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Trending Tech: Layoffs, lawsuits and mergers

April 6, 2012

Yahoo sinks into trouble as Facebook countersues the aging internet giant with patent infringement and CEO calls for mass layoffs in a turnaround effort. It’s a week of woes in the tech world with RIM facing a lawsuit over patent infringement and Viacom’s lawsuit against YouTube getting revived. In other news, Facebook chooses Nasdaq for IPO, Dell acquires Wyse Technology and Google unveils the much awaited ‘Project Glass,’ a virtual reality smartphone that resembles eyeglasses.

10. Instagram for Android breaks 1 million downloads in less than a day
The photo app, Instagram which was available to iPhone users has expanded to the Android market becoming an instant success with 1 million downloads on the first day. Instagram is hugely popular and has garnered more than 30 million registered users.

9. From 2 struggling giants, one beautiful phone
In the competitive world of smartphones, Apple’s iPhone has emerged victorious and Google’s Android has bagged the most widely used operating system title. But two underdogs in the smartphone sector – Microsoft and Nokia, have not given up. Nokia and Microsoft have teamed up to produce the Lumia 900. Available at $100 (with a two-year contract with AT&T contract), the Nokia phone with its Microsoft operating system is powerful with a screen bigger than that of iPhone. Lumia 900 may be a noteworthy Windows phone but is still far behind iPhone in the smartphone competition.

8. Surprise! Consumer Reports’ No.1 tablet is the iPad
It’s a surprise that Apple’s new iPad has been rated the No.1 tablet by Consumer Reports. The influential publication had warned users that the new iPad was hot, literally. Despite the heat complaints and network issues, iPad remains the king of tablets. Consumer Reports noted that the new iPad “establishes a new benchmark of excellence.” The reports affirm Apple’s lead in tablet business while competitors struggle to keep up.

7. Viacom suit against YouTube is revived
A federal appeals court has revived a $1-billion lawsuit against Google Inc.’s YouTube by Viacom Inc. over alleged unauthorized posting of Viacom content. However, this lawsuit has not created any damage to YouTube’s operations. Any bitterness that the two media companies may feel over the trial has not stopped them from doing business with each other. Last week, YouTube signed a deal with Viacom’s Paramount Pictured which enables access to500 movie titles to rent to YouTube and Google Play users.

6. Google’s Project Glass turns science fiction into reality
Google’s long rumored concept device ‘Project Glass’ is now a reality. The company unveiled Project Glass on Wednesday which replaces hand held smartphones into a wearable device that resembles eyeglasses. The device is still a work in progress and is expected to go on sale at the end of the year. The augmented reality glasses will give users the full range of activities performed with a smartphone – only without a smartphone. ‘Project Glass’ is a big step towards technological innovation turning science fiction into reality. No wonder there is a twinkle in Google’s eye.

5. Research In Motion (RIM) tumbles on patent suit, dimming investor hopes
The BlackBerry maker, RIM has added a patent suit to its long list of troubles. With shares dropping by 9.5% last week, investors are speculating that the struggling smartphone maker’s possible acquirers are dropping off. A Dutch semiconductor company has filed a patent infringement suit against RIM. “The patents in question relate to design, data transmission and other features of the device.” It’s another grim week for RIM.

4. Yahoo cuts 2,000 jobs as radical reshaping begins
Yahoo, the aging Internet giant is reducing costs in a turnaround effort by cutting 2000 jobs with more to follow. This is no surprise seeing that Yahoo has been on a death spiral over the past six years. Once the layoffs are completed, CEO Scott Thompson expects to save about $375 million annually. The housecleaning marks Yahoo’s sixth mass layoff in the past four years under three difference CEOs. Yahoo seems to be in deep trouble with layoffs and lawsuits.

3. Dell grabs Wyse, isn’t kidding about this post PC stuff
With the advent of tablets, Personal Computers (PC) have taken a backseat. With the sales slow, Dell, the world’s third-largest PC maker is expanding its software portfolio. It is reported that Dell has agreed to acquire Wyse Technology, the leader in cloud client computing that sells thin-drives, which connect PCs to remote servers storing corporate data as well as security software and services. Though the exact financial details regarding the acquisitions have not been disclosed, it is believed that Dell acquired Wyse for roughly $400 million.

2.Poke back: Facebook accuses Yahoo of infringing on patents
The ongoing legal battle with the tech giants Yahoo and Facebook took an unexpected turn when Facebook retaliated by countersuing Yahoo by claiming that Yahoo is infringing Facebook’s patents. The patent war took a twist when Facebook alleges that Yahoo has violated patens that the company holds for “generating a feed of stories personalize for members of a social network,” and “tagging digital media.”

1. Facebook to list on Nasdaq
Facebook has selected Nasdaq to list its shares cementing Nasdaq’s reputation as the most favored exchange among high-tech companies including Apple and Google. Facebook plans to raise as much as $10 billion in its Initial Public Offering (IPO) that could value the social network as high as $100 billion. The giant offering would top Google’s IPO in 2004 which holds the record for the largest U.S. internet IPO by raising $1.9 billion at a valuation of $23 billion.