Top News for February 20, 2014

WhatsApp

Here are today's top stories from Tech News Today for February 20, 2014:

  1. Facebook plans to buy WhatsApp for as much as 19 billion dollars. The Silicon Valley-based messaging app has 450 million users. The app costs 99 cents a year to use, but the first year is free. Facebook will pay 4 billion dollars in cash plus 12 billion dollars worth of Facebook stock. WhatsApp employees and founders will also get 3 billion dollars in restricted stock units that will vest over four years. Read more at wsj.com.

  2. Facebook wasn’t the only deep-pocket Silicon Valley giant interested in grabbing WhatsApp. In an exclusive written by The Information’s Amir Efrati, we learned that Google took an unusual approach to WhatsApp -- an approach that, well, didn’t work out so well. Read more at theinformation.com.

  3. Yahoo is funding research to develop a Siri-like virtual assistant. The company has made a 10 million dollar grant to Carnegie Mellon University for a project called InMind. Read more at technologyreview.com.

  4. Microsoft changed the name of its Office Web Apps to Office Online, plus added some new features. Read more at cnet.com.

  5. HTC is working on three smartwatches. The company is planning to preview them privately to carriers at next week’s Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, according to a report from Bloomberg. Read more at techcrunch.com.

For insight, analysis, and discussion of these topics and more, check out Tech News Today for February 20, 2014.