Microsoft doesn't really need Windows Phone sales to explode overnight when its generating an estimated $2 billion from Android sales, for, well, doing nothing. Nomura analyst Rick Sherlund has estimated that Microsoft is pulling in all that revenue each year from Google thanks to patent royalties from Android vendors.
The analyst adds that Microsoft's margin on Android-based patent royalties is a hefty 95%, which would mean that Microsoft's truck load of billions of dollars each year is pure, golden profit. Sherlund also says that Microsoft is using the cash piles it's making from Google's mobile OS to patch up the massive losses that its Xbox division creates each year, which is around $2 billion per year according to Sherlund.
It looks like Samsung is prepared to brag about its upcoming 64-bit SoC, considering the South Korean giant is the company that manufactures Apple's 64-bit A7 processor that is baked into the iPhone 5S and iPad Air.
Well, there's a new SoC the company is working on, but it won't be based on its own technology, instead it will use ARM-based tech. Stephen Woo, President of System LSI at Samsung Electronics said: "Many people were thinking, why did we need 64-bit for mobile devices? People were asking that question until three months ago. And now I think no one is asking that question. They're asking, when can we have that?"
We will see Samsung release an ARM-based 64-bit SoC, which will be followed by a new SoC that will use in-house technology at a later date. Woo continued: "We are marching on schedule. We will offer the first 64-bit [processor] based on ARM's own core. After that, we will offer an even more optimized 64-bit [processor] based on our own optimizations." We should expect the new 64-bit SoC to be baked into the company's upcoming Galaxy S5 and Galaxy Note 4 devices that will be released in 2014.
Is this yet another step in the right direction for Microsoft? It would seem so: Microsoft CEO, Steve Ballmer, is in Germany at the moment, where he joined Christian P. Illek, chairman of Microsoft Germany's managing board, where they opened up a new facility in Germany.
The new facility is built in the historic building "Unter den Linden 17," which is a massive 3,000 square meter building that has been converted into a technology hub that is primed at getting customers, businesses partners, the media, startups, and the community better acquainted. The new facility includes a "Digital Eatery" which is a consumer lounge on the first floor that invites visitors to come in and try out Microsoft's latest and greatest products.
Ballmer said: "We've always believed that technology creates opportunities for people and organizations to achieve their dreams. Right now, we are incredibly passionate about delivering the next generation of high value activities through devices and services that people love and organizations need all over the world. The Microsoft Berlin Innovation Center provides a unique environment to foster innovation, forge new partnerships with entrepreneurs and exchange ideas with our customers."
Google is now pushing out a new version of Hangouts, the one that we reported that would be capable of sending and receiving SMS with. The update to Hangouts makes it equal to the one that ships with the Nexus 5 smartphone, which is the default SMS app on the device.
Once you've received the updated Hangouts app, you'll be asked to enable SMS support - something you can decline - but if you turn it on, you'll do all of your text messaging through Hangouts from now on. This is great for those who don't already use a third-party SMS client, as it keeps all of your messaging in one place, up in the cloud, and on your device. The update is going out gradually, but here in Australia, I'm not enjoying the new app yet unfortunately.
Apple may have lost hundreds of billions of dollars from its market cap, but that doesn't stop them from continuing on to be one of the strongest brands on the planet. Forbes has rated Apple as the world's most valuable brand, above some of the biggest names in the world.
Apple beat Google, Microsoft, IBM and Coca-Cola to be the world's most valuable brand, with Forbes stating that Apple's brand is worth $104.3 billion, double that of second place, which happens to be Microsoft. Forbes does note that Samsung is rising quite quickly up the chart, which "had the strongest one-year gain of any brand in the top 100" which is up 53% from last year. Nokia has sunk, by a massive 55% since last year, with BlackBerry disappearing off the top 100 list completely.
3D printing is all the rage these days, it seems to be capable of pretty much everything, but what about 3D painting? Yeah, GE is experimenting with the technology that it is calling "cold spray" which is capable of slowly building up layers of metal by spraying metal powder at very high velocities.
The process is used to repair worn metal components, which would add years or even decades to their lifespan. 3D printing has limits of the size of the objects it can create, but 3D painting only has one limitation: the spread of its spray. This means that the technology, or spray, could be used to create or repair very large structures, or cars. The process is being looked at as one possible way to repair parts used in oil and gas drilling, which would be perfect as there's no heat involved.
No heat involved means that the chance of a fire or explosion are reduced much closer to 0%.
Lenovo has posted up its results for its second fiscal quarter, which ended on September 30. Revenue for the three-month period sat at $9.8 billion, which is a 13% increase year-over-year. Lenovo also saw its second quarter profit grow very quickly, with pre-tax income growing up 30% year-over-year to $265 million.
Earnings also increased, a nice 36% year-over-year to around $220 million. The biggest news here is just how many devices Lenovo sold in the quarter, which was a hefty 29 million devices, which equates to around 4 devices sold, every single second. This has helped Lenovo keep its 'world's largest PC vendor' statement for the second quarter running, with the highest-ever quarterly market share of 17.7%, which is up 2% year-over-year.
We are so close to the PS4's release, I can almost smell that fresh electronic smell from here. Well, Wired has a nice exclusive, the teardown of the PlayStation 4. Sony's next-gen console gets torn down by Sony's Engineering Director, Yasuhiro Ootori.
Ootori both unboxes the PS4 and then tears it apart, showing off its innards to the world. We can see there's a gigantic heatsink that cools the AMD-powered APU down, but a smallish fan, which is a surprise. We have an integrated power supply, which we had with the PS3, and the usual circuit boards and components in and around the center of the console. Up until now, we didn't really get an up close and personal shot of the power and eject buttons, but they're here, and they're small.
Elon Musk publicly called the Tesla Model S "the safest car in America," but those claims may not be as true as everyone originally hoped. The Tennessee Highway Patrol has recently reported that a Tesla Model S was involved in a single vehicle fire yesterday in which the car was damaged after running over a piece of debris in the road.
The Model S hit what is rumored to be a "trailer hitch" that was laying in the road way, which could have damaged the cars lithium battery packs. While unlikely this scenario is not that far fetched as the Model S' battery pack is contained in the floor of the vehicle and is protected from below by a thin armor plate. Earlier this fall, another Model S burst into flames after its battery pack was punctured as well.
Tesla said that it has teams on the way to Tennessee to investigate the fire, and hopes to pinpoint the cause. This marks the third Model S to catch fire this year and as a result of the fires, Tesla's stock is down more than 27-percent from its high earlier this year of $193.37. News of the fire cause the stock to fall by more than 7-percent today alone.
Until now, Quake Live has lived within our browsers, but before the new year arrives, it will be a standalone game. Not only that, but the first-person shooter will also drop native support for both Linux and Mac, which is an unfortunate consequence.
The developer explained that Quake Live will be playable through emulation or virtualization software, for those who have paid subscriptions for the Mac- or Linux-based versions of the game. A news post on the game's official forum states: "Over the past few years, browser support for plugins such as Quake Live have dropped off significantly, causing problems for plugins to operate in a consistent and working manner. With the recent announcement of Google Chrome's roadmap to turning off plugin support and the upcoming changes in Firefox, it seems that now is the time to make the transition."