Today in Tech News Digest, Satya Nadella is (finally) named as the new CEO of Microsoft, Facebook turns 10, Twitter eyes a move into e-commerce, Foursquare’s data is coming to Windows, Google Now lands on Chrome Beta, and it’s revealed that Kinect is guarding the border between North Korea and South Korea.
Satya Nadella Named New Microsoft CEO
first commitment as CEO…i won’t wait 4 years between tweets!
— Satya Nadella (@satyanadella) February 5, 2014
Satya Nadella has finally been named the new CEO of Microsoft, after months of speculation and shortlisting, and a week since the news leaked. Nadella is in charge of the company with immediate effect, replacing the outgoing Steve Ballmer (who will be sorely missed for reasons other than his leadership qualities).
As part of the reorganization at the top of Microsoft, Bill Gates has been removed as Chairman of the Board and instead “steps up” to be Founder and Technology Advisor. This new job title suggests Gates will be taking a more active role in the day-to-day running of the company, tasked with “shaping technology and product direction.”
Microsoft issued several press releases to mark the occasion, including the official announcement of the appointment, Nadella’s first email to his workforce, and Steve Ballmer’s email condoning his replacement. Nadella, Ballmer, Gates, and new Chairman John Thompson also appear in PR videos, all uploaded to YouTube (a Google company).
Facebook Turns 10, Lets You ‘Look Back’
Facebook has celebrated its 10th birthday, with the social networking site having been born on February 4, 2004. Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg wrote a short and sweet note to mark the occasion, revealing his hopes for the next 10 years of Facebook. Assuming it lasts that long.
Facebook users are invited to help celebrate the birthday with a ‘Look Back‘ over their time on the site. This takes the form of a compilation video comprising photos, statuses, and events that have formed the backbone of each user’s experience thus far. Only those with good memories of the time period need apply.
Twitter Getting Into E-Commerce
— weblaa (@weblaa) February 5, 2014
It looks likely that Twitter will soon allow merchants to sell products from within tweets. This move, which has long been suspected and is now backed up by job listings for various roles related to commerce, will essentially turn Twitter into one huge marketplace.
This could provide Twitter with a profitable new revenue stream, as it would likely take a commission on every sale made through the site. Re/code posted a mockup of the potential user interface for Twitter’s e-commerce efforts, and while it looks good, it’s still just another way of selling us stuff we don’t need.
Microsoft Does Foursquare Data Deal
So MSFT just bought all the data value of Foursquare for 15 million? http://t.co/IKZ2RXjGF5 that sounds very cheap
— Alex Wilhelm (@alex) February 4, 2014
Microsoft has made a $15 million “strategic investment” in Foursquare which gives it the license to use Foursquare’s data in its products. Microsoft has licensed Foursquare’s dataset for several years, and the location data will likely make its way into several Microsoft products, including Windows and Bing. Yes, Bing still exists.
‘Google Now’ Lands On Chrome Beta
Google Now has landed on the beta version of the Chrome browser, with the feature rolling out to Windows, Mac, and Chrome OS. It’s been a slow process bringing Google Now to Chrome, but availability to the beta channel should be followed soon by availability for all Chrome users. And about time too.
Kinect Guarding Korean Border
Kinect Is Now Guarding the Korean Border. If so then, expect North Korea to fully control South Korea within the next 24 hours.
— Chad Warden (@RealChadWarden_) February 4, 2014
And finally, the border between North Korea and South Korea is being guarded by Kinect, primarily known for frustrating Xbox gamers. According to Kotaku, the Korean Demilitarized Zone separating the two countries is monitored by a system which utilizes Microsoft’s motion-control sensor.
The report suggests that a South Korean programmer called Jae Kwan Ko developed the system, which is able to detect objects passing through the DMZ. It can tell the difference between humans and animals, and if a human is detected it alerts an outpost manned by actual people.
Kinect isn’t known for its accuracy, so you have to hope there are backups in place. This IS a Microsoft product we’re talking about, after all.
Tech News Digest… Breaking News Into Bite-Sized Chunks.
Image Credit: Heisenberg Media