Chrome and Android have been strengthening the old Google family ties for a while now, but according to a report from the Wall Street Journal, they just got a little tighter. The WSJ reports that Hiroshi Lockheimer, who currently serves as the Vice President of Engineering for Android, has also assumed the role of Vice President of Engineering for Chrome. That would put him in charge to a greater or lesser degree of the Chrome browser on desktops, Chromebooks and similar ChromeOS hardware, and Chrome on Android and iOS, plus whatever else Google has cooking up.
It's estimated that the build-your-own-adventure sleeper hit Minecraft has sold over 50 million copies on various gaming platforms, including more than 5 million of the Pocket Edition on Android. How much would you say that Mojang, the Swedish developer co-founded by Markus "Notch" Persson, is worth? If a recent report from the Wall Street Journal is to be believed, Mojang and its properties are being acquired for a staggering two billion dollars by Microsoft.
Recently, Google's ambitious and public-spirited ventures are sounding less like the careful expansions of an international megacorp and more like the pet projects of Dr. Benton Quest. Self-driving cars, medical contact lenses, industrial robots - seriously, we're just waiting on a Walking Eye and Steve Ballmer in a villain costume at this point. The latest report from the Wall Street Journal (which tends to be spot-on when it comes to Google's plans) says the company is preparing a fleet of low-orbit satellites that will deliver Internet access.
The time has come for America's most patriotic phone to remove its ten-gallon hat and hop down from its saddle, because Motorola Mobility has announced that it's closing down the high-end phone's assembly plant in Fort Worth, TX. According to a report from the Wall Street Journal, the facility will close its doors before the end of the year.
"What we found was that the North American market was exceptionally tough,"
- Motorola President Rick Osterloh
The reason is simple, the Moto X simply did not sell enough units for Motorola to achieve economies of scale.
King has been making headlines lately thanks to trademark claims that are, frankly, insane. But it looks like the creators of Candy Crush Saga are doing something right: the Wall Street Journal reports that the company is filing for an initial public offering on the New York Stock Exchange, preparing to sell as much as $500 million in initial stock.
King's collection of simple Facebook, iOS, and Android games are almost entirely driven by the free-to-play model, with headliner Candy Crush Saga being downloaded more than 100 million times on Android alone.
There's big money in online storage, in case the presence of Google, Microsoft, and a seemingly endless parade of startups didn't tip you off. Box.com has been one of the more consistent rivals to Dropbox, Google Drive and
SkyDrive OneDrive, and it looks like the small company is about to up its game in a big way. According to a report from The Wall Street Journal, Box is preparing for an initial public offering.
The partnership between HTC and the Beats By Dr. Dre company has been one of the more visible aspects of the former's branding over the last three years. Ever since HTC bought 50.1% of the company for an estimated $300 million in 2011, the headphone maker's iconic logo has had a reserved spot on both devices and software. But according to a report from the Wall Street Journal, Beats is looking to end the relationship in order to find a new partner for greater expansion.
Since Samsung is prone to have big, glitzy events for their flagship products, we had a feeling that "Premiere 2013" would include a few of their more sedate offerings. According to the the Wall Street Journal, at least one of those will probably be the Galaxy S4 Mini, which we previously saw in a pair of leaks detailing most of the details of the mid-range phone. The Journal reports that a "person with knowledge of the matter" told them the S4 Mini would be one of several new devices revealed at the event.
There have been a few items in the rumor mill about Google either investigating or planning retail stores, not unlike the Apple stores that famously dot malls and upper-class shopping areas around the world. 9to5 Google reported a tip from "an extremely reliable source" citing a 2013 rollout schedule for a Google store. Then the Wall street Journal, itself a pretty reliable reporter of the inner workings of Google, reported the same thing.
I miss you, HTC. My Evo was the first phone I ever truly loved, and between 2007 and 2010, as a company you did remarkably well for yourself. Then the Thunderbolt happened, and then Beats got involved and... Well, let's just say it hasn't been a great couple years. So, when I hear that your CEO, Peter Chou, is planning some bold new changes for 2013, I'm hopeful. Skeptical, but hopeful.