Windows 10 will be free
Microsoft unveiled more details of the latest iteration of its operating system, Windows 10 this week. The good news for Windows enthusiasts is that the new system will be offered for free.
Microsoft’s main revenue stream came from selling Windows software at one stage. However, the move to drop the price to free is not wholly surprising – though Microsoft has a solid foothold in the PC market, its Windows software is not competing at the bar of its competitors, Android and iOS, in the mobile world. The revamped operating system will work across all devices, including the company’s XBox console, and could propel the tech giant forward in the mobile computing space.
Microsoft still had time for one other surprise, the reveal of a new physical headset dubbed Hololens. The device will allow Windows 10 users to interact with 3D holograms, including holographic Skype calls.
Microsoft has also made a push forward in the internet search space, with new browser ‘Spartan’ set to replace Internet Explorer, the latter having been significantly eclipsed by other browsers like Google Chrome. Cortana, a voice control app previously limited to phones, will also be available on a PC with Windows 10.
“Today’s a big day. A big day for Windows,” said CEO Satya Nadella at the tech event. “What it means to our customers, our partners and Microsoft. We want to move from people needing Windows to people loving Windows.”
Whatsapp on desktop
Just a few weeks ago, Facebook-owned messaging application Whatsapp reached the 700 million user milestone. The company appears to be building a head of steam for further growth in 2015, announcing that it has just launched a desktop version of the app.
For the first time, users can now seamlessly carry out a conversation through the app from phone or PC. For now, this feature is limited to Android phones.
Whatsapp is also making headlines for imposing 24 app lock outs of Whatsapp Plus users, a third-party app that allows people to customize the way their messages appear. The unofficial, unauthorized Android app might cause data to be leaked to third-parties. In a time where some of the biggest social media giants have undergone intense scrutiny over privacy issues, the Mountain View company is taking no chances.
E-commerce giant Ebay has announced plans to cut 2,400 jobs, or 7% of its workforce, in the first quarter of 2015.
In an official statement, the company said: “Looking forward to 2015, we will be simplifying organizational structures to focus the businesses and ensure that we are set-up to compete and win.”
In a complete business shake up, the company has decided to separate from its popular online-payment system PayPal and explore IPO or selling options for Ebay Enterprise, which helps companies with their web sales efforts, according to the Wall Street Journal. The U.S. based company hopes the move will allow them to create “two independent world class companies.”
Investors seemed to support Ebay’s announcement, as the company’s shares rose 2% in trading after market close that day. Unfortunately, 2,400 unemployed workers (spanning eBay marketplaces, PayPal, and eBay Enterprise) won’t share Wall Street’s sentiments over the next few months.
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The week in numbers
Uber raises another $1.6bn
SpaceX raises $1bn round led by Google and Fidelity
Planet Labs secures $25m in financing