Enterprise

Microsoft acquires GitHub for $7.5 billion in stock

Promises to retain GitHub’s developer-first policy

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Today, software development remains one of the most valuable career opportunities in the workforce. Thousands of startups have made their impacts felt throughout the world already. With that in mind, Microsoft has forged a partnership that brings the industry to new heights.

Following a set of rumors from the past couple of weeks, Microsoft has announced that it has acquired the world’s largest software development platform, GitHub.

Together, the two parties hope to empower developers with a combination of their individual services.

Since its inception in 2008, GitHub has maintained a sprawling network of developers with its open platform. The network supports several programming languages, devices, and operating systems.

Despite the acquisition, Microsoft promises to keep GitHub developer-first. In fact, the company pledges to add support for its own services for developers, a potentially new market for them. This includes Microsoft’s global cloud services and wide marketplace.

Additionally, Microsoft will help accelerate startups and developers from early stages to eventual investment seeding. If anything, Microsoft’s global reach is fully capable of acting as a startup accelerator.

Other than that, the acquisition brings a change in Github’s leadership. After the deal closes, former Xamarin CEO Nat Friedman assumes leadership responsibilities from incumbent GitHub CEO Chris Wanstrath. Instead, Wanstrath will assume a new role as a technical fellow with Microsoft. Friedman, on the other hand, will report to Microsoft Cloud and AI Group EVP Scott Guthrie.

The deal will conclude by the end of the calendar year. Besides the flurry of leadership and service changes, it will conclude for US$ 7.5 billion in Microsoft’s stock.

SEE ALSO: Microsoft’s new app links your iPhone to a PC

Enterprise

You might need to pay Google for Android soon

Because of EU’s US$ 5 billion fine

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Will we soon have to pay to use Android? According to Google, that dystopic possibility might eventually become our reality.

Recently, the Silicon Valley giant butted heads with the European Commission over an anti-competition rap. According to the commission, Google is purposely preventing competitors from getting a leg up, creating a dangerous oligopoly on the mobile OS market.

Google currently requires phone makers to bundle eleven apps with their phones, if they want to use Android. The most concerning ones are Google’s Search and Chrome. The company draws much of its profits from their mobile ad revenue.

After weeks of deliberation, the EU has hammered down a guilty verdict on the accused. As a result, Google will pay a whopping US$ 5 billion in fines. On its own, the fine is just spare change for the multi-billion-dollar company.

However, the sanction also requires Google to unbundle the concerned apps from Android. Also, the EU requires Google to hand over an open-source version of their software to phone makers. As a result, Google’s entire revenue stream threatens to collapse. This also enables competitors to create their own versions of Android.

In response to this, Google CEO Sundar Pichai posted a statement on the company’s blog. Despite using a warm, imploratory tone, Pichai’s statement underscores a threat directed towards Google’s consumers and partners.

According to the post, Android’s ubiquity speaks for itself. Android powers 1,300 brands, 24,000 devices, and more than 1 million apps. Seemingly, the EU sanctions will undercut the millions of consumers that enjoy Android on a free basis.

Pichai concludes by introducing the possibility that Android might become a pay-to-play system.

“If phone makers… couldn’t include our apps… it would upset the balance of the Android ecosystem. So far, the Android business model has meant that we haven’t had to charge phone makers for our technology, or depend on a tightly controlled distribution model,” says Pichai.

If Google is issuing a threat, phone makers will initially feel the brunt of renewed pricing schemes. However, consumers will ultimately shoulder the responsibility of paying for their own mobile operating systems.

SEE ALSO: Android Oreo now on more devices but Nougat remains the most popular

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Enterprise

The US finally lifts sanctions over ZTE

They can make phones again!

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If you’ve followed your history classes closely, you’ll know that relations between China and the US have been tenuous throughout the years. As of late, Chinese companies — specifically, ZTE — and the US government have constantly been at loggerheads with each other.

Now, a new chapter is finally trying to close off this volume in the China versus US saga.

Following ZTE’s eventual compliance with trade sanctions, the US government has lifted their indefinite ban over the company’s deals with American businesses. Once again, ZTE is free to obtain the parts essential to their phones from the US.

Previously, the US government initiated the ban in response to ZTE’s violations of trade policies with Iran. For reparation, lawmakers offered to stave off more repressive sanctions if ZTE paid fines and replaced their erring employees.

Despite the offer, ZTE failed to comply with these conditions. As a result, the US had no choice but to ban ZTE from initiating business with any American company. This presented a crippling scenario for the company. ZTE’s phones rely heavily on American components including Qualcomm, the company’s chip supplier.

For months, ZTE has crawled through a terrible limbo of being physically incapable of producing any phones. The company’s employees were left to twiddle their thumbs.

Eventually, President Donald Trump tried to rescue the company, citing lost Chinese jobs because of the job. Unfortunately, his rescue efforts came to no avail.

Now, the US has finally acquiesced to give ZTE another chance. Finally, ZTE took the offer and complied with US demands. The company has changed its board and paid US$ 1.4 billion in fines. Additionally, the company has added a compliance team hired by the US to monitor ZTE’s actions should they violate policies again.

Overall, this entire saga is a symptom of the US’ distrust over the Chinese agenda. Besides ZTE, Huawei, and Xiaomi are also feeling the heat of US tensions. At least, the ZTE brouhaha has ended. For now, at least.

SEE ALSO: ZTE’s new concept phone has two notches

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Enterprise

Xiaomi’s IPO performs poorly in stock market on first day [Update: It’s doing better now]

Could hamper its performance this year

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It’s a bad time to invest in China. After the escalating feud between ZTE and the US, more Chinese companies are feeling the brunt of tense Sino-American relations.

Presently, Chinese phone maker Xiaomi has made a lackluster debut on the stock market. Expecting a valuation of over US$ 100 billion, the company has punched in only US$ 54 billion in valuation, making only US$ 4.7 billion in the IPO.

As for individual stocks, Xiaomi opened to a tepid HK$ 16, much less than their expected HK$ 17.

Prior to the debut, controversies have mired the Chinese market. Just from the company’s perspective, Xiaomi has notoriously expanded their product lineup to include the divisive lifestyle market, most of which have not seen overwhelmingly positive returns yet.

Additionally, ZTE’s troubles with the American government have signaled that Chinese products still aren’t welcome in the West. So far, the issue has affected sales of other Chinese companies including Xiaomi and Huawei, despite their popularity in other countries. Of note, both companies still top the charts all over the world.

Regardless, Xiaomi CEO Lei Jun remains confident that their disappointing IPO is only a minor setback to their overall plans. More importantly, he cites that Xiaomi’s goal of maintaining only a five percent profit is still on track.

However, the IPO trouble will undoubtedly cause speed bumps with the company’s plans to expand to the US later this year.

Update (7/10/2018): After the tumultuous debut, Xiaomi’s stocks showed signs of life the day after. During afternoon trading, the shares’ value rocketed up by 9 percent. As a result, their price increased by as much as HK$ 18.56, well above the company’s expectations.

The jump came as Xiaomi announced its inclusion into the Hang Seng Composite Index. The move allows investors from mainland China to invest in Xiaomi’s stocks. Arguably, Chinese investors show more interest toward the company’s future compared to other foreign investors looking at the political issues in the US.

Xiaomi had already decided on the inclusion in the past. However, the company opted to postpone the move in favor of the Hong Kong debut.

SEE ALSO: Xiaomi Mi Mix 3 live images leak showing no chin, no notch

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