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Today's Tech: ZTE unveils Grand X smartphone, Apple ordered to publicly apologise to Samsung, Windows 8 gets release date

ZTE has unveiled its most ambitious smartphone to date, announcing the arrival of the Grand X, which will begin hitting shelves at the beginning of August. The flagship mobile boasts an impressive spec sheet given its relatively modest £189 SIM-free price tag. The device will sport the coveted Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich OS and feature an Nvidia Tegra 2 dual-core processor. Preferred network partner Virgin is offering the best deals for the phone, which looks to be of particular interest to entertainment-first consumers.

Apple’s fortunes are looking increasingly rotten on the patent war front. The tech giant has been ordered to cough up dosh for a series of advertisements in prominent British newspapers. The notices must clarify that the Galaxy tablet range manufactured by bitter rival Samsung did not infringe on iPad design features. The decision emanates from Judge Colin Birss of the UK High Court, and follows on from his 9 July decision that the Samsung Tab 10.1 was “not cool” enough to have illegally copied the Apple slate.

Mark your calendars! After months of playing it coy, Microsoft has finally made an official announcement regarding the public release of Windows 8. The new, and ostensibly improved, operating system will be released on 26 October, a Microsoft spokesperson confirmed on the company’s blog. Eager beavers will be able to upgrade to Windows 8 Pro from XP, Vista, or Windows 7 for just £14.99 by visiting

But there’s some bad mixed in with the good for Microsoft today. After days of back-and-forth with the European Commission, a competition law specialist has estimated that Microsoft could face a record penalty if found guilty by antitrust regulators. The contention, for those who don’t remember, pertains to whether or not Microsoft denied millions of Windows users a choice in browsers, and violated a 2009 EU ruling in the process.

Google got us all excited when it spilled the jelly beans about its new Android OS at its I/O conference last month, and the Jelly Bean equipped Nexus 7's good reviews have now been matched with a security seal of approval. Analyst Jon Oberheide claims the 4.1 upgrade has stronger defences against malicious code execution and information leakage than its Ice Cream Sandwich predecessor, but hints that iOS 6 may yet boast even more security. Who do you think will win the battle of the new mobile operating systems this year?