Today's Tech: Android drives Google past Microsoft, Galaxy Tab 10.1 back on sale, 4G launch fast-tracked

Google has certainly enjoyed a good start to the week, with the web giant waking up today as the second most valuable tech firm in the world. When the markets in New York closed on Monday, the US search behemoth had increased its share value by about 1 per cent to the tune of total market capitalisation of nearly $250 billion (around £155bn). Iconic software manufacturer Microsoft, by way of contrast, saw its worth fall around 1 per cent on the same day, closing out business with a lesser valuation of $247.2 billion (£152.9bn). The deep penetration of Google’s Android OS - it features on around two-thirds of the world's smartphones - has been cited as a key factor behind its continued ascent, and if the industry continues to trend away from traditional hardware and software sales towards online advertising and mobile technology, some think it could be in a position to challenge super-rich Apple in the future.

Speaking of Apple, the Californian firm's recent interest in product launching looks like a second tier priority once more, with the iPhone 5 manufacturer polishing its armour ahead of its next bout of legal catfights - Eastern European supermarkets beware. However, while the Cupertino-based tech titan has generally enjoyed considerable home field advantage in US courthouses, today's news went against form, with patent law don Judge Lucy Koh ruling in favour of its bitter rival Samsung. Specifically, Koh rubbished Apple's argument that preliminary decisions made in its historic lawsuit against Samsung should be maintained until all post-trial deliberations are complete. Announcing that "the public has no interest in enjoining a non-infringing product," she restored the previously-banned Galaxy Tab 10.1 to legal retail status Stateside, though given it’s an old generation product, Samsung will hardly have bust out the bubbly. Nevertheless, it’s a promising sign, as further decisions are expected later in the year, including in the UK - Apple and Samsung just re-entered the High Court arena to contest whether or not the iconic US firm should be forced to run a series of paid advertisements stating that Samsung tablets do not copy the iPad's design features.

ITProPortal ed Désiré was in New York last month to witness the unveiling of Nokia’s new flagship smartphones, the Lumia 820 and 920, as the struggling Finnish firm embarked on a recovery mission. Venturing that the slightly lower-order 820 model will actually be the sales spinner, Dés has compared it to its predecessors – the Lumia 800 and 900 – to see which device is now the best option from the Nokia fleet. Moreover, Microsoft will be trying to make the end of 2012 all about the Windows Phone line, so follow the link to see if this hardware is doing the OS justice.

Yesterday we brought you news of the HP ElitePad 900; a brand new tablet aimed at enterprise. Just 24 hours later, we give you this hands on review of the product so we can look at those business-friendly features a little closer. HP has been pretty brave flying in the face of the growing BYOD (bring your own device) trend that’s sweeping across a number of industries, so will this 10.1in slate do enough to make bosses to splash the cash on a box load of these when it comes to market early next year? It sticks with the Windows 8 theme too, so be sure to check out the full article.

Substantial 4G progress was on the cards today, as mobile networks held discussions with Ofcom and Culture Secretary Maria Miller. The meeting could pave the way for EE to launch its UK 4G service as early as this month, and for O2 and Vodafone to launch their respective services by May next year. This is significantly earlier than the date predicted previously, which was towards the very end of 2013. O2 and Vodafone have been critical of EE’s 4G headstart, but would run the risk of slowing their own progress if they insist on legally challenging the call. Keep tabs on ITProPortal for more on today's developments.