Google beefs up Android armament (week in review)

Google builds up Motorola patents, while HP breaks things up. Also: Anonymous protest.

Steven Musil Night Editor / News
Steven Musil is the night news editor at CNET News. He's been hooked on tech since learning BASIC in the late '70s. When not cleaning up after his daughter and son, Steven can be found pedaling around the San Francisco Bay Area. Before joining CNET in 2000, Steven spent 10 years at various Bay Area newspapers.
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Steven Musil
3 min read

While beefing up protection for its Android mobile operating system, Google this week made a deal that puts it into the handset business.

Google has agreed to buy Motorola Mobility for $12.5 billion, giving the search giant valuable wireless intellectual property and simultaneously lending stability to and shaking up the Android world.

With Motorola, Google gets a treasure trove of patents to defend itself and its partners against a rising tide of legal opposition. Over the past few months, major technology players such as Apple and Oracle have sued either Google or its partners in an attempt to slow down their competitors and extract licensing fees.
•  Google just bought itself patent protection

Even though Google said Motorola will continue to run as a separate unit, the deal puts Google in the awkward position of competing against many of its partners. Google is backtracking from its vow not to get into the handset business, adding a new potent competitive threat to a field that is already crowded.
•  Regulatory scrutiny likely for Google-Motorola

When the dust settles over the acquisition, consumers may be the big winners. While, Google has traditionally taken an open approach to the mobile market, making Android free and available to any hardware maker, Apple's strategy of controlling the operating system and building the mobile hardware has given it greater vertical integration. The deal gives Google its own hardware, which could pave the way for the company to create an end-to-end mobile experience akin to what Apple has done with its iOS devices.
•  Five possible responses to Google-Motorola
•  Motorola shareholder sues, says $12.5 billion not enough
•  Complete coverage: Google's $12.5 billion hookup with Motorola Mobility

More headlines

HP halts WebOS business, spins off PC unit

Hewlett-Packard says it will discontinue its WebOS operations, including its TouchPad tablet, as the company cuts its outlook for the next two quarters.
•  What HP's PC spin-off plans mean for you
•  WebOS goes down in quiet death

Microsoft lists 'App Store' as a Windows 8 feature

Microsoft President Steven Sinofsky includes the much-rumored feature in a blog identifying the teams working on the next version of Microsoft's operating system.
•  Windows 8 build locked down to prevent leaks?
•  Windows 8 prerelease launching in coming months

Anonymous protests shut down BART in SF (photos)

See all photos

Hackers break into BART police union Web site

Database of San Francisco-area transit police accounts, with e-mail addresses and passwords, appears online as a protest to cell phone service disruptions.
•  FCC reviewing SF subway cell shutdown
•  Anonymous defaces BART site, leaks user data
•  SF subway closes stations during Anonymous protest

iPhone 5 now rumored to launch October 7

The latest rumors floating about the next version of Apple's smartphone say that it will hit the streets on October 7, with preorders to begin September 30.
•  China Mobile confirms talks with Jobs for iPhone

Apple seeks EU-wide ban on Samsung's Galaxy line

Filing in The Netherlands seeks a ban on importation and sales of Galaxy smartphones and tablets, as well as a stock recall within 14 days, according to a Dutch publication.
•  Samsung Galaxy Tab ban lifted in Europe
•  Is Apple's case against Samsung based on shaky evidence?
•  HTC sues Apple, again

Google, Facebook spar over Google+ invite issue

A purported issue that had Google+ invites not showing up on Facebook users' news feeds has sparked some subtle suggesting by Google executives that Facebook's trying to muzzle the growth of its new social network.
•  U.K. men get 4-year sentences for Facebook riot posts
•  Brit arrested in water fight planned via Facebook, BlackBerry
•  Facebook: Ceglia contract an 'outright fabrication'

More cyberattacks hitting social networks

Attacks against Facebook and other social networks are on the rise, though users are becoming more diligent about protecting themselves, according to a new survey.
•  Android malware masquerading as Google+ app

Apple's proposed campus larger than the Pentagon

Some casual measuring of Apple's floor plans for its campus reboot have found that it's slightly larger than another quite famous, uniquely shaped building.
•  New details of Apple's campus: Really 21st century?

Also of note
•  IBM says new chip mimics the human brain
•  Google launches music discovery site
•  Software can tell if you're mean and ugly