asked Apple to approve it for release. The
apps user interface is similar to the current OneNote app, it suggested, but
it has hints of Metro, the new design language that can be seen in Windows
Phone and in the as-yet-released Windows 8 desktop operating system. An exact
release date is unknown, although Microsoft has apparently finished the actual
enables the creation and editing of Word, Excel and PowerPoint documents.
According to unnamed sources speaking to The
a version of Office for Android is not in the works. Microsoft
itself had no comment on the matter.
In terms of
more concrete software releases, Microsoft announced that it would deliver beta versions of Visual Studio 11 and the .NET Framework 4.5
Feb. 29, the same day the company is expected to release its Consumer Preview
of Windows 8. Visual Studio 11 will enable developers to build apps that allow
devices to stay connected to cloud back-ends. Meanwhile, the .NET Framework 4.5
will allow developers to build responsive, scalable and efficient client and
introduced some improvements to Bing, its search engine. A new Linked Pages
feature lets users associate pages from around the Web with their name,
allowing others to tell the difference between, say, five different John Does.
With Linked Pages, were letting you link Websites related to you by search
results, read a Feb. 22 note on the Bing Community
blog. Now your friends
looking for you online can find what you want them to find. You can also link
pages to your friends helping them shine on Bing as well.
goal in buttressing Bings capabilities, obviously, is to make the platform a
more robust competitor to Google. If theres one thing you bet on, its that
the titanic battle between the two companies wont end anytime soon.
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