Microsoft has named Amy Hood, its Corporate Vice President, to succeed Peter Klein as its Chief Financial Officer.
Hood has been with the software company for more than a decade and currently serves as the Chief Financial Officer for the company’s Business Division (MBD). In this capacity, she oversaw all the unit’s financial strategy, management, and reporting.
In this role, she was accountable for just $24.1 billion in the division, so now she’ll be responsible for quite a bit more. It should be noted that Hood was also involved in the acquisitions of Skype and Yammer, specifically influencing the company’s strategy development and the overall execution.
She previously worked in the Server and Tools group before running strategy and business development within MBD. Eventually she became the unit’s CFO in January 2010.
“I’m excited to step into this role and look forward to working closely again with our investors and shareholders. Peter has built a world-class finance team, and I am set up well to continue the company’s strong discipline around costs and focus on driving shareholder value.”
Last month, during Microsoft’s fiscal Q3 2013 earnings, the company noted that Klein will be stepping down from his position. He had been CFO for the past four years, with a total of 11 years in the company. It was revealed that Klein’s replacement would be named from within Microsoft’s financial leadership team soon afterwards.
Photo credit: Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images
Apple’s iOS 7 will arrive “on time,” according to a couple of well-placed sources following a report from Bloomberg this morning that suggests it was risking delays in the face of major software changes. Apple blogger and noted beard-wearer Jim Dalrymple gave one of his famous one-word confirms today on his blog, agreeing with a source which told AllThingsD that while Apple has had to shift engineering resources away from OS X to iOS to make sure things proceed on schedule, the update will arrive on time.
Apple says on its WWDC landing page that we’ll see “what’s next in iOS and OS X,” but it hasn’t spelled out that we’ll see new versions of either its Mac desktop OS, or the mobile platform that powers iPhones and iPads. Still, the focus at WWDC is on software, and it’s more than reasonable to expect given the teaser on the information page as well as references to the future of iOS and OS X made in the official press release noting when tickets for WWDC would go on sale this year.
iOS 7 delay rumors have been making the rounds since John Gruber noted that Apple was “running behind” on the next version of its OS, and they cropped up again today thanks to Bloomberg’s report. But while Apple is apparently having to devote more engineering resources than normal to helping with the redesign process, which is rumored to be headed up by Jony Ive and involves a big visual refresh, which will embrace “flat” design (favoring solid colors and doing away with optical effect that mimic the textures and reflections of physical materials) and bring big changes to the calendar and email tools built-in to iOS.
The changes coming in iOS 7 are about modernizing the UI, likely to inject some fresh energy into a mobile operating system that has retained a fairly stable aesthetic style throughout the course of its six year existence. A significant change to the basic functionality of some apps and the look and feel of the entire OS would be quite difficult on its own, but Bloomberg says that the management shift that took place at the end of last year with Scott Forstall’s departure ended up causing a pause and refocus in the direction of overall development.
WWDC is just over a month away, so we’ll see exactly how extensive the modification really is with a likely introduction of a public developer preview version at that time, if Apple continues doing the same thing it has in the past around the iOS development process.
Facebook says that there are no plans for now to add advertising to Instagram, even though advertisers are approaching them, CEO Mark Zuckerberg said today during the company’s Q1 earnings call. Adding ads could end up stunting Instagram’s rapid growth. He said, more than once during the call, that Instagram is currently growing at a faster rate than FB did at the same age, and it now has 100 million users.
“They’re really doing well and growing quickly and that is the right focus for them,” Zuckerberg said. “They have the opportunity to…build community. I am really optimistic about the business and the opportunities.” But he also noted that “big brands are approaching us” about doing more on the platform — perhaps commercializing more, is the implication here. Instagram is already a pretty substantial marketing platform.
Facebook faced an outcry last year when Instagram updated its terms of service, with many concerned about how Instagram would get commercialized, specifically around selling ads against users’ photos. The company ended up reverting back to its original terms. At the time, Instagram co-founder Kevin Systrom noted,
“Going forward, rather than obtain permission from you to introduce possible advertising products we have not yet developed, we are going to take the time to complete our plans, and then come back to our users and explain how we would like for our advertising business to work.
