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Microsoft ends litigation with $200m settlement for VPN technology

Microsoft Corporation today confirmed the company would settle pending patent litigation relating to virtual private network (VPN) technology owned by VirnetX Inc. to the tune of $200-million.

The suit alleged Microsoft was using the patented technology in various products, including Microsoft’s flagship operating system Windows XP, among other products like Microsoft servers.

The suit was initially brought against the company in 2007 in a Texas court.

Under the agreement, Microsoft will gain non-exclusive license to use the technology, along with a payment of $200-million.

Microsoft vice president Tom Burt said today in a statement, “We are pleased to work with VirnetX to bring these cases to a successful resolution through this settlement,”

The Microsoft stock (NASDAQ:MSFT) is trading at par from its opening price of $28.93 as at 3:49pm, moments before the closing bell for today’s trading session.

The VirnetX (AMEX:VHC) stock opened up at $7 per share, but trended down to $6.29 per share (up 2.61-percent) ten minutes before the closing bell.

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Microsoft redesigns MSN, Bing search market share up

Microsoft Corporation today launched a redesign of its popular Internet portal MSN.com.

The company has updated the site with a far more simple and clean design, along with new social networking features that display information from various social networks you set up such as Facebook and Twitter. A new featured called TrendWatch was also implemented, which essentially scans Twitter for local news content.

The company has also now implemented full Facebook support.

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Microsoft Courier, Microsoft’s answer to the iPad [leaked pictures]

Update: Sources have told the popular technology blog Gizmodo that Microsoft has cancelled the Courier project.

Meet Courier, Microsoft’s answer to the Apple iPad.

Microsoft has yet to confirm it is working on such a device, dubbed a digital journal, but recent leaks, including the latest leaked images published by AOL’s popular tech blog Engadget, confirms the device.

Unconfirmed reports suggest Courier will be powered by the new Windows Phone 7 Series operating system, and not the traditional Windows 7 OS found on PCs.

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Microsoft completely/correctly overhauls Windows Mobile

Microsoft unveils next-generation Windows Mobile OS, entirely revamps it

Microsoft Corporation today unveiled Windows Phone 7 Series, the operating system that will power the next generation Windows Mobile handsets.

Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer at the 2010 Mobile World Congress in Barcelona officially unveiled Windows Phone 7 Series. Mr. Ballmer told the crowd, “Windows Phone 7 Series marks a turning point toward phones that truly reflect the speed of people’s lives and their need to connect to other people and [accomplish other] seamless experiences.”

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Microsoft confirms new Office 2010 Mac features

Microsoft Corp. today revealed new information about it’s upcoming version of Office for Mac.

One of the most important additions to Office 2010 Mac is the addition of the first Outlook application for Mac. We firstly reported on August 13, 2009, that Microsoft had confirmed Outlook would be released for Mac. Microsoft had released Entourage as the substitute to Outlook, but it lacked many wanted business centric features such as Exchange support that were found only in the PC version of Outlook.

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Facebook ends Microsoft ad deal, shows off site redesign

The world’s largest online social network, with over 400 million registered members, has announced it would end its advertising partnership with Microsoft.

Microsoft has been serving cost-per-click advertising on Facebook to users located in the United States for the past three-years. During the partnership, Facebook would sell its own advertising from it’s in house advertising division to users outside of the U.S.

The Microsoft deal was scheduled for renegotiation this past week, prompting Facebook to drop the software giant in order to sell advertising directly to advertisers.

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Microsoft updates Bing privacy policy

Microsoft today announced the company would alter its privacy settings for its Bing search engine. Specifically, Microsoft will purge all (including Internet Protocol (IP) addresses) identifiable information to users search queries after 6-months.

Microsoft’s existing privacy policy already automatically unlinks search queries from Microsoft accounts (such as Hotmail), therefore removing any link between a users search query and an associated Microsoft account.

Yahoo currently most quickly purges identifiable information related to its users and their search queries to only 90-days. Google removes its data in about 10 months.

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Mozilla to release Prism, an open-source Silverlight and Adobe AIR competitor

Microsoft Silverlight and Adobe AIR are cross-device platforms that run advanced web applications locally on computers.

Mozilla is now readying the release of their open-source project, Prism, which will make it even easier for you to turn most web pages into applications usable directly from your computer.

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Apple files for home energy patents

New Apple U.S. patent applications suggest the Cupertino-based company is developing software and hardware to regulate electricity to devices around your home to help you better manage and lower your monthly hydro bill.

The Intelligent Power Monitoring patent would allow you to allocate electricity to connected devices on your computer such as printers, your iPhone, BlackBerry, and other mobile devices and peripherals that charge. According to the patent application, users would also be able to schedule power-charging times and automatically set the more energy-intensive devices to hibernate to conserve energy. The energy allocation would be handled by the Intelligent Power Communications Port (patent no. 20100007473).

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Google Chrome Mac gets Extensions support

Google recently released its Chrome browser for Mac OS X, but until now, users could not enjoy add-ons and extensions because they were not supported.

The latest development build (caution: this release might not be stable) of Chrome for Mac now includes support for Chrome extensions. Extensions are small and free apps that are made by third-party developers that add or enhance existing browser functionality. Extensions support was already available for the Windows version of Chrome. Other Mac browsers such as both Safari and Firefox already have a large list of available extensions.

There are few more enhancements in the latest build such as the ability to display your opened tabs only with their respective favicons only.

According to the latest data, Google Chrome is now the third most popular web browser, edging out Apple’s Safari browser. From CBC, the data indicates Microsoft’s Internet Explorer holds 63-percent market share, with Firefox second with only about 25-percent, followed by Google’s Chrome browser with a small yet significant 4.5-percent.

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