AOL to make over $1 billion in patent sale to Microsoft

AOL is starting off the week with a bang -- and a billion-dollar jolt to its financials.

The company today announced that it has inked a deal with Microsoft that will see the online firm sell 800 of its patents and their related patent applications. In addition, Microsoft will be granted a non-exclusive license to the patents that AOL retains. The deal will cost Microsoft $1.056 billion in cash.

After the deal is done, AOL will hold 300 patents and patent applications related to advertising, search, and other technologies. It has also agreed to sign a license to use … Read more

Next Xbox reportedly shipping with Blu-ray, not DVD

Although Microsoft has said the next Xbox won't be launching anytime soon, the rumor mill just won't quit.

Gaming blog VG247 is now reporting that Microsoft is hard at work on the next Xbox, and when it finally launches late next year, it'll come with a Blu-ray player. The device will also ship with two AMD GPUs, making it "like two PCs taped together," the blog's sources say.

Those reports aren't necessarily groundbreaking. AMD has hinted from time to time that it'll be Microsoft's partner in the next Xbox. Gaming blog … Read more

Microsoft ends German partnership over Motorola patent suits

Although many of the world's patent lawsuits have done little to change status quo, the bitter fight between Microsoft and Motorola Mobility is now impacting Germany's workers.

German news agency DPA reported today that Microsoft has ended its relationship with Arvato, which has provided logistics services for the software giant and is a wholly owned subsidiary of Germany-based Betelsmann. Microsoft will now relocate its logistics services to the Netherlands, according to the news agency. Dozens of jobs will be lost in the move.

DPA is reporting that Microsoft made the move for one reason: its legal troubles with … Read more

Chrome overtakes Internet Explorer worldwide for first time

Internet Explorer is still the world's top browser, but for a day over the weekend, it feel to second place.

According to Stat Counter, which analyzes browser market share worldwide, Chrome was the most-used browser globally on March 18, just edging out Internet Explorer for top billing. The browser was put over the top by strong usage in India, Russia, and Brazil, Stat Counter said.

But unfortunately for Chrome, it was a short-lived victory: by March 19, Internet Explorer was back on top.

"While it is only one day, this is a milestone," StatCounter CEO Aodhan Cullen … Read more

HTC Titan becomes first Windows Phone in China?

HTC has beaten out ZTE, Nokia, and other vendors hoping to capitalize on the growing Chinese market.

After opening a flagship store in Beijing yesterday, HTC is said to have started accepting preorders for the HTC Titan. The move reportedly made the Titan the first Windows Phone sold in China, beating out the line of devices that HTC's competitors have planned for the country this year.

According to Chinese site Weibo, which first reported on the story, HTC is selling the device for about $700 without a contract.

The HTC Titan is one of the more capable Windows Phone … Read more

Microsoft hires FTC attorney and public critic of Google

Microsoft has hired a new Washington lobbyist--an FTC lawyer who has sharply criticized some of Google's acquisitions on antitrust grounds.

The software giant told the Wall Street Journal yesterday that it hired Randall Long, an official at the FTC's Bureau of Competition. When he joins the software giant at the end of the month, Long will head up Microsoft's regulatory affairs division in Washington.

Long was involved in FTC reviews of Google's acquisitions of both DoubleClick and AdMob. According to the Journal's unnamed sources, Long was especially outspoken about Google's AdMob acquisition, saying that … Read more

What Microsoft wants you to think about the Windows 8 beta

Microsoft today held a jam-packed session at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Spain, detailing Windows 8 and its plans for the future.

Throughout Microsoft's nearly two-hour showcase, the company often used the term "fast and fluid." Steven Sinofsky, Microsoft's president of the Windows Division, as well as a few of his colleagues, slung around the term to show how seamlessly Windows 8 performed tasks, like opening applications and letting users interact with multiple apps at the same time.

The speed and fluidity of Windows 8's new design, along with the many differences consumers will find … Read more

Windows 8 apps: Get 'em while they're free

Microsoft just went a long way toward getting Windows 8 Consumer Preview users to download boatloads of apps.

The company said today at its address at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Spain, that all applications in its Windows Store will be available for free. There is just one catch, however: the deal will only be available in the Windows 8 Consumer Preview.

Microsoft didn't say how many applications are currently available in its Windows Store, but did point out that more titles will be coming to the marketplace over time. Once the official retail version of Windows 8 launches, … Read more

HBO Go landing on Xbox 360 on April 1?

After taking some time to break out from the browser, HBO Go is making some serious inroads into your living room.

Speaking to Engadget last night, HBO Co-President Eric Kessler said that his company plans to make HBO Go available on the Xbox 360 on April 1. The launch is by no means a coincidence: it matches up with the premiere of season 2 of HBO's hit series "Game of Thrones."

Microsoft announced last year that it would be offering HBO Go, which allows HBO subscribers to stream the company's entire line of television shows, documentaries, … Read more

Microsoft targets Motorola Mobility, claims patent abuse

Microsoft is the latest tech giant to take aim at Motorola Mobility--and thus, by virtue of its $12.5 billion acquisition, Google--in a FRAND (fair, reasonable, and nondiscriminatory) patent abuse claim.

The software giant today filed a formal competition law complaint with the European Commission against Motorola, arguing that the company is not offering essential patents on fair and reasonable terms. The complaint involves patents Motorola holds related to Web video and the way in which certain devices, like Windows PCs and the Xbox, access and play it.

"In legal proceedings on both sides of the Atlantic, Motorola is … Read more