Here's your daily dose of the major technology news, and today's edition includes the launch of Microsoft's Slack rival, Huawei's new smartphone with dual-lens Leica camera, Uber app getting a radical new design, and a more. Let's dive in.
Microsoft launches enterprise chat app Teams to take on Slack
Microsoft has forayed into the business chat market, which is currently dominated by Slack, with the launch of a new app called Teams. The product has features like team chat, private messages, and voice as well as videoconferencing. Microsoft Teams is "designed to facilitate real-time conversations and collaboration while maintaining and building up that institutional knowledge of a team," says Microsoft Chief Executive Officer Satya Nadella. Slack welcomed its new rival with an open letter to the company in a full-page ad on The New York Times.
Another top Twitter India executive resigns
Following the departure of Twitter India head Rishi Jaitly earlier this week, Parminder Singh - the company's Managing Director for India, South East Asia, Middle East, and North Africa (INSEA/MENA) - has decided to leave too. Singh had been at Twitter for three years and will exit the company a month from now. With his exit, the INSEA region will be aligned with APAC (Asia Pacific), while MENA will be aligned with EMEA (Europe, Middle East, and Africa).
Airtel says no to free calls, says price drops possible
Bharti Airtel has indicated that entry of newcomer Reliance Jio could lead to lowering of prices to some extent, but ruled out across-the-board free voice calls for all mobile plans. Airtel MD & CEO for India and South Asia Gopal Vittal pointed out that while Bharti Airtel had already offered free voice calls on its Infinity plan (priced at Rs. 999), and a similar freebie would not be possible across all segments of the market. He also said that while competitors kept the company on its toes, it was not "obsessed" with them.
Facebook monthly active mobile user base hits 1 billion
Facebook said that its monthly active mobile user base crossed 1 billion in the July-September quarter, the first time in its history. This is a critical figure for the company, which has 1.8 billion overall monthly active users, since mobile devices account for 84 percent of its ad revenue. The company also reported a record $7 billion in revenue for the quarter, beating analyst estimates.
Uber app gets a radical redesign, introduces 'Shortcuts'
Uber has released an update that substantially changes the way the app's user experience works, in an attempt to make the app faster, and smarter. The update, which will be released to users gradually, will show frequent riders Shortcuts that can predict where they are headed, allowing them to book a cab in just one tap. If the calendar is synced to the Uber app, meetings and appointments will appear as shortcuts. Other features, such as choosing type of ride, splitting fare and sharing trip status, still remain part of the app.
LinkedIn launches tool to compare your salary with others
LinkedIn has launched a tool to help users determine if their salaries are at par with other professionals in their industry. The Salary tool, available only in the United States, Canada and the United Kingdom as of now, gives a break-down by such factors as location, industry, education and experience. The information is based on data, including base pay and other compensation such as bonuses and stock grants, provided by LinkedIn users.
OnePlus 4 specifications, launch details leaked
While the buzz for OnePlus 3T, the company's mid-year smartphone, is still on, leaks about its 2017 flagship have started. According to information provided by a Weibo user, OnePlus 4 will be launched in June or July next year and will run on the yet-to-be-announced Snapdragon 830 chipset, clocked at 3GHz. The smartphone is said to have 6GB RAM like its predecessor, Android Nougat-based OxygenOS UI out-of-the-box and 4000mAh battery.
Huawei Mate 9 smartphone with dual-lens Leica camera launched
Huawei has launched the Mate 9 smartphone featuring second-generation Leica dual-lens camera, one with a 20-megapixel monochrome sensor and the other with a 12-megapixel RGB sensor. The combination is meant to provide improved colour accuracy, depth perception, and contrast. Priced at EUR 699 (roughly Rs. 51,600), the new Huawei Mate 9 has a 5.9-inch screen, HiSilicon Kirin 960 octa-core chipset, 4GB RAM, 64GB internal storage, up to 256GB microSD card support, 8-megapixel front camera, 4000mAh battery, and fingerprint sensor.
Airtel says it has provided 7,000 more interconnect points to Jio
Bharti Airtel said it has provided over 7,000 additional points of interconnect (PoIs) to Reliance Jio, taking the total number of PoIs provided till date to over 17,000. It claims that this capacity is sufficient to serve over 75 million customers, based on the forecast provided by Jio to Airtel. Trai on October 21 had slapped heavy penalties on Bharti Airtel, Vodafone India and Idea Cellular for not providing sufficient PoIs to Reliance Jio.
Broadcom buying network gear maker Brocade for $5.5 billion
Singapore-based chipmaker Broadcom will acquire rival Brocade Communications for $5.5 billion, further consolidating the industry. The deal is considered complimentary to Broadcom's existing enterprise storage offerings. The company says it planned to sell Brocade's networking business, which makes controllers and access points that help businesses offer high-speed Internet to their customers, to avoid competing with its top customers such as Cisco.