Friday’s Tech Stocks Updates: Apple Inc. (AAPL)’s Password Successor, Google Inc (GOOG)’s Ended Agreement & Microsoft Corporation (MSFT)’s Gift Cards

Editor’s Note: Related tickers: Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL), Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG), Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT), NTT Docomo Inc (ADR) (NYSE:DCM)

Japan Display Said to Plan IPO With Government Fund Control (Businessweek)
Japan Display Inc., which supplies liquid-crystal displays to Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL), plans to raise as much as 200 billion yen ($2 billion) in an initial public offering with a government fund to maintain control after the IPO, according to a person with direct knowledge of discussions. Government-backed Innovation Network Corp. of Japan will retain more than a third of the company which will have a market value of as much as 800 billion yen, the person said, asking to not be identified as the matter is private.

The Next Battleground for Apple Inc. (AAPL) and Google Inc (GOOG)?

Google Jet Fleet Loses a Pentagon Fuel Perk (WSJ)
Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG) founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin may have to dig deeper to operate their fleet of private jets, after the U.S. Department of Defense ended a little-known arrangement that for years allowed the tech billionaires to travel on sharply discounted jet fuel bought from the Pentagon. The agreement between the Google founders and the government, which started in 2007, ended Aug. 31 after officials at the National Aeronautics and Space Administration—which sponsored the arrangement—opted not to renew it, according to a Pentagon spokeswoman.

Microsoft’s iPad Trade-In Offers $200 Discount on Surface (IBTimes)
Software giant Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) is offering $200 discount on Surface tablet and laptop to consumers who will trade their old iPads. iPad users can bring their used iPad 2, 3, or 4 and get a minimum of a $200 gift card to the Microsoft store, which they can use in buying a new Microsoft Surface tablet and laptop. Traders can purchase the Surface RT which costs $349or Surface Pro $799. To be eligible for the trade-in, iPads should include power cord, if available, and device is not password protected.

Fingerprint-Reading IPhone Seen as Protection Against NSA Spying (BusinessWeek)
Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL)’s use of fingerprint scanning in its new iPhone models could lead more device makers to adopt the authentication method as a successor to passwords – – and that’s fine with privacy advocates. The introduction coincides with the rise of cybercrime and revelations that the U.S. National Security Agency has intercepted Internet communications and cracked encryption codes on devices including the iPhone.

Google Inc. (GOOG) Leads US Search Market With 66.9% Share In August [REPORT] (DazeInfo)
Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG) has maintained its unparalleled lead in US online search market. In August, out of 19.1 billion explicit search queries, Google Sites ranked first with 12.7 billion, according to ComScore August report. Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) Sites maintained the second position with 3.4 billion – just 30% of Google Sites. This clearly depicts how Google Sites are dominating over US search market in absence of any immediate competition.

What will McAndrews bring to Pandora? (CNBC)

Microsoft to lay off freelancers, contract writers at MSN (IndiaTimes)
Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) is laying off dozens of contract and freelance writers from its MSN news and entertainment portal as the giant software company seeks to reshape itself as a devices and services company. A spokesperson for the company confirmed the layoffs but declined to specify the number or comment further. A person familiar with the situation said the cuts could affect more than 100 people in all.

Entry of NTT Docomo in iPhone sales brings in new era of competition (The-Japan-News)
In a growing smartphone market, a new era of ever-intensifying competition has come. Major domestic cell phone carriers will be urged to rethink their strategies, for instance, by lowering fees and improving service. Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) said Tuesday that it will launch two new models of its popular iPhone in nine countries, including Japan, on Sept. 20. The U.S. firm also said NTT Docomo Inc (ADR) (NYSE:DCM) will begin selling iPhones in Japan for the first time. Docomo has been locked in an uphill battle with its two rivals SoftBank Mobile Corp. and KDDI Corp., which already offer the iPhone, as Docomo has been unable to stem the outflow of subscribers switching to other carriers under the mobile phone portability system.

Google Coder Allows You To Build Raspberry Pi Apps In A Browser (Ubergizmo)
We have seen our fair share of projects that have involved the super small Raspberry Pi computer, and most of these are just pure genius in nature. There is always the line that we would like to cross from time to time, pushing the boundaries to explore new possibilities, and while it is theoretically possible to transform a Raspberry Pi into a web server, the real truth is, it ain’t that easy. The folks over at Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG) might have just unraveled the mystery and made things a whole lot easier by streamlining the process via its latest Coder project.

Report: Microsoft’s take on Siri is called Cortana (Polygon)
A feature headed to Windows Phone 8.1 may include Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT)’s take on Siri, which uses a name that references the Xbox’s flagship first-person shooter franchise, ZDNet reports. The feature is apparently codenamed Cortana, a reference to Halo’s AI companion. It will reportedly outperform Windows Phone’s current voice command capabilities and allow users to interact with the device using natural voice commands, like Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL)’s Siri and Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG)’s Google Now. ZDNet’s sources also suggest that the underlying technology will also appear in other Microsoft products like Windows 8 and Xbox One.

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