This week’s technology news from Amicus ITS – Friday 6th September 2013

Microsoft to purchase Nokia’s Devices & Services business & license patents
Back in 2011 when ex-Microsoft Stephen Elop became CEO of Nokia many raised eyebrows. Even more so when months after, he announced Nokia would switch from Symbian phones (having 37% world market share) to the new Windows Phones 7 platform. This week Microsoft and Nokia announced Nokia will sell its entire Devices & Services business and licence its patents to Microsoft for €5.4 billion. 32,000 Nokia employees will transfer to Microsoft including Stephen Elop, who stepped down from CEO to Executive VP Device & Services. The transaction is subject to shareholder and regulatory approval and is expected to close in Q1 2014. Stephen Elop is also front-runner as the next Microsoft CEO. This move solidifies Microsoft’s dream of being a devices & services company, but have they gone a step too far and are in danger of scaring off their current mobile OEMs?

Microsoft and Google plan to sue US government
Microsoft and Googles’ talks with the US Department of Justice over surveillance disclosure has hit a wall. They are now planning to sue the US Government for the right to reveal information about official government requests of user data to the public. Ever since their association with the NSA’s Prism internet surveillance program, they have been attempting to clarify their positions. “We believe we have a clear right under the US Constitution to share more information with the public,” Brad Smith, Microsoft’s legal counsel wrote. The outcome of this case could bring more transparency to the type, frequency and how the US government obtains data from corporations. It could also be used as an example for future security cases against the Government.

Defending the Galaxy
Samsung has announced it will be installing anti-virus software on its Galaxy-branded Android devices. With so many hackers targeting Google’s Android systems, Samsung are clearly hoping it will resonate with business users as Apple and Windows phones have trumpeted their respective security facilities as key selling points. With the rise in BYOD and tablets, Samsung’s development of their Knox security product, is getting traction with top end business consumers as the Pentagon has now authorised use of handsets with the software pre-installed.

Government u-turn on NHS patient database
Following the Government’s scrapping of the national NHS patient database in 2011 after costs reached £12 billion, new plans have emerged for its reinstatement. The Government injection would be £1 billion over 3 years, but hospitals would need to bid for cash from a technology fund to implement the system locally and match Government contributions. Local healthcare providers would need to find individual providers to implement the scheme vs the central one size fits all previous model. The worthy goals of reducing errors and speeding up consultations are fine, as long as privacy issues surrounding data security and confidentiality can be assured.