Windows 8 licenses hit 60M mark

Microsoft officials said the company has sold 60 million Windows 8 licenses to date.

Tammi Reller, chief financial and chief marketing officer for Windows, shared the data at the JP Morgan Tech Forum at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas today.

That 60 million figure includes "sell in to OEMs for new PCs" and upgrades, said Reller. She didn't explicitly cite whether the figure also includes any Enterprise Agreement/volume license sales.

"Windows 8 is a big, ambitious change," Reller acknowledged. She reiterated that Windows 8 sales are roughly in line with Windows 7 … Read more

RIM expands licensing deal with InterDigital to cover 4G LTE tech

Research In Motion and InterDigital have extended an existing patent licensing agreement to cover 4G LTE technology.

Under the deal announced today, RIM will be able to use InterDigital's patents in its upcoming line of BlackBerry 10 products, which are set to debut later this month.

The deal comes just a few weeks after RIM settled a patent dispute with Nokia. In that case, RIM agreed to a one-time payment to Nokia and ongoing royalties for the use of its technology.

RIM is clearing the decks of any complications as it focuses on what is possibly the most important … Read more

Apple's patent licensing pact with HTC released -- mostly

Most of the legal settlement between Apple and HTC were made public today, oddly enough thanks to Apple's dispute with Samsung.

When the Apple-HTC settlement was announced last month, few details were released, other than that it is a 10-year joint licensing agreement for all current and future patents from both companies. However, now it also appears that both companies have nonexclusive access to certain of each other's patents, according to a heavily redacted copy of the settlement agreement released this evening (see below). And while Apple agrees not to sue over certain products, it also appears that … Read more

Netflix signs unprecedented movie deal with Disney

First the good news: Disney agreed to give Netflix exclusive U.S. access to some of its top movies.

Now, the bad news: The deal doesn't kick in until 2016.

The companies announced today that Netflix will become the exclusive U.S. subscription television service for first-run, live-action and animated feature films from the Walt Disney Studios. Netflix will receive access to the movies after they're made available for sale and rental.

Sure, the delay is a drag. But this is still a groundbreaking deal for Netflix and the entertainment industry. In the past, Netflix has typically obtained … Read more

Microsoft says it's sold 40 million Windows 8 licenses so far

Microsoft has sold 40 million Windows 8 licenses since October 26.

Tami Reller, chief marketing and financial officer for Windows, announced the tally today during her appearance at the Credit Suisse Annual Tech Conference.

Microsoft had not released any sales figures for Windows 8 other than saying the company sold 4 million upgrade licenses of the operating system to those with previous versions of Windows during the first three days it was available. Microsoft launched Windows 8 commercially on October 26.

How does this compare to Windows 7 sales? Microsoft said it had sold 60 million Windows 7 licenses from … Read more

Big shift in who's driving and what

For the first time more women in the U.S. have a driver's license than men. Its just one of the major shifts in modern driving.

According to the same University of Michigan study, the proportion of teens and young adults with license is down, especially for males. Men 25-29 showed a big 10.6% drop in license holdership in the 15 years up to 2010.

That leaves a greater share of women out there driving, and they tend to buy smaller cars that use less gas and they tend to have lower fatality rates on the road.

Another … Read more

Flashing license plate frame counteracts red light cameras

Some people will go to great lengths to foil red light cameras. They may use darkened license plate covers, questionable spray-on photo blockers, or strategically placed layers of mud. All those methods are low tech, but there's a higher-tech option on the way.

The noPhoto is a microprocessor-controlled smart license plate. A sensor detects the flash from a red light camera or a consumer camera. It triggers a pair of flashes on the sides of the plate. Those flashes make the plate too bright for the camera to capture.

Besides combating red light cameras, the noPhoto may also find a niche in Hollywood by protecting the license plate numbers of celebrities with paparazzi on their tails. It would also save people who post pictures of their rides online from endless sessions of Photoshop license plate scrubbing.… Read more

ACLU sues to get U.S. agencies' license plate tracking records

The American Civil Liberties Union today sued the U.S. government to get access to information about how authorities are using automated license plate readers to track people's movements and location.

The ACLU filed Freedom of Information Act requests on July 30 with the departments of Justice, Homeland Security, and Transportation to try to find out how much officials use the technology and how much it is paying to expand the program. Agencies are required by law to respond to FOIA requests within 20 working days, but more than a month later, only one DOJ office and a few … Read more

Who owns your downloaded music after you die?

Earlier today, a story emerged from the British tabloids that Bruce Willis was considering suing Apple in a bid to determine who gets his iTunes music collection after his death. Perhaps something more suited for April Fool's Day? We reported it (and fell for it) and we've updated the piece to reflect that the original source was a work of fiction. (Willis' wife tweeted this morning that the story was not true.)

But the one thing still not settled or answered from today's misreporting: what happens to downloaded content when the buyer passes away? (Spoiler alert: just … Read more

Apple licensed its designs to Microsoft, but barred 'cloning'

SAN JOSE, Calif. -- Apple's patent licensing chief said here today that an earlier cross-licensing deal allowed Microsoft access to a host of its design and feature patents, but prohibited the copying of Apple's own products.

Apple patent licensing director Boris Teksler made the disclosure during testimony in the company's trial against Samsung, which could wrap up as soon as next week. It's not clear how long the cross-licensing deal he mentioned has been in place, or how long it will last.

"All these patents are in Apple's unique user experience, and not ones … Read more