Week in review: All-new Hotmail coming soon, AdMob-Google running aground

Here’s our roundup of the week’s tech business news. First, the most popular stories VentureBeat published in the last seven days:

All-new Hotmail to take on Gmail next Monday — On Monday, Microsoft will unleash a new version of its category-leading Hotmail email service that carries the fight against Google onto the screens of the hundreds of millions of lone users and small teams who swear by Gmail.

Google Android outsells Apple iPhone, ranked No. 2 in US smartphone sales — Smartphones based on Google’s Android mobile operating system have outsold Apple’s iPhone in the U.S. during the first quarter of 2010, according to a report by research firm The NPD Group.

Why Mark Zuckerberg needs to come clean about his views on privacy — Privacy, Facebook’s critical issue (and Achilles heel) has come to the fore again. We examine the conundrum for Facebook’s youthful founder and CEO, Mark Zuckerberg.

Acer to launch Chrome OS devices in two weeks — We’ve learned from multiple sources that the Taiwanese computer manufacturer Acer will launch Chrome OS devices at the Computex Taipei show, which will be held from June 1 to June 5.

Square launches credit-card reading for iPhone and Android — Mobile payments startup Square said Tuesday that its iPhone and Android applications are live, and that it has begun to ship its first wave of credit card readers. The San Francisco company, started by Twitter creator Jack Dorsey, offers a small plastic credit card reader that plugs into an iPhone, an iPod Touch, an iPad, or an Android phone.

And here are five more stories that we think are important, thought-provoking, or fun:

The FTC is out to get Google, some interviewees say — Google’s $750 million acquisition of AdMob, the fast-growing mobile-advertising startup, appears to be running aground in Washington, D.C. Antitrust regulators at the Federal Trade Commission have reportedly given the deal more time for a review. Some mobile developers, though, are raising questions about the FTC’s review process and asking whether Google’s getting a fair shake.

Alan Wake takes video games to an art form (review) — VentureBeat’s Dean Takahashi says new game Alan Wake is a work of art and one of the best video games he has ever played. It deserves critical accolades, but the jury is out as to whether it will also be a commercial success.

What makes a good home energy management system? — We list the five qualities to look for in an optimum home energy-management system and give examples of companies that could provide one.

Biking to work in SF? Don’t forget your CycleTracks app — Bicyclists always want more bike lanes, while the opposition will go to court to prevent painting new “sharrows” on the streets. For city policymakers, proving things like the demand for new bike routes is not as simple as it sounds, which is where mobile location-based technology comes in handy.

Swipely lands big-name investors for a more private approach to social shopping — It looks like Blippy isn’t the only startup betting that users want to tell their friends what they’ve been buying — it was joined Tuesday by Swipely, a site that’s launched its invitation-only preview.