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Microsoft ups dividend, Windows Phone 7 to launch in October


windows-phone-7The world’s largest software maker, Microsoft Corporation, announced the company would increase its quarterly dividend by 23-percent to $0.16 per share, marking the first increase since two-years ago.

The Microsoft stock (NASDAQ:MSFT) has seen very little volatility over the last five-years, and anxious investors are looking for better returns as the stock price has provided marginal capital gains over a long period.

Investors who take long positions on the Microsoft stock as at November 18 will be eligible for the increased dividend distribution, which is scheduled to be paid to shareholders on December 9.

The increase in the dividend to stockholders indicates the company is confident that the economy is and will continue to improve, and that it will have sufficient cash from operations to fund capital, research & development, among other cash requirements.

For fiscal 2011, Microsoft is now expected to distribute $5.66-billion to shareholders, up from $4.6-billion in fiscal 2010.

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HP exec says multiple Palm WebOS products coming this year


hpOn July 1, HP Corp. confirmed it would acquire Palm Inc. for $5.70 per share, valuing Palm at about $1.2-billion.

The acquisition sent the market into a spiral of eager speculation of new HP consumer electronics and smartphones powered by Palm’s WebOS platform.

In a recent blog post, HP Chief Technology Officer, Rahul Sood, wrote in a blog post that HP would release multiple Palm WebOS products within the next year, some of which will include new form factors.

Mr. Sood said, “you will certainly see products [including smartphones and “web-connected devices”] released over the next 12 months, some sooner than others, and some which are very exciting to me. The stuff that excites me the most are the new form factors.” He warned that the products wouldn’t be released in the short term, but at the same time, it wouldn’t take an entire year for the first devices to launch, rather, multiple products would be released over the course of the next year.

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New Adobe tool allows developers to make a single app for different platforms


adobe-airA new Adobe tool in Adobe Air could revolutionize the way developers produce applications.

Developers are able to build a single code-base for a single application, and utilize the tool to essentially convert the application to run on multiple operating systems (including mobile operating systems) that support Adobe Flash. No additional code needs to be changed to support the different platforms.

Adobe says the tool is the first of its kind, and no other technology currently allows developers to maintain the same code-base without any modifications to the initial code to run on a variety of platforms.

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Apple to end iPhone 4 bumper case program


Apple’s hugely successful next-generation iPhone 4 was a huge success (1.7-million units sold in first three-days) for the company given overwhelming demand for the product that propelled the iPhone to become the number one product launch for Apple.

However, the iPhone 4 did have one significant defect: antenna attenuation was caused if the device was held tightly (some would argue even lightly) from the bottom left corner of the phone.

Apple held a special press conference to address the defect following intensifying criticism, saying only a small percentage of devices was affected.

More specifically, Apple said less than 1-percent of all manufactured iPhone 4 devices had the defect, and only 0.55-percent of all the consumers who purchased the phone had directly called Apple Care about the issue. Additionally, the company said only 1.7-percent returned their iPhone 4 for a full refund, versus a 6-percent return rate for the iPhone 3GS model.

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Gartner forecasts Android to overtake RIM’s BlackBerry this year


The influential business IT market research and analysis firm, Gartner, published a report today about mobile cell phone sales, predicting Ontario’s Research In Motion (RIM), the maker of the popular enterprise centric smartphone, would lose its spot as the second largest phone maker this year.

Gartner noted intensifying competition from Google’s Android mobile operating system, and Apple’s iPhone.

Google Android is expected to edge RIM out of the second spot as more handsets are expected to ship with Google’s OS.

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Latest RIM acquisition targets mobile app stores


The Canadian maker of the BlackBerry smartphone, Research In Motion Limited (RIM), has confirmed it’s latest acquisition, this time the company cellmania, which develops mobile application store infrastructure.

It is widely believed RIM made the acquisition as the company pushes to make its platform more attractive to the consumer segment by making available more comprehensive and diverse applications for its BlackBerry smartphone.

Cellmania offers a broad range of features for its app store platform, including the ability to fully manage billings, push downloads and media over-the-air, digital rights management (DRM), and other content management features and reports.

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RIM must stand its ground in foreign BlackBerry ban threats


Research In Motion (RIM) Corp., the Ontario-based maker of the BlackBerry smartphone, has reached an agreement with the Saudi government, preventing the banning of core BlackBerry features.

The Saudi government claimed core BlackBerry features present sufficient risk to national security that it would have been forced to disable the key features for all users in the country, including for all foreigners traveling to the Kingdom.

The features in question include both BlackBerry Internet Service (BIS) and BlackBerry Enterprise Server (BES), including BlackBerry Messenger, email, and browsing.

The Saudi’s claimed (including many more nations like India, and the United Arab Emirates, among others) that the platform is far too secure where government officials are not able to monitor BlackBerry data.

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Nokia optimistic as second quarter profits down 31-percent


The top mobile phone maker by volume in the world, Nokia, today released earnings for the second quarter of 2010.

The company reported a massive operating loss of EUR 295-million, marking a significant 31-percent increase in operating losses compared to the same period last year.

Nokia is still shipping the most volume when it comes to mobile phones in the world, posting net sales of EUR 10-billion (shipping 111.1-million units in the period), up 1-percent YoY, but the company is suffering from slumping profits because it is selling fewer smartphones that normally carry higher margins.

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Google to stop selling Nexus One smartphone directly to consumers


Google has just announced the company would no longer sell its flagship Nexus One Android powered smartphone directly to consumers.

The company said in a statement found on the product website that it has received the final batch of shipments from its manufacturing partner, Taiwanese-based High Tech Computer Corporation (HTC), and that it would not be selling additional units after the final inventory is depleted.

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RIM, Nokia fire back at Apple’s device antenna claims


During Apple’s held press conference yesterday that explained the antenna issues with the latest iPhone 4, the company alleged other smartphones also have similar connectivity issues if the devices are held in certain ways.

Apple specifically made these claims against Research In Motion (RIM), the company behind the BlackBerry, including other top phone makers like Nokia, Samsung, and High Tech Computer Corporation (HTC).

Today, both Nokia and RIM published statements debunking Apple’s claims against their products.

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