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steve ballmer

Microsoft is traditionally a software company, which has dominated the operating system industry for the better part of the 20th century. But with a shift in consumer preference toward mobile devices, Microsoft is changing its strategy, and is gearing for a “fundamental shift,” which developers, users and partners are likely to catch a glimpse of once Microsoft launches Windows 8 later this month.

FaceBookAndroid

You might be confused with our headline, given that Facebook already does have an app for Android. But if you’ve been a longtime mobile Facebook user, you would notice that the Android app doesn’t exactly offer the best user experience. That’s because it’s essentially an HTML5 app that runs within an Android app wrapper. Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg himself admits that they need to improve the user experience, and that this is most likely to come from an altogether new app.

Sandia researcher David Fritz stands in front of a desktop PC array that simluates 300,000 Android smartphones.

What do you do with a town full of 300,000 Android smartphones? You run all sorts of tests, of course. But since not everyone would be willing to become a guinea-pig for a scientific experiment, researchers at the U.S. government’s Sandia National Laboratories in Livermore, California, are using an array of virtual smartphones through a datacenter with 500 cheap desktop computers. This setup emulates a network of 300,000 Android smartphones, which includes exchange of SMS messages, wireless data, and an array of phone sensor and radio activity.

UC San Diego Battery Research

Researchers at the University of California San Diego are focusing on a different means to improve efficiency. Their technology involves an improved algorithm that enables phone batteries to charge two times faster than conventional Li-Ion batteries. These battery packs also run more efficiently, and cost 25% less to produce.

Google Books

Digitizing books and indexing the contents thereof might seem like a good idea, if only to increase access to content. But when Google launched its Library project, a lot of publishers voiced dissent, saying Google was infringing on their intellectual property. Google has now settled the lawsuit, opening the door to the sale of more ebooks on Google Play.

Eric Schmidt, Google's chairman, speaks during a press conference on Wednesday, Sept. 5, 2012 in New York, where Motorola introduced three new smartphones, the first since it became a a part of Google. (AP Photo/Bebeto Matthews)

As part of Google’s acquisition of Motorola Mobility, the company has announced plans to streamline operations by laying off about 20% of Motorola’s employees (two thirds of which outside of the U.S.). But while Google originally estimated the downsizing to cost $275 million in the 3rd quarter of 2012, the company is readjusting its estimates upward to $300 million.