Breakfast Briefing: Windows Phone's missing upgrade, adding 4G to the Nexus 4, Microsoft stores headed to UK

26 Nov 2012
Breakfast briefing

Today's tech news features Windows Phone, the Nexus 4, Microsoft stores, HP's problems in chart form, and Google's Motorola site closures

Today's tech round-up includes the case of a missing Windows Phone upgrade, Microsoft's plans to open UK stores and how a hack could upgrade the Nexus 4 to work on LTE.

The case of the missing Windows Phone upgrade

When Microsoft announced its Windows Phone 8 plans back in the summer, it also offered Windows 7 users an olive branch in the shape of an upgrade that would include some of Windows Phone 8's features for the few early adopters that had bought into Windows Phone 7, which is fundamentally incompatible with the latest version.

However, a month after Windows 8 launched with much fanfare, the 7.8 upgrade has yet to appear and Windows-watcher Paul Thurrott points out on Supersite for Windows that's no way to treat your more loyal customers.

Hacking 4G into the Nexus 4

The Nexus 4 Android handset was not supposed to include 4G LTE service connections, but TechCrunch says it has found a software workaround that enables unused LTE processors in the handset to be switched on to provide faster connections.

The downside is that the chips are not compatible with the early EE network's 1,800MHz frequency, but the hack could still be useful when other networks start offering LTE next year, although certain Android functions, including Google Now, stop working after the tweak.

Microsoft planning stores in Europe

The Financial Times reports that Microsoft is planning on launching stores in Europe. According to the report, the company is already in talks with UK landlords, but will only make a move once it's worked out how well stores in the US are doing.

Is falling R&D spend to blame for HP's woes?

HP's R&D spend slid significantly under CEO Mark Hurd - remember him? - from more than 4% of revenue to less than 2.5% over five years. While one pundit said he "gutted R&D, which was the cardinal sin", Business Insider suggested that may not be the case.

Rival Apple, for example, spends about the same amount on R&D as HP does now, and far less than rivals such as Microsoft, Cisco and Google - yet doesn't appear to have a problem creating innovative products. "It's not how much you spend on R&D, it's what comes of it," the article noted.

Google closing Motorola sites

Google has continued to take the cost-saving shears to Motorola Mobility, cutting a wave of international websites of the company it bought for $12.5bn. According to The Next Web, sites across Europe, Asia and Africa have been closed because the company can't be sure products listed on the sites are actually available in all countries in the regions. "We are streamlining our business and support systems, and unfortunately, we'll no longer have a dedicated website for rest of Europe," Google says of the closures.

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