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In The News: Microsoft to Cut up to 18,000 Jobs and much more

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Hi everyone! Simply CSOFT is back to get you up to speed with the news stories making headlines this week in the technology world. Read about Microsoft and their plans to cut 18,000 workers, the newly launched taxi app in Singapore and a new report showing that China is the world’s biggest spender on mobile ads.

  • Microsoft to Cut up to 18,000 Jobs

Microsoft announced the biggest layoffs in its 39-year history, outlining plans to cut 18,000 jobs. Although some cuts had been expected ever since Microsoft acquired Nokia’s mobile-device unit, the number amounted to 14 percent of the Microsoft workforce—about twice what analysts had estimated. The cuts will include some 12,500 jobs associated with the Nokia unit—nearly half of the 28,000 employees Microsoft brought on board in April through the acquisition. Some 1,350 Seattle-area workers around Microsoft’s Redmond, Washington, headquarters were laid off on Thursday, as were 1,800 workers in Hungary and nearly 370 in San Diego. The Nokia cuts also include 1,100 jobs in Finland. (ABC News)

  • Report: China’s the Biggest Spender on Mobile Ads

A new report by mobile advertising network AppFlood says three-fifths of money spent on ads around the globe comes from China. “Our data finds that China and emerging regions are influencing the global app economy with nearly half of all global installs coming from Asia and the Middle East,” said Si Shen, co-founder and CEO of PapayaMobile, AppFlood’s parent company. AppFlood says China’s average mobile ad spending grew 123 percent quarter-on-quarter, which far outpaced the slowing growth in the United States at 66 percent. China is part of a larger trend in Asia; the report found that about 53 percent of mobile traffic and 47 percent of installs came from Asia and the Middle East. (Tech in Asia)

  • Wechat, Easy Taxi Launch Taxi-hail App in Singapore
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Chinese tech giant Tencent and Easy Taxi, the world’s biggest taxi booking app, have announced a partnership allowing Singapore WeChat users to book taxis directly via the popular messaging app. Existing users can simply follow Easy Taxi’s official WeChat account to use the taxi booking function. Just like the promotion on taxi fares in China, for each booking made through Wechat, passenger can save S$5 (US$ 4) while taxi drivers will get an additional S$1 (US$ 0.8). Easy Taxi is the world’s biggest taxi booking app, currently available across 200 cities in over 30 countries around the world. The Singapore office began operations in December 2013 and has since grown to be the biggest in Asia. (Xinhua)

  • DataWind Raises $28 Million in IPO

DataWind, maker of low-cost Aakash tablets, has raised US$28 million through an IPO at the Toronto Stock Exchange (TSX). DataWind first made headlines when it won a tender from the Indian government to provide 100,000 tablets for schoolchildren. The idea was to enable students to surf the web, read electronic documents, and make education fun. The company had made tablet computer Aakash, which cost the government Rs 2,276 (US$38) a unit. This year, the company will supply Aakash 4 to the Indian government, which will support 4G services and is expected to cost INR3,500 (US$58) per unit. (Tech in Asia)

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