Top tech headlines: Twitter’s Innovator’s Patent Agreement, Google Drive, Samsung Galaxy S III launch details

Hot topics in the tech blogs for the week ending April 20 include Microsoft’s record-breaking quarterly revenue of $17.41 billion, Twitter’s Innovator’s Patent Agreement draft, Microsoft’s Windows 8 editions, free web-based storage coming on Google Drive, and Samsung’s Galaxy S III launch details.

Microsoft announces record third quarter revenue, talks up Windows 8 products
Microsoft posted sales figures of $17.41 billion for the quarter ending Mar. 31, 2012, a 6 percent increase from the same period last year. The company’s operating income also saw a year-on-year increase, growing 12 percent to $6.37 billion. “We’re driving toward exciting launches across the entire company, while delivering strong financial results,” said Steve Ballmer, chief executive officer at Microsoft while talking up the forthcoming wave of new Windows 8 PCs and tablets and the next version of Office.

Twitter introduces Innovator’s Patent Agreement
Twitter is planning to revolutionize technology patents and limit the ways in which they can be used to hinder future innovations with its Innovator’s Patent Agreement (IPA). “The IPA is a new way to do patent assignment that keeps control in the hands of engineers and designers,” said Twitter. “It is a commitment from Twitter to our employees that patents can only be used for defensive purposes.” Twitter’s IPA draft has been lauded in technology circles with people calling it “a powerful new tool in the patent wars.”

Microsoft details Windows 8 editions
Microsoft announced that its Windows 8 OS would be available as three separate versions: Windows 8 for mainstream users with PCs and tablets powered by x86 processors, Windows 8 Pro for tech enthusiasts and business/technical professionals, and Windows RT which will come preinstalled on new thin and lightweight PCs and tablets powered by ARM processors.

Details of Google Drive cloud-based service uncovered
Technology blog The Next Web uncovered details of Google’s cloud-based personal storage service Google Drive. The service is said to offer users up to 5GB of free online storage and is rumored to launch on Mac, Windows, Android and iOS platforms as early as next week. Google Drive will enable users to access files on their computer from anywhere they can access the internet and may also support in-app document editing.

Samsung Galaxy S III launch details
Technology blog BGR said it had learned that the Samsung Galaxy S will be named the official device of the 2012 Summer Olympics and that Samsung was planning “a huge international roll-out” for its flagship smartphone which is thought to be launched during a May 3 event in London. The blog revealed that the device would be available in both 16GB and 32GB versions and would come with a 1080p HD display, integrated 4G LTE and Samsung’s quad-core Exynos processor.