What the Metaverse Is, Who’s in It and Why It Matters
The metaverse is a virtual universe that blends aspects of digital technologies including video-conferencing, games like Minecraft or Roblox, cryptocurrencies, email, virtual reality, social media and live-streaming. Quite how these pieces will fit together is a work in progress, but some tech giants already see it as the future of human communication and interaction. It’s “the next frontier,” Mark Zuckerberg said when he changed his company’s name from Facebook to Meta Platforms Inc. Commercialwashingtonpost.com
Microsoft buys game maker Activision Blizzard for about $70B
Microsoft is paying the enormous sum of nearly $70 billion for Activision Blizzard, the maker of Candy Crush and Call of Duty, a deal that would immediately make it a larger video-game company than Nintendo while raising questions about the deal’s possible anti-competitive effects.
Google and Apple warn Delta variant could prove disruptive
While Apple and Google delighted investors Tuesday, both companies offered hints to analysts and investors that the Delta variant and a slow recovery from the pandemic around the globe could create unknown problems in the future.washingtonpost.com
Microsoft Promotes CEO Satya Nadella As Chairman
Microsoft Corporation, the world’s largest software company, named Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Satya Nadella as the new chairman on June 16, succeeding John Thompson. It is the first time in more than two decades that Microsoft’s chairman will also be its CEO after the software giant’s co-founder Bill Gates originally stepped down as CEO in 2000. The recent change comes after billionaire Bill Gates officially left the Microsoft board entirely in 2020 to focus on his philanthropic work for the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. Nadella, 53, was appointed Microsoft CEO in 2014 after taking over the position from Steve Ballmer. Nadella’s Twitter bio has been updated as ‘Chairman and CEO of Microsoft Corporation’.thewestsidegazette.com
Bill Gates' leadership roles stay intact despite allegations
Despite allegations suggesting Bill Gates inappropriately pursued women who worked for him, don’t expect changes to his roles at the two iconic institutions he co-founded, Microsoft and his namesake philanthropic foundation, raising accountability concerns from critics.
Microsoft backs Australian plan to make Google pay for news
Microsoft says it supports Australia's plans to make the biggest digital platforms pay for news and would help small businesses transfer their advertising to Bing if Google quits the country. (AP Photo/Rick Rycroft)CANBERRA – Microsoft said on Wednesday it supports Australia’s plans to make the biggest digital platforms pay for news and would help small businesses transfer their advertising to Bing if Google quits the country. Morrison this week confirmed he had spoken to Nadella about Bing replacing Google in Australia. There are no plans to make smaller search engines such as Bing pay for linking users to Australian news, but the government has not ruled that option out. AdBut Google is resisting the Australian plan because it would have less control over how much it would have to pay.
Australian prime minister says Bing could replace Google
(AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez, File)CANBERRA – Australia's prime minister said on Monday that Microsoft is confident it can fill the void if Google carries out its threat to remove its search engine from Australia. Prime Minister Scott Morrison said he has spoken to Microsoft chief executive Satya Nadella about its search engine, Bing, filling the space. AdAlthough Bing is Australia’s second most popular search engine, it has only a 3.6% market share, according to web analytics service Statcounter. AdThe mandatory code of conduct proposed by the government aims to make Google and Facebook pay Australian media companies fairly for using news content the tech giants siphon from news sites. But Google is resisting the Australian plan because it would have less control over how much it would have to pay.
Microsoft keeps chugging as pandemic continues
The logo of Microsoft is displayed outside the headquarters in Paris, Friday, Jan. 8, 2021. Analysts surveyed by FactSet were expecting Microsoft to earn $1.64 per share on revenue of $40.2 billion for the fiscal quarter. The coronavirus pandemic sparked a massive shift to the cloud and to Microsoft that won't likely be reversed once the crisis is over, said Daniel Elman, an analyst at Nucleus Research. “So many people are already familiar with the Microsoft user interface that it’s a comfortable option," Elman said. Its cloud computing business segment grew 23% to $14.6 billion.
'More people may die': Biden urges Trump to aid transition
“More people may die if we don’t coordinate,” Biden told reporters during a news conference Monday in Wilmington, Delaware. The Trump administration is working on its own distribution plan, while Biden’s chief of staff indicated his transition team will proceed with their own planning separately because of the obstruction. Last week, a larger group of Republicans in Congress called on the Trump administration to allow Biden to begin receiving national security briefings. Since defeating Trump, Biden has devoted most of his public remarks to encouraging Americans to wear masks and embrace social distancing measures. But on whether Biden should receive coronavirus briefings, many of Trump's allies on Capitol Hill remained dug in.
