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Today in Most Innovative Companies

Daily news of note from our Most Innovative Companies, including Microsoft, Apple, Nokia, Frito-Lay, and Google.

Bill Gates iPad

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Nokia: Apple and Nokia have been at loggerheads ever since they sued and countersued one another over patent-infringement. Now, Nokia is upping the ante, requesting Apple’s antitrust claims against the Finnish mobile device maker be thrown out, and accusing the Cupertino-based firm of some unfair legal diversions. According to a Nokia court document: “These non-patent counterclaims are designed to divert attention away from free-riding off of Nokia’s intellectual property…Through what charitably could be called an attempt at legal alchemy, Apple employs revisionist history, misleading characterizations, unsupported allegations and flawed and contradictory legal theories to turn these fruitless negotiations into a multi-count federal lawsuit.” Snap!

Microsoft: While Nokia’s recent legal actions might not be good for Apple, some positive news came out today for Steve Jobs and company. According to a report by the Wall Street Journal, roughly 10,000 Microsoft employees use iPhones–about 10% of the company’s work force. This is quite an embarrassment for Microsoft, especially as it prepares to launch its Windows 7 phone series; it also gives big bragging-rights to mac-users everywhere. In other news, Bill Gates, who doesn’t allow his children to use Apple products, just laid off a tenth of Microsoft’s employees, citing…disloyalty.

Frito-Lay: America’s favorite potato chip company announced a nationwide marketing campaign to create the world’s largest “Happiness Exhibit.” All you have to do is snap a few pics of you smiling while munching on some barbeque chips, upload to Flickr, and you’ll automatically be entered in a chance to be featured in People magazine. This is all to help Lays kick-off National Potato Chip Day (which was yesterday, in case you didn’t know), and to market Frito-Lay’s new 100% compostable chip bag.

Google: In preparation for the FCC’s planned release of its national broadband strategy tomorrow (a draft of which Politico obtained this morning), Google CEO Eric Schmidt wrote an open-letter about the state of America’s Internet network. Comparing the project to the space race of the 1960s, Schmidt says that he supports “a national broadband strategy because ubiquitous broadband connectivity can catapult America into the next level of economic competitiveness, worker productivity, and educational opportunity. But as in the past, we will make this breakthrough by choice, not chance.” Let’s just hope Google’s “choice” is to expand its planned ultra-high-speed across the country.

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About the author

Austin Carr writes about design and technology for Fast Company magazine.

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