Webwire: TI board mull Sawiris bid; Microsoft translates to Chinese

The founder of Egyptian telco Orascom, Naguib Sawiris, is refusing to comment on reports he is bidding €5 billion for a minority stake in Telecom Italia. A source claims the Italian operator’s board discussed the offer late last week, around the time it reported net income in 3Q12 fell 13% year-on-year to €681 million.
Microsoft research chief, Rick Rashid, says the firm has developed software capable of rapidly translating spoken English into Chinese. Rashid used the software during a presentation in China late October, and says it draws on the way human brains work to make it more accurate.
China’s commerce minister, Chen Deming, says US fears regarding the security of Huawei’s telecoms equipment is like the Cold War, and notes business relations would quickly disintegrate if his country started probing US firm’s links to the country’s two main political parties.
A Google spokeswoman says access to its services in China failed over the weekend, as the country’s Communist Party Congress got underway. While the staffer declined to say if access is being blocked, she noted there are no technical problems affecting services.
IBM denies it failed to satisfy its goals in a deal to supply software to chemical manufacturer Avantor, after the latter filed a lawsuit last week. The chemical company is reportedly seeking millions of dollars in damages from IBM.