‘More people may die’: Biden urges Trump to aid transition
“More people may die if we don’t coordinate,” Biden told reporters during a news conference in Wilmington, Delaware. The Trump administration is working on its own distribution plan, while Biden’s chief of staff indicated his transition team will proceed with their own planning separately because of the obstruction. Last week, a larger group of Republicans in Congress called on the Trump administration to allow Biden to begin receiving national security briefings. Since defeating Trump, Biden has devoted most of his public remarks to encouraging Americans to wear masks and embrace social distancing measures. But on whether Biden should receive coronavirus briefings, many of Trump's allies on Capitol Hill remained dug in.
Trump administration targets diversity hiring by contractors
Trump’s Labor Department is using a 55-year-old presidential order spurred by the Civil Rights Movement to scrutinize companies like Microsoft and Wells Fargo over their public commitments to diversity. The agency has oversight over the hiring practices of thousands of federal contractors that employ roughly a quarter of all American workers. But he said it’s more likely the Trump administration is using the move as a political tactic ahead of the presidential election. “It’s a chicken-and-egg problem.”The latest actions affecting contractors align with a broader Trump administration trend on matters of race. At least one university, the University of Iowa, suspended its diversity efforts in response the order.
Government probes Microsoft's effort to boost diversity
Microsoft says the U.S. Labor Department is scrutinizing its efforts to boost Black employment and leadership at the tech company. The Labor Department did not respond to a question about whether it has started similar inquiries into other companies with federal contracts. The Trump administration’s move contrasts with a flurry of efforts by private companies and institutions to increase racial diversity in the wake of the Black Lives Matters protests. The Labor Department said its Microsoft inquiry follows a 1965 order signed by Democratic President Lyndon B. Johnson banning discriminatory hiring among federal contractors. It sets up a hotline for the Labor Department to investigate workplace training session complaints.
Microsoft back in the smartphone business with its new Duo
Microsoft is back to selling smartphones for the first time since it abandoned its mobile business more than four years ago. The company began taking orders Wednesday for the Surface Duo, a new dual-screen Android device that costs $1,399 and begins shipping in September. Microsoft is pitching the Duo as a more useful tool than a conventional smartphone, since it enables users to multitask with two separate apps or web pages at a time. Adding a mobile device to its Surface line of computers is a reversal for Microsoft after its short-lived ownership of smartphone-maker Nokia and its difficulties in transitioning its Windows operating system to the mobile era. Apple and Google's Android long ago cornered the market on phone operating systems, but Microsoft's rare partnership with Google means Duo comes with a suite of Android apps.
Asian shares extend rally after S&P 500 nears record
Sydney's S&P ASX 200 jumped 2.1% to 6,049.60 and the Kospi in Seoul picked up 1.1% to 2,276.79. Overnight, the S&P 500 added another 0.7% onto its four-month winning streak, closing within 3% of the record high it set in February, at 3,294.61. Big Tech led the way higher again, and Microsoft and Apple alone accounted for most of the S&P 500s gain. The rally followed reports showing that manufacturing has improved across much of the world, including in China, Europe and the United States. Roughly two-thirds of the way into earnings season, 84% of S&P 500 companies have reported stronger results than expected, according to FactSet.
Tech giants are embracing remote work. Others may follow
His other company, Square, which like Twitter is based in San Francisco, is doing the same. It's too early to know whether remote work options will mean an exodus of highly-paid tech workers from San Francisco and Silicon Valley, where they've contributed to skyrocketing rents and housing prices. For companies that have built their empires on letting people communicate with far-flung friends and colleagues, moving toward remote work is not too hard of a sell. At Facebook, the CEO said employees will have to meet certain criteria to be considered for permanent remote work. This includes a level of seniority, strong performance and, naturally, being part of a team that supports remote work.
How every company could become a 'tech' company
(CNN) - These days nearly every company is, or is in the process of becoming, a technology company. "One of the things I think a lot about is: If we use this term that every company is a digital company, every company is a software company, what does it mean?" Nadella said he thinks of it like a math formula: "Tech adoption" times "tech capability," multiplied "to the power of trust." "This is what I feel every company needs to do to become a software company," he said. "That's what led me all the way back to the origin of the company," Nadella said.
Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella gets 66% raise
REDMOND, Wash. - Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella got a 66% raise in the company's latest fiscal year. Nadella received $42.9 million in total compensation up from $25.8 million the year prior. Nadella took over as CEO in 2014 and under his leadership, Microsoft has become a major force in cloud computing. (In 2014, Nadella received a headline-making $84 million compensation package.) Google CEO Sundar Pichai received $1.9 million in overall compensation.