Slack

Slack, the fast-growing office messaging tool, has finally completed a new round of funding, including new investor Thrive Capital, it said Friday.

The funding has been expected for a while and has been much reported. There are other new investors, such as Comcast Ventures and GGV, but current ones also participated.

And that list of venture funders has become long and powerful, including: Index Ventures, Andreessen Horowitz, Accel Partners, Digital Sky Technologies, Horizons Ventures, Institutional Venture Partners, Spark Capital Growth, Google Ventures, Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers and Social Capital.

The round values Slack at about $3.8 billion, post-money, lower than the $5 billion valuation it had been considering aiming for earlier this month. But instead of raising $400 million to $500 million, which was considered due to a lot of incoming investment interest, several sources said that the San Francisco-based Slack opted to raise just $200 million this time.

build xamarin story

Microsoft has announced during the ongoing BUILD 2016 keynote, that Xamarin developer tools will be open-sourced and made available for free to developers.

Last month, Microsoft finally acquired Xamarin after years of speculation and obviously the company had some major plans in mind for the cross-platform app development tools. With today's announcement, the company has done away with the multi-tier pricing plan that was holding many developers back from adopting Xamarin.

 skype for business

Microsoft had a lot to share about the consumer version of Skype on the first day of Build 2016 - such as its integration with Cortana and the Bot Framework - which would allow users to get the most out of the messaging platform without leaving conversations. Today, the company's focus was shifted to its business users, who will be treated to updated SDKs that support great integration opportunities.

At last year's Build conference, Microsoft launched the Skype for Business and Skype Web SDKs to open up the platform to new ideas and implementations. Now, the company has announced updates to these kits which will facilitate direct integration of Skype calls in various applications.

apple pay

Apple Pay is finally ready to move beyond apps.

Apple has been telling potential partners that its payment service, which lets shoppers complete a purchase on mobile apps with their fingerprint rather than by entering credit card details, is expanding to websites later this year, multiple sources told Re/code.

The service will be available to shoppers using the Safari browser on models of iPhones and iPads that possess Apple’s TouchID fingerprint technology, these people said. Apple has also considered making the service available on Apple laptops and desktops, too, though it’s not clear if the company will launch that capability.

tay ai

You'll probably already be familiar with Cortana, Microsoft's digital 'personal assistant', who stands ready to help you with various tasks on Windows, Android and iOS devices. If you've ever spoken with Cortana, you'll be aware of the limitations of the assistant's conversational abilities - but Microsoft has created a new artificial intelligence that you can talk with right now on Twitter.

She won't be able to help with you setting reminders or booking an Uber, but she really wants to chat, about anything and everything.

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