On one hand, the decision to hold off on adds on Instagram runs counter to how Facebook has been running the rest of its mobile business. The company has been focusing a lot on mobile advertising, which now makes up 30%, or $375 million, of all of its advertising revenue. For now, Facebook seems happy instead for Instagram to provide a complement to the increasing commercialisation on Facebook’s main platform, which includes lucrative app install ads.
On the other, there’s still a lot of evidence here that points to Instagram still lacking the scale to be an effective ad platform for the company. While Instagram now has 100 million users, mobile active users for Facebook are now at 751 million.
Read this article: Big Brands Want Ads On Instagram, But Facebook Is Focused On Growth For Now
Sometimes, politics is just plain entertaining. Yesterday, Stephen Colbert managed to charm President Bill Clinton in to joining Twitter under an alias that only the night-night comedian could do.
“Well, sir, I took the liberty of opening you a Twitter account. Now @presidentclinton was taken, @williamjeffersonclinton was taken, but @prezbillyjeff was available,” he said, in an interview with the president at Clinton Global Initiative University.
It should be noted that the account is not verified, and as of this morning, the bio still reads “I am President William Jefferson Billy Jeff Rodham Clinton. Stephen Colbert is my BFF.”
Watch the interview in the video below.
For interview highlights (and for our international readers who can’t watch Hulu), there’s a second video below:
Read the original here: Watch Colbert Convince Bill Clinton To Join Twitter As @PrezBillyJeff
Less than a week after launching the stable version of Chrome 25 for Android, Google has released Chrome 26 beta for Android. Among the new features are autofill and password syncing, which should cut down on the amount of typing you have to do on your mobile device, as well as an experimental data compression feature. You can download version 26.0.1410.26 right now directly from Google Play (since this is a beta, it’s not available via search; you’ll need to use the link).
As Google explains, today’s beta release means you no longer have to worry about manually filling out Web forms and password prompts on your Android phone or tablet with the same information again and again. Both features were previously available when you’re signed in to Chrome on your desktop, allowing you to take your saved passwords and autofill entries across your computers and laptops, but now they’ve arrived on Google’s mobile operating system as well.
To use the syncing features, you’ll need to be on Chrome 26 or higher both on your desktop Chrome browser and the Android version of Chrome. The options can be turned on or off in the settings page:
The new data compression feature (enable it the under chrome://flags) is a whole different story. We first got wind it was coming to Android this past weekend when it made it into a new Chromium build. Now Google has christened it worthy for the official Chrome beta.
At the time, Google simply described it as such: “Reduce data consumption by loading optimized web pages via Google proxy servers.” We also noted that using less data could also translate into faster page loads.
Now Google has a lot more to say. The company claims it yields “substantial bandwidth savings” and confirmed it is powered by a connection to a SPDY proxy running on its servers, as we noted. Here’s what we said about the protocol earlier:
SPDY, which is not an acronym but just a short version for the word “speedy,” is a protocol developed primarily at Google to improve browsing by forcing SSL encryption for all sites and speeding up page loads. It does the latter via multiplexing (sending multiple streams of data over a single network connection), assigning high or low priorities to page resources being requested from a server, and compressing header information that accompanies communications for resource requests and responses. In other words, it’s part of Google’s broader strategy to speed up the Web.
Yet Google is doing much more than just relying on SPDY. The company is leveraging “content optimization performed by [its] open-source PageSpeed libraries, specifically tuned for Chrome Beta on Android.” In other words, Google is very focused on tuning the feature’s performance specifically to Android.
Google explains the browser-to-proxy connection is over SSL but only HTTP traffic is routed through and optimized by the proxy, so HTTPS requests will bypass it and continue to connect directly to the destination (some of you will remember Nokia wasn’t doing this).
Last but not least, the proxy optimizes and transcodes all images to the company’s WebP format, which requires fewer bytes than other popular formats, such as JPEG and PNG. Google justifies this by saying over 60 percent of the transferred bytes on an average page are images.
Chrome 26 is expected to be released next month. We’ll let you know when it’s out.
See also – Chrome 25 for Android arrives with performance tweaks, background playback, and auto-audio pausing and Google launches Chrome 26 beta with spell checking improvements, app launcher preview on Windows, and more
Image credit: T. Al Nakib