Here are today's top stories from Tech News Today for February 20, 2014:
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Microsoft changed the name of its Office Web Apps to Office Online, plus added some new features. Read more at cnet.com.
- 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.