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Today's Tech: Latest Samsung Galaxy S4 rumours, Ballmer's leadership under attack, France to levy Internet tax on major firms

BusinessNews
by Rawiya Kameir
, 22 Jan 2013News
Today's Tech: Latest Samsung Galaxy S4 rumours, Ballmer's leadership under attack, France to levy Internet tax on major firms

The eagerly anticipated successor to Samsung's hit Galaxy S3 smartphone will arrive "soon," according to a leading figure at the electronics giant. Remarks attributed to JK Shin, Samsung's head of mobile communications, recently confirmed an MWC debut for the Galaxy Note 8.0, though the top exec was less specific about the arrival of the Galaxy S4. In the report, Shin said that the firm's next flagship handset was in the off, but refused to be drawn on an exact release date. The Samsung Galaxy S4 has been frequently tipped with a launch at Mobile World Congress, though Shin's ambiguity has been interpreted by some as evidence that the annual Barcelona mobile showcase can be taken off the watch list.

Steve Ballmer’s leadership of Microsoft has come under attack from a former company executive, who believes a change at the top of the firm is crucial to its future. Joachim Kempin, who worked most significantly on Windows during this 15 year tenure at the company, is releasing a book about the internal politics of Microsoft and it looks likely to make grim reading for Ballmer. Most notably, Kempin accuses the animated CEO of ousting employees who he deems a threat to his position. “When you work…directly with Ballmer and Ballmer believes 'maybe this guy could someday take over from me', my God, you will have less air to breathe, that's what it comes down to," he says. Should make for an interesting read.

France has had enough of major Internet companies employing sneaky work-arounds to avoid paying the taxes they owe. And the country is preparing to hit back at those companies, which include the likes of Google, Amazon and Facebook, with a proposed Internet tax that would be tied to the number of users whose personal data they collect. According to a report commissioned by French president Francois Hollande, the personal details collected by web giants comprise the “raw material” of the digital economy, making users of services like Google and Facebook akin to unpaid workers - and therefore fully taxable.

HMV can now join the growing list of high street survivors, thanks to its administrator Deloitte having managed to secure it a new buyer. Hilco, a retail restructuring firm which also own's the music vendor's Canadian branch, absorbed HMV's outstanding £176 million debt, giving the accounting company a controlling interest as a consequence. The debt transfer ensures that HMV does not go the way of Comet, though it doesn't necessarily ensure that all of the chain's 223 stores will remain open.

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