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Nortel bondholders; Microsoft and Android; Facebook Project Spartan

post #1 of 23
Thread Starter 
Nortel's creditors are optimistic that the proceeds from an Apple-led consortium's $4.5 billion purchase of a cache of the company's patents will cover its remaining debt, while Microsoft has now secured patent licensing deals from five Android vendors. Finally, a new report claims Facebook's rumored Project Spartan HTML5 application platform is nearing completion and will reportedly launch by August 1.

Nortel bonds

Bloomberg reports that bondholders of the bankrupt Candian telecommunications company may see 100 percent recovery after last week's auction shot up to more than three times the price expected by some analysts.

Trading of Nortel's bonds has been on the rise since the auction, closing at 105.25 cents on the dollar on Tuesday, a far cry from the low of 13.94 cents shortly after the company filed for bankruptcy reorganization in 2009.

Bondholders who hung in there are realizing the real value of what we knew about Nortel before they were forced to file, said money manager Kathleen Gaffney, whose company, Loomis Sales & Co., holds some Nortel debt.

Nortel said in court papers that it owes about $5.8 billion, while Bloomberg estimates that the company has roughly $4.01 billion in outstanding bonds. The company has raised approximately $3 billion by selling off other parts of its business.

Nortel's patents were seen as being crucial to the next-generation of wireless networking, dubbed Long-Term Evolution. As such, bidding for the patent trove resulted in a clash of technology titans Apple and Google, both of which have substantial cash reserves. With the help of Ericsson, Research in Motion, MIcrosoft, Sony and EMC, Apple's "Rockstar" group prevailed over Google's team "Ranger," which included chipmaker Intel.

Sources have suggested that Apple paid $2 billion for "outright ownership" of Nortel's LTE patents, while other members of the consortium paid less for licenses, tax breaks and less-contested patents. "At the end of the day this deal isnt about royalties. It is about trying to kill Android," said one report.

The transaction is awaiting regulatory approval. Prior to the auction, Apple faced close scrutiny from the U.S. Federal Trade Commission over concerns that the company would aggressively wield the patents against its competitors.

Microsoft vs. Android

In the last week, Microsoft has announced four Android patent deals on top of preexisting lucrative licensing agreement with HTC, Network World reports.

Microsoft announced Tuesday that it had reached an agreement with Android and Chrome OEM Wistron Corp, providing "broad coverage" the Redmond, Wash., company's patent portfolio. The company has also recently announced licensing deals with Velocity Micro, General Dynamics and Onkyo Corp.

The Windows giant's biggest deal is presumed to be an agreement reached with Taiwanese handset maker HTC last year. The company reportedly receives $5 from HTC for every Android phone it sells, causing some pundits to speculate that Microsoft makes more money off of Google's Android that it does from its own Windows Phone 7 platform.

Microsoft could pick up dozens more licensing deals before the smartphone race is over, though it has seen some resistance. Motorola has chosen to fight claims of patent infringement in court. Meanwhile, Microsoft is also suing Barnes & Noble, which makes the Android-based Nook e-reader, and has reached agreements with Samsung and LG.

Google's high level of interest in the Nortel patent collection was seen as a defensive move as rival companies are pressuring Android vendors. The fact that the company lost the auction has been seen by some as a devastating blow to the platform.

Project Spartan

Facebook's highly secretive "Project Spartan" is reportedly nearing completion and could launch by late July, according to TechCrunch. The publication first broke rumors of the project last month, claiming that the social network was looking to circumvent Apple's App Store with a HTML5 web app platform in order to maintain control.

"Facebook is pushing to have everyone ready by July 15. One source expects a formal unveiling to be sometime between then and August 1," the new report said. Project Spartan's goal is "to get people using Facebook as the distribution model for games and other apps, not the App Store (or any other distribution hub)," MG Siegler claimed last month.

Alleged screenshots of the new Spartan mobile platform reveal HTML5 games, apps and notifications tied together with a Facebook "chrome" bar.

Source: TechCrunch

Shortly after the first reports emerged regarding the project, rumors surfaced that Facebook's public relations representatives had launched a spin campaign to counter the story by suggesting that Facebook had been wrongly positioned against other companies. Apple is also said to be aware of the project and may have lent "minor support" to it.

