This week, Alphabet surpassed Apple as the most valuable public company in the world, China released HD true-color photos of the moon, and IBM made three acquisitions. Here are the stories to catch you up on this week’s tech news.
1. Alphabet became the most valuable publicly traded company in the world after reporting its fourth-quarter earnings. The company smashed expectations on both ends, bringing in $21.3 billion in revenue and earnings of $8.67 per share. Analysts were expecting earnings of $8.09 on $20.8 billion in revenue. The company came in at market cap $558 billion and passed Apple, which sits at a market cap of $535 billion.
2. The China National Space Administration released all of the images from their recent moon landing to the public. There are now hundreds and hundreds of never-before-seen, true color, high-definition photos of the lunar surface taken by cameras on the Chang’e 3 lander and Yutu rover.
3. Magic Leap announced a major round of funding, despite having no commercial product. The AR/VR company announced that it has raised $793.5 million in a Series C round led by Alibaba, at a $4.5 billion post-money valuation.
4. After Samsung introduced ad blocking within its mobile web browser, developers were finding their apps were being pulled from Google Play. It seems Google doesn’t want ad blockers to be distributed as standalone applications on its Google Play store.
5. Bay Area venture capitalist Stewart Alsop found that Elon Musk personally cancelled his order for a Tesla Model X. The VC had previously penned a complaint on Medium about the Model X Launch Event. Bottom line? Don’t mess with Musk.
6. Natasha Lomas wrote an analysis of the collapse of the Windows smartphone project. She points out the year-over-year sales figures, writing, “to paraphrase Monty Python, Windows Phone is an ex-platform. Sure, Microsoft might say the platform is just resting. But consumers know the truth: it’s a dead parrot.”
7. Cisco announced it was buying Jasper Technologies, developers of an Internet of Things cloud platform for $1.4 billion. With Jasper, Cisco gets a company that understands the burgeoning IoT market.
8. IBM made three acquisitions to expand its front-end design and creative services business. the company most recently acquired Ecx.io, a German design agency. As with its previous deals to buy Aperto and Resource/Ammirati, IBM is not disclosing the financial terms of the purchase.
9. Ron Miller wrote about what it actually takes to integrate digital transformation into a large enterprise, concluding that companies must think more creatively about their digital future and the effect that will have across the organization.
10. Microsoft confirmed its acquisition of SwiftKey, a startup that makes keyboard apps for Android and iOS devices, for $250 million in cash. Natasha Lomas adds that the exit suggests “even with hundreds of millions of users monetization can still pose challenges. But it also underlines that the right strategic choices can pay off pretty handsomely.”
11. Katie Roof and Matthew Lynley wrote up their 2016 predictions for the IPO market.