January 22, 2015 Last Updated 11:24 am

Amazon rumored to be interested in Israeli chip maker; more funny looking tech head gear previewed

Morning Brief: Adobe updates its app for Photoshop Express, while Microsoft updates apps for Microsoft Office, fixing bugs, Windows 10 to move to free upgrade model

The rumor mill is heating up as the newspaper Calcalist (Israel) is reporting that Amazon may be interested in the Israeli chip maker Annapurna Labs. The newspaper says it is a done deal, with a purchase price of $370 million. Annapurna Labs is owned by businessman Avigdor Willenz.

c8ae02_07efc3f221d26e29f1d850096441a7c9.png_srz_92_70_75_22_0.50_1.20_0.00_png_srzThe guess is that the move has everything to do with its cloud services as Amazon opened a sales and field service office in Israel in 2013.

Moves such as this one pretty much tells you what a company thinks is at the core of its business. For Amazon, its cloud storage business is vital as it has successfully sold its services to institutions (read: government) as well as private businesses and consumers.


Adobe updated its iOS app for Photoshop Express. The update adds some interesting new features which might come in handy for journalists who use both their smartphone and this app to do their work on the go.

What’s New in Version 3.5

  1. For a limited time, you can use your free Adobe ID to access paid features such as Reduce Noise, Premium Looks, and Custom Looks — at no charge!
  2. Use your Adobe ID to access My Looks, a new feature that lets you save your favorite edits as custom Looks. Create as many as you want!
  3. Access and edit image files from your Adobe Creative Cloud account.
  4. Easily share your edited photos to WhatsApp.
  5. Bug fixes for iOS8 compatibility issues.

HoloLens-screen-380Other app updates include Microsoft’s bug fix update for its Microsoft Office apps. The apps were recently updated to add an incentive to users: a free month when you sign up for an Office 365 subscription.

Microsoft held an event yesterday to preview Windows 10. But like the Apple iPhone event, it used the occasion to show off some other stuff – a sure sign that the event would have seemed like a nonevent without the additional preview.

Microsoft’s surprise was a preview of HoloLens, its augmented reality eyewear. Apparently people in Redmond and Silicon Valley think one day visitors to the west coast will marvel at all the people walking around wearing clunky head gear and watches. But I think is more likely we will be reading about incidents of stupid techies being killed when walking in front of buses and cable cars while wearing digital devices.

Maybe I’m wrong, however. After all, people laughed at the idea that we’d all be driving flying cars by the 21st Century. Guess we proved them wrong, huh? And that giant Microsoft table tablet, everyone has one of those now, right?

Microsoft also announced that its latest version of Windows will be free for users who have Windows 8.1, Windows 7 and Windows Phone 8.1. But the company did not announce a date for the release of Windows 10, which makes one wonder if rather than holding an event to announce products that are not immediately available it would have been wiser to just wait until the products are ready.

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