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Microsoft bringing out the big guns for WP7 marketing: News in brief

Microsoft and Nokia hope to knock the iPhone and Android off their pedestals with a reported $200 million marketing campaign. Plus: news on Oracle’s Android lawsuit and more.

Microsoft is spending how much on Windows Phone marketing?!?

Microsoft and Nokia are preparing to spend $200 million -- during the first half of 2012 alone, in just the U.S. -- to woo consumers to the Windows Phone platform, according to Paul Thurrott’s Supersite for Windows. The close-knit companies will spend a chunk of the money on incentives for retail salespeople who push Windows Phone 7 (WP7) instead of Android or the iPhone, the report says, citing internal documents.

Speaking of WP7, of all the problems a smartphone could have, a keyboard disappearing randomly would have to be at the top of the list. Fortunately, Microsoft just rolled out a new WP7 update that fixes the disappearing keyboard problem, plus other bugs related to Gmail syncing, voicemail notifications and location privacy. There’s been some confusion over whether the update fixed a known SMS bug; the Verge reports no, but others say yes.

Google-Oracle smackdown about to begin

More than a year after Oracle sued Google over Java patent and copyright infringements in Android, the two are finally heading to court. A federal judge ordered a three-phase trial to begin in March, Computer World reports. The phases will focus on copyright claims, patent infringement and any outstanding issues. Oracle sued Google over its mobile operating system in August 2010, and Google, of course, has denied any wrongdoing.

Android fragmentation a thing of the past? Not so fast…

The problem of Android fragmentation still exists, but it’s not as prevalent as it once was. Android operating systems Froyo (2.2) and Gingerbread (2.3) are currently running on 85.3% of Android devices, according to the latest data from Android Developers. More than 30% of Android devices on the market use Froyo, and nearly 55% run Gingerbread. Eclair (2.1) is in a distant third with 8.5%, making Android the least disjointed it has ever been, according to Mashable.

But this uniformity won’t last forever. Many smartphones this year are expected to support Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich, slowly making older versions obsolete.

James Furbush is news writer for Email him here. Margaret Hanley is assistant site editor for Email her here.

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