In June, The New York Times reported that a native Facebook app for the iPad is in the "final stages of testing" and should arrive within weeks.
post #2 of 23
Will privacy be built in?
post #3 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by JackTheRat View Post

Will privacy be built in?

What's that - will piracy be built in? (Oh-privacy. )
Where are we on the curve? We'll know once it goes asymptotic!
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Where are we on the curve? We'll know once it goes asymptotic!
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post #4 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by JackTheRat View Post

Will privacy be built in?

It will be so built in all our private data will be going straight to zuckerface's servers, and sold to the highest bidder...
post #5 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by IQatEdo View Post

What's that - will piracy be built in? (Oh-privacy. )

Even pirates want their privacy.
post #6 of 23
I wonder why Google didn't bid higher if the threat to Android is as great as the article paints.
From Apple ][ - to new Mac Pro I've used them all.
Long on AAPL so biased
Google Motto "You're not the customer. You're the product."
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From Apple ][ - to new Mac Pro I've used them all.
Long on AAPL so biased
Google Motto "You're not the customer. You're the product."
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post #7 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by digitalclips View Post

I wonder why Google didn't bid higher if the threat to Android is as great as the article paints.

Because they don't make much money off of Android
post #8 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

The Windows giant's biggest deal is presumed to be an agreement reached with Taiwanese handset maker HTC last year. The company reportedly receives $5 from HTC for every Android phone it sells, causing some pundits to speculate that Microsoft makes more money off of Google's Android that it does from its own Windows Phone 7 platform.

Microsoft could pick up dozens more licensing deals before the smartphone race is over, though it has seen some resistance. Motorola has chosen to fight claims of patent infringement in court. Meanwhile, Microsoft is also suing Barnes & Noble, which makes the Android-based Nook e-reader, and has reached agreements with Samsung and LG.

That's amazing.

Microsoft is going to be making more money on old patents then on new development. I wonder what gonna happen when Apple start challenging Android makers with its new multitouch patents? Soon it won't be worthwhile to make an Android device because you'll be paying out so much money per device just for licensing!
post #9 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by mrmj2u View Post

Because they don't make much money off of Android

That and the fact that there isn't an existential threat to Android at this point. Apple can't possibly supply the entire handset market anytime soon, so they have far less interest in 'destroying android' than is generally suggested.

If they destroy Android then OEMs will switch to licensing either WP7, WebOS or some other less likely contender. Apple doesn't need to destroy Android, they need to make life harder for the other OEMs, whatever OS they're using.
post #10 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by blackbook View Post

That's amazing.

Microsoft is going to be making more money on old patents then on new development. I wonder what gonna happen when Apple start challenging Android makers with its new multitouch patents? Soon it won't be worthwhile to make an Android device because you'll be paying out so much money per device just for licensing!

Microsoft hopes that everyone will switch to WP7 and that may be a possibility with some of the oem's in the future. I'm not ready to count MS out of the game... they have the power to make bold moves.
na na na na na...
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na na na na na...
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post #11 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

Apple is also said to be aware of the project and may have lent "minor support" to it.

And why wouldn't Apple? I never did get all the fuss over FaceBook "bypassing" the app store - if Apple was so worried about that why did they literally change the face of mobile browsing with mobile Safari? And why do they continue aggressive development of it if companies "bypassing" the app store were such a threat?

I guess controversy - contrived or otherwise - does generate clicks
post #12 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by digitalclips View Post

I wonder why Google didn't bid higher if the threat to Android is as great as the article paints.

I think google still has a little of the "rules don't apply to us" mentality.

That and they are probably hoping "free" will rule the day.

Either way I think, as one analyst who commented on their bidding strategy opined, they just didn't take it that seriously. Time will tell just how foolish that was.

Or, here's another thought - perhaps they anticipate loosing big to Oracle and they can just fix the Oracle issues and whatever exposure they might have from this patent portfolio in one rewrite. Who knows...
post #13 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by island hermit View Post

I'm not ready to count MS out of the game... they have the power to make bold moves.

