Facebook acquires Oculus VR
This week Facebook announced its acquisition of virtual reality firm Oculus VR at the approximate price of $2 billion. Oculus VR was founded in 2012 as gaming-focused virtual reality and grew with the support of gaming companies as well as a successful Kickstarter campaign. According to Facebook, Oculus has already received more than 75,000 developer kit orders for the Oculus Rift headset and the company has plans to use the technology beyond the gaming vertical. Potential uses for the virtual reality named by Facebook include communications, media, entertainment and education. Read more about the acquisition at The Next Web.
OneNote comes to Mac, Office comes to iPad
There were two big announcements out of Microsoft this week regarding availability of two of their software products. OneNote, which has been an existing product for 10 years, is available on OS X for the first time. In addition to greater availability by platform, Microsoft has made OneNote available for free and launched an API that allows developers to include their own add-ons. The second big announcement, that Office is now available for the iPad, happened during an event hosted by Microsoft Executives including new CEO Satya Nadella. Office for iPad has been specifically engineered for “touch first” and Microsoft announced that they intend to bring it to more non-Windows devices, including Android in the future. Read more at Reuters.
HTC launches new version of flagship One
This week, the handset maker released a new version of their flagship device, the HTC One M8. Much attention was paid in part due to the decreasing revenues HTC has experienced in recent years and the potential a new device has to reverse the trend. New features include an upgraded camera, improved speakers, motion launch gesture capability and more. ZDNet’s Matthew Miller noted that making a splash with a smart phone release is harder than ever now that most handsets feature similar hardware and gains have become relatively smaller with each iteration. Read more about the product launch at ZDNet.