Hot topics in the tech blogs for the week ending March 5: Apple sues HTC, details of Microsoft's future mobile devices leaked, Apple announces iPad availability, Sony working on devices to rival Apple, and Google purchases browser-based photo editing service Picnic.
Apple sues HTC
In a surprising move, Apple released a short public statement announcing it was suing HTC for approximately 20 different patent breaches - and almost all the tech blogs had something to say about it. "[A]s we’re all well aware, this suit is much more about Google’s Android operating system than HTC. And it seems that Google is well aware of that too," wrote TechCrunch's MG Siegler. Daring Fireball's John Gruber said there were two considerations to the case, "First, the severe problems with the U.S. patent system as a whole, particularly with regard to software patents. Second, the strategic implications of Apple’s decision to file suit."
Details of Microsoft's "Project Pink" phones leaked
The tech blogs were abuzz with speculation about Microsoft's "Project Pink" phones this week. According to reports the Project Pink phones will be based on a version of Microsoft's Windows Mobile Series Seven and bundled together with services similar to those found on Microsoft's Zune HD music player. Two phone models have been spotted in the wild. The devices have been captured on camera and the blurry photos are now circulating the around the web. Technology blog Gizomodo showed off some of the first images of the Pink Project phone codenamed "Pure" on March 4 saying, "It's strange! The panelled interface, with fixed squares for everything from music (with Zune typography) and email to RSS feeds and what looks like a unified social networking hub. As hinted earlier, the aesthetic is similar to Windows Phone 7, but the software is distinctly not Windows Phone 7. This looks like Windows Phone 7: Feature Phone edition."
Apple iPad gets sale date
During the week the blogs were full of suggestions that iPad sales would be delayed thanks to analysts' reports on the subject. Apple announced that WiFi models of its latest invention would begin shipping in the US on April 3. While the launch is a few days or so off the initial launch date of late March, it is not as large as initial reports suggested. "As far as we can tell there was no real 'delay' here, per se," wrote Crunch Gear's John Biggs. "As we discussed this week there was no month delay as promised and instead they picked a nice spring Saturday for the launch. The question is, however: will they have enough for all of us?"
Sony getting ready to wage war on Apple iPhone, iPad with their own line of new gadgets
An article in the Wall Street Journal about Sony's new lineup of gadgets created buzz in the tech blogs this week. "Threatened by Apple Inc.'s growing stable of portable devices, Sony Corp. is developing a new lineup of handheld products, including a smart phone capable of downloading and playing videogames, according to people familiar with the matter," wrote the Wall Street Journal's Daisuke Wakabayashi and Yukari Iwatani Kane. While there was all-around excitement about console wars slowly being ported into the mobile arena, many journalists were disinclined to believe the company was capable of garnering wide-ranging success with their new products ". ...given Sony's recent history, they may not have the skill to pull off either [a smartphone or a tablet]," wrote the Fast Company's Dan Nosowitz.
Picnik Acquired by Google
Early on in the week browser-based photo-editing company Picnik was purchased by internet giant Google. Picnik assured its users "Nothing is changing right away," but bloggers used their articles to question whether that would soon change. Bloggers pointed out that Picnik is currently the default photo editor for online photo-hosting site Flickr – a company that is owned by Google rival Yahoo! After doing some investigative work, TechCrunch ran with the headline, "Google: Flickr Can Keep Using Picnik. Yahoo: We Have No Comment" and Venturebeat's Cody Barblerrie speculated that the "service’s connection to sites like Facebook or Flickr may be short-lived."