If the bold moves they make are relevant or intelligent, I would agree with you. Sadly they haven't shown real insight in their acquisitions. Then again they may do something with Skype that surprises all of us. Time will tell!
post #14 of 23
Wow, if that is actually the new 'Spartan' UI... You can count me out. Talk about crappy design.
post #15 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mister Snitch View Post

Even pirates want their privacy.

They want it even more than anyone else! Notice they go under the moniker "anonymous" :P
post #16 of 23
This Spartan Project is the first of the death knoll for Flash. If it can demonstrate that full functionality can be had in HTML5, then lazy developers' excuses for sticking to Flash will disappear. Adobe is already moving to provide tools to move code and do new builds in HTML5. They are good at that and will do well, they just will not have a monopoly on it.
post #17 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by DocNo42 View Post

I think google still has a little of the "rules don't apply to us" mentality.

That and they are probably hoping "free" will rule the day.

Either way I think, as one analyst who commented on their bidding strategy opined, they just didn't take it that seriously. Time will tell just how foolish that was.

Or, here's another thought - perhaps they anticipate loosing big to Oracle and they can just fix the Oracle issues and whatever exposure they might have from this patent portfolio in one rewrite. Who knows...

The thing is, if GOOG bidded let's say $10B and won the patents (there's no way Apple/MSFT would let it go just at even $5B), everyone would laugh at GOOG saying they're desparate, and these patents probably still won't help GOOG off the suit from Oracle. So in a sense it's a lose-lose situation for GOOG here.
post #18 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by DocNo42 View Post

If the bold moves they make are relevant or intelligent, I would agree with you. Sadly they haven't shown real insight in their acquisitions. Then again they may do something with Skype that surprises all of us. Time will tell!

Maybe MS is like one of those movies where there are 4 or 5 seemingly separate character stories but in the end they all join together in a surprising plot twist.

... but right now, MS just seems twisted...

[ There have been a few rumours concerning Skype and Facebook... and as much as Facebook is maligned it does have over 500 million active users and I think there are quite a few big players who are trying to figure out what to do with Facebook. I think, though, that if Zuckerberg doesn't do something more with his toy soon then it will begin to lose its value as the monthly user growth slows. ]
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na na na na na...
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post #19 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by island hermit View Post

Microsoft hopes that everyone will switch to WP7 and that may be a possibility with some of the oem's in the future. I'm not ready to count MS out of the game... they have the power to make bold moves.

Microsoft stands to make huge amounts of money off Android via licensing or settlements with the OEMs, and I'm not sure they are above "punishing" their OEM partners for being "disloyal". WP7 has some strong points to it, and if Redmond is successful in putting the brakes on Android, Google may decide to switch and run with ChromeOS instead. I'll bet they have a lab set up running ChromeOS on handhelds already. M/soft ostensibly isn't "out of the game", but they aren't leading the market to the next plateau as they have done in the past. Whether it is necessary for them to do so, is still not clear - but they do love making noises like they are still leading technology. They have become a badly barnacled superfreighter - it can carry vast amounts of cargo but it takes more and more effort to get the goods to port each trip.
If you are going to insist on being an ass, at least demonstrate the intelligence to be a smart one
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If you are going to insist on being an ass, at least demonstrate the intelligence to be a smart one
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post #20 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by blackbook View Post

That's amazing.

Microsoft is going to be making more money on old patents then on new development

I hope you really weren't that surprised. Other than buying Kinect, what new development has MS shown in the last 10 years?
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The Mother of all flip-flops!!
Support our troops by educating yourself and being a responsible voter. Democracy and Capitalism REQUIRE Intelligence and Wisdom if they are to be worth a damn beyond...
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post #21 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

Microsoft has announced four Android patent deals on top of preexisting lucrative licensing agreement with HTC

Before M$ dies, it'll probably become the biggest patent troll the world has ever seen. All part of the life-cycle of a company with bad karma.
post #22 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by MacGregor View Post

what new development has MS shown in the last 10 years?

Don't you mean ever?
post #23 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by MacGregor View Post

new development has MS shown in the last 10 years?

Windows Phone 7. Courier. XBox Live as the premier way to game online.

Originally Posted by Marvin

The only thing more insecure than Android’s OS is its userbase.
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Originally Posted by Marvin

The only thing more insecure than Android’s OS is its userbase.
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