Silicon UK Pulse: Your Tech News Update: Episode 11

Welcome to Silicon UK Pulse

This is your weekly round-up of the top tech news stories.

Every Friday, Silicon UK surveys the week’s tech news.

Stay up-to-date with what’s happening in your industry or sector.

I’m James Marriott with all the big technology news from the last week.



Welcome to Silicon UK Pulse

I’m James Marriott with all the big technology news from the last week.

Some good news for Microsoft over its planned takeover of the game’s publisher Activision Blizzard.

A judge in America has rejected a request from US regulators to block the $69bn deal.

Microsoft says now it’ll focus on resolving concerns in the UK – where regulators have launched a full investigation into the merger.

Shares in Activision have risen 10% following the news.

If the deal finally gets the go ahead, it will be the biggest of its kind in the history of the gaming industry.

That comes as it’s revealed there are more job losses at Microsoft.

The firm is reportedly responding to customers seeking ways to reduce their cloud computing spend.

The fresh cuts are on top of the 10,000 announced in January.

Details emerged this week after some staff in sales and customer service roles took to social media to announce they had been laid off.

Last week’s Pulse came out just hours after Meta officially launched Threads, its new Twitter rival.

And it has been quite a start for the new app from the Facebook and Instagram company.

In under a week, it’s surpassed 100 million users, making it officially the fastest growing social media platform ever.

And of course, none of those users are in the EU.

It hasn’t been able to launch there because of privacy rules.

Meanwhile, Elon Musk is perhaps unsurprisingly not happy about Threads.

Twitter is now considering legal action against Meta over the app.

Meta says it’s a ‘friendly’ alternative to Twitter.

Musk said “competition is fine, cheating is not”.

Reports suggest traffic on Twitter has dropped off since the launch of the rival.

Worth mentioning the other Twitter rival at this point – BlueSky.

It passed a milestone this week as well, with its millionth sign up.

That’ll seem way behind Threads – but BlueSky is doing things differently.

It’s an invite only platform at the moment and they did pause sign-ups entirely for a while because of overwhelming demand a couple of weeks back.

Of course, this platform is backed by Jack Dorsey, the former Twitter CEO and co-founder.

A new global car manufacturer has announced that its headquarters will be in the UK.

It’s a partnership between French motor giant Renault and the Chinese firm Geely.

They’re investing around £6bn on a new range of petrol, diesel and hybrid engines.

Altogether there will be 17 factories and a handful of research hubs as well, employing nearly 20,000 people worldwide.

The two companies said in a statement that the UK HQ will ‘consolidate operations, build on synergies, and define future plans.’

A big change is coming at the BT Group.

It’s announced that chief executive Philip Jansen will be leaving the role.

In a statement emailed to Silicon UK, BT’s board of directors announced that Jansen ‘has informed the Board that at an appropriate moment over the next 12 months he intends to step down from his role.’

It was October 2018 when he was announced as the replacement for Gavin Patterson, who’d been in the role since 2013.

The search is now on for a replacement.

The statement went on to say that ‘All appropriate candidates are being considered and we expect to be able to update the market on progress over the course of the summer.’

There was relief for some big name tech players this week, after the European Commission announced a new data transfer pact with the United States.

The EC announced on Monday that it has “adopted its adequacy decision for the EU-US Data Privacy Framework.”

It comes after Europe and the United States reached a data sharing agreement back in March 2022, called the ‘Trans-Atlantic Data Privacy Framework’.

The EC said that its decision this week “concludes that the United States ensures an adequate level of protection – comparable to that of the European Union – for personal data transferred from the EU to US companies under the new framework.”

Electronics manufacturer Samsung has warned that its second quarter profits are likely to plunge a staggering 96%.

The news sheds fresh light on the painful economic reality facing tech firms, amidst an ongoing slump in demand.

It predicted a consolidated operating profit for Q2 of approximately 600 billion Korean won, down from 14.1 trillion a year earlier.

It would make it the firm’s lowest profit for any period since 2009, although it is roughly in line with analyst expectations.

But there is some potentially good news for the global PC industry.

One analyst house is pointing to an easing of the large shipment declines seen in recent times.

According to the latest data from Canalys, the worldwide market decline slowed in Q2 2023, with total shipments of desktops and notebooks down 11.5% year on year to 62.1 million units.

The two quarters before seeing a much sharper decline of over 30%.

And Apple’s former legendary designer, Sir Jony Ive, is back!

He’s resurfaced after he designed a record turntable for a British home audio technology supplier called Linn.

He is of course famous for designing Apple’s breakthrough products – ranging from the 1998 iMac G3 to the 1st-generation iPhone, Apple Watch, and iPad.

The turntable has a very modern black and white look to it.

Sir Jony’s company collaborated with Linn to make a special 50th anniversary edition of its Sondek LP12 turntable.

That’s the latest from Silicon UK Pulse – for more tech news and features, head to silicon.co.uk

David Howell

Dave Howell is a freelance journalist and writer. His work has appeared across the national press and in industry-leading magazines and websites. He specialises in technology and business. Read more about Dave on his website: Nexus Publishing. https://www.nexuspublishing.co.uk.

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