Roundup – Microsoft takes on Google in AI battle; Dell and Zoom join job-cut giants
Microsoft revamps Bing and Edge browser with AI to rival Google
Microsoft said the move is costing billions in investment as it partners with OpenAI to leapfrog Alphabet’s planned AI chatbot Bard. The new Bing search engine is “your AI-powered robot for the web,” according to Microsoft’s consumer chief marketing officer Yusuf Mehdi, noting that it is live in limited preview on desktop computers and will be available for mobile devices in coming weeks. Bing will be powered by AI and run on a new, next-generation “large language model” that is more powerful than ChatGPT, Mehdi said. The chatbot will help users refine queries more easily, give more relevant, up-to-date results, and even make shopping easier.
Zoom to slash 15% of its workforce as pandemic-fuelled demand wanes
The job cuts come as demand for the company’s video conferencing services turned sluggish with the waning of the pandemic. Around 1,300 of Zoom’s workforce are expected to be let go, for which the firm will incur a charge of between $50 million to $68 million, according to a regulatory filing on Tuesday. The company’s shares, which fell 63% last year amid a rout in technology shares, closed up 9.9% on the news but were down marginally in extended trading. Zoom now joins a raft of tech companies such as Amazon, Google and Microsoft who have announced thousands of job cuts.
Dell to cut over 6,000 jobs amid ‘uncertain market future’
The cut-backs amount to around 5% of its global workforce as the personal computer market declines and readies for a potential recession. Dell said it had already rolled out cost-cutting moves – such as a hiring pause and limits on travel – as it dealt with a post-pandemic collapse in PC sales, which account for more than half of its revenue. However, those moves are “no longer enough,” co-chief operating officer Jeff Clarke wrote in a memo to employees.
“What we know is market conditions continue to erode with an uncertain future,” said Clarke. Dell expects to book costs related to the layoffs in its fiscal fourth quarter, which ends in January.”
Musk wins legal battle over ‘funding secured’ tweet
A three-week long trial by a Californian jury has come to a unanimous decision that Tesla’s Elon Musk is not liable for losses experienced by the company’s shareholders following his controversial “funding secured” tweet from 2018. Those two words resulted in the CEO having to forfeit his position as Tesla’s executive chairman and pay millions of dollars in fines and legal fees. Several Tesla shareholders were seeking monetary damages from Musk, Tesla and other directors in their lawsuit, yet the jury ruled that they failed to prove any of their claims.
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