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Tech News Today for April 27, 2017

Tech News for Thursday April 27, 2017

The new Google Assistant SDK is launching today, which will enable developers to tap into the AI power of Google Assistant from their prototype hardware. The release is a Developer Preview at the moment though, as Google is making sure developers know that launching a commercial product with Assistant built in still requires a direct relationship with Google itself to facilitate that. Read more at arstechnica.com.

Recode reports that Apple might be creating its own Venmo competitor. Venmo, in case you don't know, is a service that lets you pay people for goods and services easily through an app. Its great for splitting the check at restaurants and not annoying the waitstaff or for paying roommates for rent or utilities. Recodes sources say the new service would let you pay people directly from your iPhone. Read more at recode.net.

Anthony Levandowski, the head of the self driving group at Uber, is stepping aside to move out of the way of the coming freight train that is the Waymo lawsuit that charges Levandowski with the theft of 14,000 files upon his departure from Google. Levandoski is handing over the steering wheel to to Eric Meyhofer, who’s been with Uber since 2015 at its research center in Pittsburgh. Levandoswki said in his email to his employees to not include him on any meetings, email threads or ask for his advice related to Lidar. Read more at businessinsider.com.

Alphabet announced financial results for the quarter that ended March 31, 2017 and they really want you to know that they are more than a search company and they're having a good time doing it, so says Larry Page in his investor letter. Page also says that Alphabet's restructuring has given entrepreneurs more flexibility and autonomy to build and run the company. As a whole, Alphabet beat Wall Street estimates, but continues to lose money on that fun stuff like self-driving cars and the life sciences business. Hiring at the company is up 15% in the last quarter. They now employ 74,000 people. Read more at businessinsider.com.

Microsoft published strong quarterly earnings for Q3 fiscal 2017, with $4.8 billion net income on $22.1 billion revenue, up year over year and beating wall street expectations. Though its cloud and Office products increased revenue 7 percent year over year, the Surface line dropped 26 percent thanks to a lack of a product refresh. Microsoft also showed how its LinkedIn acquisition is affecting its bottom line, with $975 million in revenue. Read more at news.microsoft.com.

Amazon reported earnings today, posting a better than expected profit. E-commerce and cloud services are still a big boon for the company where rivals are finding it harder and harder to compete with the Seattle giant. Net income for the company stands at $724 million. Why does this matter? According to census data, online retail e-commerce sales are still a small portion of total retail sales, but no one doubts that these numbers are growing. So Amazon has proven shareholder value over time and looks to have a bright future as it sells you buttons, speakers, and now cameras designed to track your every move so it can sell you more stuff. Read more at wsj.com.

Samsung teased earlier this month that its Quarterly earnings report would be something special, and it didn’t disappoint. Q1 2017 marks is strongest earnings quarter in three years, with a 48% increase in profit year over year at around $8.7 billion making it the second best quarter ever for the company. However, Samsung’s components business is credited with much of that success, as its mobile business saw a drop in revenue that can be attributed to the Note 7 fallout as well as a delay in consumer spending leading up to their next flagship, the Galaxy S8. Read more at techcrunch.com.

Tech News Today with Megan Morrone and Jason Howell streams live weekdays at 4PM Pacific, 7PM Eastern at twit.tv/live. You can subscribe to the show and get it on-demand at twit.tv/tnt.

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