Google Working With Huawei to Build 7-Inch Tablet: Report

Today's topics include Google and Huawei's partnership to create a new 7-inch tablet, Microsoft's updates to Bing that make the search engine smarter, Apple's cuts to its Project Titan autonomous car development program and confirmation that HP intends to purchase Samsung's printer business for $1.05 billion.

Google is planning a 7-inch tablet that will be built by Huawei and will go on sale by the end of 2016, according to a Twitter post by well-known IT tipster Evan Blass.

"Google's Huawei-built 7-inch tablet, with 4GB RAM, on track for release before the end of the year," Blass wrote in the recent post, which lacked any additional details. Google's last 7-inch Android tablet was the Nexus 7.

The tablet could be announced by Google in October, when several other announcements are expected, including the first Google Daydream VR headset, a new Chromecast dongle and two new smartphones that have also been the subject of rumors.

Despite scouring practically every corner of the web, search engines can still prove maddeningly reluctant to provide a desired piece of information. Part of the problem is that users often don't know how to craft search queries that help them hone in on the facts, figures and other data they seek.

Microsoft recently upgraded Bing Academic Suggestions using new technologies from the company's Technology and Research team and the Bing semantic graph.

Academic Suggestions is an intelligent auto complete feature that helps students and researchers find academic papers on a variety of topics from a host of authors to generate results similar to Google's "Scholarly articles" feature.

The Bing upgrades "allow the user to construct highly structured queries exposing Bing's deep knowledge of specific topic areas," Microsoft explained in a blog post.

Apple's self-driving car initiative is undergoing a "reboot," according to three people familiar with the decision, The New York Times reported Sept. 9.

According to the report, Apple has laid off dozens of employees and shuttered parts of the project, as executives decide how to proceed. Apple has never publicly acknowledged the existence of its self-driving car initiative—reportedly called Project Titan—although its hiring over the last few years has spoken volumes.

"I think Apple was keeping its options open by maintaining a stream of research on becoming a car manufacturer," said Ezra Gottheil, a principal analyst with Technology Business Research.

"Either because of new partnerships or … because the schedule for such an effort has been pushed back, Apple has specialized resources it no longer needed,” said Gottheil.

HP Inc. officials are making a significant push to bolster the company's position in the $55 billion copier market. They announced Sept. 12 that HP is buying Samsung Electronics' printing business for $1.05 billion, which comes days after reports surfaced of a possible deal between the two companies.

In addition, HP announced an expansion of its portfolio of A3 multifunction printers (MFPs), which executives said is another step in the company's effort to bring greater innovation in terms of efficiency, security and color reproduction to the MFP space. The ultimate goal of this innovation is to enable enterprises to more easily replace copiers with MFPs.

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