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Top 10 Indian Tech news of the week [Oct 1st-7th 2012]

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Here’s a look at this week’s Top 10 tech news.

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Google overtakes Microsoft to become the world’s 2nd most valued tech company

On Monday Google overtook Microsoft to become the world’s 2nd most valued company after Apple.

The search giant’s market capitalization rose to $249.13 billion after its share price increased marginally to $761.78. Microsoft saw its market capitalization drop to $247.23 billion after a slight downward tick in its share price to $29.49. As the week closed, Google remained ahead of Microsoft’s value by nearly 800 million dollars.

Facebook crosses 1 billion users

Facebook crossed 1 billion users in less than two decades after it was launched in 2004 from a dorm room in Harvard University.

"This morning, there are more than one billion people using Facebook actively each month. If you’re reading this: thank you for giving me and my little team the honor of serving you. Helping a billion people connect is amazing, humbling and by far the thing I am most proud of in my life." said Mark Zuckerberg, CEO and Founder, Facebook, in a post on his Timeline on the social network.

Yandex launches web browser to compete with Chrome

Yandex, Russia’s prominent and the world’s 5th largest search engine, launched its own cloud based web browser to compete with Google’s Chrome.

The browser features anti-virus technology developed by Kaspersky Lab, also a Russian computer security company. Apart from web browsing capability, Yandex offers email, blogs and web storage among a host of other services.

EKEN Electronics launches android tablets in India

Hongkong based EKEN Electronics launched its EKEN Leopard android tablets. In a bid to grab a slice of the growing budget tablet market in India, EKEN has priced its tablets between Rs. 6,990 and Rs. 11,999.

"India is an exploding market with huge potential for cost effective tablets. This factor influenced us to launch quality budget tablets in India and this will enable computing advantage to everyone" said Edison Chang, CEO EKEN Electronics. EKEN Leopard tablets will be exclusively distributed by a Kerala based exporter, reported Indian Express.

HCL Infosystems launches tablet PCs in UAE

HCL, via its subsidiary HCL Infosystems, has entered the mobile devices market in UAE with the launch of HCL ME G1 tablet with 3G along with other models in its ME series. "We are excited and enthused to launch our mobility solution products in this region. The ME series of tablets from HCL have proved to be an instant hit since its launch and are great value for money devices. We are confident that the advanced connectivity, innovative features and pre-installed applications will make it very appealing to consumers in this region too." said Mr. Shivkumar Gopal, CEO, HCL Infosystems, in a release.

The ME G1 is an android based tablet powered by a 1.2 GHz dual core processor and has 1 GB RAM along with 16 GB memory expandable up to 32 GB via microSD. The 9.7 inch tablet also has a 2 MP rear camera and 0.3 MP front camera.

Amazon to buy Seattle head quarters for $1.16 billion

In a purchase that is set to become America’s biggest commercial real estate deal in 2012, Amazon will buy 11 buildings in South Lake Union area which it leased until now.

The world’s largest e-tailer will buy nearly 1.8 million sq feet of office space from Paul Allen’s, co-founder of Microsoft, investment firm, reported Reuters.

Facebook unveils promoted posts for personal accounts

Facebook users will now be able to promote themselves by bumping their posts up in their friends’ feed. "When you promote a post – whether it’s wedding photos, a garage sale, or big news – you bump it higher in news feed so your friends and subscribers are more likely to notice it", said a blog post.

The service has currently been made available to users in US and each promoted post will cost $7.

Samsung posts $7.3 billion quarterly profit

South Korean multinational Samsung Electronics posted a quarterly profit of $7.3 billion dollars for Q3 2012.

Commentators and analysts have attributed the nearly double profit figures to sales of its Galaxy smartphones. Consolidated sales of the company for the third quarter of 2012 were 52 trillion Korean won, or approximately $46.8 billion.

AOL launches Clucks, video-sharing mobile game on iPhone

AOL entered the mobile gaming market with Clucks, a video-sharing game that challenges users to guess a word in a video recorded by someone else. One opponent will record a 12 second video of himself/herself while describing a word, for example, ball. The second opponent will receive the video and will attempt to guess the word.

Clucks uses voice recognition to pick out banned words. The inspiration behind the game came from social video sharing and turn-by-turn games, said Sol Lipman, VP, AOL Mobile First Unit, reported ET.

Microsoft to increase product prices in India

Microsoft is set to increase the prices of some of its most popular products including Word and Powerpoint. "The rise in prices is linked to the release of several new Microsoft products. India has a highly matured IT market and we are sure it will absorb our new prices. We are in the process of talking to our partners and analysts" said Floris van Heijst, Head of Marketing and Operations, Microsoft India," The increase in prices of Microsoft’s non-hardware products is likely to be in the 10-25% range and will be in effect from 1 November 2012, reported TOI.

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