apple china

Apple has reported its latest quarterly earnings, for the second quarter of its 2016 fiscal year (Q2 2016). To put it succinctly, things haven't gone well.

The company announced revenue of $50.6 billion, down from $58 billion a year ago, a drop of around 13%. Net income also fell year-over-year by 23% from $13.6 billion to $10.5 billion.

As far as its device sales went, it was bad news across the board too.

amazon.hq

Amazon has been touting its payments business recently, and the e-commerce giant is looking to expand the reach of its digital wallet even further with the debut of a new program on Monday.

Amazon’s Pay With Amazon is a way for the site’s 285 million account holders to shop with third party merchants using their Amazon credit cards and shipping details. Amazon users simply sign in with their Amazon account on third party merchant sites instead of having to create a separate login with the retailer, and fill in credit card information. It’s also an alternative to paying with PayPal. Merchants who offer the ability to use Amazon Payments include GoGo in-flight Wi-Fi, Southwest Airlines, and clothing retailer All Saints. The fees that Amazon charges merchants who use its payments service are similar to PayPal’s fees, which is 2.9% plus $0.30 for each transaction.

On Monday, Amazon announced a program to integrate its payments option into software companies who power e-commerce storefronts for merchants, potentially expanding its reach to new retailers and merchants.

For example, Amazon is offering its payments service to retailers using Shopify shop to power their online storefronts. Founded in 2006, Shopify provides software tools for 243,000 online retailers including storefronts, payment processing, and apps for checkout.

Amazon also previously offered a competitive software service to Shopify and encouraged its users to transfer their storefronts to Shopify.

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.

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