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Today's Tech: Ford boss could steer Microsoft in new direction and MPs attack Google over "derisory" anti-piracy efforts

Nokia's Stephen Elop has been considered the leading candidate to replace outgoing Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer but All Things D has just reported that Ford chief Alan Mulally "has vaulted to the forefront of the candidates to become the new CEO of Microsoft." Mulally, 68, has been at the helm of Ford for seven years and is considered a turnaround artist capable of guiding a slow-moving industry heavyweight — perhaps like Microsoft — through a transition period during difficult times. The former Boeing executive still has ties to the Seattle area which could influence his decision to accept the top position in Redmond if offered. It's also been reported that Ford's board recently gave Mulally permission to leave the company before his contract is up.

BlackBerry has posted its second quarter financial figures, and they do not read well. The beleaguered Canadian smartphone manufacturer has reported losses of $935 million (£580 million), which it has blamed on extremely poor uptake of the Z10. In a move that echoes Microsoft's handling of the Surface RT, the firm had to spend heavily on inventory charges related to that particular handset. BlackBerry managed to sell a measly 3.7 million smartphones during the three-month period. To put this into context, Apple managed to shift nine million iPhone 5S and 5C smartphones in one weekend. Sales for quarter two stand at $1.6 billion (£993 million), representing a 45 per cent decrease from the same period last year, and a 49 per cent drop from quarter one.

MPs have attacked Google's "notable failure" in removing content that infringes copyright from its search result rankings, branding the giant's efforts to stop it "derisory". Conservative MP John Whittingdale, who chairs the the Commons Culture Media and Sport Committee, said MPs were "unimpressed by Google's continued failure to stop directing consumers to illegal, copyright infringing material on the flimsy excuse that some of the sites may also host some legal content. "There is no reason why they cannot demote and ultimately remove sites hosting large amounts of illegal material from search engine result," he added. The comments came as the committee released a report on Thursday in which it argues that the success of the UK creative industries could be under threat from the failure to tackle online piracy.

French authorities are reportedly investigating Apple's relationships with wireless carriers in the region. As reported by the Wall Street Journal, officials are looking at the terms of the deals that the Cupertino-based company signs with carriers as part of a larger probe into agreements between phone makers and wireless providers. At issue are terms that require providers to purchase a large number of devices and set aside a certain amount of money to market iPhones, the Journal said. In the US, carriers have talked openly about how expensive it is to offer the iPhone, but they largely believe it's worth the cost. "The iPhone is an expensive contract but ... worth every penny," Sprint chief Dan Hesse said after his company first secured the iPhone in 2011.