Week in Tech: Microsoft ditches Android, but the robots get smarter

Week in Tech
It's been both a good and bad week for Androids

Remember the famous photo of Steve Jobs flicking v-signs at IBM's head office? Pretend you don't, because Apple and IBM are now best friends forever. And that's not the only surprising bit of news this week. Google's hired one of the world's most notorious hackers, some OnePlus One owners are getting unpleasant surprises, and it turns out that one of the world's best phones is one you can't buy. It's the week in tech!

Apple and IBM up a tree, k-i-s-s-i-n-g

Apple and IBM have teamed up to give Windows a wedgie and BlackBerry the boot. That's not how they describe it, of course - the press release is an avalanche of business jargon - but Michelle Fitzsimmons cuts through the jargon to say it straight: "Apple and IBM have partnered for a major initiative to bring more iOS devices and solutions to the workplace. And by more, we mean a lot."

Apple is using IBM as a Trojan Horse, says Désiré Athow. "Apple will use IBM as a medium to crack the elusive enterprise market while Big Blue will get privileged - but not exclusive - access to the IOS ecosystem."

X Rated

With Microsoft cutting 18,000 jobs from its business, something had to give. Turns out that something was Android, as Microsoft announced that it will be saying goodbye to Google's OS in favour of Nokia, just six months after the Nokia X.

It's a shame really, because the Nokia X is actually the most exciting smartphone around right now - you just can't buy one. But the Android-powered smartphone has been a huge success in the bits of the world we don't live in. The fact it's cheap certainly helps, but the combination of Nokia's reputation and Android's utility and popularity is the real secret sauce here.

The internet of Samsung things

Samsung could be getting into the internet of things in a big way: it's in the market to buy SmartThings, a home automation startup whose kit controls lighting, electronic devices and locks with their smartphones. It's also teamed up with Google's Nest as part of the IoT connectivity group Thread and may be considering a partnership with smart tracker and smart clothing firm Under Armour too.

OnePlus One: cheap. Nasty?

We really like the OnePlus One phone, which offers performance at a price that seems too good to be true. Unfortunately for some, it seems to be exactly that: a number of owners are reporting display flaws that give their screens a distinct yellow tinge, with some also reporting dead pixels. OnePlus says there isn't a problem and that users can return their phones within 14 days to get a refund, but some forum owners report being asked to pay the postage to send their phones back to China.

Google saves the internet

Never mind driverless cars and mad glasses: Google's next project is designed to fix the entire internet. The excitingly named Project Zero aims to crack down on the "zero-day" vulnerabilities that cause so much online chaos, and the team apparently includes infamous PS3 hacker George Hotz.

Amazon's preparing Netflix for ebooks

Fancy getting access to a library of 600,000 for a low monthly fee? According to some accidentally leaked product pages on Amazon, that's exactly what the ebook giant is planning. We're surprised that the service isn't part of the ever-growing Prime package, which currently offers just one free ebook rental per month.

A smarter ASIMO

Everybody loves Honda's ASIMO, and we'll keep on doing so just so long as he doesn't go ED-209 on us. For now, though, the humanoid robot is concentrating on becoming even more mobile and learning practical ways to help us out - such as pouring drinks, avoiding walking into us and using sign language.

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