Microsoft fans won't need a cappuccino this morning—they'll be frothing over their coffee because at 9:30 a.m. (EST), Microsoft is launching its new challenge to Apple's smartphone dominance: Windows Phone 7. The tech world is agog and aghast at the new OS, and we'll have updates for you later. In the meantime, here's the news:
1. Speculation is rife Apple will imminently report it's last quarter pulled in over $20 billion in revenues—a record, and nearly 50% up on the same quarter last year. Strong iPhone and iPad sales are the reason, and it'll consolidate Apple's place at the top of the tech tree, a position Apple's also rigorously defending: It's brought in the big legal guns to shut down China's Meizu's plans to launch a clone phone—the M8.
2. India's loudly blowing its tech trumpet again. This time it's about a suite of local experts in a "national effort" led by the Defence Research and Development Organization to produce a "futuristic" operating system. It would be Indian and virtually unhackable. With two caveats: First, if it was incompatible with other world OSs India would be technically isolated. And second, there's nothing malicious hackers like more than a challenge.
3. The European antitrust case against Microsoft, challenging its evil habits in the browser wars, is in the news today for the wrong reasons: There's debate as to whether the sanctions against MS (fines and the "browser ballot") are having any effect on IE's market share versus normal market trends. Even if this is true, we should remember the sanctions did one definite thing: Slapped MS on the wrist for bad behavior. It's not necessarily learned the lesson, though.
4. China's Net censors have been in action again, this time very specifically. As well as banning a party to celebrate the Nobel Peace prize going to dissident Liu Xiaobo, the government has been censoring Google queries about the matter, and blanking the specific Nobel page that links to the Peace Prize. Oddly enough, though they've apparently arrested Liu's wife—she's actually been able to Twitter a few messages from inside her home.
5. Google's car will be all over your news feeds today. Over the weekend Google pulled a surprise move and admitted it's been road-testing (on real roads) cars that can automatically drive themselves through traffic without needing a driver. A stunning slice of the future, made real today. Thing is—this is Google. So the question everyone's asking is: "Where's the money?"
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