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LATEST TECH NEWS: Slack petitions EU over Microsoft’s anticompetitive behaviour. 4 other things and a trivia you need to know today, July 23, 2020



These 5 latest stories from the tech space will keep you updated with trends today.

1. Slack petitions EU over Microsoft’s anticompetitive behaviour

Digital work-sharing and communication facility Slack has, Wednesday, petitioned the European Union, accusing Microsoft of demonstrating antitrust practices. According to Slack, Microsoft has been using its strength as a dominant market shareholder to attract customers toward Microsoft Teams, the company’s online collaboration tool. Explaining the bases of the petition further, Slack noted that Microsoft tied Team to its Office suite, thereby, forcing millions to download the app and preventing it from being removed.

Slack prayed the EU, as a regulatory body, to order the dismemberment of the Team product from Microsoft Office. Commenting on this development, Jonathan Prince, Vice President of Communications and Policy at Slack, noted that the war his company was fighting was beyond Slack versus Microsoft. “This is much bigger than Slack versus Microsoft – this is a proxy for two very different philosophies for the future of digital ecosystems, gateways versus gatekeepers,” he said. The decision of the EU is unknown as at press time, however, its decision has the capacity to make or mar Microsoft upon addressing this petition.

2. Rwandan food logistics startup GET IT secures Series A funding

Rwandan food logistics startup GET IT is set to make a significant regional expansion as it announces securing a Series A funding round. The 6 year old startup combines food production, manufacturing, and distribution to build an integrated food ecosystem. According to reports, the firm leads in Rwanda’s domestic distribution market as it ventures in commercial kitchen and hospitality services.

Speaking on the mode of service and major milestones, founder Lauren Nkuranga noted that the firm has recorded a significant growth over the years, converting new clients rapidly. “On top of our instock products, we provide meat, dairy, seafood, cleaning products, amenities, and other consumables for our hospitality and restaurant clients. We work with clients from Marriott, to Wilderness Safaris, One&Only, Singita, and Rwandair,” he stated during press interview. With new raiser, the founder reiterated his company’s dream to be the biggest food logistics company among East, West, and Central Africa.

Tech Trivia:

What does Microsoft’s logo symbolise?

A. A page
B. A door
C. A gate
D. A window
Answer: See end of post.

3. Tech Hub Harare unveils selected startups for its incubation programme

Eight lucky Zimbabwean startups have been shortlisted to participate in the forthcoming incubation programme run by co-working space and innovation hub Tech Hub Harare. These startups will gain access to mentorship and funding opportunities. According to Tech Hub Harare, the aim of the programme is to help develop tech-driven startups that solve problems in the communities they serve and beyond. Although the programme will be managed virtually, it is expected to convert ideas into MVPs over a six-month period, taking in ideation, validation, product-market fit and business training.

Speaking on the modalities, each Startup is expected to receive cloud computing and business support. In addition, these startups will be allocated a mentor who will provide weekly feedback on their development. The eight selected startups pulled through a thirty-two application odd, according to organisers, making it a slim chance of one in every 4 applicants. The startups include agri-tech startup Umojalands, e-health company Utano Health Services, educational access platform Amigo Solutions, and logistics startup Kutuma.

READ ALSO: LATEST TECH NEWS: Twitter closes 7000 accounts. 4 other things and a trivia you need to know today, July 22, 2020

4. Microsoft shares plunge as cloud growth falls below average

Microsoft obtains court order to seize web domains used by South Korean hackers

For the first time ever, Microsoft’s flagship cloud computing business, Azure, has recorded a quarterly sales growth falling below average. According to financial papers, this down trend has pushed the tech giant’s shares down by 2%. Year in year out, Azure’s growth has been the most direct measure of performance against top cloud rival’s Amazon Web Services. Industry insights revealed that AWS recorded a revenue growth of 33% to $10.2-billion. Analysts have speculated that this gain exceeds Azure’s total, for the quarter ended 31 March.

Moreso, IBM, another Microsoft rival, has this week beat Wall Street expectations with strong cloud growth. For this reason, industry experts have noted that the pandemic has not spared Microsoft in the heat of the season. According to Microsoft chief financial officer Amy Hood, however, 12% commercial bookings growth, which reflects corporate contracts for future software and services, was roughly unchanged from the previous quarter, suggesting the company is relatively still thriving. “Our strong position in the cloud has allowed us to have good results and support our customers as they work on the next couple of years of digital transformation,” Hood affirmed.

5. New York’s design platform Ceros nets $100M

Digital design platform Ceros has netted $100M in fundraising. The startup made this announcement public today as it shares its future plans with tech stakeholders. According to the company, the $100 million investment was led by Sumeru Equity Partners. Ceros, which provides a platform for clients like NBC, United Airlines, Snap, McKinsey, IBM, Condé Nast, JP Morgan, Red Bull and Pinterest, to create what it calls “digital experiences”, basically, beautiful graphics and websites — without having to write any code.

Before now, the company has previously raised $33.5 million in total funding. Although, SEP is a technology-focused growth fund, backing the design company came, according to Ceros CEO Simon Berg, after a long time company “courtship” from SEP. Speaking on how the company has overcome the challenge of the pandemic, Berg said that as the country went into lockdown, he put a plan into place that ensured no one at Ceros lost their job, and that if cuts were needed, they would come in the form of across-the-board salary cuts. After the initial panic, however, Berg said he became “hyper-focused and energetic,” powered by his belief that “adversity and constraint is the birth of creative thought.”

Tech Trivia Answer: Window

The Microsoft logo symbolizes an actual window with 4 panes. Blue is a cool and slick colour, symbolising what Microsoft wants Windows to be, slick and quick, yet cool and easy on the eye and easy to use.

According to the company representative, the new design reflected Microsoft’s shift from more classic interface to the tile-centric modern one. The wordmark featuring a new font was accompanied by an emblem consisting of four squares. Each square was supposed to represent one of the company’s main products (Windows, Xbox, Bing, and Office).

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