FTC Lawsuit Charges Qualcomm With Antitrust Violations

Today's topics include the Federal Trade Commission’s antitrust lawsuit against Qualcomm, HPE's offer to acquire hyperconverged storage provider SimpliVity for $650 million, Google’s new whitepaper highlighting its multi-layered security architecture for its cloud data centers and the Cortana and Bluetooth enhancements in the latest Windows 10 test build.

Chipmaker Qualcomm, which provides the electronic brains for Android smartphones around the world, ended 2016 with legal trouble in the Far East and is starting out 2017 with equally serious legal issues in the U.S.

However, none of this litigation has anything to do with the processors themselves. The U.S. Federal Trade Commission Jan. 17 filed a lawsuit accusing Qualcomm of antitrust violations in conducting its patent-licensing business.

The FTC, which works with the Department of Justice enforce antitrust law, claims that Qualcomm used its dominance in supplying base-band processors used in smartphones and tablets to arm-twist licensees and extract elevated royalties for patents in what the complaint dubbed a "no license-no chips" policy.

HPE announced Jan. 17 that it will acquire software-defined hyperconverged storage provider SimpliVity for $650 million in cash. The deal is expected to close in the 2017 second quarter.

The combined HPE and SimpliVity portfolio will offer a large set of enterprise data services across hyperconverged, 3PAR storage, composable infrastructure and multi-cloud offerings, HPE Vice-President of Marketing for the Software-Defined & Cloud Business Group Paul Miller told eWEEK.

SimpliVity says its software-defined, hyperconverged storage infrastructure is an original design aimed at meeting the needs of enterprise customers who require on-premises technology infrastructure.

Data security and trust have long been major concerns for organizations considering cloud-computing options. In an apparent bid to allay these fears among its customers at least, Google has released a new whitepaper enumerating the complex multi-layered strategy the company uses to protect enterprise data in the cloud.

The paper shows that Google has deployed security controls in six progressive layers starting with physical and hardware security at the bottom and operational security controls at the top of the stack.

A lot of the technology in Google's data centers is home built and incorporates what the company claims are multiple physical security controls.

Microsoft's latest Windows 10 Creator's Update test build contains updates that will help users quickly resume tasks when switching PCs. Like any helpful assistant, Cortana will point users in the right direction when they pick up a Windows laptop or tablet.

"When you switch computers, Cortana will display quick links in the Action Center to help you easily get back into the Microsoft Edge websites and SharePoint (or other cloud-based documents) you used most recently," explained Microsoft software engineer and head of the Windows Insider early access program, Dona Sarkar, in a blog post.

Bluetooth gets a boost in this latest build and in a companion software development kit. The company has added a handful of new features aimed at helping Windows connect to more devices and enable developers to open up new ways of interacting with wearables, smart home equipment and other Bluetooth-enabled gear.