In today’s technology roundup:
- Red Hat adds Microsoft support in cloud
- Wal-Mart unveils mobile pay
- Samsung moves into autonomous technology
- Barry Diller’s IAC launches new digital publishing effort
- The EU is taking on Qualcomm
- Red Hat supports Microsoft in “cloud”
Long-time rivals Red Hat and Microsoft are finding common ground in the cloud. Earlier this week, Red Hat unveiled support for Microsoft Azure in the new release of CloudForms for hybrid cloud management.
“It’ll be support for Microsoft’s cloud … that’ll prove the most eye-catching and, arguably, of most long-lasting interest given the scale of Microsoft deployments out there,” reports the tech news site The Register..
“Red Hat’s infrastructure-as-a-service CloudForms had already let you manage a mix of architectures for private and public cloud. These included Microsoft’s Hyper-V and VMware’s vRealize, Red Hat Enterprise Virtualisation, OpenStack and Amazon’s AWS.”
Read more at:
- Wal-Mart to launch own mobile pay system
Wal-Mart Stores Inc., the world’s largest retailer, said it’s testing its own mobile payment system that will allow shoppers to pay with any major credit or debit card or its own store gift card through its app at the cash register.
It will start testing the new payment system Thursday at its stores in the Bentonville, Arkansas area, where the retailer is based. It plans to launch the payment feature in all 4,500-plus U.S. stores in the first half of next year. While some stores like Starbucks or Dunkin’ Donuts allow customers to pay with gift cards, Wal-Mart says it will become the first retailer to launch its own mobile payment system that works with an iPhone or Android device – and with a major credit or debit card.
It’s part of an overall mobile strategy to making shopping easier and faster, and it’s the latest feature to be added to its mobile app. But the move is the latest salvo in the battle for mobile payments that’s in the early stages. Retailers, financial institutions and hardware makers are all trying to get a piece of what could be a very lucrative business.
Wal-Mart has moved into this field as Apple’s one-year-old tap-and-pay system is being expanded to other merchants like Best Buy and KFC and comes several months after Google launched the Android Pay mobile wallet app and Samsung came out with Samsung Pay.
- Samsung to venture into autonomous driving technology
Samsung Electronics said Wednesday it will set up a team to develop an auto components business focusing on autonomous driving technology and entertainment systems.
Kwon Oh-hyun, a vice chairman who has long managed Samsung’s electronics component business, will oversee the new team.
The announcement comes as Samsung is under pressure to find new businesses to offset sagging profit from its smartphone sales.
Technology companies have been expanding into aspects of auto technology and some have formed partnership with automakers.
Google has been testing self-driving cars for six years and Apple has developed software for automakers called CarPlay that let drivers use an iPhone to operate an entertainment system.
- IAC pieces together a digital publishing company
IAC/InterActiveCorp is forming a new digital publishing company that will group all of its websites together.
IAC, which is controlled by billionaire Barry Diller, spun off dating websites Tinder, Match.com and OKCupid last month and Wednesday’s suggests a stronger online publishing push.
The websites include About.com, Dictionary.com, Investopedia and The Daily Beast. Its CEO will be Doug Leeds, who had led Ask.com.
The IAC announcement arrived less than two hours after Yahoo said that it had scrapped plans to spin off its Alibaba holdings and was instead exploring the formation of a new company consisting of everything but Alibaba, including its Internet unit.
There have been media reports that IAC was in the hunt for that Internet unit and the new digital publishing company may be a good fit.
- EU starts anti-trust action against Qualcomm
The European Union’s anti-trust watchdog says it suspects that Qualcomm illegally made exclusivity payments to a major customer and sold chipsets below cost to force a competitor out of the market.
The EU’s executive Commission said Tuesday it has issued a “statement of objections” to the San Diego-based chipmaker, the first formal step in EU anti-trust actions.
The Commission said company payments to an unnamed smartphone and tablet manufacturer “reduced the manufacturer’s incentives to source chipsets fromQualcomm’s competitors and has harmed competition and innovation.”
It also accused Qualcomm of “‘predatory pricing’ by selling certain baseband chipsets at prices below costs, with the intention of hindering competition in the market.”
Qualcomm has three to four months to respond to the allegations and request a hearing.