HP, Lenovo Desktop PCs to Run AMD's New Pro Processors

Today's topics include AMD's announcement that Lenovo and HP will be among the first PC hardware companies to deliver desktop systems with the chip maker's latest AMD Pro processors, VirnetX's court victory over Apple, the discounted price of the HTC 10 smartphone and Microsoft's cloud services expansion project in France.

PC market leaders Lenovo and HP will be among the first OEMs to roll out desktop systems equipped with Advanced Micro Devices' latest processors.

The chip maker announced Oct. 3 that HP and Lenovo will offer the seventh generation AMD Pro accelerated processing units —which the company officially launched last month—in PC models that promise improved computing and graphics performance, power efficiency and security.

It's the latest move by AMD officials to regain the company's footing in a commercial PC market that is dominated by larger rival Intel.

For VirnetX, the third time may be the charm. On Sept. 30, a federal jury in East Texas ordered Apple to pay $302.4 million in damages for infringing on internet security patents held by VirnetX.

In seven instances, the jurors agreed that Apple's FaceTime had infringed on VirnetX patents. The verdict is the third in a case that has stretched across six years.

Nevada-based VirnetX, a patent holder—often described as a "patent troll," since much of its income comes from lawsuits and patent licensing—first filed suit against Apple in 2010, claiming that Apple software infringed on four of its patents related to virtual private networks (VPNs) and secure communication links.

In 2012, a jury awarded VirnetX $368.3 million in damages, but that verdict was later overruled by the U.S. Court of Appeals in Washington, D.C., after it was determined there were problems with the trial judge's instructions and jurors may have miscalculated the damages.

HTC has dropped the price of its flagship HTC 10 smartphone to $549 through Oct. 8, a $150 discount from its regular price of $699.

The special offer is being made as part of the company's "Green is Good" online contest, which includes prizes like HTC Vive virtual reality headsets, HTC 10 smartphones and HTC RE cameras. The special pricing for the HTC 10 allows customers to buy the handset from HTC.com for use on the AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile and Verizon networks.

An unlocked version of the handset can be used on the AT&T or T-Mobile networks, while locked models are available for the T-Mobile, Sprint or Verizon networks.

Next year, Microsoft is planning to open new Azure cloud data centers in France as it expands the availability of its Azure, Office 365 and Dynamics 365 cloud services in Europe.

The announcement was made in Dublin at the Microsoft Experiences event Oct. 3, the first day of a four-day tour of Europe, in which Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella and President Brad Smith will meet with the region's leaders and businesses.

Other stops include Paris, Berlin and London. In 2017, Microsoft plans to start delivering its cloud infrastructure and application services in France from multiple data centers, complete with protections that meet Europe's tough data privacy standards.

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