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Weekend Roundup: Magic Malware uncovered, new Archos Android phones and Microsoft Q1 results

It’s been an unusually slow week in the world of tech, but there were still a few nuggets to bring to your attention at the weekend.

The French mobile device manufacturer Archos announced a trio of new Android smartphones, all available without contract and with very attractive prices. If you don’t know Archos, it’s worth noting that this is a company that was making media focused tablet devices long before Apple created the current tablet hysteria.

It’s actually surprising that Archos has taken this long to jump into the smartphone market, but hopefully its three new handsets will attract buyers looking for power and features on a budget.

The Archos 35 Carbon costs a mere £79.99, while the Archos 50 Platinum will set you back only £179.99 and the top-end Archos 53 Platinum is priced at £199.99.

All devices are certified for access to the Google Play store, have dual-SIM capability, and will be running a completely vanilla version of Android with no skins or overlays.

Twitter #Music

This week Twitter officially launched its #Music service, in both browser and iOS app flavours. Twitter #Music employs music services such as Rdio, Spotify and, of course, iTunes.

Assuming you have an Rdio or Spotify subscription, you can listen to music directly through the app, while you can stream snippets from iTunes. The real hook is the ability to pickup on any recommendation floating around your circle of followers and listen instantly, finding out what all the fuss is about.

Of course the idea of seeing what music your friends are listening to is nothing new, instant messenger clients have been doing it for years. But being able to simply click and listen directly through the app might have some appeal – assuming all your friends use the same streaming service as you.

Microsoft looking strong in 2013

Despite the lukewarm reception of Windows 8 and the somewhat confusing addition of Windows RT to the ecosystem, Microsoft’s first quarter results for 2013 are looking pretty good.

The software giant has reported revenues of $20.5 billion, which represents an 18 per cent year-on-year gain over Q1 2012. And despite a decline in PC sales, Microsoft’s Windows division saw $5.7 billion in revenue, which is an even more impressive year-on-year gain of 23 per cent.

Microsoft has also seen significant uptake in its cloud-based services such as Office 365 and the Windows Azure platform, which will no doubt be a future focus for the company.

Whatever you may think of Microsoft, it’s good to see it rewarded for its diversification as well as its traditional offerings.

It’s Magic!

Our resident security guru Will reported on the discovery of “Magic Malware” earlier this week. Although the threat has only recently been discovered, it seems to have been active for the best part of a year already.

How much damage has been caused by the security breach isn’t fully known, but now that the Magic Malware has been identified, the first step of wiping it clean has been taken.

Riyad has been entrenched in technology publishing for more years than he cares to remember, having staffed and edited some of the largest and most successful IT magazines in the UK. In 2003 he joined forces with Hugh Chappell to create They built TR into the UK’s market leading technology publication before selling the title to IPC Media / Time Warner in 2007. As Editorial Director at Net Communities, Riyad will be helping to develop the publishing portfolio, making IT Pro Portal the best publication it can be.