According to Foo Yun Chee of Reuters, the EU regulators will most likely approve Google’s acquisition of Motorola Mobility sometime next week:

(Reuters) – Google Inc (GOOG.O) is expected to win approval next week from European regulators, as well as from U.S. antitrust authorities, for its planned $12.5 billion purchase of Motorola Mobility (MMI.N), according to people familiar with the matter.

Web search leader Google, which is buying the handset maker to boost its patent portfolio, is seen winning unconditional EU clearance for the deal, two people with knowledge of the matter said on Friday.

The deal was announced last August.

Now, I have (next to) nothing against Google or Motorola Mobility, but with the latter going on the offensive and misusing industry-standard patents against rivals by choosing not to license them on FRAND terms, as well as Google coming out and confirming that they will support Motorola’s actions. I really cannot see why this acquisition is going to be approved.

While this isn’t the last place the deal needs to be approved, I can assume that if the EU approves the acquisition, other nations which have yet to decide will eventually follow suit.

But if there is one thing which could be viewed as a positive (for Motorola users at least), it will be that Motorola will most likely push out updates for their Android devices much faster than they are currently are doing now.

Originally reported by Ryan Lawler of GigaOM:

According to a couple of job postings on the Amazon jobs site, the online retailer is hiring creative execs to develop programming through its Amazon Studios initiative. The jobs specifically are for the “People’s Production Company,” which is the name of the production studio producing original content, located in Sherman Oaks, Calif. Successful applicants would report to Amazon’s VP of Series Development and would be expected to:

  • Assess pilot proposals
  • Work with writers and artists to develop series ideas
  • Staff, cast and produce pilots in a cost-efficient way
  • Supervise series production when series are greenlit

 

It’s not like Amazon weren’t already looking to create original TV series’ before, but it looks like they’re finally getting serious about it. Probably due to Netflix recently releasing their own original series (Lilyhammer), which has been receiving some good feedback from critics.

Also,  Amazon are also offering a free one month trial for lovefilm.com to regular (Amazon) customers in the UK, and if you do end up signing up for a paid subscription after the trial is done you’ll get £20 worth of Amazon vouchers.

In addition to the WSJ recently reporting on an upcoming home-entertainment system, it appears Google have another piece of Hardware in the works, in the form of a “next-generation personal communication device” which has just passed through the FCC for testing.

Details on the new Google gadget are sparse, though the FCC request does confirm both WiFi and Bluetooth, with the search company requesting permission to trial 102 units in different locations across the US.

Google is listed as the manufacturer of the devices, described as “in the prototyping phase”, and says that they will be connected to home internet connections via WiFi. Staff in Mountain View, Los Angeles, Cambridge and New York will all be involved, using the gadgets at work and at home.

It looks like Google’s planning a massive entry into the Hardware market with a whole line-up of products.

Coming packed with only Wi-Fi and Bluetooth (probably so carriers won’t have any interaction with the product on a personal level) I can’t see this device costing that much, which will obviously give it massive appeal with consumers from all ends of the market.

I’m expecting that the device will most likely have some form of interaction with the upcoming    home-entertainment system — But, the main attraction of the device (for me) lies with the possible integration of Google services such as Voice, Chat and Gmail, considering this has been described as a “personal communication device”.

Here’s hoping that we hear more on this at Google I/O later this year (end of June), or maybe even sometime before that.

Contrary to what most blogs/media outlets would have you believe, Apple’s iTunes Match service actually does make money for the copyright holders, as Jeff Price from TuneCore has so kindly pointed out after receiving his first royalty payment from the service.

iMatch monetizes the existing behavior of the consumer for copyright holders and artists.  Consumers don’t need to do anything new­—they just need to listen to their pre-existing music.

Apple charges consumers a fee of $25 a year to subscribe to the iMatch service. Once a consumer pays the fee for the service, iTunes will scour the consumer’s computers or iPhone or iPads, and make all of the songs already on these devices available for the subscriber to re-download or stream on demand. If the song is in the iTunes music store, then the subscriber does not need to upload the song.

Each and every time the consumer either re-downloads or streams a song he or she already has, copyright holders get paid.

Seems like the Anti-Apple bandwagon just rolls up whenever they (Apple) bring out a new feature/service, without even knowing the full details of the product.

On another note, for copyright holders and Apple to be getting paid from this per stream/download of a song, the royalty fee per play must be quite small (I’m guessing 0.000001 of the applicable currency or maybe even less) considering users only have to pay $24.99 a year for the service.

So according to the WSJ’s Amir Efrati, Google are looking to publicly launch their Cloud Storage Service, Google Drive, very soon.

After being killed off almost five years ago then being brought back last year internally for Google employees, Google Drive (or “G Drive” as it was previously known) is now ready to take on every other cloud storage service under the sun, including; Box.net, iCloud, SkyDrive, SugarSync, Dropbox, etc.

While it doesn’t seem that they (Google) will be bringing anything new to the table in terms of features, Drive will have the appeal of integration with other popular Google services. There’s also talk of Google planning to undercut other cloud companies (i.e. Dropbox) on storage fees, which will serve as another incentive to sign up when this finally does launch…

In a recent interview with Gizmodo, Microsoft’s Director of User Experience (for Windows, Windows Live and Internet Explorer), Sam Moreau has some interesting words to say on the Android platform:

Gizmodo: Right, when I talk to people about Windows Phone, some people don’t like the cutoff text or whatever. But it has a sense of vision—a really strong sense of vision—and I think that’s a good thing, one way or another.

Sam Moreau: Yeah, because that was the thing that we get blamed for a lot. Or, I would say the thing that annoys me about Android is I don’t think it has a point of view. I think it’s trying to be this weird sci-fi version of an Apple design language, poorly executed. Some of it is starting to get there, you know, they got Matias there, and some things are starting to get a little better. They’re starting to get that—some sense of soul, but I do think that a lot of their soul is derived from some other place.

As Moreau said, they are starting to get there, but there’s going to have to be a lot more interaction from Google with their Android device manufacturers if they truly want to move away from being regarded as an Apple clone. And I think they’ve realised this too, with their planned acquisition of Motorola looking to go through sometime this year (if it ever does get accepted by the European Union regulators.)

Looks like HTC finally understood what they’ve been missing for quite some time, as they have just announced the creation of a new Studio department which will be a cross-disciplinary group made up of engineers, designers, and others.

By having a more focused approach to our product strategy, and having the organization behind the product strategy to support it. I think I have told some people when talked about the creation of this Studio, which is a department within HTC that reports directly to Peter (Chou, HTC CEO). And this group of people comprise the team from design, the team from engineering and etc; working on a cross-disciplinary approach, and reporting directly to Peter. It has a lot of focus, is spending a lot of time on the key products that we are going to launch this year. And I think from these various perspectives, organization more focused on strategy and having a more open mind on components, choosing the best components, will allow us to regain the edge in products.

We might even see the fruits of their labour as early as the end of the month when Mobile World Congress (MWC) 2012 comes around, as there have been numerous rumours floating about concerning a Quad-Core HTC Smartphone.

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

%d bloggers like this: